Saturday, January 21, 2012

After the Blogging Sabbatical

Well, I am officially back at it again. My deployment-induced facebook fervor has died down, and I am suddenly finding less and less time to devote to keeping up with my FB account. I won't even attempt to update all that has happened since my last post, but in a whirlwind of run-on sentences; AdventureDad returned from Afghanistan this last spring, and we immediately embarked on a furious summer of crash-course hay farming. We have slowly been acquiring the necessary farming implements, (although the vast majority of them are older than even the most wizened member of the AdventureFamily) and this spring we put them to use on Nine Trees. Nana and Grandpa joined us in their camping trailer for a week of haying fun that involved more equipment repair than actual cutting of grass, but in the end we did have a trailer-full of fairly respectable hay bales, the last of which the horses are currently munching on in the barn. The first cutting was followed by the barn-building. Yes, the first structure is officially standing on our farm. Of course to build the barn we also had to put in an access road, so next step this summer is to apply for an address. Exciting times! After the barn was built (not by us), we embarked on a field-improvement campaign that involved enlarging the existing hay field (it's almost double now), putting down some new grass seed, and fertilizing. At the end of the season we also erected a wind barrier for the orchard (we'll see if it is still standing this spring) and winterized the equipment. That was pretty much our summer... fun and exciting for us, and a little hard to fathom for most of the people we know. We loved getting to know our place better, and we did not love the 600 mile round trip that each weekend out there entailed. The AdventureGirls logged more hours in the truck this summer than many commercial drivers ;-). Our ancient pop-up trailer was our home away from home, and the girls luckily tucked right in to camping with apparent enjoyment. Hope it stays that way, as we have another full summer ahead of us this year! The dogs also love the farm, as they have miles of unimpeded exploring to do, the culmination of which was Dora getting skunked three, yes THREE times, one of which involved dragging a half-dead baby skunk into the middle of camp. Apparently for her the burning mucous membranes and week-long banishment to the garage do not out-weigh the thrill of the hunt.
Fall was spent mostly around Gig Harbor, slowly accumulating more trees to plant on Nine Trees, putting up a hoop house in the garden, and getting things a bit more organized here. We had a grand Thanksgiving here with half of the immediate Duncan clan in attendance, followed by a Merry Christmas (sans snow) at Nana and Grandpa's in MT. We are now currently thawing out from our annual snow-dump, which involved 7 inches of wet snow topped off by a full day of freezing drizzle. Post was closed for three days, power was out all over the peninsula, and my hoop house and the ancient wood shed in our back yard were both flattened into pancakes. They even had to close the narrows bridge (our only direct route to the mainland) for a full day due to giant falling icicles. Now we are rapidly thawing (and flooding) in preparation for a new week, the first full one for awhile for AdventureDad, which is good because he had some time to recover from catching a piece of flying wood on the chin. A sore (but thankfully unbroken) jaw, 10 stitches (on the surface), and a sure-to-be-tale-inducing-new-scar-in-the-making were the result of a kick-back from the table saw which has resulted in a plethora of new safety measures in the shop. Push sticks, eye glasses, and ear protection were insufficient, so we now have added feather boards, jigs, and a plexiglass face shield to ward off future projectiles!
The girls have been in fine form all summer, with M taking to preschool like a duck to water and O deciding that she would leap from single words to full sentences in the space of about 3 weeks. I am sure as I get back into posting more AdventureGirl-related shenanigans will surface, but my momentum has been exhausted for the time being. Enjoy the picture, and keep tuning in as I'll be back soon!