You know last week Will finally got our new solar array hooked up. Here’s the joke; we haven’t had a sunny day since! Okay, I have to update that as the sun just came out and the panels are charging like mad. I guess God made a point there.

Once I get this pork fat rendered down I can fill the spot in the pantry where it was getting low.

Meanwhile, I’ve just picked up two big boxes of pork fat from our butcher friend Al. When we had our steers butchered, I asked Al if he ever had any extra pork fat that the pig owners didn’t want. He said he did and he’d give me a call when he had some. Well, that was several weeks ago and I’d just kind of forgotten about it. But Al hadn’t forgotten and he called Will yesterday saying he had some fat for me to render. Not only did I get that box, but also another from a real fat pig they butchered today. So this afternoon I’m going to pack some into a big turkey roasting pan and set it in the oven to render down. My canned lard was going fast and I was getting nervous. Not scared, just wishing I could fill the canned lard spot back up and we have no pigs at present as the grain prices shot up a few years ago. Lard is so easy to can. I just melt it down in the oven on low temperature, then ladle it into sterile, hot jars, wipe the rim to remove any grease, then put on a simmered, hot lid and screw down the ring. The jars seal themselves and the lard keeps a very long time. That lard is so good for pie crusts, frying, and baking. My biscuits nearly float off the pans! (Never any leftovers, either!)

Spencer likes his feet clean.

I finally got a picture of our black Lab, Spencer, cleaning his feet. He’s like a cat; he can’t stand dirty feet. So he lays on the rug and carefully licks and chews the hair on his feet until he deems them clean enough. His back feet are a challenge though, so he holds them, one at a time, with a front foot. Who says animals are dumb? Not ours, for sure. Take Hondo, our Catahoula Leopard Dog. We tease him by saying what a “fine, noble, majestic Catahoula Leopard Dog” he is. He turns his head, looking noble and looks right at us. Like he’s saying “Yes, I am, aren’t I?” Who needs TV when you have animals? — Jackie


  1. My dog does the same as Spencer. Sometimes I think she is chewing her nails (they do need to be clipped). It is funny to watch them try to clean the back feet. Shows you how much more agile dogs are than older owners like me, lol.

  2. YAY!!! Panels powering up….lard being rendered….and Spencer taking care of business. Those webbed Lab toes need extra care….what a smart guy! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

  3. Miss Jackie, I keep saying our little long hair dachshund dogs have a very large vocabulary of words they understand. When Sharon tells me dinner is ready, if I don’t come to the dining room at once, one will come and nudge me with his nose. If I don’t respond he will jump up take my hand very gently and try to lead me to the table. Then he runs to my chair looks at me and whines till I get up and move. Last night we had a leak from the kitchen sink, and hadn’t noticed it. When they got wet feet one came to me, nudged my leg jumped and took hold of my hand and tried to lead me to the kitchen, then walked to the puddle looked at it, looked me in the eye, back to the puddle and wagged his tail and whined until we cleaned it up. Our pets can be pretty smart and can communicate with us without human words. I love hearing about your homestead daily life. I make lard as you described. Rick in Pa.

    • When my Mother placed the silverware on the table their dog would go alert my Dad it was time to go to the table.

      • Yes they are so smart. Too smart! When it’s bedtime, Will finishes listening to the weather and the dogs start dancing around. They know next comes bedtime and Spencer ALWAYS comes over to Will in the bed to say goodnight and get a pet.

  4. I would love to hit the lard jackpot like that! Wishing you many sunny days ahead. Thanks for the update!

    • I about did the happy dance! I gave one box to a friend who was out of lard and I still have about 45 pounds yet to render. I believe in sharing the wealth.

    • I made biscuits and gravy for dinner tonight and boy what biscuits they were; about three inches fluffed up! Yum.

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