Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Ten: Where in the World?

Where in the World Have I Been? Ten Things Keeping Me TBtB (Too Busy to Blog)

1. In the field picking strawberries and in the kitchen making jam.
It's strawberry season. I've got strawberry jam in the basement and bags of strawberries in the freezer. I'll make at least one more trip to the strawberry field, probably this weekend. Loving husband is craving a strawberry pie.

After I processed two flats of strawberries this weekend, all hulled by the elder of the lovely ladies (who was a grand sport about the whole thing), she reportedly remarked to loving husband, "I don't know why she thinks she needs more strawberries." He pointed out to her that seven people eat a lot of jam.

Best of all, I estimate that we've gotten the equivalent of a flat of strawberries, one heaping bowl at a time, from our front yard. The back yard strawberries are just now coming on.

2. At the pool. Swim lessons.
This year instead of the "funnest" pool, the indoor one with the kiddie pool and the cool names for the swim classes, I chose the closest pool. Out-of-district fees and gas prices combined made the nearby pool a far more attractive option, especially with three guys in lessons.

I realized this morning that I've just taken my last young one to his first swim lesson. Five first lessons. We've been going for swim lessons since the summer I paid the eldest lovely lady five dollars to dunk her head under water. (She dunked under ten more times, hoping for more dough.) The boys have all been traipsing--well, more like traipsed, as they couldn't walk and didn't choose to go there--to the pool since they were tiny little ones on my lap. It's delightful to see my baby growing up, but I got a little misty. What is wrong with me????? I've been longing for the day when I can send them all off into the pool and read uninterrupted for half an hour. The day has come and I'm all sappy and nostalgic. And did I read? Nooooooooooo. I watched the lessons.

3. With the dog.
Poppy took a puppy vacation at a boarding trainer. Now she's home, and I've been spending inordinate amounts of time with her working on manners. We really want to keep our sweet loving dog, so it's worth the time and effort. It's paying off. We're all seeing a calmer, more obedient dog.

4. In the yard.
The fine young gents are appreciating our fine summer weather, playing in the sprinkler, in the kid pool, in the hammock.

5. In the garden.
Truth be told, there's not that much to do right now. Everything is planted. Most veggies aren't ready for harvest except for the salad greens. I've been weeding a little, pulling the lettuce and spinach that have bolted, appreciating the growing plants.

6. At the park.
I've got photos from recent nature hikes, but no time to post them. We've been getting out and about on our own and with friends. I appreciate that we've got good friends with whom we play on a regular basis.

7. Around the house, cleaning and organizing.
Putting away school supplies, setting up summer activities. Throwing away all the toys. Not really but every year at this time I really want to call Goodwill and tell them to back up a van to the door and I'll shovel it all in the back.

Every winter when we're cooped up in the house and we rediscover the toys, I am glad that I didn't toss them.

8. Sleeping.
Duh. I'm running out of places I've been, though, and it's true that I've been choosing to sleep instead of write blog entries.

9. Still at home, preparing for our Chinese students to arrive.
Our choir hosting experience was such a delight and a success that we've decided to host some students from China for two weeks. I can't wait. Then I get anxious--will they like us? Will they eat our food? Will we meet their expectations? I mean, they're here to get a picture of typical American culture, and our family isn't exactly typical. Which....talking to myself....I suppose is part of the point: How do individual families fit into the larger cultural picture? (Discuss amongst yourselves, I'll be back when I'm not so busy, say in September...when school starts...how about October? Christmas break? When the gents are teens?)

10. At the library.
We signed up for Summer Reading and got our free books today. Another sign of our growing-up family, only three free books this year. Both of the lovely ladies have aged out of the program. The gents made some interesting choices, and we had an out-of-the-blue tantrum adventure, one of the get-that-kid-out-of-the-library kind. But he wore himself out so that he took a two-hour nap when he got home. So life is still good, even when your kid is screaming in the library.

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