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June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Is the longest day of the year......many are celebrating the official beginning of summer, as for me I am celebrating the fact that this is the longest day of the year and from here until 12/21 they get shorter. I hope that means they will get a little less hot--soon! The drought is bad. No pasture and a daily battle to water the garden enough so that it will thrive. Two things I love, our cows and our garden are under stress and under attack. Please pray, light a candle or whatever your faith tradition leads you to do--for rain in Texas! Two of our favorite wineries and a friends house have all been threatened by wild fires in the last week.

On to more positive news (and no more whining):
I am amazed that I have not updated since graduation on 5/31, shame on me!

Dave drove to Iowa in the first week of June to pick up our beautiful grand daughter Rylee. She is 6 years old and so much fun! The teens are adjusting to having a little one in the house--a little one that has more needs than they do! HA! She is our constant companion, loves the animals, helping with projects or cleaning and her favorite activities so far seem to be swimming in the cold tub (aka hot tub with the heater turned off), and swinging on the tire swing. We are enjoying her like crazy!

Dave, Josh and Rylee went to visit our good friends the LeBlanc's so they could all go to the camp down at the Atchafalaya basin. Dave had 2 flat tires on the way (2 of 4 trailer tires), the boat motor quit on the way to the camp, and they all got a little crispy, but--they had a blast and caught tons of fish! Steph's grand kids Savannah and JP who are close in age to Rylee went along, I hear they got along famously and were fast friends.
Heading out:

Rest stop in LA

Savannah and Rylee

Rylee, JP, Savannah

Steph and kids fishing:

Gator visitor:

Kids on the dock:

Josh at cleaning station:

Steph and Rylee fishing:


Steph and Josh

Charlye and I stayed home, did girl things and took care of the farm. The cows are all well, and the calves were just a little sassy a few times about coming in at night. I guess they are hitting their independent stage.

The pigs have a new sprinkler system: a piece of pvc with holes drilled in it attached to the top of a fence, they are loving it.

Lots of excitement in the hen house this week: I butchered a rooster and a drake on my own start to finish (they were constantly fighting with each other and being mean to the hens); we got some young Ameracauna pullets from a friend; and I found 4 adult Speckled Sussex on Craig's List (one immediately escaped never to be seen again); we built two chicken tractors, and the chick brooder is now set up and ready for the new chicks that are on order.

In other news I finish my BSN Bachelor's of Science in Nursing this week! It has been an amazing journey of continuing my education (earned my Associate Degree 19 years ago). I am undecided about earning my Master's, mainly because I just can't imagine starting another program right now. I will be applying for a different Master program in September--the Master Gardener program at our local Ag Extension Office! THAT I am looking forward to!

Food news for foodies: All the fish Dave and Josh brought home is now on the smoker (hickory wood), it smells so good!
I have been getting creative about cooking without using the oven (house is just too hot for that right now). So, apple crisp, enchilada casserole, pulled pork, ham roast were on the menu this last week--all these were cooked in the crock pot, well except for the roast veggies that I pre-cooked in the saute pan. Dave brought back the biggest most flavorful asparagus from Iowa, that made a couple of lunches too.

Wishing you all a great and flavorful week!