I started today with morning pages. Back on the Artist's Way wagon for real. Not pressuring myself to meet Coursera deadlines that I can't possibly make. No stress. It's the healthy way.
Our venture into eating chevon (goat meat) was successful! I brined it for about a day and a half, which took a lot of the smell – and, I assume, gaminess – out of it. We opted to try the Chevon and Vermicelli Recipe from this page, since it's pretty similar to my family's Carnita recipe, a recipe we are familiar with and all enjoy. Everyone liked it! Maya even applauded (love applause when I cook...need to get the rest of the family in that habit) and asked for seconds. She's a noodle-fiend though. Did not get to cutting and packing more meat though. Josh and I need to do that today. I'll be working on it a bit while he's gone, I think. I'm interested in trying the crock pot recipe lahermite suggested in my last post.
This means it's time to start making meal plans again. I pretty much took a hiatus on that as soon as it got so bloody hot. Now I can cook again without dying of heat stroke. The mealplanning community is suddenly very active again too, so looks like I'm not the only one! We'll be having a lot of goat in the future. Chevon. But today, I'll have to cook up Goldie, our poor hen that Sasha killed, who was taking up room in the freezer. It is a bit odd cooking up something with a name, not gonna lie. One that isn't “Teriyaki”, “Stew”, or “Parmesan”, etc. I wanted to be a farmer! I'm actually quite pleased with this next step towards our sufficiency goals.
Managed to insist on a walk yesterday. Didn't get it until nearly dark, but at least I got one. Those of you on facebook probably read the story already, which I posted last night. Bo, the dog who came with the house, came with me. I went down the trail through our neighbor's field and into the woods. Dark was coming soon, so Josh didn't really want me on our busy road, where I normally walk. I'm out of practice again, so we figured the trail would be easier on my feet & knee, which gave me trouble last time I was walking/jogging regularly.
It was late, and Josh took the cranky-frantic baby, so I hurried out before he had a chance to change his mind about putting Maya to sleep. I took off – without a gun, knife, or even a walking stick. Won't make that mistake again! We have a little atv trail that leads over to our neighbor's field. Neighbor only has the land, no home on it. He lives in St. Louis & comes to camp in the summer, and we watch it for him the rest of the year. He lets us use it and has given Josh permission to hunt over there in exchange for watching his stuff. He has a big semi-trailer-type storage box out there where he keeps his atvs, and a little pop up camper. I hear the trespasser/bad guys/whatever over there sometimes (and have called the cops!) Well, I was watching for any signs of human activity that might suggest anyone was lurking around. Didn't see or hear any, so I kept on going into the woods.
But I kept feeling funny. Just that feeling. Kept looking around, stopping every now and then to listen. Paranoid because it was getting dark, I figured. I seemed to be alone, and I did have Bo with me, and I've really been wanting quality walking time again (both for health & spiritual reasons), so I passed the camp area and headed into the woods. Saw nothing out of the ordinary. I hadn't gone this far on his trail before (his trail is better than our little one we made when we moved here, which has overgrown already). It wasn't far-far, but I was enjoying checking out the area. Saw where Josh set up his tree stand, and then I started watching for tracks and trying to see if I could tell what they were. I suck at that though. Saw some tracks that might have either been either a deer or goat. I'm not smart enough just yet to know the difference without Josh to help or a reference to see them side by side. I didn't think our goats went that far past the field though, so I thought maybe it was deer. Saw tracks that I thought might have either been a cat or other small mammal. Fox, skunk, something. I know now that canines, skunks, weasels, etc. all have claw marks, while cats retract their claws when they walk. But I can't remember if I saw claw marks or not. I think not. We'll go check out the tracks everywhere when Josh gets home, but I'm fairly sure they might have been cat. We know we have some kind of cat in our woods, likely a bobcat, though I didn't think it was quite so close, and there are mountain lions in the area.
Well, we're walking along this little path, and we came through another clearing that I'd never seen before. It was pretty. A nice little spot for meditation, but I was there to exercise, had a bit of light left before I needed to head back, so I pushed on. Bo had stayed ahead of me, but he trotted back behind me as I started into the woods on the other side of the clearing. I was all, “Come on. Let's go a bit more!” and he just kind of stood there. I urged him to come on, and finally turned and started walking, so he came with me again.
I miss Achaiah.
We went into the woods, and he had kept running off ahead of me, but he stayed in view this time. I thought I heard something, and I hadn't seen the goats when I'd left, but given the tracks I saw, I wondered if they did browse that far back. I hurried to try to see if I could locate the sound. I don't really know how to describe it, but it kind of sounded almost like a weird cow lowing noise. Not a moo-type noise exactly, but a low 'lowing' sound. I don't know how to describe it any better. I almost wondered if a goat or a deer was hurt in there or something. I walked a bit farther, but Bo was sniffing in circles ahead of me and didn't seem like he wanted to go any further in the trail. I caught up to him, and I heard it better, but it wasn't a sound I was familiar with. No crashing in the brush, like if the goats were there. Even if one was hurt, the others would have come when they heard me walking. It was definitely louder, although still fairly far off in the trees off to the left somewhere. Not a noise I knew. Being that dusk was quickly approaching and Bo was pretty skittish – and I was unarmed – I decided maybe we ought to head back after all.
Well, I turned around, and I didn't even have time to take ONE step forward before Bo rushed past me like a panicked bat out of hell. I mean ZOOM, motherfucker, zoom. There was such urgency to it that he nearly knocked me down, and it startled me so much that I started to run to keep up with him (not wanting to be left, for Christ's sakes), but then I thought, You don't want to be prey, so I stopped running. I picked up a good slightly-larger-than-fist-sized rock that was at my feet, turned back to survey the area...didn't see anything. Turned and forced myself to walk, albeit very briskly, and hurry home. Kept looking behind me, feeling like I was being watched, and I got very spooked by the eerie feeling of eyes on me that I just couldn't see. KEPT turning to check if I was being followed, scanning the trees on either side of me to see if someone or something was lurking. Didn't see Bo's good-for-nothing ass again until I got back in the damned yard. He left me. Bastard. And I was thinking that I was safe with that big ol' dog. I know better now. He tried to trip my ass like it was the zombie apocalypse, and then left me alone in the woods at dusk. Seriously, that bastard. I even whistled quietly for him a couple of times, feeling scared and not wanting to be alone, but his ass was long gone.
Made it home, obviously. Listened to a bunch of different animal noises on youtube, and Josh and I feel fairly certain that maybe I came up on a bobcat. Josh says I probably didn't see it because it was up in the trees. Scary. Glad I turned around when I did. It wasn't close enough to hear any growly sounds that I would definitely recognize as cat, but the deep 'lowing' sound did sound awfully similar to the bobcat warning growl heard here at timestamp 1:05-1:12, only without the obvious growly part there at the end. I could have just been too far away to hear the rumble. Scary!
10 minutes after I got home (actually, maybe not even that long!), Bo went crazy barking toward the field. Josh thinks it followed me home.
We'll go out and investigate in the daylight, well-armed. I might even take my camera and take pics of all the tracks I saw, if anyone's interested. Anyway, after getting home safely and finding my chickens all okay in the morning, I'm not scared anymore. I actually think it's pretty cool. I love our little corner of the earth, and I listened to it when it was talking to me, and I made it out safely. I'm not all hunt-happy for predators like most folks around here. I'm content to live and let live in peace as long as they start no war with me.
I do miss Achaiah though. She'd have told me straight out if it was time to go, dummy, and if I didn't listen, she'd have protected me and not left my ass alone with a damned wild cat. But, hell, she might have gotten her ass killed if I hadn't listened soon enough. Oh well. No one will ever be Achaiah. I do miss her every moment of every day though.
I was going to talk about my classes a bit, but that little story got longer than I meant to. I'll save it for later. Baby's napping and I need to go hang laundry, then catch up on my emails & some class videos if I have time.