Monday, October 15

Barn Tours, Sick Days and Birthday Parties

There has been no shortage of exciting activity around here for the past couple of weeks. And by 'exciting activity' I mean heavy frosts and trips to the grocery store with both children that did not result in paying for any damages (among other things).

Preparing for winter has been on the top of the list. We have officially put the vegetable garden to bed for the season, checked all the windows for gaps and we are bringing up loads of wood to the front porch. We are ready to settle in for whatever this winter will throw at us. Last year was very mild in our area so I am expecting a cold and heavy season this time around.

As if to kick off the cold weather festivities, we have all been slogging through our first colds of the fall. The little man and the baby were the first to fall victim with the runny noses and the coughing. A weeks worth of rest and constant humidifier running turned things around for them, just in time for Roy and I to take our turns. We are all germ free for the moment and feeling well - ready to enjoy as much fall as there is left before the snow flies.
We had our first hard frost last week and the last three pepper plants did not stand a chance. They were just about done so I did not bother to cover them. The next day I went out and removed the three wilting plants from the garden and, after a few coatings of dead leaves and grass clippings, the garden will go to bed for the winter hibernation.
The baby turned 1 this past week and we had not just one, but three parties to mark the occasion. Not because we love to party, but because of family living a bit too far away and older relatives not able to travel. A party here, a party at the Grandparents and a party at the Aunt and Uncles and the whole family tree was represented. I can not believe that she is 1 already.

She currently has 4 teeth, a moderately bad temper and she will be walking any day now. She is already giving the little man a run for his money and one of her favorite activities is to ambush the little man when he is laying on the floor by crawling up and smacking him in the face. He loves it and they are actually playing well together, which I love.

We were all over our colds for this past weekend so I left Roy home with the kids while I went on an historic barn tour with my Mom. Centered around some of the older barns in the area where I grew up, that were still in really good condition, the tour was a very interesting mix of construction, function and historical musings. One of the barns was located on a working alpaca farm and the owner generously opened up the gates for the tours so we were able to wander the whole operation.

Alpacas are interesting creatures that just make me scream "you can do this - it seems so easy" in my homesteading brain. They are cute, they seem calm, they graze the field all day and their fiber is amazing. Then I saw the section of the barn where the medications, syringes and other tools of the trade were kept. Giving shots to 95+ alpacas might not be the way I want to spend my day. So I bought a pair of gloves and a pair of socks at the little shop they have onsite.

The barn tour also provided a demonstration on hand hewing barn beams. Kevin Holtz set up near the town fire hall and we watched as he used a period ax to strike and shape an 8 foot log into a substantial beam. He graciously answered any and all questions and I struck up a conversation with him about the future of the American Chestnut tree. Turns out that he went to the same college as Roy and that the college is currently in the middle of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project. A very interesting site well worth the time to go through.

A blight-resistant American chestnut tree...... I want one.
The photos in this post are from the barn tour. 


1 comment:

  1. You've definitely been busy! Congrats on the new 1 year old! The barn tour sounds great.

    And yes, I think we're in for a cold, hard winter too.