Sunday 17 October 2010

Hubs has a moment, and so does Max

And so it came to the evening. Much work had been done by Hubs / Head Everything, including the first 'Sawing of the Wood' which has been much anticipated by himself, longed for even. Several hours into the first Sawing Session, with arms and back aching, his enthusiasm for a log fire indoors remained undiminished, but his bodily self was not so keen to keep on with the task. A suggestion from moi, however, that might it be a good idea to use the electric chainsaw instead of the hand saw, enabled him to carry on. First Log Pile built, which is small but beautifully formed.

The Log Pile comprising little logs because we have a little fire. Bools is searching for mice. 

The storage depot for the Wood Pile? In the Pig / Chicken / Once Upon A Time Office hut. Will tell you more about the change of use another time.

The once upon a time Pig / Chicken Hut, then morphed into our office, now the Log Pile Home

Another activity for Hubs was the Gathering of the Acorns. Many bucketfuls have been gathered from the bounteous harvest which our Oak trees have given us this year, all of which have been donated to Max and Tess (our Tamworth pigs) for recycling. This they are doing very well as can be seen by the lovely pile of manure they are making for us. But they don't go to the loo randomly over their paddock like our sheep do, but use an area which they have especially designated for this purpose, which then gets trodden over by themselves into the ground to become ready-to use compost for veggies next year. Clever heh!

So the Gathering of the Acorns has been a task which has gone on for many weeks, and still the Oaks are shedding their harvest. But I am all acorned out, so Hubs took a turn at harvesting this provender, and very well he did too, and another few buckets were picked up.

And then he had a go at moving the hay bales, having been told by our farmer friend that they needed to be put onto pallets to keep their bottoms dry, and that they should be covered since they were not being stored in a barn. We would store them inside somewhere but only have our living accommodation as dry space, and hay bales and us would not get along too well co-habiting, mostly because of the hay bales tendency to moult, assisted by Bools who likes to rub his back on them, back scratching being one his most favoured occupations. I am already combating Saharian Dust in my house, so moulting hay bales are definitely out. Plus, the heavy aroma of wet hay drying is something which is most pleasurable and not so pleasurable. Nice to have the aroma of drying grass, but the aroma of wet grass which isn't drying is something else. Plus, I noticed the other day that some of the bales were steaming. On plunging my hand inside the bale I found the interior to be hot. Cooking. The grass was cooking itself. So better for them to be outside. Fire inside a log burner is one thing, cooking hay bales is not. Therefore loads of reasons not to share the hay inside our living space.

So, anyway, Hubs up on tractor, lifiting bales, turning them, putting them on pallets. Only he took the topper off the back of the tractor so he could manoevour better. Not a good idea. Because the balance between the weight of the bales of hay and the tractor, minus the weight of the topper (the grass cutter), made the tractor almost topple over on its side. So Hubs had a 'moment' and got a fright. Thought he might be on his way to Heaven as the tractor did a sideways lurch.

Some of the hay bales wearing their Tarp Bonnets.

But not to worry. His time is not up yet. The tractor righted itself, and the final project of the day was to try and  put the topper back on the tractor. This is a project which remains unfinished, however, because there were three metally things which had to line up and connect and he could only manage to get one of them in position. An Internet search is hopefully going to fill in the correct sequence for this task. Bless him, he is managing the tractor wonderfully well. It is another one of those steep learning curves, with the fundamentals being given to him by Angel Ron (our good friend, and the previous owner of the tractor) and Patrick (another good friend, a French farmer and the mender of the topper). His experience is growing. It is quite something to see him perched on his tractor, doing manly things. It is quite something seeing him build the Log Pile.

And so it came to the evening. Tired and happy. Dark fell. Late evening: a noise. Outside Hubs went, to do an investigation.

In the moonshine there was a large mound. A huge dark mound. Flickering his torch over the mound he fetched up a reflection of an eye.

yyyyyyiiiiiipppPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Maxy-boy! On board Tess! Really on board. As in almost lying full length on top of her.

And so, are there to be piglet babies, that is the question. But at least he is managing to get on board. We thought he wasn't managing the task. Thought that perhaps Tess wouldn't let him. He can be an irritating piggy-being when he wants to be. Perhaps she didn't want to make him a piggy-dad, that is what we had begun to think.

But:  Ta Da!!!! He was up, therefore they are, and maybe the patter of tiny piglet feet might happen sometime next year.

So Wahooo for Max and Tess for having a moment of mutual appreciation. And Wahoo for Hubs for doing his manly tasks. And Wahoo for me for carrying on with trying to get rid of the copious amounts of dust which overlay everything. I am winning. I keep telling myself I am winning.

And last night, we sat in front of our wood burning stove and enjoyed the delights of a living fire. It wasn't particularly cold and we didn't need the fire lit, but there is something about a fire which warms the heart and lifts the spirits, especially if one is not having to tend the fire. This is another manly task of Hubs / Head Keeper of the Fire.

Ah, chickens are having a squabble in their Chicken Hut, so need to go let them out.

Hope you have a good Sunday. Hope there is a warm fire burning in your heart.


Anonymous said...

Piggie smut this early in the morning?

And on a Sunday too!

You really are to be commended!

Have a great Sunday.

All the best


Anonymous said...

Hello there Vera,
What would we do without pallets! Being the Handmaiden and Keeper of the Sacred Flame, I've got some as the base for my woodpile. "A Thousand Uses for a Pallet" would be a bestselling book! Vera, it takes a woman to think of simple answers such as using a chain saw and making a sturdy guide for optimum log length.
I think all those acorns must be giving Max some inner strength; there is probably research material there for a thesis.
Hope Lester takes care when on the tractor.
Re one of your comments to me: I don't know how you have the time to make CAKE!!
All the best,
Ondine xx

the fly in the web said...

Be careful of that hay...too many cases of spontaneous combustion occur.

Vera said...

Thanks Keith, we did have a great Sunday, and hope yours was a good one too.

Ondine: Oh, I wanna be a 'Hand Maiden and Keeper of the Sacred Flame' as well. But does that mean cleaning out the fire? Doing the wood thing? If so, perhaps to remain the Under Fire Keeper is best for me! Good idea about a thesis re: The Effect of Acorns on the Sex Life of Piggies! Cake: the making of? Yep, 'tis one of the tasks. Bread making too. Which is why I fall asleep at 9 every night!

Fly: Thanks for the info re: the hay. Just as well it is all kept outside then!

Vera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Devine said...

Looking forward to reading this tomorrow Vera. I need sleep just now!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Vera,
Yes, I do all that, while murmuring incantations of praise to Franco Belge in the hope that they keep my lungs safe!!
Sounds as though your hay is turning itself into silage!! As a child, did you ever read a story about childen looking after themselves when they had been abandoned? A haybox was the true hero of the tale, providing hot food for them in dire situations. Don't tell Lester about the haybox though, as he will soon rig one up for you to cook with, and I think that you are doing enough already!!
Ondine xx (one for each cheek)

Ken Devine said...

Do you ever have a straightforward, ordinary day Vera? I guess as the seasons turn, your day changes. There always seem to be good news and not so good news. Always a challenge.
I know what you mean about a living fire...I adore them whatever the weather. Are you secure against the elements this, windows?

DUTA said...

Yes, it looks you are a winner on all fronts, and you fully deserve it. You, the woman, are the "fire" behind it all: hubby, the animals, the daily chores. A big Wahoo for you!

Diane said...

Glad to see you back even if I am a bit behind! Ohhhhhhh I am looking forward to hearing that Tess is confirmed preggie, how exciting. Diane

Roz said...

I had a bit of a sickly pig the other day and I wondered if I had been giving him too many acorns? He got over it and is now back to fine form but he had me worried for a day or two. How I love an open fire (or woodburner in our case) - lovely snuggly warmth - hope you both enjoy it!xxx