Sunday, September 23, 2007
Welcome home to our new kitty, Maui! Isn't he just too cute?
He has spent the last 4 days acclimating to his new family in our boys' tv room, which he has adored. We have gone up and visited him during the day, as he is rather fey, and today he "got" the whole house.
He had a great time exploring all the nooks and crannies in our house, loving especially, the cool wood floor of the dining room.
But here he is in the kitchen, on his way to this long alleyway that's been called the Cat's Alley for more than 30 years. Used to be a
big table built in back there, but now there are just two low shelves that are steps up to the window back there, and a convenient jumping place to get onto the counter there. He figured that out right quick!
It's not called the cats' Alley for nuthin'!!
Back in the dining room...the gate keeps the wee kids from banging the glass doors of the cabinets (one more year and I hope it can come down...taking it down each feast day and reinstalling it later is a pain in the butt, as it's screwed into the flooring....but Maui has no problems climbing the gate and seeing what's on the other side....
At 5 months, he's just wary enough to keep away from the littles and that's good all around...wonder how he'll feel in 8 weeks when our new puppy comes home ....
ah, well, it will make for some great photo-ops, right?!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
And KC.....here with Lee,
at age 3 has learned to ride a bike with training wheels, and become potty trained!! With less than a hand full of accidents. We've had bm's and peed in every potty of every place we know, but he's done it! It's all in when you are ready, I guess!
It's amazing how fast these littles are growing up! Lissa goes for her 9 month check up tomorrow....
I'm grabbing onto these images because I blink and they've grown another inch ...and wait till you see how tall Rob has grown this summer...phew! I can't keep up with it sometimes!
Monday, September 10, 2007
You were one sweet natured boy
Came to the office one day
Abandoned by the one entrusted with your care
into our hearts.
Never complaining about all the new babies
when they pulled your glorious striped tail.
Loved to be brushed
belly rolling towards the ceiling
You loved Robbie and helped
all those first scarey nights
when home wasn't here yet
and the shadows were
You showed him
he was safe here
on his bed through the night
You are missed.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
No, I spent the day, a full 10 hours, canning peaches. Last weekend we picked 75 pounds of peaches, and had thought I'd have time during the week to work on canning them, a bit each day. But it got so cold the ripening never happened ... until Friday night. Sooo, up and at 'em by 630 this a.m. and by 430 I had completed 20 quarts of peaches, AND 6 quart jars plus 4 pint jars of peach pie filling. It's a wonderful thing to open the pantry on Jan 1. and whip out a jar of peach pie filling and make a pie in moments (make crust, dump in filling, bake)...and from ingredients that we harvested ourselves!!
My feet are so tired and sore they have disowned me for the rest of the night, but I have such a feeling of accomplishment. Each time I walk into the kitchen, all those wonderful jars of fruit are winking back at me!
Next up; kolhrabi to blanch and freeze, and eggplant casserole to make and freeze.
AFTER we go to the beach!
Friday, August 24, 2007
I'm not trying to give a lesson here, just noting that I'm working out in my head what has been, and what is coming.
It has been so cold here in New England this week that 1) I felt guilty for everyone else in the US that was roasting in 100 degree heat and 2) almost needing to turn the heat on. Okay, I'll admit it. I *did* turn the heat on, Wednesday morning. It was 52 degrees in my living room and all of us were shivering. Since it had been in the 40's at night all week, we needed a break from shivering! Um, isn't it still AUGUST we were all saying to anyone we met. Out came long jeans, sweatshirts, shirt jackets from our emergency camping stash. Elisabeth got some new polarfleece pants and shirts on clearance from LL Bean and they came in Tuesday and she wore them all week.
Today is Friday. It hit 90 humid degrees today, after being just about 70 yesterday. Tomorrow it could be near to 100. Go figure! Of couse I need to finish canning my peaches tomorrow....
And finally, when I took Rob to Princeton for a homeschool hike (a small town south of here, where there is an Audubon sanctuary we frequent), which is about 500 or so feet higher in elevation...and there were trees everywhere just "frosted"with color. Reds, a bit of yellow, a wee slice of orange...nearly every tree had at least a few colors near the top or a side branch...we've had a few tree' s locally begin to show early color, but this...this is crazy! We hit peak color around Columbus Day in October...but perhaps since our weather the last 2 weeks have been more October than August....perhaps we're finally in for a snowy winter!
So although the wheel turning on it's Autumnal axis is rather sad, as I so hate for Summer to go, there is much to look forward to, too. I'm reconciling myself to the shorter days, the cooler nights, and to accepting the beauty, the splendour of brilliant leaves against that painfully blue blue sky of Autumn, and the promise of winter snow.
Monday, August 13, 2007
and the intense color! This rainbow show lasted less than 5 minutes and we just happened to catch it as it rained very hard, but the sun was shining brightly. As soon as the rain moved east, I happened to glance out the window at the right time and voila!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
We went camping last weekend, and there is a chair for every one of us, even the baby! Her blue bouncy seat is there in the center, and we all gathered around the campfire each night. We were up at Old Orchard Beach, Maine; the campground is wonderful, very quiet and peaceful, and just a 15 minute walk to the ocean. Down on the "strip" there are shops full of tourist mementos, Americana kischy stuff, the expected beach togs...towels, chairs, tatami mats, flip flops. The smell of fried dough fights with the scent of frying clams, as the screams of the younglings being shaken, whirled or otherwise stirred on the various whirl-a-gigs and ferris wheels a the wee amusement park waft over all. A few steps beyond that and you're standing on fine white sand, soft and so smooth underfoot, while a freezing cold Atlantic ocean waves at you. The smells and sounds abate, and you are completely under the spell of green/blue waves, crying gulls, and laughing children.
What a weekend!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
...6 year old rose...
..beautiful, feathery Astilbe, and "Apricot Ruffles" daylilly in foreground...
new extension of perennial bed beside the driveway...
and Idea I proudly stole from Laume's California garden...currently, statuary scares 3 year old KC, so this wee sprite is deeply nestled into the 2nd year hosta bed, and can only be seen from one angle...to KC's most earnest relief..."thank you my mommie for moving that scaaaaarie thing aways so KC won't have to see it anymore"!
The day passed with not terrible hot temperatures, but the humidity was terrible. It felt like one was breathing water. Yuck! We were all feeling draggy and drawn by suppertime, but we had a lovely dinner salad with vegetarian chicken that I quick-fried in olive oil and soy sauce, total yumminess. Decided to eat out on the deck for the first time this summer yay! I replaced boards there last week and painted it Monday when it was hot but not humid. Spent Tuesday getting the furniture out of the shed in the way back yard, rolling the glass-topped table carefully down the ramp, across the lawn, up through the bushes and up the steps to the deck. Today I got two basket planters of red, white, and blue petunia's from the grocery store of all places, but it was one less thing I needed to go, and I cannot go to the garden center and spend less than $100 at a shot.
After dinner, Lee and the boys headed up to the local playground, and I finished gathering things for camping this weekend. So much stuff for 2.5 days! The fun of a large-ish family, right? We might need a shoehorn to get everyone into the van but heck, we'll do it!
As I hung out my wash, noticed the clouds. The sun had set, the thunderstorms totally missed our area for a change (we've had a ton of Tstorms this spring, very unusual ) but we had these awesome clouds and the background clouds were all shades of pink...
with all these dark purple tones mixed in. And if I hadn't have been doing laundry, I would have missed the show completely!
Then, a short while ago, around 1030 pm, I went out to the cellar for the diaper wash and spied the nearly-full moon peering down amongst skudding clouds. I've been trying to play with settings on my digital camera as I know I'm not using it to it's full potential, and got this cool shot of the clouds breaking, frosted by moonglow, as She broke free of them for a moment.
It has been the best photo day I've ever had!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
After purchasing 3 giant hanging plants for the porch by the back door, and more flats for the garden underneath, I decided I needed to go back to the garden center, where the owner starts to salivate when he sees my van pulling into the parking lot. I needed more potting soil. And how could I resist some perennials. Look! They have a gold edged Hosta. Ooooh, I've always wanted a giant leaved, gold edged hosta! Oh, and a reverse hosta...it has white centers rather than green...and on it goes. Now I have added 5 planter boxes to go on the rail at the porch by the back door. They are between the hanging plants and the garden below, with some trailing ivy type plants to bridge downward, even as the airy plants below reach upwards...
Then I go to that big Orange Hardware Store. Yeah, I needed some eye bolts. Truly, I did. It wasn't my fault that there was an empty parking space in front of the Garden Center area.
Nu-uh. I don't know HOW that coreopsis got into the carriage, but I do remember putting in the giant purple iris, the pink and white margarites....
.....the sedum, the two catmints...oh there's more but I can't recall all of them just now. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I got so caught up with these wonderful perennial choices that I forgot the screw eyes and had to make a second trip. And there was a glorious pot of brown eyed susan's just begging to come home....
Monday, June 04, 2007
Anyway, I chose to do raised beds...lots more work to prep the garden beds, but so worth it. The soil was pretty well tilled, so raking the dirt up wasn't horrendous. It took me 3 days to do all the beds in #13. Robbie helped me plant, as he had just finished a 2 session homeschooling class at our local Audubon sanctuary on veggie gardening; all the kids hoed, dug in manure from the sheep, and planted. I didn't make him hoe the beds up, but he was invaluable in planting most of the beds. This far, our raised beds have far fewer weeds than do our neighbors (brag, brag!). But when we were done planting, we had plenty of plants left over, but no more room in our 10X13 plot!
I noted that several of the plots were untilled, so I asked if I could have a 2nd plot...and after a week, I got one!
Plot 11 was originally going to be the "water depot"...so everyone threw their rocks into the space..erg! Yesterday I went up and started de-rocking and creating my beds. The boys really, really wanted watermelon and pumpkins, so I planted those in the center so they'd have room to spread.
With the plot comes a variety of veggies. With yesterdays fog/drizzle, I only had time for planting my leftover tomato's as well as the 2 flats that came with the plot...but here they are! Tomorrow, when the rain from TS Barry leaves New England, I hope to put in a bunch of peppers, some hot, some bell...I'll be canning for weeks and weeks and weeks....
Friday, May 25, 2007
Usually we have time in our later years to do "Deep Thinking" and I was thinking the other day, as I hurried through one chore to get to the next one...I've not had enough time for deep thinking lately.
And it bugged me.
I love my life, my beloved Lee, my children....but I'm so busy being busy that I'm not spending time doing some Kirsty thinking. I know, I *know* my purpose here is to love raise and nurture my children and I'm giving 100% of me to that effort...but I think I am going to carve out some time to reflect.
To think about those big questions. I've made time to get house work done, diapers washed, meals cooked, and recently added "reading", "gardening" and a wee bit of "quilting"...all important ingredients in the recipe of life.
But if I don't add the most important ingredient, "thinking quietly" I don't think my recipe will compute. I don't think I will compute.
ah, well, I'm tired. So tired. Midnight is hard on me, and my cough syrup has taken it's toll...are we drunk on it or stoned? dunno, just so glad I'm not coughing...of course, I've not tried to lay down yet so I may be back.
be ware You may be subjected to another stoned on cough meds blog entry!
now, go somewhere and reflect!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wow, don't know how I got on the garden tangent, except the fruits of my labor yesterday are visable outside the window next to my computer and I was smiling to see how well they have transplanted and...oops there I go again!
Okay, back to my human children! This picture of Lissa was taken last week. She is starting to creep/scoot in her crib and playpen, and is rolling like a champion. I think I took this on her 5 month "birthday"...she hit 16 pounds this week so she's a very solid girl. I saw a little baby boy who was born 3 days after she was, and he is nearly the same size and much chubbier than she is, so I am not worried about her "supersize"!! I think it's so hard for me because KC was a preemie, and was 16 pounds when he was a year old (and we thought that was wonderful...well it was...for KC!). The impish smile is what I see every day when she wakes up, and keeps me going through the screaming dervish she becomes between 7 and 8 p.m. as she fights to keep awake for one more minute! Oh, she is a stubborn lass...and I'm glad of it as she will need to be a stubborn lass to succeed in this world!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
"IN THE BROOK??!!" they hollered, practically in unison!
"In the Brook?" Lee quieried right after the boys.
"Yup, in the brook" I replied with a smile.
No, her feet did not get wet, nor did her bottom, at least not from the brook! No, she was not sitting on a rock exactly. There is a large rock that had a lot of debris in it from our spring rains, and it made a lovely hummock to sit her upon, with a nice pair of sticks for her to lean back upon, just like the brook was waiting for her (and I'm certain it was!). KC had his picture taken here as well, when he was about 2 months old. Lissa is double that in this picture, and she was totally fascinated by the stick she is holding onto.... and then....
she saw the water running past her feet and this was her reaction! I will mention that the brook runs about 2 inches deep unless it is stormy....
Monday, May 07, 2007
It's been such a wierd spring too...first it was sunny, then the sun went away for about 15 days, and then it snowed, and sleeted, and finally, when it rained, it rained BUCKETS! So many people in the northeast were flooded out seriously, and had homes destroyed when the high tide, and wind driven waves took out their property that I'm not complaining at all about the mere 3 inches of water we had in our basement. And now 2 or 3 weeks later, and it's so dry out we're in fire danger alert! And we had a frost last night,and today it will hit 80, wihth 90's predicted for tomorrow...as I say, strange.
But I have a beautiful garden, and a wonderful son who makes it happen for me!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
They usually run 60-65 pounds, and he is around 85-90 pounds. This winter he ran up to 92 pounds, but when he got sick two weeks ago and stopped eating, his weight went down to his summer weight of 85 (not the way for this to happen, by the way).
I'm so deeply saddened by the impending loss of my friend and companion. My eldest son is afficted with Asperger's Syndrome, or high-functioning Autism. One of the hallmarks for this is a lack of social reciprocity, including hugging and expressions of love. He really doesn;t like to be touched at all, and as I am a very huggy person, this was extremely difficult. Fergie filled that void for me, as well as being a friend to take walks at 5 a.m. and *like* it, protector of my kids outside, and protector of the house. Although Irish are not known for being "guard" dogs, he was super protective of his family.
The hardest part of being a pet owner is making this last and difficult decision...when will my friend die? Oh, I could do surgery, and chemo, but I'm just not willing to do that to him. I tried to keep two cats alive through extreme measures, and they suffered because I could not let go. I am determined to not do this to him, to give him the dignity and strength that he deserves from me. But, oh how I hate it.
Letting go, saying goodbye, and helping my kids deal with this loss ... so hard. Yet, it is an incredibly intense part of the circle of life. We all will die someday. Being a pagan somehow helps me feel better about this, that he and I are part of this same wheel. I knew his circle would be shorter than mine, but I do believe there is another side of life, after we draw our last breath here, we, our spirits/energies will pass on to another place. Fergie will go there before me, but I know when it is my turn to go there, he will be there, bounding up to me in that lovely Irish Setter way, fur-feathers flying, and that happy, joyful look upon his sweet face.
Blessed be, my beloved friend. Our time here was too short. But I needs must let your spirit free from your hurting body. I love you.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
There are many things I like about snow. I like the symbolism inherent in the individuality of each snowflake, and how such a fragile, delicate thing, when joined by a billion of it's kind, can cause huge accidents, screw up airline travel, bury towns, and bring joy to school aged children everywhere.
I love the luminosity of snow. It's never truly dark out just after snowfall. The air has a pearlescent sheen, the ground and tree branches which just disappear into the dark of a winter night are transformed into delicate lacework.
I like that peculiar, particular smell of new snow. Nothing else smells just like that.
I love the silence. Before the plows start trundling by with their thunder and diesel humming, sparking up the roadsides, before most people work up the energy to dust off their vehicles, I like to go out and just listen. To nothing. Everything is muffled, calm, peaceful.
Even this morning, when I went out to look at the predawn beauty, the song of the cardinal and his mate were quieter, reverential. This world is so filled with beauty! You wouldn't think it to watch the 6 p.m. news, and I know there are bad things happening everywhere, but there are good things too, and snowbeauty is one of the good things.
Once the sun came up, and the blue stretched from horizon to horizon, people got on about their days, the birds flew about more purposefully (feed the belly, build the nests!) I knew I could get just a few more shots in before the heat and wind of the day stripped the last of the snow from the trees. This is the best of the lot, my beautiful birch tree.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
And below is our intrepid shovel man! He HAD to "hewp shovl like Chet and Robbie" during our Valentine's Day storm.
And last but not least, a beaming Robbie, who was overjoyed that it finally snowed enough for him to take a few runs on his sled ... after he shoveled his share of the driveway.