Wednesday, March 28, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

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Oh, but anyway, Toto, we're home. Home! And this is my room, and you're all here. And I'm not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and - oh, Auntie Em - there's no place like home!

I have been feeling a little bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz these past few weeks, ever since arriving back in the Midwest after living on a Hawaiian coffee farm this winter.

Have you ever noticed when you leave some place then come back again, everything seems bright, shiny and new?  Or maybe just fresher, greener and sunshiny-er?

I always tell my husband, "The best thing about traveling is coming home again."


Not that we don't enjoy our adventures, mind you.  We do.  And there will be more, I'm sure.  There will always be more adventures when half of your spirit wants to constantly be on the move, and the other half wants to plant itself firmly in farm ground.

We've been busy little beavers since our return to western WI, where I have taken up residence once again in my friends' bunkhouse - this time however with my sweetie beside me (and our kitties!).

{Note: Our friends here are pretty much saints we've decided.}


Together we have been doing a lot of fenceline clearing since it's high tensile electric and even tall grass will take the charge out of it.

{If you ever want to freak out your grown child, walk into the bedroom carrying a scythe like the one above. She will run screaming from the room in no time. I blame too many scary movies myself.}

Unfortunately most of the brush growing along the fence is now raspberry brambles and buckthorn saplings.  Ouch.

My arms have never been so scratched but it was a great excuse for Papa Bear and I to go shopping at the Amish Walmart, which is actually just an Amish farmer that sells everything from machetes (we got two - his & hers - at $3.50/ea) to scrap metal to lambs (we put a deposit down on a small flock) to overstock produce (we bought an entire BOX of bananas for $6.50).

Really people, where else can you buy machetes AND lambs AND bananas, all at the same place?  The farmer also tried selling us 400 laying hens but we declined. You've got to draw the line somewhere, and after all, we had just bought an entire never-ending-box of bananas.

When we're not outside working the fencelines we've been inside feverishly slicing and drying bananas in the new dehydrator given to us recently by Papa Bear's mom (thanks again for the early birthday gift - I love it!).

{Note to Self:  Before buying an entire box of never-ending-ripe bananas in the future, please invest in multiple dehydrators.}


We got through 7 batches (at 10-11 hours/batch) before the bananas turned too soft to cut, then froze the rest for banana bread yumminess later.

We attended our first ever cattle auction (grass fed) and were astounded at the prices they were fetching (up to $1.90/pound!). There were a few conventionally grown cows sold at the end who went for $1.02-$1.22/pound, a testament to the fact that more and more people want clean food and are willing to pay top dollar for it.



We've been doing a bit of farm-sitting  here and there and taking every chance we can to run next door to visit the neighbors cows, sheep, new lambs and of course their bottle-baby Puppy, who has completely stolen my heart (and hubby's too I think).

{Yes that is a beer bottle above. And no, we had nothing to do with that.} 


We've also been enjoying the 2 newly hatched chickens (Vim & Vigor, since they were the only 2 to survive) and everybody knows peeps RULE in my cuteness category, right up there with baby lambs and alpacas.  And kitties.  And bunnies, although I haven't gotten any of those.

Yet.

Oh, and of course, in the evenings and weekends, we're still farm shopping.  This time however it is much easier with sweetie beside me to check out our favorite listings.  We hope to have good news on how this is progressing very soon.

Whew.  Are you tired yet?  I am.

That's the news from Western Wisconsin, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.  (I know I know, that's actually Lake Wobegon in MN.  But it still applies.)

Until next time -

Victoria

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