***WARNING*** Long blog post ahead.
I see with horror that my last blog post was nearly a month ago! I find that somewhat hard to believe and double-checked my calendar just to make sure. I don’t understand how the days disappear into weeks and the months gobble up the weeks.
Life has not lacked in activity…both of the fun and the work-related side. June seemed to be the month for family to come and visit. We had visitors from North Carolina, Kansas, and Idaho. Always pleasant to reconnect and learn to know my husband’s side of the family better.
FIRST CUTTING BLUES
Our first cutting of hay came off amid fierce windstorms and rain.
We had been anxiously waiting for the rain to quit and the ground to dry out enough to swath the hay and grass. Yet at the same time, one felt guilty wishing for rain to stop after having such an incredibly dry winter and spring.
Finally the mud subsided and we ran the swather. Ross did most the fields, but left me in charge of the biggest one (the reason being that there were no risers to try and dodge in this particular field. See how much he trusts my driving skills?? lol) I don’t believe I have run a swather for nearly 10 years but its amazing how it all comes back to a person.
While waiting for the windrows to dry down, Ross hauled a few loads on the truck, while I caught up with irrigating the new seeding of alfalfa, along with yard and housework. The new alfalfa is coming along nicely. As are the 4,790,061 weeds.
Then finally the night Ross deemed the hay dry enough to bale, we readied our equipment, pulled out into the field to start baling the grass hay, and the wind hit. And I don’t mean just a small breeze. I mean the kind of wind where large branches break out of the trees, chairs blow over on the patio, and the neatly-raked hayfield turns into chaos.
Thankfully our alfalfa hay was swathed in the same direction as the wind happened to be blowing so it stayed mostly in place. The grass hay didn’t fare well. But we raked just ahead of the baler and managed to save a goodly portion of it.
A heavy rainstorm was predicted for the following day so we stayed up all night and worked steady until the afternoon of the following day, picking up the bales off the field and stacking them in the hay lot. We also hauled a few semi loads away. Amazing how much you can accomplish during normal sleeping hours.
The next week or so, I spent catching up with everything possible. Spraying weeds, irrigating each field, trapping gophers, and delving into bookwork on the rainy days. One day I helped our neighbor and his hired man with a very large tree that had fallen over his driveway during one of the previous windstorms. Chainsaws and elbow grease turned it into firewood.
One day I opened up the nest boxes in the chicken house, expecting to find an egg or two. Instead to my surprise, there was 5 baby kittens and a proud purring mama cat. Better than having them in my garage, I guess!
A DELIGHTFUL ANNIVERSARY VACATION
We had planned this trip back in January, optimistically hoping that everything would work out so we could get away for a weekend. Then in February the farm came up for rent and we jumped into alfalfa farming. By May, I was wondering dubiously if a night out or a supper was even possible much less a 4-day weekend. But full of faith, we left our reservations and kept working toward our goal. I should add that I nearly canceled 14 times but Ross convinced me not to. Then it started raining. Talk about timely. We turned down the water, let the neighbor man feed the animals, and packed up.
If you ever get to Oregon and are in need of some beautiful scenery, take the time to drive to Koosah Falls and Sahalie Falls. They are part of the beautiful Mackenzie River, just south of Santiam Pass. The pictures below don’t begin to do justice to the crystal clear blue-green water crashing over the rocks.
The Mackenzie River
One of the waterfalls
The afternoon passed quickly, hiking trails, climbing rocks, and just soaking up the beauty. Then we spent night at a charming little mountain resort tucked back in the hills. The landscaping was delightfully woodsy, and I discovered a little winding trail along the river in the cool morning hours.
The next day we headed west, to the tiny coastal gem of a town, Yachats, Oregon. The white foaming waves of the ocean crashing over the black mounds of rocky coast were mesmerizing. We spent all afternoon exploring, climbing, and hiking.
At one point, a sneaker wave crept up on us unawares, crashing over our heads and leaving us completely drenched. The 72* weather didn’t feel so warm after that!
We took several trails along the coast, then ended on one that wound through the fern and ivy-carpeted forest. We were calmly walking along when out of the blue, I felt a sharp pain on my leg. Ross fully believed my jumping around and yelling wildly to be a hoax but when he saw the bee, he changed his tune. It didn’t hurt too badly so we continued for another mile or so. Then supper began calling our names so we turned around at a grassy meadow and headed back. About a mile back, I was engrossed in the beautiful view of the ocean from a small window in the pine trees when all of a sudden, I felt another stab in the same leg. Believe it or not, it was another bee sting. And we realized that we were at the exact same spot in the trail as last time. I couldn’t believe Mr. Bee has lain in wait for me and got me again!
The rest of the weekend passed entirely too quickly. With regret, we packed up our belongings out of our cozy cottage nestled among the trees, took a last deep breath of the misty ocean air, and headed back to reality. In my heart tho, I can still hear the pounding of the surf, visualize the red-and-white lighthouse perched on the hill, and taste the fresh seafood, caught the same day and cooked to perfection.
I know I’ll be back someday.
Back home, we are in the midst of trucking, irrigating hay, and the normal shop work, yard maintenance, and just the everyday means of staying alive. I took my mom on a little outing for her birthday. We enjoyed a evening of popcorn, sparkling peach juice, and Scrabble; then drove up to McCall for a bite of lunch and to show her Charlie’s Gardens. If you ever sightsee in McCall, Idaho, this bit of beauty tucked back in the woods is worth your time. Beautiful landscaping, flowers of all kinds, and a mountain stream.
Till next time…take care!