small things

20140614-DSC_177420140614-DSC_177820140614-DSC_1821 20140614-DSC_1919Job has gone from sitting to thinking about crawling so quickly.  He’ll be on the move soon, but right now he’s surprisingly content sitting on the floor with a few toys.  I’m going to a homeschooling conference this weekend, and my original plan was to leave Job with Jonny and the rest of the family, and have him brought to me for nursing sessions here and there.  I think that he may be happy to sit with me while I attend some of the lectures though, so I’m going to try bringing him along.

The bookcase that I painted a month or so ago has made it’s way into the kitchen sitting on one side of the fridge, while the chicken wire painted hutch (same color) is on the other.  I like this arrangement right now.  I try my best to keep the top surfaces free from clutter, but as you can see from both the bookcase photo and the hutch photo earlier this week, it’s a losing battle.  The aquarium is gone now though; it’s temporary snake resident was released a few days ago.

I made millet tabouleh for the first time in ages recently.  I think my recipe originally came from my friend Summer:   Toast some millet (go with a 1 cup increment) in the oven, and then cook it on the stove-2 parts water to 1 part millet.  I started with three dry cups of millet, you might not need quite so much!  I simmer it on the stove (without a lid) until all the water is absorbed, then fluff it with a fork, let it cool a bit, and then refrigerate.  Meanwhile, chop veggies:  tomato, cucmber, green onion, and some parsley.  The dressing is simple:  per dry cup of millet add the juice of one lemon along with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and some red wine vinegar to taste.  And of course salt and pepper.  That’s it.  Looking at one of my photos above, I see a big sprig of mint on the table next to my tabouleh.  I didn’t add mint to the salad, Seth was making some sort of coconut oil fresh mint concoction that day that ultimately made him sick….

After taking Keats along with Seth and the girls for their golfing date on Monday, our friend Mike commented that Seth and Keats are like oil and water.  It’s true that they’ve never really gotten along, and I don’t think they would mind my saying so here.  I’ll refrain from pointing my finger at the child whom I think is to blame for the relationship failure though.  As they are getting older, I am finding that they do, every now and then, find something that they can do together without fighting for a few minutes.  I’m always very grateful when that happens, even if I realize that one of them shouldn’t be playing because his chores or schoolwork aren’t done.  I find myself tiptoeing away during their rare moments of camaraderie.  I truly hope that one day these two might be great friends, and we’ll come back across this old blog post and laugh at how silly they were as kids to fight so much.

Jonny and I are still having so much fun with our bees (Although I haven’t been carrying my camera down there.  I need to!)  There’s lots of exciting stuff going on in our little apiary as the result of the swarm a few weeks ago.  The nervousness I was feeling around the bees a couple of months ago has passed.  I think it was more related to my mental state at the time, than it was the actual bees.  We have a little three compartment “queen castle” set up in an effort to raise a couple of queens from extra swarm cells that we pulled from the hive that swarmed.  I only filled two of the compartments though, leaving the third empty.  I can hardly type the name of the insects who have taken up residence in that compartment… cockroaches.  I don’t mind telling you that I have a cockroach phobia.  I can hardly handle the bees in the other two compartments, knowing that there are roaches scurrying around in the other, even though I keep the lid on.  Jonny opened it the other day, telling me to use the empty space to put things while I was working and I had to just walk away from the whole scene.  I’m not afraid of bees with stingers, but cockroaches are TERRIFYING.  Thankfully the queen castle is a very temporary thing, and those bees will be moving soon.

Speaking of bees, Wanda sent me a surprise earlier this week.  “This fabric made me think of you,” she wrote.  My knitting is very happy I’m sure to be residing in a honeybee themed project bag.  I love it.


cherry pie and baby bunnies

Last week on the way home from piano lessons, I hit a bird.  My children, who are unable to get along while riding in the van lately (unless there’s an audio book playing, why don’t I have any audio books right now?) were arguing in the backseat and I was a little fed up with them generally speaking.  So when I saw the blackbird sitting in the road just ahead of me, I didn’t pour all of my focus into how I would avoid hitting it.  I assumed it would fly out of the way, as birds nearly always do.  At the last moment, I realized that this bird didn’t seem to be moving so I swerved a little to the left so that it wouldn’t end up under one of my tires.  Somehow I managed to hit it anyway.  Evidently all of my children had noticed the bird and what they perceived as my lack of efforts to avoid hitting it.  Larkspur shouted from the very back, “Mommy you just hit that bird and there’s blood everywhere!”  Keats chimed in, “Why didn’t you stop?  Daddy would have honked to make it move!”  And it continued.

I love animals.  I’m maybe a little over the top in my love for animals.  I thought that the bullfrog my kids picked up out of the road a couple of weeks ago was so cute that I threatened to kiss it.  (I promise, I didn’t.  But I tried to convince my girls that they ought to just to see if he might turn into a prince.)  I was unhappy that I hit that bird.  It certainly wasn’t my intention.  My reaction time was just too slow.  As my kids mounted what was truly a bizarre verbal attack, I checked my rear view mirror and slammed on the brakes.  I’ll admit that I kind of love doing that for maximum impact.  Obviously it isn’t an option to just slam on the brakes in the middle of the road very often, but we were on our little country road and there weren’t any cars behind me.  I don’t remember what I said beyond my first sentence, “Have any of you ever known me to hurt an animal intentionally!”  I informed them that they were being cruel and suggested that it stop immediately.  I used my very serious voice.  I don’t know what got into them that day.  Arguing in the van because so and so “touched my seatbelt” is one thing, but this was a strange and unprecedented attack on me.

Later that day, I was lying in bed nursing Job when I heard doors start slamming downstairs and children running.  “Mommy!!  Seth killed a baby bunny!”  Oh, no.

Evidently, while doing some clearing in the backyard Seth uncovered a nest of baby rabbits, mortally wounding one in the process.  I felt bad for hitting that bird, but I don’t think my feelings even compared to how awful Seth felt.  I mean, who wants to kill an adorable baby bunny?  I resisted all urges to compare this accident to mine earlier in the day (one small step on the road to sainthood-ha!) and just did my best to comfort Seth.  Evidently, a second baby bunny hopped into a nearby briar patch after the incident, and Larkspur picked up the third.  The girls had high hopes that we would have to keep the bunny, in order to “save” it.  It was the cutest thing ever, and I wanted my turn! to hold it, but I was holding my own cute baby human.  I explained that the baby bunny was a wild animal and that it would need to be returned to the place where Seth found it.  Seth did a quick internet search about wild rabbits and read that their mothers only nurse them once per day for about five minutes, and that she would look for them when she returned to find the nest disturbed.  Baby Bunny was placed under the briar patch where it’s sibling had hopped and we hope it was reunited with its mommy.

Now what we are facing is areas of our property that need to be cleared to maintain them as a meadow, and children who say that there can be no clearing of any kind until the dead of winter.  I don’t know how this will play out.  Baby bunnies are really cute.

Jonny dropped me at the grocery store on Saturday and then took the kids to pick sour cherries from a couple of nearby roadside trees.  Sour cherries are a once a year thing, so I went all out this time and made a sour cherry pie.  I got fancy, even using one of the kids play dough toys to cut the top crust and make it pretty.  I almost feel guilty even mentioning it, because I know that fresh sour cherries are hard to come by, but it turned out so good, and so pretty.  I used this recipe, and it was absolutely perfect.