Thursday, October 27, 2016

We Set a Record

 For the hottest October.

We did get the promised rain;  a very light shower in the afternoon.  The morning was  cool and required a light jacket to work outside.....and I did.

I mowed around the Milk Parlor, the east side (not quite all of it) and the  area around the house.  Used the trimmer some.  I was stunned  with the trimmer.  I hadn't used it for quite some time and dreaded trying to start it......started on first pull!  That must be a first.

Of course I had to pick up the trimmed perilla and toss it to the other side of the border.  I am hoping that will help smother next seasons grass and weeds.  That area by the gas tank is huge and I still have the back near the tank to finish.

I worked about 2 hours and then quit when Max came back from checking cows.  He relocated them to the west half of the farm the other side of the lane that runs down the middle.

A lot of them bunched up next to the barn lot waiting for him.

The got very interested in my mower,

I saw more pumpkins while mowing  around the house, stopped and clipped them off and moved them to a cushion of grass to cure a little more.

Just a follow-up note on my cleaning the Milk Parlor:

No inside pictures, but this is the result.  I like how the morning sun shines behind making the trash look almost artistic....OK, that is pushing it a bit, but,

It is almost daylight, so I better get  busy.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Another Day on the Farm

I had another one of my nights.......came to the kitchen at 1:30 but finished the night in my recliner....up at 4 AM which is sleeping in for me.  I feel rested ready for another day of Milk Parlor cleaning. I would have shown before and after but the before was humiliating.......I might show after if it pleases me.

I now have filled two extra large trash cans....I am saving nothing in question.  Today I hope to finish.  Will put up the shelves and clean the floors good with a garden hose.  There are two floor drains  since it was a Milk Parlor and had to be cleaned daily.

You will not be seeing many baking pictures....I am being careful of calories for both of us.  Makes me sad but it is necessary.  I will still be baking whole grain breads.


This is what I was doing the morning of the HA. New trimmers at work again and the electric chainsaw.  I cut down the row of perilla that edges the light pole bed....some stems were so large and tough I had to use the saw.  I began pulling plants from the flower bed on the right when Max came in from the farm and said he was tired and going in.  I quit too. 
About an hour later he got sick.  The debris is still  laying there, curing.  I will get to it eventually.

This is Black and Blue Salvia, still looking very good.

This is a very dark purple buddleia on the corner of the shop 

I am seeing several re-blooms on the clematis.  This is H.F. Young

and this is Hagley Hybrid that grows on the rock well house south wall.
This is a native eupatorium.  I let grow.  You have to remove most of them or you would be wall-to-wall with them.  I will set this out in the front ditch soon.

I  will do more farm pictures next.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chore Sharing

It is a perfect fall morning here.  Mid 50's and sun is almost up.  It will be a sunny day.

Well, day two of sharing chores is behind and it went well.  Of course I took my camera so have tons of cow pictures and some farm scenery.  Max just drove the farm truck and all gates were open so I only had to get out for some pictures; some were taken from the truck.

We got back and Jewel (the Jersey) was waiting for us.

Unfortunately, she decided she wanted to save the milk for her huge calf.  We just got one bottle.  We will show her! She was kept away from him last night again and we will milk this morning.  Surely she will let down and we will get a few bottles.

Max walked me through the milker routine again and then I went inside the parlor area and began the attack on the mess!  Max is great with the animals and set chores but he doesn't notice the surrounding things going undone.  It will take me a few days.  I already have a huge trash can filled.  I have a set of shelves to put up which will help with organization.

I did notice  that most of the farm needs clipping again and I am trying to talk him into having it done all at once.....I may have him convinced.

I will show some random shots of the farm:

This is one of the 'twin' ponds; the other is across the fence from this one.

This is a zoomed shot of the cow in the shadows above, drinking.

This above is what I will call the breeding circle.  When a cow is in heat, most young males and the mature bull will be circling her until she will stand still for him.  Bull is on left behind the cow.  I actually got a shot of him servicing her, bu twon't show that.

Our trees are just beginning to show color.  This is taken on the back 40.

The tall tree looking plant next to the house is a dwarf nandina bush that this year shot up to tree size.  I like it and will leave it be.
The one by the screened porch never gets over 4-5 feet tall which is the norm.

 This is the Korean Boxwood before clipping.  It was hiding the windows....I actually like it better this way, but it was getting out of control.
The new hedge cutters worked great.  It will look better in a few weeks when the stubby ends won't show quite so much.

Now a favorite rose picture.  This rose goes by several common names:  The first rose of summer; the last rose of the year, and Parsons rose.  It is a china rose and has been with me for many,  many years.  I keep my fingers crossed the mite that causes RRD doesn't find it tucked between the east building
 and the well house. 

 All for now.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Catch up Time Again

Hope you can follow this strange format.  I wrote on several different days...I am trying to keep it in order.....

We are enjoying beautiful fall weather. We have had some nice showers but nothing heavy. The cows are loving it too.

I have taken some time off from the painting project. The bottom freezer was calling out to me loud and long.....when the door doesn't slide out easily or close tightly, it is time to do something.
That was yesterday morning. I have made a solemn vow to never load it over half full and to keep one section exclusively for frozen breads...(we will see how long that lasts!)

I did this while letting French bread raise twice and then baking....all went well.
If I get ambitious I want to do the upright freezer on the porch. I hate these jobs.

Chickens are still laying but not as heavily. One chicken is trying to set again, bless her heart. When we had a rooster I would have been delighted. They are so stubborn about this.

Picking up again:

Still haven't done the upright freezer but did clean the refrigerator.

We got 2 inches of rain a couple of days ago and more this morning. It is supposed to warm up beginning tomorrow, just in the 80's which will be nice.

We have had the furnace on a couple of days but just for a little while to warm up the house and then off again.

P.S.  I did do the upright freezer. Hallelujah! 


Lots of news for us:

Most important is Max had a small heart attack last Tuesday. Rushed in ambulance to hospital. He now has three new stents to go with his two old ones. Good news is doctor said his heart muscle appears normal so no serious damage from his old heart attack in 2004 and this new one. He is back home on the routine heart meds and is feeling very good. We are out to do chores later this morning.
He is to take it easy for a few days so I am going for two reasons. I can drive (maybe) and open all gates (definitely). The other reason is I found while he was just gone overnight, I had forgotten some of the routine. I may go with him indefinitely (if he will allow) or at least often enough I am back in the groove. It will be good for me.

Now for the ordinary Life on the Farm stuff:  The mum project was before HA (heart attack,as our life will now be lived)

I bought some mums for the yard. I did a small planting on the top of the front ditch of two mums and two asters. These are between the very small Van Houttei spireas already out there. Plans are to fill in the lower level next to the road with natives and grasses and stop the trimming or spraying issue. I have lots of things I can use: Daylilies, grasses, sedums, salvias, and I will toss some seeds. This will become a wild bed. Still better than fighting Johnson grass and foxtail all year. I still have some oenothera left and can move some of it back to the ditch. It spreads like wildfire.

Can you see upper left the pink onenothera?  This is in the bottom of the ditch.  There are several smaller plants along here.  The seeds pop open and can shoot them a great distance.  I have them way down the road towards the neighbors.

The other mums were in front of the dining room foundation bed:

That is a blue salvia transylvanica center background and a Blue Angle clematis on the wire trellis.  It had lost all leaves due to clematis wilt and  I cut it down to 18 inches and was delighted to see it came back and has one lovely bloom.  It shows more lavender here but is really a very pale blue.

It is about 36 inches tall now.  May get a couple more blooms if the sporadic frosts don't kill them.

Speaking of:  Frost on the Pumpkin!

This is our second scattered frost.

The day Max got  sick, I had been out cutting the perilla and pulling out the Long  Island Cheese pumpkin vines.  They were beginning to die and looked dreadful.
So I cut of most of the pumpkins too.

 These leaves below were very crunchy with frost.

OK, I give up on putting these pictures side by side!

I have lots more pictures, but this is enough for now.

Crock Pot Roast is cooked and ready for dinner/lunch.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sweet Potato Harvest

Good Friday morning.  It is a cool damp one here on the farm.  It rained some during the night but not much.  It is supposed to get to 80° today but if it stays cloudy that won't happen.

Good news is I finally got the kitchen finished and it almost  did me in!  I took a couple of days off....I am way out of shape for painting and climbing ladders!  But I got it done and am very pleased.

I have delayed digging sweet potatoes and then seeing the grub damage on Ilene's harvest decided I better get Max and get busy.  He  hooked up the cart and took to the garden.  I began cutting tops and digging.  It have never had such lush vines and I had clipped them several times during the season.  I guess our fairly heavy and timely rains caused this growth.  Things were going well and I was very pleased with the harvest.....about the only thing that has done well in the garden this year.  These are Beauregards.  About all you can find anymore.  I like them very much.

I want to weigh the crop  because at current price of .99/lb I suspect they paid for the entire garden venture this year.

I ruined the whole experience by taking a very hard fall just before finishing.  My feet got tangled in the blasted vines and sweet potato vines do not break easily, but I do fall easily.  I hit the bridge of my nose, actually my glasses hit my nose, against the hard handle of the loppers....I was stunned  for a second but managed to crawl to the low limbs of the apple tree and pull myself up.  I knew Max couldn't do it alone and I needed something that didn't move at all.  Blood dripped off the end of my nose, but I dug three more hills  before  quitting.  I am fine except I look like I have been in a prize fight.  May even get black eyes.

Part of the issue is the chronic dizziness so when I begin to pitch forward, there is no catching myself or stabilizing, I fall!  period!  So far no serious damage from the falls. 

I am hoping all my friends along the east coast are safe from the hurricane!

Have a wonderful weekend.