Friday, June 29, 2012

This, That, and the Other Thing

Dancer got her driver's permit on Monday.  She is doing quite well driving but I do have the urge to grab the wheel once in a while.  I am able to hold back........most of the time.  I thought it would be weird to be in the passenger seat with her driving but it isn't.  Now that she has her permit, she wants to drive everywhere we go.  Her wanting to drive is a surprise because we had to push her to go and take the written test.  A teen has to have the learners permit for six months before they can get an actual license and I have heard plenty kids that wish they had gotten their permits earlier because when their 16th birthday rolled around they hadn't had their permits long enough.  The mark to six months to her 16th birthday is July 14th so we finally just said, we are taking you in and if you pass, great, if not you have a couple more weeks to study before we take you in again.  Thankfully she passed on her first try.  

I found out that sun screen really does work.  I also found out that your shorts are about three inches shorter after you sit down.

If you hold a baby bunny long enough it will pee on you, for being so little they sure do go a lot.  I knew this because it happened to Grandma Pat once, tonight I was reminded of the fact.

We had our first dinner of sweet corn for the season. 

The goats had their first dinner of corn husks for the season.

If you drag the garbage cans all the way back up to the garage, it is best to realize that they are still heavy and full while out on the road.   The garbage man was late today, guess how I know that.

When Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Bob say they will be here at 12:30, be ready for them at 11:00 because that is when they showed up.  We were ready because this happen every time, that or they are a couple hours late.  Why my dad and I have trouble communicating about time is beyond me, we don't have trouble with any other topic. 

It has been 4-H project central around here.  We have been working feverishly on projects over the last week and are getting the list whittled down.  It is still three and a half weeks until the fair but to me it feels like crunch time.  A good thing this year is that the kids have had projects in aerospace for so many years that we now have enough spare parts to make rockets without having the buy anything.  Rockets tend to be expensive.

We have spent a lot of time sitting out in the yard under the trees because it is cooler than in the house with the airconditioning on.  Unless we sit in the basement where it is so cold a blanket is almost necessary.  Our cat, Vidalia, has been panting we think from the heat.  When Dad looked up cat panting on the internet he found the symptoms constatute an emergency and the cat should be taken to the vet immediately where it needs a complete blood panel, chest x-ray and EKG because they probably have heart disease.  We love you Vidalia but, that is just so not going to happen.  Tonight she was on the steps eating and looking perfectly fine.  She is at least nine so it is possible she does have heart disease.

We have a rule, or strong suggestion, that you wear shoes outside at all times and never, ever, ever, ever go barefoot.  Two reasons for this: chicken poo and thistles.  It does not put you in a good mood if you decide to break this rule, step on a thistle, get a thorn in your foot and have your sister give you a "why do you think you are suppose to wear shoes?"  Ahhh, older siblings, I have one too Spark.

Dancer took a swing/salsa class last night that another homeschooler is teaching.  She came out and gleefully said it was so great to be dancing again.  I thought so too since it was $3.00 for two hours instead of $10.00 per hour, there are no costumes, recitals, competitions, early mornings or, best of all, drama.  If you have ever seen that t.v. show "Dance Moms" it really is like that.  They may have stepped it up a little for the show but not much.  Dance is a cut throat sport where the girls and moms eat each other.

Lastly, when it is this humid the clothes on the line never get fully dry.  Dissappointing since we had three loads out there and three loads of even partially dry clothes do not fit in our dryer all at once.  It also means hauling them all back downstairs and up again.   

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Donut Recipe (Crochet)

Dancer is entering these yummy donuts in the fair - under needle arts, not food and nutrition.  She made them to go with her crochet coffee cups.   The recipe, or pattern, is from the Lion Heart website but we changed it a bit to make different sized donuts.  The sizes are listed in the (s,m,l) size in the pattern.

Chain (8,10,12)
Rnd 1:  Join with slip st to make a ring.  Work 2 sc in each ch. (16,20,24)  Place marker in first st for beg of rnd; move marker up as each rnd is completed.
Rnd 2:  *2 sc in next st, sc in next st, rep from * around - (24,30,36)
Rnd 3-(8,10,12):  Sc in each st around.
Rnd (9,11,13):  *Sc2og, sc in next st, rep from * around (16,20,24)
Rnd (10,12,14): *Sc2tog, rep from * around - (8,10,12)

Put a blog of stuffing in the middle of the tube you just made and make a hole in the middle of it.  Sew the last round and the first round together to make the donut shape.  Glue on snips of yarn for frosting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Longest Day Challenge

Every year Dad and Spark do the "Longest Day Challenge."  They get up before sunrise and then, as usual, are up at sunset so they can say they see the whole day.  Normally they would have done this on the longest day of the year but, Dad worked so they chose Sunday.  It took two days to get the pictures to load so that is why it didn't make the blog until Tuesday.  This year Dancer joined them because they were going fishing, and she doesn't want to miss out on a chance to fish. 

Sun rise 4:51 a.m.

They were up too early for the bait shop so they went to breakfast first. 

They had a couple fish tales but didn't bring any fish home. 

There was no time for a nap when they got home because we had to leave for our summer 4-H party.  Three hours of go-karts......

water slides......

friends and......

bumper boats.

On the way home we saw a sign for bunnies and stopped to get a couple.  Our girl rabbit will not accept a male.  She has two to choose from and I guess she doesn't like either one.  We tried singing Lionel Richie songs, several opportunities with both boys, and even resorted to holding her for them but she is an ice cube.  So we got these two cuties who came with pedigrees.  We have never had an animal with papers before so we are feeling pretty hotsie totsie now.

Dancer named hers Miranda. 

Spark chose Willow.

Willow must have felt she got dirty on the car ride home and needed a bath.

Sandal surfing.

Supper on the fire pit. This is what we do when I don't feel very creative with diner, or just plain don't feel like cooking.  We make these parcels by double wrapping (prevents most burning) in aluminum foil veggies and fruit.  I just butter the foil and add a couple pats more butter and then either throw in some salt and pepper or cinnamon and sugar.  We have done everything from pears to broccoli and they all turn out fantastic.  Brats on the skewer and dinner is done with almost no clean up.   

Sunset was at almost 10:00 p.m.

We finished out the day by stopping for ice cream on the way home. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Day At The Beach

Dancer went to a beach birthday party so Spark and I moved further down the beach and had our own party. 

It was a perfect day, the water was warm and the breeze was cool.

Our home away from home.

Our ceiling.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Spark's Last Day Camp

4-H day camp only goes through 5th grade so this is the last year Spark is young enough to go.  It didn't seem like such a big deal when Dancer was too old because Spark was still young enough to go for four more year.  But this time there is no one younger.

In two years he will be old enough to be a day camp counselor like Dancer.  If you still love camp after you are too old to be a counselor you can be a chaperon.  I was there for the day as a chaperon because they have a ratio they need to fill for campers to adults.  I spent the day setting and cleaning up activities so everything ran smoothly together and, of course, taking pictures.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4-H Favorite Food Show

One of our favorite 4-H projects, the favorite food show. 

Spark made a tuna sandwich on dill pickle bread.  His theme was Picnic In The Park for which he earned a blue ribbon.  The rest of his menu was chips, potato salad, chocolate chip cookie and lemonade.

Dancer's theme was Breakfast In Bed.  She made one of her famous cinnamon rolls.  She carried the theme so far as to even wear her pajama pants and slippers.  She was awarded a blue ribbon.  The rest of her menu was fiesta eggs (scrambled eggs with onion, green, red and yellow peppers), peaches and milk.

When they were announcing all the premium winners at the end, Dancer was awarded an honorable mention!  A good start to the 4-H year.

Ear Muffs

Dad got ear muffs for Father's Day, wonder if he will ever get to wear them?  Spark pretty much hasn't taken them off since they came out of the package.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Goat Assistant

Goats really do think that the world revolves around them, and at our house it sort of does.  Dad was weeding his beloved cannas the other day when I looked out and see this scenario going on.

I imagine Calliope saying, "No, not that one.  The one to the left.  No, the other left.  Now up.  Just a little further.  Yeah, that's the one."

Dad hand feeds them the morsel they just picked out.

"Yeah, he is like putty in my hands and I have him wrapped right around my little hoof."

Roasted Cabbage with Lemon

I saw this on another blog and kept following the links hoping to find the origin of the recipe.  The final link was Martha Stewart, no surprise there.  This is so simple though that I am sure she wasn't the first to come up with putting lemon and olive oil on cabbage.  I would venture to guess that it was first done by a woman from the old country, perhaps Greece or another Mediterranean country since it is olive oil and lemon, and it is centuries old.  At every link I looked at they tweaked it a bit, and I did the same, so it isn't the exact Martha Stewart recipe either.  This takes but a few minutes to put together but it tastes oh so fancy.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Clean the cabbage and cut it into thin wedges, I got eight out of the head I had.  Lay them as a single layer on a greased baking pan.   Combine the juice of one lemon and 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Mix together well and pour on a plate.   Dip the cabbage on each side into the oil mixture and lay back on your pan.  I don't have a pastry brush so this was my solution to getting the oil even on the cabbage and it worked wonderfully and I didn't have a greasy brush to clean up.  Grind some salt and pepper over the cabbage, flip the wedges over and salt and pepper the other side.  Let bake for 15 minutes, or until the cabbage starts to get brown and crispy, and flip the wedges.  Let other side bake for 15 minutes and check that the cabbage is soft. 

Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe

Place the meat in a plastic zip lock bag with:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp, or a good splash, of Worcestershire sauce

Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and let sit for three hours.

Throw it on the grill, three minutes on each side or less if you like your meat rare.  It looks like a big ole tongue laying there, ewww.

Tent it in aluminum foil and let it rest for five minutes.

Cut it at an angle against the grain and enjoy!  This was so good the kids were asking for the leftovers for a before bed snack.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Well Hello There

This spring Dancer had a blue bird hanging on the screen on her window several days in a row.  We hung a bird house outside her window on our old t.v. antenna hoping it would make a nest in there.  It didn't and we left the house thinking maybe she would next year but, lo and behold, someone else found a home in the mean time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Home, One To Go

Dad and I went into town early to pick up Spark from camp so that we could go out to lunch.  We also went to lunch when we dropped him off.  It is rare for us to eat out at all, and then twice in one week but, it seems really cheap for two people to eat out compared to four. 

Of course,since we were early, he bus was late.  Spark got off the bus and just didn't look himself.  I asked him if anything was wrong and he assured me he was just tired.  Which was true, we walked in the door and he headed straight for his Legos for a few minutes, had a bowl of cereal, got his comforter, sprawled out on the couch to "watch t.v." and fell promptly asleep.  I thought he might sleep all night but he got up after a three hour nap and still looks like it won't be a problem for him to sleep tonight.

He took over a hundred pictures at camp and this was one of three that had him in it.  This was his color group with their flag.  Dancer is the one in the middle behind the flag and Spark is on the top row on the right. 

He learned a few new songs at camp.  One was a new version of Mary Had A Little Lamb.  Goes like this:

Mary had a little lamb
Her father shot it dead
Now she takes her lamb to school
Between two slices of bread.

Fun.  I am sure when he gets more sleep we will hear more tales and songs of camp.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This is the third year that a goat hasn't escaped the corral and eaten the clematis.  Finally, finally it is beautiful.  We sold the goat that kept eating it, part of the reason we sold her.  Every year, just when everything was starting to bud, she would get out of the corral, even if she had to limbo under the gate, and sprint over to the snow ball bush and the clematis and chow them down as if she were in a hot dog eating contest.

Love the smell of these, and if the wind is blowing just right, we can smell it in the house it has so many blooms.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And He's Off!

Spark and another homeschool friend waiting for the bus to arrive to take them to 4-H camp.  I didn't know this but, if you need to get on the bus by 9:30 you really should be up by at least by 6:00 in the blessed a.m. to make sure you are there on time.  Let's just say he was a wee bit excited.

Yes honey, I do need to document every single event in your life with pictures.  Just humor me.

Go have a great time but, I can't wait to see that bus again on Wednesday!

And She's Off!

Dancer, that is, on her way to camp.   She is all packed, we were just waiting for another boy in our club to arrive at our house who was riding with us.  She will be gone until Friday, five nights/six days,  she has never been away for that long before.  She is fine with it, I am the one already counting down until she gets back home.  The counselors went a day early to clean and get everything ready for the campers to arrive in the morning.

Tomorrow morning Spark leaves for the same camp but, he will only be gone until Wednesday afternoon and he rides a bus so I don't have to make another trip to the camp.  That, too, is long enough and it will be the first time they have both been gone at the same time.  Maybe Dad's mom had them over one night when they were real little but that would have been the only time. 

A friend called me this evening and said, "Aren't you excited your kids are going to be gone?"  No actually, I am not.  Her kids go to school and by the end of the summer she is always ready for them to head back.  I like my kids to be here all the time, they are fun, I enjoy their company, they get my jokes and I think they are really cool people. 

Nikki will also be missing Dancer something terrible by the end of the week.  She is going to have to the dreaded kennel.  Dancer sleeps with her but I just can't.  She has to lay right by me and then she pushes, pushes, pushes herself into me and then she is up and down and twirling and doing all sorts of acrobats all night.  Once the sun is up she comes up on my pillow and looks at me.  I can't sleep when someone is standing on my pillow looking at me.  I can feel her eyes, it's creepy.

On an unrelated note, we had hay delivered this morning.  The people we buy from also deliver it and stack it for us.  Nice, nice, nice.  They are young and use to throwing hay bales, lets just say we are not and it take us a long time to do what they do in what seems a matter of minutes.   A lot of farmers  don't deliver but, the people we buy from live but a few miles from us so they just bring straight from the field in the hay wagon.  The whole yard smells so good like sweet, fresh cut hay.  Some company should make a candle scented like hay.  The goats go crazy the first few days we have new hay in the yard, it is probably equivalent to us being in a bakery.