During the more temperate months, I spend Monday mornings by my self on the farm. This is golf day for Jack. Not wanting me to have too much work, he typically sneaks in a bit of morning chores the evening before. I tell him he needn't do extra - I can handle it all. And, certainly, I can. It's actually not that much work.
Truth be told, it's my favorite kind of work - caring for my beloved animals and cleaning up poop. I know that sounds strange... the poop part, but there is a satisfaction in cleaning - returning my surroundings to their pristine beauty.
The dogs and I headed out in the gator. Riding shotgun were Bobby (cat) and Forrest.
First stops were the pond to feed both ducks and fish, then the pig yard to change Ginger and Faith's water. After that, the barn - where fly masks are donned and everyone is turned out for a little grazing time. Opening the gate to the front pasture is always a little dicey. Ginger, of course, is there demanding her breakfast,
while the equines try to get out to the pasture without stepping on her. Truth be told, she freaks them out just a little!
After morning chores were finished, I headed home to fix a cup of tea and a piece of homemade bread, toasted with peanut butter and homemade bramble berry jam. This light breakfast I then packed in the gator and headed out to my she-shed, Maven Haven, with the dogs in tow.
(I am thinking that perhaps next spring I will re-paint my little cottage and change the color... any suggestions?)
After months and months of heat, the morning was cool enough to allow me to build a fire in the stove.
Then, I sat and enjoyed my breakfast in the company of my bestest four-legged friends. Annie
and Chester love spending time in the shed with me.
Forrest, tried, but couldn't understand the allure of a warm fire and a soft rug.
"Boring!" he muttered as he headed out to investigate the area.
There in the peace of the morning, I was able to complete my morning NYT word games (Wordle and Connections) as well as the WP game, Keyword. Each morning, a few friends and family share their scores - a little friendly competition to bridge the miles between us. We're in the second year of this daily exchange. It's something I look forward to each morning. After exercising my brain cells, I settled in for a little knitting as I finished my cup of tea.
Most of summer's blooms have now faded from the cottage garden in front of my tiny getaway.
Summer's color replaced by a couple of fairy toadstools.
Next on the list, before bringing the horses back in from the pasture for their pellet breakfast...
was the task of cleaning our outhouse with its composting toilet. Of all the extras we added to the farm, this was the most ingenious.
Unlike an old fashioned outhouse with it's smelly pit beneath, this outhouse has a muck bucket, filled with pine shavings housed beneath the seat to catch any deposits - which are then covered by another scoop of pine shavings. There is absolutely no smell to this system. The bucket compartment has a ventilation tube through the roof of the tiny building.
I believe that even without this ventilation, there would still be no smell. The pine shavings seem to take care of this. The contents of this bucket are eventually composted along with our animal manure, plant matter, and food scraps (uneaten by the chickens)... harmful microbes killed by the heat of the compost pile, and nutrients eventually returned to the earth... perfect recycling.