As most of you have probably heard by now, my family moved to 10 acres in the Ozarks this summer. We found a little place to rent while we search for our permanent homestead. I consider it our training grounds, and it’s been quite the undertaking so far.
Leave it to me to move to a farm right before the drought of the century. That’s certainly made the work harder. Still, we’ve had our share of of laughs and craziness since the move.
I should have known it would be no normal homestead when our first week on the place, the next-door neighbor’s son left their gate open, letting their two bulls loose. The farmer across the street keeps his female cattle and their calves in the field right across from our house. So neighbor #1′s bulls decided to stage a fight in my front yard to show off for neighbor #2′s girls. They took out one of my younger apple trees in the process and almost nailed the car!
We tried to join the backyard chicken craze while still in our suburban home, but the town we lived in kind of frowned on that. (Odd, since it was on the outskirts of suburbia, but I guess that’s neither here nor there.) When my son Blake was in his accident, the chickens had to go live with my sister, and we didn’t try again – for the sake of keeping the peace in our fair hamlet – until I bought some chicks from the local feed store this spring in preparation for this summer’s move. Now we have quite a few chickens and even four ducks.
One of the boys was saying just the other day that they can’t imagine life without our birds. We delight in them; one of our favorite pastimes is to sit and watch their antics in the mornings and evenings.Of course, for the second morning in a row, a chicken has streaked passed me with a snake dangling from its mouth. Apparently we have a recent hatch scarily closer to our yard and they find this quite the delicacy. I’m thoroughly creeped out and my boys are thoroughly delighted.
My dear friend and book manager came for a visit this summer. Her favorite pastime was watching the chicken rodeo. See, now that the chickens have learned where their place is, they put themselves to bed in the evenings. But at the time, they were still figuring it out, which meant they had to be rounded up. Apparently, my family rounding up chickens is a comical thing, or so I’ve heard.
That’s okay, though, because my darling cat got her back for me. You see, my friend is slightly afraid of the bigger chickens. Unfortunately, we’ve spoiled them and several of these same chickens like to jump up on our laps while we’re sitting outside in the morning or evening. So one morning, while said friend was enjoying her coffee and the serenity of the place, something jumped on the back of her chair. Certain it was a chicken, she leapt to her feet, screamed, and slung her coffee across the yard. She turned to face her attacker, only to find my little gray kitten staring at her with a bemused expression.
I used to love to take road trips – I was always game for an adventure – but lately, I’m loathe to stray too far from this little patch of land. I’ve found I’m on the adventure of a lifetime right here.
You can keep up with what’s going on at my crazy little homestead by following the blog I created to chronicle this particular quest, Off-Grid(ish).
And, while I am making every effort to stick to my new blog plan and keep up with posts, if it goes silent for a week, it’s safe to assume that I’m just busy wrangling chickens or breaking up a bullfight.