A Week in Review

Sunday, May 30

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve taken the time to write a blog post. I’m finding it harder and harder these days to muster up the desire to sit behind the computer. Just yesterday a wise friend told me that I was meant to have dirt under my nails and be outside and not meant to sit behind a computer. She’s right. I’ve been behind a computer at one of my jobs for four years now and I think it has finally gotten to me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what I did but by the end of the day I was drained. It wasn’t the job itself. It was more like the day as a whole – people, phones, deadlines, downtown noises, even just leaving the farm became too much at the end of the day. By the time I get home I just want peace and quiet, to catch up on farm happenings, feed the birds, water and rotate the seedlings, and so on. Some days I need to move around and others I just need to relax. In a week or two I will have more hours at home and hopefully more motivation to sit myself behind the computer and blog on a more regular basis.

Speaking of jobs, after a five week notice I finally started training someone last week which was supposed to be my last week. It’s a long story but suffice it to say that it took a while to find my replacement. She is doing well but it’s a lot to learn so I offered to come in next week and both the boss and the new hire were relieved and grateful. When I was learning the job I was fortunate to have a seasoned coworker in the same room where I could continually pepper her with questions. That coworker is now working from home and there’s no one physically at the office that the new girl could ask questions and get an immediate answer. I’m going to recommend messaging or emailing the seasoned worker when questions arise (and they will) after my final week which is really only two more days since Monday is Memorial Day.

Speaking of Memorial Day, a HUGE thanks to those who gave their all for our country. How quickly many have forgotten how and why we have the freedom we have today. I pray they remember before it’s too late.

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My tomato and marigold seedling babies did well after their transplant ordeal. In the sunroon/greenhouse I’m still nurturing the green peppers, strawberries (I’m hoping for Fall berries, ha!), cilantro, basil, and a few tomato seedlings that sprouted late. In the garden, everything we planted a few weeks ago has sprouted. Now it’s time to do our best to keep the weeds at bay. It’s just amazing how quickly the weeds grow versus the plants.

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Friday night looked like this…

… which resulted in some rain and ushered in a cold front. In a matter of a day we went from the low nineties to the low sixties – a difference of 30 degrees. After those couple of days in the nineties I am soaking in this cold snap. I’m just not ready to be sweaty and sticky yet. I even made a pot o’ chili yesterday and had a cuppa hot tea last night.

Speaking of the cold snap, Mabel was a little put out by the sudden drop in temperature and decided to take matters into her own hands. When CountryBoy went to gather the eggs he found that she had dragged the bag of wood chips that are stored under the nest boxes in her pen over towards her bed and had tried to get some wood chips out. She’s such a smart pig! Seeing this CountryBoy grabbed a mess of hay and threw on her bed for her. At bedtime he ‘tucked’ her in with some more and she was grateful.

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At work this afternoon there were sheets galore waiting for me. In fact, as soon as I walked in the door I was bombarded with half the staff letting me know of the need for a set of King sheets as soon as possible. Twenty minutes later I handed off a freshly ironed set of King sheets to one of the girls and five hours later the shelves were restocked with freshly washed and ironed sheet sets of all sizes.

Monday, May 31

It was an absolutely beautiful Memorial Day! The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. As we were driving to and from our monthly trip to Rural King this morning I couldn’t help but appreciate this beautiful day, admire the beauty that surrounds us as well as be thankful for the freedom we have today to enjoy all of it. That freedom came with a price and I pray that the price is never forgotten or taken for granted.

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Since today is Memorial Day I had the day off and wound up sleeping in. After being totally exhausted yesterday sleeping in felt so good. I’m not really sure why I was so exhausted yesterday but I’m thinking after a week of training my replacement and several sleep deprived nights from getting up in the middle of the night with LizzieBelle it caught up with me. In fact, after months of sleeping on the couch I became overwhelmed with the desire to sleep in a bed so I was trying to figure out how and where to put a bed downstairs. The only place is the dining room. I could move a few things around and we could get a bed in there but I’m not sure if I can handle the setup for very long. I know me and I’m thinking that I would quickly tire of ‘things being out of place’. I mean really, a bed in the dining room?! But, since it’s going to be a while before we get the bedroom addition I know I need to just come to terms with either sleeping on the couch or having a bed in the dining room until the bedroom addition becomes a reality.

Speaking of LizzieBelle, she is doing good all things considered. She lives in a dark and almost silent world now and there’s also the symptoms of CHF to deal with. For the most part she is doing OK on her meds but she still has bouts of coughing – some days worse than others. I am in the process of researching alternative meds to coincide with her current treatment. I’m hoping it will ease her symptoms even more and will delay having to increase her current dosages any time in the near future. We’re just so thankful that she seems to be coping well. In fact, she got all excited this morning when we asked her if she ‘wanted to go byes in the truck’. She wasn’t sure she heard us correctly but after a minute she understood and she got excited. It was cute! She rode around Rural King lying in her bed inside the buggy like a queen!

Once we were home CountryBoy was feeling tired so while he took a nap I went about feeding the birds, washing dishes, picking cherries and sitting on the porch listening to said birds and reading while soaking up more of this beautiful day. I’m currently reading ‘Three Cups of Tea’. It’s a humanitarian story about Greg Mortenson and how this seemingly ordinary guy has made a difference in Pakistan one school at a time. I can’t help but think that he may be ordinary (a nurse and hiker whose life was changed after missing a trail and coming upon a small village) but he had what it takes to make a difference – personality, credibility, confidence, and so on. I used to think I had what it took to help people with health and wellness but alas, I do not and that’s OK. I have enough on my plate as it is.

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After supper we started a batch of scuppernong and sour cherry wine with the cherries I had picked. I’m hoping that the tartness of the cherries will balance the sweetness from the sugar. I also cut back on the amount of sugar so this batch is a test to see how it turns out and if it’s a good combination. The scuppernong and blackberry combo turned out great so here’s hoping this will too. Time will tell.

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The peonies and clematis are doing great this year…

In fact, everything seems to be growing with vigor which truly surprises me. I sure thought everything would be stunted this year after the ten day ice storm we had earlier in the year.

Tuesday, June 1

Wow. June 1st already. The year is flying by and we’ve not gotten the first piece of wood cut and split for winter. Now that the garden planting is mostly done I guess we need to start thinking about prepping for winter since it will be here before we know it.

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After moving a few things around to see if I could handle the whole ‘bed in the dining room ordeal’ I was, again, reminded of the excess in my house. sigh. I’ve been going through things and have made many donations but you would never know. I’ll keep at it though. I’m really learning that less is more and that more is driving me crazy. Short drive for those that know me, hahaha!

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Work went much better today than last Tuesday. The server cooperated and we were able to leave at 2:30. As I was headed out of town I decided to stop at our local antique and vendor mall to see if they had any bed frames since I’ve decided to go ahead with converting the dining room into a bedroom. There were no bed frames to be found but I walked out with two hard back books for a total of four dollars and some change and I spotted a rain barrel just like the ones we have up at the cabin. We’ve talked about adding another rain barrel or two but quickly dismissed the idea when we discovered that the price of the barrels we purchased last year had doubled in price since then. I debated on getting it but decided I didn’t want to fool with the bulky thing and I wasn’t sure if CountryBoy wanted to mess with setting it up. However, after telling him about it he said I should’ve gotten it since it was a heckuva deal at only $20. Oh well, maybe it will be there another day.

Wednesday, June 2

It was a short day at the B&B today. I finished up at 12:30 and decided to go into town to look for a bed frame. I took my time walking around the big box store as I tried to remember a few of the things we had forgotten to get on our last trip in to town. Things such as cat food, matches for the cabin and bigger bowls for LizzieBelle. Her old ones were too small. More food ended up out of the bowl as she ate and we were constantly filling her water bowl. I found a bed frame, grabbed a new waterproof mattress pad (in case there’s a puppy accident), and I found a nice, casual dress for summer at a reasonable price. I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the stuff but I spent most of the time talking myself out of buying things that caught my eye but that I really didn’t need which is a good thing.

While CountryBoy was making supper I put the bed frame together. After supper we dug all the pieces of the mattress (it’s an old Sleep Number bed) out from under the beds upstairs and brushed off the dust and cobwebs. It was then that it dawned on me that we did not have a box frame for this mattress. It was the one we used in the fifth wheel and we didn’t need a box frame. If I had remembered that sooner I would’ve bought a platform bed frame instead. Luckily we had a sheet of thin plywood so CountryBoy put that down and we proceeded to put the bed together and inflate the bladders. I washed a set of sheets that had been stored for years, made the bed and threw a fleece throw on the bed for now. You don’t know how excited I am to sleep in a bed again after three plus months!

Thursday, June 3

Today was bittersweet. This morning I handed my key to the newspaper office over to my replacement. At the time, I was unsure whether or not it would actually be my last day but as the day progressed and I witnessed the new girl handling the incoming ads and emails like a champ I knew that it was time. I felt that she had a good understanding of being an Ad Agent and the processes involved even though there is still much to learn. That will come with time. And speaking of time, here’s to more time at home now and to the future! I will, however, be working from home on Tuesdays to help lay out the pages until the editor of our sister paper returns from maternity leave.

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I finally sold my violin! I’ve had it listed on Facebook Marketplace for a couple months and finally I had a bite and it sold. One less thing in the house that I’m not using and one more thing that someone else will appreciate and enjoy.

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My first night back in a bed in a while was not as blissful as I had anticipated. I slept but I tossed and turned a lot. Just as my body had to get used to sleeping on a couch I guess it has to get used to sleeping in a bed again. Hopefully it will quickly adjust. And LizzieBelle? She slept soundly in her bed right next to me.

While I was at work CountryBoy made some risers out of some new fence posts we had. It’s now a comfortable height to climb out of bed.

Speaking of bed, sleep tonight is going to be short. Our guests aren’t arriving until 11:30. I’m thinking it will be closer to midnight when you factor in any necessary stops along the way. sigh.

Friday, June 4

I never tire of this view and I hope y’all don’t mind being bombarded with the various, sometimes subtle, changes this view offers. After a very late night waiting for our guests to arrive I was still up with LizzieBelle at her normal time of 6:30. CountryBoy slept in a bit so I took care of the morning chores and was greeted with the scene above as I headed to the barn. I knew it was going to be a grand and glorious day!

As we enjoyed our second cup of coffee out on the porch the previously mentioned rain barrel came up again in conversation. We decided to go to town immediately to see if it was still there. Thankfully, the spur of the moment trip to town was a success!

It was, indeed, still there and we were thrilled with scoring a pricy rain barrel for next to nothing. We celebrated with an unhealthy breakfast sandwich and tater tots before heading home.

I had no specific plans for the day so I fed the birds and hoed a partial row of tomatoes until it got too warm outside. After that, I spent some time straightening up the ‘dining room turned bedroom’ and I added a few touches to make it cozy and presentable. That room is, after all, the first room a person sees upon entering the house so I’d like to have it look halfway decent.

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Our guests left at noon. Shortly thereafter, I went up to the cabin and grabbed the sheets, dirty dishes and trash then came back down to wash everything. We cleaned and put it all back together while supper was warming in the oven. Today’s guest had a change of plans and won’t arrive until tomorrow morning so we had plenty of time to get it all done.

This afternoon, CountryBoy hooked up the second rain barrel behind the cabin. Overflow water will now flow from the barrel with the downspout into the ‘new’ barrel. This extra barrel will be a lifesaver in the summer months when everyone wants to use the claw foot tub.

I can’t remember if I shared the updated interior after removing the wood stove and replacing it with the propane fireplace but here’s how the inside looks now…

With this new arrangement you’d never know it was only 209 square feet. We’ve also been able to add a solar light over the dining table AND… I recently found a pedestal fan that operates on solar power that also has an LED light and a USB charger built in. It works great. The addition of the fan is huge. It will help circulate the air and keep it cooler during the hot summer months. Our guests have appreciated and complimented our efforts of making an off-grid cabin so comfortable. They have enjoyed ‘roughing it’ in style!

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Farm news: Egg production has been way down this past week with one of those days only resulting in nine eggs. Forty one hens and only NINE eggs! I’ve noticed a few girls are molting but what about the rest of the girls that aren’t? CountryBoy thought maybe they didn’t like the wood chips in the nest boxes so he threw some fresh dried grass in there last night. Today we had 21 eggs. Much better! Now if another ten or twelve would lay to add to that it would be great.

The garden is coming along. The weeds are coming along better but at least most of what we planted has germinated and is steadily growing. We may be harvesting some radishes in the next couple of days, yum!

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