What did you do to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend? This weekend signals the beginning of the Aspendale Farm “birthday season.” My oldest daughter Cecily kicks it off early in the weekend, and my birthday follows closely behind. So we open and close the weekend most years with birthday parties! Often we will camp for one or both of them, as we did this year. But this year our destination was, inadvertently, wildfire territory! We headed to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the uninitiated) to Tahquamenon Falls where wildfires are raging. Needless to say, the park was closed and we didn’t get to see the falls. We did head to Munising and see Munising Falls – which reminded us so much of last spring’s vacation to Brevard, NC and it’s 200+ waterfalls! That was a great vacation and I recommend to every person on the planet!
We also saw Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and toured Marquette for the day, including it’s really nice Farmer’s Market! What a large market – and lots of variety of products. Everything from homemade ice cream and home roasted coffee beans, to goat’s milk lotion and beeswax candles!
Thunderstorms chased us home early, and we returned to have a swim party and barbecue to close out the festivities yesterday for my birthday! Our missionary friends Bob and Susan are just back from Malawi and were able to join us, along with my other two best girl friends and their families. And of course my husband and four kids! They are each such an incredible blessing in my life! I felt so loved and appreciated by everyone, but more importantly, just really enjoyed the good friendship and fun! We got to break in our new mosquito-proof gazebo. Strong, gusty winds also tested our reinforcing plan of zip ties and bungee-cords to keep it from catching and blowing off the deck in the winds!
As a nice birthday gift, of sorts, the fence guys came and began the fence rail installation yesterday. They made tremendous progress and will finish the rails and hang the gates today. Then I can string the top hot-wire and bring the horses back home! They have been gone all month! It’s been eerily disconcerting to be without the three-times-a-day horse chores that have punctuated our lives as farmers since 2008! And of course we have just missed them. Each one has his or her own personality like any pet cat or dog might.
Before we left for the weekend we were running around like chickens with our heads … well, I won’t mention it in case the hens can pick up on my vibes… but you know what I’m saying! LOL! I’ve been trying to get all the veggies and herbs in, and all the flower pots full. I’ve also been trying to help my kids get their gardens done. We still have a few plants left to go in and it’s been a big job to keep all our transplants and newly planted things watered!
The new ducklings and chicks are thriving. They are always so fun to watch! I love how they’ll be running along, then stop and slowly bend over as they fall asleep! I wish I could do that! A little catnap and they are off and running again! LOL!
We harvested all of our spinach last week, but wow! It has been a bounty of cut-and-come-again as I’ve never seen before! Just one week later, the bed is full and bushy again. It makes me glad I didn’t pull the roots as I would have in prior years! We just let the stems send up more shoots and we have twice as large a harvest as we would have. Try it yourself and see! This morning I danced out to the garden and cut a handful of fresh spinach to throw in the protein drink I’m having with my breakfast! You can’t get fresher than that unless you bend over and bite it off the stems with your teeth! LOL!
Lastly, our first race of the season is coming up, and I’ve finally buckled down to train for it. JJ and I went out and ran 2.6 miles (I won’t mention my embarrassingly slow time). I was grateful for the company and the encouragement to get out and do it! It felt good, and I could have run further. I didn’t want to risk it, though, as running seems to aggravate a hip/lower back injury that hasn’t healed all the way yet. I am being careful, and trying to keep those muscles stretched out properly. The chiropractor said to expect it to take several more months to heal all the way.
That’s the last week in a nutshell. I’ve actually omitted quite a lot! LOL! I am looking forward to, one day soon, actually just sitting down and surveying all my hard work with a sense of satisfaction. But usually I sit down, and within a few minutes I remember something I need to do, and I’m off and running again! Such is the life on a small home farm! LOL!