Today was a Saturday and an odd jobs day. I took a gallon of the house trim paint up to the barn that I hope to use on the railings and the risers. That trim paint is a smoky rose, a little darker than your standard dusty rose. Mike found a dark greenish gray paint called Porch Step that he used to paint the trim around the upstairs barn door and that will eventually be used on all the barn door trim. Porch Step is also a deck paint and could be used for the steps on the outside stairs, contrasting with the risers. I painted part of the railing nearest the door and two of the risers. I need to see the two colors in different light at various times of the day but they seem to work well together. I never understood the mandarin red doors at the barn. They may benefit from a few coats of Porch Step.
Mike gave me a small length of rebar to mark the location of the post on which the house numbers will hang. I gave him the four tiles, and he will build a frame around them in his newly constructed workshop. I liked the darker blue color he chose for the trim on his house and asked him to save a little for the frame.
The access road is sunken from the level of the land beside it, and the first driveway to the house sinks further. I hauled out the industrial weed whacker to clear a small rise in the angle between the two roadways, probably violating every safety warning the manufacturer gives in its operating instructions. If all goes well, the post will sit dead center on the angle created by two roads and two to three feet above them.
Rain is forecast for this coming Wednesday and Thursday. I raked off all the dead grass from the outside of stone wall that marks the end of the front slope garden. Another warning track, another surgical mask, another application of Roundup. I also laid down a layer of leaves from the oak trees that I hope the rain will turn it into mulch. I remember spending quite some time last January trying to dig out the grass on the outer side of that stone wall. This year I hope to catch it before the rains start.
John Questo stopped by looking for runaway cows. Mike had seen them across the road from his house early yesterday evening. Apparently, a few cows were adventurous enough to wander onto the county road. Sorry John, but I saw no cows this morning. The break out must have happened down below.
I went down for the mail a half hour before sunset, as the sun began to settle onto the far hills. My eye caught two deer wandering through the cow pasture just below the house, perhaps a doe and her faun. I have not seen deer before, although the roses give evidence that they have been there. They may have been forced down from higher elevations at the end of the dry season. I am told we have had 220 days without rain, with the exception of two days at the beginning of October.
I remember how attached to the land Jerry became, with his rounds and care for all his adopted animals. I am understanding that attachment more each day, especially on a Saturday when I have my round of chores but no other demands. A day on the land is not lonely with birds fluttering into the trees, two deer gently wandering through the lower enclosed pasture and Spots ready to vacuum up any bread, celery, geraniums, grass or other treats that I bring to him.