Small News Sent from the Couch

Little Lightning LaBolt is small enough that we're ignoring the cycle date and using the ultrasound as the due date, which takes me from nearly 34 weeks down to 31 weeks.  This will, Lord willing, keep us from a c-section done only for the sake of hospital protocol, but now I have to figure out how to justify the fact that I've already shot past the high end of poundage.  Surely it's ALL going to that little baby, right? 

Thank goodness for garden vegetables pouring in to offset the candy and couch-sitting.  We gobbled our first bowl of sungold tomatoes in no time at all and enjoyed the first ears of fresh corn the same day.  Yellow Squash Everything is on the menu, but, alas, the troops of beetles I hunted down and the hundreds of eggs I squashed weren't enough to save the zucchini.  Out of five hills, one plant survives, and the bugs are rotting the baby zucchini as fast as the plant can grow them.  It's a bad sign when there's not zucchini to hide on neighbors' doorsteps.

After tormenting him daily for a month, we sent Joel back off to Indiana with an early birthday cake, candle-lit in a power outage.   John and the children played board games until an hour and a half past bedtime.  Who says electricity makes people stay up later? (And, thankfully, not even one pound of Teman's ground beef defrosted!)

The children have taken to light h'learning admirably, but, even so, we toss in trips to the pond to liven things up when weeding, picking vegetables, and h'learning need a bit more spice (which is, really, EVERY DAY). With a whiff of October in chilly August air, we'll grab all the swimming days we have left, and hold fast with both hands.

Handmade Beauty

I can't recall the last giveaway I entered, but ages have passed.  I'm one of many happy readers of Ginny's blog, though, and when I saw a giveaway for buttons and a shawl pin, I entered on a whim, thinking of Millie and knowing that she would put handmade buttons to good use in the unlikely chance that my name was picked.  Plus, a handmade, mahogany turtle pin, rich and smooth and dark?  That's enough to draw just about anybody in.

Unlikely as it was, we won, and then spent a long time bumping our heads together over the computer screen, admiring all the woodcraft from Wooly Moss Roots.  We had the pleasure of picking out a set of buttons and a shawl pin from among the gorgeous selections, and Taryn was kind enough to send a beautiful tree button for Millie, to boot!  Millie's saving her tree button for a special project, but she used the first button of the sassafrass set on this hat for Zeke (the Aviatrix Hat by Justine Turner).

She plans to re-knit the strap before fall, but Zeke would be happy with it at any length.

 The hat was supposed to be for this scene-stealer, but his head, large as it is, was not quite large enough.  I think a matching hat is in order...or more than one.  We still have 8 sassafrass buttons left!


Hullo, August

Even though I hate to see summer speed by, I'm still a bit relieved that July is over.  The entire month bustled.  There were back-to-back vacations that sent half of us to the lake and all of us to Long Island, broken-down vehicles and a finicky boiler, doctor's visits and sick babies and sleepless nights, a giant birthday celebration for Annika (pictures to come later), the county fair, and fireworks.  As if that weren't enough, July then heaped up regular chores, weeding, swimming, and smaller adventures to spill over the edges and pool onto the floor.

Whew.  And now August.  We're beginning to enjoy a few garden fruits-- peppers, beans, summer squashes, sugar peas, and enough lettuce for all of Watership Down.  We dried a ton of wild mint and harvested the garlic, and we fried up eggplant from other growers while waiting for the rest of the garden to ripen, which, in these days of plentiful sun and rain, will happen in a blink.  Rich purple echinacea and sunny yellow lilies fill the vases, and all the reds, pinks, and creams have come into their own, turning everything heady with color.

Today we began a bit of h'learning to tie up some loose ends from last year.  Plus, with Little LaBolt arriving at the tail end of harvest, right before we usually begin to h'learn, every little bit will help (I proclaim hopefully). Today I'm even calling the doctor to set up a prenatal appointment!  As John said yesterday, "You'll get less of a lecture now at 32 weeks than you will if you arrive at the hospital without any doctor in place."  I'm glad to have this wise man.  The next couple of weeks look relatively quiet, a brief lull before we welcome back the bustle with arms flung wide.

Leftovers and Bird-watching for Sunday's Supper

A Birthday Cowl

Millie's finished quite a few projects lately, but I haven't taken any pictures.  She needed me to take some of this test knit, though, to share with the designer, which forced my snapshotting hand. (Test knitting is her new way of getting cool patterns for free, sneaky girl.)

It's the "Study in Texture" cowl, and she made it as a birthday gift for Deborah.

I think she should make another for herself.

In Fair Weather

Day one: We made flower bouquets all morning and dropped them off for judging with 15 minutes to spare.  Then we were off to see the sights--mainly cows and tractors-- for a few hours until we could go back to the exhibit building and tally up our ribbons.

And tigers.  Cows and tractors and tigers!

We came home to large messes in every room.  Ah.  Fair week.

Day 2: Picnic day!  After counting up our ribbons on Wednesday and mentally calculating our winnings, we were free to turn into spendthrifts!  Annika made cookies, Susannah made lemonade, we packed chips and candy leftover from our visit with Grandma Owen, and I picked up sandwich meat, rolls, and more chips at the local grocery store.  Joel, Grandma J., and Deborah joined us for munching, and then it was off to the races for several more hours of hillbilly fair fun (still mainly cows, tractors, and tigers).

Even though this charming skull/mason jar mashup won a blue over mine and Mildred's potholders (neither her hand-woven beauty nor my appliqued chicken set got a ribbon), we killed it at the fair this year.  Picnic money, elephant ears, a ride apiece, a bag of cotton candy, AND leftover money for rides at the state fair.  Woot!  There's nothing like blowing free money all in one go.  And next year-- just you wait-- I'm making a weirdly painted sign thingy just like this one.  It's what the judges want!

Tractors and boys to ride them.

The annual stairstep picture at the horse barn.  Remember when there were NO BOYS to cause problems at the end of the line?!  

Man, we didn't know what wonderful fun we were missing.

Ah, Cadence.  We love you, too.

Elephant ears are such a rip-off...and so delicious.



(Water jug interlude.)

More rides!

Aidan grinned just like this for the duration.  I'm sure he's still dreaming of this magical thing.

My other lens stopped working for the five minutes of Zeke's ride until I jiggled it back into working order (with my technical skill), but he loved it, too.

Luci kept her eyes closed for this entire ride.  At least she was flanked by two happy sisters.

 Pip and Annie rode a few gliders behind.

Right before leaving, Annika used some of her personal fair winnings to go on this.  

Was she scared?!

Not a bit.  She said it was "relaxing," and that it felt like she was floating down toward the ground.  Ha!  Yeah.

And a happier year for cotton candy this time around, thank goodness.

Half an hour after we finally got home, the couch was full.

Two hours after that, it was full again.  I'm so glad we have a month to recuperate before the state fair arrives.