August 9, 2011
We had a good rain today and the temps feel a little cooler, at least the humidity seems to have fallen a few percent. The only problem with rain is that it makes the frat boys pen super muddy, which means the feed trough is full of mud too. I’m not sure, but I think they must be trying to make some kind of mud wine or something cause they like to get in there and stomp the mud until its a slushy liquid. I bet the wild turkeys put them up to it. They probably have a hidden cask of mud wine out there in the woods fermenting and aging right now.
I dreaded going down to the hog pen this morning. I made sure I put on a set of clothes that were already dirty because I knew what was coming my way. I should have covered myself with a plastic trash bag. Actually I would have been happier if I could have worn one of those white hazmat suits with the helmet and plastic shield.
Of course the boys were excited to see the RTV and the feed bucket. They were all crowded up at the feed trough doing a tap dance in the mud and seeing how far they could fling it. As expected the trough was full, so I used the little plastic shovel we keep down there to scoop the mud out. The shovel is actually one of those telescoping snow shovels we carry in the car in the winter. It works real well. By the time I was finished scooping, the frat boys had splattered mud on me like a monkey throwing paint on a canvas. The difference is, this was not a pretty masterpiece when they were done. I would have to say though that I fared a little better than Sonny did the other day when it was his turn to go down and feed them. He came back covered from head to foot and I suspect they were trying to make a living mud sculpture out of him.
I don’t think I’m going to add pig farmer to my resume. When these guys are gone I don’t expect to fill the vacant frat house any time soon. I may change my mind when I see the full freezer and that all our work was worth it. Hmmm. Of course Sonny may have other ideas.
This is just the bottom half. It was splattered all the way up my shirt and it didn't smell nice either.
August 8, 2011
Its the first week of August and we can already see the slight changes in activity that come to light in the late summer on Pot Hole Farm. The birds have quieted somewhat now that their priorities have changed from raising families to boosting their energy levels in preparation for an arduous flight south. The cicadas have geared themselves up, composing raucous concerts that invoke hot humid days and daily thunderstorms. As evening rolls in on thunder clouds the crickets sing of cooler days, good luck and a seat by the hearth. It gives us all hope as we wipe the sweat from our brows and pull our sticky clothing away from our skin.
Everything seems to move in slow motion now like the waves of heat that can be seen rising from hot asphalt, but we must continue on. Winter is on the horizon and there is wood to be cut, fresh garden veggies to be canned or frozen and numerous preparations to be taken care of before snowfall. All our hard work will be worth it when the cold winds howl down through the holler and the farm is covered in a sparkling blanket of snow. There is a great satisfaction in knowing that we can survive the winter.
Last week set us back just a bit as Sonny had to have surgery on his left knee. Everything went well and he is on the road to recovery.
"Does your knee hurt Pop? I love you."
Harold and Clarissa came over for the weekend to drop off their dog Dakota. She will be here for a visit for a few weeks. She and Ruby have been stretched out on the floor napping most of the day making sure that the old adage of “dog days of summer” holds true.
Why can't I chase the guineas? Don't they need to rounded up?
We removed the squash and zucchini plants from the garden. They were beginning to encroach on the lima beans and we have had our fill of them. I canned some squash conserve today and still have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of the remaining basket full. We made blackberry syrup the other day and it tasted great on homemade pancakes Sunday morning. The tomatoes are beginning to come on so that means the canner will be at a constant bubble the next few weeks. I believe this weekend we will dig up the potatoes. Harold and Sonny dug up a few over the weekend. Harold needed some to go with the scrumptious breakfast he made for us. How cool is it to go right outside your door and get some fresh ones right out of the ground. They look so much better than the ones we grew last year. Donkey manure does the trick!
The summer heat may scorch us and the humidity may drown us, but the bounty of the harvest will sustain us. We can’t ask for more than that. Life is good.