I started off my day as usual, feeding the goats, ducks, and chickens. Then I listened to Chapter Twenty of last year's Priesthood Manual on my iPad for my morning scripture study. The iPad was a gift from Linda's sister Penny. I have really enjoyed the teachings from the life of Joseph Fielding Smith. He was the Prophet of the church when I left to serve a mission in Northern Italy and he died a year or so later. I learned of his death while we were tracting in Torino, Italy. We knocked on the door of someone who had just heard it on the news. One of the things I recently learned about Joseph Fielding Smith from reading the Priesthood Manual was that he liked to bake pies. What's not to like about a man who bakes pies. The particular chapter I read yesterday morning was about showing love and kindness to our fellow man. I am personally very grateful for the good kindly men who lead the Church.
After scripture study, I removed the failed lower element from our oven and drove to Everett to visit a dermatologist for a mole check. I have accumulated a fair amount of moles. Linda thinks they are all cancer looking for a place to happen and worries about them a lot more than I do. The doctor once again confirmed that none of them are a problem. After the doctor visit I drove back to Snohomish and stopped by the Beez Neez so I could do the bank deposits for Friday and Saturday. After the bank I stopped by the appliance recyclers in Snohomish and bought a new lower element for our oven.
Next I drove to Staples Office supplies in Monroe to buy some hanging folders and a file cabinet for Linda. She is trying to get more organized in her family history work. She wants to write a book about her Ingram and Israel family lines, a very worthy project in my opinion. I found a great deal, paying just $40.00 for a new two drawer file cabinet. On my way home I stopped by the feed store next to the fair grounds in Monroe. That store was recently purchased by the Snohomish Co-op. I was curious to see what changes had been made. The only significant one I noticed was the conspicuous absence of the singing parrot. While I didn't get to listen to the parrot sing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" they did have a great sale on books. I paid half price for a wonderful book about poultry breeds. It has lots of beautiful color photos of chickens, ducks, and geese. I also bought a twenty pound bag of field corn (on the cob) in case visiting grand children want to play with my corn sheller. All of the corn I grew this past year has already been run through the corn sheller.
|My restocked corn sheller|
|yet another poultry book|
I returned home and set up Linda's file cabinet. I told her I had bought the file cabinet for her just so I could have the cardboard for mulching our vegetable garden. After installing the file cabinet I installed the new element into our oven. The absence of a working lower element had sabotaged the lemon meringue pies I baked on Sunday afternoon. The pie shells slumped and didn't bake properly on the bottom. The filling and meringue tasted great, but the crust was disappointing. Needless to say with bread dough sitting in the fridge, I was very anxious to have the oven fixed
I spent a few hours working outside. I raked out the goat barn and put down fresh straw there and in their sleeping shelter. We bought one of those small calf shelters a few months back to give the goats a drier place to sleep. I think it has worked out well, but it did need a fresh layer of straw. I also put down fresh straw in the duck pen and the chicken pen and cleaned out the chicken coop and nest boxes. I did all of that with just one bale of straw. It is amazing how it expands once the baling twine is cut. After taking care of the animals I put down some more cardboard in the front garden area and spread straw over it. There is always a small amount of wheat kernels left in the straw so I end up with wheat trying to grow up from the straw mulch. Its pretty easy to weed out the wheat before it establishes any serious roots. However, I'm very tempted to let the wheat grow up some time just so I can finally try out the scythe Quentin gave me. I'm not sure I can bring myself to sacrifice very much of the garden area for that.
Probably the most important event of the day was the arrival in the mail of our most recent family portrait. My grand daughter Sofie had done an anime style portrait of Linda and I as a Christmas gift.
She did the finishing touches after our return from Maryland. Linda and I were both very pleased with how it turned out. I think she could put herself through college doing family portraits if she was so inclined. Note the personal touches she included such as the honeybee in the blossom above my head, the red huckleberry bush, the large rock from our yard, Black Jack, and an anonymous chicken.
|I think Linda makes a pretty cute anime character|
After my time with the animals and vegetable garden I spent an hour or so working on a blog post. Then I had to go down to the Beez Neez to get ready for a talk at the Snohomish Garden Club. This was a pretty convenient speaking engagement as the garden club meets at the Snohomish Senior Center, located just around the block from the bee store. I don't think its much more than 100 feet from door to door. I was a little stressed as I couldn't locate the DVD which had my power point presentation on it. Instead I just gathered up some posters and props and prepared to do it the old fashioned way. The talk seemed to go well. I used some of the jokes I've accumulated from 8 years of teaching beekeeping classes. They all wanted to know what they could do to help the bees The short answer I gave them was to use less pesticides. Its nice to plant things that are bee friendly, but the most important thing is to just stop using the poisons. I think I may have picked up a few honey customers as well.
I got home from the garden club meeting at about 9:15. I enjoyed a late supper of stuffed bell peppers with a slice of lemon meringue pie (with a slightly soggy crust) for dessert. Then I spent some time looking at letters from my mission that my daughter Sarah has been scanning into the computer. I thought it was pretty good day.