Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Effort, a Metzendorf in the wild, food pantries?


So here we are, still waiting. I'm so happy to have found this big flannel of my grandpa's in the closet today.  It smells vaguely of mothballs and I love it.

37 weeks today? My doctor and I made the decision to schedule an induction this time around on account of her schedule (I adore her and did NOT want to have to worry about having the other OB, which I can't stand) and the fact that with the other two littles I ended up needing pitocin anyway. So, we are going to have another baby in just two weeks! We have bought diapers, thought of a group Halloween costumes and are almost decided on a name. (For Halloween the older two are going as Chris and Martin from the PBS nature show Wild Kratz.  The baby will dressed as a tiny fox.)  For pictures anyway. With Covid I'm not even positive we will be trick or treating. 

It's been a big effort to do much of anything. Any free time usually finds me shirking responsibility by napping or eating and I can't blame this totally on pregnancy.  The seasons are changing here, it's colder, getting dark earlier and we have started to have some Fall rains. Frankly it is damn depressing.  

I'm slowly reading my new book, working on the star quilt and still enjoying postcrossing. 

The neighbor and I took the kids to a corn maze this weekend. It was bunches of fun. We shot tiny pumpkins at a car, did the maze, played on hay bales and drank lemonade.  It was a really fun day. 

The oldest and I slept out on Saturday.  It was not too cold but he burrowed to the bottom of his sleeping bag and I had to rescue him. Bee slept with us. I'd really like to try again this weekend provided it's not too cold out. We both love it.

The little one and I went yard sales last Friday.  I got this awesome blanket for the camper ($2) and a big hotwheels track set. Our neighbor was out the same day and bought at a sale for me a brand new Vera Bradley yoga mat with the carrying case as a little gift.  I got it out and was suprised to find that it's the nicest mat I've owned. Yoga is helping my pregnancy stiffness although it doesn't get done as often as it should. Some sun salutations and downward dogs work wonders for aches and pains. I'm very lucky to have this lady living nearby. She's very easy to talk with and her son is just wonderful.  He and ours are very good friends. Although he is a couple of years older they do go to the same school.

Catholic school for the oldest is going about as expected.  My mother would be pleased, he is now saying grace at dinner and trying to correct my sailor's vocabulary.  Both of which were previously unheard of here. The feast of St. Michael was earlier this week and all of the kindergarteners had little cupcakes with blackberries on top.  He was a little confused about the how's and why's of the whole thing until I explained that basically it was a day to celebrate something that happened a very long time ago, when a very good hero defeated the biggest villain of all by tossing him into a blackberry bush. That's about the best I could come up with.  The oldest is very scientifically minded and we are not very good at explaining the abstract. For example, he knows about the differences between boys and girls but I had a little talk with him the other day about how the baby comes out (he thought it involved my belly button or the baby bursting out of my side, how Buddha was born ) and told him if he hears anything at school that didn't quite sound right to ask his dad or I and we would explain it further.  He was quiet for a second and then asked "Did Jesus really die on a piece of wood?".  I think I avoided a hard answer on that one.  Reproduction and anatomy are one thing but I'll let a professional explain crucifixion to a kindergartener. Ugh.

Looking through my photos I completely forgot that I had my first ever sighting of a Metzendorf in the wild last week. These things are so stinking rare and it's a shame. This one was right in town and I did follow it for awhile to get a picture. 

For comparison here is our camper.

And... in contrast to the political dumpster fire taking place in this Country, a littlereassurance that most people are decent and kind:

Has anyone else noticed these? There is one here in Greenville. 

And another in Jamestown.  I'm used to seeing (and love) the Little Free Libraries that have popped up all over but these are tiny food pantries.  What a fantastic idea. I need to go to Aldi this week and will pick up some things to donate like baby supplies, toiletries and feminine products. Things that WIC and food assistance don't provide.

And that's the effort for tonight.  Time for bed, the dishes and mess can wait.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Growing things, making things

In the middle of a pandemic I managed to grow the least productive garden ever. It was a bust. We did eat a lot of fresh fruit and I canned some tomatoes but that was about it. The most productive thing by far was the gourds. Which I did not even plant and don't know where they came from. They somehow sprouted in the chicken yard and took over like a big green monster. I picked them this week and collected well over 100, not including the ones that grew into the fence or the ones that grew together and resemble gourd testicles. Those ones are pretty funny.

Here are the plants back in July.  The gourds are decorating our porch and the some went to my in-laws, some to my dad's lady friend and the rest I sent over to my sister's house where her kiddos are going to set up a little stand and sell them from the front yard. 

Here are tiny sweet potatoes.  Back in the spring we had one sprout on the counter and we planted it for fun. Something special should happen with these, maybe they will be cooked for a pie?

We sent some dalhias to school with the oldest for his teacher.

These perennial sunflowers have gone from a 2.5 inch "sample" pot given to me by my mom 6 years ago to having taken over large parts of the yard. Oh well.

They are pretty.

Probably the last thing to do in the garden besides digging the dalhias is freezing the rest of the peppers. I wish I could remember what kind I bought because these little bells are sweet and productive. 

This little leafhopper is beautiful. 

Here are my star blocks. I did take them to the fabric store last week looking for a backing but did not buy anything. I need a wider width fabric and the only solids they had were red and tan. Let me add that OB appointment was a disaster. I had that doctor again that for whatever reason she and I just butt heads, she showed up to the office 45 minutes late (as in the staff didn't know where she was) and she spent my 5 minute appointment asking me how big I "thought this baby was going to be" and trying to get me to schedule an induction so I didn't have "another big baby". After me politely pressing her as to wtf she was talking about it became clear that she had me confused with another patient and insisted my oldest son was 10.7 lbs at birth which I am *pretty sure* I would remember. What the hell. I've had three visits with her and they've all been a waste of time. This woman is a mess and I am frankly worried to give birth on her shift at this point. 

Back to the quilt, for the background I am leaning to using a sheet that a friend gave us for the camper. It's an unusual purple/blue color that might just look perfect with these. Sorry for the night picture.

Another night shot, this time of some hexagon blocks.  These are fun to baste.

There was a day this week where we were really low on groceries so I baked bread.

And made doughnuts.  With milk and coffee we happily called them lunch.

We've been fluffing the nest a bit. My dad gave us this funky little rocker he picked up at a sale. Apparently it is handmade and spent the last 60+ years in a hunting cabin. It's super low to the ground and comfortable.  Toys have gone from this corner and we need a little lamp. I've also thinned the books off the shelves that haven't been read yet. 

The Tracy Chevalier book is probably getting donated as I still just can't get into it. The William Gay book came this week and looks exciting. 

Because the Tracy Chevalier book is about fossils, here is a picture of one we found in the driveway this afternoon:

Isn't that fascinating, look at that perfect star.  I think it's a cross section of a crinoid stem, part of a prehistoric water lilly type plant. 

My FFF fall subscription box came this week. I'm just in love with these copper canisters, one is already holding coffee and the other tea. The sleep spray smells wonderful and I've had these shower cubes before and they're the best. I cannot figure out how to wear "scarfigan " in a flattering way but it really doesn't matter as I picked it out intending it as a nursing cover.

I'm sad that blogging has become sporatic for me. I do enjoy writing and seeing what everyone else is up to. At 35 weeks most of my "free" time is being taken up by eating and napping.  I did go have coffee with friends on two occasions this week, very fun! And my mother in law is treating me to a pedicure this week as I can't reach my feet. Hope to get a couple of things done tomorrow like bedding the chicken coops and fixing the door to the goose pen.  The oldest and I have not slept out for 2 weekends, it is too cold. We had a frost warning last night and have turned on the furnace for the first time today.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Saturday sleep out, weekly roundup

This has become Saturday night routine for the oldest and I. We love it and I look forward to it all week. It's so peaceful out here surrounded by cool air, crickets and cats. We talk, read a couple of books and most nights he tucks in early. Leaving me to:

Journal and paper piecing by lantern light.  There are only 2 more blocks to go, out of a whopping 7. This has taken forever as a couple of them have been picked apart and resewn multiple times. I have an OB appointment next week, conveniently located by the fabric store, so will go and check out background fabrics then. I don't know why I'm leaning towards grey linen for the background? Is quilting linen difficult? Probably it will not be sold in a wide enough measure anyway so this decision might be out of my hands. 

What else? Well, what the heck, let's continue on with cats.

This is Bee's new favorite spot to sleep; perched like a scoop of ice cream on top of a pail of potting soil. Please notice the soft, totally available, pillow not 5 feet away. She also likes to nap in the middle of the gravel driveway.  

I finished By Nightfall this week. Michael Cunningham has such a beautiful way of exploring ordinary lives. Poor Peter. Poor Rebecca. I've noticed a theme in Cunningham's books; while going through the motions of the rut and routine of our lives a person will catch a glimpse of some greater possibility, something more strange and wonderful than what they have (which might be a line from The Hours) These possibilities are never realized and you're left wondering if the memory of possibility is enough to carry the person forward. 

I'm going to try reading Remarkable Creatures for my next book. This was started and abandoned last summer and it seems fair to try to give it one more try. It's about a young woman who discovers a fossil that conflicts with the science and religion of mid? late? 1800's England if I remember correctly.

This card came from Holland. It's adorable. And Marlene suprised me with a pack of London coloring cards in the mail! That was such a wonderful suprise!

The youngest doodling. 

And making a playdoh and dried spaghetti hedgehog. 
I've decided to say "screw it" and have taken him to a couple of shops this week, nothing big just a shoe store and the hardware store for mums. 
It's the first time he's been in stores since probably March and he could not be happier about it. 

The tomato hornworm caterpillars from awhile back hatched. I thought they were supposed to turn into sphinx moths? What the heck is this?

Here it was last week. Huge!

Dalhias are blooming.

These sunflowers are the best.

And hey, look, we grew some peanuts.  This plant looked dead from neglect so I pulled it to plant a mum and look! Three pods! This is pathetic but will be filed under "success!"

I've never had a fresh peanut before. They taste like the boiled peanuts you can buy at roadside stands in the south or canned up north here if you can find them. A real treat.

My dear husband had a birthday and the oldest and I made a cheesecake.  It was good, the best part was the crust with lemon zest. It was from the new Martha Stewart magazine and we somehow ended up with twice as much batter as pan. I friend thinks we used the wrong size springform and she's probably right. Some unbaked batter was frozen to be added to future cakes and brownies and some, sorry, was eaten directly from the mixing bowl with a spoon while on the phone with her.  It was a good birthday day. Did you know a cheesecake calls for 2.5 lbs of cream cheese? Yikes. I don't know if I'll make it again.*

..... and for anyone not familiar with the town we live in, I took this picture over the weekend. That my friends is a lawn tractor poorly parked in the handicapped space outside of the Dollar General.  For anyone not familiar with western Pennsylvania you might see this and think "disabled and without a proper vehicle " but around here it, like driving your farm tractor to the liquor store or kid's pink bicycle while carying a 12 pack, it most likely means "got one too many DUI's and am probably drunk or high as we speak". It's a fine line of luck and choices we balance on, isn't it.

Time to journal a bit, handsew and get some sleep.


I don't know what these will be about but they are fun to baste to the papers.

* it's 4 a.m. and I've just woken from one of those terrible nightmares where you can't move or breathe for awhile afterwards.  It was a very vivid dream about cheesecake. A man crossing a baker and being baked into a large cheesecake. It's going to take awhile to get back to sleep.