[Jo] Juney has been home for a couple of weeks now. She’s over 5 lbs, and things are finally getting back to normal!
Anna has only been able to get up to the farm a couple of times because the baby is still too small to ride safely in the car seat (you’d think someone would come out with a preemie seat!).Â Â Despite being pretty overwhelmed with current events, Anna is still planning on teaching in the fall. Bel is starting her second semester of grad school (aced her first classes!) and will start her internship at the elementary school in August.
Hard to believe that Bruce is three. He and Eric celebrated their joint birthday on July 6th.Â Â
WhileÂ staying close to support Anna, Eric has been gettingÂ his biodiesel operation (without which our logging in Mountainair would notÂ be cost effective) ready to move back to the house where he can work on it nights and still be on hand to help with the kids. He still tries to come up on the weekends. Wink, Aly and I are spending most of our time up here–and tho progress is slow, we’re making headway.
Since the last post we’ve finished the shower (clean again–thanks be to all higher powers!!!), love the exposed copper,Â and the composting toilet. We got the envirolet remote model and are pretty happy so far. No odors or bugs. We’ve had to stir it once or twice to redistribute the “compost,” and are not putting tp in, but compared to stories from others, it’s performing as advertised. Working on the sink. Just got the grinding pads to polish the concrete basin, and have sanded and oiled the pedestal.Â Still a lot to do!
Wink (pursuant to a number of phone calls)Â solved most of the problems with the saw mill, and we’re milling planks for the flooring and siding. Turns out that the ponderosa is so resiny that it was depositing a heavy residue on the wheels that the blade turns on. This was warping the way the blade bit into the wood resulting in some very weird cuts, and causing the blade to sproing off (very scary). Just needed to scrape the wheels every few cuts. Also getting the hang of gaging where to rotate the logs to get the most planking etc. Our logs taper so much that there’s a lot of waste. But it’ll all get chipped and supply much needed mulch in the orchard.
Â Still no monsoons so having to irrigate. The drip system is working well. Have the piping in in the apple orchard but using hoses to water by hand. The trees planted last year in the branch drain seem to already be drawing moisture from the mulch basins. The new plantings still don’t have deep enough roots, but next season all plantings, trees and berries should be either using deep pipes and drip emitters or the mulch basins. Time permitting, we need to get wind breaks. Thought water was going to be our biggest problem but the wind causes a lot of damage, both beating up the leaves and drying things out too fast.
Aly (mostly) and I are working on the “puppy garden,” doubling the area and moving Bruce’s play things in. Although our animals don’t have fleas, the rabbits do, and there are soooo many of them–and after the tragic death of a local child from plague we’re being vigilant. We’re keeping all the “puppies” in till cold weather knocks the flea population back.
The puppies, all four and honorary puppy, Bruce, are enjoying the space, especially the puppy “pad.”Â
Brought up the stock tank and turned it into a little water feature. Planted several beds with natives that will be drought tolerant and very low maintenance after they’re established. Also decorated with Aly’s vast collection of outside ornaments & windchimes–truly becoming a whimsical space. Redesignating the children’s garden–should be easily viewed from house and barn and most parts of the future courtyard.
We even took some time off for a little R&R. Wink, Aly and I went to the Lavender Fest at Los Poblanos, gathering ideas for our own gardens andÂ eventual b&b.
We also made it to a wild west event practically right around the corner. Lots of shooting and buffalo tricks!