Friday, April 02, 2010

primrose path

if you have ever been to our house just after or during a rain, you have had to jump the puddle. we have been forever wanting to remedy this. our answer was to never ever pour cement there. in fact we already had a small pad that would need to be removed prior to realizing our plans.

a rocky path

one thing tabitha and i both have in common, we are purists. that is, we like to use natural stone wherever we can. if cement is necessary, we try to hide it. a person that has been to the ozarks knows that if you find a rock in the ozarks and throw it odds are you'll hit a baptist preacher. that joke is funny because it is profoundly rocky in the ozarks and there are many times many baptist preachers here. my friend james is a baptist preacher and finds that joke funny so please take no offense.

all rock are not the same. having a flat side is a blessing which we only enjoy a small percentage of the time. luckily just across the road in a ravine is a little dumping of old quarried stone. most of them are too large to get. even the ones that two people can carry are difficult to extract from their resting place. mike, my father-in-law graciously offered to come over and move our barn with his big-dig*. while here he offered to go get the stones that we carried to the top of the ravine.

the barn used to live between those two trees on the left.

three front end loads later we had a huge pile of beautiful rock. the following early morning we decided to dig the path for a suitable bed for the stones. it was a job that only a large adult with a pick and shovel could accomplish. toly was a huge help shoveling loosened dirt into the wheel barrow.

first thing was to put down a layer of chat.

then we started laying the stone.

tabitha was in charge of putting the puzzle together and my job was to set the stone.

we collect rocks that exhibit certain characteristics. can you tell how many of them are in the primrose path?

it was an entire day job for several people. well, two determined adults and four distracting children.

we were incredibly bushed, sore and collapsed into bed.

i am still surprised by it each time i walk in the front door.

today we planted two double rows of beets. we love beets. then we got the most glorious rain. it was slow steady and soaking. our beets should like it. i fixed the chicken water fountain. it was in a sad state and filled with mosquito larvae. i took special pleasure in dumping the mosquito laden water for the chickens to pick through and eat. i replaced the pre-filter sock and made a reinforced screen for the top of the bucket. it hangs under the eave gutter and automatically fills when it rains. i need to hook up my other rain water tank to a second water fountain. i have been struggling with the type of filter i need to make for it. finally have an idea. now i just need the parts.

we visited our friends yesterday for a deserved break after the rocky path. it was great fun. they have a very enviable green house filled with seedlings. they also had two sows farrow. those piggies were so cute. we are going to get two of them to raise out and butcher on our farm. i still need to build that smoker.

happy happy spring...

* toly calls all large machinery big-digs. now papa's tractor is forever named big-dig
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