What I Love About Living In The Country ... And Other Random Thoughts

- You get good thinking time when you're driving home after being in town.

- Yes, we say "in town" a lot around here. We used to think it was funny to hear our country friends say, "I'm going in to town," but there's really no other phrase that quite captures the essence of, well, going to town. Yes, we're bumpkins.

- You get a real sense for changing seasons and the rhythms of life. Spring feels like spring this year. And winter definitely felt like winter. Everything seems more pronounced out here.

- For the most part people are quiet and relaxed out here. No one seems to be stressed out or in a hurry. It's a much slower day-to-day pace.

- With so much work to do (maintaining the yard, working in the garden, working with the dog, doing various projects around the homestead, doing chicken and duck chores, etc.), you have very little time for tube-oriented entertainment. Our TV is hardly ever on -- and I love that -- and when it is on it's because we're purposefully watching a DVD or something. We don't have cable or satellite TV, and I still haven't hooked up our antenna. Television consumption has really faded in our lives, and I think we're all the better for it. For the most part the sound of a turned-on TV is irritating noise to me. The silence that comes to a house without a TV on is a warm, inviting silence -- a tranquil silence, really.

- You see a lot more wildlife around here. Everything from salamanders to woodpeckers to coyotes to owls.

- There's plenty of room to roam. I was telling my former photojournalism professor about our place and he said, "How much land do you have?" I said, "Just two acres." He said, "Who needs more than that? My wife and I lived on two acres when I was in grad school. You know, if you want to go for a walk, just walk in your back yard."

- I think for people who are used to having lots of land, two acres is paltry. But for people like us, who come from a typical .22 acre city lot, it seems like we own our own country. I guess it's all about perspective. It is nice that our property borders a 22-acre hayfield that runs into something like 50 acres of dense forest. Coyotes and all sorts of wild animals live in that forest. I doubt any sasquatch reside there, but I can always hope.

- The closest neighbors to us are to our east. I'd say their front door is about 250 to 300 feet or so from our front door, so there's a good bit of distance between us. The other day I was moving some hens around and I picked one up by its feet and hung it upside down. I noticed my neighbor watching me so I held the bird up over my head and yelled, "Want some fried chicken tonight?" He screamed back, "Bring 'em over. I'll wring his neck!" I think he was serious. And Brandi and I may end up hosting our neighbors for fried chicken because these five particular hens keep eating their eggs; they're making me very upset. Thankfully our normal layers (we keep the two flocks separated) are doing just fine.

- Our duck hen has got a clutch of roughly 9 eggs. We're hoping we'll have a bunch of ducklings here in about 40 days or so.

- Bouncer's been good. He's still learning, but he's been a good dog so far. We've had him for a month already.

- On the 30th it'll be exactly one year since we closed on this homestead. Time has flown by, and we've had so much fun!

- That's all for now.

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