After 8 months of trying to figure out how to be able to visit my dad, I think we've got it! He and I both recognize that with my health concerns, his house is probably not the best place for me to spend time as he smokes e-cigs and cigarettes, neither of which are things I can tolerate right now. Even if he only smoked outside while I visited, I am still concerned about residue left in his space, especially when it comes to sleeping there. So, my grandma and aunt came to the rescue with an offer to stay with them when I visit. They are just up the road from my dad, have a great guest room and nobody smokes inside their house. We tested the arrangement out last weekend and it worked splendidly! It was like a 3-4-1 as I got to catch up with my grandma, my aunt and my dad as I split my time between the two places. I am so glad to have found a solution!
It was a quick visit so I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I did catch a few shots.
The wild blackberries were just starting to ripen so I found a few here and there are we walked around the property. We also found chicken of the woods and oyster mushrooms some of which were eaten right away in a delicious pasta dinner!
Speaking of chickens, both households are raising chickens and my Aunt Audrey is even raising a few ducklings. It was interesting to see the differences in flock behavior when there is a rooster around. The shots above are of Nugget. He is one of my dad's roosters and the only flock member at my dad's house that has a name. He is low on the pecking order but still crows loudly and struts around like he owns the place. I have to say after being around a few roosters, I am just fine with my all-female flock. I find that the drama level is happily low without a rooster. Since my dad and Audrey incubate and hatch their own chickens, having roosters is a necessity for them. They are sure pretty, especially the barred rock roosters.
A lot of the time on my trip was spent harvesting produce out of my dad's garden. His soil is sandy, so the root crops do really well in his garden. This freshly picked carrots smelled so good!
It never ceases to amuse me that my dad has this enormous, plentiful and abundant garden yet he isn't a huge consumer of vegetables. He is introducing more of them into his diet, so I must give him credit where credit is due. That said, I took a carload of veggies home and barely made a dent in his garden!
I am not sure what I am going to do with the enormous turnip I brought back. Any ideas?
I have never seen how black eyed peas grow before. They are like fireworks coming out of the plant!
In both my dad's and my grandma's gardens, I saw this type of bee. Do you know anything about it? I looked at some guides online to see if I could find out if it is a good thing that they have tons of these or if it is a concern. Please share any wisdom you have!
My dad taking a rest (downwind).
Audrey's dog Rudy likes car rides and belly rubs. He is a loving, simple dog who very recently survived being hit by a car, which is why his eyes look a little funny. I really enjoyed being around him for part of the weekend. Paul and I have been really noticing how much we miss having a dog in our life lately and Rudy was happy to accept all of the extra affection I had to offer.
Now that I have a situation that works for me up north, I am hoping to go back again soon. By that time Rudy will need another good belly rub from me and maybe those ducklings will be laying eggs!