The School of Hard Knocks is Merciless

I’ve been reading Helen and Scott Nearing’s classic treatise “The Good Life.”  Carter Sio gave it to us, I guess our effort here at the Hoot put him in mind of the Nearings.  I take that as a true compliment.  Most of the time, around here, I think we feel like a combo free-for-all, junkyard, odd petting zoo, and ice-chest.  Anyway, there it is.  And reading their words the other night, I came across what I think should be our motto:
IMG_3987I think that’s pretty self explanatory.
Other things do keep going on here.  Heat installation.  It’s no small thing to have heat in a couple of upstairs rooms, though we keep burning through that propane.  Still no wood boiler hooked up.  Close but still no cigar.  In that regard, I’ll offer another apology to Bob.  I didn’t realize how much he likes dragging heavy things up our stairs.  We used a modification of his rig to get some radiators upstairs, and to get one tub down the stairs and one tub up the stairs (the whole reason for this is that there wasn’t enough room in the bathroom for a radiator and the tub.  So we had to swap out for a slightly smaller one.  A tag-along from Los Angeles, in fact).  Casey picked out some new brass hardware for the tub, so we feel quite decadent.  Ok, maybe not decadent, how about human?  Jackie provided a new kick-ass shower curtain and curtain rings.  Photos of that to come, here, pretty soon.


That’s about all we got right now… a few photos of the wood boiler install in progress  We’ve been calling it “The Spaceship” and “The Racecar.”  You may see why in a future post.  It’s getting more dressed up, anyway:
IMG_3969 IMG_3967And also, we had a visit from our friends, Lauren, Alex, and Sam, and they took some nice pics.  Turns out being a professional photographer really makes a difference, huh?SamCasey2 SamCasey3 SamCaseysmFinally, we’re back to that season again: sugaring and fruit tree pruning.  I’ve only got pics of the sap, not the pruning, but that’s ok.  You can pretty much imagine what pruning looks like.  Our sugaring setup is a little more advanced than it was last year, as you can see from what’s below:

sap

sap

IMG_3991 IMG_3993

sap evap

sap evap

I’ll leave you with this.  Spring is not far off.  I found these bulbs we heeled in last spring.  Gina Fox says they’re Naked Lady Bulbs, and we all salvaged them together from the dump at Strawberry Hill.  We’ll see if they turn out to be just that.
IMG_3995Addendum:  I guess we did something right.  We came up with a couple of pints of syrup that tasted massively good on some pancakes.  We’re still working out the final cooking and filtering, and if anything (Casey, wouldn’t agree with me on this one, I don’t think) it’s too sweet.  Next batch will come off the stove just a little bit sooner, so the sugars will concentrate just a bit less.  Still, I think we’re having pancakes again this morning:

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2 Responses to The School of Hard Knocks is Merciless

  1. By the way, Sam, naked lady bulbs frequently don’t put out flowers for two or three years after they are transplanted, just shoots. So like everything else at your house, just consider it an investment in the future and be very pleasantly surprised when they finally shoot up.

  2. Ann Morrow says:

    Congratulations on
    Marlboro. Missed you yesterday

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