Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Walkabout 10-30

I'm SO thankful for the street lights at the Market's REALLY dark in the early morning

Here we are…Sunday again.

All too often it seems like there is little to report, since we tend to do the same things at the same times over and over…year after year. While I find the routine comforting and I truly like the predictability, I worry that it makes for monotonous copy. 

On any trip to town, we drive through a certain farm where you get a true sense of the cycle of the seasons and it is quite possible to know the exact month  without ever looking at the calendar. That’s how predictable this blog has become…look back at any October…you’ll see pretty much the same things. I guess that’s a good thing…

Although, for all the sameness, every year is ever so slightly different.

This year the weather seems so dry and warm…making for a less than gorgeous fall, dusty potato harvest and a delay in the brassica production. Facebook reminded me that five years ago, we had SNOW for the last Market of October. (definitely not a threat this year…the forecast was for temps near 80*!)
Staunton Market October 29, 2011

But, dust or no, the fall potatoes needed to come out of the ground, so that was job one for the week.

harvesting 'taters

last of the harvest
28 bushels in cold storage

...and, we are DONE!

some pretty "tiny 'taters"

However, the “hen house cat” (did you read THIS?) also needed to visit to the vet to assure that we didn’t have any more kitties, so I added one more stop to my town-run while the Boss started digging ‘taters.

now that she's "fixed", Remy can join the farm hunting team outside
she seems fascinated with Tess
It was one of those truly infrequent trips where everything fell into place. Since I left fairly early to make the vet appointment, I made great time on my errands and even fit in a few extras. While I was shopping, I got a call that the new lenses for my glasses had arrived and I could pick those up without a special trip. (and I can see clearly now...) And, while I was getting those, the vet called to say that the cat could be picked up before suppertime. Which meant I had time to go home, get lunch, help the Boss with the potato harvest, and do chores. By any reckoning, that was a successful day. And, Remy seems none the worse for wear and is back to inspecting the laundry.
when she's not checking  every dryer load

With the completion of the potato harvest, the Boss began work on another repair job. This one indeed had a deadline, so “no time like the present”…

When he built the ram hut last December (read this one) , he used a corrugated product for the roof, figuring it would be the best solution---adding some weight so we didn’t have to worry about the new housing unit flying over the rooftops in a big wind. All was well until summertime. Some combination of hot weather and heavy rain caused the roof to bow in and hold water.

the board gives some perspective to the problem

looks like a dump run is in order

 I can’t imagine it was hot enough to melt…but, that’s certainly what it looked like. While a farm pond would be nice…it wasn’t such a good idea on TOP of the ram hut where it would only serve to attract mosquitoes and the like. (not to mention the possibility of a cave-in on the ram) A re-design and repair would have to take place…but that couldn’t happen while Angus was around.

Since he’s still “visiting the ladies”, the time had come. (It looks like Angus was entirely successful with his assignment. It’s just a matter of moving him back to his bachelor pad) The repair job was fairly easy, requiring a little reinforcement for the roof and a just one quick trip to Lowe’s.  Another job off the to-do list!

Not much else going on…the hens are still working their way through the Brussels sprouts.

The layer chicks have gotten to the funny, fuzzy baby vulture stage of development.

 And, the lambs are just a week away from their one and only trip away from the farm. 

it took 15 minutes to get them to stop "playing" and go in the right paddock
nope, not gonna miss these guys AT ALL!

I finally got the last of the garlic  (for green garlic) planted and planted some onion sets to use for scallions.

the garlic I planted last week is coming up!
(so are the weeds)

sprouted onion sets

grow, little onion, GROW

…nope, not a whole lot going on.

But, then, there was the ‘possum…

Critters/varmints are not usually noteworthy. They are just a given of country living. However, I realized that the whole ‘possum incident was oddly insightful to life here on the hill. The vision of Gus with the dead marsupial simply solidified my thoughts.


Gus and the 'possum
Saturday afternoon we came home to discover a dead ‘possum in “the kill zone”. (the edge of the orchard where Gus and Ellie seem to bring all their varmint conquests) This area sees a fair amount of action, and we generally just clean up the mess and go on with life.

But, this particular kill had a bit of a backstory…

Friday night, just as we were going to bed (early night before Market), I heard a great deal of commotion coming from the direction of the barn. A lot of weird barking and moaning that just couldn’t be left unchecked. As I headed out with the big flashlight, one of the dogs came galloping out of the barn as the moaning continued. My first thought was that in their high-spirited playing one had been injured. But, I realized that was not the case as I followed into the barn. There, behind a pile of fence panels was a small ‘possum, doing its best to ward off two enormous, aggravated dogs.  And, …it was failing miserably. They were pawing, digging, moaning and barking with no evidence of giving up the hunt until the bitter end.

I headed back to the house to apprise the Boss of the situation. 

“The dogs have a possum cornered in the barn, under a pile of fencing. Shouldn’t we do “something” about it? (like kill it) One of them will get hurt if I don’t, they’re going crazy down there.”

He sighed, rolled his eyes and said, “ just close the barn doors and they’ll forget about it. And, maybe the ‘possum will just go away.”


…and there you have it.

Our approach to everything in life is summed up in that interaction. I’m all…oh, my god…a problem…do something, dammit!  (KILL IT!) And, he’s…ah, well…just let it alone, ignore it and maybe it will go away.


Every. Single. Time.

I returned to the barn, grumbling under my breath, closed the doors, left the dogs’ water outside and headed to the house. I’m pretty sure he was nearly asleep when I got back and I’m even more certain that he never gave it another thought. Whereas…well, I certainly had a few thoughts…

In the long run, he was right…the dogs did stop barking once they were locked out of the barn. We went to sleep. No dogs got hurt.

But, we failed to take into consideration that the dogs would indeed do what I thought should have been done all along. One of them killed that ‘possum and resolved the issue once and for all. We can only assume that the ‘possum wasn’t bright enough to walk out the back door of the barn to freedom, instead walking out the front toward the waiting dogs. A win for the Boss’ laidback approach? Vindication for my somewhat over-reactive murderous urges?


Our completely divergent approaches to life and its ongoing challenges are what makes us workso well as a team (and on occasion drives us to the verge of total distraction) …and keeps things interesting. The ‘possum incident was US in a nutshell. …and that’s just funny. (except now I have to dispose of a dead critter because the dogs didn’t bother to eat it)

The weather for Saturday’s Market was nearly perfect and downtown was swarming with trick-or-treaters.

dark, dark Market opening
 All in all a successful sales day, but I was truly thankful to leave the crowds behind and get back home. Just three more weeks of the season! And, I don’t think I am alone when I say, I will be REALLY glad to see the end of the Market for the year.
Got any good recipes for broccoli, butternut, cabbage, arugula, one red pepper and five fall leaves?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a cake to make. It’s the Boss’ birthday and as such, he gets his favorite supper and a cake…

Thanks for stopping by!

Hope you’re having a

Happy Sunday! 

such a pretty fall morning

Come back and “visit” again real soon.

Wish you could visit the Market? Here’s the link to this week’s photos.


  1. Ha ha! Baby vulture age for sure! Have a lovely Hallowe'en, although I suspect you don't get many children coming to your door, out in the country? -Jenn

    1. Thanks for reading, Jenn!
      No, we don't get any trick-or-treaters. If children managed to make the 1/4 mile trek up the hill, through the gate, past the dogs and down the driveway...they would definitely want more than a measly piece of candy. LOL
      Have a great week!

  2. Barbara, you are such a good writer! I feel as though I am right there with you on your Sunday Walkabouts. Thank you for sharing week after week... -Joseph

    1. Thanks for reading, Joseph!
      We truly enjoyed visiting with y'all (in person) and hope we will have the opportunity again.
      Have a wonderful week!