Monday, October 15, 2012

Small Things

One my great failings (amongst many) is boredom. Not that I mind being bored, I can be happily bored for quite a long time. It is more that on Lantanaland, all these little jobs keep popping up. Not the little jobs that demand being done, like a hole in the fence or a cow on the road or in the front garden. No, these are little jobs that don't really matter if they aren't done this weekend, after I've had another coffee and read another chapter of this book. The big jobs are easy. Tool up, stride off with a manly purposeful air and get something done. It is fun and you get a warm glow of completing a hard task.

The thing is that not doing the little job is like little specks of grit in the machine. Take the lid of the snake proof pen. It had some dry rot in it, not enough that the baby chooks could get out, but, as it turns out, enough that a snake could slide in and eat three of my chicks. Fixed that one on Saturday.

I also made some compost jelly. This is just a jam without solids, made with all the fruit that needed using in the fruit bowl. Mandarins, apple, pear and a few mulberries got boiled up and sieved. Then mixed with sugar, 2/3 of the weight of the liquid and boiled for ten minutes. Though in keeping with all my jam making endeavors it hasn't set. I think I'll mix it through yoghurt as a snack instead. Or as a glaze for a roast. It tastes great anyway.

The other thing is waste. I am short on grass at the moment, this is the driest late winter and spring in five years so I am buying feed. The last big round bale had a lot of stemmy grass in it. The cows eat all the hay that is soft and you are left with a bunch of hard stems. I could let it rot down into the soil but to make the most of it it needed to go into the chook pen. They'll break it down into great soil that I can use elsewhere.

I also planted out a blood orange and some tomato seeds that mum had saved for me, brushed the cow, changed the water over for the animals, watered some trees and minded The Boy while The Wife worked on a presentation. What it does do is clear my mind for the next big jobs. A hard wire day enclosure for the chooks, in anticipation of the numbers in the hen house growing by 19, sorry 16. Then I'm finally going to cut the final fence line down the side and through the thick lantana at the bottom to join up to the new back fence. That will give the cows enough summer feed and start clearing out that section. And I'll enjoy doing that a lot more knowing I've no little jobs nagging at me to get finished.