Where Does the Time Go?

Wow, has life ever been busy lately!  The past week seems to have just slipped away in a blur of activity – gardening, violin teaching, concert organising, gardening, gardening, gardening – and of course there’s always the usual household chores, laundry, animals to feed, stalls to clean, yarn to spin, clothes to be knit & sewn.  Plus the children, my sweet, amazing children, who are the centre of everything and the reason for it all, who need to be read to, pushed on swings, splashed with in the wading pool, tickled, baked with in the kitchen, snuggled on the couch, taken on adventures, bathed, fed, and constantly adored.  Yes, life has been full and rich and busy.  Every day I am finding so much to be grateful for, and so happy to be alive.

The gardens are coming along well, after a super-wet Spring and a late planting start.  We have some tiny tomatoes starting to grow, sweet little green balls hanging delicately from the plants. I can’t help but grin when I look at them.  The cucumber plants are covered in beautiful flowers (won’t be long now!).  We’ve had some delicious garden salads with kale, lettuce, spinach, chard.  Radishes are almost ready, carrots are coming along beautifully.  Our beans look amazing!  Squash plants flourishing, Brussels sprouts growing, broccoli heads beginning to form.  After many farm animal mishaps in the gardens, we’ve finally got our garden fence properly goat-proofed and chicken-proofed.  No more tears over plants being eaten!  The gardens seem grateful indeed, to no longer be living in fear.

Our chicks are thriving and growing so fast.  Can it really be only last month that I hatched those eggs in the incubator?  Really!?  Those sweet little chickies run around with the big girls these days, darting in and out of the tall grass, eating bugs and testing their wings.  They are incredibly amusing to watch, so little and dear, and there’s something all the more special about them because I hatched them here, in my dining room, after turning those eggs three times a day, every day, for three solid weeks.

The goats are growing fast, too.  Alice’s kids are already almost as big as Daisy (our bottle-fed kid, who, admittedly, is really on the small side – really), and Mazie is almost full grown!  She’s catching up to Alice, fast.  With the grass being so long around here, there’s been an endless supply of grazing land for the goats, who are almost always tethered in the front yard, or under the laundry line, or along the bushy side of the driveway.  They keep things somewhat in check and there’s a never-ending source of free food!

And speaking of long grass, we’ve seen many amazing snakes in the yard.  An incredible thing happens when you stop mowing the lawn – it becomes a habitat!  Garter snakes, fox snakes, a wide array of birds (many, MANY of whom have chosen to nest in our trees!), a huge variety of beautiful butterflies, all have been attracted to the yard this summer, due mostly to the lush and diverse plant life covering the property.  I love it!  Every day there is something new to discover.  Now, if only people would stop making snide remarks about our lawn needing cutting!

Yes, these days are busy.  Soon we will be at the farmers’ market on weekends, too, which will add a whole new dimension to life.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Friday on the Farm

Our days are filled with wonder and beauty.  There is much to be grateful for!  Today was particularly lovely.

Will I ever tire of hanging laundry on the line, or of taking laundry photos? Doubtful.

These beautiful flowers are coming up all over the place in so many different colours. I can't get enough!

Spinning......

...........and spinning!

Dip, Dip and Swing

Of all the things I love about living where we live, I am most grateful for the beautiful conservation area about a half-kilometer down the road.  Today we were blessed with a break in the rain, long enough to get out for a paddle with the kids, my parents and my brother.  It was such a relief to have a sunny afternoon, and we sure did make the most of it!

This is practically in our back yard!

So very tuckered out!

Just as we were pulling the canoes out of the water, dark clouds began to roll in.  Within a half-hour, rain was spitting down and soon we were hit with a major thunderstorm.  We were so lucky to get our canoeing in before the rain, and so thankful for a bit of sun in an otherwise very rainy couple of months.

In Sheep’s Clothing

This weekend I had the joy of attending a friend’s sheep shearing party with my mom and my daughter.  Their farm is gorgeous and we were surrounded by such lovely people.

My mama and my daughter made some new friends.

 

We were surprised by how calm and patient the sheep were while being sheared.

Raina was totally captivated by the shearing and watched very intently for a long time.

 

Sheep are such beautiful animals. We bought one!

At the end of it all, my sweet girl was tuckered right out.

 

Shearing day was pretty fantastic!  I wish I had more days like this in my life, with great people gathered together, enjoying life with each other, smiling and laughing and just having a grand old time.  We’re alone too much on our little farm!

 

And an aside – I’ve been spinning up some new yarns the past few days.  I can’t get enough of my spinning wheel!  Soon I’ll have a large new selection of yarns in my Etsy shop!

Bamboo/Alpaca blend... it is so soft and luxurious, I want all of my clothing to feel like this! Totally dreamy!

Happy weekend to you all!

Getting Seedy

My dear boy has been waiting patiently to get started on his very own garden, but alas, we have been rained out again and again.  Every spare sunny day has had Mama and Daddy working in the veggie gardens, in a mad dash to get things planted before the rain settles back in on us.  So, while Lynden has decided exactly what he’d like to grow in his garden – sunflowers, beans, cucumbers, carrots – and where he’d like his garden to be, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to make it possible for him to get out there and plant.  (Who knew we could get this much rain!?)

In an effort to satisfy Lynden’s desire to get gardening, I purchased this nifty little book, “Good Growing – A Kid’s Guide to Green Gardening“.  It comes with two packets of seeds and two little trays for sprouting – instant gratification! A perfect project to start on tomorrow morning.  Lynden loves sprouts (heck, we all do!) and his interest in growing his own sprouts has been piqued by the bright, fun photos contained within the book.  I hope this little side project will be enough to satisfy him until the ground dries up enough to get his garden going!

Weekend Snapshots

What a gloriously sunny long weekend we had!  Jae and I worked hard and got all of our existing garden beds planted and fenced in, a big relief for sure.  Every evening we got some rain, enough that we didn’t need to water after planting.  Life around here has been really good!

It was warm enough to get the kids’ wading pool out of the garage and fill ‘er up.  Three days in a row, my children were like fish, splishin’ and splashin’ with pruny fingers and toes.

Daisy spent plenty of time leaping and running around in the sun, and plenty of time lazing about in the shade.  She seems to be thoroughly enjoying this warm, sunny weather.

We sold some of our laying flock, including Doug the rooster. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I really do miss the chickens we sold (especially Doug!).  All of our “originals”, the ones we hand-raised last Spring for the first time, have remained.  Here’s Little Red, all grown up.  She enjoys the warm weather, too!

This year’s first batch of chicks are already fully feathered!  Wow, time flies!  These teeny-boppers were put outside for the first time on the weekend, and suffered not a single attack by the older hens.  A peaceful transition to life outdoors.  In a couple of weeks, the chicks we hatched in our incubator will be ready to go out, too, and our next batch of eggs should be hatching.

Yes, the long weekend sure was pretty great.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves too!

Soggy Soil

I’m in a state of utter disbelief at the amount of rain we’ve had this Spring. I haven’t been able to get much into the ground, for even when it’s not raining out, the soil is just too saturated to work with. My seedlings are desperately wanting to be outdoors! The few cucumber starters I saved from the wrath of the rabbit are now starting to flower in their trays, and my sunflowers are much too large for their little starter pots.

Alas, today is another grey and rainy day, and it looks as though the rest of the week will be much the same. I’m trying not to stress about the super-wet soil and the fact that I’m now about a month behind in my planned planting schedule. I’m trying not to fret about having nothing ready for the market, which opens this coming weekend, and to save myself too much stress I’ve decided to hold off on the market stand until June.

Too much water, yes.

My mountain of laundry grows as I have had so few days that are decent enough to hang the washing on the line. I haven’t had a chance to set up an indoor drying area, and I don’t want to use the dryer, but I may have to cave and rely on the machine again after all.

The kids are stir-crazy, the chickens are slacking in the egg-laying department, the goats have retreated to the barn. Someone needs to have a talking-to with the skies. My pleas for sun have apparently gone unheard.