Garden Ponderings

I’ve spent much time in the garden in recent days.

One has such time to think while alone with the weeds and bugs.

One ponders deep questions in the quiet.

Questions such as -

Why does the biting fly always bite the back of my knee?

What’s with all the fuzzy caterpillars this season? Is it a sign of a hard winter? A coming invasion?

Why do some of my broccoli plants have big beautiful heads-

broccoliWhile others in the same row look pathetically small?

broccoliYes – that is the entire head.

Where do the adult squash bugs who are laying all the eggs on the squash plants hide during the day so that I never see them?

Does a hollyhock plant always have the same color blossom?

Why does the zucchini I’m watching never seem to grow – then one morning it’s too big?

Are those tomatoes ever going to turn red?

And the biggest question of them all-

What in the world should I make for supper?

And the Cousins Came

It was another big week here at Windy Ridge!

The cousins came.

A whole slew of them.

And boy did we have fun!

DSC_0124How about a hotly contested monopoly game that lasted 4 days?

No clear winner was ever named.

And fishing every day.

And catching enough fish for a fish fry – which we cooked outside because the weather was absolutely amazingly awesome.

DSC_0126

One night Poppa took the entire crew in to eat at the pizza place where Pedro works – and Pedro got to make pizza for us all.

A lot of pizza.

We might have embarrassed him a little. :)

And then we had ice cream. Because we could. And it was good.

We celebrated two birthdays – Pedro’s 18th and Dagmar’s 20th.

DSC_0130We ate our first sweet corn of the season, had hamburgers on the grill and then sat in lawn chairs watching the sun go down and the stars come out.

Sweet.

It was a week of long conversations and loud laughter.

Walks through the pasture and time at the ponds.

Glow sticks and frisbees.

Stomp rocket and ten hits.

Of remembering shared memories and making new ones.

And it was very good.

Swapping Stories, Swatting Bugs

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since we got home from our extended family camping trip!

Country Fair week just seems to consume every spare minute.

But this morning – the house is quiet, the washer is humming, and I’m going to take a few minutes to relax and remember some of the special memories.

Things like our annual family hike. Because of flooding  we couldn’t take our usual trails, so we took the drier – more vertical ones – past the Indian burial mounds and through the mosquito infested swamps.

DSC_0014 There’s nothing like swatting mosquitoes and sweating up and down limestone stairs to build some family memories!

And then there was the food. Gallons of my brother-in-law’s famous homemade ice cream, an entire table of baked goods and snacks, and lots of garden produce. Yes – we ate our veggies. :)

campfireWe had our annual campfire. Hot dogs, and all the fixings – including for the first time ever – the square marshmallow.

These were designed to better fit in a s’more so that there is gooey marshmallow in every bite.

s'moreWhile enjoyed by many – there were still purists among us who insisted the Jet Puff was the only true marshmallow.

We won’t soon forget the infamous family kick ball game that sent one to the doctor and left many of us stiff and sore.

Or the Family Improv Night which proved to be one of the funniest ever.  My brother’s skillful avoidance of wearing a dress and seeing my nephew in a red flannel union suit was priceless. (There are pictures – but I am not brave enough to post them. Christmas is coming.)

And this one makes me smile -

DSC_0109Sitting at dusk in lawn chairs in the back of pick-up trucks parked on the side of the road  watching fireworks.

Perfect.

But this -

sweet fellowshipThis is what I love most.

Sitting around in lawn chairs with the people I love dearly, swapping stories, sharing laughs and swatting bugs.

This is what it’s all about.

A Blue Ribbon Week

My week in two words -

County Fair.

As a 4H Leader and a 4H mom – this week means crazy.

But slightly less crazy as in years past when I had 5 kids who were all doing projects. This year I had 2 and they were both pretty independent.

And – of course – they waited till the last minute to finish them.

Which required a last minute stop at the grocery store to print a last minute picture. But we weren’t alone – there was a line of 4Her’s with their stressed out mom’s waiting to do the same thing.

And it was worth it – both Angel Girl and Buddy had projects chosen to go on to the State Fair.

And I kept my cool and my smile all afternoon. :)

Now to manage the continual coming and going the County Fair brings – starting with 4H pictures in a few minutes.

Oh and the meals. We’ll be eating on the run or in shifts.

Speaking of running – I gotta find my 4Her’s and hit the road!

It’s County fair Week!

Farm Fresh

DSC_0008Kinda excited today.

Not only are we packing up for our annual amazing July 4th camping trip with my family -

but I just realized that much of the food I’m bringing for my assigned meal, we grew or raised ourselves.

The broccoli in the broccoli salad – yep – I planted that one as a tiny black seed back in March.

And the bits of bacon sitting so pretty in the same salad came from our own pigs.

That container of lettuce big enough to feed an army – I grew that, too. And spent all morning washing it.

Those 2 ice cream buckets full of peas in the pod were picked fresh this morning.

We raised the ground beef and sausage in the meatballs. Oh – and the spaghetti sauce that they will float in – yep – I canned that last fall from our garden tomatoes.

I’m kind of amazed.

All that hard work.

All that fencing.

All those pig chases.

The bugs. The rain. The drought. The weeds.

And it worked!

Not gonna lie – it feels pretty good.

Yep – kinda excited today. :)