As I wrote about yesterday, on Sunday we had 40 round bales delivered. We only had enough plastic to cover them up this far.
We were worried about rain coming before we had time to get more plastic and cover the rest. We barely beat the storm last night, but they’re covered!
Aside from keeping the bales dry, covering them prevents the animals from chewing on them from the fenceline. This picture is taken from inside the field.
The bales are lined up along an access road between fields, and the bales are right next to the fenceline. Last year, I had trouble with the cows and horses snacking on them from the side. This year, they’re covered down the sides to stop that.
(Multiflora rose being cut down in the fenceline to make way for the plastic cover.)
The covers are tied onto the fence and also tied down on both sides directly to the ties on the bales themselves.
Working on tying down. Yes, that’s Rodney.
Man vroom.
We ran out of plastic right here at the end, and the last few bales are covered with a couple tarps, but they’ll be used out first. It started getting dark and windy as we were finishing up–the upside being the wind showed us where the plastic needed extra ties by blowing them up any place they weren’t secure.
By the time we made it back to the house, it was sprinkling, and within a few minutes, pouring. But–the hay was covered! (Semi-miracle, just in time!)
Winter, bring it on! (I didn’t say that. But I do see some snuggling in front of the fire in my future, and I’m looking forward to it!)

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40 Bales and a Secret Prince


People who read this website regularly and for a long time know that I used to write romance novels. There’s a somewhat amusing little piece I wrote here about typical romance novel storylines, but one of the common plots involves the man who turns up, he’s on the run for some reason–if it’s from the law, he’s innocent, of course. Or sometimes he’s a secret prince!–or a billionaire!–looking for a different life, trying to escape the trap that he’s in. He shows up at the heroine’s little shop in a small town, or sometimes on her farm, and goes to work for her while he figures out his life. They fall in love and she uncovers his secret troubles and things go all kinds of bad and wrong–followed by a happy ending!

Anyway. I’ll get back to that….. Yesterday, what showed up here was hay. Three trailer loads. Forty round bales. (And a 41st bale that wasn’t quite right and got thrown in for free.)
There’s a hay spear on the back of the tractor, but the hay man brought a front spear for us to use to unload, which makes it easier to get the bales off the trailers.
The first bale that comes off is laid down and then speared onto the back.
That makes weight to balance the tractor while unloading bales with the front spear.
I love hay. I love how it smells. The sweet grassy fragrance of winter security. That’s my boyfriend, by the way. The one running the tractor. I didn’t take any pictures of him that showed him because I hadn’t shown a picture of him on my website…. Well, not for awhile. Because you’ve seen him before, those of you who read this website regularly. He asked me if I’d taken any pictures last night that showed him and I told him I hadn’t because I didn’t know if he would be comfortable with that, now. He told me he didn’t care if I showed pictures of him or used his name. You know, again. After all, I’ve posted plenty of pictures of him and written about him by name in the past! Oh! Well then.

Back to what I was talking about in the beginning…. A man did turn up here at the farm and went to work for me–just like a romance plot! He worked for me here all last year. By day, he works for an oil and gas company, but in the evenings as a side job, he came out here and fenced and re-fenced and built and re-built and trimmed goat hooves and gave wormer shots and moved cows and farriered the horses. He installed a new gas line under the house and installed new heaters in the house and the studio. He taught me to drive a four-wheeler and a tractor, and chopped down trees and stacked firewood. He showed me how to skin and gut a deer, how to shoot my new guns, and how to hunt for squirrels. He came up with ideas and solved problems and did more things than I could ever list, and he got to know this farm better than even I do. Over the course of the year, we got to know each other and became friends and I got to where sometimes I even made up reasons for him to come out here. He cleaned out my cellar and reorganized it and turned it into the “woman cave” cellar bar, and spent a lot of time in the cellar bar with me, talking after finishing up work around the farm. And he wasn’t on the run from the law or a secret prince, but he was ready for a change in his life–and for me.

Next time I’m out taking pictures, I won’t hide his face.
His name is Rodney. He was one of my hired men last year. And now? He lives here.

P.S. It was nearly dark by the time we got as much of the hay covered as we had tarps and plastic to cover.
We’ll try to get the rest covered by tonight if it doesn’t start raining on us before then!

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  1. IMG_6040

    July 20, 2015 - The Aftermath of the Downpours

    The creek in the goat yard looked like this after the flooding rains we had here in the past week.

    We’ve had so much rain in the past two months that brush and mud have been pushed constantly against the drains (and against the fences), clogging them mercilessly. The daily rain didn’t stop long enough to try to do anything about it. We finally got a … Continued…

  1. IMG_4958

    July 1, 2015 - Real

    I would have told this story yesterday, but our power was out all day from the storms. We’ve had just about nothing but rain here for the past month. Anyway! Monday evening, I was sitting on the front porch with a glass of wine chatting on the phone to my boyfriend and a green Jeep came slowly down the road then turned in at my driveway.

    Now, I live in the boonies, okay. … Continued…

  1. IMG_5844

    June 22, 2015 - Farmin’

    I’m giving a lot (as in a LOT) of workshops this year (18….count ’em 18….retreats in total) but we’re also farmin’ away here! For example. Yesterday.

    First, we went to pick out a pig. Yep. We got a pig! But we didn’t take it home. It’s staying right where it is and the price includes having it hauled to the butcher. … Continued…

  1. IMG_5513

    May 28, 2015 - The Ducklings Take An Outing!

    Here comes the supervisor, with the big baby ducks!

    “Stay with me, children, and I’ll take you to the big puddle.”


    “Get back here!”

    “I told you to stay with me, children! I’m not taking you to … Continued…

  1. IMG_0559b

    April 13, 2015 - Holey Board, Batman!

    My mother had this tea cart with one of her silver tea services on top, and below she had a collection of vintage kitchen tools along with a cutting board.

    There is a potato masher, two graters, a handheld mixer, and a measuring cup.

    And an interesting cutting board. I’m not sure if the cutting board is actually as old … Continued…

  1. IMAG3827x_edited-1

    March 23, 2015 - Sunday Afternoon in Some Places

    Me, yesterday. On a horse. In a barn. At an amateur team penning event. It wasn’t one of my horses–I was there with a friend and it was her horse. I went to watch, really, swear. She talked me into getting on the horse, then she talked me into going in the pen. I think she just wanted a good … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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