Walking the Dog

When we walk the dog as a family, we have to do so at the crack of dawn because train schedules are merciless.

Getting out of bed in the dark is surely painful, and getting kids out the door is moreso. But, once we’re walking peacefully next to the river with the lovely dawn light filtering through the tree leaves, it all feels worth it.

The summer heat isn’t burning us alive (or should I say boiling? dat humidity… x_x ). We have the path to ourselves because who else is crazy enough to be out that early?

But the main advantage is how much everyone enjoys being out there together:


….or not? Well, anyway, the Curious Pup loves it. He gets to sniff All The Things.

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Butterfly String Art Project

I’ve been working on a string art project and finally finished. Like, on the wall finished.


My studio. Still being decorated...

I may or may not struggle with the the last 10% of my projects. It’s like the excitement has worn off and I just want it over, so I find the finishing touches to be kinda tedious.

I love the inspiration and planning part of any project. I also look forward watching the form of it unfold and grow. But then there’s the last part, like sewing in ends and seaming in knitting, where I’m like, “WHY isn’t this OVER yet??”

Approachable Man thrives on the finishing touches, so we make a great team. But when it’s for a knitting or art project, it’s all on me. Ugh. Am I the only one that gets more tired the closer I get to the finish line?

But, oh, hey, I finished one! I thought, if I finish this, I can make a blog post about it.

And now you know the real reason for this blog. Oversight.

Ahem. Anyway! I wanted to try my hand at string art, since I’m surrounded by yarn anyway. And butterfly seemed like the obvious motif, since I love all things butterfly.

String art is where you put nails in a board in a pattern, and then string yarn around the nails, either randomly or in geometric patterns. I used paper patterns for placing the nails that I drew out myself in order to make the thing symmetrical.

Here’s the progression:


First round of tiny nails.


Anyone remember spirograph?



Took me about 5 tries before I was satisfied with the pattern for the body.



I felt like it was looking pretty good, but still missing something at this point. Balance maybe?



Anyway, that’s my finished project. Hurray for finished projects! Next I’ll likely be planning patterns for some summer knitting, hopefully for some things to be ready for cool weather in the fall.

I used to make a lot more wall art, usually in paint, but haven’t so much since I took up knitting. It was nice to revisit such an undertaking!

What have you all been working on?

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First Big Harvest!

Summer is the part of the year where all the work starts to pay off. A glorious glorious time of year.

Summer is also when it becomes too freaking hot to work in the garden. A tragic tragic time of year.

We solve this problem by working on it super early. And every day I do that…I die a little inside.

Not a morning person here.


Top left: kale and collards
Bottom left: Garlic harvest is in! plus some small early onions
Basket: early red potatoes
Middle: carrots from thinning (plus a lonely red radish)
Right: Beets and their greens (which are edible as a leafy green vegetable)

Also coming in right now are scallions, lettuce, and bok choy. The tomatoes are getting ready to turn. AND there are some baby pumpkin buds on the sugar (pie) pumpkin and big orange Halloween pumpkin plants!

The battle with the bugs continues, however, as they’ve stunted the growth of the summer squashes, watermelon (WHY??), cantaloupe, cucumber, pepper, and eggplant plants.

We shall be victorious. Darn it.

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Father’s Day Adventures

So, we decided on a nice walk in the woods this morning, since the day was so clear and beautiful and not too hot for late June.

And, oh hey, it’s Father’s Day. Why not let Dad celebrate his state of Fatherhood-ness by going for a lovely stroll with his lovely family on a lovely day?


If we had envisioned a peaceful  promenade with skipping, gleeful, obedient children and birds singing the Sleeping Beauty Waltz in the background, our hopes were quickly dashed by the 3yo deciding to exercise her threeness.

“I don’t wanna wear dose shooooooes! I wanna wear the sparkly ones [that are 2 sizes too big and that I only knew about because my innovative and overly curious big sister pulled them out of their secret hiding in storage].”

Even if she didn’t say all that, that’s definitely how I heard it.

So we got to drive down to the trail to the unending soundtrack of “BAD DADDY” spoken around our shoeless Wiggly Toddler’s little thumb.

The Approachable Man asked her if she though he was Bad to the Bone. Without even the slightest deliberation, she decided, “No, He is just a BAD DADDY. Humph!”

Upon our arrival, the Helpful Kid asked for the leash to the Curious Pup and ran off. The Toddler “asked” why the Kid “goooooooo-oooooo-oooot the leeeeeeeeeash?” so I gave it to her straight. “To torture you, sweetie. Clearly.”

For some reason, she then cheered up enough to accept shoes on her feet and then ran off to join her sister.

All went well-ish for the first mile. But then it was time to turn around and the kids were Tired.

But we were prepared!

…Or so we thought…

The stroller we had dragged along for that mile had a flat tire. But, as I said the kids were tired. So Approachable Man took turns carrying the kids. Er, I mean, the kids took turns being carried by Approachable Man. Whatevs.

I mean, is there a better way to reflect upon the weight of responsibility Fatherhood entails than by carrying your progeny’s actual, uh, weight?

We walked along, Approachable Man carrying each kid in turn, me pushing the empty stroller, kids whining full blast…all the grownups hoping that one of the many bikers going by would notice our predicament and let us borrow a bike pump…

Instead, all the bikers noticed the empty stroller and the heavy child in his arms and rode by looking at us like we were insane.

Which, in retrospect…

So while I walked along with a sardonic look on my face and a dying but stubborn hope that someone would help us, suddenly an older couple on bikes pulled over and asked if they could give our kids little National Park Service badge pins…


I have lived here all my life and been on that same trail many times and have never once seen Park Service Patrol.

But in that moment, they were like angels in disguise. I asked if they had a bike pump we could borrow and they proceeded to pump up all the tires, including the totally flat one!

Oh man. If that didn’t set us up to have an amazing rest of the day, then nothing could.

A kidless movie date and some family time followed this adventure.

I think I’ll call this Father’s Day a success.

Happy Father’s Day to Approachable Man, who is the best father I’ve ever seen! I’m so glad you’re there for us. ❤

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Saturday Brunch

Some weeks are so awful that the only way to get on the right foot for the weekend is to go all out first thing Saturday morning. Especially since I had nothing better to do after being kicked out of my own bed because “There’s no room and I’m getting SQUISHED, Mooooommy! Waaaaah!

Yep. Off to a great start.

I’m calling this brunch, even though it’s being served as early as breakfast because of my tiny hungry morning person (how the heck did I give birth to a morning person?!). But, you see, if I call it brunch, it helps me pretend like I’m a grownup with grownup hopes and dreams.

Although, I should likely give up on that dream to sleep in on the weekends…


Brunch menu today:

-Roasted asparagus and garlic scape frittata
-Fried potato pancakes
-Purple cabbage sauerkraut

……and an extra large cup of Earl Grey Creme, without which none of the rest would have happened…

And now Approachable Man is cleaning the kitchen. Yay, weekend!

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An “I’m Still Alive” Update

Would it be weird to express a preference for a fever over a cold? Both leave me without the will to live energy to cook, but the former also leaves me unable to eat.

That’s one of the most insane win-win scenarios the motherhood-rewiring of my brain has ever come up with.

So far.

So I have a cold. Hurray. And my family is slowly starving to death as a result. Or, at least, that’s how the kids are portraying their lot. I would likely have recovered by now if I didn’t have to keep dragging myself up from horizontal to scrounge for sacrifices to the tyranny of small bellies.

They’ve figured out I’ll give them almost anything to make the noise stop.

We may or may not be in trouble now.

We may or may not resort to watermelon for dinner.

Stay-at-home moms really don’t get sick days. :-/

I’ve been quite busy, hence the long break between posts. We did some vacationing last week, which was tooooooooooooo nice. The stress of getting back to routine resulted in this cold.

Live some, learn some.

Now, please excuse me while I play hide and seek with my children. Pro tip: If I don’t tell them that’s the game we’re playing, it makes the game much more fun for me.

Of course, we could also call this the “crawl into a corner and mutter ‘It’s almost the weekend…It’s almost the weekend…It’s almost the weekend…’ with a blanket over your head” game.

Today, I’m #keepingitreal.

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Rain, Radishes, and Revelry

The weather has been rather cold and rainy for the last eon month or so. My garden has been suffering a bit from the colder than usual temperatures. All that rain doesn’t do much good if the little sprouts freeze to death. In freaking late-May. But you know what grows really well in sub-par conditions?


It finally stopped raining for a little while. It was long enough to do some much needed weeding in the garden, thank goodness.

And now I’ll add “thank goodness it stopped raining long enough to do some weeding” to my list of things I never thought I’d say.

The rain and chill has at least been okay for the radishes!


3 kinds of radish plus a couple of leeks

It’s always nice to see the growth of the vegetables I’ve planted and reflect upon how much work goes into the food we eat. How many weeks worth of effort do those delicious looking radishes represent? How many do I need in order to feed my family? How long could we survive a zombie apocalypse?

Somehow I suddenly feel like our fence isn’t quite tall enough…

End of civilization aside, it felt good to go out and dig into the soft earth and tend to the needs of the plants that will ultimately tend to our needs.

Any day where I can get my hands dirty in the garden has to be a good day, right?

Happy Monday!

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