Evenings by the wood stove

Spring has sprung and , for the most part, temps are slowly rising. Many of us, though, have the flux this time of year,

Open all the doors and windows, let’s get the Spring inside. Close it ! Close it! crank up the wood stove again. “

To be honest, I don’t even remember what Spring is like in the flat lands anymore, it’s been decades since I spent any time besides work or hitting the stores in the valleys.. I imagine , however, that it is relatively the same…Minus the winds, of course.

We have been hardening off the veggie plants, till winds got to be too much , bringing in the next cold spell. Luckily, the plants don’t seem to mind too much… Their problem is; they are all getting root bound and it is so very close to be putting them into the ground , I don’t want to add to the shock with yet one more round.. Next year I may move back seed starting a week or two.

We had several days that were at the point we were getting ready to drop the plants in the ground. Normally we go with 50 at night and we are good….completely dismissing the fact that for a lot of the summer, we hit mid to upper forties at night.. That doesn’t count…I suppose…

Once the temps dumped with the chill winds, the plants have been, once again, staring out the window…pouting…

Evenings back down into the thirties, we didn’t get snow though it was well within range of snow, we have gotten some nice rains which makes both Ma; my better half, and I smile. A nice straight downy rain , windows cracked open and wood stove baking away makes for a nice evening… Course, the bedroom area ALWAYS has windows open so walking from the front room into the master suite section, there can be a drop in twenty degrees. I walked in there a couple days ago, as temps were dropping outdoors. I still had ALL the windows open in there… saw the thermometer in there and it was a cool 48F…Ooops…. I closed down the windward windows and temps started to rise again, if slowly.

The front room is generally in the mid to upper sixties except on the days the sun pops out and the wood stove is going then I may space and let it get to lower mid seventies before I start opening things back up again…

Wooly Weekend

This is the weekend of the WAFA wooly sales Ma is in by the fire spinning wool while she watches the venders come through with their wares. Though Ma is getting to the point where she has done most of her testing of different breeds and the venders/ farms where they come from, she still likes to see what folks have and are doing through the fests..

Happily, Ma has found a couple new braids of fiber to pick up, while supporting some of her favorite folks in the WAFA world.

Whispering Pines Farm , Ma’s favorite Shetland farm/vender, had their shearing and now in the middle of lambs dropping. Jen has been putting up videos of the new babies, along with a nice run on the shearing and some rooing. Last I saw, she still had more rooing to do keeping them on the run between new babies, the normal running of the farm , rooing, and prep on the fleeces… Super busy time for them..

It is always interesting, checking out what other folk are doing in the Fiber World. There’s more out there than TP cozies and Kick-Me dog sweaters.

Every month, as one would expect, there are new folk that are nervous and stumbling through things or their internet connection can’t handle the videos, along with the normal problems of running live…..and then…there’s our internet. Our provider claims a lot of great things…this is one of those times when Talk is definitely Cheap. When we do get hold of someone to” help” they blow smoke and then drop the ball.. or out and out basically tell us it’s our problem…There’s customer service for you. It can drive Ma crazy, watching the little spinning wheel of death waiting for a video to start, or continue…Not great when it is a live first come first serve. FB seems to be the worst for video streaming for us…aaaannndd that’s where the fests are.

Chill Man

Not only are the veggie plants on the counter pouting but so are the asparagus plants. We were getting a healthy amount of cuttings every day, which meant asparagus on the menu every other day or so…..Fortunately, I do more than throw them in water and boil them down.

I imagine, however, when you get right down to it, I just , basically, do a version of stir-fried veggies, adding the to it to go with dinner. We just enjoy the seared veggie thing fairly often.

Though we enjoy them on the grill as well…The grill is more for looking at than anything. I can run it or the smoker in the shop, but on the deck, it is either or both, too windy or too cold. I don’t have a super insulated Egg or anything so though the temps may, in theory, go over 500F..what actually gets to the food is more of a warmer.

By the time temps have come up and we are in between winds, asparagus has come to the; let-her go stage. Which is fine.

The winds that brought back in the cool moist weather, also played hell with my new garden soil. Having the chill weather, I can’t plant.. I , however, had to make sure the beds were ready… Winds come in , taking the nice loose soil aaannnnnnnddddd… spreads the wealth with all of Zen….Thank you.. Thank you very much. It isn’t that I don’t have up a wind fence, but if the fence is too low, the wind goes over the top.. if it is too high, then the entire fence will be pushed over on top of the garden…. Winds are impressive up here on our piece of Zen.

The temps lowering again brings the wood stove back into play, which is fine…Definitely cozier than staring at a cold unlit stove in the evenings and both of us get chill in the evenings anymore..gawhhhh.. I use to run around in cut offs a T-shirt and converse tennies even in winter .

It will get warm again soon and all of the plants shall rejoice and give their homage to their sun god…. rather than this whole, mewing at the window, trying to touch the glass in hopes for a wee bit more sun.. complaining about tight pots, aching toes, not to mention entangling one another as they all try to grab up all the rays for themselves….dang potted PIA’s.

But you Like me ..Right?

Our deer..ok, let me re-phrase….Deer that may have been born here and then moved on to another section of the mountain, are back in.. It would seem they all have some Browse Time Share going on.

Our Girl and Lil Buck haven’t been around for a little while along with their followers and friends… Other deer are in pretty good numbers right now. Some on the small daily rotation that brings them through the yard seven or more times a day.

Split Ear, Great great great great great grand daughter, of ..well..Split Ear is back in and hanging around a lot. She has several friends she runs with, a mama with twins, one a wee little buck, as well as a few other does and a couple bucks that follow them about.. One of these bucks kinda remembers us…

Ma was already out in the covered porch as I was walking out, quietly as I saw the buck out at the corner of the yard. Ma was talking to him.

Hi Baby. What a pretty boy you are.” Ma crooned to the fairly nice sized buck….to which…the crap head wagged his tail…

Standing in the doorway…thoughts of burger and more all but audibly popped from my brain and was replaced by ” Pet”.. Crap ! … I mumbled to myself. They both looked at me.

What was that? ” Ma asked, the buck looking on.

errrr..oh Snap…another pet..” I grumped.

While Ma watched me, I saw the buck’s sly grin sweep his face as he stared at me, slowly nodding.

Great…someone is passing info around the deer world.. Dang Lil Buck anyway.

Friend of Lil Buck? ” I asked him.

Oh yeh.. me and Lil Buck go way back..” he said, nodding his head.

Way back to last summer? Beings he isn’t even a year old yet?”

Umm yesssssss… I’m like an uncle to him.”

Uncle Bacon and Cheese? Maybe?” I asked as I thought of Venison Burgers.

Hah! Good one… I think I’m going to like it here…lounging in the porch on Ma’s swing with her..”

Yeh.. You do that.. You know what they say about guests and fish.. and all burger looks a like Buddy.”

Ma smiled at me then turn to Buckole .” He’s just kidding.” she said to the now annoying buck… I shook my head in the background.

Hey, Buckole, come back. “ I said as he started to turn around.

The buck looked at me as I saw his lips move, figuring the name out..” Hey! That’s not funny!”

Pretty funny.” I said, chuckling.

I’m not going to answer to that.” He grumped.

All Ma’s pets answer to their names.” I said with a grin.

The buck’s ears sagged and his shoulders slumped. ” Fine..whatever..How about Buck with the whole thang going on..for short”

Um..No..How about Goes nicely with bacon..for short.” I asked..trying to be helpful.

Buck-O ?” He tried.

Burger?” I countered

Crap..” The buck groused

Nope.. That one is already taken.” I grinned.

Gawwhhh!” He bit off.

Also taken.”

Stop it !”

Sorta named a dog that once. “

Knock it off.”

That too.”

Oh Give me a break.”

Interesting choice, and yet..not really descriptive.”

He threw his head in the air and screamed “ Stop it !Stop it ! Stop it!” while he stomped his feet.

Ok, now you’re just repeating yourself.”

Ma sitting in her swing, watching us back and forth as if we were a tennis match….if not quite as aggressive.

Fine. I give up.” The buck said, pouting and walked over to the salt lick.

Has a certain ring to it, but just not quite right yet.” I said helpfully.

Gawwhhh! Fine Burger it is.” The buck finally said, shaking his head.

Can I get a side of fries with that? “ I asked.

About that time, several of the does had come in to the slat lick as well, biting their lips, tears in their eyes as they tried to be quiet listening to us. Finally one of the yearling does gave in, fell to the ground, her front legs crossed, her faced buried as she laughed so hard she was weeping… Suddenly her head flew up in a donkey snort laugh.

Buckole! I get it !” She cried out then once again burying her face to laugh, her back legs kicking out behind her as she rolled.

All of us watched her melt down, even the buck was grinning, until we all looked to one another and the yard was filled with laughing snorting and honking that brought in a local V of geese to see what the heck was going on.

Final Thoughts

This is the prettiest time of the year up here, winds aside, wildflowers have covered the landscape. Brush is once again turning green. Blooms come and go on trees , in between winds. Kids are everywhere, even if many are not our normal kids.

The hummies are all over the place, mostly helping me work outside. It is seldom that I don’t have a hummer buzzing over my head watching, or sitting on a near by fence, telling me what I missed.. or even coming into the shop as I work to see what all the racket is. When the sun starts setting, if we aren’t in the porch area, there WILL be at least one hummer that flies into the porch and up to the front windows to literally tap on it until they get our attention until we come out to spend their last few minutes of the day with us….and before the dark of night has left the skies come morning, they are there coming in to chat with us when they hear the door close and know we are outside. We have several that will fly up to our faces and hover as they chat with us which is always fun.

Most deer other than our few that follow us around like pets, still come in and enjoy hanging with us outside if not follow. There are just a very few that are twitchy around us and that seldom lasts long. We walk and talk smoothly and generally quietly….When I DO get irritated, they just as often come in to see what happened as those who slowly move out, wanting nothing to do with whatever is going on….all like any good neighbors.

No signs of Bobcat kitty lately, while she takes care of new babies.

Hey.. I’ve done my part

Coyote kids are all over as usual. Mama and Limpy came in, giving Mama a break from the new kids…Putting the girls in charge of them for a bit. Mama in a release of anxiety , got a wild bur and took off at a herd of deer. Limpy groaning as he is just finally getting to the point where I have to watch to catch his limp anymore and him not wanting to start all over again.

The does took off, in a lazy run, knowing they had the upper hand and that it was just Mama wanting to get rid of some energy. Limpy followed, complaining about old war wounds and how the chill damp weather made it worse. Finally the does were done pretending and turned. Mama suddenly found something on the ground Very interesting.

That’s what I thought.” Said the doe. Snorted, lifted her head and stalked off…to circle right back around to the house.

Mama and Limpy stood on the berm, watching the deer.

That was sooo fun..” Mama said to Limpy as he stood there, gasping, trying to catch his breath…

Jolly. ” He panted as he glared at her. “ Ok..time to go back..The girls are babysitting. “

Oh they babysit all the time. They’re fine.”

By this time, Limpy was on his back, tongue hanging off to the side as he panted. Legs kicking slowly in the air.

Oh get up. The carrion birds are going to start making dinner arrangements if you don’t knock it off.”

Limpy roll to his side…and began to snore…

Oh..Aren’t you just the best date ever.” Mama grumped.

Already mated.. I did my part…sleepy now.”

Well THAT sounds familiar.” She glare down at him.

a grin slowly crept across Limpy’s face as he snored. Mama leaped on him in mock battle. The two rolling, and biting. Suddenly, Limpy was on his feet and running down the hill towards the den. Mama screwed up her face, watching him. She then looked over to Ma who shrugged, nodded towards me with sympathy and understanding towards her coyote sister.

Hey.. I saw that. “ I said as I watched the two of them.

They both giggled as Mama ran down the hill after Limpy. catching his by the scruff as the two made their way back to the den.

I laughed, looking out at the deer swinging back in towards the house, the coyote kids having gone over the next ridge already and probably at home.

The yearling got to the salt lick first , having made a mad dash to the yard. The buck came in shortly behind her, does just behind him.

He tried to shoo off the little doe when she giggled.

Wait your turn Buckole” And she laughed until salt came out her nose ” Owie, owie, owie.” she cried as she continued to laugh. The does joining in from behind the buck….Who , in turn, glared at me…to which I just shrugged and said.

Dude, chill, it’s just another day on Zen Mountain.”

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