Farm truths

August 27, 2012

There has been a lot of ‘putting up’ in our little valley and unlike the old expression ‘put up or shut up’, the farm truth is ‘put up and share’.  These goodies were delivered by neighbors just in the past week.  Besides the fresh picked carrots, there have been apples, apple juice, and of course the ever abundant zucchini, as well as a couple of tomato plants.  It is not uncommon for us to come home and find fresh vegetables left for us on the kitchen porch.  My loving spouse has perfected ‘putting up’ zucchini chutney, an adaptation of the favored British green bean chutney.  We are now sharing zucchini chutney around the valley with our neighbors, who say thank you very nicely, look at it slightly puzzled and inquire politely as to how they eat it.

Getting the ‘darn spruce tree’ into burn-able size wedges is a job in the works.  The actual Lumber Jack language for it is called ‘splitting wood’, when it in fact goes ‘right’ and the wood does ‘split’.  These large rounds are not dry enough to even attempt to split yet.  I really do like to have a ‘go’ at the smaller logs, as some days, it is therapeutic to have some thing to whack.  I previously referred to splitting as ‘whacking wood’, personally I prefer this saying, since there is still an awful lot of whacking and not as much actual splitting going on when I try it.  My loving spouse bought us some fancy wedges that split the wood easier.  The truth is that they are very good, but I still get them stuck fairly regularly.  I’ve learned that un-sticking the wedges is just part of the process.  I am improving considerably, not so much at the splitting, but at getting the wedges stuck.  I now seldom get every single one of our wedges stuck in the same log.  Another farm truth is that if I whack two of these logs I will need a gin.  If I whack three, I will need Advil and a gin.  If I whack more than that, I will need my head examined.

City truth or farm truth, there is really very little I know for sure, but I do know that the Lord God loves me and so does my loving spouse.  I can believe them both.

“Fear not, for I am with you” Isaiah 43:5  Of course I seem to forget this often, but it is always good for me to be reminded in a new community or old, through wild fires and snow (which I’ve yet to experience and ought to be entertaining for this Southern Californian) and especially through this summer of teens.

I could never have had this life adventure on my own.  I know so little about farms, animals and restoring this old home.  It is crucial to have someone who has experience and knows what he is doing.  My loving spouse is our expert and I believe him  when he tells me, “Sweetie, that electrical wire is not hot, you can go ahead and cut it”…. POP!

I am now permanently taking myself out of the electrician pool of workers.

  • Sheena

    Hi Ellen,
    My daughter gave me a simple but tasty recipe for courgettes.
    Short crust pastry…..roll out and lay on a baking iin, part bake, and thinly cover with whole grain mustard, layered thinly sliced courgettes, and cover the lot with grated cheese. Pop back in oven until all cooked, and cheese is golden. Delicious hot or cold!

  • Sheena

    Hi again Ellen,

    So pleased you are all keeping your sence of humour!

    Here, I have been so stressed! (We have an adopted cat, ‘Sandy’, he is called, and he in reallity adopted ‘US’. (3 years ago now, just when I said ‘NO MORE CATS’!)

    He is very much a ‘House Cat’ and even ‘talks to us!’. (Never had one that did that before in all my 41 years of married life!)

    We have a cat-flap and he does go ‘in-and-out’ as he pleases, but it also gives other ‘stray/hungry/ferral cats the same opportunity’!

    When we go away I normally organise a ‘house/cat sitter,’ the first person of choice, was my son, who now is residing in Thailand, the second person became alergic to dust and CATS!.
    So I went through all the ‘single/un-tied/ un-complicated people I knew’, and chose an old friend of my daughters, who she had known since born, and was brought up with and loves cats.
    The last time we went away, she was fantastic, so was expecting her to look after him and the house while we were child minding and in Tailand, but ‘BLESS HER!.’ She came off her horse the day before we were due to go to London to ‘child-mind’ and ended up in hospital with a ‘smashed Tibia, where it joins the knee, (which was pelleted with bits of bone!
    She runs a ‘riding school’ and has now been told it will be at least 4 months before she gets back on a horse! (NO INCOME!) She is just such a lovely person, I have no idea how she has deserved this!
    If I could I would set up a scheme for injured ‘riding instructors’ to help them all.
    Oh, it is just so sad!
    NEVER MIND MY PROBLEMS DEBS, ICAN COPE! JUST ‘GET BETTER SOON!’
    Lots of LOVE S XXXXXX

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