It was a hectic, packed summer that sped by way too fast and ended too soon. Although the weather is still summery (excessively so with temperatures in the 90s this week), both the kids and I are back in school so for all intents and purposes we must declare summer over!
In fact since I attended summer school (three courses in a fast paced 8 weeks) it could be argued that there really was no summer (vacation) – but I did have three weeks between the end of the summer session and the beginning of fall semester. Unfortunately the kids’ schools started the week after mine ended so we had to forego a real family vacation (we were able to sneak in a weekend away with friends in Illinois).
So what did we accomplish during our hectic summer? I survived re-entry into the world of graduate school and passed all my classes. It wasn’t easy – there was a lot of stress and struggling to keep up but I did it and I’m glad I had the summer session to reacquaint myself with college before the more arduous courses of the fall.
My teenager got her first job – working in a local candy shop and we are all amused to find that she’s bringing home more money than I am (due to cut backs in my hours)! Yes, very funny that.
My 12 year old raised her first pig in 4H, showed it at the fair and auctioned it off in the livestock auction. While she didn’t win any ribbons it was enough of a success that she is ready to do it again next year and to branch out into other livestock species!
We bought the mobile home and spent much of the summer trying to get it moved to our property and set up. This required jumping through the final hoops for various permits, getting the $11,000 septic system (I borrowed the money for it) installed, and finding a mover who could and would do the job for a reasonable sum. If you’ve been following that farce at all you’ll know what a big part of the summer it has been. The update on the house is that it has been moved into place, jacked up and somewhat leveled (it isn’t truly level but seems to be as good as the contractor can manage). It isn’t anchored because the contractor doesn’t have the right size wrench to tighten the straps. It hasn’t been inspected yet.
My kids and I pulled up the carpet and painted with mixed success (the light smoky grape color that the girls chose turned out way darker than imagined). Our craigslist contractor (a very on again, off again fellow) has kind of installed some laminate flooring that he had left over from another job and which he sold us at a discount. He has one more room to do providing he ever shows up again! We don’t have a refrigerator or water heater but since we also don’t have electricity that isn’t such a big deal as of yet. I filled out the application and sent in my $400 deposit plus $50 fee just today so we should be hooked up within 4 to 6 weeks. We also don’t have any water source. We have determined that we will need a cistern (there is no water service in the area and drilled wells tend to hit salty water) but do not have the necessary funds ($3500) for one at this time. We are in the process of installing gutters on the barn to collect rainwater (not that there is much in the way of rain in the forecast these days).
So we are just letting the house sit for now. I’m keeping our fundraising campaign alive if anyone wants to contribute towards the cistern.
We added two new goats to our herd – Alpine dairy goats, an adult doe, Sugar, and a doeling who we named Maple. Unfortunately as if to balance things out we also lost two of our goats this summer – our dairy goat, Tinker (who as you may know had an incurable disease), and our buck, Hot Rod. We don’t know for sure what either of them died of although with Tinker it makes sense to assume her disease played a part in her death. Hot Rod became suddenly ill with diarrhea and succumbed quickly despite our attempts to keep him hydrated. It was very sad to lose both of them. A fellow goat farmer remarked “You know what they say; ‘A sick goat is a dead goat.'” I don’t intend to replace either goat at this point. We will wait and see whether any of our does kid (if Hot Rod had been doing his job we should have several pregnant does) and perhaps keep a buck from the babies.
Now we are back in school – juggling the kids schedules (due to a school district reorganization they are in 4 different schools (elementary, intermediate, jr high and high school) this year and have the usual after school activities – drama, work, book club, 4H, Cub Scouts, etc., to factor in as well) and my schedule (work two days a week, classes three days). In between we ‘work’ on the house. I joke with the kids that we should be in by Christmas – we all hope it will be sooner than that!