Saturday, February 16, 2008

Don't Have a Cow, Man

We've had some weather the past week and between the ice and freezing temperature, Bernie hasn't gotten outside to do much with the fence or anything else. But he has started painting the inside of the house for me. Yay! We got a base coat over about half of it, but he surprised me today while I was in town getting my hair done, and started painting with the colors I bought. I am tickled pink.

Yesterday we went into town to clean the house we have for sale and get it ready for the open house today. The realtor called us this afternoon and said she had a great turnout and two couples that really seemed interested. We're not getting too excited - we've had "really interested" people look at the house before. Still, it's promising. So we'll see what happens.

When I got back from getting my hair done today, and saw Bernie was more than half finished with applying the beautiful shade of deep green I picked out for the dining room area, I grabbed a paint roller and started helping him finish it up. We were just about ready to call it a day, when I heard a knock at the front door. It really startled me. Our house is a couple miles down a one lane dirt road, and then about 1/4 mile down a driveway that looks like nothing most people would want to venture on, that winds and turns and goes up and down a few hills. It is in no way inviting from the main road and people don't typically just wander down it. We've never had an unexpected guest. Although several friends know how to find us, no one we know wants to drive all the way out here to visit with us without calling first to make sure we'll be home.

So when I heard a knock at the door, I froze. Bernie was in the kitchen starting to clean up the paint tools and we had the radio blasting, so he was oblivious. I peeked out a window and saw a stranger standing there. It actually scared me to death. I quickly walked into the kitchen and found Bernie and in spite of my desperate attempt to be calm, screamed "THERE'S SOMEONE AT THE FRONT DOOR!" He looked at me in total disbelief. "QUICK, GO FIND OUT WHAT HE WANTS!" I couldn't believe how loud I was and hoped Mr. Stranger didn't hear me.

Bernie opened the door and went outside. I continued the final touches of painting, but I kept an eye out the window, just in case Mr. Stranger turned out to be a mass murderer and I needed to attack him with my paint brush. As it turns out, Mr. Stranger had a cow escape from his property at the top of the ridge. Her name is Bella. And Bella was on our property. Just outside the cleared area in the woods. She was actually really pretty - brown with a few white spots. And Bella was really enjoying our woods. Mr. Stranger was worried she would get in our yard and eat the grass. Bernie told him not to worry about it and volunteered to help in any way he could. Mr. Stranger said he was going to walk back up to the top of the ridge (where our property borders) and hoped Bella would follow him. That's no small hike, and Bernie offered him a ride, but he declined and headed back up to the woods. And sure enough, Bella followed him. Hopefully, Mr. Stranger got Bella back in her safety pen and is enjoying a nice calm evening, and Bella is enjoying a nice bale of hay.

It's interesting living on our homestead. We've met several neighbors, and wave at everyone we pass on our little one lane road. It's peaceful here and the people are so nice. When we were in town, it was quite common to hear the door bell ring and think nothing of it. It was often a stranger, but we thought nothing of opening the door to see what they wanted. Out here, people respect your privacy, so you rarely see them on your property. And while they are friendly and kind, they don't just pop by unannounced. So when someone shows up, it's an event here.

We are fine with escaped live stock. We plan to have goats and chickens in the very near future and unfortunately, it's difficult to teach livestock about property lines. So who knows - we may end up visiting Mr. Stranger to let him know we have a goat on his property sometime. Neighbors are good people to be on good terms with. And visiting over escaped livestock ends up making a friend out of a stranger.

I hope Bella is warm and cozy tonight. She is welcome to come visit with us anytime. That may not make Mr. Stranger very happy - but it would be nice to see him again too. We'll drive him home next time. Hiking that ridge can be rather exhausting - although it didn't seem to bother Bella very much.

Bee Free,

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