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Archive for April, 2014

THE Book Sale

When Hubby and I had been dating almost a year, we made a trip from Alberta to Saskatchewan to visit my family.

 

While we were there, we randomly happened across a fundraiser book sale in a mall, that was by the local symphony.  It was HUGE!  Thousands and thousands of books, donated by the type of people who frequent the symphony, so really quite a wide and interesting variety of textbooks, history, travel, gardening, classics, fiction and non fiction.  Prices ranged from 50 cents to three dollars.  We were in heaven.

 

So much so that when we checked and found it was an annual event, Hubby immediately marked it on the calendar for the next year, double-circled and everything.

 

It became our annual date.   We would drive in from Alberta, and fill our trunk with the next year’s worth of reading material, generally at a dollar a book.

 

Yes, I guess we ARE nerds.

 

This weekend was the opening of the book sale, and therefore, our annual date.  Now that we live in Saskatchewan, it’s a day trip, but I still took a day off work, so that we could go on a weekday and beat the crowds.  We revised and printed out our book inventory list (all 22 pages!).  We made babysitting arrangements (thanks, Auntie J!).  We spent a few quality hours hunting for great deals.

 

Hubby is trying to enforce a one-in-one-out rule with the books, as we are on the verge of having to reinforce the livingroom floor.   I am on the hunt for every Bobsey Twins and Hardy Boys hardcover ever printed (I have all the Nancy Drews), as well as a few other series, so that the kids will never lack for good reading material.   We have an occasional conflict over this, particularly given that Baby M won’t likely be reading for a few years yet, and the other hasn’t even been born!

 

We did pretty well this year, by both of our standards.  Hubby got some books he’s been hunting for, and I managed to limit myself to just one box of books between the two of us.

 

box o books

It’s not a small box, but it is only *one* box.  Some years we’ve come home with two boxes each!

 

We’ll be spending some serious time tonight cataloging and filing our new treasures.  we’re already anticipating having the garden planted so we can settle into lawn chairs on a sunny day and enjoy our loot!

 

yay books!

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I grew up in a city.  Not a huge city, but a city, nonetheless.  My father is a talented hobbyist wildlife photographer, and I grew up thinking of deer, foxes, moose, and the like as an opportunity to take photos.

 

red fox on the driveway

It’s a little different, now.   While the foxes and coyotes are still cute, they’re also a threat to my chickens.  We tolerate them, for now, on the principle that anything we managed to eliminate would probably be replaced within days, by some other predator that isn’t bright enough to stay out of the chicken coop.  Our last major chicken incident was almost two years age, despite the fact that there’s always a few chickens loose; apparently the coyote, raccoon, skunks, foxes, and other critters we don’t already know about are well-fed enough to leave the birds alone.  Probably because they’re all foraging in the compost pile, but I digress…

 

The other thing about the predators is that they do contribute to keeping down the bunny population.  I know, it’s Easter and all, but those blasted bunnies have managed to strip the bark off literally half of our orchard…

 

resized IMG_1623

 

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They’re cute and all, but I still wish I were faster with the gun.

 

bunny.

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We don’t have that many hens.  I haven’t counted lately, but I would guess around 35.  Some of these hens are three years old, now; they should probably go in a stew pot, but we decided to free-range them for bug control, and if the fox happens to get them…well, that’s too bad, but not the end of the world.  The three year olds are pretty savvy anyhow, as they are the ones who survived the foxes in the first place.

 

So, now that the days are longer and the weather warmer (this weekend’s dump of snow notwithstanding), out of our 35 (ish) hens, we’re suddenly getting 12 or 16 eggs, depending on the day.

 

A dozen eggs a day.   Or a dozen and a half.

 

It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of eggs.  It really doesn’t.

 

bucket of eggs

 

Until you have to figure out what to *do* with them!

 

It’s actually not a bad problem to have, and I’m lucky to work in a large office, so we haven’t had too much trouble selling off the surplus.  We eat some, of course, and feed the ones that are too dirty to bother washing to the dogs in their porridge.  There’s also a local food charity we support with occasional donations of the extras that build up.

 

I’m not sure what we’re going to do when I go on maternity leave, though…

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As promised, a return to your regularly scheduled programming.  Around here, the regularly scheduled programming seems to be…winter.

 

snowy walking

You’ll notice, though, that there is a little bit of ground showing under the trees, which is somewhat encouraging, at least.

 

This is the time of year when I would normally be pulling out all the stops with seed starting.  Generally, we re-arrange the living room to make space for all my seed flats.  This year, with the baby coming, I agreed to keep the gardening (and therefore the seed starting) to a minimum.   This is not the sort of agreement I tend to be any good at sticking to, and Hubby was well aware of that, but…

 

lonely flat of seed starts

I’m sure you’ll agree I have showed remarkable restraint.  That’s a pretty lonely half-flat of starts.  It’s the only one in the house (so far), believe it or not.

 

On the bright side, the tomatoes are starting to peek up!

 

tomato starts

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