The asters are the grand finale of perennial plants and mine are bursting with purple blossoms, bringing vivid colors to my flower bed. The yellow prairie flowers are a lovely complimentary yellow, and the zinnias are still holding strong in their multi-color, though many of my other annuals are starting to fade and die. I have to enjoy the flowers while I can, before weather turns to a cool autumn and we experience our first frost.
The temperatures have been fluctuating between hot and cool, with a high of 65 one week and then soaring to 87 the next. I imagine that must be hard on the animals. The chickens love all the thunderstorms and rain we’ve had, scratching up bugs and ants to fatten up for the cold winter months. We lost another goat to the mysterious illness of the first one. She was a nanny to twins, and we had hoped she would be a good mama for years to come. Diagnosing a sickness can often be baffling and frustrating, especially when one goat survives the same symptoms while another falls deathly ill. Thankfully none of the other goats are showing any symptoms this wet fall.
Nathan is chattering like crazy! He’ll be non-stop when it turns into actual English. Last week he went on a tomato binge, eating up the brown berry tomatoes, which he has a love/hate relationship with. He asked for some one warm afternoon, so I collected four and we sat down near the machine shed by the cats to have an afternoon snack. Often times, he’ll just hold them in his hands, like rocks, until they split and he leaves them on the ground for the chickens to have a treat. This time, he ate them up, and asked for more. I guessed he ate about 16 of those little tomato drops, until finally we picked our last four and headed for the little toddler slide to play. He had one tomato left and he was having great fun putting it down a little hole in the slide, where the kittens waited below, batting at it, like they were playing with their supper. Nathan would giggle, and gather up the tomato, climb to the top again and drop it down. The kittens got tired of this and left. The chickens discovered what was going on, and as Nathan dropped it in the hole, a lucky chicken caught it and ran away with it in her beak, chased by the rest of the flock. Realizing what happened, Nathan took off running after her to recover his precious tomato toy, and began to cry when he realized she wouldn’t share and give it back!! It was pretty cute! So off we went in search of more tomatoes, and then he got distracted as we collected the eggs.
Nathan loooves to help Dan with chores, collecting the eggs, filling up the water, petting the animals and checking their food supply. We’ve only had one egg casualty where he dropped the egg before it made it into the bucket. He can only reach the eggs on the bottom, so Dan will lift him up to get the others. He loves to help hold the water hose to fill the goats’ water. He also loves to swish his hands around in their water and make the hose spray everywhere. He comes back with arms and shirt wet, so we dry off and get on warm jammies before bed.
Saturday during our walk to the mailbox, Dan and I were discussing whether he was actually running or not. I voted yes, and Dan agreed when I pointed out the dirt he was kicking up in front of us, going full speed. He is an active little guy! Saturday it rained most of the day, so Dan did our once a year basement vacuuming of all the dust and cobwebs. It looks so nice now, and I don’t have to part the cobwebs to go do laundry or clean eggs or get canning jars! The shelves are filling up with canned goods! I’m done with tomatoes and moving on to pears and applesauce this week. I might try some pickled okra, and plan to freeze some squash and pumpkin for baby food again.
I’m entering my third trimester at 28 weeks! The baby is very active, kicking, punching and moving in ways similar to how Nathan was. Another energetic baby is on the way! These little ones keep us young!
And that’s the news from this rainy-hot-cold week on the farm!