Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 11-29

just a few of the things I am thankful for this year

Here we are…it’s time for a Sunday Walkabout because another week has flown by.

At least I think it’s Sunday.

The end of the Market followed by a not-quite-mid-week holiday where we eat at the “wrong” time of day is more than a little confusing. I am creature of habit and a follower of routine, so I am struggling to get back “on track”.

But, I have assured myself that it is indeed Sunday with multiple checks of the calendar, my phone and the computer.

So…here we go. 

---These sunrise photos have nothing to do with the story, but aren't they beautiful? 
This is how much a single sunrise can change in a matter of minutes...


the sunrises are just one of the awesome job benefits

The Boss had declared this our “week off”. (he apparently forgot about all the preparations for Thanksgiving that were looming over my head). And, it seemed more than a little perverse on my part to argue. So, to celebrate our “week off”, we decided to splurge a little. To take the afternoon off and do something totally non-farm related is not only fairly unusual, but it always seems like some sort of guilty pleasure.

end of the Market "date-day"

The movie “the Martian” is finishing up its run at one of the local theaters. The Boss had been anticipating this ever since he completed the book last winter. It would be much better suited to the big screen than our fairly small television. So lunch and a matinee it was. I can honestly say that in nearly 32 years together, we have never done that before! As a matter of fact, we haven’t even been to the movies in years…well over 20 years. (something that the daughters pointed out when they found out where we had been)

The “day off” proved to be a success. I was prepared to be “under-whelmed” as I am not the fan of space stories and sci-fi that the Boss is. It was quite interesting and I found myself completely caught up in the story. And, as a farmer, I truly felt the protagonist’s pain when an accident blew up the module where he was growing potatoes and they instantly froze in the -200* atmosphere. When he touched the little frozen plant and it shattered, and he realized the crop was completely lost, I knew how that felt all too well.

So, movie over and “day off” enjoyed, we got back to the very necessary preparations for T’giving.

 ….which were all going quite well…

…until they weren’t.

My back decided to “go on strike”. And, it wasn’t a peaceful little sit-in kind of strike. It was a flat-out revolt. It was incredibly painful and simply walking was out of the question. I actually considered the emergency room at one point. However, I couldn't see spending the time or money to have them tell me to "give it time and take it easy". 

While the Boss’ true humility would prevent him from saying anything, I will have to let you in on a little secret. We wouldn’t have had a T’giving meal if it wasn’t for the Boss. He mixed and stirred and cooked while I gave directions. He made all kinds of food. He even cleaned while I collapsed in the recliner, popping ibuprofen and applying the heating pad.

He did an amazing job!

And, just when I thought he was done and I couldn’t be more thankful for him, he set off for town to get me a TENs device that we hoped would ease the pain. For my husband to willingly go into Walmart on the day before T’giving was a true act of love and it gave me one more thing to be thankful for on the big day. (although I’m pretty sure HE was thankful that I got the bathroom cleaning done before my back went out…vacuuming and dusting are one thing…)

When he got home with this tiny little thing, we both had serious doubts. But at that point we had nothing to lose. Amazingly, the little device worked! By T’giving morning, I could indeed walk again. However, bending and lifting were still pretty painful…but, we didn’t have to cancel our plans (that was my biggest worry earlier in the week)

We had a fun time visiting with all the kids…and snuggling with the grandbabies. T-bone's cousin and his young daughter joined us for the meal, so our little house was very full.

…and I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all. 

You know how funny it is to watch a room full of grown-ups howl at the adventures of Shaun the Sheep? (two movies in one week...we are going for some sort of record!)

It’s hard to believe that a year can make such an incredible difference. Last year, although we knew we would have a grandbaby in ’15, we didn’t know if it would be he or she…and we had no idea that there would be GB#2!  We have been doubly blessed. There should be more than one day for thanksgiving when you consider all the good things in our lives.

I think they just heard Grandpa say something
about workin' for your supper

After nearly a month of seeing posts that are focused on being thankful for and conscious of the great blessings in everyone’s lives, the focus instantly shifts to Christmas holiday preparations, making me incredibly glad that we don’t participate in all the folderol. I really hate to lose that sense of gratitude for all the things that make up the fabric of a pretty amazing way of life. 

However, the day of celebration always ends too soon and it’s time for everyone to head back home and life begins to return to “normal”. That always seems a little sad. But, the return to “normal” is necessary…and personally, I am ready to return to a non-Thanksgiving kind of menu!

the processing shed becomes the WOODshed until Spring
And, honestly, there is no time to be sad…Winter is looming. And, the Boss is getting ready.  The wood is stacked in the shed and he cleaned the henyard so the hens can head back from the middle garden soon. The hens will spend the late fall and early winter cleaning up the lower garden before the snow flies. He hauled all the chicken manure out to the compost pile for use next season. The annual “sorting of the sheep”, when the ram leaves the ewes has been delayed far longer than normal, but hopefully we can get to that this week as well.
cleaning out the henyard

the "clean" henyard makes a great place for early morning explorations

He also has a couple projects in the works, so we’re headed off to town in the morning to get supplies. I will leave you wondering as to the significance of THIS in our backyard.

Do you know what this is?
Got any ideas for what it is going to become?

I will only say that it will be the latest in the Boss’ re-purposing, up-cycling endeavors.

morning view

Now that we have entered the “off-season”, it’s time to shift focus to the recordkeeping side of the farm. I have a love/hate relationship with all the recordkeeping. I get psyched when all the little columns add up and the bank statement balances on the first try. And, I love the fact that I can generate all sorts of reports with the click of the mouse. However, I hate sitting there, staring at the screen for hours, getting all those figures input so I can get my reports and trying to remember WHAT that cryptic message on yet another receipt might mean. I keep telling myself that I should be more diligent during the rest of the year and then I wouldn’t face this long and tortuous ordeal…but…you know how that goes.

early morning full moon

It doesn’t seem like sitting at the computer is vital farm work. But, it is. Without the information regarding income and expenses, we have no idea how the farm is doing. By keeping track of farm products sold, we know which items are profitable and which are not. And, we will need all this data as we plan next year and beyond.

Our annual planning meeting is scheduled for the end of next month, so time is of the essence. And, everything has a way of working out. My miraculous healing is in no way complete. My back is still sore and the Boss ended up doing all my chores for a few days. But, “taking it easy” means that I can focus on the mountain of bookwork that has been screaming for my attention for months now. Perhaps I can get caught up by the first of the week. That’s my goal.

I love the light in the hoophouse

This week things will regain some semblance of “normalcy” as we start our Winter Sales. We spent some time finalizing our product list and I got all our customers’ email addresses updated.

And, despite the COLD temperatures earlier in the week (it was 23* two mornings in a row) there will still be a fair amount of things to harvest. (the family portrait at the top is surrounded by this week's goodies)
That ice is over an inch thick.
It's time to haul out the stocktank heater!

Gus is the only inhabitant who enjoys ice

Hooray for frost blankets!
applying frost blankets in the hoophouse

That’s about it for happenings on the hill this week.

Hope you have a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by. Come back and “visit” us again.

Here's one last visit to the Staunton Farmers' Market for the year...


  1. What a jolly, upbeat post Barbara in spite of that bad back. Hope it is better soon. Such things are usually a way of nature telling us to slow down a bit - so perhaps it is as well your market has finished.

  2. Wow, sorry for your poor back. Glad your hubby is so awesome. What program do you use for your business? Just curious as to how you like it.

    1. Awww, thanks!
      We use Quickbooks and have for years. (ever since we joined the 21st century, maybe 10 years ago) Before that, we used ledger paper and did everything by hand. (truly old-school)
      I haven't ever used anything different, so I have nothing to compare it to. But,I like it.It's simple and user-friendly. I just wish you didn't have to update/upgrade occasionally...I'd be content if everything stayed the same forever. LOL

  3. Interesting article, I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your daily experience.
    We would love to read more about it.