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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moose Spirit Tour - Part 2

I Meet the Moose!

Moose, by daylight, sporting Oklahoma

Very first thing upon arriving at Hickory Hollow Homestead in the middle of the night was, of course, a visit to the animals, including Moose! It was way too dark to consider photography (and admittedly I was tired as well) but little Moose and his two remaining siblings were eager to jump on the fence and say hello. Actually, that was not the first thing... first of course I had to be checked out and approved by Mama Cookie. I guess since her people brought me home, I was a shoe-in.

I had a peek at the goats, a couple of pretty heritage turkeys, several groups of sleepy hens and two pigs awaiting a trip to the butcher. The farm cats made their appearance and one had to check out the car while we were unloading. Apparently it is known for "hitching rides" this way, as I was told this was how he came to the homestead.

After some great conversation, and the remains of the wine left over from my motel stay night, I tucked into a most welcome and delightful guest bed. After three days on the road, I was most appreciative of the memory foam mattress and especially of the vibrating capability (and I didn't even have to feed it quarters )!

Next day I got to see the homestead by daylight, and made friends with my Moose. Michele took me on a tour of the place by golf cart (her mobility device and a very impressive one indeed). My only experience with these carts previously was on actual golf courses, with manicured green paths. Daredevil Michele took her cart down paths that had me holding on to the arm and wondering about her sanity. (Just kidding, Michele!) Honestly, though I was very impressed with the get up and go through the rough muddy trails, up and down hills of this little electric powered vehicle. Michele is disabled and needs the extra assistance and my knees sure didn't mind riding either. In fact, I will be on the lookout for a similar vehicle for here at Fussing Duck Farm this coming year.

Hickory Hollow Homestead is, as most subsistence farms and homesteads are, a work in progress. It is amazing what these folks -- neither  of whom are the proverbial spring chickens and both of whom have physical issues that might make one opt for a life lived on the couch, via remote -- have done in just a few years. Using mostly scrounged materials, they have closed in a pole barn, erected pens and shelters for various creatures and begun selective logging to open up the forest a  bit. Much of Michele's focus is on homestead type crafts, such as soap and cheese making (using the milk from her herd of goats) and the manufacture of salves and lotions using her knowledge of local plants and herbs and wildcrafting. 

She also is a fellow "fiber fiend" with multiple spinning wheels and looms tucked about and a large stash of fiber with which she plies these crafts, as well as felting. In fact, I got a personal class in wet-felting of soap one of the days I was there! We (Michele, her grand daughter and I) stepped in to play shop keeper for a friend of hers who had just broken her knee and needed someone to keep the antique and gift shop open on Saturday afternoon and evening. Michele gathered up a bunch of stuff for crafting and in between waiting on customers, I was shown the art of felting. It was a fun way to pass the time, but I fear that I really do not have the patience for it as a regular hobby. I did manage to complete a felted bar of soap, though.

Much to my surprise, Michele gifted me with a small 4 harness floor loom! Thanks to the help of her husband, Vester, we were able to take it apart sufficiently to load it in the little car, with room to spare!  I am anxious to get some warp and set up to do a bit of weaving.

Not wanting to send me home with a dirty dog (which both the car rental company and I appreciated) Michele gave Moose his first bath on Sunday.
Bath time! He was unsure, but
mostly ok with it.

I got to hold and cuddle him while Michele
took the brush and blow drier to the
back end.
Clean Moose, but not happy to be in a
crate to stay clean.

 A clean pup and I headed east on Monday. It was great to visit another homestead, but I knew that things were hanging fire back at the sign of the Fussing Duck and hex central, and despite getting a great rest at Hickory Hollow, I was pretty sure that the trip back would be less than fun. Long distance, long nights and cat naps in an economy car pulled in next to the big rigs at a truck stop are wear on an old body. By the time I was approaching New York, I was already beat, it was dark and raining again and the Tappan Zee bridge was in hiding. I finally decided to grab the first interstate that purported to be heading east and follow it until I found something I knew or my wheels got wet and I knew it was time to turn left.

Eventually I ran into the George Washington Bridge, an old friend, who dropped me on I 95. Even in my brain dead state, I knew that was the way home.

Moose waits wile I open the gate.
Turkeys, right, no problem.
Moose meets the chickens. THEY
are not so sure about this!
I am still, I think, recovering from the trip. I know the stuff I brought back has not yet been put away, and I am not caught up with indoor chores. Moose, at least, seems to be settling in ok. He has been doing chores with me on leash, but I have not really had to hold onto the leash, just put it on him to make a longer handle, if needed. I know there will be much more training involved, but for now, things are going well. Hopefully we will have housing and a pen for him built this weekend and he can continue to become familiar with our routine and needs.

While I was away, Tractor Guy packaged and shipped this little Love and Happy Home hex sign, which I completed just before departure.