Friday, August 20, 2010

I've been monetized!

I've decided to put ads up, and maybe make a little money (because I have such a huge readership). Not sure how I feel about it yet. But so far it doesn't look obnoxious. If I think it's getting that way, I'll take it down. The ads are supposed to be relevant. However the first one I saw was for shoes with a giant spiked heel. Hmmmmmm. But the second was about food and gardening - that sounds more like it.

If you have an opinion about ads on blogs, please share it (good or bad). If you happen to see something offensive, please let me now. And as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Catching Up

So, it's been a little while since I blogged.  I guess we've had a lot going on!

The last time I wrote here, we had just heard the sad news that JC's grandmother passed away.  At age 93, you can't say it was a life taken too soon.  But nonetheless, it was a sad occurrence.  Though she already had dementia when I had the privilege of meeting her, I feel so blessed to have know her.  She lived right down the street from the home JC grew up in and where his parents still reside.  She was of course a big part of his childhood and life.  I am so proud to have given her two great-grandsons, and will never forget the obvious joy she had when she met JT for the first time.  She lived in her own home until a stroke at age 91 - not too bad, eh? She met LW for the first time shortly after her stroke, so she was not as mobile or able to speak well, but her joy was still apparent at that meeting. She led a simple life, and as such made a request years ago to have only a simple grave side service when she died. So there we stood on a hot, humid morning in July to say good bye. The service was short an sweet - not enough time for me to turn into a sobbing mess as I usually do at these things. And we answered about a million questions from JT, including "Why can't I jump in there?" (referring to the open grave).  But he did well, though has several times mentioned that he misses his great-grandma.  He does seem to have some sense of what death means, though obviously still has many questions - some hard to answer, some simple.  LW is too little to know what was going on, and as active as he is I had to take him for a little walk around the cemetery during the service.  That evening after the service, as we were getting the boys to bed, my mother-in-law was sitting outside during a break in the thunderstorms and downpours we'd been having.  And what appears in the sky, but a gorgeous double rainbow! A sign from Grandma perhaps?

Now comes the task of cleaning out Grandma's house, barn and chicken coop (both full of some interesting farming equipment and tools).  JC and his brother will go up one weekend soon to help out - and I will pray that JC does not come home with a truck-full like he has threatened!

Last weekend, JC and I had our annual vacation to Watkins Glen, NY for some NASCAR racing, and the boys had their vacation at my parents!  I really needed that break from every day life.  Summer can be LONG when you are home with two little boys!  We had a great time.  We were able to visit with some friends one day (JC used to live up in that area, which is about 7 hours from where we live now), then enjoyed two days of racing.  I don't watch much racing at home anymore - kind of hard to do that with two boys that need to be entertained.  So I'm a little rusty on who drives which car since there are always some that change owners and car numbers. Even a major sponsor change throws me off!  But there is something about being at the track that is exciting.  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the fans - all add to the experience. The view from our seats (41 one rows up in the grandstand!!) is breathtaking:
This track is located on a mountain, in the Finger Lakes region of NY, close to Seneca Lake.  We usually stay about 45 minutes away at the other end of the lake, and the drive is gorgeous!  Vineyards every where you look (this is wine country!), as well as all sorts of other fields and farms.  Last year we discovered a delightful little store run by an Amish family, so we stopped there again this year.  Oh the quilts!  We did not buy any, as they are  not a cheap item.  But there was plenty of other stuff to ogle at in our price range as well.  I managed to limit my purchases to a jar of pickled Okra, a jar of Peach butter, and a framed stitched saying.  The woman at the front says she remembered us from last year when we mentioned we had been there before - not sure if that's true or not, but it still gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  If we ever get our act together and make our hotel reservations more than a month in advance, I don't think I want to stay any closer, because frankly I'd miss the drive (well, the parts I am awake for anyway).

JT and LW also enjoyed their little vacation with Grandma and Grandpa.  I was a little concerned that LW would have trouble when we left, as he has been going through quite the Mommy phase this summer and often screams if I walk out the door without him.  But of course there was no need!  He cried for about 20 seconds when we left (he had a little trouble understanding that we were leaving and he was staying and tried to walk out the door with us).  But Grandma got him a stool so she could see us out the window and he had a smile on his face as he waved good bye.  JT looked absolutely giddy in the window!  What a relief!  They got to do/see some exciting stuff while they were there. My parents live in a condo, and some of the units in the complex were in desperate need of new front steps.  As luck would have it, one of the sets of steps was being installed the first morning. As many of you know, anything construction related is HUGE excitement for little boys!  In fact, I am told that LW actually sat still in his stroller for about an hour watching the whole thing!  They also went to a trolley museum and got to ride on a trolley, and it sounds like they absolutely loved it.  They both napped well every day, and it sounds like LW did pretty well staying in his bed for the most part.  LW apparently amazed Grandma and Grandpa with his appetite - there's a reason he wears some clothes the same size at JT's.  We are so thankful to my parents for being willing and able to take the boys so we can have a little R&R!

We have been enjoying a bounty of veggies from our garden and the CSA.  The lettuce is taking a break, and we're getting a great variety of vegetables, including these:

I thought we had identified this through the magic of Facebook as a Kabocha squash, a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin.  But the CSA is calling it a buttercup squash.  I thought the buttercup had a funky bump on the bottom, but what do I know? I baked it with butter and brown sugar, and it was pretty tasty.  And I am generally not a winter-squash eater.  We got a mid-season update email from the CSA.  Apparently the hot weather is causing some issues, including with the carrots.  Which might explain this:

I thought only home gardens grew crazy carrots like this?  Our own garden is going gangbusters.  I am quite giddy that we have some very promising watermelons and cantaloupes (muskmelons in actuality).  I have never grown melons before, so I am excited that we may get some produce out of them.  I also planted a six pack of mystery heirloom tomatoes.  Some appear to be "normal" red tomatoes.  But a couple of plants are producing these:

It's more of a pink color than red.  And quite tasty too.  We've got wax beans and pole beans coming out of our ears - too bad I don't currently have extra freezer space to preserve them (thanks to a Junk man that thought it acceptable to get permission from a 4 year old to remove our old refrigerator that was sitting up by the house - not by the curb - so I could hose it down before we put it in the basement.  Grrrrrrrrr).  

JT will be turning five in a month.  Wow...where has the time gone?  This is the first year I've really asked him what he wants.  The first thing he mentioned was his own watering can, and his own plant to water!  Goodness, I LOVE this kid!!  Oh he's not totally easy to please - he also wants a trampoline and a batman computer (does that even exist???).  But I was so tickled pink at the first thing that came to mind.  Of course now he tells everybody that he's getting several of the items on the list, despite my reminders that he won't necessarily get everything on it.  And I get that "I KNOW" with attitude - all the moms know what I'm talking about!  He also wants to help bake his own cake, and decorate it.  I made a chocolate zucchini cake today and he went and told Daddy I was making his birthday cake.  Have I said how much I love this kid?

We've started cloth diapering LW, for the most part.  He outgrew disposable diapers a couple months ago, and pull-ups are just so pricey.  So a friend sent some cloth trainers to try, and I was happy with them so I bought those from her as well as a few more on line.  We've really only started full-force this week, and so far so good.  Of course I am not the one that was on kid duty when he had  his first explosive output, so maybe you should ask JC how well it's going!  I didn't buy a large supply of trainers, because he is already two, so he gets one disposable a day depending on where we are with the laundry.  But he sure does look cute in them! And yes, I do feel a little regret at not having tried it sooner.  The thought of all those disposables in a landfill doesn't fill me with parenting pride.

JT will be starting a new program this week.  I don't feel comfortable saying what it's for here, since it is something that could cause embarrassment for him down the road, despite it not being all that uncommon.  It's a six week program, at a highly-regarded children's hospital.  So we have hope that by the end of September the issue will be resolved!  (Those that are reading and know us in real life probably know what I am talking about.  Sorry for being so cryptive to those that don't).  Too bad we now have new insurance that requires us to pay copays -blech!  But so glad to have insurance!!

I'm sure there some things that I have missed, since it's been FOUR WEEKS since my last entry.  But it's way too late already and I AM on kid duty in the morning, so I need to hit the hay!  Good night!!