Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rivers and Roads

 Summer has come in afternoon-long increments for the last two months or so and we do our best to pack a bag and sprint out the door for fear of missing it.  Between downright chilly days and rainfall too unpredictable to prepare for, we're doing our very best to catch the sun when it makes an appearance.  Big brother will be 12 in August. I had a birthday in July, and D! had one in May. We're all getting older.  We're all working a little harder. The time seems to be passing a little faster.

Moraine back yard.

Our garden here at Moraine has had a bit of a struggle getting moving.  Tomatoes are off to a strong start. Taut, shiny green orbs are now weighing down every available branch and I'm bookmarking every salsa and marinara recipe I can in preparation.  Swiss chard, kale, and spinach are growing faster than we can eat.  Radishes are on their second round. Serrano peppers are finally making their appearance. The tiny, waxy baby peppers are full of promise. My little wildflower patch has made me incredibly happy to watch grow.

 D!'s pumpkin patch will be big this year. We have a lot of blossoms and baby pumpkins already.  His sunflowers are well over 6' tall and only one has bloomed so far. It's not quite done yet, but it's so lovely.

The kids have had plenty of outings this summer. We've been to the beach or the pool almost every available day.  The beach doesn't get old. It's always peaceful. The lake is always moving, in and out. Reliable and steady, predictable and alive, reflecting the sunlight and drawing our bare feet in for a soak. We visited the children's nature museum and zoo downtown one weekend. There are few feelings better than looking at your exhausted children in the back seat.


We had computer issues recently. Our entire hard drive was replaced on our laptop thanks to our warranty, but it was a four-hour-long feat to get all of our programs and documents back on track.  All I can advise, is that if you have an external hard drive available, use it. You'll be so glad you did.

tree swallow.
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to go to many new places to bird lately.  We went to a local county park in May and caught these guys, though.

eastern bluebird.

eastern bluebird.
Moraine wildlife is multiplying and growing, too. We've been lucky enough to be able to spend time since spring watching three fawns grow and play and learn from their mothers all of the ins and outs of the land. These photos are a few weeks old. They've grown since we took them.

We have a lot going on lately. I'm really looking forward to school starting back up for Big brother. 7th grade! He's growing so fast. He's tall and thinning out. I've noticed his sense of humor and personality developing and it's alarming how quickly this all happens. Last week was football conditioning. He has never played on a football team before. As nervous as it all makes me, it's really nice to see him work hard at something.

little brother is a bustling ball of energy and curiosity, ready for anything you propose. He is completely smitten with his dad lately. Echoing every word he says, imitating gestures and sounds. I can't think of anyone better to imitate. He likes to hike and pick flowers. He loves digging holes in the beach. He'll sit in the sand with trucks as long as you'll allow it.

He loves singing and learning new songs. He can properly identify several different plants and birds. Small mammals make him happy. He will tell you if he finds a dog friendly or not. Amazing, this kid. Growing and learning faster than I can always understand.

Sadie has found her place within the family perfectly. She is polite and affectionate, really a joy to be around. She chases squirrels and sits and wags her tail until you're ready to pet her. She recently sprained her tail.  We aren't sure how, but we noticed swelling and took her to the vet.  She was given an anti-inflammatory and seems to be much better now. Silly girl.

 D! and I have been keeping busy between our jobs and other projects.  We've been painting our bedroom in our free time sporadically.  It's a big job, but we're about halfway finished. We've been minimizing the amount of stuff we keep in storage, donating, re purposing, and just throwing things away.  It feels good. I've been going to the gym as much as possible in the mornings and D! has been working hard keeping all of his work properties in line. We had a string of severe weather several days this summer that required him to cut up fallen trees and minimize rubble on hiking trails. Tiring work.

great blue heron.
This weekend, we're taking a short trip to see family, and then August will be in full swing.  I'm excited to see what the fall has in store for us, how things will continue to grow and change, and ending summer with a blast.