Friday, July 2
Last night I woke in the middle of the night to the sounds of the wolves. Sniffing around the doors, I could hear the muffled thumps of their paws running to and fro, with an occasional yip and growl. The animals were shut up in the barn as planned and I knew they were secure. DH had insisted and reminded me several times..."don't forget!" The relief of knowing that didn't help me to sleep so I stoked the fireplace and got me a cup of tea and did my morning studies.
Around dawn, I grabbed my utility belt, opting to take the Subcompact XD 40 today, because I'm a little more accurate with it. The sky was light and I could see footprints from the wolves all around the yard. As I opened the barn door, I could see where they had tried to dig their way under the door. Thankfully, they didn't have much luck and looked like they gave up for the time being. Little Lady and her little one were nestled in the back of the barn near the coops.
I decided to make a brick footing for the barn door to deter any more attempts. Around mid-morning the messenger came by and dropped off a letter from Big D, asked if all was OK and mentioned they were doing well getting the train down the mountain, then, he headed back down the road. Before he was out of sight, I opened my letter with excited anticipation. Dear Annarchy,
Hope you are doing well. We are fine, don't worry.
Naomi is a dear and is handling everything just fine,
though we are both missing James terribly. He always does
the outdoor work and poor Naomi has blisters on
her hands. She won't listen when I tell her to take it
easy, just like you don't listen to me.
The garden is growing really well and we have
been harvesting and preserving as much as
possible. We have put some aside for you and
I hope to see you two soon.
I refolded it and put it in the house on the hearth, then went out and checked the garden. Most of it was growing nicely, but those darned wolves had trampled on a couple of the plants when they passed through, they should be fine, I hoped.
With the bricks mixed, formed and set to dry, I rummaged through my art supplies for a pen and my writing tablets. I wanted to send a note to everyone! I set them near the fireplace for something to do in the evening by the firelight and went back out side and started the water in the canal for the garden. While the canal was filling, I dug the footing strip under the barn door and made cob from the remainder of the brick mixture, then started the water at the top of the garden rows.
I grabbed the telescope and went to the top of the cliffs and sat down, peering down at the lodge to see if I could recognize anyone. There was really not much activity there at all so I gathered an armload of grasses and alfalfa and went back down to the house.
By that time it was time to pull the water pipes anyway. Lil Lady was in her pasture and the chickens were scratching around the mound of dirt from the footing trench. I checked for eggs, but she still isn't laying.
I gathered more wood for a while, stacking it in the wood pile next to the house, shoveled poo from the barn into a bucket and took it out to the area we've set up next to the mulch bin. Not very scientific, just a pile of leaf litter and a pile for the poo, but it will work.
Around noon, I focused on taking care of the deer skin. It was hard and dry so I placed it hair side down in the water and placed rocks on top of it so it could soak, then noticed the wolves had tried to get into the smoke house too. It looked like they almost made it in, by the size of the hole, so I went to work preparing a footing for it too. By mid afternoon, the bricks were set enough to use and I poured some cob in the footing holes, plopped the bricks on top and covered them with the last of the cob, hoping there was enough day light and warmth of the day to set the mixture.
Aaawww shucks! Now how am I gonna get the animals in the barn without them stepping in it?!!? I grabbed the axe and chopped a couple logs in 1/4 pieces and laid them across the threshold.
I pulled the skin out of the water and laid it on the sandy beach, using handfuls of sand, scrubbing it in a circular motion removing the sinews, meat and fats that remained from skinning it, then took it in the barn and laid it out in the loft. As the sun was touching the mountains, I put the animals back in the barn and locked 'em in, grabbed an armload of wood for the fireplace and prepared the tinder for my evening fire. Picked up my tablet and pen went out and sat on the porch and began writing letters with Frank on his tether at my feet. I wanted to know if Big D, AH or Mother had had any problems with the wolves.Saturday, July 3
All had been quiet during the night, or at least I didn't wake up until after dawn broke. I made a cup of tea on the coals in the fireplace and went out to see what the day would bring, let the animals out and checked the hide. It was drying and looked like I'd be able to work with it today.
After hanging my laundry, I grabbed my backpack and headed up to the cliffs. Looking out across the valley, I could see quite a bit of activity at the lodge, chiding myself for not bringing the scope with me, then headed for the berry bushes near the forest line. Many were still green, but there seemed to be enough to do something with. I gathered quite a bit and headed back home, not wanting to be gone too long in case something were to happen. I've been extremely cautious of my surrounding since the wolves have made themselves a regular presence in this area.
Back at the house I smashed the berries, all but 2 handfuls, into a puree and spread them thinly on a piece of aluminum foil and put them on the kiln to sun dry, and made a small pie with the left over, anticipating the arrival of my dearest and KJ. The messenger came and told me they were fine and were going to continue to make sure everyone got to where they needed to.
The rest of the day, I busied myself with anything I could think of doing. Barn poo cleaned out, replaced the grass bedding, no eggs, gathered more wood, gathered more grass for winter. Went up to the cliffs, with the scope and peered down at the lodge for a while. People, wagons and animals were everywhere, but I couldn't make out the faces. I gathered more grasses and alfalfa and headed back and worked on the hide, rubbing, pulling and stretching it as best I could over a taught rope tied between two trees. Late in the afternoon, I started the fire pit and rigged up a tee pee over it and draped the skin on it, then added some wood, I had soaked for 10 minutes, to smoke cure it.
With the animals buttoned up and dusk encroaching, I started the kitchen stove, baked the pie and settled in next to the fireplace with tablet, pen and jerky.
Today I wanted to send a note to Q & M23B to see how they were getting along with all the new arrivals.Sunday, July 4
I'd fallen asleep next to the fireplace wrapped in my sleeping bag, until Frank stuck his nose in my ear. He was awake and I should be too, I guess. I got my tea and went outside. The sun was cresting the eastern mountain top. After letting the animals out, I gazed down the road. Would my dearest come home today? I hoped so.
When the messenger arrived mid morning, he told me they were planning to head up today. I almost whooped for joy, I missed him so. Anticipation hit me, adrenalin kicked in and I almost fell over my own two feet. My mind was whirling with things to do to accommodate his arrival. Food! What to make? Ribs and.... salad... maybe potatoes. I grabbed my gallon jar and put a couple of tea bags in it for sun tea, checked my supply of potatoes, and snipped some spinach leaves from the garden. I couldn't sit still, constantly glancing down the road.
By noon, I was a wreck, worry kept nagging... where were they? Finally, I saw a wagon crest the hill, then 4 more!! Gunslinger808 was driving the first wagon, then KJ. I squinted to see who was in the next wagons. M, was that really her? and J in the next wagon with X? Wow, I couldn't believe it. James was bringing up the rear with a horde of animals. 3 cows, 2 goats and 4 sheep. I almost started crying, I couldn't believe they had come, how did they know where we had gone?
After the initial hugs and squeals they ushered the animals into the pasture. We had a chance to talk. Seems, KJ had come looking for us and when he got to our house we were gone, that's when he called and found us. M met him in town and he filled her in and they decided to travel together. They said the local prisons had lost control of their populations and overtaken the area. Their only option was to get out as quickly as possible.
We spent the rest of the day talking, catching up on the news from over the mountain and dreaming of a better life in the safety of this valley.Edited: Spelling
Edited by Annarchy, 08 March 2010 - 01:47 PM.
Words, are spirits.
God's, are Life.