Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Volunteering

You know I figured summer would be no biggie. I mean we homeschool, so I imagined it would be more of the same type of thing, minus school. However, I am finding that this was not an accurate assessment of summer. Our days start early and they have a slow flow. On especially hot days it feels like the hours are covered in sap, slowly flowing over us as we become completely immobile by 3:30. You know that mid to late afternoon laze? That time when there is no energy to do anything, that is the worst. The other day I tried to read to the girls at this time and I kept drifting off mid-sentence and they didn't notice as they were too zonked.

I tell the girls,"it isn't my job to entertain you." I mean that sincerely. While I am capable of entertaining kids with my wit (I am hilarious to the under 17 crowd) it is just not sustainable. Plus, the girls need to be able to do their own thing. Honestly the best parts of childhood often involve some weird things invented in those in between hours without a parent overseeing.

Still, we do need some structure, or rather the girls need structure. So we meet up with friends, visit playgrounds, parks, museums, run errands, go to free library shows and events, and generally keep things from becoming stagnant. Still that 2-4:30 time slot is tough to combat.

Yesterday afternoon we found ourselves with no plans during the dullest hours of the day. No!  We decided to hit up the animal shelter and give some love to cats awaiting adoption. 

 
    
It was a really good way to spend an hour or so. We have decided to make this a weekly event. A little time loving animals who are hungry for affection.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Deer



Last night I took a walk through my neighborhood. It was early evening. The sunlight was soft and golden. The temperature was exactly perfect with just a whisper of a breeze to take the edges off of the warmth from the sun. 

I was engrossed in my own thoughts as I walked along. I was looking at the ground watching for snakes. You only have to accidentally step on a snake once before you learn to keep an eye out for them. 

I heard a noise, the unmistakable sound of animal in grass. I jerked to attention. Animals in this area range from cats and dogs (sometimes friendly and sometimes not) to raccoons and deer and even mountain lions and bears (I have heard, but have not seen them in this particular spot). My eyes locked in on a beautiful doe. We just stared at each other. She was alert, but not overly frightened. I was close. I froze and observed. She walked toward me. Slow and tentative steps. She was not trying to get to me, just passing by. 

I said,"Hello." 

She looked at me with her liquid black eyes. I didn't have my camera at the ready as she walked right past me, feet away. It wouldn't have seemed right to take photos in that moment.  She looked at me as she passed just to the left of me in the tall grasses. She didn't rush. She was alert, but pretty calm. It took a total of about three slow minutes. Then she continued on with her life, looking back at me a couple of times. Like me she was simply enjoying a perfect summer evening. We were souls crossing paths and sharing a moment. She is a beautiful creature who exists for her own purposes. 
 
 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Quote: Green was the silence

 
Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.
-Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Without Words



   

Friday, June 23, 2017

Phone Photo Friday: 6.23.17

Hello and happy Friday! Our first week of summer was a lot of fun for the kids.

 
So Eric bought this hat at a thrift store. I can't tell you why he bought this hat. I also can't explain why Elise loves to wear it.

 
Playing games on a very hot day, in our air conditioned home. Just kidding, we don't have AC.

Made friends on a walk with a sweet, and very drooly, Siamese cat.

 
Playing at the splash pad.

 
Elise at the splash pad.

 
Thanks to my husband for this ultra-flattering photo. You can even see hidden food in my teeth as I was eating and he kept asking me to look at him...

What is summer without chalk? It isn't summer at all.
  
Sprinkler action.

 
Daily drawing.

 
Momo creeping on some birds.

 
Sunset walk with Betty Sprinkles last night.

 
Morning drawing.

Happy weekend friends.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Project: Rock Spiral Herb Garden

We have this one square patch of yard that won't grow grass. There are tree roots that seem to suck all of the moisture from the earth. So it is just kind of a dead zone. I didn't like it in our beautiful and thriving yard and gardens. So I did something about it.

Some of our friends were giving away stones in their yard and I went over and filled up some buckets, boxes, and a saucer sled with their unwanted rocks.

I came to the dead zone in the yard and placed a small pool face down. Then I laid the rocks around the pool to get a circular shape. 

 I poured a tower of soil I the center. Cordelia said it looked like a volcano. 

Next I broke the circle in one spot and curved one end in, drawing a wide spiral with a stick in the soil.

 I used my hands to form the soil into a slow rise and then I used all of the rocks to support the shape.

 
Once I had the spiral shape in good order I fussed about with it, the girls helped.

 
I made sure the walls were pretty stable and secure.


Then I added  a bunch of herbs as this is located right outside the kitchen and I wanted a kitchen garden.

 
I gave it a drink and the plants are all set to go. 

Now I just want to develop the area around the spiral to be just as lovely. Goodbye dead zone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First day of summer

Yesterday was the first day of summer and we did it right!

We awoke early with the sun and had a relaxing morning with art, play, yoga, and coffee.

 
We tried to beat the heat with a park visit before 9am. It was still HOT yesterday, but we managed to pack in a good hour of fun. For my friends in AZ, we were Wyoming hot which is like 90F. 

We played until the girls were red faced and sweaty and then we walked home on the shaded side of the street, stopping to run through a sprinkler along the way. 

 
Strolling sisters.

 
We enjoyed lunch.

 
Then we hit up the splash pad.

 
Slathered in sunscreen we all were burn free, but I was hot. They had a blast and just played themselves to exhaustion.

Dinner was a back patio affair.

 
Cordelia helped make dinner and we all reveled a meal in our summer dining room.

 
In case you are interested this was the 4th outfit Elise had worn yesterday.

 
After dinner the girls and I went to a friends' house where they loaded us up with rocks for a yard project and several new plants for the garden. 

The girls stayed up a little late while we played and planted in the backyard. It was a great start to summer!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Garden 2017

 
The garden in June! Everything is going and everything is growing.
  
So far my harvest has been a steady stream of herbs and lettuces and kale. 

 
Flowers are blooming like crazy.

 

The sugar snap peas will soon be ready. I know some little girls who will decimate that crop, it will never make its way inside and that is fantastic!

Tomatoes will come soon and there will be no stopping them for months. 

 

Our lettuce this year has really been abundant. 


This is also my second year with what appears to be successful peppers!
  

I am loving the girls' discoveries as they see how plants grow, not just how they appear in supermarkets.

 
And the herbs....put them on everything. Something is so satisfying about running out into the garden for ingredients!


Of course I have non-food plants that will have different uses. I love making lavender sachets to put in drawers. Midwinter I revel in the smell of lavender as I open a drawer.
 

The girls have a few annuals of their own. They "rescued" them from the discount rack and we have revived them to continue on through the season.


 I am not much of an annual kind of gal, but they do add some nice splashes of color.


I am also so thrilled when I see old friends returning, plants that I put into place years ago as tiny babies, now big and full and mature. 

 
This season is so rich and beautiful. Sure, I have some pretty serious morning allergies, but I wouldn't trade this season for anything.

Monday, June 19, 2017

This Project Rocks

I have been meaning to paint rocks with the girls for ages. Every time I brought it up they did not seem into it, but I had a plan. It is just difficult to sell rock painting to kids. They seriously asked,"Why would we even paint rocks?" Ugh! Too logical. So finally I just collected some rocks while we were on a walk. I laid outsome acrylic  paints and brushes and water and we went to town. 

Quickly they got suuuuper into the project and spent probably an hour and a half on it (for non-parents let me assure you that 1.5 hours of happy and engaged activity is amazing).  I patted myself on the back.

 
   
They made several runs into yard to collect more rocks. They made fruits and flowers and bugs and faces and patterns. I must admit that I got into the project as well...

 
Now we plan to leave them around town at parks and along trails for people to discover. 
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