Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Update at Making Shift

We've had a full summer thus far. Much of my homesteading activities have been conducted on autopilot lately since I've had all three kids at home for summer break. The bees, chickens, ducks, geese, and goats are all thriving, but I have not expanded any operations or started any major new projects. (I have some major fencing and garden projects in mind for the coming year, but it's too hot to start on anything yet.)

I'm behind on updates so I'm going to tell the story of this summer in photos. Here are some of the things we've been up to.

1. Reading
We always read a lot but I've really allowed myself to read lots of fun fiction this summer. Unlike most women (or so the librarians tell me), I read mostly nonfiction. At any given moment I might have on my bedside table: one book about drywall application, two about electrical wiring, forty-two about permaculture, and a few cookbooks.

The library book shelving overfloweth.

 2. Cooking and Food Preparation
My sister lives on a tiny lot in the suburbs of a large city but she sent me home from her house with grocery sacks full of mint and sage from her yard. Brother took it upon himself to pick all the mint leaves off the stems, where we let them dry and then stored them away for making tea. Big Sister learned how to make chocolate chip cookies all by herself and they were the best cookies I had eaten in years. She is ten years old so it's really past time for me to get her cooking more.

3. The Animals
The geese and ducks are nearly full grown and doing great. They free range in the yard all day and I close them up in one of the poultry tractors at night. I can't wait to get some eggs from them. So far the geese haven't attacked anyone and are really quite calm.

A goose walking down the front steps
 I made a new dog bed for Zeus because his old one was too thin and flimsy. I had a piece of thick, quality foam left from our old dog's bed and I covered it with an old bedsheet. My neighbor had given us a hand-me-down set of fancy-brand queen sheets. They were very nice and all except they felt like tarpaulins. Industrial grade. Perfect for a dog bed!

Newly covered dog bed
 4. The World Cup
We were totally immersed in the World Cup. We don't have a TV but we were able to see all of the games live by streaming them online! We moved our couch in front of the computer for the whole month of June and even did brackets with our extended family. As you can see, we were a house divided for the final game:

4. Family
We've had a lot of good family time. Big Sister taught Brother how to play chess. We went to Mexico and spent a wonderful week with our family. My two older kids are still there, having adventures with their grandparents.

I hope your summer has been as full and fun as ours! I'll be back soon with new projects and updates.