The chipmunks are real busy getting ready for winter, just like us. But they’re also a pain as they’re attacking our sweet corn which was drying on the stalk for seed and to use as cornmeal. As if Blue Jays weren’t bad enough; the chippies are even going after the corn ears in buckets on our front porch. Mittens did get two, but I think there’s a bumper crop of them this year. So I’m busy stringing up corn on recycled baler twine to hang in the enclosed back porch to finish drying as well as taking seed out of tomatoes, shelling beans, and canning, canning, canning. Those cheeky chipmunks even sit across from me on the porch and wait until I have to go to the bathroom or answer the phone, then dash over to snatch a few kernels of corn!
Will’s busy hauling hay home now. He’s trying to make two trips or more per day, in addition to clearing the fence line on our new forty acres for cow pasture next year. He can haul six round bales per trip and figures he “only” has 24 more trips to go.
Our neighbor, Kate, got pictures on her cell phone of a big cougar right on their driveway — twice! We wouldn’t think much of it except he has a big abscess on his cheek and some predators who have trouble hunting due to an injury or illness can turn to attacking people as easier prey. I’ve seen one cougar on our place a few years ago — a half-grown kitten. But the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has long denied cougars even lived in Minnesota, regardless of game camera photos and many sightings by reliable people. I’ve heard they’ve re-thought that recently. Here’s hoping our “local” cougar gets live-trapped, his abscess treated and released in a more remote locale. (Yes, I know cougars can cause trouble, but so can wolves … and people.)
I “almost” got a beautiful Wolf commercial kitchen range. I really want one, as I do so much canning, cooking, and baking. But the one we looked at was a full five feet long and wouldn’t fit in my kitchen. Oh well, I’ve done without for all my life, I suppose I can get by without one. (I would have had to get rid of my wood kitchen range to make the Wolf fit and even then it was too deep and would have made getting past our kitchen’s island — where lots of prep work happens — nearly impossible. And I would never give up my wood range!)
Our late plums are ripe now and boy, let me tell you, they’re really sweet! They came from an old, neighboring homestead where a 94-year-old widow lived all her life. We have two of Iva’s trees. Although Iva has passed away, her trees live on and we remember her every fall. (If you’d like to add plums to your homestead, check out my article in the Twenty-fourth Year Anthology.) Well, gotta go seed some tomatoes before they rot. In our seed business, all of the seeds are hand-harvested by us. No machines or hired help. — Jackie