Hey y’all! Long time no chat!
We recently returned to the homestead after a couple weeks of visiting family and traveling out west for vacation. What an incredible experience! We were simply overwhelmed by the unparalleled beauty of Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons, Badlands and so many other sights along the way. It goes without saying, we live in a stunningly gorgeous country. But I’ll say it anyway, WE LIVE IN A STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS COUNTRY! Photos cannot do this sort of natural beauty justice. To truly grasp the glory of such a breathtaking space on earth, one simply must see it with the naked eye. I will be forever grateful to my hunk’s parents – G’ma & Gramps – for hosting us on this inconceivably awesome journey. We are so blessed to have made these memories with them in such a remarkable place. I will truly hold these images in my heart and mind for the rest of my life.
On that note…
I’m pretty sure the pioneers didn’t take vacations. In fact, I’ll go as far as to assume they seldom did much of anything besides tend to their gardens and barnyard animals. One thing I know for sure, being all “footloose and fancy free” for a couple weeks means chicken butts caked in poop and vegetable gardens being strangled out by weeds and baked to dust upon your return. Have you ever washed a chicken’s butt? I have. It’s probably not my favorite thing. Have you ever spent 10 hours straight pulling weeds in 95-degree temps after neglecting your vegetable garden for weeks? I have. Unless you’re into heat exhaustion and migraines, it’s not the greatest.
Thankfully my ever-so-loyal gal pal checked in on the feathered friends and the garden while we were away. Outside of a very messy chicken coop and run, the birds actually faired quite well. A little soapy water on a couple fluffy bums and they were back to being happy as clams, once again free to roam about the homestead with delight, scratching up our flowerbeds and pooping on the patio and deck at will.
The garden on the other hand… Dear Lord.
Countless hours I spent saving seeds from the year before and then pining through seed catalogues in the dead of winter, choosing just the right varieties to add to my collection. I lovingly tucked those tiny seeds into starter pots, watched them sprout and cheered them on as they grew tall and well in the windowsill of my dining room, celebrating every half inch of growth along the way. Once the spring sun was just right on the horizon I plugged those hardy sprouts into the garden soil and covered them with compost. Not just any compost, mind you. Compost I cooked and fed and fed and cooked, some of it for years. YEARS, people! They loved their nutritious compost and little patch of earthy home in my glorious garden. And sure enough, they took root and grew and grew and grew, happily!
Then I went on vacation.
Weeds happened. DEVIL WEEDS. BUBONIC WEEDS. LIFE-CHANGING WEEDS. They went gangbusters y’all. Absolutely gangbusters. For crying out loud, what the hell happened here while we were gone? I’m beginning to think someone came onto my property and strategically planted the most prickly and invasive weeds on planet earth in my garden as a sadistic joke. Surely Mother Nature would not be this cruel. Hey earthy forager friends out there… Any medicinal use for crab grass? If so, we have enough of it to heal the planet! And I’m here to tell ya, these weeds mean to live! They aren’t going anywhere without a fight and I swear their roots most definitely reach the innermost loins of the earth. It’s possible I heard one of them cuss me out as I tore it from the ground. My hands, arms, shoulders, back – basically my entire body – feels like I’m the crypt keeper right now. In summation, weeds are trying to eat my veggie plants and kill me.
The good news? I’ve made a dent in the mess and we made it home just in the nick of time! Outside of my green beans and a couple zucchini plants, the rest of the veggies are coming on hot and heavy! Last night we feasted on homegrown potatoes, fried okra, jalapenos and tomatoes, sliced peppers and creamed kale. True blue down home deliciousness! Tonight we’ll dine on sweet slaw made with homegrown cabbage, onions and carrots straight from the garden! The corn came back to life while we were gone and Lord willing, we might ACTUALLY GET TO EAT IT this year! (Fingers crossed!) My onions and carrots are getting larger by the day. The tomatoes are plenty and beginning to ripen in abundance. The cukes and melons, yellow squash, peppers and tates are happy as can be, the herbs are jamming out and the artichokes look like death. So that’s not cool, but…
I’m already clearing out some of my spring beds and planning my fall garden! Can’t even believe it. One of the many reasons I love this life, always something to look forward to.
At any rate, I’m happy to be back home and back on Wildwood Homestead time after a lovely summer adventure!
Living my dream. I am blessed.