Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer thus far

I am celebrating our first drizzly morning of the summer with a cup of tea and a short post. I was hoping to hear the sound of rain on the roof last night. A sound I can't remember hearing since last summer. Alas, we've just got a drizzle, but I'm hoping to hear steady rain at some point over the next few days. Our summers here in in the Interior of Alaska are typically hot and dry, and this one is proving hotter and drier than most which is why our State is up in flames at the moment with fires everywhere. I have been enjoying the warm weather immensely. I believe we've had a couple weeks of eighties and sun, and so I have celebrated them by wearing as little as possible while at home, testing the limits of my skin's sun capacity even while wearing sunblock, feeding the kids watermelon and cherries and ignoring house chores as much as possible.

The kids and I have spent most of this month of June driving to and from various camps and soccer practices and games. Fortunately I got the garden in during the first three weeks of May, because during the last week of May Noah's soccer practices began and Avery had her first week of camp ever. She attended the North Star Ballet's creative dance camp with a girlfriend. It was a half day camp and she absolutely loved it. Then last week she went to Wild Rose Camp which is a wonderful camp that takes place at Wild Rose Farm. It is located at the top of some beautiful hay fields which we've bought great hay from, and is also situated next to a vegetable CSA garden. The kids do lots of beautiful crafts, play games in the fields, play in the mud and do other camp things like learning new songs and taking hikes. Avery is super crafty so from what I can tell she did every craft as much as possible all day long. She made pottery that they fired in a small hand made kiln, she made a tie dyed t shirt, as well as other dying projects. There was also batik, wet felting, paper making, and her favorite was marbling which is when you make a design in water with paint and then press a paper in it to pick up the design. Avery made eleven marblings in her first day.

Noah has soccer three nights a week. These past two weeks he has gone to the Fairbanks Drama camp. He was expressing an interest in putting on plays, so we made an impetuous decision and enrolled him. He has enjoyed himself for the most part. I think he has really enjoyed meeting new kids and making new friends. Which has brought me once again to question whether his needs are being met by being schooled at home. The more he does away from the home with boys and kids his age, the more he wants to be away from home doing things with kids his age. I'm realizing that in order to meet his needs and continue home schooling, the reality is that I'm going to spend a significant amount of my afternoons and evenings year round driving him back and forth to practices and games and pursuing other areas of interest. I'm just going to keep digesting that fact and maybe someday it won't be so difficult to swallow.

In other news we have fifteen pullets that are happily growing. We had nine that had made it to six weeks before a Silver fox (black) found a way into our chicken tractor that no fox has breached in seven years. So we had to start all over. We have fourteen Freedom Ranging chickens that are still under close confinement do to the fox scare. I was hoping to put them on pasture for their second half of life, but I'm pretty sure this Fox is keeping a close eye on the chicken tractor and these chickens now and I feel we've already contributed to her growing family as it is.

The garden is looking great for this time of year. Everything is just off to a record start; peas blooming, carrots forming, baby zucchini's and squash starting. We've been harvesting salad turnips, the most beautiful radishes I ever did grow, head and cutting lettuce and kale for a couple weeks now. I picked the first Hungarian Hot Wax pepper and there are green tomatoes and beans growing. I have three gardens now. The main one in addition to two more in old goat pens that we've tilled and planted potatoes and greens in. I'm hoping to spend July in my garden, weeding, weed wacking, digging up and potting raspberry canes, strawberries and perennials in anticipation of moving next year. In July we have no camps, just soccer for Noah. I will be goat sitting two to three of our old (young) milkers for almost three weeks. So, I'll have a good excuse no to leave the homestead for a while. I'm looking forward to a month of goats and the garden and hopefully more sun and heat and water play and playground days with friends.

When I find my camera I'll share some pictures of our summer thus far. I look forward to hearing about how your summer is going as well!