Sunday, September 15, 2019


M has been going through and playing old songs from 2 books ago.  This is actually an assignment from her piano teacher.  Tonight she was playing the song that lP is doing for suzuki WRONG!  I can not tell you how crazy making it was for me to hear something that is to be done as ear training, played wrong.  That's like peeing in the cheerios. For reals.  Ack!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Food storage

I have had food storage with a mix of duty and prepper fever.  Earlier this year a friend was moving and wanted me to take all the food storage they never used and didn't want to move with again.  She had tons of dry milk, noodles and freeze dried vegetables along with the usual wheat.  I gratefully added hers into my own and began using the dry milk freely in my breads and pancakes. 

Today I had the kids sort, inventory, clean and re-pack the food storage.  They didn't want to at first but then they had a blast.  Now they are vacuuming the garage so they can skate around on the strips of card board I made to label the piles.

I notice that I am much more inclined to use these food storage items from my friend.  They were free to me, and to not use them would be ungrateful.  When I buy things for storage I feel very reluctant to use them because I bought them to STORE.  It's an interesting switch for me to recognize my thinking motivates and changes my behavior.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The trees I have loved

I read Lab Girl a few years ago and loved how the author described her relationships with trees.  I loved the trees in my neighborhood and knew the ones in my yard so well.  In the back yard there was a horse chestnut tree whose spiky seed tennis balls were a curiosity and a nuisance.  Along with the horse chestnut there were tons of gigantic tall oak trees on a 3/4 acre lot.  The front yard had lilac bushes at 4 corners so the smell in the spring was like walking into a room.  The weeping willow at the south east corner made the effect of walking into a room even more pronounced year round.  In the north east corner there was a chinese lantern tree whose funny seed pods provided amusement for months.  The azalea hedge along the front of the yard was a barrier.  On the north side of the yard there were black berries growing on the flagstone retaining wall.  Wild strawberries grew in the yard with buttercups in abundance.  At the edge of the driveway there was a tulip poplar that I loved to pick the leaves of and hold up to my face.  Next to the house there was a holly tree that had good branches for climbing but very pokey leaves.  In front of the porch there were rose of sharon bushes that we would create little dolls out of by putting a bud onto an upside down blossom.  There was a dog wood tree in the side yard we would climb to get onto the fence and leap to the tire swing suspended from a 20+foot branch of an oak tree. 

I had a very happy time outdoors.  I'm grateful for my childhood in Virginia.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


  We drove to G-town on Monday to spend the day with Grandma L.  There was gas available the whole way and no traffic.  We had been ordered to evacuate so we were worried that the opposite would be true.  We picked up Grandma and went to see butterflies before the exhibit got closed for the hurricane.

 Me and my big kids hardly fit in a selfie anymore.  But we still fit on a little bench in the butterfly exhibit.

B has been wanting an umbrella for a long time.  This was our third trip to the museum with that on his wish list.  I checked at walmart and found that kid umbrellas were about $10 either way.  They had a cool space one but the handle was a large rocket, not easy to handle.  B chose this one with sharks and fish instead.  It has been treasured and loved and coveted by L.  B sleeps with it, dances with it, and carries stuffed animals around in it.
 B is a super reader and I love how often he and L are tucked away somewhere reading together.
During our 3 days visit in G-town we went to the museum, pool with water slide, 3 playgrounds, 2 libraries, and Panda Express.  It was a great time and we had a lot of fun with Grandma and aunt L and aunt E.  I'm so grateful we had such a wonderful place to go to wait out the hurricane.

Sunday, September 1, 2019


We've been ordered to evacuate because the road into our neighborhood is likely to flood, but our house should be fine at 10+ feet above sea level.  Shutters are down, car is mostly loaded, generator packed.  We'll pull out in the morning and wait for this storm to turn north as the predictions say.

We are so blessed.  I have a childish curiosity to go to a shelter, but I wouldn't want to actually be stuck there or expose the kids to any risk.  So we will go hang out with relatives in cinder block homes that are so kind to let us land with them.


In other news, we went to the beach Saturday and I jumped around in the waves like a teenager or something and had so much fun.  Hurricanes are harsh, but so are snow storms.  I remember a bad snow storm when I was in high school.  We lost power for days and could only hike out of the neighborhood.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Hurricane a comin'

The hurricane is due early next week.  I keep the car topped off, even putting just one gallon in when I find a station that has gas.  It's strange.  I think people remember the shortage and even though it is 4 days out, the gas stations run out daily.  The ones around our area are especially short on supply.  So I want to avoid going out at all. 

I ordered some 5 gallon jugs so I can just fill them at home and not have to chase water at the store.  P says I don't need to chase water, but he's not the one out there trying to buy a couple gallons.  It's good for us to have the capacity to store a lot of water anyway because our well goes wonky every once in a while and it is sometimes a week before it gets fixed.  So I'm glad to get some big jugs to handle that non hurricane water situation.

Last time we evacuated P kept the freezer going and it took 3 tanks of propane.  I don't think the food is worth that.  So I'm not planning to be concerned about food left in the freezer this time.  We'll eat what we can, take what we will use, and let the rest go.  It's not worth $60+ of propane. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Doughnut Math

 These little cuties went out in the back yard (aka wilderness) to pick a flower for me.
B lost his first real lost tooth a few weeks ago.  We've had a long standing tradition of getting Krispy Kreme doughnuts for lost teeth and sharing them with Grandma and aunts in Gtown.  As we have more kids we've started needing to split doughnuts so people can try everything, Everything!   We've also instituted a guideline that 2 doughnuts is enough, Enough!  So we cut the assorted doughnuts into quarters and the kids track their 2 doughnuts.  It's very cute to hear them say things like "I already had 1 and a half doughnuts.  For my last half I'd like 1/4 sprinkles and 1/4 lemon filled."  Go fractions!