The title is borrowed from my friends at Union Homestead, and suits the day perfectly. Mondays are often my catch up day, as my official work shifts at the library are Thu/Fri/Sat. I usually have at least one other work day as well, so even my “weekend” is not always 2 days together, It can make it hard to stay focussed on larger projects, hence my marathon 5 day challenge with the chicken house a while back.
So, how did my mundane Monday shape up?
The morning was not too bad for outside work – the sky was looming a bit, and there was the odd spatter of rain, but by and large it was not unpleasant working outside.
My current project is taking out the fence that is between run 1 and 2 of the hen house. If you were around for my 5 day challenge, I repaired the fence between run 4 and run 3. After the challenge, I just kept going on fences, and managed to get the fence between 3 and 2 repaired fairly easily. The one I’m working on now is a different matter – the wire was down in one or two places and grass, thistles and brambles were growing through, making it difficult to remove. All the posts but one have to come out as they’re leaning so badly, and part of that fence is actually part of an old “temporary” cattle chute put in about 20 years ago by the guy who used to do our hay before Hay Guy took it over – the other guy used to put his dry cows on our field after the hay season was over. The posts for the cattle chute have rotted underground and the whole thing wobbles when chickens land on the top bar before flying over – clearly a piece of fence that is not doing it’s job. I’ve done about 2 mornings on this fence so far, and this proved to not be the final day. The wire is off as far as the cattle chute, and the T posts are all out. I’ve started hacking the blackberries away from the wooden part of the fence, and there I’ve had to stop. I still have to remove the cattle chute and quite a bit of blackberry before I can start putting fence up again.
Fence 1/2 before I started work this morning.
Mid-morning, a customer came to get the last three of the point of lays hens I’d advertised last month. She had come a few weeks ago, and asked me to reserve some for her, as she wasn’t ready to receive them at her end – she has an existing flock, and was worried that one or two of them might have an infection, and didn’t want to bring home new birds till she knew her birds were clear. Last week, she made contact to come and fetch the three I’d held back for her. Gillian and her husband have a small acreage in a community just north of me, and have a cottage bakery business called Willowtree Bread, from which they make and sell artisanal breads, veggies and plant starts, and honey…and probably, if my hens are up to scratch, eggs as well! We had a good chat while catching the birds and stowing them in their dog crate in the car, and later, when I’d had glanced at her website, I realized my chickens don’t know how lucky they are to have landed up there – they will be free ranging, and living out their days to a ripe old age with a great deal of TLC.
Lunch with a book was blissful – melted cheese on bread with the scrag ends of some pancetta left over from some fancy hors d’oeuvres the high school teen had made a couple of days ago as her contribution to the finger food at the fundraiser for her Global Perspectives class. I don’t mind leftovers like that one bit. I could see it was doing a bit more than spattering out, so I had a second cup of tea while I turned a few more pages in my book (Restorative Agriculture – Mark Shepard), and when I looked up again, it had settled down to a steady rain, so I got out my duster and started on house work. An hour of that was more than enough, and I was rescued around 430 by the arrival home from school of the 16 yr old. A cup of tea and a chat later, she disappeared to do homework, while I nipped out to get the last of the eggs and shut the hens in. Have I mentioned we’re finally back in eggs? About 13/day, all tiny pullet eggs – it’s a bit like russian roulette cracking them open – some are mini double yolkers, some are yolkless altogether. We did our first egg sales on Saturday in fact, and hubby took a couple of dozen to work today.
Thanks to hubby’s cooking effort yesterday (a magnificent crockpot meal of smoked pork hocks in cabbage and ale, with roast veg and mashed potatoes on the side), there were tons of leftovers, so today’s supper was a no-brainer – hash. While I was slaving over that, I remembered belatedly that I was supposed to be contributing baked goods to a staff bake sale tomorrow, a fundraiser for United Way. So I got going on some cranberry muffins and swotted up a recipe that would make a lot of cookies with the ingredients I actually had on hand, so I could dig into that after supper. Only two of us home, so it was a casual meal and some convivial washing up. She stuck around till the first batch came out of the oven and then settled into more homework, warm cookie in hand.
The cookie factory wound down around 9 pm, and the kitchen looks normal again. Hubby and the university girl (he was with clients, she was studying late) are finally on their way home, so we’ve packaged up the ones for the bake sale, stashed the remainder in a cookie jar and kept one or two out for the latecomers.
And that’s the kind of day it’s been here at gloomy, wet, Sailors Small Farm. Definitely a good day to be in a farm house kitchen baking cookies instead of out at sea, with frozen fingers, water dripping off my nose, and damp coming through the seams of the wet weather gear. I don’t miss some of the good old days at all.