Friday, June 24, 2005


Farm life is underway. I will leave it to Melissa to write about the cleaning as I am only a bit player in that sphere of life. I will say that it was gross, but no more from me on that topic.

We tried to get the propane going on Thursday, but that was a no go as there is a leak somewhere. I have got to call a plumber. Getting a plumber to actually answer the phone is a whole other story. I have been given leads on four plumbers. Two are in teh phone book but their numbers are disconnected and two are not in the phone book as business or personal numbers. I will keep trying.

There sure is a lot of nature out at the farm. We went for a walk Thursday morning and the kids found a horned frog. We looked at it and it looked at us and we all went on our ways. There was no sign of the ducks. This could mean they are dead and it could mean nothing. Faith and Claire and I went on our own little walk looking at plants. There are several types of wildflowers that could look very nice in a house’s flower bed and we will see what we can get in the way of seeds later. There was one plant that has a small yellow flower and when it has run its course, it just loses all color. It does not wilt or change into burrs; it just turns white and brittle. I am trying to find out what that plant is.

Work on the farm seems to be a series of distractions. I believe that the success of the farm will rely on our ability to overcome the distractions. Yesterday I was going to relocate the clothes line. I pulled the poles out of the ground and as I pulled the second one out it turns out that I disturbed a wasp nest. The wasp immediately came after me and stung me on the top of my head. I went in to have Melissa look at the sting to see if was getting wild as my dad has quick and bad reactions to wasp stings. No problem for me. I sat there and Melissa was talking to me about how she had not swept or cleaned in the converted garage parts of the house. Since converting the existing garage to a laundry room is the first project I went out to sweep the garage. As I swept in the back corner I noticed movement in the corner behind the bookcase. Yes, it was a snake. I thought about how my grandfather had grabbed snakes and just snapped them to death and I thought I might try that since the snake looked like it was a rat snake. The same kind I had killed in the coop a few weeks ago. However, just to be sure I slid the end of a board into the snake to see what would happen. The snake coiled and rattled. Rather than a non-venomous rat snake I was now dealing with the venomous western rattle snake. I had thought about my use of a rake on the rat snake and while I got a dead snake out of the deal, I never did get it cut in half. I figured that maybe a shovel would work. I also figured that if I used a posthole digger it would be like using two shovels at once. I got up on the cabinet and struck with the posthole digger. The snake rattled, but much slower than when he had been tapped with the wood. He also moved from beside the cabinet to behind it. I moved the cabinet and climbed up again and there he was. He was not coiled. I started smacking him with the posthole digger. I dropped the posthole digger and he curled around it a bit. I went to the shovel and he died. Still, I did not manage to sever him. We left him behind the cabinet until sundown as I have heard that you should never take a dead rattlesnake for granted until it has stayed dead until after sunset. So I went inside to sit and get a glass water and watched the barn swallows fly by and feed their offspring. I did not get the holes for the clothes line poles dug. I did not get the garage swept out. I did not get much done at all.

Last night I took the snake’s body out and threw it in a ditch. It was about three feet long and the rattle had eight sections on it. I kept the rattle for myself.


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