So close

Summer is truly starting to happen around here.  It’s pretty difficult these days to get the kids to buckle down and do any school work, now that the pool has been opened.

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After not opening it last year, I can’t tell you how happy it makes us just to see it open and blue and ready for swimming!

We can’t tear ourselves away from it.  That and watermelon.  We’re pretty highly addicted to watermelon these days. We are really hoping our watermelon plants produce this summer!

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The garden is still getting the idea to really take off. All of the summer and winter squashes, the tomato plants, the pepper plants….they all seem to be *just* on the verge of exploding into massive growth.  So far the deep hay mulch I’ve been using has been helping with the weeds really, really well. It doesn’t help with the massive spiders and wriggly baby snakes, but that’s a whole other story altogether.

I’ve also broken down and tried Neem oil this year.  Since the bees aren’t hanging out with the back garden yet (as nothing has flowered) I’ve been spraying in the evening to keep the pests at bay.  So far, so good.  Once the plants begin to flower I’ll cross my fingers and hope like mad the squash bugs have been deterred for the season.

We also discovered that the bunny nest we had last spring might be a recurring thing.  This year, they nested under the blackberry bushes by the pool (smart little buns! All those thorns to keep predators away!).

We discovered the nest as the babies were leaving it, and Neve rescued one slower one from the dogs. Never a dull moment here.

And speaking of those blackberry bushes:

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They are suddenly covered in hundreds of pre-blackberries!  Sadly, my guess is I won’t be around to enjoy those when they are finally ready.  Europe is so, so close now.  We leave one week from today.

Neve and Maddie and I can’t stop reminding each other how many days left before we will be in Scotland. It seems more like an actual reality every day now, whereas before it seemed like a lovely dream.

We’ve got our itinerary pretty well planned and packed; but we’ve left time in each city to simply wander and explore, to discover its treasures organically. I’m also looking forward to the time we will spend on the trains (one from Edinburgh to London, one from London to Paris, one from Paris to Wiesbaden).  We’ll see many friends while we are there, and that seems like the best possible icing on this fantastic travel cake.

So, so soon.

But first, much prep work left to do.

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