“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” ―E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

An August night’s rain brings a soft morning to our acreage. As the men go off to work and early football workouts and the girls awake at a camp on Lake George I spend a few magical moments with the animals and land I’ve neglected for the last few weeks. I won’t notice the weeds or the fly tapes in need of change. I’ll just dash off for my camera before the sun rises too high in the sky.

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The sheep are the first to notice my approach.

 

The mama goats complain now and the babies we lock up for the evening (so we can get first dibs on milk each morning) complain as well.

Blue Jays take over the mornings where robins have left off and everything is soft.

 

Frosty Morning Goats

We let our baby does milk from their mothers. This makes chubby, happy babies and relaxed mothers. We take only the mothers’ morning milk for ourselves and have plenty. It may not be the most economical, but it brings us all pleasure. Win/win!

Sometimes All That Matters Is Baseball

CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!
CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!

My husband replaced a ragged old flag on the top of the grounded boat in the churchyard to surprise our pastor. They both hail from Illinois, both love the BEARS, both have suffered a lifetime of heartbreak with the CUBS. But when the flag was raised the CUBS went on a 15 game winning streak.

We’ve already had to replace the flag once (the afternoon before the playoffs began) because the winds in our little valley wreak havoc on flags. This morning at 6am my husband received a text from the pastor with the above image. CUBS WIN!!!!

Country Life: The Benefits of Football Players on the Farm

Fullback and Lineman
Fullback and lineman pose before their opposition.
Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights

Yes, after a glorious Friday night win the good-natured boys agreed to moving FIFTEEN TONS of rocks to the barnyard. The muddy yard was bad for the animals and ME. Water sat in puddles and turned to massive sheets of ice in winter. The animals made it through but I ended up with a broken arm, a dislocated elbow and emergency surgery during the NFL playoffs (the surgeon was less than pleased to be called in).

My husband weighed the options after having the rocks delivered and decided drafting the boys and paying them well was the better plan–the other being husband and wife with wife complaining about rocks all afternoon and how heavy they were.

The boys were animals against those rocks plowing through the pile in only a few hours (my husband gave them bonus money for speed).

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Tyra Colette

The sheep and goats were a little spooked at first by  the spongy rocks not quite settled, but after a few minutes I think they liked the noise under their feet because they started frolicking–a good thing to see in a barnyard because probably no one has a bad case of worms or some other mystery illness.

The chickens and ducks kept to the muddy outskirts of the yard more interested in their blended families–chickens mothering ducks, ducks mothering chickens and roosters ( the ones we bought who were supposed to be hens) chasing everything that moves.

As the evening sky darkened and threatened much needed rain, the boys finished their project with many tons of rock to spare for other Saturdays. Thank God for football players.

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