Summertime (& why I’ve been MIA)

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You GUYS!  I know I’ve been absent from the blog for a while, but I’ve been SO summertime busy.  And I know every single one of you Mamas out there know exactly what I mean by that:  I’ve been working in the yard, the garden, the house, catching up on all sorts of things … including school, and trying to get us all on an efficient-yet-fun summertime schedule.

I haven’t accomplished as much as I wanted to so far, but I’m getting there. (Even though summertime is almost over – better late than not at all, right?)  My goal was to be uber-organized and on track by August 1st, which is the day my son’s football camp starts and our lives start to revolve around practice schedules and game trips.   That hasn’t exactly happened.  But I’m closer now than I was this time last year and I’m REALLY looking forward to football season!!

So.  One of our biggest summertime goals was the relocation of our garden.  We’ve worked really hard to get it plotted out, tilled up, planted, fenced and tended all summer long.  It’s been a mixed bag of success and failure.  Overall, we agree it was a good decision to move it, though.

Summertime

This was our spinach – it’s glorious, right??  A few days after I took this, when I went out to harvest, I found that some enterprising little rabbits had found their way through the fence and devoured it.  All.  Right down to the stem.  The spinach never recovered and it was too hot to plant more.  We got a couple of harvests from it, though, and it tasted SO good!  Next year, we’ll inspect the fencing more closely, too, because the spinach was not the last garden casualty.  🙁  Rabbits, grasshoppers, blister beetles – all these pests have been terrible this summer.  And, because hubby forgot to put the hot wire around the top edge of the fence, some obnoxious raccoons found our cantaloupe and watermelons and ATE. THEM. ALL.  NINE cantaloupe in one night, y’all!!  Ugh.

We are getting a lot of yummy cucumbers, zucchini squash, banana peppers and beautiful purple bell peppers, though.  And our tomato plants are producing quite a bit, even though the grasshoppers are eating them down to the stalks.  Poor things.  I’m about to admit defeat in the regular garden and just get ready to plant for a fall garden.  Maybe that will go better.

I absolutely love the new location, though.  It’s away from the cedar trees, closer to the house and much easier to work in general.  I’m optimistic that the pumpkins I planted the other day will grow – even though I’m weeks late getting them in the ground.  And I think a few tweaks in security will find next year’s garden much more bountiful.  (Fingers crossed!)

The whole garden thing is very frustrating for me because I am just not a very good gardener.  I try, really, I do.  But even though I plant when I should, do everything the experts my husband tells me to do … I can barely grow weeds.  But I haven’t given up completely … every year, I keep at it.  Maybe I’m just a very, very, very late bloomer.  😉

I also mentioned that we’re doing school this summer … and that’s actually been going well.  Everyone is on track.  No one is throwing a fit (much) about having to do school work for a couple hours in the afternoon.  And we will be totally prepared for the chaos of football schedule without anyone falling behind in their studies.

It feels really good to have a plan that actually came to fruition.  I’m not going to lie – I worried that this summer semester would be another casualty of heat-induced laziness on everyone’s part.  lol  So far, my high schooler is content to be staggering his course load through the early fall so he can concentrate on the more rigorous classes one or two at a time.  And my girls – well, they’re happy to focus on Math, Science and Vocabulary through the summer if it means more time to ride their bikes and go to Bingo with the grandparents later on when it’s cooler outside.  Halcyon days, my friends …

Because of the nature of being ranchers and farmers, plus my husband’s job as a crop adjuster for an insurance company; summer is typically not the time when our family gets to travel and relax and have fun.  There’s just too much work that needs to be done for us to get away very often.  Especially when this happens …

Summertime

The Grandpa was baling rye when a bearing in the big round baler overheated, caught fire and burned the entire baler to a crispy hull.  Grandpa had already unhitched the tractor, thank goodness!  But it was a blow to the haying of the rye field.  And of course, now we’re on the hunt for a new (to us, at least) round baler.  It’s always something …

Our one fun trip to the City earlier this month resulted in a very expensive game of chicken … or turkey in this instance.

Summertime

We were on the highway, driving 65 mph, when a turkey suddenly flew out of the ditch and right into our windshield. My husband had no time to avoid it or even get slowed down very much before impact.  It was super loud and scary!  As you can see, the windshield was completely smashed … it was barely holding together and glass was falling all over my husband and I in the front seats.  We were about 40 miles from home; so we drove very slowly on the dirt back roads back to the house.  Hubs had to lean over into the passenger side to even see to drive!  And the entire time, glass continued to fall in on us and the windshield kept wobbling like it was going to collapse.

We were so fortunate that no one was injured!  Well, except the turkey … but it was kind of her own fault.  I still felt bad for her, though.  Especially when I thought about the ‘pet’ turkeys that hang around our house … they’re fun to watch.  Just not, you know, when they’re coming through your windshield.

Summertime

Here’s a picture of one our farm turkeys.  She’s one of a pair that hangs around in the tall grass south of the house.  They come into the yard occasionally, which is where I snapped this photo.

As summer comes into its last month, I can see that we’ve accomplished a lot over the past few months.  There is always more to do – that’s the nature of country life, home schooling, parenting, etc., isn’t it?  I am finally learning to embrace flexibility and I can see how it’s paying off for the entire household.  We’ve made such a good effort all summer long that we’ll be able to take a little time and relax once cooler weather arrives.  I hope.

And I hope y’all will forgive me for my prolonged absence from the blog.  I had many good intentions to post more regularly and document all the projects I had planned for the summer.  And you know exactly what they say about the good intentions, right?  lol The sudden and brutal onslaught of summertime heat and humidity  (too many 100°+ days) made me not want to stand outside sanding furniture or painting … or, you know, breathing.  I have moved most of those projects to the fall roster.

We chose to keep the girls out of extracurricular activities this fall so that we could focus more each individual child’s activities.  Fall is for football, and after that season is over, the girls will have their turn to participate in sports, dance, drama, voice, or whatever they decide they want to do.

One added benefit of this new system is that I will have a little more time at home.  And I swear that I really am going to do my very best to devote more of that time to my blog.  There are so many things I’m sure I’m doing wrong, technically, and I need to fix them. And I know I’m woefully behind the times in terms of additional social media options.

I took a big first step (for me) by adding a Farm Mama Instagram.  I had planned to add Twitter, as well.  However, I have begun to think Twitter is not the right sort of platform for me.  For reasons that I won’t go into here, but are important to me personally, Farm Mama will not be on Twitter.  You can find me on Facebook though.  And I would love for you to visit my page there — I want to get to know y’all!!!

Well, there you have it … all my excuses and apologies and good intentions and promises!  lol  I hope y’all have been having a fun and exciting summer.  You know, I have to live vicariously through y’all since my summer has been completely boring.  😉  I would love for you to let me know what you’d like to see on the blog, also.  I write because it makes me happy to do so … a writer has to write, right?  But I want my readers to get something from my blog as well.  So don’t be shy about voicing your opinions and asking questions!

Enjoy what I like to call ‘high summer’, y’all!

Love & Blessings,

That Farm Mama

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