Archive for August, 2014

Great Brook Trail

The kiddos and I took advantage of Finn being home from school on Friday and we went on a lovely hike along the Great Brook Trail.  It was a gorgeous day in the woods.  It is going to be tough when we are in full 5 days a week school mode!

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…to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
– Elizabeth Stone

Finn his first day of kindergarten this past Wednesday.  The first first day of his school career.  They do a staggered start for the preschool and kindergarten classes, so he only had one day this week, 3 days next week, and then the following week we are up to 5 days.

The alarm went off at six and I gently woke him.  He was groggy, so I told him he could have ten more minutes and I would go make his lunch.  He jumped up and said he wanted to make his lunch.  The rest of the morning was a whirl of excitement as we put together his lunch and backpack, got dressed, went into the yard and hung out with a chicken (all part of the routine), and took some photos while anxiously awaiting the bus.  When the bus pulled up, Finn jumped on and that was that!

Josie and I kept very busy through the day, going to the grocery store, baking chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon snack, crafting, cleaning.  And then, it was time to wait for Finn at the bus stop.  He came off the bus with a smile on his face and he let me give him a big hug.  He had a good day, it seems.  He was quite forthcoming with his stories about getting to go to the big kid’s playground, using the purple sand table, having read-to-yourself time, eating lunch in the cafeteria.  He was clearly tired that afternoon, but he managed to play in the sprinkler and run a lot.

I am happy for him as he embraces this new experience in his life, but I have been so emotional too.  He seems a little older and wiser to me these days.  Oh, it is so difficult and so wonderful to watch a kiddo grow.  What an amazing experience parenting is. 

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Late August Garden

Well, here is another garden post as we near the end of August (wow, when did that happen).  Things are going pretty well in the garden.  All of our cold crops look great and my fall garden plantings are all growing – we have our second round of peas and the brussell sprouts and beets have sprouted.  Our peppers are late this year, but we are finally seeing a lot of jalapenos growing.  We have harvested some white eggplant and we have lots of zucchini and patty pan squash.   Chocolate zucchini bread is a late summer staple for us!  I have lamented my blight ridden tomatoes all summer, but we may get enough for a bought of canning.  We are picking them as soon as they show any sign of ripening and they do seem to be ripening well in the house.  Time will tell.  Our winter squash is not as prevalent as last year, but I am still impressed with the size of the Greek Sweet Red Butternut squash.  We have 5 very large ones and a few smaller ones, plus a few sugar pie pumpkins and a couple of spaghetti squash.  We will get some corn, but not a lot this year.  I am waiting to harvest all the potatoes, but those are certainly going plentiful.  We are getting lots of purple beans growing in our three sisters garden and up our giant sunflowers.  All of our giant sunflowers are blooming now and they are gorgeous – and HUGE.  We have one that I want to measure – I swear it is 13 feet tall.  Still lots of wonderful things happening in the garden!  How is everyone’s garden growing?

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Still Summer!

There has been a lot of anticipation of school starting next week.  We have been trying to organize the house and get everything prepared for the big day, but yesterday was an absolutely beautiful summer day and we made sure to get swimming and embrace it.  It is still summer, after all, and I want to cling to these last few carefree days.

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Hanging in the Yard

We have this one chicken (named “Rough One” by Finn long ago for no clear reason, but these things stick) and she is the most personable chicken.  She seems to like to be held and is content to wander around the garden in your arms or be a part of any kind of play the kids come up with.  She is often part of some superhero scenario.  Here are some pictures of just another day harvesting from the garden and playing with the chickens.  Josette is in full regal princess dress.  Finn got to digging our potatoes and they look great! 

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Carrot Treasure

The kids have been itching to dig the carrots for a while.  There is just something wonderful about the mystery of what might be underground, like digging for treasure.  This is the first year we have been very successful with carrots and I wasn’t really sure when to harvest.  So, we decided to dig up enough to munch for dinner.  They are quite pretty if a little short.  I am not sure if it is the variety or the soil.  Still, they were very tasty.  There is definitely something to harvest from the garden every day now.  From kale to carrots to zucchini to tomatoes to beans to cucumbers – we are in the veggies!  The chickens are laying plenty of eggs right now, too.  The flowers are blooming.  August in the garden is a magical place – sometimes you even see a fairy 🙂

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Feeling Blue

We have gone to our wild blueberry patch a few times, but we decided last week it was time to stock up at a local pick-your-own.  The berries were abundant and so tasty.  In no time at all, we picked 25 lbs between 3 kids and 2 adults and we walked home with 12 lbs of our own!  So, we have been immersed in blueberries.  A bunch went straight to the freezer and then we made jam and refrigerator pie and mini blueberry galletes even blueberry mojitos one evening.  Not to mention handfuls are grabbed for almost every snack and I am making a lot of kale and blueberry smoothies.  Have I mentioned that blueberries are my absolute favorite?  Maybe we need to go get more….


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Aug 5 Garden

Well, the beginning of August garden is looking good.  I worry about all my squash.  It seems to be late growing this year, but we are finally seeing some and I hope they have time to grow big and ripen.  We have been bringing in some zucchini with lots more growing.  I am almost ready to harvest our first broccoli.  Still getting tons of chard and kale everyday.  We are harvesting our first sungold tomatoes and while the plants are showing the effects of the blight, the tomatoes taste pretty good.  The brandywine and romas are big and pretty and I hope they develop nice flavor too.  We pulled all the peas and planted new seeds for a fall harvest.  I am also excited to try to grow brussel sprouts this year despite me being the only one in the family excited to eat them!  We got those seeds in this week between a bunch of pepper plants.  The pepper plants are flowering, but no peppers yet.  I hope in late August we get some good hot weather to make things grow – it has been a strange year.  We also enjoy ground cherries (gooseberries) every day.  They never make it in the house, but Josette will sit and pick and eat them in the garden.  I love these things and I hope we can have more plants next year.  I was recently told they can become invasive in the garden.  I say, bring it!  We have lots of bean flowers, but no beans yet.  We are also anxiously awaiting our giant sunflowers to bloom.  The tallest is easily 10 feet.  I think this weekend, we will dig our first potatoes.  Our carrots are looking pretty good, although I have dug around and realized that while some are very nice carrots, I have also been cultivating wild carrots (queen anne’s lace).  It is very difficult to tell when weeding!

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We just got back from our 5th annual Family Vacation to Wells Beach.  Once again, it was an absolutely wonderful time.  Hanging out at the beach every day and watching 7 cousins play, what could be better!  How blessed we are to have such a wonderful group of people that we love to call family.  I think the pictures speak for themselves!


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July 23 Garden

Our garden has actually changed a lot in just the week since I took these photos, but I wanted to put them up because it is so helpful to me to be able to go back to previous years and see what was growing when.  I really should keep a gardening diary, but I fear that is just another thing on a very long list.  Thus, I blog it.  Here, I have taken out two rows of peas as they finally started to dry up and get starchy tasting.  I plan to put another round in for fall.  All the greens are doing great.  We were very excited to see the first of the broccoli growing.  Our peppers are beginning to flower.  Our squash are blooming with some evidence of squash growth.  And, we harvested garlic!  What fun!  This is the first year I have had success with garlic.  The heads were a little small, but considering I just threw grocery store bought garlic cloves in last fall, I am pleased.  I am definitely going to get some good hard neck varieties to plant this fall.  We have the bulbs in the basement curing.  We will see how long that will last us.

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