A Tale of Two Weeks

From last week:

This week has not gone anything like I thought it would. I thought we were going to bust out this week, take some day trips. Instead it’s Thursday night and I’ve been without a car all week. Getting fixed to the tune of $1100. 😦

It’s also been super hot, which isn’t helping. I’m wilted, the plants are wilted.

I’ve felt a little at loose ends. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be focused on or working towards. This is a feeling I greatly dislike. The upside is, I’ve done a lot of mindless cleaning. Walls, windowsills, windows, etc. A lot of DustBusting.

I’m reading Life Upon These Shores by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which is really interesting and informative, if a bit dry. Also, not a beach or pool book. It’s like a giant coffee table book.

Here’s hoping that I get the car back tomorrow (it’s done, I just need a ride to get there). I don’t think not having a car is actually so bad. It’s the whole not knowing when I’ll have it back that has been killing me all week. It’s not that hard to make do without it. In this heat, I don’t feel like doing anything til 5 pm anyway.

We’ve done quite a bit in the evenings this week actually:

Went to the Discovery Museum Monday night, taking advantage of their “$5 after 5 pm” special.

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On Tuesday night, we went to the movies to see some Shark Week episodes on the big screen. A friend gave us two tickets she couldn’t use, so we bought three more. It was a perfect outing for us McGuires. It’s been quite a while since we all went to the movies together.

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Wednesday evening, we went to the pool and brought along one of Gemma’s friends. And tonight, the grandparents were here and took the kids out to eat. I was going to go see a free movie about permaculture at the library but didn’t have my act together, so I ended up buying it online and plan to watch it later. ($5)

And tomorrow night I have fun plans. So maybe not such a bad week 🙂 During the days, we hosted and attended play dates, colored, practiced magic tricks, cleaned up, played video games. I did a lot of laundry and hung all but one load on the line. I also preserved some beans (market), yellow squash (market), and broccoli (my garden).

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Dinners this week included a potluck meal at the pool; hot dogs, egg noodles, and broccoli; and fast food. Best night was hamburgers in homemade gravy, parslied Yukon Gold potatoes, and canned corn, the beef, potatoes and parsley all from the farmers’ market:

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I went easy on the parsley, fearing it would turn the kids off, but it was still too much green for them… Speaking of parsley, I got a whole lot of it for $1; some of it is in the fridge with the ends on water, but most of it, I hung in bunches in the garage to dry. Next to the garlic, which I’m slowly harvesting. It’s quite aromatic in there.

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I’m losing track of when this was exactly but I also made a sort of hand pie, or two-handed pie, with market peaches and a ready-made crust, and some delicious fried rice with eggs, garlic, carrots and peas from the market. And I tried grilling corn indoors and it came out delicious!

Here’s the most recent market haul picture. Or maybe I put this picture in the last post. What day is it?? Who am I?? Corn, carrots, onions, eggs, peaches, Dragon Tongue (I think?) beans, yellow squash, parsley.

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Got lots of basil out in the garden so I’ve been making pesto and freezing it, then using it later for meals or just eating it with bread. Just now I had a lovely sandwich of fresh mozzarella, just-picked basil, and olive oil infused with market garlic on a nice kaiser roll. The best!

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Now onto this week:

Total opposite weather: ’70s, breezy. Sat shivering at the (empty) pool last night and I swear someone nearby had their fireplace going. Cool nights, great sleeping weather. No AC needed. I have my car back but we’re still low on funds, so still stuck at home, for the most part. Tuesday, we did venture out… for my brother’s wedding! A little courthouse affair followed by a nice luncheon with family and new family. Went to the pool Monday evening and last night, and took the kids for ice cream last night too. Yesterday, we had an impromptu lemonade stand which was kind of fun. God bless all my nice neighbors who humored us.

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Gemma and Sebastian automatically, bilaterally, without prompting put the $6 they raised in the bank we have going for our fence and dog, which was nice. The two of them have really been trying my patience lately, in most other matters. They never want to do their jobs. Sebastian never wants to go anywhere. Gemma has had some spectacular tantrums this week.

I put aside the Gates tome to fly through The Fifth Wave. Both books are from the library, of course.

Cooking has been uninspired this week: rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, scrambled eggs. I did take advantage of the cool weather to make chicken stock from the rotisserie carcass.

I made a quick bleary-eyed run to the market on Saturday, getting only eggs, potatoes and corn. Went to the pool Saturday afternoon. Sunday, hubs took the kids out for a long time, and I (after food shopping alone) had the best time just chilling out and finally watching that movie Inhabit (the one I missed at the library) on my laptop. Great movie! So inspiring. It looks at different areas (cities, suburbs, farms) and focuses on people living/working in those area and how they are incorporating permaculture into their lives. I think the big takeaway is the idea that permaculture is optimistic and proactive; instead of worrying about our footprint and assuming that everything mankind does is more or less bad for nature, permaculture says that we can through our actions positively impact nature. I really need this kind of optimism right about now.

If you are like “what is she talking about?” here is Wikipedia’s definition of permaculture.

I’ve been thinking of ways I can incorporate permaculture principles into this little half-acre of mine. Apple trees are one of the first things that come to mind. I also am becoming enamored of composting toilets, after watching Inhabit and dozens of tiny home shows. But to do it right I need to learn more about permaculture and about my land. After all these years of gardening, I’m still kind of skimming the surface; I’ve never had my soil tested, I have only a basic understanding of the natural flora and fauna out there.

Anyhoo. Tonight, I hope to make the kids go to another nearby farm/nature trails/food truck extravaganza. I’ve got some errands to do before then, so I need to wrap this up. I leave you with some recent garden pictures.

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Baby watermelon that accidentally snapped off the vine

These are outdated, everything is bigger now.

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