Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

More May Memories

Okay, so its the end of June and I’m still posting on May happenings.  One day I will finally catch up and stay caught up.   Hey! It could happen….

May brought crazy weather, lots of rain, learner’s permits, knitting dads, tractor problems, lots of farm work, and crazy growing puppies and kids-just to name a few.  That was our May in a nutshell.  Ok, maybe I should break that down into a version that makes a little more sense, shall I?

One of the biggest and most exciting changes that May brought was Maleah’s learner’s permit!!!

 Maleah is over the moon excited to have earned her permit!  

Yep, Maleah is now behind the steering wheel most days.  Now that school is winding down for the year she works with Jim 3-4 days a week.  She has a goal of saving enough money by the end of the summer to buy her own car.  She is doing a great job saving her money and is well on her way to a car already.  Actually, I think she might have more money in her savings than I do!

So “knitting dads” sounds a little funny doesn’t it?  Ok, maybe not funny but definitely not something you hear every day.  Well, the deal was that if Maleah worked really hard and was able to obtain her learner’s permit then Jim would learn how to knit.  So, yep, Maleah is teaching Jim how to knit!!  And I am having a great time watching and taking pictures!

 I must admit that Maleah is a very patient and kind teacher.  

Now Jim on the other hand is the class clown of knitting. That’s not surprising is it?  He is always cracking jokes and laughing.  I can’t wait to see the finished scarf.  If Jim will ever quit being a goofball and get serious I think he could make a side job out of his knitting endeavors.  If….

One of the things I miss most about our old place is all the fruit trees and bushes we had.  We had peach, pear and apple trees, along with grapevines, blackberry and raspberry bushes.  And the blueberries.  Oh, the blueberries!  I loved to eat the blueberries right off the bushes!  They just taste so much better when they are fresh of the vine.  This spring I missed walking outside and checking to see how all the fruit was coming along.  I also missed the joy of picking the first fruit off the vines and doing a little happy dance as I popped it in my mouth!  So imagine my surprise when we spotted some wild blueberry bushes while working on the new chicken fence.  I was ecstatic!

 Maylin actually spotted the first “wild” blueberry bushI thought she was joking.  Nope, she found the real deal.  I love her eagle eyes!  Then, we found more bushes just down the hill from there.

Then we found even more bushes on a walk to the creek one afternoon!  They are everywhere!! 

Needless to say that I have NOT bush-hogged the field with all the blueberries yet. I did dig up some of them to transplant closer to the house though.  That didn’t go as well as I had hoped…  Let’s just say that even Bassett Hound puppies are fast.  They aren’t always lazy hounds.  They are curious and apparently like the taste of blueberries as much as we do.  Sometimes silly hound puppies get wild ideas like trying to eat all the berries.  Then out of no where a low flying puppy makes a dive for the last top berry and knocks all the pots over.  Dirt spills and plant pieces fly and a crazy game of destroy the newly dug up plants ensues.  The whole thing lasted less than 30 seconds or the amount of time it took me to run across the yard yelling like a maniac.  You know, we still haven’t met some of our neighbors yet but I can imagine that they sometimes sit outside on their porches and listen to our family for entertainment.  I know I would.

Obviously the blueberry bushes lost to a wild crazy puppy who wound up covered in dirt and clay.  While bathing her off I even found an unripe blueberry in her ear.  In her ear!!  I think she was trying to save it for later.  Sneaky puppy.  I’ve decided I’m going to wait until fall to try to dig up the other blueberry bushes.  Maybe, just maybe, Jessie will have outgrown some of her playful puppy antics by then.  Or maybe I’ll be a little faster.  Or better yet, maybe I’ll have a place ready to transplant them.  Maybe….

Speaking of crazy puppies, Jessie is growing like a weed.

Look at that face!  And those ears!  She is too cute for her own good.  

Jessie has also mastered the “I am innocent” look.  She still denies any wrong doing in the mass murder of shoes or blueberry bushes at our house.  She is a stealthy, snuggly sweetheart that loves shoes and blueberries.  

Remember Big Red?  Well, Big Red fits in great around here. 

We have learned that Big Red is kinda moody and persnickety.  Maybe a little hormonal and crazy even?  Please do not tell Big Red I said that!  One day Big Red would fire right up and we would head out to bush hog.  Other days Big Red wouldn’t start at all.  Silly, stubborn tractor.  Then Jim would play mechanic over the phone and tell me to make sure this is disengaged and that this in Neutral and that that is out of gear.  Yeah, got it.  Still not starting.  Jim would then come home that night and hop on the tractor and it would roar to life.  What????  The first time it happened I thought it was funny.   The second time it was a little frustrating.  The third time it was hysterically funny to me because the tractor wouldn’t start for Jim either!  Ha!

We called the tractor place and they asked Jim all the questions he had been asking me.  Yes, yes and yes, and it still won’t start.  So they sent out Bud.  Bud is the guy who delivered our tractor and showed us all the in and outs of Big Red.  He is kind of like a tractor whisperer with mechanic skills.  Great combination if you ask me.  Very helpful.  He showed up on his way home and had a little smirk on his face.  He thought we had the bush hog engaged and didn’t know it.  His face was comical as he climbed on Big Red only to have nothing happen.  The tractor wouldn’t start for him either.

Well, the joke was on him because 4 hours later and multiple parts laying everywhere he finally found the problem.  Or problems.  The electrical system wasn’t designed the best.  The plugs were slipping off so that it was short circuiting basically.  Once he found the problem he had to find a way to fix it or Big Red would always be picky about starting.  And  I would always be cranky about having an unreliable tractor.  It took a little while but he was finally able to fix both plugs so they would stay connected and allow the tractor to start every time.  A BIG thank you to Bud for fixing Big Red!!  Since then, Big Red has started every time!  Whoo-hoo!

 Trying to get work done on the farm this year has been difficult at best.  It’s either raining, muddy or incredibly hot.  The kids have had a full schedule which means that I get up at sunrise or earlier to try to get any work done.  The up side is the beautiful sunrises.  Aaaahhhhh…..

If Jim isn’t working, he prefers to drive the tractor with Camden.  That means I get to walk around and pile up sticks and put them in the bucket.  Well, at least it’s good exercise.

 The girls usually help for a while and then start picking blackberries.  I’m okay with that as long as they share their harvest with me!

After a hot morning of work we usually end up at the creek on the way to the house.  

The kids still love playing in the creek.  I can’t remember why Camden is making that face but it sure is hilarious!

I think that Jessie and Rocko might like the creek the best when we drag out to do work with us.  However, I think they prefer sleeping in the quiet air conditioning while we work even more.  Smart dogs. 

After long days working and playing it’s nice to enjoy the beautiful sunsets. 

 Some of the sunsets this year have been spectacular.  We are looking forward to a lifetime of sunsets here. 

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