Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Good-night, Farm

It always feels to me as if the farm goes to sleep in winter. We tidy the garden beds, bring the potted plants inside, and say good-night until spring. The pecan leaves cover the grass. The geese this morning flew right over my head, honking south. I brought three volunteer tomato plants in from the garden in pots, plus a pepper plant, several mints, a basil that I hope will survive, and a lemon and a lime tree that we just bought at the nearby garden center. All are snug on the front porch, now wrapped in heavy plastic.

Adam wants to make concrete leaves year-round. Since the elephant ear leaves and hosta leaves are nearly dead for winter, he's making plaster "positives" -- a plaster cast from which he will make a clay mold. Then he will use the mold to make many leaves this winter. Here are some of the plaster positives he made yesterday:

Aren't they delicate? The veiling is very fine. I'm eager to see how the actual concrete leaves turn out from these impressions. Here is a much larger elephant ear plaster he made:
 A lovely, large mushroom popped up just outside the chicken coop:
I finished writing my little children's book, "Punkin and the Littlest Mouse" into one of Adam's handmade books. I left room for lots of little illustrations. Now I'm beginning to sketch them in. Here are a few examples:

It's a simple book, and I'm no illustrator, but I do think books for small children should have lots of pictures. I'm not up to complicated images, but I will add as much as I can. Punkin is my crazy Ameracauna hen. She's not nearly so sweet in real life as she is in this story, haha!

Adam continues to attempt repairs on our roof (really the eave) and after that, the ceiling. It's rough going. He succeeded in stopping the leaking along the very edge of the ceiling, but not entirely in stopping the leak in the middle. So up he went again on the tall ladder to rip off the repair he'd done, and pull down the gutter (gulp - yes), and go at it again. He's out there now. 
I went out to check on him. He showed me the roof's edge -- the metal is rusted and crumbling off. It's quite discouraging. A new roof is not something we can afford, so he will try to use metal pieces slipped underneath to reinforce the edge. It's something that must be attempted and done if at all possible. In my mind, this damage to the living room ceiling is the only thing that might still make the house not viable, and not able to be sold, if we ever wanted to sell it. Plus -- of course -- I don't really want even the smallest of drips from my living room ceiling. He is wonderful to keep after all the many projects that call on him, on this farm, small as it is. It's cold and windy out there today, but he's willing. We're both getting to an age when outdoor work in the cold and damp is hard on our bodies.

Well! On a happier note, Thanksgiving is coming, with a beautiful community service and three of our kids coming home! Philip, Kara, and Julia will be here next week. I'm so excited! They get to meet Trixie!
Trixie says, "Happy Thanksgiving!" She is learning how to be a good dog just as fast as she can.


  1. What a lovely doggy face! We have started walking in woods where we often see mushrooms. Apparently nearly 300 species of fungi can be found there. People often pick them. We leave them alone though as we don't know which are poisonous.

  2. What a cute little book! You go girl!

    There is always something that needs doing on a house and if you own it, you're the one who has to take care of it. It is good that Adam is so handy with many different things.

    Trixie is adorable.

    Happy Autumn ~ FlowerLady

  3. I LOVE the book! I've been meaning to do something like that for so long, but the idea keeps slipping to the back of my mind. Thanks for reminding me! Your "story Punkin" really is a nice hen. Of course, we know that in real life she would murder that little mouse for lunch, lol! At least, MY hens would have. ;) I've got a book on making handmade books and I'm addicted to buying sketchbooks and journals but then they sit on the shelf. Turning them into a storybook is the obvious answer! My problem is narrowing my focus instead of trying to write everything I've ever dreamed up into one story. Hard to do, but fun to try. :)
    The plaster "positives" are a great idea! I hope Adam has more time for indoor, creative work once the farm is buttoned up for the winter. He's a good and industrious guy. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your chicks! :)

  4. I think your book is coming along nicely.

  5. Adam is a good farmer. I like your story AND your drawings.

  6. I don't know which is more exciting - the cast leaves or your book!


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