After looking at the date on my last post, I realize it has been almost one month since I wrote anything down about our crazy life. Lucky for you though I have been keeping notes in an effort to record something when the time presented itself. Right now I am sitting on the front porch, enjoying both the last bits of cool summer mornings and the imaginative playtime of my little girls.
We have enjoyed a lot of fun get-togethers with friends this past month, both at our house and various places out and about (Chik Fil A Day, McDonald’s Playplace). One day we went with my friends Kim to IKEA, where we lost Lily on the way out. She overheard me say we were leaving, so she left. Went straight out the front doors and headed to the parking lot to get in the car – without looking to see if anybody else was going to the car too (we weren’t). Luckily mommies are everywhere at IKEA that time of day and somebody had wrangled her in the parking lot while another mom inside tipped me off that she was headed to the car. Kim aged 10 years that day over the ordeal (security was even called) and I was less than pleased, but I couldn’t dole out punishment by the time I found Lily; she was terrified when she realized she was all alone and crying horribly. My heart broke for hers and we had a talk about how we stay with our buddies at all times. I hope she remembers the lesson.
We had some other fun field trips too, including a morning movie (Winnie the Pooh), a local playground in the likeness of an Old West town, the brand new library (pretty!), Liberty Park in Salt Lake City to play in the “creeks” followed by Gourmandise for lunch (a patron on the way out – who had seen me dining with the three little girls at the table - heard Emma exclaim from her spot tucked on the floor in her car seat and said “there’s more of them!”, ha ha ha!).
Elliott’s sister Rachel, hubby Derek, niece Rose and their two dogs (including our old companion Jack) stayed with us a few days in between when movers came to their house in Salt Lake City and when they could get into their apartment in L.A. (Derek got a job with Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.) I had fun finding them boxes ahead of time via dumpster diving behind the local Foot Locker (I’m telling you, if you need moving boxes you have got to check the recycling dumpsters behind strip malls!). The girls loved having family here, especially the dogs, and Rose had a blast with extra kids to play with. We were able to have a last “adults-only” dinner with all of the Kays before they left, as well as a last family Sunday dinner at our place. Lots of great memories packed into a few days (with only a few tears shed as they pulled out of the driveway on their way to a new adventure.)
We were the recipient of many free apricots this season. Right now Mom and Dad’s apricot tree is finally ripening, and we also got boxes from two other sources. I have canned about three batches (so far) and dehydrated several more, which the girls have been enjoying for afternoon snacks.
We had a garage sale the last Saturday of July. I coordinated with my neighbors’ streetwide to try and get more participation and I think we had about 6 houses in total. The traffic was pretty high and we were able to get rid of most of our stuff. We made about $200, which I think is pretty good considering we had no big ticket items like furniture (I heard one neighbor up the street made $600!). I fit all the remaining items in the trunk of the car and dropped them at the thrift store the following Monday.
Emma did her part to keep the customers entertained:
Our garden has been up and down this year. The downside – spider mites won the battle for the green beans. Elliott and I finally decided to simply yank them out and replant in the hopes we might be able to get a small harvest before the first frost. We had tried several pesticides without success and are going to try and stay on top of using neem oil on this healthy looking batch of baby plants which are currently growing.
On the upside - our cucumbers are out of control. Last year was pretty dismal as far as cucumbers were concerned, so when we had a lot of plants come up from seed this year we didn’t think as aggressively as we should have, thinking they wouldn’t make it. And what we did thin Elliott transplanted to the side of the house “just because.” Well they proved us wrong and are thriving! With three crisper drawers full in our fridges, I took the girls on a walk one day to distribute two buckets to neighbors and both Momma Kay and Sarianna have picked all our babies for pickles – only to have more grow! I made a big batch of pickles last year and so I don’t need to do pickles this year (of course!) but I think I just may have to, the way things are going. Our Sungold cherry tomato isn’t doing too well in it’s new location but our large tomatoes are just now really producing and I can see lots of yummy fresh salsa in our future (I made BLTs the other night for dinner). Our blackberries too are giving us lots of fruit and I think the girls are getting a little burned out on them so I am freezing them for cobblers later (I found a really great recipe for cobbler in the crockpot).
The biggest news from this summer is that Elliott and I have been looking at purchasing our next home. We had just decided to stay in our rental another year when our landlord (and home owner) told us he intended to sell the house when our lease was up October 1. He would mostly like to just sell it it to us, and though we are perfectly happy here, we have been looking around “to see what else is out there.” We haven’t made any decisions, but have spent many weekend hours driving by potential properties. Most are duds we write off the list, but some have stayed on the list to look at further. The girls have been troopers about all the car-ride hours, but have experienced some fun moments from it. We did an impromptu stop-in at an Open House one Saturday and the lady selling the property (a 1920’s house which, though beautifully vintage, wasn’t right for our growing family) owned horses and took the girls go for a little bareback spin. Afterwards we drove by a local summer festival which included bounce houses, which the girls convinced us to stop for and we played there for awhile.