Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back Yard, August 17, 10:16am

I had just gotten done hanging up three loads of laundry, with one more agitating in the machine. I wanted to document these luxuriant, volunteer squash vines; one appears to be a butternut, and the other a small ornamental. I planted some cucumbers elsewhere in the yard, on purpose, but they did the dramatic overnight flop-wilt-die after giving us two cucumbers, whereas these crazy squash vines are not giving up.

Inbetween them are the zinnias I planted from seed. I am so proud.

 My peppers are growing well, but slowly this year.  They are not helped by the toddler who picks them too young on the sly.  And the green beans are doing fine, but the herbs are not.

There is always some kind of weird structure in the yard.  Behind Phoebe is, obviously, a guinea pig hutch for the guinea pig that the parents have already said no to.  

Phoebe means business with that hammer; she is not pounding her fingers, either.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Good Food Fight

"The processed food industry has transformed our food into a quasi-drug. . . What happened is that cheap, calorie-dense foods that are highly rewarding to your brain are now ubiquitous.  Once you've had a glass of orange juice, you are not likely to be as satisfied with a healthier and less caloric orange that you have to peel. . . Although it's far easier said than done, just limiting exposure to high-calorie foods and recreational drugs would naturally reset our brains to find pleasure in healthier foods and life without drugs."

from  "What Cookies and Meth Have in Common" by Richard Friedman in the June 30 New York Times

Here we have roasted feta on homemade whole wheat sourdough toast, sprinkled with thyme from the front porch pots with a side of delectable cantaloupe and black coffee.   I am definitely finding pleasure in this breakfast.

But I am finding it hard to limit my my family's exposure to high-calorie foods in the general mayhem and party that is summer. One example: kids' meals at a barbeque joint served with 16-oz. sodas, even for Phoebe.  Of course, I didn't let them drink the whole things, but it takes vigilance and education to help them understand that glittering bottle. Sometimes, I am just tired of trying, but then I read an inspiring quote like the one above and push away the processed food. Fight the good food fight, everybody!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Striping Curtains

All my extra time is going to sewing stripes on canvas right now as I make outdoor curtains for our balcony.  This has turned out to be a terrible idea because of the method and time, not the cost.  The end is almost in sight.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

East of Eden

I took the kids down to Eden, NC to be spoiled by my aunts and uncle.  That and the craziness that is August accounts for the blog silence here.

My parents drove us down in their van that has a blessed TV/DVD with headphones, and altogether the kids were outnumbered by adults so that made for a good vacation.

 I asked Aunt Maggie to model the apron I made her (so charming with her gingham shirt).  Here she is standing next to a giant rosemary bush that is the envy of my Northern, newbie-gardening heart. Her gardens are full of whimsy and fun, just like her.

 Uncle John David grows fantastic melons, among other things. He let Ben drive the tractor. The kids also had access to any number of tablets and phones from the indulgent adults, and that plus the uncounted s'mores make a great vacation for them.

I got to go schnausing with my aunts and mom in the afternoons, while Dad reigned over the kids back at the farm (I have the best dad!).  Schnausing is a family word (I think) that means driving around looking for cute little shops, pretty towns, pretty scenery, snacky eats, and hijinks; in my extended family, this is done by the women on vacation.  It's the only time I shop for entertainment, without a list, and in the company of my mom and her giddy sisters, it is so fun. [Edit:  Aunt Maggie says the made-up word is spelled "snausing."]

 We also take walks, and sometimes burst into hymns.


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