Thursday, June 30, 2011

THIS is what we do to rodents who are wrong about the weather.

Since we moved here we've been fighting with groundhogs.  They were hanging out underneath the shed.  We tried trapping them.  No luck.  The dang things wandered around the nicely baited trap but wouldn't go in.  We trapped every raccoon in the park.  They'd be in the trap, peacefully sleeping and waiting for us to let them go. 

We pulled down the shed.

We planted a garden.  I trenched around the garden two feet deep by a foot wide, lined the trench with wire, and put up a fence.

The groundhogs dug next to the retaining wall behind the place.  Left a huge mess in the yard of dirt and debris.  This spring, we found another hole, also next to the retaining wall, giving the groundhog a way out as well as a way in.

About half an hour ago, Julia looked out and saw a groundhog in the yard.  I called out Belle, and she went to work.  She dug that hole out along the wall, first one side, then the other, leaving less and less space for the groundhog to hide.  Finally, she got ahold of it and drug it out of the hole.  I'm too much of a softy to let her kill it, but she shook it around a bit before letting go, and it streaked across the neighbour's yard, Belle in hot pursuit.  When I called her, Belle came back.  Happy as a clam. 

I think the groundhog has been scared out of a life.

I don't have good photo of the groundhog. It--and I!!--moved too fast! But here's it's hind end.

Serves it right for being wrong about the weather.

Early spring my eye.

2011? Meh. Highly over rated.

My Uncle Larry told me that I can't go back to his house unless I bring an Amish buggy with me.  He has wanted one for years.  The closest that I can come to honoring his request is bringing these photos up, which I'll do when we go to Canada next weekend.

I hope they'll suffice!

An idyllic day

Berry picking last week.  We had a special visitor in the parking lot.  He was a beautiful boy, very interested in what we were up to as we got out of the car and said hello.  His family were picking berries too.  We felt like time had stopped.  Between the beautiful setting of rolling Pennsylvania hills and farms, the Amish horse and buggy nearby, and the lovely people we were picking near, it was a peaceful and cheerful morning.

Part of our loot.  The one Adam is holding is a berry that looks like a turtle.  It does!

Of course, as perfect as the morning was, it left me with 20 pounds of strawberries to deal with. 

We won't mention how late I was up hulling them, OK?  But now we have a bunch of berries in the freezer. 

Smoothies here we come!

Monday, June 13, 2011


So.  I've had this ready to  post for awhile, but you will see that things have been rather...hectic.

The other day I was all set to paint the porch railing.  I thought.

I had the paint on the deck, and then realized that I needed to fill the cracks first.  So I went downstairs to get the wood filler.

Let me set the stage. 

I had moved an 8 foot ladder onto the porch after using it to put up a curtain rod (another loooong story, but finally it's up there).  It was leaning against two chairs awaiting my taking it to the garage.

While I was inside getting the wood filler, Adam decided it would be cool to balance the paint can on the edge of the ladder.

I came out and decided to move the ladder before I did anything else.  Not realizing the paint can was balanced on the other end, I grabbed one end and heard a crash.

You guessed it.  A whole gallon of white paint all over our NOT white porch. 

After I finished shrieking, I told Adam to stay put and to please, on pain of death, DO NOT let Belle off her tether.  I ran inside and grabbed a painbrush and on impulse a couple of paper plates and managed to scootch the paint onto the plate and into the can, rescuing pretty much the whole shebang.  But that still left a big, lovely, white painted area in the middle of the porch.  So I raced inside for some water and rags.  As I came down the stairs, here comes Adam into the house with Belle. 

"I led her around the paint, mommy."

Horrified pause.

"She didn't get any paint on her feet, did she?"

"A little bit, mommy."

Luckily it didn't get into the house...just in the covered area, which I just removed the carpeting in.  So now it has a couple of lovely prints as well.  But at least it didn't get on any carpet. 

And I have a good story to tell him when he gets older!

Other recent "kid incidents:".

Poured half a jug of plant food all over a side flower bed.

Trimmed the bushes in the front down to twigs.

Named all the worms we've dug up whilst expanding the garden.

Fooled around on the edge of bed and broke a collar bone.

Someone decided to poke holes around the edge of the milk jug, and I didn't notice and...yes...poured.

I'm sure if I thought hard enough I'd come up with more.

My brain is blocking my memories.  It's a protective mechanism. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For Daddy

It's a bird...
It's a plane...

Adam's Daddy! 
Fighting for truth, justice, and Family!


(We're not quite sure what your kryptonite is.  You've changed diapers without a whimper so I think maybe you're even stronger than Superman!)

We know it's not Father's Day yet, but figured you could use the pick-up today!  Have a good one!


Adam's face looks blue in the shot, and I tried and tried with Lightroom to fix it, to no avail.  Help!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pretty plucked posie

He KNOWS he's not supposed to pick certain flowers in the garden. 

He KNOWS we've planted some cutting flowers that he can have free reign over when the bloom.

But this one, lonely clematis blossom was just too much to resist.

I'm afraid I wasn't a very understanding mother at first.

"BUDDY!  You're not supposed to PICK that!." 

Then tears.

Then I realized he wanted me to have it, because it was so beautiful.

And I felt like a troll.  Tried to mend the situation with hugs and "Gosh, it's lovely, isn't it?"

So I took a photo so we'd be able to enjoy it, even after it wilts.

BUT, he has been warned once again that when the next three little buds open the flowers are to be left alone to enjoy when we go out into the garden.

Someone should take bets on what happens. 


Backblog #4

The problem with playing against one of your best friends is that when you fight for the ball, and you get control and then notice that your friend trips and falls over, one must leave the ball and make sure your friend is OK before continuing to play, thus negating any team gain.

But that's the way it should be, after all.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Backblog #5

Had a nice little brunch with some ladies from church a week or so ago.

Loved these fleurs, don't you?

And the little watering can is delicious!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Backblog #3

Adam has been wanting to play soccer since he was a year old.  This year is finally the year!

These shots were taken a couple of weeks ago, before the cracked collar bone incident.

His coach insists on his jersey being tucked in.  Which looks...odd.

I love this face!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blackblog #2

I can't believe my little man has finished preschool.

Since Daddy is in the military, Adam was chosen to hold the flag during the pledge of allegiance.

I have one word about his growing up so fast.


One day he's going to grow up and leave me and then I think I will just die.

And his sister?  I'm going to never let her out of the house.  I'm going to have hubby guard the door with a shotgun, and she is never EVER going to go away, because when she does, I'm going to shrivel up.

Just shrivel, I tell you, until there's nothing left.

And I'll only revive when she gives me grandchildren.  Which I refuse to think about right now.

The end.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

backblog #1

Yes, I'll chain myself to a post to be flogged.  I've been lazy about getting the photos from the camera to the computer.  It's just that there are so many other things to do!

So I'll go backwards, here, and start with Memorial Day!  Last year I took a bunch of photos from the ceremony, which is pretty much the same every year, so this year I didn't take the photos of the tombstones, the marines, and the veteran playing taps.  Like every year, the ceremony was touching.  I especially enjoyed the speech this year.  If you'd like to see my photos from last year, you can go here.  Memorial Day is probably the weekend that I enjoy the most during the year.

This year was great fun because Julia learned how to ride her bike (finally!), so we all went in the parade!  Adam, unfortunately, cracked his collar bone last week so couldn't ride his trike as planned, but some friends loaned us their wagon, which we decorated, and away we went! 

Adam won the contest for his age group.  Not sure whether it was the sympathy factor, since his arm is in a sling, successfully bribery attempt from throwing candy to the judges, or simply that he was paired with the cutest dog ever.  Either way--he won a savings bond.  And a beeeeautiful ribbon!

Here's Julia, all ready to go.  Her helmet keeps falling to the back of her head, no matter how tight we do up the straps.  It's a job to figure out by the next outing.

All ready to go!

Down at the cemetery, Beautiful Belle lying in the shade.

Headed home...and straight into the grass!  There's definitely a lesson in life to be learned by the fact that what we focus on becomes where we end up.  Julia is so worried all the time about riding off the road that she focuses on the grass...and that's where she ends up!

Until next year!