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Is that the light at the end of the tunnel? | Speedkin

Is that the light at the end of the tunnel?

So, lessee…  What have we been up to?

August has been crazy and chaotic.  We’re switching everything around with our homeschooling this year.  We’ve gone with new-to-us curriculum all around (Switched on Schoolhouse, Teaching Textbooks, Apologia, Funnix, TruthQuest, and Easy Grammar are all new for us this year.) We’re in a new state which means new homeschool laws with much stricter recordkeeping requirements.  I decided on Homeschool Tracker Plus and I’m loving it.  All of the curriculum and sofware has a learning curve that I’m screeching around as quickly as I can.  It will all make our school year smoother in the long run but, right now, we’re making some rather big adjustments.

On top of all that, the kids have joined Boy Scouts & Venturing (a branch of the BS) with weekly meetings.  They’re signing up for 4-H.  We’re joining an active homeschool group.  Then there are the weekly activities at the Hannibal library and YMCA.  It all adds up to a lot of busy, busy, busy.  It will take us (me!) some time to settle into the new routine.

The gardens are mostly neglected.  The back half of the garden is doing pretty good since it’s been mostly mulched.  The front half, not so much.  It’s a jungle of weeds and I’m going to have to dig out the machete to harvest the few remaining onions and potatoes.  I’ve been meaning to plant some lettuce for fall but I’m not so sure it’ll actually get done.  I’ve been doing okay-ish with my seed saving but there are going to be some big changes in my tomato and pepper (and more) routines next year.  For as much as we’ve had to do this year, it’s not been a bad garden year.  Much, much more to do (and already in progress) but it’ll get easier every year.

The bees are still doing their thing.  The Italian hive is still thriving and we added on a honey super a week or so ago.  We’ll probably have to add on another here soon.  The Carniolans…  Well, they’re still there.  I think they’re still improving a bit but I have no confidence whatsoever that they’ll make it through winter.  I just don’t see how it’s possible.  On the upside, at least we’ll have an empty hive for catching swarms should the opportunity arise.  I bet the Italians will be ready for a split in the spring, too.  And you know we’ll want to buy at least a couple more packages of bees next year.  We’re going to  end up with 100 hives, aren’t we??

The stupid meat chickens are still here.  We’re going to start butchering the biggest of them this week.  We have never been so disappointed in our chicken endeavors before.  What a waste of effort and feed.  The layers, however, are doing wonderfully.  They healthy and big and should have us overrun with eggs before much longer.

And, for those who don’t already know, Steve got transferred to day shift a while back and, just a week or two ago, finally got hired on as a permanent employee.  Yay!  It took a year of temp status to get here but now it’s a done deal.  Bennies & insurance, here we come!  Whew.

10 Responses to “Is that the light at the end of the tunnel?”

  1. Paula August 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    What kind of meat birds did you get?

    • Diane August 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      Cornish cross — the same meat ones we’ve gotten before. We have never had any trouble with them until this year.

  2. Mo August 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Yeay on the permanent status! A big relief, I know.

    • Diane August 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      It sure is. It’s been a crazy couple of years!

  3. Paula August 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Congrats on Steve being a permananent employee.

    I know there was a while when my brother was raising chickens. He said that he tried a cross once (I don’t remember which though) and he said they took forever much like yours did this year.

    • Diane August 21, 2011 at 10:25 am #

      Thanks, Paula!

      The Cornish crosses are supposed to take about eight weeks and they always have for use before. That’s really quick in the chicken world. But this particular batch is just screwy. A good 25% of them died off, too, which has also never happened to us with any chickens, including the crosses.

      • Mo August 21, 2011 at 10:27 am #

        Are you feeding the meat birds the same feed as you are the layers? I grieve for the loss of the future meals; your chickens were SOOOOOOO good.

  4. Ilene August 22, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    You have been VERRRRRY busy! But sounds like you are getting a handle on things. It’s better to have the chaos up front than all through the year, eh?

    Don’t feel bad about the meat chickens. Organically raised chickens are terribly expensive through the Food Co-Op. Just think about all those chemicals and hormones you are avoiding pumping into your kids when they eat all that home-produced food, and you’ll feel better instantly.

    Keep on keepin’ on…. Hugs

  5. Summersweet Farm August 31, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    I know just how you feel! I am so tired by this point and just ready for Fall to get here. I can’t keep up with the garden!

    • Diane September 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      Amen, sister. I’m sooooo looking forward to a relatively lazy winter!

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