Oct 15, 2013

(Summer 2011 - Part IV)

"H and GB!"
(Hi! and Good Bye...)

(We said "Hi" again to Maxie, shown here with one of the new kittens for a snuggle.)

 During the summer we said "Hi" to a total of fourteen new kittens from our two barn cats, Strima and Missan-Bindi (so named for the orange dot in the middle of her forehead).  One had a litter of four, another had a litter of six at the beginning of June, then disappeared  and came back pregnant again and had four more.
They cuddled up with Maxie, they slept in the straw baskets and they frisked all over the farmyard.
It was really fun!

We said "Hi" to Gustav's friend Josefin, 
(a bonafide "City Slicker")
who came to visit and was a great favorite with everyone.
She was such a good sport with her winning smile and "go for it" attitude.
Not only did she jump right in to feeding the baby calves their bottles in the field,  

but she and Gustav put their backs into it and cut out a flower bed by the cement stairs to the basement.  

By the end of the summer the bedding plants had spread and filled in the entire bed,  softening the whole area.

We said "Hi" to our daughter Sophia who had a last minute chance to cross the Atlantic for a few weeks and arrived in time to do some of the field work with Gustav.   
I was working upstairs in the main house and heard the tractor.  
When I looked out the window and saw them, 
I grabbed my camera to take this picture.
Sophia was so natural riding along behind the tractor at the end of the day.
It was wonderful to see and I thought instantly that
the old saying is true:

"You can take the girl out of the country, 
but you can never take the country out of the girl".
(and thank heavens that you can' is such a valuable part of a person.)

When Pappa's children were young and growing up on the farm each one of the older children had the responsibility of being a "Nanny" to one of the younger ones.  
Sophia was Nanny to Gustav and there is a bond between them 
that still remains strong.

The two of them were a great team chalking  the main barn.

We said "Hi" to our daughter Louise and her friend Nathan.  They stayed for three solid weeks and made it possible for Pappa and I to go to the southern part of  Sweden on farm and family business for five days.

During the haying season, which is always intense, they worked with the others tirelessly,  pitching in load after load, sometimes for 16-18 hours at a time.
It is backbreaking work but it has to be done to provide the winter feed for the animals. 
 And it has to be done in conjunction with dry, sunny days. 
 Living on the farm with dairy cows you come to understand why the adage: 
"Make hay while the sun shines"  exists...
because that is exactly what you must do.

As kind as they were and as hard-working, maybe what we will remember the most happened in the garden....
The first weeding when you take off the fiberduk is the most critical.  If you don't get it done well and done fast you literally never catch up again and your yields are greatly affected.

While Pappa and I were away,  Nathan spearheaded the effort, and in company with Louise, Gustav, Marien, Blanca, Romain and Maxie,
they weeded the entire plot!

No wonder they were tired!

As it always does, the summer flew by and before we knew it we had to say "Goodbye" 
to all who had come to offer us summer help. 

Maxie had to leave earlier than usual because his relatives from the Ukraine came for a visit.
 (He called them "the fishing family" 
because they were fishing their way across Europe). 

Pappa and Louise in Junsele just before she left.
Sophia, Louise and Nathan had to return school and work in the U.S.

Josefin headed back to apartment living in Stockholm, 

Marien donned his "leathers",  hopped on his motorcycle and headed for Norway to meet up with his girlfriend there before heading back to France. 

 Blanca had a tender farewell moment with the baby calves she had taken care of so lovingly, then boarded the bus in Junsele to start her journey back to Spain and her ornithology exams.

Last to leave was Romain, our 'Corsican Cavalier'.  
He was on his way back to his  classroom full of  French six-year-olds and another year of teaching.

They were a great group, 
 and it was a GREAT summer.

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