We kicked off summer last week with a morning at the lake, a summer solstice potluck at a friend's, and dinner on the beach. The solstice celebration included capture the flag, a kid's fun run, and vodka watermelon. Rob and I love making watermelon gimlets in summer with frozen watermelon and vodka in the blender. Then a friend told us about how watermelon will absorb vodka if a bottle is upended into it. Sounded good to me--an easy potluck dish sure to please (the adults anyway). I don't think I got it quite right for the party, but will try again later in the season. I've since had a few pointers from a friend. Here's what I'll do differently: Instead of a half watermelon I'll use a whole melon with a hole drilled in the top. The bottle of vodka goes right in the hole and should sit for several hours (not half an hour as I first attempted). Then, when the vodka has been absorbed by the melon remove the bottle and slice. Be sure to label the watermelon for adults only, or you may have some really silly kiddos running around.
If anyone has done this successfully I'd love to hear about it.
* When I first started planting a spent an entire morning building a sand table for Kale, so he'd have something to keep him busy in the garden. We bought nice play sand from the hardware store and collected some guys and trucks for it. He did like it, but spent most of his time shoveling the sand out of the table into the tomato bed. It collapsed this week after all that rain (I guess particle board was a poor choice). I replaced it with this old tub, but hardly had any sand left to fill it. Then it rained again. I thought we'd have to buy some more sand-- but, turns out all he needed was a bucket of rainwater.
* Its our family tradition to celebrate the solstice by staying up until the fireflies are out. Since we were at a party this was easy, the kids weren't in bed until nearly 10:00 (that's late for us). The next night we joined some other friends for a campfire and dinner on the beach. We had such a great time building a fire pit and roasting hot dogs on a stick. I found some smooth, flat stones for the kids to use as plates--which of course they got a kick out of, but I think I enjoyed it even more than them.
|Just before this was taken Kale flipped head first over the log--hence the tight hold on his shirt.|
Aren't mothers always multi-tasking?
* Another night up past 9pm, all of which made for some late sleeping children this week (never a bad thing) and therefore some quite mornings for mama. When the kids do sleep "late" (any time after 7:00) I love to have a quiet shower on the deck. We do have warm running water, which is necessary since its been in the 50's the past 5 days.
|The view from the outdoor shower.|
* We've been moving things around a bit, getting rid of clutter and I even managed to downsize my clothes enough to get rid of my dresser. It actually just moved across the hall to Wylie's room as he was in real need of a dresser that opened (without tipping over on him). Without the dresser our bedroom has a nice empty corner just right for a comfy reading chair. I'm trying to get Rob to agree to moving this chair upstairs.
Rob had it given to him as a "thanks" for helping a friend move. He loves it. Me, not so much. It is fairly comfortable though, making it the perfect thing to move up to the bedroom (and out of the living room). So far I'm having no luck. He sits in the brown chair, as its called, most days after work and has a snuggle/tickle time with the kids. Juniper said, if you put Papa's chair upstairs "he'll get home from work and march right upstairs to sit down". It doesn't have the same effect written, but it was pretty darn funny when she said it.
|self portrait by Wylie|
"I was listening to you talk over there, but I didn't know what the hell you were saying."
Yikes. What to address fist, eavesdropping, admitting to eavesdropping, or swearing at strangers...hmm. Fortunately the woman didn't blink an eye. None of us could help but eavesdrop later in the evening as their conversation grew quite loud and included a few more words Wylie hopefully won't add to his repertoire.
* Kale really loves animals. Max is one of his favorites. Lu, his sister is less social and doesn't visit often, but Max doesn't miss an opportunity for a cuddle. This afternoon while sitting and nursing Kale on the porch Max jumped right into my lap. He curled up on Kale's chest and purred away. Kale was in his version of toddler heaven. Lounging on Mama's lap, nursing, with his arm thrown around Max who was purring away. I wish I had a picture of that one.
* This is the first time I've ever grown pac choy. It didn't do well. It stayed really small for a long time, the flea beetles chewed tiny holes in it, and then it bolted. But, it made some really pretty yellow flowers. That's more than I can say for the spinach.