the great scoot

So, in my last post I mentioned Phil soaking stinky deer hides, and some of my thoughts related to that. Well, I have some background and an update to share about those stinky hides, because it just keeps making me chuckle.

Phil has had these several hides since early winter. Throughout the cold months, they were frozen outside, but in the past few months, they have thawed and begun decomposition. To start the hides for tanning, he ordered KOH to soak them, which removes the fats, oils, and swells the fibers of the skin. KOH is basically lye, which if you've seen "Fight Club," it's what Tyler puts on Ed Norton's hand.

So, with so many hides, and so much soaking to do, he put about 4 or 5 of them in a 40 gallon barrel, put it in an out-of-the-way spot behind a trailer, and filled it to the brim with the water/KOH ratio.

While I was at work, I posted a blog. While Phil was at work, he did not know the stink at home was growing and expanding its territory. He also didn't know that Grant (the visiting Turtle brother) was agonizing about how to move a 40 gallon barrel of rotten flesh, of which he did NOT know the origin, but knew it's location to be directly behind the trailer where his visiting son was supposed to sleep!

So, Phil and I got home to our beloved Turtle Village, ready to embrace the carefree weekend. Poor Grant, exhausted from his long day, and by now certain that there was NO way to move the soaking burden, still greeted us with a smile. With many inadequate apologies, we sent him away, assuring him we'd solve the problem.

After many attempts, and not wanting to actually touch the substance at all, this is what worked: we two slowly scooted the massive barrel, inch my inch, by making little twists to-and-fro. About every three feet traveled, we'd need to take a break, partly for me to catch my breath from effort, but mostly for me to catch my breath from laughing. The whole image of us struggling across the gravel parking lot, the dark of dusk settling, was SO FUNNY to me. And it still is. Part of what makes it so funny is thinking about when I wrote so romantically about those stinky hides, having no idea of what would unfold in the hours to follow.

There I shouted, "Now, clockwise! Now, counter-clockwise!" as we shifted the great unstable weight. Then, "Clock! Counter! Clock! Counter!" between laughing and panting. Slosh, scrape, slosh, scrape.

We moved it. We covered it. I think it's okay for now.

So much else happened this weekend, but this is what I wanted to write about. But, here's at least a nod to what I'll save for maybe for another time: making meade with Paul & Cathy, climbing a tiny 7-story tower, listening to master Didjeridoo player Stephen Kent, mucking out goat stalls, doing spring cleaning, being stung by a wasp in the middle of the night, talking herbs with Tyler, having omelettes with Mags.

Let it be known, that life is full.


Sandy said...

I love picturing that scene, and can COMPLETELY hear your laugh and the manner in which it would be springing forth. Why? Because I know you, I've heard that laugh, and I love you for it.

Here's to the fullness!!

Abigail said...

I laughed reading this, because your writing lends itself to such vivid pictures. So, was Phil giggling, too, or was he just grittily stumbling along? (Slosh, scrape, slosh.)

heidiann(e) said...

i think he was accusing me of being crazy.

winona said...

KOH: potassium hydroxide, one of the strongest bases out there. also called caustic potash. isn't that a great name? Caustic Potash. Mmm.