Friday, August 29, 2014

Bits and bobs

Good news, George was adopted and he is now called Snowball :)  I hear he and his new little boy are getting along very well and that he already has learned a few tricks!

This week has been full of other things, too - trying to get some better schoolwork for Esme, as she was being bored to tears by a few things and, because of her speech being the way it is, they had no idea just how much she really knows.  I'm hoping I won't have to push as much along now that they do know just how well she can read and do math... give another few weeks to see how it is all panning out.

Aunt Dot sent some clothing for Esme, and most of it fit.  I still have not made the zigzag dress for her I had planned - but I should make a few more pairs of pants soon.  I have one nearly finished on the desk from a week ago that still needs its pockets.

Labor Day is Monday - and no school that day.  I am working.  I have a good stack of books from the library to keep her entertained, and Grandma has her for the night for a sleepover.  I've gotten into the middle of the last book in the series and am feeling like I'll be missing an old friend once I'm done.  I started reading them in February, just after I had heard my mom had died.. and am almost finished up now with the seventh? book.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Park, sugar cookies, and a return home for George

We all went out to town this morning, to print pictures for Aunt Dot, go to the park, and then return home.  Esme and I were planning to make some cookies, as Mom really needs the practice before her birthday rolls around again.  Then we were surprised by an elderly man we had given George, (above), to last month.  He had brought him back saying he had too much energy and his wife said it was her or the dog, she couldn't keep up.  Oh my :(  But, of most of the puppies we had - George was an easygoing soul and he proved that by settling right in with all of the other dogs within just a few minutes.  They rolled him on the floor, told him to calm down, not be a puppy etc etc... and then Esme came in and everyone said 'Oh, and she likes you, too.'  So he went downstairs with Esme for a good while.  Mark gave him a bath, and he is shivering on a towel at her feet while they watch TV.  And he is so happy to be 'home'.. which is sad, because we will probably rehome him in the coming weeks, if we can.  We already have several males - and although everyone seems to get along, not sure how that would work out.

It is very true that Catahoula puppies are energetic, active - and they need a 'job' or some sort of fit for them in the world, or they will just find themselves one.  George had apparently taken to - according to the man - guarding the family garbage can from the garbage collector - and the man's wife was afraid he would be hit by the truck and die.  Our dogs do similar things - one of them watches the chicken house, one of them decides he has to be with Esme wherever she goes on the property etc is just part of owning Catahoulas.

I have a meeting with Esme's teacher on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A new bike to share

 Esme has had her bike for a while, and is getting better on the gravel with her training wheels - but it is tough, especially on hills!  Mark found this bike on clearance and has been researching them for a bit.  This one fit most of the bill and the price was right.  He wanted something we could share, ride on the gravel and the hard road, and would stand up for a while.  It is a men's bike - but if I'm not on a hill I can get it started.

 Taking it for a spin just a bit around the yard.
I'm getting over the cold I had - and had Esme out to town, today although that hit me hard when got home.
We got some great library books I've yet to get out of the car... and we set up her school study place again to be clean, organized and ready for next school week.

Proud on her bike

Native American Indian house styles, her attempt to make some of them in Minecraft, after asking me questions about them.  This is a wigwam .. my attempt and hers.

And a leanto she made after we read about how they would make quick shelters in the woods if they were hunting.  This is also a wattle and daub mud house hut which we worked together on, with reinforced door and a thatch 'hay' roof and wood rafters inside.  We put doors in the windows because they would not have had glass at that time...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Esme Hair Bun

 She asked me to do her hair in a 'ball', like a style - like her friend was telling her about, a ball at the back of her head.  I looked at a Youtube video and came out with this - which of course did not last the day...

 But, she was happy - and I did it again this morning.  She said I take a lot of pictures of her so when she grows up and goes far away I can look at the pictures and remember her.  Wow... and I reminded her that she would maybe want to see the pictures too, to remember what things were like when she was six... what her dogs were like, what her house was like, what she looked like...

I have a flu/sinus thing going on, and have been down since yesterday morning -- maybe really since we got back from the Open House on Monday... I remember in the store before hand I was seeing stars here and there out the sides of my eyes.. I should have known I was about to come down and taken precautions.

Drinking lots, fighting the fever and hoping I can go to work tomorrow... took today off, as it was not going to happen at all 6 am freight shift with body aches, running nose and fever... nope.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Esme's attempt at the Johnny Test House

This is Susan and Mary Test's laboratory - as attempted by Esme.. .she was trying to reconcile the 2D house she sees in the show into one 3D house.. pretty good effort (I don't show it all here).. but it took days for it to hit me that was what she was going for.  The refrigerator has a freezer on top with snow in it. 


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Jewels from the Garden - beans and corn drying for the year

 Esme helping sort the corn and break out dry pods of beans onto a plate.  She was so bouncey, and wiggly, and overexcited - she wanted to wash everything and dance and jump and splash water everywhere... finally calmed down some.  I told her a joke because she was scowling at me - and said I had tricked her into looking happy... well.. after that she continued to smile, because she actually was having a little bit of fun.

 Breaking out the whipporwill cowpea pods - which are very long, narrow and crispy. 
A lot of the corn seen here was 'volunteer.'  It came up without my knowing what was there or how... we had ornamental corn there last year but grew all of our other corn elsewhere in the garden this year.  I planted a few seeds of Smoke Signals and Peaches and Cream corn in between each of the volunteers to make a full row that we would not step on - as they were naturally scattered a bit here and there and not quite in a straight line.

Upon examining the outcome - I think it was a cob of Hopi Pink and one of Glass Gems that got mixed in, or some cache of seeds some animal had buried from last year we hit with the tiller.    I have them drying out to shell into containers and label for the year.  The pictures don't do any justice to the blues and greens that are present in real life.. .a whole range of color - which is where I say they are our jewels from the garden.

And this is the bean crop so far.

The large buff colored beans are Ireland Creek Annie - which did very well.  I started with nine of those seeds and have 30+ and have more to break out in the coming weeks.  The Black Shackamaxon has a showing already and there are gallons of that coming later.  The red and white speckled ones are Taylor Dwarf Horticultural - something I didn't have room for last year.  

The Ireland Creek Annie and the Taylor are both my first 'major' expeditions into full rows of "reserved to dry" bush beans - as most of my harvests have come from pole beans up until now.  There are also some tiny white climber beans, whipporwill cowpeas and black eyed peas.  I planted some unlabelled Pinto beans (which I thought the white climbers were when I gathered them...odd...always have some odd ones out, right?)   Kenearly Yellow Eye (a semi-climber that says it is a bush), black seeded wax (one of those seeds is one, but I've lost it in the mix!), Bosnian and Provider seeds all drying out in the cabinet.

I've also got a decent collection of Mammoth Striped and Lemon Sunflower seeds this year... partly for the chickens, partly for next year.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Ready for First Grade first day of school pictures

 Nice and neat and ready for first grade!
She picked the butterfly dress I had made for her, and the fish pants - because she head dreamt of fishing in a boat with the whole family last night, and catching fish.


But, I knew that was not the 'real' Esme - and I asked her to show me how excited she was, because I knew it was there This is how we see her daily, animated, eyebrows up - ready and excited for everything! It's in the eyes - I just had to compare and contrast because to me this is the 'real' Esme. 

The hair also gave me some trouble - I settled for this, as it was not wanting to twist the way it should and I had to braid the little tails a bit before I put them together into the other one.  I had some experience last year trying - not always succeeding - to contain her hair for the school day so she didn't have it on her neck and elbows... she said that made it hard to read and write when it was moving on her skin while she did her work... but it is also so pretty it is hard to just bind it up every day and not let it hang down some.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

first grade meet and greet

We got back from the meet and greet - very quick, Esme had a desk with her name on it, right next to the boy from her K class last year.  She has a sheet of 'about me' to fill out before the end of the week... and the teacher has had us sign for a six book reading package... hmm... I tried not to say very much to the teacher because I really wanted to grill her about the math and reading - and that will become evident over the next few weeks anyway... so better to control myself (heh)...  Mark says I'm excited, too... he's right - I am very interested in Esme's education, but know I have a tendency to go overboard.

We went to the flea market afterwards, and found several good books and a few little toys.  Esme asked for a plant science book.. and I made her take a fishing one, too - as it had better pictures and the plant science was worth twenty-five cents, but definitely high-level even for me.  One of the little toys was a plastic flip-top oyster with a pearl in it. Mark says it is a shell-phone.  Ha. 

When we got home we went through the 'legal' paperwork that was in her folder, and made signatures.  She had to sign for the internet services herself - and she asked 'What are we signing for, again?' which I wanted to remember :)  It was quite thoughtful of her to ask before she signed ;)

We get ready for the bus tomorrow... been practicing getting up early for the last two days.   To be there this morning I had to switch shifts, so  I have to work late tonight.  The bath and hairwashing and getting to bed on time is on Daddy, but I have the next two days off.

Will have a first day of first grade picture tomorrow I hope - if everything doesn't take too long in the morning!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

bits as we go

School starts in less than a week.  as Mark said - it is the day after the day after tomorrow.. three days.. eep!

I haven't gotten that last dress done... hope sometime soon the time will reveal itself to me.
Esme and I have been talking about more 'advanced' topics, as she is interested - like taxes, and who pays for the library, and other current events things.  She surprised Grandma last night by talking about - in her own way - the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in her own terms... confusing Grandma, until I explained.  She keeps telling everyone who asks that she is not excited that school is going to start soon - because to her, next week is not soon - it is next week.  It's in the details - she is excited, but not about 'soon'.. because it isn't 'soon' to her.

She told me a few weeks ago her Aunt Dot was sending her a doll.. at the time I thought she was imagining it.. but the doll did arrive today.  She told me to open it because she had been 'waiting all of her life' for it.  *ha*.. well, maybe that was true.

So much going on for her... so many things just bursting at the seams.  We watched the Lego Movie today, too - and she was enthralled... really... she sat right by my side the entire movie almost and when the reality parts started leaking in towards the end, she was even more excited - sat right on the end of the bed staring up at the screen.  When it was all over - she wanted to go build with Legos, right there, right then.

Other bits:  We put a little basket on her bike when we repaired the pedals.  It was a big thing for her - we couldn't find one at the store and then happened upon something the right size at the dollar store.  She is doing so much better with her bike - gaining dexterity with it.  And she can microwave snacks for herself once in a while now, popcorn chicken or a corndog etc that is already in the fridge.  I will hear her saying 3 - 0 is thirty and START... have to remind myself I'm pretty sure of what she is heating up when I hear that!

// garden news: The Banana Legs tomatoes are starting to ripen.  The Ireland Creek Annie dry beans are starting to come in -and they look really good!