I just can't seem to get back into regular blogging lately. I know part of it is that I'm baby-sitting four days a week. I take pictures of the baby and put entries in her private blog, and then neglect this one. When she is here, she has top priority. We take her shopping with us sometimes, but I forget half the stuff I was supposed to buy. Young mothers don't realize how much of their attention a small child demands, not by misbehaving, but just by being a defenseless child. When Cliff and I talked about babysitting this baby, I told him, "This might be our last shot at spending this much time with a baby, and I intend to do it right. When she is here, she will be my number one priority. If I need to get rid of the cows or chickens, I will. If I need to stop gardening, I will do it."
So far, I haven't given up anything intentionally, although the truth is that I lost a beautiful heifer last fall due to bloat, and a newborn calf that was dead when I found it. I'm sure at least one of these deaths would have been prevented had my attention not been on a tiny baby, because had either of them been found in time I imagine they would have survived. That is my fault, not the baby's. I'm the one who keeps track of the cows. I should have asked Cliff to check them periodically. He isn't the one who is used to bothering with the cows, so he wouldn't have thought of it, but would have gladly looked at them a couple of times a day. Another factor in those deaths is that we had moved to the old house; both animals would have been in plain view from our living room window back at the trailer house.
It's water under the bridge, and the child has been such a blessing to us. We smile all the time she's here.
We should be back at the trailer house by the end of this month.
In the garden, my potatoes are up, onions are doing well, and I'm just waiting for the corn and beans to break through the ground. I've planted all the tomatoes I intend to except for two that are supposed to arrive via UPS tomorrow.
Cliff has put off building me a pen for the chickens for a long time. He says he kept hoping I would get tired of them. No such luck! So one day last week his brother, Phil, came and helped him build the pen.
I let the chickens out to roam the place around 3:30 every afternoon, if I'm home. They enjoy it so much! I'm afraid to let them go free all the time because of foxes and hawks, but my grandma always let hers out in the evenings and didn't seem to have problems.
The strawberries are the reason I needed a pen: they are in full bloom. Chickens like strawberries, and I needed a way to turn them out without their getting into my garden and eating my produce. So during strawberry time, they will be confined to their yard. It's nice to let them out in their yard each morning, too, so they aren't just confined to four walls. Happy chickens are fun to watch.
Warm weather is with us at last, and I caught myself thinking a while ago, "It's almost too hot!"
Then I thought about the long, bitter-cold winter we've had and decided anything below 100 degrees is just right.