Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 9-17

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name…

Surely I am not the only one who remembers the Cheers theme song! (and I apologize if it is now stuck in your head for the rest of the day)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about belonging…fitting in…having a tribe. This week it occurred to me just how much it means when people remember us. How we all yearn for that sense of belonging. And, how, after years of living in the same place, doing the same thing, I think we may have finally achieved that status.
MrB helped his dad deliver a load of firewood
he did a real good job backing him up

Since I am nothing if not predictable, the folks I see on my weekly rounds of errands through town are taken aback if I change up and show up on a different day. I have continuing conversations with the bank tellers and cashiers. And, I have even heard the guys at the feedstore question one another when my order is slightly different. Somehow, that makes me feel like others someone is looking out for me. (and that means a lot)

a visit to the hill isn't complete without a tractor ride
(thanks for the pic, Amanda!)
Tuesday, we loaded a bunch of lambs and headed up the Valley to drop them off for processing. The loading and the trip were both uneventful and quick. When we walked in the door after leaving the lambs in the holding pen out back, we were greeted warmly by the employees who were busily processing a huge beef behind the counter. After the manager reviewed our cutting instructions she said, “I’ll call ya next week. Thanks, hun!” It’s taken awhile, but we get that sense of belonging there, too.
penning lambs at processor
next time we see them they will be tasty lambchops

corn harvest is completed in the north end of the Valley

The next job on the docket involved the Boss crawling underneath the house and braving the spiderwebs to check on an issue that had “major problem” written all over it.

The water pressure here on the hill had seemed “off” lately. Ordinarily, it can be like opening a fire hydrant if you’re not careful when you turn on the outside faucets.

Earlier this year, we had found what looked like wool in the hoophouse irrigation system, but didn’t give it much thought as we were intent on getting the plants watered.

Then, the electric bill started getting higher and higher.

The Boss was worried that there was something seriously wrong with the well pump... now, he hates plumbing and the well is quite deep (380 feet---although the pump sits at 300 feet).

His trip to the cellar seemed to prove his theory.  This job was going to require an expert. Fortunately, the well man lives down in town. As a matter of fact, you can see his house from the barnyard.

A call was made.

“hey, Ben...Tom here”

“Well, hello, Tom! I heard you been sick. How you feelin’ now?   ...a problem with the well? Yeah, I can be there in an hour...”

(where everybody knows your name...)

Yes. The well pump did indeed need attention. The impeller had worn out. (remember that “wool” stuff we found? That was indeed the shredded impeller.) This caused the pump to run continuously as it attempted to come to full pressure, in turn causing the electric bill to skyrocket.

They would be back on Friday to fix the pump and shock the well.

In the meantime, it was back to business as usual.

captured kitty
The Boss became my hero when he trapped barn kitty, Tess, so I could take her to the vet for her much-delayed rabies shot. She is not a particularly nice cat, despite my best efforts ever since she was a teeny, tiny kitten. Did you read THIS?  She hisses and fights the other cats on a routine basis, and she’s been known to claw and bite humans, too. But, since she’s a good hunter and rabies shots are required by law, the trip to the vet was a necessity. Besides, she and Gus are best buds, so I wouldn’t want him to lose his only other animal-friend.
beautiful morning was pierced by caterwauling

She was howling so loudly about her imprisonment that I could hear her from the top of the hill as I opened the gate for the lambs. That didn’t bode too well for our trip, so I changed CD’s and turned the volume way up as we cruised the backroads to the vet clinic. If she was howling in the car, I couldn’t hear her over Brantley Gilbert.

We’ve been dealing with the same clinic for our entire time in the Valley. I’ve lost track of all the pets and farm animals we’ve taken in for care. Our ten-year adventure with home dairying meant we got to know some of the vets on a first name basis. It was great to walk in the door and be greeted by name. But, this time it struck me how much things have changed since the office manager passed away late last year. Everyone is still nice, they still take great care of our animals, but that personal touch is missing. And, seeing her picture on the wall, instead of being welcomed by her smiling face made me just a little bit sad.

we've had lots of heavy dew
but, could really use some rain

However, the cat got her shot and we returned to the hill, where she immediately went looking for Gus, demanding that he “pet” her as she wound herself between his legs. Later, they were seen napping in the driveway.

Gus seems slightly embarrassed by his new "best friend"

Since we were going to be without water on a FRIDAY (harvest day) I guess it’s a good thing that garden production has slowed to a snail’s pace, meaning we could get everything harvested before the well team arrived.
sunrise on well repair day

Between the weather, health issues, a major lack of enthusiasm, and some under-preforming crops, late season production is at what just might be an all-time low. Strike that. There’s no might be about it. Production is definitely at an all-time low. At this point, there’s no way to correct it this year. So, I guess we’ll just try to hang on until the end of the Market season in hopes that we can re-group and get back on track for 2018.

the last batch of broilers finally moved outside

Squash bugs and moisture spelled disaster for the winter squash

Sadly, this looks like the last of the tomato crop

But, potato blossoms mean the fall potatoes are almost ready!

The well job required that the Boss trim some trees and cut a hole in the fence. There was some complaining when he moved the sheep and relegated Gus to the garden. Remy kept a close eye on the proceedings from the office window.

Remy watching the proceedings

I took advantage of the “down-time” and worked on getting the farm books up to date. (I won’t even tell you how far behind I was) It always makes me feel a bit more organized when the filing is done and the checkbook is balanced. While I can’t say everything is current, it is close...and I can almost see the top of my desk again!
pulling the well pipe

The well job was completed in an amazingly short period of time and the water was back on by lunchtime. Although it smelled like chlorine (they have to “shock” the well after working on it to kill any nasties that might have gotten into the system) and didn’t taste at all like our good well water, there is a sense of relief when you open the tap and the water flows freely. After the chlorine did its job it was flushed from the system and now everything is back to “normal”.

While I can’t say I’m happy for the unexpected expense of the well repair, I am grateful that it is fixed. It means a lot to know that you can make a phonecall and help is on the way...within the hour.
(where everybody knows your name)

It doesn’t matter if production is down, what the weather is, or even if we feel like it...when Saturday rolls around, it’s time for Market.

it's starting to look like fall downtown

The market is the one place where I can try to do a little payback...where I can attempt to remember folks’ names, their concerns and interests and pass on the feeling of goodwill that I have experienced during the week.

...where everybody knows your name...

                      ...and they’re always glad that you came...

this cute guy stopped by to say HI!

That brings us to the end of another week.

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by. Come “visit” us again real soon!


  1. Oh, that is a deep well! I think ours is 150 ft. We needed a new pump several years ago and I am now familiar with every inch of pipe and line! You never know how much you appreciate turning on a tap and having water come out, until it doesn't. -Jenn

  2. Wonderful read! Always know your name!

  3. Feeling like you belong - somewhere - is as important as food, water, shelter. People make people better. Your post highlights the benefits of passing on kindness and attentiveness. Wonderful, Barbara. PS. Glad the well is now in shipshape before winter. Hugs, Kris

    1. For the longest time I didn't feel as if I belonged anywhere.
      You are absolutely right, people DO make people better. (most of the time ;) )
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. A usual I so enjoy reading you exploits over the week Barbara and know just what you mean about the good feeling when the farm books are all up to date and have balanced. That is one job I certainly shalln't miss when I move.