Sunday, 2 July 2017

Along the Road

 There is much said these days about eating clean and eating local. With such a large family we mostly eat bulk. Bulk has no clearly defined origin.  It comes in large containers often printed with the words - "New and Improved", which alone is suspect. I picture men in white lab coats sitting around a large table putting spoonfuls of cereal in their mouths, spitting into their napkins saying, "This is disgusting! I can't believe people have been buying it. More sugar.... we must improve this!"
  In the summer however, while my sweet children are sleeping, I sneak away and eat the good stuff. Our neighborhood streets are not lined with sidewalks and street lamps, but with wild thickets of various plants and bushes.
  The first two weeks of June yield beautiful blackberries. The plants are prolific but do have short thorns. I carry a pitcher
on my walk, collect them while they're still warm from the early morning sun and throw them into my yogurt when I get home. Amazing!
  Shortly after the blackberries are finished off, sometimes the deer beat me to them, the wine berries are ripe. Wine berries are the perfect combination of sweet and tart, but the plant makes you work for these treats. They grow in dense patches
and their thorns are long and wicked sharp. The picking invitation specifies formal wear - long sleeves, long pants and gloves, but oh so worth it!
  By the time the kids wake up for their breakfast in a box, I have washed the berry stains off my hands and they are none the wiser.
  I'm always thankful for God's original. local, clean food, which never needs improvement and is new every day.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

A Late Fool is Still a Fool

 Every year we have our Fools in the Pool day on April 1st, but this year there was a delay. Our twenty five year old liner was starting to leak, and we knew it was time to replace it.

After draining all the water out, it was creepy seeing it naked.

And even worse was what we saw under the old liner.                                                                                                                                                                                         But now the new liner is on and WE ARE READY! 

So if you dare. If you feel you are FOOL enough, come out tomorrow, April 9th, 4:00pm for Fools in the Pool
Bring  your own towel. 
The management is not responsible for frozen children.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

So It's Come to This

  I do all the wash for the boys in the house. All of it. So, I know things about my boys. Things that you wouldn't know just by seeing them on the street. The person that does the wash knows lots of things.
  I know when they sneak Little Debbies from the garage and hide the wrappers in their pockets. I know how much they spend at Walmart on food listed right there on the receipt. I know who walks looking down and finds special rocks or soda tabs. I have found lighters and love notes, speeding tickets and bad test grades.
 All of this is interesting and informative, but lately I came to realize something very very disturbing while doing the wash. THERE WAS HARDLY EVER ANY UNDERWEAR IN THE HAMPER. 
  Being a mean clever mom, I made a new rule. No screens until I see their dirty underwear from the day before. I'm hoping that this will bring a renewal of good hygiene to our home. We'll see. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

All Bark - No Bite

  This is Whit, our mean, nasty little Min-Pin.  There's almost nobody he wouldn't bite if given a reason. Or if there's no reason at all.  He likes to be mean and has been for the last 8 years.
  He's actually a family favorite pet. He really loves us and I think he only has bitten Samuel in our family, but Samuel has this thing about climbing into Whit's bed.....yeah...
  If you come over, he'll bark and growl and act like he's going to kill you. 
  But everything has changed for Whit. We took him to the vet because he really and truly had the worst breath EVER. Turns out all his teeth but three were rotten. So they pulled twenty one teeth, which was a surprise for me because I didn't know that dogs had that many to begin with.
  So now, he can growl and lunge and be hateful, but if he's going to bite you, you're going to have to be very patient, because it's going to take awhile for him to get those three teeth into your leg.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Cousin Tony

 When Cousin Tony arrives from New Hampshire for a visit (and lately there have been many more) everything gets just a little more exciting. Every regular day seems special and just sitting around talking is an event. He's loved by everyone and the visits always seem too short. The only good thing about when he leaves, is the over- the -top enormous breakfast he makes the day before. He issues an invitation to everyone he knows and then the eggs start cracking. Breakfast is made to order and I chose Eggs Benedict. 
There was french toast and bacon and homemade hash browns. It was all rather amazing and everyone left with a full belly.

And of course Cousin Tony visits Avaline, which makes my heart so so happy!~

Monday, 20 February 2017

She Seems so Light

 So this very cute small baby showed up here at our house. Well, I mean she actually came the conventional way - my daughter had a daughter and they live with us.
 Although Avaline is small in size, she's caused a large shift in life around here...there's lots more pink in this predominately boy house. 

My daughter has college classes, so Avaline hangs out with us during the day. Being only a few months old, I don't have to chase her around much. Couple of bottles, a burp and she's good to go.

I decided this morning to take her on my usual 3 mile walk with friends. Why did I think that was a good idea? We have this "wrap the baby up and wear her" thing, so I thought that might be a good way to go. The wrap was about 18 feet long and I was lost after the watching around 5 seconds of the how- to video. 
 That was when I decided to just carry her in my arms. I know that you've already figured out from reading this, what took me about a mile into our walk to understand. That was a STUPID idea.  My friend Nancy had to push me from behind just to get up the hills.

 One us us really enjoyed the walk. One of us feels like death. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

They Didn't Rest in Peace

  We have an apple orchard in our back- yard and about four years ago, we had an enormous harvest. The kids spent a week peeling and chopping apples. I made apple butter, apple sauce, apple crisp, etc. until I was so sick of apples that I threw all the rest in bags and tossed them into the bottom of our largest freezer. When you land in the bottom of the big freezer you have crossed into no man's land. You could literally live out your entire frozen apple life and die and no one would be the wiser. And I was good with that.
  Fast forward to last week. I'm looking for something deep in the freezer and I stumble across 10 bags of something. Could it be? The apples. I'm annoyed already and I haven't laid eyes on them in three years. Seriously. And worse, they didn't look dead yet. 
 So today, on this glorious almost summer day in February, while everyone was out in their shorts and weird white legs...I was canning apple sauce. And after sitting all that time, virtually ignored, they only got sweeter. Come by and try some - it's so good.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Every Boy(and their mom) Needs Some Culture

Our homeschool group has decided this year to take advantage of the amazingly convenient place we live and go to Washington D.C. once a month. The trips have been perfect. We take the train from the Brunswick, Maryland station to Union Station smack downtown D.C. and then we get walking. and walking. and walking. My fitbit has been smoking!

Yesterday our first stop was the National Gallery of Art. The boys have been studying the Renaissance artists, so we had a list of "must sees" that we wrote down.

We hit the Raphaels, Titians, and most exciting of all, the one da Vinci painting on display in all of the Americas.."Genevra de Benci".

After lunch we visited the Modern and Contemporary Art building. The boys were not as impressed, but had a great time choosing their favorite in each gallery. Why does everyone say, "I could paint that" when they see modern art?

Our last stop of the day was the Botanic Gardens. After a long day and even longer walk, there is nothing as relaxing as strolling (or mostly sitting) in the gardens. And how did so many of us not know that chocolate grows on trees.

Can't wait for next month's trip!