Alright, here's the deal. I figured out internet with my computer. But then I realized that I lost my cord to upload photos. I want to kill myself.
Instead, I'm going to attempt to explain what we've been doing, without the use of photos as my guide.
So, first of all, Joey's mom, sister, and brother came to visit us in Portland. It was really great to be with them. They're wonderful people and we just had so much fun. His mom is so sweet and would kick me out of the kitchen and cook and do dishes and just do everything she could to help out. His sister and brother are both so funny. They alternately had me cracking up the whole time.
Then, we all came down to the vineyard. The vineyard is owned by my parents, and it is in Winston, Oregon on the Umpqua River.
The day after we got here, we celebrated Talula's 1st birthday. We had Hawaiian food and it was very low-key and mellow.
We just sort of hung out while Joey's family was still here. His sister ended up being a total natural at fishing and caught tons of bass. His brother had fun swimming in the river with Tania. They all had fun picking cherries and raspberries at the orchard next door.
It was really sad when when they left, but we plan to visit them in Phoenix for Christmas.
After Joey's family left, Joey got into working. He's helping to build a barn and winery, along with a million other vineyard projects. I have worked pruning in the vineyard a bit. It's a bit difficult with Lu, but it can be done. I rotate between carrying her on my back in an Ergo and letting her play in her wagon.
We got 6 chickens: 2 rooster and 4 egg-laying hens. They're cute and hilarious. We planted an enormous garden with corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers...ummm...and more. We're planting herbs in half wine barrels and we have lettuce in the greenhouse planter box.
Every day, we wake up early and Joey goes to work. Then Talula and I have our walk around the vineyard. On our walk, we pass by two pigs, a bunch of horses, and sometimes a whole herd of cows. If we walk off the vineyard property, we can see lambs and sheep and goats. Sometimes we stop to say hello to Joey when he's working. Our kitty comes with us on the walk too. Then we feed our chickens. I've tried out all kinds of fruit and vegetable treats on them. They love green onions and watermelon.
We brought a little pool down by the river and poured sand over the rocks so that Talula can have a little play area. We usually go down there in the afternoons, because that's when it gets hot. It can be a good 20 degrees cooler by the river.
In the evenings, we drink wine and play cribbage. It's quite a life here.
It is very..."rustic"...shall we say? There aren't any buildings. It's a bunch of trailers. Yes, like a trailer park. And there's a bunch of crap everywhere, just like a trailer park. But I'm really proud of how far my parents have come here. When they bought this land, it was a former cantaloupe farm with nothing on it but a trailer pushed halfway into the river. They planted their first cuttings in 2000, and have had, I believe, 5 harvest years since. They have won awards for their Merlot and Syrah. Even thought the conditions are pioneer-like, it's sort of exciting. They rigged the irrigation system from the river, initially, and now have fresh water tanks for bathing and doing dishes and stuff. Their first toilet was a chair with a hole cut in it, placed over a composting pot! Then they graduated to an outhouse, which is still here, but they now have flushing toilets. You still can't flush toilet paper, but it's a good system. All the waste is turned back into dirt.
What I love about being here is that my parents don't just go out and buy things without thinking of how they can do it better for less money. It's a very pioneer-like. I've realized, too, that building a farm property takes so much work and time. You can't just throw out 15 ideas and expect them to happen over night.
We have been talking about ways to go organic and green. These issues are very important to me and my parents are totally open to it. I'll have to post later about our plans.
My darling daughter, Tania, has been on the east coast for the past two weeks. She flew into New York, then road tripped down to North Carolina. She's coming back today, and I am so excited to see her sweet little face.
Well, I am sure I am leaving out a ton. I will hopefully get that damn cord soon so I can put photos up.
Good day, sir!