I've just come in from morning chores and am savoring the final moments of silence before my children arise. This has been my week to finally begin waking up and milking goats while the kids sleep on. As a result I've had a wonderfully productive week and more serene mornings. The kids have enjoyed playing in the house all morning while I've been busting out in the kitchen. Yesterday the kids and I made strawberry rhubarb pastries with pie crust for breakfast. The morning before that we made zucchini bread following a carrot cake recipe, which I've decided I prefer to regular zucchini bread recipes. I enjoy a moist well spiced bread. I made jerky this week and it was one of my best batches yet. I didn't follow a recipe this time, just my instincts as I poured in soy sauce, grated garlic, salt, fresh ground pepper, brown sugar and red hot chili paste. I fear I didn't make enough to get us through our upcoming road trip, and horrors; I'm out of soy sauce, so I have to visit the store before I can make more.
We are enjoying a sunny week in the seventies and low eighties - most of us are overjoyed for another week of summer after having such crisp cool weather lately. Yesterday the kids and I went raspberry picking for the second time. I picked about five gallons the previous picking and canned eighteen pints of raspberry jam and put three gallon bags of frozen raspberries in the freezer. Afterwards we met with friends for a water play day at the park. The sunlight is not as strong as early summer. I've been outside in full sun daily from noon to five, slathering myself with coconut oil, and I've gotten some color - not nearly enough.
My "TO DO" List is so long. Trying to decide what to do and what to put off seems crucial. We were going to butcher the meat chickens this week so I wouldn't have to buy another bag of feed, but my husband has been out of town unexpectedly. The kids and I have been spending our afternoons around the house herding goats and guarding free ranging chickens. I am keeping on top of the weeds in the garden. Next on my list is medicine making. I have time to pull things but not the time to do things with them so I'm waiting till next week to make some tinctures and glycerites with california poppies, plantain, skullcap, spilanthes, callendula, lovage and catnip.
We are also keeping a close eye on Rose who is at day 141 of her gestation and is due on day 150, but tends to kid on day 146. She is in her own stall with full access to the outdoors. Up until the last couple days she has been getting out for walks with the rest of the herd, but I suspect she is pretty content lounging around now. Her movements are becoming awkward and slower than usual. Two years ago she kidded to three bucklings and last year she kidded to two doelings and a buckling but we lost the first doeling who was the only light red doeling we've gotten. Two doelings would be perfect. Calla Lilly, Calypso, Coriander, Callendula (Cally). Names that don't conform but I like, Candy, Claire, Coral. Rose is a veteran kidder. She has never needed help. After she kids however, I think she can be overwhelmed with three kids to look after and feed.
The woods are patched with yellow. It happened overnight. I comfort myself by feasting on all the green still in sight. Summer is drawing to a close here. Time to begin the scramble to stockpile and put away all that we can while we can still see it, catch it, pick or dig it.