Saturday, August 9, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday we had a lovely trip to the north coast of Nova Scotia. We drove up to Middleton, and then headed west.We stopped in Annapolis Royal for a lovely lunch at a restaurant called Compose.We ate on the deck (shown above) with this beautiful view:John had a lobster club, and a had "the Mozart" open faced sandwich with sliced chicken breast, peaches, curry sauce and melted cheese and side salad with orange dressing (divine!)After lunch, a walk along the boardwalk took us to Fort Anne. (photos of that will be available soon at Nova Scotia Travels and Treasures) Then we were off again, heading further west to Digby. Here's a view of the ships in the harbour.We took a walk out on the docks for a closer view of the fishing fleet...scallop boats mostly. We made a stop at the fish store on the docks for some fresh scallops, and popped them into the cooler in our car for the drive home. It was late in the day, so we took a "short cut" from Digby over to Highway 8. The short cut involved a rather interesting "road" that had me telling John to turn around because I must have told him the wrong turn. We met someone coming up the "road" on our way back. He stopped and we had a little discussion. Turns out we were on the right road (which was more like an ATV trail) and we were told it was a government highway (I think it's been a while since the govt put any money into that road's upkeep!) So, the other driver told us he was going to brave it, and to follow him. The condition of the road got me into hysterical laughter for a few minutes, but we made it through. The other driver stopped when we reached the first town (Bear River) and we all congratulated ourselves that we made it. I think our short cut took a few times longer than the regular route would have taken!

Closer to home, we finally found a roadside stand selling vegetables (something we had been looking for all day). We picked up some freshly picked corn, huge blueberries and some tomatoes. What a feast when we got home! Barbequed corn on the cob (in their husks), followed by bbq'd scallops wrapped in bacon and fresh tomatoes. Blueberries with ice cream (for John) and blueberries with yogurt (for me) for dessert. Yum!

So, that brings us to today and the reference to the name of this post.

I woke up to some strange noises this sounded something like scratching on tin. I got up to see what the dogs were into, and they were all looking very innocent...Cinder on the couch and Mulligan and Cassie sitting nicely outside our bedroom door. Hmmm. Couldn't find anything wrong. Morning routines got me forgetting about the noise for a while but it came back. It turns out we have some kind of animal trapped in the stove pipe that goes to our wood burning stove. My guess is a squirrel, or more likely a bird. John and I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get our visitor out of the stove pipe and into the backyard. Once we got our strategy plotted, we opened the damper for the squirrel/bird to drop down into the stove. Nothing happened! Okay, maybe we didn't open the damper the right way. Still nothing. It turns out that our stove is made with small vent holes and no big hole into the stove pipe (maybe this is why we got smoked out of the house a couple of months ago while trying to light a fire in the stove?) We tried to take the stove apart to get to the squirrel/bird but I think it's built for a professional to do that. So, all day we've been hearing desperate scrabbling noises from the stove pipe. And I feel awful that whatever it is is going to die in there. (and yes, we will be phoning a professional to clean out the stove pipe before we try lighting a fire in the fall!)

Next project for the day was to move the 6 keets down into the coop. First I cleaned out the coop. Not a nice job. Who knew hens could poop so much? I had to scrape the floor with a shovel. I started to wonder how I would do this through the winter. Not a pleasant thought. Once the coop was clean, we put up chicken wire halfway across the coop to separate the larger hens from the keets until the keets get bigger. Then it was time to move the dog crate with the keets down to the coop. 

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You see, when we moved the original 3 keets down to the coop we didn't know that the keets could have fallen through the bottom of the dog crate. There was paper there, but no firm bottom. (we discovered this after we were finished and were folding up the crate). So this time, we knew we had to do something to keep the 6 keets from falling through the bottom of the crate. 

I opened the crate and tried to get the keets into a box. They were freaking. I was freaking. And one of the keets escaped into the shed. John quickly got the doors to the shed closed and we spent 15 minutes trying to get the keet back into the dog crate. Let me tell you, those little guys can move fast! I gave up on trying to get her back with her buddies, and managed to get her into a rubbermaid bin and put the lid on. Then we spent a lot of time trying to corral the other 5. Picture a lot of flapping around (the keets), a lot of standing around feeling defeated (me), and one person trying to be logical about it all (John). Part of this process included John grabbing the lid from the box with the keet inside (forgetting there was a bird there), the keet escaping, and us starting all over again trying to get the one keet back into a box.

All's well that ends well. We got all 6 down into the coop and they were happily pecking away at their turkey starter when we left them.

I guess it is a day for guinea hen adventures. We had a message from our neighbours on the phone...they want us to call if we see a hawk around. Apparently a hawk killed all their guinea keets. Not sure what they plan to do about the hawk, and maybe I don't really want to know.

Ahhh, the fun adventures of life in the country!

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