I am writing this as I sit on the shade of my patio. Indie music is playing softly from the outdoor patio speakers, a sprinkler is watering the grass next to me and the wet dirt smells like summer. I just picked cilantro fresh from my greenhouse to top my rice and plant-based-spicy-sausage dinner and I’m feeling the kind of contentment that doesn’t stay so I welcome it with open arms whenever it’s here.

In the form of an update, I have a story for you today.

It was the week before summer break and I had just arrived back home from a breath-work therapy class late at night when I snuck into the backyard with a flashlight to turn off a sprinkler that had been left on. As I turned the valve I heard a scurry-like sound near the coop to my right, and when I turned in that direction I was startled to see the eyes of a raccoon reflecting off the beam of my flashlight, it’s black and gray striped tail swinging back and forth as it shimmied up a giant elm tree.

“Dan!” I whisper-shouted to the back door, keeping the light shining on the raccoon so as not to lose it. “HURRY GET OUT HERE!!”

“Mom?” Beck, still awake, popped his head out the storm door. 

“Get Dad, quick! There’s a RACCOON!” I watched as it continued to stare back at me looking innocent, cute even. It stared at me from its perch halfway up the tree looking tired and overall completely undeterred by my presence. Minutes later Dan came out of the house still damp from the shower he had hurriedly jumped out of when he heard the news.

What followed was two hours of the most excitement the boys have had in a long time, and on a school night nonetheless! Two hours of Dan and the boys shooting bb guns at this raccoon, who I felt badly for but also understood that my chickens needed to be protected and so I allowed it. We watched it annoyed yet still somehow undeterred after every tiny bb popped it in the stomach, the butt, the shoulders. We watched it rub at its poor little eye after getting shot there too. We watched it begin to come down but then change its mind and climb alllllll the way to the top again at least ten times, before finally it came down and found some bravery to hit the ground running. We watched then as it ran beneath the fence, crossed the street and took for the river behind the baseball diamonds where we assume it lived.

“Yeah scram! And don’t come back here, these chickens aren’t FOOD!!”

It was midnight by then and the boys slept like rocks after they came down from the excitement of the evening. I’m happy to report the raccoon has not returned (that we know of).

In other homestead excitement, we have officially finished the chicken run so that the gals have somewhere safe to roam when we are gone! It turned out lovely, as all things Dan builds do. The pumpkin patch is overflowing and what was two pumpkin patches turned into three when we discovered a plethora growing from our compost pile! The salsa garden is also booming and I expect to be picking ripe peppers and onions by next week, with tomatoes and lettuce to follow shortly. I threw wildflower seeds around the rose bushes and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. In fact, I think I will be planting wildflowers all along the fenceline of our acre now - I think scattered wildflowers make sense for me and I would love to make this yard match my soul that way.

Look, these are the things I talk about at this age. I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell you….it’s our joy! I feel I deserve that you know, having joy from something that’s really just silly in its simplicity, so I do not feel too sorry.

Anyways, now that I’ve shared our homestead excitement, here’s some pictures from our trip to Hawaii back in April! Sharing these just in time to feel rushed to post about our next trip, which we will likely be on while you are reading this and I will likely not post pictures of until the Fall, while we are nearing another.


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