Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Summer, So Far...

Realization of the fact our summer is half over hit me yesterday; my girls go back to school in six weeks.  We were finally blessed with over two inches of rain last night, the first substantial rain in many weeks, giving me time away from moving the sprinkler around the garden to share a bit of our summer with you.

Like much of the country, summer has been a very hot and dry one here, and so I'm looking forward to the cooler days of autumn.  (Oh, and boots.  I happen to love fall fashion, and boots.)  I am genetically programmed to be making soup when the temps outside are -10F and the winds are howling. My wardrobe is designed around jeans, sweaters and... boots... while my 40-something hormones abhor humidity and my feet detest flip-flops.  So to say the heat is a challenge for me is the authentic truth, as is the fact my darling husband purchased a window air-conditioner unit for our bedroom despite the fact we already have central air, in hopes he could have his sweet-natured wife back to replace the cranky, sleep-deprived insomniac who arrived when the warm weather did.

Despite the heat, however, we've had a good summer so far.  On the last day of freedom (oops, I mean school), we hooked up the boat and went fishing.

I believe it was the last time this year we wore jackets.  It was a beautiful morning to be on the lake!

Our girls were overjoyed to welcome some baby kittens... in the summer kitchen, in the barn, under the porch... these are some of the porch kitties:

I don't watch any TV this time of year, except for the news and maybe a rerun of "Lonesome Dove" if its on while working in the kitchen.  For entertainment, there is so much more than television, here.  Porch kitties are great entertainment, and as a bonus, their industrious mother brings all her prey right to the front door.  Four to six times a day.  We no longer have a chipmunk problem.

But if the kitties get tired and decide to nap, we can always go watch the foals play.

They leap,

and prance,

and dance,

and live as we all should, simply enjoying the sunshine and good company.

With all this entertainment, I rarely leave the farm, but do occasionally go off-site for some fun. Our town has a great little rodeo every year, and so we made sure to attend.  At the gate, our older daughter disappeared with her FFA friends, though for a good cause... they sold popcorn and bandannas to raise money for a local boy who is fighting cancer (and raised $3000! How awsome is that?!) The younger one soon found her best friend and left Mom and Dad in the dust.  She's the one up front, in a pink shirt and cowgirl boots, flanked by her buddies and heckling the rodeo clown... 

My girls are so much fun, I'm really blessed to have the time with them!  And they are turning into equestrians, if not exactly cowgirls just yet...

They really have progressed in their riding, and it thrills me to watch them ride and enjoy it.  My baby has graduated to a bigger lesson pony, and the teenager is now learning to jump.  We can't wait to watch the equestrian events at the Olympics! 

Our 4th of July was more quiet than most, but we did head to the lake in the evening to watch some fireworks.  This is my treasure:

And, as we often do, while the sun went down we marveled at the fact that folks come from hundreds of miles around to spend time in this neck of the woods, year-round, and yet we get to live here all the time! We are so, so fortunate.

This past weekend, I was getting antsy and decided my family needed to experience the wonder that is the local flea market.  It was hot and crowded, so we didn't stay too long (though I WILL be back, sans children, in the near future! There are too many rusty, junky delights for me to stay away...).  We headed into town for some refreshment just in time to catch the Water Carnival Parade.  We waved at beauty queens, ducked the fire from water cannons, caught candy and clapped for the bagpipers.  My personal favorites are always the marching bands...

I felt great sympathy for everyone marching in the heat... and yet wished I were marching with them.  Marching band ROCKS.

ANY way, after reliving my youth a bit, it was time to head home and get back to work, as my loving husband had purchased fifty pounds of cucumbers a few days earlier.  He likes pickles, apparently.  Lots of them.  Oh, and chokecherry jelly...

This photo will be on the title page of my "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" report... okay, if I were accountable to someone and needed to write a report, that is.  But it does sum up how much of the rest of my summer will play out... I've got LOTS of canning to do.  More jelly, peaches, tomatoes, corn, raspberries, green beans...

I'd better get to work on that jelly!  Hope you are having a great summer, too. :)