Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summerizing- Summer in Review

What is the best memory of this summer for you?

My best memory of the summer is just sitting outside in the sun hanging out in the yard. Watching the goats grazing in the yard, the chickens scratching in the garden, butterflies and hummingbirds zipping around the flowers, and the kids running around playing together and just being kids. i had a lot of moments this summer where i would be sitting outside and would find myself smiling. Everything just felt right, and i felt like i was exactly where i was supposed to be.

What is the one event you looked forward to the most? Did it turn out as you expected?

Honestly, we didn't really do a whole lot this summer. We stayed very close to home. So the one event i looked most forward to was our trip to Raleigh. It was both something i looked forward to, and something i it was the first time leaving the goats and dogs overnight. We had a really nice time, and i was able to relax a bit and not just worry about the animals the entire time. :) The kids had a blast, and it was nice to get away and be back in civilization for a couple days.

Have you done/tried/tasted something completely new, how was your experience?

This summer i got the chance to milk a goat for the first time which went well. i also attempted to make goat cheese, although it was a complete fail. i attempted to brew my own kombucha, although it too was a fail. The culture got kind of funky looking, so i panicked and just threw it out. Lets see....i canned pears, and grape juice for the first time. i made grape jelly for the first time. We raised painted lady butterflies for the first time and found our very first Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar. In the garden i grew several new types of squash including patty pan, 8 ball and Kabocha squash. So far the only one we have tried is the 8 ball, and it was very good.

Is there a valuable lesson you learned this summer?

i learned a lot with my garden, which really struggled the first half of the year. i figured out that the 'seasoned' horse manure that we have been adding for years is complete crap (no pun intended). i was told it was so composted it was like really good soil. It has actually been hurting our garden instead of enriching it. i've literally been planting weed seeds and insect larva straight into my garden, and creating mineral deficiencies in the soil. i learned that adding fresh cow manure to the compost really makes it rock!! :) i also learned that piling good compost around tomatoes at the first sign of blight really, really helps them. i'm sure compost tea would work well too. i also learned the importance of water in a garden (after having almost no rain all summer) We really need to make irrigation a high priority and get the gutters/rain barrel system back in place.

Have you applied yourself creatively and created projects that you wanted to?

i have created a few things this summer, but not as much as i would have liked. Most of the things i have created have just been for kids, it has been a while since i have made stuff for myself or for business. Lets see, i made my daughter a mermaid tail and a matching one for her doll. We made fairy crowns and fairy houses. i finished up a beaded necklace, made my daughter and her doll a new dress and did a bit crocheting all mentioned here. i also made my daughter more playfood.

Is there something you wanted to try or complete that you didn’t have the time for? What do you think stood in your way and will you still attempt it?

So much i don't know where to start. i always have way too much on my plate, and a tendency to procrastinate. Most things were limited by finances, and my inability (and fear) to use power tools. i really wanted to create hoop houses to cover many of my garden plants, and make some addition raised bed. i also really wanted to make myself a new wardrobe, but all the fabric i liked are out of my price range...and i have so much quilting cotton that it really doesn't make sense to buy more fabric until i have used some of this up.

i wanted to attempt pressure canning, but the canners i received are used and i need to replace the seals and have the pressure gauge tested before i can use them. Our county Extension office does the testing, but only once per year and it was before i had acquired the canners, so i'll have to save that for next year. i also wanted to learn how to use my drop spindle, but i still just don't really get it.

From your summer experience, what are you most grateful for?

i am most grateful for being able to be at home with my children. Even though it isn't always easy, i can't image having to go to work everyday and not be here with them sharing every moment. i am also grateful for the generosity of neighbors, and the abundance of homegrown garden produce that we were able to grow despite a few setbacks.

What was your favourite place you travelled to? Do you plan to go back there?

We didn't really do much traveling this summer. i like to hike the New River trail, and we usually do that a couple times a year. i also really like the Life and Science Museum in Durham and hope that it becomes an annual trip for us.

Is there a blog that inspires you the most?

Yes, way too many to mention. My favorites right now are The Magic Onions, A Foothill Home Companion, Path to Freedom and Weefolk art.

Is there a blog post you’re most proud of?

Not really, i'm really struggling with adding emotion into my blogs. i tend to write very factual and straight forward blogs, and fail to really add any insight, depth or opinions. i'm not really sure what is holding me back, except that i am a very introverted, private person...and the thought of sharing too much of myself to the world is somewhat terrifying.

Is there a blog post you wish had more reaction and/or comments?

Honestly, i don't really expect folks to read my blog, so i'm never really surprised that i don't get many comment. ha ha. i really thought this photo was an unbelievable capture and i'm extremely proud of i was a bit disappointed it didn't get more of a reaction. Wordless Wednesday- Flower sprite.

What is your favourite photo that you’ve posted this summer?

i'd have to say this one. It's very rare for me to post pictures of myself. In this photo, my husband had taken the kids to town and i was enjoying a few hours to myself. Although i had a lot i could have been working on, i chose to sit and share space with my goats. Although we go down to feed them and pet them a few times a day. It is rare for me to get to just sit and talk to them. Delilah has always been very skittish, but we shared a moment, and i just happened to capture it.

What photo or photos from this summer you didn’t get a chance to post?

i carry my camera around with me in a little camera bag, that i call my attachable pocket. People joke that my camera is attached to me, and in all pretty much is. So i have 100's of pictures that i haven't posted.

This is a favorite, because it really captures the laid back spirit of our summer. My boy spends a good deal of time hanging out on this swing, and this past summer he spent a good deal of time reading in this spot. My girl, who follows him everywhere, spent quite a bit of time on the back of the swing climbing the ropes, talking to the animals and swinging. They spent many hours like this together in the swing.

i had lots of fun SUMMERIZING my summer and looking back on everything, and digging through all the pictures.

Big thanks to Ella over at for inviting me to be apart of this. If you would like to participate you can paste the ‘Summerizing’ image from the top into your post, answer the questions in your own words and link back to the Lifeologia's original Summerizing post. Have Fun SUMMERIZING!


  1. I would love to live the simple life like you guys! I'm sure it's a lot of work, but wow... you guys have so much fun and everything around you is just beautiful... and natural.

    (Milking goats is awesome!! I grew up milking them!!)



  2. What a joy it was to go through this SUMMERIZING post. (Thanks so much for joining the fun ;)

    There are so many projects I loved that you did for your kids, like the mermaid costume - Beautiful, I fell in love with the fairy house - so magical or kids to play in this 'real' environment...
    That flower photo is absolutely enchanting - I don't think I've ever been so moved by a photo before.

    Thank You so much for your SUMMERIZING.

  3. I always love to read your blog, but this has to be one of my favorite entries. The pictures were wonderful, too!