Meals on Wheels and Market Hauls

With the arrival of full-blown summer, I find myself vacillating between two extremes. When it all goes right, I am so happy it’s summer and feel like the luckiest mom ever. Other days, I’m ready to get a job, a very full-time job, and ship them off to camp.

Most of the good days involve the pool. Pool = friends to play with, water ice, nachos with cheese, diving board, playground, and I get to read.


I caved and bought a $10 magazine at Target called “Off-Grid Living.” Fun reading for me, except for the vast number of errors and typos. May I send you my proofreading rates, OGL?


Other fun times so far have included having a fire and making s’mores, under our new lights, also from Target ($12; that and the magazine were my big summer indulgences).


We’ve also been to the library several times, had fun babysitting our little friend S. for a few days, hung out in the park investigating the pond for turtles and frogs, and went back to the secret rope swing that Gemma and I found a few weeks ago.

Most recently at the library, Gemma took part in the “read to a dog” program:


Gemma and I went to a local food and music festival that also had a petting zoo. Great way to celebrate the longest night of the year. I’ll be sure to get a babysitter next year so I can hang out at the beer garden!


All the kids and I went to yet another food truck/beer/music festival last night. Only Gemma seems really able to truly hang though. The boys wanted to leave almost immediately. She is also a good farmers’ market companion. This morning we went together and enjoyed an egg sandwich before shopping.


The frustrating times are when Sebastian and Gemma sass me, which seems to happen anytime I ask them to do anything, lately, and when all three of them spend too much time “on devices.” The days seem very long and a little hard to fill (again, unless we go to the pool). But, I deploy “reading time,” “math time” and “job time” strategically, and that helps.

Me, I’ve been purging the house of clutter, mostly school-related stuff. I’ve been lazy to the point where I’m almost bored (except for last Sunday, when I cleaned and cooked like crazy). I’ve been taking a bit of a break from social media. Keeping things simple. Obligations are few right now. Keep the dishes under control, try to eat at home (mostly successful except for these food truck temptations), throw some wash in if it’s a good day for line drying. There are a few Big Issues in the background, and sometimes I meditate on them from my pool lounge chair.

Even the garden I’m feeling lazy about. I should be taking advantage of the nice weather we’ve had yesterday and today, to put in more beds and soil, to transplant the strawberry plants. It just doesn’t feel very urgent.

I did cut back all my romaine lettuce heads, since the leaves on them were overmature and probably not tasty. And they are growing new leaves, as I hoped:


The tomato plants are getting big, and the volunteer yellow squash plants keep producing male flowers… still waiting on a female.

The most exciting garden development is the appearance of a broccoli flower on one (out of six) of my plants. I wonder if the groundhog damaged the rest of them — I read that the part where the flower develops is very sensitive and can become “blind.”


The watermelon and pumpkin plants are doing well. I have them somewhat protected right now, but I think I’m going to need to trap the groundhog before I let the vines run free — Mr. GH was spotted last night by Aidan.

Something still seems to be eating the runner beans. Not sure how they are getting past the pretty extensive protection.

Out front, I have one pretty little hydrangea bloom, and lots of four o’clocks, although their leaves are being eaten by something.


And lots of random stuff. I don’t know what this is but I like the flowers.


I had a good farmer’s market haul last Saturday, which includes lots of chicken and ground beef that isn’t pictured:


Meals last week included a veggie stir fry over rice, with homemade stir fry sauce and some farmers market veggies; spaghetti for the family and bread and homemade pesto for me, with basil from my garden; and an omelet with eggs, mushrooms and cheese all from te market.




The peas that didn’t go in the stir fry got blanched and frozen.


The corn was the first Jersey corn of the season and was delicious. We had it one night with rotisserie chicken.

This morning’s market haul:

Lettuce, a dozen ears of corn, peaches, an onion, green beans, broccoli, sweet cherries, and bread and a bagel from a new bakery in town. I think I’ll be preserving the beans and broccoli.

Resisting the urge to go out and spend money on Fourth of July decorations for the house and the kids’ bikes (they will be in a bike parade). Need to get crafty with what we have on hand. I really really want those fan-shaped flags for the front porch. I *should* wait til July 5th and get stuff on sale. I could also get plants and flowers and other garden stuff on sale after the 4th. I did end up getting a bathing suit for myself from Kohl’s, since my old suit was becoming unwearable.  I also have to remember to try to get passes to museums, etc. through the library.

Have a great Fourth of July!

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