Matfield Green - Our first years

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Parents & children

The foal is gone. Sold I suppose after only 2 months with Mother horse. Mother and Father are back together in the big field - no longer a fence between. Does that companionship make up for the loss of the foal?

Meanwhile a pair of swallows are making there nest under the eaves on the west side of the bunkhouse literally two inches from our back door. We wonder if they know how hot it gets trackside in July.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Showers and May flowers

It continues wet and wonderful around here. I've caught up on some of the weeding in the vegetable garden. We've had lettuce for salad every day and a bowlful of strawberries for lunch earlier this week. The peas haved budded and the potatoes are almost knee-high. I bought seedlings at the hardware store in Emporia: tomatoes, peppers, melons, cukes, squash (if I remember correctly), pumpkin, cabbage, and probably something I'm forgetting. We've also got chard, and I planted bush beans the other day. It rained buckets last night so I'll probably have to wait a day or two before I do anything more. I've got kentucky wonders and fava beans ready to plan and a cover crop of soy beans to fill in the gaps. I've mulched everything with straw to keep back the weeds, so the garden looks quite beautiful in yellow and green when viewed from our new kitchen window.

The cabinets arrived on Monday - they are stunning. Simple, oak. And the appliances are here. We picked out interior colors and Bill has started to work painting. There's lots still to do, but the end is in sight. Bill moved his office out of the bunkhouse and down to the new house (there is a little office for him on the first floor next to his studio). We also bought an antique small round table for the bunkhouse - an improvement over the long folding table we've had in the there for awhile. Yes, it may limit the number of people whe have over for dinner (inside at least) but it gives us what feels like a luxurious amount of room to live in. We've brought in a rocking chair and purchased a little bassinet, which I suppose we'll keep on top of our cedar chest, so baby all should be able to live quite happily in the bunkhouse for a few weeks if we need to. And, yes, the bunkhouse is air conditioned.

The women of Matfield Green threw a shower for me and baby boy McBride on Tuesday evening at the school. It really felt like a high point of my life, in some ways. The kindness and generosity of these women, most of whom didn't know me a bit just a year ago. They each wrote a tip for taking care of a baby on an index card, which Katie and Shelby (our pre-teens) put in a little photo album for me. Kathy D. brought a July calendar and everyone had a chance to predict when the baby will be borh - date and time. We have predictions a early as July 4 (which would be a fun B-day to have) and as late as the 24th. All within the realm of on time, of course. If can have my druthers, I'll take a few days early.

Baby McBride will not lack for attention. He's quite the novelty around here. I don't think there's a little boy born around here in about 10 years, and only two girls in that time.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wet and all's well

In spite of tornadoes one hundred or so miles west of here, we are well. Soggy. Muddy. Frustrated in the weeding department. But very well. We got three inches of rain on Sunday night, after several days of stormy weather, waking up on Monday morning to roaring streams that just a week ago were ditches full of pebbles. The South Fork of the Cottonwood River has overflowed into the fields surrounding Matfield Green, and Highway 177 is closed to through traffic due to flooding between Strong City and Cottonwood Falls.

I bought $80 worth of plants on Saturday, managing to get only some of them in to the ground that afternoon. So yesterday (Monday) I went out in the mucky garden and pasted them in - thinking that they were better off in the wet ground than drying out in the dark garage. I returned to the bunkhouse with gloves, shovel, boots and overalls caked in thick clay-ey mud. Fun, actually, mucking about in the dirt, leaving deep footprints in soggy soil, if you let go of the image of what gardening is supposed to be like.

And seriously, the weeds are out of control.

Bill has taken up micology. And this is perfect weather for it. The field north of Pioneer Bluffs is loaded with a white gilled mushroom with a dunce-cap top. Bill has a couple of books about mushrooms and a lot of curiosity, so every day he's out finding something new. Every night we get out the books and look through the characteristics trying to identify what he's found...with not much success so far. Don't worry, we won't eat too much of anything until we're sure.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pregnancy update

I've had a request for some pictures to show pregnancy progress. Even happy to comply!