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Summer

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Being Silas is so fun. Don’t you wish you were 15 months with four doting older siblings, loving parents who adore you, and living in one of the most beautiful places imaginable? I sure do.

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Adapted from http://food52.com/recipes/2018-magical-coffee

INGREDIENTS
* 2/3 c coarsely ground coffee
* 3 c water
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 3 tsp Truvia

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients in quart-sized jar or French press and stir. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. Press and strain through coffee filter, sieve, strainer, or cheesecloth. Enjoy over ice with as much cream, half & half, or coconut milk as you can handle (S) or unsweetened almond milk (S or E). So delicious!

For more info about Trim Health Mama, visit here.

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This is a year of gardening for fun, not trying to meet any quotas. We didn’t garden last year due to having a new baby on May 1. This year, that baby is just-turned-one, and heaps of fun and trouble. The other four are more of the same. :) Silas isn’t walking yet, which makes being outside a little difficult. Or, rather, dirty. To be precise.

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In addition to all the fun of the new baby, we finally had some work done on our water-damaged lower level and upper former kitchen. (If you haven’t been following, we had to gut the lower lever – a family room, bathroom, laundry room – due to three sources of ongoing water damage that was hidden by previous owner’s handiwork. This was two years ago. Before we could save up the money to put it all back together, our dishwasher leaked in the kitchen upstairs on the main level. I was eight months pregnant with Silas! We received a modest insurance settlement for that and put in DIY IKEA kitchen in the sunny room adjacent.) It has been a long haul, but we refinanced and got some help putting back together the family room, bathroom, and former kitchen, as well as replacing the badly rotted front steps and back deck. The help is nearly done, and now our part begins. The painters will start soon, then we will be installing flooring and the toilet, sink, and medicine cabinet in the bathroom. And light fixtures.Then we can move in! With all of our old stuff! Because the money is aaaaallll goooooone.

And. Jason still had two jobs and graduate school. So there’s that, too.

You can maybe see why the garden is scaled back this year.

We decided to move the garden closer to the house, as our remote location didn’t allow me to easily garden with the kids. The older garden location is full sun all day, and well suited for garden. But it’s so far from the house that I couldn’t go weed while the baby was sleeping, and leave all the kids behind. Now the garden is in the west pasture, and it will do fine. It only gets sun beginning at noon, so it’s an experiment to see how it does. The herbs and greens will do fine, but I’m not sure about all the curcubits and nightshades.

It’s also not something we spent a lot of time preparing (see all those paragraphs above!), so we mostly the planted where the grass was already killed by the chickens wintering there, or the spot where we burned all the pasture trees and brush that we thinned last fall. And still, the grass and weeds grow fast, so we have our work cut out for us.

A couple of weeks ago, we planted four tomato plants and two tomatillos. All the seedlings were purchased at the farmer’s market. There’s a Glacier, Sun Gold, Black Krim, and Cherokee People. The tomatillos are green, probably Verde Pueblo. We also started an herb garden, moving over our oregano, thyme, lemonbalm, and mint from the old garden. I also added a basil seedling, and planted seeds for parsley, cilantro, calendula, chamomile, chives, and dill. Everything sprouted except for the chives, which did not surprise me; onion seeds so not stay viable for long, and these were old.

The children planted lots of salad greens and radishes in the raised bed that forms the cold frame. Many have sprouted and are doing well. The radishes address growing very fast!

The electric company has been clearing trees from the lines, so everyone has extra logs and brush and wood chips. We managed not to get much in the way of wood chips, which we actually wanted for our garden. Our neighbor has lots of wood chips, enough for our whole garden, but there’s the problem of getting them here. We are hoping to pay another neighbor’s teenaged son to move them over soon.

Today I threw a bunch of melon, winter/summer squash, cucumber, and green bean seeds in the ground. We’ll see how they do. It’s later than I usually plant these things from seed. And the chipmunks and woodchucks aren’t helping; they ate all of the sunflower seeds that the children planted along the fence line.

Changes

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Lots of renovations going on over here! Stay tuned for before and after pics.

Why We Live Here

When I’m tempted to give up on this place – to sell it and move on to something more suitable for our family size and lifestyle – or when someone who’s never been here asks me why we stay, I think of things like this, as I sit on my new deck and let Spring do its work on me…

…this is my view to the west:

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…and this is my view to the north:

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…and this is my view to the east:

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…and behind me, to the south, is the house in need of so much care and love. But I’m not in there today, I’m out here, reminding myself why this place is so amazing. Inside awaits laundry, and dishes, and diapers, and two-bedrooms-one-bathroom-for-seven-people, and renovations galore. I think I will stay here. For now.

(All pictures came strait out of my iPhone camera, unedited)

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Silas with his friend Matt

301 – Pasta with friends
302 – Kids dirty from the creek
303 – A boy who went potty today – twice!
304 – How much Silas loves to say his one and only word (“Hi!”)
305 – A husband who’s well enough to go back to work
306 – Re–celebrating Ellery’s birthday this Friday
307 – Clean towels
308 – That I’m never bored
309 – Frozen mangoes
310 – The huge flock of robins in the yard

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Maya dancing

291 – The imprint of Silas’ ear on my arm after nursing
292 – The curious alpaca that stared at me as I ran past him
293 – Running after being sick for so long
294 – Running at all – a miracle for this out-of-shape non-runner
295 – Maya’s joy when she talks about Girls on the Run
296 – Watching the kids play outside for hours today, despite the cold
297 – Dirt gardens
298 – Handmade blankets
299 – How much kids love to see their own pictures
300 – How a brush pile becomes a playland if you really want it to

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