My cold is somewhat better this morning, but I enjoy my tea with goat's milk and rosehip syrop anyway. I give the boys theirs the same way.
When I got dressed this morning I realized I forgot about the laundry. Oops. Need to get some underthings washed. The boys probably have a ton of stuff that needs wahing in their rooms as well.
Last night in bed I decided to skip the menu for today, and make balogna rolls for supper tonight. I wasn't thinking about milk when I made the menu plan, so I had best take advantage of the opportunity. I get the balogna, cheese and yellow beans out of the freezer.
I clean the bear fat out of the bowl and put it in the coffee pot to melt. I drain the fat from the pot into the bowl and take it back to the fridge. I've got 10 quarts of 'lard' from the two bears so far. The doggy stew gets more cracklings added.
Banana bread for breakfast, bear stew for lunch, no need to make bread. I only need to worry about getting supper on today.
Husband wants to go and see how Diego and Nira are doing today, and go into town to the library. I want to stop at the flea market and see if they have any little glasses I can use to make candles. We decide to give the horses the day off, and take them all back to the creek to graze while we do laundry.
Husband and the Bigs get Samson hitched and everyone loads their laundry onto the cart. The boys walk with the other horses and let them all loose in the pen.
The water is frigid in the creek and we're all half drenched by the time the laundry is washed. We hitch Samson back to the cart and take the laundry to the clothesline at the house. We get it all hung up and then settle in by the fire to warm up. We change into dry clothes and eat lunch.
The boys help me roll balogna rolls. I put them in a roasting pan on the stove, rather than the usual glass pans.
We all go to Diego and Nira's together. The boys can stay and visit with them while we go to town. We take them a loaf of bread, a jar of bear lard, a dozen eggs, a bag of potatoes, and their sharpened knives.
Diego and Nira are happy to see us. One of the ponies has injured his leg, so they haven't been able to go anywhere or do much the past few days. He should be better in another day or two. They have been working hard on firewood, and probably have enough cut for winter now, but it's all along the edge of the woods.
Nira's weed collection is doing well, and they're learning to like the variety of pickles. She's not baking as often now, rationing some of the boxed mixes and supplies. She never believed the blackout would last this long, but she's working on surviving the winter now.
Diego got really lucky and shot a deer a few days ago. They butchered it and froze it, and even kept the bones and scraps for Tank. He hung the hide on the side of the shed. They saved the fat in a bucket outside, but aren't sure what to do with it. Nira wants to try rendering it this time.
We take it in the house and she gets a big pot out to put it in. I explain it's not hard, it just takes some time. I explain the process to her. I tell her to look for some cotton string to make candle wicks, and small jars or glasses to make them in.
We tell them about the people with the chickens and goat's milk. They want to go with us next time.
Diego gets really quiet and serious. He tells us he shot someone. There was someone trying to steal the ponies in the night a few days ago, and even with Tank barking and Diego yelling, they wouldn't leave. Diego took his cross bow out to scare the man off, but the man had a gun. Diego shot him straight through the heart before the man had a chance to fire. The pony spooked and that's when it hurt it's leg. They buried the man by the woods.
Everything has been so peaceful and civilized up to this point, it's hard to believe people are getting desperate now, especially with all of the meat available at the flea market. I think they must have wanted the ponies for travel, not food.
We take their library books, a few jars of pickles, and head to town. They'd like a different veggie if there's anything available.
Town is pretty quiet, except at the store where a few people are chatting outside. We go to the library first. I hang one of my weed lists on the wall, so everyone can see it. I exchange all of our books. There's a much better selection today. Either people are done with them, or are feeling more generous. Either way, the library is growing with books filling several shelves.
At the store we learn that some people have gotten boxes of books from the bigger library in Rivertown. They've started their own book exchange, and anyone who plans to travel to any of the other towns is being asked to take a box of books to exchange with them. We have no plans to travel that far right now, but we'll keep it in mind in the future.
There are a couple of pumpkins available, some potatoes, and a jar of mustard. That strikes me as funny for some reason, but I'm not sure why. There's lots of meet available, hanging in the old beer cooler. That also strikes me as funny. I trade two jars of pickles for a pumpkin. It seems a little steep, but I can only imagine things are likely to get more expensive.
We go to the flea market and I trade one candle and one jar of pickles for a box of small glasses. I know Marsha gave me a deal, but she can see future candles in the works.
We drop the pumpkin, a few glasses, and some books off at Diego and Nira's and pick up the boys.
Back at home it's time for chores, supper, and some reading before bed.