Friday, May 30, 2014

Goumi Berries

This is Jay.

A couple of years ago, Millie planted some bushes in what has now become the chicken run. Despite their amazing name--Goumi Berry Bushes--they never really panned out for us until this year. Suddenly, though, we were awash in Goumi Berries. Every day for a week or so one to three of us would go out there and cull berries, seemingly never to approach the end. Kira loves it. 

You have to be careful with the chickens, though. They follow you around waiting for any slip up, pouncing en masse on a single berry. Once, the most friendly & audacious of the chickens even drew blood on Kira, pecking at her side in an effort to force her to drop a berry.  (We have since taught Kira that she has full permission to kick a pestering chicken).
They are small, with a sour/sweet kind of taste. I instantly fell in love with them, insomuch as they come free from my yard.
This might be the best shot to show just how many berries we have--this is a view of about a third of the two giant bushes; there is also a third, smaller bush producing. This photo also magically captures the instant after a rather large peal of thunder. How cute is that look of alarm on Kira's face?

Friday, May 23, 2014

For Daddy

Today is Jay's last day of school with students.  He has 2 days of post-planning next week, and then... glorious summer!  These pictures are for Daddy.  We had an adventure by the river this morning, and we can't wait to share all our adventures with you this summer!  
 (That's Kira and John in the hammock with the river behind them.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rock Sign

Kira made herself a "secret spot" outside today where she can collect her outdoor treasures (acorn tops, interesting leaves, etc.).  She painted a rock to demarcate her territory.  The girl loves to make signs.
(You may be able to tell that the sign says, "No Kira."  I asked her about it, and she said it should be read, "No.  Kira.")

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Good Life

My Mother's Day was not what I had planned.  I was supposed to be out of town on a church retreat with my husband, children, and many good friends.  It was to be a restorative, memorable, and downright fun weekend.  But John had insanely high fevers all week that subsided only to turn into a barking cough.  The poor child needed to stay home.  I convinced my ever-ready-to-sacrifice-anything-and-everything-for-my-happiness husband to take Kira on the retreat and have an amazing time while I stayed home with the 2 boys.  (No point in taking the 17-month-old out of town if one of us is staying home.)  And I have to say that it has been a wonderful weekend - possibly even restorative.  I woke up on Mother's Day to these 2 shining faces...
I got to wander around my rain-drenched yard and cut flowers for my own amazing, inspiring, loving, and wise mother.  And just look at those chubby hands infringing on my picture.  The picture may not have been exactly what I thought I wanted, but it's surely better this way.  Such is life.
Full disclosure: I wrote this sentimental post on Mother's Day but did not publish it.  My typing was interrupted by Simon breaking my glasses and spilling a jar of flowers.  By the time I got back to the computer, I was in a much less sanguine state of mind.  Simon was not the culprit at that point as much as his big brother.  3-year-olds can have that effect on you.  As their mood waxes and wanes, it's easy to follow right along behind them.  Days later, I have regained perspective and am coming back to post these Mother's Day reflections.

Sunday, May 4, 2014