On July 27th, we packed the pups off to doggie camp, loaded the car with suitcases, guitar and amp, bike, ball gloves and a cooler and headed south. Grandson and I in the car, Jim on his motorcycle for his first major road trip. We headed off for a weeklong visit with our daughter and her family. We haven’t seen them since last Christmas and grandson hasn’t seen his cousins since last August. We had booked a hotel room about halfway there, a bit over 400 miles. It took us longer to make those miles than when it is just the two of us in the car as we stopped every 110-120 miles to reconnect with each other and for Jim to have a chance to get a drink and walk around for a bit to give his sore parts a rest. Once at the hotel, the guys took a dip in the pool, we found a Mexican restaurant catering to the Mexican population and had a good dinner, then back to let grandson ride his bike around the parking lot to let off some steam.
As the temperature reached 100ºf that day, I’m not sure if he was letting off steam or making steam.
Visiting was active for the three grands, with biking, Lego building, Light saber battles, reading, soccer and baseball, a beach visit, a day at Busch Gardens in Tampa. The Busch Gardens day was hot and humid, but everyone from the 2 1/2 year old to the 70 somethings found rides to ride, shows to see, snacks to eat.
Riding a camel on the carousel. We rode it about 5 times and she never would get on a horse that went up and down.
Sunday we started our return journey home, leaving early to try to miss the afternoon rain showers. Again stopping every couple of hours to reconnect and spending a night in a hotel a bit more than half way home. The afternoon arrival was greeted with a delightfully cool house that had been closed up with no A/C on, temps in the upper 70’s, a deliciously chilly night in our own bed.
My stop at the neighbor who chicken sits for us, revealed that she didn’t get a single egg, I’m glad I took her two dozen on our way out and brought her a pound of Orange Blossom honey from Florida. My visit to the coop, I found a still broody hen on one fragile egg that she broke when she puffed up and tried to prevent me from moving her off the nest.
This morning, she got a surprise as I removed her from the nest and put re-freezable ice packs in her nest and the next one over. She is nearing 22 days of broodiness on an empty nest.
Later this week, a delivery of 15 Rainbow Ranger meat chicks will be delivered and we will begin raising them for 11 weeks.
The heavy straw mulch on the garden has kept the weeds down. There were a few over developed squash and cucumbers that got fed to the chickens, more harvested for us. Lots of peppers that I need to process today. Basil that needs to be pulled and dried. Yellow wax beans pulled and dumped in the chicken pen. Bunnies or deer got in the garden and ate most of the new green beans down. I will cover them today and see if there is any recovery. There are three beds that need some fall crops planted before it is too late.
This morning, grandson and I went to pick up the pups. They seem to be glad to be home.
We have one more week and a half with grandson and I will return him home. The weeks have gone by so quickly, but it has been a delight having him with us.