Hadley

The Great White Blight… In Pictures

 

 

If you’re on Facebook, or if you peruse the local papers, then you’ve gorged on snow photos.

Well, I’m sorry to subject you to more. I promise, this’ll be quick and painless. And then we can move on:

With all the white hype, last Friday, Martin tried to resuscitate our tractor, which was suffering from starter problems.

With assistance, Martin kicked the tractor into gear, but it blew a hydraulic hose, which rendered the bucket inoperable. (The bucket was a lead actor in this performance.)

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While Martin gave the tractor mouth-to-mouth, I went grocery shopping. The choices were slim pickings.

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Snow started falling and accumulating on Friday night. By Saturday morning we were snowed in: the drifts sealed the mudroom door shut.

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Snow permeated every crevice. In the mudroom, snow billowed through a wisp of a crack in the dog door. By morning, an inch of snow filled all of our shoes.

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Much like the storm of 2010, the drifts piled up along the fencelines… and 18 inches really meant 3 or 4 feet.

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The drifts proved too much for Maisie.

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On Sunday — tractorless — we began to dig out. The horses were the first to be liberated.

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The path to the sheep was ponderous.

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Eventually we dug a trench to the sheep shed and — crawling and slogging — I ferried hay and water to them on a sled.

The sheep were utterly ungrateful.

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All the while, the kids rode out the storm at my cousins’ house (where the risk of a power outage was minimal.)

It was a struggle over there:

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Without an operable tractor, we were paralyzed. So we called for backup; Andy and his Cat plowed us out.

But first things first: we had to mark the drive, so Andy knew where to plow.

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Andy removed the snow like a peel from an orange…

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… and in the process, he created a mountain of snow… a sledding hill from what was once a plateau.

The kids built a luge run and an igloo.

It is part of the landscape until melting overcomes everything.

And life returns to normal.

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Hunting & Dancing with Hounds

New Funny Farm content coming soon. But after a busy weekend, I can only proffer up a few pixs and captions.

On Saturday Brynn hunted untethered — “off the leash,” as she likes to say. In other words, without any speed moderation from yours truly.

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What does this mean?

It means that I’m dispensable.

I’m still useful when it comes to tacking up the pony, or tightening his girth. I am menial labor.

But in the hunt field, I am a nonessential employee.

Last week, Brynn was frightened to ride down steep slopes and cross creek beds. This week she was blase. Freed from the lead, she announced that I could fall in behind her. “You can stay back there,” she said, gesturing toward Rocky’s tail.

She’s a teenager, embodied in a kindergartener.

Which is impressive and annoying at the same time.

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Chatting on the hack home

 

In the meantime, Hadley is still honing her hound handling skills. Pictured, this isn’t Kennedy, but another effusive hound in the pack.

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Dancing with hounds.

Or just bonding.

Either way, it’s a feel-good experience.

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(Photos by Karen Kandra & Robert Keller)

Pumpkin Surprise

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Remember those rogue pumpkins that Hadley planted along the deck? Well, this afternoon — while I was clattering away on my laptop — those gourds yielded an impromptu activity and a tasty snack.

Want to give it a whirl? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins
  • children
  • baseball bat
  • salt
  • butter
  • garlic powder
  • Worcestershire

Directions: Allows kids to beat the pumpkins to smithereens on a mud-free surface. Any club or bat will do; our kids prefer an Easton model.

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Next: Should one kid salvage any pumpkin shards… extract seeds, then rinse and boil in salty water. Finally, drench the seeds in a butter/garlic powder/Worcestershire concoction, and bake for 10 to 50 minutes… depending on oven volatility.

I never thought there’d be anything salvageable from the pumpkin carnage I witnessed today.

But the seeds were pretty tasty.

Aside from a little driveway grit.

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