Sunday, September 28, 2008

stream of...

supposed to be "stream of conciousness" but...this week has been appliance HELL so I think it'll be stream of various liquids running across the kitchen and bathroom floor. Sigh.

It started last weekend. Sunday we went to church, and from there, headed to our annual adoption picnic where we get to see new kids, old friends, and the staff that helped to bring two of our kids home to us. Had fun, but it was so HOT! Last year we froze, the wind was brisk and we left early because Lissa wasn't even a year yet, and was getting chilled. This year, we ran through the water spray cooling center, played at the playground, sandpiles, scooter cars, said hi to the goats and llama's, and left early because it was so hot! Headed off to get our CSA boxes. We finally get home at 4 pm. A long, tiring day, lots of veggies to put away and SPLASH! suddenly we are splooshing through this puddle in the kitchen. WTH? Where'd that come from. We look up at the dripping from the upstairs bathroom. Open the sidebyside fridge, thinking someone spilled something or one of the melons gave up and was was the dang FRIDGE that was dead. OMH! It's 4 pm on a Sunday. Quick, run up and get the coolers from the attic, get some ice from the store, and get our essentials into the coolers. Move the freezer items to our other two freezers. Well, I've been meaning to organize our storage freezer down cellar for a few that's done!

Go to Sears to pick out a new fridge. Hem and haw over two models, finally pick out the one I like (didn't LoVe any of them...didn't want another s/b/s). Picked out a double fridge door w/ice and water through the door (our old one had that feature) w/freezer drawer on the bottom. Wait! Can't deliver until October 6. Well, it's obvious we can't wait until Oct. 6, so check the other model ...okay that could come on Friday...not ideal but...we would try to live with it (not many appliance places around here). They ring up the sale for, gulp, $2116.00. OMG.

Lee goes to work Monday. She works at an apartment community. Tells the sad saga of our fridge to the boss. Hey, he says, the village has a used fridge, smaller than we're used to, but she can have it for free. Whoa! Okay, we agree to do this, and the guys at work deliver it that afternoon. I cancel Sears, we save $2116.00!

Now, I've been living with a very small washer in the cellar, have to go outside the house, downstairs. I have a stack washer/dryer up here on the first floor, but the washer died last year, after 2 repairs of over $400, I was done with that. So we got an inexpensive one and put it in the cellar. I do 2-3 loads of wash a day. On diaper days, 4 loads. On sheet washing day, 6 loads, egads! And we've had no dryer these last 7 months. That too had several expensive repairs. Made do with outside line, inside bars, inside lines...but we had a run of rainy weather three weeks ago and I had to go to the laundromat to dry the 4 loads I washed. Repeated that last week. If we get 2 or 3 days of rain or fog in a row, I've been screwed, laundry-wise. Most of us wear clothing more than one day, but we all started running out of undies, sox etc. So, with the money I saved from the non-purchase of the fridge, I bought a brand new stack washer and dryer, super capacity, with a sterilizing load for the diapers! Yahoo! I'll post pics of my beautiful pair, lol, in a later post, as Lee has my camera. Oh, they are gorgeous...and the set cost $54 less than one fridge, including take away of old appliances, and installation...that was also a nightmare, but another story for another day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

once a red head...

...always a red head!

Yup, I colored my hair back to red. Been a redhead nearly 20 years now, and this last year or two have been flirting with all shades of brown up to darker blonde. Well, with that one awful exception of brilliant lizard yellow that was so gacky I recolored it myself a few days later.

But I found haircolor at the grocery store and it was on deep discount...only to discover that it was TEMPORARY...bummer. Well, I used it anyway and now I know how much I love being a redhead.

My mood went up, my dispostion, which can't really be deemed "sunny" on the best of days, as we keep losing the sunlight, really did brighten up, and for an added bonus, all my kids AND my wife love it!

Added to that, I'm growing it out and it's shoulder length already after just a year, and it was soooo short...I can pony it (well, a silly one!) but spent most of the summer with it clipped up in a neat way to get it off my neck. But just now it feels nice and long and I like it!

pic's to come later!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

KC's Pumpkin/the Garden

Here is KC and his pumpkin, which he grew from a seed in a tiny cup. This boy is going to be a gardener like his MorMor, I swear! Hard to believe it was time to harvest it already...
This year our community garden was such a blessing to me. Not only did I prove to my fellow gardeners that I CAN garden (last year's garden fell to weed-choked ruin when I hurt my back and could not work there most of the summer), and I've had so many tomato recipes to bottle and freeze.
Made yet another batch of red sauce on Saturday. It simmers on the back of the stove for hours and hours (after about 2 hours of prep peeling and chopping!) and we ate some tonight. Some more will be for lasagne later this's going to cool down quite a bit by the end of th week, and the rest I will freeze. I have 25 cups frozen already and this batch made 30 cups. I still need to make salsa for my brother, but the garden production is coming way down, the end of the season is in sight. Only 3 more weeks for our CSA, too. We'll start getting the winter squashes in over the next few weeks.
Trees in our yard and in the neighborhood are looking a lot like that CVS commercial where a hand splashes the green leaves with red...there's dots and dashes of red all over the treescape. A dab or two of orange and yellow, and the constant ping! Pop! as nuts and seed pods fall to earth (ping when the maple starts hit the roof of the camper!). Chipmunks are screaming at each other in the backyard, jays are zipping here and there hiding their caches of food...and so many of the summer birds have been gone for weeks. Haven't seen or heard the bluebirds at the garden (on a hill top) for the last 10 days or so. Between the tropical rain we had last week and the cool weather, I think they, too, have fled southwards.
We may not be heading south, but we will be prepared for this winter in our freezer and pantry! Thanks be to the goddess and the earth spirits for all the bounty that we have harvested this summer!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11

And in my earlier post I didn't refer to the date at all. Laume, in her blog,, does a far more eloquent job than I ever could about this day.

I spent some time being sad.

Went to the cemetary to visit my Mom's grave, and wife's grandparents graves. Super suprise at my mom's grave....the wee flowers that KC had grown from seed had flourished there, way more than in my gardens here at home, and waving zinnia's arched up and over Mom's stone, red, yellow, orange, white...the marigolds he so laboriously planted, seed by tiny seed are now 3 feet tall and flower heads bigger than my closed fist!!

Mom was an avid gardener, and I guess her gift lingers on there. And she knew the flowers were a gift from a grandson who will never meet her.

then I went to my garden on the hill, the community garden that has brought more tomato's to this house then I've ever seen before in one spot in my life. Up on the hill, the sun was setting, the sky was robin egg blue, with pink tinged clouds. No bird calls disturbed the hush that announced day's ending. I stood, hands overflowing with tomato's and thought about all those people in New York, and Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. All the men and women overseas who have given their lives in response to the terror and anguish of 7 years ago. and I prayed.

and I remember the joy and expectancy that filled my heart that fateful morning as we prepared for our first visit from a social worker, to begin the adoption process for the hoped for arrival of 3 children we saw on television, and during the interview process got the call from work to turn on the TV quickly, the world had changed in a heartbeat, and we stared in horror as we tuned in just in time to see the first tower go down ....

a day of heartache and hope forever intertwined.

5 months later our son came home to us. His sisters did not come to live with us, but they are still part of the family of our hearts.

since then two more have come, both infants, now 4 and almost 2.

Life is full, and busy and tiring, and fulfilling. I thank the Goddess for every day I get to spend with my kids, and for not letting me become a recluse living in fear. Life is meant to be lived!

To be here, with my kids is a gift I cannot imagine living without.

Blessed be for this day. Blessings for those lost, and for those left behind. Blessings on my children, and to those that have lost a parent on this day. A day of anniversaries...happy and sad, fear and relief, familes torn asunder and families come together.

for this is life.

Pix and stuff.

Blake being silly my garden turning Fall=wards

Precious tired boy child,
fallen asleep
holding his floating balloon
sitting on the couch
last evening!

Getting ready for sending the family camping tomorrow. Going to a UU camp/retreat, fun and fellowship. I used to go, but since Lissa have not. Going to be too chilly for her again this year, and I was planning on being home and getting some projects done! No work this weekend, not my work-at-home factory work, nor going out to my Saturday job...this weekend is totally mine, well Saturday is totally mine.

Going to sleep late ...Ya, right!...Lissa still gets up at 6 just like big brother Robbie...or try to. And sew and sew and sew.

Working on a quilt top for my bed, G0ddess inspired as I'm not making a "pattern", just a scrappy quilt, using colors from my "inspiration piece", an 8X10 watercolor painting middle son Rob painted in first grade that I've always loved. All swirls of purple and pink and blue and green and splotches of this and that. Perhaps I'll remember some night to get a picture of it, and post it up. Right now my wife and I sleep apart...I'm a terrible snorer, and my bed hours got all wonky the year I slept downstairs when Lissa came home and would not sleep throught the night. OH, she was such a fussy baby. Still not a great sleeper, but not anywhere near how bad she was as an infant. Anyway, once she went upstairs into her own room, I kept sleeping in the spare room, as I was totally uncomfortable on wife's mattress (hate to put in print how old it is!) ()h my! and my snoring disturbed everyone EXCEPT the baby, as she had grown used to it, cosleeping with me as an infant and even once she was in her own crib with me in the room. But I woke up Wife, young son still cosleeping with wife, middle son 3 rooms away, and eldest son in next room. So, I banished myself to the boys old TV room, way in the back of the house. I love it! It's fully wood paneled, with sloping ceilings on both sides. But I'm short so it isnt a bother to me. And really, I'm only in bed from 11 pm until 530 ...I don't hang out in my room ever, as there is never any time in the day to do such things!! Just a place to lay my head for a few hours...until the next day when the day wheel spins me about, once more!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

and still more tomatoes...

this tomato haul was collected just before we were heading out for our annual labor day camping in Maine. I decided to get all the harvesting in that I could so nothing would rot on the vine during the 5 days we would be gone. never, in my wildest dreams did I imagine that there would be this many tomatoes ready after just 4 days away from the garden!! So, in addition to packing a family of 6 for camping, preparing food for same, etcetera, I had to make stewed tomatoes. Made somewhere in the vicinity of 30 pints from this haul!

Came home Monday, gathered even more tomatoes, and made 17 pints of salsa and 25 cups of marinara, which I froze. Oh, the house smells Yummy these days!