Friday, July 9, 2010

This is the view from the tent. We made it to the ridge top but couldn't find the trail going down. All of the trail markers were buried in the snow. The peaks farthest away are in Glacier National Park. The snow below the peak was still about four feet deep and packed almost solid. The pictures are from a trip we took two years ago in late June. I was looking for staples in my desk and found thse and hung them on my wall. The pitctures here are pictures of the pictures.

This is why we no longer go backpacking in late June or early July and why we now check with the Forest service to see if the trails have been cleared before we go backpacking. These are trees downed by winter storms and avalanches.

This is a stream we crossed. In this photo we're on the way back down. There's still snow along the stream on the right side. The first time through I took off my shoes to cross. The water was sooo cold it felt like my feet were on fire. I wore my shoes the second time and just walked in wet shoes awhile. Susan took hers off both times.

The hens have gotten used ot me stealing their eggs so know I just push them up and get the eggs from underneath them. The white eggs are fertile duck eggs we're trying to hatch out.

The other hen just got off the nest to go foraging in the yard. Most of the time they sit side by side. Now that the other hen is gone this one will probably steal her eggs and sit on all of them. The next time she gets up it will happen to her. The broken egg in the foreground has been eaten. When they sit on them they put some under their wings. When they stand up the egg often falls against another egg and breaks. The chickens then eat the contents and push the shells out of the nest.

Susan is doing some screen repairs in the upstairs window. It get hot there in the summer with the windows closed. If they're open without the screen the mosquitoes come in by the dozens.

This is one of our potato boxes from teh root cellar. The potaoes, despite all the growth are still firm and good to eat. I put them together from some scrap lumber we had laying around. There are small holes drilled all over to let air in. The holes are too small to let mice in and the boxes are all the same size so when they're stacked the mice can't get to the potatoes.

Susan is pulling the new sprouts off the potatoes we have stored. As long as the spuds are still firm they'll keep awhile longer. Most of them will get cooked then dehydrated and stored for long term or taken when we go backpacking or bicycling.

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Woke up at 4:30 this morning. My allergies have been bad this year and it’s really cut into my sleep. Decided to stay up and work on the blog and a few other things. We’ll have company today so we won’t get much done outside. It will be a good day for shooting though!

Wore our “outdoor boots” to change the hose over and found out the plastic shoes and wet bumpers don’t go well together. I slipped off the edge of the bumper and landed on the ground. Unfortunately my leg took kind of a beating on the way down. The drop hitch and trailer ball managed to stop my leg but they weren’t very nice about it.

I got the last barrel drained about the time our second oldest daughter (we have four girls and three boys between us) and her husband came up for the day. He brought his arsenal so we burned up a lot of bullets during the day. I’ve got a double-barrel, outside hammer “coach” gun and whoever shoots it always wants to fire both barrels at the same time. He was no exception. The difference was that most use field loads and he used magnum buckshot loads. Most people have the same reaction … once is enough. He was no exception. Anyway, we finished off my target holder (targets stapled to a round power line spool) so I’ll need to pick up another one next time we’re in town with the pick-up.

Susan made chicken and dumplings in the solar oven. They were very good (as usual). The solar cooker is great. We just began using ours and we’ve gotten to where we use it every day the sun is out now. They left for home around 5:30 because our daughter has to be at work very early in the morning at her job. She’s the dairy manager at one of the grocery stores in town. I did some more writing and research then went to bed around 10:30. Susan ran the power mower for awhile in the evening (it’s cooler) then wrote for awhile before going to bed.

We’ve had a lot of rain this spring and everything is nice and green which keeps the fire danger down low. Unfortunately, it’s also made it a very bad year for allergies.

Friday, July 9, 2010
Up early today. I awoke at 4:00 am and finally gave up on going back to sleep and got ut of bed at 5:00. Worked on an article until about 7:15 when Susan got up. We had our morning ritual mix of French vanilla coffee mixed with hot cocoa, talked a while then I had breakfast. My usual breakfast is a couple of eggs cooked sunny-side-up with fried potatoes. Susan got some of our Yukon Gold potatoes (last year’s harvest) out of the root cellar yesterday so I used one for my fried spuds this morning. They are my favorite potato but they don’t produce as heavily as the others so we don’t plant a lot of them. That makes them a treat when we do use them.

I went out to fed the dog at about 6:30 and when I scooped out the dog food three of the chickens came running over. I forgot to shut them in last night. The dog does not share her food so the chickens followed me back to the chicken coop and I fed them there. Of course one couldn’t figure out how to get in the pen and was running frantically back and forth along the fence so I had to pick it up and carry it to the door … a total distance of about three feet! After raising chickens and turkeys it’s easy to tell where the pejorative “bird brain” originated.

I spent the rest of the day working on an article. Susan went out to the root cellar and went through the potatoes and carrots we have left in there from last year. The eyes of the potatoes are sprouting so she picks them off, cuts up the spuds and boils them. (She’s using the solar cooker for that today.) After that she’ll dehydrate them so we can store them longer. She also checks the carrots for new growth and does them the same way.

I took a nap for a couple of hours this afternoon. Susan did some of her “witch doctoring” (herbal remedies) on the bruises on my leg. I’m starting to feel like a Mexican with my siesta during the hot part of the day. Of course anyone from the South would laugh at what we call “hot.” We start complaining when the temperature hits 80 degrees during the day. When it hit’s the 90’s we melt into a puddle of self-pity, whining like a bunch of pansies. You still need a blanket at night though.

She’ll fire up the power mower later this evening and I’ll run the string trimmer. I mowed about half the yard with the reel mower but the rest is just too tall and/or the ground is too rough.

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