Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ten Things

Our life- much like everyone else's, I suppose- ebbs and flows with down time and lotsa lotsa stuff going on. Right now, we seem to be in the midst of a stint of busyness. I am not writing to glamorize being busy (a personal pet peeve); I am offering this as an explanation for why I have only written one blog post so far this month (which will then make me feel less guilty about my blog neglect). Here are ten things that have been distracting me:

1. The garden- I have been working to improve the "soil" out in the garden, mostly by removing the black stuff that we started with and replacing it with decomposed leaves, native topsoil and sand, and rotted horse manure. Into that I've been dropping heat-hearty seeds and the few remaining transplants that I can grab on sale at local feed 'n' seed stores. Ironically, the stuff doing the best out in the garden right now are the volunteer plants that have popped up from compost or left-behind chicken treats. The above pumpkin vine is one prime example- let the record show that the first ever successful pumpkin I'll grow is something I didn't choose, plant, or tend. It's growing all on it's own, and it's by far the most successful thing out in the garden right now. Not sure how I feel about that. Also, I'm pretty sure it's growing those little ornamental mini pumpkins. Are those good to eat? I'm going to have to figure that out, because there are a lot.

2. The other gardens- I spent the better part of Sunday revamping a portion of the southern half of our front flower beds. I ripped out some dead things, transplanted some unsuccessful things, and finally got the two yuccas we bought a few weeks ago tucked into their forever homes. I'm digging the end product (har har, catch what I did there?).

3. Kid spa party- So Audrey was invited to an 8-year-old spa party this weekend, too, and it was amazing. Fifteen little girls having a full spa experience (complete with fluffy robes, slippers, fancy drinks in champagne flutes, manis and pedis with hand and foot massages, three different make-your-own beauty products, and a dance party), facilitated by a spa professional and her staff, and lunch provided? We couldn't pass that up.

4. Ag exemption- We've figured out the best way to get all our land ag exempt is through beekeeping (trust me, we've run through every possibility, and this is the best one for us). The process by which we reached this conclusion was disappointing, infuriating, and frustrating, but I think we're resolved now and we've started drawing up a plan. In our state/county, we have to prove up on whatever we're claiming for five years before we can be granted the exemption, and going this route means we've already got two years down. Included in the plan for the next three years: more hives, a honey house, and some extensive pollinator-friendly landscaping and land management. More on that later.

5. The peeps- Our girls are growing at a dizzying speed (I always forget how fast they turn into real chickens), and they are developing twelve distinct personalities in the process. I can't help but sit a spell in the coop while Queenie-Five-Toes perches on my lap and I watch Turmeric and Paprika chase flies, Ursula and Yzma dust bathe, and the others try to play Queen of the Perch. It's the best timesuck ever.

6. Wild edibles- All around us, the wild things are growing. We've had a crazy-bountiful dewberry harvest, and there are way more lamb's quarters this spring than I can ever remember in years past. We've been picking both every day almost and sharing them with the feather girls, freezing, dehydrating, or eating them on the spot. We've also found mustang grape vines that we didn't know we had, we found a row of mystery fruit trees in a fence row that look kinda like plums but could also be Texas persimmons maybe, and the blackberry canes around our pond are loaded with flowers. It won't be long before we're down there regularly picking gobs of blackberries!

7. The bees- I have already put a honey super on South Hive, North Hive isn't far behind them, and Middle Hive just reared their own queen. I feel compelled to make my way out to the bee yard regularly to make sure everyone is doing well and has enough room. I want to harvest honey this year!

 8. Leeloo- Our old border collie mix, Leeloo (going on 13 years old now), was recently diagnosed with lupus. She had been suffering from the disjointed symptoms of this apparently common problem for dogs her age for a while now, but recently they've all escalated with a few new twists that finally led to her official diagnosis. She now has to have six pills and two soft flavored antibiotic "chews" (which she won't eat and have to be hidden in food like the pills) every day. Getting to this point has taken three expensive trips to the vet and a lot of nursing time, and we're not quite out of the woods yet...

9. Audrey- Ever since Audrey's eardrums ruptured over Easter weekend, we've been dealing with hearing problems, which has led us to see an ENT specialist. We're in the process of trying to figure out why she keeps having trouble with her ears, and what can be done to help prevent further ear problems. Thankfully school is almost out for the summer, which will make follow-up appointments way easier, and maybe we'll get somewhere before school starts again!

10. End-o-the-year school stuff- this month, there has already been two field trips, a "splash day" for all grade levels at the kids' school, and a book character dress-up day. We still have up and coming an EXPO night, field day, a 2nd grade talent show, and Kindergarten graduation.

So thanks for visiting me here in this space, friends, hopefully I'll be more present soon. I'm checking stuff off my top 10 list as we speak, and with summer break comes a break............ right?

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