Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

At 92, Mom's still heading and tailing green beans.

Oh my...that's just three plants picked....

A Year With No Summer?

          The other day I was watching tv and the weather forecaster said they are considering calling this the year with no summer. Oh, I know we still have August coming but here in these hills, August usually brings with it, a little feel of fall. I remember last summer, writing on this blog and asking the question, "What does a winter look like after such a cool summer?" Hmmm, well I found out. 24 degrees below zero, days of it never getting above zero and tons of snow. Yes, it was a winter to remember. But with all that cold came lots of sled riding, snowman making and we had our fill of snow ice cream! Also, I had lots of time to spin and knit in front of a cozy fire. I loved every minute of it. All that being said, this summer has been even crazier than last. I chuckled at Tim last night because when we headed out to do chores, he slipped on a sweatshirt. I asked him if he had ever had to put a sweatshirt on in July before? In usual "Tim" fashion, he just shrugged his shoulders and headed toward the barn. But I do wonder if we are setting up for another winter like last one. We had never heard of  "Polar Vortexes" until last winter and now we are having them in the summer? This morning it was 49 degrees when I milked and yes, I had a sweatshirt on. I'm not complaining, just wondering.
            We had some really bad thunderstorms this week. One hit Sunday evening while we were doing chores. As I stood at the stanchion milking, I was looking out one of the barn windows that faces the garden. Sheets of heavy rain was falling and the wind was whipping. I stood there and watched as most of our corn came down. I had planted four rows of a bantem variety and it stood right there and hardly moved but the big, beautiful Peaches and Cream, came crashing down. All eight rows of it. It was a sad sight to see. Today I will start cutting it off and feeding a few stalks at a time. It's like candy to the goats and sheep. They won't be nearly as sad as I am. The rest of the garden is thriving though with all the rain we have had. We are covered up with zucchini and crooknecks. Tim begged last week for a meal with no squash. I have picked a bushel or better of cucumbers. The beans are ready to can and we have had a few ripe tomatoes. I still haven't had my first "mater sandwich" though. We have eaten half a row of new potatoes. The peas are all gone now. We have more spaghetti squash than we will ever be able to eat. It's a good winter keeper though and will last all year.
           All the animals are fine and the does are still giving us two gallons a day. They will start to taper off next month though. The lambs are growing like weeds and it won't be long and we will be doing a fall shear. I love working with the lambs soft, sweet wool.
           Well, I better quit typing and go pick beans. At least I don't have to worry about it getting too hot to pick today. I'm not sure I've ever said that before. Hope everyone has a beautiful last few days of July.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Since January....

       Has it really been since January since I wrote a post? I'm not sure why it's been so long, other than I feel like things don't change around here a whole lot. Seasons come and seasons go and it's always pretty much the same. I feel like I'm boring the readers of this blog. My sister-in-law wrote me yesterday, telling me she missed reading the blog. I needed to hear that. I enjoy writing it and if nothing else, it keeps track of life here on the farm and something for my grandchildren to read some day.                            
       It's early morning right now and the birds have started their chorus. It's just starting to get light and there is a heavy mist in the trees. The last of the fireflies are putting themselves to bed. Crickets are still chirping quietly. Every spider web is outlined in dew and I can see where the fairies had quite the party on the grass last night. The catbird is mewing outside the window. She has a nest in the maple in the backyard. The phoebe is singing out by the barn. Her babies are nestled high on a rafter in the loft, safe from all the thunderstorms and rain, unlike the catbirds' babies, who have to ride out the storms on a high, wiggly branch. I can hear robins, song sparrows, a wood lark and a mockingbird too. I wish you could hear how my mornings start. There is nothing more beautiful than the choir God provides me with each morning.
        All that beauty is broken however, when the back porch screen door slams. Suddenly you hear the loud baaing of sheep and lambs. Then the goats chime in, hollering for their grain and to be milked. Chickens are scolding, roosters are crowing. The peacocks begin to yell back and forth. The quiet is gone. And so the day begins. Same as it has for years on this old farm. It's not boring for me and I wouldn't change a thing. Wish you were here with me....