Sunday, June 5, 2011

Here I Am !!

I know, I know,  I have been away for some time.  I am sorry. Things have hit Mach speed here it seems and sitting down at the computer has been near impossible lately.

Here are 10 things happening around here--just to quickly catch you up to speed...

1. The fields have been planted. We have soybeans in the front fields and field corn toward the back by the pond.  The planting happened and that very night we had crazy rainstorms that soaked the fields.  Now the soybeans are about 3 inches high or so and doing fine.  They look a bit like English pea plants at this stage.

2. Memorial Day was spent with family here at the farm.  Grandpa or "Poppy" as my 2 year old nephew calls him, gave each of the grandkids a ride on his tractor.  It's a 1948 Farmall "H" beautifully restored to the classic, glossy, red color.  Travis and Arliss are able to drive it solo, a watershed moment for any 10 year old.  They have been driving it solo for a couple of years now.
Farmall H right-side view
This is not my dad's, but it's very similar.
3. Travis and Arliss have finished school with high marks for their 4th quarter.  We were very proud of their accomplishments.  Did I say that we were very proud??  Because I am VERY proud, ya know.

4.  Summer is here in spades!  As is usual here in our section of Illinois, we had winter, then spring for 2 days or so, then bam! summer came with a vengeance.  We have had temps in the high 80s and low 90s already and June just started.  Yesh.  Thank goodness for breezes on a farm.

Yard Machines 13AC762F020 Riding Mower5. My riding lawnmower continues to behave like a teenager.  My dear dad has been spending time with it getting it to run and fixing the deck so it engages when it is lowered.  Memorial Day he fixed it and it worked beautifully.  I turned it off to eat with the family, got back on to cut a bit more-nothing.  The starter died.  Once the starter is replaced-by dear dad- it should behave itself.

6.  Ticks.  I know, it's gross to talk about bugs, but the reality is here on the farm ticks are a part of life.  Arliss has found two on him so far and Travis found one crawling next to him.  Before you start thinking about not coming to visit, relax.  We do tick-checks after walking through tall grass or playing in the haymow.
American dog tick.  
7. Iced tea.  I love iced tea.  During the winter I drink hot tea a lot, like 4-5 times a day.  Now that it is summer, I make sun tea and then drink it during the day and then make more.  I am easily drinking 2-4 quarts of tea a day.  It's one way to get my fluids and there is nothing like sun tea on a hot day.
Sun Tea

Best Lemonade Ever Recipe8. Lemonade.   If I am not drinking iced tea then I am drinking lemonade.  I alternate between making frozen concentrate and homemade lemonade.  For the homemade I just follow the instructions on the label of my lemon juice bottle.  Now, to make things more fun, I add frozen fruit to the lemonade.  I have enjoyed blueberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and raspberry lemonade.  I make sure to keep the fruit in the pitcher when I pour it so the flavor gets stronger as we drink it.

9. Barbecue chicken.  Dearest hubby made the best chicken for dinner.  Grilling is wonderful, the heat from cooking is outside and the clean up is easy!! No pots or pans to wash!  Seriously, if you haven't grilled yet, what are you waiting for????

barbeque chicken on a gas grill
don't you just want to eat it right now??
10. Peonies.  Peonies are my favorite flowers.  I wait and wait and wait for them to bloom and then all of a sudden one morning there they are, like giant fireworks made out of flowers.  I put a tomato cage around them when they are still very small so as they grow the cage helps hold them up.  My folks use baler twine to tie them to the fence to keep them up.  I love the color, the smell, everything about them.
 Peony is the flower for the May portion of my Farmer's Almanac calendar
Well, that's what has been happening here.  I hope you have time--no, I hope you make time- to relax in a lawn chair or hammock and appreciate the world around you.  I would love to tell you more, but my lawn chair is calling and my iced tea is waiting.

Sending love and the sweet smells of summer,
With love from the farm!

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