It’s been a warm week! Why does February take 3 months, and summer 3 weeks? It’s really not fair.

We’ve kept very busy, and I can’t believe we’re a week into July already. Last week it hit well into the 100s and I was helping out with a group garage sale. That was a LOT of work.

My folks and their kids came to visit for a few days over Independence Day. My dad brought a separate car and left on the second day to go home and get work done on my Granny’s house (that still, 2 years after her passing, sits empty and not ‘figured out’ yet). It worked well since they bought Chuck from us so there was room to take him home (in coolers).

My cousin, who lives near my folks but was working in southern California, called me a week or two ago and asked if I could babysit her three chickens. Huh? Apparently her job was not a good fit, and she suddenly moved to my area to live with some friends (who I knew well 20 years ago, also in my folks’ neighborhood). Until further notice.

Big Sister was well into caring for two jersey calves when one ended up in a bad way. He probably had started with a tail injury (stepped on?) and we didn’t pay close enough attention to it until it was very, very late. He died.

As mentioned, Chuck met his destiny, leaving us with one bottle calf and Hamish, the hairy Highland steer. The calf lives in the yard (tied to whatever allows him some grazing area) and Hamish in the pasture – the only lonely whom I haul water to and rotate paddocks regularly. He will be beef this fall I presume.

Hamish and Chuck

It has been a dry spring/summer. It’s officially “drought” conditions I hear. I know the spring green gave way to burnt brown (where not irrigated) a lot sooner this year than the past few years. Independence Day brought a lot of cautionary admonishments from local police/fire departments. Our lawn – can it even be called that?? – is worse than ever. The sprinklers really need replaced – they don’t aim and turn properly, so they either spray the calves in the playhouse, or the meat bird pen is in the wrong place… No fun!

What IS fun, though, is a slip-n-slide. Big Sister proudly bought one with her own money and the girls played a few times on it. With cousins here I decided we needed to upgrade, so I rolled out a bit of my heavy duty garden plastic and some dish soap. And a few bricks and rocks to hold the corners down (plus, that adds an edge of excitement, yes?). Also, oil is not as slippery as dish soap, but a parent needs to be in charge of the soap bottle. Otherwise you will go through a costco-sized Dawn jug, or an expensive geranium-scented Mrs. Meyers bottle, either of which isn’t ideal.

The greenest of the grass

Every wading pool I buy ends up blowing away or getting otherwise destroyed. The girls stole one of my good tarps and improvised.

I hope my tarp survives

That bed liner has brooded chicks, served as storage, and even (maybe) lined a pickup bed in the past. Might as well bathe kids in it.