Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 42

Beautiful morning with fog swirls playing with the hillsides.  I have my dog at my feet and a pen in hand.  Life is sweet.  Water drips from the large, star shaped, tulip tree leaves outside my window.  They make the leaves jump like a startled cat.  There is only a slight yellow tinge to their green announcing that autumn is here.  The recent, and thank God, continuing rains have turned the prairies green.  The grazing animals are happy to have fresh food.  While I missed the peak of our summer garden's bounty, friends and family made good use of it.  Now,  the almost bare tomato vines drop some red, split fruit onto the ground and the peppers, left hanging on the vines, are bright red and ready to be dried or frozen.  My hands itch to dig and pull and put the garden in order.  My nails have been clean far too long.  Perhaps I still have time to add a few chard and other winter hardy plants to our  little garden space.  Household jobs also beckon at me from this day of rest.  Our home got a bit neglected during my month away. Mark had more than enough to do with a day job and a ranch full of animals to tend to and  I'm excited to get back at it.  I love being a 'domestic engineer', and 'ranch hand'. 

I miss my little grandsons.  They are all doing well, by the way.  I miss too the conveniences of city life:  people to smile and chat with, shopping just a moment away and morning jogs on flat, sun lit roads and trails.   But all of that pales in comparison to the reality of this place, this time and the people and animals that live here.  Especially Mark.    I'm happy, happy, happy to be home.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 40

It was already dark, but he had to go down to the barn and feed the bottle fed calves.   

The little buggers were counting on him as Tj was still down helping with the grandsons.   Identical Twins!   How cool is that.   Her job sounded a lot more fun than his:  Up at dawn,  feed the calves and other barn animals.  Throw something together to eat for breakfast and lunch, drive down the road to work and drive a bulldozer or haul gravel all day.   By 5 he's back home to drive around and feed the cows and their newborn calves.   The grass was growing, but it wasn't enough quite yet.   Good thing more rain is in the forecast.  After an hour or two he heads back to the house to feed himself and  the 2 little calves again.   Now, that the days were getting shorter, it was in the dark.  

Turning on the barn light two startled eyes and a set of brilliant white tusks surprise him.   A wild boar is inside eating the domestic pig's feed.   Quickly he starts lifting and closing the portable panel.  He'll catch the darn thief and deal with him later.  Just as he goes to hook the chain the 400 lb beast barrels into the panel and he jumps away as the boar runs out into the night.   

The heritage hogs got called in and put away as it isn't in the plans to cross with a wild Russian boar nor to feed expensive organic feed to him.   Hunters have been called and soon they will have a freezer full of pork and a trophy for their wall.  Hopefully....

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 39

Having new grands from our first born son had us digging out the baby book.   We found this photo taken of us as we left the hospital 33 years ago.   Teenagers!
Looking at this photo I feel such compassion for my teenage self.   I expected too much from her and emotionally and physically I struggled.  There is only so much a mom can and should do and I didn't understand the limits back then.  I'm glad I can now come alongside my kids when they have babies and give them a little help.  

Btw:  the twins are now home and doing great.  

The hollow tree babies are doing well too and beginning to eat solid food with their mama.  Our DIL has found homes for 3 of the kittens.  Thank you Jo!   We still have 2 adorable ones left and their dam is a great hunter and cuddler.  Any takers?
Another week of warmth split and stacked.   It's hard to imagine cold weather though when the thermostat says 98 degrees!!!  

Which is quite unfortunate as the recent rains brought up some green.  We are worried that this heat wave is going to kill it.  Just like last year.  Oh well.   You can't control the weather.   
And you can't control these beasts too much either.  We are just glad they do their foraging outside the yard.  Apparently they have manners.