My routine at home hasn't been very routine at all for the last few months. Kev's workplace put him back on a rotating shift (days and midnights) so it's been very out of whack for me at home. When he's on the night shift I can't sleep, so we've missed more than a few church services during those shifts, and that bothers me more than anything else. One of the smaller things that have changed is my nightly stroll around the yard and just being outside and taking in the fresh air and gorgeous summer, country scenery.
Tonight I decided to bag all my chores for 30 minutes or so and just take my camera outside and take a nice leisurely stroll around the house, just before sunset. Here are a few things I saw:
Rachel and I both planted many flowers this year. It was her first flower garden and she was quite excited to plan the whole thing out. I picked the spot for her but she did the tilling and the weeding, and then she did the planting.
The young lady that takes care of the outside of the property came along with her weed killer one day however, and not realizing I had planted flowers around the base of the birch trees, sprayed a liberal amount of weed killer there, and that was the end of my flowers. Rachel's on the other hand, are doing quite well and she has new blooms about to open up any day. She's very proud of her very first garden, and I hope she learns to love it as much as I do. I also plan to make or buy little signs and stick them where I plant my flowers next year, so they remain safe from the weed killer!
Next on my tour was the apple tree just outside the dining room window. This little guy has gone through quite a few scary times of almost not surviving, but it just keeps bouncing back and producing apples for me every year. Kev took me to the nursery 9 years ago for Mother's Day, and when I saw the Yellow Transparent tree, I almost cried. This is the kind of apple tree my gma and gpa had in their backyard when I was a little girl, and they're my favorite apples in the whole world. They make the best apple pie, apple crisp, apple sauce, and are even pretty awesome just eating right off the tree! I can't recall how many times my brother and I ate way too many of these apples (after being told not to, of course) then regretted it later. We never regretted it enough to stop us from doing it again the next year, however - they're THAT yummy! The heavy winds we've had during stormy weather in the last few weeks have blown a lot of them off the tree, but I think I'll still have enough to make at least one pie in the next couple of weeks or so.
While standing near the apple tree admiring it, this lil feller was hopping around in the grass next to me. Of course all the kids were quite happy to see him, as they sort of make it their mission to go outside and look for toadies in the grass. We have quite a lot of them here, but I hadn't seen one for a few weeks, so maybe they were on vacation or something. Our insane beagle Tulip is rather freaked out by them, but she still tries to catch them then yelps and jumps back when they hop away. She was out there with us, so I had to get one of the kids to scoop the toad up and relocate him to another part of the yard while Tulip was distracted. Rachel was reading recently in an animal encyclopedia and insisted the markings on this toad make her a Mrs. Toady, not a Mr. Toady. I didn't see the markings she pointed out, so I'll just go ahead and call him a Mr. and hope Rachel doesn't read my blog any time soon. :-)
That concludes this evening's stroll around the yard. It was a beautiful summer evening, and I'm glad I ditched chores long enough to enjoy a little slice of it.