We have had a busy couple of weeks in the city and here on the farm. Able and Kari are busy rebuilding the nursery room, in preparation for their little lady baby's arrival. Uncle Zach has been down several times to help. Able likes to use heirloom tools when he works so he is using his great-great-grandfather's (Charles Dotter) level and square on this project. (No, Dad, they did not sand the studs. Sorry, Charlie.)
Of course we had the pie contest, which I have blogged about before. Below, Miss M. is helping cut pie for the customers on that day. ( We showed her how to cut them in 'giving them away' size instead of 'sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner' size. (I knew you'd like that one, Dad. Just like the tomatoes.)
The Spice Shop is doing great, with lots of gifts sets being made for the holiday shoppers and new customers coming in, finding us, every single day. Most people are happy when they come to the spice shop and usually not in a rush. Our customers always bring visiting family and friends into the shop and we thoroughly enjoy meeting and visiting with them. Our customer demographic is very broad and I love getting to brush elbows with people of all ages and from all over.
I have started volunteering in the library at Deer Creek Elementary in Edmond. It's only one morning so far but I really like getting a chance to visit and get to know some new kiddos. I'm also signed up help with the art days at M and B's school, if they need me. That should be fun. I'm down there, I might as well be doing something I love to do. I also want to do something for the elementary school that is a block north of the shop since they are our neighbors. I haven't decided what yet, but I will.
Abbey's family and Audie and Ro came out to the farm on Saturday for a day-o-fun. Unfortunately it was hugely muggy and hot because a storm was brewing. They didn't seem to mind but grandma sure did. It wasn't until after sundown that the wind shifted direction and the cool came flooding from the north. By that time the Richards fam was already back in OKC.
The kids did a tremendous amount of playing with the chickens, as they do. That involves chasing them, trapping them in the outside pen, tossing them in the air, giving them 'ballet lessons', according to M. and just holding them. The kids never seem to tire of this game, but I'm pretty sure the chickens do. It's fine. The kids aren't here very often and the chickens are chickens so they don't get to have a say in the matter. Here is Master E. watching from the stump outside the 'ballet room'.
The Production Reds have all had the name Mary for months now, but the others have been nameless. This visit M and E named all the Buffs Emmitt and the two skinny black ones Lucy. Ro got to name the Barred Rocks and he called them both Honey. Apparently we have lost one of the Honeys recently but I hadn't seen any feather piles anywhere, so it must have been a large hawk.
There was one of the Rocks that was smaller than the other two, remember? She took quite a while to finally decide to stay alive in the beginning and then the others wouldn't let her wander with them. I'm assuming she was the one we lost because she didn't have anyone looking out for her. Drat. Some of the chickens seem to think they would be much happier living in the garage. If I ever leave the door open they make a bee-line for it and stomp around, pooping on the floor and flying up to the work bench. NO WAY, CHICKENS! All the children have been instructed to raise a ruckus and chase all chickens out of the garage whenever they step so much as one yellow toe inside.
At one point in the day, Ro and E came waltzing out of the garage with a basket of small tools. They said the tools belonged to a mouse and they were taking them to do some work. Okay. Later, I was in there and noticed that Danny's big triangular tool box was flipped open, went over to have a look-see, and found a little brown mouse staring out at me. He had made a nice little bed in the corner and he and a friend were quite cozy in there. I called the little boys over so they could see him and when they came over they looked at me and said, "We know, that's the mouse we took the tools from. He lives here." They were so funny, looking at me like I was dim witted not to have understood that earlier. I cleaned out the nest and shut the lid tightly. Sorry, Able, but it does smell a little mousey now. Oops.
Here we are, getting ready for our traditional Fall gourd painting activity. This time it was pumpkins and ghosts, mostly. I attempted to paint a leaf-man but failed miserably. I still think it would be really cute, but I have no idea how to make it happen. We also had reading time, of course...also known as 'nap time' for the littler kids.
Everyone helped me dump and spread the new mulch onto the east side next to the house. It is one of the areas I have given up gardening. It is so clear and clean looking now that it seems completely out of place in my gardens. That's okay. It doesn't make me crazy like the Johnson grass did. I like it. There is more to do. M suggested I might want to plant a couple of things through the mulch for a little color. Love her. You and she both know I probably will.
Since Zane and his dad were off on a cub scout camping week-end we had to pop open the tents and spend some time in them here as well. I think they're working puzzles in there in this shot. While he was trying to figure out how to set the tent up, B almost succumbed to the 'I can't figure this stupid thing out so I'm giving up' impulse but Audra caught him just in the nick of time, reminding him that that is the exact moment when you ask someone for help and then work on it together. Yay! Success. It can be tricky.
When the storm finally made its way here, complete with thunder and lightning and blowing rain, we tried to get Ro to stay snug in his little tent on the front porch and just watch it, but he was a little spooked by the noise and bluster of it all. One of the things I love most is watching the approach of and being in the middle of a thunderstorm. Bring out the quilts and watch the fireworks.
We got a nice big rain out of it and the gardens are loving the water and the cooler temperatures. It is perfect weather for star-gazing, and we are in the dark of the moon. The Milky Way is still out there, and all around us, in case you were wondering. Haven't seen it lately? It's probably time you found a hill, away from the city lights, and spent some time lying on your back staring out into the universe.