Saturday, July 13, 2013


Today Cliff and I will spend lots of quality time together on his big tractor.  We'll be riding it to a tiny little town that's having its annual picnic.  It's fifteen miles to get there, and after we arrive there we'll be joining up with other tractor club members to go on a drive that will take us even further from home.  
Most of the club members haul their tractors to the site where a tractor drive starts, then unload them and go on the ride.  We don't have a trailer big enough for the 1855  Oliver.  Cliff is working on restoring a little 550 Oliver that we will be able to haul, but it isn't nearly finished; and there's an old John Deere waiting in the wings.  Probably if he hadn't had that sick spell in the spring, at least one of those would be done, but he was really out of commission there for awhile.  So we ride for long distances at speeds of perhaps twenty miles per hour to get in line with other tractors and ride some more.  
Speaking of his illness, at this point it's easy to forget how scared we both were at the time, and how terribly sick he was.  He is back to normal, enjoying his meals and life in general, with only the aches and pains of arthritis to slow him down.  Every once in awhile I remember things the surgeon said that shook me up:  "I looked at the other surgeon and said, 'How are we going to fix this?'"  
And, in answer to my complaints that Cliff wasn't eating anything, "He won't have an appetite for a long time.  He could be dead right now."  
And remembering that, I'm thankful that I can still accompany my husband on tractor rides.  
My garden this year is pathetic, and we are now in a state of drought again.  We had such a cold, late spring that everything is delayed.  Last year by this time I had all the tomatoes canned that I needed, had scalded my belly while canning them, and was giving the rest of my crop away.  This year I have only green tomatoes so far, the biggest ones no bigger than a tennis ball.  

Remember my pet chicken, Chickie?  She's now residing in the chicken house with the others.  They are mean to her, as chickens can be, but she can fly almost as well as a pigeon, and has discovered a spot in the window where she can perch but they can't.  I turn the chickens out each evening and am able to leave them unguarded.  The cats and dog have gotten used to them and don't bother the big ones.  Chickie, however, is still pretty small.  I don't let her wander around unless I'm there to watch.  I'm pretty sure Mama Kitty would consider her just the right size for a tasty meal.  When the chickens are all turned loose in the yard, if any of the big ones get too close to Chickie she comes running to me, knowing I'll save her.  Sometimes she will actually fly up onto my lap.

She pecks at the flowers on my shirt. 
Remember when Cliff and I butchered chickens this spring?  Unless we are starving and have nothing else to eat, we won't be doing that again.  It's nasty business, and we both hated it.  My mom killed and dressed chickens on a regular basis when I was a kid, and it didn't seem like a big deal.  I guess I would never have made a good pioneer woman.  I've lived a charmed life, in that most of the time, I haven't had to do anything I didn't want to do.  I definitely don't want to butcher any more chickens!  

We are both looking forward to having a baby around after Cora is born.  I won't be buying any bottle calves this fall, and my garden may shrink in size next year, because Cliff and I both intend to make the baby a priority.  She may be our last chance to bond with an infant, so we are going to take advantage of the opportunity.  Her mom works a four-day week, so that gives us three-day weekends.  In case we want to take off and go to Branson or St. Louis, we can do so.  

And finally I'll leave you with a picture of our new neighbors' huge barn.  They have horses, and apparently there will be an indoor riding arena.



Jon said...

Hey, I like Chickie! She's one fancy chick. PLEASE assure me that you're not going to wring her neck and cook her.
Life on the farm shatters my nerves.....

The tractor ride and picnic sounds like it will be fun. If you happen to see the dog that bit you, RUN HIM OVER!!!

My comment sounds like a paradox - - I'm trying to save the lives of chickens while encouraging you to run over a dog!

Traci DeSheles said...

So scary about how sick Cliff was! Yeah for surgeons! Enjoy your ride today and stay safe! I'd like to be able to let our chickens out some. Our neighbor dogs are ruthless.


ENJOY your tractor ride. I'm glad Cliff beat the odds as sick as he was. Chickie is sweet.

Margaret said...

It sounds like things are going very well, besides the garden. My tomatoes are in the same condition as yours, but that's normal here. My husband used to kill the chickens on their farm(didn't mind it) but then went to work for a chicken processing plant as a chicken chaser(did mind it).

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sorry you are not getting rain there. We have had so much rain, that right now I'm appreciating some dry weather. I'm so glad Cliff is feeling back to normal now. Hope you enjoy your tractor ride.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Glad to know Cliff is throughly mended. Pete was just in the hospital 5 days with C-diff colitus. Very serious. These things make us appreciate them all the more.