While we’re waiting for Ed to figure out that washtub bass, I thought I would fill you in on our last year, and share some plans for upcoming posts.
Last August, we took our first ever family vacation. We went to Georgia to visit my dad, then to Charleston SC so Chicken Girl could see the ocean. From there we went to Greenville SC to visit Ed’s daughter, and on to North Carolina to visit Cherokee and see where Ed’s grandparents lived when he was a boy. We put 2600 miles on my car and made some great memories. There will be more about that in later posts.
While we were gone, James was supposed to stay here and take care of the critters. Well, that didn’t go quite as well as we had hoped. To make a long, sad, story short, James was not able to fight his Meth addiction and surrendered his probation. The judge gave him nine years. The blessing in that is that he is clean and sober. We pray that this time he gets the tools (and the desire) he needs to stay that way.
In the meanwhile, Bam Bam’s life kind of fell apart too, and he is staying with us again, along with his two small dogs, Rex and Gracie. They have been with us since December. It’s been nice to have him home again, and he is a big help. The little dogs provide a lot of “entertainment” although the cats are less than impressed.
The big dogs are doing ok. Some days, Libby really shows her age, but I think we’ve stopped her digging out. Meeko still climbs out, on occasion, comes to the back door and barks! I think he wants to play with the little dogs, who aren’t terribly sure that’s a good idea.
On a positive note, we have finished homeschooling and Chicken Girl graduated on June 3rd. She is now taking an online Voice Over class, since she wants to be a voice over artist.
As for the chickens, with the exception of one hen we lost to illness (we’re not sure what), they are all doing fine. We get between one and two dozen eggs a week, which is more than enough for us. We are working on rebuilding the coop (again), as well as some new chicken tractors.
This spring has been an exciting time with the bees. Currently we have four hives. One we bought as a nuc, two from a hive we split, and one we took from an old house. I know that Ed will want to tell you all about that, but I will say I have finally put on the bee suit and started helping him. Capturing that wild hive was amazing!
Weather wise, things have just been strange. With the exception of about a week of frigid sub zero temperatures, last winter was mild and dry. We didn’t get much spring. It just went from cold to hot, and still very dry. We finally got some rain yesterday, but we need more. The grass is dry and crunchy, but the plantain is doing beautifully!
We bought some fruit trees as well as some elderberry bushes planning to create fruit tree guilds. Well, we didn’t get as far into that as we would have liked, but we did get all the trees in the ground and they are hanging on.
Ed and Bam Bam built me a basement greenhouse, so I was able to get some seeds started. The only problem was that when they were ready to go outside, the weather was still too cool, and then the tiller broke down and Ed wasn’t able to get everything tilled. We improvised and got everything I started planted. Some things didn’t make it, but most are, like the trees, hanging on.
After three years, the blackberries are producing! Then a few days ago, I discovered wild raspberries growing behind the barn. This must just be a good year for berries. The mulberry trees in the fence rows are full of fruit in varying degrees of ripeness. The wild grapes have taken off too.
Well, I think that is pretty much everything. Hopefully, Ed will have that bass built next week, and he’ll post about that and all the other ways you can make your own musical instruments.