This is the latest, enhanced edition of the Llenroc Newsletter, produced with our new computer and programs. I wish our eyes (and our seats) would allow us to spend as much time in front of this screen as we need in order to take advantage of all this new technology.
Nelly, a one-year old, short-haired, hot-wired border collie is the big livestock addition to Llenroc Farm. Nelly may even be smarter than the other regular inhabitants of Llenroc. When outside, she spends all her time barking at the horses or the UPS van. When inside, she spends all her time stealing and eating anything that isn’t tied down and washing it down with water from the toilet. Just before Christmas, she ate Elaine’s leather covered Bible. She is a real quick study on quite a number of subjects. She learned to shake hands in one evening. Following a close (and thankfully not fatal) encounter with a passing car, she no longer chases cars. I wish we could get her to come when we call or to stay home without a baby sitter.
This past summer, our garden suffered a heavy loss from “Chicken Blight”. We planted row upon row of sweet corn, beans, and peas plus some pumpkins, squash, swiss chard, and beets. As soon as they sprouted, the next door chickens came over and ate all the beans, peas, and 87 percent of the corn. We ended up with all the swiss chard that three families could eat, 16 big pumpkins, two summer squash, and a few beets. This year, we’ve fenced the garden against canine and poultry depredation plus added 6 yards of aged cow manure and 2 yards of fresh horse manure. Although we’re a long ways from planting, we are expecting a bumper crop of all sorts of veggies including new, small potatoes to eat salted with butter and clams. (E-mail Llenroc18@tenforward.com) for your free pumpkin come Autumn).
Hunter/gatherers found a new event this year with the discovery of night crabbing. Carrying a shielded Coleman lantern, a rake and a sack, an intrepid night crabber sets out in the late evening of a winter night and follows the receding tide to the crabbing grounds. There, while being buffeted by unseen incoming swells, by alarmed 40 pound skates, and by inquisitive seals, you search the waters for crabs scurrying away from the light. They are easier to locate than summer crabs, less likely to be soft, and sweeter from the chase. Finding the right combination of tide, time, clear water, no wind, and nothing to do the next day is difficult, but it sure is fun when you can put them all together.
Elaine’s Mom, Phyllis Plyter, suffered a broken hip on her 82nd birthday in November. She is home after a brief hospital and nursing home stay, and mending well. Gramma Dorothy caught the Sequim Crud and was quarantined for two weeks by those who thought they could avoid catching it if they avoided those who had it. The theory didn’t work. Even the dental assistant coughs in your face. We caught it and all we missed was the pleasure of seeing Mom regularly.
It seemed as if all the heavy construction was done when we occupied the house in July ’95. However, it just keeps on. We constructed the landscaping beds, installed shrubbery, the skeleton of a garden wall including a gate, and a functioning landscape irrigation system. Then it was time to build a lean-to shed on the end of the lower barn to shelter the old Ford tractors, a concrete floor for the lower barn, concrete patios and pads outside various doors, 850 feet of buried electrical line and water pipe for the pasture irrigation system, a pond to supply the water, and a temporary fence to keep the cows off the new grass around the new pond. Then we rebuilt the fence on the Spath Road side of the property to keep Nelly out of the Ireland’s corral. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to those who helped on these tasks. About the time our big snows melted, Bob got the greenhouse bug, and went out visiting those greenhouse owners who didn’t lose their roofs to the snow. That led to a design, a trip to Oregon, several weeks of hard labor, and a resulting metal bowed, polyethylene covered, 8 ft. by 24 ft., lean-to greenhouse on the end of the barn where the trailer used to stay. Although the soil is in place, the fan hasn’t yet been installed, and no planting can commence until the fan is operational. Why not? Today, a sunny but 50 degree day outside, the greenhouse thermometer “pinned-out” at 120 degrees! It was never this hot in India! Anyone for a wilted lettuce salad?
It rained and rained and rained, the average fall was well maintained;
And when the tracks were simply bogs, it started raining cats and dogs.
After a drought of half an hour, we had a most refreshing shower;
And then, most curious thing of all, a gentle rain began to fall.
Next day but one was fairly dry, save one deluge from the sky,
Which wetted the party to the skin, and then — at last — the rain set in.
Anonymous *(could be called “February in Sequim”)
We have a lot of friends who haven’t been up to visit or haven’t been up to visit in a long time. Remember, life is short and you probably won’t get all the work done. Therefore, you might as well spend some of your time enjoying your friends and family. Besides, we want to share with you the wonderful bounty of this life with which we have been so richly , and undeservedly blessed! Raspberries, Rhubarb and Roses Just last week, we received a surprise gift from one of the Llenroc Foundation benefactors. It was a rose bush named Caldwell Pink. Seems that a certain heritage rose seller specializes in collecting old roses that have survived and bloomed without love and care. This one was found on an old farm stead in Caldwell, Texas and deemed worthy of propagation and sale. We’ve planted it against the concrete garden wall that faces south on the protected side of the house. That’s as close to Texas as we’re going to get here in Sequim, and we place it in God’s hands from this point on, although we’ll water and weed for him as needed.
It’s too bad that the editor is also such a procrastinator! Under slightly different circumstances, we’d probably have the income taxes done, all the moulding nailed up in all the closets, the Model A Ford on the road, and a fresh coat of paint on the old 9N tractor. The rock walls around the formal garden would have been mortared in place, and the built-ins constructed neatly in the master bedroom and the den. Llenroc Update would’ve been distributed in November. But, you live with what you have, and that’s all we have; and we’re thankful for it every day . May God be with you today and all of your tomorrows!
Love from Bob, Elaine, and (even) Nelly Caldwell.