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Week 21

It's been a rather pleasant week. Instead of picking a main theme, I'll just write a short diary of each day of the week 21 =)

Monday: I was at Sami's place. Among other things we discussed some summer plans. At around 4 pm I headed back home, and on my way I stopped to meet a horse. Velmu's hindleg is getting worse, and I feel that this is going to be his last summer. But I'd like to keep Raiku, to continue our therapeutical journey of developing mutual trust and learning horsemanship. But as I believe that as a herd animal a horse needs company, so I've been bit of a looking for a new horse. I don't want to make a quick decision, so it is better just to meet some horses, and to allow myself some time to ponder about the future. Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday: A full day of work. Customers for massage, and couple of hours at the office of the mill, discussing development needs of the office software I've been coding for them. The first customer was at the midday, and I was back at home at about 10 pm.

Wednesday: Only three customers for massage, which left me with some free time in the evening. I went to the lake, set the fish traps and rowed around dragging a lure. I think the English word for this method of fishing is to troll, which sounds kind of a funny in these times of internet=) Anyway, my trolling was successful, as I caught a young pike. At home I salted the pike and decided to cook it tomorrow. Later in the evening I was minding some household duties, listening to music and drinking a sip of rum. Then I saw two of the rams had crossed their fence and were roaming free at the yard. What to do with them? As I have anyway decided to quit rearing sheep, so why bother with trying to keep them inside their pen? If I just take Pekka the ram back into the pen and slaughter the younger ram this evening? That would leave me with a lot of meat in the freezer, and only two rams in the pen. Well, but killing sheep isn't exactly a job I enjoy, so I didn't want to ruin my merry mood. Instead, I turned up the volume and shot a video.

Thursday: I slept late. I fried the pike and ate is for a brunch. In the afternoon I drove to Tampere. After chatting with a friend I went to the cinema where I met my son and his girlfriend. Together we went to see Mad Max : Fury Road. And yes we liked it! After the movie we chose a restaurant and ate some tasty food. It was already about 10pm when I left the city. At this time of the year sun sets at half past ten, so it was still a nice twilight when I got back home. Well, this movie would be worth a blog post or two, but maybe I'll write about it later on. Maybe it is enough to say that after all that post-apocalyptic sand desert all this real-life greenery seemed so beautiful and miraculous.

Friday: Two of my friends stopped for coffee. It was nice to see them, and there was some merry chatter and small stories told. Later in the evening I had two customers, and in between them their booked times there was a small break, so I went to a check a place where I've found gyromitra esculenta - in Finnish they are called "Korvasieni" which means "Ear mushroom". They grow at this time of the year, but I had no luck with them this spring.

Saturday: It was very windy, like a storm. I had to struggle a bit when rowing to check the fish traps. Well, but I was lucky - there were some breams, nice! At home I tried to identify them, and I guess that they are actually blue bream instead of common bream. Well, for me that doesn't matter that much - I decided to eat them anyway. I smoked the fish (sipping some rum, again). After half an hour the process was ready, and I ate the fish right away while they were still warm. And yes I liked them! I guess some sea salt and smoke aroma makes any fish tasty =)

Sunday: Such a peaceful day. I spent couple of hours developing the office software for the mill. And went to check the fish traps. This time there were only three little roaches - at first I was about to let them back, but then I thought that I'm actually running low on food, so I shouldn't neglect these little fish. At home I cooked some buckwheat pasta and fried the roaches together with chopped onion. They made a decent meal for the day. I wrote some code for the UrW weather simulation (two helper functions, which pass data from the weather engine to urw engine). I briefly trimmed the horses' hooves and had a sauna. After the sauna I wrote this blog entry =)

Breams in a trap
Breams in a trap
Fish being smoked
Fish being smoked
Now they are ready
Now they are ready
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Comments

A Semi busy week then!

I can understand the bond between a human and a horse, My mother has 5 now! she tends to them everyday without fail, even when shes feeling under the weather and in any weather, she'll be out at the stables sorting them out, add a fair few chickens to the mix to make things busier aha my parents try to be self sustaining with them too, with a small plot of land they swap the horses between pastures through the year while keeping a large field for hay, my father even invested in an old tractor with some very old hay making gear to ensure the winter supply of hay keeps topped up, yet they love it and I honestly think it helps them and their relationship in a therapeutic way :)

I may have to try that ram dance one year before hay harvest time, maybe it'll boost the yield of the field!

I'm a keen mushroom forager myself, though our version of anything to with ears and mushroom would be Jelly Ear mushrooms, my few books deter anyone from collecting gyromitra esculenta or False Morels as they're called, there's a toxicity warning that comes with them, but not everyone is effected the same as iv'e read from research papers, however its similar friend the Morel is quite very edible! I'm a Cep lover myself, dried or used in lasagne :D

Jelly Ear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auricularia_auricula-judae
Morel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morchella

and the beloved Cep...whenever I can get my hands on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boletus_edulis

Say a Hello from me to your parents =) How is the weather there? I mean, I suppose they are making dry hay for the horses, which usually means that there has to be a several dry sunny days in row, for the hay to dry outdoors. But if the weather if always unstable, farmers need some special arrangements to store they hay for winter - in Finland this is often bit tricky, as there tends to be an occasional rain shower every two or three days...

Last summer we had a good harvest of Cep, I dried them for winter and now there is still a fistful left =) Ah, morels - we have them too, but they aren't that common. When I was a kid I found one place which had them sometimes, they also grow in the springtime. Yes, Gyromitra esculenta is lethally poisonous. They need to be boiled in a lot of water for five minutes, then throw away the water, add new water, boil again for five minutes, throw away the water and then they are ready to be cooked for food. (Or, to be safe, it can be 2*10 minutes of boiling, or 3*5 minutes). They have a unique nice taste, so they make a good sauce for other fresh spring food, and that's why I like to pick them whenever I find them =)

The grass is still climbing ready for a summer cut, they have been hard at work getting the thistles out of the field so they can maximize on the grass harvest, hard going but its all worth it in the end, they dry it in the sun whenever we get a good few days of sunshine, they store the hay in either Small rectangle bales or the larger round bales which are all kept under several tarpaulins for safe keeping ...still hoping the British summer will be a good one! and maybe a wetter Autumn for the mushrooms as last Autumn was far too dry, I had no luck with any shrooms :(

I do hope your horse gets to see a few more summers yet though, we've had several lame horses from the rich grass on occasions and sadly we lost one of our eldest horses a few years back, being the first one there to find her and say goodbye was the hardest things i've had to do, but I sent her on her way with pride and love!

Ahh, hay-making is in full swing here, too. We bought a brand new discbine 3 or 4 weeks ago and have already broken it badly once, lol.

Aaaaand, here is why it was broken: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynoYLbjUG-A Uncle Possum is awfully hard on the equipment sometimes...... :3

We quit making square bales and went to all round bales back when all of my cousins moved away, heh. Only three of us left now, and I only do farm work Sat-Sun. :( For the moment, anyway.... Hoping to get back into it full time in a year or so when my uncle retires...

All of our horses are getting really old, too..... The only one that wasn't too old to ride foundered and died back at the beginning of spring... Bleh. I keep thinking about getting one once I get my house livable, iunno.......

I think it would be cool to cross a Gypsy Cob with a Tennessee Walker and try to get a furry-footed gaited horse that was small enough to ride but still big enough to pull a plow or a cart. :D But that would probably be awfully expensive, haha.

I think here it will take at least a week or two until the farmers can start making hay.

The place where I visited to see a finnhorse, they also had a shire horse. Such a magnificent creature!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzCvljJIJQw

Sad to know Velmu's leg is getting worse. I could remember this problem with a hoof is present for a year already, at least? Is this an infection? I wish him good health, anyway.

It all started back in the 2010 (if I remember correctly, I'm always so bad with years and numbers...)

At that time Raiku the young mare was not living at my place, and Velmu had another mare to keep him company. It was one winter evening, for some reason the horses were running around in their pen, pausing for a short while and then bolting again. And in the morning when I woke up, I found Velmu limping his hindleg. We went to a doctor where they examined him, but couldn't find an exact diagnosis, as horse pelvis can't be x-rayed. (or, at least, they didn't have that kind of equipment at the horse clinic we visited. But the doctor is an experienced specialist in horse leg problems, so I feel that we got about the best possible examination.) I assume that Velmu had slipped his feet on ice and fell, and the doctor assumed that there is something wrong with one of his joints in pelvis.

So there was nothing else to be done than to give Velmu painkillers on daily basis and wish the best. And slowly the leg got better, almost back to normal. Just that I kind of a allowed Velmu to be retired - since that I haven't been asking him to drag loads. There were several easy years, but now it seems that the old problem is getting worse and worse.

So, the process has been going on for years, I have had plenty of time to mentally prepare myself to make the final decision concerning Velmu's life. After all, he is the first horse I had, and I've learned a lot with him - yeah, I have to write an epitaph when the time comes ...

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