The Last Homestead: Sept 18

Sun, September 18, 2016  11:34 AM,

Late Morning, and Hello,

It’s been showering all morning, without warning, so I don’t want to spend too much time out in the open. I’m not made of sugar, but rain is rain. Wet.

I had a splendid walk, about 8 AM. The rain had let up and the mountains were full of misty moving fogs and clouds. So I went up the lane, talked to the horses, photographed more deer (More Deer Photos!!!) and took what I hope will be some decent photos of landscape and misty mountains. I can’t wait to see them on a good screen.


Morning mist and clouds


More morning mist and clouds

I continue to whittle down my photos. I’ve finished the first run-through with deletions – out of focus, duplicates and near duplicates in any single batch are gone – but I’ll need to do a lot more editing (Deer Photos!), and it will be easier to do now that I’ve got some organization going.

The rooster is roostering, the cows have finished their lowing, the pigs are sleeping but the hens have not yet started cackling. Rose and Darrell had finished the milking and got the ’37 chevy running and moving and put it under the arena roof. I suspect it may have gotten wet last night, even though it was covered with a tarp.


So off I go to the back yard. I shan’t add any more to this note unless a big event occurs – I won’t even regale you with tales of Bella’s naughtiness. And I certainly won’t report on any more deer events.

6:06 PM,

Well, here I am again. Bella just came over and tried to lay her nose on the computer but I’m on the narrow deck out of the rain and the computer case in her way. Brandy didn’t recognize me and gave a bit of a growl when I approached, but then decided I was ho-hum and went back to paying no attention.

I took a bit of a nap and then went out to paint (before painting, I ate sardines for lunch and more crackers — I’m beginning to get rather tired of crackers). The painting went very well. I will have a lot of work to do when I get home and I’m hoping to get in another session of painting tomorrow if it doesn’t rain, but nevertheless, the big beast is coming nicely. Each version (iteration?) is better than the last.

Bella is rolling around in the grass on her belly, the black cat is sitting beside me in the sun, and even Brandy has moved fairly near me, probably to be companionable, but perhaps to protect her people. Never clear with Brandy. Now Bella is fixing to have a bit of a scuffle with Brandy, who is not responding.


While I was painting, I heard Ramona, the mum pig, singing a lullaby to her piglets. I swear that’s what it was. Earlier, I saw that one of the piglets had a bad sunburn and may have to have it lanced by Rose. She, the piglet, was frantic with itching, so frantic that I went down to check on her because she seemed to be acting strangely. Ramona and the others were outside, paying little attention, and when sun-burned piglet wasn’t scratching against a fence or a friend, she was happily playing with the others. I saw she was probably OK and went back to my painting, and then, in a while, I heard Mona making soothing grunting sounds. I looked down and everyone in the pen was inside the farrowing shed, but I could hear Mona vocalizing, in a kind of low, non-demanding voice. I have heard her yelling at the piglets and wanting food and being impatient but this was an ongoing grunt, a series of slightly different sounds but all in a sequence, all in a row as it were, somewhat connected, and it must have been a soothing of everyone to sleep. A bit later the sounds fell off and then later than that, I heard her snoring, gently snorting if you will, in that sleeping way (probably much the same as I do).

I can hear a hawk in the woods behind me. I photographed a couple catching the wind currents. I have a few more late afternoon photos I want — sunflowers and corn. I may have to come down and do that before my dinner. I need to catch the sunflowers in the clouds of the sky.


Speaking of dinner, I’m going to have couscous tonight, with a red pepper and the last of the tuna, about 3 bites.

I’m weary — standing up to paint is a bit much these days, even on grass.

Rose and I just had a good conversation and I have a couple more questions answered — she’s been doing equestrian training since 1987 and quit, generally speaking, a few years ago. And “Triple H” was originally Darrell’s brand, standing for his three children, the three Howe’s.  They added Homestead for web purposes because there are lots of Triple H’s out there.

So this is the last communication before I see you tomorrow late afternoon. Safe travels and sleep well. Drive like you always do and I’ll be waiting with hugs.

Jer showed up, right as scheduled, we spent the late afternoon admiring the piglets and the evening admiring the stars, and the morning walking up the lane to say hi to the deer and the horses. Rose was butchering, so Jer got to see the butcher shop and Rose in action. He was impressed. Then we packed everything into the Honda Civic and drove to Portland, where I spent the next week trying to return to the realities of responsible life in the city.

I finished the ponderosa  painting, and it hangs in our living room, reminding me of the fine days on the Last Homestead.


jou,  Ponderosa,  40 x 60″ (two panels), Oil on Baltic birch, 2016

But don’t go away quite yet. The Epilogue is coming up tomorrow, and aside from a quote by R.W. Emerson, it’s all photos:-)

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3 Responses to The Last Homestead: Sept 18

  1. Jerry Underwood says:

    I am still impressed.


  2. Kit Szanto says:

    Oh, lovely, how wonderful to have the Ponderosa here – thank you, very much. So glad that Jer got to see Rose butchering, meet the piglets, see the deer, the stars, see the whole place. We are going to miss the place ourselves – the wonderful light, the fun, and gorgeous refurbished Chevys – and Bella trying hard to get Brandy to play with her.

    These stories, photos, paintings have cheered my/our life so much, as this past week has been a pile of snow storm after snow storm, power outage too, and on TV only news that is even worse. I will just have to start at the beginning and bring my brain back to The Last Homestead, to the wonderful world there, and keep that as sanity for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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