Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Journal Behind Me

Yesterday, as I sat in sweltering heat, too hot to do anything but read, write, watch a movie, or take a nap, I filled the last page in another pretty journal. I always feel a sense of accomplishment whenever I cover the last few pages of my journal in my handwritten words and put it away with all my other past journals in a box, safely tucked away. And I feel renewed inspiration and adventure calling me in the virgin pages of another unmarked book. Sometimes I hesitate to mar the untouched cleanliness of a new journal with my hand that will often complain, and whine, and write things I may later be ashamed of. But that is all a part of human life, my human life. And alongside pages filled with anger and sadness are pages filled with beauty and happiness. My journal is my friend who hears me out on all the good and bad things I have swimming around in my head. It is part of my story. And when I open a brand new one I feel like I am opening a new and hopeful chapter in my life.

   "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
--Anne of Green Gables

Monday, July 22, 2013

Farmer Fairy

For half of my family, 'tis the week to be camping. Both Rachel and Dad are on a church camping trip up in Tahoe for a couple of days, and Elizabeth is backpacking with our bible study group in Yosemite until Friday. That leaves Mom, Matthew, and I to hold the fort down here at home.

One interesting factor in this is that all the regular chicken wranglers are gone at once for the first time. So, what do we do? Hand out garden hats and take charge of course! Chickens are creatures of routine: they eat, they lay eggs (except Bob,) and they put themselves to bed at dusk; and the little ones are now big enough to be pretty much independent too. So, with a straightforward list of instructions to refer to, caring for the flock has been a cinch.

We still have to count the littles. There's one. 

Two, three. 

Four, five, six... slow down girls, I'm getting you all mixed up! 

And I have to gather the eggs.  It took some looking to find these.


"One of these things is not like the other..." 

A total of four beautiful eggs. 

And now, a tale of two trellises. (Sort of.)

Since Elizabeth has moved in to the house next door, and been busy with her work and chickens, she hasn't had very much time for gardening. This year we had just a small one. Plus she's making plans to cultivate the little yard next door into a lovely garden (of both vegetables and flowers!) So, earlier in the season I started taking care of watering the garden exclusively and have now taken full responsibility for it.

A few days ago Elizabeth and I planted some crookneck squash starters and zucchini seeds in one recently vacated bed.

 It's a little late in the season to be planting squash, but we all missed fresh, homegrown squash. Except for maybe Rachel, she doesn't really like squash.

 Still too soon to see any zucchini sprouts. 

We also planted three rows of radishes (above), and a second trellis of peas. We took the seeds for the second trellis from some dried pea pods from our first crop of peas. Homegrown seeds! 

Pea trellis, senior. 

 And last but not least, our single volunteer tomato plant is still plugging away. I'm still waiting to see red on it. 

I love taking care of my own little garden, watering it and harvesting produce. I call it my kitchen garden (I like that term) and I'm already thinking up plans for it next year.

 Life is so beautiful.