Months have passed since my last post, but it's been a very good summer for our family, with big gains in the girls' department.
For instance, on April 9, we got a granddaughter!
Miss Madeline, our first grandchild, born to my older stepson and his wife who, sadly, live way off in Oklahoma. We flew out in May but for now we're making do with Facetime. She turned five months old this week, which is insane.
Then, on July 5, another girl joined the Raymond ranks:
This one hardly counts as she's been unofficially part of the family for over 7 years. But now it's official.
(Not pictured: Our other daughter-in-law, who was stuck in Oklahoma on call. She is in her fourth and final year of veterinary school and couldn't get the time off. We missed her!)
The wedding, held at the Old Lantern in Charlotte, Vt., was spectacular. Hot, but spectacular. There was much rejoicing and dancing and sweating and celebrating, and even a choreographed mash-up dance by the wedding party and parents.
Yeah, we were pretty amazing.
Now, I'm kind of cheating on the third female of note. It's my daughter:
Obviously she was already part of the family. But she has just started high school and has kind of turned the corner into Young Lady (don't tell her I called her that), so I thought she should count.
Don't get the impression, however, that she isn't every inch a typical teenage girl. Here's the only picture I could catch of her on the first day of high school, when she fled the car before anyone could see her in public with me:
Probably won't have that one framed.
Everything else on the farm has been busy as all summers are. We got four chicks this spring:
... who got bigger:
and who are now coming into lay. The rooster can't wait.
I grew sunflowers.
The garden's overgrown but producing. The tomatoes and green beans are coming fast and furious. And I put 6 dozen ears of corn in the freezer (first time in three years wayward livestock didn't get to it before we did!)
And we have the usual animals here and there. Four pigs (until Monday :-():
Three beef cows and a tenant horse:
You may remember the mean turkey. Handsome, yes:
But so, so hateful.
He even fought with Lucy.
Well, here's the deal. When meat-chicken slaughter day came (22 birds in the freezer, yay), he went with them. We're all set for Thanksgiving now, and no more doing chores with a 2-by-4. Life is good.
But Lucy has been pretty lonely since Trooper and Snowy died this spring.
So we got her a buddy.
This is Jasper, a dwarf Nigerian goat from a blogger in Perkinsville. He's young, he's fixed, and he's adorable. He escaped his pen within 18 hours of us getting him and he and Lucy have been hanging out ever since.
The cat finds him fascinating. And vice versa.
So that's about it, a very long post to catch up from months away. I admit part of my reluctance to update the blog is that everyone -- including me, in a limited capacity -- is on Facebook now. So some of you have seen all of this before, only less wordy. But I'm going to try to check in more often because occasionally there's a little more to say.
Sometimes, on the other hand, words aren't necessary.