Daily Reflections From My Window

July 25, 2021 Sunday: Hay Delivery Accomplished! But oh no, Neighbors discovered this:

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“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”

Ayn Rand

I really enjoy reading Ayn Rand and hope you don’t mind that I share her quotes. They could have been written today and not so many years ago. Who’s in charge here? I thought it was “We the People”. She was a smart cookie. Like my hay guy Lou.

It was a hay day yesterday, and Lou got here earlier than I expected which put me ahead of schedule. He has to be sure that the ground is dry enough to back up our hill so that we can load the loft full of hay for winter. He hasn’t been able to do this for at least a year because we’ve had a lot of rain in the past, but now that things have dried out, he called me to give it a try and succeeded. THAT’S why I’m so blessed. Even my hay guy looks out for me. Jay had standing plans and couldn’t be here, and Lou’s usual helper was back at the farm baling sorghum while the weather is great. He and I unloaded and stacked 50 bales in about 20 minutes. Thank goodness for hula hoop classes, because my arms and stamina are pretty strong now.

He’s able to back his truck up to our little loft door, then he stands on top of the bales and throws them in, where I grab them and stack them. The loft holds about 90-100 bales, and so they have room to breathe now with 50. He suggested that I leave the loft door open so they could dry a bit since he just baled them the night before. I listen to Lou. He’s got old fashioned wisdom about so many things and the alpacas sure were glad to see him. Here is Kapi watching him open a bale of hay to show me how fresh. I ran to the bottom of the hill so I could get this picture of them in the same shot.

As he always does, he brought us a treat-sometimes it’s his home tapped maple syrup, and yesterday he brought his mom’s homemade black raspberry jam, for which he, himself, picked the berries. I can’t wait to have some. This guy and his family never stop!

After he was on his way, I made a quick trip to the farmers market where I got eggs, milk, cantaloupe and a nice big bone for Connor. He didn’t come yesterday, but if he comes today, I’m ready.

Then because things were going so smoothly, I was able to head to the Community Art Center to see Lauren’s kids (all 3 of them) in the performance of “Out of the Woods”. In 5 days, these kids learned an entire production. As the director said, kids are sponges and absorb it all. They sure do and were great! Here’s a little peek.

Maggi as Gretel.

Molli as the Father.

And Miller as the “Mysterious Man”.

Such a talented group. As the director shared, if they could accomplish this after 5 days, imagine what they could do in a month.

Then off to celebrate the young thespians at Eat n Park where Jay met up with us, and home.

The day wasn’t over by any means. We grabbed a short break and then were treated to dinner with our friends, the Whitlow’s, where we celebrated their son Sam’s return from Singapore. He was there with his job for several years and returned briefly before he’s off to continue his education in London. He’s always been an interesting young man. I got to interrogate him, oops, I mean ask questions about his interests and what it was like living so very far from family. He’s developed a real love for cooking and travel. Must have been all that exotic food Mr. Molchaney, their troop leader, let them mix up on camping trips. I remember taking my Jack to the grocery store to buy supplies in preparation for them. The things those kids put together…but how else to learn what goes well together than to figure out what doesn’t, right? Our families have been in each other’s lives forever and Sam and Jack have had some common interests and experiences, like, love of travel, both having lived in New York and places far away with culinary influences from many countries and both appreciate food beyond pierogis and meatloaf. Sam described it as the “mouth feel” and how foods can be very flavorful while still being spicy. It’s about the slow preparation and the process. I love that about these kids. They get together and prepare food with their friends. That’s why J and M couldn’t join us last night. They have a standing group with whom they do this too. Hey Amy, when you can, let’s cook together! She made a delicious slow cooked pasta and shrimp dish with garlic and lots of fresh herbs. What did she use to thicken the olive oil based sauce? Fresh corn on the cob. There are so many alternatives to flour and this was amazing. I can see where Sam gets his love of cooking! The salad was absolutely beautiful too. We watched a little bit of the Olympics while we digested and I want to mention that my friend, Carol Dressel Rieg’s cousin Caeleb Dressel is competing in the men’s swimming events. I wish she could be there. She is quite a strong swimmer herself, so when she shared that her cousin was in the Olympics, I thought, of course he is! Help us cheer Caeleb on! I found this sweet nest on the ground inside the alpaca enclosure yesterday and wonder what bird would have made it. They used alpaca fiber to line it!

Last night, I caught a glimpse of my new neighbor’s FB post. In their driveway, they discovered this rattlesnake in plain sight. I have NEVER seen one here-unless the snake I saw the other day was a rattler. Gosh, back to long pants and knee high boots. I guess I’ll be carrying a stick and getting a snake bite kit to have on hand. Why are they so low and off the mountain? She’s right next door on 271. I don’t like rattlers. Isn’t living in the woods grand, Sue? Welcome to the neighborhood! Photos courtesy of Kevin and Emily Kinkead. Thank goodness in THEIR driveway!

I can’t wait to go to church in person today so I’m headed out to tend the herd before we leave.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!