At seven a.m. there’s coffee perking on the stove and a toasted bagel waiting to be topped with peanut butter and a sprinkling of raisins. Sounds like a citified breakfast but its what this country farm girl likes to eat on weekday mornings. Its eggs and bacon or biscuits and gravy on the weekend.
I rub the sleep from my eyes and shuffle over to the door to let Ruby out for her morning tinkle. She’ll expect her breakfast to be ready and waiting when she comes back, so I throw a scoop of kibble into her green dog bowl with paw prints painted on the sides. What…a farm dog can’t have a spiffy bowl? Believe me, Ruby is all farm dog and she has the ode de stink to prove it.
Moby crawls out of his bed on the porch and stretches as Ruby gives him a good morning nudge before bounding off to the yard. He wants his breakfast too as does Sampson who patiently sits in his favorite spot near the root cellar. I grab a soup cans worth of kitty feed from the bin and split it between two cat bowls. Old soup cans are great for scoopers.
The coffee isn’t quite done perking yet. Time enough to strip the beds and throw a load of sheets in the washer. Got to take advantage of that old sun. The smell of the coffee and toasted bagel is making my mouth water.
Ahhhh…finally the precious black gold flows out from the coffee spout into my favorite yellow cup. A swirl of steam is sent up like the wispy smoke of incense and I breath in the delicious scent trying to awaken my senses. A little sugar, a little cream, and then that first sip. Heavenly.
I sit down at the table and enjoy a few moments of solitude and to savor my small but adequate breakfast. After my usual morning phone call with my Mom and a few emails sent its time to head out and take care of the frat boys. The guineas have been up for hours and they squawk at me as I open the garage door to get the pig feed.
Of course the boys were all excited to see the orange Kubota. It carries the food goddess you know. They have remodeled the frat house into the more modern style of pig sty. The new feed trough fits in well with the decor and doesn’t clash at all with the mud bath they just put in right outside of the sleeping quarters. I’m not too fond of their choice of air freshner though.
Next stop, chicken coop. I see my rebellious henny penny that stayed out all night meandering her way up to the coop. I let the chickens out into the fenced pen and they aren’t too happy about it. The two male guineas stood outside the fence looking in at their cousins squawking as usual as if to say “whats going on! Why are you locked up? What did you do? What did you do? Squawk, squawk, squawk!” Nervous nellies.
I corralled the henny penny and put her into the pen. They don’t know it yet but they will all be spending a few days fenced in. The freedom of free range is forfeited until all henny pennies and roosters alike are in the coop by curfew every night. I got four eggs today instead of the usual three I have been getting these past few weeks. The eggs are to feed us and friends, not raccoons and snakes and whatever else lurks out in the brush. I don’t know whats gotten into the henny pennies wanting to stay out all night. Its been two different girls. It must be those darned wild turkeys again. They brought moonshine to the frat boys, now their keeping my girls out all night doing who knows what.
My next task is to check on the garden. A few cucumbers and of course squash and zucchini are ready to be picked. I hurry back to the house. Time is wasting and the day is getting hotter. I wash up the squash and get prepared to can them up. In between I hang sheets on the line and throw in another load into washer.
By lunchtime I have seven pints of squash canned and three loads of laundry on the line. A quick lunch and walk back to make sure the chickens still have plenty of water. Its hot out there today. A water refill and another sweep of the perimeter just in case a baby guinea shows up. No luck.
I do my kitchen chores and clean up the mess from canning. Annie’s litter box needs a good scrubbing and so I empty it and take it outside where I can wash it out with the hose. Might as well give the garden a little water too.
I have realized I don’t care for flowers that grow on long stems and need to be tied up. Its time for the holly hocks to go. They are planted next to the house and need a good pruning. I cut them all off and then trimmed up the irises that are finished blooming next to them. It looks much better now without alien holly hocks grabbing at you as you walk by.
The garden looks like a jungle. Grass and weeds have just about taken it over. Its cooled down a little this evening so I started to work in the area of the string beans. Its hot and humid and I’m dripping with sweat. No whining the job needs to be done and it will be hotter out tomorrow. I noticed that we have some string beans coming on. Hope they do well because I would like to can up enough jars to last the winter.
The sheets have dried in the little breeze thats been blowing. I take the sheets from the line and inhale their fresh scent. I’ll put them back on the beds and look forward to falling asleep on their cool crispness, the smell of the outdoors clinging to their threads.
Its been a long day. More chores were done than mentioned here but thats the highlights. The chickens are tucked in and the door has been closed. Are you tired. I am. Its time for me to close my door now and say good night. Tomorrow is another day. Farm life is a good life.