Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hearts on the Tailgate

When I cam home yesterday from town, I noticed that the exhaust pipe on the back of the truck was on the ground. The device that held it up had rusted loose and from the looks of it, was already makeshift repaired once. I didn't have the energy or will to get below it and start troubleshooting. I was feeling defeated. I came inside, lit a fire, and went to bed.

This morning when the butchers came to slaughter two of my six pigs, I had a cup of coffee in me and the advantage of daylight and some perspective that a shot of caffeine and vitamin D offer. I literally propped the pipe back up on it's hinge with masking tape and baling twine. I had to chuckle at that, since last month Modern Farmer magazine wanted to ask me how many uses I had for baling twine and if they could publish some of them. I told them somewhere around 300, at least. Now I can add truck repairs.

It was a bloody morning here, as slaughtering pigs always is. They are shot in the head and then their throats are slit and the ground turns red and stays red for months. Between these flashes of snowfall and bitter cold days followed by stretches of warm spells I imagine the earth itself exhaling and inhaling. Blood used to be a messy and scary thing, now it's just food for soil and very small part of a story of an animal's life. Grass will grow there in a few months, as it has over countless farms and battlefields. The earth must be fed, too.

I always check the pig's livers for spots and ask the butchers who come for their thoughts on the animals and their weight. We laid them out on the tailgate of the truck I had just expertly repaired and they were given clean bills of "that's a fine liver, eattemup".  I keep the hearts, too.  If I don't eat them the hawks will. The conversation around the carcasses are so casual, so everyday. I sip a mug of coffee and help carry feet or heads over to the tarps where they will be removed for composting. There was a time when I couldn't imagine laughing and enjoying hot coffee while sorting body parts. Remember, I was a vegetarian for nearly a decade.

I'm going to take this truck for a trial run into town and see if how my handywork does. After that, it's a very mild afternoon of freelance work. If the sun warms the roads up a bit I might head out for a jog just to make sure my legs remember how to move up mountains. After that the dogs are I are curling up with a movie.

Friday is just fine and never had any problems from the foam, so I am grateful that little sprite is okay. She's just 38 pounds. I never thought I'd have a dog so small. But here she is, and she is mighty.


Blogger Sam Sheehan said...

That's about the size of my dog too, fully grown and fleshed out. Sort of a scrappy, work bred husky. One day when I have a farm I will have a behemoth of a dog (or two or three) but for now she is a big dog in an urban sized package and I love her for it. Glad to hear Friday is ok.

February 6, 2016 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Glad to see a new day brought brighter perspectives

February 6, 2016 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Small but mighty Friday-happy to hear Friday is none the worse for her experience with the foam.

Pig livers, pig hearts, pig kidneys, etc. Asian society uses every bit of the pig including the trotters. The secret is in the preparation - sweet and sour trotters are the best with spicy chili sauce. The kidneys? Soak overnight in water/vinegar to remove any hint of urine smell~ and then slowly simmer (the cut pieces) in rice wine - delish!

February 6, 2016 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

It's been ages since I fixed a car/truck, but the brackets that hold a muffler on used to be cheap to buy and easy to put on.

Glad to hear you're feeling better about things.

February 6, 2016 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Briton Wolcott said...

Haw Mushkay!

I am happy to read posts written in good spirits and to see that the farm has seen yet another productive day.

The slaughter is always a messy job but such is one's existence in the Circle of Life. Nevertheless, the hides are useful, meat (obviously), certain entrails are useful, etc.

One thing that I can say in my experience with older vehicles is that they are a simpler design to understand and work with. Not to mention they were typically not build with inferior materials making them heftier and tougher than today's models. However the repairs are made, if what you have on hand works then it works. I have done my share of rigging. My 91 Silverado rolled over to zero not too long ago and it has been a struggle with "her" let me tell you. But she has outlasted an 04 Malibu, a Buick Rendezvous, and a Ford Taurus so hats off to Chevy for a well engineered piece of machinery.

Pilamaya! Your blogs have made my day.

February 6, 2016 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Johollister said...

Mmm liver :)

February 6, 2016 at 8:08 PM  

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