It's been a while, friends.
Part of that is because it's been just a really busy season. The days are packed full of projects and tasks, and when I lay down at night my eyelids are heavy and I succumb to sleep faster than I can convince myself to get up to write. Another part of it is that I just don't know if it's all that interesting for others to read what is going on in our lives...But, here I am tonight. I know it will be fun to read these again myself some day, and that in itself is a reason to write.
We knew that it would be this way, yet, it's hard to believe that we've moved so quickly from spring to summer. The days are long, as if God has given us permission to use this time to accomplish the tasks of living. As I've said before, days are busy here right now. There's always weeds to be pulled from the garden, animals to be tended to, projects to be worked on, and jobs that need to be done. C told me the other day as he kicked at the rocks on the way to the garden that all we do is work, and in some ways he's right. It stopped me for a moment and made me wonder if the time we spend in the garden, the time we work on the fence, the time we give to the work of this lifestyle are taking away from living fully. There has to be balance, that is certain, and we have had to work hard to make time for swimming, fishing, and C's sports. And while we aren't always doing the fun and exciting things my children probably wish to do, they're learning important realities of life: You work first, then play. You have to work hard to reap the rewards. Giving to the land is the only way to get back from it. If you want to have fun, you have to create it. I hope that when they look back on their summers, they are thankful for these lessons and not resentful.
Things continue to change around here. Come along, and I'll tell you all about it.
My garden still has a long way to go, but it already is better than last year. Without living here on this land, the garden was neglected and overcome with weeds quickly. This year, now that we're here, there are still weeds...but far less than before. I try to get out to the garden every day for a while, to pull weeds and check on the plants. Our garden is more than a hobby for us; its bounty provides nourishment for our family for the entire year. It feels good to be able to take care of it better this year.
The children and I usually go out to the garden in the mornings, and we work there until the children can stand it no longer. They can occupy themselves for a while, playing in the sand or catching and killing army worms, and sometimes they "help" me by pulling weeds. I work as long as I can, but usually, after a half hour, the children are hot and ready to move onto something else,
Our garden this year is packed full, and I'm so excited to see how it all works out. Everything is growing really well so far!
This year, I've planted:
D is working hard to get us in our house, and the end is getting nearer. The flooring has gone in, and that in itself was a huge accomplishment. Oh, how beautiful it is...and even more so because it is from the special oak tree from my grandparents' farm.
D has also installed all of the interior doors now, and is starting on the railing for the stairway. Carpet is coming in this week, countertops are coming in this week...it's getting there! It's hard to wait, and if I think about it too much, I get overwhelmed with anxiousness. There is so much left, yet so much has been done. It's easiest for me if I don't think too much about it and just live each day for what it is rather than wish for the future in our new house. It makes the waiting easier. Soon enough, this season will all be a memory.
This was our first year doing meat birds, and I'm not sure we will do them again. They are stinky and are obsessed with eating...so much so that they will eat themselves to death. We've lost 3 of the 30 chickens so far, and I think that's pretty good. Their processing date is the first week in July, so we're coming to an end with this season too. Our goal was to give them a happy life in the days that they're given, and I think they're pretty happy. They get fresh grass each day, all the food they can eat in 12 hours, and sunshine. It's not a bad life.
The cows are not enjoying the heat. They've spent quite a few days in the barn trying to avoid the sun and the terrible horseflies. We've gotten into a nice routine of only needing to milk when we want to, and that's been really nice to not have to be tied to certain milking times. We milk 3/4 of a gallon twice a week, and that has worked out just fine! The calves take care of milking on the other days.
The laying hens have continued to produce well, giving us 12-14 eggs per day. We've pickled some and boil them to enjoy them as snacks, but it is hard to keep up. If anyone wants any, they're $2/dozen! The money goes directly towards their food costs. They're wonderful eggs!
Thank you for reading. I wish you all a wonderful summer season!
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