Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Life on the farm

Had a very nice (re: relaxing!) long Memorial Day weekend on the farm in Virginia. It's SO amazingly green here...we must have been lucky, not a lick of rain the entire time! During my lazy few days I did manage to peek in and read about Ryder's amazing Giro win. How great for American Cycling (even tho he's Canadian). And what an exciting race! Nice to have a Grand Tour come down to the final day...it just can't get better than that.

 OK...on to the weekend in pictures!
 My bro-in-law John sneaks a nap in the hammock while the Guinnie-hens (NO idea how to spell that, and spell-check is also at a loss) roam the yard.
 A tasty dinner out on the deck, Jeannie, Barb (Jeannie's friend from Norfolk) and John

 After dinner treat: home-made vanilla/mint ice cream, made with fresh goat-milk heavy cream and mint yanked from the garden hours before the making. Tasty beyond BELIEF! This recipe could make John a fortune I swear!
 Matt, the dog whisperer. Dogs LOVE me. That's Bosley (black) and Domini (white)...the "Pupples".

 Bosley focused on the objective. He LOVES to play fetch. He can run much faster than you'd think.

This is Marmaduck. She and 3 other ducks were the 'house-ducks' and the people were moving, so John took them. He dropped them off at the pond on his property, and a week or so later only this one was left (apparently there are 'critters' snacking on duck down there). She stays up at the house now, hanging out w/ her new friends the chickens and goats.

 Jeannie felt sorry for Marma so bought her a pool at Walmart. Marma LOVES her new duck-pond! You should see her splashing around, bathing, swimming...like a duck on water!

As we sit on the porch there are at least a dozen hummingbirds buzzing about the feeders, fighting for space in the sipping-spots. Turns out it's pretty hard to get a decent shot of a hummingbird!

I take pictures of this old house every time I'm here (our view as we sip coffee from the front porch). Today it's got a nice batch of thistle blooms in the foreground.
 OK...on to the weekend in pictures!

This is the cows. That's Bebe (the bald-faced Angus/Holstien cross) in the back left (has a white face). She's a keeper, as is the other lady on the far right. That's Sir-Loin 1 and Sir-Loin-2 (the steers) staring at me. Maybe I shouldn't be following them with a hamburger bun? (sorry, that's mean!)
And a view of the old dairy barn (near the wind generator) and the goat/turkey barn (on the left). The field was JUST bailed today by John's friend and neighbor Ken. Ken and Brenda have a farm just a bit away, with like 14 horses, dozens of goats and cows, and everything inbetween. I can't IMAGINE being a real farmer. It's not a 9-5 job by any means, more like a 5-9 job (Ken was driving the tractor doing the bailing all day on Mem Day while WE lounged around drinking beer and living the vacation life).

That's all the pics for this week...I have literally dozens more but paired it down to just these. Hope everybody had a wonderful holiday weekend. Today it's back to the air for Jeannie and I, as we fly home in mere hours (don't get home until midnight Calif time). Tomorrow is a work day too. Ugh...back to the grind.



  1. O wow -- homemade goat's milk ice cream?! You're not messing around! Just found the blog, and I'm looking forward to seeing/reading more great bike rides like that one at AFA...

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I was over in England from Jan thru Apr, had my road bike there...some real fun rides when the weather cooperates (I posted tons of pics from those rides). Now I'm back home to Cali (Central Coast) hopefully for a while...so my rides will be local for a bit (thankfully!) But I always like to ride new places!

  2. This is my first visit, a result of following the Trailer Park cyclist. Nice blog!

    They're Guinea hens. We used to have 10. Loudest bloody animal every evolved. When you get time, stop by Midlife in the Fast Lane, my blog.


    1. And thanks also Brian for stopping by. Couldn't figure how you guys got linked here, then checked back @ TJ's site and saw he added me to his blog roll (I've had him in my VERY SHORT list for some time now...he's got an amazing writing style and is quite a humorous read!)

      AHHH! Guinea hens...knew it was something like that...stupid spellcheck...what good is it? Yes, they get quite skwaky when excited..but it's pretty fun to watch them cruise around...man can they cover some ground! And pretty freaky looking too. There used to be a bunch on the farm, but the rest got picked off, these 2 have been the survivors for some time now.

      I'll swing by your site now and then...always looking for new places!

  3. Man, that farm life looks sweet! I have a suspicion that driving that tractor is as much fun as riding a bike.

    John looks to be doing life right.

    Matt, every once in a while when I find myself trying to get spell check to understand my convoluted spelling, I reach for this 42 year old Webster dictionary that I keep on my desk.

    Guinea Hen, a gray-spotted species of pheasant native to Africa, is in there.

    Also: Guinea, a British coin worth 21 shillings. Did you bring any of those back with you?

    And lastly: Guinea Pig, a prolific South American rodent used extensively for experimental purposes.

    I'm looking forward to reading ride reports from my old Air Force stomping grounds. And thanks for the kind words about my typing.

    yer pal,


  4. Hey Matt - looks like you had a nice, relaxing time on the farm! I'm glad because you've been working so much lately, I was getting worried for ya! Will you be home the next 3 months? Also - any chance you can start your NBC Sports (ne Versus) package this weekend or next? And keep it thru August? That way you'll be able to see not only the 2 pre-Tour race NBCS is covering, but also the Olympic stuff on that NBC channel AND the Tour of Colorado & of course, da Tour DAY France!

    And now my fellow sports fans, here's a rundown of what's on tap for the next 3 months : the continuation of the hockey Finals, NBA conferences & then Finals series & another week of the French Open tennis. And then :

    Dauphine (cycling) : 6/3 - 6/10
    Visa USA Gymnastics Championships : 6/7 - 6/10
    Tour de Susie (cycling) : 6/9 - 6/17
    EURO 2012 soccer Tournament : 6/8 - 7/1
    U.S.Open Golf Tourn/Championship : 6/14 - 6/17
    US Olympic Track & Field Trials : 6/21 - 7/1
    US Olympic Swimming Trials : 6/25 - 7/2
    US Olympic Gymnastics Trials : 6/28 - 7/1 (not 2b confused with USA Gym Champ 2 weeks before..;)
    TOUR DE FRANCE : 6/30 - 7/22
    OLYMPICS : 7/27 - 8/12

    Man, that last week of June into July is a killer! Sleep? Who needs sleep?!

  5. And I'm still not over the giddiness of Ryder/Garmin winning the Giro! Whoo-hooooo! I did come into the office last Saturday so I could watch that stage & CVV was just FABulous! My god, he seemed to pull the entire bunch up that final mountain forever! I must say I was mystified with the tactics of J-Rod, Scarponi & Basso's teams as they KNEW they had to put time into Ryder that day or Ryder's better TT skills would kill their overall chances, but instead of attacking Ryder, they all just wheel-sucked behind him & CVV almost til the line. I guess they were attempting to tire CVV out, isolate Ryder & THEN attack him. Well, they lost themselves a shot at the trophy 'cause CVV kept chuggin' up the mt! And Ryder of course was just magnificent thru the entire Giro. So happy for him!

    Which actually brings a weird situation to the Tour. Does Ryder go as support for CVV, which *I* think he damn well should? But, now that he won the Giro & Canadian TV has realized they have a champion cyclist of their own, they're gonna start & keep asking why Ryder doesn't win EVERYthing - you know how that goes. Maybe the best thing for this year is for him to sit this Tour out & Tommy D & Dan Martin will be CVV's main mt supporters. And then NEXT year, Ryder will be Garmin's Tour GC guy. This is probably CVV's last real shot at the Tour podium & with a course seemingly set for his strengths, I would be livid if he was not given the opportunity.

    What do you all think?

    And almost forgot - I've actually visited the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs! It was more than 30 years ago but the thing I remember most is the chapel.

    Later gators!

  6. OH! And howdy to the newcomers! Hope ya'll are Tour de France fans! :)