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Welcome to The Clampetts!

Introduction

First blog postKarlaRetirementParty

Hi All!

Here it is fresh off the press, my very first blog.

Let me tell you a little bit about us.  Our name is not really Clampetts but we sort of resemble the Clampetts prior to them striking oil!

My name is Karla and my husband of 13 years’ name is Brian.  We live on at the end of a narrow, dirt road, in a small village, in a small county in the small state of New Hampshire.  I am just recently retired; hence the picture above with the huge corsage!

This blog will be about living off the grid completely and our trials and tribulations of every day living once retired and living in a small, rural area.  It ain’t always easy!  For example, the time I made a custard and the oven kept blinking at me and B was away on a business trip.  Why was the oven blinking?  Would the custard cook?  Well, of course the oven was blinking, it wasn’t getting enough power!  I did not have the appropriate inverter on!  We have 2 inverters that converts DC (battery) current to AC (house) current.  I obviously had a lot to learn. . .

One of the newest additions to our off the grid living and something that makes me very happy, and we hope will make life a little easier, is a propane generator and a new 500 gallon propane tank.  Now the generator comes on automatically when our power begins to lessen.  Since this is a new installation (and not a cheap one either I might add), it still needs tweaking; that would be B’s job.  So far it is working well.  Previously, we used a gasoline fed generator, and required some manual tweaking that was always difficult for me.  I am not mechanically inclined and the generator required a lot of pulling and usually accompanied by some cussing to even start it.  I am not good at jumping up and down while pulling the cord as well as B is!

We live a pretty ordinary life and if you were to visit, you would not necessarily even realize we are off the grid.  However, we do have a few quirky things by today’s standards.  We have a special small refrigerator that requires manual defrosting (yuck) and is deep but short, causing the food that gets pushed way back to freeze.  Have you ever tried reviving frozen celery?  It doesn’t work well.  And our gas powered oven also requires manual cleaning (double yuck, as I cook a lot).  However, my husband has every power tool known to man and uses them frequently.  We have a regular washing machine, but I prefer to hang my clothes out to dry during the summer months, and I use wooden clothes racks in the winter set up near the wood stove to dry most of our clothes.  Why not use the sun and the wood stove to dry one’s clothes???  We do own a dryer but it is at my in-law’s who live a mile from us and live on the grid.

I am also very interested in homesteading, for lack of a better word.  I believe in eating local, either growing my own food or buying local food and meat.  We have raised pigs in the past as well as ducks, chickens, and, if lucky,  B brings home venison – in season,  of course!  I am fortunate to live in an area where I can easily buy any of these items, should I run low on my own food.  By the way, we do have 2 freezers living off the grid.  See?  You would never know we do so.

I hope you like my new blog!  Please feel free to make any comments you care to make.  Well, only positive comments of course!  Ha, ha.

Karla

A Busy Start to the Week – April 13, 2021 – at the Clampetts

Never a dull moment around here.  Sometimes a few “dull moments” would be welcomed.  Read on.

Hello Folks,

The first of this week is shaping up to be rather busy.  Monday went by with a blur.  B had an appointment in Manchester to pick up some auction wins at 1:00 p.m..  We actually started out rather early, thinking we would make a few stops in Claremont on the way.  I guess around 11:00 a.m. is a busy time. 

The first stop was at Runnings Store (a large farm related store).  B elected to go in and check on the Ball jar lid situation.  None.  Nada.  Same as the previous time he went and checked.  They do have some Ball canning jars, but none like we (and apparently everyone else) use.  One of us tries to go in every week to check.  The last time B went in to check, he did find two cases of pint wide-mouth jars, all they had in stock.  So he grabbed both.    At least that is a start and the case comes with jar lids.

Then it was on to Home Depot.  I remarked on how crowded the parking lot seemed.   B wasn’t gone any length of time when he returned to the van.  He said there were about 10 people in every checkout line and that was enough for him, so off we went.  He was successful at getting into the store on our stop on our way home instead.  He was also successful in his purchase.

So, from there we sailed on down to Manchester.  Luckily, the traffic wasn’t particularly heavy, and nothing like trying to get through Claremont.  We were a little early, so we had to wait for a prior customer after we got to Manchester.  Due to COVID, they just have one person at a time picking up from their loading dock.  B didn’t have much to pick up, so it was really quick when it was his turn.  It was a cool showery day.  We ran into off and on showers on our trip.

After that, we had arranged to meet Mark and Ginger at my brother’s house.  They are on “staycation” this week.  They both need a break more than they are getting, as they continue to work on cleaning out my brother’s house.  All very sad for me. 

Anyway, we came home with two boxes of books, some of which hadn’t even been read, and a few other items.  We also brought home my parents’ grandfather clock.  The clock is small for a grandfather, but it was never referred to as a grandmother’s clock that I know of.  Because it is small, it fit in the van easily.  It is also rather light, so I could help get it in the house after we got home.

I immediately went to work cleaning it up.   It had been in my brother’s garage for years, so there was a lot of crud to clean, especially any horizontal surfaces, where mice and squirrels had been on it.  I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have dusted that clock!  It brings back a lot of memories.  Now all we have to do is find the appropriate spot for it in our house.  The clock part needs fixing too, but I am going to wait awhile on that, as I have friends that I want to have look at the cabinet and advise me as to the best product to revitalize the wood finish.  More on this subject to come.

After all that, I was exhausted.  Luckily, we had leftovers planned for dinner.  We even each had a banana sundae for dessert.  I was not only tired, I was hungry!

Today, smack dab in the middle of the day, I had an appointment to get a haircut and, for the first time this year, a pedicure.  So I now have nice hair and shiny pink toenails.  I will never forget the time I had my first pedicure ever one summer.  I came home foolishly thinking my toenails were dry.  Then I slipped into some old sneakers and went after eggs.  Yep.  The polish was NOT dry and after spending all that money, I had a smudge on each big toe.  I learned my lesson.  Right now, I am sitting here with flip-flops on and I have NOT been to the chicken pen!

B, meanwhile, has had another project to work.  His project started late Sunday afternoon.  He had posted an ad to Craigslist to sell another motorcycle, the Kawasaki EX500.  This was a bike he thought he wanted/needed several years ago.   He’s ridden it one time since then!   He bought it from another guy he used to race with at the Loudon Speedway.  Well, the bike sat in the barn for a little too long, I guess. 

I watched B putting parts back on it Sunday after I had announced dinner was ready.  He got it into the barn with a few parts still not put back, or so it looked to me.  Later today, a local guy that happens to often be working at our post office in the village, is coming by to take a look.

Apparently, things did not go well in getting the motorcycle running.   B said it was running fine when he put it away, and he even drained the gas.   But now it seems to have a couple problems, so he won’t be able to show it.   It was a bit embarrassing for B to have to call the guy and cancel the visit.   The potential buyer seemed serious, too.   So, when I got home from the salon, B had given up on it and was back in the house working on his regular business.   Since he had had me take a small package to the local post office on my way home from Claremont, I had already talked to the guy!  Ha, ha.  The fun of living in a small town; where everyone knows your name.  Even times when you wish to heck they didn’t!  Just to add to things, the only area mechanic has apparently gone out of business last summer, so now we don’t even know who can work on it.   B says, if he doesn’t have time to ride it, he sure doesn’t have time to work on it.

Tomorrow is my last vaccine shot.  Of course, in the 3 week interval, the location has changed.  From a 5 mile drive down to Claremont, it is now in Newport, more like 20 miles from home.  Apparently it is inside a former dollar store building.  Great fun.

Today I am also cooking a beer beef stew in my crock pot.  I figure we need to get away from eggs and cheese, and I want some leftovers in the event that I am not up to par to cook for a few days.  Stay tuned.

So, that has been the Clampetts agenda for a few days.  It is time for me to give the critters their lettuce for the day, but I am going to hand it out from the garage door so I can walk inside.  I don’t want any nail enamel smudges!

Stay well.

My Favorite Era – April 9, 2021 – at the Clampetts

Everybody has a favorite era in which they wish they had been alive or at least, older. Am I right?  And then there is the proverbial question, “Who would you like to meet and talk to”???  Come read who interests us.

Hello Folks,

Friday again.  This week really flew by it seems.  My eyes are getting watery and that means one thing: allergy season is upon us.  But it is so early!  I don’t usually have these symptoms until May. 

And those peepers!  This is what we used to call various croaking frogs.  The NH Fish & Game lists the first frog of the season as a “spring peeper” which is a small frog with a X on its back as the first of several frogs we will be hearing.  I can already hear something, and it is only 4:30 in the afternoon.  These are not to be confused with “grey treefrogs”.  I doubt my poor hearing could differentiate between them.  B says we have at least 4 different kinds of frogs, each with its own distinct sound,  that we hear, due to the proximity of the pond to the house.

Last evening the noise level was so loud that, when I went out to put the critters to bed, it was almost deafening to me.  Apparently, the sound is some frequency that I can hear quite well.  Wow!  Was it ever noisy.  I had to push the screen door over and shut the glass slider.  Whew.  I could hear again.  Right now I have both doors open upstairs, which is probably why I am hearing them.  They only get louder and louder as the evening progresses. 

Anyway, I have been reading, as in “reading a book” kind of reading, as opposed to the “magazine” kind of reading.  This is the second book I have read this spring.  The first book was by the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  That book was her second book about her life as a rancher’s wife in Oklahoma.  She sure can promote herself and her lifestyle.   She’s made an industry of it, and made that industry the #1 in her home town.

This second book I read is a novel entitled, KITCHEN FRONT, by Jennifer Ryan.  It is the story of four women in England who enter a cooking contest sponsored by the BBC’s Kitchen Front radio show.  According to the author, this contest never existed, but the radio show certainly did.  It was done to promote foods that were available in the UK during WWII.  It was to help women try to put tasty and nutritious meals on the table.  Apparently, no easy task.

Food rationing in the UK ran from 1940 until 1954.  Unbelievable, right???  Here is the list of rationed food per adult per week that I discovered in the book.

4 ounces bacon or ham

Meat – 2 lbs. mincemeat or one lb. steak or joints

2 ounces cheese (a 2 inch cube)

4 ounces margarine (8 tablespoons)

2 ounces butter (4 tablespoons)

3 pints of milk

8 ounces of sugar (1 cup)

2 ounces jam (4 tablespoons)

2 ounces loose-leaf tea (makes around 15 to 20 cups)

1 fresh egg (plus 1 packet of dried egg powder, making 12 eggs every month)

3 ounces sweets or candy

Plus you were allowed 24 points for other items like Spam, but that is as far as I am going. 

Anyway, the cooking contest was just four women whose lives were intertwined, and I wasn’t impressed by the characters or their relationship to each other.  But what did impress me was just how difficult and scary life was in England during WWII.  These women lived in the outskirts of London, so they did not have to fear bombings as severe as London received.

My interest in the book is because my favorite era is during WWII.  I know that may seem strange, but I would not have minded being alive as a young teenager during the war years.  Those years were tough on women, children, old people, and any man who was unable to serve in the military.  To say nothing of the troops.  Planes were always flying overhead, and one needed to know if they were British planes or Nazi planes.  Food, as noted above, was scarce and not particularly tasty. 

Anyway, I could write much more about my interest in the WWII era, but I’ll spare you.  Life here in the US after 1941 was no picnic either.  Lots of items like gasoline and sugar, to name a couple, were rationed.  Plus anything that went into building airplanes and munitions was definitely not available.  I know there was fear and there was scarcity, but there was also more camaraderie among the people left and a real sense of pulling together that we just don’t have today.

Now, back to the person in history that I would most like to meet and eat with?  I choose Sir Winston Churchill.  Yes, he was rotund, but he bathed frequently (ha, ha but supposedly true) and he almost alone pulled England up by the bootstraps and really motivated troops, civilians, everyone to face the Nazis and not let them invade their country.  He was to me a real and human hero.  I am not sure that England would have survived if it had not been for Churchill. 

So, there you have it in a nutshell.  Like I said, we all have our favorite eras and for many different reasons.  I asked B these questions and he said he would like to have been a teen or young adult during the 50s.  We were born in the early 50s, but of course, that didn’t count, as we were just babes.  And who would B like to sit down and have a chat with? None other than Geronimo or Sitting Bull.  Quite a contrast, wouldn’t you say?

This afternoon, I made completely home-made deep dish pizza for supper, which was a big hit.

Ending today’s blog is a picture of two “intruders” in our pond.  How dare these marauding creatures get out of our pond and walk on our land; so says our ducks!  They are not at all alarmed by our walking around on the back lawn, and we have both now begun putting cracked corn out on the edge of the pond for them.

Stay well.

Egg Glassing – April 7, 2021 – at the Clampetts

Have any of you ever heard of, or ever done any, egg glassing???  This is what happens when you get too many eggs and no one wants to buy any.  Stay tuned.

Hello Folks,

Today is Wednesday and each day this week has gradually gotten warmer and remains sunny, but less breezy each day, too.  Our village made the newspaper on Monday due to a brush fire.  With the warm weather, strong winds and little snow left to melt, we are ripe for brush fires.  Luckily, no one was hurt, nor any property damaged, but it was a close call and about 9 acres were scorched. 

So, today is a mild day with temperatures in the 60s, a lighter wind, and partial sunshine.  I can hear Lucy and the tribe hollering; not just for lettuce, but they want to get outside the pen.  We shall see.  As I write this blog, I am also baking a pineapple upside-down cake.  It seems that lately my oven has been having fits and starts, and I think it is slowly dying.  First, it was the oven thermometer, which I have learned to work around, but now I am thinking the oven itself is just plum wearing out.  Time will tell. 

Since I had the inverter on in order to make B’s cereal this morning, I decided I might as well bake the upside down cake, and it will only need to be reheated for dinner tonight.  It might be the last cake for a while.  So, I have some time to write.

Over the weekend, I advertised eggs for sale in our town email service.  I thought, being close to Easter, people might need extra eggs, but I guess I thought wrong.  In the meantime, I began to seriously research “egg glassing” as an alternative.

What this amounts to is this.  You use a special  processed lime or pickling lime and water to store clean, unwashed eggs for 8-12 months. This way, when the hens begin to slow down in production, you have plenty of eggs to use.  Yesterday I commandeered B to assist.  We went shopping in the barn for a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.  Lo and behold, we even found a clean one!  However, B thought it should still be washed out and disinfected, so he took care of that. 

Then we took the bucket downstairs in the basement for storage.  Again, B thought we should use distilled water.  Coincidentally, I have been lugging home a gallon of distilled water every week from the grocery store for 6 weeks now.  B uses distilled water when re-filling the bank of batteries for our home-grown electrical system.  B says he also uses distilled water for another project, and I use it in the electric iron for those rare times when I bother to iron anything.  So, we use quite a lot of distilled water.  This is especially so since we have such a high concentration of iron in our drilled well water.  This whole area has an issue with high-iron water due, I think, to all the ledge we have.  Anyway, it sure is good to have distilled water handy when you need it.

Back to the glassing.  The video I watched stressed to use only clean, but unwashed, eggs.  Okay.  I am not sure why clean, but this being my first time, I felt it best to adhere to the instructions.  I suspect it has something to do with contamination.   Anyway, I pulled out the “unclean” eggs and kept those for my use.  I forgot to count, but I figure I have 5 or more dozen eggs in the bucket.

B, being the mathematician for the family, figured out how much water and how much pickling lime to use.  However, he shared his calculations with me, so the next time I can do this myself.  Frankly, I am beginning to pile up eggs for the next bucket already.  I am researching further to find out exactly why eggs with a little crud on them are not acceptable.  I haven’t found an answer to this question yet!  B says it’s because we don’t want to create an e coli Petri dish, and I suspect he’s right.

Water glassing eggs goes back to the 1800s before refrigerators, freezers, dehydrators, etc.  In fact, this method for home grown eggs was still being used up to the 1950s.  In essence, it keeps the eggs fresh for up to a year or even more, so when the gals decide to slow down egg production in the late summer/fall and into the winter, I will not be running out of eggs.  Don’t try this with store bought eggs, however!  You need the bloom intact on the eggshells.  Eggs processed for mass production are thoroughly washed, as most people would freak if any “poo” showed up on their eggs and hence, the “bloom is off the rose” by then.  Ha, ha.

So, now my extra eggs are stored and I’m beginning to pile up more eggs.  I used a “Lucy” egg in the pineapple upside down cake, as the recipe called for two eggs.  I always use an old, old recipe that my mother used out of her old Betty Crocker cookbook.  The only problem with it is that the cake never rises much, and today was no exception.  I could try another recipe, I suppose, but this one calls for it to be made in a cast iron or “spider”, as they used to call them, and I really enjoy making it as it was.  I just am not thrilled with the lack of rise.  By the way, I do not glass any Lucy eggs, as her eggs are never clean  In other news, in my last blog I was afraid Lucy had spit out her egg under the porch.  No worries.  She is beginning to use the floor of the chicken coop instead.  Another story for another day!

By now it is 3:30 and I have to decide if I want to go outside and “critter sit” for an hour, or do something else.  It is nice outside, so perhaps I should let the critters run loose for a bit.  I am leaving you with a couple of hen pictures.  In the first one, the white Leghorn has company.  Can you also see the egg in the narrow nesting box???

The second picture shows Miss Buffy all fluffed out.  She got kicked out of nesting box number one by the white Leghorn, who is older and bossy.  I found Buffy’s egg in the box with the Leghorn.  So, there sat Miss Buffy for no reason at all in box #2.  I was afraid she might be going broody so I decided to boot her out of the box and outside.  No issues!

And here’s a picture of 3 of them as they jockey for position

So, there you have it for today!

Stay well.

Today is My Sunday! – April 5, 2021 – at the Clampetts

We have been busy beavers lately.  I spent three days cooking and B spent some time lifting one of the trailers out of the ground!  Stay tuned.

Hello Folks,

The weather is still raw around here, despite temperatures creeping up to the 50s and sunshine, but that blasted wind is still with us.  We again have brush fire warnings posted for our area. 

I set myself up on a three day cooking binge.  At least it feels like a binge.  As noted in my previous blog, on Thursday I made Hot Cross Buns, which were fun to make.  I made them once before many, many years ago and all I remembered is that it took most of the day.  Things haven’t changed, and I was glad I gave myself plenty of time.  The rolls themselves came out fine, but I had some issues, as I mentioned previously, with the frosting.  Anyway, half of them (unfrosted) are in the freezer and we are eating on the balance.  The recipe made a lot of rolls.  So, our special Easter rolls will take us a long time to finish.

Friday I made a really tasty orange gelatin salad.  I had to do some major refrigerator revamping in order to get the mold to fit, but I did it.  I really would like a new jello mold, but that is one of those things I need to see before purchasing.  Anyway, Mom’s old mold wasn’t quite large enough, so I put the balance in another of her molds, and we had that one for dessert Friday night. 

I also baked a pie shell Friday.  I figured both of these items would hold up well through the weekend.  And why is it that, if you are cooking and/or baking for a special dinner, something will go wrong???  For the first time ever, my homemade pie crust shrunk a bit.  This is why I stopped using store bought crusts because they, too, kept shrinking on me.  Anyway, it wasn’t a terribly obvious shrink, but more than I would have liked to have happened. 

That brings me to Saturday.  Saturday was the day to make deviled eggs and fix creamed onions.  I started with the deviled eggs.  I think I have finally, finally found what works well for me when it comes to peeling hard cooked eggs.  I steam them in a large basket and I immediately put them into ice water.  Periodically I buy a big bag of ice and, although it takes up too much room in one of the freezers, it is worth it for fixing hard boiled eggs and any blanching I do. 

The issue with peeling hard cooked eggs is you need to remove a film or membrane that sits between the egg shell and the egg.  If you get that film to peel, you are golden.  I always cook a couple of extra eggs just so I have spares, because usually I botch a few of them while peeling.  This time, I did not.  They all peeled marvelously.  I have had very good luck with the steaming and ice bath method.

Anyway, I got the eggs fixed.  My egg dish sat right on top of the jello mold, so again, things worked out well.  Then onto the onions. 

This time I followed the recipe and cut the ends off the little white “pearl” onions and steamed them with the skins on.  This eliminated much crying and carrying on.  However, I found that, by leaving the peelings on, it made it more difficult to tell when the actual onion was cooked sufficiently.  The onions were a bit overcooked, but never mind.  I didn’t cry and they were being plopped into a white sauce with cheese anyway.  They came out delish.  This is one of our favorite veggie dishes.

Well, I am back after a couple of hours hiatus.  B needed breakfast and I needed lunch, so I stopped to do that.  Then I realized it was Monday and the coop needed cleaning again.  Mondays roll around very quickly.  So I scooted everyone out of the pen and got started cleaning.

It really didn’t take very long, as I seem to have a lot of shavings in the coop.  That meant I didn’t have to put many new shavings in.  Of course, all the time I am cleaning out the coop, I am watching and counting the number of chickens roaming around.  Right now they are mostly content to clean up under the two bird feeders I still have outside, but that won’t last much longer.  While nine of them are under a feeder, the chickadees get annoyed, as they want to get seeds from the feeder, but do not like an audience under the feeder that murmurs, scratches and occasionally pecks at another hen who might or might not have inadvertently scratched where they wanted to scratch.  So, I took my sweet time cleaning. 

Once done, I “chicken sit” outside for a while until I get antsy and/or I figure they have had enough scratching and pecking and decide it is “lettuce” time.  I come in and get the lettuce and high tail it back outside before some fox or hawk nabs a chicken.

Today, the ducks only swam in the pond for a few minutes and Lucy hasn’t yet worked up her courage to go into the water at all.  However, I soon discovered what was up, as all three wanted to come back in the coop.  Sissies.  But the real issue was that Lucy was prepping to lay an egg.  I don’t know if she gives off a scent or what, but that triggers the boys to dog her around and around and around the pen.  I think today she ended up laying her egg under the porch.  This means that B will have to crawl under and get her egg.  I figure it takes her from an hour to two hours to finally lay an egg after she begins pacing around. 

So, the ducks and Lucy passed on lettuce, but let me tell you, the other hens did not!  They were, indeed, ready to come in the pen for a lettuce break.  Little did they know that that was their only chance to peck and scratch outside the pen. 

As to B during all this, he was frantically packaging up some goodies to get either to the post office before 4:30 or to send off via UPS.  That’s what happens when you sleep really late!

Yesterday, the actual Easter, we enjoyed our nice dinner.  I managed to make the cheesecake pie filling and fill the pie shell, peel and cut up small pieces of sweet potato and prep the Brussels sprouts to roast with the sweet potato.  I also had to vacuum the downstairs floors and swipe the bathroom clean, as my MIL was coming for dinner.  Anyway, it all came out okay, despite the first sheet of potatoes and Brussels sprouts getting a bit charred or too roasted.  B called it “Cajun Style”, and said it was fine.  I had enough to fill two cookie sheets.  Thus, lots of leftovers. 

But we did good work on the deviled eggs, gelatin salad, ham and onions, besides the Hot Cross Buns.  A job well done, but was I ever tired!  Hence, I am not doing much today so it is my “Sunday”.

Meanwhile, after dinner and after B took his mother home, he went to work lifting up one of his trailers that had fallen off its blocks.   I heard him get the tractor out and apparently lift the trailer so he could remove the old cement blocks that had sort of sunk into the ground.  B later said that the problem was that part of the ground where the concrete blocks were was apparently soft earth, while the other end was over ledge or rocks.  So, one end of the blocks (on both sides of the trailer) sunk way in, while the other end remained on the surface.   So one side of the trailer slid off, while the other side remained barely on the slanted blocks.  He had hoped he could get under the axle of the side that had fallen, but the axle was buried in the dirt, so he had to make some sort of tool to grasp the axle by the wheel lug bolts, and lift it that way.  Of course, he also had to move some equipment, like a giant seed thrower and a plow, to get near enough to the trailer to work on it.  I don’t really know, as I didn’t watch because by then, I had melted into my recliner with the Sunday paper.  He worked on it until we had a beautiful sunset.  Said sunset, by the way, is now well to the north of Mount Ascutney, which happens to be exactly due west of us.   So we’re well on our way past the spring Equinox. 

Here are a couple of pictures of what B was going through while I was “melting”.  By the way, I had already done a huge load of dishes!

One end of the concrete block sunk into the soft earth, causing the trailer to slide off.

B made this plate so he could hoist the axle out of the ground

Lovely sunset, and it’s now setting to the north of Mount Ascutney!

Anyway, it all went well and no one got hurt and the trailer is above ground again. B had two customers stop by on Saturday.  Of course, I had my sheets out on the line drying.  I’m sure that was impressive.  One customer is B’s big client who not only picked up a couple of things he’d bought, but managed to leave off some more boxes of stuff for B to sell.  This is one steady customer!  So B has been busy sorting, packaging, photographing, and writing ads for the new items.   He still has a lot of stuff to sell from the original delivery.   As he said at the time it all came in around the end of January, this stuff is his whole inventory for the year.   Serendipitous, too, as he sure can’t buy anything from any distributor.   And he doesn’t even have to pay for any of it until after it sells and he collects the money for it!   Great deal all around.

I hope you all had a nice Easter and weekend.

Stay well.

Something That Riles Me Up! – April 2, 2021 – at the Clampetts

I don’t have an issue with depression, but there is one issue that sends me spiraling.  I’ve learned that it is best for me to ignore it as much as possible.  I know that is a cop-out and not a good idea to bury your head in the sand, but my sanity is more important!  Read on.

Hello Folks,

We are finally out of March and it seems like we jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.  The weather has taken a dive.  This isn’t all bad, though.  With temperatures below freezing at night, the mud is driveable in the early morning, and I can still use the mudroom as my second refrigerator.

Today is probably the coldest day.  You wouldn’t want to be trying on your Easter bonnet today or dragging out your white shoes just yet.  I chuckle about the white shoes; when I was growing up, a real classy lady NEVER wore white shoes before Memorial Day!  And frankly, here’s a secret, I never, ever wear white before Memorial Day!  When I was a youngster, dressing up and going to the Memorial Day Parade in town was a must.  You got to show off your new shoes and we all looked very spiffy.  In my family, we never tried to wear spring/summer clothes for Easter.  Chances were, it would be cold, and/or snowy and just miserable and one would shiver in their spring coat.  It just plain wasn’t worth it.

This leads me to the one issue that could, if I let it, make me depressed, and that is climate change.  Like I said, I usually shy away from any article in a newspaper, magazine, television, internet, etc, etc. that deals with the “doom and gloom” about the changes to our climate and to our natural world. 

However, the other night, I did the unthinkable and watched an interesting PBS show.  To back up, our local PBS station, Vermont PBS, shows nature and science shows on Wednesday evenings.  It isn’t my favorite night for television, but I do like nature shows, but science other than biology???  I usually snooze during NOVA.  B loves science, so this is one of his favorite television nights.  He loves space shows and shows about the old time scientists and astronomers, etc. 

Anyway, Sir David Attenborough was narrating the show we watched Wednesday evening entitled, “Extinction”.   Which of course, told us about all the animals and all living creatures that will become extinct if we don’t all begin to watch our carbon footprint NOW.

This whole “climate change” is just way too big for me to wrap my head around.  What can one small individual do to protect our planet???  Yes, if we all band together we could help save it, but will we???  I couldn’t help but wonder about the people; scientists and university professors, who were featured just what do they drive for vehicles???  How many vehicles do they own?  How do they heat their homes, how much petrol do they purchase????  I mean, really???  Why try to scare us into submission when the people telling us all this horrible news probably live very much like all of us.  In other words, they too are leaving a rather large carbon footprint behind them.

Personally, I think B & I live about as economically and carbon-less as anyone can and still exist.  Yes, we drive too many vehicles (when they are running!), we consume plenty of propane gas, etc.  We recycle whatever we can and we eat what we grow.

I think the elephant in the room that no one wants to recognize is very simple.  There are way too many people for this planet to sustain.  I believe one guest speaker said that in his lifetime, and he wasn’t a young person either, the world population will reach 9 billion.  Holy smokes!  Where is the food going to come from to feed that many people?  What about water to sustain us all?  Where is that going to come from?  And what about employment?  If you cut out all the businesses that consume way too many finite resources, what then?  We had a taste of all this last year, and still it is just human nature to consume.

B and I often marvel that, back in the 60s when there was all the environmental awareness, another thing that was talked about was Zero Population Growth to stem the exponential growth of the human population on this planet.   Well, we got the EPA and cleaner air and water, but somehow ZPG got forgotten, and human population, the source of all our environmental woes got completely forgotten, especially when we see politicians and the like, bragging about their 6 or 8 children.

See what I mean???  Eee-gads.  This subject would drive a normal person insane!  No job, no food, no water.  I guess that would end overpopulation.  What about all the critters that are going extinct from over harvesting or taking away their homes to build more human homes?

Just writing this makes my head spin.  So, I am going back to my old life where I pretend climate change will not happen.  But when we get an unusually mild winter, like the one we just had (despite getting 40 inches of snow in December only to see it wash away a week later), it does cause me to stop and pause.  And this see-sawing back and forth between overly warm days in March and then a crash to more normal temperatures in April. 

Well, I need to cheer up and go and do some more cooking.  I am on day 2 of prepping for Easter dinner.  We started talking about what to have for dinner and, before I knew it, I had a whole list of things.  Yesterday I started with making hot cross buns.  All went well until I got to the icing.  I mis-read the recipe and added 6 TABLESPOONS of milk instead of teaspoons to the powdered sugar.  Yep.  My crosses look more like a runny glaze.  Oh, well.

Today I made a jello salad that is now “resting” in the refrigerator.  I also made a pie shell in anticipation of a cherry cream cheese filling.  Next up for today, thickening the canned cherries for the pie’s topping.  And of course, plenty of dishes.  I best get going!

Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating it.  And if you are not, happy weekend!

Stay well.

Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus or Something Like That – March 29, 2021 – at the Clampetts

Last week we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  Well, “celebrated” is a bit of a stretch, but we did exchange cards.  And we both got a little sick.  Read on.

Hello Folks,

Today is Monday and it is horribly windy with the water in the pond (ice out over the weekend!) shimmering and moving from the wind.  Good ole March weather.  It is also chilly, as in 40 degrees, but with the strong NW wind, it feels much colder.  We saw snow showers earlier.  It is now noon and there is a wind advisory until 5:00 p.m.  Out of the corner of my eye I can see the water moving.  We don’t have whitecaps, but I guess the equivalent that you get in a small body of freshwater.

Yesterday, despite rain and, of course, wind, we had a pair of Merganser ducks come flying in and they stayed quite a long time.  They don’t seem bothered by the ducks or Lucy or the chickens.  Then an extra female arrived and all hell broke loose and the pair tried to get her to leave but she didn’t.  At one point, all three were happily floating around the pond together.

Later in the day, a pair of mallards arrived.  The female had the audacity to get out of the water, walk onto our land, and have a nap, much to the consternation of my two useless male ducks.  They were wired!

When the Mergansers arrived, my ducks were way too busy dogging Lucy around.  Poor Lucy.  She needed to lay her egg so badly, but those two miserable boys would not give her a moment’s peace.  Finally, B noticed a white glob out on the ground in the middle of the pen.  He went out and sure enough, Lucy had to just drop an egg and flee the two males.  I will be watching her for signs of female distress and, somehow, I need to separate the boys from her so she can peacefully lay the next egg.

Oddly enough, I never considered the fact that Lucy would be laying eggs.  But lay them she does.  I now have 6 goose eggs, even after using them this weekend in my cooking.  We should have very strong bones and plenty of immunity in our systems from the goose eggs.  But apparently, we don’t.

To back up to Thursday, which was our anniversary, as well as the Plainfield senior dinner take-out.  Perfect.  We didn’t need to spend any additional money buying take out or going out to dinner.  You know the drill during COVID.  We don’t eat out except on the rarest of occasions.  And frankly, take-out has its disadvantages.  For one thing, we live so dang far from civilization that, by the time you get the food home, it is only lukewarm.  Now, B likes his hot food on the lukewarm side, anyway.  I am part of the school “hot foods hot, cold foods cold” crowd.  That means, I have to warm up my food when we get it home.  Way too much work.

But back to Thursday.  I went after the senior luncheon meal.  I got home and it was meat chili with a side of cornbread and we each received a rather generous serving of apple crisp with it.  Not my kind of food.  Yes, I like cornbread and I like apple crisp, but not made with canned apples.  Sorry.  I don’t care for chili, but B does, so he was happy.  I only warmed up one serving of chili ,as each serving came in a 16 oz. paper cup.

Well, it went down okay.  I gave B some of my helping and I moved on to my cornbread and we each got a seedless, or so it seemed, tangerine.  However, as the evening progressed, B became increasingly distressed with “intestinal issues”.  He finally came to bed, but had to get up once.  I, on the other hand, had a queasy feeling stomach lasting into Friday.  Needless to say, that second helping of chili that I had not warmed up???  It went to the compost pile. 

I did email the director of the senior luncheon just to see if there had been any complaints about the food, but was told no there wasn’t, but they received several compliments about the chili.  Good for them!  Anyway, we still think the issues came from the chili, period. 

So, a few days later, B asked about the second helping of chili, to which I promptly replied it was in the compost bin.  B thought that was a horrible shame, as he could have eaten it!  I mean, really????  B went on to explain that, had he gotten ill again, he would know for sure it was from the chili, and he would alert the director that it was indeed the chili that made him ill!!! 

B finds it particularly intriguing that, with all the covid-related precautions and supposedly improved hygiene awareness , how it’s possible to catch anything like a cold or a “stomach bug”.   Apparently, some things get through, which means the covid virus can get through by the same path, despite all the precautions and often over-the-top protocols and restrictions.

This is where the “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” thought came into my mind.  I must confess, I never read this book, but B did back in the 90s when it was originally published.  I thought then, and still do now, that the theory was right, but what would anyone do about it???  Apparently, the book mostly pointed out that communication would help solve the great male/female issues.  Well, any woman could tell you that! 

I will say that our relationship does sometimes revolve around communication.  I mean, I like discussing issues but I do not like B to tell me how to solve my great issues.  This is the premise of the book from what I gather.  I just like talking about an issue ad nauseum which drives B crazy!  He figures, why waste breath rehashing things when the issue can be resolved quickly and directly.  I mean, huh???  What fun is that???

Often, I miss having a female friend to “rehash” an event with.  Before COVID, B and I used to go to an annual barn party that a woman in the village used to put on every fall.  We all brought finger food.  As an aside, B on more than one occasion, either caught a cold or was sick from it upon returning home.  Finger food, get it???  Anyway, I soon learned it was pointless to bring up some issue from the party, as in what someone was wearing or who had lost or gained weight, that sort of thing.  Not maliciousness but just a “rehashing” of what I saw or observed.  Useless on B.  So, I learned early on to keep my “pointless” opinions to myself.  Hmm.  If only I had a female to voice these observations to!

But then, I don’t understand any male interest in the show “Family Guy” either.  Doctor John brought over a couple of videos that he adores.  One was starring, as well as written, produced, and directed by Seth McFarlane, the chief honcho of the series, “Family Guy”.  That was enough for me.  I didn’t watch the video.  But B, night after night, will chuckle and laugh about something Peter Griffin says or does.  The wife, Lois, has the scratchiest most annoying voice ever.  Doesn’t that say something, ladies???  And, the two females in the series characters never evolve, either.  But then, neither do the men’s characters ever evolve either.  B says I sit and chuckle over it too.  But my chuckling is about the absurdity of it and who wouldn’t chuckle about a one year old baby that not only talks with a British accent, but makes a time machine???  In other words, the ridiculousness of it.  I am not going to tell you the parts B finds so humorous, but let me say this, sometimes it is like being married to a 14 year old male in an older man’s body!  I think most of you will get it!  Hence, the book comes into play again.

And I’ll end with this little story.  I happen to find Dave Barry amusing.  No, I have never been to see him “live”, but I have read some of his books.  And the one joke that often comes to my mind is the one where “Roger” is on a date, in the car.  I am paraphrasing here, folks, so don’t write and tell me I got this all wrong, okay??? 

Anyway, Roger’s date mentions that they’ve been dating for 6 months.  Then Roger gets very quiet.   His date, thinking that, because Roger has suddenly gone silent after she mentioned their six-month anniversary, that Roger must be thinking all kinds of things like “He hates me.  I am a terrible date.  He won’t even talk to me.  He regrets being with me this long.”.  That kind of thing.  When in reality, it just reminded Roger that he’s had his new car for 6 months, and so it must need an oil change!  See, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus!

Stay well.

Fooled by Packaging Again, a Weird Egg and a Shot – March 24, 2021 – at the Clampetts

Wednesday and it is cloudy and mild but the house is pretty chilly.  The hens are squawking loudly so either someone has laid an egg, or desperately needs to.  Read on for a very strange egg laying I witnessed. 

Hello Folks,

Yes, dark and dreary here in Clampettville.  But such glorious weather we have had for late March!  Anyway, let’s get right to it, and I am going to tell you about the strange egg.

But first off, I have to say I caved and signed up for the vaccine of the century, as I call it.  Anyway, I had numerous reasons, so we went yesterday for my first shot.  I say “we” as in B drove me the 5 miles to the location and I got the shot and didn’t keel over.  However, once home, I didn’t feel “up to” doing much.  In fact, this seems to be a trend this week.  So, I decided to sit outside on the deck in the sun and do nothing, which is what I did once we returned home around 2:30.

I could clearly see my older brown Leghorn hen from my viewing deck.  She just appeared to be soaking up the sunshine and standing still.  I did notice one other hen was hanging around her, but I didn’t think much of it.  Then, all of a sudden, out popped what appeared to be a shell-less egg from the brown Leghorn!  Sure enough, several of the hens rushed over and grabbed parts of the egg.  It was large, folks, and completely shell-less with a film like around it.  Well, the girls made short order of that egg. 

I know that older hens and newbies can lay shell-less eggs, and I’ve seen it many times in the coop.  But she made no move to lay it in the coop, nor have I ever seen one so large.  By the time I could get off the deck, it was devoured and all was back to normal.  Miss Brownie then proceeded to start scratching and digging like nothing had happened.  Wow.  And, I know she can lay a regular egg too.

This spring, the three remaining old gals have come alive and are laying good, big eggs on a regular basis.  I think the younger gals have inspired them and perhaps, put them “in the mood” to lay regularly.  Miss Brownie and the other white Leghorn lay an egg quite frequently.  I know it because they both lay white eggs versus the other gals who lay brown eggs.

And here is something else.  Both last Friday and again Monday, I got nine eggs each day!!!  That means each hen laid an egg the same day.  Generally, I am getting 5-6 eggs a day this spring, but 9 is really something to cheer about.  I also know that, as soon as the temperature climbs, the egg production will drop off.  My hens do not like hot weather.  They seem to tolerate cold okay, but not so much hot days.  We shall see how this all plays out this summer.

So, I’m moving on to my packaging issues.  You know how I dislike waste and how I like a good bargain.  You also know I preach about watching packaging when buying anything.  Well, here are two examples of how I did not look things over carefully enough this winter.

The first is the moisturizer, Olay.  It used to go by the name Oil of Olay (I thought that was quite exoctic back when I started using it), but it has re-branded to just Olay.  It is also manufactured (now anyway) by Proctor & Gamble. 

As noted previously, I keep a large plastic covered bin in my closet with toiletries.  One day, my 6 oz. jar of Olay was on the dregs, so I went to my handy-dandy plastic bin for a replacement.  I pulled the plastic container out of the box and it seemed very small to me.  Upon further examining, I realized I had a 4 oz. container, not 6 oz., like I was previously using.  Then I checked the spare box I bought and yep, also 4 oz.

So, I got misled by the outside cardboard container that appeared to me to be the same size I always buy, but not so.  I don’t recall the details now, but I think I had a $1 coupon for this item.  And, instead of buying it in Walmart, like I used to do before the plague hit us, I bought it in the grocery store.  Big mistake. 

This is why I used to routinely go to Walmart once a month, but after COVID struck, I have tried to cut it out as much as I can, as I don’t want to go into any additional stores unless I have to.  And let’s face it, Walmart is not my favorite store to shop in.  However, you really can’t beat their prices when it comes to toiletries and vitamins, etc. 

I have also been trying to wean myself from Amazon, as I feel they are getting too big for their britches.  Since COVID, I have been doing a lot more shopping online.  Now, my first place to look for items is Walmart.com.  I do get frustrated with them, as some items that I can find, but can’t find in-store, are not for delivery.  Sure, I can drive 50 miles or more and pick up something I want curbside, but I am not about to do that either.  But otherwise, I am ordering from Walmart.com first.  Yes, in order to get free shipping, I must place an order of at least $35, but that isn’t very difficult to do.  This week alone, I have placed two orders for items that are cheaper than buying local or I that cannot find.

I was successful in ordering Olay Moisturizer in the 6 oz. size cheaper than the one I found in Hannaford, so I ordered it.  I will continue to keep an eye on this item to be sure I get the 6 oz., not the dinky 4 oz. size, for a decent price.

The other packaged item that escaped my scrutiny was the square boxes of Scotties tissues.  As noted previously, I have these boxes all over the house.  Anyway, Hannaford was doing their “for weeks” special of 97 cents for either the rectangular box of Scotties or the square box.  So every week, I was buying mostly the square boxes, but I got taken.  Most of the boxes were clearly marked 66 tissues , 3 ply in each box.  The 3 ply is a good, heavy tissue, yet soft. 

However, one week I overlooked the quantity and brought home two boxes of 64 tissues each and only 2 ply.  Yep.  The same exact box, but different quantity.  That little problem will never happen to me again!  I mean, who wants 64 tissues when you can get 66, plus a better ply, for the same price???  I have seen this in other stores since my boo-boo.  I think I got hung up on the design of the box!  Well, again, that will not happen to me.  You would think I would know better at my age!  Ha, ha.

This has been our week to date.  Later today I have a dental appointment.  I think a shot and going to the dentist all in the same week is about enough punishment, don’t you???

B is still busy with his business.  In fact, a little later today he has two people stopping by to leave off items for B to sell.  He also had to go to one of our rental houses to let the “mouse man” in.  We weren’t too pleased.  After all the whining and complaining about mice in the attic, you would think one of them could have stayed home to let the crew in, but no, we had to do it instead. 

Stay well.

TEST

TEST BLOCK. ADD PICTURE

Hmmmmm I couldn’t get this picture of the pie (or any picture) to upload into today’s blog. Bug here’s pseudo-entry, and it loads just fine. So anyway, here is my fine pie. We both loved it, especially warmed up with ice cream!

Dictated To By a Leg – March 22, 2021 – at the Clampetts

We are on a sunshine roll and no SNOW in sight.  Could this really be the end of winter for us in Clampettville???  And what about that leg???  Stay tuned.

Hello Folks,

We are on a roll, as in four days straight with sunshine.  And prior to Thursday, about another four days of sunshine.  This is great.  Yesterday truly felt like an early spring day in NH with temperatures in the low 50’s.  Up until today, it’s been sunny, but cold, with each day getting a bit warmer than the previous day.  Yes, we still have plenty of snow and mud on the ground, but we can now see the pond water outline and plenty of rocks, ledges, and brush poking up through the snow.

Since our front door is now accessible again, I removed the Christmas wreath and replaced it with the artificial forsythia one.  They don’t make wreaths as well as they used to, and this forsythia one is a good quality wreath so out it went.  You may recall I was concerned about buying a cheaper Christmas wreath from a different vendor, for fear it would not hold up as well.  Well, I am happy to say the wreath is still going strong and hasn’t dropped any needles.  The quality was great.  It is just time for it to be retired!

So, what about my leg?  As you all know, two years ago I broke the tib/fib in my right leg about 6-8 inches above my ankle.  Anyway, last October the leg began to act strange.  Periodically, it would feel like what I would imagine a shin sprint would feel like, but it wasn’t consistent; just off and on discomfort.

Knowing I had a Medicare wellness check up due in December, I decided to live with it and ignore it best I could.  I mean, it wasn’t a constant thing and I had no “twinges” at night; just once in a while during the day.  I was also slowing down on my walking and not being very consistent.  Then deer hunting season came along and I stopped walking altogether.  B says that is a poor excuse, as our land is all posted.  I said even posted land can be accessed and I wasn’t about to take a stray bullet for any deer.  B wasn’t convinced.

Then after deer hunting season finished, I was into cookie baking season, so to make a long story short, I wasn’t walking at all during Nov/Dec.  My leg continued to periodically hurt right where it broke.  So, I began to imagine all kinds of things like the hardware had come loose in my leg and was rubbing against a bone, etc.  The last thing I wanted to do during the pandemic was have to have the leg opened up again and the hardware removed. 

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, during my wellness visit the nurse recommended I have another x-ray on my leg/ankle first.  If that wasn’t the issue, I should let her know.  It wasn’t the issue.  The doc who read my x-ray said the leg was very strong, stronger than indicated in my previous x-ray, and no signs that the hardware had come loose, nor any signs of arthritis.  In other words, my leg is fine.  That caused me to skulk out of the doc’s office.  I was embarrassed I had wasted his time, and I am convinced he thought I was a hypochondriac to boot.

Next, the nurse thought the pulse in my right foot was a tiny bit weaker than my left foot.  She suggested a test up at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital to test me to see if perhaps I had a blockage in my leg or some kind of vascular issue.  Sigh.  No, I wasn’t opposed, although not thrilled to have to drive to DH and have a test during a pandemic.  All this occurred, by the way, before the end of December 2020, as I wanted to get all bills submitted to my insurance company before the end of the year.

Well, lucky for me, there were no vascular issues with my leg.  Hurrah!  So, what was wrong with my leg???  Meanwhile, I had started seriously walking again as in 4-5 times a week; consistently.   My nurse said to let her know if my symptoms continued, as she had a few other tricks up her sleeve.

But guess what???  My leg issues began to disappear once I was back on track and walking regularly.  No more shin “twinges”, and the leg felt strong.  But it likes a good workout.  It likes up and down terrain; no walking around a running track; it wants to be exercised!  So, that is why I am walking as much and as often as I can this winter and spring and summer ahead.  I am being dictated by a leg!  I can’t believe this!  I have also noticed that my leg feels weaker and uncomfortable if I don’t get adequate sleep!  I mean, what the heck???  If I am on a more regular sleep cycle, like 7-8 hours of sleep at night, my leg is happy.  Exercise and sleep.  That is the conclusion I have come to regarding my healed broken leg.

In reality, it is the opposite of a shin splint, so I guess in my case, it works in reverse, as my symptoms do mimic a shin splint.  My leg was trying to tell me that it needs exercise and plenty of rest.  This is all thanks to the Mayo Clinic online, of course! 

So, my advice to anyone who breaks a bone, pay attention.  The bone will, no doubt, dictate to you what it needs!  Be aware!  I am not trying to be funny; as my leg issue could be more than my self-diagnosis, but for the time being, walking and adequate rest seem to be taking care of the issues.

I am leaving you with a picture of the pie I made yesterday.  Along with spring, my body (not my leg!) wants greens (like Lucy) and spring fruit.  I found a bag of whole strawberries I froze last summer.  If I had the space, I would freeze all my strawberries whole.  I remember I simply hulled and washed the berries, dried them, and put them on cookie sheets.  Then I popped them into the freezer to get stiff and not all juicy.  Then I could easily pop them into bags and used my Food Saver to do the rest.  I also found a three cup bag of rhubarb I had cut up and froze.  So, for the first time ever, I made a strawberry/rhubarb pie.  I often make a fresh strawberry pie and a fresh rhubarb pie when in season, but I have never made a combo pie before.  I do not recall my mother ever mixing these two fruits together either. 

Anyway, I was pleased with the results.  It was also the first time I have ever used tapioca as a thickener in a pie, but the recipe called for it, so I used it.  It worked well.  The only seasoning was orange juice and a tiny amount of orange rind.  This worked beautifully with the fruit.  I was not trying to show off when I did the top lattice work.  Just the opposite.  I was in a hurry and didn’t feel up to weaving the top crust so I took the lazy man’s route.  It came out pretty well.

Until next time, STAY WELL!  I am off for a walk!

A Birthday, Turf War Heats Up, and Spring Break of Sorts – March 19, 2021 – at the Clampetts

I would like to thank all of you for your birthday wishes.  Despite COVID, my brother’s passing, and rain, I had a very nice birthday!  I appreciate all the cards, emails, texts, FaceTime, and phone calls.  You all made my day!

Hello Folks,

Friday again, or at last!  Take your pick.  For us retirees, Fridays mean we have to make all the week’s business calls by the end of the day.  We try to stay put, especially over the weekends, to let the worker bees do their shopping, etc.

As noted above, I had a very nice birthday.  It did shower most of Thursday, which was odd, as the rest of the week was quite sunny, as is today.  It is cold here today; temperatures barely in the 30’s with a biting north wind.  I went out for a walk, but I got tired of the icy trail and/or breaking through the crust, so I headed for the road.  Not much mud today; mostly frozen wheel tracks.  But much easier walking.  I walked along the brook and just had to take a picture and here it is.  Rather icy looking, wouldn’t you say?

Beginning tomorrow, the temperatures are going to rise into the 50s and 60s and yet remain below freezing most nights.  That should really help the sap in the maple trees to run.  I have no idea as to how the maple syrup season has been here in NH up to today.  I hope it is a good season.  It is always discouraging when we have a poor maple season.

B and I, as planned, went to Chili’s for a late lunch yesterday.  I think we made 3 trips each back into the house from the car before we even left the property.  We are out of practice!  But before we could leave, we had to put out a turf war.  Between Lucy and the male ducks, my poor little hen, who is already short some feathers, is short a few more.  They were not letting up on her.

This is the hen that, for whatever reason, feels she must lay her egg in the duck cage, and they are determined that she is not going to do that.  It got real nasty yesterday in the drizzle and cold.  At one point, the alpha male duck had her by her neck.  Anyway, between B and I, we put the fire out.  In the end, I was able to scoop her up and put her in the hen coop and forced the auto-door to shut.  Then we went to lunch.  Little did I know that another hen was also in the coop, so she got shut in with Miss Hairless.  When we returned home, I found two eggs in the nesting box, so I guess Miss Hairless finally laid her egg in peace.  Today, tempers are much better.

However, I guess the ducks really meant business because I found a goose egg in Lucy’s cage and not in the duck cage this morning.  The two males keep her from laying in the duck cage, which Lucy seems to prefer to do.   Those ducks are armed and dangerous, so look out critters! 

I am back and it is now Saturday.  I lost track of time yesterday, and then it was time to start dinner.  Also, in order to help B, I am, for the first time, sending out lease renewal letters.  We have one prickly person to deal with, that B particularly dislikes, so I set that one aside to work on this weekend.  So far, two quick responses with yes for an answer.  We have learned over the years that if we do not receive quick replies, there is a reason.  Oh-oh.  This could be a very long summer interviewing candidates.   What precipitated our doing this was an email from one tenant who said they want to buy a house and move out this summer.

So, with all that, I am signing off for today.  I hope to be back on track next week.

Stay well.