Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

July

July.  Just July as a title.  Yeah, that about sums up the enthusiasm I have at this point in the summer.  I am always exhausted from trying to squeeze in work every single second of the day.  Longer daylight means getting up at 5am to work before I get the kids and Jim up for breakfast.  Longer daylight hours also mean that I can work late into the evenings and squeeze in more chores after supper.  Don’t you know that my kids would willingly trade me in right now?  They are so sick of me saying, “Okay let’s just go work on the fencing for a little while.”  Or “Why don’t we try to fit in some yardwork after dinner?”  Oh, yes.  My kids would gladly send me away right now!  To be honest, I think Jim would too!  Every time he crosses one thing off the “To Do List” I add about 3 more things.  Sorry, honey!  That’s just the way my crazy mind works!

So, yes, July was filled with a lot of work for us.  Unfortunately, I didn’t even get close to all the work done I wanted but according to Jim that’s not possible.  I would want Rome built in a day.  Or less…. I do try to step back and away from the never ending list of stuff to get done and enjoy the summer with the kiddos though.  I don’t always succeed, but I do try…Honest, I do try!

July 4th is typically one of those days that I always step away and enjoy time with Jim and the kids.  No work.  Just family time and fun wrapped up in a holiday for us.  For the last 10 years or so we were fortunate to live next to some adventurous neighbors who loved fireworks.  Yeah, baby!  Between the 3 or 4 neighbors who shot off fireworks and being able to see some of the fireworks at Lake Lure in the distance we never had to go anywhere to enjoy the holiday.  We would just camp out on our deck and enjoy the show or shows that were going on around us.  Animals don’t always appreciate fireworks though so I like to stay close to home and keep an eye on my furry friends in case they decide the fireworks are too much.  So far that hasn’t happened with the large animals but poor Rocko hates fireworks so we typically end up giving him a little “sleepy time” help to ease his anxiety.  Jim threatens to give me some of Rocko’s meds sometimes when my “To Do List” gets a little to long.  Yikes!

Anyway, this year, being in a new house, we weren’t sure what to expect as far as fireworks.  We settled in and waited to see which neighbors, if any, shot off fireworks.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  We were more than a little surprised that none of our neighbors shot off any fireworks!  However, we did enjoy the quiet and the fact that we were able to go to bed at a decent hour.  We are really getting old apparently!

July also brings us Vacation Bible School at our church.  My girls love, love, LOVE, VBS!  They live for it actually!  This year was no exception.  All the kids thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it this year.  I do have tons of pictures of my kiddos enjoying their time at VBS but all the pictures have other kiddos in them as well.  I hate to post other people’s kids without them knowing so I will refrain from sharing the VBS photos from this summer.  Take my work for it, the kids had a blast!!

Then it was back to work people!  Yep, we took some time off and now we need to get back in the swing of things and make up for lost time.  Wait, did my kids just disappear?  Hello??  Yeah, as you can imagine they disappeared a lot in July.  And so did Jim.  He also conveniently forgot things and had to go back to town after he got home from work.  Of course, he was kind enough to take the kids with him so I could stay and get some work done.  He’s such a gentlemen.

 Jim didn’t get a lot of dozer work done in July because his work schedule was so busy. 

 By the time Jim’s work had slowed down some, the rain had returned and everything was a muddy mess. 

Finally, I have the entire driveway fenced in!  I’m not even going to tell you how long that took because that’s just embarrassing….  But it is finally done and now I can start fencing down to the creek….And then start fencing in the hayfield…And then fencing in the cattle pasture…And the other small pasture on the other side of the creek….

 Now that the driveway is fenced, I can start fencing in all this pasture.  Any one want to help?  Hello???

 One day when we were working we found this single ear of corn out in the field.  It’s our first volunteer plant.  How cute!

 Maleah worked a lot with Jim in July which left me with Camden and Maylin.  They weren’t always thrilled about helping me do work.  Some days they just needed to be kids and play.  

 Camden usually finds a tool and turns it into a superhero weapon and defends the universe while Maylin uses her creativity and decorates Big Blue with wildflowers.  I just love spending time with these kiddos and watching them grow up.  I just wish they wouldn’t grow up so fast!

So, back in June I had the brilliant idea to do some landscaping around the house.  Ha!  I thought it would look a little nicer if we were ever inclined to take some time off and invite people over.  Again, HA!  Well, let’s just say that our puppy, Jessie, did not like that idea.  She tried to destroy the landscaping every chance she got.  Every time we let her outside we had to watch her like a hawk or she would tear into a plant, or dig up all the mulch, or rip the landscaping fabric completely out of the ground.

Why, puppy, why???  At first, it was a little funny to watch her trying to keep here long ears out of the way so she could dig a hole in the mulch.  It really was adorable!  However, after the death of a few plants, it wasn’t as cute anymore.  So, I made the executive decision to just leave it alone until this fall and hope that she will have outgrown some of her puppy ways by then.  I know it’s not likely, but one can hope.

This is what happens after Jessie spends all her time trying to find ways to destroy the landscaping.  She comes inside and hops into the Darth Vader chair.  That alone is funny enough, but then she is so exhausted she typically slides out of the chair and doesn’t even wake up!  I have caught her half in the chair and half out of the chair so many times now.  I think she does it to be cute.  And so I will forgive her for destroying my plants.  Oh, Jessie!

In July the Old Homestead became more like the Old Ruins.  It broke my heart.  It only has 2 exterior walls remaining now and only a few interior walls left.  I knew it was going to be hard to watch it be torn down, but I just didn’t realize it would be so sad!  I can’t even bring myself to take a picture of it yet.  So I took a picture of the walls that are still up and all the clearing that we have done around the big tree.

The kids want a tire swing or two hanging from this huge tree.  Count me in!!

An update on the April Fool’s Day birds.  Well, in case you want to know, meat birds can lay eggs if given the chance.  Yep, they might be as fat as a pig and waddle worse than a duck, but they can lay eggs.  In fact, they are the only hens that have started laying eggs.  I think Sunshine and Yellow Dots realized their days were numbered, (as in numbered for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas) and decided they needed to provide us a reason to keep them around.  Well played, chickens.  Well played.

Not a bad contribution to the breakfast table.  Thank you, ladies!  

Well, an egg a day from them is a lovely contribution and is very much appreciated.  Especially since the other slackers haven’t decided to earn their keep yet.  Okay, 2 of the other slackers are roosters so I guess I can’t expect them to lay eggs.  At this point, I’m just grateful they aren’t fighting and that they aren’t crowing at 3am.  They are actually very considerate roosters and typically wait until 6:00am to begin their ruckus.  Yes, it is a pathetic ruckus.  They have not perfected their crows so it is a pitiful, scratchy sound that sometimes doesn’t resemble a crow very much.  I can’t help but laugh every morning when I hear them!  It’s even more funny when I hear the girls giving them tips on how to crow!  The funniest though is when Jim gets into a crowing contest with Bumblebee.  Jim crows and then Bumblebee tries to imitate it.  It is hilarious!!!  One day, I am going to hide and video tape.  Purely for entertain purposes, of course!

July wouldn’t be complete without beautiful sunsets, 

more sunsets,

and of course, frogs! 

Camden loves frogs.  He spent the majority of his July searching for frogs and carrying them around.  He is partial to the baby frogs right now, but only because he can hold more than one at a time when they are smaller.  Oh, I love this boy!  

 

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