Saturday, August 5, 2006

Two long weeks!

Sorry I haven't posted much in the past two weeks. It has been only Margaret and me taking care of the farm. Katherine went away to Spanish camp, and Mike and Jonathan decided to spend two weeks driving around the American West. They went all the way out to California! It didn't sound like such a bad idea in the beginning. It made sense. They would drop her off at camp, then drive around for two weeks and pick her up on their way home.

When they first left, we were pretty excited. We spent the first couple days working around the house like crazy. We cleaned the first floor, and it looked lovely. We began eating on china at every meal and using the crystal glasses. With only two to wash, it didn't seem like such a big deal. We did all the chores outside, and we started working on projects inside. In between battling the Japanese beetles, we picked peaches, made peach preserves and peach butter. Two days ago, I created a dessert that is "to die for!" It has a graham cracker crust, cheesecake lower layer, and peach pie filling upper layer with graham crackers crumbled on top! Of course, it is made with our very own goat cheese and fresh peaches. It is delicious!

The heat wave created the biggest challenge for us. To deal with the nearly 100 degree days, we started getting up at 5 a.m., so we could have all the chores done and be inside by 8, before the heat got too unbearable. Tuesday, we wound up outside until 9:25. We had some problems with chores, and then at 9 a.m., I noticed that a duck had hatched two ducklings and was headed to the pond with them. We had to stop her! There are snapping turtles in the pond, and the ducklings wouldn't have a chance. We ran around in the heat for 20 minutes trying to catch her, but we finally admitted defeat.

I had felt a headache coming on for about an hour, but I kept ignoring it. We went inside, and the headache intensified, and I got really sleepy. Then I started to feel nauseous. I decided to lay down, and that is where I stayed for two days! I must have been suffering from heat stroke. I felt quite hot, and by afternoon, when I was still in bed, Margaret started researching heat stroke on the Web. She put ice packs under my armpits and got me drinking more. Sometimes my head hurt so badly, tears were running down my cheeks. I was so dizzy, I could barely walk to the bathroom and back to bed.

Our two weeks of girl time will end tonight. We loved working together, and there were times, we agreed it was easier with just the two of us. We are definitely the two most organized members of the family! But we also agreed that we should never again leave two people here to do all the work in the summer. It's not much when it's split between five people, but when it's split between two people, the work load gets pretty heavy. And for two days, Margaret was doing everything by herself, which was really challenging. I can already see the face of Antiquity Oaks changing a lot when all the kids are grown and go away! I can see why farm families have traditionally been so large. There is just no way Mike and I could continue raising all these animals by ourselves! In another five or six years, I think we'll be downsizing to a few laying hens and four or five goats for milk.


Susan Ryan said...

Check this article out, Deborah.,0,6212310.story?coll=dp-news-local-soj
It's a homeschooling VA family. Sounds right down your alley, except they have a LOT of kids.

You inspired me to blog my dream of getting animals back on our farm. If I wrote it down, then I have to follow through, right?

Glad you're feeling better and glad your fam is back in the same homestead again after your 2 weeks.

Our peaches are just now hitting ripe stage, so I need to quit goofing off and get on it. I usually peel and freeze and then make various concoctions from that. But that peach cheesecake sounds scrumptious.

Deborah said...

Thanks for that link. I always love reading about other farm families and homeschooling families.

june in florida said...

Glad your feeling better and you have a very smart daughter.Going on the internet to find out what to do for you.Probably shortened your bed stay.What happened to th new born ducklings, did they make it or?

Deborah said...

I'm sorry to say that the snapping turtle got the ducklings. Two days later, there was only one, and the next day, that one was gone also. :-(


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