Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In which various things go bump and thump in the night

James had packed some wallaby for dog tucker while we were away - but being trifle new to this lot he put the bags on the mesh of the wire basket in the freezer. Now, It was kind of him to do it, and we appreciated it no end, especially me as I didn't have to do it. That always goes down well with the homesteader. Kind of makes you wonder about self-sufficiency...

The downside was that the bags had sagged around the wires, and the basket was ice-welded in - I really do have to defrost the freezer, only I'm sort of scared what I might find in there. Last time it was a guy on a Harley Davidson looking for his pantechnicon, and the time before there was what can only have been a mastodon, frozen with the half-eaten fresh pineapple still in his trunk. This time... anyway brute force eventually won and I got the basket out (try to pull the bags and the plastic just tears.).

So now we have a freezer basket with a bunch of bags of frozen meat stuck on the base. It's too big to put in water - unless we used the bath, and I prefer yellow rubber ducks myself, and the dogs reckon it would make meat a bit iffy.The metal basket is too big for the microwave besides being you know, metal. I dream of having a microwave big enough to make biochar, but its a dream. Like a tractor, or secret volcanic island lair, complete with evil hench-people (used to be henchmen, but we can't have this sexist discrimination. Equal opportunity mad cackling torturer minions are needed now.) It's not going to happen.

So - as this was last thing in the evening, and we'd levered out one bag for the dogs, the basket just got turned upside down over the sink and left to let the not very warm air take its course. Yeah, you know where this is going don't you? Dave who is a light sleeper after the first two hours... (a flatulent mouse on the far side of the house, that the dogs and cats sleep through, will wake me) and the erratic thumps as the bags fell off. The first one took me completely by surprise, and had me bravely stalking the darkened halls with a hastily snatched up frying pan. Cast Iron and deadly. No. This is not South Africa, and I feared no murderous intent from a housebreaker. The doors don't get locked on the island. I assumed it was a bloody possum again. This would be about the third in 3 weeks. They come in the cat-door to steal the cat tucker. And I'm not grabbing one of them. They have nasty claws.

It took me a while to figure out what it was. Actually I didn't, Barbs did, when I was bringing my lovely cold toes back to bed for her. I'm kind like that. So I didn't get out of bed and do something about it. Should have.

It repeated a lot more times. But I knew what it was. So when it happened again at about 5 AM, I just growled and muttered - so Barbs - who had slept through the others, got up.

I hear a shriek from the kitchen. More clatter. I arrive at a run, clad in my usual night-gear - the same jammies I was born in, and can't find the usual heavy frying pan, just the wee skillet. And there is the biggest possum I have seen yet, not leaving - having knocked over my dehydrator. I charge into the fray wearing my armor of righteousness, and this weeny frying pan. A little part of my mind says stoop a bit - he might get your eyes but the dangly bits are further away.

Fortunately the possum gets over his shock, or thinks that maybe South Africans don't know the difference between a possum and a sheep, and gaps it with a mighty thump. I block up the cat door and take my cold toes back to bed. Only my toe warmer's toes are just as cold now.

Barbs had a day off so she slept in a bit, but I was trying to get stuff done - story of my life. So I was outside working on the pig-pen (don't all authors do this?) when she got a call from someone asking if she could possibly feed his cat and his octopus.

I like to tell people that we set out to live very ordinary lives, we just end up hammering in little nails with a block-buster - or doing things which are perhaps not done quite the way they are by other people. I must get my hammer back. And despite this the pig-pen is ready, and will hopefully have some pig to use the readiness very soon.

In the meanwhile I am putting the final touches on STARDOGS - Which I plant to release soon. It's not that hard, it's just not something I do often enough.


  1. I like that cover better. Did you deepen the color on your name?

  2. I so enjoy your adventures with machinery and livestock. At least no dangly bits were affected. Looking forward to the release of StarDogs :)