The beginning of the end. Already. Again.


Local lore has it that when the fireweed blooms to the top, summer is over.  That means, when the fireweed starts blooming, the end of summer is in sight.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before.  The last few years it has seemed way early.  This year, it seems to be more normal, but I’m not ready for it.  (We’re still coming out of that newborn fog….the little guy is just over 2 months old now.)  Last time I was in town, I’d noticed the brilliant fuchsia flowers, but was thankful they hadn’t started yet up where we live.  Then, a few days ago, I saw the buds on the plants edging the yard.


It had just rained, and the sun was just starting to burn through the clouds, so the green was intense, making the contrast all the more vivid.  The fireweed have started blooming here now, too.  Already.  Again.  On the bright side, that means it is time to can some fireweed jelly!  On the less bright side, it means those veggies I never got planted just aren’t going to get planted this year.  (Unless I find the time to make a glass-topped box to try some cold crops in?  With a 2 month old, an almost 4 year old, and a 6 1/2 year old.  Right.)




It sure is pretty though.  And it will only get more so as the blooms open, and the bright color suddenly appears where ever you look.  Even if they are like a ticking clock.  The end of summer is approaching.  Already.  Again!

Muddy baby feet!

This weekend was the annual Mud Games, in which the wallow is dredged of weeds and flooded to make lots of ooey-gooey delightful mud!  The girls are covered head to toe, having enjoyed sliding down the bank into the mud, and and the hubby looks like a mud statue, having encouraged all the kids to completely cover him.

Even little Mr M joined in the fun this year.  He dipped his feet, contemplated them for a while, and then fell promptly asleep.

Contemplating his muddy feet!

Contemplating his muddy feet!

(Bonus, you get a photo with me in it, too, which doesn’t happen very often!!  Thanks to my friend Dalena for snapping a few photos with my camera while I helped the little guy in the mud.)

Another gratuitous baby photo!

Just because I have a moment at the computer, and an uploaded photo of the baby.  :-)

Just hangin' out, man.

Just hangin’ out, man.

A few baby pics

These are a week or so old now, but so it goes in a household with 3 kiddos, one less than 6 weeks old.  :-D  Enjoy!

babyM1 babym2

The green & white blanket was made by my dad for the little guy.  Thank you, Dad/Grandpa!

Protected by the animals

Just over a week after we brought our little man into the world, he was resting on a blanket while the girls stared at him.  (They were – and still are – fascinated by him.)  I took a minute to do something like use the bathroom, or grab a bite to eat.  While I did that, the girls decided he needed more to look at, so they lined the edge of his blanket with stuffed animals.  It was cute….and for some reason the thought occurred to me that this little guy may always have the protection of animals.  I don’t know if it is a hokey thought, or something inspired, but the thought sticks with me.

We are blessed.  :-)


Exhaustion! Chaos! Crazy! We got it!

In the space of 48 hours, our little man was born, and hubby was offered full time work, which he needs to do a lot of paperwork to prepare for.  Needless to say, our lives have been a little chaotic the past week.  In a good way.  At least, it will be good once we are looking at it from the other side!  For now, it just feels like overwhelming chaos!


But did I mention that our little guy arrived?  Happy and healthy!

And hubby has a work offer?  Good things come to those who persevere.


I haven’t disappeared….just caught it a cyclone of newborn, his older siblings, sleep, food, and diapers.  :-)

Homeschool: Scented Oils for a Mummy

One of the things I love about our homeschool adventure so far is the ability to do hands on learning all the time.  One of the projects in the history curriculum we’ve been using is to make a mummy.  Yup.  A mummy of a chicken.  That’s been fascinating.  It is almost dried out, which means it is almost time to use the scented oils.

I just love it when my 6 year old takes charge on a project!  Back in April, my daughter started this part.  We took her to the grocery store, with a list that we’d made together, and she selected the items she’d need, including choosing the individual whole spices for the oils.  (She keeps calling them ‘seasonings’, and I keep insisting that we are drying this chicken, not cooking it!)  She filled a small jar with the spices.


Then filled it with oil.





She has been diligently shaking it and making sure it gets in the sun now and again.  I think we filled it a little too full, so it leaks a bit now and then.  But that just means we can smell that it is working!  Soon her chicken will be dry enough to wrap, and we’ll get to use these oils for the mummification process.  So freaking cool.

Linking up with the Homestead Blog Hop again this week!

Better than delivery

It seems they come around more and more frequently – those emails, FB posts, etc. tell you a few things guaranteed to help you reduce weight or save money.  For losing weight, the one that always gets me is ‘drink one soda each day’.  Umm…so, since I hardly ever drink any now, upping it to one a day is going to help me lose weight?  Right.  I’m not the target demographic.  For saving money, I’ve seen a few recently that tell you to cut back on food delivery to once or twice a week.  Once again, I giggle.  Where I live, there is no such thing as delivery!  Besides, unless they had an oven in the truck, I wouldn’t want anything delivered, because we’d just have to heat it up again.  And, we can usually make it better anyway.  Forget the saving money or losing weight claims, it is just a wonderful thing – for us – to make our own food.  For instance, PIZZA!

It is a bit messy to make, but loads of fun, and way healthier than delivered or frozen pizza.  This time I chopped some red peppers and onions to put with pepperoni.  We had some friends over that night, so we also had a mushroom pizza, and a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza (my girls’ favorite).


I usually have some no-knead bread dough in the fridge.  This batch was whole wheat.  Mmm…  I rolled it out pretty thin.  (It puffs up a lot.)


Spread sauce on….


Then toppings and cheese!



I had floured the cookie sheet seem here quite liberally, to make sure the dough would slide right off.  I slid it onto the hot baking stone in the oven, and cooked at a high temperature for a short time.  When the cheese was browned, I knew the crust would be done, too!  The same cookie sheet slid right under the cooked pizza to pick it back off the stone.  (Someday I’ll get a pizza peel, but for now, this works!  Ya use what ya got, right?)



Mmm, pizza.  I didn’t get any photos of us eating it….because, um, yum.  Hot, fresh pizza.  Better than delivery any day.

Linking up with the Homestead Blog Hop this week!

Wacky Weather

We have had such wacky weather this winter.  Virtually no snow, but a decent amount of rain.  Warm, with a couple colder snaps.  Sunny, but not much wind.  Spring seems to be keeping up the pattern.  It came in like a lamb, for sure.  Sunny, warm days, which were glorious for basking in.  Then we had a major low pressure system come through, which brought high winds, over 2 inches of rain over night, a day of rain-snow-sleet-hail-sun-clouds, and then, last night, snow accumulation!  Now, it is only an inch or so (but that counts as one of the bigger snowfalls this winter).  The temperature is hovering right about freezing, so I’m sure the roads are slick.  The sun isn’t up yet, so I haven’t gotten a photo.  Given the weather strangeness this year, I guess we’ll see if there is any snow left by the time it is light outside!

Dealing with the crazy weather is just part of living in a volatile area (hello, ring of fire – volcanoes!)  Normally it is more predictable crazy, but you learn to live with whatever you get.  So, this winter we spent a lot of time wishing for snow cover, while enjoying letting our ice cleats get a rest.  Trees and shrubs are budding early, there’s crocus and daffodils blooming at slightly lower elevations, and the moose have been notably absent for a few months.  We can only hope that not too many things suffered from the lack of cold – or from the few sudden cold snaps!  And, while most of us wouldn’t mind the warm (to us) temps holding off a bit, we just hope any temperature drop isn’t so severe as to damage these newly growing buds.  We have no control over it, but we can hope and wish, and we do our best to work with it!

Today’s is a rambling post, I know, but hey, some days are like that, right?  I’ve been trying to be at peace with the weather, and having varied success.  A week or so ago, during one of the crazy weather changes, we had the most exquisite rainbow – full from one side to the other!  It brought a bit of calmness to the frenzy and worry about how and when we’ll plant this year.  I don’t have a wide-angle lens, so it took me 3 frames to capture the whole thing.  Neither the brilliance, nor the double, come through much in the photos.  So it goes, though.  Our whole family stood and watched the rainbow as it strengthened, and then faded again.  It was a wonderful moment of family togetherness!

rainbows3 rainbows1rainbows2


Linking to the awesome Homestead Hop today!


Adding later in the day:  I’m still feeling rather like rambling about the weather, and how unpredictable and even frustrating it has been this winter/spring…but, like the rainbow, sometimes I am able to stop and have a moment of being in the ‘now’.  The snow was quite pretty this morning, and the kids are happily playing outside in it!  (School can wait….snow has been sparse, so we take advantage when we can!)


Homeschool: Building Pyramids

One of the things I absolutely love about homeschooling is the projects we do!  Sometimes they are my own ideas, sometimes they come from various other sources.   We’ve been learning about ancient people in our history lessons, and last week discussed some of the ancient Egyptians.  We discussed mummies, and Pharaohs, and pyramids. Then we built pyramids!  While we could have built our own blocks, we already have a couple long term projects going on.   (Longevity of papyrus scrolls vs clay tablets, as well as mummifying a chicken.)   So, we decided that Legos would be a great medium to use.

Counting out our blocks.

Counting out our blocks.



Progress, she's partway to the top!

Progress, she’s partway to the top!


Miss D went to find her Sphinx to help guard her pyramid!

Miss D found her Sphinx to help guard her pyramid!


Success!  Three pyramids!

Success! Three pyramids!


Three pyramids – we decided the middle one might be the Great Pyramid – with a Sphinx to guard.  Great fun!  I love hands-on learning.  The original pyramids may not have been quite so colorful, but we’re okay with that.  :-)

Another Homestead Hop Linkup!

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