Ultra short!

Good Morning!

It is the crack of dawn as I sit here in front of the computer in my studio.  Outside my window grows a very large viburnum (Cardinal Candy by name).  It is always busy with birds during the daylight hours, but this morning it has one visitor.

A lovely Mockingbird who is singing a serenade, and seemingly, just for me.

Beautiful!

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Playing Catch-up: notes on life here and on the mountain

Spring came to the Mountain Farmlet and left.

Summer brought tall grass,

Insects,

Assorted vining summer flowers,

*It may be a Crossvine (aka:  Cross-Vine, Trumpet Flower (Bignonia capreolata))  LOOK HERE

mushrooms,

and too much heat.

While I mowed the day away, Bob kept busy with string trimming, and push mowering the areas I can’t get into with the riding mower.  When he was done, he took a rest, ate lunch, and then continued work on our new compost station!

New-compost-bin

NOTE TO SELF:  build a wire cover for the beginning bin if we intend to continue to using if for kitchen scraps!  The skunks paid it a visit after the last dump.   Or, maybe we should start a wormery?

~*~*~*~

Our collective health has taken a blow, and consequently so has our bank account.  Not to whine, well OK, I am going to whine:  $800.00 for Bob to take an ambulance ride?    And of course our new insurance did not cover it!  RIDICULOUS(I want to tell you more about this, but not now.)

All this has us just keeping up with weed abatement and clearing the trail into the woods.  Mowing, and by that I mean just around the house, pond and outbuildings, and the paths through to the tall grass to the trail, etc. takes me *6 to 7 hours.

It is hard work and the pastures would be better tended by a flock of goats and my geese, but we are in a holding pattern while we catch up from medical bills.

Fall and Winter will find us back at work on the inside of the little farmhouse.  In the meantime we continue to peel away the layers of wallpaper and paneling to prepare for new joists, plumbing , electrical, closing up the walls,  and painting.

All things in good time, eh?

*RE:  Hours of lawn mowing – Follow this link to a humorous but serious treatise shared on Ruth’s Chickens which contemplates the state of lawns and nature: HERE!

 

 

Relative indicators: cold, colder, coldest!

Saying this winter is cold is an understatement.  We may not be in the negative digits as those to the north of us are suffering, yet I believe it is all relative.  Let me explain that statement.

The serious bits…

We are all facing a propane shortage.  Because of this shortage, the Governor of our state has declared a state of emergency.  This will protect us from price gouging.  Cold below freezing will hurt you, and if you can’t keep your house heated, then sadly, it doesn’t matter how many degrees below freezing you are, below freezing is going to hurt you.  I had no idea about the propane shortage when I called to have our tank filled yesterday, and I am grateful that it is full now, because we don’t have a fireplace here.  Normally we get through the winter with only one fill up.  This was our second!

We in the eastern portion of the nation, and this does include the deep south, are facing unseasonably cold winter weather!  Homes built in the south are not accustomed to prolonged freezing temperatures.  We are near the Tennessee border and our walls are pretty thin.  The further down towards the gulf you go, the thinner and less insulated your home will be.  When it gets this cold you might as well be living in a cracker box!  This also means higher energy costs. Few living in the south have a home that was built to be protected from frozen pipe damage or insulated well enough for sustained freezing temperatures.

For all the water we have here in the form of rivers, lakes streams and reservoirs, it may seem quite odd that there were some localities that experienced a water shortage.  This was due to all the households running their taps at night to keep their pipes from freezing.  No one wants to waste water,  yet in weather like this, it has to be done.

Then there are the animals that are affected.  I’m not so worried about my own, because I have provided them with a heat source, unfrozen water, and warm, protected shelter.

On realizing that we were headed into the deep freeze, with possible windchill factors below zero, we put up a wind break for the poultry.  It works really well for the chickens, but for the most part, the geese seem to ignore it and wander about the yard looking for anything that is still edible (not freeze-dried  😉 ).  Well, I suppose they do have a layer of fat and all that down to keep them warm.

P1068404-2“What!  You gave the chickens a heater? Where’s our heater?”

Ever wonder where the wild things go to find food and water?  Well, apparently here in N. Alabama,  they are getting it from my chickens and geese!

On keeping a sense of humor…

Now it must be said that even in all this cold, there is still some fun to be had!  Remember the property across the way with the derelict house on it?  Well, now that it is cleared, and a proper berm tractored into place, we have a smallish catch basin.   (It is kind of a swamp really, but the frogs will think its grand in the summer.)  For now, it is frozen over and the neighbor kids have begun using it as an ad hoc skating rink!

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Did you ever wonder:  “How do the little squirrels stay warm?”

They move FAST!

This squirrel has a scratch feed addiction!  😉

~*~

No matter where we are in this cold season, and whatever the circumstances we face, we have to be aware, be safe, help others in need, try to stay warm, and if possible, to keep our sense of humor intact.

~*~

Sending blessings out to all who are suffering in this weird weather!  

~*~

Fall: mountain farmlet style

Tired of working every time we go up to the mountain we decided to go up on Saturday and just enjoy the afternoon.

Bob packed the chainsaw, and I made fun of him for taking it along…

“We had that storm you know, and there are always a few downed trees on the trail!” he said.

You will have noticed the barbed wire in front of Miss Kitty?  As it turns out there was more of that barbed wire hidden in the leaves all along the edge of the creek.  How do I know this?

Let’s just say I’m glad my Carharts are made tough!  They saved me some serious damage!  Only a little scratch, and yes, I have had my tetanus shot in recent history!

We stayed until it was dark to look at the stars and then headed out to have dinner.  It was a lovely visit!