We are not continuing on with painting the kitchen,
because we need to get the pigs out onto the back paddocks,
so we have been learning to weld.
Which requires that I sit, watch, and keep Lester company,
while he does the job.
Only he couldn't get his new little welding machine
to even raise a spark,
so a phone call to friend John saved the day.
Two leads, one clipped onto the metal
(and not attached to the cement mixer as Lester had thought)
and the other attached to a clip thing which held a rod.
(if the rod is upside down it doesn't work, hence 'no spark')
...and then there was the hat to sort out,
which Lester had assembled,
but not in quite the right way,
and then on to the making of the gate.....
.....and the raising of a spark,
gluing welding of the parts,
..and the megga patience of friend John,
who hardly raised his voice at all,
as he patiently passed on his welding skills to Lester,
who equally as patiently accepted his teaching.
And so L has the basics now
and can make a simple gate.
Only nine more to do!
He also needs a proper work bench,
and a proper work shed,
so he is going to take over the goose house,
which used to be our office,
which used to be the original chicken and pig lodgings
when Labartere was a farm in the olden days.
He has grand plans for that space.
I think it will turn into a 'man only' zone.
On the subject of cows:
When a cow comes into season she is difficult.
Her milk yield will go down,
she will put her foot in the milk pail when being milked,
she will fidget when being milked,
she will not allow herself to be calmly led from field to barn,
but will slip the lead,
and go for a gallop round and about the place,
with calf galloping along behind if she still has one with her,
both of them thinking it a grand lark to be chased,
both kicking up their heels to show their delight.
This is what happened yesterday.
For months she has been docile,
strolling along betwixt field and barn with calm dignity,
apart from having an occasional urge to munch greenery along the way,
which sometimes has Lester suddenly going from this way to that way.
He had forgotten what a howling dervish of a cow she can be
when she is having a season.
She is a fiend.
On the subject of DIY yoghurt:
It is delish!
I used probiotic yoghurt culture from The Cheesemaker
but here in SW France you can buy sachets of yoghurt culture,
not sure if you can do the same in your part of the world,
wherever that may be, bless you.
All you do is heat the milk slowly in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring occasionally to stop the milk from sticking to the pan. When the milk is just starting to bubble around the edges showing that it is just about to start heading towards a boil, then shut off the heat and let the milk cool down until just slightly warmer than tepid. Then into a container, (I use a canning jar). Cover with a cloth to stop flies, etc...from swimming around in the soon-to-be-yoghurt.
Put into a warm place. I put the jar in our bathroom which is always warm.
I have used a thermal flask before, and that worked as well. You do not need a fangly bit of kit like a yoghurt maker to make yoghurt, just a warm place. Even a working kitchen will do, or a dehydrator.
Leave overnight, and in the morning, done!
It tastes far better than shop bought yoghurts, and you can add whatever flavourings you want, although the particular culture I used makes for a calm, creamy, less tangy tasting yoghurt to the ones you buy from the shops, so I mostly eat it plain.
Anyway, passing this on to you. DIY yoghurt is easy and tastes real good.
And thanks to...
for being so patient and for being L's best buddy
Thanks for letting us borrow J for the afternoon.
One nearly finished gate,
one very enthused man now he can do simple welding,
and two happy hens who were just about to be fed.
It is good to learn new things,