Monday, 24 June 2013

Confession time

These flowery sheep were outside the train station at Jelgava
where I was last Monday and Tuesday
Oh dear! Humblest apologies, I just ran out of time to add the photos to the blog last week. Or maybe I just didn't get my act together and then I forgot. I have been busy though, between gardening, sorting out some details about my course, sending emails regarding that, and doing some babysitting too. Amongst all that, there is feeding folks and we don't finish eating sometimes until about 9:30pm at the earliest, which doesn't leave much time for anything else. I still hadn't downloaded the pictures until this morning. Not to mention the two days in Jelgava on a seminar, and a lovely visit to a young lady who we have known since we first came to Latvia in the year 2000. We also got to see her family and I have to confess that I spent rather a long time talking to her husband about agriculture and Latvian society in general.

Thursday afternoon was spent in Cesvaine, for more dental
work. It's a nice place to visit and you could have seen the
castle, but my camera batteries ran out. 
I have further confessions to make too. I fouled up on checking the post this week. Normally that wouldn't be too bad, but this time it was. We are expecting the replacement shears to arrive so we can finally shear the alpacas and I forgot until 7pm Friday to check the post box, sure enough there was a letter to say a parcel was at the post office and guess what? It was the Friday before a bank holiday weekend and the post office is not open now until Tuesday morning. I was popular, especially as it is hot again. In fact it has been that hot and humid that my glasses that I have started wearing permanently have been steaming up.

Campanula is back out again, always
such a glorious sight and no tending
needed as they just grow in our fields
Further confessions? I snore! My room mate on the course I was doing, had the foresight to include ear plugs, so that was a relief, unfortunately the same cannot be said for Ian one night. After a particularly bad night he got up early, went out onto the land and went to sleep in the caravan for an hour and a half. Normally I'm not that bad, honest! It is quite embarrassing really and makes me a little anxious when it comes to sharing rooms for a summer school in France, which I found out this week I have been accepted onto. It doesn't bode well for other future events where I maybe expected to share. I do hope and pray that I can get single rooms as often as possible, or maybe I shall just have to take ear plugs too, for my room mates.

It was good to see our seeder worked
well and the beans are coming through
in nice straight rows. Many of the plants
I transplanted have taken, despite
the heat.
As I mentioned, there has been a lot of gardening going on this week and the strawberry glut has begun. I have already had to freeze some. I can now see my squash plants from amongst the weeds and piled the weeds up around their roots, to help keep them moist. Worrying about snails this year, doesn't appear to be the problem, worrying about the water situation is. Our ponds are dropping dramatically and some of our plants look a little wilted in the heat. I am trying to hang off actually watering them by hand, as I want them to send out deep roots and there is some rain forecast. It feels like a nervous game of chicken at times, to water or not to water. Our chicks also progressed from house chicks to land chicks today. They were getting too smelly and noisy to have in the house and it is warm enough for them to huddle together and keep warm, now that they have proper feathers on their bodies. They have moved into Hoppy's box - whose Hoppy? You will have to read a previous blog to find that out, if you don't know.

If only all gardening was this simple, no work needed -
well maybe keeping the ground elder at bay to stop it
taking over
This week the pressure to get the garden sorted, do some studying for my course and still remain human has been quite intense, as everything is taking far longer than I would hope. Not only are things taking longer than I hoped, I found out my study plan that took far to long to put together, has to be amended and so there will be extra work involved in that. At one point I had to take some time to sit and pour out my heart to God. Fortunately God knows my needs and later on in the week I have my young helper coming, a young lady who has helped me a couple of times before and she comes just a few days after my son and his family return to the UK.  An extra pair of hands in the garden will be most welcome, not that my son hasn't been helpful, he has, he has been helping Ian from time to time, but he has also got to spend time with his young family and his wife has to spend time with the baby, as she is still feeding him herself. Our grandson is also a little too young to help, maybe in about two years time!

I know it kind of looks like a big toad, but it isn't. It is
actually the first mushroom of the year - or rather it was
nearly our first mushroom of the year. Someone must
have stopped to pick flowers and seen it, because by the
time that I got to the land for our barbeque, the mushroom
that Ian had taken a photo of, had disappeared.
We did kind of celebrate Ligo this year with our son and his family. Ligo is the midsummer festival here and is a big event, only it isn't quite midsummer but two days later. People generally head out to the countryside, especially if they have a summer house, no matter what the state of the summer house is. They pick wild flowers, of which some were picked from our land, but that's okay. They decorate their cars and houses with oak leaves and sometimes flowers. They light bonfires, have a barbeque, eat cheese, drink lots of beer and sing traditional songs. Well we went out to our land, we did the barbeque, we lit a fire and used the charcoal from the fire for the barbeque, but we didn't drink beer and we didn't stay up to see the sunrise and if there were any fireworks this year, we didn't hear them. We were fast asleep.

Something to crow about?

I think so! Our little grandson, doing his beached whale
impression and even better, he learnt to roll from
back to front and then to his back again - fun times ahead
Update: Thanks Pene for the corrections, it is indeed my grandson and not my son in the picture above. Whoops! 


ju-north said...

How you fit everything in is a great mystery! Pleased all is going well and that exciting things are ahead!

Liz Eph said...

lol - i love reading your blog, but it needs to be a servant not a master. what about fortnightly in the summer and harvest ?

Joanna said...

Right now Ju, I share your wonder about how I fit it all in and I think the answer might be not very well at the moment.

Liz those are wise words. The one reason that I tend to go for a weekly post is that it helps me remember what we've done and helps me to keep going when it is tempting to let it slip. I think what I might do is opt for more pictures of what we've done and less chat sometimes. We'll see, but I will bear your words in mind

karen said...

I'm loving the floral art in this post and the first lovely. My Brother participates in all the midsummer festivities in Sweden, as you probably know they make a huge thing of it there.

Joanna said...

Not surprising that the Scandinavians and the Baltic nations make such a big thing of midsummer, often winter doesn't seem that far gone and the nights are so light.