Hard to Keep Up

It’s been hard to keep up. With life, current events, responsibilities, thoughts – they’re all moving faster than I am.

The Visitors

I spent two weeks driving to town each day to do some pinch-hitting kid-care for my nephews. It wasn’t planned, but it worked out well enough and I was happy to be able to step in and be available.

After the first week, we had somewhat impromptu company. Our dear “country neighbor” friends who have been our good friends for over a decade, came out to visit us. We had such an amazing time with them here, and Little Man and I both cried when it was time for them to leave. Distance can make it hard to keep up with friends.

Week two was a hectic one, driving to town then driving back home to get the kids to the local VBS each evening. The end of week two of driving to town, however, brought on migraine #2. I’m very thankful it wasn’t as long-lasting or as severe as Migraine #1, but I still suffered to be sure.

Little Miss was in a local production of Charlotte’s Web, and rehearsals were often, and also in town. We did a lot of driving these last few weeks.

We had another wonderful visitor stop over to see us as well. Hubs’ best friend came to see our hilltop homestead and we so enjoyed spending time with him.

It kind of felt like we had a little Homestead Bed and Breakfast operation going for a little bit with back-to-back company. I liked it, not because of the B&B aspect, but because we spent such meaningful time with our people.

It did reveal to me the very hard time I’ve had keeping up with the house cleaning, though…

The Birds

The meat birds are getting huge (which is a good thing) and we are down to 35 (which is a bummer, but still, 35 is a good number). We’re moving them in their chicken tractors every couple of days, giving them fresh grass and plenty of fresh air. They are living their best life for the short time they’re here.

We’ve lost a hen and a guinea in the meantime. The guineas pushed their luck by sleeping in the trees instead of in the coop, and one paid for that decision with its life. I have no idea what happened to the hen, but we’ve seen bald eagles hanging around frequently, and hawks have made a reappearance as well. We free range our laying hens and guineas, but clearly there’s a price for that.

The meat birds aren’t much to look at, and I can’t seem to stop staring at the guineas faces. I guess I’m saying we’ve got some ugly birds out here.

We had a stretch of beautiful, wind-free days, but boy was it ever hot. When the wind came back, everyone noticed. The wind does terrible knot-tying tricks to curly hair, so I try to wear it pulled back or keep a kerchief on my head. But sometimes I forget and, well….

The Home

I’ve been doing my best to can up some beef for our pantry and get the freezer ready for those chickens to move in. We’ve got some jars of ground beef, roast, and soup meat on the shelves. Slowly but surely, I’m getting some preserving done.

I bought some bell and jalapeƱo peppers, along with some tomatoes, from the local produce stand. I got them all diced up and in bags for the freezer. I’ll pull them out and make a couple batches of salsa once I can catch my breath.

But, Val, didn’t you just say you were trying to free up freezer space? Yes. I know. No matter what, we’ll have salsa made before we have chickens butchered. But for now, it is what it is.

Every day I’m trying to make or preserve something. Even if it means vacuum sealing some dry beans in a jar, dehydrating some veggies and turning them into powders, baking bread – anything I do in the kitchen counts, basically.

I know fall will be here before we know it, which means winter isn’t as far off as we’d like to believe. Having food ready to go for those cold, snowed-in days is a must. So I press on in the kitchen.

The Homeschool

This next week we’ll be starting our fifth year of homeschool, ready or not. I’ve got the curriculum ready to go, the books situated and organized, and all we need to do is turn the kids loose in it to mess with my perfectionist tendencies.

Little Man begins American History this year, which is my favorite. Little Miss will be doing Eastern Hemisphere, which we’ve yet to cover in-depth thus far, so I’m looking forward to it. We’ve also joined our first-ever Co-Op. They’re even trusting me to teach Art once in a while.

It hasn’t started yet, but the kids are looking forward to spending some weekly time with other homeschoolers. And I’m looking forward to connecting with other homeschool moms. Win-Win.

I can’t believe this is our fifth. year. homeschooling. But also? I’m so amazed this will be our fifth year homeschooling. I honestly can’t imagine life without homeschool.

It gets overwhelming at times, it’s definitely hard to keep up, I’m not “cut out” for it – by any stretch – but the Lord has made a way, and has made it work beautifully for our family. I’m so very grateful.

The Conclusion

Things have been a little hectic. It’s been hard at times to keep up. But then this little beauty decides a rest on the padded kitchen mat seems like a good idea and I have no choice but to leave the dishes where they lie, and catch a little rest myself. Obviously. Oh Dolly, you sweet pup.

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