Monday, May 26, 2008

Ready for more?

I took hundreds of photos this week, and had to really narrow them down to post them here. The kids get out of school this week, and there are several more final activities for them before the week is over. I thought I should get caught up before the week really kicks into gear.

Kyle went to baseball practice on Wednesday, and after I dropped him off there I took Faith and Chet to a youth group that Chet's friend had invited them to. By the time I had the arrangements made for them to get home and left them in the very capable hands of Chet's 4th grade teacher, I was the last parent back to the ballfield to get my kid. The coach used this time to give Kyle some one-on-one practice, and spent another twenty minutes after I got there working with him some more. Kyle loved it, and getting the extra practice seemed to help a lot. I wasn't there for it, but at his Thursday game he was hitting hard and focused again, and the whole team pulled together to win the game.

It is foaling time, and the mares across the street have been very busy. There are lots of precious little colts over there to gawk and wonder at. The painteds are still my favorite, and this particular little one has a lot of sprite. He jumps and prances a lot.
I changed my mind about wanting a tractor for our next vehicle. I would like one of these guys instead. They help keep the grass down too, and they don't require gas to operate.
It is really cute when it is it pony-naptime. They all lay down in the field and you see sleeping babies all over the place. This one went ahead and looked at me when I made my goofy wanna-be-horse noises to get his attention.
This was one of my favorite shots, although I need to fix the greens in it before I use it for anything else.
After school on Thursday I packed Chet and Beth up in the car, and we headed down to Memphis. (See his blog for those updates and photos.) On the way home, Chet amused himself for a while by filling the card with lots of photos of the countryside whizzing by. This was my favorite, though. See how he caught himself in the rearview mirror?

It was imperitive that we get the rest of our garden planted this weekend. Not only is it getting late in the year, but I don't know what the next few weeks hold as far as hospital stays go. Josh and Mystery came over, and Jack was able to borrow a tiller, so we spent Saturday and Sunday getting it done. Jack and Josh really did most of the rototilling (which is sooooooo much easier than turning the whole plot over with a shovel), but Mystery did take a go at it and tilled a row. That thing is heavy, though, and takes a great deal of brute strength to push, so I didn't take a turn at it. My feeling is that is what husbands are for.

We got all of seeds planted, plus we have cages over all the tomatoes, we ran the drip hoses I bought ultra-cheap at an auction last year, and Jack and Josh got anchors strung for the peas and beans this year so they don't attack and kill each other. By the end of the day we planted seeds for tomatoes, green beans, peas, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, watermelon, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, cantelope, and corn. If even half of it grows and fruits we will be eating well all summer! I took every pumpkin seed out that I found (hundreds), but I am sure there will be some of those showing up as well. After we spent the day pretending to be Mennonite farmers, we spent the night playing poker and rummy. I am pretty sure that isn't what the Mennonites do after gardening, though.

Beth was supposed to be helping water the garden, but spent the time watering herself instead. Faith was busy planting flower and gourd seeds around the edges of thegarden, and I know I took pictures of it, but I must not have one sized to add here yet. Arianna, Bug, and Jasmine were busy running around too, and ended up muddy due to Beth's hosing abilities.

This pretty little dog looks suspiciously like the dog we had named Bruce. She isn't ours, but she likes to come over on the weekends and hang out, and usually stops by on the weekdays to say hi. (Apparently the word has gotten out in the canine community that ours is the place for dogs to crash a party... remember Rupert from last year?) Jack says nobody is allowed to name her. We call her Daisy.
The critters are all thriving this time of year too. This is a young alligator turtle. They are called that because of the spikes along their tail, and for their mean temperament. I would have gotten in for a closer shot, but I could tell by the look oh his face that he was daring me to come close enough to let him eat a toe, and since I like my toes where they are I kept my distance. It is because of toe-eaters like this that I don't swim in our rivers and lakes. I just don't want to come toe-to-beak with one on their turf.
Beth and Bug were playing on the back porch yesterday when they moved a box and found this big ole bullfrog. (He is what some people in these parts call "good eatin'." I am not one of those people.) The girls refused to pick him up for a photo, so Jack had to do it. Jack has big hands, and Jeremiah here filled them.Don't you love how he is chewing on some straw? It is just so... country.

The boys (we had lots of them this weekend... ours, Josh and Mystery's, and Chet's pal Tyler were all here) were on grass duty, and raked up a lot of the yard where Matt mowed it. They got bored and found ways to entertain themselves by hunting down smaller frogs than Jeremiah and unsuspecting lizards. One of those lizards escaped their clutches and tried to run to safety in the wooden railroad ties around the garden. This isn't a very smart plan when six stubborn boys are in hot pursuit. "there he is!" "Look, he's hding!" "I got him!" " No, I got him!" "Hey! His tail came off!!" "cool!!!""cool!!!""cool!!!""cool!!!""cool!!!""cool!!!" "I got him for real this time!"

And here is the captured felon who attempted a prison break in the first place, and ended up wth a tail break instead. There must be something about the y chromosome that makes these appealing, because when I went to check on Chet after he and Tyler fell asleep, I found this thing in a plastic tub of mud and rocks with some beetles he had been provided for dinner. Children, I repeat... reptiles and amphimbians are NOT to be offered safe sanctuary within the confines of the house!!!
About an hour after we finally finished planting, and I was getting ready to go to church for a meeting a huge thunderstorm with tornado warnings came our way. Hello rain clouds... you are just in time to water the garden to save a little on my waterbill! The storms lasted all night, and thoroughly soaked the ground.
The boys put on their scout uniforms and we headed to the American Legion Hall this morning to be a part of the Memorial Day service. (You can see Matt, their leader David, Chet, Tyler, Beth, and Kyle in this shot. Todd still needs to get a uniform shirt.) Originally, most of the scouts were supposed to carry flags in the flag ceremony, but due to Mother Nature showing up to water my garden the ceremony was moved indoors where there was only room for three of the boys to be a part of it. It was very touching, and as soon as I can I am going to put the story of the single setting up here that was shared during the ceremony today. I videotaped it, so I have to transfer it to blog format first. Jack and I were supposed to go river floating in canoes with Josh and Mystery today, but that was cancelled due to weather. So we had a quiet afternoon at home which was really, really nice.

All of the kids loved the cookies and brownies provided at the end. Matt was particularly pleased with the pumpkin bread. He wants me to make him some, but I told him I am having issues with pumpkins right now and it will have to wait.
The great news is that sprouts have begun to shoot up in the garden. Here is a cauliflower plant. (I planted everything in neat rows this year so I actually know what is supposed to be where, and so I don't pull plants thinking they are weeds and leave the weeds and that grow in straight rows.)
These lovelies are cucumbers. I forgot to take the bell pepper and jalapeno peppers pictures. I will have to make that up to them.
And here are the roma tomatoes. (their cousins "big boy hybrids" have begun to sprout too) Oh culinary heaven to come, pico de gallo is your name!

We need to finish fertilizing and covering the flower beds with the rest of this mulch and potting soil, but here is an overview of the planted, strung, and caged garden. (see the thunderstorm making the sky an eerie shade of grey-blue?)
And this is me casting a long shadow over it. Grow my yummy lovelies, grow.

You know, it is a stressful and frightening time for us. So thank you, God, for the moments that make us laugh, and for so many good friends who help us get through it, and for the simple joys that slimy critters, muddy kids, and stranger dogs can bring. And please, God... keep Chet safe and cure him soon. Amen and amen.

1 comment:

Johanna said...

Looks like you're going to have a great garden this year! I'm so happy that you have found such good friends (Seeing as how Billy and I have turned out to be the non-existant kind...I'm not even sure I have a husband anymore. I'll let you know if I get to see him for the 5 hours he has off on Saturday.) I'm so happy for your family. Chet is in our prayers.

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