Inviting the Wild In

This week we have some new “pets”:

My son found a caterpillar in the doctor’s office parking lot last week and brought it home. He made it a habitat in a plastic container and it promptly starting spinning a cocoon.

We also have been feeding a young black-and-white male cat that has been hanging around our house since Mother’s Day. I let the kids let it in the house last weekend (anything to keep them occupied) and now it wants to come in all the time. Basically, if the other cats aren’t around, I let it in for a while. He’s super friendly and also, being young, much more playful and generally interesting than our very old cats. E.g., our cats don’t notice the guinea pigs, but this cat is mesmerized by them, going so far as to stick a paw through the bars of the cage. This cat also followed us all the way to school the other morning, to the kids’ delight. After dropping the kids off, I ended up carrying him home, to keep him safe.

Hubs is adamant about us not getting another cat, so we’ll see what happens. At the very least, I might have to take him to get fixed. I definitely feel like there’s a sign over my house that says “Sucker Lives Here.”

Just got back from the farmer’s market, on this about-to-be-raining Saturday. Kept it simple and got romaine lettuce, strawberries, a cookie and eggs. I think I need to study the layout of the market (they provide it on Facebook, etc., ahead of time each week) and make sure I am buying organic or IPM (integrated pest management) produce, because I don’t think all of it is. For instance, this week, the romaine is, but not sure about the strawberries, and the eggs didn’t make any free-range claims, although they are from a Lancaster farm. I think I will also order ahead of time with Hillacres Pride so I can just pick up my chicken, cheese, and meats and not have to decide on the spot or not have enough money. Brought my daughter again, which means stopping and greeting every one of the 1,652 dogs at the market, so that takes up some time.

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It was another busy busy week. Last Sunday, I had some messing-around-in-the-kitchen time. I made black bean dip with cilantro right off the plant. Love the smell of cilantro! I had to do a quick study of cilantro harvesting. Now I know why the cilantro plant I grew from seed a while ago bolted so quickly. Anyway, I got lots of leaves off this new plant, enough to also freeze some with lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes to make a guacamole starter.

I also made big batch of lemonade and saved the lemons for my homemade cleaner (I need more jars to make it in). We went to a First Communion party and later had French toast for dinner with brioche bread from the farmer’s market. We’ve also slowly been eating up the two loaves of banana bread that I baked two weeks ago or so.

Monday morning, I realized my checking account was about to be overdrawn again. I went right to the bank and made a deposit. But the shock of that happening made me look around for extra money, and I remembered I had just received my rebate gift card for $100 from buying my contacts, so I used that to grocery shop. I also found a Wawa gift card and checked the balance on it — $25. It was sitting around the kitchen forever and I wasn’t sure if it was used up or what. So that was a silver lining to the continuing cash flow  problem.

The week flew by, with lots of PTA stuff, travel soccer team tryouts, playdates and more. I cooked Monday, Wednesday and Friday… Tuesday we went out to eat and Thursday was pizza. Nothing fancy, but I did eat a lot of leftovers for lunch and also added arugula from the garden to my turkey sandwiches and salads. I’ve got Butter King lettuce out there ready to go now. The arugula plants all bolted, so I cut off the spikes and harvested most of the leaves, in the hopes that it will now grow more leaves. Otherwise I might do a new planting. Love me some arugula. The spikes had little buds on them, which I think are edible, but I gave them to the guinea pigs instead.

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The rest of the garden is looking pretty good. But I haven’t made much progress on my new bed. I ran into a whole mess of tree roots there. Hoping my husband will find time to chop them out of there. I also broke a shovel working on that spot. The rain today is not helping.

If I can’t garden today, I guess I’ll be doing laundry and PTA stuff, and cleaning. Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to. I should just relax and enjoy the peace because the next two weeks are going to be nuts.

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