The other day an old friend of mine told me that my life (as seen via Facebook, this blog, etc.) seems "idyllic". Which got me thinking -- what's so idyllic about it?
Well, it's beautiful in the morning. And the evening. And there are some awfully nice places to sit and read a book (if you don't mind a few four-legged visitors wanting to be petted). Our front yard, pictured above and copied from an older post because I couldn't be bothered to take a new picture, is sorely in need of a tire swing, but is really quite lovely and, generally, quiet. The neighbors, if you can find any, are wonderful, and the local wildlife is often fascinating.
The major portion of the local wildlife, however, is insect in nature, and housefly in particular. The swallow population in our immediate area numbers in the hundreds or thousands, and easily (at least outside the winter months) finds sufficient insect life to keep full stomachs while still leaving plenty to bother us. Our new windows and their intact screens notwithstanding, we get plenty of flies around here. We think we've learned how to deal with earwigs that used to invade the living room and hallway each night, but the moths are coming on strong. In the realm of larger wildlife, we found yesterday the dead mouse that had lent its smell to the living room, and have had several sightings of a new stray cat that might be our chickens' latest threat. We've seen a few deer in the back yard already, and will surely see more as winter approaches, and the chickens have had to learn to hide whenever a hawk glances their way (every 10 minutes).
The plumbing is sometimes strange, the electrical system could use some work, and the DSL is uninspiring to say the least. The "scary basement" is scary as ever, the floor still sags noticeably toward the west end of the place, and there's a new noise that's started sometimes that I can't identify. But I finished digging the irrigation ditch, we have a big pile of firewood for winter (neither cut to length nor split -- I'm working on that), the dead mouse is no longer in the living room, and our attempts at making cheese are improving. The chickens are big enough to look like real chickens, the grass isn't wholly dead where their coop used to be, and they're happily preparing a potential garden plot for us now. Every few days we meet neighbors who can show us how to do things we've always wanted to learn, and at the end of the rare day when we actually get to sit down and read a book somewhere, we can feel like we've earned it.
So maybe it is idyllic...