Rainy Week

This week we have had rain nearly every day.  And on Tuesday morning, our phone line was cut, so we didn’t have internet or phone access until Thursday afternoon.  It’s funny how those two days felt like an eternity.  I checked my email twice per day at a friend’s house.  And I am left wondering if I can manage to continue the habit long-term.  I think I did a much better job, because when I sat down to read my emails, it was intentional.  I replied to everything that needed a reply, and when I was finished, I was finished.

We’ve been focused on projects all week, only slightly frustrated by the weather.  We realized that one of our hives swarmed last week, so we split the remaining bees and queen cells.  And now I wonder what’s going on in our hives after nearly a full week of gray weather and rain.  This is another place that I want to be more intentional.  Jonny and I are such haphazard beekeepers.  We tell ourselves that we will have plenty of time to do a better job one day when our little ones aren’t little.  And that is the truth.  We have a lot of fun with the bees, but we can’t take it too seriously at this time in our lives.  Still, I’m making all sorts of plans for as soon as this rain lets up.

The garden is under control, though I haven’t gotten any of my squash and beans planted.  That was supposed to happen this week.  I did dig a few potatoes though, and added another layer of straw around all my plants.  Okra and cucumbers are up.  And, we have elderberry flowering in the backyard.  After years of thinking that I ought to plant some, this volunteer shrub was a welcome surprise!

Job, at nineteen months today, is just starting to say some words.  “Bath.” “Shoes.”  He names what he likes best.  (“Mama!!!”)  He will sit at his little table with an activity for a few minutes at a time.  Yesterday, Larkspur taught him to pull the little animal magnets out of this puzzle, make the animal sound, and then put it back.  According to Job, all farm animals say, “Neigh.”

I have a few things I’m planning to share next week including what I did around the house while Jonny and the kids were out of town (besides be a hormonal mess over weaning Job).  I also received an email from a reader, gently reminding me that I promised to start writing some regular posts about homeschooling.  She asked if I might talk about the earlier years, say kindergarten through second or so.  I’m going to do that!  I’ll share my favorite resources for those ages, and also what I am planning to use with Larkspur and Beatrix (1st and 3rd grade-ish) next year.  We’ve been taking a pretty extended break from school around here; there’s just so much to do outdoors this time of year!  My boys also want to show you all the fossils they brought home from their trip.

We are nearing $4,000 raised in the Shawls for Love raffle!  The raffle runs through Sunday night at midnight, and I am feeling hopeful because it seems very possible that we will reach my goal of $5,000, or enough for small business grants for five women.  I’m humbled by everyone’s generosity, and thankful for this opportunity to come together as a community here for the good of others.  Though great distance separates us, we are connected as women, and as mothers, as we hold them in our prayers, and lend a hand in this one small way that we are able.


Taming Things

Small Things-0494Small Things-0512The truth is that I am not very good at taming anything.  Well, I’ve tamed my fair share of feral kittens over the years, but that’s kind of the best I’ve got.  Beatrix will be officially 6 1/2 years old tomorrow (she’s counting), and she colored her entire body green with sidewalk chalk last week.  Wild Child.

(This strawberry ice cream recipe.  The reviews are good, but I didn’t love it.)

(Wooden figures from Sue Dow of In the Loft.  She created one of Larkspur in her FHC dress!)

(Accidental mullet.)

In the garden this week I have done quite a bit of taming, as I planned.  Cover crops were almost all cut down, and some proper vegetable seeds were planted.  Cucumbers, more lettuce (My first didn’t come up.  I’ve never had that happen before with lettuce!), okra, and maybe some other things too that I’m not remembering.  This year I’m not writing things down.  I left my flowers.  I do keep one bed just for herbs and flowers, and the truth is that I’d rather only grow herbs and flowers.  An entire garden of them.  Well, and strawberries.  Herbs, flowers, and strawberries.  I also opened up my beehives all by myself (without Jonny), poked around, and threw on a couple of supers, which is kind of a big step for me.  It has really been a good week.  My favorite kind: full of hope, possibilities, and hard work.

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And just look at what the goats have done!  They are clearing this stretch of easement bit by bit and then Jonny is going behind them with a plow.  There is so much multiflora rose and it’s crazy to me what the goats do to it.  They do leave the spiny stems, but the tractor takes care of those.  I am planning to turn this into a big garden plot for all the peas and sprawling things that I just don’t have room for in my raised bed garden.  I suspect it will be kind of a big mess by the end of the summer, but I plan to start strong.

p.s.  Just in case you are looking to tame your own children or maybe just your chore system, my sister is making some pretty nice wooden chore charts.  She recently set up a little Etsy shop, at the encouragement of friends and family.  You can read all about her system on any of the individual listings.  She’s been using these for over a year with her boys, so clearly it is working for her!

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