Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Surface of the Sun

That is where I live. Seriously. The heat here is intense. Paired with the humidity, work during the hottest part of the day is impossible. The garden dislikes it as much as I do. Or perhaps it is my inattention that is killing it? It depends on when you ask me as to which answer I might give you. I have started and stopped a post over the last month multiple times, and each time it stressed me out so much that I just deleted it and moved on. On the plus side, the shop has had progress made on it. It has a full roof and one wall. I, of course, could get nothing accomplished outside while Brad was working on the shop because I had Liam to attend to and by the time Brad was done working he was too tired to tend to him. It is stressing me out and making me angry just talking about it so I am leaving it at that. Lets just say that my tomatoes are hanging in there, the peppers barely, and nothing else has survived. The shop was worked on though... that is something.

The last 2 weeks have been a complete wash. Not even the shop got worked on. The factors have been:

1- we are running the homestead with no truck. That means we have to borrow one every time we need lumber or anything too big to fit in my little car.

2- Brad's brother is no longer able to help with the shop.

3- Keegan has had Band camp which means 4 trips to and from school every day. He goes in the morning, pick him up for lunch, drop him back off 1.5 hours later, and then pick him up that evening. It makes it difficult to get started on much.

4- Liam has had a double ear infection topped off with some kind of nasty virus. He has had a scary high fever, has been so congested that he can barely breath, and has been dehydrated but refusing liquids or food other than nursing, which thankfully he has still been doing. The poor guy has been miserable, and none of us has had much sleep for over a week. Thankfully yesterday evening his fever broke and started drinking and ate a little bit. I don't think I have ever been so thankful to see a wet diaper. I had almost forgotten how scary having a sick little one was. I didn't miss that part. I'm so glad he is finally on the mend. Now maybe once he can start breathing properly again we will get a good nights sleep. In the grand scheme of things, him being healthy is all that matters.

Anyway... my having a type A personality... Well. I haven't dealt well with seeing everything around here go to pot for simple lack of time to deal with it or ability to walk outside and get it done. Just thinking about it makes my brain tingle, eyes twitch, and chest tighten. Que Serra Serra. I'm letting it go and not stressing about it anymore. I have claimed the next few days as mine to get as much work done as possible. The grass desperately needs to be mowed, the garden rows weed-eated, and the peppers staked and tied.

 The tomatoes have gotten so tall that they are bending over the top of the trellis and growing halfway down the other side. I need to get another picture of Keegan standing in the row to show scale. But, to give you an idea; I am 5'10" and when I stand and reach my hand as high as possible the tallest vines still standing up are at least a foot higher than my fingertips. Who knew that 8ft t-posts would be this inadequate?
 These plants were volunteers in one of my store bought lavender plants. I don't know what they are but they sure are prolific! Liam much prefers the egg yolk tomatoes though. These seem more like store quality grape tomatoes. They keep forever but are tough and don't have much taste.
 My favorite tomatoes! Cherokee purple. They are finally getting ripe. Sadly, they seem to be more at risk of being damaged and half of the ones I have picked have been half rotten already for one reason or another.
 The guineas like to help in the garden. They are the only poultry really allowed in there because they don't damage anything by scratching around or eating any low growing fruit. The chickens have managed to sneak past the fence lately and scratch all of the hay out of the rows though. After I took this I had to pick it up by hand and put it back... again. Someone-who-shall-not-be-named-for-their-own-protection borrowed my rake and used it a bit too vigorously. The handle broke in half. Coincidentally, the same someone also broke my broom handle in half that very same week. Grr....
 Here is a better picture of the tomatoes bending over the trellis. Early blight has started at the bottoms of all of the plants already. Some of the sickly ones and the few determinate tomatoes that I planted are faring much worse than these amish paste. They are troupers for sure!
It is bowing the top of the fencing over. Perhaps another t-post would be good next year, although it seems to be holding up pretty well.
 Here is the shop. It looks small in this picture but it is pretty good sized. 12ft wide by 16 feet long. The windows need to go in next and then the walls can be completed.
Pretty much everything else is dead or dying and the grass is growing out of control. The upside of this is that it is almost time to replant anyway (there is no upside to the grass growing, except of course, that I need the exercise and honestly enjoy mowing). I can still get in another crop of beans, cucumbers, and squash. I also have fall crops to put in.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Boring post and shop progress

Not much has been happening around here. Brad and his brother, Christopher, have been making progress on the shop. As of this afternoon, half of the roof is on. It is looking great! We are excited! It will be nice to have so much more storage space. Progress has been steady, but slow. With temperatures in the high 90's everyday and high humidity it easily feels like it is over 100 every day. It makes doing anything quickly or for long periods impossible. Maybe I will get photos soon.

While the guys have been outside working I have been on "baby duty". Liam is more mobile every day. He has been crawling for a couple of months and is getting better at climbing. He is in to EVERYTHING! I love this age. He is so much fun! He is a handful though. And he doesn't like to be more than a foot from me; preferring me to be holding him and occupying him. So much different than his brother. Keegan was into everything as well, but he didn't want to be held. He wanted to go, go, go. He got mad when I tried to hold him too much because he couldn't explore properly. He was so independent. Liam is far from being independent. He prefers to explore from my arms or within arms reach of me. He is so very affectionate though! He loves to give hugs and kisses. If you ask him where someone is "Where's Daddy?" he stops immediately and looks until he finds them and then gets so excited. He says "dada", "momma", "bubba" (brother), "tantu" (thank you) after he kisses me because I always tell him thank you, and says "awww" when he is being sweet to someone. He loves looking at pictures of babies, including of himself, and at himself in the mirror. Liam has to kiss the baby in the mirror every time he sees him.

Not having free hands (or lap) anytime lately, since Brad has been either outside working or exhausted from being outside working, not much has been getting done around here lately. The house has been cleaned, meals prepared, and every once in a while I will get outside for a short period to do something small. I check the tomatoes and peppers every couple days, but the rest of the veggies have basically gone to seed because or lack of care and attention. Keegan and I have been trying to pick green beans, though it has just been enough to keep them producing and none picked have been usable since they were so big. We have also been taking turns doing some mowing to keep the grass under control. Keegan found another copperhead the other day (2nd this year) so it is a priority. It is frustrating to have everything put on hold and everything planned on the whim of a 10 month old. This is the first chance I have had to write a blog post (he is napping with daddy) because Liam wants to type too every time I touch the computer. And typically when I do get the chance to do something it is housework. Like now... I need to start dinner.

Keegan is starting band camp soon. He is glad to be done picking blueberries. The bushes stopped producing about a week ago. It was his chore to do every other day. I can't believe that school is starting in less than a month.

I love my boys. I love my life. I am so blessed. I need to stop getting frustrated over things that aren't that big of a deal. We can live without pickles and canned green beans (although it would make life much better this winter if we had them put up) but I will never get these moments with my boys back. I need to enjoy them. Anyway, off to start dinner.