Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Recap

Our summer vacation is quickly coming to an end.
I am forcing the kids The children are thrilled to start our new
school year next
week. Just the smell of freshly sharpened pencils
puts them in a joyful frenzy. Oh wait,
maybe that is just me. At any
rate, we are starting our new school year on Monday. I for one
overjoyed to get back into a routine of reading, thinking, learning
and watching all those wonderful light bulbs
click above the children's
sweet little heads.

I have not updated the blog a whole lot this summer
so here is a quick recap of what we have been up to:

I did a whole lot of weeding and mowing and raking and shoveling
and did I mention
weeding? Oh my. The things I could have
accomplished if it weren't for those
disgusting weeds!

I worked in the flower gardens.

And in the veggie gardens. I harvested
about 300 pounds of red potatoes,
lots of butternut squash,peas, beans, okra
and tomatoes(the ones the darn horn worms
did not get!) I am going to plant a fall garden
as well. I will have lots of lettuce, broccoli,
cabbages, carrots and other
cool weather veggies.

This sweet, chubby, precious little
cupcake turned 13 this summer.

Please make her stop growing.

I shot and killed a nasty snake all by myself. It was eating eggs in
my barn and I just can not have that. I am terrified of snakes. There
was shaking and whimpering involved while killing it but I got the
job done. If my daughter was not there comforting me, I probably
would have chickened out.

Speaking of chickens I spent a lot of time chasing chickens from
the back porch, from eating everything in my garden and from
the front yard where they were eating all the grass seed. I finally
trimmed their feathers and made them stay in the chicken yard
for a while.

Worked a lot in the orchard, trying to get grass, flowers and herbs to grow.

Tried and failed to save an egg-bound chicken.

Started to learn how to make stained glass jewelry. Still working on it,
I'm a little rough.

Brandon (center) tried out for and participated in this years
Missoula Children's Theatre production of Pinocchio. He was one
of the Pleasure Island kids who turns into a donkey.

The kids started volunteering at the humane society.
(Click on Homeschooling above to see the details)

And I chopped off a good 6 inches of hair because of the
awful humidity that ruins any chances of maintaining
any other hair style.

The end.

What did you do with your summer vacation?

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's a jungle out there

Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When we simply refuse to weed.

It took me 10 hours all together to weed the garden.

It. was. that.bad.

I find it totally disgusting that the weeds are thriving so. We have had barely any rain this summer along with scalding temperatures with heat indexes up to 113. My veggies are suffering but the weeds, oh the weeds are growing like crazy. Grass will grow up through the wood chips in the garden and reach the heights of my thigh with no effort.

However, planting grass seed around the house is a whole other matter. I tenderly tilled the soil, added home-grown fertilizer, spread the seed at just the right setting on the spreader and watered like crazy. I yelled when the kids or animals walked on it and willed it to grow. Nothing.

Apparently, I need to thickly cover the lawn with wood chips, neglect the grass and pull one sprig of grass to make 100 more pop up. Yes, a change in strategy.. I've just had the wrong approach all along.

Well, at least the weeds are out of the garden for now. Enjoy it because I'm sure that by this time next week it will look just as bad as before I weeded.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor?

So, we have been living in this house for just about a year and a half. The only neighbors we have met have been the sweet old couple that lives about 800 yards across from us. He drives a school bus and is just the sweetest thing you could ever meet. He knows I home school and does not even give me any flack for it. His wife is a retired school teacher. He tells me I am doing the right thing by home schooling. That just knocks me on my arse. Usually, school teachers (and their minions) are the ones that give me the most trouble about my decision to home school my kiddos, so my sweet old neighbors are just way up there in my book of people I like. I think they have a perspective that most people "in the system" do not. They come over to give the kids suckers and warn me about suspicious people in the neighborhood. I just love them more than chocolate. I bring them eggs and veggies from my garden and tell them how much I adore them. I have a thing for old people.........that is a whole other post.... I do love these particular neighbors.

However, there is a dark side. I have other neighbors. These neighbors have never come to give the kids suckers, much less introduced themselves. Their dogs come over (3 of them) frequently to pee/defecate in my garden and chase my chickens. There are two football kickers....I mean....... terriers and one big Saint Bernard looking dog that could care less he is not on his own property. They run/lumber over and bark at me as if I am the one out of place and intruding on their space. Then, they chase my chickens and horses until I get my bee-bee gun and scare them off.

So, the owners of these dogs have witnessed many situations on this property that MAY have given them the wrong impression...Their property is through some trees and about 800 yards from our property line. The first time I noticed their "attention" was when I was chasing a pig that escaped it's pen around our property for 3 hours and I had lost any hint of civility, let alone manners. I was tired of trying to get the pig back in it's pen and was just at the end of my rope. I was cussing, and yelling and saying a whole bunch of things I know I shouldn't have but darn it!!! That pig was infuriating! I glanced across the property to see this particular neighbor just staring at me. I know he thought I was a lunatic. I had a horse whip in one hand, a lasso in the other and was screaming like a banshee. We won't even talk about the gun I was threatening to use or the nice man that had to come help me because my husband was waaaaaaaaay out of town and could do nothing to aleave my frustration.

Another time, the kids (all 3 of them) were on the trampoline and fighting about the rules of the particular game they were playing. Never mind the fact that they had been arguing ALL DAY or the fact that I sent them outside because the were driving me completely insane.........they still had to fight about who did what and what was not fair and who pushed who on the trampoline....I just lost it and started yelling at them........Only, who was hanging around but the neighbor across the way, listening to every evil hiss that came out of my mouth.......

Then, then......... there was yesterday....... It was the fourth of July. The day for celebrating and fireworks, pic nicks, friends and BBQs.......Sam, my elusive golden retriever had disappeared for a while. I did not think anything of it because he will often disappear and then show back up with turtles or a squirrels or just covered in mud. We live in the country, in the woods, by a creek. I was really not all that worried about him.

Unfortunately, he decided to pay a visit to our neighbors who were having a BBQ and disrupt their festivities. By disrupt, I mean steal all their BBQ, jump on the guests and make it totally impossible to enjoy their day. They put him in their truck and took him from neighbor to neighbor until they found his owners........Us.

I was in the middle of cooking our fourth of July BBQ fixings....At that particular moment, I was cutting up a watermelon when I heard an engine. Now, if you know me at all, you will know that people coming on to my property , unannounced just gets my panties in a wad. I don't like people coming here without notice and it makes me very nervous.

Which is why I have this sign posted on my driveway..

So, when the neighbors came over, speeding down my driveway, it put me in a bit of a tizzy. I went out with my butcher knife in hand (because I was just cutting up watermelon and the sound of a truck engine put me in a tizzy) I did not think clearly enough to put he knife down because my bubble had been breached!!!!!!

I went out to the truck, knife in hand to see what they wanted....They very quickly told me that they had this dog that was interrupting their BBQ and were trying to find the owners. Yep, it was my dog....I called him out of the truck and apologized.....I wished them well and sent them on their way... Still holding the butcher knife...

So, I think I made just a really spectacular impression.....Cussing at pigs, yelling at kids and coming out to meet them with a butcher knife. I'm sure they will be calling to invite us over to BBQ or hang out any moment . I just know it.

Maybe someday I will make some friends....Or not.

Probably not.


Happy fourth of July!!!