Life on the homestead this week has been pretty routine, nothing too dramatic, which makes life peaceful.  We were blessed with several stacks of old newspaper that our family enjoyed spreading all over the garden to keep the weeds down.  After the first thirty minutes of spreading out newspaper, my dear husband asked if there were any different stacks of paper.  He’d gotten tired of reading the same paper over and over (snicker).  After one of us spread the paper, another one of us spread the straw on top of the paper.  Funny how there wasn’t any wind that day until we started trying to spread newspaper all over the ground.  The rows got done in the area that is planted, but there is still more to plant and we ran out of straw that day.  We sprinkled all of it down so the wind didn’t carry it away and it looks great.  The cucumbers are already coming on, little green tomatoes are forming on the vines and the pepper plants are blooming away.  I can’t wait for our first batch of garden pizzas!

The rain has been a blessing in many ways, especially when it comes to rock picking.  Around the “yard,” we have several larger rocks sticking out in hidden places that will grab your toe each and every time you pass that way.  Using my handy dandy, trusty ‘Cobra head’ gardening tool and several days of rain, those rocks don’t stand a chance.  A few hours have been well spent easily prying those pesky things out of the ground.  I’m telling ya, if you don’t have one of those, and you like to work out in the yard, you really should treat yourself and get one of them. It is practically the only garden hand tool that I use.  Too bad I can’t dig out the stumps with it.

We finally tamed the wild tom cat enough to catch him.  He spent a day visiting the local vet and we are thrilled that he is now a different boy.  Well, not entirely thrilled because we can hardly keep him off our laps when we are sitting out on the front porch.  We have another male cat that was a “rescue.”  I’m not sure he even knew he was a cat, never having been outside before.  He’s one of these fancy breeder cats that was abandoned so we’ve pampered him inside the house for a few years now.  The other day he decided to dart out the door and now we can hardly get him back inside.  Not that I’m complaining.  I like cats.  I don’t like litter boxes.  Disgusting.  Anyway, the fuzzy pampered boy thinks he’s the king of the yard until the ducks look at him funny.  Ever see a duck chase a cat?  Life on the funny farm.

Our big exciting chicken news is that we had a rooster shipped to us from New Jersey.  I didn’t even know people shipped full grown chickens through the post office, but they do.  There are special shipping boxes for them and everything.  This big fella is a top of the line (blood line) French Black Copper Marans.  Last year, we stumbled upon some of these chicks from the big project at the University of Georgia.  They have a special breeding program to make these dark chocolate eggs even darker.  Needless to say, we are beyond excited with the hatching eggs these birds are filling the incubator with.  Hopefully by next year, we’ll have a good size flock of them.

I know ya’ll are getting all geared up for the fourth of July, buying fireworks and planning barbecues.  On top of all the fun Independence Day brings, be sure to teach your children the history behind all of it.  They will more than likely remember what you take the time to teach them rather than some facts in a book.  Passing on the importance of the day is crucial.  Don’t rely on someone else to teach it to them and above all, enjoy your time together as a family!!

Have a blessed week!

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