Country living

After eight (8) glorious and very busy years we are cleaning out the farm and renting it out.   It will go into very good hands as we turn it over to a young couple who we trust will care for it as their very own.   We have known her parents for years and love them like family.   This young couple already has chickens so at least the chickens will be comfy!   We hope everyone will be at home here as we have been.

The young lady, Lisa, would love nothing more than to learn veterinary skills and take classes in Veterinary Technology.    Her husband, Jimmy, has trained dogs for the State Troopers and with a State Prison system.   He is in business for himself now training dogs for various purposes.   They will have lots of room to do that here.

We have agreed that the cattle will stay at the farm, so we will continue to have contact with it as we need to.   Any time we return we will live in the RV behind the house.   It’s fully furnished and comfortable.

Moving oneself is always a chore.   We have been emptying the house for a week.  Plenty of items have been donated or tossed.   We have gone through our clothes and will have to do another purge before we are completely settled, I’m sure.    We have more things in the barn than I’d like to admit to.   That will mean more than one weekend here to purge those items.    I think it is a very good thing to rid oneself of extra things one is not using.   One gets a cleansing feeling after freeing oneself of ‘junk’.   Of course it isn’t junk to everyone. . .. it is their ‘treasure’!

So is this my last blog here?   Perhaps.   but I would love to post a page to the new blog Lisa intends to start.    So I may be back one more time. . ..

Don’t forget friends.    I have another blog too.    You can follow our next “life” at Gilraker’s Adventures.    We hope you will enjoy is as much as we do.


Happy 2016.   Apparently WordPress decided to ‘replay’ some of my old blog posts.   Maybe that means I need to write more current blogs!

Lots of things going on at the farm.   We were expecting nasty weather when that storm came through.   Baltimore and NYC got much more than we did, but we did get a bit of ice and a dusting of snow.   I had a bit of trouble negotiating on it but the dog enjoyed it and the ‘ladies’ seemed to do fine.

I love working in the garden in the spring.  Maybe it’s because it’s so hot in the summer.   Trees are beginning to look good, with new leaves and flower buds.   The Pin or Chokecherry Trees are going to be full this year.  Last year they were almost bare of fruit.  this must be a good year for them!  I wonder if I can make jam from them?  Hhhhmmm. 

I cleaned up the front flower bed and planted more lavender.  I just love lavender!  It smells so good and it very easy to care for. .. in other words it’s not much work to keep! 

The vegetable garden is all but ready.  I have carrot seeds down and they are germinating.  I also put some lettuce and cabbage in.   Hopefully I’ll get more in later in the weekend.  I have seeds of those both germinating also. 

Tuesday I got the peppers in the ground.  There are green, yellow, red and jalepenos.   The last ones are for my husband.  I hope he appreciated that. . . I cannot eat them! 

I hope to get the beans in this weekend.

I am the middle of three sisters.  When we were young my sisters really loved pointing out babies while we were out and about if they saw one that was particularly cute.  They would say “Oooh, look at the pink one”  or Hey, there is a little gingham one!” as if the color of what they were wearing determined what the baby was. . . . I’d just roll my eyes and groan “oh brother”.

Maybe I just don’t have that maternal gene.  Or maybe poopy, crying babies just aren’t my cup of tea.

Lots of doings here at Smiling J.    We were going to let the farm go fallow, but it is just too relaxing and too wonderful to be here to let it go.      We’ve decided that if we are going to keep her, she might as well work for us and keep us from having to mow!

Front pasture being readied for new cattle
Front pasture being readied for new cattle

My sweetie retired last August and has been keeping me pretty busy since the beginning of the year.   We repaired the fences and at this point there are four head of cattle grazing on the pastures.    One steer, a bull and two heifers.   We are hoping for two more if the bull, Prince Leo has done his job.

Leo’s step sister, Princess Leah, is on a date herself.    She is at Running Bay Farm in VA hopefully being bred to Trooper.   He was one of our best Dexter bulls who was sold to some friends up North.    So we’ll have about 8 total once all the babies are here.   Should be great to see that again.  Calves are so fun to see grow.

In the mean time we bought a townhouse near the coast where we can go to fish, enjoy a small community and attend the Catholic Church that is nearby.     Now the problem is: when should we be at the farm and when should we be at the townhouse?    Decisions, decisions. …

Leo and the girls meeting the neighbors next door

Leo and the girls meeting the neighbors next door

Wow, we are half through July and I don’t know where they year has gone! How did we get this far through the year and I haven’t finished what I need to do much less what I WANT to do!

My garden in ‘tubs’ hasn’t been the better garden I’ve had here on the farm.  It was a fun idea but the overabundance of rain and the bugs have caused me grief.   The tomatoes have not produced well and the beans did only for a little while.  I guess one just has to care for a garden every day to get a good end product.  I’m just a lazy gardener. . . . .

On the good side, we have had a number of red potatoes and there are a couple of watermelons still growing out there.   I’ve harvested a handful of zucchini and cucumbers this year.    The best thing we have gotten was BLUEBERRIES!   We’ve gotten a couple of quarts of the beautiful things this season.  And we planted two more bushes this year so I hope next year will be better yet.

I have frozen as many berries as I could so that I could make a cobbler or crisp from them.  When I do I’ll take a picture so I can share!

The past few weeks it seems as if all we have time to do is mow, mow, mow!   And without the cattle to enjoy the grass our pastures are just as overgrown as the ‘lawn’!   So Troy has been out thee mowing that too!     We may just have to get some more cattle just to keep from spending the diesel on the tractor!   I think Troy misses them just as much as the grass does.   So we will see what we will see.


I thought you might just like to see how the garden is growing.  Most of the plants are filling out nicely.

Squash Cucumber and Watermelon

Squash Cucumber and Watermelon

We’ve had a number of zucchini from it and the beans are getting close to harvest time. The weather has been challenging; we got 6 inches of rain in the past week. I’m concerned about what that is doing . … . It may be why we aren’t getting many tomatoes. The plants as looking a bit puny.

Watermelon and marigolds

Watermelon and marigolds

Last week Troy and I pulled out the lettuce plants since they were bolting.   I then planted more squash in their place:  Yellow, Butternut and Zucchini.  I have to keep the bugs away!   That is my challenge.

Yellow Squash and Zucchini

Yellow Squash and Zucchini

And oh!  Our first two Butternut Squash are growing!  Here is just one. .. the other was camera-shy!   Ha, ha!!!   I can’t wait to see how they taste.   Thanks for stopping by. . . . .

Baby Butternut!

Baby Butternut!

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