Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Time in the Country

Life tends to get pretty busy this time of year for us. We are busy with work, church stuff, animals, the garden, and many other projects in the works. It's been a month since my last entry, so I have a lot of catching up to do. And you know me, pictures are always the best to show what we've been up to. Or to just show how cute our animals are.
Desi the Cat: she's been doing a lot of lounging and general laziness. She spends a lot of time in the office with Hubby. I think it's cooler in there and she likes it.
Duke the Dog: It's been so hot outside, that he hasn't been out much, and so when he does go out, we try to let him get ALL his wiggles out.The Hens: they are egg laying machines. We get about 10-12 eggs a day. We have one that is especially broody right now. We have thought about letting her sit on some eggs, but she keeps switching boxes, so maybe she'll have to settle for the wooden ones for now.The Chicks: Holy Macaroni and Cheese! These 35 babies are now 5 1/2 weeks. They are currently in their ugly stage, and are going through food 3 times faster than the adults. Granted the adults are mostly free range, but still, it's a lot of food. Hopefully we can get them out of the brooder soon.The Ducks: They love the swimming pool. As the weather is HOT, they like to cool down more frequently. The chickens also like to use it as a watering hole. We just keep it full and everyone benefits.The Rabbits: (No, I did not line them up, that is how I found them.) The are not liking the HOT weather. The afternoons are spent lounging under their fan, trying to stay as cool as possible with all their fur. They like my afternoon visits, because I give them treats.Since it's been so HOT outside, we've been doing a lot of Bar-B-Queuing. Hubby got this new mini grill (since there are just two of us), and he can use charcoal for it. He has been working on his grilling skills. I think he's got it down pretty well.

The Garden is doing well, considering how HOT it has been. We haven't had any rain this season, and we are desperately praying for it. We've been having some bug and mole problems, so our squash and cucumbers are on the edge of a loss.

This is the bean bed. Hubby planted several types of beans, and we have a couple of pickling cucumber plants mixed in. Hopefully these cucumbers will do better than the other ones.

This is the Tomato and Pepper boxes. They are really doing well. I found an orange tomato yesterday, so we'll see when it is done. The potato box behind these two, is now just the onion box. We harvested nearly 20 pounds if potatoes. We gave some away, ate a few and are going to store the rest and use them for seed for next year.
Here is the old chicken run. It has our sweet corn (which is now reaching 5-6 feet tall). We are very excited about having more sweet corn to eat. There is also a Zucchini plant (we have already gotten 3 from), and a yellow squash (1 from it), our cucumbers, watermelon, cantelope, and sweet potatoes. Hopefully we can salvage most of
the plants from the bugs and critters.

This is our beet box. It has beet, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and room for one more thing.

With the weather being so HOT, I've been watering every other day. It would probably love every day, but the stupid weather report, teases me into thinking we'll get rain. It's been in the mid to high 90's and over 60% humidity, so that's not fun.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to our churches Summer Young Women's Girls Camp. I was asked to go as a level leader for the 14-year-olds. It was short notice and I hadn't been to girls camp since I was a teenager. I'm a very prepared person, and like to know what I'm getting into. So, I was apprehensive about the experience. I went up on a Tuesday to help with getting things set up and arranged for the girls arrival the following day. I think my biggest personal challenge was all the hiking. I had injured my foot the previous week, so it caused extreme pain hiking up and down the hills, so much so, that I asked to drive between our campsite and the main area. That helped a lot, but there we still a lot of hiking between the dinning hall, the pavilion, the parking lot, and the swimming pool. We had some struggles with a couple of the girls taking off on their own without telling anyone, but other than that the girls behaved.
They kept the girls busy with an activity every morning after breakfast, and certification, crafts and swimming after lunch, and devotionals after dinner. It was very spiritually uplifting, and teenage girls need that. They need to be away from all the social pressures of the world, and take time to grow and learn how to be self-confident, Daughters of God.
Now as I've been away from it and letting the difference of going as a leader versus going as a teenager sink in, I understand more of what it was I was supposed to learn and take away from the situation. I had the opportunity to hear how each of the girls in my ward had grown in themselves, and in the church. I feel like I grew better relationships, and at the least a better understanding of where these girls get their inspiration and strength. A lot of it is from the example around them, through their peers, their friends, parents/family, and leaders in life. I know that as a leader, my job was not to have fun, it was to guide and set an example for these girls, whether they were in my level or my ward. I tried to be the best I could be with my physical limitations, and try to encourage the girls to do the same. I remember as a teenager, life wasn't easy, especially if you had some sort of tragedy to overshadow your growth. I guess now, looking back, I can take away the experience for what it was meant to be, and not just my personal struggle. It was meant to teach and inspire, to be better people and women, to grow up and be who our Heavenly Father desires us to be. Even as a grown up, I can learn from their example to be content in who I am, and what challenges I have in my life, and just do my best to overcome, learn and grow from the experience. I'm grateful for having the opportunity, and if I'm asked to do it again, I think I just might (and hopefully I'll have more time to prepare, and get in better shape for all the physically work). To help inspire you all. As I was driving at 5:30 in the morning to start out my week, the sun was rising and I managed to get some neat pictures. The one below is close to the river (that is the mist beyond the trees). I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a good start and a setting of the tone for my learning experience.