Dear Old Friend,


8.53 pm. Tuesday night (NOT Wednesday night!  hard to remember what day it is sometimes!)

Dear old Friend,

I am laughing at myself!

Fifteen minutes ago I was reading your email  – my brain turned off – La La La  I was humming, sleepy,  sitting in my chair, cup of tea, dishes draining from dinner and writing a reply to you in my head when I saw your comment about Storms.  Bad Storms!
What?! I said and quickly changed to the weather site to check the ETA of this storm, (soon) then looked out the window (sheets of lightening – non stop – when did that start?) so: On with the the jacket – On with the head lamp On with the boots and out I went to put the calves into shelter and lead Sheila (bless her) through the dark and back up to the big barn. She came to my call without question, hauling herself up out of her bed, hurrying to catch up with me,  trotting along behind.  Talking. pig in house
Through the gates and fields and into the barn. The calves also bolted through their gate and straight into the rat house. I opened Pats gate for the big cows to come up off the fields in case they get hit by lightening (can lightening see in the dark? ) and checked that all the big birds were on the rafters. They were.
The wind had begun that insistent gentle swirl that it makes when bad weather is coming. Shifting air aimed from all directions. Lifting my hair, brushing my face. Like the warm air moving ahead of a train in the underground, full of the scents of dust and wet and watchfulness and black. The wind found an imperceptible sound, a faint whistle, that edged closer to my hearing. The hint of a warning.
The light attached to my head picked up the narrowing eyes of cats and rabbits and cows all stood with their heads up, quiet and still – waiting to see which way to move.
I picked up my pace and shut the big doors of the barns, barring them with bars top and bottom but leaving a gap between the doors for the wind to get in.  To lessen the force of a high wind  hitting a wide flat door.
I brought all the little plants back inside and my boots back inside too in case of rain and here I am in my chair again. Though my tea is cold now.    turkey in my chair
And already I can hear the thunder rolling in, low and continuous. With loud whip cracks hurrying it along.  The dogs have gone into hiding.
Now that I am in I see EXTREME weather alerts all over the internet, and lots of green and yellow in the radar. Looks like we might miss the worst but be hit by the tail of it. Hopefully.  But I had to laugh at myself!  Sitting here with my cup of tea. I was oblivious. turkeys
If you had not have written to me from way up there I would not have known there was a storm coming! And though Sheila would probably have been fine the calves would have got a drenching!  I just put them back out this morning!turkeys
turkeys and peahen
Have a great evening my dear old friend.  Batten down the hatches. I think it is coming your way too!
I love a good thunderstorm. The high winds are not so good though.
Love c
PS I have a couple of turkeys for sale. Interested? Immediate delivery!

57 Comments on “Dear Old Friend,

  1. We have birds coming into our home too but way smaller 😀 Swallows, sun birds and the like.
    Have a beautiful day C.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Hope that you are all safe and dry and that the storm has passed  

    Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 1:31 PM

  3. I’m sure those turkeys had something to do with the weather in order to gain access to the house 😉

  4. Careful, looks as those your birds much prefer your house to the Peacock Palace! Super neat seeing your dining room area! How do you keep the floors so shiny with all the human and animal traffic? My wood floors are dullish, as I don’t mop all that often. But they just get dirty again so quickly it seems a waste of time to do it too often!

  5. Oh no, just when I was thinking how pretty they all looked inside 🙂 Laura

  6. OH What NAUGHTY BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!! In your beautiful CHAIR too!!!!!! Oh DEAR!!! Although, I have to admit the chair and the black turkey make for a beautiful picture! Can you just imagine the conversation as they were touring the house?

    Onyx: Why Geraldine, I think I will try out this chair. It is just Lovely.
    Geraldine: OH – Onyx, you do look just LOVELY in that Chair.
    Flame: Oh Girls – Come see the DINING room!!!! This MUST be where Miss C eats all those lovely vegetables from the garden. Wouldn’t you just love to dine in here with her?
    Geraldine: That Tima is right – this house is devine, but I hear Miss C coming….. Come with me ladies – I think it’s best if we go meet her at the door…..

  7. I am so confused reading your post on the day it is written; was it Wed night or Tues night?? Lovely photos. It is very blustery here in Southern Ohio today!

  8. I think you are a day early with this post, Miss C … it would seem all this happened on Tuesday evening ’cause it is only now Wednesday morning … or maybe you’re just staying a few steps ahead of the rest of us!! :o)

  9. it’s all about hunkering down and surviving when that kind of storm lets loose. I reckon your birds knew the best place to be. I hope it’s calmed down again by now and you’ve made yourself another cup of tea.
    Stay safe,
    ViV xox

  10. The birds in the house looked so charming — so charming, that is, until I saw what they were leaving behind. Nasty birds! Yes, time to fatten up and be done with it.
    The cows out in the sunshine look so calming and pastoral, but I wondered about them turning the ground to mush. Did it dry up that quickly? I’ve heard you mention the ‘rat house’ once or twice before but don’t recall any explanation for it. What is the ‘rat house’? Sheila looks so comfy in her little hut.
    Lovely photos. We have rain in the forecast for today and it is rather grey out there this morning. Did you get much rain? Have a great day! ~ Mame 🙂

    • The rat house is a big shed that sits in the rat house paddock. Until this last summer the shed was filled to the brim with old junk and old cars and when I first came to live here 10 years ago it was heaving with rats. So I sold the old grain bin that had been feeding the rats and the dogs and I cleaned out the rats. But it is still called the rat house. The field that the cows are in is their winter field. I nominate one each year on a rotation and it is called the sacrifice paddock. Basically they spread manure on the sacrifice paddock all winter. In the spring the sacrifice paddock is resown into new pasture and is closed for most of the summer. The concrete yards are horrible in the rain, they can stand there a few days over the worst of the wet but they get so filthy and I can’t stand it. And it is not healthy for a milking cow. So they are out in their field instead.. Does that make sense? c

      • Ah, yes, the sacrifice field… I do recall you telling us about that. Muddy fields or filthy concrete… not sure it does make a whole lot of sense, would seem a toss-up to me… heh heh But I am guessing somehow the muddy field must somehow be cleaner.
        But the rat house is new to me… ‘heaving with rats’, you say? Ugh! That would be horribly disconcerting… so glad you were able to clear them away.
        Thanks for the elaboration 🙂

  11. That photo of the veeeeeery contented pig sleeping in the sunshine is just wonderful – so wonderful I’m going to ‘paste it’ to my desktop as reminded to enjoy the little things in life and to just ‘chillax’!!
    About the storm – I’m so glad you got everyone and safe in time. It is very easy, when inside, to have no idea what’s about to happen outside. You’re just a good writer than I know we all feel like we were there, trotting along with you just like Sheila. ; o )

  12. So very glad you got the news in time. I heard of the storms on the local news last night and always worry at such information, wondering if you and the farm will be in a direct path of trouble. I was VERY glad to see a post appear when I opened my computer this morning 🙂

  13. Snorts! I love it your living on the farm. Everyone everywhere – I think I would fit right in. XOXO – Bacon

  14. I like that you straight away knew what had to be done, who was OK, who had to come in and in what order. You might think ‘well of course’, but for the rest of us thought and planning would have been needed. Love the description of the rising wind ruffling feathers, fur and nerves. Hope it has passed over, all is well and animals and buildings are safe.

  15. I love the wind, and the lightening and thunder, and gentle rain, but not lashing rain. But when the wind becomes a gale and the lightning extreme I then follow the lead of Boomer and my cats and hurry inside!


  16. Who wouldn’t be interested n house turkeys?

    It really is amazing how our brains can be so focused on what we are doing that we don’t notice what is going on around us. I do that when I am reading. I go to another place in my head. Stay safe in the storms!

  17. All of the trust you build in your brood (and herd) pays off when you go off script and they gladly follow. I’m glad everyone stayed safe and dry. Did you reheat your tea or make a fresh batch?

  18. Good that the animals listen to you! I’m sure the urgency in your voice was enough to make them REALLY listen!


    “Like the warm air moving
    ahead of a train in the underground,
    full of the scents of dust and wet
    and watchfulness and black.”

    (Sometimes I find little poems in your words and pictures, and they get me smiling again.)

  20. Your words paint movies in my head – complete with sound and the fury of the wind! When I finish reading I find I take a deep breath and it is like I break back into reality here in my cozy study. Glad you are all safe and sound.

  21. So it’s true that tea has a way of soothing into total oblivion. HA HA. Glad you got tipped off – or you would have fretted and worried during the storm
    That next to last picture is really funny – the shapes of the chair backs mirror the turkey shapes.

    • Or worse I would have run out into the storm to bring sheila in and she is a big old girl – she would have been just fine!! As it turned out the storm was all noise and wind. c

  22. Delightful photos today. The coloring of the turkeys is unlike any turkey I have ever seen! But no matter how lovely they my be, I would not want them in my home. Crazy turkeys! Another priceless photo of Sheila in your collection today.

  23. I gave my 4 yo granddaughter her book of the farmy’s animals and walked her through it, naming names. She called me last night, wanting to know the pig’s name. “Sheila” said I. “Oh, Sheila” said she, itch scratched. I’m leaving tomorrow for my trip to Washington State where I’ll get dental work done by a very generous and compassionate friend who’s a dentist, see some friends, eat some BLT salad at my friend Lynn’s restaurant and see more friends. I’m taking my laptop with me. Much love from near and afar, Gayle

  24. p.s. I lived in Longview, WA for 6 years. Also, I love the upholstery on the chair/chaise longue.

  25. Good of that turkey to keep your seat warm for you, very thoughtful indeed 🙂

  26. I had to come back and let you know i loved everything about this post. I worry about the animals in the weather. I’m so glad you took care of them. I’m terrified of lightning. You write such beautiful words and your photos of birds in the house and Sheila in hers are just heart warmers. I’m glad the whistling wind passed you by. I know that sound and have been there.

  27. Hmm, turkey for Easter dinner??? Naughty birds. Glad everyone was gotten in and safe even if it didn’t storm like mad. I thought we’d have more of a storm here but only had rumblings, lightning and wind, not much rain at all – mostly the worst was north of us. Smoky spent the evening hiding behind the chair shaking (his tags rattle against the wall with his shivering in fear, poor beast), it’s hard being a dog that’s afraid of thunder.

    • Enter Rescue Remedy. It’s homeopathic and is for animals as well as us bipeds. It WORKS!!! Google it. Love, Gayle

      • I did try that Gayle, Smoky is just not one of those dogs that will calm down once he is in freak-out mode. The only thing that has helped are calm collars (a little, since it stopped him from trying to climb to the ceiling – we once found him up on top of the kitchen cabinets inside the soffit after he had walked across the suspended ceiling, fallen, climbed back up and gotten in the soffit). The calm collars are infused with the pheromones of a lactating female dog, they have to be replaced monthly but it’s more than worth the cost. I had tried a homemade thunder shirt (a somewhat compressive shirt that is supposed to help the dog feel more secure – he chewed that off). I suspect that his origins did nothing to help the poor creature, he was born in a garage full of construction debris and which was more or less part of that debris. My spouse brought him home at about six to seven weeks old because the mother took off and left 13 puppies. I could not say no under the circumstances. He would not be rehomeable if anything happened to us, he’s 12 and a half now so hopefully that won’t be an issue. I do appreciate the suggestion, Rescue Remedy worked fine on my other dogs and we sold it in the store I had as well (I owned Sanctuary Crystals for awhile before the economy crashed and we had to close). Have a beautiful day.

  28. I’m a day late and a dollar short but I love that toad!

  29. All over as I write our Thursday morning and hopefully nought on the farmy out of place. Actually I too knew of your storms and possible tornadoes ere they hit from comments made in letters – I now have the Chicago Weather Bureau on my computer ‘favourites’ to be able to look and cross fingers when ill threatens 🙂 ! [An extra prayer won’t hurt!] Still rather windy for you until about Saturday . . . but no tornado warnings and they would worry me silly! That said the ‘boidies’ are making themselves rather comfortable when Miss C is not around!! Hmmm!!! Even in her bestest reading chair 🙂 !

      • 🙂 ! You see . . . had both my fingers and toes crossed and nearly emailed you until silly-billy me realized it was 3am on your spring morning !!! Hmm, either nasty things had already happened or you were peacefully asleep whilst I was watching your Weather Bureau showing scary maps and films !!!

  30. i would love to have those turkeys

    is west virginia on the delivery route?

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