Saturday, August 11, 2012

Where did August go?

I don't care and I don't know! But I am sure it will be back with temps in the 90's or so. Man on man, this weather is so mild it has me "waxing poetic" as they say. Seriously, this weather is more like late September. It was an incredibly perfect day today. Mild temps, partly cloudy skies, and whispery breezes all the day long. The MOTH got quite a bit done toward leveling the old homeplace and I worked in the room that will be our library/office space. It is now ready to start priming and painting. I don't know what kind of stuff the previous owner was into hanging on the walls in this particular room, but I pulled out at least 40 nails and there are probably another 40 or so nail holes to be spackled. That's a lot of holes in the wall, even by my standards. Later in the day, our neighbors, Stan and Mary came up to visit us. We love Stan and Mary. They are the epitome of good neighbor's. They have their fingers on the pulse of everyone in our little rural community. They know everyone's schedule and who should be where at any given moment. If things should vary by the least bit, they are on it. Case in point. When the youngest left a few weeks ago to get married, I was driving her car because mine was in the shop. One morning during that time, Isabella (who we were watching while her mom was away gettin' hitched), and I headed to the farm to gather eggs. We did our thing, walked around checked things out and then jumped back in her mother's car. As we pulled out of the drive-way and rounded the curve, we met Stan, sitting military straight in his beloved Kubota,  very concerned, and very stern looking. I couldn't imagine what he was so concerned about, so I pulled over and gave him a big, "Hey Stan, how's it goin?" His countenance immediately relaxed as he explained that he had never seen this particular vehicle in the yard of our little farm before. He said that it looked decidedly suspicious. The trunk was up (my chicken coop shoes were stowed away there) and the car was missing its hubcaps. I guess by country standards, that is a very ghetto look. Anyway, he was glad it was just me there collecting eggs and I was extremely glad I was not a somebody with nefarious reasons to be at our little farm because Stan was on it! And Stan is usually packin' if you get my drift.
So back to my point, Stan and Mary came rambling up the road in their Kubota. They come up at least once on the week-end to check on us and our progress. They can't wait for us to get moved in. Eventually conversation steered toward another family that was building a farm/homestead on  the mountain. The next thing you know, the MOTH and I were perched in the back of the the Kubota and we were headed up English Mountain to see the new homestead. This was the best ride up the mountain we have ever had. It wasn't on paved roads, but up two-laned paths. It was spectacular. English Mountain is about 11 miles long not including all the nooks and crannies that any mountain worth its salt lays claim to. Stan took every little path that a 4x4 could possibly take. He knows something about every path he takes too. Mary rides beside him and she knows just about as much as he does. It reminded me of those golden days when Uncle Carl would pile all of us kids in the back of the pink Jeep that Uncle Kelly had  donated to the family compound in the Ozarks. There was no road or no creek that Uncle Carl would not cross if he thought it would give us kids a thrill. So there was the MOTH and me, grinning ear to ear and bouncing along in the back of Stan and Mary's Kubota and I don't think either of us has been that happy and content in a long while. The only reason Mary cut the ride short was because, A. the Kubota's gas tank was almost empty and B. they weren't packing. I can understand both points because let me tell you, the places we were could definitely have bears and wild boars at every corner.By the time the MOTH and I were deposited back at the farm, we were wondering if maybe a Kubota just might be in our future?


Look who I found squatting in my pot of orange mint tonight! One of the Evil Eyes, previously known as Elvis, Medea, and Selena. Now, they all look so much alike, and are all so stinkin' aggressive, that we just call them by the collective Evil Eyes. At least he will smell minty fresh after sitting in my mint pot. His companions were already on the roof of the run, but I guess this guy hasn't figured out that he can fly up there too.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bits and Pieces

I like to write and I like to blog, but sometimes I get caught in a trap of What do I blog about today? Is this really blog worthy? Why would anyone want to read this? So, often, I just don't blog at all.  I sometimes forget one of the reasons I blog is to keep a semi-regular record of day to day stuff for myself. The bits and pieces that fill the hours, make me sing just because I am loving what I am doing or maybe rub my back, because while loving the task at hand, there is no denying the exertion required.
Yesterday was a day filled with some of my favorite bits and pieces. See that yarn up there? What an unexpected gift! A few days earlier, I had received a call from a friend in a panic. She was test knitting a pattern for a designer and had gotten herself in a bind and couldn't find her way out and was wondering if I could come by and help her if I happened to be in town. I was happy to help if I could. I knit, but am in no way an expert. We put our heads together over the troublesome project and soon had her on her way again. This friend just happens to be a spinner too. Her house is nirvana for anyone who loves fiber, especially wool fiber. Her coffee table holds a bowl full of wool roving in all colors waiting its turn on one of her wheels. On the hearth is a basket heaped with newly spun yarn equally as colorful. As I walked by and was admiring her efforts, she told me to choose some yarn. Well, I didn't need to be told twice and as I admired this beautiful blue she told me to take both skeins! I couldn't believe she was giving me this. It is the loveliest shade of almost robin's egg blue that just faintly blushes to pink all throughout.  I put it on my swift and wound it into balls and then parked it beside my chair. Sometimes I pick it up and smell it. I love the smell of wool yarn and am waiting patiently for it to tell me what it wants to be when it grows up. A scarf? Fingerless gloves? Hat? Oh the potential!
Yesterday's bits and pieces also included canning. I love my freezer, but I am a visual person and opening up the freezer to all those flesh-toned frosty plastic-wrapped parcels is not nearly as eye appealing as looking at rows of crystal clear glass jars in every color and hue filling my pantry and making me feel oh so domestic. Talk about eye candy.  Besides, I just love to can. I have a friend who also loves to can and a daughter who does too. I'm working on the other daughter. When we can-can girls talk about our endeavors we get all giddy and silly talking per pounds pressure, time, the best canner for the job, how many pints or quarts we got. Yeah, I know. It sounds a little un-canny. Chortle, chortle.
While the canner was whistling and rocking gently, I spent a restful hour garbleing the herbs you see in the not so good picture above. What's garbleing? That's a funny word to describe the process of stripping leaves and blooms from herb plants. Earlier in the day I had gathered some herbs down at the farm and needed to prepare them for drying. I now have several bundles of Sage neatly tied off and hung up to use in the Thanksgiving dressing. Lots of Lemon Balm to use in a tincture that is said to help with migraines. I have plenty for tea also. Lemon Balm tea with a sprinkle of sugar and splash of milk has a faint taste of Pez candy to me. I love it in the winter time. Finished off with Peppermint. Good for the tummy. Plus, I just like to grow it.
At the end of the day I headed to the farm to put the chickens up for the night and gather eggs. I ended up sitting in a rocking chair looking at our young fledgling orchard and the few raised beds and the pumpkin patch I have growing. I really just meant to sit there, but I kept thinking about the small fall garden patch I really want to grow and the next thing you know, I had out the tiller and was fighting Bermuda grass and rocks as I made a few rounds, all the time keeping my eye out for one the three evil-eyed roosters who are free-range since flogging one of my grands. One of them likes to follow behind me and I can just imagine him aiming for my backside. The tiller finally ran out of gas and I decided that I was out too. As I made my home with my small clutch of eggs, I was smiling at what a great bits and pieceful kind of day it had been.