“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

The Weekend Update

Some weekends are so filled with wonderful goodness,
that it's almost impossible to describe in words.
Luckily we have photos!
I have much to share with you!

Friday, as we were making last minute preparations for our weekend guests,
I noticed a tiny hummingbird flying around the high peak inside our garage.
Suddenly, it came plummeting down to the floor, unable to fly.


I gently picked up the tiny bird and cradled it in my hand.
A quick examination showed that she was tangled in a spider's web...
which was wrapped around her wing.


I gently pulled the web from her wing and she took off,
only to land a few feet away on the ground.
She was still unable to fly normally.
I picked her up again and gently combed through her wing feathers with my fingers...
removing a little more sticky spider web.


She rested on my arm for a moment then took off in normal flight
to a tree at the edge of the woods.
If I hadn't found her when I did, she would have surely perished.
Seeing her fly off into the woods was a great way to begin the weekend!

Saturday morning we drove an hour to see Tyler swim in a big
championship swim meet.
(The funny thing about a swim meet is... you might drive an hour to and an hour home,
to...

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Moonbeam Vs. Muzzle

If you have visited us over the last few months,
then you probably know that our equines wear grazing muzzles when they are out in the pasture.
I know... it seems unfair.


Actually, it gives these "easy keepers" (horses that get fat easily)
the ability to spend hours grazing in the pasture,
without gorging themselves.
Over-eating can lead to a whole host of problems for horses and ponies
such as mine.
If you don't have horses, then you may not know that not all horses are alike.
And not all horse breeds have the same metabolisms.
It's an important consideration when choosing horse breeds...
and certainly easier on the owner if all the horses in his/her herd have the same
dietary requirements.


Under the recommendation of Dr. Becky,
I purchased a specific type of grazing muzzle for my herd.
It is an open "basket" that hangs in front of the nose and attaches to the halter.
The basket allows for a good amount of air flow around the nose and mouth.
I purchased "break-away" halters for each horse and attached the muzzles so that they hang about
an inch from the mouth... forming a barrier between the mouth and the grass
that allows only a percentage of the grass through.
The result is a greatly reduced...

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Wasn't It Just Yesterday...

Wasn't it just yesterday...
that we drove to the Post Office to pick up 24 tiny, down puffballs?


Wasn't it just yesterday, that I lifted each newly hatched chick
out of the box, one at a time...
to place its beak in the water for its first drink,
and to show it the food that would help it to grow?


And now, two months later, we have twenty four adolescent beauties
who will soon join their older counterparts...
eventually making their way out into the world of the farm.


It's just a mini-glimpse of life...
and how quickly we grow from infants to adults...
repeating the cycle with our children,
and then our grandchildren.

And it all seems to fly by so quickly... one day at a time!

There are moments when I am overcome with nostalgia...
filled with memories of a different time...
happy memories of my childhood...
joyful memories of my children's childhood.
And now, I find myself in the midst of my grandchildren's childhood.

Scores of memories are preciously packed tightly, in a box, in my heart...
snapshots of moments... each just as clear as the other...
able to be unpacked and enjoyed whenever I like.

Watching our chicks grow into hens serves as a reminder
of how important it is to be present in each...

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Beatrix One, And Two

Every time we walk into the barn we are greeted by one of two
little black cats.


"Mew," they say in their squeaky voices... still sounding more like
tiny kittens than the adult cats into which they have grown.


They venture outside often, but never stray far from their safe haven
in the barn.


These two were the best addition to the barn.
No longer "hissy" or "pissy" as they were when they were young and feral,
we have decided to give them a new name... Beatrix(s).
Bea One
and Bea Two.
(Because we cannot tell them apart...not even by their behavior.)

We spent most of yesterday with our Littles, here at the farm.
We cleaned pasture, visited animals, swam and went for several
"GoGo" rides.


We stopped at the tent while in the woods and Mack asked to go inside and check it out.



Apparently she would like to go camping.



As the kids were leaving to go home, a storm popped up and dumped
enough rain to allow me to cross off "watering the garden" from my to-do list.
YAY!
As the rain was ending, the sun came out and a lovely rainbow stretched across the farm.



The time that I had allocated for watering was spent visiting with the donkeys
and getting a little special lovin' from them.


Chloe stayed close by me


while...

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Sharing A Moment

It's early morning.


Chores are finished, and I am sitting on the edge of the donkeys'
dry lot with my back against the fence post and my feet in the front pasture.


To my left, Ginger has laid herself down...


belly exposed for a rub-down.


To my right, Chester is trying his best to give me a big lick.


MaryAnn has spied us and is headed our way.


It's rare that Ginger and I have a moment like this,
and MaryAnn's presence makes Ginger suddenly rise and walk away.
The moment is over.


MaryAnn is definitely the Alpha pig... at least where I am concerned.
It's nice to see that if she is not around, Ginger feels comfortable enough
with me to lie down for a belly rub.
Normally, it is always MaryAnn who comes for a rub.

These quiet moments with my animals are my favorite.
They are the end result of a relationship built on trust.


The pigs return to the front pasture for grazing and I head out to the garden
to harvest ripe veggies.


Pumpkin babies are just peeking out from beneath the vine.


In a few weeks they will be orange and ripe...
ready to be made into pumpkin pies.

I return home loaded with tomatoes, peppers, peaches, cucumbers and squash...
enough produce to freeze and to share.


The rest of the morning is...

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Get-A-Way Weekends

We returned from our Chesapeake weekend getaway
yesterday afternoon.
(just in time to get the mowing done for the week)


We had a wonderful 3 ½ days at the Bay with friends...
boating...


kayaking...


relaxing...


eating crabs...


playing games (lots and lots of Charades),
all accompanied by great conversation and lots of laughs.

I had time to sit by the water and finish knitting the sweater 
that I started in May. (photo this week after it's blocked
)
I so enjoy exploring new places...
paying close attention to the flora and fauna that reside there.


I have never seen so many butterflies at one time!


They were literally all over the place.


Of course it helps that our friends have lots of flowers to attract them.


While we were gone, the farm was well cared for.
The animals chores were done by our neighbors and friends,
Jim, Kathy, and Anna.

Meanwhile, the house-sitting/dog-sitting was done by 
Maggie, Macy and their parents.
(If you've been around here in the past few years, you will know who
"The Girls" are.)
I think they might have had just as much fun as we had!
(Thanks, Danielle, for the following photos of your farm weekend!)












I don't think the animals missed us a bit!

Thanks to all who took such great care...

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On The Road Again....

On a hot day....
there is nothing better than to be on or in the water!


And so... by the time you are reading this...
we are most likely on our way to the Chesapeake Bay
for a fun-filled (long) weekend on the water, with great friends.
(Did you know that Thursday is the new Friday?)


Last year we took our three pups with us,
and Chester learned to fetch in the bay.
He channelled his inner Lab and swam like a fish!


This year the pups are staying home with "The Girls"...
yes, Maggie and Macy and their family are house-sitting for us
and we couldn't be happier.
The pups will get plenty of loving... as will all the farm animals.


Friends and neighbors are helping out with farm chores in our absence.
It's always comforting to know that our animals are well cared for when we are gone.

A weekend away is wonderful, on occasion.
And always, by the end of the weekend, we are ready to be back home
amongst all that we love.

We'll be back on Monday with tales of our weekend.
Have a great one... wherever you are spending it!!

PS...... Happy August!!
The days are getting shorter.
(Personally, I am excited for Autumn.)

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Rest In Peace

Most days we go about our routine deeply intrenched in a feeling
of peace and satisfaction.
This is a happy place.


Of course, with life... circumstances are not always perfect...
and loss is a part of life.
So it is, here on the farm.
We suffer our losses, but rejoice in the everyday miracles that greatly outweigh them.
At least we choose to see it this way.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to the eldest member of the goat herd, Missy.


She was in her teens and at the end was extremely arthritic.
She lived a quiet life surrounded by her family and friends,
in a peaceful, safe environment.

Our goat herd, which was a joint venture with Hubbs' sister, Becky, 
 has dwindled in the past few years from 18 members to the present six.
Becky raised fainting goats, and we had Nigerian Dwarfs...
all of whom lived together in one of our large upper pastures.


We no longer have any of our Nigerian Dwarf goats,
and the remaining six are fainting goats.
With many of the goats, we witnessed both their birth and death...
and all of the daily meanderings in between.
It has been a privilege to care for these souls through their entire life...
to build relationships of trust and peace.
It is sad to say goodbye and know that we...

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Duckthumping

For your viewing pleasure....


If the video doesn't appear above,
you can find it HERE.

It's worth watching!!
You're welcome.

(If you are not familiar with the song...
it is called "Tub-thumping" by Chubbawumba.
Perfect, don't you think??

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A Bumper Crop

This has been a summer unlike many.


We've had breathtakingly beautiful, sunny days
and just the right amount of rain.

As a result, we have several bumper crops.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes....
so many tomatoes!


Actually, everything in the garden came in well this summer...
and just kept on producing.

With all of this sunshine...
we have been able to bank a lot of solar power as well...
always meeting our own needs...
as well as producing more than we need.


This "extra" energy feeds into the grid and counts as a credit
in our energy account.
That way, when winter comes and the sun shines fewer hours,
we will have solar credits left over from summer to power our house.
I am predicting we will have enough solar power to meet all of our needs for the entire year...
and then some!
Any credits left over at the end of the year will come back to us via check.

Perhaps the biggest bumper crop of the summer has been the hummingbirds.


We have more hummingbirds than ever!


It seemed, at the beginning of the summer, that we had the usual few.
However, now, since the babies are now out of the nest,
we have too many to count.


Every morning, we fill our three feeders.


By mid afternoon, they look like this:
(the closest...

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Pharmaceuticals

We were so looking forward to this past weekend.
For the first time in weeks,  (and the last time for weeks)
we had nothing scheduled.
We planned to spend the weekend here at home enjoying the farm.
The weather was cooler and perfect... we couldn't have asked for a better weekend at home.


What is that saying about the "best laid plans of mice and men"?
I don't know about the mice around here, but the men....
Geesh!


Saturday morning Hubbs decided to cut down a very old pussy willow
that had grown tree-sized and was hanging over a few of our solar panels on the
far side of the house.


He also planned on taking a long bike ride following that chore.

Meanwhile, I was doing a little sewing... making a purse.
I needed to run to my favorite fabric shop in a nearby town and planned on
meeting Hubbs there at the completion of his bike ride.


And then...

Apparently a hornet had made its nest inside a birdhouse that hung from the pussy willow.
When the tree fell to the ground and the birdhouse fell along with it,
said hornet became enraged and took it out on the top of Hubbs' head.
Now, Hubbs is severely allergic to honeybee stings (the reason why we no longer have bees),
but never tested positive for...

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Turkey Trot

Hubbs and I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon running some errands.
Because we were "running around"...
I thought this video was perfect for today.

You can find it HERE if it does not automatically appear to you.

I filmed this yesterday morning during chores.
It's amazing to me how much spunk this old turkey has,
considering the fact that he is over ten years old...
which in turkey years is like 95, I think!

Yesterday, Hubbs installed this heavy-duty, wall-to-wall,
ground-to-roof net in the middle of the chicken yard.
(Have I ever told you that he is my number-one problem solver and hero?)


This will keep the old and the new chickens separated and allow the newbies to be outside...
instead of being cooped up in a hot henhouse during this heatwave.
Last evening the young ladies ventured outside for the first time...


 and I can proudly say, they were back inside by curfew!

Oppressive heat and humidity are to continue through Monday.
We are all surviving...
but it is hard on the animals...
harder than winter for sure.

The past three days have given us 3 inches of rain.
Now it's time to dry out a bit!


The weekend is to be especially hot,
and then temperatures should dip back down in the 80's
with...

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A Little Of This And That...

After the constant flurry of activity that is Spring,
Summer settles upon us and life slows down a little.
There's much I would love to be doing outside...
but the only comfortable hours are early in the morning and late in the evening.


The horses have been enjoying their bug-free, cooler nights out in the pasture.
We bring them back to the barn in the early morning
to escape the heat and the bugs,
and they spend the next half hour grooming each other,


before falling sound asleep.... exhausted from the previous night.

Until the past two days, it has been a relatively dry summer.
Yesterday we had torrential rain.


The sheep sought shelter with the pigs.
After all, there's nothing more uncomfortable than a wet wool sweater!


This summer I've needed to water the garden frequently.

It's during those early morning hours in the garden that I spend
a block of time fussing over my tomato plants.
For the first time - ever - I have tomato plants that don't look as though
they've been neglected.


In previous years, I've had good intentions, but
just never gave them the hours of attention needed.
And in no time, the vines would grow wild and crazy,
like un-attended toddlers.
Fruit would ripen and, if not picked in...

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The Others

The farm is home to many...
humans and domesticated animals.


It is also home to the Others -
those who were here long before we were.


Those who were born here and will live out their lives here.
Those with whom we are challenged with peaceful, respectful,
co-existence.


In my mind it is the Others to whom the land truly belongs.
We are merely squatters.

Several weeks ago, as I drove up our driveway,
I spied a female turkey and her young brood in the grass that grows between
the edge of the driveway and the woods.
Upon seeing me, she protectively ushered her youngsters into the safety of the woods.

And while we often see wild turkey on our land,


it is rare to see youngsters like this.
Hoping to get a photo, we placed a couple of game cameras facing different 
directions alongside our driveway.


Around the same time as the turkey sighting,
I began seeing a female white-tailed deer hanging out in the lower section of our 
front yard.


Golden brown and sleek in her summer coat,
she was wary of our presence...
but stayed.
We saw her day after day.

This might be why...


"Well, hello there!"


We have a curious baby here... 
a spring fawn.


I love that the wild animals grow their babies on our farm.
On some level, I am...

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The Heat of Summer

It's a hot, hot week, here on the farm.


There's barely a cloud in the sky.


Most of us prefer the shade during the hottest part of the day.


Some of us prefer to cool off like this....


Ginger flops right down in the cool water of her pool.

  

She splashes and splashes...


Ahhhh.... that's so much better!
This is one happy pig.

Chester cools off in the pond....



(You can view the above video here.)

The verdict is in regarding the effectiveness of Japanese Beetle traps.
When I first put these traps out, my berry bushes were covered with beetles.
Now, after emptying several full bags of beetles,
the grapes and berry bushes barely have any beetles on them.


I call this a big win!

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As Promised...

As promised, I video'd the runner ducks (new and old) this weekend.
You will notice that they are not out free ranging at the present time.
The reason for this is two-fold.
First, we have lost a couple more chickens to the foxes,
so, all of the poultry are confined to their yards.
Secondly, the babies are too young to be wandering
willy-nilly all over the farm.
Waiting until these twelve are well bonded, and the youngsters
are full grown is the safest course of action.


You can view the video HERE, if it doesn't show up automatically.

We had a rather busy weekend.
On Friday, a dear friend and I headed to Pittsburgh for Vintage Market Days.


We had a wonderful time strolling through aisles of vintage vendors.
Luckily, I drove our truck... because I found this wonderful cart:


which is now parked at the entrance to our barn driveway...
filled with flowers.


For autumn, I will fill it with mums and pumpkins.

I also found this...


And in case you cannot tell what is underneath that mass of greenery,
it's an antique porcelain bedpan.


Yes, I love a little medical humor.
Did I ever tell you that I use an old urine collection glass as a creamer?
Don't worry, I sterilized it first!!

I also saw these garden...

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Keeping Everyone Happy

The one thing that never changes around here...
is the fact that nothing ever stays the same!
We are always tweaking our animal routines...
trying to make life for all of our animals as good as it can possibly be.


This week we noticed that a couple of the male runner ducks were being
a little aggressive with the youngsters
(mating behavior, that is)
first thing each morning.
As a result, the youngsters were spending most of their day inside the duck house,
or in the corner of their yard.


(I have noticed that roosters wake up looking for a little action,
so I am guessing that drakes behave similarly.)

We have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of bullying,
so it became apparent that we needed to change up the duck routine.

Now, when the door opens for the ducks to come out of their house each morning,
the older ducks are ushered out of their yard.


We moved one of the pools outside the fence for them,
leaving the other inside for the youngsters.


As you can see... the youngsters love their pool.


When they are not out free-ranging and eating insects,
the older ducks hang out near the duck yard - 
outside the fence.


So far, this has worked out fine.
It won't be long until the youngsters are fully...

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It Has Finally Cooled Down!

Yesterday morning the horses and donkeys ate their breakfast in the dry lot.


Normally they are just coming in from the pasture at that time of day.


However, the previous night had been stormy, so we elected to 
keep everyone in overnight.
(They did get to spend last night out in the pasture, however.)


While I was cleaning up manure from the previous night,
I heard a loud bleating coming from the pig yard.

I went over the the pig house to find that Faith was in the pig house,
while the pigs were eating their breakfast.
The bleating had to have come from Hope.


I peered around the corner of the pig house to find Hope
sticking her nose through the fence and loudly calling to get our attention.


The first one to see what all the noise was about was Sammie.
He was very interested in what Hope had to say.


Next, Scarlet wandered over to have a tete-a-tete with 
the complaining sheep.


I get such a kick out of watching animal behavior.
Every time I am out with the animals, something different is happening.
It's all so fascinating....
all of these personalities all mixed together.

Yesterday we had to let the older ducks out of their yard to free-range.


They have been getting a little rough with the...

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Day Tripping...

In lieu of taking a summer vacation...


I am taking a little "me" break today and Thursday....


just a couple days to stop and smell the posies!
(Which would be zinnias... as we are in the midst of a zinnia explosion!
This is why it is my favorite summer flower.)


Tomorrow I am off to NYC with a dear friend for an adventure.
We are taking in a show... Waitress.
Luckily, the heat wave has dissipated,  just in time.

Before I leave, I'll post a farm story...
but there will be no time left on Wednesday to write one for Thursday.
Hope your week is a good one!

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Sometimes, Building An Addition Is Not The Answer!

For the last several years,
a barn swallow family has returned to the nest built into the rafters of our barn.
Each spring, the parents buttress the original nest, making it bigger and stronger.
They've added additions to the point that there is barely any room left at the top of the nest
 for entering and exiting.


Not to mention the fact that...
now as the babies are reaching full maturity,
the nest is practically overflowing with feathered appendages.


The barn and the dry lot are a constant flurry of swallow activity...
with swallows swooping and diving as they flit and float through the air,
catching insects in their beaks.
For this reason, I love barn swallows.

The cats, however, have a rather tumultuous relationship with the swallows.
From time to time I find swallow remains...
what's leftover when a swallow flies just a bit too close to one of the "rafter" cats.
On the other hand, there are days when, for the barn cats,
walking through the dry lot becomes a swallow gauntlet,
 with these agile fliers swooping down from above,
as they loudly voice their disapproval of all feline activity.

Swallows and horses get along just fine.
The swallows recognize that the horses are no threat.


In...

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Hummingbird Morning

Every spring, the Ruby-throated hummingbirds return
to the farm.
In the beginning, there are just a couple of pairs that visit our feeders.
But as those pairs raise their brood, by mid-summer,
the feeders become quite busy.


These tiny avian hovercraft swoop and dive, turn, and stop in mid-air,
as they protect their precious nectar.
They are quite territorial and spend more time chasing each other
than they do eating.

If the following video does not show up,
you can find it HERE.



PS.... thanks so much for sharing your farm stories with me in yesterday's comments!
I so love to hear about others' experiences!!
Have a great day!

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Who Is Training Whom?

It is my opinion that - 
of all the animals that live here on the farm,
the pigs are definitely the smartest!


Every morning, the gate to the front pasture is opened and they are given
free range.
It's at this time of day that the sheep and the donkeys are also in the front pasture,


the equines having spent the night in the upper pasture (in muzzles... to slow down consumption.)


The donkeys are only allowed a few hours of grazing,


while the sheep and pigs have access to grass for the entire day and evening.


For the past several days, when it is time to call the donkeys back in,
the pigs have been found loitering in the donkey yard.


Don't think for a moment that this is coincidence.
No, it is a well-planned, well-executed maneuver to procure
Ritz crackers!

You see, the only way to get the pigs out of the donkey yard is to entice them out
with Ritz crackers.

I quickly throw a few Ritz onto the ground to occupy the pigs,
while I run to the donkey yard and quickly close the gate
behind the already retreating donkeys.


Hubbs reminded me yesterday that I am reinforcing bad behavior.
That may be the case,
but... my method works.
And I hate to tease the pigs out with crackers and then not give them any.
Pigs...

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We Are So Excited!!

If you caught yesterday's post,
then you already know that five more runner ducks are coming to live on the farm.
Did I say five?


Well, the number has increased to six....
oops, no....seven.


Yes, on Thursday evening, seven more ducks will be arriving.
At that point, we will have an even dozen runner ducks...
actually.... we think they are runner ducks, but the jury is out on that...
at least until they grow a little bigger.
(Maybe, part, runner ducks.)

As with everything, time will tell.
These sweet little ducklings were hatched out by this broody hen...


on another small farm about an hour from us.

Here they are....getting a little big for their adoptive mother!


Here are their real parents...



I am wondering if these ducklings are starting life
in a state of confusion.
Regardless, given time, they will settle in to life as ducks...
increasing the size of our bug patrol two-fold and then some!


Ducklings and Henlings grow up so fast.
Just look at these gals...


gangly teenagers, all...
who now like to roost on the highest rungs of the roosting ladder at night.


Those teenagers... flirting with danger!

Yesterday was a cooler, soggy day-
and I am not complaining.
Neither is the plant-life.  We've been...

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The Weekend Wrap-Up

Days of planning...
days of cooking, cleaning up, readying the farm for guests...
paying attention to every detail.
All is done in hopes that family and friends feel the love that goes into an event
like our 4th of July picnic.
It is a lot of work; but it is a labor of love...
so no burden is felt in working through the long list of tasks.


Though hot and humid, the weather generally cooperated with our weekend plans.
Storms passed by us.  No rain fell.
Welcomed breezes blew.

The farm was in full bloom - the vegetable garden bursting at its seams -
the perfect time for a celebration on a big scale.

Big kids had fun with colorful smoke bombs as well as
having free range all over the farm.

It was a day of smiles, and laughter...
games and conversation...
too much delicious food...
cakes and singing...


lots and lots of "go-go's" in honor of our big 2-year-old.


Little Easton shares a birthday with Dr. Becky,
so, the singing and cakes were doubled.

It isn't often that everyone in our family can make it to a picnic.
We were so happy to have Ryan and Bekah (our newlyweds from North Carolina)
join us for the holiday.


We are so very fortunate to have a family that enjoys each other's company
to the fullest.
This...

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Cat-Tired

This is me... yawning.


I am finding myself a little spent and a little washed out,
after the fasting and prep for yesterday's procedure.
(All the while, not missing a beat with farm chores.)
(And, on top of it all... it is blistering hot out.)
So....

I am taking tomorrow off from blogging...
because I would actually have to compose that writing today sometime...
and today is completely booked in the kitchen.

I'll be back sometime after the 4th... perhaps even on Friday with tales of our picnic.

Just a couple photos to share with you from my front flower bed weeding
yesterday morning...

a white Daddy-long-legger... never saw one of these before...


and on the other end of the spectrum... a vibrant lily...


and a lovely little green snake
( I am guessing a garter snake of some sort)...


Even the most mundane of chores can be filled with magical surprises,
if you just keep your eyes open!

Happy Fourth of July to you!!
We will be celebrating with family.
All of our kids and grands will be with us... even the newlyweds
from North Carolina!
Fun!!
🎉

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Lazy Afternoon

It's mid-afternoon and the pastures are empty.


The horses grazed all night and are napping.


The pigs and sheep and goats have access to their grass all day long...


but prefer to partake early in the morning and in the evening.


Summer afternoons were meant to be slow and lazy.


I take a short rest with my two favorite pigs... a quick stop for belly rubbing  and ear scratching.


As for me... the 4th of July is right around the corner and there
are preparations to be made.
We're having a picnic for 30+ humans,
and several hundred fairies.

Fairies can't resist a gathering filled with mirth and merriment.
Love and laughter are the biggest attraction for the fairies.

The picnic pavilion is ready for the festivities.


When guests arrive, they have the choice of two entrances into the picnic grove.
The front entrance is the fairy entrance and is home to 
this fairy garden.


Both humans and fairies can use this entrance.


The back entrance is a magical log-lined path through the woods,


and serves as the entrance for the forest gnomes,
although humans are always welcome.


This is the last of this year's landscaping projects.
(Unless a sudden burst of inspiration hits me.)


I often get questions about our horses fly...

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Garden Tour 2019

For me, the best part of the summer is the garden.


I am happiest when my fingers are in the dirt.


I love watching seeds become plants and then produce.


It's amazing...
the magic of summer!


I spent a lot of time gardening this past weekend.
We had hot, sunny days and stormy evenings.


We worked on a new project and began plans for yet another...
to be revealed later.
I filmed a garden tour for you.
If it doesn't show up below, you can find it at HERE, at this link.


We had special farm visitors on Saturday morning.
You might remember me mentioning meeting a gentleman who used
to live in our old log cabin when he was a child.
I met him when he accompanied his great granddaughter to a pre-school
farm visit.
Saturday, he brought his brother and sister who had also lived
in the old log cabin as children.


Here's Harry, Millie ("Sis"), and Jim:


It was fun to hear them reminisce about their days living in this place.
I think they all enjoyed seeing their old home...
although I believe it is a little more rustic, now, than it was at that time.

Now that July is here, the flowers that I planted are nearing maturity.
Everything is lush and colorful.


Now you can see why I love these Profusion zinnias so much!
And the...

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Webby-Toe Excitement

After a week of anticipation, the new runner ducks arrived last evening.
We opened the door to the crate in which they were transported,
to find...


They were a little hesitant at first to leave the safety of their crate,
but, with a little coaxing, made their way out into the yard of their new home.
Our five original runners were warily watching from the safety of their house....


murmuring to each other excitedly.

Runner ducks are so very non-aggressive creatures,
that we had no worries about leaving the young ducks
with the older ones.


One of the older females seemed to take over 
the mothering role,
while one of the older males laid down the rules.


By the end of the evening, they were intermingling.
As I walked them into their house to close them up for the evening,
they all waddled in like one big family.


I have great expectations for the successful blending of these two groups.
It's going to be great fun watching them become one large cohesive group.
(Hopefully.)


So far, this summer, I believe we have picked close to a hundred pounds of blueberries.
I have a freezer full of blueberries!
It looks like we will be eating blueberries on just about everything in the coming year.


Yesterday afternoon's...

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Weekend Surprises

I hope your weekend was wonderful.
Our's was, for the most part, spent here on the farm.
Friday morning brought an early morning call from the post office.
Our order of chicks arrived and was ready to come home to the farm.


All chicks survived the trip, however, two looked weak and passed on Saturday.
Everyone else is robust and doing great.

Saturday morning we left the farm for an outdoor antique festival about an hour and a half
south of us, with a stop at a lavender festival on the way home.


Isn't this lavender farm amazing??


They have a gift shop that sells everything lavender.
Local vendors had plants, crafts and all sorts of lavender treats for sale.
We enjoyed raspberry-lavender ice cream.

Not only does this farm grow lavender,
but they are a wedding venue and an alpaca farm as well.

How could anyone resist this face...
with her huge eyes and soft lips!
I could have snuck her home in our truck!


They had alpaca-shearing demonstrations during the festival.
This fellow was waiting his turn...


I don't think he cared to much for being stretched out between two tree trunks, however.


The shearing was done quickly, and a beautiful chocolate brown fleece was ready to go to the mill.
For his trouble,...

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Filling A Rainy Day

After our bi-monthly visit from the farrier,
yesterday morning,
most of us spent the rest of the day tending to inside activities.

The horses, though soggy from the day's rain,


behaved themselves whilst getting feet trimmed.


All, that is, except for this little lad,


whose back feet kept rising off the ground in the direction of the farrier.
Yup... ears back, back feet up!
Stinker.


Thank goodness he is so pint-sized...
or he might have been sent to the glue factory long ago ( just kiddddiiinnnggg!)
But seriously, for as tiny as he is,
his attitude is the opposite.
Some mornings he just gets up on the wrong side of the bed,
and I suppose yesterday was one such morning.
It may have been the fact that the herd didn't get to go out grazing,
as is their normal morning routine.


Once the farrier finished, though, everyone had ample time out in the field
for cavorting and grazing... muzzle-free for a few hours.

I busied myself baking THIS RECIPE of biscotti -


 a double batch.



Later in the afternoon I made the rounds of our local antique and re-sale shops,
looking for vintage Corelle Ware to stock my picnic basket.
It seemed, when I was young, that everyone had Corelle Ware.
It lasts and lasts.
I now have enough...

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