Spring came to the Mountain Farmlet and left.
Summer brought tall grass,
Assorted vining summer flowers,
*It may be a Crossvine (aka: Cross-Vine, Trumpet Flower (Bignonia capreolata)) LOOK HERE
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!
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!
25 thoughts on “Playing Catch-up: notes on life here and on the mountain”
Grass is relentless. Love your insect shots.
So, true, Annie! But then, so are goats and geese. 😉
The insects were hard to catch because the sun was blazing overhead and the little critters wouldn’t sit still! LOL! I never realized what a beneficial plant Button Bush is.
I haven’t even been aware of buttonbush until this year. It’s a beauty, for sure. Your photos are just fabulous — partly because of your skill with your camera, and partly because that much green grass just makes me happy.
I hope Bob’s ok. That’s a pretty stiff bill for an ambulance ride. I suppose part of the cost is due to country living, yes? When Mom had to make use of the service here, it was about $300 – but of course we’re only a very few miles from the hospital. Maybe five, at the outside.
Be careful with that heat. I have to remember to keep drinking water. One of the best tricks I’ve found is to match a glass of water with every cup of coffee I drink in the morning. Otherwise, I end up beginning the day with a fluid deficit 😉
Thank you, Linda! Ha, I was worried that that much green grass would be boring.
Your comment: “Be careful with that heat. I have to remember to keep drinking water…” and Bob’s ambulance ride are very likely connected. I will be sharing that one next. 😦
Even I (who loves mowing) think that seven hours is quite a lot of time to spend on it.
Go for the wormery.
It is Tom, and yes, the wormery is sounding more and more like a good plan!
Are your buttonbush flower globes fragrant? I always sniff the ones I find in central Texas. Insects can be attracted to things we can’t smell, but when it comes to buttonbushes, the scent attracts both kinds of animals.
Steve, I have never sniffed ours because they are always so full of insect life (bees and wasps give me cause for pause) but on your mention of a scent I will have to risk a sniff next time I am up there! 😀
You might do well to shake a branch first to dislodge any bees and wasps, then quickly go in for a sniff.
Oh no! The bees are laid back enough, but the wasp varieties here are hateful! I have been stung enough without provocation to learn to give them a wide berth!
That said, I would be willing to sacrifice a bloom now and again for a good sniff of their scent. Maybe even a sprig someday for the window ledge above the (future) sink.
Goats should definitely be on the ‘shopping list’ – that’s one enormous load of work (the grass, I mean).
Ambulances can cost a fortune here in Australia. My Victoria Ambulance A$40.30 insurance premium per year is a must for everyone. Ambulance insurance is separate to Health Insurance in Australia. A short(ish) ride might be $2000, or a longish ride from up the country might go up to $10,000 so I’ve heard. I’ve had 2 rides this year alone………all for $40.30.
Hope Bob was ok.
Vicki, we used to pay a monthly premium on our utility bill for ambulance coverage in California. We loved the peace of mind and the premiums were small! I called the ambulance service and asked why they didn’t do that here, and the reply was: “We are all independent companies here.” I think his answer is rubbish. If the service is paid to a general fund through your utilities, then I should think that they could apply to the fund for reimbursement.
Anyway, what really made our cost so high was the distance. It is almost 20 miles from here to the hospital in Huntsville. I guess this is the price we pay for living in the country. 😛
Worry to hear about your ambulance system over there, Lynda.
No wonder they say you need really good travel insurance when visiting the U.S.
I meant ‘sorry’ not ‘worry’
Worry is appropriate! LOL!
Oh, Lynda. As I read your words about the work you do, I thought so much of what I do here – the difficulty of keeping up with it all – and then to know you and Bob both have had health issues to deal with! I’m not sure how you are both managing so much! Good gosh! $800 for an ambulance run? I believe here it is around $500 depending on the situation.
Lawns are a horror. Living here for 7 years now, we’ve discovered that nature flourishes when we let the weeds take over. Daisy deer and the critters that live in the woodlands, have shown us it’s best to let some grasses just go. We keep a path through the woodlands, but other than that only an occasional mowing is done to maintain. After 3 years of this practice (since Daisy came into our lives) we see more bees and birds than ever! Generally, I keep only the immediate yard mowed, and the perimeter of the property. FD runs the brush hog in the pastures occasionally to keep fire hazard down. That’s always a concern with the drought conditions here the last few years!
Lori, we do have moments of worry, true, but we persevere because this place is the dream that we have had from early on. We never thought we would own our dream, so hard work, and a few bills are not going to stand in our way. We know we will get there when it is meant to be. I do want my goats eventually, but if we can’t have them, then meadows and our fruit orchard will be wonderful. More wild things will be awesome in our golden years. Keeping a pathway to, and through, the woods and a moat about the farmhouse etc is doable with a riding mower. And when we live there we can take turns and not have to do ALL of it in one day. 😀
I love the update and all the photos, Lynda. You and Bob have taken a number of hits, yet you continue to work your – well you know what you are working off. I’m hoping you are still feeling satisfaction with the process?
Laurie, the work is hard, and our expenses are high at the moment. We thought we were going to be moving in with minor renovations, some paint and elbow grease, but that is not the case. We do get discouraged, but in spite of the hard work we enjoy being up there to do it, and we look forward to being up there permanently when we are done. It will be worth the waiting and our labors! 😀
We have a a lot of yard to mow, so my cousin (who lives on a farm in western PA) offered to let us borrow a few sheep. Nice thought but the homeowners association in this subdivision would never allow it.
It’s the Fall season that is the hardest. Days of raking leaves and leaves and more leaves. Then, the wind blows and it looks like no one has done a thing.
I know all about all those leaves, Mary! On only .80 acre here we have TONS of them from all of the oaks and maples. We put ours into *corrals made of landscaping timbers to turn them into leaf mould. Then we use it for mulching in the flower beds and veg gardens. Great stuff!
* Ours were constructed like this: http://prepcabin.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/CabinStack.jpg but we made the structure 4X8 and stacked only 4 logs high.
Lovely photographs! You have a great eye to see the small but beautiful things around you.
Anna, I keep trying, but the clarity escapes me. There may be hope; just yesterday I got out my owner’s manual and actually read it… we shall see if it helped or not. Thank you for your vote of confidence!
Yes, definitely need a cover, no skunks needed!
I don’t mind when they are “just passin’ thru”, Patty, but we don’t need them setting up a home under the outbuildings!