Monday, April 8, 2013

Sad News

I knew that this day was coming, and yesterday morning it happened.  Clara died during the night.

Clara turned 10 last month, and from all accounts I've heard, 10 is old for a chicken.  No sign of illness or anything.  She acted perfectly normal the day before.  We buried her under the pine tree, where she always liked to lay in the summer.  Her other favorite spot was on the back step, but we really couldn't bury her under the cement.

I looked through some pictures yesterday, and thought you might enjoy a few.  Unfortunately, I didn't find the one from when she caught the mouse.

Moving into the new chicken coop, 2006.  What this picture doesn't show is that she was trying to get into the coop the entire time we were taking the old one down and moving the new one into place.  It got the Clara seal of appoval!

    Clara and Goldie (long deceased).  Clara would walk right inside the back door if it were open.  It was a running joke for a long time that Clara should have been a dog.  She was a great watch-chicken, and chased a couple of people out of the back yard once.
This was taken in 2010, after the raccoon attack.  She survived the attack but walked around for a few days afterwards almost like she was in shock.  A friend of mine said that had I not been as obnoxious as I was taking care of her, she'd have probably died from being convinced she was going to die. 
OK, so Clara isn't in this picture, but it's still a good one.  How many Rhode Island Reds fit on a garbage can?  Four! 
Perching on garbage cans or climbing the fence to get out (thank you, Goldie, for teaching that trick) was not Clara's thing.  She was a good chicken, preferring her back yard (in the fence) to roaming around.  She would let me know when hawks or other predators would come around, and she woke me up a few times during the night, too when oppossoms and raccoons would visit.  Yup, she will be missed, but what a grand life she had!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Treadle that Shouldn't Exist

After having read today about one treadle which was deemed not to be worthy saving as such, I decided it was time to talk about the Detroit. This is what it looked like when I got it:

Pretty rough.  One of the drawers were broken, almost all the finish was gone, and there wasn't a speck of paint left on the irons under the rust.  The grandson of the owner gave it to me.  It isn't a "rare" treadle.  It's a National, and while there were many of them made, I haven't seen very many National-badged Detroit show up.  In fact, I only know of two at the moment, and mine is one of them.
Well, a little elbow grease, oil, maybe $20 worth of cleaners (I haven't had to go out and buy anything for so long I can't tell you how much that really costs), and some shellac, and this is what it looks like:

Used, but in nice shape for the age.  Based on the cabinet patent I found, it dates to ca. 1901. 
I'm working on a new treadle now, a Germania, which is also a badged National.  That one had all it's drawers removed, and some other stuff done to it, but the machine is lovely, so I decided it was worth a little work.

I think the pictures speak for themselves.  (The Germania is undergoing some veneer work, and so I'll post when I get that finished.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back after a long vacation

... though it wasn't much of a vacation.  Since Dec 2011, I've said goodbye to the church I was a member at for 32 years and transferred back to the church I spent my first 5 years at.  Really, it was a no-brain decision to leave, and the fact the paperwork went through and was delivered by mail in under 48 hours says so, doesn't it?  I did enjoy a bit of a laugh about the speed since NOTHING travels that quickly in the mail.  OK, so apparently something *can* travel that fast.  Who knew?

Much of last year was also spent helping take care of my grandpa, who passed away December 1st, 2012.  While I miss him greatly, I wouldn't wish him back for anything.  He is taken care of, safe from whatever the future brings. 

I managed to save some seed for this year's garden, but not enough to where I could list in the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook.  That was the biggest disappointment for the year, besides losing 95% of my Hidatsa Red beans.  God willing, this will be a better growing year.

Speaking of which, it's seed ordering time.  The 2013 SSE Yearbook came today, and it's great reading.  God willing, this year I'll have enough to offer seed for 2014.  That's one thing about a garden.  It forces one to be optimistic.  No matter how bad the previous year was, there's always next year!  Just make sure you save a few seeds, just in case......