Monday, September 13, 2010

One of Those Days

We had a beautiful sunrise this morning ...

After the sun was up the clouds created very unusual patterns in the sky.
David woke up this morning with cold symptoms, and was pretty miserable.
At 7:30 someone called to let us know that an elderly neighbor had passed away yesterday while in church. It's a comfort to know this godly man is now in Heaven, but I feel sad for his wife, who is unable to live alone due to health reasons.
Temperatures lately have been in the lower 60's during the day, and the talk is of snow by October 1. Tonight the temperature will dip down to 36 or so, which is getting dangerously close to freezing. We've already witnessed 2 mornings of frost on the chicken coop. Good thing the frost only hit in the valley, or our garden produce would not have made it.
I have a feeling we'll be picking green tomatoes tomorrow, since predictions are of nighttime temperatures in the lower 30's by Thursday night.
Yesterday our family picked our finally ready field of sweet corn. We had hoped to have sold it over Labor Day weekend, but the weather had not cooperated to give us the mature corn we needed. After a few hours Jim and Jonathan returned home with almost as much corn as they left with earlier in the day. So, we got to work and processed corn, corn, and more corn.
I think I gave up cooking corn about 11:30 last night, and needed to finish up today. So, I spent the afternoon canning and cooking up what was left. And to think we still have more corn to pick that wasn't quite ready!
While I was processing corn, the guys were outside grinding field peas for the animals. It takes one to grind, one to move buckets and pans around, and one to man the accelerator of the truck. The only problem was the grinder broke. Jim will have to find someone that can do some welding for us since we can't weld cast iron.
Oh yes, something else happened.
Our bathroom area also contains the laundry and items such as water heater, water softener and pump tank. We've had some very humid days lately, and there's been the problem of sweating tanks. Our well water is extremely cold when it comes into the basement, and the water softener seems to be a constant source of condensation which drips all around its tank. I've resorted to placing towels on the cement floor around that area to soak up the water.
I decided to do a load of towels, so I grabbed the one that was placed in front of the water softener and had quite a surprise:

And yes, it was one of the bigger ones, and yes, I yelled! At least I didn't scream! Andrew took one look and ran to get the camera; Jonathan grabbed a newspaper and one of my stock pots and got the thing into the pot and out of the house.
I'm not sure what they are called, but we call them salamanders. The size of this thing (including its tail) was about a foot long. We have no idea how it ever got into the house -- if it came in through the front door when someone had it open it would have had to slither all the way to the back of the house! I shudder just to think about it! I would have preferred to have a mouse (which we've never had) over this!
These creatures actually go on the defense when they feel threatened, with the swinging of their tail. They will also emit a milky, stinky substance, so the object is not to get them too riled up.
I remember back to when we were going to butcher chickens a few years ago. Everyone but me was outside getting set up. I walked into the kitchen and discovered one of those salamanders positioned right in front of my stove. Our screen door (which we don't have any more) didn't fit the entry area correctly, and it must have crawled in when no one was looking.
I had no one to rescue me and was afraid it would crawl under my stove, so I picked up a newspaper, grabbed the salamander, and ran out the door with it, throwing it into the bushes. And then I yelled!


Marci said...

Oh Lynn, that thing is GROSS!!!! I am glad there were young men there to rescue the damsel in distress. :)

Kelle said...

Sorry but I did giggle( loudly*wink) we get salamanders in our rootcellar all the time, it's cool and damp. The way I figure it, they eat the spiders( which I HATE) and bugs that find their way down there.

We have a Letz grinder just like yours! It was left here in the grainery. We use our Farmall M tractor and a wide belt to run it, works great for grinding our feed.

Frost has bitten us twice, but thankfully not a total kill, although more cold temps are heading our way, then toward you.

We're busy, busy canning, dehydrating, butchering( poultry), getting the produce that is finished cleaned out, adding compost, aged manure and tilling under for winter. We're also working on pulling up pepper plants and working in compost and planting salad crops in the hoop house :o)

Blessings and sorry for giggling,

The K. Family said...

We pulled the rest of our tomatoes yesterday thinking it would freeze last night but thankfully it didn't. I would agree that it's going to be an early winter. Sure glad we don't have salamanders here but we do get a mouse or two every fall and that's horrible enough!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn, How is it going? I visit your blog but have not talked to ya all in some time. Looks like your still at it. Good to see.


Lori said...

Wow! What a day you had! Ethan picked up that Salamander's twin at our house the same day. Just in the back yard, not the bathroom! I've not had one in the house....Oh my!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Lynn Bartlett said...

Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad those kinds of days don't happen every day!

Guy, thanks for dropping by! I've missed hearing what's happening up north. Our son Jonathan made the trip to Brandon today for an orthodontic appointment. We'd enjoy finding out the latest with your family -- drop a line some time!

Anonymous said...

Lynn, You sure grow salamanders BIG in ND!! Ha Ha! Down here in WV, they are only a few inches long! I think you are a very brave lady to pick that thing up! Happy Autumn! Elly Raper