Cows. And Squirrels. And Gluten.

170414_cows

[ Three cows and a truck ]

April 14 – An interesting event took place across the road from us last week, in a pasture where cattle belonging to our son-in-law and his parents graze and wander about freely. We noticed a brown cow lying on her side in the pasture and wondered why she never got up and grazed. Then the next morning she was still out there, lying on her side but in a different area. Every now and then she would kick her legs in the air and then subside. A couple of black cows came over and just stood there close to her, interested in what was going on.

We decided to phone Harvey, our son-in-law, and tell him that something was wrong with one of their cows. In a few minutes he drove over in a farm truck and went out and circled the cow and then went back to the farm buildings. Shortly after that a red truck belonging to his son Robbie came over and went out to the cow, and Harvey came back too.

The two men looked closely at the cow, and Robbie got something out of his truck, that looked suspiciously like a rifle, stood over the cow, and then put his rifle back in his truck. While Harvey got busy with the cow’s hind legs, a tractor driven by his father appeared. A rope tied to the hind legs was attached to the tractor and away it went, dragging the dead cow. We don’t know where they took it. Harvey phoned in a few minutes to thank us for notifying them of this cow, and to say it was an old cow, around 20 years old, that they had tried to catch for years but it always ran away and escaped.

170414_squirrel stick

[ Squirrel knocker ]

We have been much annoyed by squirrels coming to our bird feeder and stealing a lot of the sunflower seed that we put out for the birds. Finally this morning I put out something that I was hoping would keep them scared and back in the woods. It is a long piece of wood, maybe five feet long, that has a hole near one end that slides down over a round stick driven deep into the soil. I tied a long string to the one end and took the other end of the string up to the garage.

Come feeding time I put a lot of seed near this stick and will wait for a squirrel to arrive, as they always do. Then I will pull on that string vigorously and the long section will swing out and hit that squirrel. Hopefully it will stay far away for quite a while and will maybe learn to stay away for ever. Maybe it will be wise to smear some sticky and nasty-tasting stuff on that stick, so that when Squirrel goes to lick his fur, he will get a very bad flavor in his mouth!

170414_gluten

[ Homemade gluten ]

Yesterday Chris put in about four busy hours making gluten. She had a big jar of gluten flour that she had bought, turned it into dough, mixed in tomato juice she had canned, and spread out a lot of patties on waxed paper. Then about a dozen patties at a time went into the tomato juice in the pressure cooker. After about 15 minutes, they were taken out ready for the next load in the cooker. Eventually she had a big bowl of patties, some bound for the freezer and some bound for the fridge and the supper table. Good stuff, this gluten. I had two big patties on toast for supper last night. Mmmmm… – DALE

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