Tag Archives: fun

summer doings

Whew!  Summer has been going strong and full.  We only have a 6 week summer break from school, and it has been packed.  With work, fun, gardening, harvesting, canning, play, camps, (sewing, for me), and all kinds of other things.  I’ll give a sample here – showing much of the things I love and cherish about summer.

lighting bugs

























  • Catching lighting bugs, of course.  The best kind of fun for a late night kid (it stays light until nearly 9 in mid-summer here).
  • Time for playing games.  Of course, the chess board does tend come out right when I ask for some help cleaning out the dishwasher or putting away laundry.  “But mom, we’re right in the middle of our game.”
  • Campfires and marshmallows (at least for the children).  It is a fun way to spend a long evening, especially with friends.
  • Hammocks and cousins.  Hammocks hung to relax in, take afternoon naps in.  And, cousins from out of town were here for a few weeks and we all loved seeing them.  Our three oldest children went to the farm camp for a few weeks and had a blast, playing with their cousins and friends all day, riding horses, making art.  Coming home tired and hungry and very happy.
  • Hythe, who would wear shorts and no socks nearly all winter, puts on sweatpants and a sweatshirt and plays in the yard on the hottest days of summer.  “What are you doing”, I say.  “I’m a gray wolf, mom.”
  • Picking flowers from the meadow and from my garden.  I love the fresh arrangements – large and small that I can scatter around the house.
  • And, I love them on the dinner table.  We have a 16 year old cousin from France visiting for the month (and helping out, too).  One of the wonderful things she does for every meal is to set the table beautifully, with plates at each place, napkins, flowers, glasses, pitcher of water, salt and pepper.  That sounds so simple, but often when I am getting ready to put a meal on the table, I am scrambling to get the food, plates, condiments, etc. to the table and I have to keep jumping up from the meal to fetch water, salt, knives.  Evva is usually in charge of setting the table, but often it is done with the perfunctory fork and knife, though occasionally she will find a napkin or two and put them out.  I have explained what I would like to have her do (put out the glasses, water, napkins, etc.), but see the note above about when I ask for a chore to be done (“but, mom, we are in the middle of . . .”).  We’re working on a solution!
  • Handsome husband sitting across from me at the outside dinner table while eating a great meal of fresh food from the garden and meat from the farm and washing it down with a cold local beer.  Contentment.
  • Lots of porch sitting and playing.  It is the perfect place to read a book, take a nap, or play cars.  Steven has been at without siblings for the past week (they are with my mom on the coast), and while he has enjoyed more undivided attention from parents, he misses his playmates.  (William and I miss them too.)
  • Picking berries.  While I love picking blackberries because they are free berries that I don’t have to do any work to raise, they have the most vicious thorns, and usually I have to get hot, sweaty, and thoroughly scratched up to get them.  This year though, the blackberry vines have grown right up to our back deck, thick with the largest wild blackberries I’ve seen.  So, I can stand on our deck, in the shade, and pick berries with minimal wounding.  And, I got enough to make jam.
  • Fresh jam.  So far, I’ve made sour cherry, mulberry, and blackberry.  We did not have enough jam to make it through the year last year, so I am trying to make more this year.  I’ve never made mulberry before, but William, Fiona (the cousin), and the children picked so many that I had enough berries to jam.  It is quite good.  And, jam jars are so pretty.


it is cold!



Predictions of snow – the first this year – were coming in Monday morning.  100% chance of 2 to 4 inches.  That would probably be enough to go sledding on, play in, build a small snowman.  We were starting to look forward to it.  About 11 a.m., large snowflakes started falling beautifully from the sky.  School let out early.  Then, the snow turned into a kind-of sleet. Small icy pellets drilling down until there was an inch on the ground.  It lasted all day and all night.  Well, actually not all night, because we woke up to find that icy rain had also fallen in the night, covering everything (even the icy sleet pellets) with 0.2 inch of ice.  Most. Dissappointing. Snow. Ever.

But, the kids had a great time sledding on the ice covered hills around the house.  It was fast, hard ride, and there were a few broken sleds when a child bounced too hard over an icy bump.  And, there were a few raspberries where exposed skin got pulled over gravely ice – my hip during a sledding wipe out, Hythe’s knee and ankle (the boy won’t wear socks and had holes in his jeans), Anne’s face.

The roads were slick sheets of ice, the driveway more like a luge.  It was even hard to walk in the yard (on the grass)!  Needless to say, school has been cancelled ever since, with a valiant attempt yesterday with a 3 hour delay but a 1.5 hour early release when it started to snow again.

And, it did snow again, putting a dusting of snow over all that ice.  And, the temperatures have dropped so that the high today is 10 degrees.  It is cold!

I am ready for spring.

But, William keeps telling me we need to have winter.  That winter is important.  I’m not convinced.  He does seem to relish the coldness, snow, ice,  and similar uncomfortable winter elements.  I, on the other hand, tolerate winter.  I love the time up till Christmas and New Year and then I am ready for spring.  I actually don’t mind snow – it is fun to sled in and play in – or ice when there is pond hockey.  But, the continued bitter cold with no snow, can’t-get-outside-because-it-is-so-cold, bundling of reluctant children, is just not fun.  I do see the beauty in winter.  Even in those cold, gray days I see the breathtaking starkness of the  mountains.  The raw beauty of naked trees.  The silvery sheen of ice on branches.   My children playing outside in the frosty world.











I also loved the Valentine I saw Anne had made for herself propped up on the art table.