Although I’ve only been out of bed a little under 3 weeks, and am still on some night-time meds to calm the cough, we HAVE actually played ‘catch-up’ rather quickly to where I wanted to be, considering I missed out on mid-April through mid-May with the virus/infection/whateverthehellitwas…
Here’s a photo-story of the many many satisfying accomplishments we’ve managed thus far:
Despite the blackflies, Richard’s managed to drive Chevy up to our neighbours fields (just the other side of our woods, on the right) to drag out many logs that have been felled either naturally or because they needed to be taken down due to channeling a new ditch so that our entire forest wouldn’t be swamp. We’re of course using these logs for firewood eventually – but some of them are also doubling as cross-country jumps and as decor for Carriann and Matt’s (Richard’s niece and her fiance) wedding on July 28th:
Although I missed all 3 of our concerts with the choir (which I’d been rehearsing for, incl. a descant and a piano accompaniment, for 3 months!) a small version — incl. Richard in green far right, and me FINALLY out of bed to perform, in yellow, far left — of our choir was asked to perform at a talent showcase in Perth/Andover – we just did one song, The Rain Song. The below shows us doing some of the body percussion which is meant to replicate the rain as we sing:
Because the snow didn’t want to let go until mid-April, just before I got too sick to do anything, I tidied a corner of our barn and Richard helped me put up our old gazebo so we now have a comfy tack room – both for us and any students in for training. We’ve even achieved a ‘viewing area’ where tea can be sipped whilst watching the dressage ring lessons!
Richard has rototilled and harrowed (with Chevy) the garden several times and composted it thoroughly, as well as moving half the manure pile from the winter way up to a back corner of the farm to let it dry out and decay up there. Then Mom has stepped in and been wedding and rock-picking thoroughly so that now that I AM better, we’re planting both seeds and my seedlings from the basement ‘grow-op’ – even though we shouldn’t be as several nights are dangerously close to 0 degrees! We also finally managed to get up a chicken-wire fence all the way around the garden because any day now we’re expecting Cammie’s kids to be born, and we don’t want them exploring out there and also….
today we finally got our laying hens – only they won’t be laying for another month or so, it would appear ! And they all look so alike, I don’t know that we can name them. They are Buff Orpingtons – a British breed, so – not exactly what we’d planned on, but we’ll give it a try in this climate – here’s Richard unloading them into their newly built chicken coop which he worked hard on, attached to Cammie’s goat pen, and with the ability to insulate fully with bales when winter is upon us again. Because of the blackflies, both Cammie and Chevy are in during the day, so they were much interested in these new additions:
We’ve also done a lot of planting of seeds and wild ferns and bedding plants all around the house and down at the wedding site for this summer to be especially beautiful for the nuptials. But of course you can’t really take a photo of barren earth, so another blog posting in early August will have to show you the fruits of all THESE labours.
Cammie is very fat. As in ready-to-explode fat. She is also highly temperamental and hormonal.
Richard built her a lovely milking platform (using, you’ll notice, all salvaged wood – some from the kitchen cupboards I tore out two summers ago when I arrived!) but it took her 4 days before she’d even plant all 4 feet on it – she was just stubborn as all get-out. I owned a donkey once that wasn’t NEARLY as stubborn as this little goat. However, she’s finally happy to go running up to it and even to stick her head into the stanchion (fashioned from the tie-ends of an old hammock that’s given up the ghost – thus all the holes). Here we are “pretend-milking”. (Yes, the lime-green milk can is painted for the wedding colours of purple and lime. We’ve also done a great deal of painting around the farm in the last 3 weeks too, including the massive job Richard’s done on painting the huge roll-up barn/garage door! But again, you’ll see all those beautiful results when the wedding photos come in. For now, this milk can works beautifully to hold Cammie’s bowl of food!)
This shows the stanchion a little better, with the hammock ‘sticks’, as Cammie quietly leaves the area that a week ago she had to be DRAGGED to:
Chevy is still having fun being used a few times a week. Whether it’s having a good grooming, having his feet picked out, or being driven up into the fields to get more logs from ‘the other side’, he’s been worked more in the last month or so than in the entire year we’ve had him, and he enjoys it thoroughly (though sometimes likes to hurry home because of Cammie’s lonely bleating. We expect this co-dependent dynamic will change considerably once the kids are born!)
Despite all this planting, pulling, ploughing, picking, painting, pandering (to the animals – that would be Richard!) and ‘pane-polishing’ (Mom washing windows yesterday on the entire ground floor!) we’ve even had a tiny bit of time for some ‘playing’. Cousin Ange and the Reverend Das showed up for an overnight this week and we had a chance to play a rousing game of my Book-Lovers Scrabble. Only to discover from dear, demure Das that – er – we haven’t been ending the game of Scrabble properly. Ever. Why haven’t all those people we’ve played with prior to this week pointed this out? But it’s there in the rules… if one cares to interpret it that way… And that meant Das won! Not Richard, for once!
Richard also did some ‘playing’ two weekends ago when he had yet another chaotic-filled fishing trip with the canoe, culminating in him ending up on a private lake and getting shot at! I’ve been waiting for him to write up that entire day for the Pippi’s Fishin’ Hole Fables and Facts category of this blog, but we’re so tired from all the goings-on that when we ARE inside the house, we’re mostly dozing off in our chairs.
Anyway, a lot done in a short time, and as long as all my seeds don’t remain dormant in the cold earth, we’re well-satisfied for the time being with how the farm looks. Next up – Cammie’s Kids, I expect!