Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Relief from the Heat

Early this morning we had a thunder storm roll through and we finally got an inch of much needed rain and...and...a cold front has moved through and humidity is low, temps are going down over the next couple days and in fact it will only be about 68 on Friday. We have had such a great Spring that its hard to even complain about the drought but the rain was really needed.

We had a nice relaxing Memorial Day and I was gratified to see so many people attend to the various cemetaries around here and honor our war veterans. Some news punditrs may not understand the meaning of this day but we do and so do most of the folks around here.

I was wandering around our place today and it was so peaceful and I took a few pictures to share. Life can be so chaotic at times and we used to be on the same treadmill most folks are....but I can tell you that checking out from most of society is really really satisfying for us. We are busy, go to bed tired, and we are never bored....not much more you could ask from life.

Caulking and painting done, now working on the doors.

Our Memorial Day BBQ consisted of a couple of New York Strip steaks, baked potatoes on the grill, and grilled corn on the cob from last years harvest. The extra grilled corn we dont eat will be made into a corn and tomato salad for another day.
It took two years but we finally mastered growing leeks which we use a lot to cook with. This beauty went into a summer mushroom soup. I have been asked about the Got Tiger? shirt before and I am betting most people who served in the Army know what it is. Tiger is a beer in Korea and is one of my favorites...as a matter of fact I love Korean cuisine, culture, and attitude. We are going to take a vacation to Korea in the future.

Its 29 May and the Crysanthemums are starting to bloom.....I dont know about anyone else but we are about a month ahead of normal.
These are Lillies just like you get at Easter...Judy planted them and I was skeptical but they are thriving. The greenery in the background is Wisteria and was planted as a single twig two years ago when we moved here...must be the magical Ozark climate.

This grape vine is a volunteer probably dropped by a bird. We have carefully cultivated and nurtured the gifts that we have been given on this farm and it almost feels like desecration to cut down some of these things so we mostly let them have free reign. This one actually works pretty good.
On our road trip to Missouri to look for a farm in 2009 we noticed all of the Black Eyed Susans which is one of my favorite flowers and Judy planted these for me. I mean look at them...there is just something about their symetry that pleases.
We also really like Hydrangeas and these are just a couple that are now blooming. We have planted and continue to plant more around the farm and I doubt we could ever have enough. They are not only nice to look at as a flower they make a nice shrub and you can experiment with the colour by adding amendments to the soil.

We try to plant in harmony with our local flora and fauna and we specifically plant to deter pests and attract beneficial insects and animals. This specimine is a butterfly perching on one of our...butterfly bushes. Missouri is blessed with an abundance of butterflys and we are slowly expanding our butterfly garden. If you take the time to truly look at the world around you you could never in a million years be bored...I believe I could spend a lifetime just studying butterflys. 
This is Sal the rooster and my how he has grown. He and Carmine serenade us each morning at about 0600 with a series of cock a doodle dos that sound like something out of a grade B movie. I have never had chickens or a rooster (though Holly and Judy have) before but I remember as a kid watching Lassie (the one with June Lockhart where they lived on a farm) and Mayberry RFD and sometimes hearing the rooster in the background and wishing I had that life.

Our onions are going great again this year. These are candy whites and they are getting huge; next year we are going to plant enough to fill an entire garden plot so we can sell them. 

This was taken this evening..it was about 72, a light breeze, low humidity and so quiet. The chickens were making the low key satisfied sounds that those who raise chickens would recognize, there was an ocasional sound of a bee...a cow bellowing in the distance..peaceful.
Judy planted Nasturtiums in the old planter and they are doing well in the shade of the Persimon trees.
I had someone a while back make a remark that we paint things all rosey but real life isnt all peace and happiness...they really sounded bitter. I feel sorry for that person. Of course life isnt all rosey all the time but its how you face adversity and deal with the travails we all face that dictates your perception. All of us on the farm have medical issues and chronic pain, we have worries about finances and the future, and with as many kids as we have someone is bound to be in crisis at least once per month..welcome to life. This is an actuator for the electric deck lift on our expensive and just 2 year old garden tractor. This is the second time its broken and we have had to replace it at $119 a pop and the access to get the broken one out and the new one in is limited to stick figure people as my large arms dont quite fit. So I take the tractor apart piece by piece until I can get to it, I cuss a bit, and I bemoan the moron who designed such a mechanism. Seriously, this is a bad design all way round. The gears are plastic and the housing (including the bracket surrounding the worm gear that raises the deck) is made of Delrin. Please introduce me to the engineer who signed off on this design so I can $%#$*$#&*(&^   his   )_*)(&&*%^$  with a @#!^#@.

So we found a drive belt for the Husqvarna we are working on in a local town (60 mile round trip) and a gas tank but the gas tank wont arive until tomorrow...rats. But in taking off the mower deck (you have to to replace the drive belt) I found this. This is a tensioner pulley that normally has a bearing race in the center and its fried..note the bearing race is actually GONE! So we have to go back to town for a new pulley but since we needed to go back to get the gas tank anyway its a wash. Heavy sigh.

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