The house is quieting. All the kids but the sailor are home. And the hunk-o-burning love is gone taking care of sick and hurt people. Everyone else is in their sleeping place either reading or listening to music or just asleep. There is a cool breeze blowing out of the southwest across our fields. I can smell the moisture in the pasture grasses coming thru my window as I sit at the computer. There is a hint~ truly just a HINT (my husband would not agree. His nose is more aware than mine) of pig and chickens in the air~ well, OK, and also skunk. Joey insists on laying at my feet. She still smells like skunk and I have to correct her to her bed constantly. It’s weirdly warm for late September.
The outside is really quiet. Except for Maggie. She’s in heat and bellowing her love call out across the pastures. Her mooing echoes against the woods to the east of us. I can hear the echo resounding to the west and south. Our small area of Montana could be named “Cuchara”~ Spanish for spoon as our prairie is bordered on all sides by forest making a spoon of our fields.
This week is probably the last of our nice warm weather. And that realization makes me slightly frantic to get the garden cleaned up and the multiple outside chores completed to be ready for winter. We have gravel to shovel into pot holes in our drive, a small pile of manure to spread around the fruit trees, along with the contents of the chicken coop. Just a couple more tons of hay to stash in the barn loft. I have seeds to gather from favorite flowers. Onions to pull and lay out to dry. Potatoes to dig, dry and store away in the potato bin. Tomatoes to purchase and can up in gleaming quart jars (never have I been able to grow enough tomatoes in Montana to can. Only enough to eat fresh~ if I’m lucky. I ALWAYS have to buy canning tomatoes from our local fruit stand. But I’m happy for that!). Pull the last of the greens (chard, kale, beet greens) for the dehydrator. I’m going to leave the cruciferous vegetables in place in the garden for now. The cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers and B. sprouts can take the cool day and cold night time temperatures we got coming. Some say that the cold makes these veggies sweeter.
In two weeks I will transport the second to the last of the pigs north to the butcher. There are closer butchers, of course, but this butcher is special. It’s worth it to me to make the hour long trek to Eureka. He is respectful of the animals we leave in his care to dispatch. And his bacon is heavenly.
Vincent will make visits to various lady pigs (lucky dog) and then will come home to be with Willow in November. The AI guy with his long gloved arm will make a visit in October to determine if Maisy is really pregnant (she hasn’t come into heat since she was AI’d in August, but I could be wrong. More on that later).
Makes me tired just thinking about the work.
So for now, I’m going to listen to Maggie moan in the fields and smell the fall grasses blowing in the breeze and dream of my pillow. Then I’ll go do the dishes and finish cleaning up the kitchen.
Life in paradise, just north of nowhere.