Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 10-13

I really think I could drive M’brook Road with my eyes closed.
typical trip down M'brook Road
following one of the neighbors

Don’t worry, I won’t try.  Sure as I did one of Sam’s big ole cows (or the whole herd) would decide to break into RG’s cornfield in front of me…or a tractor/harvester/some sort of farm equipment would pull out.  Or, much more likely…a deer/skunk/raccoon would decide to cross the road about that time.

Suffice it to say, I’m more than a little familiar with Route 252-Mbrook Road.

You see, M’brook Road is the connection to town (and all points beyond).

…and we made NINE trips on the little two-lane through the countryside…this week…just this week!  I’m not sure, but that may be some sort of record for us.

That was four trips to Lowe’s and Wal-mart, too…(since it’s right next door), a stop at the bank, the feedstore, the vet , a trip to the scrap metal yard, the Staunton Post Office and THREE trips to the dump  …and then Saturday’s Market, of course.  Some of the trips overlapped, but needless to say…not a whole lot of farm work got done.  After Monday’s torrential rains (two inches before lunch) it was too wet to work outside much anyway.

…and it all started with a rat. (or maybe it’s a whole family of rats)

When we went out to do chores on Monday morning, we were surprised to find a lake/pond in the middle of the barn floor.  Rain was flowing under the barn wall.  Apparently, all the residents of the rodent persuasion had been busy tunneling under all the junk in the barn and had loosened the earth underneath.  The torrential rain and the loose soil made for our own little waterway through the center of the barn. 

Not the way to start the week!  

A trip to town for supplies would be in order….and, while we’re out… (well, you know how that goes…)

Barns tend to accumulate a lot of stuff.  Sometimes it looks too good to throw away…and you just never know when you’ll need another piece of fence, some stakes or an old bucket. But, the pond in the barn caused the Boss to reach the breaking point and he started cleaning with a vengeance. The truck was loaded for what would be the first dump trip of the week.  He also rounded up all those miles of aluminum fence wire and we dropped it off at the scrap metal yard, earning a whopping $14.40 in the process…certainly not much when you consider what we originally paid for all that wire…but, now he has some cash in his wallet…for a change.

Yes, he really did EAT it! 

With the barn cleaned and organized, the battle with the rats is about to get serious.  Since the dogs and cats will eat rats (Gus particularly likes the “gifts” the cats leave on the back porch…ewwww!) poisons are not an option. …and rat shot is getting hard to find.  So, the trapping will continue.

As we come down to the end of the market season, it’s time to focus on Winter sales.  That means organizing all the vegetable goodness in the freezers and making room for those last two loads of lambs and broilers that will see us (and our Winter customers) through to Spring.  The freezer re-organization/clean-out meant another couple trips to town.  But, now we know just how much good stuff we have to offer and there’s room for all the meat, too.  (Good thing, we pick up lamb on Monday and process broilers on Tuesday…and we have more (of both) to do in November!) Our Winter customers should be quite happy, there’s lots of good stuff in those freezers.

It was a beautiful trip to the vet
That's the Allegheny mountains in the distance
Gus added to the trip tally.  He had to go for another “well puppy” check-up and get another shot in the series.  The vet was quite impressed with him.  He gained 11+ pounds in the 21 days since his last visit! I can personally attest to this…he had to be carried into the vet…to the exam room…and back to the vehicle.  A visit to the vet almost always reduces our big, farm dogs to unmovable masses of frightened fur, particularly if there are any little dogs in the waiting room.

Right at the end of our lunch break on Tuesday, the phone rang. It was the Post Office…not our neighborhood post office that’s within walking distance (if you feel like a hike) but, the Post Office in Staunton.  The layer chicks had arrived from the hatchery and they didn’t have a truck heading this way until the next day…so, would I come get my screaming chicks out of their post office? (they actually made a nice request)

Well…there go my plans for the afternoon!  …and down M’brook Road I went again.

Layer chicks are cuter than broilers
22 weeks from an egg to egg layer...impressive
With the chicks settled, the freezers cleaned and organized, the dog vetted and the battle with the rats somewhat under control…it was time to get ready for Market. (Somewhere in there I actually got some hoophouse planting done and started more seeds…The Boss kept busy with unexpected repair jobs. All sorts of things needed his attention.) Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Oh, did I mention that rain was a recurring theme this week?  After all the hot, dry weather of late September and early October, now we have cool, misty (downright rainy) weather as the “norm”. 

Saturday’s Market was dark and rainy.  But, there was a cool, new jazz group playing and the customers came out…so, there was no reason to complain.  Although, it did feel good to get back to the house where it was warm and dry.

It looks like the upcoming week’s battles will be with the weeds in the hoophouses.  Those tiny weed seedlings will take over the entire place if we’re not ever vigilant in our weeding endeavors.
green invasion
But, right's a cool, rainy Sunday...and it looks like Gus has the right idea. 

 It's a great day for a NAP! 

Thanks for stoppin’ by!  Hope you have a great week!

Happy Sunday!


  1. I so enjoyed this! I'm not feeling well today and I'm sitting here propped up in bed and when I saw you had a new blog post I of course came right over. I'm so glad I did. You have made me feel so much better. I feel like I've just spent the week with you and I loved it. Thanks for sharing you know how much I enjoy your pictures. Your place is fantastic!

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that you're not feeling well, Kelly! But, I'm glad that you had the chance to "visit" us. Thank you for your kind always make me smile.
      Feel better soon, my friend! Come back for a visit anytime.