Wednesday, July 24, 2013

one of each

Recently we went up the road to a friend’s house to pick out a kitten.  They had two left to choose from.  I brought four of my kids with me and could tell right away from their faces they were split as to which kitten we should bring home.  So I surprised them and asked if we could take both.  I am never that spontaneous! I hardly remember the words forming out of my mouth. 


A girl on the left named Beatrice “Birdie” and her brother Augustus “Gus”.

They really amuse each other and my heart is happy they are still together.

We had an unfortunate experience last year involving our kitten and a bat. Though she is okay we were unable to readopt her after her quarantine :(

When these guys aren’t rolling around biting each others tails, they are doing this:


That’s what is new around here, pussycat!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

page turning


One would think with all the projects going on in this house and keeping our gigantic garden watered and weeded…oh and the children, of course keeping the children fed and happy…I wouldn’t have any time to read.

The hot days of summer have a similar effect on me as the coldest days of winter.  These effects being my feet raised and a book in hand.

There is an app that has probably been around a while but I have just discovered it: goodreads.

I am in love with this app more than any other.  It has utility, not just the monotonous glamour of peoples lives like on twitter or FB.  Which I do like as well but I love goodreads.

My old method of creating my library book list was reading reviews on amazon or trying the “people who bought this also bought this” referral. It wasn’t very efficient. When I’m at a loss as to what to read I read Louis L’Amour.  I can’t give you a reason why but his writing just flows through my brain like a happy tune to hum.  I have read over 100 of his books!

From the above stack I did a lot of beach reading.  I enjoyed all those books-- some more than others.  I liked Half Broke Horses because she was a fiercely determined woman. Those kind of women inspire me, even though I never want to find a rattlesnake under my saddle. The writing itself had its flaws but who am I to point that out?

What are you reading? How do you go about finding books to read?

Have any good titles to recommend?


The house is quieter, Sam and his friends are off to fish.  They are nice boys, they hardly smell.  But they eat so much!

Things are good here.  I counted five more weeks of summer. 

Counting that in books and beach trips, it’s like a whole bunch!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

of gray and green

We swam in the gray sea water as the waves rolled onto the shore.  They were good waves, not too small but not too big either. The water was cold.  New England ocean water is cold…always.  It never fails to be a shock and it kind of makes you want to say swear words as you wade in until you find that sliver of strength that lets you dive head into a big wave.  Soon enough you hear your own silly voice telling the latest water newbie that it isn’t really that cold.


This was a day when the gray swirly water matched the grays of the sky.  It was hard to tell where the far edge of the water met the horizon.  This is Maine. 



The older kids waste no time and run full speed kicking up sand until only the depth of the water slows them down.


This was a milestone day for Henry as he went in farther than he has ever been. I bought his trunks on clearance at Lands End.  They are so big I think he will wear them for a few years.  I always end up buying stuff too big!


Sawyer wore the swimsuit I made him from a vintage pattern and some interlock striping my mother gave me.  I was afraid it would stretch out from being wet but it held up rather nicely.

He loved being there, the best kind of playground. 



Three brothers making a moat.  The boys are so spread out in age, I think there won’t be too many pictures like this.


I tried to tell him this was much different seaweed than the kind in sushi but he wanted to taste it all the same.  He also tasted the sand and rocks and shells.


I wonder how long I could sit on the beach and read.  If I wasn’t chasing kids I think it could be a very long time.  I would bring  a big bag of library books and a cooler with gigantic dill pickles to munch on. But I think I would still choose to bring my kids, they are too much fun.   I guess I will compromise next time and bring my kids and the dill pickles.


And that is my very favorite kind of summer day.  A day at the beach in Maine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

summertime variety

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind comments about my last post.  I felt funny to begin with about posting it but there you were.  The long lost friends I have never met. Waiting there, knowing just what to say to pick me up and dust me off.

The exception to this is of course my Uncle John who I affectionately refer to as UJ and AJ his dear little wife.  They are sweet and lovely and I am a lucky niece.  Lucky lucky lucky. UJ and AJ? ILY!

It’s hard for me to talk about my health and truthfully I probably won’t from this point on.  I like this place to be my happy place.  Somewhere I can visit in the future and smile at the memories.

Remember that quote about summer afternoons and beauty? I think by Henry James.  If I wasn’t so lazy I would google it. But isn’t just the bit I know so right?  Isn’t a summer afternoon a beautiful thing?  When it is quiet and stretches before you like a cat waking from a long midday nap.

I love these days home with my kids and yes, there are those days I want to send them outside and lock the door but usually I am happy to spend these warm, willowy days with them.  At my side.  They tell me so much stuff.  I want them to have happy memories of their childhood summers.  What will they remember?  I love it when they are creative and I see the ideas bursting out of their minds.  They create stores and sell their crafts, they write stories and sit and cut paper crafts at the kitchen table.  (Lots of paper crafts with little teeny triangle scraps that flutter here and there on there way to the paper recycling bag.)

In the late afternoon I make supper and when their dad walks in the door we sit at the table and eat.  The children start each conversation at an acceptable volume but by the end of the meal they are loud and animated.  They eat, talk and laugh and I can’t imagine eating at a table without all that.  And if it’s a day when they saw a snake or caught ten night crawlers or oh my gracious saw a bear---we had a bear in the backyard---really we did! Then their voices are so charged with energy and they gulp their food and then as soon as it is appropriate they escape outside and burn it off until it gets dark and I yell to get cleaned up.

Then the day has been spent and I am usually so tired I read half a page and am asleep.  At 8:00!

Tomorrow we will pick up our nephew on the way to the ocean. We will swim in Maine and like my kids act at the dinner table I am so excited.  Swimming is so freeing.  I love it all—except maybe the way the salt water burns the back of your nose when you take in a wave the wrong way.  I love diving into the waves like a dolphin, weightless and smooth.  I bob in the water like a seal, looking at the land and not wanting the sun to dip any lower in the sky—a sure sign it’s time to load our gear into the car and trek home. Swimming is something I have never outgrown.  Growing up my mother would never put her head under water, I remember being so sad that I would grow up and not put my head under.  But I still do.  Will I reach a point when I don’t?  Do you?

I hope your summertime variety is packed with good stuff. 

I will help you think of some things to do:

bring a lawn chair and listen to an outdoor concert

look for four leaf clovers at the park

paint your toenails electric blue (except for you UJ)

offer to read at storytime at the library

make pudding pops

wade across a brook with barefoot with your pants rolled up to your knees

think only optimistic thoughts, at least for one whole day

fix something for someone who needs help fixing things. (mother I will fix something at your house!)

Happy summer!