(this picture doesn’t have anything to do with the post — but I had to include it; I love it when this particular rose bush blooms.  You can smell it from ten feet away!)

Okay, first things first: this is a Completely Random Post.  And it includes some violent material.  There.  You’ve been warned.  Read at your own risk.

So I realize my posts have been getting fewer and farther between.  Not for lack of blog fodder!… but simply for lack of motivation and time. My deepest apologies for my inexcusable slacking.  In all fairness, though, I don’t necessarily see it changing any time soon… but, what can I say?  It’s summer! — Stay tuned for fall and a life-less-crazy! 

But since I am soooo behind with basic updates, I’m going to try to catch up on the last few weeks of happenings and such…

A couple of people have asked how soccer is going… but actually, we’re not playing this year.  We’ve been traveling back and forth to Spokane too much lately to make the twice-a-week trips to Canada feasible — plus we weren’t sure if we could successfully get the youngest kid out of the country and back in again twice a week without resorting to bribery (bribing border patrol officers being completely out of the question, of course!)  I really, really miss it.  I kick things around the house to relieve the built-up soccer tension.  (just kidding… sort of….)  Ahhhh. I deeply love the sport.

So in all our non-soccer-playing free-time (ha, right!!) Peter and I have been filling out mounds of paperwork.  Some of it has been for the non-profit’s tax exemption status, but most of it has been related to our property issue.  We’re in a bit of a “negotiation” (that’s a nice way to put it) with our county’s planning department over some re-zoning issues.  We’ve been jumping through all their hoops ((not really very happy about it!! — but jumping all the same.))  It is a crazy amount of paperwork and fees to get permission to re-zone and sub-divide OUR family property… But hopefully it will all go through soon and we can get to work. 

After such a cold start to the summer, It’s finally been HOT the last few weeks.  We’ve had our usual hundred degree temps — although it has been averaging in the low 90’s this week.  We were in Spokane a few weekends ago at Hoopfest with the Lairds (had a GREAT time with them!) and it reminded us a little of being in Liberia!  The intense heat and the insane amount of people crammed into a small area was unmistakably like the Monrovia airport. 

Of course, the warmer weather has brought out the doggone weeds.  My annual war to keep the acreage under control has resumed once again…  It’s never ending, I tell ya.  And, of course, there is also the battle against the dirt and the mud that my kids track into the house all day long.  Some days I think wistfully about how nice it would be to live in the middle of a city with neat and tidy little patches of grass where the sidewalks end and a postage-sized neat and tidy little yard in back of my neat and tidy little house (that’s how it is, right?  Please let me keep my fantasy!) 

With the onset of the heat, I’ve found that my kids literally live in their swim-suits… and when those get too constricting, their birthday suits. (There ARE benefits to living thirty miles out in the country sometimes! 🙂  It seems like there is always one cousin or another under-foot as well…  Such is summer around here.

 

This last week in particular brought some excitement (although not necessarily all good excitement…)  Thursday morning we had a major wind storm with gusts 60-70 mph that knocked over old buildings and blew down trees (and probably would have carried off small children had any ventured outside!!) It was all very exciting to sit inside and watch — even though we knew it was only a matter of time before the electricity went out. 

And like clockwork, it did.  And since practically our entire county was out as well… and since our section of the grid is at the bottom of the priority list, we were out of electricity both Thursday and Friday.  So no AC, no coffee, no computer, no way to recharge the phone, no lights after dark… I’m such a wimp.  Going days without electricity always reminds me just how reliant I am on all my plug-ins! 

In addition to the outages, the downed power lines sparked all kinds of wildfires.  We heard the constant hum of fire planes and helicopters for three days straight.  Saturday afternoon Peter and I were outside working and we looked across the field toward my parent’s house and noticed a small strand of smoke on the hillside.  We called and reported it, and then kept an eye on it.  Within an hour it had tripled in size and it kept growing all day.  Thankfully it was finally shut down after dark.  We would have been a little more worried if the river wasn’t between our house and the mountain.  This is a picture about an hour after it started.  It’s amazing how fast wildfires can spread in an area like ours where things are so dry and the forests are so thick.  I always wanted to be a wildland firefighter.  We have friends that are and it’s really an adrenaline-loaded job.  Not the kind I’d want now as a mom… but maybe someday when I’m old.  (Do they take old lady firefighters??? :0) )

Friday night and Saturday morning we butchered chickens.  (Yes, you read that right.) We raise chickens… and that means somewhere between the fuzzy chicks from the feed store and the rosemary roast chicken on the dinner table is a weekend of *ugh* that I choose to not think about before or after it happens.  It’s just part of living on a farm.  I don’t like it, but I do like the organic, home-grown chickens currently residing in my freezer!  (No hate mail, please!!) 

Peter’s mom actually does most of the raising of the chickens, we just get together as an extended family to help at the end.  So thankfully it wasn’t just Peter and me.  AND I got the easy last step job of cleaning and bagging them before the freezer.  How lucky am I?  But I’ve done every step before, and I’ve survived… We grew up raising chickens so it’s really just part of life.  (I know, I know… I am REALLY starting to sound like a weirdo!!)   

Joanna was so funny this year.  We decided to finally break the news to her about what we were doing (i.e. “where chicken really comes from.”)  You should have seen the look on her face as she realized what we were saying!  But she was actually totally fine with it.  She helped me bag up the birds in the kitchen and told me that they weren’t “real” chickens anymore… they were “chicken to eat.”   

I decided to spare you pictures of the poultry event.  Yeah, I kinda figured that might be a little too much for a g-rated blog…

So, um, anyway… moving right along.  🙂

Through a series of events, we ended up getting a little backhoe to use for the weekend.  Peter was in boy-heaven.  Seriously.  I couldn’t get him off it!!  It WAS handy, and he DID get a lot of projects done super-fast that would have taken five times as long without it… but I think he invented some “projects” too… just to get to play some more!  🙂  Henry loved it too.  He would have sat on Peter’s lap all day. 

So there you go.  A totally-random update on the fam.  I WILL try to post more.  I have about a zillion summertime pictures of the kids that are begging to be posted!  🙂

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