If you missed the introduction and Sunday & Monday, you can find them here.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Years ago we established the expectation that we all begin our day by reading out of God's Word. I'm usually up before everyone else and am reading before The Cowboy follows within about 15 minutes or so. All is well until one of us inevitably says, "can I read you something?" That is generally followed by a wonderful hour long discussion about the Lord which concludes with, "look at the time! I gotta do my chores!"
This morning, while The Cowboy was out doing his chores, the neighbor gal told him that the irrigation water was coming on a week early.
And thus began our day - and a change in school plans!
Our sons and 5 year old Bug met the neighbor at the corner where our pastures meet to do a little burning. The ditch that runs along the east end of our property carries water to that neighbor - and she had made arrangements with our oldest son still at home to help her burn it at least a week prior, but the wind had not been cooperating. Fortunately, this was a rather still day and the team went to work while Boo and I did our chores and milked.
Eventually I noticed that Bug and the oldest son had left and gone back to their regular duties, but 7 year old Littlest Cowboy was still with the neighbor. She has a bad back and he had decided that he should help her get rocks out of the ditch. It was much appreciated by the neighbor, and a proud mama moment for me!
The Cowboy has been spreading manure and harrowing in Chloe's regular pasture, and she is very much enjoying getting to eat all of the tender spring grasses in areas we don't normally keep critters. Today we put her in the area that houses The Cowboy's obstacle course. You can see, from the collage above, that Boo outdid herself in her "cow watering get up" - her black and white dress with sparkly red high heels and her red wool cap - that she wears "because it has braids, like Laura Ingalls."
After wrapping up burning (and hanging around for a while to ensure that the pine needles were truly out), chores, and breakfast we ran to town for some much needed errands. On the way home we met the neighbor driving out of our driveway. She had dropped off a thank you gift for the Littlest Cowboy and berries for all of us. The LC is still tickled with the new shovel she brought him that was more his size.
On our drive in we saw that we were none too soon with the ditch burning as the water in our back pasture was already running strong. The kids were ecstatic to get to play in the ditch while I hung clothes to dry in the beautiful weather.
After some school time, we started our chores early. The Cowboy would be getting home somewhat late and we were invited to dinner at his parents' house to have a birthday dinner for his dad. We did as many chores as we could and then helped him with his (as you can see by the picture of Boo helping him walk "my" horse...that seems to no longer be "my" horse!).
While we waited for The Cowboy to finish his chores, Boo and The Littlest Cowboy and I worked on cleaning pine needles out of the ditch that runs by our house. The ditch is lined with beautiful pines - but we hadn't gotten their fallen needles out of the ditch before the water came on. We eventually arrived at my in-laws house "only" a half an hour late. That's pretty good for us spring through fall!
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Ahh...a slower day! Today, after breakfast and chores we had some time to catch up on school and housework. I'm also behind on getting some seeds started. I started gorgeous heirloom tomato plants about 3 weeks ago, but I have so many more to start.
For years I had tried to start tomato plants from seed, but they'd grow tall and leggy before they finally tipped over. This year, I've invested in a couple of grow lamps and I cannot believe the difference that makes! I purchased some seeds for gorgeous tomatoes from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - lots of different purple bearing plants and I am so hopeful they'll do well.
After lunch we go outside so the kids can play in the ditch and I can sort seeds. I had purchased some seeds from a second heirloom seed company and none of their packets have growing instructions, so I sit near the ditch with my computer, searching growing instructions on a dozen different types of seeds.
After our milk customer comes by to get her milk, we go inside and the kids help me start another batch of seeds in peat pots to put under our second grow lamp. While we didn't crack a book, I definitely count this as school. There are few things on this earth more important than understanding where your food comes from. That our children get to be a part of their own food growth is pretty awesome!
After the seeds are planted, the kids watch an episode of Little House on the Prairie while I go over my bee and chicken checklist to make sure I've ordered everything we need. We have honey bees coming the first week in May and broiler chicks come next week. As best as I can tell, I have everything ordered for the bees. Preparation for the chicks will have to wait, in large part, until next week. They will be housed, temporarily, in a two-horse trailer that will be used next Tuesday to transport our pigs to the butcher. The chicks will arrive the following day - after the trailer is prepped for them.
Tonight we actually finished dinner and chores early enough to read a little bit. In the winter we often read from the Little Britches series and we're currently reading Mary Emma and Company from that series. None of us are ready to give it up just yet - but we're having a hard time getting in on time to have opportunity to read before bed. As usual, Boo falls asleep on my lap while I read and by the time I finish the chapter, all of us are pretty droopy eyed.
Just another day in paradise!