Sunday, September 12, 2021

Home at Last

Four years ago, I moved home. 

Home to Calamity Acres. 

It was a real move home for me, from the big, nice house where Keith died. 

I had told him I would not do it, but when faced with selling one of the two properties, 
I knew the large house/nice yard would sell faster than this old house. 

Today, it would be different, both would sell fast. 

I had been in the big house for so short a time there was only a tiny, tiny profit, but it 
did not matter.  I came home. 

Today is the fourth anniversary. 

On the tenth, I stepped out on the deck to start chores and was greeted with 
an eerie bright red sun rising through smoky haze.  Smoke from the western fires. 

I ran in and got the Canon camera. 

That is the sun I saw.  

Many others did, too, because my FB feed filled with pictures. 


The tenth was also Keith's 62nd birthday.... and my step-son Brandon's 29th. 
I wish they were both still here to celebrate. 

We have a new ice house at the Ag Hall.... courtesy of a board member who 
had it moved and transported from a local farm.  It took out the chicken yard, so 
I don't know what that means for the future.  Because of the pandemic, we have had 
no chickens there the last two years. 

Warning.... graphic photo next: 

Wednesday night, I had noticed one of the three black cochins walking slowly in front of me. 
Her comb and face were pale blueish purple.  I thought to myself "Not enough oxygen", but she seemed to be walking okay. 

When I went to lock up the big henhouse, she was on the floor UNDER the roosts, but seemed alert.  It's just that I knew then she could not make it the foot or two to roost.  I shook my head and said goodnight to her, and I always thank the hens, even though so few are laying now. 

The next morning, I found her like this.  She had managed to move forward about eight feet, but died right next to the water fountain.  

It was her time, she was almost six years old. 

I carried her down to the pasture, where she laid for two days. 

This is all that is left... some animal was able to make a meal of her, as it should be. 

Here are ferals Wanda (by the bowl) and Yeller on the deck this morning.  I haul myself out of bed in the dark every day and put a bowl of cat food out by the water basin. 

Almost every morning, they come up to eat.  

They also have bowls and get wet cat food in the shop in the morning and evening... and then I collect ALL cat food 
and bring it in because of the raccoons.  

You can barely see it in the shadow, but there is a food bowl and a water fortex in the shade there by the 
walk gate to the pasture.   I know Cleo and Rusty eat from it, I have them on camera. 
I bring it in, too. 

There is food in the original feral cat feeder, too, but I think Rusty is the only one 
who knows to jump up in it.  
And the raccoons, of course. 

There is little Wanda having a siesta in the sun the other day in my garage. 
She won't ever be tame enough to pet... but she does let me get fairly close. 

Yeller is an intact male, he did not come from Kitty Cat Connection. 
He is going to have to be trapped, at some point. 

He has a large wound on  his neck, you can just see it in this picture, but I saw him today and it appears to have closed up and is healing. 

Here goes the beautiful Cleo across the deck to eat. 

Cleo and I play a game.  Cleo pops her head up while I am out doing chores, and stares until I stop what I am doing and go get her a saucer of canned food.  It works every time. 

Here go two of the younger six pullets across the yard.  Every morning, I let them 
out of the little hen house and  they immediately run to the back of the pen and fly up over the fence. 
I cannot let their Silkie roommates run free, the big roosters would kill the little hens by breeding them, 
and even though Doug, the Killer Cotton Ball, is brave, he is no match for the big roosters. 

(Doug, the Killer Cotton Ball, on the left, with part of his harem) 

The pullets let themselves out, though, and run around all day long with the other birds. 

There goes Buddy at the gallop, trying to ride herd on them.  There were two more behind him

There is another eating from the worn out squirrel feeder. 

Two of these birds are laying now... remember, there is one new pullet about three weeks older than they, and she is definitely laying and is a beautiful bird. 

This is a sweet potato vine on the deck. 

And there is a sweet potato growing under it... there are actually two of them. 

I really enjoyed growing coleus this year, after not growing it for many years. 
I'm planning on something for next year with it. 

Since the sheep left a month ago today, I have been mowing the pasture. 

This tree has already turned in the northeast corner.  It was beautiful. 

And in the bottom tier, which I leave tall for the wild things, is a beautiful kind of graceful miscanthus-type grass, that shines so pink in the sun morning and evening.

Stella d'Oro re-blooming. 

There is one more to go. 

The VA had flags flying for the 11th when I went to visit Keith on 
his birthday (the tenth).  It was a beautiful sight. 

I hope we never experience anything like that again in our dear country. 

Let's all hope fall comes soon!  I'm ready for it! 


  1. I love your blog and all the pictures that you include. You have a lovely place, there. It must be bittersweet, remembering family birthdays like that. I had a cat named Cleo when I was a little girl. -Jenn

  2. Beautiful pictures, lovely cats, hens you have. The potato vines is big. Happy birthday to Keith.

  3. Hari OM
    ...the circle of life knows how to turn on Calamity Acres! I can't quite believe you've been back four years already. You have made it fully your own, Mary Ann - a wonderful thing. YAM xx

  4. I'm glad you are home Mary Ann. I know you work harder there, but I'm sure you are so much happier at the farm. I would be. Fall is coming. I'll be glad for cooler temps. Not cold weather, but cool.

  5. I too am ready for cooler fall days, although i will miss summer. It seems to go faster every year. Glad you feel so at home there. I think you made the best choice for you. We need to feel comfortable where we live and you seem to thrive there where you are.

  6. "Kiiler Cotton Ball" -- what a perfect, hilarious name! I'm glad you've come home; you are clearly happy there. Love to see the critters. Happy Fall!

  7. You have had some sad anniversaries. That is always a difficult time. Yet you still do so much for the animals under your care and even think of the wildlings. Hang in there. God bless you.

  8. Mary Ann, I hope you are happier here than you would have been staying at the larger place. It seems like you are even though sad memories arise among the happy ones. Your sun capture is lovely! You mentioned seeing my son's pictures on Instagram and I wondered if you post there. If you do please send me the name and I'll follow you. I don't post at all there but I do enjoy seeing family and friends posts there. And when I see pictures of your hens at Calamity Acres it always makes me miss our hens. But our neighbor at this new house has chickens so we benefit from their eggs and his garden produce that he so graciously shares with us.

    I love your sweet potato vine! Each year I mean to plant one and then forget.


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