The boys and I are back after spending 8 days on the road and visiting with friends and family in northern Minnesota. My family lives over there, and it was such a blessing to see everyone after almost a year. That is way too much time in between visits.
Our travel time was so much different from a year ago ... Instead of being bored with the scenery of endless plowed fields, the boys were noticing how dark and rich the soil was in the Red River Valley of North Dakota, and even my 6-year-old commented, "Wow, they must have put three inches of sheep manure on that field!" I guess we are slowly growing in our knowledge of farming! They even spent a lot of time checking out all the tractors and other farm machinery they saw along the way.
Jim was very busy while we were gone, managing the animals and garden areas. We now have 1/3 acre of raspberry plants, along with a large area of potatoes. I gasped when Jim told me on the phone that he had picked up 50 pounds of seed potatoes! Needless to say, we have quite a few yet to plant! We still have transplanted strawberry plants and other things to go into the ground. Tonight may hold snow for us, so we have all the plants in the house to keep them safe.
On Sunday some friends delivered a billy goat, along with a milking goat and a pregnant goat. In about an hour our number of goats increased to 5, as the pregnant one gave birth to twins! Jim did a great job of milking, and the boys have started to take over that chore. I must admit it's a bit overwhelming to be mobbed by 3 goats and 3 sheep whenever someone enters the pen! Jim tells some very interesting stories of how he had to milk the goat when we were gone and the billy goat wouldn't leave the other one alone. Glad it was him and not me!
Every time I head to my folks' home I feel sad, because I have to drive by land that was once farmed by my Grandfather; it is now scarred by a very large, hideous gambling casino run by the local Native Americans. It's amazing to me how many of the locals have spent their retirement money in that place. I also felt sad when we took Hwy 5 across ND to get home Monday night and saw many abandoned farmsteads. What a common sight these days.
Well, I better close for now and try to catch up on a few of other people's blog entries; I have missed hearing about what everyone has been up to!