Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beauty Everywhere

What a week! The Tooth Fairy paid her first visit to our house, a birthday was celebrated, we hung wallpaper and the garden grew and grew.

I am so happy with the wallpaper! I love it! Neither of us had hung wallpaper before and I couldn't find a friend who had. With the help of a few how-to videos we got it up just fine, although now I understand why everyone pays to have someone else do it. As we were finishing it up Vincent vowed to never hang wallpaper again. Fortunately that was the only wall I wanted to paper, so it works out. I've saved the rest of the paper and might hang a bit more by myself someday though. I really like how it distinguishes the dining area from the rest of the room overall. I love looking at it up close and I love it from afar.

A friend texted me on Saturday (while we were wallpapering) about a good deal on berries and did I want to get in on it? My yes resulted in 25 lbs of partially frozen boysenberries and a flat of silvan berries (both varieties of blackberry) being delivered at 10 pm that night. I let the boysenberries thaw overnight and spent the next day making pints and pints of jam, two types of liqueur (one with berries soaking in vodka, the other with the berries soaking in red wine),  a crisp, and 6 bags of frozen berries pre-measured for future crisps. Gianna asked me today if there are any berries I don't like and I can't think of one, but I'm pretty sure that blackberries are my favorite.

Monday, June 20, 2016


IT IS BERRY SEASON IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST! (And I'm pretty excited about it)

We had a busy last few days with berry picking, dessert and jam making, and celebrating what a great dad my husband is. Marionberry crisp/cobbler/pie is one of my all time favorites, especially when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; a pure summer delight, and now the kids agree with me.

On Saturday my husband built a 45' long retaining wall in our backyard during intermittent rain storms (he is the most determined person I've ever met) so we wanted to give him extra appreciation on Sunday's Father's Day. Our tradition has been to run out for donuts while he sleeps in, so he wakes up to a donut tower. Right now we are still working to figure out what Dean's food issues are so we aren't able to run out and pick up donuts this year. Luckily I found a surprisingly good recipe that fit our needs and made everyone happy (I omitted the chia seeds). A sunny lunch out with the spiciest jalapeƱo burger I've ever had led to more backyard work and a trial run with his new Father's Day insulated growler. Also, keeping glasses in the freezer for beer is the best idea. I don't know why we didn't start doing that years ago! My relationship with my dad was difficult and I love that my husband has given me a reason to celebrate on Father's Day. I am so glad my kids have an awesome dad.

Last week was no school and both kids at home, this week has one at camp 9-5 and the other at preschool 9-1 all week. I have a list of things I hope to accomplish this week; gardening, sorting, knitting, enjoying the quiet... This morning after dropping them off I headed back out to the berry farm and picked 10 more pounds of marionberries. It's amazing how quickly I can pick when it's just me listening to an audiobook, not taking kids on multiple trips to the bathroom and chasing them down when they've wandered too many rows away! I may have to return to the farm for another solo picking trip before this week has ended.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Still In It

This week I learned that no matter how hard you try, siblings are most likely going to pass germs to each other. After Gianna came down with strep throat yesterday, I learned that strep can turn into scarlet fever if left to develop (which is what happened to Dean last week), and if it is still left untreated it can move into the heart and damage it. Yikes! This bout of sickness has really put a damper on the start of Summer Break. A new batch of library books has been keeping us all happy, especially the book Bowl which makes me hungry every time I look at it.

I discovered that setting up 'beds' outside with snacks and the Magic Treehouse audiobook is a great way to get some gardening done with sick kids. Also, look at that ripening raspberry! It was rootstock out of someone's yard that a friend dropped by last fall and I hastily planted in a barrel on the front porch and there it has remained. I have dreams of berries in our yard, but it's near the bottom of the big outdoor to-do list. I have been swooning over this garden since seeing it yesterday. Maybe someday we will have a 120 ft bed of berries too!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ebb and Flow

There have been many highs and a few lows in the last week.

The highs: blooming poppies, honeysuckle, and roses; my children correctly identifying the stem of foxglove blossoms in the pages of the kindergarten weekly reading; the sweetest big sister bringing art supplies and snacks to her brother who was resting outside with baking soda paste on his first bee sting; a perfect warm breezy day at the beach; delicious fish and chips; pink, hazy sunsets; magazines and deli sandwiches; take out dinners; baby animal videos on sick days (we also watched a video of a baby robin hatching; G "it looks like a wiggling piece of meat!" said with disgust; D "I want to see it's bottom!" said with delight)

The lows: holding a coughing child that proceeded to throw up over my shoulder and down my back; not getting nearly enough sleep for too many nights; getting a call two hours into preschool that Dean wasn't doing very well; getting a Scarlet Fever diagnosis the following day; being so tired and distracted that I "cooked" a chicken on the bbq for an hour at 600 degrees (incinerated!); missing the last PTA meeting of the year and the preschool end of year potluck (fingers crossed we will still get to go on our anniversary date this weekend!)