The garden was rocking! For awhile. Then the heat of Summer got to it and some of our stuff got stringy and weird. The turnips didn’t really turn out for that reason. We did harvest all of our radishes, which turned out pretty rad. And we got the garlic out of the ground! We had 4 different varieties of garlic growing, some turned out with big, nice bulbs, and some came out very small, but still tasty. Some of the bulbs had a lovely purple hue, and when you crack the cloves out, the cloves have a beautiful maroon-brown color. It was pretty fun to dig all the garlic up, then you let the stalks sit in the sun for a couple of hours before snipping off the green stalks and letting the garlic dry. We set the bulbs on metal grates on our porch, in the shade, for a couple of weeks before starting to try them. Spicy, crisp, organic, fresh garlic. Delicious.





Then the deer pretty much demolished what was left of our dear garden. To be fair, we don’t have a deer-proof fence. And it’s pretty much just one deer. One doe. I’m sure she’s deliberately not telling her deer friends about our delectable garden. I had some rad anise, cilantro, and basil growing, and that all got eaten down to the roots. Then she came back for all of our spinach, swiss chard, and endive. She also decimated what was left of our beets and onions. She won’t touch the carrots… yet. And so far the tomatoes have been safe in the greenhouse. But right now isn’t an ideal time to be doing a lot of gardening anyway. It’s too hot and dry. So next project is fixing up our fencing and we’ll do some fall planting at the end of August.




Our water situation has improved greatly! We got our hands on a used 325 gallon cistern for $200 (a steal!) and R built a solid platform for it next to the garden. Now we can fill our smaller cistern in the truck, haul it home, and just gravity feed the water through a hose into the big cistern. And we can water the garden straight from the cistern! Our “water bill” was cheap already, and now we have to fill up even less often. $3 or $4 a month. Not bad. The platform doubles as storage too, and we’ve been able to move a lot of crap out of our house, and it’s still protected from the weather. We’ll put doors and lock on it soon, so we can keep things like the chainsaw and power tools in there as well.


All the lovely water.


Sunflower’s a-bloomin’!


This guy also lives in our garden.

Also, it’s been really quiet at our house without Amelia, and now Archie. Arch wandered off and hasn’t been back for a bit now, but we’re searching and haven’t lost hope yet. There’s been a possible sighting of him, and we’re staying hopeful. Any positive vibes to help Arch get back home would be appreciated! We miss having him around…


Fun with the Loki buddy.

So to help lighten the mood, we’ve been making an effort to have more fun with Loki! We’ve been playing in the river, going for rides in the forest, and it’s been lifting all of our spirits. R and I are making more time to go out exploring in the woods, and it energizes us to see new, secluded, awesome places. We feel more motivation to work at home if we can refuel out in the woods. And having a cold beer after work and watching the hummingbirds at our feeder definitely doesn’t hurt. Tonight after R gets off work we’re going to grab sushi for dinner, head home for a beer outside with Loki, go for a walk, and relish in the fact that we get to live in this beautiful spot in the forest. Maybe Arch will be sitting on the porch when we get home.


River dog!


We had a bunch of family come see us! R’s parents drove all the way from Minnesota and stayed for over a week, camped out in their RV on our land. My folks and brother with lady friend came at the same time. First time our families met! We had a blast.


Moms and Ilana.


Bro, Mum, me.

Lots of alcohol was consumed. Lots of playing with the animals. Hung out in the river. Chilled in the hot springs. Good old time.


The Fellas.


Nick and Arches keeping an eye out.


Loki loves it. Arch is not impressed.




It’s been a chaotic month here at the Ranch. We’ve had a lot of visitors, a lot of changes, a lot of garden and household improvements, lots of ups and downs, and some heartbreak. Not only did I have an unexpected, freak-accident death in the family… which has been hard enough… but our dear, sweet, amazing, meadow-namesake duck love, Amelia, passed away this past Sunday. It was sudden and unexpected, and we are not sure what happened. She had tripped hopping off our front porch Saturday morning (which she did every morning), and didn’t use her leg all day. The next morning I put her out, she still wasn’t moving her leg, but she seemed ok, eating and preening. Just a few hours later she was gone.


Amelia was a member of our family as much as Loki or Arch is. She was loved by everyone who ever met her. She was unique, sweet, curious, and awesome. My heart is totally broken.


My sweet little sugar plum.


Hangin with my friend.

R built her a sweet little box to be buried in, which I filled with straw before placing her in there. I clipped a few of her feathers to keep, and we buried her down in her Meadow, under a big Juniper tree. It’s a nice little spot. I’ve spent days crying and missing her. She brought so much life and joy to our family, and it’s been difficult getting used to her not being here. She always had morning chirps for me and long quacking stories for us when we got home. It’s too quiet now. We miss her so much.


Her place in the Meadow.


The first day I adopted her.

So now here I am resisting the urge to go impulse buy a bunch of ducks. But I have to remind myself that even when I get more ducks, they won’t be like her. She was so one-of-a-kind. Amelia was simply amazing and we were lucky to have her in our family. She will be missed forever… As one of my best friends, and Amelia’s aunty, said, “she was the best duck of all the ducks who have ever ducked.” Yep, she was pretty much the best little creature, ever.


Her younger days.


The last picture of all my kids together.

Rest easy, sweet Mama. We love you.