So a few days back we hit somewhat of a collective crisis point and I a personal one, of which I will spare you the details! But it felt like a mini-turning point of sorts on both fronts and we have actually officially let go of something. AND it hurt! I felt like crying when we made the decision but also know that if it is easy to let go of things then it must mean we are doing a bunch of things that don't matter to us. We will be allowing the four rotations of our dryland garden to revert back to pasture/grass once we harvest out what is sown in there currently and will do minimal care of what is sown there, taking what we get! It will be there waiting for us when life provides space to expand once again. But for now this feels right! And since making that decision, while there are still heart pangs when I think about it, it seems that we have felt maybe just a tad lighter as we go about our days!
There have been some really fun times in the last few days! Terah and I enjoyed a walk with Emily and Ivy the other day, along with blueberry picking and visiting back at our place for a bit. Our girls are smitten! Terah graciously let Alida have a turn holding Ivy, which I will admit surprised me (that there is laughter in this picture and not any screams of "me...me"). I love that when Terah talks about "happy" she is normally either talking about "I I" or she has now added to that sentiment talking about her arm and noting that "Ben" fixed it.
Friday evening was slated to make pizza pockets over the fire with friends. It POURED for a long time Friday afternoon and was still drizzling when they arrived. So we broiled open faced pizzas in the oven and enjoyed the thought of gardens getting a good drink. But after dinner it wasn't raining and there were s'more fixings waiting to be used so I suggested we do a fire anyway. Very little fire risk since the whole fire ring was full of a few inches of water! We'd never made a fire before while splashing in water around our feet. It was FUN! And really beautiful too as the sun set and the fire was reflected in the water. And an additional source of entertainment was the ducklings enjoying a swim. Here they are:
Then Saturday we had supper club, expanded to include additional college friends who were in the area for the week. What a beautiful and fun evening. Our group has expanded to the point of us adults being outnumbered by our offspring and what a lot of good quality kids! It's so fun to see them establishing relationships with each other that don't depend on us. There was lots of running around, laughing, and as you can see rolling down hills.
And then Father's Day came around! It felt like Mother's Day as my first gift of the day was an hour plus of "morning burst time" all alone. I love starting my day that way!! I got up before 6 a.m. so I could make a funny cake pie for Jason to enjoy with a cup of coffee before chores. I was pleased with the results of making the pie crust with our lard and then the pie with 100% sorghum flour. Yummy flavor! We enjoyed our coffee and pie with the littlest gal and then soon after the older girls woke to enjoy a piece as well before getting started on their day.
In that hour plus I also got another batch of cottage cheese started (the first batch disappeared in one sitting!), skimmed cream for butter, started yogurt, made fresh ricotta and got started on our brunch. Oh and got the currant jam going- Jason had hinted to his daughters that IF they wanted to give him a Father's Day present he would gladly accept them picking the red currants to make jam. AND he went as far as to request that we give the Victorio Strainer a try for a smoother jam. He got his wish! I think I had done about 3 rounds of dishes before 10 a.m. I was doing a lot of playing in the kitchen!
Jason got chores done and pruned the last apple tree, while Kali got her duck chores done and I made brunch. We sat down to a feast around 10:30 a.m. - yogurt skillet cornbread with fresh currant jam, a special mushroom, hot sauce, sausage quiche just for Jason, and a sausage, greens egg bake for the rest of us! We were well tanked up for the day after that one! Once our bellies were satisfied it was time to get all sun-screened up for garlic pulling. It's not my favorite time of day in June to head out to work but with possible storms in the forecast we really wanted to get the garlic pulled and hanging in the garage so off we went! I won't say that we enjoyed 100% cooperation (especially with our littlest who gets hot so easily and normally seems to all of a sudden desperately want to nurse when we are outside trying to complete a project), but it wasn't too bad (let's say it has been much worse). And thankfully it is the time of year when the trees help us out a lot by providing many pockets of shade. Here's a smattering of pictures of our garlic harvest fun. And FUN it was! One of my jobs was going ahead of Jason and pulling large baskets of weeds to either mulch with or give to the pigs. They were happy, happy pigs as I brought load after load of some of their favorites - smart weed at the top of that list. I would take the younger girls with me in the wagon so they could watch them savor their treats. I told Jason that I knew what caption I would put with the first picture below: "Tangly Woods television!"
As if that hadn't been enough fun in our day, the storms did not materialize and so we were able to enjoy a family jaunt to the blueberry patch as the day cooled. There was a nice breeze so very few bugs and the berries plentiful. Jason said it will likely go down in history as the best family blueberry picking time ever (I think we might be able to top it if we had a time where Alida had remembered to get a drink before we walked all the way to the patch and then found herself suffering from intense thirst the entire time we were there, but it was still pleasant overall!). What a lovely day! Now let's see what this new week has in store for us...