Last week might have been the busiest week of the year. We had a full house of Summer Wind Day campers (12 Woodland Elves to be specific) and their parents, grandparents and siblings wandering about. This doesn't affect me much, except for the parking issue and it is hard to snag an extra popsicle at the end of the day.
Becca, their fearless leader, kept the campers busy building forts and fairy houses, making magical lanterns and playing crazy games. And that's not to mention snacking on plums. (Thank you, Becca!) Many plums, "heavenly plums', so said the campers. One even wanted to plant a tree at her house. I warned her mother. A 600 pound plum crop can be a bit intimidating.
Two of our favorite campers, Lucy and Alice, spent the night on Thursday. This was very fun except that they wake up at 5 something in the morning and well, we don't. I took them out to feed the cows. They like waking up early too.
But back to the week. So we had the one girl finishing up camp, cleaning up the barn and getting the hell out of dodge and back to her real life, the life where she is writing a novel and NOT living with her parents.
And we had one girl getting ready to go back to college where obviously life is better than a summer spent at home where the biggest excitement was breaking your arm skating (well, and maybe getting a new boyfriend). She spent the week making desserts (black bottomed cupcakes and lemon sponge cake--yum!) and abandoning her room. Oops, I mean packing. She and her friend from up the road barely, and I mean barely, fit their two bodies and their stuff into an Honda Element. An Element without the backseat. An Element that can seriously haul a LOT of stuff. Their rooms are on the third floor of the dorms, no elevator. I wonder if they rethought their position on stuff when they were unpacking. Did you know it is almost impossible to go to college without nine pairs of heels? I didn't know this. It's a good thing I already have my degree since I don't own a single pair.
The other girl spent the week swimming in her own vat of drama but that is a story for another time.
Lastly, Aidan, fondly known as "the boy" diligently cleaned his room in an effort to make room for high school. He also shopped for shoes for these enormously long, skinny things he calls feet and finished enduring a LOT of testing. That last little comment meant we parents spent much of the week enduring hours of meetings regarding the test results and then spent many more hours in serious contemplation about what to do with what we already knew--very smart boy who has some significant learning challenges. We went back to the brain lady (she's working on undoing the snowboarding accident when the said boy fell off a cliff and knocked his noggin a good one). We had more meetings with teachers and counselors and speech pathologists and neuro-psychologists.
And did I mention that the garden was coming in strong.
Like, I mean, really strong...Just this week we picked gallons of plums, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Smaller, yet still predigious amounts of kale, tomatillos, collards, carrots, potatoes, late strawberries, onions and leeks. We ate, dried, salt dried, canned, froze, pickled and sauced as much as we could every day. And sorry to say, it wasn't enough. there is still a BIG pile of produce on the counter.
Just yesterday Steve and I, with a little bit of help from Becca who was avoiding cleaning the barn, canned 49 (yes, count them-49) jars of spicy plum sauce, plum chutney and dilly beans.
We froze and dried two lugs of fruit. The day before it was 7 quarts of tomato sauce, and lots of blueberries picked and bagged for the freezer. Steve smartly rewarded himself for all his work with a delicious gluten free black and blue pie. I, on the other hand, had had enough of the kitchen and had some Ben and Jerry's. Did I say we were tired?
If just that was the week, I think we would have managed, but there was problem of the broody chicken who produced two beautiful chicks only to squish one when it was four days old. These things happen but unfortunately a very sensitive camper found the poor chick, who literally had turned her toes up. The chick had a lovely funeral complete with a procession, songs and a gravestone that reads " Here lies Sprinkels." I was asked by three different children to keep fresh flowers on her grave.
And then there is the cow who is now a full two weeks late having her baby. Is it time to induce? Do they do such things to cows? Do I need to call the vet or give her castor oil? Oh my. And the hay is giving Aidan hives, which makes it hard for him to do his chores. And squirrels beat us to most of the nuts--hazel nuts and the walnuts. I think we were too busy picking the plums.
The house is the dirtiest it has been in a long, long time and let's not even think about the weeds. The cat has been throwing up, the dog is in mourning because his girl abandoned him for college. And four campers of the small boy variety decided that jumping on the compost pile, the one with a dozen thoroughly rotten eggs hidden in it, would be a good idea. Days later, we are still recovering from the smell. Did I mention the flies?
All in all, it was one of those weeks that everyone is glad is over. Most of all, me.