Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country

How time flies!

Opps. I meant to write an entry commemorating the one-year anniversary of the beginning of this blog, but I missed it. Whoa, how time flies! I’ve lived in Ohio for over a year. Zoinks! You’ve seen my successes and failures, and spent minutes of your life reading about them. Thank you, I type, thank you!

And so life continues, as it always has here at Orchard House. I have a dog, right now, oozing anal leakage on my leg. My ram lamb? Injured again. And we’re out giving shots to him every night. Mud? Yeah, I got it. Laundry? It’s built up. Our one constant? Bob Evans continues to jump up on me with his wet paws and chew my hand like it’s a baby otter.

So thank you, for sharing the past year with me. We have many more to go! So fasten your seat belts. (Buy some Carrot Cake Jam.) We’ll continue to share this journey together. (Buy some Carrot Cake Jam.) Bob Evans will continue to jump up and chew my arm. (Buy some Carrot Cake Jam.)

What’s the next year hold? Who knows! But one thing is for sure, it’s going to continue be an adventure!

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R.I.P. Chompers

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Getting the hang of this “weather” thing.

Except for the occasional blizzard, I very rarely ever thought about the weather. If I woke-up and it was raining, maybe I’d┬áspend an extra five minutes thinking about my outfit, looking for an umbrella, and running from the outside to the inside.

Sun, clouds, drizzle, flurries, and wind are all inconveniences – especially when we live in the city. But out here, in rural America, you have to know what the weather is doing, and going to be, or else you’re going to face the consequences!

Rain means a mucky, muddy barnyard mess. You can’t rake. It’s gross. You can’t feed hay in the rain, or it gets wet and is ruined. Rain and hay don’t mix. It can’t be transported in the rain. You get the picture. Rain is a troublemaker.

If it freezes outside, water becomes inaccessible. Animals can’t drink, ducks can’t swim, and hoses are rendered useless. You’d better know if it’s going to be cold out, get your heaters placed accordingly, and ensure the winter coat has been cleaned. Which reminds me…

Heat is another enemy. It dries out gardens. And it melts llamas. Water evaporates and animals can’t drink, ducks can’t swim. It’s no wonder people read that Farmer’s Almanac thing. Weather can be tricky! Luckily, when there’s a tornado warning, the township gives us a call. But at that point, it’s just a matter of battening down the hatches!

Today, I look at the weather a week out and plan activities around those international symbols of sun, sun with some clouds, and rain clouds. I haven’t made it to the almanac yet. Maybe I’ll grab myself a copy and hold on to it for the blizzard.

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Something good about a B&B…

Here’s something good about owning a bed and breakfast – specifically near a university. Our house is filled, pretty regularly, with high school students visiting colleges and planning their next four years. There’s something fresh about the whole thing. I remember going and looking at schools. For some reason, I was nervous. And they are too! It’s cute. Knowing what we all know now, there’s no reason to be nervous. But we were. And they are.

Some are very inquisitive. Some shy. And it’s fun to meet their parents too. For a few, they’ve done this already with older siblings. They’re tired of it. You can tell when the student looking is the first-born kid in the family. Everyone’s nervous. By the third kid, it’s become routine.

I’ve been very retrospective lately, looking at where I’ve been and how it brought me to where I am. Watching these kids begin their journey only heightens my thinking. What would I have done differently? Or the same? Like anyone, there are things I would change. And things I wouldn’t. That sounds like some kind of Mitch Albom/Chicken Soup nonsense. Something Melissa Gilbert would say in a Hallmark Channel movie.

All our guests are fun, but anyone in the midst of a major life transformation is exciting. It’s dramatic! Cheers to all those high school junior and seniors passing through the doors of Orchard House, in search of the next phase of their life. We’re happy to give you a comfortable bed and warm breakfast on your journey, because we know you have bigger things on your mind.

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A turkey pardon, of sorts.

I tried to raise a turkey this year for Thanksgiving. Alas, there was a fire at the hatchery and I wouldn’t have received them until June. And anyone who’s raised turkeys knows they won’t be fat enough for dinner in November by then. So I guess, in my own way, I pardoned a turkey or two.

There are, of course, holes in my story. We are having a turkey for Thanksgiving. But I didn’t know him (or her). I didn’t feed and raise my dinner. And I certainly didn’t eighty-six the individual. (Although, I hear from Martha that best way to do it is to feed them a martini before you do it because it relaxes them and makes them loopy, like me after a few.)

I guess when you really think about it, there was a fire at the hatchery, so those potential turkey dinners were roasted at an early age. So those turkeys I ordered were all cooked, a bunch of tiny meals for tiny people, like The Littles or The Gummy Bears. SO maybe I haven’t really pardoned anything.

Next year, we’ll do it for real! I’m raising turkeys, and then eating them to celebrate the Europeans coming to North America. Or perhaps I won’t. I don’t know if I have the stomach for it. But if the pilgrims could do it…then I might be able to. And then there won’t be any turkey pardons going around, fake or otherwise.


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