Saturday, July 07, 2012

Fourth of July

Barbecuing on the porch fire pit.  Our cow this year was a fatty one, but had some great steaks. Leila caught me testing which steaks were juiciest.   
It was great having a day off of pollinating in the nursery this week for the fourth.  It has been dry here and I was worried about losing the nursery.  Corn does not like to be thirsty while it is pollinating and will abort kernels if it is too dry.  Luckily we got rain Thursday morning and probably saved all of our hard work.  Iowa is not set up for irrigation, 99% of the time the rains come every week or so.  This year has been hot and dry with unusual weather patterns from the northwest instead of pulling Gulf moisture north until it runs into the Jetstream, releasing the rain.

We had a great meal of barbecue, new potatoes, and roasted cherry tomatoes.
I have spent a lot of time pollinating this year.  In the last few years I have spent more time taking notes and in meetings than in the field, but we are short handed and I have a number of special projects that needed some extra attention and so I cancelled my meetings and strapped on my pollinating apron.  I was a little bitter the first week, but it has been really good.  I forgot how much I liked pollinating.  It makes me tired though and quite a few days I have fallen asleep reading stories to the girls.  Early mornings and working outside all day make me very tired.  That and 100 degree days made me want a haircut and a shave.

I did finally "finish" Kate's birthday present - a play refrigerator to go with the play stove.  I still need to paint them.  I am thinking red and white.
Kate is growing quickly, but still is not potty trained.  As you can see she still wears two diapers. 
Colleen looks skeptical, but ate thirds of the roasted tomatoes.  She is my best tomato eater. 
Aleah still beams at everyone and is still losing teeth. She wishes that Emily's friends wanted to play with her more often.
Emily is bored, but has lots of friends that always want her to come play with them.  But she says she is awesome.  She is turning twelve tomorrow!  I think that means she can do more chores since she is so grown up. (She is reading over my shoulder.) 
We have had continual raccoon visits these last few weeks.  There is a mother and four teenage raccoons living near us .  This one is under our porch, but I have seen them under the street in the storm drain more often.  This one I think had rabies.  The neighbor called the cops after it wouldn't get away from his garage in the middle of the day.  The teenager ones have been on the back porch a number of times and I have chased them away with a hoe.  I hit a couple square, but didn't kill them.  Next time. . . 

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