All through the summer the house was still torn apart and I had banned all visitors. I wasn't happy about that, but I wasn't joking either. The level of mess we are living in is just shy of maddening to me.
Oddly enough, we had a couple show up on our doorstep one night because their truck had gotten stuck on the country road down a ways. They looked a little scared.
Right before they knocked, the chickens that were perched right on the front railing freaked the girl out. I could tell they had had the normal discussion any person would, in their situation, about a guy named Bubba who could very possibly greet them way out here where no one would hear them scream. (Cory likes to tell people when giving them directions to our house: "if you hear banjos, you've gone too far)...
They asked if we had a tractor (do we have a tractor?- of COURSE we have a tractor) to pull them out.
Instead of Bubba, they get me, which I actually think surprised them more than a toothless killer would have. I am starting to notice a pattern with that.
One day I was in yoga pants, sunglasses, slogger boots and a tanktop (that I had slept in) and this guy pulls into our lane (lost, of course) at the exact same time that I am putting water in the cow's trough. That particular day I happened to have twisted my hair up in these curly bun/pony tail things like a cross between someone from Sweden named Inga and Princess Leia. I could see him trying to register what he was seeing with all the previous files he had stored in his brain as he stammered to ask for directions. I think I am to country as Bubba is to city... but I'm not sure- it's just a feeling I get.
Anyway, according to my decision list that I TAPED TO THE REFRIGERATOR,
[so when I revisit (more regularly than I care to mention) the meaning of life, our purpose, and what we should be doing, I can save myself a whole heck of a lot of time by just looking at the list instead of going through all of that brain- wracking again. If I happen to remember the list is there, I can promptly see that we've already been over this ..and just do what is next.]
spring was designated home improvement time, and the end of spring marked the shift to stage two of my year plan, which is the summer schedule: continue homeschooling and actually begin to work my business.
The boys never have trouble keeping themselves busy
and honestly sometimes I feel I am interrupting their learning when I require that we do our academic work.
We had to buy a garden cart so that we could start rotating the cows onto different paddocks of grass. The cart would serve to keep their water and their hay and minerals within reach wherever they were. I let the boys take a crack at putting it together while Cory was at work and they did a great job. (I'm sure it doesn't hurt that there is a family of mechanics on their mother's side of the family).
I decided earlier in the year that it simply makes sense to do school when the weather is too severe to enjoy the outdoors (summer and winter) and have off when it is beautiful outside (spring and fall). Thus we have come off of a long and lovely spring break and are back to school.
Summer, for me, was very weird. It went by quickly in a sense, but in a way many of the days melted together in their likeness. I divided my time between business work and the daily chores of house and farm. Looking back, I'm actually kind of sad about it. I'd really like to bust my husband out of jail (his job) and get on a sailboat to an island some days, any island, so we could all just be together instead of our family - 1 the majority of the time....but I get motion sick.... which is a thorn in the side of that dream, but whatever.
Anyway, toward the end of the summer, we had three major happenings..
First, we had a nice visit from my brother, Paul; and his wife, Heather and son, Reese (he is as cute as pie!). We went crabbing and swimming together- the boys were really glad to get to play with Reese, have company, and do something different from our normal routine.
We also had Buttercup artificially inseminated. We found a bull who has A2/A2 genetics (MAJOR controversy over the A1/A2 thing, if you are into raw milk- definitely read about it). Then we found a nearby farmer, who raises angus actually, who is an AI tech. He came out when Buttercup went into heat (she BAWLS her HEAD OFF when she is in heat so it is pretty darn easy to detect) and did it. Prior to his arrival Cory built a headgate. When he got here he had a nitrogen tank. I got her into the headgate and with the boys help we fed her grain and held her tail up while he felt around in there til he got it done. That was a definite first for me. Never seen that done. Never thought I would. It worked the first time, so she is pregnant and due in May.
And finally, we were asked by another family farm couple to milk their cow one Saturday so they could go to a wedding. Their teenage kids prepared instructions and a checklist for me to be sure we did everything routinely, and we went a week prior to go through a dry run with them. And yes, I did it. I milked a cow. It actually wasn't that hard.
Believe it or not I got slack with picture taking and didn't get pictures of any of these things. Slacker.
That gets us to the final two events that have happened between then and now- the hurricane and the pig butchering. Oh, and I almost forgot the duck genocide of 2011. I'll fill ya in on those next time.