Katie is 14 this year and such a wonderful part of our family. She is compassionate and kind to everyone. Loves to tease to cajole a chuckle out of her siblings. Loves to sing…loudly. Loves to dance. Loves to ride. Loves to cuddle Roo. Loves to crochet. Loves to cuddle in her squalor. We love her to bits and pieces!
Most garden plants need full sun to grow to their potential. I have a great big oak tree on the north side of the garden and it’s branches were starting to provide too much shade So today Jeremie cut down some tree branches for me. I was a little concerned about the pumpkins that I have planted right in the area where the branches fell down, but it looks like they all came through that trauma intact. It only makes me a little nervous when Jeremie uses a chainsaw while he is hanging from a tree.
Many hands make light work. We have always appreciated the many helping hands of our children when it comes time for jobs needing to be done on the farm. But lately we have been needing and offering helping hands to and from others.
Every summer we have to buy enough hay to feed to the animals during the winter. Getting hay is always touch and go. It needs to be wet enough to grow good grass, cool enough that it doesn’t all go to seed, dry enough to cut and bale it. And everyone’s hay is ready at the same time. So for farmers, its a time when they are thankful to have lights on their tractors. Last year we picked up hay out of the field by tractor light, around 11 at night. This year, we were able to get it during the day, and it wasn’t even over 100 degrees. It was downright pleasant (“pleasant” is all relative). The first day, Jeremie’s dad came to help us. The second day we had a friend and his son come to help. Mia and I scrambled around stacking hay and helping where we could. It is a hot, itchy job, but so much better working with others. On the way home from the second trip (it took 4 trips altogether) our driver, who shall remain anonymous, started going a little too fast because the trailer brakes weren’t on. Our haystack came a-tumblin’ down!
We were able to offer help to our friends that were butchering chickens. This job goes so much faster when there are enough people to man all the stations. We were able to fill in the gaps so the job got done in record time. Working with friends makes this unpleasant task much more enjoyable. In the spirit of the old fashioned barn-raisings!
Our 4H group had a variety night and of course, the kids wanted to do some dancing! They also did some sign language and Katie played the piano. I’d say the Schultzies did their part to fill the bill!
Not too much going on in the garden this week. We have enjoyed a lot of rain, which means little weeds sprouting. No worries, a quick pass with a garden rake uproots those little buggers. Weeding is so easy with the mulch! Today we put newspapers and mulch down around the corn. So the entire garden is covered in chips. Many places need a thicker covering but it is a relief to have it all done. We have a few little tomatoes! And the cukes are climbing up the trellis, hanging on for dear life. I’ve pulled out some of my broccoli that was going to seed. The chickens love it. What’s growing in your garden?
To say farewell to 4H for the season, we all took a hike around Hematite lake and enjoyed a picnic afterward. This beautiful spot is part of Land Between the Lakes, a National recreation area near us. It was a beautiful day for a hike. I walked with a horticulturist who pointed out all the neat things growing around us. He was like a walking nature book. The kids saw a snake and had a great time playing with friends.
As my children have gotten older the I had come to dread swimming season. Most bathing suits are just not what we are comfortable with and the few modest ones that we were interested in were super expensive. So, one year, I ordered an expensive suit for Katie and traced around it to make suits for all the other girls. It went very well! Since then, I have made suits for the girls every year, and even some suits for friends and relatives. The lycra is not easy to work, with, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. And there are so many cute fabrics to choose from. Usually we order our fabric for swim suits from ebay. Because my older girls are getting older and maturing I ordered a pattern for a ladies size suit. But posing for pictures in a bathing suit, even a modest one, is not gonna happen. I don’t blame the girls, I wouldn’t want to model a suit either, lol!
We have had 3 of our mama pigs recently deliver babies. Because this last litter was a week later than the others, their are about 12 baby piglets that are quite a bit bigger than the latest litter of 6. So these bigger piggies don’t let the little ones nurse. Piglets don’t care who their mama is, they will nurse off of any mama pig that is producing milk. So most of these littler babies have died. Except this one. That’s right. We are now housing and feeding a little piglet like Wilbur. The kids have to give him a bottle every three hours. Even at night. He has traveled with us to our friend’s house. He has come to church with us. The kids are very devoted to his well-being. Me, not so much. He is a cute little guy and his little grunts are darling, but he stinks! He seems to be growing pretty strong. He must like his formula of raw milk, vitamin C, and egg yolks. Don’t ask… yes, my house smells like a pigsty.