Saturday, August 28, 2010

Evening walk to the garden

We took a walk down the bikepath to the community garden to visit the late-summer stages of Plot 55, our little piece of the pie...along the way we noticed some mushed pawpaws on the sidewalk, and some soon-to-be-ripe ones hanging overhead. I wish I liked how they tasted better - I love everything else about this plant!  

The girls had their own harvesting tasks tonight, in an attempt to keep the peace which had been fragile or absent all day.  Ani was our tomato girl tonight, keeping up a rambling narrative about how happy she was in the garden, how juicy the tomatoes were, and did anyone want to try one right now, or how about now?
Eliza was trimming the lemon balm, which I will dry tonight and store to add to our daily tea.
The real fun was in finding critters.  I have to say that I picked one (1) tomato while we were there and checked the squash, while they harvested, and Dan pulled out our ravaged kale plants.  I was too busy taking photos...

Took us a while to figure out what these were, but then the "aha" hit...mating grasshoppers! And big ones at that! (Dad, it looks like the big one's giving the little one a piggy back ride! Mmmmhmm...)
I know I shouldn't like these, because look what they were doing to my kale, but they were beautiful, and I've been enjoying that kale since May!  We found them in all life stages, which is always so interesting.
My continuing documentation of our enormous (and often-hacked-at) comfrey plant.  I can't resist including the following photo as well; Ani is checking her size against the height of the plant, but I think it looks like it just said something to her and she's turning about in surprise!  Maybe it burped...
And the walk home. Ani wanted me to photograph the patches of plantain on her newest mosquito bites...

*here is the bonus quote of the day, courtesy of Eliza.  While sitting at the dinner table, devouring summer squash soup, good market bread, raw green beans and humous, she exclaimed, "It is just fascinating that we put all this food in our bodies and we never see it again!!!"  Her sister was quick to remind her of course that we do kind of see it again...ah, the dinner table.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Technically, this photo is from yesterday morning. Iced tea and pancakes outside in the yard, while watching the world (ie: the school children) go by. With all the hooplah about not-back-to-school, this would be an example of how we are spending our week, not going back to school...!

This morning started off with some puppet shows.  We had Snow White...
...and Punch and Judy (in this production, Punch is played by a turkey), complete with audience participation (yes it is! oh no it isn't! yes it is! oh no it isn't!).
We packed a lunch and headed off to what we thought was a harvest festival, only to find we are about 5 weeks too early....ahem.  So we quickly turned around and tried to head off the friends we were meeting by driving to their farm.  We missed them but enjoyed a picnic with their cats and fowl.
this is how a chicken moves
interspecies preening?
This evening we attended Final Fridays, an artwalk in the town north of us.  The summer arts program Dan worked with this year held a screening of short films created by students in the program, and an opening of their incredible art work.

Saying Goodbye

First time. Five years.
(I can't say any more than this! Is it just mamas who are sentimental about hair?? I am proud of her that she waited until she had enough for Locks of Love - she's been begging me for this all summer long...)
(and it's not as novel for Eliza, who's had her hair cut twice before this...but she's pretty darn cute, isn't she???)
:: :: :: ::
Giddy with the beauty of new matching haircuts, infused with sistahlove, they suggested I call Papa and take our dinner to The Ridges...he was willing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leaving and Returning

We were so blessed to have time with cousins this trip. My sister's daughter, my cousin's sons, and Dan's brother's was the most precious time, magical in the alchemy of the particular kids involved and maybe the ages they are just now...
Saturday we had a potluck at my grandfather's house, and after filling ourselves with ridiculous amounts of potato salad and brats (we were in Wisconsin, remember?), we traipsed the kids down the hill to the park I've been visiting since I was their age.

Our last night there was spent at the park we hosted a "variety show" at the night before our wedding (ten years ago).  The view of the rolling fields in the evening time is beautiful...and the company was wonderful. More cousins, grandparents, and my dad and Gramma Liz came, both to say goodbye and to celebrate Dan's birthday!

Dan and my Dad
 Angry cousins!
Scared cousins!
Grumpy cousins...
Silly cousins!!!!
It is always hard to say goodbye...these are kids I want my kids growing up with, having more than memories of week-long visits once a year.  Must work on that...

But it is always good to get home. Our long road trips seem to be getting easier and easier, which is kind of amazing. This one is pretty consistently 11 hours long, and we get through it on good snacks, empty sketch pads and good audio books.  This trip we listened to Sterling North's Rascal, about a boy living in Wisconsin in 1917 or so, and his pet raccoon, for whom the book is named. It is a story full of humor, and wonderful descriptions of what it was to be a child running free in the Wisconsin countryside at that time, fishing for trout and building canoes.  I was sad to have it end.

Settling in has meant trips to the garden to battle weeds and rescue tomatoes and hot wax peppers and say a little prayer for the squash (oh please make it! please!); visiting the farmer's market for what we can't grow - the peaches aren't done yet! YAY!!!!; tromping in some favorite places...which I'll share in tomorrow's post.

To finish, here is what Eliza spent quite a bit of time doing our first day back:
I will have to take some better pictures at a later date, but she was very much set on making a map of our neighborhood.  This led to looking at how other maps are arranged, what kinds of keys are used to make making the map easier, and how to pick and choose what you show on the map.  She is working out perspective in many of her drawings (thanks Uncle Spoons for pointing that out!), and it was fascinating to watch her work it out here in her buildings.  She wanted me nearby for "help" but really, I just anchored the project with a little narrative of what appeared at the end of her pencil...she located us right here at home.