Cake day

Today I had more energy than usual and didn't have to be anywhere in the afternoon, so cake happened. Soup and three loaves of bread happened too, while I was at it.

It had occurred to me earlier today that it has been years since I made my husband his favorite spice cake.

Not anymore.


Quick trip

We made a quick trip to visit family over the weekend to see my sister's baby blessed and to visit with everyone. The children had the most fun playing my parents' two organs and two pianos. (Pictured above: Tiger Lily wearing my old dress, which is 20-something years old, at the pump organ, which is 100+ years old.)

We finished off the weekend with a cousins' piano recital (and Red Chief performed a hymn on the pipe organ, the first he's learned). We made an impromptu stop at a historical site on the way home and got back home late and tired, but happy.


Frivolous pleasures

Today Chrissy inspired me to share some of my favorite little pleasures. They may not be good for me and they're completely frivolous, but it's good to know what you need when it's time to unwind sometimes, no?
  • Food: Dairy free ice cream, chocolate cake, salt and vinegar chips, chocolate-covered raisins
  • Shows: Jane Austen movies (or spin-offs like Austenland), Studio C, TwoSet Violin, Antiques Roadshow, Great British Bake Off
  • Reading: Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, Patricia C. Wrede, D.E. Stevenson, L.M. Montgomery, Daisy Ashford, Grace Livingston Hill, James Herriot, J.K. Rowling, Ruth Reichl.
  • Music: Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, Eric Whitacre, Anonymous 4, or just about any classical music
  • Activities: Journaling, sleeping, playing Design Home, listening to audio books or podcasts, genealogy, library trip, walk, arranging flowers
What do you do to unwind?


Flowers of two sorts

I gleaned my weedy garden yesterday and came out with these flowers. They were just what I needed to brighten up a house made gloomy by wildfire smoke. I haven't seen the sun all week!

And below the bouquet are some paper flowers Tiger Lily made earlier this summer. She learned to make them at an art class this summer, so I put in an order. She is usually happy to fill my requests. Now she's working on birthday cards to send out to relatives so I don't have to buy any.


Quick trip

We made a quick family trip before school started. We saw an ice cave, a volcanic site, and an early nuclear reactor, all of which Red Chief was highly pleased with (the rest of us didn't mind). We also stayed in a tipi and cooked over a fire, which the kids enjoyed very much.

The first night Pip was wandering around in the dark and fell on top of the fire pit (the fire was out). My husband and I just assumed it was still quite hot, and we immediately got the nearby hose and started treating him. But when I went to check the grate, it was almost cool. We feel very blessed that Pip came through with nothing more than a few scratches. However, the whole incident scared him and it took him quite awhile to calm him down.

The next evening a thunderstorm blew in, and it hailed and rained quite violently. Our tipi turned out not to be very waterproof and soon we and our belongings were quite damp. Pip was completely traumatized at the failure of his shelter and wailed all the way to a restaurant where we eventually warmed up. After dinner we packed up and went home a night early rather than sleep in puddles.

All in all, we actually had a great time, and we definitely made some memories. Three-year-olds may be easily upset, but they recover quickly.


Local economy

I've been pleased this summer to do business with my neighbors. One teaches art classes, another piano lessons. We buy garden vegetables from another, who also takes viola lessons from me. Teenagers in the neighborhood run summer workshops and classes for children, and I can't even count the number of times I've had them over to babysit. I love that we can all help each other, and it makes me feel more at home here, more rooted in our community.



Thanks so much to Danielle who let me know this week that comments on my blog weren't being published. I haven't seen any in my email in months and I just assumed no one was reading. I found your comments (thank you!) and I'll work now on figuring out what happened with the email. My apologies for not answering for so long!


Howlers from Pip

I love the stage when my kids start saying funny things unwittingly. Here are some of Pip's latest. He's three and a half.


"Mom, Tiger Lily's touching my property!"

Pip saw a man smoking in a parking lot. He was very impressed. "That man is blowing FIRE bubbles!"

Pip: "See these things in my ears? They're eardrunks. My eardrunks help me hear."
Me: "Oh, you mean eardrums?"
Pip: "No. Drunks help you hear. Not drums. I don't have drums in my ears!"

"Mommy, can you observation a tree and find me a chopped down tree?"

Tiger Lily had a doughnut.
Red Chief: "Could I please have a little bit?"
Pip: "You're allergic to doughnuts. Give it to me!"

Pip: "Mommy, are you happy?"
Me: "Yes."
Pip: "Then why is your mouth straight?"

"I got an owie on the chin of my arm."

Pip: "Can you please get me a drink of water?"
Me: "Sure."
Pip: "This water is too wet for me."


Envelope hoarder

Hi. I guess it's been awhile. Lots has happened since I last checked in. Red Chief turned twelve. We've kept busy running around to swimming lessons, music lessons, and other fun summer classes (a woman in our neighborhood just started teaching art classes and Tiger Lily is a big fan). We've tried to make the effort to go to one or two fun places each week. Red Chief has finally learned how to keep his room clean.

But I'm checking in today to confess that I'm an envelope hoarder. Tiger Lily and I organized the school supplies yesterday to see if we needed to buy anything, and I found a few boxes of envelopes. This is on top of the several-inches-high stack I already have at my writing desk, and the industrial-sized box I just gave away a few months ago.

It's not just envelopes. We found several pounds of crayons, about ten boxes of markers, eight rolls of packing tape, and enough notebook paper to run a classroom.

If the apocalypse happens tomorrow, we may starve, but at least we'll have plenty of office supplies.