Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dallying With Servant Girls

Mornings have been cool, bordering on cold. Unusual for the end of July. Because of heavy early morning dew/fog, I have a few moments before beginning my day. Today's choices include dallying with the servant girls, riding with m'lady, canning dilly beans, running a temporary chicken wire fence around the sweet corn patch and more mowing.

Toward the end of today, I'll return to the library with Mark of the Cross. I grab two books while delivering a vegetable care package to my library angel. I always choose two in case of a dud. When Philip, the high born groom, covers Lady Beatrice's mouth with his lips and she melts into him I knew the signed, soft cover novel wasn't my style. There's a whole lot of blushing, teasing and impetuous horse racing by a woman who angers daddy with her rash actions. Oh please.

The Pooch spends most of Tuesday sleeping upside down, mouth hanging open on the back of the couch. When he comes outside, he looks furtively in all directions. He's on me like a burr if I work in the garden. In the garage repairing a Crow Magnum whose foot fell off, he jumps on the workbench watching me glue the foot back in place. For a brief moment at dusk, he meows to be allowed outside. It is some primordial instinct to roam at night. Overnight he curls up in between our legs.

The dallying with servant girls will last about 10 seconds as the only women I might dally with are up on the ridge on the Amish farm. Since Titus is six feet four and 250 pounds, I'll not be casting furtive looks at Marion or Wilma. I'm not scheduled to return there until Thursday when we make a few phone calls in advance of a cheese run. A nearby town has a gourmet cheese maker-a new trend. I've tasted hot pepper cheese made with habanero and red pepper. Rumors of garlic mushroom, tomato basil and other exotic cheeses at a phenomenally low price for cut ends grabs my attention.

My cabbage woes are solved when the Amish patriarch calls from the neighbor to order 10 cabbages for a customer. They've planted 50 cabbage for a Korean client. They planted late and the cabbages aren't ready. Eight cabbages I deliver to the neighbor include one whopper topping the scale at 7 pounds. Our cabbage patch was planted in the first week of April. The few remaining odd balls will go into fresh coleslaw or flat noodles and steamed cabbage.

Putting pieces of the puzzle back together, I recall letting the Pooch out early Sunday morning. Usually I wait until 7 when Dawn is in the shower getting ready for work. But on this Sunday morning, I want to snooze. He's pestering to be allowed outside at first light. I stumble downstairs before 6 am and show him the deck door. At this hour numerous nocturnal roamers are making their way to their bed and breakfast. I assume he has an encounter with a raccoon. The raccoon war is back. We are on high alert. I set the live trap, baited with Wal-Mart discounted chicken liver that went bad before the Pooch could eat it. In the morning the door of the trap is tripped but empty. The liver is intact.

The sweet corn is about a week away from first pick. I remove a burned out floodlight from the shed near the patch and remount the spotlights to illuminate the entire north and west side of the 40X40 space. I run an extension cord to the onion drying tent, connect the radio tuned to WPR and install a clamp light in the peak. In the front of the corn field where extra cabbages grew, I pull up landscape fabric and till the weedy area. Then I install all six solar lights in the front portion. Two large folk art crows-the Crow Magnums-I install at either end. Once the glue has dried on the foot of the third 3 foot tall crow, I place him(her?) in the middle. I'm hoping to strike terror in the heart of nighttime raiders. Both Dawn and I have seen a groundhog roaming the place in the daytime. I remember watching the Pooch trailing a groundhog as it lumbered toward the steel lawn shed and a burrow underneath. He kept a respectful distance from the woodchuck and eventually the chuck is live-trapped. My cement floor in the lawn shed/possible chicken coop is now safe from collapse from deep tunnels woodchucks love to dig under barns and sheds.

I've placed a lawn chair near the back door. My Elmer Fudd hat hangs in the entryway closet. A loaded rifle is at the inside door. As long as I get first taste of Kandy Corn, an extra sweet hybrid, I'll share a few ears with the critters of the night. Before my first taste, you don't want to be caught in the corn patch at night. Remember what happened to Peter Rabbit.*

* Beatrice Potter became wealthy from her children's books, buying up farms and donating the land to a rural preserve. At her death over 4000 acres of countryside were put in reserve forever.

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