Monday, June 30, 2008

Defending the homestead

All the kids are sick with colds right now -- Fiona and Sophie have almost recovered, Noah is improving, and Erin, who caught the little virus last, is still in the thick of it. So we have not been gallivanting about on hikes and to the beach or taking on new projects filled with creative energy. Instead we've been hanging out at home, and those who feel like being outside and doing stuff are doing so. Those who aren't are lying on the couch or sitting in front of the computer.

I spent yesterday hauling rocks. (Was I saying there were only 20 left? There were at least 40 ... I still have 6 or 8 to go.) I used a shovel to grade some of the soil back from the house in a little corner. I finished removing the plastic mulch and hauling away the gravel. The kids helped a little. They looked after the chickens and the rabbits.

Noah and Sophie have had the air rifle out again. We haven't seen a bear on our property at all this year, amazingly enough. Last year we had two or three here regularly, daily for a while, and the air rifle was what we eventually resorted to in order to send the bears away with a sting and teach them not to come back. We haven't needed it for bears this year, but the rifle is out and the marksmen are up in the treehouse defending the homestead. They shoot at a 4" wide garden fencepost almost 50 feet away and seem to be hitting it with considerable regularity. If you're coming to visit us, don't approach from the forest to the south without wearing bright orange. Not that you could come from there anyway ... it's a deadly steep ravine.

Everything feels very summery. The sunshower got up to 50 degrees C -- too hot to use. The rabbits were happiest in their shaded hutch, which sits beneath newly-hung smithy sign we made for Chuck last Christmas. The chickens walked around "with armpits," holding their wings a bit out from their bodies to cool themselves down every time a breeze came up.

There was some math done (math is big here lately) and some practising, and a concert to attend in the evening, and some reading aloud. We made bagels. We washed the kitchen floor.
Thankfully the house remains cool even with the 30-plus temperatures outside.

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