Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chores During Spring Break-Painting Trees; Cleaning Chicken House; Planting Vegetables

With spring break, we had one of our grand children, Carli stay with us here at Windmill Farm.  We normally have both of them, but this year, our youngest, Collin had some fun stuff planned at home for his time off.
Each day we would plan a project-chore to do before we could do something fun.  But most of the time, the chores turned out to actually, BE, the fun.  I had a list of items that needed to be done and let Carli decide what she wanted to do or not to do first.
Day One-clean out my garage.  Since many items in my garage actually were the kid's items, having Carli help me decide what goes, what doesn't, really worked well.  We ended up with a thrift shop pile; a throw away pile; a put away into the garden shed pile; a pile to give to Frank for his shop.  We swept and organized so when finished, it was nice and clean.  During our first day of "chores", Carli had some fun riding the kid's gator or her teal colored electric scooter/Vespa.  She would put the items needing to go someplace else in her Vespa basket or in the back of the kid's gator and drive them to their proper location.  At the end of the day, she helped me fix dinner and collected the eggs.  What a great help she was to us and we got to talk and visit while we were working.
Day Two-paint the tree trucks with white paint.  Trees need to be painted with a latex farm paint on their lower trunks to protect them from some insects and to stop the sun from blistering them.  (excuse her Tshirt.  I told her Mom to have Carli only come with clothes that could be thrown away and this was a shirt that she didn't like)
Armed with our paint buckets and brushes we went to work, chatting away, talking about the various varieties of fruit trees we were painting-some with very rough bark, some with very smooth bark.  And because she could do what she wanted around the farm, she would go check on chicken eggs, ride her Vespa and gator, visit Grandpa in his shop; ride with Grandpa on his tractor to disk the watermelon field.  Before I knew it, I looked over at her and her arms and legs looked like the trees!!  And Bella didn't miss getting paint on her too.

Day Three-cleaning out the chicken coop.  Now most times, this is the least favorite to do, but Carli was so excited.  I didn't want her to be inside the hen house scooping out the bedding as it isn't the most healthy place.  
So while I was doing that, she was catching each chicken and painting their toes different nail polish colors and making a chart of toe colors and chicken names. I showed her how to trim their wings so they couldn't fly out of their pen so she was doing that job too.
I would see her carrying one around, her singing to it.  So precious.
Day Four-planting vegetables.  Unknown to me, Grandpa had been teaching Carli how to drive the full sized gator.  She has gotten so tall, she now can now reach the petals.  She has been in the full sized gator a million times and sat on our laps driving it around, while we would use the pedals so it was familiar to her.  Well, she has been practicing all out in the field and has become a right good driver.  She would pick up a shovel or rake or whatever I needed from the garden shed and drive the gator to me and unload.  Then she would load up the dogs and drive in and around all the fruit trees, checking out the owl boxes, having a great time.
Day Five-inside work.  As a family, we were all going to meet up at a camp ground and camp for a few days.  While I was packing the trailer, getting the food together, Carli was making her chicken identification list.  She loves to draw and incorporated a chicken foot-nail polish-chicken name into a chart for me to keep tract of the hens.
The kids love their time here at the farm and we love them coming as much as they can.  This summer we will have Collin and Carli together several times.
Farming is a business that is slowly dying out so we hope she will take some of these memories and tell HER children some day.  And we had a fabulous time camping together where we saw a beaver, a fresh water otter, ducks, geese and had just plan R&R.

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