Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 4-23

damp dandelion

If there is any truth to “April showers bring May flowers…”

I may be wishing I was a flower farmer come next month.

We have had some sort of rain every day this week. Not that I am complaining (it has been very dry and we really need the moisture) …however, the timing of said precipitation caused a whole lot more juggling of the work schedule and some serious sogginess for Saturday’s Market.

This time of year, any sort of moisture makes the grass grow. Which is a great thing in the pastures and hayfields. In the gardens and the front yard…not so much. So, while I realized it was Sunday…and EASTER Sunday no less, I spent the day mowing and mowing and mowing. Because, you guessed it. It was supposed to rain.

While I am still not a fan of lawnmowers, and mowing is one job I will be more than happy for the Boss to resume, at least you don’t need a machete to hack your way through the grass around here. Well, for the time being, more rain means more grass growth which means…good grief…I need to mow…AGAIN! (thankfully it’s raining-again-so no lawn mowing today)

heading out to set up fence
Since we use the sheep to harvest most of the grass, it was imperative to get them up on “raspberry hill”. This is a section where we use temporary fencing, so a little early morning set-up was required. I guess I should also explain that “raspberry hill” used to be the home of our bramble patch. And, although it hasn’t seen a raspberry in many a year, the name remains and we both know exactly where we are talking about. So I guess we’ll keep calling it that (and explaining it every once in a while).
ewes giving "advice"

Some of the older ewes knew precisely what I was doing when I headed out with the roll of electro-net. They stood at the fence and made comments the entire time. I’m not sure if they were trying to encourage me, or telling me to hurry. Then, the Boss arrived on the scene to give a few pointers. While I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining (after saying that the lack of teamwork was lonely last week) but, it’s kind of being back in driving school all over again.  …“a little more to the left”, “give it some gas”, “not right there”…I know it’s a sign he’s feeling better, so I’m trying to be understanding.
checking out the fence job


With the fence up, it was just a matter of opening the gate and letting the flock head to the promised land of lush and lovely grass. Right? Well…most of the flock got the memo. The ewes knew exactly what that opened gate meant. However, a good number of the lambs ran right by the opened gate and all the way to the barn. Then, they stood at the barn and hollered because they couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t any food, and where their mothers were. Finally, they got with the program and everyone was grazing in the right place. That beautiful grass is now but a memory and they’ve been moved on to greener pastures.


Then, we processed the first batch of broilers on Tuesday. Since, the Boss still can’t lift anything, the girls came home to help the old folks with that farm chore. I had all the broilers captured and crated by the time they got here and they helped put the crates on the tractor hauler and we got the job underway. We hadn’t processed broilers together as a family in nearly 10 years, but they were quite gracious in their handling of the Boss’ constant supervision and we got the job done in record time.
With that job completed, it was time to move the second batch of broilers so we could be ready for the third batch of broilers… 

family broiler processing

To keep a constant supply of chicken, we have the entire process somewhat choreographed, following the same steps month after month, year after year. Here, read this post from 2012. http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-week-of-broiler.html (things are pretty much still the same)

But, while I was working on readying the outside broiler pen, my phone rang.

You guessed it. The post office was calling to report that the chicks were at the Staunton office ready for my arrival. He could send them to Mbrk, but he had no idea when they would arrive.  But, if I wanted to come get them myself, they would hold them. So…off I went.
it occurred to me that this is NOT
what other people think of when you say
"road-trip with some chicks"


Can I just say here that cell phones are great…? I would have missed that call for hours if the postal employee had called the house. But, I think I need a special noise filter. It’s really hard to hear over the odd and random farm sounds. It’s kind of like "old MacDonald’s" around here (with a cluck-cluck here and a baa-baa there) This time the sheep were complaining insistently in the background. And, almost every time the doctor’s office calls to check on the Boss in the afternoons…I have been in the henhouse gathering eggs. And, if you think sheep are loud…you should hear those hens! (I wonder what the person on the other end hears…and more importantly what they think!)

After my little excursion to town, I got back to the business of moving the broilers. (in the rain)  And, the brooder needed cleaning before the babies could move in. So, they spent the night in the chickie-pool in the shop.










Eventually, we got all the broilers situated. Batch #1 is in the freezer. (I will leave that to your imagination) Batch #2 is in the field. 
settling in the field pen
Batch #3 is tucked in the brooder. 
#3 batch

warm and cozy


It’s just a matter of maintenance for the next couple weeks until we do it all again. Life IS a dance.



Since we’re still trying to keep things somewhat on schedule, I moved all the brassicas out into the big trailer in the backyard so they can “harden off”. This just means that they are exposed to the elements (in a somewhat controlled environment), allowing them to develop strong stems before they are planted in the garden.

But,their garden home hadn’t gotten any sort of preparation, so Tbone was going to take care of tilling over the weekend. …but…once again, the weather…

The Boss put in a call to our great neighbor, who apparently dropped everything, and came over and tilled the middle garden for us in short order. Thanks, Dale!

With the garden tilled and the plants readied, you can guess what’s on the agenda for the upcoming week. That is…if it stops raining.

This is one garden tool I'm excited about!
I think I will call it "Shrek"







In hopes of finally getting the hoophouses under control,  the Boss got me checked out on the new electric tiller we bought specifically for hoophouse work. Not only is it a little more “green” (literally and figuratively) we won’t have gas fumes to contend with in the somewhat close environment of the hoophouse. And, it starts SO much easier than the old one. Now, maybe I can get something planted in the hoophouse! (I’ve been trying, customers…I have been trying!) The rain won’t hinder my working in the hoophouses, I just need to find some TIME.


On one of the only dry afternoons during the week, I did find the time to weed the garlic. It won’t be too long before the scapes are ready to harvest (that means the bulbs won’t be too far behind). As the bulbs grow, it is imperative that they have good air circulation to keep them healthy. So, a good weeding was in order…and the hens enjoyed the green stuff.

lots of ladybugs in the garlic patch
I was surprised to find great numbers of ladybugs in various stages of development. I like ladybugs, they’re so bright and cheery-looking. Plus, they eat aphids…so, go ladybugs!  Yay, one more job was crossed off the “to-do” list! (and, I didn’t get wet)











Sadly, I can’t say the same thing about the Market…

6am rain at Market
Rain at the Market is never a good thing. So, a downpour at 6am certainly seemed some sort of bad omen.















But, despite the deluge…the day went much better than either of us expected. Although, it felt incredibly good to get home and put on warm, dry clothes!
set up in "rain-mode"
some days I seriously question our chosen profession 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Our week ended with a double birthday supper for Blondie and Tbone since they share a birthday month. I think everyone had a good time. It’s always enjoyable to have the whole gang here for a while.


















her favorite place to watch TV has always been the floor
But, who would have imagined she'd have little guys sitting on her?
SO cute!
Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

 
apple blossom at sunset


Thanks for stopping by…. hope you’ll “visit” us again real soon.



Are you keeping up with the Boss' Market shots?  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 4-16


I would like to write something upbeat and positive about the past week…

I would like to say that every day he is better. Things are looking up…getting back to normal.

On the other hand, I try to be honest. And, that’s just not the truth…

**sigh**

The Boss says I’m down. He thinks I should adjust my outlook.  He said that I sigh and moan “this is SO hard!” at least ten times a day…

Now, I honestly think he’s exaggerating. Unless, of course he can read my mind. Then, he’s missed it by a fair amount. (and I’m in serious trouble for some of my other thoughts)

I’ll be honest here. This is hard. 

This is indeed the hardest, scariest, most overwhelming thing I have ever faced. (and that’s saying something) And, I don’t know when it’s gonna get any easier. I cannot honestly say that things will get ever back to where they were before. That may mean that “better days” are coming, but at this point it is just hard…

bumblebees are everywhere

I think what makes it so hard is that while we ordinarily work together as a team, this “project” has us focused in completely different areas. The Boss has the difficult task of recovery. Don’t let anyone fool you. Recovery is work. Consuming and relentless, it is exhausting. While it might look like he’s just sitting there or napping, his body is working all the time. That affects everything.  (Watching our daughter recover from traumatic injuries some years back taught me a lot) on the other hand, running this place alone is no picnic. Yes, we have had countless offers to help, (and yes, I have taken advantage of some of these) but, sometimes you just have to muddle through. And, honestly, you don’t just run down to the farm store and “hire a man in to do that”. (now is not the time or place to write about labor issues, or truly annoying comments) For right now, with our individual focus in completely different areas, there is a sense of isolation that I just can’t shake. And, I won’t even get into the many things that are worrying at the edges of my mind. I don’t want to worry him. However, the insurance claims are just beginning to come in…and the tally is already almost $100,000…while our Market income is running somewhere between 30-50% of normal for this time of year. It's all working out, but it's a little "freakifying" nonetheless.  We are each caught up in our own struggles, leaving little time or energy for any interesting and/or uplifting conversation much of the time.

I will probably never be a good broiler-pen mover
escapees every single time

So, I do contest his claim to my number of sighs, I must agree with him that it sounds downright depressing. So, I’ll give it a whirl and see if I can’t just “change your outlook” and “think positive” here. I know deep in my heart that all of this will work out somehow, that someday we will look back and say, “we did okay!” Right now is just not that time.

Healing is not a linear process. Every day is not guaranteed to be better than the day before. So, it’s slow going. He’s not back in the saddle like he would like to be. Yes, he got on the tractor and tilled. But, he paid for it. And, now we both worry about just how far that little adventure may have set back his healing process. (but, more on that in a minute) And, I know he was “up and about” at the Market, but that was IT for the day. Recovery is exhausting work. At least with the farmwork, I can quit for the day (even if I haven’t accomplished everything I intended) recovery (and the pain involved) never lets up. I’ve definitely got the “easier” end of this deal.

frosty clover
When I last wrote, the weather was cold…very cold. Sunday morning was frosty. I think there was even a little skim of ice in some of the waterers. But, time was marching ever onward. It was time to get the Spring potatoes in the ground!

You may have heard that St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional date for planting potatoes. Here on the hill, when we plant the potatoes so early, we set ourselves up for disaster, heartache and the possibility of no ‘taters. (and we LOVE our potatoes, hence the use of the words disaster and heartache) So, we wait until at least April 1. I can tell you from personal experience that seeing all those little potato sprouts get blackened by the frost is an awful sight. Then, even if the plants do recover, they are weakened and it always seems like the bugs are far more prolific than usual. The entire season is fraught with worry and the harvest is often smaller than expected while requiring far more work. Patience is indeed a virtue.
sprouty potato

Tbone and Blondie had offered to help get the spuds planted (or maybe they got volunteered, I don’t recall). We all figured if we were well-prepared, they could stop by after work, get the job knocked out and have supper. To that end, the Boss and I chopped the potatoes on Sunday afternoon. He’s able to do a number of things (that don’t require Bending, Lifting or Twisting and allow for a rest period at the end) You may be wondering WHY the potatoes are cut prior to planting. The cutting provides far more plants than if you simply planted each potato. And, more plants mean a potentially bigger harvest. Preferably each piece should have at least one good sprout and be about the size of an egg. The bit of potato provides some nourishment and moisture for the sprout as it makes its way out of the ground to become a plant.... then, it will begin to make lots of roots and the tubers will begin to form. By the time the plant blooms, there are tiny NEW potatoes growing under the ground. I think those are perhaps my favorite. They taste so fresh and are the perfect addition to a meal at the end of a summer day spent in the garden.

preparing potatoes for planting


But, the Boss worried that the job was too big to complete in the short period of time after the kids arrived. If I could just hook up the plow, he could knock that part of the job off, saving a good deal of time.

I admit it. I am the enabler. I guess I could have pled ignorance or weakness and not complied with his wishes. But, I can’t tell you how I want to be done with this whole journey, how I know he wants to be better, and how much better he seems...

Yes, I can attach tractor implements

With the plow attached, he set out for the garden. And, with the first pass, I saw the problem….
There’s a lot of twisting involved in driving a tractor!
 I know, I know, you just see the man up on the tractor and think that’s not really work. I beg to differ.

man and machine

I told him it wasn’t a good idea. I told him I thought he should leave it for Tbone.

But, he felt so good…

And, I know I shouldn’t have capitulated when he wanted the implements changed out and the tiller attached.

However, there are times when you know any attempt at argument is pointless.
Tbone and his helper
'tater planting


all done!
Long story, somewhat shorter…the ‘taters got planted.   THANK YOU TBone and Blondie! MrB even “planted” a potato and rode the tractor.

headin' to the 'tater patch

Postscript to the potato story…

The Boss had a follow-up visit with his GP this week. We talked over the pathology report (which, for those of you wondering, said exactly what the surgeon predicted. Hepatacelluar carcinoma—primary tumor with no vascular invasion. Big, scary words, but also like the surgeon stated, “best case scenario” and as it stands, no further treatment should be necessary) The doc talked about recovery expectations and the Boss confessed to his tractor adventure.

The GP said in no uncertain terms…NO more of tractor work! Absolutely NO lawnmowing! Just hang in there for a couple more weeks and the you can get back to work with no complications. Patience! Any type of pushing it now will just prolong the recovery period.

But, the best part of the story?

Part of the Boss’ “confession” included the words MY WIFE SAID NOT TO…

And, the doc, Lord love him, said LISTEN to your wife! 
(I certainly wish I’d gotten that in writing) I must say, he earned more than a few brownie points with that comment. And, I can assure you I will get a lot of mileage out of the statement. Even if it does mean I have to mow the grass, move the trailer and haul the broilers...

When I arrived home the other evening, there was a box by the gate. My first thought was oh, how nice…a surprise! However, it was just more work.  I had completely forgotten that we ordered strawberry and asparagus plants back in December or January.

Oh, look...a surprise!


So, I headed off to the garden and the roto-tiller again.

First, I gave myself permission to toss the remaining onion plants. They weren’t very impressive anyway, and it seemed like a waste of time at this late date. But, then I had the thought that onion sets might work… and, as a testament to my complete insanity, I stopped by the farm store, bought the last of the red and yellow sets, fired up the tiller and plunked them in the ground. (if this works, we will have about half the number of onions we had originally planned…and I will have a side-by-side comparison of sets vs. plants for future reference)
onion sets are tiny onions that you plant like flower bulbs


Then, I got the established strawberry plants weeded. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be a crop of any type after the cold weather (I didn’t cover those because I just couldn’t face another row cover adventure) 
strawberry blossoms
But, they’re looking pretty good despite the fact that one of the barn kitties found the compost made a nice, soft little bathroom area and buried more than a few plants. (not real fond of that kitty right now) Then, I tilled and planted and mulched in the new plants. I will put chicken wire over these plants to keep the cats from creating a new "potty".
baby strawberry plant
But, as for those asparagus roots…they’re just going to have to wait their turn…

does this look toxic?


















I just realized that this post is getting far too long, so I won’t tell you all about my weed eradication experiments. Or how when the Boss said “we need to do something about those purple weeds” that I found there are THREE different purple plants here on the hill, creating a new learning opportunity. And, I will skip trying to explain how I keep expecting the theme song from "Mission Impossible"  to start playing every time I open the hoophouse door…

Despite a cold, dark start to the Market
it was a great day!

…I will leave you with the hope that you are indeed having a

Happy Sunday! 

…and leave you with a few words from Reba McEntire…

Life will throw you a curve ball
Back against a brick wall
Push you right up to the edge
It'll hit you from your blind side
Kick you in the backside
Barely even break a sweat

It's a roll with the punches
Funny little life we lead
Oh, but I'm in it for the long haul
Win, lose or draw, y'all
It won't get the best of me

'Cause I been down to the wire
With my feet to the fire
But this livin' ain't killed me yet
Well I been tested and tried
But I still got some fight
No, this livin' ain't killed me
Livin' ain't killed me yet
                               -from “Love Somebody”-Reba McEntire 2015
  

See? I actually can be “positive”.


Thanks for stopping by…come “visit” us again real soon!

beautiful apple blossoms


P.S. I nearly forgot...the Boss is back to posting his weekly Market shots. You can check them out HERE.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 4-9



You know, the Boss sure does a lot of stuff around here!

I have known and acknowledged this fact for quite a while…but, now that he’s confined to light-duty (well, make that NO duty) I have a much deeper appreciation of his contributions and my reliance on him.

‘cause quite honestly, this week has been a challenge to say the very least.

I can honestly say I’ve learned a bunch of new things and tried my hand at jobs I never thought I could accomplish alone…and quite honestly, never wanted to.  It hasn’t been pretty and it hasn’t been easy, and I have had to ask for more advice/insight/direction than I thought I would…but, I can say that I did it!

time for the first move
First job for the week was getting the broiler pen moved. The whole idea to pastured poultry is PASTURE. This means that the whole pen is moved on a regular basis to fresh grass so the chickens can (in theory) eat the grass. If left in place, the pen gets truly revolting in short order and all the “fertilizer” produced by the broilers will actually kill the grass. The pen has retractable wheels that make the pen easier to pull in a line along the field. Every day (or every few days) the entire contraption (and the birds inside) moves to a fresh spot. In your mind’s eye, this works like a dream, chickens ranging along through the countryside, eating fresh grass as they go. In reality, broilers are big and fat and not very energetic. They aren’t really that interested in the grass, they prefer to plunk down right in front of the feeder and eat. I’m pretty sure they would just sit and eat until they popped if given the opportunity. If they just had television…they would be the epitome of couch potatoes.

The first move is always a bit of a challenge. Since they just want to plunk and eat, the idea of getting up and walking along with all their pen mates apparently isn’t at all appealing. There is a lot of squawking and complaining…and occasionally some inopportune sitting. As the pen rolls along the field, there are little hills and hummocks that keep the pen from sitting squarely on the ground. Occasionally, the chickens get left behind and the pen rolls right over top them. Of course, the chickens are caught and returned to the pen. But, I can assure you that the only time a broiler ever shows any enthusiasm for movement or speed is when he/she is being pursued by the big chicken-catching net. The escapees seem to get some sort of perverse pleasure out of the short-lived chicken rodeo.

escapees














However, all’s well that ends well and they were returned to the pen relatively quickly. We’ve got this figured out now…and there aren’t that many more moves until this batch fulfills its destiny. (Good thing! I lost track of how many folks asked about fresh chicken at the Market)
broilers
back to sittin' and eatin'

As always, the weather was a big player in the week’s work schedule. It was supposed to rain. Yay! No…wait. That’s definitely a game-changer.


in one day 

we had clouds

brilliant skies

more rain

another rainbow

Tbone was going to come plow and he and Blondie were going to help me plant potatoes… But, the rain in the forecast changed all that. We put that job off for a week.

However…

That box of onion plants was begging for attention. The plants had arrived far earlier than I thought I had requested (they arrived while the Boss was in the hospital) and they had been languishing in the shop for quite some time. If the Boss could show me how to use the tiller…
checking out the farm

He managed to get out back and give me a short tiller tutorial. He also told me how to correct the broiler waterer issue and showed me where he thought the electro-net for the sheep might be…

And, I was off and…tilling.

There are certain things I have purposefully NOT learned around here, fearing that if I know how to do it I would find myself with a new job. However, I now see that line of thinking was fairly short-sighted and this week I have had to add LEARNING NEW THINGS to the ever-growing to-do list.

planting onions
each rubber band on my wrist represents about 60 plants

Tiller lesson over, it was time to get down to the business of planting onions. I got about 1000 onion plants in the ground, fertilized and mulched before the rains set in. At this point, I don’t know if I will get the rest done (and honestly I don’t know if I care) but, we shall see how this week goes. For the moment, we moved on to more pressing items.
all done for now
let it rain!

There is a reason the old-timers call this the “hungry time” of year. The urge for something GREEN seems impossible to ignore.

Surely, you’ve noticed it yourself. Even folks who don’t like salads are eager for something fresh in the early spring.

The sheep were feeling this urge. Mere words fail to describe how badly they “needed” green grass. Now, let me point out that they had hay. Plenty of nice hay. In the barn. Hay that just last week was greeted with a mad rush to the feeders.

But, the call of the green grass…
I don't know how they did it...but, there they are...eating green grass. (where I didn't want them to be eating)

this one didn't quite make it through the fence

They staged a protest every single time they saw me. They didn’t even have to see me. I called out the kitchen door for the dog…the sheep heard my voice and started bellowing.Watch this! It was deafening and annoying. And, one more thing that needed attention.
they went OVER the fence
they went THROUGH the fence
(look closely) the one in the back is going UNDER the fence

They couldn’t go back to the winter paddock, because they broke the fence, making the entire front of the farm accessible. (I told you the call of the grass was strong!) I spent more than a little precious daylight chasing lambs and doing emergency fence repair.

evidence of a paddock break




I wanted to put them out back where the fence is most secure (a matter of safety for the tiny babies) but that would require a fencing job. 
what I had envisioned...
sheep grazing the hill on a spring day
We don’t have permanent fence behind hoophouse #1 because during the winter we need access for possible snow removal. So, we use electro-net during the season. This is quick and easy to install. However, we have approximately 10 thousand (slight exaggeration) different pieces of varying lengths stored in various places. And, the Boss couldn’t remember which one worked the best. And, of course, the piece I chose was just ever so slightly too short, so I had to roll it up and find another piece. With that completed, I figured I was good to go…
ready to fence

  
If I put the sheep in the newly repaired winter paddock momentarily, I could open the gate to the back half of the farm and we’d be in business.
As an explanation here…last spring, I didn’t take any sort of precaution before opening the back gate in the early spring and I got run over. Seriously. The entire flock trampled right over me! I even had little hoof-shaped bruises on the backs of my legs. With the Boss down, we can’t afford for me to get hurt…so, I wasn’t taking any chances.

However, my fence repair didn’t hold up to the call of the grass…and for the second day in a row, I had sheep where I didn’t intend for them to be. Oh…argh!
escapees

little lambs are a special kind of stupid

Any sort of sheep round-up just wasn’t happening. (believe me, I tried) That green grass had them in a trance and the only hope I had of moving them was to wait until they’d eaten their fill and they headed back to the barn to ruminate.

Fortunately, that did indeed happen. They’re finally out back where I wanted them, eating their fill of grass, which is what they wanted all along. I guess everyone is happy. And, it is much quieter!
nobody's complaining now

spring sheep

figuring out grass



Each time the Boss walked along the driveway on his daily laps, he noticed how tall the grass in the gardens was getting. Now, Tbone was coming to mow the lawn over the weekend, but the gardens are a special concern. The Boss uses the smaller mower to mow the paths between the beds in a particular pattern. Maybe I could mow them?

I’m not a fan of lawn mowers. (particularly our Gravely) I’m pretty sure the lawnmower hates me. Since we live on the side of a hill, all four wheels of the mower never actually hit the ground at once (and it feels like you’re going to fall off or over the entire time) and I’m certainly not a fan of thrill rides…so…quite honestly, I would probably run the sheep around the house and I don’t really care if things get “shaggy” looking. But, the Boss was depending on me.

didn't take any pictures of mowing
I was too scared!
Despite the fact that I now have sore muscles in the oddest places (from being tense while going free-wheeling through space) and my knuckles are probably permanently whitened and the steering wheel may be damaged from my death-grip on it, I mowed those gardens!

Just when I was feeling a little proud and accomplished…I had moved the broilers, fixed the fence, planted the onions, moved the sheep, mowed the gardens…I looked at the weather forecast. And, there it was…SNOW in the forecast. Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me! Like some bad, belated April Fool’s prank, the cold weather was making a return (right after I planted all those little onions) and bringing with it gale force winds and the possibility of an inch of snow. The snow wouldn’t really be problematic, but the winds and low temperatures (wind chills of -4*) could be. So, off to find the row cover.
row cover adventure

Whee!

I think I'm gonna fly away!

Installing row cover here on the hill is always a challenging experience. Because without fail, every time you even pick up a piece of row cover, the wind begins to blow. Wrestling with a 40-foot piece of fabric in the wind is never fun…doing it alone was next to impossible. But, I did it! 
I did it!
Just in time for it to rain...AGAIN

(not surprisingly, after 3 cold, cold days…it is going to be nearly 80* tomorrow, so I guess I will have to take the row cover back off in the morning…)

The Boss was bound and determined to return to the Market on Saturday morning. He managed to clean the garlic and wash the eggs himself. I packed the rest of the stuff. Since the Boss is still on medication, I was volunteered to drive to town. Did I mention that I had never driven the truck and trailer before? Did I mention that we had to leave at 5am?  (YIKES)

It required a wake-up of 3:30am to get chores done and the trailer packed prior to leaving for Market. Freezing temperatures made for another interesting wrinkle in events. And, I left my death-grip fingerprints on another steering wheel as we headed into town. But, we made it safely. (and back again) And, we had a pretty good sales day, too.

He did it!
He got to the Market!




Everyone was amazed to see the Boss at the Market. Particularly since it’s less than three weeks post-surgery. We truly appreciated all the words of encouragement and concern.
















He was glad to get out and get back in the swing of things. But, what nobody realized was just how tiring that trip was for him. He spent a good portion of the Market day sitting in a chair (he’s generally up and managing the market) Then, he slept for nearly two hours upon our return home. (and I think he’s still rather tired today) But, he says he’s feeling better every day.

It was a cold morning at the Market!


This week I want to say a big thanks to our friends Phil and Deirdre of  Harvest Thyme Herbs who brought us a lovely, tasty meal and some interesting conversation this week. We've known the Armstrongs for a long time and they have blessed our family repeatedly throughout the years. Thanks y’all! We truly enjoyed both the meal and the visit.

And, THANK YOU to Tbone (and Blondie) for mowing the lawn. We look much tidier, I’m sure. I really hope you don't mind me sharing the photo below.


This is what I will always think of when I think of Tbone and lawnmowers...
Tyler and Amanda 2008
Love you!

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!

Ah....Spring!


Thanks for stopping by…come back and “visit” us again real soon!