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More from the Country

Things are mooooving along out here in the country. While the virus rages, we seem to find plenty to keep us busy and therefore at home most of the time. I find myself looking at the sky more often than I did in town. This reflection of the clouds in the sky caught my eye one day in late spring. I love the puffy clouds sailing across the sky in the midwest.

spring pond with clouds in the sky
Reflections on the pond

Growing things in the country

We planted a garden. By we, I mean the husband. We had a small one in town, but this place came with a large area already set up for gardening. We planted and it started to grow. A friend gave us a bunch of leftover drip irrigation parts and we put it to good use and just in time too. The temperatures in KY have soared in July. It was reasonable through June and boom sun and humidity increasing temperatures to very uncomfortable! We’ve also had some rain, about 8 inches. 6 inches of it in just 2 rainstorms. The zucchini have suffered a bug (squash vine borer) and had to be pulled out, but not before we had a few squash to eat. The tomatoes have set fruit, but are taking forever to ripen. We are picking when they have a hint of red because there is a raccoon that is tasting them. Onions are doing really well and I am using the tops to make sweet and sour cucumber salad. The lettuce bolted, so the pigs enjoyed most of it. Cantaloupes, watermelon, and lemon cucumbers are coming along slowly. We stuck some potatoes in for grins, but the bugs they bring with them… make them so much more work. We also planted some tomatillos for fun.

Friends and Visitors -no pictures!!!

Last week, while in town, I met with a neighbor from the other house. She is a quilter too. We met at a local park under a Pavillion roof, to avoid the sun and a threat of rain in the air. We enjoyed a lunch of takeout from Panera. Since moving we have talked on the phone a couple of times. We enjoyed more than an hour of lunch and chatter and then off to the rest of the in-town errands for me.

Saturday, we had more visitors. One of “Mr. C’s” sisters and her partner stopped in for the night. I haven’t seen “Mrs. M” since 2016. I fixed a meal for all, (they are vegan so substitutions were made), and visiting, then dessert down at the pond, until dark. They opted for a hotel, since they had a dog with them, and it would have been difficult with our pups and a strange dog too.

Updating a couple of country critters

Mr. March, the cow is becoming more friendly or at least less afraid of people, and less afraid of me for certain. He does not know his name in any sort of way, but he seems to be responding to ‘hey, cow’. I have sort of encouraged his fearlessness, by hand feeding him treats every evening, the ends of the carrots, zucchini, and cucumbers from the salad preparation. There are some apple cores from lunch too. He is gaining weight!!! I guesstimate he has added about 200 pounds so far. He weighed about 600 pounds when he arrived here on May 30th.

Country Cow getting treats

And Pigs

The pigs, “Piggie Ann and Iggy Piggy” are doing very very well. We started leaving the door to the outside open all the time and it wasn’t long before they had all the dirt turned-by snout, and every little bit of green gone. July coming on with lots of heat, they discovered how much more fun life was with mud and the wallow. I tried several times to show them how much fun water from the hose was, but it took a week of days in the upper 90’s with a feels like temperature over 105° for them to really get it!!! We took a video of them having some fun… it will make you giggle!

And there you have it… the country life and what keeps me busy and laughing all the time. Does watching the pigs play make you laugh too? Tell me in the comments…

Beth

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The Course of Life- a road with twists and turns

The course of Life is full of twists and turns! What makes travel down one road fun might create difficulties on the next!!! Or conversely what was a problem is now FUN!!!

the for sale sign put up
Putting the house up for sale

The Big Twist- the last move

For the last few weeks, we keep reminiscing about where we were a year ago!!! It’s only been a year since we changed course unexpectedly and it happened way more rapidly than we ever anticipated. Next week we will mark the sale of the house in town and the purchase of our little acreage of paradise. And the move a couple of weeks later.

Farm Road toward home
The road we live on has twits and turns too

The Fourth of July was a good turn

Fourth of July Fireworks
These are all we saw on the Fourth of July this year

The turn of moving from town to the country was a good move! In a state where ‘fireworks’ are legal and sold in mega tents in every shopping center parking lot for weeks before the holiday is a good reason to leave town life. The unexpected discharges detonations happened at all hours of the day and into the late evening hours. Then on the 3rd and 4th, it becomes a free for all well before dark and after the supposed curfew of midnight. Out in the country, it was quiet. With the exception of 2 planned, local area displays. The noise was done by 11, and better yet we didn’t hear a single test fire or early playing at all!!! Nope -don’t miss close neighbors!

Fireworks Parking lot sales tent
Parking lot fireworks sales tent

Visitors from the Road

A little twist last week, we had guests stop by. My nephew, “Mr. C” and his daughter “Little A” stopped by on their way from Pennsylvania to Missouri. It was only for a night, but I haven’t seen Mr. C since 2016 and “Little A” I can’t remember… when. Originally, they were going to return by a different route, but enjoyed the visit on the way to MO, enough to change course and come back on the way home! We enjoyed the visits too. “Little A” loves cats, so having 7 put us at the top of the list. None of ours allowed her close enough to pet, but she wanted to know the name… of each cat. The cow and pigs were a treat too. She is a city girl, and therefore declined to pet any of them. She was also intrigued by the garden and the foods it was producing. Seeing them in the garden enticed her to try them at the table.

Pigs and Little A
Feeding the pigs with “Little A”

Born Fabric Petter

“Little A” is 10. When she discovered I have a sewing space in the basement, she insisted that I show it to her. Of course, I said yes!!! The “Creative Space” is still in the process of unpacking, but I do have the fabric on the shelves. While we were talking, she was petting the fabrics and pointing to ones that she liked. If she comes back for more than a night at a time, we’ll have to play with some fabric!

And with all that said… it is back to the regular channel… chores, and gardening (which fill up most of the day) until its too hot to be outside… Take good care of yourself in the meantime by washing your hands and wearing a mask! Beth

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News -Who and What’s New?

Lots of news here, and I have started to write this post several times in the last week or so… but I get sidetracked by many things. I am learning to follow the flow, even if it doesn’t seem to be in the intended direction.

Is it just me or does everything take longer? Last week I was away from home 4 out of 5 days. Only one was really planned, the rest just sort of followed downhill. Two days were devoted to the car in the shop. Big misunderstanding on how soon it would be done… leading to 2 days to take it and then go back to get it. Fortunately, they had a loner, but the previous borrower, was a smoker and the drive home and back seemed twice as long. But things on the farm are ‘moooving’ along.

Not just news, but NEW

March full face
March full face

I want to introduce you to our new resident. This is March. He is about 9 months old give or take a few weeks. He has been here for about 3 weeks. I don’t think he is too happy about his new place- he missees other cows something terrible. Especially his mama. He mooed himself hoarse the first few days. He still has a bit of hoarseness when he really tries to bellow his frustration.

March and the loafing shed
March Loafing

He spends most of his day in the loafing shed, (the red building in the pasture, out of the hot sun. Several times a day he grazes from the loafing shed to the barn for some grain or a long drink of water, and then back to the loafing shed. We don’t think he likes the pigs!!! The goats from the neighbors were still here when he arrived, and he seemed to think they were friends and a comfort. Then the goats moved back to their home, and his loneliness once again became apparent.

Speaking of Pigs

Piggy Ann and Iggy Piggy are doing very well. The big news is that they finally ventured outside the barn into their yard, with a little enticement of some cantaloupe melon rinds. A favored pig treat. Once they did that they discovered that there was a little pig wallow. What is a wallow? It is a depression in the dirt that is generally muddy, where they roll, and splash and root in the mud. The whole area used to be covered in grass, and now is nothing but turned dirt and mud. Pig Heaven!

Pigs and the wallow
Mud caked pigs and the wallow

This is what they spend the time doing when not eating or sleeping. Yesterday they had mud from the ears to nose at lunchtime. We are feeding 3 times a day, now. Mostly because as pigs they pollute the food… by stepping in it, sitting in it, or playing with the bowls. This way more food goes into the pig, and less wasted. From the pond, we can see the pigs when they are outside. Today we watched them playing in the wallow and running in circles and then into the barn and back… and then all over again!!! Such fun!

Pig rooting with face in mud
What a pig does in the mud- Rooting!

Dog News

I have been holding off on the dog news. Goldie is doing fine. She has a bit of aggression toward Patton. We don’t know where it comes from, but she jumps him out of the blue! They are currently living separately. In the meantime, Patton developed a limp and was squeaking quite a bit. A visit to the Vet, an x-ray, and some medication along with advice to keep him calm and confined for a few weeks. So he was doing well, the pain was under control and he was kept calm. Medication was done about 2 weeks ago and then on Wednesday, the limp came back. The Vet thinks he may have elbow/shoulder dysplasia, and the x-ray says it is not the operable type. We will be seeing a specialist for advice on how to proceed. Patton is just 9 months old and currently weighs 90 pounds. He passed the large dog stage and is now considered extra-large. He has been a wonderful puppy I hate to see him in such discomfort.

There you have it… in the Other things going on… we have a vegetable garden and working on re-landscaping the front of the house.

More Later-Beth