Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Solstice is Past

A new front door.  Rowdy-approved.
It is the true beginning of summer, though it has felt summery for a few weeks now.  The hours of daylight are long, with true dark not arriving until well after nine pm.  Though now that we have passed the solstice, the days will begin to be shorter.  I kind of hate that.

There is so much to do on the farm this time of year, even though we have very few animals anymore to take care of.  There is a lot of mowing to do and we have had a lot of rain, which makes the weeds and grasses grow that much faster.  Sam is already thinking about getting firewood cut and stacked for next winter.  Outdoor maintenance needs to be done on buildings and fences and trails and wells and compressors.  And then there is the garden, which is starting to take off with the warm weather and rain. And right now, wild raspberries are ripening and so Sam is picking those and I am planning what to do with them.  First, jam.  Then I will bake a pie tomorrow.  And I will make puree to put in the freezer to be used for raspberry chocolate chip ice cream at a later date/dates.  Sam will be brewing a batch of raspberry wheat beer.  So much yumminess!

As I've said, the garden is really taking off.  I think I also said I do not use herbicides on the garden, so since I was away for 3 days this past weekend, I had a LOT of weeding to do.
  This is one garden.  I weeded it Tuesday and then it rained again.  A never ending battle.  But I do not worry about eradicating every single weed.  Life is too short for that.

Here is the other garden.  My use of cardboard boxes as a weed deterrent is definitely helping, but again, nothing will get rid of all the weeds.  The tomato plants are large enough now that I can "weave" them through the spaces in the cattle panels, and soon I will also need to tie them up.  Most of the plants now have flowers on them so soon I will need to start using my essential oil/water spray as an insect deterrent. 

We lost a hen this week.  Sam found her dead in the chicken coop while I was away.  We have no idea what happened to her.  So we are down to 3 hens.  I am contemplating getting some new ones, but haven't decided yet.  

The bees seem to be thriving.  I have been supplementing them with sugar water and they will go through a quart a day if I keep up with it.  I need to check in the hive this weekend and see if they are ready for another box.  I suspect they may be.

Sam and I did stain most of my studio almost 2 weeks ago.  It came out all right, but we used a sprayer and I think there is a learning curve to getting a nice even coat.  The studio can be seen in the background of the garden photo above.  I think it looks ok.  Now we need to get some railing on the deck and gutters and downspouts.  I purchased some shelving units at Ikea last weekend and have them put together and am quite happy with them.  Now to fill them up!  

Grover with his Double Q ribbon
Grover and I were away last weekend.  We went to 2 different agility trials, the first near Columbus on Friday and then one in the Cincinnati area on Saturday and Sunday.  We had a great weekend.  On Friday, we had 3 runs and we qualified in all 3, resulting in a Double Q (our 7th), our MX (Master Agility) title, and a Premiere Q.  We then drove on to stay at Mom's over in the Dayton area while we attended the other trial.   Saturday was a no Q day for us, though after Friday's success I didn't let it bother me.  Both runs were very good runs and we missed qualifying by just one little mistake each time.  On Sunday we Q'd on both our runs for another Double Q.  Which brings us to 8.  We only got one run on video, our standard run from Saturday, where Grover jumped off the teeter.  I truly think he was startled by the judge because he turns to look at her as he goes on to the next obstacle:  Standard Run Saturday

We had a very nice time with my Mom and came home Monday to find that Sam had replaced our old drafty, clawed up wooden door with the new one he got at an auction a few months back.  I am so pleased. Here is how it looks from the outside and of course Rowdy is showing us how it looks on the inside att he beginning of this post. 

I have had so little time for weaving lately, so my projects look pretty much the same as they did 2 weeks ago.  However, I was able to finish the knitting on the Mystery Knit-Along Wrap I was participating in just yesterday.  It still needs to have ends woven in and trimmed and to be washed and blocked, but I am overall very pleased with it.  It is huge, but I think it will make a great wrap to take with me to agility trials that are air-conditioned in the summer and never warm enough in winter.  


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