Friday, August 28, 2020

Kindergarten, conspiracy theories & other random stuff

The big news this week is that the oldest started kindergarten! He absolutely loves it and looks like such a little grownup in his uniform, especially when I sent him today in an actual sweater vest. He seems to have grown up so much in the last couple of days, it just doesn't seem possible.  He's even a tinier bit more polite to his little brother.


My mother came from a large Catholic family.  This school is the same one that she and her brothers all attended, probably her cousins too. I went there myself but only until second grade. My mom tried hard, very hard with my sister and I. We went to church every Sunday, confession, religious education.  None of it exactly stuck. We both ended up with an interest in Buddhism. 

So there's been a running joke between my sister and I that mom caused this pandemic, or she and her Aunts called in some favors, to ensure at least one of her grandchildren was forced into a Catholic education.  A global pandemic affecting millions? Just so that one of her grandkids would learn the Commandments, go to Mass every Friday and her daughter would quit saying the eff word so much?

Yeah, sounds like something she would do.
At the least she would be very, very happy.

So it's been the youngest and I all by ourselves during the days and it's been a blast. I love 2 year olds. He's so adorable,  his new thing is saying "of course!" instead of "yes". But he says it with his voice full of wonder as if someone has just asked him if he'd like to feed cupcakes to a unicorn or something.  After feeding the chickens every morning we clean up the house and then go upstairs to try to get organized for this new baby. It's going slowly.

We take naps.

We don't have near the flowers we usually do due to lack of rain (although it is pouring today!) These sunflowers drop pollen all over but they cheer the place up.

I took some roosters to Surgeons this week to be put in the freezer and also have been canning tomatoes. 

Anyone local want a pair of these as garden ornaments? They're too pretty not to try to find a home for. L? Less work than a cat and they make groceries?

Still deeply in love with Postcrossing.  Here are some fun recent cards. Can anyone translate the one was with  the sheep? Google tells me it means "cute pit". I think something is getting lost there.

These came in the mail today from Etsy. My sister is a huge fan of the Podcast My Favorite Murder and I can't wait to send them to her. 

Here's Bee in the camper with us over the weekend. I want to remember that Elyse came home this morning having apparently been in a fight last night. She's missing a nickle sized patch of fur and skin off of her haunch. No idea. Bee and Elyse have been having the neighborhood cats over every night to sit on the porch (an orange tabby and a grey and white cat, both look well taken care of) so maybe she got in a cat fight but I have a really hard time picturing this. Elyse is delicate flower, not a scrapper.

I finished The Devil All The Time and it was fantastic. Before buying another Donald Ray Pollock book I've pulled this off the shelf.

It's funny how many book have been picked up over the years that are sitting up there still waiting to be read.

I think that's about it. Going to take the youngest to visit Papa, buy umbrellas at Walmart (apparently we own 2) and hit the post office before school lets out. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Another waiting post

31 weeks? Turned sideways,  I look like an elephant.  A pregnant elephant.  
So here we are, waiting for a scan. It's nice to have some quiet time. It's been a nice week. My husband has started teaching again and the oldest absolutely cannot wait to go to kindergarten next week. He is SO excited. We somehow need to, I don't know, give a crash course in Catholicism over the next couple of days. He has no clue, I was raised Catholic but religion isn't talked about around the house and it's a conversation we have no idea how to start. It would be much easier for me to explain how this baby in my tummy got there and how he's getting  out.

This conversation happened this morning. I immediately texted my sister:

My sister and I found this hilarious.  My husband did too although he was trying to be the mature one.

What else this week....

The book The Devil All The Time came in the mail and I started it. It is so, so well written. I've finished the first section with Williard, Charlotte and Arvin and am taking a break before I keep reading. It's a noir novel and the violence doesn't bother me but, oh boy, the suffering of these characters.  The way it's written this section also feels like it could have been a complete short story so I'm eager to see where Arvin goes from here. 

The oldest and I (and Elyse) spent another night in the camper. I'm glad I didn't read this out in the camper. 

Bee never joins us out in the camper. She prefers to sleep in the mulch. I don't get it.

Tomatoes are coming on enough that I made a tomato pie this week. It was delicious and we devoured half of it before I took a picture. The leftovers didn't make it through the next day. 

I did manage to can 2 jelly jars while making the pie. This was a doable way of getting it done since I was in the kitchen anyway.

The neighbors shared some zucchini with us and the kids and I made this bread. It's a winner.

We didn't have instant coffee but that was ok. They baked at 350. The pan of tiny ones took maybe 12 minutes? The mini loaves maybe 15. Everyone loves this bread. We currently have a big glut of yellow crookneck squash in the refrigerator.  Surely I can make this bread with those too? It would be nice to freeze these for lunches.

I've been waiting on the doctor forever, looking at food pictures and now am starving so here are some pictures of flowers and chickens.😂

I hope this is done soon. Maybe I'll sneak into the fabric store before going home.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Where did the week go

Found in the maternity parking spot in front of T.J. Maxx today. 

Where did the week go to. Let's see what we've been up to.

Home away from home. Sort of.

The oldest and I slept out in the camper two nights. It's been so nice to be sleeping in the fresh air and special time for the two of us. I've been reading after he falls asleep.

I tried to read this book. Twice. The format is really inviting, with the recipe at the start of each chapter and the first chapter is just beautiful.  But I couldn't stand any of the characters.  Even flipped through it to see if things got better. They didn't.  So I released it into the wild known as the Little Free Library.  The new book, The Devil All The Time came in the mail. The prologue is SO good that I'm saving the book for the weekend as this is going to be a up-all-night-until-it's-finished good one.

Besides reading in the camper I've also taken some quilt blocks out there to hand sew by lantern light. After taking a couple of months off from the Seven Sisters quilt blocks the reason why I didn't like them was immediately visible and able to be fixed. 

It's also a good time to write out Postcrossing cards. This was sent to a gentleman in Germany who likes nautical stuff.  It came from a box of cards from my dad, I thought it was just a random ship. Reading and researching it I learned that it was an old naval ship that was turned into a cruise ship of sorts in the 60's and was used to ferry vacationers all over Lake Erie. It had movies theaters and a ballroom and the whole bit. Interesting. 

It's usually peaceful in the camper but the last two trips have been comical. The first night, the neighbors were hosting a high school reunion at the B&B, the DJ was so loud that even with all of the windows shut we could hear the selection of late 80s early 90s music. Then they switched to Country around midnight and it reminded me of when I lived over a bar in college. The second night I was outside around 3 a.m. and everything was silent... except for the coyote up the road. We've seen them on the game camera before but this was the first time I'd ever heard one. It was doing the typical coyote "yip yip" noise but then there was also a different call that it would repeat.  It was not too long after this that Elyse decided it would be a good idea to sleep in the camper with us.

Speaking of predators yesterday was a sad day. I lost two chickens in the middle of the afternoon to who knows what. There were just small piles of feathers left. The first chicken was a Wyandotte who was annoying anyway and that didn't really bother me but the second was my sweet, sweet little bantam mom who we've had for 4 years and who would have happily raised any kind of baby she got near. I think if we had given her a kitten she would have figured out how to nurse it, that's how maternal she was.

Here she is last summer.  This year she hatched 2 babies, both of which were unharmed but were wandering around the yard calling for her. It was so sad. I gathered them up and they've been installed in the rabbit hutch along with a pile of her feathers that I found. Poor things.

So there's that. Luckily whatever it was hasn't been back yet.

We are getting blueberries and loads of blackberries still. Tomatoes are coming on and dalhias are starting to bloom. The grass is browning and we are in sore need of a long soaking rain.

The oldest and I visited with a good friend and her baby earlier in the week. Pool time, a picnic and baby snuggling.

We took another long trail walk. The kids ate sandwiches while sitting on a log felled by a beaver. 

A couple of afternoons where it's been super hot we've gotten out playdoh and dried noodles.

This is a dragon.

I took the oldest to pick out his own school supplies and boy did he ever. It's funny to see how his tastes are totally polar opposite of what I would pick for him.

Here's the youngest enjoying his  favorite meal in the whole wide world, egg salad on toast. He loves it so much his eyes kinda glaze over while he's eating it. It's adorable.  He's also deeply in love with his rain boots and insists on wearing them 24/7. "Hey, where boots go? Gimme my boots." Is a pretty common thing to hear first thing in the morning. We've also been spending a lot of time with the wooden train set you can see a corner of here.

I'm sure there's more but it's getting late. For the most part it was a good week.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Pictures of a day

Here are pictures from our day today, in random order. 

I mailed a card to a Postcrosser in Germany. He has sent/received something like 24,000 cards each way. This card has absolutely nothing to do with us but he mentioned liking monument cards in his profile, so...  there it goes.

The oldest has been getting very brave with a small apple tree. At some point this isn't going to end well. So far we've been lucky.
I was trying to get a photo of my amazing bantam mama who has hatched babies yet again, you can see Kwazii felt left out.
I brought some nasturtiums inside and made a little still life to remind myself of friends we haven't seen in a while.
Gladiolus got set next to a skunk, I like how the window prism cast a rainbow here.
The youngest got busy in the kitchen helping with homemade pizza.  The grownups had garden basil, tomatoes and sweet peppers on our half.
I've sold off the last of my quail. These babies and 3 juveniles all went to the same family that bought the previous group. They seem like really nice people, doing creative things like making cheese from their sheep's milk. The quail are the project of the little boy, he looked about 11. We are now quail-less.

While boxing up the quail I went into the garage for wood chips and found not 1 but 2 garder snakes. I grabbed one and brought it inside to show the kids, the youngest yelling ""No touch! No touch!" but very curious to look. It's been released in the woodpile. The snake, not my son.

We took a family walk today. The youngest accidentally hit the oldest in the face with a rock, hard. Otherwise it was a lot of fun.  On the way home my husband and I were talking about the upcoming elections and how I just don't understand the continued support some citizens have for certain elected officials considering what a mess the country is in. There was a pause in the conversation at which point the youngest decided to voice his opinion on the subject which was, and I quote, "aww.... fuck".  Everyone laughed, especially the oldest. 
Totally unrelated, and who cares about this, I made my favorite lunch today which was eggs over rice and beans with a tomato. Aldi has this amazing mango salsa right now that I hope they keep stocking. 
I don't remember the name of these tomatoes but they are beautiful and have a very good flavor.
We played in the camper this morning. 
Love this little scene.
I didn't notice it at the time but a bee snuck into this picture. These sunflowers are really tall and came in a mix if I remember correctly. 
I do not remember buying these gladiolus at all. They are the ones in the skunk picture. The color is so pretty.
The reason the quail are gone is because we have too many birds. I don't mind it but it's a real slapped-together setup and it's unreasonable to expect anyone else to care for them all when I have the baby. Between the quail, chickens and geese there were 7 different stops to make each morning and night. Selling the quail got rid of 2 of them. So imagine my horror upon finding this hen on a nest in the shed. She's the same hen that randomly started crowing and when she disappeared recently I thought she had either wandered off somewhere or was eaten by something. Apparently not.  I have no idea what to do with her or where to put her to keep her safe. 

And that was our day today. Please forgive the typos and all other mistakes. Blogger has apparently put out a new version and the new setup is a bit confusing. 

Time to clean up the house and off to bed.