Summer is winding down and autumn is just around the corner! I’m busy doing all sorts of things to make sure we are ready for the next transitional period in our home.
Confession: I’m a big proponent of year round homeschool. But we didn’t do that this year. Why? Honestly, everyone needed a break. It’s been a season of change, transitions, new jobs for my husband, new livestock, new responsibilities, construction and remodeling- just SO much going on and the chaos was reflected in everyone’s attitudes so Mama just said, “Enough! We’re having a summer break this year.” Praise God for the authority I have over our home school and for freedom in Christ to do what is best for my family at any given moment.
That said, we have some updates to share.
We are still breaking in the kitchen like a good pair of blue jeans. And incidentally, the Atlantic Schooner blue wood stain of the cabinets is quite comforting and comfortable to me, Also like a good pair of blue jeans. Speaking of which, every time my husband rips the seat of his jeans beyond repair, I snatch up the denim and snip the legs into denim yarn. I’ve been knitting a rug for the kitchen and I think I may have just acquired the final pair of pants needed for the project! Silver lining in every torn pair of pants.
We trimmed up the butcher block and removed about 6″ of it because it was too close to the door frame at 4′ so we swapped the 18″ set of drawers for the 12″ cabinet, and we’re back in business.
I intend to refinish the hanging cabinets, add knobs, drawer pulls, and hinges, and repaint everything. E-ver-y-thing. In the whole kitchen/dining room area. BUT- I have decided it may be best to postpone much of that until cooler weather when I can have the windows open for ventilation.
On the animal front, we have elastrated? –Idk if that’s the proper term, but it is more accurate than to say castrated, as castration implies a more surgical procedure– our buckling Tumnus. He’ll hang out with us as a whether/pen mate for any future breeding buck. We’ve decided to go with AI again this year in light of losing our buck Fonso earlier this spring.
The rabbits are doing well and Helmer has become much more friendly since moving outside. I don’t know if he was just sick of the basement cages or is just happy to have adjacent cage mates, but he’s a very sweet boy, and I’m looking forward to breeding him to Abigal’s baby. We may breed Chip to Abigal one more time to see if we can get her blue genetics to come through in any of her kits, but we will have to wait for cooler weather for breeding as rabbits go temporarily sterile in temperatures above something like 80s °F.
I’ve gotten some of our longer growing fall crops sown. I planted garlic, Brussels, parsnips, leeks, more green beans, sun flowers in the B2E garden, and a 60′ bed of carrots in the market garden. The tomatoes have been freshly pruned of both extraneous foliage and fruit (the fruit mostly at the hand of my toddlers who thought the green tomatoes looked a lot like tennis balls…) we harvested the lavender, and have been gathering marshmallow blossoms as well. The peanuts are looking awesome above ground, and I’ll be ready to harvest them in October.
The carrots I’ve not had much luck with in years past so I did a few things differently. First, I tried a different variety of carrot, oxheart, which grows more out than down to see if that helps in terms of yield as we have very compact, clay soil. Second, I’ve planted them using a single row seeder rather than by hand. My plan B if the seeder doesn’t end up getting them sown as thickly as I’d like would be trying a seed tape, but that means I’m beholden to a seed company to produce it for me so I’m trying planting and seeding it myself first. Third, I didn’t bury my seeds after I planted them, instead I sprinkled a thin (about 1/2″) layer of compost on top and am waiting for those to germinate. I couldn’t for the life of me find the packet of Detroit dark red beet seed I was 99% sure I had so I ordered some more and am waiting for those as well.
The sickly chickens have gleet vent. All I can say about that is Eew. I’ll share a secret- chickens freak me out. Birds in general freak me out. I don’t trust their eyes, can’t tell what they’re thinking, and their naked, clawed feet are weird. Like tiny, feathered dinosaurs. So I do not like picking up or holding chickens, especially not to deal with their nasty backsides. BUT- a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do to keep her flock healthy. So I’ve been treating that chicken with ACV in the waterer, and Epsom salt baths and hopefully that chicken’s issues resolve. I swear it, at the risk of sounding cruel, I’m about ready to cut my losses with that particular bird. It’s not a breed I love, and it’s been sickly since I got it. So if this treatment doesn’t work, that chicken is going the way of the dodo.
In addition to all the homestead stuff going, I’m in the process of purging old homeschool things and getting organized and prepped for this new school year, which I plan on starting the first week in August, Lord willing.
Oh yeah, and we’re also child training, and trying to establish housekeeping routines, and represent Christ well to our children. I will say that getting up at 5:30 this morning gave me 45 silent minutes to myself which were glorious, and I used them to seek the Lord. I realized that I know very little about the Holy Spirit so I’ve been seeking to know Him more and to understand His role within the Godhead. And I have to say, it has been convicting, enriching, and interesting beyond what I expected. So, well worth the early rising. But we definitely have our work cut out for us and are taking each day one moment at a time.