AUGUST 2018, ISSUE #207

A lovely, even-paced month in which we put up a new street sign, got wet at the farmers market, began leveling the Spot garden, enjoyed a walk at Jordan Lake Dam, busied ourselves in the kitchen, and kept an eye on Shelley’s livestock.




Bob thought we should replace our splintered, wooden house numbers with a painted stainless steel sign bearing the TroutsFarm logo. So we did.




Bob used a trip to Raleigh as an excuse to stop for an Impossible Burger and fries. Camille laid out one days harvest of peppers and tomatoes on one of two new kitchen towels. The towel and plum tomatoes were Shelley’s peremptory thank you gift for tending her animals while she went a visiting family. The sweet Jimmy Nardello, pimento, and shishito peppers and sun gold cherry tomatoes came from our back yard, off plants we started from seed in February.




When Bob arrives home with three or four big sacks of locally grown produce, Camille sometimes thinks he’s gotten carried away, but on this week he very nearly did when a gully washer swept through Pittsboro’s Thursday afternoon farmer’s market.




No petunias this year. We’re investing in perennials like this flamboyant Dianthus.




Our next door neighbor, Buffy, has been hatching luna moth eggs on her back porch and it appears one of them found its way to our back porch. This impressive specimen measured close to five inches across. They don’t live very long in their moth attire, so it is unusual to see them.

It rained nearly every day for the first two weeks of August, and during at least one downpour the birds flew up under the front porch roof and used Spot as a dry perch.




Shelley’s cat, Lucy, was happy to see Camille when she arrived each day.




It wasn’t planned, but Shelley now has two roosters. The latest clutch of chicks was supposed to be all female. She now has nine birds: seven layers, and two crowers.




After feeding Lucy and counting the chickens, Camille collected perfect and often warm-to-the-touch blue and brown eggs.




We aren’t getting any younger, so are beginning to simplify our yard for easier maintenance. Take the Spot Garden. Now that Spot has moved onto the porch to slow down the rust, and now that we destroyed the pampas grass (fire’s supposed to be good for them!), the next logical step is turn it to lawn. Camille initiated the process by pick axing out the landscape timbers. With Bob’s help, of course.



Yep, we’re turning into a cute old couple. We both grew up in spitting distance of the Atlantic Ocean and find great comfort in open water.




There is a healthy bird population at the lake. We enjoy watching the vultures watching us, and seeing the ospreys dive straight into the water and come out with fish in their talons. There are cormorants perched on the buoys, we usually see at least one blue heron working the shoreline, and Camille once saw a pair of bald eagles.


Negative ions are exhilarating!




All that rushing water creates enough electricity to power 4,000 homes. Kudos to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Hydro Matrix Partnership.




Camille looks for blue herons on the far shore. Wildflowers abound down by the spillway. A scant five miles from our back door, Joradn Lake is much more than the sum of its parts. It is not just a recreational center, hydro plant, and wildlife refuge, it’s a place we can go any time we want to see open water, or sit in the wooden rockers outside the visitor center, or hang out down at the tail race to watch fishermen throw their nets, or to do some bird watching, bring a picnic, or bathe in feel-good ions at the spillway.




The beginning of a batch of Cashew Cheez which involves fermenting ground cashews with sauerkraut juice, then combining with coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. And a batch of Ultimate Veggie Burgers made from lentils, cashews, gluten flour and various spices. Both freeze well and make for handy, last minute, menu options.




Meanwhile, out in Colorado, our grandson Nolan is experiencing an idyllic childhood with lots of time in the great out of doors, nourishing noms, and devoted companions.



“The flip side to the pursuit of happiness is the belief that, if you aren’t fulfilled or happy, you have failed in some respect. And if you turn to a drug to make you happy, then you are still failing by not being self-reliant, which is another trait our culture values highly. A drug company can’t just sell Prozac as a product that will make you feel better because that would violate our ideal of who we are supposed to be. But if you can persuade people that their malaise is an illness, a biochemical imbalance no different in some respects from diabetes, then you can also persuade them to take drugs for it without violating that tenet of self-reliance.” – Gary Greenberg

“But Henry was pretty irritating himself, with his steadfast way of remaining naive, as though life were just what a Sears catalogue told you it was: everyone standing around smiling.”- Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou



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[Troutsfarm] * [August, 2018]