Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My chair, the wheel, pips, and Boolie's lump.

This is my chair.
It is normally parked by the front door so I can sit outside on the front doorstep and take in a few rays of sunshine when I get a few minutes break from indoor tasks.
But today my chair is not parked anywhere near the front door,
it is parked up here.....

......... out back, 
ready to be sat upon when the task of moment becomes too much for one's bod,
the task being to haul rotten lumps of wood from the decaying wood pile by the back gates,
plus sundry other bits of wood like rotting pallets, etc, left by recent renovation work, 
The sun is shining,
it is a good day to do such work.
It is also a good day to sit and have a rest when one gets out of puff,
which I must say, was done frequently. 

And of course one had to watch the fire in case it got out of hand.

Now the thought might have arisen in you mind as to why we were burning wood when we now have a wood burning stove to feed.
Well, the big wood pile was made up the wood which came from the house six years ago.
Instead of burning it at the time we kept it for when we got a stove installed.
It took much longer than we thought.
The wood therefore rotted.
We need the space where the wood pile sits,
plus it is a wonderful place for rats to inhabit so they need to be evicted,
but I don't think that chickens are going to agree with the removal of the wood,
because they use the heap to climb up on so they can hop over the wall into the courtyard when the gates are shut.
Not to worry, soon they shall be having another place to live because the Chicken Project is on the move, but I shall write about what is happening with this project another day.

....and Lester attending to the needs of Bonny and Lissie.

..... and later on that day he was fiddling about with the box on the cheese fridge,

setting the temperature because I had made this.....

...a Monterey Jack cheese.
It does not look all perfectly round and smooth like professionally made cheese does,
But it is DIY cheese, so therefore carries a distinctly artisanal look!
I think this might turn out quite a crumbly cheese though because the curds did not seem to knit together very well, hence the lumpy look. 
Not to worry,
It certainly smells cheesey,

........... and a glorious messiness as I slathered melted DIY lard all over the cheese wheel, then covered it with cheesecloth which was also soaked in melted lard.
I thought that I had too much lard in the freezer,
so did not make any more from the recent pig we slaughtered,
instead we donated the fat to the chickens and wild birds.
After seeing how much lard I used to cover this cheese,
I think I should have recycled that fat into lard.
Ah well, live and learn!

The wheel now covered. 
I hope that the fact that the cheesecloth was still damp before it was soaked in lard does not hurt the maturation process of the cheese,
still, as I say, 'live and learn'!

And the cheese now in the cheese fridge,
with bowls of water either side to help keep the humidity up to 90%

Now all we need to do is to purchase a small fan to keep the air circulating in the fridge, 
and whooppeee! The Cheese Project takes another step forward.

And other bit of messiness...

My three freezers are absolutely full to the brim,
and I had a cockerel to find space for,
and then I found a bag of blackberries I had picked last July,
which were destined to linger in the freezer forever  because of the pips which get between our teeth,
the picking out of these pips spoiling the eating of the fruit itself.
A thought popped up into my head.....
I do not drink enough water,
so why not cook the blackberries up to make a juice drink,
So I did.
To remove the pips I put the slush into a sieve,
which promptly blocked up,
so, oh bother, don't have the time to stir the slush around,
upended the sieve and put all into a bowl,
put a few spoonfuls of slush into a glass,
topped with water,
and down into my tummy it went.
I don't know why I can drink lots of water laced with juice, but not water on its own.
I used to buy supermarket juices to help solve this problem,
but don't any more because of the additives which get put into commercially produced fruit juice.
I do not even trust the Bio brands.
But I now have a DIY juice drink. 
As for the blackberry pips,
well they just slip on down and through my system just fine,
with no stopping to stick in the gaps between my teeth,
however,,,,,and may I be so bold as to share this with you
....... my food transit system seems to have perked up resulting in a very healthy and fulsome trip to the loo this morning.
Which is good.

Our Springer Spaniel.
He has a tumour on his ear.
It is an inoperable tumour.
The vet said so. 
He was a very kind vet and said that since Bools was fifteen years old it would be kinder not to put him through medical procedures which would possibly cause him more physical and mental suffering.
So we are letting nature take its course.
Bools himself is still full of spaniel spirit,
and is in no pain. 
But I feel pained inside as I watch that tumour growing,
and sometimes I want to get a vet to fix it,
but most times I have the strength to let things be.
Should he feel in pain,
then we shall act,
meanwhile we keep blessing the days that we still have him.
and try to be patient with the hurt we feel inside as we watch his time clock of life ticking away.



Ohiofarmgirl said...

i'm very sorry about Boolie. i understand the position the vet is taking but i know it is very hard to watch your dog friends get older. our Dog#1 and#2 are both 10 and are starting to show their age. give Boolie a smooch from me.

The Broad said...

So sorry to hear about Bools. Sad, but I think you have made the right choice since he is living life as if he were healthy. I am very impressed with your Monterey Jack cheese -- lumpy or not I am sure it will be delicious. But, Vera, I must say I will never understand where you get all your energy to keep up with your many projects. Truly amazing!

Sol said...

I am sorry to hear about Bools.

I also have been slowly dragging bits of wood around the garden.

Vera said...

OHIOFARMGIRL, I shall give him an extra hug from you OFG. This is a hard time for me, watching that lump grow.

THE BROAD, bless you, but I would think that your house is probably tidier than mine is because a lot of my energies tend not to involve too much washing up and dusting activities because I am busy doing other things!

SOL, hope you had a handy chair to sit upon as well while you, too, dragged wood about your garden!

Vera said...

This came by email from LISA:

"How exciting about your cheese fridge! Are you making cheese from goat or cow milk?"
Lisa, we have two cows and they are both in milk at the moment. We used to have goats and I did make goat cheese which I loved, but goats were too much of a handful for us. We have thirteen acres, and goats really do need more space than what we could give them. We have sheep, the cows, and pigs....goats, not any more!

Zimbabwe said...

Your cheese fridge is going to be great, wish you lived a little closer so I could come and sample! As for the pips guess you do not have diverticulitis, the pips are a huge problem for me and Nigel is great and always makes coulis for me. All gets filtered!
As for Bools he has had a fabulous life and is a good age. Let him be to enjoy what he has left with out pain. Ear or growth amputation would only upset him, and anaesthetic at his age might also kill him. I lost a dog younger than him under anaesthetic.
Take care Diane

PioneerPreppy said...

I am sure the lumpy cheese is just as good as the over pressed together commercial stuff. It looks good that's for sure!!!

Our border collie rescue dog has a tumor like that on her leg and is about the same age and our vet says the same thing.

LaPré DelaForge said...

try Pulco...
no additives...
need to be kept in the fridge after opening...
excellent range of concentrates for adults..
a lot do not even have sugar...
the citron and citron vert are good for cooking with...
both are true PLJs...
I have just checked all our bottles...
we keep loads in stock as I hate water by itself...
none contain anything weieieieird...
just froot juice!

Cro Magnon said...

My chair sits in Haddock's (my veg garden), and is currently falling to bits; I think I shall have to take a hammer and nail with me today.

Sorry to hear about the dog, I think you're doing the right thing, as long as he's not distressed I'd do the same. I wish him well.

Vera said...

DIANE, I wish that you were closer as well! It would be nice to meet other blogging friends but there is no one close enough to us. As for Bools, the vet said that the anaesthetic would be risky for him, which is why he advised us not to have him operated on. It was not too hard a decision at that time because the tumour was still quite small, but it is watching it grow that is difficult for the emotions.

PIONEERPREPPY, Sorry to hear about your dog, and hope that she stays pain free for as long as possible. It is hard watching the tumours grow though.....

LaPré, Pulco? Will definitely try that juice when I run out of blackberries. I remember PLJ. Used to drink it a lot at one time. Thanks for the info.

CRO MAGNON, I like that you have named your veg garden, and that you have a chair out there to sit on and ponder on things. I hope to eventually have lots of chairs dotted about around the property so should I feel the need to stop then I shall have a handy place to park up.

northsider dave said...

Sorry to read about your canine friend Vera. They are characters and keep you busy even when life is difficult. I always enjoy reading your blog.

Vera said...

N.DAVE, oh bless you, and hope that the rain / wind stops so you can get some sunshine in your part of the world.

Jean said...

Sorry to hear about Bools. I'm sure he will enjoy the time he has left much better by not being subjected to treatments that will make him feel worse for a small gain in time.

DUTA said...

I hope there was no wind outside when you started the fire,and that you had the proper means, just in case the fire took a dangerous turn.
I'm also not very eager to drink plain water, so I usually drink soda water or non alcoholic black beer.

Kerry said...

Your cheeses look fantastic and I much prefer a rustic homemade look and they will have lots of flavour, more than shop bought ones. Sorry to hear about your dog, but he will enjoy the rest of his life with you and is farm friends x

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I bet your cheese is amazing.
I'm sorry about the tumor. It's hard to watch our furry friends aging and not be able to help them.

Vera said...

JEAN, thank you for giving us your support......I would prefer that he stays happy in himself rather than have to cope with medical interventions which will only stress him even though it is tough to watch the tumour growing daily.

DUTA, no problem with the fire because everything is very damp here now that early winter has arrived. Strange how we both find water on its own hard to drink but yet can drink it when mixed with other things!

KERRY, it will be interesting to taste the cheese I am making....last time most of the wheels of cheese went mouldy because I did not have the right environment in which to keep them, but this time I do! Takes ages to make a cheese though, not to worry, I am sure that my efforts will be worthwhile..... I hope!

LISA, well our cheese will definitely have its own flavour, that's for sure!