September 10, 2012

If anyone would like the address of my new blog, where I update frequently, give a shout:   Cheers! :o)

August 26, 2011

“The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.” John Stuart Mill

June 16, 2011

We've had an awesomely cool week with lows in the 50s and highs in the 80s.  This is totally unusual for June in NC.  But we're loving it!  Supposed to get hot again tomorrow.

Henry's team, the Orange County Efland Angels, won their season championship!!!! GO ANGELS!!!!  It was a fun season for Henry.  He caught a game winning ball in mid season.  Good job Henry :o)

Blackberry the calf is, indeed, living in our yard.  That's been fun.  And one of our chickens went broody on a wooden egg.  So Riley and I got a fertile egg from Woodcrest for her.  She's been sitting over week now.  Good Mama!

We've been watching three Black Swallowtail caterpillars eating on our dill for a couple of weeks now.  Today Henry and noticed the last one was gone, after leaving a pile of frass (caterpillar poop) on the Corsican mint growing under the dill.  Moments later we found the fat green stripey fellow crawling for China.  We picked him up on a stick about 10 seconds before a chicken got to him.  He opened his osmeterium (I do hope you are all impressed with these caterpillar related words) and shot out a stinky cheese smell.  At first I thought we'd put him in a dirty milk jar.  (Imagine my HORROR that one of milk jars would be so dirty!)   Then we thought the stick he was on was old and stinky.  Nope, smell the work of the osmeterium.   Apparently they drop a big load of frass (check) and start a lot of climbing and crawling (check) and are about 1.5 inches long (check) about 24 hours before they form a chrysalis.  So we put lil'stinky in a good clean jar and will await a butterfly hopefully in about 1-2 weeks.

All this caterpillar research happened while Riley was across the street playing with Emma.  She had a super fun day.  Details for that, perhaps, to follow on her blog?  (hint hint)

Osmeterium are unique to Swallowtails:

June 1, 2011

After two days of 102, I'm willing to admit its really hot.  We made it to June anyway, which is a personal goal of mine.  And then I broke down and turned on the a/c.  Its oddly quiet inside the house now.  We can't hear the cicadas.  (This was their 13th yearly return and Henry has been collecting tubs of shucked cicada skins, ewwwww.)  And tonight we won't hear the owls.  But the dogs are praising all that's holy for this odd magical cool air.

Last night we visited a neighboring corn field at dusk to see the fireflies.  There must have been thousands of them blinking over the deep green field.  It was so beautiful, nature's real magic.

In early May we went to Topsail and stayed at the Sea Vista to celebrate our dear May babies.  We hadn't been in a couple of years and, oh my, it was lovely to be by the ocean again.  Standing on the pier one evening we saw an osprey fly in.  I've never seen that at the beach before.  Dolphins rolled past us in the breakers.  We found shells, swam, napped, ate really good food - root beer floats for Ry, with coconut cake as well!

In mid May Grandpa Tom came for a visit.  He could not have been nicer.  It was so good to see him and Tyrone.  They are traveling biannually between Phippsburg Maine and Tom's new condo in Florida.  So hopefully we'll get to see lots more of those two.

Tyrone is much braver about de-ticking than Jackson!
Of course, we took the crew for ice cream at Maple View Farms. 

Even though its only the first of June I found two baby zucchinis in the garden this morning.  The tomatoes are thigh high (now that they are staked) and our beans are climbing as fast as they can.  Its good for my soul, gardening and harvesting food.  We've eaten 100% more chard this spring than we would have otherwise, just because its growing in the back yard.   I planted the tomatoes early in between a row of kale and a row of chard.  That has worked fabulously.   As the tomatoes come up, the greens get cut back, and the extra greens are becoming mulch for the tomatoes.  It has worked out as a good use of space and companion planting.   Peppers for our dear Henry look good too.

May 28, 2011

Blogging!  I need to start again.  There is a beach trip, a calf in the yard, and a visit from Grandpa Tom all unrecorded.  Plus, our garden is cranking.

April 21, 2011

Henry's first baseball game was last night.  Perhaps the enormous four leaf clover that Riley found for him before the game worked.  Or maybe it was sheer skill, but the Angels beat the White Sox 12 to 7.  Go Angels!   Henry, number 10, center out field.  Yay Henry! 

April 16, 2011

From Belinda's camera, last week, an afternoon lunch in Exchange Park in Hillsborough. 

April 15, 2011

Allan and Chris raised five born children. And 25 adopted or fostered kids. Allan has a lot to say about parenting. The most moving of which is that in his opinion God gives birth parents very specific knowledge about their specific children. He says this is the loss of adoption, parenting blind without that critical specific insight into each specific child.

This comforts him as a grandparent. Because his children frequently make different choices for their children than he would. They have different boundaries and varying levels of acceptable risk. But he is completely certain and settled in his heart, after 40 years of parenting, that while parents can be flawed their wisdom is sacred.

He also believes that diversity is God given and sacred.

This wonderful as it removes judgment and allows for very spacious individuality and room to love each child (and parent) as they are. Not only does this comfort me when I see parenting with which I disagree. It also bolsters my confidence when I'm called on to make decisions for you kids.

April 5, 2011

Stevie Taylor's blog post this morning reminds me of you kids: