Saturday, July 4

It was a do-much-of-nothing day. The day grew hot and humid rather quickly so other than doing the farm chores we stayed indoors in front of or underneath a fan. By late afternoon the portable AC units were turned on. We’ve had many dreadfully hot and humid days already this summer and the fleas are flourishing from it. In fact, the other day when I was on the front porch taking photos of a flower arrangement in my etched bottle I glanced at my legs and discovered what must’ve been a dozen or more fleas on each leg. It was shortly after that episode that we ran the cats off the porch and sprayed it down with bug spray. The cats have all been treated for fleas yet they still bring them around. It’s horrible. The ticks are bad too but I’ve not seen many on the cats. They say a good cold winter would’ve helped keep them down during the summer and I’m beginning to believe it.

Happy 4th of July!!!

As I said, we didn’t do a whole lot today. I did the laundry and cleaned the upstairs bathroom. Other than that, I worked on the blanket I’m crocheting. It’s really more like a lapghan. I had to pick up a couple skeins of the one color I’m using and wow, they aren’t kidding when they recommend getting all the yarn you’ll need from the same lot number. Of course, I’m using up leftover yarn from several years ago so that’s impossible to do but the color difference in the skeins I just purchased are VASTLY different from the same yarn from years ago…

It’s much darker and the flecks are closer together. It’s OK though, I have a plan – I’ll use the new yarn in the center of the blanket and finish with the lighter, older yarn on the end to match the beginning. Sometimes you just gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Which, for this perfectionist, is sometimes quite the feat to let it go! I’m getting better though (wink!).

Our fourth of July evening was spent apart. I went to Snug Hollow for a few hours to man the phone. I ended up ironing whatever sheets had been washed and I finished drying and putting away the towels. I filed some receipts and then went on the porch to soak in the setting sun and the view…

350 acres of peace and quiet. Speaking of peace and quiet, the phone did not ring at all. I’m not much of a phone person so it was perfect.

On the way home I saw lots of fireworks going off. CountryBoy was sitting on the flea-less front porch listening to all the booms echo off the mountains. We were both thinking that this was the most fireworks we’ve heard going off around us since we moved here. We both also thought that people had decided to just celebrate and have a good time after such a crazy first part of the year. And for that I’m thrilled! ‘Get outside and blow the stink off ya’ as my Mom used to say!!!

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Farm news: 26 eggs – I think it’s even too hot for the girls to lay eggs!

Sunday, July 5

Last night’s cool night air quickly disappeared by 9 o’clock this morning and the temps have been on the rise ever since. There’s very little breeze making it quite stifling when outside. I fed the birds early this morning in anticipation of the 94 degree day. If it weren’t for the hilly, mountainous scenery I would think we were back in Florida. It seems the weather everywhere is going right along with the crazy year we’re all having.

Our guests left in time for us to make it to church. It’s always good when we’re able to go. It’s a soothing balm in these crazy, violent, unprecedented times. I often think ‘what is wrong with people’? But then, I know what’s wrong and I know that God is still in control. For that, we should all be thankful and find comfort in that knowledge.

After checking in at the B&B I found out that I didn’t need to be there until 4 o’clock to help with supper. CountryBoy had already taken the buggy up to start cleaning the cabin so I drove the truck up to help him. With both of us tackling it we can get it done in less than an hour usually. After I took the dishes and the grill racks back up we had a bite to eat and watched the last part of ‘Shallow Hal’. No sooner than the TV was turned off there was a knock at the door. Today’s guests had arrived. I love a day that flows smoothly from one thing to another.

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Work was hot and exhausting. I didn’t have to iron since I did that last night but I covered for a girl that was on vacation. There was dinner prep for six people, delivering the dinners to their respective cabins, then the kitchen cleanup. Countless trips up and down the stairs; burning eyes from the sweat rolling into them and my face was sopping wet behind the mask as we were making the deliveries. Sometimes I think I’m getting too old for that type of work but then again, I think that kind of work helps keeps me going.

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Farm news: 31 eggs

The frogs have discovered the pond. In the evening one can hear all sorts of croaking going on right along with the whippoorwills. And last night, even with all the echoes from the fireworks they were not deterred. The wildlife kept right along with their nightly routine.

Monday, June 6

Our guests were up and at ’em early this morning while we were having our coffee in the greenhouse (with the fan on cuz it was warming up fast). They were off to their next hiking adventure wherever that may be. After coffee I headed to work and CountryBoy headed up to clean the cabin before the temps climbed into the 90’s. He took a box fan up there with him and ran it off the portable power bank. He said it worked great and didn’t drain the power bank at all. That’s good to know for the hot summer nights when we have guests in the cabin. We may just offer them a fan if they don’t bring one.

Work was torturously slow. I don’t do slow very well. I finalized this week’s ad schedule, placed the ads for both papers, laid out a couple pages and spent some time researching comparable and cheaper dog food brands for LizzieBelle. The vet prescribed a low fat GI wet dog food from Royal Canin and, of course, it’s expensive. I came up empty-handed. for now. I also researched some sites that print blogs into book format. also expensive. I researched double-bladed hoes. I’m tellin’ ya – it was S.L.O.W.

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The metal roofing guy came out today to measure the barn so that he could give us a quote. He’s supposed to call back tonight. Part of me wants to know how much it’ll be and the other part says you can’t afford it. Dilemmas.

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Both the items I was waiting on came in today – the missing piece to the bookshelf which CountryBoy already installed and my laptop battery which appeared to be brand new and I’ve already installed. The computer recognized it right off and it is charging. No more being tethered to the desk. yay!

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It’s hot as blue blazes today. We’ve not had rain for a while. The crops are doing OK but I’ve had to water a few of the flowers. Both rain barrels at the cabin are completely empty. It’s thundering outside but the sun is shining. We may or may not get some rain tonight. Fingers crossed we get a little. However, if we do get some the pond will surely overflow and hopefully it will overflow at the right spot and go across the driveway into the ditch and not into the barn.

The wind is picking up and the thunder is very close. We’ll see what happens.

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It rained! In fact, it’s still raining. Not quite as much but it’s still drizzling. I think we had enough to fill the rain barrels at the cabin and the gardens got a good waterin’.

While it was raining we got the much-anticipated, much-dreaded phone call with the barn roof and repair estimate – $8,200. eight THOUSAND two HUNDRED dollars. no way. My other part was right – we couldn’t afford it. The ol’ barn isn’t even worth that much money. My gut reaction was to tear it down. We could build a new, smaller, more manageable one for that. Problem is – we aren’t physically able to tear it down.

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Farm news: 25 eggs

CountryBoy discovered that Popcorn, the rooster, is the one that is pecking the Wyandotte’s. Our little girl wanted out so badly that CountryBoy obliged. Things went well yesterday and she had roosted with all the other girls last night. Today, however, CountryBoy saw Popcorn pecking her head and he had bloodied it once again. She is now back in the grow-out cage NEVER to be let out again. We are both soft-hearted and try to oblige our animals sometimes with negative results.

Mabel was laying by the far fence in the paddock and did not budge for her supper. I hope she’s OK. We will feed her later. All the animals are pretty logy from the heat. The chickens have their wings out trying to cool off and the turkeys have their beaks open and panting. It took LizzieBelle a month of Sundays to walk 25 feet with her tongue hanging out after a trip out to the barn and back. It’s downright hot I tell ya’.

Tuesday, July 7

We had a nice rain last night and the pond did not overflow and Mabel’s fine. That’s good. Everything that was parched from the heat is green once again and looking alive and well. Water is so vital for life. I never paid much attention to the need for water until we started gardening and caring for animals. Turning the faucet on is easy and there seems to be an endless supply for drinking, bathing, cooking, etc. therefore I never stopped to think about where the water is coming from or if it would ever run out. Since moving here we are reliant on rain to water the gardens – no rain means a poor garden, if any; I see creeks and ponds dried up due to lack of rain – creeks and ponds that livestock is reliant on for drinking or cooling off; and, our cabin outhouse and bathhouse are reliant on rain water collected in barrels. Too much, on the other hand, is also a problem for many people, ourselves included. Everything needs balance, huh?!

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This morning I left for work early. I stopped to fill the truck with gas and then I dropped our push mower at the local hardware store to be fixed. It will start but does not keep running. Here’s hoping it doesn’t need much and that the necessary parts are available. With the shutting down of factories due to COVID-19 many replacement parts are either on backorder or aren’t available period. I’m afraid the trickle down effect of the virus will be felt for a while. Anyway, I still managed to get to work on time even with having to wait a bit at the hardware store.

Work was smooth and quick. In less than three hours the pages were laid out for both papers, proofed, sent to the printer and approved. Now that’s the kinda work day I like! Although it makes for a lousy check in the end but sometimes, OK most times, alright already ALL the time it’s worth it to me to be home!!!

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I ate my lunch after I got home and then CountryBoy and I drove around the property in the buggy and did some blackberry pickin’.

We got a nice container full and there are still lots of berries that need to ripen. Come winter time CountryBoy will make some Blackberry Jelly and maybe some jam to replenish our stock and some to sell.

I spent a few minutes filling up the bookshelf and the TV stand…

There’s still some storage space available. I’m sure I’ll come across something that needs to be tucked away behind the ‘barn doors’ of the TV stand.

Here’s a different view of the newly rearranged living room and the reality of it…

The AC unit we had in the fifth wheel while traveling out west is sitting atop one end of the coffee table so that the hoses will reach through the bottom of the window. And two box fans, one for each of us to blow the cool air from the AC onto us. It’s not pretty but with temps in the nineties it helps keep the farmhouse cool and fairly comfortable. After summer the coffee table will be centered in front of the couch, the box fans put away and the treadle sewing machine will be centered under the window. In any case, I like how the living room is coming together. Five years later, ha!

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The lapghan/blanket is coming along. (It’s stuffed in the basket on the coffee table in the above photo). I’m on the next to the last section. It won’t be long I’ll be tucking in some more ends and adding the border.

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The barn roof guy called while we were pickin’ berries. He lowered the price to $7,400. That’s still too steep for us right now. We have one other fella that’s supposed to give us a quote. We’re gonna ask him to give us quote for the whole roof and a quote for a patch job. We just can’t justify spending that much on the ol’ barn. This just in – CountryBoy now says he’ll do a patch job himself. He’s got a plan says he. Lord help us and y’all pray!!! Two bad knees, a steep pitch plus his age is a trauma alert waiting to happen. I’ve told him he is NOT to do it when I’m not home. We’ll see if he listens. sigh. I’m serious – y’all pray.

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After supper CountryBoy stopped in the garden on his way back from feeding Mabel and harvested some of the garden goodies…

Yum!

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Farm news: 27 eggs

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