April 15, 2012: Yards of Egg-drop Vegetable Soup

Round two of the torrential spring rains came through this weekend. We didn’t flood, thanks be to God, but we didn’t get to plant our seedlings as we wanted. We are, however, growing quite a crop of mosquitos in our many puddles and ponds. Thankfully, we also have a great many frogs, and their tadpoles are also growing in our puddles, so it’s not all bad. I’m all in favor of the circle of life as long as the bugs get eaten. And our ducks are loving the wet weather, as usual. We have been given the perfect yard for growing ducks.

We have two ducklings we bought last weekend, and they have grown so fast. They squeak and make quite a mess of their water and food, but they are so cuddly and soft. We love to hold them, though they act as though they are traumatized for life to be separated from each other. They escaped from their first pen the first night, so we had to put them in a larger tub with wood shavings. We keep adding more shavings to cover their droppings, but we can only do that for so long before they will able to escape again. What they plan to do when they escape, I can’t imagine. I just hope they don’t have delusions of playing in the toilet.

One of our other ducks, Quack-Quack, has become an egg Nazi (“Your shells are not in order!”), hissing and squawking whenever we get close to the nesting boxes. We decided to leave a marked egg every other day to see if one of our ducks would set, and Quack-Quack jumped on the opportunity. She even took the eggs we had been setting aside for her and put them back in her nest with the other eggs laid by the other hens. Apparently, they have to all be in the same nest. She has begun sitting on the eggs, hurrah!, so we hope some will hatch soon. We will keep the hens in the yard, but we plan to set the drakes loose on our pond during daylight hours to eat the duckweed and such.

Our new HVAC cut our electric bill down to less than half! God is so good. And I attached all the extra plastic netting we had to the garden fence to keep out the bunnies. And our basement door blew off. Just another day around the ol’…What? The basement door blew off?!? You read that right. The door, hinges, and part of the wall tore off in the strong wind, and fell over right when my wife came out, so guess who had to change plans? Yep. (sigh) Mr. Fixit to the reluctant rescue. But it turned out to be a relatively easy fix. And it’s more weather-proof now. And I have an excuse to go to the hardware store because I used up all my long screws.

I got the strange notion into my head to move our fence line on Saturday morning. I dug down around the fence-posts and found a great deal of packed gravel. I dug down in the driveway where I wanted to put the posts, and found the turf made of such indestructible, nuclear-blast-proof gravel that I am giving thought to taking drastic measures: I plan to rent an excavator with an auger attachment. It should be fun trying to learn how to work it. Little boys grow up to use bigger toys that cost more money and make more noise.

I took out some frustration by clearing out small trees from behind our hill by the pond, and it looks so much better than last year. I also added some muscle sculpting to my repertoire by stirring the compost in the bins made from palettes. My muscles might attract my wife, but the smell sure won’t. Between the mud, compost, duck poop, and dirty diapers, washing isn’t just a good idea. At our house, washing is the difference between eating and sleeping indoors, and getting chased with a hose while naked. It’s non-negotiable. And that’s just the people; don’t get my wife started on laundry.

I finally used my string trimmer to hack the weed farm in our swamp down to size, so that it only looks like we need to mow instead of like an abandoned section of the Amazon basin. My trimmer was not cooperative: first, the string wouldn’t play out, even when I whacked the trimmer on my boot…which probably wasn’t the best thing for it. Then I noticed my fuel line was split. And the line kept melting enough to stick to itself and not play out even more. I was nearly done and ready to be done with my weed-eater, but I decided to go just a little longer…and the spray guard came off.

If you’ve used a weed-trimmer and never heard of a spray guard, then you must only use it when the plants are dry. Mine were wet, nay, they were succulent, nearly bursting with fresh spring moisture…which got all over my boots, pants, arms, face, hair, etc. when I cut the plants. But I was smart: I wore safety glasses, so at least I could see how messy I was. I wish I had worn a safety handkerchief; that grass tasted awful.

After all that, I decided to put in more trimmer line…and completely tore apart the trimmer line head of my weed trimmer from hardware hell. Now it needs a replacement head to look like it should play out trimmer line when I bump it. But I bet it won’t. No, I have another idea. I’m going to use the lid of a 5-gallon bucket and cut a three-bladed rotary…blade for my trimmer, and according to the “Tightwad Gazette”, it cuts better than ┬áplastic string and needs far less replacing. Also, if I make it right, I won’t have to replace the head for my trimmer. Hear that, weeds? The Headless Trimmer is coming for you…and soon you will be headless, too! Ah hahahahhahahahahahaha!!!

It this works you can read about it as soon as I get a 5-gallon bucket of something. This will probably mean a trip to the hardware store, and darn it, I just can’t stand being surrounded by all those cool tools in cool colors on sale for one low price of…sorry. I just need the lid to a 5-gallon bucket; how much are those? Can’t you keep the bucket and just charge me for the lid? But I don’t need what’s in the bucket…(sigh) Maybe the industrial sized detergent will be on sale. I’m sure my wife will be pleased. I better hide the hose.


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One Response to April 15, 2012: Yards of Egg-drop Vegetable Soup

  1. John Thorpe says:

    Ha! Only James could make lawn work disasters sound this entertaining! You’re going to have to write a book someday, you know.

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