Well, we have officially been “home” for almost a full month. We started out with good sunshine, weather in the 70’s, and a dog that refused to stay home (my brother’s dog was visiting my parents and they liked running around in a “pack”…) So, bad dogs get punished… With the other dog back in Spokane, Maisie has settled back down and is again free roaming.
While the sun shone, many flowers bloomed: and an unidentified bush blossomed with salmony-red blooms. It’s about the height and width of a lilac bush. Do you know what flower this bush is? My dad rototilled a section of garden and I immediately planted seeds from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds out of Michigan, where a friend works. At first I thought that the seeds were not germinating, but after a couple warm days near the 80’s (about 2 weeks later), everything sprung up and they are fighting to grow every cold day! Pretty much everything sprouted, although germination took a LONG time (due to Colville weather). My wonderful mother sent over lettuce starts along with feverfew, lavender, and some other plants. Mom’s lettuce must be a slow or non-bolting variety because it looks great every day: So, all is definitely NOT “lost”, we just needed to have patience and the seeds and flowers did come up. But we do somewhat seriously pray to the Lord to slow the rain…. As we have only electric heat until we get some wood seasoned…and not a lot of money to pay a really high electric bill trying to keep the house somewhat un-frigid!
While we are waiting for the cows to arrive and Noah’s flood-worthy rain to stop (it’s insane, heavy rain almost every day for weeks now and no end in sight!)… Flurry has been seen catching TWO gophers and numerous bowels have been found laying around the farm, thanks to Jingle Bells and ole mother cat Trixie. (I know, gross, but at least it’s dead parts and not live rodents!)
The poultry operation is expanding rapidly. Four royal palm turkeys to raise, and when all the chicks are grown, we will have a grand total of 46 laying hens. Holy smokes, who planned that one!?
Meanwhile, Jay pounded almost 100 posts (leftover 8 ft. tall T posts and sharpened wood posts) and ended up barely able to move, so visited Micki for a massage (best massage in town…North Country Massage Therapy 684-3062 and ask for Micki or Ursula!!) Now, he’s back to feeling like himself and we are ready for our cows to arrive any day now:
Notice in the first photo the gorgeous shavings…. FREE! I told Jay there were some perks to living in Colville and whoo-eee, that’s one of them! Aren’t they lovely? So soft and cow-friendly. We just hope with the rain, that we’ll be able to get all the second cutting hay we have reserved for this year. Top two photos are of the BARN and PADDOCK area. Middle photos are of the front FIELD and our back PORCH where we get to sit and watch all the animals. Bottom photos are of the hitching post where milk cows will be tied while they are waiting to get milked and the milking “parlor” that we (Jay, Dad, and I) put together. Fancy, huh? (Just kidding…)
Our cows have traveled from central Pennsylvania (THANK YOU Matt and Tucker!!) to Minnesota (THANK YOU Boltmann family!) and they are being milked my our friends Bob, Becky, Jim, and Angie until the cattle hauler from Tillamook is able to pick them up (he’s been having truck and trailer issues, but we hope that doesn’t delay the ladies’ arrival too long…).
Last but definitely not least…. Our pastured pork operation is coming off “whole hog”…. The solar fencer is up and running (and Alisha the pig has shown me that it is very effective, poor girl…) Their electric netting from Premier One Fencing provides two 25×25 foot pens and the pigs can root through that ground in just a few days, so we are constantly looking for new sites to dig up! They love eggs and milk and we are in desperate need of milk (come cows, come!) so the pigs can be happier! Meanwhile, fresh grass and hog pellets from Half Moon Feeds of Deer Park, a local grain company, keep them well satisfied. Their names are Excaliboar (our Mulefoot boar), Vianca (our Mulefoot future sow), Alisha (our large black/Berkshire hammy future sow), and Barney (the barrow we will be dining on this fall). In the future, I will do an article about Mulefoots and show off their single digit toes. There’s a great biblical debate: Are pigs with single digits okay to eat? LOL
Meanwhile, I keep applying for jobs, and something has to come up one of these days… Our friends the Felmleys and Brewers are coming to visit this weekend as well as my lovely sister and her family. Jay will be off to the state Jersey and Holstein shows with his family in Lynden the first of July. Then Jay’s friends from the Island of Guernsey arrive in August! We also have heard from others that they hope to make it our way. As always, our home is open, the spare room is ready, and we would love to have visitors.
Until next time,
p.s. CONGRATULATIONS to Kelly Hensing and Abee, who was recently scored through the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) appraisal program at a “very good” score of 85! Next time, Kelly plans to score both mother (Abee) and her Ringmaster daughter (Ari)! Good luck at the county fair with both of them!
pps. If you want to take a cheesemaking class, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address. I have a number of interested people, so as soon as we’re set up with the cows and processing area, I will host a class.