The past few weeks have been overwhelmingly busy, with a sick family member, a trip coming up, fall farm tasks, and life in general, and I missed writing the Friday Farm Blog and sending out newsletters. In fact, I have hardly written at all because I was too busy doing life to write about life. I’d think I was a slacker if I didn’t know how much I’d been working.
Sometimes I get a wild hair to organize, and I can’t rest until every nook and cranny is perfect. That has been this week. I began with my canning pantry, but then decided the rest of that closet needed to be redone. Then I moved on to the bathroom, then it was the kitchen…well, you get the idea. Maybe it’s fall nesting, but I’m only halfway done and I just want to keep going. An organized house makes me feel great because it looks good, but from a prepper’s point of view, it’s really helpful to be able to lay hands on everything ASAP. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
The other night, I woke to my giant 150-pound guard dog yelping frantically. I raced downstairs, armed, worried that there was an intruder again who had done harm to the dog this time. When I peered outside, he was thrashing around frantically, rolling in the dirt. I was alarmed and baffled until I smelled it…he’d been sprayed, and sprayed thoroughly, by a skunk.
Now, we got Thor when he was about 2 years old, so his puppyhood cannot be blamed on me. He was raised as a working dog, and as such, wasn’t bathed or brushed or treated like a pet. So I’m pretty sure he’s never had a bath in his entire life, and when your dog is bigger than you are, bathing them when they’re unwilling doesn’t seem like the best idea. Great Pyrenees dogs have a strange fur that repels dirt, oil, and grime, and his dust bath seemed to remove the greatest part of the horrible smell. It’s a good thing, because he hates water. If you spray him with the hose he runs away like you tried to set him on fire. Apparently, all it takes to defeat a 150 pound guard dog is a skunk or a water gun.
(He has a dog house, but prefers to sleep on this too-small dog bed on the front porch, which he drags right in front of the door, regardless of what more convenient place I move it to.)
I digress. Thor didn’t smell too badly by the next day due to his Pyr coat.
But the house!!!! We’d had a window cracked in the kitchen, and that dreadful smell permeated everything before I realized what had happened. I’ve tried all sorts of remedies for skunk smell, sprayed essential oils, and washed or cleaned everything that was washable and cleanable. Still, when we return home after being out for a while, you could smell a faint odor. The solution seems to be to place open cups of vinegar everywhere. This absorbs the smell, and seems to be getting rid of the final hints. Of course, now my house sort of smells like cole slaw, but it’s so very preferable to Eau de Skunk.
My chickens and ducks are finally low maintenance. They’re out of the delicate baby stage and only require a visit or two per day to keep them fed and watered. I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival of the first egg. Thus far, my waiting has been in vain. The oldest ones are just over 6 months old and I was really hoping for our own eggs by Christmas. Maybe we’ll have fried chicken instead. (Kidding – the girls all have names so we have no plans to eat them.)
Here’s a picture from Birdland, AKA, the coop and run. If you had a bird phobia and walked in there, you’d be scarred for life, since they all anxiously surround you, hoping to be the first to get whatever treat you must certainly be bringing them.
Last week, I canned more applesauce and also some coleslaw. 3 entire heads of cabbage only made me 5 pints and 1 quart of sweet-and-sour slaw. I expected to get a bit more from that much cabbage, but it’s nice to have a side that I can pull out of the pantry like that. This week’s canning will be more apples, some pumpkin, and some pears.
Who else is looking forward to Thanksgiving? The week of, we are traveling to visit Granny, who has some special festivities planned before the date. She has travel plans on the holiday itself, so we’ll be returning with my oldest daughter, the recent college graduate, in tow. I’m looking forward to a lengthy visit with her. This, by the way, is the awesome thing about homeschooling. We can travel whenever we want to, without getting “permission” from the school or worrying about threatening letters from the truancy board. (That’s a real thing, much to my surprise.) My homeschool kiddo just takes school along with her, and gets to enjoy great adventures without the hassle of all of the other vacationing families. I think our feast will be on “Black Friday” because there is no sale in the world that could compel me to leave the house on that day.
So, what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Are you still preserving and harvesting? (I know our growing season is pretty lengthy, so lots of places are probably finished with the harvesting.) What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below.