Summery Summary

I just don’t know how it happened, friends.  Here we are six months later, and I haven’t said a peep since Anja arrived.  I’ll try to give you the summaries of all the things…

Well, Anja has changed a bit…

mountain-sunset

She is hilarious and precious and loves the babies around here more than we could have dreamed.

Speaking of pets, we lost another sweet one just a few weeks ago.  Our 13 year old cat, Dubya passed away after having heart failure.  Sniff, sniff.

dubyaTwo cats remain: old, scary Rhetta Blue and precious little Lulu (who misses her white buddy something fierce.😦

The chickens are still going strong!  We have ten layers who did their job well during the warm months offering us about 8 eggs a day average.  And of course, Patrick (as we say for the grand babies’ sake).  He’s still going strong.  So stinking loud and obnoxious, but he’s our rooster…

patrick

Here’s our timeline, of sorts, since last I wrote:

April — snow and then some sun and walks and mud and gallons of maple syrup (harvested and made and canned and shared by Justin!)

walk-with-papa

May — 25th anniversary trip to Kauai while it snowed back home for the kids.  Whoops. Tick seasons starts in earnest.

kauai-beach

My baby graduates.

movie-stah

Guests begin to arrive.  As do the lilacs.🙂

grandmas

yard

June  — Ticks pass the blood-sucking torch to the hoards of mosquitos that keep us inside looking out and only able to be outside for any length of time with mosquito suits on.

More guests. And then more and some more.

Oh, and I was THIS close to opening a restaurant. But, nah…ain’t nobody got time for that.

July arrives!  We begin beaching and bike rides.  We ate our first grouse (fresh kill from a friend’s grill — well, to be honest, it was the grill on her mini-van, but we ate that bird and it was stinking GOOD!)

photo1-42

 

bike-ride

my-beach-kiki

More delightful guests arrived and played and filled our love cups.  We ate lots of berries and swam at waterfalls and sunsets and celebrated 3 decades of friendship…

oconnells

friends-at-sunset

gorge-picnicTook a trip to Chicago and then OshKosh for a huge Coldplay concert (Kiki’s graduation present and then the air show).coldplay

Beach, beach, beach and a super fun new anniversary present for my sweet man who never lets himself have new things…

heart-cloudme-and-my-boatck-wildcat

August — made 55 pints of pickles for all families represented.

Had some Summer Fruit Pie by the lake (we hate cake by the ocean),

pie-by-the-lake

and also maybe a taco salad, romantic, surprise picnic at the lake as well (does it get any better?),

taco-salad

and picked us some blueberries.

picking-blueberries

A few more favorite groups of guest visits with lots of coffee, stories, and laughs…

falkowskis

and then wrapped the whole beautiful summer up with a getaway as far north as possible (continental states for those of you being picky) for some rugged and muddy riding with the dearest of folks.

utvs

There just is no recipe for relaxing quite like surrounding yourself with the amazing stuff God made plus good, old-fashioned fun and mud, plus wild water, mountains and sunsets, and several doses of hilarity.

island-lake-superiorkiki-rock

Squeezed in a few moments to ride to town the back way for a pizza and frozen custard picnic on our machines…

pizza-picnic

As we wrap up guest season, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of an epic fruit harvest.  In one day we made and canned applesauce, plum jelly (from the most gorgeous plums you’ve ever tasted in your life), froze bags of apples, and made plans for the gazillion other days of  canning needed to preserve this harvest.

plum-tree

canned-plumsapple-wagon

Our cider press arrived today.🙂 MMMMMMMMMMM…we’re not sure we’ve ever tasted anything so delicious than fresh pressed cider!

cider-press

Grapes and pears coming soon!

It’s a good, good life, and a summer we will always remember.

God is so neat.

 

 

 

 

It’s a Girl!

Yup!  Justin had a puppy.  It’s a girl.

justin and anja

Somehow, we’ve had this little cutie around for five weeks now!

Little Anja is a Native American Indian Dog and quite the little character.  Seriously, she is the smartest dog I’ve ever encountered.  Justin got her after years of breed research and has trains her like its his job.  She’s hypo-allergenic (!), doesn’t shed or stink, will be 80-100 lbs of amazingness, is very attached to her owner, and remarkably intelligent.  She loves long walks in the snow with her Daddy and can’t wait to come to Mimi and Papa’s to play.  She immediately recognized the need to be much more gentle with the babies than anyone else and gently kisses Avie, and gently plays with Josie.  We are loving every minutes of the whole thing – especially the part where we don’t have to clean up the messes.

anja cow

Justin brought her with us to the Copper Dog 150 dog sled race kick-off and boy, did she get the attention!  People were taking pictures of her everywhere we turned and flocking to the two of them.  She draws a lot of attention due to her unique beauty.

anja copperdog

In other news, we survived the winter and somehow, spring is surprising us! Not just because it is again a bit early this year, but because most of us weren’t really minding the  3 1/2 feet of snow.

road

snow deck snow gazebo snowman

I guess we’re officially locals now.  We do meet the neatest people and are finding that we are recognized here and there as regulars so that helps us feel settled.

Christian and I had a little getaway to the nearest *big city.*  He surprised me one morning by telling me to pack a bag, we were leaving in an hour to get away for the night.  One night easily turned into two as we explored the city and found the neatest farm to table restaurants and just enjoyed being best friends.  Makes us even more excited as we plan a little more of a getaway for our 25 anniversary coming in a couple months!!!!!!

The boys have been busy re-furbishing the little Finnish shed in our yard.

shed sunset

In case you missed it, we started our own company a year ago, April 1st, and we need a storage area for the business.  The former owners used it for garbage which is super sad because it’s a terrific and historical building!

shed2shed

We even found initials carved into it from three children — the dates were from 1919-1923!   It is almost completely gutted, new floors, new walls, and will be ready to go very soon!  This led to gutting the garage and organizing all of the storage items from our former basement, and that feeling that it’s time to get everything in order.  Yup!  Sounds like springtime, eh?

Also, the boys have been tapping some of our myriad maple trees. We have been drinking the sap (quite the healthy drink, it turns out), and Justin has been the maple syrup chef working on making that sugary treat for us!

We’ve been dreaming of inside projects now that the furnace system and drain field system have been repaired.  Lots of flooring and furniture and kitchen stores have been visited!  Hopefully, over the next year or so, we are able to refresh our living space and make it ours.

Everyone is happy and healthy and thankful up here on the farm.  And eating lots of  gorgeous eggs.  :o)