Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Metaphor...and Table Scraps

It was not rainy this morning, so I went outside to clear a bit more in the orchard area. (I know I said I wouldn't clear any more this year, but it's SO satisfying. In my paid work, it usually takes months to see results, if at all. (In short, my job is to make people change what they're doing, and think it's their idea. It doesn't happen quickly. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all.) Clearing things is instant gratification. It fills a gap in my life. Yeah that's it.)

There is a single metal rod with a yellow insulator on it in the orchard area, a remnant of an old electric fence that I thought I'd make quick work of removing. I moved it side-to-side and front-to-back to loosen it and pull it out. Not moving. I used the crowbar and mallet to loosen dirt around it to pull it out .... and found that there's a winged "thing" about 4 inches underground. And a big-ass root growing across the top of the wings. Removed the root. Brought the shovel out to dig around and get under the thing. Dug a hole about 6 inches deeper than the thing, maybe a foot deep total. Whoever put it in used rocks to hold it in place - so I wouldn't call it "digging" a hole. More like moving rocks out of the ground. All of that work and nothing. No movement at all.

That's when I began to get a bit irritated and started to think about things like bigger mallets and a huge hole in the ground. And that's when I realized that what I'm looking at here is a ... (cue the Sergio Leone spaghetti western music) ... a metaphor. It perfectly sums up virtually everything here. Harder than it looks, but you don't know how hard until you get into it. The only way to finish it is to start it and just push through. That's when I laughed.

And then it started raining, to continue the metaphor. I went inside and the post is still sitting there. It won. Today.

The introducing-the-cats-to-the-dogs project is going well. Desmond is scared of them, and studiously looks the other way when he sees a cat. That part was easy. The other part was calming Maggie down enough so the cats realize they can coexist with her. I've used the crate with Maggie, allowing the cats to leisurely walk in front of her. The leash works well with Maggie too. And I've put the dogs outside while that cats get free roam of the inside. This weekend we've all been together in the same room several times, and nobody got hurt. That's progress. Maggie just needs to get her nose scratched once and the tribe order will be set. I think the cats are pulling their punches, or scratches. Why, I don't know.

Tonight I made steak and mashed potatoes for dinner for myself, and carried the scraps into the kitchen to feed to the dogs. I woke Desmond up, and by the time he made it into the kitchen, I realized there were THREE animals begging for the scraps in the kitchen. Two dogs and Pancho. Obviously table scraps warrant a cease-fire!


  1. Aaah, the dynamics of your little household are developing! What fun to have those four different personalities to deal with and watch the interaction of them all.

    The metal rod metaphor is soooo true. I don't know how many times a week one us says, "That was so much more complicated and took so much more time than I thought it would."

    But doesn't it make you feel GREAT to know one way or another, by hook or by crook, you CAN do what you set out to do? Yay, Wonder Women!

  2. You will need an oxy acetelyne torch and a 4.5 inch angle grinder to be at least a 20th century steader! Cut the thing off and be done with it!

  3. We homesteaders always need more tools!