Monday, March 24, 2008

Sneaking suspicions

So I have a sneaking suspicion that Barbara Kingsolver is overstating some of the joys of growing your own food for a year. I mean, I have canned tomatoes in July/August. I am not a complete neophyte (my dad made me do it when I was younger). I remember it being one of the hottest days' work you can come by. An August day in Virginia with pots of boiling water going in the kitchen for HOURS. The tomatoes have to be dunked in boiling water, put in cold water then peeled and pressed into jars to be put in more hot water. I don't recall the gently bubbling kitchen she describes. Ours was considerably sweatier and crankier. Especially after you have burned all ten finger on tomatoes. But maybe that was just me. Makes me wonder about the perported ease of the 30 minute mozzerella. Sounds like I might end up glued to the counter with milk protein.

Yesterday, I put a primer coat on the bee boxes and cleaned all the frames. I knew cleaning the frames would be a royal mess, so I made sure to do it at the dining room table. Well, it WAS chilly in the morning. Later I moved outside in the sunshine. I was going to take pictures, but my camera batteries were out. Tomorrow I have to do the final coat and I will take pictures.

Kitty found the first snake of the season. I love snakes. I saved this one from the cat. At least for now. I think it was just a little brown northern or a garter snake. I didn't get a great look at it, the cat was struggling pretty hard, and I didn't want to go back and mess with it. I mean I WANTED to go back and mess with it, but I figured it had probably had enough for its first day in the sun. Somehow snakes just invite pokin' at.

The day was full of birds. I started feeding them more often in practice for having chickens. I also put out scraps of leftover natural fiber yarn in hopes that they will use it for nests. They could have some pretty swank alpaca silk lined nests if they play their cards right. We have a pileated woodpecker that hangs out around here regular-like. We encourage all kinds of woodpeckers by killing the trees we want to get rid of and leave them standing. The idea is that they then come down in pieces rather than all at once, but the reality is that we don't really know.

Estimated Bee Arrival (EBA) Saturday or Sunday. I pray the rest of the equipment, including the bee masks, arrive before that.


cho-girl said...

i love snakes too!
Mebbe I should hang out with your kitty more.

cho-girl said...

PS How does one pronounce "pileated"?
We have 'em too, but me thinks I don't say thier name right. I mean, big whoop,right? but I suppose I should really know.

Elsie said...

I think it is one of those you say tomato and I say tomoto things. I am sure THE BIRD PEOPLE know, or think they know and disagree ;)