Friday, April 30, 2010

along came a spider...

It's been a long week! And not a fun one either. You see last weekend while walking or working in the woods, I apparently came in close contact with a spider. Just a common garden variety
spider but whatever he was or is, he chose to bite me and leave behind a week full of massive headaches. They started almost immediately - in the truck on the way home as a matter of fact, and were obnoxious enough to mention to John Deere that my head really hurt. I could point to a specific spot and say "there - do you see anything there?" and after many "theres" and many tick checks, nothing interesting was spotted except for a little red welt. On Thursday, i went to the dr. I apologized for my sorry symptoms but told him that I really couldn't continue like this without some confirmation that I hadn't lost my mind. A thorough head check later I was informed that while an injection site was seen, there was nothing else to indicate that it was more than a harmless insect bite. Great - it was confirmed that I had in fact not lost my mind, Bummer, said headaches would continue until they stopped - maybe up to another week mimicking migraines and really not much else to do but rest and advil and a muscle relaxer if it gets really bad.

Meanwhile, I can't get the darned verse out of my head - "along came a spider who sat down beside her...." and why does my head still feel like it is full of creepy crawlies? Farm Boy says he's buying me a bee keepers suit before my next walk in the woods. haha - something tells me this will be a family joke for a long time... I have a few other choice thoughts but guess I won't repeat them at this time.


By the way, the spider up above is only a representation.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bring on the rain

Got my garden planted this weekend. Well most of it anyway. You know you are in trouble when a neighbor stops by and asks you if you are a glutton for punishment. I thought it was a modest start to our "farming" days (haha). Farmboy tilled two beds - on is about 75 ft x 6 ft and one is about 90 ft by 6 ft. The front one (on the left) is all flowers - a great experiment for the wedding. The one on the right is veggies. Let's hope they are not both deer food.

We've got big plans. We've planted lots of sunflowers (mini for bouquets), cosmos, daisy, delphinium, zinnias, and black-eyed susans and then on one end I planted two lavender plants cuz I go no where without my lavender! Funny thing is I've also planted most of these same flowers at home so between the two we should have what we need, you think? But if not then we have two back-up plans. One is the pick your own farms in the area and two is Costco - yes they have a whole section with sunflower wedding bouquets. Some might wonder why we didn't just go there first but then again - if you know me, you know why!

The veggie garden has tomatoes, beans, jack-o-lanterns, sugar pumpkins, winter squash, watermelon, and gourds for now. It is only about half planted - after 4 hours I was pooped!

It is never all work and no play for this farm girl so I took a long walk in the woods on Saturday morning. It was supposed to be raining but somehow it skipped right over us so I found myself motivationless but with a whole day ahead of me. I knew Farm Boy would come up with a plan/ farm chores so I got out of dodge while the gettin was good. He did nab me later though to help take down a fence but that is another story.

My walk in the woods..... so GREEN - I just love spring! I found several more clumps of narcissus back by the barn, the creek is still running well, the ferns are unfurling, the blackberry bushes are full of buds as are the peach trees and we found two more trees that we hadn't noticed or that didn't produce last year. We really must do something about protecting the fruit from the deer. It would be a shame to have it all eaten by them again. The more we clear the more we find so maybe eventually there will be enough for them to share with us - the greedy oinkers!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Took my friends to the farm for a birthday road trip. We had good girl time which means shopping and gabbing and food - including fried pickles. Found some great bargains on cushions at the Plow and Hearth Outlet - only $12.99 - they're 20 bucks at Target. The day could not have been prettier and the temperature was perfect. We picnicked on the front porch and then toured the farm. Judy came up with a name for it that we are trying on for size. "Whispering Oaks Farm" the trees were obviously whispering to her while we were visiting. I like it - it fits and sounds better than some of the things I have come up with. I think the girls were most inspired by the sharecroppers cabin. At least now I have some backup when John starts to talk about knocking it down. They loved the idea of making it a little guest retreat or an art studio. We even explored the inside of the main house and found some more old books and....a bowling ball - good question - I know you are asking it.
After a relaxing afternoon of exploring and visiting we headed into Appomattox to see what we could see. We found several gift, antique and book stores - woohoo - I shall have to further explore on a next adventure.
Unfortunately we spent so much time relaxing that by the time we got back on the road most of the antique stores were closed, but relaxing is what it all about when you are with friends and there's always next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring has sprung

Awesome! Spent the first weekend back at the farm, so good to be "home." We spent the weekend pruning trees, planting bulbs and sunflowers and riding the atv all over. This season promises to be one of beauty again and lots of work! After the winter it is always fun to see what is popping up that is new (in town it is a Walmart :) and we found several dogwood that we had not noticed before. Lots of trees and bushes and plants that were hidden by scrub and overgrown trees are coming to life. I have promised my self that each weekend I will spend some time just sitting and listening. I received an art pad and pastels for Christmas so that I could attempt to capture what I see onto paper. Like my photographs, my scribbling doesn't begin to do justice, even in an abstract sort of way, of what I am witnessing around me.

This weekend I chose to sit by the creek down behind the barn. I drove my atv into the woods as far as I could get and then walked along the creekbed until I found a sunny rock that invited me to sit. The creeks are really running at the moment. Since they are all springfed, the amount of water cruising the bed varies from time to time but in some places I think the water was over a foot high. As I sat my observations included the gurgle of a happy creek, the unique curvature of a tree, the maze of branches against the sun lit blue sky. Ferns are slowing uncurling and ants were very busy. Tiny bluettes and lacy little white flowers littered the ground just begging to be pressed for cards later this year and some fascinating purple flowers that looked like a jonny jumpup were hiding in the center of a pile of leaves. Did you know there were so many different shades of brown? To know me is to know that I always have a song or ditty in my head and as the creek gurgled along here is what my brain sang, "Give said the little stream, give oh give, give oh give, give said the little stream as it hurried down the hill. I'm small I know but wherever I go the grass grows greener still." It has a catchy little tune as well so feel free to sing along.Since I had not told farm boy where I was heading (and didn't want him to worry that the bear got me) I packed up my crayons and headed back to find him hard at work and not even knowing I had gone. We both jumped on and took off for a ride around the farm so I could point out some of the treasures found in my exploration.

I think I owe my little trailer an apology. (you can see it peeking out behind the trees) Obviously it has provided a lovely and more than adequate home for a family of spiders and a host of ladybugs and even a mouse or two over the years. Yet, in my mean spirited heart I called it names like red-neckville and white trash house, even when our neighbor told us it was the nicest trailer in all of Appomattox. Since the economy is holding us hostage for the moment and our log home is not going to built this year, it appears I will have to make peace with my little trailer -home away from home- and start to appreciate it for its finer points - like electricity, running water, hot showers, and flush toilets. To thank it for its faithful service in spite of my attitude I put some curtains on the windows and hung a picture or two on the walls and am beginning to grow quite fond of the front porch for sitting.

Other highlights of the weekend included listening to the little country church's bells as I planted my dahlias. I received quite a concert for almost 30 minutes - maybe the organist was practicing for services the next day. The butterflies were incredible and spent all day fluttering in and out of the lilac bush next to the porch. They could be found elsewhere on the farm too, traveling along on tractor rides to the orchard and sitting on the log with me at the fire pit.

Next weekend's project is the garden and my assignment while home is researching deer repellants..............stay tuned or better yet, come visit!