This Week's Art


Stars from our paper beads:


Scenery painting


Magazine landscape collages

Thursday and Friday:

Glue and Chalk Peacocks

Day 1: glue outline

Day 2:

Chalk pastels around the glue


Hail Damage

Like most of the people in the country, I am getting a little tired of weather. Rain? Fine. Occasional thunderstorm? Fine. But enough with the tornadoes and flooding and winds and hail. We've had our fair share here- a tornado destroyed part of our community a few months ago, we spent the night in the hall with one warning after another, and today it was thunderstorm warnings. Usually I don't pay much attention to them, but with the weather being so wacky this year I watch a little more closely these days. And this is what came to us this afternoon:

The hail lasted between 5 and 10 minutes. It was mostly about quarter size with the occasional bigger one thrown in. The largest the boys found after the fact was about the size of a fifty cent piece. They were excited to watch it. We found the chicken hunkered down in the middle of yard amusing- I guess squatting as low as possible was better than running for cover. Once all was said and done I checked the animals- attempted to dry out the chicks whose cage was leaking, made sure the goats made it in to their shed and we headed on our way out the door.

And when we got home, after dinner, we made our way out back....

My poor, poor plants.

My cucumbers and zucchinis, which looked better than they have in years, are nearly shredded. Stalks split, leaves torn.

Even the fruits were hit.

The okra, beans, peppers all have holes or broken stems.

My bigger tomatoes seemed to weather the hail better than the smaller ones but there are lots of leaves and stems on the ground all around them.

The tomatoes will recover. And I am hoping that since this wacky weather seems to have affected the pest populations as well, my squashes will recover, if they can survive through the sun and heat tomorrow, that is.



Zucchini 1:

Made into Zucchini Garlic Herb Bread, one of my very favorite zucchini recipes

Zucchini 2:

Sauteed with garlic and onions and wrapped in homemade tortillas for lunch


Babies, Books and Other Random

I had grand plans for this past week- the boys started their summer checklists. Basically the things that need to get done throughout the week- putting clothes away, taking compost out, picking up, reading- habits I want to change and don't want to constantly nag about. I also had plans for a daily craft hour. To keep boredom away and because there is a long list of things I wanted to do but never got to....

We got to Monday morning- and we made paper beads. To later be made into paper bead stars.

That was about 10 am Monday morning. About noon, my temperature began to rise and by dinner time it was 102. Aches, pains, headache and sore throat. Counting the minutes until Paul got home to hand off the baby. Thankfully, most of the kids are old enough to entertain themselves and they get along, but babies don't really understand the concept of a sick day. 3 days of a fever and 5 days of an awful sore throat before Paul had a day off on Friday and I could get in to see a Doctor to get diagnosed with what I already knew I had- Strep. 2 doses of antibiotics and I was already feeling better.

But on to happier things-

tomato flowers

and baby zucchini
And babies....

She is 5 months old today.

Sits pretty well, till she gets excited and starts kicking and topples.

Loves her dolls. I find that interesting. The differences. My boys were drawn to cars even at this age, and even though they pile her with monster trucks, you can tell she prefers the dolls...

And I really should get her one to replace this one, cause it's sort of creepy looking. Toy Story 3 makes me think it's even more creepy looking. Not quite in a Child's Play way, but still...

And it was given to her by one of her brothers who got it from my sister Amy. Can you tell it came from a boy?

Like everyone says, about her being spoiled....She can't cry with out someone popping into entertain her. And lately read to her.

Her favorite is Look, Look!

She does like her books though.

Which makes reading to the boys that much easier.


The Cicada Stick

That's what is sitting on my table right now. 2 bucket-fulls of cicada shells. They've been clinging on shirts and fingers and today Cale and Lakin made cicada sticks.

Foral foam, a bowl, a skewer and a couple pipe cleaners.

And of course you need cicadas.

They had problems with some of the bugs not clinging, until they looked closer and saw that the first set of legs were sharper and that set of legs was the one to hang them by.

One goes up, one goes down...


New Toys

Last month I mentioned that I won the grand prize in a Sweet Potato Recipe contest. And my prize ($2000!) came in the mail last week. Paul- and a few others- pressed me to spend at least part of it on myself instead of saving it like usual....

So I went Everything Kitchens.

The most important new item:

An empire red, 6 qt Professional Series KitchenAid Mixer. My old 5 qt was wearing down, the motor sounds sort of pitiful when I make too big batches of dough.

The other items were just things I have wanted over the years but would never spend the money on them.

A new waffle maker. I have one that works, but I have always wanted a heart shaped one.

A tortilla/flat bread maker. I have gotten out of the habit of making my own since they are time consuming, and with Annika being so little it is not time I have. So when I saw they had a tortilla maker that works for flour tortillas instead of just corn I really wanted to get it.

And finally....

This is the picture from the website since it is hard to photograph- but it's a 9 tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator. I am already planning what I can make with this year's garden produce.


The Replacements

This year we let each of the boys choose special chicks. Cale has been begging for a crested chicken for the longest time, so he chose a polish. We got 2- a buff and a white polish. One for Rylan and one for Cale. They are both yellow as chicks so we don't know who's who yet.

Bu they are pretty cute with the big pompadours on their heads. And names? So far I think they are named Fluffington Hat and Pearl.

We got a couple black Australorp chicks. One is named Shadow....after Shadow...

We are trying new types in general this time- Speckled Sussex, Brahmas with feathered feet, Partridge Rocks, Columbian Wyandottes, Delawares....

Lakin and Cohen chose top hat chicks too. Lakin's is a Mottled Houdan

It doesn't have quite as much fluff on it's head....but it does have this:

An extra toe! Her name is Black Hat.

And this...

Is Cohen's Crevecoeur- Francine.