Monday, November 17, 2014

Not a Fit Night Out for Man Nor Beast

The wood stove is eating up the firewood, one log after another.   The wind is buffeting the barn and it's creaking all around me.  If I don't keep a roaring fire going I get down drafts blowing smoke into the house.  I need one more section of pipe on the chimney.  On really cold nights, like when it's minus twenty,  I will push the sofa in front of the stove and throw logs in every couple of hours.   Driving home today wasn't as bad as I feared.  The temps were just night enough that the rain stayed wet not icy.  With more intense cold coming who knows what the week will bring.  Even the ducks came into the barn again tonight.  They are the last ones to seek cover.  I love those ducks.  They are tough birds.  I've even seen them sneaking food from Knut's bowl in his igloo outside when he wasn't looking.  That's risking life and wing.  They love to dirty his water bucket.  I've seen them on the hillside in the worst weather, pulling worms out of the ground, happily quacking away.  When the ground freezes and the snow covers all their food, they move inside.  It's sad to see their lovely white feathers get dirty for lack of water to preen themselves.  I put buckets out but it's not the same as puddles, streams and ponds in the summer.  It will be a long six months for them.  The sheep seem to be going into winter mode already.  They are inside early instead of grazing late into the night.  We're all going to have to make adjustments.  We got another goat clipped tonight.  I say clipped instead of sheared because I leave an inch of hair on them.  I still get most of the curly mohair.  The goats have to be wormed and feet manicured too.  It's amazing how fast the mohair is growing back on the goats  I've done so far.  No coats necessary.   I cut up Tea Tree soap tonight.  127 bars out of this batch.  It cut so nicely, like soft cheese.  I've been making soap for twenty years and it still amazes me when it comes out right.  I've had enough batches go wrong to truly appreciate when it goes right.   Many variables seem to effect the outcome, including the alignment of the planets, sunspots, and the kind of music I have playing at the time of creation.  I've become very good at "re-batching" soap gone wrong and making it something that people love.  Won't have to with this Tea Tree.  Very strong essential oil that smells a bit like gasoline.  You just know it will kill germs and make your skin lovely and soft.  That's what I like.  I'll stoke the stove one more time then go horizontal.   Here I come.

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