EJ and I had a very good and very productive weekend.
Friday, as always, was our errand day. We stopped at TSC (Tractor Supply Co) for some maple syrup and then on to the grocery store to pick up a few items. The autumn colors were gorgeous, making the drive even more beautiful than it usually is.
Sunday’s weather started out very cloudy but about mid-day the clouds disappeared. The sky became a brilliant blue and the sun lit up the beautiful yellow/orange trees. Today the trees are barer than they were yesterday. Snow is in the forecast for this week.
Sunday was especially busy. During the morning, I made four batches of granola–two with honey and two with maple syrup. I’m hoping it will be at least a week before I need to make more! EJ takes granola to work with him, and I enjoy putting yogourt over granola for an evening meal.
In between making the granola, I did laundry and cleaned the house. EJ spent the afternoon/evening cutting up a basket of pears so he can make apple butter. We had picked a few baskets of pears and apples at his friend’s place a couple weeks ago. EJ’s task is to take care of the pears while I’ve been working every day on freezing and drying the apples.
While EJ kept busy with the pears, I went out to work in the coop. I decided to remove the partition dividing the coop in half. We had originally put it there because Cuddles our duck wouldn’t leave the hens alone. Now that we don’t have ducks, and there are so many animals living in the coop (20 chickens and 3 cats), it doesn’t make sense to have the partition in there. So I took it out. It was actually a lot of work to take it out. I had to move a few things around, saw a too-long board, do a little hammering, and then I was finally finished. At least for now.
I got to wondering what we could do with the fence piece that I had taken out of the coop. It was originally part of a dog kennel. It has a door in it. Then I suddenly had an idea. I told EJ it was only an idea–not as definite as a plan. He asked, “Is it an idea or a notion?” I asked, “Which is stronger?” We decided that a “what if” is weakest, then there is a notion, an idea, and finally a plan. I told him that I had merely a “what if.” What if we removed the fencing between the house and the garden? We could instead extend the fence at the end to the corner of the house so that our garden would still be fenced in but it would mean that we would step out of the garage directly in the garden. It would make it easier to water the garden in the summer: No snaking the hose through the fence. And I wouldn’t have to try to open the garden gate while carrying the egg basket and bucket of water for the animals. The chickens would have even more room to wander in the early spring and autumn. (They are shut out of the garden during the growing season.)
EJ thought it was definitely a good idea and he upgraded my “what if” to a plan. After the chickens and cats were shut up in the coop for the night, we put the plan into action. We extended the fence from the far edge to the corner of the house. Since the existing fence was further back than the house, we have a small jog, which is where we put the door-fence that I had taken out of the coop. It was getting dark, so we wired the fence in temporarily. At least the chickens wouldn’t be able to get out of the garden the next morning.
This morning I went out and removed the section of fencing we were eliminating and took out the posts. We can use them elsewhere. After lunch, EJ hammered large staples to hold the fencing to the posts. We still need to get hardware to hold the kennel pieces to the posts, but it’s good for now.
The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning is feed Hannah Joy. This morning I picked up her bowl to fill it. Rather than follow me to the pantry where her food is, Hannah started to “follow a scent,” back and forth near around the kitchen table. I thought at first that she was pursuing an insect or spider, but then I saw the mouse. Hannah actually caught it in her mouth and carried it into the living room. I was hoping that I could take Hannah outside to release it, but she spit it out on the floor. After a moment of confusion, the mouse ran off.
Later, EJ told me Hannah was pawing at the blankets on the bed. I realized that she was acting as she had when she was pursuing the mouse. I don’t know if the mouse had gotten into the bed (eeew!) or if Hannah had carried it there–like she carries everything she knows she isn’t supposed to eat. Eventually, Hannah uncovered the mouse. EJ was going to scoop it up and take it outside, but instead Hannah quickly ate it. Yuck! We were grossed out! Although I suppose it would have been worse to get into bed and find a mouse!
And where were our two inside cats? They were nowhere to be seen. It appears that in addition to her other talents, our Hannah Joy is a Mouse Hound.
A mouse isn’t the only thing Hannah Joy carried to our bed today. I found this when I came inside after doing a task outside. Tsk, tsk. She is a handful today! But we sure do love our Hannah Joy. She keeps our life interesting.