Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pigs, chicks, snow, and more!

Here's a quick run down of April to date!

After weeks of Easter egg hunts, the fun culminated in an Easter day hunt with cousin Ivy! Cuteness fix for all! AND we found every one that we hid outside (I think we may still find a couple in our home at some point from Alida's bday party hunt). Soon after that last hunt, I stashed the Easter eggs and all the baskets in the guest room to see if anyone would miss them. I left them there holding my breath and no one said a word so they are now in the attic. As fun as it was for all, the fights over which basket went to whom and who needed all the eggs for themselves were wearing on my nerves! Yesterday on our Adopt a Highway run we found half a plastic Easter egg along the road. So many halves of Easter eggs out there without matches!

Easter would not be the same for us without chicks and this year did not disappoint. Finally a hen went broody on us (and they have been going broody steadily ever since!). So Jason had a full incubator going inside and a hen sitting on eggs outside. After the oddest hatch every (spread out over multiple days), we had 30 cute fuzz balls. We are down to 29, and have a great mama hen keeping them all warm under her feathers. But before Jason took them out and tucked them under her, Terah got to adore and hold them. She would wiggle all over the place and say, "they're so dorable!"

As if chicks were not enough excitement, the day after Easter we welcomed 4 new pigs to Tangly Woods. This year we are starting them out in the "nut groove" along the driveway. They seemed right at home almost immediately and we are all very fond of them. Once again weeding is a delight - as we have grateful recipients of the weeds! I got to take them a load today while helping Jason weed the seed and potato onions. They would grab mouthfuls and take off for a corner of their enclosure so none of the others could take them away and then relished them!

The day they arrived, we all went to town in the evening so that Jason and I could donate blood. I was not feeling great that day (but not really sick just off in the odd kind of way that was somewhat typical a few years back and has not been so much the case more recently). Well, as it turned out, my iron levels didn't meet the cut so the girls colored and I visited with Jason while he donated. I'm hoping to work on increasing my iron stores as I would really like to participate in the 10th anniversary blood drive for Nora June 4.

We are slowly working our way through the spring tasks - but things are growing (despite the recurring cold snaps) faster than we can keep up with it all. The big success this week was finishing up all our spinach thinning and getting a round of compost on all the beds. Now they can go crazy! Which is great, since we have used the last container from our freezer! Terah is enjoying being out in the gardens which is great - she likes the fence keeping the chickens out! She found some bricks to make a little house the other day while I was picking a big bucket of fresh spinach!
We have mostly moved on from our deep cleaning, but are still benefiting from our efforts. Our systems feel so much smoother! There is still a pile in the guest room of things that one of us is not ready to part with. But slowly even that pile is dwindling and most things are not coming back into circulation. We did have to have a little ritual "last sitting" in the basket chair before passing it along to others to enjoy. It had been part of our home since we got married (Jason got it for college), and so was "all the girls knew." It's one of those things we all miss maybe a tad but not enough to want it to take up as much space as it had occupied!

A few other quick fun things before things start to go downhill here. Kali is graciously reading stories to the two younger gals but I can tell the peace is tenuous! Speaking of reading to each other, today Alida was super busy working on some surprise for me. She came out with a whole little stack of coupons for me. We got a BIG laugh out of the coupon for "3 hogs." We already have 4! I'm enjoying lots of extra hugs these day. She also gave me a coupon of reading a book to me. It's a very strategic coupon as it gets me to sit still beside her to listen! She quickly offered to read me multiple books. And then, of course, Terah wanted to read to me too. So I got to hear lots of stories today!

So Terah is often my little side kick in the kitchen. Sometimes she helps with things like peeling garlic. Other times she talks about how much I need a helper and is always very excited if I offer her a "big girl job" like carrying things out to the table before a meal. Then other times she just plays at the table in the kitchen, often sitting up on the table so she is closer to me. And sometimes I forget to put the camera out of her reach. And then when we download pictures we get to see the world from her vantage point. We all liked this one from her most recent photo shoot!

And now we are here at today! SNOW on April 7th. Not enough to lay much on anything or keep Jason from his wheel hoeing work but it was coming down for a few hours at a pretty steady clip. With some 20's in the nights coming up, we weren't going to complain about a little snow insulation on our many seedlings but thankfully it looks like mid-20's rather than high teens now. So we are hoping for the best! We aren't holding out much hope for the peaches. It's not good timing for snow and really cold nighttime temperatures but there is not doubt that it is pretty!

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