I have not abandoned my blog! I have, however, been living in the country, blissfully Internet-free, for about a month. Unfortunately, the deep heart of late October is upon us, and three straight days of dismal rain, cold, and wind quickly convinced me that the time is nigh to purchase a mobile broadband device.
I have been staying on the family farm, 160 acres of land purchased by my ancestors, Patrick and Lydia Ewing, in 1828. The original log cabin Patrick and Lydia built was torn down long ago. Another house, where my Great Great Grandparents lived, has also been demolished. In 1918, my Great Grandparents, Louie and Irene (Applegate) Ewing, built the bungalow that still stands today. Another small house, built in 1910, is used as a rental property.
I grew up in the suburbs close to Indianapolis, enjoyed my early 20′s in idyllic Bloomington, Indiana, and spent a few unfortunate years in Cincinnati, Ohio. I never expected to live at the farm, and I’m not sure how long this adventure will last. I’m trying not to let myself worry over it. I’ve wasted too much of my life planning meticulously for things that didn’t pan out. But, I am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to complete a few projects while I’m out here.
This fall, I’m doing some work on the second floor of the bungalow. The walls are in bad shape, so they require the time-consuming process of layering skim coats of joint compound before they can be primed and painted. Right now I’m working on a small dormer room that was last painted in the 1950′s.
A more urgent project is the clean-up of the rental house, which was recently vacated by a tenant who left the majority of his belongings behind and apparently did not clean the house once over the eight years he lived there.
I’m also experimenting with growing some new succulents. I’ve had great luck with aloe and jade in the past. I also have a large desert rose that seems healthy, but for some reason I’ve never been able to get it to flower. I recently started some new crassulas, a lace aloe, some echeveria and sempervivium, and several species of haworthia. If I can make these little guys last through a winter in the midwest without a greenhouse, I shall consider myself a succulent master.
This weekend, I’m heading out to Sheep Street for Shepherding 101. I have this vague notion that it would be fun to raise sheep, camelids (alpacas and llamas), and possibly some other fiber animals at the farm if I get to stay for awhile.
So far, life in the country seems to suit me.