Thursday, July 28, 2011

And That Is Why I Never Get Anything Done

Yesterday I had washed some sheets and was attempting to make a bed. Cedar was quietly sitting in the bouncy seat watching. Porter walked in, tripped over the seat and scared the baby, who started screaming. More screaming, and she decided the only way to calm down was by nursing. So I put down the sheets and took her out into the living room to feed her. This took about 15 minutes, and when we finished, I realized Molly had been in the bathroom for too long. Too long for it to be anything but trouble. I took the baby upstairs, set her on the hallway floor, and opened the bathroom door. I found that Molly had used my entire bottle of expensive face lotion to "wash" her hair, her clothes (that were still on her body), and pretty much the entire bathroom. Good Lord. So I put Molly in the shower, cleaned up the bathroom, and got kind of mad. By that time, the baby was not happy to be on the floor and was screaming again. I picked her up, and Porter informed me that he was hungry. Looking at the clock, I confirmed, yes, it was time to make lunch. Baby in the Ergo, sandwiches made. And the baby is hungry again. As I went back to the couch to nurse her, I walked past the bed. Still unmade two hours later.

But at least Molly's hair is really, really shiny.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birds of a Feather

When we ordered our first batch of chickens, we did some research and selected the breeds so that they would be good egg layers, friendly to children and tolerant to cold. But then we ended up with these two extra chicks from a school classroom that had hatched eggs and couldn't raise the chickens afterwards. No one knew what breed of chickens they were, and we are certainly no experts. As they grew, we laughed at the fact that one of them was so small and one so big, compared to our other selected chickens. When the big white one started having trouble walking and didn't seem motivated to forage in the yard with the others, we started googling chicken breeds and came to the conclusion that this was a Cornish Cross. These are the typical chickens that are raised on big farms, the kind of meat you buy at the grocery store. They were bred to get big way too fast and to have less feathers for plucking. So they end up with lots of health problems and really aren't meant to live long or lay eggs. So our first chicken slaughter is coming up sooner than we expected. This chicken should make for a tasty meal, but I am feeling sorry for its little partner (which we think is a Bantam, a mini-chicken). When the newcomers were introduced to the coop, the other, older chickens shunned them. They sleep in a corner and don't socialize at all with the original hens. It's okay now, because they have each other, but I'm just hoping that once Big White is gone, the Little One will find her place. I know it's kind of silly to feel so sentimental for a chicken, but I can't help it. I'm rather fond of them.

On the same note, our formerly suspected rooster is now most definitely so. A couple of days ago, we heard his first crow, and this morning he hollered all through our breakfast. So he's got to go as well. Looks like we have more than one chicken dinner in our future.

We've also been harvesting from the garden. I noticed our spinach trying to go to seed last week, so Porter and I picked the lot of it. Four pounds! We just now managed to polish it off, I'm lucky that the kids will eat it too.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sour Cherries

I have always been a big fan of sweet cherries, there is nothing that says summer more than a big bowl of beautiful cherries in my opinion. But only in the past couple of years have I come to appreciate sour cherries and the awesome summer-ness that they hold. We have a sour cherry tree in our yard that is doing quite well again this year, and we picked our first bunch of fruit yesterday. I don't have much time for baking these days, but I made a Sour Cherry Coffee Cake. Wow! Yum. You get a bit of that cherry pie taste, but with one third of the effort. I didn't have quite enough cherries, and next time I might even add more than the recipe calls for. Because they are the definite star of the show. I'm really the only one here in my house that likes this sort of thing, and it's already half gone.

I'm excited to see what else we can cook up with the rest of the harvest.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who Wants to Read a Bunch of Words Anyway

I have this big, long post about discipline festering in my head, and had a goal of finally writing it out today. But after a morning of very disappointing behavior and equally disappointing parenting, I've given up. Instead, I've decided to pretend that everyone is happy and post pictures from our weekend.

There were fish caught, whales seen bubble feeding, many boat rides, rainbows, and very tired kids.

I do not have the right kind of camera lens for whale watching, but this was actually really amazing to see. A big pod of humpback whales gets together and creates a round wall of bubbles that traps all the small fish inside, which they can then easily gobble up. You get a great show, even from the surface, of whales coming up again and again in this perfect circle. Porter, however, was unimpressed. Whales? Seen 'em before. I hate to think that my kids are going to become immune to this sort of display. I'm hoping that when they get a little older and really understand what is going on, that the whole thing will be more spectacular. I think it will.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Porter is very fond of making books. They have been evolving over the past year. But now that he can operate a stapler reliably, he can do almost the whole thing himself. Sometimes he draws the pictures, then tells me the story and has me write in the words. Sometimes he asks me how to spell it and writes it himself. And sometimes he copies words from books that he is familiar with. Like this one I found yesterday. It took me awhile.

Smash it. Of course. He was very proud that I wanted to take a picture of his construction book. Meanwhile, Molly once again uses up all of my tape.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Heat

We've had a nice weather streak here in the Far North. My thermometer read 83 yesterday, and that's about as hot as it ever gets here. It's funny because I know that 83 degrees really isn't that hot, but here it is. I went out to water the garden (which is not a strenuous activity), and came back beet faced and drenched in sweat. We are all sunburned and tired, but when it is sunny and warm here you just feel like you have to go, go, GO frolic outside NOW before the sun sets forever.

We've spent the past four days at various beaches, and it has been wonderful. The kids love it, and they swam in the ocean and investigated tide pools and built sand castles with friends. Cedar mostly slept, which made things easy for me. But we're a little beat now, and I have a mountain of damp, sandy laundry on the bathroom floor along with another mountain of sand and granola bar wrappers in my car. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain, and I'll be just a little relieved to catch up.

I'm Cooking: I am! I am cooking! I keep meaning to blog about it too. Our garden has been producing this summer, and we've been eating well. We had a simple and tasty chicken and chard stir fry the other night. And oven roasted kohlrabi, which might be the only way I will cook it from now on. And lots and lots of salad. We are days away from the zucchini glut, and the peas and broccoli are well on their way too. Bryce hasn't had a lot of time to fish so far, but did come home with a couple of pink salmon last weekend which I smoked, and made Smoked Salmon Lasagna with. Good stuff. We are almost in berry season too, so I hope to be talking much more about food very soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Three Months Down

Cedar is three months old today. I knew this would go fast. I knew that the third time around, there would be no anxious anticipation of milestones or long days spent holding a sleeping baby. I knew that I wouldn't have time to meticulously fill out a baby book or scour the internet for the perfect swaddling blanket. I knew life would go on pretty much as it had been, just with one more person involved. But seriously? This kid is going to be off to college before I catch my breath. Happy three months baby girl! I did at least manage to take a picture.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Fourth

Our fun weekend of visitors also included the local Fourth of July celebration, which turned out to be fun for everyone. The fireworks display here in the Far North has to be held at midnight on the third of July in order to achieve the needed level of darkness, so I declined to tell my children that it was even happening. They would have loved it, and I felt a little bad. But there is just no way I personally wanted to stay up that late, and really no way that anyone would have made it in any kind of a decent mood. The next day though we made it to the parade, about which Bryce's uncle said that he'd never seen such an enthusiastic parade anywhere else before. We may not be fancy, but we sure are into it up here I guess. The kids had a great time. We ate hot dogs and drank lemonade, and Porter got to enter his first ever soap box car derby. It was hilarious. He borrowed a car this year, but this kind of project is right up Bryce's alley, and I think we'll have a contender in 2012.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We live in an out of the way sort of place. There are no roads that take you anywhere (other than the end), and we are definitely not on the way to anything. That said, we had some family arrive this weekend that were actually visiting us on the way to somewhere else. They are passing through on a massive road trip around Canada and Alaska, and came in on the ferry. We had a lot of fun checking out the tourist scene and hanging out. The weather wasn't the best, but we managed to get out on the boat and play outside anyway.