June Blooms

New rule! I am tired of writing “my older son,” “my younger son,” etc. Henceforth my spawn shall be known as “Aidan,” “Sebastian,” and “Gemma,” in birth order, to make things easier for me. Those are all names I considered for first or middle names for them.

Sooo, today I signed Aidan up for basketball at the Y on Thursday evenings. Gemma is signed up for tumbling at roughly the same time. I need to call the Y and see what swim level their instructor recommended them for at the end of the last round of lessons, then I will sign all three up for those. On top of that, I signed Aidan up for a STEAM class that focuses on alternative energy and robotics, at the local high school, which runs mornings the first two weeks of summer. I will probably sign Sebastian up for something as well. Prices aren’t too bad. I really love the Y; they have a great selection of classes and clinics. And the school district has some great offerings as well, this year.

Structure! Structure! Not too much, but a little. I gotta have it.

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to the town pool for the first time and got our season tags. It was fun, just Sebastian, Gemma, and me. The playground there has been completely redone and it is really nice. The water was like a million ice cubes had melted right before I got in. But the high was 93 yesterday so it felt good.


Today, Aidan, Sebastian, and I are sick. Sebastian has a fever. I’m wondering if his fever will last for five days straight like Gemma’s did the other week. I’m hoping that the reason we’ve had so much sickness in the house this year has to do with Gemma entering school for the first time. And that next year will be better. Please God.

Outside, June is busting out all over. I have strawberries blossoming!


And runner beans:


(Could not get the camera to focus on the blossom.) Until recently, the scent of roses and honeysuckle was delightfully strong out in the yard. I transplanted the pepper seedlings into raised bed #2, and filled in any empty spots with basil pods and seeds. Another planter now has basil, cilantro and parsley seeds. The pumpkin seeds have been planted. I think I’m done.

Out in the front garden, I planted some kind of tuber that will produce lilies, one large black-eyed susan seedpod, and some forget-me-not seeds — all free from various sources. Most exciting: my hydrangea, which has never bloomed for me, seems to have buds. Yay! I credit the guinea pig manure.

Lots of long evenings spent in the garden(s), keeping everything watered, picking off pests, weeding, while the kids play basketball, throw water balloons, play with the black-and-white cat.

Friday I got some errands done on the avenue: returning library books, buying tortillas (locally made in Bridgeton, NJ, I realized) and avocados at Sara’s Produce. I looked in Clutter but resisted strong temptation to buy a set of ironware plates and bowls that would go nicely with ones I already have. Beautiful day for walking. I had to go to Staples as well, and resisted getting Chick Fil A, which is right there. So I got a grilled cheese to go from the Pop Shop downtown, but picked out the chicken that was in it and saved that for my delectable dinner: those corn tortillas filled with the chicken, homemade guacamole (using my starter), cheese, sour cream, and lettuce from the garden. (Kids had chicken nuggets and mac n cheese; hubs was out.) So fresh and good. Had the guac with nachos the next day too.

It capped off a relatively healthy, local week of eating. Monday was spaghetti and meatballs; Tuesday, chicken piccata, homemade rice a roni, and broccoli; Wednesday, strip steaks from 7th Heaven Farm with local asparagus (roasted) and local mushrooms (sautéed), and baked potatoes. Thursday was Ellio’s pizza, which was… cheap, anyway. The kids ate leftovers all week to fill in the gaps.


The steaks came out pretty good. I used this method and my cast iron pan, but they were so thick I had to pop them under the broiler to finish. *Lots* of smoke in the kitchen. My husband liked his:


Yesterday I got to the farmers’ market, but didn’t buy too much: chicken from Hillacres Pride, eggs, romaine lettuce. I held off on strawberries because I thought we might go strawberry picking (we didn’t). I thought about asparagus or squash, but couldn’t find any that was organic. The one or two stands that are organic seemed to mostly have lettuce. Later, I decided I was being too picky. A lot of farms are virtually organic, but because the certification is difficult, not all farms aim for it. (Not to mention that I’ve eaten nonorganic 95% of my life.) I’m too shy to ask the people behind the stands.


Last week of school coming up!


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