Summer is ON, Baby!

Yep, summer is here!  It’s official!  I saw friends and relatives from Alaska posting about the summer equinox on Facebook.  It’s the one day that the sun never actually dips below the horizon, and it’s a truly amazing experience.

Growing up in Alaska was like a fairy tale, I’m telling ya!

But this summer finds us with a lot of outdoor projects.  We still have our list of indoor projects, but due to the presence of 35 little birds on our budding farm, some things had to be shifted!

FIRST, let me say that I am still blown away by the mercy of God.  I do NOT tolerate heat very well.  Air conditioning is my friend.  Our house, however, does NOT have air conditioning.  Argh!  And we’ve had some very hot days.  Our solution before has been to have a window unit, but we did not have one and with a dead dryer, a dying refrigerator, and an on-again, off-again coffeemaker, we had a lot of other expenses we had to take care of first.  (Coffee IS a priority!)  So one morning, after devotions, I was just talking to God and simply said, “God, we really need a window a/c unit.”  Got ready for work in the muggy morning air, felt that gross sticky feeling most of the way to work, and sighed with relief when I walked into the cool air of my office.  One of the volunteers who works at the pregnancy center came in and said she had a surprise for me.  I asked if it was baby bottles (one of our best and most favorite fundraising campaigns!) and she said, No, it’s for you personally.  She said she had been talking to the Lord that morning and he told her to GIVE us a window a/c unit.

I KNOW, RIGHT???

I realize that in the scheme of life, where children are diagnosed with cancer and young women are killed in car accidents, that my desire for an a/c unit is pretty minor.  But that’s what gets me:  He cares about my little needs and responds with kindness and concern.  Life is hard, but it’s awesome to have a God who cares…

Our blackberries are coming in big so far.  We are just starting to see some blossoms and have to clean up the whole area.  The large arbor, which is entwined with the most gorgeous clematis plant I’ve ever seen, came crashing down during a bad windstorm, and it broke.  And it’s in pieces and the blackberries are growing in the middle of this verdant pile of ferns and flowers.  We’ve been told that the blackberries are thumb-sized.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I can’t wait to see what we get.  And learn how to prune them well so they come back better next year.

Blackberry blossoms

And then there is the grape arbor!  We don’t know much about growing grapes and don’t yet know what kind of grapes we have, but they are coming in thick so far this spring!  We saw lots of blossoms and now the fruit is coming on in bunches…

Grapes BabyI can remember my grandma pulling out a jar of homemade grape juice that was just BEYOND delicious, and I hope to give a try to making our own grape juice (and maybe even some jam) with these grapes.  If they are that kind of grape.

We have not put in a garden.  I may resort to some potted tomatoes and cucumbers, but that will be the extent of it this year.  We have too many other projects and things that REQUIRE work, so a vegetable garden will wait.

We have county fair coming up and Curly will do her first demonstration for a judge.  We picked something easy this year to get our feet wet, but may venture into the animal aspect of 4H next year.

Chickens are GROWING!  Had to go back and look at pictures to figure out how old our chicks actually are (cuz that’s important when you’re dealing with several flocks and expecting eggs some time soon).   We are getting ready to convert our shed into a large coop with an attached enclosed chicken run.  My dad will be heading up that project and Roy & I will be his manual labor!  It’s kinda exciting to think about having such a big coop for all of our chickens to eventually move into.  But the integration process is a bit stressful.  Roy doesn’t like the pecking order process and roosters can be pretty rough.  BUT I’m looking forward to eggs in a few weeks!

ChickenPalooza

And here are just a few highlights of our lovely flock.  Roy keeps teasing me about becoming a country girl.  Really, I’m a city girl with a country spirit!  (Yeah, I’m the one with the ideas about installing solar panels and rain barrels and companion planting and goats and honeybees and making cheese…  Darn those Little House on the Prairie books!!!)

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