Monday, November 28, 2011

21-28 November, 2011 Venison Chili, Turkey, Car Repairs, Wind, Rain and Snow

What a week!  We've had it warm and cold, rain, snow, windy, sunny and cloudy, Thanksgiving dinner, a birthday party and filled both of our deer tags.  The original plan for Thanksgiving day was that Timmy and Stephen would come up from Kalispell and join us here.  Emily and Richard were driving to California to see his family.  However, their vehicle blew a head gasket in Idaho so they spent three days (and $1200.00) in Twin Falls. When their car was finished it was too late to go on to California so they came back home and came out here for Thanksgiving.  Tristan and Krystina also came so we ended up with a house full of kids.  The original turkey we purchased wasn't that big so Susan made extra helpings of potatoes (mashed and sweet), stuffing, rolls, and pies.  Everyone seemed to have that bloated feeling afterwards so dinner was a success.  It was a beautiful day also so we had plenty of solar power to watch movies, etc.
Susan cut up some old sweat pants to make a sleeper for Scott.  Most of the preliminaries are pictured in last week's blog but this is the finished product as modeled by Scott.  Our cabin is heated with wood which isn't always consistent.  We needed something warm for him to sleep in since he's pretty quick to kick his blankets off at night.

We got a nice snowfall so Scott got to enjoy his first time out in the snow.  He sure studied the snowflakes as they came down and of course had to taste a few.  He had a death grip on the tree so he wouldn't fall.  After Susan took this picture she took him on a short sled ride which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

The rut was in full swing so the bucks were moving at all hours of the day and night.  The first one to fall was a young buck with a spike antler on one side and a forked antler on the other.  We have to hunt in shifts so that one of us is at home with Scott.

 I got mine a couple of days later with the same rifle.  It was a 150 plus yard shot with a 30/30 and iron sights.  This was Susan's rifle when she was younger.  I put a rear peep sight on it and it's sighted in about five inches high at 100 yards.  The shot was good and the deer left a blood trail a blind man could follow.  I don't normally take shots this far with open sights but I had a perfect set-up.  I was behind a burned out stump on top of a knoll.  The stump had a hole burned through and I hid behind the stump, stuck the rifle through the hole for a rest and shot from a kneeling position.  No wind and everything was rock steady and unhurried.  It was a lung hit with the arteries coming out of the heart also severed.  The buck went about fifty feet and keeled over dead.  He never knew what happened.

The bucks were shot within one-hundred yards of each other on different days.  It was about a mile long drag to the cabin through the woods.

He has three points on one side and two on the other.  They'll both be very good eating.

We had a couple of days of real nasty wind.  We had tarps over the front of our "barn" and the wind tore them off.  Then it began to rain and we needed to get something up to protect what was inside.  Almost all of our stuff is in plastic crates to protect it from pack rats and mice so the damage was minimal.  We went to the scrap pile and found some used roofing tin and used it for siding on the front.  We still need to paint it and seal some old nail holes but that will have to wait for warmer weather.

And speaking of pack rats ... The dog got one cornered outside the cabin early one morning.  It wedged itself between one of the logs and the roof at the corner of the cabin high enough the dog couldn't reach it.  Susan found it and signalled me with her flashlight.  I loaded a shot shell in my 22 pistol, she kept the light on it and I put it out of our misery permanently.  It was wedged in tight enough that I had to use a ladder and stick to get it out.  The dog was pretty proud of herself.

Company was coming so we put some extra effort into cleaning the place.  The throw rugs are usually swept daily but this called for them getting a good beating.  I used one of the clothes lines out back and a set of 'chucks and beat the dust out of them!

I was going through some stuff from Susan's dad and found something interesting on one of his hand warmers.  I've never seen anything stamped made in "occupied" Japan.  The "occupied" was obviously stamped at the same time as the rest but the letters are somewhat different.   Anyone else ever see this before and want to shed some light on what's going on?

He also had an old predator call.  I thought the date he received it was interesting.  I was almost three months old at the time.  I plan on giving it a try soon!

He also had this sight in a box and the periscope.  I'm not sure what the periscope was meant to be used for.  The base fits neatly in a rifle's chamber but it's very difficult to actually see anything in the small mirror.  It is nice however for shining a light into the mirror to illuminate the bore.  Again, anyone know the "rest of the story?"

Susan promised to make and can a bunch of chili with the first deer we got.  The first seven quarts are in the canner pictured here.  She'll have 28 quarts canned in all.

This is the pot she uses to make the chili.  It holds about five gallons.

She likes to brown the meat before canning it even though it will cook thoroughly in the canning process.  Browning helps it hold together better and taste better too.

Someone gave me a package of hot-dogs so I had a few lunches cooking them in the wood stove.  It almost felt like spring!

Scott was one-year-old on Sunday.  He's in Kalispell for his party.  He wasn't interested in the cake as much as he was in the decorations!

I started putting ball joints and u-joints in the car today.  I got the wheel off and realized that I didn't have the lower ball joints on hand.  I called the parts store in Eureka and they had ball joints but either I specified upper ball joints or they goofed up I was all the way back home before I realized that I now had four upper ball joints on hand and no lower ball joints.  I decided to check the u-joints before I called the parts store and it was a good thing I did because they were the wrong ones too.  The right parts will be in tomorrow morning so It looks like I'll be making another trip into town then.

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