Monday, April 24, 2017


I made mediocre gluten-free pineapple-coconut muffins this morning. They're never as good as the blueberry (which are never as good as huckleberry) but we're out of frozen berries. Going to have to hit the store soon.

I've been to the barn to check the old chicken house for eggs (Dovey hid 20-some eggs there last summer and hatched six chicks out) and to bag up some old bedding hay for mulching spuds. I loosed a few bales of hay for the big guys while I was there.

Found no nests of chicken eggs. I was going to confiscate any I found. It's a long way away from the house, and close to the neighborhood cats. If anybody hatches chicks this year, they should do it closer to home. The little black hen, Skeeter and the dark hairdo hen have been stationed hopefully in the nest boxes, but I don't know if we'll let them set or not. Chicks are a pain to protect, and they are at least half roosters. Don't need any more roosters, thank you!

C. is on a cleaning rampage, so I'm laying low. She pulled everything out from under the kitchen sink and scrubbed. It's always ugly under there. The cabinets are el cheapo white laminate over particle board (yes, so practical for a place with running water) and there have been many leaks over the years. The faucet drips all over the countertops. If everything is clean, she'll be able to make herself lay in there and reach over her head to tighten the faucet nuts. If it was up to me, I'd just toss an old towel or something down, and get to work, but, as C. often tells me, I'm a slob. And it's true.

I'd like to rip out the kitchen and start over. It's badly laid out, and made of cheap materials. The one nice element is the old-school maple floor, but I think a hardwood floor in a kitchen is idiotic. I'd go tile on the floor and countertops, and I'd take over the dining room area, too, and make the whole area a big farm kitchen with plenty of lower cabinets, a center island, a pantry and a work table.

Sounds like a huge amount of work, doesn't it? That's why we put up with the lousy kitchen we have.

Ah, she's given up on the cleaning and gone out to look at the garden. She wants to plant kohlrabi and broccoli in the hoop house today, as well as more spuds and some carrots.

Yesterday she started basil (sweet, Genovese and Mammoth) and a flat of cucumbers (mini white, Parisian pickling and two Russian varieties. She started some squash, too. I took a couple of flats of some other damn thing out in the wagon to the greenhouse.

"I've got so much shit to plant," she says. "I'm doomed." Her glass is generally half empty. "It's too late to start these things...." I'm the optimist here, and I try to get her to list her accomplishments rather than the million things she didn't get done. She works hard. She is a brilliant gardener, not in terms of meticulous planning, organization and record-keeping (OK, she is terrible at these things), but in finding the best varieties for our climate, persuading even reluctant plants to thrive, and producing hundreds of pounds of food for us and the animals.

I'd better go out and see if I can help.

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