Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jeff's Visit Part Two

After spectacular Day One on the Oregon coast, everything else was bound to be anticlimactic. But Jeff insisted he liked the serenity of our secluded farm. Actually, Day One of Jeff's visit did not end with supper at the Wildwood Cafe after our coast trip. Jeff read a flier on the door about live music that night. So he and Johnny went, meeting two of Jeff's friends there for the evening. (Photo by Johnny). Farm serenity is nice, but...

Day Two: the obligatory hike around the farm. Jeff is holding a big leaf maple leaf while posing under a big leaf maple tree with Johnny. He was impressed with the size of the leaves.

Nightingale left the other two horses to come love up Jeff as we walked through the horse pasture.

On Day Three, Jeff tore down the first floor of the old barn. He is a big equipment operator and made short work of the barn, using our tractor. That afternoon, we went to neighbor Joe's for a birthday celebration for Johnny and Irv, whose birthdays are one day apart.

On Day 4 Irv came over with a fire log he created with a chain saw. It burned for many hours. Johnny cooked an egg on it. Jeff was intrigued and says he will be making lots of these for his full moon campfires.

On that day (day four), Johnny and Jeff also cleaned out the gunk blocking the dam.

Day 5:  While I was off birding with friend Dawn, Johnny and Jeff packed our Japanese folding bike into a box for Jeff to take home. Jeff likes unusual things. A folk artist, he chainsawed giant wood stars for us and others in the area. Then he and Johnny hiked through historic Fort Yamhill Park near us. I added a sleeping gnome to one of Jeff's stars and put it alongside a flowerbed where people keep cutting corners and trompling my just-emerging spring flowers.

Day 6: We reserved, online, Jeff's plane tickets from Portland to Phoenix, Arizona, for the following day, Friday. Arizona was to be the last stop on his vacation before heading home next Tuesday. He and Johnny made a mercy run to friend Velta's to help her move an aged llama that had died. (Velta has geriatric llamas like I have geriatric goats because we both keep the animals we raise forever.)

Back at our farm, Jeff made more wood stars (out of less punky wood) and stained them. He wanted one to be a centerpiece in my garden, not just a flowerbed protector. Yet he did not want it directly on the ground because he worried it would rot too fast. Today I moved a piece of concrete flooring from the old barn that Jeff had broken up with our tractor to the only flowerbed that does not already have some sort of arty focal point. Then I put Jeff's very heavy new star on that. It weighs a ton so I doubt it will rot for a century or two, even in our climate.

 Last Day:  A Bald Eagle landed on a fir just off our property but in sight. I called Jeff out to see it and he spent a long time staring at the majestic bird through binoculars. I think it won't be long now before Jeff is hooked as a birder.

 Jeff loved our friendly animals. I asked for photo ops before he left. Here he is with McCoy...

 and Shirley...

and Milagro...

Jeff left us with lots of stories, memories, and good feelings (plus several wood stars). He promises to come back and soak up more farm serenity... along with Wildwood music.

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