Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rocks, Rain and Reflection

A chill hung in the air last night as I busied myself with the evening chores. I pulled the zipper up just a bit more on my chore coat and reflected on the day. After a morning of rock collecting for a friend's backyard pond, I felt a push to get the rest of the laundry done before the impending weather change. It was a windy morning, and I've come to understand that means a change is on the way. I feel a bit of tension and apprehension as I wonder how cold, how windy it will be and how soon the weather will be changing. I savored the sunny warmth of the day, a lingering warmth, a warmth that came from the inside as much as from the sun.

Friday was Mom's birthday, how quickly 72 years has slipped by. We Skyped her and were wishing her a wonderful day as our company arrived to collect rocks. My "Amish friend" Becca referred to him as she glanced out the must have been the black suspenders of his lifting belt against the background of his white shirt. I chuckled at her random thought as I turned back to the stove and my conversation with mom. After a breakfast shared in the warmth and comfort of the kitchen, shared across states, shared amidst laughter and much bantering, I reluctantly bid mom goodbye and shortly thereafter we got to work.

As we hunted rocks, Josh was busy at the wood splitter. A total of five cords amassed, we have two more to go to meet the season's need. Well ahead of where we were last year, I am pleased with his hard work. The day was off to a good start.

Two hours later we had a truck and trailer loaded with stratified moss rock and decomposing pink granite, each piece picked with the project in mind. The practical, no-nonsense side of me hoped it was enough for the project, while the light-hearted, adventurous side enjoyed the morning's excursion and hoped that maybe we'd have to collect rocks just one more time.

Our friend bid farewell with iced coffee and a fresh lemon poppy seed muffin in hand. Sad to see our time come to an end, I turned my attention to the tasks of the day. It was still early, giving me sufficient time to get 6 loads washed and on the line. I love looking up the hill to the north of the house and watching the laundry wave on the line. The wind made quick work of drying it all and I had it folded and hung before the afternoon was over. Two years without, I have yet to miss my dryer.

I fumbled in the dark as I locked up the calves and walked back toward the light of the house. The clacking of the boots against my pant legs brought my mind back to the present. Was all taken care of before the rain set in? I could smell it in the air and knew by morning everything left out would be wet. After a quick assessment, I resigned myself to being ok with things and opened the sliding door. The warmth of the house enveloped me as I slipped off my coat and boots. A piece of rhubarb cake called my name. I soon found myself in bed drifting off to sleep, it had been a great day, a day of celebration, a day of friendship, a day full of accomplishment. I was ready for the rain and what the morning would hold.

Josh hard at work splitting firewood.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A new Post

Could it be so? A new blog mother will fall off her chair when she sees I've posted. Won't you mom? :)

So well, I've had a lot on my plate this year and just had to drop the blogging for a season. Not sure I'm back yet, but the chill in the fall air just put that old blogging feeling in me.

The calves have grown a bunch this summer. Ben is a good 700 lbs or so and Jerry is not far behind him, being a mere 4 inches shorter. Chance is so sweet and adorable, I can't wait till we have our own milk cow. I know it's a good 2 years off still, but I can see it coming to pass after 23 years of waiting. Ben will go in the freezer next summer or fall. I'm trying hard to not get attached, so far so good.

Thanks to Craigslist, I've added some Cuckoo Marans to the flock. They lay dark chocolate brown eggs. I've only got 3 roosters, but plan to breed them with my Araucanas till eventually I have hens that are predominately Marans as well. I've had my heart set on getting some Copper Marans. They are beautiful, but more rare, I'll settle for the Cuckoo's for now.

I've taken up cycling again this summer. When we lived in Tulsa I rode quite a bit along the Arkansas River trail, but have taken it to the next level here. I got my time for the 100 mile ride down to 5 hrs and 16 minutes...not too bad for an old lady. My favorite part of riding is smoking past the 20, 30 and 40 year old guys...I love it! I pretty much always want to shout out that they just got smoked by a old one at that! But I keep that to myself and just get a nice smile out of it. I swear it's like a shark after blood, I just can't help myself when I see a rider in the distance. It becomes my life mission to smoke em, which usually isn't too hard. Last Monday, even with my banged up leg, I had a guy chase after me once I blew past him but he finally gave up after about 5 miles of trying to catch up...the ultimate compliment! I did ride along side him for a time and chat before I left him in the least I was nice about it.

I've been putting in around 250 miles a week most of the summer and have dropped some weight as a result. I have taken a few spills now and then and am currently recovering from a doozy! No broken bones, just some really good road rash and a black eye. But, mostly my pride was dented...I stopped traffic it was so bad...way embarrassing!

Steve is still job hunting. I'm hoping he finds something soon. We are doing okay for now and have had a great time reconnecting after his hundred plus trips to China, Canada, and miscellaneous states over the past 4 or 5 years. Its been really nice to get to know him again....turns out he is a nice guy, who knew? lol. It's amazing how God works in the tough times. We've had the opportunity to work on and strengthen our marriage during his down time, I wouldn't trade that for anything...its been a very good summer.

God has changed some things in a major way in our lives this year. Bigger changes than we've experienced in a really long time. Stretching is not always fun, but its so good to know we are growing in the things God has for us and moving in a direction that puts us on track to do and be who he has designed us from before the foundation of the world to walk in and become. And, He has used some really amazing people to make that in particular I am extremely grateful for...if you ever read this Bill....thanks a million, we can never repay you for your kindness. I thank God for you and Pam and love you for showing me the love of God as you've laid your life down to help me go to the next level. You are a rare person in this journey called life and I am privileged to call you friend.

So, maybe It will be the start of blogging again for me...but don't hold your breath. I've got chickens to butcher, fences to mend, trails to conquer and myself to challenge. But I hope to do a bit of reconnecting with all of you once again as well. Thanks for reading. I hope to update you a bit more often now that fall is in the air.