Monday, May 7, 2012

A update: It's spring!

Yikes, I haven't blogged in forever. I blame it on our internet service. We have satellite internet here in the Tiny Little Town, and I haven't experienced internet service this painfully slow since dial-up. And to top that off, apparently they have an "upload limit". Once you've uploaded as much as they deem appropriate, they start sending nasty-grams to your email telling you they're going to slow your service even more until you back off the uploads. Essentially what they're saying is, "Crazy woman, you take too many darn pictures." We have a file back-up program that automatically uploads all of the pictures I take to an online server in case of some awful computer crash. (I've lost pictures before. It hurts.) So when I take, say, 60 pictures every day, those all get uploaded. And yeah, our internet service seems to think that's excessive. Anyway, so I'm not allowed to post pictures on my blog or Facebook for awhile, 'til our usage goes down. Lame. The up side is that with terrible internet service, I don't get online much anymore. It frees up a whole lot of time to do other, more productive things.

But anyway.

It's been crazy busy up here at our little farm, with spring in full swing and all kinds of things to learn. The irrigation water started up a couple of weeks ago, and that means we get to learn to irrigate. I have to say, I really find it to be a pleasant task. Remember building dams in creeks when you were younger? It's the same concept, only now they call it 'work'. Walking through soggy hayfields by my husband's side, checking water levels and setting dams and trying not to step in old cow patties - it's a good life. I was thinking to myself one night as I was walking down to where we were working, "Some girls go to the gym and walk treadmills for exercise. I get to tromp through a hay field instead," and was feeling very blessed. We got the pond filled yesterday and started sprinklers on the lawn. It's a lot more work to keep a lawn green up here, and I'm not sure how well we'll succeed, but we can at least try.

The turkeys have grown enough that they spent their first night in the coop last night. It's amazing how fast turkeys grow. I'm still trying hard not to fall in love with them. More curious birds I've never seen. They don't mind being picked up and held, and their little "pip!" noise is utterly adorable. The roosters are escaping the brooder now, and the hens will be soon. Two more rooms to shovel out in the chicken house, and they should be almost ready for their own rooms, too. I should say, for all the utterly pleasant work there is to do on this farm, shoveling years' worth of chicken manure from a chicken barn doesn't make it high on that list. I'm not sure the barn was ever cleaned out, and there is a solid four inches of hard-packed, ten year old chicken poo on the floor in each room. The trick, I learned, is to spray it down with a hose first. Then you get to shovel soggy chicken muck, which is actually more pleasant than the dry, dusty equivalent. But only slightly. And you should know, in case you're ever in a place where you are shoveling chicken muck, that once wetted down it becomes something similar to snot. If you step wrong, you will slip, and you will find yourself landing on your rear end in said soggy chicken muck. Don't wear your good jeans.Trust me.

The garden is coming along ever soooo  slowly. One more month and we should be frost free (but only maybe.) The tomatoes are eight inches tall in the nursery and are more than ready to planted in the ground, if only it would warm up. Planted out so far are peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, onions, chard, radishes, beets, and a handful of different herbs and salad greens. Everything is up and growing, though at a snail's pace. When we lived in town, I'd harvest spinach and peas the beginning of May, but not here. Patience truly is a virtue in the gardening world, I suppose. I also completely underestimated the power of bindweed up here in the mountains. We had a bit of it in town, but nothing I couldn't handle. Here, you can hoe it all up one day, and go out the next day and it's all back. I imagine this will be the fight of my life. Anyone with suggestions on how to get rid of bindweed, please do let me know. I'm not enjoying it.

The girls are busy each and every day, doing a multitude of things they find to do around here. Chloe finished her standardized test and so we are taking summer break now. Of course, summer break still involves math, English, and literature. But we're done with that by 9 a.m., leaving our days free for just living, and learning while we do it. Whether it's picking snakes out of the ditch, or catching water skippers from the pond, or chasing the puppy through the hay field, they are getting plenty of sunshine and exercise. I haven't heard "I'm bored" in weeks now, and I imagine I won't until we've been snowed in this winter.

So there's quick update. When the internet service decides I've waited long enough, I'll post more pictures again. I've got some good ones. In the meantime, I hope you are all well. :o)

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