Spooky Action Ranch Report: Week One 2015
Sid and the Ursids
We started the new year of with a new deer. Taken during the Ursid Meteor Shower over the Christmas Holiday, Sid was a fair sized spiked buck. He weighed in at about 110 pounds, and after a full week of processing, resulted in a freezer and cupboard newly stocked with canned venison, venison sausage, venison jerky, and a couple of nice pieces of meat for future roasts.
We have always made a shrine to each deer we have taken each season, but we have now begun a permanent new practice of planting a tree above each grave, this is to help us move toward our goal of growing a food forest, and fruitfully use each part of the deer we have taken from the herd. Sid was planted near the main vegetable garden and will be the mineral and nutrient base for our newest peach tree. Kurt and I planted our Christmas tree well into the night on Christmas eve, and I am happy to say that Sid the Peach Tree seems to be doing quite well.
Since the land here in the Texas Hill Country is very rocky, and our homestead sits on layers of limestone shelves, we installed the peach tree in two steps, first digging as deeply as we could to bury the deer, and then building and filling a raised bed to give the tree more soil in which to take root.
Do We Need a New Roof, too!?
We are also just completing a major renovation project on the ranch. We have installed new windows and siding. The windows and siding we replaced were original to the 1973 structure. We have been in the home for five years now, and if there is one thing we have learned, its that we just never know what we are going to find when we start working on her. There was no exception to this general rule in this case, but our contractors; ASAP Windows and Siding out of Austin, has really been taking good care of us through all the bumps and surprises.
The biggest surprise was the condition of the roof. At the time of our purchase, we believed that the roof had been replaced within the last five years. It now looks like, while this might be true in point of fact, the reality of that fact is a little more complex. Not properly installed and composed of the least costly materials available at the time, the roof and the structure beneath have not stood up well to the elements. In many places along the drip edge, the roof decking is rotted through. We will probably need to move a complete replacement of the roof (and the move to a metal roof for rainwater collection) up in the project list.
In the meantime, ASAP swooped in and replaced the drip edge to protect our investment in the new siding. At least that is one thing we will not have to worry about for a little bit.
Visits with Friends
As part of the window renovations, I also redesigned my study to accommodate overnight guests, and we had an extended visit with my old friend and chosen sister Christine. Not only was it fun to have the company, but the added hands lightened the work of the week, as Christine helped us process Sid, learning to grind venison, stuff sausage, and make jerky from scratch.
We were delighted to have her, look forward to her next visit, and hope that the homesteading holiday will become a new trend for our friends and family.