Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday happies

Hello! How was your week? We're finishing our second full week of summer vacation. It's going well; I feel so relaxed! I have to say that being able to sleep past dawn again, in the absence of Mister Ginger, has been very good for me. We had a great day today. It was the Bear's day off. We all went to the small Bears' swimming lessons this morning, then went to a different pool, an indoor one, for the afternoon to enjoy recreational-swim time together. We wore those kids out! They're both getting to be very good swimmers, especially the LB. I'm so proud of him. I've never been a confident swimmer and watching him do it fearlessly makes me really happy. After the pool, I made lots of blueberry pancakes for dinner. They were worn out and staaaarving after all that pool time. They practically fell into their beds. Now, the Bear and I are spending the evening watching YouTube music videos (mostly Jimmy Fallon-related) on TV (the Bear has his computer synced up somehow to the Blu-Ray player...I can't tell you anything beyond that) and I'm getting ready to make popcorn on the stove - our usual Friday-night snack treat.

I'm joining the lovely Gillian for Friday happies again. I didn't do one last week and I really missed it! I love being back in this habit. I've decided to share happy things from the past two weeks to make up for the missed installment.


We've been eating strawberries almost every day, so obviously I'm in heaven. Strawberries are my absolute favorite food, for the uninitiated. Our own strawberries are just about finished growing now but we loved eating them. Now I'm buying them every week in the store. I recently bought the little mint-green enameled metal colander in this photo. It's totally frivolous; I can't even put it in the dishwasher. But tiny mint-green enameled colander! And it was only $1.99 (at World Market, if you want one too).


In other fruit-related news, our apple tree has rebounded beautifully. I've written a few times about our beloved apple tree. It's old and it sustained frost damage last year. This winter, we had it professionally pruned - in desperation, really. I'm very attached to this tree and I hate to think about losing it. But I'm happy to report that it has lots of apples this year. The tree people had to remove nearly half the tree, so it may not be the huge harvest of years past, but there will be apples to eat. That means there will be snacks on the fly while playing in the backyard, plenty of inedible apples to compost and at least a little applesauce and fruit leather this fall and winter. Maybe an apple crisp or pie too.


The Bear was pruning our pyracantha hedge which grows against the back garden wall. He has to climb over the wall to prune the back of it, and since our property backs up on an arroyo (huge concrete drainage ditch sort of thing), he lets the kids come over the wall with him for a rare chance to play in the arroyo (this is dangerous when there are thunderstorms in the area and I assure you we do not allow it when this is a risk). They found this tiny toad in the arroyo and brought it back up to the yard to play with it for a little while. It was probably petrified, but it sat so nice and still in the LB's hand for a good twenty minutes. I liked its markings and the way its eyes glowed, like gold glass beads.


I came across the artwork of a painter named Courtney Oquist on Etsy recently (her shop is here). I really love her style and I ordered a few postcard-sized prints of her work. This one is called Perfect Landscape. I love the colors in it. It reminds me of where I grew up, on the East coast, where fall really looks like this. I put this one in a small frame on a shelf over our bed. I had a really pretty sugar-skull print here but I love to change out my art periodically.


I've got (yet another) summer project. I've never made a Maggie Rabbit before and I'm really excited to get started (just need to finish a whole bunch of other things first...). It will be a sixth birthday present for my GB. Her birthday is in early September, so I think I'll be okay. Our Her bunny will be dressed in the Emilia's Flowers Liberty fabric, with the Blueberry shawl. I think my knitting skills might be good enough to knit the little shawl...should I fail at this, could I crochet it instead? I assume I'll have enough yarn if I use a small hook. Have you ordered anything from Alicia Paulson's shop lately? There's a special surprise included now. I don't want to give it away, but it's pretty rockin'...


Speaking of my daughter, would you look at the hair on this baby? It's always a streaky dark blond, but it's getting more highlights now from the sun. She gets it from her daddy's side of the family. I love to play with her hair. She's surprisingly patient, except for combing after her bath. And then - watch out! It's a chore we don't enjoy much. But we get it done and then it dries and looks like this. Lucky little thing.


And this little boy always makes me smile. Here, he was listening to a cassette tape that he bought for himself at a thrift store. A family friend gave him an old cassette Walkman and he decided he wanted tapes for it. He bought three with his own money. Two were oldies (Sixties or older) and the third was Mozart. I didn't expect that. I doubt I would have chosen a Mozart tape at eight years old. In fact, I remember asking for tapes for my ninth birthday: Madonna and Huey Lewis and the News. Fantastic Eighties music but most definitely not Mozart.

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Thank you for your support about that tricky chicken. I really did feel badly for a few days there. The bad feelings were sort of at their peak when I wrote that blog post. Also, I should have said this sooner, but thank you for sharing your stories about Girl Scouting and Guiding! Wow, it was wonderful on many levels - the experiences you shared from your girlhoods and the nice things you said about me. I was a good kid, but I assure you I was not perfect. I always felt like people saw me as a goody-goody for wanting to continue in Girl Scouts years after it was considered cool but I really did get a lot out of it and I'm glad I had the opportunity. I don't know if my daughter will be a Girl Scout. If she expresses an interest when she's older, I would love to let her try it out. I think it's wonderful that so many of you have supported your daughters in their interest in Scouting. As always, I love knowing that I have kindred spirits in so many different ways.

34 comments:

  1. It sounds like you're enjoying summer very much. I wish I could go back and re-live some of the days my children were young at at home still. It seemed we were always hurrying somewhere and not taking much time to just stop and savor time spent together, Now they 're grown and gone and those days are long past. I'm happy when I read about families making time to just be together.
    Our children are all great swimmers which makes me very happy as I don't swim at all, it was a goal of mine that they love the water and not be handicapped with a fear like I have.
    Enjoy your family!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  2. Wonderful times during the holidays and love all of your pictures and how close you are as a family too ☺

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  3. A lot of great happies. Some wonderful photos and some lovely memories to store and treasure. The little rabbit is just adorable. Have a great weekend.

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  4. You always find really nice moment in your week to shard with us, had a great weekend.

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  5. Lovely happies this week, Jennifer. You've reminded me that I have that Maggie rabbit pattern. I wonder if I ever printed it out or if it's in my "bought patterns - do not delete" folder? :o)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your happies Jennifer, it looks like fun all around. That toad is so cute and I've never seen one that tiny. Our school hols in the UK are another five weeks away yet and last until 2 September. Have a great weekend.
    Patricia x

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  7. Morning Thistle!! Just catching up after a LONG time off line!! Lovely to scroll back through all your lovely blog posts (you manage to keep them up soooo well!) and as you know I always love a 'happies' post! Happy weekend Lovely Lady! J9 x

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  8. Vacation, what a wonderful word. Keep enjoying! Sweet art work.

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  9. Lovely happies as always! Gosh, cassettes! that takes me back some years, I recall my youngest son gazing at some records with a mixture of amusement & disbelief. I hope you continue on having a happy time.

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  10. Your family is just so beautiful, I love the life you have and the love you share. Keep those little ones swimming, you can tell LB I have a son swimming for Ohio State, that is some big time swimming, and it all started with swim lessons when he was little.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  11. Such lovely happy moments shared as a family, what could be better? I love the bunny you're going to make, I wish I were clever enough to make something like that. My kids tried lots of different things as they were growing up but the one thing I insisted on was swimming lessons. Luckily they enjoyed them and they became excellent swimmers, they even competed in galas. I think they get so much out of being able to swim.

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  12. Oh so many happies. Love the tiny toad-he's very cute. We have another 5 weeks before vacation so I'm envious of your lovely sounding days- enjoy! Have a great weekend.

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  13. The local strawberries have just started showing up in the markets here, and like you Jennifer I am enjoying them immensely. Your daughter has such gorgeous hair! Good luck with Maggie Rabbit. I haven't finished the one for Lucy's birthday yet. I really need to get with it since her birthday is next month. I think you can knit the shawl, but if not a crocheted shawl would be lovely too. And don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to do all the blanket stitch on Maggie.

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  14. So many happy moments! Fresh strawberries are so good. The rabbit is cute and I'm sure GB will love it. Her hair is gorgeous!

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  15. The LB has fantastic taste in music! Wow!

    Much admiration for your photography skills, as always. The vibrant reds of the strawberries and the subtle shadings of green of the apples. And I'm amazed that you could capture the image of that teeny tiny toad so well - it looks quite ready to jump right out of his hand!

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  16. It look like you're having a wonderful time over there! I forgot to mention that I believe in scouting so much that I did 2 years each of being a GS Leader and BS Leader for a total of 6 years for my kids. I always wished my own mom had cared enough to do it, but she worked and never had the slightest interest in helping with scouts. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. Hey Jennifer,

    Lovely happies! Your summer holidays sound like the perfect combination of go, go, go fun and chillaxing time. My kind of holiday. We are eating lots of strawberries here too. Our home grown ones are very nearly ready. Not loads, but Olly is very excited. And I am jealous of your little gb's hair. I always wanted long hair as a child (my Mum always kept it short). Obviously Pops has outrageous hair, and I have been know to put a girly clip in it. You know, to keep the hair out of his eyes....
    Have a lovely evening,
    Leanne xx

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  18. Strawberries deserve all small frivolous colander, and so do you. I love your daughters hair, it is a lovely golden colour. My two older ones are now quite dark but rather mousy, the little ones are red heads. There are many happies in your live, thank you for sharing. x

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  19. After my unplugged week I'm so behind with everyone's blogs, but this is such a happy post to be greeted by on arriving to catch up. And so much to love in it ... the tiny toad, the postcard, the strawberries. The PYO farm here opens for strawberry picking tomorrow after a delay today due to thunderstorms ... I can't wait!

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  20. Beautiful post! Strawberries are just the *bestest*, I gorge myself on them in June...and the tiny toad! What a sweetie! I used to find them and keep them for a few moments, name them all Henry, then set them free. Memories...Chrissie x

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  21. Hi Jennifer,

    I loved seeing all your happies - strawberries are so delicious in season and know you must be enjoying them. Your children are lovely and you must be very proud of them ... and Mozart you may have a composer or distinguished musician.
    Happy weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  22. So many good things here...that little colander!! It's so cute, you had to buy it. I have such a weakness for enameled kitchenware, it's so perfectly retro. Your strawberries look wonderful. Our Pick Your Own farms should open at the end of the month, I always look forward to that. I love that postcard, and I'm really happy to hear that your apple tree is fruiting, I know how much you love that apple tree! Great happies. Enjoy your weekend. xx

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  23. Maggie Rabbit is loooovely!! Good luck and happy Sunday. Hugs :D

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  24. Good happies to have. I love the green colander and strawberries are a treat to savour!

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  25. Lovely happy memories Jennifer can you believe it I haven't had any strawberries yet this year, I'm looking forward to my raspberries which seem to be growing well. Love your daughters hair it looks so pretty with the sun kissed highlights. :)

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  26. Lovely happies Jennifer! We tried roasted strawberries on Friday, topped with a wee bit of spiced crumble mixture and marscapone, delicious! Wishing you a happy new week, x

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  27. Aw, what lovely Friday happies. Strawberries are so delicious! -I'm having to buy a new strawberry plant soon. My other plants did not survive after being transplanted. Normally I have good luck with planting seeds then transplanting. -Not this time around! I hope you are having a happy and wonderful weekend.

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  28. I'm glad that you are enjoying your holidays! It sounds as though you have been doing lots of nice relaxing things and enjoying not being at school. I really like your new postcard picture, very pretty! xx

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  29. Just look at your little lady's hair - it's beautiful. However, I share your pain when it comes to washing it, and combing it out afterwards - not a pleasant experience for all parties concerned.
    xx

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  30. Wonderful happies, Jennifer! Your bowl of strawberries looks so pretty and delicious. And GB has such beautiful hair... lucky girl with all those natural blonde highlights.

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  31. Well I have had a wonder week on holiday Jennifer, so feeling all refreshed and happy right now. It was the last week of half term and now they have just gone back into summer term. I do love your happies this week. I am glad your apple tree is doing better now. Ours is not doing so well, but it is a very young tree. I think I need to prune properly next year or something. I have no apples on it and I think it has been struck by a disease. Booo! I am very impressed that LB is interested in Mozart! A great choice and I think he will get lots of joy listening to it!

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  32. You will LOVE making Miss Maggie (I made one Easter a year ago) and I'm sure you'll have no problem at all with the shawl - it's very easy. What is the surprise??? I'm so intrigued :-) Mel x

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  33. Such wonderful happies...I am a sucker for kitchenware! And even for stuff that doesn't go in the dishwasher ;-) I love the print and have checked out her shop. She has a fantastic cacti print I'm so tempted by!

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  34. Love the strawberries!

    I would never give Madonna to a nine year old. Haha! But, of course, I grew up listening to her. When did I become such a fuddy duddy? Maybe when I started using the words fuddy and duddy...

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