The Summer Non-Schedule Schedule

It is always an adjustment when the school year ends.  I consider myself hugely fortunate to be able to stay home with my kids, so summer for us really is long days of endless hours to fill coupled with lists of things we want to do.  It is time I cherish, my kids are both quite good at entertaining themselves for hours, but, and this is especially true of the MiMBY Girl, they are generally ready to go explore and play at a moment's notice.  Okay, not the teenager so much anymore.

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Strawberry picking is an essential activity at our house.  I find it magical that upstate New York conditions manage to create a flavor that is the essence of summer.  There is nothing quite like opening a jar of homemade strawberry jam in January and freeing the scent of a sunny June afternoon.  It simply transports.  

Today we tried out a new berry patch at Indian Creek Farm.  It sits high on the west hill overlooking Cayuga Lake and the scenic valleys to the southeast.   The orchards and vegetable plots have been carved out of the gently rolling landscape and the single track road to the berry field was full of surprises.  Like this seating for a large party under mature apple trees:

 

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And this circle of tree stumps with apple crate lanterns dangling above: 

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These provided happy moments of climbing for all the kids picking this morning, including my own. 

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They have raspberries for picking now too and we'll be venturing back up the hill for more of the magic next week.  Our day included a trip to the Tompkins County Library where my friend Mary Beth Ihnken's animal portraits hang on the building for Ithaca's Art in the Heart of the City. 

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The portrait to MiMBY Girl's left is of Odin the ram, who was most uncooperative when Mary Beth came to my farmette to photograph him.  At the time, his work impregnating ewes was done, he was bored and ready to return to his farm, and we were a curiosity and then an annoyance as he followed us around the pasture trying to chase us off.  Mary Beth spent most of the time ducking behind me and swearing that she hadn't gotten that shot either while I ran interference and finally had to take him down to teach him some manners.  Much caffeine was required afterwards.  The little lamb on Izzie's right just died this week for reasons mysterious even to the vet.  Hickory was a beautiful ewe lamb with a super fleece and it was bittersweet to see her immortalized in a painting.

I've been sewing and knitting and have things to share.  Knitting circle will resume with a summer schedule (evenings and wine!) on the 11th.  I plan to get an Etsy store going once I spend time taking photos, but this first week of summer has been about decompressing from the school year.  It's been blissful.