Matfield Green - Our first years

Monday, June 18, 2007

June Talkington

Matfield Green lost a much-loved elder on Sunday June 10. I thought of June Talkington as a quite man with an easy smile, a fiddle player, generous with his memories of driving cattle to the corral on what is now our property in the 1940s. June and his wife Phyllis have supplied the pig for our annual pig roast every year since it's inception, along with lots of great advice from June about the cooking of said pig. Not surprisingly, the parking lot and the pews were full for his funeral at the Flint Hills Community Christian Church last Thursday and, fittingly, there was lots of beautiful music by Annie Wilson and friends. I'll Fly Away made me cry. His grandchildren remembered him as the man with the unconditional bear hugs.

Folks gathered in the rain at the Matfield Cemetary for June's interment and then proceeded to the Ladies Aid building at our community church for cookies and coffee organized by the wonderful Barb Armstrong.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pale beards tongue

These beautiful flowers gave us a month of pleasure as volunteers in the hard ground between the bunkhouse and the tracks. They have now faded away only to be replaced by a small sea of purple-headed coneflowers. Amazing!

Planes and Trains

Ted and Peggy Wolff visited from Chicago last weekend. We took a break from trainwatching (Ted's passion) on Saturday evening and drove 50 miles south to Beaumont. We gazed in awe at the pasture full of 300 foot tall wind turbines on Pete Ferrell's ranch. Driving down the road to a more secluded part of the ranch, Bill bathed his feet at the foot of a waterfall, while Ted, Peggy and I identified trees on the banks of the rock-bottomed creek. Lovely.

We proceeded from there to the Beaumont Hotel where dinner was buffalo burgers and KC strip, followed by blueberry cobbler and ice cream. But the highlight of the evening was outside on the street, where four or five small planes and two helicopters pulled right up and parked outside the restaurant. As it says in the brochure, "Pilots land on teh Beaumont Hotel's 2600 foot long native grass airstrip, taxi down the paved county road, stop at the stop sign on Main Street and park right next to the hotel."

We went outside after dinner and were treated to quite a show of planes swooping, turning and dipping as the pilot's took advantage of the late-setting sun, taking off for Wichita, and perhaps points beyond, with plenty of light to spare after their stop for dinner in Beaumont.

Ted and Peggy left on Sunday morning and Bill and I retraced our drive south on 177 that afternoon, this time for a "Chili Feed" under a tent at the holiday home of Gerry & Kathleen Brazil near Eureka, KS. We battled the cattle for a parking space in the pasture adjacent to the Brazil's yard, where we enjoyed great conversation and spicy chili at their annual gathering. Jack Casner documented my pregnancy progress for the photo below.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Heating up

It's hot today for really the first time. High 80s I suppose. The garden is crying out for water - I'll respond when I get home from work. As our new house takes shape (Bill is done painting, the cabinets and appliances are in, Pat 1/2 done putting up the siding, and the ground is now dry enough that the contractors are beginning the work to erect our wind tower) ... as our new house takes shape one of my favorite things about it is being able to look out the upstairs window and see the garden, all in green and yellow. Plants green and yellow straw for mulch. I'm going crazy but not overboard on the straw to conserve water and hold back the weeds.

There is a green tomatoe on one of the plants.

We've been eating chard, collards and peas, in addition to lettuce and strawberries. And the beans are about 4 inches tall - strong and proud in there many rows in spite of a some bug bitten leaves. I planted Kentucky Wonders, bush beans (a nice black dry bean), favas, yellow wax and soy beans. Oops, may have told you that already.

Meanwhile baby is growing apace. Not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to bicycle to work with this stomach in the way.