March means Spring and Change

March means it is spring and means change! For me, spring means we can go outside without many layers. The days are getting longer, the sun shines brighter and it feels warmer. It also brings us the change of season with the first day of spring and glimmers of summer fun. Depending on where you live; it often seems like spring arrives and stays for exactly 1 day.

Spring Begins in March

The month of March also the beginning of the wildflower season. This week the daytime temps are in the 60s and the blooming begins. The Spring Beauty is blooming. It appears to be the very first flower and the second is ready to bloom too -the Toothwort, but we have a weather change of rain and storms coming first.

Spring Beauty flower
Spring Beauty

Spring Treats

The cats are all doing very well. In recent weeks neighbor dogs were invading their space. We have secured the cat space once again for them. Senior Uno has decided to change where he lives. He is staying at a house up the road. He comes home when he feels like he needs a scratch and some loving. But he is a cat and will choose where he wants to be. I still count him as mine… though. Each evening I give them all a big handful of treats from their auntie Linda.

5 cats

Cow Days in March

Speaking of spring and change. Mr. March has left the farm. We will miss him. He had a rough year here. He was the loneliest cow ever. When he first moved in, we had the neighbor’s goats in the pasture. He was so lonely he bellowed for several weeks for other cows but he eventually made friends with the goats. Then the goats returned to their newly fenced-in digs and the pigs became his new company. Then the pigs moved out… so he and the neighbor dogs (the same ones that bother the cats) would all lay together along the fence. A few weeks later Mr. March got his own kind for some company. Two calves came to live here as well. He was so happy to have the company of his own kind he gave up coming to me for treats, (apple, carrot, and squash bits).

The 3 Amigos
Mr. March in front, #09 and #28 behind

The 2 new calves actually belong to a neighbor ‘Mr. K and his son Mr. A’. Our little place is a better setup for pasture beef. So we do the labor (feed the grain and water) and they provide the hay and the grain. Since we would have to feed our cow anyway, and our cow gets company. Since I am talking about new calves, the misters K & A suggested we come up and choose the next little steer to raise a couple of weeks ago. We picked one, but he needed to stay to finish weaning and learn how to be a regular young steer. He is here now.

sir loin

Meet 'Sir Loin'
Our new calf

Meet ‘Sir Loin’. He will be here until next March also. Doesn’t he have a cute face? When we went up the road to pick out the calf, ‘The misters K & A’ were ready for us and had the ear tags prepared. I laughed so hard I might have snorted!!! They don’t name their cows, (they own the little herd that lives across the road), they use ear tags, like the 2 calves above with Mr. March are sporting and last spring they got a kick out of the names we gave the barn animals. In a couple of months, we will need to come up with names for the new pigs. I’ll take suggestions…

Creative Department

New Project

The creative department lacks a little for show and tell. I have a bunch of finished quilts, and they have labels, (most of them do anyway), but the labels don’t tell the whole story. So I have started documenting them, some of the information I am including is the name/title, size, start and finish dates, the city and state where started and/or finished, techniques, and creative inspiration, who it was for, and a picture or two. Collating and find all the information about a quilt takes loads of time. I have the basics down and will go back and add information as I think of it… maybe give them a little more life or story than I have so far. I am considering printing the information in a photobook. It doesn’t seem like much to show… for the amount of time spent; currently at 61 quilts and a big mess!

Screenshot of quilt documentation Project
a little glimpse of the project

A Sewing Project

The Sew Bee It quilt guild is my new local guild. Once you join you have 3 months to make a tag that has your name and a bee on it. Clarkson is the Bee Capital of Kentucky with the Kelly Beekeeping Company located here. In the fall Clarkson has a Honeyfest every year. So I set out to make my name tag. Let’s just say I haven’t spent enough time using the embroidery machine, and it shows!

Bee Name Tag
My name tag is ready for when the guild meets again.

Of course, I had to be clever using a bee on the tag. I used several techniques on the tag; raw edge fused applique stitched with a zigzag, 3 dimensional wings, machine embroidered lettering and, free-motion quilting for the background. The tag measures 6 inches square.

If you’ve read this far, Thank You! I had promised to not share about the farm quite so much… but I really am not that interesting… but the dogs, cats, chickens, and other critters are. I mostly spend my days, cooking or baking, cleaning, or generally keep things around here corralled, which is NOT in the least bit interesting, you can trust me on that!!! Beth

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…


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