Tuesday, July 10, 2018

November Hill farm journal, 57

At the end of a Very Hot Week, during which husband and daughter were vacationing in San Diego and my mom was here staying with me, we finally got rain. A few tenths of an inch a day for 3 days, then a huge and wonderful 1.6 inches all at once. I can water the pollinator beds and the veggie garden, we can tote buckets to the baby dogwoods and inkberry hollies, but the pastures are on their own, and they desperately needed a good soak.

During the heat before the rain came every morning when I washed out buckets and cleaned troughs I was joined by a gleeful group of chipping sparrows and house sparrows who used the little puddles to bathe in and drink from. I sprayed the hose far and wide around me and all sorts of insects came to drink as well. It was the November Hill watering hole morning ritual.

I managed to keep the pony in work, though not daily, and kept up the treatment of scabby areas on both donkeys front legs. It took a gray (not white) washcloth, the clicker, and a few horse feed pellets but they cooperated.

The saving grace for having all the chores to do by myself that week was getting a week’s worth of vegetarian family dinners for two from a local restaurant. They delivered them to the garage door and all I had to do was mix salads and reheat entrees and cut the homemade brownies. Delicious food and it made life easier for me and my mom.

July 4th came and went with not much fanfare. There were no fireworks on our little lane but someone close behind us started shooting them into the sky around 10 p.m. I went out back with my high-beam tactical flashlight and after beaming it through the woods and into the sky a few times the fireworks abruptly ended. And that was that. I sat with the herd and they ate hay while the cicadas put on a symphony of sound that pretty much blocked everything else out.

Finally, FINALLY, the garage doors were installed! I absolutely love them and we got a 15% refund for our troubles with this long-awaited order. Photos soon. We also had a French drain put into the soggy side of the driveway, more gravel spread, and have one section left to add stone to. Once that is done and the light fixture is put up out there I’ll take a final photo and show it off here.

Today, sadly, the trees on the back of our farm that were marked by Duke Energy to be taken down are being cut. I have left them to it after sitting out there early this morning listening to maybe 100 different kinds of birdsong, either coyote pups or fox kits, and cicadas singing in waves. It breaks my heart to know that some of their habitat will soon be gone but we negotiated many less trees to be cut than they would have done on their own, so I’m leaving them to it.

Other than a bucket truck driver who was a bit of an asshole about cutting the timber in sawmill lengths, it seems to be going okay thus far.

Later the white prehistoric monster cutting machines will come down outside our fencing and cut back both sides of the power cut. Thankfully what they’re doing today means those white monsters won’t be on our property at all but I dread the sound and the view after they come through. I hope all the birds and other wildlife get out of the way.

I’m on a “no new projects until every little and half-finished project is done” kick, and I’ve also made a promise to self: no new purchases on new projects until I have sorted through and cleaned out three bedroom closets and a hall closet. July seems the fitting month to take this on. The new AC is doing well and hopefully we can keep the other one going into the fall at least.

November Hill is glorious in the summer, but I currently have multiple kinds of insect bites and stings all over my arms and legs, my neck, and a patch of poison ivy on one arm. I have no idea how I got it as I haven’t gone near the plant itself - and we have less this year than we have in years thanks to my farm helper. Possibly the Corgi full-farm romps are the culprit here so I’m not complaining (too much, only when it itches like mad).

We have blueberries and tomatoes and that’s about it right now. Next year I’m going to take the time to plant more veggies! Husband put in sweet potatoes and watermelons but that’s it.

We have a birthday approaching but that will be its own post!


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Pro tip: The product ZANFEL will absolutely remove the active ingredient (ushriol) from the poison poison ivy rash immediately. It chemically unbinds the ushriol from your skin, but you must follow the directions exactly. Guaranteed to work - I know whereof I speak on this one lol. :D

billie said...

Yes, I have that from last summer when I got poison ivy and you recommended it! Since I didn’t go near poison ivy this go round I didn’t know to use the Zanfel initially. As soon as I realized it was looking like I had it I started using it. It’s not as bad this year as last. I’m just not sure how I actually got it! I have so many insect bites right now when this first itched I just assumed insect.

billie said...

Hey, how’s your house coming along?!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like you’ve been busy. Can’t wait to see pictures of all your improvements. There is a great insect repellent you could check out for bug bites. It’s all natural and is reviewed to be the best mosquito deterrent: Cutter, lemon eucalyptus insect repellent. Deet free. We ordered a case of it, the bugs are out of control this year!

I’m wondering how the house is coming along too.

billie said...

Okay, A, I may have to break down and start using insect repellent on myself. It is bad this year. Two different times a largish ant got inside my clothing and had a biting party. I don’t know what got me on the neck but it made two large lumps, one on either side. My legs look like they looked when I was a girl, playing outside and getting mosquito bites and scratching them. Only now I’m getting them wearing long pants, not shorts! These things are biting through my clothing!

Going to look up that repellent now. Thanks.

C....... updates please!!!