Had coffee early. Mattie's Mountain Mud. Usually we barter with Star City Coffee, which we love and adore. Local roasters out of Salem. Mattie is out of New Castle down the road, and both roaster do free trade organic specially roasted coffees. I felt almost like a traitor drinking a different coffee since our paths crossed Mattie's before they crossed Star City's.
After sitting down to a delicious cup of amazing coffee, enhanced, of course, by Coco's heavy cream, I decided that I was one terribly lucky girl to have the opportunity to drink the absolutely best coffees in the region roasted by people I consider really cool friends who like to enjoy our breads, pizza crusts and meat and other farm products.
After milking and doing some laundry and working in the garden for a bit, it was time to take the girls in to school to take their assessment tests. They were a bit nervous, but not I. Sure enough they did a fine job and are ready to go into first grade and fifth grade. We are excited about their new adventure. Dropped off more papers to the highschool and middle school. Whew. I can't wait to be done with paperwork.
I should mention that Serge and James brought over a new chicken tractor they built. It is a beautiful work of art. I am so excited to imagine that eventually our chickens will be free-range but with boundaries. Aren't there books written about boundaries and relationships? I don't foresee how my relationship with those chickens is going to last if we don't get a few boundaries established. I noticed as I picked garden today that we would have had boxes of tomatoes if the chickens hadn't found them.
And I noticed an interesting conundrum. The chickens have an uncanny ability of scratching up all my flowers, but manage to leave all weeds intact. Wow. Amazing.
So thanks to Serge and James for building the prototype off of Jason's plans from the tractor he built over 16 years ago.
BTW, a chicken tractor is not a mechanized vehicle used for plowing fields. It is a portable coop, designed to be moved daily to allow chickens fresh, clean grass for grazing, within certain safe parameters. The tractor gives the chickens the opportunity to eat delicious bugs and green stuff but keeps them safe from predators and women farmers who get tired of losing tomatoes and flowers. And it makes egg hunting a little less dramatic that Easter. We want Easter egg hunting once a year, not everyday.
This evening Tim came back with the mill. We are still trying to figure out if the motor is back 100%. Maybe we need a larger motor to handle the load? I am so thankful for our friends who give of their time, a most precious resource, to help us with our troubles. Really, it is very hard to receive so much help. I wonder how I can ever repay all that time and energy. Then we pray. Pray for God to repay Tim and the countless other friends back. In time, money, resources, rest and joy. What a blessing is our community.
Speaking of community, it was ladies' Bible study night. We didn't spend much time on Bible study, as it seemed more important to catch up on each others' lives and pray for each other. I don't know what I would do without the support of that group of women. So strong, each one of them. I read somewhere the other day that someone thought that prayer to some deity contributed to anxiety and that we were fools for even thinking that it was worth the while.
I would never even begin to want to try to convince anyone else to believe what I do. Seems like that would not be worth the while. But the peace that comes to replace the anxieties during our prayer time is amazing and wonderful. Each woman who comes has a different strength and personality and something to offer the others in our group. I love those gals and am so thankful that they are willing to come enter our crazy farm life, with dirty dishes and eating kids and typically a few piles of laundry shoved in the hallway. They don't even mind chasing the cow out of the garden when the gate gets left open. Although I have to mention that Coco does mind getting chased out.
Well, for your information, August is here. Hot days, very hot. Mid 90's but the evenings are cool enough. We did turn on the air conditioner for a few hours this afternoon and I was thankful. Before you know it we will be sliding into fall, my favorite. But in the meantime, we enjoy all the bounty this summer heat brings us, like corn on the cob and tomatoes and peppers and green beans and zucchini.