Monday, October 17, 2016

Laying in the "Hammock between Over and Next"

In an interview on NPR, Norman Lear (93 years old) was asked if he had a couple of words of wisdom and he replied, "Over and Next".  He said if you could lay in a hammock between over and next it would be about as close as you could get to living in the moment.

That's where I was this afternoon.  The sheep had there 1st day of their annual retreat leaving the barnyard and pastures to hangout at the cabin.  I sat in the chair in the barnyard looking at the clouds.

When I was a child, I loved laying in the grass looking up to a blue sky filled with puffy clouds, seeing what animals and other shapes blew by.  Today, I sat in a chair because a barnyard isn't the same as a grassy lawn.  I looked up and what did I see?, I saw a goose and a sheep.  The goose had a top thing on its head like a roadrunner, but definitely goose feet and bill.  The sheep was as round as the ones in the cabin lawn.

What a quiet carefree day, until a walnut would fall from the great walnut tree and fall on the cabin's metal roof.  The temperature was perfect accompanied by a warm gentle breeze.  I LOVE the clear sounds and freshness of fall.

Yesterday is OVER.  I hiked with a bunch of people with weather more perfect than today.  We followed the St. Mary's River in the St. Mary's National Wilderness.  The trees are finally beginning to turn and the sweet birch are orange.  When you break a small twig and chew on it, you can smell and taste spearmint.  We hiked 6 miles and the 4th mile nearly took me out.  Three of us were coming down ahead of the others and decided to take a different trail to avoid some of the creek crossings.  That we did, but we found ourselves on ledges testing roots and small stones for hand and foot holds.  The concentration needed to keep us from sliding down the bank into the shallow river, gave a new meaning to "living in the moment".  Now that is OVER and I look forward to NEXT.

A couple of  years ago, I was part of an after school program at the local middle school.  The first part of the program was homework help.  This was followed by opportunities, presented by community folk, to explore all kinds of  interests that might be meaningful to that age group.  The program was appropriately named NEXT.  We would say, "see you next time" and the kids were alway encouraged to think about what might come next for them.  This is huge for some of the kids in this county who have never allowed themselves to think they might have a different future than their parents.  What is my NEXT?

I have many possibilities, one of which is fly fishing.  I was going to take it up just before I broke my ankle a few years ago and now I have a new exciting opportunity to try it again.   But alas, that is a topic for next time.

I was talking to one of my most faithful blog followers the other day and I told her that I hadn't been blogging as much because of the difficulties of uploading pictures when I changed my operating system.  I said I didn't think anyone wanted to hear me ramble on.  She said she liked both sides of my blogging, so  ... this is for you Jen. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tiny House October 2016

Can't wait to see the rail and balusters adorned with greens at Christmas.

Gramma gives her approval. The refrigerator goes where this broom and dust pan are in this picture.

The linen box before the lid.  See the cat walk.

kitchen draws and soapstone counter ... and wait there is more.

Who says a tiny house has to have a tiny sink.

The broom and mop closet has a lot of room for a tiny closet.  The tiny house will be moving soon-- can't wait to see it furnished.

Friday, September 30, 2016


The last 24 hours has brought 4-5" of rain.  It has been pretty manageable here but Buffalo Creek is VERY high.  

I have always wished we had a creek going through the property here.  Once in awhile, when it rains very hard, the little washes on the east and west boundaries get to moving.  Today, when I opened the door, I could hear rushing water to the east and when I went over by the fiber shed I could hear the west branch.  The rush called to me so I went for a walk.  The sheep and geese acted as if it was just another day.

Here is the wash that is on the east side of the spring.  The spring didn't actually seem to be too influenced by the rain.

 This picture below is where the west wash has come over, at the bottom of the property to join the east wash.

All of the tributaries around here go into Buffalo Creek.  A few times a year, the creek goes over the low water bridge.

No crossing today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Fall Visitor

Now that my fiber studio is all picked up and organized and the weather is that of fall, it is a pleasure to work for hours.  That is what I was doing today when I heard a big racket right behind the studio.

 At first I thought it was the squirrel that runs around all over the sides of the building.  But when I went to investigate, it was a black bear.  It was apparently trying to get some rainwater out of one of the tubs that I wash fleece in.  We studied each other for a few minutes from a bit of a distance, and then the bear walked off into the woods and I went back to work.

Later one of the hens was cackling an alert of some kind so I went down to the barnyard.  The sheep ran up into the upper pasture and then looked over to the barn and the geese were quiet by the gate.  I looked up to the barn and there was the bear again, it had climbed over one of the fences.  The bear picked up one of the full green buckets in its mouth and carried it about 5 feet before dropping and spilling the water.  It then went over to the big tub to get a drink.  When it reappeared John yelled at it and clapped his hands.  The bear went up behind the barn out of our sight and the sheep came down from the pasture and no longer seemed concerned.  John and I went back to work and and a few minutes later Donald (the rooster) decided it was O.K. to crow.

It is interesting how quiet everyone gets when an intruder comes around.  I hope the bear doesn't use the big tub as a source of water.  I could empty that but then there is the puddle pond and of course the sheep water trough.  Maybe the bear will disappear as the bobcats did.  We know there are bear all around but we rarely see them.  It was a beautiful animal and not real big; a little bigger than Gretta and Mira and heavier looking.  Of course I did not have my camera, but if it comes around again soon, I will.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

She Will Be Missed

Today, was a quiet, dreary day, the perfect day to lay to rest, Kitty Tilson, my wonderful neighbor (see June 1, 2016 blog).  She really was a special person.

It was good to see all of Kitty's family again, though most of them live pretty close.  The official goodbye was a simple grave side ceremony lead by her niece, Anne, another neighbor.  Anne read the scripture about feeding the 500.  She talked about Kitty alway bringing bread to the picnics by the pond and about all the baskets she made.  And she talked about how there was always more that Kitty gave out, all true.

I hadn't seen Kitty in a few weeks and  guess I knew she was nearing the end of her life but didn't take the time to see her one more time.   I kept planning on going to see her but I never got there. Selfishly, I can now remember how she looked when we last laughed together, without having to let time pass first.  Kitty had a spectacular smile.  She had a wonderful doting family so she was never alone these last few months.

Kitty's daughter and son-in-law (Bob and Susan) are going to move in to Kitty's house full time when they sell there other home.  I wonder how that will be different.  Susan was telling us today about when she was young and caught the school bus by our mail box.  That is a pretty good walk for young children, especially at the end of the day going uphill with guineas chasing you.  Apparently, the lady who lived in the cabin here, had guineas.  Always fun to hear stories about the cabin since we know so little of its history.    Good to know Susan is a good story teller, like her mom.

There were many questions about Lyndy's tiny house, when we went up to visit after the service;  how much longer, where is it going?  Susan and Bob had the tour several weeks ago but many of the neighbors have not yet made it over.  Funny how much time can go by that we don't get to the things that we plan.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Halfway Through September

Red caught a mouse today.  That would not be unusual if Red was a cat or a snake, but Red is a hen.

 I didn't know chickens ate mice.  There was some rustling in some weeds and out came Red with a mouse in her beak.  She whapped the mouse several times on the ground and then checked to see if the mouse was dead.  Not quite, so she repeated this again and then she swallowed the mouse whole.

I was mesmerized; such a big mouse for a tiny throat, though the mouse was fairly small.  The chickens come up to John's salsa garden and pick tomatoes, or at least the big black hen does.  Then she takes them around to the front of the house to eat them.  I never know what the chickens are going to like, food wise.

Because I don't give the sheep much grain, it got clumpy with mealy worm webs.  I have broken up some of the clumps but I think I will give the rest to the chickens, now that the full moon supplements have been given and the hooves are done.

Cody, the strong young man mentioned earlier, came over to help me trim hooves yesterday morning.  He has sheep and goats and knows how to handle them.  He has had some expert training with hooves trimming, as well, and taught me a few things.  It was also just enjoyable talking to him about his animals.

The weather has been fine, the last couple of days, so I have returned to my fiber studio.  YAY! I have been getting ready for Fall Farm Day tomorrow.   Then I have to get back to weaving the bird house because Mountain Days is just around the corner.  

The Tiny house is really looking like a home.  Pictures soon.  Maybe I will even try to take a few pics tomorrow at Fall Farm Day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Last Chance Before September is Here

I keep telling myself that I am going to get back to writing but it just doesn't happen.  It is funny, I read my friend Karen's blog about taking a vacation for a day from what you do, not where you are and I had the same feeling the same day.   This is when I believe in astrology and misaligned stars.

It is nice when you can just allow yourself to do nothing and not feel guilty, a rare occurrence.  What was even stranger was that I ended up accomplishing a lot that day before it was over.  I guess I just needed to know I could take the time off.

So what have I been up to here?  I have been making a table and couch for the tiny house.  The other day I bought a $5 chair for $4 at the Habitat Store, for parts.  Today I took it apart and figured out how I want to use it to put the couch together.  Now, I just have to buy a few extra parts and put it all together.  I think I will run it by Lyndy first, this weekend.

I have been practicing drawing eclipses as my drawing course gets more difficult.  I can't wait till we get more to nature stuff instead of all the still life drawing.  I have been weaving a birdhouse.  I did a dye pot with some tansy Elizabeth gave me but I am not sure I like the color.  I dredged the puddle pond again and put the sludge on one of the hugels.

I trimmed eight hooves but that didn't go so well.  I have decided it is time to elicit some help from a strong young man I know.

Then there is the regular stuff.  The weather has been hot so not too much fiber work, besides the little weaving.

It doesn't seem like that is enough but oh well.  I am sure September will be more productive and there will be lots to write about.  I started writing this blog to keep track of what is happening on the farm and sometime there just isn't that much going on.