This year is kind of a repeat of last summer’s rainy weather, although not so much rain at one time. Two days ago, we put 175 square bales in the barn, working till nearly 9:30 PM. (Just in case…) Then Will cut a couple of small fields of clover/timothy that was very nice, which he intended to round bale in the three-day window of dry weather which was predicted. Well, it went fine until yesterday. He was round baling and it was supposed to begin raining around 5 PM. But it began to cloud up around 1:00 and Ashley came in saying she heard thunder. We drove over to the field where Will was working and arrived to see him down in front of the baler, pulling out hay. That meant it was plugged! And angry black clouds were rolling in. And he still had raked hay down on the field, although not much. We tried to help but were more in the way than helping. Finally, he got the plug out just about when the raindrops were starting to fall.

He jumped on the tractor and quickly baled part of a row to finish up the bale in the baler. By the time he was tying it and dumping it out, the rain was beginning to pour down. It only rained for about half an hour but the haying was sure finished. Later on, it cleared up and we were able to work around the homestead till nearly dark. Then more clouds, real nasty clouds, showed up. Some were revolving and the weather radio called in a tornado warning. You can bet we were all watching the sky. Luckily, nothing happened except for some rain, lightning, and thunder. Whew!

The main garden looks perfect with waist high corn. The central and north gardens have been getting too much water from above so are weedy and slow to get growing. But we’re hoping things will pick up soon. After all, everything is growing! We’ve got some tomatoes set on the vines and have been enjoying Mammoth Melting Sugar Peas on salads and in stir fries, along with broccoli and asparagus. Yum! Our berries are fantastic this year so I’d better get out and pick some red raspberries and currants. We’ve finally got a strain of blackberries which not only lives here but is producing tons of berries. Yep, it took ten years of trying, but that only shows you; if you don’t quit when things don’t work, you’ll succeed eventually!

I’ve been working on the fourth Jess Hazzard book, Spring of the Vultures, in the evenings. (It’s my “fun” time to reward me for a hard day’s work.) It’s getting done. I guess I’ll have to start another book to continue the saga as I thoroughly enjoy travelling the trail with Jess. Got a few ideas already. If you haven’t yet read any of the series, take a read on Kindle or pick up a copy. It’s a book all homesteaders will enjoy. That’s a promise. — Jackie


  1. Staci,

    What model John Deere do you have? I have had a 14T and a 24T and loved both of them. Boy baling at 106 degrees? Been there; done that. And sure hate it. Especially stacking in the loft. Puff pant, heat stroke! That’s why hardly anyone puts up squares anymore…. At $10 an hour, we can’t find a willing strong person to toss them! And both Will and I have bad backs. Oh well, we just work slower. Thank GOD for David and Ashley!

    You can just buy it through Amazon as when I sell my books, I have to buy them at a discount, but the shipping sucks! If you want an autograph, just send me the book and I’ll be more than happy to sign it for you.

    Picking corn??? Heck, mine is just starting to tassel! Oh you folks who live in warmer zones!!!

  2. Rick,

    Yes, your reviews are on Amazon. And THANK YOU SO MUCH! So you had chest high corn for the Fourth of July? Hey we were thankful for knee high!!!

    Yep, Ol’ Jess is coming right along now. Won’t be too many days before we’re finished, finished. Hey, I just thought, that means I’ve got another painting to do for the cover, doesn’t it….. But I enjoy the series too and have fun plotting up nice twists and turns to keep you all reading!
    Big smiles and blessings from Northern Minnesota!

  3. Jackie, We too are putting up hay and fighting the rain. We have had a round baler for years and finally found an old John Deer square baler for a song. We put up a little over 250 on Friday, it has been years since I have hauled square bales. It was 106 when we started baling, boy, now i remember why we bought the round baler. No one else puts up square bales around here so we are hoping we can add to the farm income by selling them from the field. Its good to hear that your berry harvest is good this year, we got some but it turned off dry when they were maturing, then we got 6 inches of rain in a day so most rotted. I did get enough black berries to make a few batches of jelly. When your next book comes out, where should we buy it from so that it most benefits you? Wish you lived closer, Ill be picking corn this week and would have yall over to enjoy some.

    Staci from Arkansas

  4. Miss Jackie, Thank you, Thank you THANK YOU!!!!! I have been wondering what my friend, Jess Hazzard has been up to. It seems he has spent an evening or two chatting with you to catch you up on on doings near Green River…..I can hardly restrain myself from a visit to his ranch to find out for myself, of course I would help him with the crops… made my day HAPPY! Let us know when we can place our book order. I have written reviews about him on Amazon. Not sure if they were accepted as I purchased from you direct.
    I read the 1st three in his series three times each. Have been making do with rereads of Zane grey and Louis L’amour in the evenings this summer.
    We have had plenty of rain, but not too much and everything is beautiful here in the southern mountains of Pa. corn was chest high by 4th of July WOW! It was an early spring! I don’t know how the ground hog got that one right…
    Blessing dear ones Rick

  5. Deborah,

    Not much more to go on Vultures. (By the way, have you provided a review on the books you’ve already read on Amazon? If not, could you take a sec to do it? I’ve been told it helps the marketing and sales. That’s sure help us… Thanks!)

  6. Sandy,

    If I could, I’d sure ship you a bunch of rain! I know others are experiencing drought this year and wish somehow this rainy season we’re having would even out for everyone who lacks rain.

  7. I plan on planting blackberry bushes in my retirement garden, but wonder what variety you have that are growing and producing berries. I have been having trouble finding one for central Minnesota. Thank you.

  8. Could use a tiny bit of that rain down here in Nixa, MO. Our wild blackberries did well this year….blueberries, not so much. And so it goes. Blessings.

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