Tuesday, April 8, 2014

So my "vacation" is officially underway.  Day 1 (Monday) was 'date' day with De (my wife).  We spent the day going through antique stores and had dinner at 'Das Essenhaus', a local Mennonite run retreat/restaurant that serves wonderful "family style" meals.  The folks and the food are always great.

Day 2 (Tuesday) was a work day.  But during breakfast, De and I were treated to a little show I'll call "The Staredown".  Abby the cat decided park herself under one of the bird feeders.  Her presence did NOT go unnoticed by one of the finches that visit the bird feeder.  The staredown lasted long enough for me to get the camera and get a pic.  I made a little collage to make it easier to see the participants in this little contest of wills.  On the ground we have the cat:  Generally a bit ill-tempered except when she feels its time to be fed, and regularly leaves 'gifts' of partially devoured odd critters on the patio.  They are left there not because she is leaving an offering of gratitude, but because she knows she can't bring them inside where her food bowl and personal staff (De and I) reside.  On the feeder we have the bird:  Not fooled by Abby's attempt to blend in with the still gray and brown grass, not ready to ignore her, but not willing to abandon breakfast.  I'm not sure who blinked, but there was no finch breakfast for Abby the cat.  I think we have to count that as a win for the bird.

The big job for me today was to clean out the fieldstone terraced beds next to our house. Over the last couple of years we allowed the oregano to complete take over four of the six beds.  This year it was time to "take back the terraces".  I didn't get a before pic, but here's a couple of work-in-process pics.  They show parts of two of the four walls.  I built up these walls some 23 years ago shortly after we finished building the house.  The stone is all from various stone piles from around the farm.  That means I had to go to the various stone piles, dig up stones I had personally put into those piles as a teen (something like 20 years before), haul them to our homestead, and fit them into the wall.  When I was building them I told myself that if I had know at the time I would want those stones later, I would have put them where I would be using them when I picked them off the field!   We have enjoyed the walls and will enjoy them more when we have the terraces ready to become De's herb garden.

Finally, I'll leave with a picture of hope.  Even after the long, very cold, and very hard winter, God provides us with reminders that all is well and He is still in control.  De and I both love those first crocuses that push their way up through that spot in the yard.  They are encouraging in a dozen ways and, to us, are a reminder that God's plan still goes forward.

God Bless and Take Care,



  1. You have fieldstones! Who but another homesteader would envy that, LOL. Crazy as it sounds, Dan and I wish we had more rocks on our place.

    Your Abbey looks like our Katy. I try to convince her that mice are tastier than birds but she she can't resist chasing a bird.

  2. I can tell you I appreciate the field stone much more now than when I was grubbing them out of the field, lugging them over to a stone boat, and pitching them off into a stone pile as teen. That was one of my least favorite farm tasks! Now I just get to appreciate the variety in colors and grains.