Category Archives: Scholl Critters

Rabbit Stew and Snow

I have been listening to folks complain about the cold and snow all across the country since November.  I thought I could bring a little smile to everyone, whether you are tired of the cold or not.  February brought some new additions to our critter clan, which led to some photo opportunities as usual.  One of our rabbits had 5 kits (baby rabbits) and the girls have been having a blast taking care of them.  At first, the momma didn’t seem to be feeding them enough to please Lydia, so her 11 year old Veterinarian instincts kicked in.  The girls held the momma and let each of the babies nurse at least 2 times each day.  After their eyes opened, they had enough spunk to chase her down so they were less concerned.  It is amazing how fast they go from pink hairless and helpless to fuzzy and hoppish.

After I had the bright idea of sticking the little hoppers in the bowl, I had a mission to complete after they opened their eyes.  My sense of humor kicked in and I had to get a different shot with them in the bowl with a few added props.  Behold, the Rabbit Stew Starter Kit, complete with Scholl Bus rabbits and a Wholly Bowlly bowl.  The bowl is one I didn’t like how it turned out, so we had been keeping loose change in it.  I felt I needed to throw that disclaimer in there so somebody wouldn’t get upset because their bowl was previously peed in (true story, we had a leaky hopper)…

I had to go to the North Carolina Mountains to help my dad as he recovered from back surgery.  Thankfully everything went great with that, so I had time to enjoy the scenery with the winter wonderland.  The weather was bitter cold the night I arrived in Boone, a balmy -3 degrees with high winds.  I tried to get up to dads shop to park because I didn’t think I could get up the steep driveway to the house.  I couldn’t get to the shop without going to a local country store to put chains on my truck.

The next day I had to go get some groceries and other supplies, so I had a plan.  I bought heavy groceries (including a #20 turkey) and piled them behind the axle in the bed of the truck.  This extra weight, combined with my chains, allowed me to get up the driveway to the house.  Mountain ingenuity at its finest…

I also had the job of trying to help dad learn how to cook something healthy so he could quit eating boxed meals and pizza.  I roasted the turkey, sliced and bagged it for the freezer.  The bones were turned into broth, also divided and frozen.  Now he has some supplies to use in his stir fry (that I also helped him learn how to cook) with real veggies and mushrooms.

The last snow that fell during my stay in the mountains came in a fluffy variety.  It was not super cold when this snow arrived, so it had a little more weight to it.  I walked across the road early the morning after the snow to see if I could beat my 91 year old grandpa to the shoveling task for his sidewalk.  I barely made it before he came out to start shoveling, but I managed to squeak by.  He had to come out and measure how much had fallen over night with his trusty ruler that was most likely older than me.

As I cleared their steps and sidewalks, I took the time to enjoy the snow and listen to the creek and waterfall trickling just below their house.  Their split rail fences and rhododendron were very picturesque.  Grandma decided to surprise dad and I with a homemade blueberry pie later that day.

I am glad I have been around long enough to realize how important these little daily events are.  Daily frustrations can get you down, but if you step back long enough to look at a few snow flakes and listen to a creek trickle, your perspective can improve.  Hopefully my grandma (and her grin when she revealed a piece of the pie was missing because she had to be sure it was “Fit To Eat”) can give you something to smile about this winter.

A Day of Loss

RIP Emmie

Today we suffered a tough loss in the bus crew.  Emmie Lou Scholl, our beloved Shih Tzu was hit by a car today at the farm.  She didn’t suffer, which we are thankful for, but Lydia saw it happen so it is extra hard on her.  We have no idea what kept attracting her to the other side of the road, but every time she went outside that is where you could bet she would go.  She had always been aware of cars and watched before she crossed, but Lydia called her and she ran out in front of one.  Killed instantly, but the car didn’t slow down or stop after hitting her and kept going.  The car driving off was harder on Lydia than anything, they didn’t even stop to say they were sorry.  The loss of Emmie was hard, but three little girls hearts shattered more because the driver “Didn’t Even Care They Hit Her”.  They could not comprehend not feeling bad about it.  Yes, it was an accident, and we made sure the girls are aware of this.  Let this be a lesson for anyone that is unfortunate enough to be involved with hitting someones pet.  No matter how hard it is for you to do so, an apology is always best.

Emmie came to us in November of 2007 as a 6 month old.  She was a great snuggler and a good friend for the girls.  She got to go on adventures in the bus and visit 26 states where she strolled on South Carolina beaches, walk among Arizona Saguaro Cacti, stare up at California Giant Redwoods, dig in the sand on Oregon beaches and hike around Mount Hood, sniff sugar beets in North Dakota, and smell the sulphur in Yellowstone.  We are thankful for the smiles she brought to us through the years and miles.

If you have any memories of Emmie, feel free to comment below.

Icy February Into Flaming March

March on the farm required a lot of ice storm clean up and prepping of the gardens for spring planting.  We also fired up the drip torch and managed some controlled burns.  The burns are necessary to remove the undergrowth before it gets so dense that an accidental fire would be too intense and kill the trees.  It also removes the dense briars and invasive vining plants and allows more native plants to thrive, creating habitat and food for the wildlife.  All of the intentional forrest fires were tiring, napping with a narcoleptic bunny appeared to help.

Another project we worked on at the farm during March was making Mushroom Logs.  We drilled holes in the logs, injected spawn (mushroom mycelium filled sawdust), and covered the holes with wax to prevent wild spores from getting into the logs.  These logs were set aside on concrete for a few months to allow our magic to take hold.  Later in the season, we will place the logs in an appropriate environment to allow the mushrooms to fruit.  The spawn we used was for Shiitake mushrooms.  The girls had fun with the wax and the spawn injectors.

A friend visited the farm, and brought a playful Lab Mix with him named Bridgett.  She was great on the farm, she didn’t even chase the ducks.  One evening, when we arrived back at the farm house from a day out on the town, she went outside to take care of business.  It was dark outside, and the girls were in the farmhouse living room with the light on.  Bridgett got so excited when she saw the girls, she ran through the glass door.  She was terrified, and bleeding really bad from three major cuts on her legs and one across her nose.  She was in shock, and got aggressive with her owner, who was very nervous about the situation and she could probably sense that.  She actually let me pick her up and load her into Boober for a saturday night ride to the Vet.  Since it was after hours, the Vet needed someone to assist so I jumped in.  We weren’t really looking for another dog, but she really did pick me.  She trusted me when she wouldn’t trust anyone else.  I knew if it were an option, she would be our dog as she sat on the seat with her head in my lap all the way to the vet.

Since we decided to set up SC as a home base for a while, we also purchased a 5th wheel trailer to park at the farm.  Here are a few pictures of the trailer we purchased.  Our plan was to lease a lot from the farm to park the trailer on.  This gave the girls someplace to stay when I went to the Sugar Beet Harvest later in the year.

March also included a free workshop on different fermented foods, offered by Fermentation On Wheels, in Charleston.  We quickly made friends with the teacher, Tara Whitsitt, and took her to one of the many restaurants in Charleston for lunch.  We learned a lot from her, and quickly made some kimchi and kraut to enjoy.  The kimchi was great on breakfast taters…  The fancy spread on the table in front of the girls has an even fancier french name, Charcuterie.  Basically, it is a smoked and preserved meat tray with out of this world flavors.  The girls loved it, and I wanted more for sure…