Ashley celebrated her 7th birthday at the farm this past weekend. It’s been three years since she last had a birthday at the farm so it was a special occasion for us. Her best friend Jordan, also visited for the weekend from Joburg with her parents David and Debbie. She was welcomed ‘home’ by fields of sunflowers in full bloom, a truly happy sight! This year, some of the best blooms in our valley are on a piece of land called Warrick owned by my sister-in-law Lesley and her husband Garry. Quentin cultivates the land on their behalf and this year the conditions were just perfect. Sunflowers can be a very tricky crop to get right, but you won’t see much better than this in our district. Tall plants with large heads ready to fill up with seed. It’s impossible not to feel happy in the presence of their yellow majesty! I can’t think of a better way to mark the birthday of a very special little girl.
Livia and I are going on our first little adventure to the city! My friend Julia and my sister arrived at the farm yesterday to pick us up and drive us to Joburg today. It’s going to be a busy few days introducing her to family and friends and at the end of it all we’ll drive home with Ashley for her half term weekend and birthday party. The sunflowers have come into bloom so I insisted that we go for sundowners yesterday to soak up some farm air. It’s Livia’s third sundowner outing and her first actually being awake. The air was still and warm and the setting sun cast a pink glow over the maize and sunflower lands. So beautiful and nourishing for the soul!
As predicted, there hasn’t been much time for blogging in my world! Livia is now 5 weeks old and thriving. I’ve been working hard to make sure she’s putting on weight and the effort seems to be paying off as she’s starting to fit into her clothes a bit better. Mothering a newborn is hard work, but I’m loving every sleep-deprived moment. She has already changed so much and this week the competition is on to see who she smiles at first! My mother visited us again this past weekend and bought my cousin Koos and his new wife Alix along with her. It was a rainy weekend so we spent a lot of time entertaining Livia and making magic in the kitchen. We managed to get out one afternoon for sundowners, or at least an attempt at it in the circling rain. The rain is extremely welcome after the scorching hot January weather. Our crops were starting to take serious strain, but this soaking will hopefully reinvigorate them. The veld is lush and green at least so all the cattle are looking very happy and healthy.
Our sundowner route took us past a herd of our Angus cattle and we had a beautiful view of the circling storms from our vantage point on top of the koppie. Koos is a skilled iPhoneographer so I left it to him to take photos and asked him nicely to use them for the blog. He also took some great photos in the garden when I sent him up to the veggie garden to pick tomatoes and rocket. The borage and zinnias are in full bloom, but the artichokes and echinacea are now past their prime. Thanks to Koos I’m now able to share these gems with you!