Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh for heaven's sake, please kill something!

It is the second day of archery season. My husband is camo-clad, scouring a mountain for cow elk, bow in hand. (Or he very well might be asleep under a tree somewhere in the middle of the forest. But I prefer to imagine the former.)

There is something unequivocally and undeniably sexy about the idea of my man killing an enormous animal. It's rugged. It's manly.

It's also, I'm starting to realize, unfair. He has managed to find a hobby that requires him to spend countless hours enjoying peace and quiet in the outdoors, away from whining and screaming and spilled milk, under the pretense of providing for our family and carrying on an important male tradition that is in danger of being lost.

From September to the middle of November he has the perfect excuse to leave me at home, spending my time arguing futilely with a two year old, scrubbing crayon from walls, vacuuming sand from carpet and force-feeding addition problems to my first grader while trying to fold laundry, make beds and attempting to find a way to make zucchini actually taste good.

Something about this set-up doesn't seem fair. Perhaps I ought to take up hunting.

In the meantime let's all say a prayer to whatever Higher Power may exist that he kills his enormous animal(s) quickly and doesn't have to be gone all hunting-season long.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tear-free Salsa

Salsa is the first thing I tried to can, three years ago. I enlisted my husband to help and put Chloe in front of the TV for what ended up being an all-day process. It was a HUGE mess, it was a TON of work, and all I got from it was two stinkin' quart-size jars of salsa. I don't remember why, but I remember crying. Out of frustration, not from chopping onions.

I tackled salsa again today and I'm happy to report that I did not cry (except when I chopped the onions, but Cora hugged me and it was alright.) I now have nine pints of absolutely delicious salsa plus about a cup leftover to snack on with chips tomorrow.

That should be plenty of salsa until next year, along with the peach salsa I canned last month. Now if enough tomatoes would ripen at once so I could make a decent-sized batch of pizza sauce, I'd be good to go.


I started digging today. My intention is to double the size of the garden, use it as landscaping, and really make a work of art out of our back yard. Step one is digging and removing the Bermuda grass from a 200-square foot strip.

I keep going back and forth on whether this is the best thing to do - it's going to divide our lovely, big backyard in half. But it will be pretty and will produce more food. My husband likes the idea, so I'm going for it. I promised I would try to do it without his help.

I have to jump up and down on the shovel three or four times to even get it in the ground, but I made a bit of progress tonight. I look forward to posting end-result pictures next summer (after it's been planted.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

I got Memed.

Thanks so much to Wendy at Greenish Thumb for tagging me in her meme!

Now I have to write seven things about myself. Do these have to be new ideas, things you don't already know? (Is there anything you readers don't already know about me?) Let's see...

1) I can still do the splits and I can still do cartwheels and round-offs. I proved it today in the back yard for my daughters, who were rather impressed.

2) I spend, on average, five and a half hours each day in the kitchen.

3) I wear an apron every day. I think everyone should wear an apron because they are just that fabulous.

4) I secretly think it's funny when my kids dress up the cat in sweaters, dresses, and hats, and try to feed him with a toy baby bottle. No, I lied. I'm quite open about how hilarious I find that. I also think it's perfectly fair that the cat torments the children while they sleep - the only opportunity he has to get the upper hand in fighting back.

5) I got "Mommy Time" today - my mother took the girls for an hour and a half. And it was really hard for me not to spend that time cleaning the house. I managed, I didn't clean a darn thing, but when I have "quiet time" without my kids my first inclination is to clean like there's no tomorrow.

6) I quit coffee yesterday and switched to green tea. Today was day two of success. I have a splitting headache, I'm exhausted and grouchy, but so far I'm still alive. If I can make it through tomorrow they say it gets easier. (Anyone who has ever seen my multitude of "quitting smoking" blogs knows how hard it is for me to quit addictive things. Two days is pretty darn exciting.)

7) I have the most fabulous, amazing, kind, understanding, patient, handsome, generous, reliable, trustworthy husband in the entire world. You're welcome to argue that point, but you're wrong.

And now for my tags :o)

1) Jan from Red Sock Mama - hilarity, fantastic photography and really great knitting - what more could you want from a blog?

2) Katey from Crazy Homeschool Mama - full of creativity, inspiration, and lots of cool homeschooling.

3) Kristin at Going Country - because she lives the same life I live except she does it on a real farm which is way cooler.

4) Dani at Adventure of Supermom - I've been watching her grow and develop her amazing mommy skills for six years (!) now.

5) Deb at Choirlady's Musings - I'm tagging her even though she hasn't blogged in forever because I MISS HER BLOGS! C'mon Deb, get to it already!

6) Kim at In my life, I love you more - because you can watch her kids grow day by day from all her great photos!

7) Carol at Frugal Finds - she's been at this forever, and no one has ever been more thorough. Always great if you're looking for great deals and freebies!

Here are the guidelines:

1. Link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Reveal the 7 things about yourself
3. Tag 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and link to them
4. Let each blogger know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Let the tagger know when your post is up.

THAT child.

My toddler has turned into THAT child. You know the one - the one you cringe at and want to protect your children from.


Okay. She's not that bad. She had "an incident".

My dear and new friend Katie came over yesterday with her two kids. Cora spent the afternoon playing mommy to her precious little six-month old baby girl. All was good and well - there is nothing that makes my little mommy happier than having a real baby to take care of and play with. And then, with no warning whatsoever, my adorable little toddler leaned over and ever so sweetly BIT the baby's finger. She bit her! That poor baby!

It wasn't malicious. I don't think she's a biter now... I hope. Oh, how I hope. I swear, she just wanted to see what happened if you bit someone's finger. (Why she couldn't test this out on her sister, who probably actually deserves it, I'll never know.) She felt terrible - I made sure of that. She knew what she did was wrong as soon as she did it and saw the reactions of both mommies and the baby.

I've been the Mommy on the receiving end of that though - someone once bit Chloe, totally undeserved. I didn't hold it against her too severely, but it did bother me a whole lot.

And then, to help me feel just a little bit better...

We're at Farmer's Market sitting in line at the face painting lady amongst many other small little girls and their families. Chloe starts jabbering to someone's grandma, telling her this, telling her that. Then she points to Cora and says, "That's my sister. She's two. She bit someone's baby today."

Two minutes later she's talking to someone else, someone who has a sweet little baby girl in a stroller. "That's my sister. She's two. She bites people's babies." The woman smiles that creeped-out, kind of scared sort of smile and backs the baby slowly away from my toddler's mouthful of teeth.

I really don't want to be the parent of THAT child. I hope I'm not already there and just still in denial. :o\

Monday, August 24, 2009

Party pics...

I'm too lazy to upload them all to Blogger too... but they can be seen on Facebook here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reasons I hate birthday parties.

1. I become convinced, within 30 minutes of the start of the party, that everyone thinks I suck.

2. I always make too much food, which means we eat party leftovers for a week. This year we had a luau - fruit and pork are on the menu, breakfast, lunch and dinner,for the next six days.

3. I hate it when people feel obligated to buy my child presents. I appreciate them, tremendously, but I still hate the way it feels.

4. I always worry about whether we will have enough people. And then when enough people confirm attendance, I worry about having too many.

5. I'm not allowed to get drunk if I'm the one hosting the party.

6. The day of the party I turn into "Hostess-zilla" and begin ordering my poor husband around as if he were a scullery maid, throwing mini- temper tantrums if he has The Nerve to sit down for a break or doesn't do something just as I might have, and then dealing with the guilt from my behavior afterward.

7. Decorating birthday cakes is akin to leg-hair removal by tweezers. It's tedious and painful.

8. Stress! Stress about everything! Stress about the people, stress about the food, stress about cleaning the house, stress about flippin' everything.


That said, the party was pretty much a success. I'll post pictures tomorrow. :o)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I must be slow...

We're having a luau for Cora's birthday/my birthday tomorrow afternoon.

I was just sitting in the kitchen, drinking my morning coffee and working on the list of food to go and buy, writing things like "watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, grapes...." Fruit. Fruit is Hawaiian, after all.

And as I was staring out the open window next to me, a little yellow jacket came and buzzed right against the screen, making me jump, and reminding me of an important fact that (amazingly) slipped my mind:

It is YELLOW JACKET SEASON here in Colorado. We are getting ready to have a party at which we serve MEAT and FRUIT all afternoon.

We are going to be eaten alive by yellow jackets, I just know it. I'm going to look like a dork running around screaming and ducking in my grass skirt and lei.

I bet they don't have yellow jackets in Hawaii.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I made the girls a "picnic snack" today. I've done it a few times now - it's tremendous fun.

I pack little bits of snacks that they don't always get and I hide them all wrapped up in napkins or in little containers so they get to open each one up separately and it's sort of a surprise. I put inside the basket dried papaya spears, crackers and peanut butter, dried apples, a handful of mini-marshmallows and as a special treat, a Hershey's bar I found in the cupboard. Add some cups and a bottle of water (that they get to pour themselves,) and some fancy clothes and hats, and it makes for a good time!

If I were a great mother - which I will never claim to be - I'd have sat out there with them while they enjoyed the treats, or maybe have even shared them.

But I'm not a great mother, so I took a handful of really great photos and then I escaped inside to enjoy 20 minutes of quiet while I watched them out the front window.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Ugh! I'm so restless lately.

I've had a couple of hours every night for the past week or so all to myself, and I've not done a damn thing that's worthwhile. What's wrong with me?

I'm burned out on every hobby. I just don't feel like knitting. I'm not in the mood to scrapbook and every page I do try to finish turns out really blah and unimpressive. My garden is... well, it's pretty much self sufficient now. All I have to do is water it every night and pick the vegetables that are ready. There aren't many weeds to pull, there's not any planting to be done anymore... I've been reading, but just sitting and reading is so dull- I need something to keep my hands busy. And I just finished a book so I'm bookless until library day tomorrow. I'm overwhelmed with the number of unfinished projects in piles around me that I just don't feel like finishing.

I'm bored!

<~~~a statement that rarely comes out of my mouth. I need a project. A big project. A fun project. Something creative, inspiring, something new. Something that will make me feel accomplished when I finish it. And something that's not terribly expensive. Any suggestions? (Because really, I need a new hobby, don'tcha think?) === I canned tomatoes yesterday (without any more exploded jars, thankfully.) We made tomato sauce the old fashioned way: slave labor.
The basic recipe (for anyone dying to can their own tomatoes...) You get about a pint of sauce per pound of tomatoes. This is a rough estimate. It's not worth the work unless you have at least five pounds (in my opinion. You're welcome to form your own opinion.)

Peel the tomatoes - drop them in boiling water for 10 seconds, plunge them into ice water for a minute or so, then slit the skins and peel them off. It's not hard, but takes some time.

Squish out the guts - slice your tomato in half, use a paring knife to cut out the core. Then squeeze the tomato until all the gooey stuff and seeds come out (some seeds left in are okay.) Do this over a bowl, and expect a lot of random streams of tomato guts to go flying in every direction. Cover your hair and wear an apron (I'm not exaggerating.) If you're doing this with a six year old (as I was) expect giggles. Put the gutless tomatoes into a bowl (in front of your six year old, if you have one handy.)

Squash the tomatoes - using your hands, squeeze the heck out of the tomatoes over and over again. You could use a potato masher, or even a blender for really fine sauce, but that's not nearly as much fun. If you have a six year old, this is where you employ them. Tell her it's brains, to be eaten with worm noodles come wintertime. ;o) Squish and squash until you have a fine soupy concoction in your bowl.

Cook the sauce - put the squished brains... err, tomatoes... into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

There's your sauce. It's basically the same consistency as "Crushed Tomatoes" when purchased at the store.

To can:

Heat jars (Sterilizing is unnecessary based on the boiling time.)

Put 1 Tbsp lemon juice in the bottom of each pint jar (This is important!). Adjust for jar-size accordingly.

Fill jars.

Process in boiling water canner 40 minutes for pints. (Not adjusted for altitude.) Be sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water throughout processing time. Otherwise, you'll have to add on more time for any minutes that your jars weren't covered.

Tomatoes are a funny thing. They are scary to can and can cause botulism more easily than any other vegetable. If you open a jar later and anything at all seems wrong with it, throw it away. Better safe than sorry.

There you have it - canned tomatoes, from scratch. It's a lot of work, really, considering the price of tomato products at Wal Mart. But Great Value Crushed Tomatoes don't give you nearly the satisfaction as your own do. :o)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventures in homemaking...

Back when we went on our trip to Montana, my neighbor watered the garden for me. Except that they went camping too and didn't water for three days. My cukes all died except one pitiful plant. I think she felt guilty because she keeps coming over with bags full of cukes from her own garden for me. I don't hold it against her that my cukes died, but I do appreciate her kindness and generosity!

The other day she dropped off four enormous cucumbers - almost 6 pounds' worth. We can't eat six pounds of cukes even if we ate them for every meal, so I decided to make a batch of bread and butter pickles to be canned. I'll take a couple of jars to my neighbor to let her know we appreciate her!

Anyway, as I was pulling them out of the canner I noticed the water looked a little yellowish and cloudy - not normal. I pulled up the quart-sized jar I'd done and the pickles all fell out of the bottom. That's when I realized the bottom had cracked clean around and the bottom fell off of the jar.

I've never experienced anything like that before! Glad it wasn't an explosion or anything, though that's not common in boiling-water canning. It's either because the jar was old (probably acquired at a yard sale or something, and jars have a life of about 10 years) but could also be from a whole host of other reasons... I'm not terribly concerned, I doubt it'll happen again soon.

Now I've got to clean out the canning pot before I do the 12 pounds of tomatoes I've picked over the last week from our own garden. The canning pot is a mess:

I did manage to at least get four pints of pickles canned - won't last long, but they'll be yummy!


I made a preemie hat for my dear friend Deb's new granddaughter, Mackenzie Danielle, born last week. She was born 10 weeks early: nearly the same as Chloe and seeing her pictures brings back so many memories! If you're a pray-er, or if you're interested in sending some thoughts of health and wellness, please do - Mackenzie's mama Meghan is still in the hospital with some lasting effects of pre-eclampsia. She could use some positive energy.

Here's the hat:

It's actually the second one but I forgot to take photos of the first. Chloe's preemie doll is the model. :o)


Here's a pic of Chloe saving lettuce seeds for next year's garden:

And a photo of two busy little bees pollinating our pumpkin blossoms:


One last bit of good news: Chloe's tooth finally came out this morning! And then she was walking around the house with it (who knows why) and dropped it. We managed to find it in the carpet though. YAY! for Chloe!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My birthday princess. :o)

August 15, 2007

August 15, 2008August 15, 2009, two years old.

Should've done this yesterday but we were busy, so here it is a day late.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Slippery, slimy, ew.

We're supposed to be starting first grade on September 7. I flipped through "Everything Your First Grader Needs to Know" this afternoon to get an idea of what other things we need to be covering. (I'm trying to be a cool, organized homeschool mom. I have no doubt I'll fail... again.) I discovered that, according to that book at least, we're finished with first grade except for math.

Math is a struggle. Chloe can't concentrate on math for more than five minutes. I just lose her, and then I get frustrated, and she gets discouraged, and it's a mess. I realized this a week or so ago, so I decided that if that's what it takes, we'll do five minutes of math each day and leave it at that. And in five minutes a day, over a week, she has successfully learned to count change, something we've been working on off and on for weeks. It was an exciting moment for both of us when I realized she got it. Love when things like that happen - when we figure out what works, even if it's not "standard".

So my tentative plan for now is to put some focus on writing short paragraphs and spelling words correctly, continue life science as it happens in the garden, review some basic math concepts like measurements, time telling, tens and ones places, etc. and continue our study of basic American History in the form of interesting stories. Learning just happens around here though - all of that could change in an instant if an opportunity presents itself.

Case in point:

Mating snails. Because really, everyone wants to know what snails look like when they're doin' it, don't they? Now ya know. :o)

Chloe found this thrilling. She was outside at 7:30 in the morning in the pouring rain, barefoot in a nightgown to pluck them from their cozy bed of grass and promptly lock them into a small plastic terrarium, where they will live out their inevitably shortened lives.

Did you know that snails lay eggs? They are asexual, but require mating to reproduce. Eggs will be laid, probably by both of them, in about a month. Baby snails look just like grown up snails, only they are tiny and have paper-thin, transparent shells. They often ride on their parents if given the opportunity.

We added social studies to the project by going to the library, where Chloe spoke with the librarian by herself and asked for help in finding books about snails, then checking the books out at the counter without help from me. It's hard for her to do that- she's shy, especially around grown ups in their work setting, so it was good for her.

We'll add reading the calendar to it by writing the date they mated and counting down days as we wait for eggs. I sure hope eggs come.

We're learning about different types of snails and their habitats and how to keep these ones comfortable and alive in their small plastic abode.

Reading comes from the books the librarian helped her find, which are right at her reading level and are fascinating to her.

I might print this photo and have her write about them a bit, start a "project journal" to keep in her school folder.

A little bit of creativity, and we have easily a month's worth of schoolwork, all because I almost stepped on a couple of snails in the pumpkin patch. :o)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More on -Going-

Wendy made a comment I wanted to mention and elaborate on:

"Interesting thought on the going and going - I find I need to be like 80% of full capacity busy or I get bored and pick fights with my husband. However, this quickly goes over 100% and then I get stressed. I think it's important to understand the amount of "busyness" that is right for us! I've only recently discovered my 80% rule."

I pretty much agree with that statement. I think that my version of "going" is different from others'. I stay home most of the time, I'm comfortable here, but I still don't have much "down time" like others do. Between my kids, keeping house, and my abundance of hobbies, I'm usually at about 90% busy. I go crazy if there's not something needing to be done, but I get overwhelmed if there's too much... but isn't it that way for all of us? I don't need to be out of the house to feel busy though, while others prefer that lifestyle. That's all I'm sayin'. There's no sitting around and relaxing going on here! LOL!


Speaking of relaxing, I picked up some Kava Kava root at Vitamin Cottage yesterday. It's supposed to "support relaxation". I've read that it kind of makes you feel like you're high. Mostly I want something to help me deal with anxiety that's not a chemical drug. I took some yesterday afternoon (it's a tincture, you take drops of it in water.) I definitely felt relaxed, not really stoned though. I was perfectly functional, just not stressed out. I plan to keep it around for those days when I'm just a little more anxious/stressed than I ought to be, to keep me from snapping at my kids or husband.


Miss Chloe has developed an ability to have a stomach ache on command. If she's served something she doesn't care to eat at dinnertime, if she's asked to clean up her toys, or if it's time to do math, suddenly her stomach hurts and she needs to lay down. Amazingly though, as soon as it's time to go swimming or to the park she feels just fine. Hmm.

So today, if she doesn't feel well enough to do her math after breakfast, I'll assume she's too sick to go to the library and then swimming with friends. Wouldn't want to make her go out and do all that physical activity if she's not feeling well, ya know? We'll see how she's feeling in an hour or so. :o)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tooth Troubles

My kid's a wuss, plain and simple. :::sigh:::

Chloe has a tremendous aversion to losing her teeth.

On average (according to our dentist) it takes about two weeks for a tooth to go from "Whee! I have a loose tooth!" to a dollar under the pillow. Most children discover the wiggle and won't stop until that sucker is OUT.

Not so with my sissified six year old who insists that she is in excruciating pain as soon as you look at her tooth the wrong way. It's been loose for 10 months. No, seriously 10 months! That's almost a YEAR. That's way too long. It's hanging there - it doesn't even stand up anymore. She smiles and it just falls over until she uses her tongue to pull it back into place, and that's kinda gross. It's all discolored, the permanent tooth is completely grown in behind it, and that darn tooth just needs to come out!

We've tried bribery. My mother offered her ten dollars in addition to the tooth fairy's going rate of five dollars. That could've been a new toy! I've told her she can watch TV again (she's grounded indefinitely for attitude issues) if she pulls the tooth. Apparently TV doesn't mean much to her - not as much as keeping that tooth does, anyway.

I took her to the dentist today. It was horrendous. She was writhing and bawling in the dentist chair as he tried to pry her mouth open long enough to use a topical to numb the area and then pull it. We gave up and brought her home, tooth still intact. He said it's fine - it'll come out eventually, it's not abscessed, and the permanent tooth will move it's way in when it gets the opportunity.

She's not eating properly anymore, refusing all foods that might make her tooth come out. She won't let me brush her teeth, instead jerking her head away from me as soon as I put the brush against any tooth. The dentist encouraged me to keep trying and assured me it's not likely she'll get a cavity from a couple of weeks of poor tooth brushing... except that we're a lot more than a couple of weeks into it.

Argh! I'm half tempted to sneak up on her when she's sleeping at night and pull the sucker out - it wouldn't take much, she probably wouldn't even feel it. But then really, why do I care? If it makes her feel that much more secure to have a teeny little baby tooth hanging by a thread of a root in her mouth, who am I to stop her?

Not Me Monday!

*It wasn't me that encouraged my six year old to invite herself to stay for a sleepover and Grammy's house. That would indicate my desire to be without her, and that would make me a Bad Mother.

*I didn't break down in tears when, once again, my husband was called in to work on one of his very few days off. I wouldn't want to make him feel guilty for all those hours he works, afterall.

*It wasn't me that did a silly little happy dance right in front of my children when I found we actually have a zucchini growing in our squash patch. That would be immature.

*It wasn't me that told Cora there was a big bee outside just so I wouldn't have to deal with the door opening and closing and opening and closing all afternoon.

I can't think of anything else to deny right now, I must be pretty innocent this week. :o)

Going and going and going

I have a friend that thrives on GOING. She has four children. Three are in after school sports, sometimes more than one sport. Her days are spent driving them back and forth to school, practices, and games. She is always on the go!

I'm not like her. I'm a homebody. My goal is to do all of my errand running on the same day so I can spend as many consecutive days at home, without leaving the house, as possible. I get more done, my children play better, and I don't go crazy trying to chase a toddler around in public. Home is just more comfortable. I don't like being gone all the time - too many hours away from home starts to make me a little bit edgy and anxious. I wonder if I'm depriving my children because I'd rather just stay home?

It's overwhelming sometimes the places we can go and the things we can do. There's always somewhere to be, ya know? One more way to make life complicated, I suppose.


I harvested four pounds of tomatoes last night from the garden. That added to the three pounds from a couple of days ago makes another batch of tomato sauce to can. A friend of my parents allowed us to pick plums at her house. My mom canned something like 12 pints of plum jam. I've got enough plums to make another four pints - probably ought to stop typing on the computer and go cut up plums. I want to make a list of all that gets put up for winter this year, see how much we use and how much more we'd want.

I'm experimenting more and more with cooking meals grown entirely (or mostly) by us. Stuffed peppers the other night with peppers from the garden, tomato sauce made from our tomatoes and venison my husband shot. The only things we didnt' grow were the rice and the cheese. We've been doing lots of stirfries and pizza (found an awesome recipe for homemade pizza sauce!) And of course, tons of salad. I'm not quite sure what else to make and fear we're going to get bored, but I'll figure something out. I think I'll make venison steaks tonight with glazed carrots from the garden, maybe a salad too. Cooking is tremendously fun and when you're doing it with veggies you grew yourself it just adds to the pleasure.


Had a chat with my dad yesterday. We don't chat often. He intimidates me. But it was a nice chat. He was all nostalgic about a house his grandpa built in Utah, and the way there were pomegranate and plum trees nearby and his grandma would can jams and jellies from them. He talked about his grandmpa sitting and reading them children's stories when he was a boy. It's neat to hear my dad mention stuff like that- he always seems so stoic and hardened, but every so often I get a glimpse of what he really feels.

He said when we were moving to Colorado from California (I was 12) he read an ad for a peach orchard for sale in Palisade, CO. He thought very seriously about buying it and having an orchard as a side business, but decided my mom might not like all the work very much. That was a nice story to hear as I sit and dream about someday owning my own veggie farm - my dad doesn't think I'm crazy for wanting to do that!

My dad's a pretty nice guy. He's got feelings and is actually quite sentimental, which tends to surprise me. Too many years of being his teenage daughter made me think he might actually be inhuman. It's nice to realize he's not. :o)

Friday, August 7, 2009

alfalfa sprouts and other bits

Chloe has a tendency to want things and get pouty when she doesn't get them. What really irks me is that we can be doing something great, or she could have just gotten something new... but she wants more. Last night at Farmer's Market she got her face painted, got to eat ice cream, got to do a craft project, eat plums and snack on bread samples... but she pouted because I didn't let her do something else (I don't even remember what it was.)

I've been trying to train her to replace pouting and wanting with a Grateful Statement. I may be getting through to her. After she whined about not getting to do X activity, I gave her "the look" and instead she said "Thank you for taking me to Farmer's Market and letting me get my face painted." I'm glad she remembered without me telling her. The lack of gratefulness in today's children (my own included, spoiled as they are!) makes me crazy.


Andrew's back to working his old hours... that is it say, we haven't seen him much. His schedule is all over the place, but mostly it's about 2 am until 6 or 7 pm. He comes home, eats dinner, and goes to bed. And he hasn't had a day off in two weeks. BUT he's off this weekend. I'm so glad. We need it. I miss him! I won't complain about his hours - we're lucky he has a job, and we're lucky he's not cut back to 40 hours a week like some guys in his company. I'm ready for him to have a day off though, for sure!


Have you ever tried growing alfalfa sprouts? It's super easy, and fun. We bought the seeds at Vitamin Cottage (a health food store) for about $3. I'm not sure the quantity, but they'll last for a long time. It only takes a teaspoon of seeds to make a batch. Directions can be found here. It's an interesting little project and Chloe thought it was pretty cool. I still can't convince Cora that's not hairs in her salad though. :o)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We harvested a pound of carrots tonight. Is it really worth it - the work it takes to plant the seeds, tend them carefully as they germinate, thin them, water them every night for three months, and then dig them tenderly from the soil? Carrots only cost .50 a pound on average.

Of COURSE it's worth it! Between the squeals of delight at the giant orange roots (my own squeals, mind you, not the children) the "treasure hunt" feel of picking out only the best, and watching my children fight over who got to eat the first one (still covered in dirt, and not rinsed before the first bite) it was absolutely worth the work.

Carrots aren't easy. They are awful to sprout, especially in our heat. They take an enormous amount of patience (which I don't possess) and they don't get nearly as big as the store-bought ones. (the ones in the photo are half-longs, they are supposed to be squat-looking.)

Next year, with some experience under my belt, I should be able to get a decent harvest. As it stands, we'll have this pound and maybe two more. But it was fun. Digging root crops is a very satisfying pastime.


Today was my mom's birthday. We found her this frame/chalk board that was perfect. Such a neat little "sit on the shelf and collect dust" kind of thing that she loves to decorate with.

And as I was wrapping it, searching for some twine to tie it up, Cora picked it up, dropped it, and broke it into three pieces. i was so sad. She put her face down on the floor and kept saying "Shorry. Shorry. Break. Shorry." She felt terrible. So instead, all Grammy got was a visit from her daughter and granddaughters (and a picture frame Chloe made from popsicle sticks, acrylic paint, wood glue and silk flowers.) Poor Grammy. And poor Cora. It made for a rough morning.

We made up for it by playing with Barbies ALL afternoon - at first with Mommy, and then they just played by themselves. For three hours. THREE HOURS of entertaining themselves, no arguing, no fighting, no needing snacks or fresh diapers or juice or attention. It was FABULOUS.

What started out pretty awful ended pretty great. Love days like that. :o)


I've been told a few times lately that my blogging is missed. Makes me feel loved. ;o) I'll try- finding time to do anything with a toddler is pretty tough though!

Misc. Chloe-ism: "I have something kinky in my pants." :o)