Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life on a farm

The family just got back from a week long visit to my hometown. I won't mention the name of the town, just know that we always include the number of dogs and cats when we state the population so as to make the town sound larger than it actually is.

Getting the boys out of their normal routines is a little rough, but for the most part, they were real troopers. Ajay will only spend the minimum time required inside, such as to eat (which he barely does), sleep, and watch a bit of Noggin. The kid has quite the tan (I don't think he's ever burned, but with Daddy being from India, I'm not all that surprised). My poor father, Papa, can usually be heard muttering "That kid will wear you out!" I think Alex (who has the "monkey see, monkey do" mentality) is hot on Ajay's footsteps. We hear his little "shoo? shoo??" asking for shoes (and signing for them, as well) and can't bear to tell him "no." Luckily, the mosquitoes aren't as rampant out on the farm as they are here in our backyard (chiggers did get us a few times, tho!).

First, Biju and I busied ourselves with some small tasks around the parents place. We pulled some weeds (didn't finish the job, tho, it was too danged hot last week!). While I was perched on the front steps de-grassing the front walk, I was greeted by Mr. Ringneck. I let go an expletive and jumped right up, glad that Ajay had walked down to see the horse just a few minutes earlier. (The photo of our friend is a little off, the glare from the sun on the camera made it hard to see) (For this, and all of the other photos, you can click on the image to see it larger. For those on dial up, however, I do not suggest this!)

Biju then got some entertainment using Pa's riding lawn mower!

While Biju was mowing, the boys and I headed down the road a piece to help my sister-in-law and her kiddos pick some mulberries. We wanted to get 3-4 cups worth so she could make jelly, but we didn't quite make our goal. We hit this tree, in their front yard, a tree at the back of the property, a few trees along their fence-line (I had to check for ticks, afterwards!), and a tree in my parents walnut grove. We think the birds beat us to the berries. The boys had to give the berries we did get a taste-test!

Here, the boys helped Aunt Brandi pluck the berries, then everyone gave the tree a good shake to help get the ripe ones down from the upper branches. Jenna helped shake, Brandon helped gather the berries from the sheet.

I've got Alex on one hip (21lbs) and Logan, 6.5 months younger, on my other hip (26lbs).

Another project while we were visiting, was to get a screen door put on. There is no deck, yet, so watch that first step, it's a doozy!!

If you keep up with our blog, you know we're trying our hand at gardening. Now, when I was a child, I'm sure my parents had me out helping in the garden. I even remember groaning when I had to go help pick green beans (I didn't want to eat them, why should I pick them??), but nothing from those days really stuck with me. Oh how I wish I had paid more attention to gardening back then so I wouldn't be so clueless now! Maybe Ajay will be able to hold on to a few good gardening tips?

Dad out with the hoe trying to take care of some of the pesky weeds, Alex playing in the driveway. Ajay standing next to the corn to get a good idea of how tall it is. 2 rows of corn planted at one time, then two more rows of corn planted a few weeks later (makes for better harvesting).

It's Ajay's turn to help harvest some green beans!!

Ajay really loved feeding Quin, the miniature horse. And there is Pip, the Corgi, not far behind.

While we were out in the garden, we kept seeing this Mockingbird. It was a treat listening to him sing to us. I also enjoyed watching him jump/fly straight up into the sky a few feet, then drop back down to his branch.

A couple of humminbirds taking advantage of the sugar-water put out for them:

Aww, Pasha wanted some luvin'! (This cat will grab your hand and demand you give her a rub!)

Time for a little break - and a little (not-quite-ripe) peach from the tree.
(I took a couple of pits from the cherry tree, I'm going to *try* to grow a cherry tree of our own! Papa sent home a few peaches, maybe I'll try to plant those pits, too?)

I thought about stealing these (about 1.5 months old) or a couple of the other chickens (3 months but full grown!). I sure would like to have my own supply of eggs!

This morning, before we left to eat at an Indian restaurant (then head home), Papa had to make a few rounds with the swather (so he can do up a couple bales of hay tomorrow). Of course Ajay HAD to go along, there was no question. He was only invited along for one round, tho, and after that he got the boot, which let my heart go back to a normal pace. Growing up, my siblings and I were always out on the tractor with Dad....I don't know how Mom did it!

While I was in the area I was able to meet up with my sophomore year roommates. Can you believe I didn't get a photo of the three of us?? I'm quite disappointed in myself. We had a nice visit. I was hoping to meet up with a friend from high school, too, but it just wasn't in the cards. Maybe next time, tho!

I want to say a BIG thank you to my parents and the rest of the family for helping to entertain our munchkins. They really do have a fantanstic time every time we visit. A double thank you for watching them overnight while Biju and I stole away to a casino/hotel for 24 hours. It was a great way to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Also, a thank you to my sister and her family for helping to keep things alive back here at the house. You'll all be happy to know that Nemo is doing "swimmingly" (HA!) and, luckily, Shelly didn't have to go buy a Nemo 2! Gracie was fine, as usual, but our garden ...well, I'll try to write up a post about our garden tomorrow.

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