Monday, July 14, 2014

Enjoying July; willow huts, hay and...

This morning I got out of bed at 5:45, not entirely by my own wishes. I have been waking up in time to make Dustin and myself a smoothie before he leaves for work, and this morning was earlier than usual. On the plus side, I finished farm chores by 7, and the kids millet porridge is already cooked and I have time for a quick post before I wake them up. The morning is clear and sunny but there is an unusually cool breeze that reminds me (despite my desire to remain oblivious), that cooler days are not far away. 

Our summer weekends are just a crazy blur. Dustin usually only has Sundays off. And most of those Sundays are booked with either hay getting, chicken butchering, fence mending or animal shifting, shuffling, re-organizing etc. Yesterday we had an ambitious list, of which most things like cleaning out the lower chicken coop so that pullets could get moved into it, cutting down the tree that fell on the fence and re-doing the electric lines so that we could move three pesky bucklings out of the doe pen, did not get down. We did however, sell two very nice doelings to a home I felt very good about, and then we proceeded to spend that money and much more on filling up the hay barn. We've been keeping a close eye on the weather and on the hay farmers and despite several isolated showers managed to bring home around a hundred and fifty bales of brome yesterday that are for the most part, dry, green and leafy. The goats approve. I'm hoping to sell a couple milkers and two more doelings so that this hay lasts longer. We will still need to get another hundred bales or more over the next couple months to get us through until next summer. We had a severe hay shortage here this last winter which had us buying $25 50lb. bales of Alfalfa to mix with our brome, as the brome that was brought in from Canada was the same price as the Alfalfa.

We are trying to balance work and play. I've been thinking of special things to do with the kids to make the summer memorable. They didn't want to go to any of the camps that their friends were going to, but they were envious of the tye die shirts that kids were making at camp. And I was like "psh, you don't have to go to camp to make tye die shirts!" So, now I need to get a move on and go by some white t-shirts and a tye die kit. We've been playing croquet in the garden on Sunday evenings. We built a new fire pit in a much nicer view spot than our old fire pit, and have plans to add some hand made benches. I'm envisioning a couple hot dog on stick and marshmallow roasting nights where the kids are sticky and I get to play my banjo and sing by the fireside.

 On the fourth of July we watched a small parade in Ester with friends and family. It is short and sweet, close to home, and the kids only get a handful or two of candy - which is always a relief to the parents.

 One of my dearest friends just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Juniper. Avery got to hold her for the first time and has said several times since; "I can't believe I got to hold a baby that was just three weeks old!"

 This weekend Avery got to go to a girlie birthday party. I enjoyed just sitting in the sun, visiting with other parents and watching her have girl time. The water balloon tossing was gentle and careful, the pinata hitting; somewhat tentative and no one got bumped or bruised on the trampoline.

 We love taking Dustin's boss's Stake bed truck out on the hay fields. It has an automatic lift, and it fits over a hundred bales easily. 

 The mushrooms are coming on stronger than ever thanks to the mix of rain and shine. Yesterday Noah and I went foraging and came back with a big basket of what we call Birch Boletes, but according to my book are called Quaking Aspen Boletes, as well as King Boletes also known as Porcini. We fried some up in butter. Dried a dehydrator full and have some in a paper bag in the fridge for today...and the woods are still full of them.

I've been wanting to build a live Willow hut for the kids as we don't have much shade in the garden. It is mostly done. It will take a while for the Willow to root and start growing, but it is serving it's purpose and providing shade for the kids when it is hot and sunny out.

 Of course I picked about the hottest sunniest day to build it.

But, I enjoyed sweating freely in the sun.
 Posing in front of the Columbine.

 Every day I give thanks for my strong healthy children. I can't believe my son is eight already. Where does the time go?

 I stretched this novel out as long as I could. I've already got plans to re-read it again and slower.

My favorite place to be on warm summer evenings. This night was the fourth of July and I sat out on the deck drinking the yummiest Strawberry Margaritas that I've ever had and savoring my novel. I didn't come inside until 11:30 and the sun had not yet sunk beneath the hills.

And now I've let the children sleep in too late and they'll not be ready for bed when I am tonight. Happy July to you all!!


Buttons said...

Oh Emily it s so nice to hear from you once again you have been missed. The children have grown up to be very responsible young adults which is wonderful for you and them. It has been cool and wet here so we have no even started baling hay this year, it will not be the hay quality we need but it is all we will have and there is lots of it.
Enjoy your novel and time to yourself and take care. B

Rachel~At the Butterfly Ball said...

Out of curiosity, what was your high temperature on the day you built the willow hut?

Ooooh! And I just finished reading that one too! I turned around and started re-reading it the next day. I enjoyed the ending of this one better than the last book. And now I am sad that it'll be a few more years until the next one comes out!

Mia Garlock said...

I just have to say I LOVE your blog and all the wonderful information and inspiration in it! As a local, it is so encouraging to read about others in the area living naturally and honestly and close to the Earth. <3 Love and light!

Emily said...

Rachel, I think the high was right about 80. That was probably the hottest day of our summer. I wish we had a few more weeks of eighties - one day certainly wasn't enough.

Emily said...

Thanks for the comments ladies! I lose motivation to write when I don't hear from you. :)