Monday, July 30, 2007

Missing Robert

I sent my baby boy, (well actually he is 15 years old!) to Philmont Scout Ranch a week and a half ago. There is no contact, due to their locale (no cell phones, camping out in the boonies). This is the longest Robert has been away from us. I am going a little crazy wondering how he is. Is the food okay, did he get sunburnt, is he getting along with the others? To compound my worries, a story appeared in the news that several boys were struck by lightening at Philmont. Four of the boys are from a nearby town to us. Thankfully they are okay; it wasn't a direct hit. They are back to their scouting activities. The hardest part for me is that Robbie was in the same area of the strike either that same day, or just a day before (I'm not entirely clear on his trail schedule).

But he will be home this coming Saturday. I will be so glad to see him. I know that he will most likely ask to go out for pizza at his favorite place - Giordano's. After two weeks of trail food and freeze-dried dinners, he will be ravenous!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taming the Square Foot Garden

My Square Foot Garden is doing tremendously well, but it was getting a little scary with all of the rain and its resulting growth of plants. I needed to go in and restore order before nature took over!

The watermelon plant was particularly scary!

After working on it:

All clear!


The results, freshly picked!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Antique Books

I have developed a love of antique books. I like books on cooking, sewing, and etiquette. I have been steadily collecting interesting old books for the past year or so. My most recent aquisition is the one pictured above, The New Butterick Dressmaker, published in 1927. Here is a photo from inside that I find very appealing because the drawing of the lady is so very stylish and charming as she prepares her fabric on the mannequin. (If only I looked this stylish when I sew!):

I have a small space on top of my china cabinet where my antique books reside:

My father's model windmill stands guard

Baking Bread

I am a very happy lady. Paul and I were discussing bread baking, and how much we like homemade bread. I have an old grain mill that fits on my Champion juicer, but it was wearing down and not working properly. We decided to invest in a new grain mill, a Nutrimill. It is delightful. It is simple to use (unlike the Champion), simple to clean, and fast.

I have made two batches of bread since we got it. I was having some difficulty with over-rising. In winter-time, using a second rise after the dough had been mixed and kneaded in the Bosch mixer worked fine, due to our rather drafty house keeping the indoor temperature cool. But in the warm summer, with our A/C not really keeping up, the dough became over-risen and collapsed. So for summer baking, I will now just let the Bosch knead the bread and let it rise once in the bread pans. For winter, I will first let the dough rise in a bowl, then again for a second time in the pans.

Here is one of the loaves I made using the single rise for summer:

Summer Flowers

A small sampling from our garden:

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nite Nite!

After a wave of Tyler photos, I couldn't resist posting this one before I go to bed.

Sweet dreams Little One. Good Night all, and may God bless you!

I Love the Flower Boy!

Tyler and Paul have a morning routine that never varies. Once Julie or I have fed him breakfast, Tyler and his Grandaddy go out into the garden to see the flowers. Invariably, Tyler comes in the house with a flower that Grandaddy picked for him.


We have just ended a rare experiece - the emergence of the 17 year cicadas. We had hundreds of them in our yard and in our town. Although it was not pleasant walking down the sidewalk, trying to avoid them (they were everywhere), they are certainly interesting critters. When Julie was 3 years old, we took a picture of her with one of them on a stick. Now we have a photo of her son, with a cicada that had landed on him without us realizing it. Tyler was on his way up for a nap when Paul saw the cicada on his hand. We got some good photos before we set the cicada free.

A cicada on a tiny hand - "Quick Grandma, Get the camera!"

"Careful Baby, don't squash him!"

During our strolls together (which Tyler and I continued in spite of the many cicadas we had to maneuver around), I often thought about how odd the world must be to the cicada. To emerge after such a long time. It was a sort of insect Brigadoon!