Sunday, May 18, 2014

Epic Spring catch up.

Yesterday we spent the day catching up here on the farm.  The oil was changed in the tractor and the car, we burned the mounds of cardboard that had been piling up, the weed-whacker was started up and the fence line was whacked back into orderly shape, the back pasture was bush-hogged, etc. etc.

Things fall behind during the week as we balance sports and school and the store and the renovation project.

And the weekends are spent catching up on the farm, and the family.  Luckily today was a rainy Sunday, so we have been knocking out inside things, like laundry, waffles, pancakes, donuts, and the like.

And this diary.

Third catch-up post of the day.

While clearing the fence line and prepping the back pasture for new fences, we found a cool old tree that this little man, with much squirming, managed to squeeze into.

The little lass, with her pink John Deere gloves handily left on a post, was more interested in prancing through the woods than dragging branches to the burn piles.

We assembled the bed for the sleeping porch, (old pine timbers and oak legs from one of the old buildings,) and put the new mattress out there in preparation for cool nights and the sound of peepers.

The kids started a diving-off-the-sleeping-porch game that went on much longer than you would think.

Earlier this spring having dinner on the porch meant bringing blankets to wrap up in.  The cool weather, excepting this strange week we're just coming out of, has since passed.

We have had many visitors this Spring, Alexe's mother was here for a week around the book signing with her friend, followed quickly by Alexe's father, and then a day later, Alexe's aunt and uncle.  Somehow I don't have any pictures of these folks, but I remember on this Easter Egg hunt day Frank was helping keep an eye on the kids, while Alexe was away at a book signing all day.

Caspian and his best friend.

Later that day we took a trek through the back woods to the sand pit with grandfather, still sans-Alexe.

Later in the day we headed over to a crawfish/bbq/pinata/horseshoe/bonfire party.  Alexe made it back in time for the bonfire.

That's my girl.

Friday nights are still family movie night.

Grandfather brought Annaliese this "beauty table" as she calls it.  She doesn't like to be caught in the act of prepping for school.

Alexe and Dixie are graciously dealing with the cookbook celebrity work.

She's getting grumpier as she grows up, but the shiny little girl can't be kept in all the time.

This was the last date Alexe and I had time to take, on May 12th.  We coupled it with a practical trip to get Alexe a new phone.  

Half a case of older grapefruit = a delicious stockpile of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Caspian is climbing everything.

Speaks for itself.

I love these cows.  Not as much as turtles, but pretty close.

Another evening spent watching the kids do everything but play baseball.

I rented a trencher for a weekend and ran water and power lines everywhere. To both barns, to the pig, and to the garden.  I had enough of frozen hoses and walking water to the cows this past winter.

It's quite a machine.  Ran all these lines in just a few hours.

We took a trip to Tractor Supply to secretly pick up chicks the day before Easter.  I distracted the kids while Alexe bought six chicks and snuck them into the back of the car.

This little girl, daughter of a grocer, spent the whole time re-organizing this display.

By talking very loudly over the insanely loud cheeping coming from the back of the car the whole drive home, and eventually cranking the radio and singing along, we managed to get these little guys home without tipping off our own chicks.  

Earlier in the day Annaliese and Caspian had worked on their Easter presents for everyone.  This is mine, found on my pillow:

The next morning, after their baskets, the kids each received three chicks.  Though in all reality, Alexe received 6 chicks, and the kids were allowed to hold them a little bit.

Easter dinner, with some eye rolling from the teenag...six year old.

It turns out digging the trenches and running the water lines was the easy part of this project.  Putting all the dirt back on top of the pipes took many blisters, and one of the longer stretches running down a hill was pleasantly flushed clean the next day by a torrential downpour.  All the dirt is now at the bottom of the hill.  

The kids were surprisingly dedicated to their task of stomping down the dirt as I hoed it into the trenches. 

A friend brought us a goat as a gift.  We named her Penny.

She's turned into an escape artist, a ravager of gardens, and an all around agent of mischief.  On her second day here I found her in the grain barrel.

Caspian's school year came to a close, and one of the events to mark the occasion was a prom.  He asked his sister to come as his date.

The other event was a graduation party and ceremony.  We got dressed up and went to see our little man graduate from pre-k.

Is this not the cutest thing?

A proud big sister.

Celebratory Sprites, boiled peanuts, crawfish, and crab legs.

A rainy Saturday.   

Which turned into a very muddy Saturday.  Yes, I should have taken the laundry in before the rain started. 

While I'm not including the renovation project here, most of my time and pictures are dedicated to that piece of my life right now.  As an exception to the rule, this is a picture of my crew.  They work their asses off keeping up with me and my 12 month timeline, and every Friday we all walk down to the BTC and I pick up the lunch tab.  

Penny the goat has been lonely, and sneaking out of the fences to hang out with the chickens.  We had learned this lesson with the pig, so on another Saturday morning, with Alexe working and then headed to another book reading, the kids and I hopped in the truck and headed out to find another goat.

We struck out at the Amish, because all the men folk were at a livestock auction.  We bought a swing for the porch, and headed over to the auction.  They had moved on to the cattle section of the auction, and the Amish men who had bought all the goats had left.

From there we seemed to see goats everywhere, and though we pulled over many times and knocked on doors, we did not find any goats for sale.  We gave up and went to the feed store in Pontotoc before heading home, and there was a goat listing on the bulletin board.  A phone call later, and another 12 miles North, we found a very nice goat farm, and drove away with four female goats, a nanny and three recently weened young ladies.  

They're still bonding with Penny.  The initial meeting included many head butts between the nanny and Penny.  I still don;t think they've ironed it out, but they wander the fields as a herd, which is nice.

Another evening at the baseball fields.  Yes, that's Caspian climbing the side of the snack shack.

And with his hat backwards, hanging with a friend from school and some older home-schooled kids we know.

This little lady graduates from kindergarten on Tuesday.  She's been worn out these past few weeks, and I find her asleep more often than not when I get home around 5:30.

We took a trip to Memphis for this book signing event at a big-box-book-store.  The girls get a break after this one.

Turns out another magazine, "Click", has an article on the store.

While Alexe and Dixie sat at their table for two hours, the kids and I went sock shopping.  I may have been overly frustrated at the endless hunting for socks in the mornings around here; the kids are now drowning in piles of bright pink and neon yellow and blue socks.

With that mission accomplished, we picked Alexe up, and headed to Steak and Shake, Alexe's favorite fast food joint, for an early dinner.  It was nuts to have to put our name on a list and wait for a booth in a fast food restaurant. I don't miss city life at all.

So. Charming.

We then headed over to the Red Bird's stadium for a baseball game, where Caspian's best friend was having his birthday party.  

We had a short time of pleasantly sitting and watching the kids play together before it turned into a revolving door of snack fetching and bathroom visits.

They certainly had fun with all their friends.

The baseball game was as interesting as a baseball game can be I suppose.  The fireworks after the game were amazing.

And after the fireworks, there was a band playing in front of the stadium, and the kids had the most charming dance party.  Unfortunately that's all recorded in video form, so no pictures to share here.

A very late drive home, and we plopped the snoozing kids in their beds and collapsed.  

Not sure when this was, but the kids decided a second dinner was in order, and called us to the kitchen when it was ready.

mmmm, a delicious meal of Spring freshness, with salami, triple-cream brie, and smoked salmon.  All courtesy of our favorite grocery store.

Our main street is getting a grind-down and resurfacing.  (Also, a sneaky picture of the front porches with new hand rails and paint.)

A couple days ago Annaliese and Pricilla, (the orange kitty,) caught a mouse.  After Annaliese grabbed a shovel and said she was off to drown it, we talked her into releasing it in the pasture.  We may have been overly effective with our lessons on life and death.

Penny.  Again with the grain bin.

Earlier today.  Sometimes we need a long rainy Sunday to catch up and slow down.  

And that brings us up to date.  Another thing checked off the list.  Cheers.