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Summer Soldiers On

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Whew! The birthday festivities are done.  The laser tag party was a big hit and we managed to put our own touch on it.  Paul made another one of his wonderful cut outs and we brought it into the party area and had all the kids put their faces in it.  We’ll include a picture with each of their thank you notes.
Tabby declared, "Now make silly faces!"
We spent the afternoon time before the party playing in the river with friends of ours.  We brought Pippin along again and he had a great time.  Our friends hadn’t been in the river before and they loved it, too.  One of the things I like about it as that the water is super clear and even though you see fish they are not big scary ones.  Of course I am always afraid that I’ll see a snake, and what do you know? Just as we were finishing up one of the kids said, “Look! a snake!” and indeed, a snake was sunning himself on the very rock we’d all been sitting on earlier. I did not like that.

The garden is doing pretty well, heat and weeds considered.  A tremendous storm hit hard and briefly on Saturday evening.  A stroll around the garden afterward revealed the first ripe tomato!
I Spy...a red tomato!
The peppers are coming along nicely but the red cabbage are a bust.  The plum tree is filled with fruit that is a feast for the yellow jackets, though we have been able to eat some of them.  And the ones we can eat are delicious, so that’s good.  But we may look into having the tree sprayed next year to take care of whatever is causing this rot.

I harvested all of the beets and roasted some of them last night.  They were delicious! The kids’ immediate reaction was “eeeew”, but after they tried a bite they were gobbling them up, which was very satisfying.

The Beet Harvest

The butterfly garden is proving to be, yet again, a wonderful joy to me.
The Butterfly Garden
The flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and the butterflies do enjoy it.
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An especially cheerful addition to the garden are all the sunflowers that are growing from dropped birdseed!
mosaic other sunflower

I am also delighted with the great big bag of mixed gladiola bulbs I picked up at the hardware store this spring and planted in various places all over the yard.  They are blooming all over the place in a gorgeous rainbow of colors.  I’ll definitely be planting them again next year.

In the coop there is both good and bad news.  The bad news is that one of the hens has died.It’s hard to know why-did not appear to be injury or disease. Perhaps it was old age? It was Mother Hen’s twin-a small bantam hen.  The good news is that the young chickens have settled in at night in the coop, sharing perch space with the older chickens.  I guess they have been mostly accepted.  They still keep to their own flock during the day and the other chickens will scare them away from food, but they are doing great. Tabby loves them and is constantly carrying around “Crooked Beak.”
Farm Girl
After the big rain storm on Saturday check out the poor bedraggled hats:
Wet Head

I haven’t been doing so great with my “have fun every day!” summer plans.  There’s been a lot of bickering and arguing and frustration with how much Clark wants to play video games, and the intense heat didn’t help.  I’m happy to say that I did get them to go on a hike with me yesterday and there was minimal whining! We visited the very nearby beautiful Sourland Mountain Preserve.  It was just a short hike, but I found it lovely to be under the very tall trees.

IMG_9160

Check out the leaf in Tabby’s hand-it’s midsummer and it’s already changing color!

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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