Showing posts from August, 2018

Friday bullets, Aug. 17, 18

This probably won't be long, as we are getting reading to head out of town to go to Michigan. (Only some of us are going, others are staying home, working, and taking care of the animals.) I'll begin since time is short.

The garden is still doing well, though the cucumbers and zucchini are nearing their ends. I have mixed feelings about that. I could certainly can more pickles, as my children would eat their weight in them if I let them, but I'm okay with not canning too many more pickles. Zucchini on the other hand, never did produce as much as I had hoped. On top of having them to eat fresh, I had wanted to shred and freeze a bunch of zucchini as well. I'm not sure that will happen. Plus, yesterday, we discovered a new treat: dehydrated zucchini chips made in the dehydrator. These are amazing! I will probably blog about them next week, but it does confirm that we could have used a lot more zucchini.But maybe these will make up for it. My odd, giant squash are supposed…


This is what the play loft has looked like for the past few days.

The mailboxes are in case any mail comes for them while they are camping.
It really does take up much of the loft.
It's hard to tell, but this is a giant fort (or tent... they go back and forth in what they call it), that the younger half built. It is quite extensive on the inside. G. offered to take my phone and take pictures, thus saving me from crawling around inside it.

I think this has some purpose, but I don't know what.

The pictures are mainly of the various sleeping areas they created. Having done this, they then asked if they could all sleep in it night before last. We said yes, and they happily snuggled down.

This was not the first time they had snuggled down in their beds, though. Most of yesterday and the day before consisted of living in their tent. They would wake up, fix food over their block campfire, sing Home on the Range accompanied by L. on the her toy guitar, and go back to bed. Over and ove…

Children are expensive

Every so often, in a discussion over family size, I will hear or read the comment, "Children are so expensive!" This is often given as a reason that people don't have more children than they do. Now, off the bat, I truly do not care how many children you have. Your business, and I certainly have enough to do over here, to spend any of my time worrying about someone else's business.

I don't write about large families in order to try to convince reluctant people into having more children than they feel they should have. Instead, I write about large families because they are uncommon, and not everyone has experience with families who have more than 2 or 3 children. I write about large families to try to dispel the myths about raising many children that come from ignorance. I write about large families because personally, I think they are pretty great, and like to share our own personal joy.

The cost of children certainly falls into the second category; the one about…


Want to see what I got yesterday?

I started yesterday as a volunteer for a local therapeutic riding program. It's something I've always been interested in, and this is the first time that I have had the time, and a place close enough to do anything with it.

Even though I was just shadowing the real volunteers, it was fascinating. I really loved every minute of it. What's better than something that combines several of my personal passions? Eventually, I would love to be able to enroll in a program to become a certified equine therapist. There is one local to us, but they are unsure when the next cohort will begin. In the meantime, I'll wait and volunteer, and learn what I can that way.

I've been thinking about this a lot. My youngests are now nine, and though we have nine more years until they finish high school, it is easy to see the writing on the wall, that at some point most of the children will all be mostly grown and responsible for themselves. I'm not act…


Look at my gourd plant!

We have this dead tree over by the garden, and when I bought the seeds, I envisioned the plants taking over, and covering, the tree. I love it when a plan works!

This variety is an edible gourd call Serpente di Sicilia, or serpent of Sicily. Do you see the long gourds growing and hanging down?

I'm pretty sure these vegetables are growing inches a day. Earlier this week, they weren't nearly so long. According to the seed packet, you can eat these gourds and use them as if they were zucchini. We'll see. Even if it turns out they are less than zucchini-like than we hoped, they are still pretty cool to watch grow!

Because everyone can use a puppy picture

Here is the puppy that TM chose out of the litter. Isn't she a sweetheart? She is three weeks old, and her name is yet to be decided. She will probably be coming home the second week of September.

Friday bullets, Aug. 10, 18

We are heading towards fall far too quickly for my taste. I still have summer things I want to get done, and then there is that pesky school planning that needs to happen, but the tomatoes, all 3000 of them, are going to ripen at the same time... Gah! Where is the pause button?

I never showed you this.
This is a tea cake, and I am so excited to have it. A good friend saw that I had read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and gave it to me so I could see what a tea cake was, since they are so pivotal to the story. Cool, huh? Here is what it looks like on the inside.

I was instructed to break off a little bit of it, and steep it as you would loose tea. I haven't tried it, yet, but will soon. I kind of just like looking at it for the moment. You know you have to subjected to at least one chicken story in these weekly round-ups. We had a chicken who almost had her name changed to Houdini. Her real name is Ramona. She is one of the hens who has an actual name, as we can tell her apart fro…

National Book Lovers Day

National Book Lovers Day is evidently, according to the internet, August 9, which makes it today. At least for the next three hours, so I can sneak in with this post. In honor of the occasion, I thought I would share what I'm currently reading. What this will say about me is probably far more interesting than the actual titles.

I've gathered together all the books I am in the middle of, and there are six books in front of me. This is not unusual. This stack usually is comprised of one book of fiction that I'm reading for fun, several non-fiction books of various topics which I read based on current whim, and one book I am reading out loud to the masses at tea time. I never read more than one fiction book at once, and rarely am I reading just one non-fiction book at once.

Here are what currently are sporting book marks:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - This is my current fiction book, and is a total beach read. Light, fluffy, amusing, a little unbelievable, and completely d…

Picnic in the park

Today we packed a lunch and met up with some friends at a nearby park.

This is the same forest preserve we visited for the first time this past spring, that is just 15 minutes from our house. It wasn't crowded at all then, but I thought because it was summer we might see a few more people around this visit.

But I supposed wrong. Those in that photo are all our group.

I can tell I've lived in a very high density urban area for a very long time, because even a year later, this still astounds me.

Beautiful park areas, a wide, shallow river to play in...

and it's virtually empty. I know it was a weekday, but the vast majority of schools around here have not yet started.

I'm certainly not complaining. It was a lovely, relaxed day. I just find it so gosh darn surprising.

This was also a beginning of a series of last hurrahs for us, as far as having J. being able to accompany us on our weekday outings. This morning he accepted a new position at a community college not too far…

I tried... I really did

Last Sunday I went to the store and bought these:

That would be two paper calendars. A larger one to put in the kitchen for everyone to see and use, and a smaller one that I can carry with me which fits in my purse. Up until a year ago, this is how I managed all our family scheduling for years. Then last year, when we had to move to smart phones because of our eternal issue of lack of wifi out here, I switched to the calendar on my phone.

And that was okay. It worked. I don't think we forgot to go anywhere. It was handy to have it with me all the time, and not have to carry a separate calendar. In theory, there wasn't anything really wrong with it, so I kept using it.

Until my phone decided to degrade instead of upgrade twice in one month, and pushed me over the edge of all reason. I realized just how dependent upon the silly thing I had become. When it wouldn't work, I was stuck. I couldn't see my calendar to know what I was supposed to do. I couldn't call anyone,…

Cat houses

When you check this book out of the library:

You end up with children using every available piece of cardboard in the house to make cat lodgings.

And you end up with many cardboard cat abodes.

There is also much rejoicing when the cats actually use the houses created for them.

Midnight is in there somewhere.
This scene greeted everyone this morning. Can you find both cats?
You can only really make out Midnight by finding one of his eyes.