Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 4-29

                                     When it rains…it pours…
More than a motto for salt, this was the theme of a wet week on the hill.

I thought I’d compartmentalized my grief, that we were just moving on…doing our thing, until I saw those flashing red and blue lights in my rearview.

“Ma’am…do you know just how fast you were going?”

This was definitely NOT the way to start the week. As the police office took my license and registration to run through the system, I struggled to retain my composure.

When he came back and said “ma’am, you have a clean driving record. BUT, you’re not going to keep it if you keep this up…” I felt my lip quiver. When he told me just how fast I was going, I felt that first tear start sliding down my cheek. I knew there were more to come. And, I knew I had to warn this unsuspecting man what was about to happen.

“Officer, I am SO sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. But, I have to run these errands, and we had a loss in the family…and I am not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry and let me go.  I know I was wrong. But...” I could no longer blink fast enough to stop the flood.

He looked a little bewildered. “Well, I was going to let you off even before you told me that. But, you really need to be careful…especially now.  I’m terribly sorry for your loss!”

I sat there in a daze as he drove away.

I pulled myself together, resolved to pay full time and attention and headed to my next stop. Before I could get out of the car, my phone rang. The Boss needed me to pick up something for a repair job. I started to tell him what just happened, and I dissolved again.

This was going to be an incredibly long trip.

Another mop-up job and I entered the credit union to deposit the week’s receipts. Inside, embroiled in her own frustrations was a dear family member. Our tearful greeting was cut short as it became evident that a satisfactory solution wasn’t a possibility and she was off to yet another appointment.

My next stop involved yet another family member encounter. (such is life in a small town---you almost ALWAYS see somebody you know) This time the words failed. “now, don’t you start…you’ll get me going...” As we parted ways, I again felt the tears sliding down my cheeks, unbidden. I didn’t realize what a mess I was until a random shopper inquired, “Ma’am…Ma’am! Are you okay?”

Needless to say, I was not exaggerating when I said it was a long, wet week here on the hill.

at least someone appreciates the rain

Heeding the advice JUST STAY BUSY, we set about to get some stuff done. But, it’s still too cold to get going in the garden. There's only so much that we can do. The Boss was hoping to get the mowing started before it turns into a jungle, so he started on maintenance and repair.  I started seeds and worked on odds and ends. And, then it started raining…

A dark, rainy day for an already heartbreaking funeral seemed just a little too much sadness. There were tears when brother and niece played/sang a duet. There were more tears when sister/daughter shared a few words. But, when the first notes of Steve Warriner’s "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" began to play, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

And, while this was a “celebration of life” and everyone had a story about how Bonnie affected them in a positive way and how she was a wonderful example of LOVE, it was still one of the saddest things I have ever experienced. As the long procession snaked its way across town, all the oncoming traffic stopped in a show of respect, the scope of which I had never before witnessed.

maple helicopters in the rain

But, the week was progressing, and I am certain she would have wanted us to continue…

So, onward.

The continued rain was not the only thing interfering with any sense of progress on the hill. The garden mower wouldn’t start. Now, the Gravely (the garden mower) has been on its last legs…er, wheels…for some time. As a matter of fact, two years ago this week, we were off trying to solve the possible demise of this little workhorse. The story is here. That time, Tbone worked a little mechanical magic and got it running without any major difficulties. While he was consulted this time, the Boss took on the repair himself. But, he needed a part. (we would confront the bigger question of replacement later)
lawnmower check-up

TSC had something he thought might work, but the only source for the exact replacement meant going to the tractor dealer in the Draft.  It seemed prudent to extend our current dump run/lunch date rather than make a separate trip.

With the proper part purchased, we headed back to the hill.

When I got out to open the gate, acrid smoke was pouring out of the wheel well. Now, while my mechanical knowledge may be limited, I know enough to know this couldn’t be good. It seemed bad. Real bad.
checking out the problem

Unfortunately, I was right.

Apparently, the caliper was stuck. That burning smell was the brake pad melting.

So…forget the garden mower. There was another more pressing repair job. Without the truck, much of life here on the hill would come to a standstill. And, we REALLY needed it for Market day.

But, the rain.

Doing vehicular repair outside in the rain is not anybody’s idea of a good time.  Time to put the truck in the shop.
another reason for indoor repair...
unwanted, totally unskilled "helpers"


There were chicks in a kiddie pool in the shop.

In order to get the truck IN the shop the chicks had to come OUT. In order to get the chicks OUT, the big broilers had to move. In order to move the big broilers…

Suddenly we were in full-blown crisis mode. It was time for us to do what we do best. Teamwork.

He moved the field pen and repaired the waterer while I caught and crated the broilers in the brooder. 

somebody doesn't look to thrilled with moving day

Then while I hauled them out to the pen, he did a quick cleaning job.
cleaning the brooder
I rounded up the baby broilers and re-housed them while he got the truck back on its wheels to head into the shop. Somewhere along the way, I hauled the chickie-pool out to the compost pile, dumped it and then cleaned it and put it away.
warm and cozy in the brooder
you'd think they'd look happier

The truck repair job was going to have to wait until the next day when the Boss could get parts. In the meantime, there was a sick lamb that needed some attention. He was off to himself when we headed out to town and that’s never a good sign.

sick lamb

The combination of the rain, cool temperatures and limited grazing sets the stage for all sorts of health issues. In a perfect world, we would simply keep the sheep in the barn and feed them hay. However, we are out of hay. Our last visit to the hay-guy was supposed to be just that---the LAST. He had limited supply and had promised it to somebody else. (partly because I said I didn’t need/want it) Besides, it was raining (again) and you can’t haul hay in the rain. The warm weather of Spring has to arrive soon (right?) so we’ll just muddle through.
yes, that is a syringe in my hair
that way it doesn't get squished and lose the medicine

Catching the ailing lamb in the gross, slippery mud wasn’t quite the ordeal I had anticipated. A short struggle ensued as he was bigger and feistier than I had anticipated. But, in the end he was successfully treated. Mission accomplished. But, sick lambs rarely respond to treatment quickly and often die. This would be a game of wait-and-see.
not looking so good

While the Boss headed into town for parts, I headed down to the hoophouse to finally get some planting done. But, first there were what seemed like tons of weeds to pull. The hens enjoyed the green treat and I was making great progress.

you brought us treats?

At that moment, my back waged a protest. All the bending and lifting from the day before had been too much. My back was sending a distinct message “nope, no way…ain’t doin’ this!”

So much for getting caught up…the rest of the day was spent in the close company of the heating pad.

A bad back seemed like the icing on the cake…the final straw. It could have been a reason to get majorly bummed out…’cause honestly this had not been a great week. (in a long string of not so great weeks)


I have been making a concerted effort to find the good. This has proven to be a serious challenge sometimes.

Here goes:

We all have some fond and amazing memories of our Bonnie. The pain of loss will fade over time. Just knowing her made us all better people.

The Spring flowers are gorgeous. And, it stopped raining.

I didn't get a traffic ticket, and that little incident made me more attentive. 

We’re back on the road/in the garden relatively cheaply. The repair work went smoothly.  

The sick lamb was out grazing with the others this morning.
early morning grazing
(the sick one is at the back)

And, my back is somewhat functional once more.
all the rain has the brassicas looking great
and ready for transplant

there are lots of squash and cukes in the greenhouse
ready to plant 

It was a beautiful day for the Market and all the other outdoor activities that were taking place in and around town. Maybe Spring has finally come to stay.

For right now, let’s not worry about the continued cold nights, the delayed plantings or potential supply issues.

I choose to enjoy the beautiful weather and the lovely spring colors.

Have a Happy Sunday! 

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

Here’s the link to the Market Facebook pictures.


  1. So sorry about your sad loss Barbara but as you rightly say, life just has to go on and the one you have lost would be the first to tell you so. But you have weathered the storm of a pretty dreadful week = things can only improve.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Pat. I am counting on that! :)