[Jo] (Oh, these amazing New Mexico skies…)
It could have happened to any one of us–but Wink did it, Wink did It! While loading stuff into the barn loft, he inadvertently backed out of the barn, nearly taking down the barn door. It didn’t fall, but it bent pretty good. We mulled it over for a couple of weeks (with the barn wide open), and finally decided to call around for a repair estimate, thinking that replacing the door would cost a thousand or more. The estimate came in at $500, but for a variety of reasons, the contractors weren’t able to do the work. Aly grabbed a hammer (at this point what is there to lose?), and in a couple three hours over two days, we beat that door back into shape, got it back in the tracks (with Eric doing the dangerous stuff), and it’s going up and down just great. Sometimes you just need a success story…
We started working on the greenhouse–the scaffolding is up, holes drilled through the steel (thanks Colt), And the back posts are in. Yay!
We’ve been lucky in our friends–so many are so generous with their help. We couldn’t have gotten this far without them. Jim (below) is not only skilled with tools, he’s knowledgeable as well.
And family, always family–Aly & Israel, the girls, Eric. Gilly’s been coming every day to help (Bel is still here but school’s in and she’s teaching again). Gilly’s getting good on the sawmill, and has been ripping into the loft, unpacking boxes and carving out a sewing room. While Anna can’t contribute as much to the brawn pool, she tries to make sure we have a good dinner after the sweatin’s over, while still riding herd on the kids.
Wink has dispatched over a dozen squirrels, and Eric’s tried popping them with the air gun he got for his birthday, but it seems two more appear for every one that goes into the compost pile (we’re taking all the veggies back–one way or another). We planted a big bed of corn, squash, and beans, and there are NO beans, one half eaten squash, and maybe a dozen corn plants. They actually excavated and ate the seed after eating the emerging seedlings for a few days. Aaahhhhh!!!
But we’ve managed to snag a few meals from the beds that were heavily protected. So far we’ve picked a good bit of yellow squash (which the squirrels don’t seem to like), a few spaghetti squash, some cucumbers (disappointingly bitter–they don’t like these but neither do we), a handful of tomatos–mostly cherry, some potatoes, several meals worth of peas, some red onions. To come (and looking promising)–eggplant, cantaloupes, watermelon, snap beans, and five varieties of pumpkin.
I managed to bag some berries (literally covering each cluster with remay tied with twine), and we’ve sampled the Hull blackberries–delicious–if only there were more. I also covered the grape that set one tiny cluster of fruit, and am hoping to get a taste, if only to see if grapes are viable for us at this altitude.
We seeded some cold weather veggies. Looks like we’ll get a good bit of lettuce, radishes, spinach, and maybe even kale, and cabbage.
Yet more varmints!!! Where will it end?!?! A few cool days (rain at last) meant the house was closed up, and an unbearable odor emerged. Turns out mice have been tunneling in the insulation, hoarding food (dog food–you’d think the dogs would get after them!), evidently raising generations of young judging by the nests, poop, and stench. We ripped the insulation out, sterilized everything, foamed every crevice, and are hoping that does the trick.