Velva is molting. Rebekah says it may take her up to two months to completely molt. Lucky the Guinea is also molting but seems to handle it much better and remains handsome. Meanwhile, Velva is a mess with feathers missing everywhere and hopelessly in need of a good preening. Each morning there are feathers on the floor of her coup and more missing patches on her backside. Her feathers seem to drop out in patches like the hair of a chemotherapy patient. She seems oblivious to her predicament and continues her normal lifestyle.
Buddy in the meantime has never looked better and is in dog heaven with his new 27”x 48” Cabela deluxe dog bed pillow with a highland plaid cover. It cost more than the doghouse and UPS delivered it today. Tonight we moved the padded wicker chair on which he had been sleeping since it turned cold and replaced it on the kitchen porch with the pillow. Rebekah suggested, “Maybe we should let him get use to it before we put it in his new doghouse.” They must put dog ‘nip’ or something inside the pillow when they ship it because Buddy nearly rubbed the cover off when we laid it down. We needn’t worry about a breaking in period since he has not moved off of it in nearly 3 hours. He is so happy. Rebekah picked out an Amish built doghouse about three months ago at Dixon’s that matches our garden shed. She could not decide whether to buy the medium or large but didn’t worry since they had the same 3 out front all summer. One finally sold last week but they still had two of them on Tuesday. It turned cold on Wednesday so she called before driving the pick up to town to haul it home on Thursday. Good thing she did cause the lady said, “Oh, we are out. We always get a rush on dog houses after the first cold snap.” Anyway they are getting more in and she has reserved a large one to fit the pillow.
Saturday, November 2nd was our first freeze when it got down to 27° after a night sky full of stars that seemed close enough to touch. Unbelievably, it was also our first frost of the season. Our history only goes back to March of this year so we don’t know if it was a record for lateness but it had to be close. The tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and beans immediately died. Rebekah picked all the lettuce in our fall garden before I told her it was hardy and could stand the freeze. So did the radishes, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard and, of course, the turnips. I swear the Swiss chard would make it to spring during a mild winter. Most of the perennials are hardy and so are the strawberry plants. I guess we can begin planting our 500 daffodils bulbs that my sister, Peggy bought for us last summer when she was in Holland, Michigan. We have waited for the first freeze and I am sure we will have the obligatory second freeze before we are finished. 500 bulbs seemed so reasonable last summer when we agreed. A bulb planting party for our guests seems more and more reasonable as Thanksgiving approaches and it is now only a little over three weeks away. We also have a couple of large brush piles to burn when everyone is here for Thanksgiving, which should be a lot of fun. The fall foliage was late but spectacular. Donald Whitehead thought it was one of the prettiest in years but Jimmy Miller said, “He didn’t think it was pretty because nothing that is dying is ever pretty.”
Our fire pit on the patio is now finished outside and the Vermont store has been keeping us warm inside almost every night. I have cut a lot of wood the past couple of weeks and am about ready to borrow Marty and Chris’ splitter to finish the job. I am amazed at how much a pick up load of wood must weigh. I figured I could not load too much but backed off when I looked at the tires and the springs. But I can always fall back to the advice Jon Scheer game me last summer when I stopped by his office on Main Street in Tell City with the pick up overloaded with sand and he said, “In Missouri, they say it is not overloaded if the front wheels are still on the ground.” I also have no idea how to judge how much wood we will use in one season so I just keep cutting and hauling.
Farming is slow going with lots of rain since the middle or September. I am still waiting to finishing disking before I can seed the 7 acre field that I bought a couple of years ago form Leon’s daughter. Jeff at Hancock County Farm Supply tells me I can wait until mid November and then it gets iffy. I did string a couple more strands of barbed wire across from Leon’s and, although two calves got out the next morning, no cattle have been out since (knock on wood). I guess it is no fun to get out by yourself. The most excitement for me came when I was tacking the fence to a hollow tree, which began buzzing with yellow jackets that came flying out. I guess the cool weather confused them and saved my butt but I will wait until it is a lot colder before I finish that section.
I saw my first Yellow Bellied Sapsucker at Kenneth’s on October 23rd, which seems awfully early, and saw a possible Golden Crowned Kinglet, which I won’t swear to. This weekend about 40 Robins were in one of the hackberry trees behind the house. There were 9 very confused Wild Turkeys last night in the field before the crooked bridge at Kenneth’s that couldn’t decide which way to run so they just stood 30 yards away and fidgeted as I drove by. I have seen a single coyote several times and heard them more often at night. I am reminded that deer season for guns starts November 16 each time I see the six deer that hang out in the field behind the house. Two of them are probably the twin fawns from June and none are males so they have a pretty good chance to make it to spring. Deer have made a tremendous recovery since they were devastated in this area by some disease a few years ago and are now a problem for farmers. Donald Bryant told me that they have seen as many as 20 deer in the field on the other side of Leon’s that Bert planted in alfalfa. They could not get a permit to kill the deer since so many permits had already been given out and the alfalfa was destroyed. So I feel little remorse in giving neighbors and friends’ permission to hunt this year. We will just be careful not to let Beulah out of the fenced in half acre behind the house.
Maisie was Tinkerbell for Halloween. Her costume was from the Disney Store at the Houston Airport, her blond hair done by Patti and her nails by Kim. Rebekah added the glitter to her face and hair. She runs on her toes constantly and I can’t imagine a more perfect Tinkerbell. I flew in from New York and drove straight to Tell City for the “Witches Walk” on Main Street, which was closed for the evening’s festivities. Even a last minute diaper change and an unexpected chill in the air with temperatures in the 40s did nothing to slow her down or keep her from smiling and going up strangers and charming them. Maisie danced by the judges table and gave it her all but the competition was tough in the under 3 category filled with many creative witches and goblins. So it was no surprise when she was beaten out by a marvelous 2 year old in what seemed like a most creative homemade witches costume and who was wearing the tallest hat since Harry Potter. Maisie was most gracious in defeat and immediately dashed down the street to trick or treat for candy from the merchants. All was forgotten, even by the mothers, after dinner with the Thomas’ and Shelton’s at the Pizza Inn.
Halloween was the next night and Maisie dressed as Tinkerbell again to ‘trick or treat’ at the neighbors around Rome. We decided to stop at the older neighbors first since Maisie would probably doze off between stops after the first few. You have to realize that Maisie is not only the youngest person at church but that Rebekah is usually the second youngest. So Maisie has made friends with the entire congregation and goes from grandmother to grandmother until she finds the most comfortable lap and falls to sleep…sometimes. At other times she becomes vocal and chants ‘da’ at regular intervals. I have apologized but they will hear nothing of it and seem to perhaps enjoy the diversion from the sermon. Even Sharon, the minister, is a fan of Maisie and seems to enjoy the distraction. So Halloween started with the first stop at Betty Lou’s and a cookie, then Betty & Marvin Seifert’s where she got a wagon ride. At Eva Rose & Jimmy Miller’s she turned around and backed up to Jimmy until she was on his lap. We then stopped at Jim Miller’s whose wife was out visiting Jeremy who was recovering from pneumonia. This is very confusing since Jimmy Miller is the father and Jim Miller is the son. Maisie next rearranged the magnets on the refrigerator at Donna & Johnny Groves’ and then folded clothing at Millie’s. It was a long drive to Bobby & Donald Whiteheads so she was full of energy and rearranged their photos and Donald’s matches. By now it was nearly 8 PM and we had been out for over two hours and Maisie’s bag was full of candy. So our last stop was Kenneth’s where we could stay longer and Rebekah & I could have a highball and leave some of the candy. Maisie was asleep before we were out of Bobby & Donald’s driveway but we figured she would wake up when I carried her into the house at Dad’s. But she didn’t so I laid her on Dad’s lap where she slept for at least 45 minutes until we left. Kenneth said, “That was the longest he had held a baby since I was born.”
It is now 12:30 AM and Green Bay just beat Miami 24-10. Buddy has still not moved from his new pillow.Do you enjoy this blog? Do you find the information helpful? Then go ahead and treat me to a coffee or send me a tip! I love Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Choose any amount you wish, whatever you feel this blog is worth to you.