Rural living

Our farm of about 30 acres sits in a hollow (holler up here) on the side of a 4000+ foot mountain. There is a large holding running cattle to the west, open hay and corn fields to the east with a home in a wooded lot between part of it and us. Wooded lots to the south, and a home in a wooded lot to the north. Our farm is mostly open, former grazing land and now hayfields maintained by local men who run cattle on other properties.

For the most part, everyone is respectful of other people’s land, asking permission to cross or look for an animal they wounded but not killed while hunting. Once in a while, there is total disrespect. Trash strewn along the gravel road that passes north of us, recently, a broken recliner dumped at the top of our property down a hillside to the creek. When we purchased this land, the sink hole near the top was full of appliances, glass, cans, tires, and part of a vehicle. With a neighbor’s help, we removed the large stuff and hubby and I spent many hours removing cans, more than 100 tires, and unbroken glass, leaving what we couldn’t get to be covered by composting leaves.

The first autumn I was in the house, alone for a weekend, I heard dogs, shouting, and gunfire entirely too close to the house late at night. Hunting raccoons, I guess, but rather unnerving. Last night, there were gunshots, some too close to the house, some farther off in the woods to the south, but they didn’t all sound like rifle shots, followed by a flashlight moving across in front of our house. It was probably coyote hunters, but we don’t allow hunting on our property after an incident a few years ago, not an accident, just disrespecting our rules. There is no way to know who it was to speak to them, but it is still alarming to have middle of the night gunshots near the house and seeing someone in your front yard.

Ups and Downs

What a week, a week of ups and downs. The loss of a friend and a renewed friendship. An unexpected brief visit by Son 2 and family and an equally unexpected cancellation of a long weekend with Son 1 to celebrate his birthday.

The day my friend in Tennessee passed, Son 2 called and said he and his family would be in late the next evening to prep and then leave in their RV that lives here between trips. They arrived in pouring rain in two cars, he and his eldest son first to get the generator going while I dragged garden hoses from the back of the house and connected to the one at the yard hydrant to fill the water tank. They spent the night in the RV after loading it up, visited the next morning and left for a family vacation.

A couple weeks ago, a received a message and called a friend of 4 decades. When we both had young children and lived in Virginia Beach we were fast friends. Her husband’s job took them away from the area, then returned them to the area and we picked up where we left off. Then they moved again for his job and then back again only to be moved yet again. During that station, they were planning to return back to Florida where they were both from and we kept in touch with cards and letters mostly. I did take our children down one summer for a week, then when they were planning their move back to Florida, she went to see how their house construction was going and invited me down to spend a few days with her, just the two women. Our daughter was living less than an hour away from her and they both met me at the airport, spent a couple days with both of them at her little house where she was staying and then just the two of us. That was about 20 years ago. The message was to call if I could and we talked on the phone. She was driving north to a family event (her husband needed to fly later) and she wanted to meet up with me. I finally convinced her to stay here overnight and we had a delightful visit, again catching up and picking up where we left off. She arrived just a few hours after Son 2 and family left.

This whole week has been a steady rainstorm, about 3-4 inches of rain has fallen this week. When we could catch a break in the rain we would dash out for a quick walk.

Son 1 was due in last night to spend the celebratory weekend, but he found out yesterday morning that he may have been exposed to Covid and did not want to potentially contaminate a train car or his Dad and me, so he had to cancel and reschedule in about a month. This was disappointing to all of us. He was looking forward to coming, I was looking forward to pampering him with no chores and lots of good food.

All of the ups and downs caused the days of the week to blend together and I lost track. We were out taking a walk yesterday when I got a text asking if our spinning trio was getting together, I had totally forgotten it was Thursday.

Box turtle from yesterday’s walk

A text exchange between our trio ended with me being dropped off at my bee mentor’s house to spin for a couple hours, the third member deciding to skip. It was just what was needed to boost my spirits.

This morning, the sun is shining, at least for a little while. This hen has been sitting on this empty nest for nearly a month hoping to have babies. An impossibility as there is no rooster here and I don’t leave eggs under her, but she is persistent and very evil about being removed from the nest.

Brooding takes 21-22 days, so I had hoped she would get over it early in the week, but nope. She still sits, puffed up, growling, and pecking at me if I try to move her.

There are 5 baby Wrens feathering out on the front porch. They will fledge in another week or so.

The Bumblebees and our honey bees love the blooming Comfrey plants.

Early in the week, we replaced the back porch umbrella finally after two years without. I love sitting out there with my morning breakfast, but only when there is an umbrella. It hasn’t gotten much use this week because of the rain, but it only took one day to realize that the small round table back there wasn’t large enough for it, so I moved it to the front porch for the succulent pots and the square table that is only 11″ larger to the back for enjoying the back deck.

When the storms stop, it will be a nice place to have breakfast or dinner to enjoy the view and nice days.

It has been quite a week. Now we are alone again in our house, hoping Son 1 doesn’t get ill and being a bit irritated for him that his co worker was not responsible about letting people know and staying masked or staying home with her sick family member. Hopefully the co worker doesn’t get ill either.

A friend lost


Today I lost a friend, a fellow fiber lover, a playful, gentle soul who fought cancer for 9 years. Her loss is felt by many today, leaving her husband, an adult daughter and her husband, and many, many friends who loved her.

When attending retreats with her, a part of a small contingent that would go out to lunch together. To know her, you knew a true friend.

Through her failing health, she was always concerned about you, not herself. She was gracious and loving and fun to be around. She will be sorely missed by many.

Goodbye my sweet friend. Rest now that you are no longer suffering.