Thursday, July 28, 2016

An eleventh birthday

Do you remember what it is like to be eleven?  It seems like such a long time ago, yet not long ago, at all.  My oldest, Jujubee, had her 11th birthday yesterday.  Memories of her birth flooded me, as all moms experience, I’m sure.  And then memories from my own eleventh year came, and I realized how different our lives are, at this age.  

She is a lot like me, my shy, quiet, friendly, brown hair, dark eyed girl who loves to read.  Yet, she is so much different from me at the same time - especially in height!  Her daddy can definitely take credit for that!  Our lives are just so different, me being a public schooled child, and her being homeschooled, and her having 2 sisters.  I’m grateful for this. 

With her birthday being on a Wednesday, and Daddy not being able to be with us, we had a quiet, relaxing, but fun day.  She chose all her favorite foods ahead of time, and I prepared them happily, as they are favorites for most of us.  She spent a lot of time reading Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, even though she said she would wait.  I knew she couldn’t!  She has been waiting for 6 months to read book 3, so she snuck time in whenever she could.  The beach also called to us, so we went to a local lake and had some fun in the sand and water.  Presents and cake, and a phone call to a favorite cousin wrapped up the day.  Overall, it was a lovely day for a lovely girl.  

I’m so lucky to be her momma.  Whenever I need help, she is there without complaint.  In homeschooling, she is so dedicated and smart that she barely needs me.  Something to be proud of, yet sad for at the same time.  Time is slipping by so quickly, and it is hitting me that there are only 7 years between now and her 18th birthday.  The thought scares me a bit.  Will she be ready?  Did I do a good job?  What will her life be like?  What will the world be like?  

But those are thoughts for the future, and right now, I’m just going to enjoy every moment I have with my newly 11 year old daughter, and her little sisters.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Baling hay, and hoping for no rain

Before we moved here, the field had been farmer in either soybeans, or corn, for many years. We knew we didn't want to continue with that for a few reasons, but mainly because we like to do things as chemical free as possible, and aren't big fans of GMO's. Growing a big old crop of Genetically modified corn and beans didn't fit our life goals. We have 2 goats, and goats eat hay, so it made sense to go with hay. 
Normally, people spray roundup before planting. We didn't, and we will probably regret that decision. I'm hoping we don't. 
We planted alfalfa on half the field, and a pasture mix on the other half. 
When you're a hay farmer, you watch the weather closer than you ever have in your life, I think. We need a 4 day window of no rain in order to cut, flip, and bale. In July, you'd think that would be no problem. But of course, there have been rain threats nearly every day. Well, we finally got our chance, so we called up our neighbor and asked him to cut it. They said no rain until Wednesday, so we felt safe. 
You can never feel safe in regards to weather and hay. 
Tuesday was baling day, so I went to pick up the kids from my moms and was planning on heading back in the evening to help bale. But all of a sudden, at 1pm, thunder started and I freaked out. I watched the map, called all the local friends, and made sure it hadn't hit my house yet because I was an hour and a half away. We got so lucky. The neighbor rushed home from work to bale, and hubby rushed home to start stacking. I got the kids in the van as fast as I could and safely drove home. 😉
When I got here, I saw they were almost done baling and had begun collecting. Such a beautiful sight. 
The rain threatened, close. We hustled as fast as we could, stacked it as high as we could, got a tarp on, and hauled it to another neighbors barn. At 8pm we were done, the hay was safe, and we were tired. But we now have over 100 bales of hay, and that's a good feeling when you have livestock.