Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 6-30

Another week has flown by...

            Summer is in full swing here on the hill.

This week seemed to revolve around meat sales.  We picked up the first of the "lambchop crop of '13".  We were able to personally attest to its delicious-ness at the Market.

Then we processed broilers.  Check out my new knife.
 Not many women can say they have a hand-made knife...with their initials on it. Papaw Wally and Miss Eva came to visit us at the Market and brought me this as a gift. Wally fashioned it from an old bandsaw blade and it is SHARP.  Cool, huh?  It's hard to believe that fifteen years ago we only thought of them as some nice older folks that sold ham biscuits at the Market.  Today, my girls count them as part of the family...surrogate grandparents. Thanks, Wally and Eva!

Oh, and the great for broiler processing!

Next, we moved the broilers from the brooder to the pasture. I've lost track of the batch number...
I think this is #4.

Then, the next batch arrived at the Post Office.  It always astounds me that the chicks hatch, get popped into a box, dispatched in the mail and arrive here in less than 48 hours.

 A little sip of water, some fresh feed and they are off and scurrying around.  You can almost watch them growing.
We did a little harvesting...
just a few cabbages...

The first cucumbers...

...and my personal favorite....

New potatoes!  We should have potatoes for Market this coming week. (provided the predicted heavy rains don't wash us away)

The lambs seem to appreciate the late week paddock shift.  They were up to their eyeballs in fresh grass.  Quite literally!


It's been a beautiful June...after a little rest and relaxation today (and a little unexpected bean picking)...

We'll be ready to tackle July.

Thanks for stopping by...

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lonesome, On'ry and Mean...?

THE DAY had finally arrived.

The weather was warm and dry (for a change). We were up to date on the “to do list” (well, relatively) 

There was no avoiding it.  It was time.

                                     Time to shear the ram.

While it is crucial to get Waylon-the-ram shorn on an annual basis, it’s one job that neither of us look forward to.  I don’t think Waylon-the-ram has any opinion on the matter, although he does seem more comfortable minus his woolly coat.

Since Waylon lives alone most of the year, he can be somewhat cantankerous. There are times when he seems rather put out at his solitary life…his deep baritone baaaa echoes across the farm when the ewes move to a paddock out of his sight. Sometimes he paces back and forth, complaining the entire time. You can read about Waylon's bachelor life here.

When working with large animals, anything can happen.  Waylon outweighs the Boss by about a hundred pounds or more, so he’s working at a disadvantage from the “git-go”. To say we approach the job with some trepidation is an understatement. 

Here is the story from last year.

In case anyone wonders, yes…Waylon is named for Waylon Jennings of country music fame…no, I really don’t know why.  It seemed appropriate at the time.

Rams, good rams like Waylon, have a singular purpose on the farm…to breed the ewes.

 Read this one...and this.  
That means he is a mass of testosterone and muscle. Doing a little mutton-bustin’ is definitely NOT on the Boss’ bucket list.  He’s done a little combat with rams and has absolutely no desire to do it again.

This year’s shearing was completely uneventful.  I’m pretty sure we break every shearing rule there is…but, the job is done.  Waylon is cool and ready for breeding season in about six weeks.  The Boss survived, completely intact, his only complaint was he smelled like a sheep for the rest of the day.

So, today I am thankful, truly thankful that Waylon didn’t live up to the song lyrics from his namesake that  are always a very real possibility.

I been doin’ things my way…It's been making me lonesome, on'ry and mean!

Nope…he was quite well behaved.
  Maybe it was the pink halter…more likely than not it was just the grain in the feeder. He does love his feed! But,whatever the reason, he was calm and cooperative, just like we like it.

the "after" shots

I must say there is a great sense of relief having that job done and out of the way for another year!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Little Farm, BIG Sky

Busy times here on the hill.

But...check out the view!

       Here's to a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Perspective: A Lesson from the Back Porch

Check it out. 

The alien invasion has begun!

Praying mantises always make me think of aliens.  I guess it’s the big eyes and the odd movements. …and the fact that I watched far too many science fiction shows in my younger years.

I think that praying mantises are probably the coolest in the insect world.  They’re oddly interesting.  Sort of friendly and a little creepy at the same time.  They are welcomed by gardeners everywhere. Did you read this from last year?

The other night I found a little visitor in the barn.  I carefully carried him/her to the back porch for a little photo session. He/she was quite friendly and cooperative. I think I took nearly 200 shots of the little creature. (oh, digital photography, how I love you!) 

The opening close-up gives you no…absolutely NO…sense of scale. No perspective. Does it?

How ‘bout this?

Yep, my little friend was not even a half inch long! He/she is posing on a can of dog food.

Before I finished the “shoot”, I got to thinking how perspective is crucial. Not only in photography…but, in all aspects of life.

When Life “does a number” on me…when unforeseen problems arise and/or things go wrong,  I tend to focus on the immediate problem…and it often seems huge, insurmountable, and sometimes (a lot of times) that perspective keeps me from seeing that the solution is quite simple.

It’s as simple as taking a step back and re-evaluating the situation.  A simple matter of re-focusing…

Without perspective, we are (I am) stuck…unable to make the change that may indeed make ALL the difference.

Here’s hoping I can remember this bit of enlightenment as our little friend heads out in to the 
great unknown to conquer the insect world! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 6-23

Another week has flown by…

Another week that saw rain and more rain...(imagine that!)

more planting,
timing is everything
we got squash, cukes and summer broccoli in just ahead of the rain
lots and LOTS of harvesting,
broccoli was the big crop this week

picked and processed over 200 pounds!

Black Forest cake...Happy Birthday, Josh!
a birthday for our favorite 29 year-old,
and a great Market.

We started the week with supper at one daughter and son-in-law’s home and finished up the week gathered for another supper at the other daughter and son-in-law’s home.  

Good times…
I love this bunch!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 6-16

Time is sure flying…can’t decide if that means that I am really having FUN…or just getting OLD.

last view of the bottle lamb
Monday’s torrential rains gave way to a beautiful Tuesday. We hauled lambs to Edinburg, and finally got the garlic harvested from the muddy garden.

But, then there were storm clouds on the horizon once again.  When the weather forecast included the word “derecho”, I must admit I was more than a little bit concerned.  After last year’s experience, I’m hoping we never have weather like that again.  Did you read these? 

Despite the forecast and any worries associated with it, we didn’t get any rain, didn’t lose power, it was pretty much a non-event.  YAY!

The wet conditions have given way to new issues. 

Every time it’s very wet, Ellie ends up with sore ears.  Years ago, I hauled her to the vet and learned how to care for and clean her ears.  While she seems to appreciate the end result, she doesn’t like that bottle of stuff headed at her….and if I say “ears” she shakes her head and runs off.  Hopefully, in another couple days she’ll be fine once more.

Ellie and lambs waiting out the rain in the barn

In addition being wet, it is now quite warm.  That means that the battle of the bugs and slugs has begun in earnest.  Unfortunately, it’s not the bugs versus the slugs…we are battling all sorts of creepy crawlies that want to eat the vegetables.

While it is sad that strawberry season is over for the year, we did have one last scrumptious dessert!

I harvested the first cauliflower of the year…it was delicious. 

We will have cauliflower and cabbage to take to next Saturday’s Market.  It won’t be too long before we have green beans, as well.  

…and look…a tiny, red potato! 
It was nice to have a fairly full vegetable stand for the Market, and have lots of stuff to re-stock it with throughout the morning. I must say, this season has been completely different than last year!

Speaking of the Market, we had some visitors this week.  One of the Boss’ cyber friends and his wife were travelling through the area and stopped by to visit us.  It was great to meet Scott and Joanne!  …and Ian should have gotten an award for being the most well-behaved dog at the Market.  We hope they’ll come see us again.

…and now it’s Sunday once more…

Thanks for stopping by…come back again.

           Happy Sunday!