Thursday, July 17, 2014

meanwhile, back at the farmette...

It was too late to take in much of anything last night when I returned home. As I said, my one agenda item was to check if there was any damage to the suitcase contents. And so as we came in from the airport, I set my case down and sniffed around it to see if there was any tell tale sign of smoky, peaty Scotch.

There wasn't.

As soon as I opened the suitcase, I found that little sheet of paper that tells you that your bag was picked for a thorough manual inspection. Well I'm not surprised. The little case looked so odd and plump!

Still, the inspectors repacked it well and I breathed a sigh of relief as all bottles of Scotch survived the journey.

It was such a ridiculously issue-free trip. It took two and a half days to travel here from the Isle of Islay and you'd think that at least one of my multiple plane, train and automobile (and tram) connections would fail me. But none did. Indeed, I was 40 minutes early in my arrival in Madison and I sat on the curb waiting for Ed, who was running errands and could not be reached, as he does not own a cell phone.

In the morning -- and it was a very early wake up for both of us -- we resumed our conversation on several small issues that had arisen just before I left for Europe.

One had to do with Oreo the rooster. Something snapped in that bird around the time of the wedding: Oreo lost it. Though intensely bonded with Ed, he became suspicious of virtually anyone else. And so I told Ed -- the rooster has to go.

Now, to ask Ed to give up on an animal in trouble is something you can't do lightly. He will spend months, years patiently dealing with whatever problem that animal may present. And still, I kept repeating -- we don't know what's troubling Oreo and I don't want his hypersensitivities to cause him to act out every time someone who is not Ed approached the farmhouse.

Ed looks at me hard: You mean you're scared of a chicken?
Not exactly...
You're scared of a chicken!
I just don't like to be around a troubled rooster.

This has been our discussion all the while I was away.

Just a few days ago, he finally agreed that Oreo has to go back to his original owner.

And then he changed his mind.
One more try! -- he pleaded, setting up a special restricted enclosure for Oreo when he misbehaves.

It really seems that Oreo has become the main subject of our conversations of late. Intensely so!

Too, there is someone new to the farmette.


Not sure of her (?) sex, but she has been coming here for months, and though I used to chase her silly (out of a concern for the chickens and for old old Isis), in my absence, Ed took another approach (what a surprise): acceptance. And though I'd like to say it's all resolved and the cat is part of our clan, again things are rather in progress. Most likely she is a feral cat and most likely, we will be catching her and taking her to the vet before a release back to the yard.

The odd thing is how Isis seems not to care one way or another about her presence and, too, how well she gets along with chickens.  It's humans that she is afraid of, but we're feeding her and Ed swears that she'll remain an outdoor cat.

And BTW, her name is, as of today, Cameo, for obvious reasons. Cammie for short.


Ah, but all these details are secondary to the main thrust of this day, which is to gasp at the transformation in the yard. Yes, it desperately needs weeding and I spent the better part of this day doing just that, but mainly it is in its July glory and I have to throw some photos here for you, for me, for posterity.

(the early morning look)

(an iris, still going strong)

(the bells and the lavender)

(the tomatoes are just starting their run; this one is a new for us variety -- it's called indigo)

(the raspberries are incredibly strong this year! a reward for all that pruning and replanting)

(superb color everywhere)

(this bed is to the west -- best seen from the porch)

(the cheepers are doing well)

(in front of the farmhouse)

And so I'm back. And yes, of course, it's great to be home. Tremendously so.

(breakfast on the porch, of course!)