Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 8-12

I gave some serious thought to changing the name of this post because this week’s “walkabout” isn’t going to deal with a whole lot of walking…

…but hobble-about sounds downright silly.

When I left you last Sunday, it was to join the Boss at the barn for a little ewe management and sheep herding.

However, I didn’t get too far…

Before I could even get into the shop to pick up the supplies, I stepped wrong and sprained my foot.

No kidding.

No great story, no funny incident…just the inability to put one foot in front of the other without somehow injuring myself. Wincing in pain, I called for the Boss (who couldn’t hear me because he was in the barn with the ewes). I honestly thought it was broken. Oh, it hurt. I leaned up against the shop and hoped I wouldn’t cry. The Boss finally responded and was ready to take me to the Emergency Room.
ewes ready for Ram Day

But, I was bound and determined to get that job completed. You can call it stubborn. Maybe even pig-headed, the Boss certainly does. I call it tenacious. And, it generally serves us well. Quite honestly, we couldn’t very well leave the job half-finished. He had most of the work already done. The lambchop crop of 2019 hung in the balance. Over the Boss’ (very repeated) protestations, I hobbled down to the barn and stood on one foot to work the ewes.
working the ewes 8-5

With the girls readied, Angus needed to be outfitted with his harness and then the Boss could open the gate and allow him to run in with the girls. Prior to this exciting event, Angus needed to be de-wormed. Since he weighs well in excess of 300 pounds, this is not a one-person job.

Using a short-handled shovel as a crutch, I made it out to the ram paddock, where the Boss had everything at the ready. Angus was most cooperative (it’s almost like he knew). 
getting ready for Ram Day

Angus is ready
and look at the size of those broilers!

After I managed to get out of the way (I was already in pain, I certainly didn’t need to add tangling with a feisty ram to my morning) the Boss opened the gate, the ewes went in and Angus started his rounds. HAPPY RAM DAY! Breeding season has begun. It’s always so anti-climactic.

here they come!

the shepherd in charge of "introductions"

Angus says "hello"

Angus is an awesome specimen

But, the walk back to the house was looking pretty long by this time. A ride in the tractor bucket is not my idea of a good time, but, it sure beat hobbling/hopping all that way.

taking a ride to the house

The next “excitement” for our Sunday was a trip to the Emergency room. (where I did NOT even try to explain that we had worked sheep before coming in)

I will say this. The new emergency department at the hospital is beautiful. And, everyone was very nice.  But, I can think of a lot better ways to spend a Sunday morning!!

it doesn't even look bruised!

X-rays revealed that nothing was broken, so they gave me a little brace, some crutches, told me to "take it easy" and sent me on my way. An appointment with the Orthopedic doc was made for next week.

Super bad timing on my part!

With broilers to process the next morning, we were going to have to figure out something in a hurry. The birds were already large, so we couldn’t let them go any longer. Since my part of the process could be done sitting on a stool, we just went with the plan. The Boss would just add chicken-catching to his round of morning chores (which also included all MY morning chores).

Now, before somebody fusses that I should have asked for help…here’s the deal. It’s the middle of summer and everyone is at least knee-deep in their own stuff. To get help requires some advance notice and some juggling of everyone’s schedule. But, this job absolutely had to be done first thing. So, you just do what you gotta do.  

And, I am still calling it tenacity.

FYI, the broilers all made it to the freezer without further ado.

Mid-week brought a flurry of activity, because not only were chicks arriving at the Post Office (which meant the Boss had to ready the brooder in a hurry) but, The Commissioner of Ag was coming to town. Not only was she coming to town…she was coming to visit the Wednesday Market in observance of Farmers’ Market week. Neither one of us wanted to miss that opportunity!

So, when the Post Office called, I headed out to pick up the chicks, not really knowing if one is even supposed to attempt to drive while in a splint. I checked…it’s not illegal. It’s also not real easy. But, I did it!

The Post Office was a flurry of activity as mail was being sorted, employees were clocking in and trucks were coming and going at the dock. No one seemed to notice me as I wandered in, following the cheeping sound that was distinctly audible over all the chaos and cacophony. When I finally found them, there was a man sitting at the desk behind them, seemingly oblivious to all the noise. He indicated that he was deaf and motioned to someone else to help me.

all the chicks arrived in good health

A girl with a broom noticed me and shouted “Hallelujah!” when I told her I was here to pick up my chicks. “They sure are noisy things! The only one that can stand them is him…and he’s deaf! She chuckled as she went off in search of the employee who has to scan the package. When she came back, she noticed the brace on my foot. “oh, girl…what did you do?” She looked concerned as I told her and then stated, “well, at least you got pretty toes! If that happened to me, I’d be wearin’ big socks…’cause my feet…they is just plain UGLY!” she laughed and grabbed her broom, calling over her shoulder as she went, “now, you feel better, honey!” I have no idea who she was, and probably won’t ever see her again. But, she made me laugh and called to mind just one of the reasons I love our area of the world. The people. 

meeting the Commissioner

And, speaking of people…we did indeed meet the  Commissioner.. She was such a warm and caring
person. I think Virginia Agriculture is in good hands.

everyone loves a baby!
 this little girl sure has a story to tell someday

interview at the Market

Thank you, Dr. Bronaugh for taking the time to stop in Staunton! And, thanks to our friend, Jeff, for the great video. I hope y’all can watch it HERE.

On the subject of videos, the episode of Virginia Farming that was filmed at the Market earlier in the year was aired this week. You can watch that HERE.

Since time stands still for no man (nor a sore, sprained foot/ankle) before we knew it, we were getting ready for Market once more. While I am pretty sure those rather vague instructions for care didn’t include vegetable harvest…we got it done!
finished moving the mid-sized broilers

Picking lettuce

picking zucchini

a makeshift boot

ready to work the lambs

hilling 'taters
we got a little rain...

they weren't impressed with my dedication to duty

the rain brought a little rainbow

pretty lettuce

the Boss is doing ALL the chores

and afternoon
Saturday dawned grey and foreboding. The threat of rain was real and I honestly didn’t expect the Market to be very lively, since school started earlier in the week. But, Market day is Market day and you just have to take what you get.

leaving for Market

As I drove down the lane, I was thinking about a message the Boss got from one of the neighbors about the other neighbor’s cows. He thought that one of the cows had come up the creek to our lower paddock. The Boss laughed and said they probably had. It just wouldn’t be summer around here if there weren’t cows someplace they didn’t really belong.

But, there in the gloom, I caught a glimpse of something…

wait a minute...
WHAT is she doing there?

I had to back up to be sure.

It looked like neighbor was right…

Yep, there was a Mama-cow, grazing away in the creek paddock. And, wait a minute…there was one of the calves…IN the creek!

calf taking a dip in the creek

Neighbor was wrong after all, there were multiple cows on our side of the lane. They seemed pretty unconcerned, so I continued on toward the Market, laughing all the way. The predictability of life around here is just plain funny.
early morning visitors

The Market was A-MAZING!  The perfect ending to National Farmers' Market Week.

couldn't fit it all in the photo
(and we only took home a little bit!)

The weather turned out to be lovely (although it did get HOT) It was super busy. The band was good. People were in the mood to buy. And, we sold out of most everything. Even the giant zucchini. Since I was behind the table, not too many people noticed my foot, so I didn’t have to do the whole “sprained foot non-story” a million times. The people I did tell agreed with me---I definitely need a better story!

On the way home, we passed neighbor in his four-wheeler doing a little cattle round-up. I think this is the first summer in twenty years that I haven’t taken part in a little impromptu summertime cattle herding. (that’s really okay!) I’m pretty sure all the cows made it back home by afternoon.

they're all back in the shade
before the thunderstorm

Today, we’re shifting gears a little and heading to a birthday party. I can’t believe that the reason for THIS POST  is turning 3!

 Nobody told me that driving the tractor means
 you get to yell "YEE-HAW!" going down the driveway!

Kenny Chesney was right, “DON'T blink! Time flies faster than you think!” For a great song, watch THIS.

Thank you for reading.

Have a Happy Sunday! 

Please come back and “visit” again soon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Farmers' Market Celebration

As Farmers' Market week continues...

Here's a "virtual visit" for those who are unable to attend.

vendors arrive EARLY in the morning

setting up

You can find all sorts of things at the Market!






artisan breads


hand-crafted wooden bowls

herb plants

dried herbs
exotic mushrooms
luscious goodies

unique gift ideas

fresh ginger

all natural doggie treats

great music

tasty vegetables

fabulous fruit

all sorts of tomatoes

...and of course, CORN

Come visit us in person on Saturday...we're open from 7am to NOON from the first weekend in April until the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

But, get there early...the good stuff doesn't last long!

love this sign from Firkin Pie Company

Hope you enjoyed your little "virtual visit"! 

Thanks to TLeightonWomack photography for the great images.