The kids finished school last Wednesday and as soon as the final bell rang, it dropped 20 degrees, started raining, and hasn't warmed up much since. We needed the rain and the evening thunderstorms have been fantastic. Since we will be doing our summer gallivanting for the entire month of July, we have been perfectly content just staying home. Landscaping and gardening have been our monumental projects the past month. I am always in a state of awe when something that I plant actually grows and thrives. But just in case, we purchased some indestructible flowers a local artist crafted from old school buses and scrap metal.
They make me happy.
Our neighbors asked us to care for and pamper their chickens this week while they were away and as a result, we have learned some valuable basics in poultrification. Second on my nemesis list of disgusting, blood-shuddering trespassers (after the tics) have been these bark beetles with their crunchy outer exoskeleton and oozy yellow interior. Imagine my delight when we learned that the chickens find these gruesome things quite tasty..and the insect protein actually enhances the quality of their eggs. Now we can destroy them knowing that we are aiding the ever so delicate and balanced circle of life.
Climbing high on the charts, possibly soon to reign as my #1 nemesis, is this snake....living just feet from my front door. I just read an article poking satirical fun at people who move out of the city and then complain about the wild creatures who are in "their" new space. I embrace most of the wildness and regularly exclaim my ecstatic gratitude that these creatures are allowing us to live in mutual cohabitation. They deserve my utmost respect. I should leave before this snake does. But I do hope he finds something better.
Collecting the eggs has been a favorite daily activity. Eating something that went straight from the nest to the table has given us a reverence for what we are eating. The yolks so much richer in color and beta carotene (yes, it is a real thing, Corey. Look it up) than the eggs from the store. Each egg is different and beautiful.
We have finally come to a temporary resting point in our landscaping. Corey spread 30 yards of mulch with some fierce grumbling from his back. 30 yards doesn't sound like a lot, but it is. I helped him one afternoon and realized that the pile didn't seem to be getting any smaller no matter how many wheelbarrows I filled. It was like the loaves and fishes. Ah, but the hard work was worth it because Ansel saw this pink flamingo at a garage sale and knew immediately that it was the perfect Father's Day gift to put the finishing touches on our new yard. No country home is complete without a pink plastic flamingo.water gun battle with the kids, some homemade cards, his pink flamingo, and a cheesecake richer than Bill Gates.