Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kevin, you were awesome!

Kevin when he arrived at Elk Cliff Farm 
If you're going to raise a pig for your freezer you'd be lucky to have a pig like Kevin.  I think everyone who met him liked him, that is, except for our other pigs.  Maybe we didn't give him enough time but he never fit in with the others so we brought him over to the yard, close to our house.  He got along wonderfully with the standard donkeys and Baxter.

He was an escape artist.  He knew which gates weren't hung properly and figured out how to lift them off the hinges.  He discovered the sliding door to the donkey barn also swung out when you pushed on it.  He took advantage of my forgetfulness when I didn't latch his gate.  Luckily he was so tame and people friendly he would just hang out in the yard until we'd find him loose and he'd follow us back to his fence when we called his name.  Every morning when I was across the road and had finished up milking the goats and cow Kevin would begin carrying on.  He could hear my car from a couple hundred yards away and wouldn't stop hollering till I got back.  He greeted every car that drove up our driveway.

As his appointment with the butcher approached I hated to see him and Baxter playing, running up and down the fence line having a grand old time.   It made me feel guilty and a little sad.

Today was Kevin's last day at the farm.  I cried a bit as we got ready to load him in the trailer.  A friend of ours built a crate and wanted to try it out using Kevin as the guinea pig.  We wondered how it would go coaxing him in, if we'd need a ramp, if he'd destroy the crate because he didn't like being closed in, etc.  Even in the end Kevin was agreeable.

He rode along the whole way looking very at ease and happy, like he was out for a joyride.  I didn't cry at the butcher because Kevin made it easy.  He looked happy right up to the very end.  As it should be.

Ok, I'm crying now.

Monday, August 18, 2014


fol•ly (ˈfɒl i) 

n., pl. -lies.

1. the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
2. a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity.
3. a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.
4. a whimsical or extravagant and often useless structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, etc.
5. follies, a theatrical revue.
6. Obs. wickedness; wantonness.

After a friend told James our boat project reminded him of follies (see #4 above) in Europe,  James has decided to call this our folly.  Now that I think of it the project also fits the first 3 definitions.  
It's coming along and we're figuring it out as we go.  We get lots of people hollering up from their tubes or kayaks, asking us what we're building.  Some people say, "neat" and smile.  Others have said, "I've never seen that before".  Many, though, have nothing to say after we answer and have a confused look on their face.  I think there are a lot of people who don't understand building something just for pleasure.  As much fun as it's been building the deck, I'm looking forward to moving on and pressure washing the boat, putting the shade sail up and working on the inside.  Even more, I can't wait to sit on the deck, relax and enjoy the view of the river.

Here are a few pictures that have nothing to do with the boat but are still fun.  I took this one this morning because I love watching different species sharing.  Yesterday the donkeys were in on this but this morning I had them back in their own space.
This next one is just funny.  Chy and Wilson are usually shy with strangers but for some reason they remember my mom even though she only sees them once a year.  She brings them their favorite treat, black licorice.  She can hardly walk in the lawn without them running her down to check her pockets.  This is Wilson and Mom sharing an ear of corn.  In this instance my mom may want to read definitions numbers 1 and 2.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Boat Project - take 10

How long have we been at this?   I guess I should ask, how long have we not been at this.  I went back through my blog to see when we got the boat "free" on Craigslist but can't find the post.  I think it was at least 3 years ago.   I did see we began putting the posts in for the deck in December 2012.

So, we're back at it and this time we're going to at least finish the deck.  Hopefully we'll get to fixing up the boat this year too.  The deck is in the shape of the boat, kind of.

The boat is pretty well land-locked now.  Only a flood can carry it away and soon we'll have it anchored so that can't happen....hopefully.   Building this reminds me of building our outdoor kitchen.  It's a fun project that doesn't have to be done but will be a fun place to play.  As is our style, we didn't think ahead when we planned the deck because fastening joist hangers to round posts and figuring out how to lay boards on a deck that is not square makes the job way more difficult than we expected.  We're making it up as we go along and taking one step at a time.  Once again the phrase "good enough for who it's for" will have to apply.  When the deck is done we'll be able to pressure wash the boat from above and then paint it and make it water tight.  Lastly will come the interior.  As of now we just plan to build a platform bed in there but we'll see how carried away we get.

We're already in the planning stages for how to shade the deck.  We've ordered some poles from which we'll hang one or 2 shade sails.  Kind of like this.
Part of the plan for the deck was also so we can store kayaks, chairs, etc. under it.

We're having fun.  I hope the next time I blog about this will be in 2014 and not 2016.  Even though we won't be launching the boat in the river, I look forward to breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow sometime in the near future.