Thursday, August 6
Another nice cool morning and beautiful day. LizzieBelle likes to join us for coffee and this morning I took her blankie out with me to the greenhouse because I didn’t want her to start shivering. She curled up in my lap and was quite content to fall back asleep.
Yesterday’s massive blog post which contained eight days of blabbering was so long that towards the end of it I had forgotten which month we were in and posted the last two days as July. sheesh! Thankfully a friend pointed it out and I went back and fixed it. I reckon my days and months are all running together. And here I thought I was keeping it together quite well considering all the happenings and comings and goings. Guess not, ha!
Today was an incredibly long and boring day at work. The morning went by sufficiently but after lunch it was dead. I had completed all my Thursday tasks, had caught up on all the ads for the upcoming week and even made one up that is scheduled for September. Since I ate at my desk and worked through lunch I left at 3:30 which still gave me a full 6.5 hour day since Thursdays are 9-4 days.
I stopped at the bank on the way home. I’ve decided to go to the bank once a month. We can pile up all the egg money checks and payroll checks and then I’ll deposit or cash them at the end of the month. For three years I’ve deposited my B&B check the afternoon before the date of the check with no problem. Now, there’s one particular teller at the one branch that will not deposit a post-dated check and today I went to the other branch and the teller there wouldn’t deposit it. I decided that’s it. Once a month I’ll make a trip to the bank and be done with it. I’m guessing maybe the banking industry has changed some of its procedures because they don’t even ‘roll over’ at 2:00 everyday because I asked. See, if they stilled ‘rolled over’ at 2:00 the transaction would be the following business day. But, I was told they don’t ‘roll over’ so who knows when that changed. At any rate, I’m done wasting my time sitting in the drive-thru line once, sometimes twice a week to cash and/or deposit checks.
The guests were already here when I got home. I did get to meet them when they came down to see if they could meet the lovely Miss Mabel.
Since they were already settled in and we had eaten supper fairly early we decided to go to Lowes to get my mulch and Harbor Freight to get an impact wrench. One impact wrench, four bags of mulch and eight plants later we headed home.
The days are getting noticeably shorter. We are sleeping in a bit later, 6:30ish, as the sun is coming up later and in the evenings the sun has fallen below the mountain by 8:15 – about an hour earlier than a month ago.
Farm news: 21 eggs
Friday, August 7
After I signed off last night I spread some newspapers over the area in the center of the garden where I had already removed the weeds and then grabbed a new bag o’ mulch and poured some over the papers. While I was working out there I noticed something buzzing around the spider plant. It was a hummingbird moth! I thought I saw one from the porch the other night buzzing around a Rose of Sharon. It was getting dark though so I wasn’t sure but I saw this one and in fact, there were two of them. I did a little research on them and came away with a surprising fact and one that left us a bit remorseful. The hummingbird moth larvae is none other than the green tomato or tobacco worm. WHAT? Oh NO!!! In years past we have peeled them off our half-eaten tomato plants and threw them to the chickens in order to save our tomato plants. This year we’ve only had one and it was a big’n which also was fed to the chickens. sigh. We feel so bad. I guess we’re gonna have to set out extra tomato plants from now on so that the hummingbird moth larvae can have a host plant to feed on. Can you believe it? I still can not but now that I know I will not have the heart to get rid of them. I should do some more research and see if there is another host plant they like.
Another lovely morning and a productive day. After a quick breakfast of peanut butter toast with sliced bananas and drizzled with honey we started our day. There was really nothing in particular on the agenda so we each puttered around doing our own thing. I played with some plants – potting a pothos I had started from a cutting; bagged up and labeled some seeds I’ve saved this year, so far I’ve saved some sugar snap peas, cilantro and black eye peas. I’ve saved a few seeds before but I’m focusing on it more this year. After that I worked on removing some more weeds in my flower garden.
I managed to get a good portion removed before getting a blister on the palm of my hand. I stopped before I tore the skin. However, I would like to get some more cleared so that I can plant my new plants.
I plan on planting these two close to each other as their colors go so well together. The cone shaped flowers are Echinacea and the other is Rose Glow Barberry and both are perennials.
CountryBoy whipped out another adirondack chair this afternoon. We were finishing up sanding them when the guests arrived. We met them up at the cabin with the chairs in tow and told them to let us know if they come across any splinters, ha! Since the guests were already there I wasn’t able to get a photo. After they leave I’ll snap one. They look really good up there!
While he was finishing up the chair I carefully made my way down to the pond, kicked my flip flops off and stepped in. The bottom was muddy and rocky but the water was perfect. If the guests hadn’t been arriving soon I might’ve gone the rest of the way in. As I stood there for a while I discovered two frogs sleeping on the edge of the pond. They were half green and half brown, the green part of them being in the sun and the brown part in the shade. I had never seen that before. Another new sight was a Comma butterfly. Of course I did not have my camera with me so you’ll have to google it. It had a beautiful scalloped shape, was orange with black dots and was on the smallish side. I hope to see another one when I have my camera in hand.
The other day a friend and roommate from way back during my Walt Disney World days messaged me and was asking the dates of some photos she had as she was working on her scrapbook. It reminded me that I needed to work on my scrapbooks. Then the other day I mentioned the chickens eating out of the cookie tin while we were on a mission trip one year and it got me to thinking… I know, I know, that’s not always a good thing according to CountryBoy, ha! But, I thought I might do some Flashback Fridays for ya and fill y’all in on life before the farm. So here’s the first one which will explain the chickens eating out of the cookie tin…
I don’t remember the exact year but we think it was 2003 when CountryBoy and I went on our first mission trip together. I had been on several throughout my 30 some years and this was his first. The church we attended was getting a team together to go to Honduras and build a church for the little village of Suhi. Building was right up our alley so we signed up and began raising money for the trip. It was customary for the team to raise enough money to not only pay one’s way but to also buy all the material needed for our part of the construction build plus some extra for fuel and whatever else may be needed throughout the trip. With family and friends pitching in we pulled in the amount of monies needed and before we knew it we were on our way.
We drove over five hours in the middle of the night south to Miami where we boarded a plane that would take us to Managua, Nicaragua. From there we hopped in a puddle jumper and flew to the Mission Compound in Puerta Cabeza where we stayed the first night and were debriefed. The following morning was spent gathering supplies and loading the truck…
…which would take us, the supplies and a few of our things packed in five gallon buckets over some rough dirt roads to the river. CountryBoy is front and center in the white shirt!
Each of us had a five gallon bucket and we packed what we would need at the village in it and left our other stuff at the mission compound where we would pick it up on our way back. This was done for a couple of reasons, 1) the buckets were durable and when closed were water resistant, 2) it was also a seat in the dugout canoes. Of course, for this part of our trip our seats were whatever was in the back of that truck – hard and uncomfortable especially when going over the ruts and potholes in the road. We traveled almost eight hours in the back of the truck and probably went twenty miles. The driver went nice and slow trying to take it easy on us. Did I mention the dirt road was in pretty rough shape? If it took us that long you can probably imagine how bad the roads were.
Eventually we made it to the river where we unloaded everything off the truck and carried it down (literally) to the river bank where several dugout canoes waited to take us and all the supplies to the village…
This trip was not for the weak or faint of heart. Everything that was on the back of the truck, which included two 55 gallons of fuel, needed to be brought down the cliff and put into the boats. Thankfully a couple of the locals took care of the fuel by rolling it down the path cut through the cliff and loaded them like it was nothing. I think they’ve done it before!
Once everything was loaded we piled in and were off. I, however, was put on a speedboat along with my brother-in-law and the only other girl on the trip so that we could get a jump start on setting up the mess-tent. CountryBoy was NOT a fan of that idea. Remember, this was his first mission trip and here we are going our separate ways into the unknown. Looking back, he should’ve come with us because we needed the manpower to set up the tent. But here’s the part of the ‘long story’ I mentioned the other day… the team that was there before ours did some work in another village and the instructions were to pack up all the equipment for the mess-tent (stove, pots & pans, plates, utensils, etc.) and even the tent and our guide, the missionaries right hand man, would take all of it to Suhi where it would be waiting for our arrival. The problem was the only thing that made it there was the propane two-burner cook stove and not quite all of the tent. We were missing some of the poles. Somehow the crates with the rest of the ‘kitchen’ stuff had made it back to the compound instead. Well, we made due and set as much of the tent up as we could and then our guide canvassed the village begging and borrowing pots, plates and utensils. We ended up with one good bona fide pot to cook in; a pot with a hole in the bottom; we fabricated a pot out of a cookie tin we had brought with us (which gave us an excuse to gobble up the cookies!); and we had half the plates and utensils we needed so we ate in shifts and washed everything in between.
Soon we got into a routine and it became quite comical. With such cookware it was easy to burn or spill something but the cleanup crew was never far away…
The cook stove and pots were spic and span when these girls were finished!
On this particular trip we were rebuilding the upper portion of the church that had been termite ridden.
The team was broken into smaller teams to help demo down to the block wall, fabricate the walls, and build the trusses. Once all the components were complete we came together to put it all in order. The blocks you see below were handmade one at a time by the villagers then stacked. I can’t imagine how long it would’ve taken them to make that many.
CountryBoy was one of two guys framing the walls…
They were built on the ground and then it was all hands on deck to lift them into place…
The frames were in place and ready for the wood siding to be put on.
The trusses were built the same way and then lifted into place and hung upside down once the walls were complete. This made it easier for the crew to swing them into place using ropes and fasten them down…
Once all the trusses were in place the metal roof was put on and we were done. More wood was needed for the front of the church so the villagers would finish it out and make the doors and the shutters for the windows.
All this was done in a matter of about four days (we spent almost half of the trip traveling).
We didn’t have far to go to get to work as we were camped out right beside the church…
Meanwhile I was in the ‘kitchen’ or filling the coolers with water from the creek…
Once the coolers were back at the job site I dropped 5 cc’s of bleach into the coolers and made sure they sat untouched for several hours before anyone could drink from them.
Now mind you, this is the same creek we cooled off in every day after lunch and the same creek where the villagers, ourselves included, took their baths. There was a protocol to follow though – drinking water and dish washing water was gotten upstream and bathing was done downstream – if that makes you feel any better, ha!
Before we knew it, though, we had completed our mission and had walked around the village talking to them and praying for them. Now it was time to head back home. It was hard to leave as we loved every minute of it.
Loading the boats were much easier this time as we basically left with just our five gallon buckets.
We left a lot of our clothes and tools behind for the villagers and since we didn’t have much of a ‘kitchen’ to pack up that meant there was lots of room in the boats now.
CountryBoy loved his first mission trip and we ended up going back to Honduras and/or Nicaragua two more times, each with their own stories.
I hope you enjoyed this little flashback of life before the farm. If you’d like me to do another one just lemme know!
Farm news: 32 eggs and I managed to get one nail trimmed on Mabel. She’s awfully grumpy these days.
Saturday, August 8
Today was designated as a sight-seeing day. We did a few chores in the morning then we headed northeast to Cave Run Lake. We leave the farm unattended so little that as we pulled out of the driveway I briefly had the sinking feeling that everything would fall apart while we were gone. But once we were on the road I knew everything would be fine and allowed myself to relax and enjoy the time away from responsibilities and the ever-present ‘always something to do ’round here’ mentality.
We thought we were on the right road but had inadvertently taken the wrong road and ended up driving along the scenic route. I’m glad we did because it was a beautiful drive. We took the route we should’ve taken on our way home so that we could stop at Rural King and man, was it boring. Anyhow, since we are pilgrims trying to live as non-digitally as possible in this digitally minded world we stopped a guy getting his mail and asked where a certain road was. It was right in front of his house. sigh. There was no sign that designated the road number but we knew we were close according to the map. Yes, a paper map! We just didn’t know we were THAT close.
Now that we were headed in the right direction we were only 16 miles from the turnoff to the road that paralleled the lake. We pulled off at Windy Bay fishing point, parked and headed down one of the paths…
You can see part of the lake through the trees and the path was just the beginning of the beauty that lay beyond.
Woods, water and mountains – three things we absolutely love and to have them all together was tremendously uplifting and relaxing.
We ventured down some rocks and before I knew it my feet were in the water. I was sitting on a rock and CountryBoy joined me. The water felt SO good! We sat there for quite a while but as some small waves crashed against the rocks the right side of me (and my shorts) were getting soaked. We got up and walked around just absorbing the beauty and missing being around water.
There were lots of boats on the water and people just enjoying the great outdoors. It was good to see.
As we drove around we saw so many beautiful areas of Kentucky but there’s still none prettier than our little county and specifically our little farm. Then again, we’re probably partial! At any rate, it was good get out and do some sightseeing because when we go home there were bags of feed to unload, eggs to gather and animals to feed. Welcome home!
Farm news: 30 eggs