Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer yummies




Look at this box of fruit! Doesn't it look great? There's some big ol' honkin' peaches, some nectarines, some plums and some pluots. Those peaches remind me of the good ol' days of fruit packing in my youth. Those August peaches are the money makers. They're big, doesn't take many to fill a box and you could just rake in the dough. It was great. Anyhow, this great fruit isn't going to last long. Soon, it'll be back to apples and bananas.


Oh, and did you notice those grapes? They're from our grapevines. I'll have to post about our grapevines. They have a very distinguished heritage. They are very tasty!





And take a gander at these tomatoes! Don't they look great? I have 3 tomato plants. Two of them are huge. They are beautiful and healthy and they have no tomatoes on them. My one tomato plant that's pretty sorry looking is the only one that's producing anything. But, in about a month I'm going to tear everything out and roto-till in all the compost we've been working so hard at making and put in my winter garden. I love that time of year. The switching gardens time. It's so full of hope. This time of year, the tired out garden time, isn't my favorite. The plants are all over grown, they aren't producing much and what they are producing is kind of small and tired out, too!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Starting school


We have started school around here. I wanted to take another week off for summer before starting up, but the boys really love school and I figured, what the heck. If we start early then we can take a few more days off in the middle. But, it's been going well. We're adding science and social studies this year. But not all in one day. Why knock ourselves out? This week we're studying the sun. We read a book about the sun, journaled about the sun and did two experiments. Today's experiment is on evaporation. With kindergarten, it's pretty easy. Put some water in a plate, draw a circle around it and leave it in the sun a couple hours. Voila! Evaporation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Farmer girl

Having a two year old daughter is... well, something. MissyLou is absolutely the joy and delight of my heart. Yes, I love my sons to distraction and would do anything for them, but there's something about a little girl.... Anyhow, yesterday I took down the toy farm for her. The boys never really played with it, they just made a mess with it and it got in the way. So, we put it up in the closet. But, when I remembered how much fun MissyLou had with a friend's doll house, I thought, "Farm... dollhouse... same thing" and got it down. She has played with it non-stop. And yesterday morning, I observed the most precious little scenario. The boys were outside playing, so she got to play uninterrupted. First, she lined all the animals up in a row outside the barn. Then, one by one, she put one in front of the door and said, "Horsie pooping!" Then, she pretended to be picking something up off the ground and fed it to the horsie (or cow, or sheep) and said, "Here's chocolate chips!" (she gets chocolate chips are her reward for going potty), and then she galloped the animal into the barn and said, "Horsie going to church!" And she did this with each one of her animals. It was sooooo cute. She truly acts out in her play the things that are going on in her life. Incidentally, she is not pooping in the potty yet. Potty training has been a long, dragged out process with her. Probably because she's number three and Mommy just doesn't have the time or energy to be as super-consistent with her as she was with child number one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No nibbling...


I weighed in on Monday night. I was down .2 lb. That's been me the past several months. Going down, but not quickly. I have 2.6 lbs. to go to hit goal, too. It's frustrating. Part of it, I know, is that I hit 40 and my metabolism took a nose dive. Most of it, though, is that I cheat. You know, if I don't write it down, I didn't eat it. My biggest problem is nibbling. I stand in front of the pantry and grab a few chocolate chips here, a tortilla chip there. When I'm putting food away after dinner I nibble on leftovers. A cookie crumb here and there. It all adds up! So, I'm trying to break myself of that habit. Hence, the notes on the pantry and fridge. It's been helping so far. I've been diligent today. Wrote everything down I've eaten. As a friend of mine said, "If you bite it, you write it!" Hopefully, next Monday when I weigh in, it'll be a little better!


Autumn in August?


I love autumn. It's probably my favorite time of year. Besides spring. And early summer. And those cold winter nights when the rain is pounding on the roof and I snuggle just a little deeper under my fake down comforter. But, I do love autumn. I love the chilly nights and warm days when you look at the sun and say, "See, you're not as tough as you were a month ago!" And, I love to burn an apple/cinnamon smelly candle. It just sets the mood. But, a couple years ago, my allergies started getting really really bad in the autumn and early winter. Don't know what I'm allergic to. Mold I think. But, I can't burn candles at that time of year anymore. The scent just gives me a coughing fit. Actually, any scents send me over the edge. So, I decided I'm going to burn my smelly apple/cinnamon candle now, in August. And pretend it's autumn. My allergies are at bay and I can enjoy my candles, even though the air conditioner humming in the background reminds me it's not really fall yet. Oh well....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What is it about cookies?


I cannot make a decent cookie to save my life. Well, I can make a decent peanut butter cookie to save my life. I did last week. And ate most of them. And hated myself because of it. And gained .4 lb. when I weighed in Monday night. And then I really hated myself. I have issues with eating. I self-medicate with chocolate. And cookies. And whatever sugar is in my reach. I have been known to stand in the garage with the freezer door open eating Sees chocolate from 3 Easters ago. But, I digress. Besides peanut butter cookies, I cannot make a decent cookie to save my life. I thought, maybe it's just Betty Crocker. She and I have a really good relationship. Generally. But her cookie recipes and me just don't hit it off. So, I thought, I'll make the oatmeal cookies on the back of the oatmeal box. Nyet. They tasted ok, but they look like.... well, you fill in the blanks. I'm not sure what to do about the cookie thing. I'm a mom. I aspire to be June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Mrs. Partridge. I need to be able to make a good cookie. I can make a yeast bread that will knock your socks off. My cinnamon twists are legendary. Just ask my mother's group. But my cookies.... my cookies. I need help!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Book Review- "Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott

I just finished reading an awesome book and I thought I'd write a little book report about it. I try to get some reading in now and then, because I really love it, but it's hard to get a good book and then find time to read it. But, this is a good book, and a fairly easy read.

"Eight Cousins" by Lousia May Alcott

Summary: Rose Campbell was an orphan. A sickly orphan with a delicate constitution. At least, that's what she'd been told. And then she was sent to live on Aunt Hill, to be cared for by her father's bachelor brother, Uncle Alec. And then she met her seven boy cousins. And the remedy for her delicate constitution was found.

Opinion: This is a charming read, as are most of LMA's books, I have found. Her story centers around the joys and comforts of family life, the innocent fun of children and the virtues of doing good. The story does center around Rose, the main character, but I have found the boys aren't distinct enough for me to really keep them straight. LMA tends to make her protagonists feminine and doesn't do much character development of the men in her stories. The story is very moralistic, with much emphasis placed on virtue, and yet we do not see where the impetus for the virtue stems. It seems, especially from reading this book, although I am tainted by "Little Women" as well, that LMA thinks that virtue is innate and a decidedly feminine quality. The boys in this story tend to be virtuous only because they want to please Rose, although Uncle Alec doesn't seem to need a lot of reformation. Although I liked Rose, I did find her a little sickeningly sweet. She was too good, and her little vanities she was even able to give up for the good of her cousins. All in all, I did enjoy the book immensely, even though I was sick of Rose by the end.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Serendipity

I just love it when unexpected and good things happen. Well, duh... doesn't everyone? Anyhow, yesterday morning around 11:00 I was just sewing away on this little quilt thing I'm making and the phone rang. It was my friend J. She starts talking about how her husband offered to watch the kids so she and I could go out to lunch. I start stuttering, "uh, uh...", "Oh, and your kids, too!" she adds. "Uh, uh, today? Tomorrow?" "Today, right now if you can! K says it's a limited time offer" "Sure, I'd love an early lunch. Just let me get the kids cleaned up and I'll be right over." So, I quickly got the kids changed out of their every day play rags (literally, rags!) and we jammed on over. My kids love going over and playing with her kids. She's got 5 munchkins, ranging in age from high school sophomore to 3 year old. Missy Lou loves playing with E the three year old and lone daughter of the bunch, and Bubba and Duduh love playing with M who always has some creative and somewhat dangerous ideas of fun. So, J and I jumped in the car and took off before her husband could change his mind. We had a great time. Shot my diet all to heck with Chinese buffet, but, oh well. (And then I shot it even more to heck by going to a baseball game last night and having hotdogs, nachoes and icecream, but I'm in denial about that. If I don't write it down, it didn't happen, right?) By the time we got back, we were full - of both good food and good conversation. We walked in the door and were greeted by a still smiling K and 10 kids (2 of the neighbor kids stopped by, too) who were all happily engaged in some sort of play. It was a good day!