Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's still warm here.

I know.

There are a lot of people who would disagree with that first statement, and argue that it's never truly warm in Maine. Things like temperature really are subjective, but for Maine in November, 50° is warm, and that's what the day-time temperatures have been.

While I make progress every year with living with the seasons, sometimes I defer to what I think it should be rather than what it is. Like right now, we're having 50° days, but it's November, and my brain tells me that being as it is November, it's cold out. So, instead of enjoying any of the warm(ish) sunny days we've had this month, I'm holed up inside in my wool socks and fleece pants and sweatshirts.

Of course, the flipside is that since it hasn't been terribly cold, I've been lax about getting everything buttoned down for winter. Since the weather hasn't really turned, I've been putting off a lot of the outside chores, like building the new duck house. I just keep thinking we still have time, while at the same time, knowing that time really is running out for us to get that project completed. The ducks need a winter shelter. The chicken coop is big enough for all of them, but ducks like it really wet, and wet isn't good for the chickens.

But instead of taking time to build the duck house, or being outside during this extended time of crisp, cool fall days and enjoying some outdoor cooking on something like a fire magic grill, I'm inside huddled next to the woodstove, which is only just hot enough to keep the chill out of the air and barely heats water for tea.

Deus Ex Machina has been better about making use of this extra time we've been given to be outside than I have, but mostly, he's been working on his hides. The problem is that it's still warm, and warm weather means rain, not snow.

Rain makes things wet.

He has the hide all stretched, but without a shed or a garage or a basement or a carport or even a large overhanging roof, there's no place to put the hide to keep it out of the rain.

Last night, we had to go to one of those big box home improvement centers, because we needed some stuff to build a shelter for the hide he's working on right now. We fashioned a rudimentary shelter out of 2x4's, sawhorse brackets and 4mil plastic sheeting. It works, and in the spring, we can use something similar as a greenhouse to get an early start on some of the vegetables we'll want.

While we were at the home store, I couldn't help but fondle the fire magic grills. They are so shiny and pretty and ridiculously low priced this time of year.

In the backyard, the plastic covered hide shelter is set up next to our brick fire pit. It'll be a good place for Deus Ex Machina to work the hides. There isn't a lot of room inside his little tent, but at least it will get him out of the rain, and with a fire in the fire pit, he can be a little more comfortable, too, while he's out there.

We have time off from work and other time-sucking responsibilities Thursday. It is supposed to be cloudy, but it doesn't look like rain is in the forecast. Maybe I'll brave the wind and chill and get outside long enough to smoke the rabbit ... or maybe I'll just fire up our sad imitation of a fire magic grill, put the woodchips and the rabbit on the shelf, and go back inside, venturing out only to check it from time-to-time ;).

Deus Ex Machina will be home. It will be a quiet, slow day of doing not much. He'll probably spend most of his time off in the backyard working the hides.

It will be a lovely day, regardless of the weather, and one in which we're reminded that every hide tanned, every rabbit smoked, every improvement to our homestead gets us that much closer to a time when we won't have to waste time doing things that don't enrich our lives.

And that will be a nice way to show our appreciation for the time we do have.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the outdoor cooker I'm coveting:

    That plus a nice earth oven for baking. :)