Thursday, August 15, 2019

A Well-Lived Summer Day

Summer evenings* are made for campfires. We set around the fire until after midnight with sweet friends last night. Tonight - it's a family circle around the fire. Cory is just 2 weeks away from finishing his degree and is pushing to finish, Dad decided he wanted to turn in early tonight (he was out until 8:45 p.m. last night).  We LOVED nightly campfires when we lived full-time in our RV. This is a habit we have worked to carry over into our stationary lifestyle. It is FINE if everyone simply reads at the campfire...some nights we talk, or read a chapter of Patrick McManus....tonight we relaxed.
Michael, Stacia, Nolan, Krista, Alex

We don't have s'mores EVERY night, but I have converted a tool box to a "s'more kit" and it IS always ready to go. πŸ˜‰

Of course, relaxing around the fire is much more satisfying if one has been productive during the day.

I mailed off packages....and had a 2 hour ILP (Individual Learning Plan) meeting with our contact teacher at IDEA,  the charter school where our children are registered.  She loved the kids' plans....she knows our family and we truly like each other. She is a Pastor's wife and I keep thinking it would be fun to visit their church - but I haven't found a week where I want to miss our church. ::snort::  She said there will be no problem waiving the extra credits Stacia is taking as she knows we will do what we say we will do, and  she has seen how we are working to keep Stacia engaged and challenged. She had suggestions for Alex which I think will prove to be beneficial as we steer him towards his future. Specifically, she helped me create a much stronger "Career Prep" credit for him than the Sonlight texts I had....we'll incorporate local and state resources. She also explained  he qualifies for the Alaska Performance Scholarship and can use the money  for Voc Tech classes. As we talked, I realized Ales hasn't taken Ramsey's Foundation of Personal Finances - a requirement to graduate from our home school.  I mentioned we'd be working on that on the side and she suggested we incorporate it with the Sonlight Economics course to make it a full credit course.

And then....we simply talked. We shared about her recent visit home and my summer....and what it is like to be a woman in your 50's with parents aging and grandblessings thrilling....and to do it all from, and in, Alaska.

I stopped at Lowes for marking paint, peat moss and lime. Gardening and timber felling.... LOL I made a final stop before coming home for Dad's paper.

The front of our place is wonderfully private in the spring/summer/fall. It's very public in the winter when the cottonwood and birch trees lose their leaves.  It's a forest - and we're always working to keep the cottonwood from taking over.....

Michael and Alex went into this mess and cleared out Cottonwood. They left a a one deep stand between our home and the clearing. 
So handy to have these two in our midst
They planted four evergreens. It's a start. We'll leave the cottonwood as these grow...and then remove some of the Cottonwood to gain a bit more yard once the new ones provide privacy.  Once again, thinking in terms of years from now is an oddity for us - and we're enjoying it. We have the time to change this. 

Dad likes to come out and do what he can - always providing encouragement, and a few jokes, along the way. 
Michael, Dad and Alex 
THIS is the squash which grew from our secondary compost pile. This gives me great hope for my lasagna's taken over the area to the north of the garden which I hadn't weeded or planted. 

We aren't sure what it is. Arielle and I have talked about it and we both had spaghetti and butternut squash seeds we threw in the compost....maybe it will be one of those? Regardless, we have a lot of blossoms on it.... What do you think?

This tells me our compost is not heating up enough to really "compost" and that it IS providing enough nutrients to grow things...more than our soil. LOL  I have not been able to use the compost we started last year....we aren't adding to it any longer and I hope to be able to use it next year. I think it will just take longer for it to "cook" due to the cold winters.

I'm doing my best to awaken a love of growing things in the next generation. 
Bachan - look! 

 We have cauliflower! 

We have both red and green cabbage. It's amazing how much better it looks without moose eating the center out of them. LOL 

The bed is terribly over-crowded. I pulled off the lower leaves and put another green layer on the lasagna bed. I don't have any more "frames" for a bed...and the guys are busy with trees, so won't be making more beds. I think I'll stake out a few more beds so I can utilize our grass clippings, barnyard litter, and fall leaves. 

This is kale AFTER I've harvested 7 quarts. I think I'm going to harvest it all before we leave for OR and freeze it. I suspect more will grow while we are gone and we'll have plenty fresh when we return. 

We are getting lots of broccoli. 

We had another night of yummy veggies from the garden...zucchini, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots....garnished with fresh basil....

Um....I tried to show him the goals for disc golf...but he thinks the goal is to throw the disc through the trees. Come to think of it, he has observed such playing. LOL 

My heart! Benny's new pose when he knows I'm going to take a photo. 

Playing with Mom is always more fun than playing with anyone else! 

It was a fun day.....and while I don't want to concede fall's arrival - I am looking forward to many fall evenings around the campfire. LOL

*Summer Evenings - it's getting dusky at 9 p.m. now, and it doesn't get light until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. We have a few leaves on the ground, and the trees are starting to turn golden....fall is certainly on it's way...but for now, my calendar still says this is summer!