I went into the week assuring myself that it would be better than the last one.
And, about that…I must apologize for sounding angry and disgruntled. It was not my intent to simply rant about some imagined injustice, I was trying to communicate that there are far more elements in providing food to the public than one may imagine. Unexpected, unforeseen challenges seem to come out of the blue sometimes, leaving us unsettled and feeling vulnerable. So, thanks for bearing with me. And, if you missed it, read this.
But, it was so disheartening to watch each and every promising rainstorm split when it hit the mountains and send the much-needed moisture either too far to the north or even further south, leaving us high and dry. Massive storms developed along the coast, but fizzled out as they hit the Blue Ridge mountains on their way to us in the west. Precipitation for the week looked like it was going to be a bust. And, while the Boss is always one for “keep the faith”, I struggle with staying positive (even on a good week)
So, when I was awakened to insistent dog-barking at 2:30am, I really wasn’t feeling the love. I had just gotten relatively comfortable on the couch and I really didn’t want to move, since it was the first time all day that I hadn’t had that shooting pain through my hip…and I actually felt sleepy. A trip out in the middle of the night was not high on my priority list.
However, the barking continued.
It changed in tone and increased in frequency. And, it wasn’t just Karma. When Gus joined in, I realized I needed to pay attention. Glasses, rubber boots, and flashlight completed my pajama ensemble and I was ready for action.
The dogs have distinctive barks to communicate different things. After all this time I can tell you (without looking) when Gus is trying to say “Karma, I’ve had it…leave me alone!” or Karma “come on, Gus…PLAY with me!” There’s the DANGER bark when someone attempts to come in the driveway. (no, it doesn’t matter if they’ve seen you 100 times, neighbors, UPS guy…they’re still gonna bark) They have a different sound for deer and foxes that are just passing through. Errant livestock and/or marauding dogs set off a cacophony chorus of warning noises. Motorcycles and loud noises down in the village get them to sounding yet another alert. And, I swear they have a bark that is ultimately translated as “oh, yeah, we were bored…we’re glad you came out, mama!” or maybe they’re just looking for a second opinion. But, there is an insistent, almost high-pitched bark that indicates that they are in a battle with some varmint.
And, this was that bark. After listening to them for nearly an hour, I finally roused myself and headed outside, praying all the time that it wasn’t a skunk. I can deal with a lot of things, but facing an angry, possibly injured skunk in the middle of the night is not one of them.
They were circling something in the middle of the orchard. It was a small 'possum, and the struggle had apparently gotten serious because there was blood involved. I just hoped it was only possum blood.
One of my concerns when they tussle with wildlife is that they will get injured and it will require treatment. Outdoor farm dogs run a very real risk for infection and some serious problems if they were wounded. And, if you didn’t know…possums have big teeth (and they’re not afraid to use them)
Since I could only assume the 'possum was mortally wounded, it needed to be taken care of before I could attempt to go back to sleep. And, by taken care of, I do not mean given first aid. I mean dispatched from this life. I realize that some folks would pack the thing up and take him/her to the Wildlife center for physical rehabilitation, but I didn’t even consider it. And, yes, I have seen all those memes about the good 'possums can do. But, they fail to report the issues that possums can create on the farm. They will kill chickens, eat eggs and generally wreak havoc. …and those teeth!
|'possum hunting is exhausting...|
But, surely the week had to get better if it began with bludgeoning a 'possum before morning coffee…right?
|so proud of themselves|
So, you’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you that the next day started the exact same way.
But, it did!
I kid you not. (well, okay, it was 5am instead of 3:30)
|when Karma's not hunting 'possums|
she just might be chasing cats...
(yes, Tess is on TOP of the greenhouse...)
|she doesn't seem to understand why her antics are making me slightly crazy|
(or crazier as the case may be)
| Now, she's hauling firewood onto the back porch|
Karma definitely needs her own post!
|after she started to eat my rocking chair on the porch|
we had to Karma-proof the front yard
(yes, that is electric fence...and, yes, there is a story...)
'Possums and dogs aside, it finally rained. RAINED!
|I think you could hear the entire farm heave a sigh of relief...|
My very soul needed that rain. It really did. Just hearing the sound of raindrops on the barn roof brought a sense of relief and renewal. And, to see puddles in the driveway was a true blessing. It wasn’t much. Nothing near what had been forecast, but at least I felt a sense of hope.
|rainbow over the farm|
With the rain still falling lightly and a rainbow in the sky, I set off for another round of physical therapy. And, while the folks are really nice, and the facility is in an absolutely gorgeous setting, this is not my idea of a good time. The doctor is hoping that physical therapy will help the arthritis in my knees and feet and that in turn will relieve the recurring pain in my hip. All of this is making it difficult to do my work and causing me to question a lot of things long-term. And, because I know someone will ask...so far…not much (if any) change.
But, I’ve been actively looking for things to be positive about. You may have sensed that this is a serious challenge for me. It’s all too easy when something goes wrong to see all the bad stuff and miss any good. To be perfectly honest, on a very bad day, I can give you “the list”…and find something wrong with pretty much every aspect of my life. I hate days like that, but they do make me appreciate the days when everything seems to effortlessly fall into place. So, here’s to looking for the good stuff.
|I hate when beautiful butterflies get stuck in the hoophouse|
|so, I caught and released it|
|Do you think this is the same one?|
|the baby cardinals have escaped the cats|
|the Boss does a little "emergency" watering|
|there are butterflies everywhere|
this is a red-spotted purple
|monarch on a thistle|
|this may be the ugliest tomato...ever|
but, it was DELICIOUS!
|check it out|
the monarch and the hummingbird are "fighting"!
|I've wanted to get a photo of a hummer for a LONG time|
|...and I did it!|
I don't care if this is a weed...
there is a honeybee in it! YAY
The rain, even though the amount seemed small, was enough to make the next planting of green beans sprout. And, what’s that in the potato garden?
|green bean seedlings|
|the first potato sprout!|
|there are lots of little sprouts!|
|they're getting bigger...|
(all those little spots are teeny, weeny weeds...ugh)
I spent Wednesday babysitting the grands over in the Draft.
|a dinosaur headlamp that ROARS|
is "SO exciting"!
|real serious times...|
|my big accomplishment of the week|
a sleeping baby
Before I could come home, the heavens opened and there was a torrential rain storm. The likes of which I hadn’t seen in a long while. The highway looked like a river as the cars driving by shot up huge “rooster tails” of water behind them. (not unlike speedboats) There was still water covering the road in places as I traveled back toward the hill. The trip home got drier by the mile and I began to fear that yet another storm had missed us entirely. It had not. While we didn’t get the torrents, we did get over an inch of rain from that one storm. I understand that other locations got 2 to 3 inches in less than an hour. That storm brought our total to over two inches for the week. Perhaps it wasn’t as much as forecast, and I know other locations got more…but, it really helped the gardens! (and my psyche)
And,the whole place looks different after a good rain.
And, just like that…it was time for Market once more. You can go to the Boss' Market photos HERE.
|after all the talk about the full moon and lunar eclipse|
and the possibility of seeing Mars...
THIS was the disappointing sky-view at chore time
|but, a little while later the sky had cleared|
|morning light across the valley|
|grazing cows at sunrise|
|the sky is on fire|
(is it any wonder it takes me SO long to get to the Market?)
|look at all the birds on Lady Justice on top of the courthouse!|
|more birds on the Masonic building|
There is something "off" about the Market this year. The “vibe” is different, and I can’t put my finger on the source. The bi-weekly construction on the parking garage may be adding to the discord. (those jackhammers and power tools are LOUD) The lack of parking spaces doesn't help, either. There seem to be an extraordinary number of tourists this year. (they don’t buy much but add to the foot-traffic) And, then there’s the weather…crops are coming in out of sequence…and some aren’t coming at all. It’s just odd. But, all in all, it was a good day.
|TOMATOES...we have tomatoes!|
That made for a pretty good week here on the hill. (much unlike last week)
And, the leftovers have provided me with some inspiration for new meal ideas in the upcoming week. (maybe I should do a post on eating the food we grow)
Here’s hoping you have a Happy Sunday!
Thanks for stopping by. Come back and “visit” again soon!
P.S. It might interest you to know that I started writing this post at 3am
…because…you guessed it…
(now I am wondering...just how many of them are out there?)