Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 13- Good News

It's a beautiful sunny day today.  It'll be perfect to do some laundry.  I'm sure everyone must be needing more socks and underwear by now.  I think I'll take the laundry to the creek rather than bringing water up to the house though.  I make coffee, tea, and relax with a book while I wait for everyone else to get up.

Once they're all up and about, I tell them my laundry plans.  If we take more baler twine down there, and move the tub closer to the creek it should make laundry much easier.  The boys gather up all of their dirty laundry.  It's a mountain.  As long as the cabin's empty at the back though, anything I don't get done today can be kept in there.  I load up Husband's & my own laundry.  I almost forget the plunger.  They gather up baler twine and grab a chainsaw.  They'll cut firewood while I do laundry.

Brother and Sil stop by.  They're headed into town to try phoning the girls again.  This time they're happy to hear that the girls and Friend made it to the cottage.  Friend is recovering from his bullet hole nicely, since his mother's a nurse and has managed to stitch him up.  They stop back at our place and tell us the news.  Brother, Husband and Dad will leave tonight to go and get them.

We have a quick breakfast of toast and jam, and then head for the creek.  Once the tub is moved it's a breeze to fill and plunge the clothes.  Getting them to the line is a bit more work, but thankfully the Bigs do the carrying for me.  They set up three more lines so I have lots of room to dry everything.  I will need to bring more ashes next time.  Towards the end I don't think there's much lye coming through in the water.  Still, everything is cleaner than it was before.  I think another water filter attached to the tub would be helpful too.  The creek can get pretty mucky at times.

Husband and the boys have filled the cart with firewood.  Tori is grazing happily.  The grass is fairly long here.  We had always meant to fence it, but hadn't got around to it.  We decide we might as well, to give the horses more room to graze.

Husband and the Littles take the firewood back to the house to unload while the Bigs cut smaller trees and straighten the treeline.  They come back with hammers and nails.  We use the small trees as poles and nail them in place.  The area is still open at the creek but I don't think the horses will try to cross it.  The entrance is open as well.  It'll need a gate.

We reload the cart and Husband let's #1 drive it back to the house.  #2 digs some post holes for the gate.  When Husband and #1 return the three of them drop fence posts in the holes and build a gate.  It looks pretty good to me.  The Littles and I reload the cart and then we all go back to the house.

After unhitching Tori the Bigs walk down with all of the horses and leave them in the new pasture.  They pick weeds as they walk back to the house.

We have soup for lunch, beef again, and then Husband goes for a nap.  It'll be a long night.  The boys and I start on butchering the cow.  The weather has me concerned.  It's been warming up, and we might get an Indian Summer after all.  That's great for working in, but not good for the hanging meat or the freezers.

#2 saws through the back half of the spine, and we get started on cutting the steaks.  #1 starts the generator to run them through the meat saw, rather than sawing by hand.   We cut all the meat off the ribs and run it through the grinder.  I don't usually make ground beef, figuring I can buy ground pretty cheap, and I prefer a good supply of stewing beef, but this year we won't be buying, so we need our own supply.  Grinding is much faster than trimming all of the fat off for stew anyway.

I cut 8 pounds of beef off the flanks for jerky and  mix up two different recipes.  The Bigs set up the smoker, which we've never used before.  I'll start some in the oven overnight as well.  We'll see which method works best.

Husband gets up and cooks us up some delicious rib steaks for supper, and I swear, this is the best beef I have ever tasted!  I have the urge to go out and give Dorie a big hug.  She does mighty fine work!  At the end of the day I lay the steaks and hamburg out across the top of the freezer, over other still frozen food.  I hope it'll freeze.  It's at least cold enough that I'll have a few days to decide if I need to can it.

Brother arrives and he and Husband walk over to Mom and Dad's to get the truck ready.  Mom has packed them some soup and sandwiches for the trip.  I send along some apples and cookies.  It's barely dark, but they expect the first part of the trip to be uneventful.

I am completely exhausted from a hard day's work.  I hope I'll be able to sleep rather than staying up worrying all night.

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