Summer feels like it is has finally arrived and we have been enjoying ourselves doing things we love.
Taylor loves to mow. Well, I should qualify that. He loves to mow with the riding lawn mower. He's quite adept at it too. He'd mow everyday if I'd let him.Since Taylor and Torsten also mow the uninhabited neighbor house's lawn too, they have plenty of lawn to keep busy with.
And here's Taylor's other love: climbing trees.
I don't know if Torsten loves this, but he is becoming very proficient in the shop. He built a useful "house thingy" for me that can be used for the duck, or as a nesting box for the chickens, or as a kitty shelter. It's all ready been put to use for all three purposes, but the chickens were the ones who took to it the best. I'm just so glad to have a boy who knows how to use power tools and a chop saw without my help or supervision! (Because I have too many projects to be done and not enough Joels. :-))
Hailey's been catching up one of her favorites: reading. Her books of choice at the moment are the Nancy Drew series.
Reagan and Heidi decided she made a great playground.
I have been working in the garden when I have a chance. Joel made a fence for one of my gardens and it has been wonderful not to have deer wandering through this year eating all my tomatoes and raspberries, etc. Here's one garden a few weeks ago. The only problem is we have the bunny hutch enclosed in this garden and the bunnies have ate holes through their hutch twice now- yes, ate the wood clear through, and escaped into the protected garden for a feast. They like to do this at night when we are all oblivious to their shenanigans. They've eaten my kohlrabi, cabbages, brussel sprouts, and flowers- which were, ironically, the things the deer didn't like! So when we're not fencing the destructive animals out- it seems we're now fencing them in.....having animals has been such a learning process.
And speaking of learning process....while I was gone camping with the kids for 4 days, Joel finished the new chicken coop/run for me! The night we got home we decided to try it out. Joel was worried because we were placing it in a part of the garden that has tons of bark and it would be easy to dig under. I wasn't worried because the makeshift coop we used all winter doesn't have wire under the run and we never had a problem. WELL, 45 minutes after putting the 7 "teenager" chicks and 2 hens in the coop, we were in bed and the boys come running in, "Mom, Dad, there's something in the coop!" It was a nasty skunk. He was all ready chowing down on one of my new Rhode Island Reds. Joel ran into get the gun and I was yelling at the skunk and clapping my hands but the skunk wasn't paying the slightest attention. Joel shot it with his pistol 5 or 6 times and it finally died. It was horrible!! It had all ready started trying to eat another teenager chicken- a Golden Laced Wynadotte bantam. All the other chickens were wandering around the garden in the dark cheeping unhappily. The boys were crying because these were the chicks they'd been taking care of the past 2 months. Very upsetting night. We were up until 1:30 getting chickens caught and situated into different pens and figuring out how we wanted to dispose of the dead skunk. "Offensive odor" does not even do justice to how bad it was smelling around here!