Friday, June 17, 2011

Of These Longest Days Come Longer Posts

In the wake of my unplanned and unannounced blogging break, I'm trying to rework my daily routine, my space and time put aside for writing. Nothing major led to nearly a month without posting, it was just life that happened. I have missed this space. But when other things drew my attention away, I had to, well, attend to them. For three weeks we nursed one of our new guinea pigs, Beatrice, to health, after she suffered an unfortunate accident that left her with a soft-tissue injury. This meant meds administered twice a day, two cages (because the two had to be separated), lots of laundry after the pain meds caused her to get an UTI, (oh hey, did you know that most vets don't even know how to care for guinea pigs, which are labeled exotic small animals, and that treatment involves much trial and error? It took several days, one emergency vet visit and two x-rays later, but we finally found a wonderful local vet that regularly cares for exotics, which was a relief.) I'm happy to report that Beatrice and Annabelle have been reunited successfully, in their new, larger cage and have settled in nicely.

Annabelle and Beatrice enjoy some outdoor playtime.
Beatrice and Annabelle
little piggy nose
Beatrice enjoying her lettuce

As spring finally arrived and took hold in the garden, I felt the energy stagnating in the house and it was time to freshen spaces, once again. So at the beginning of the month, we spent long hours outside weeding and opening the outdoor shower, but also rearranging rooms inside. (This also meant my computer got moved and unplugged for a week or more, which kind of puts a cramp in the blogging.) But oh! How good it feels to have some of those problem corners addressed and renewed and ready for summer! And now, on the days Alex works from home, we spend that time together in our newly arranged, shared office space.

morning at the table
new views
dining room swap
freshend space
a place for pets, too
the family room side

It felt especially good to have the house and garden organized and tidy in time for the arrival of the midwest Bradstreets, or Alex's aunt and uncle. We spent the morning preparing a meal--clam chowder in the crockpot, fresh loaves of French bread baked, tossed a huge salad and marinated chicken in our favorite local sauce. I also whipped up what my mother called Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie, and put two of those to chill in the fridge.

rising dough in the sun
bread and salad
cherry-o-cream cheese pie

Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 can of cherry pie filling, chilled
1 prepared 9" graham cracker crust

Whip cream cheese until softened. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk, blend completely until there are few lumps. Slowly add lemon juice and vanilla. Whip for an additional 3 minutes on med-high speed until smooth and light. Pour into prepared crust and chill for 2-4 hours. Top with cherries (or blueberries) just before serving. This recipe is easily doubled, etc. Also great to use for a trifle.

With the menu under control, we took Olivia to her guitar recital, where she played Simple Gifts, as a solo the first time through, and as a duet with her teacher the second. We, of course, thought she did very well and she so enjoyed her lessons and is looking forward to continuing them in the fall.

Simple Gifts

We arrived back home just as family arrived. The last time we had visited with Alex's aunt and uncle, the kids looked like this. It was very good to see them.

catching up
family dinner

We all thought the garden that evening looked particularly pretty, with all the cool spring tones glowing in the dusk. We said good-bye to family and ended that weekend on the couch in front of an episode of Buffy. Whew!

the front bed
chives and pinks
peaceful corner
snow at sunset

Since then, the kids have finished the last of their spring classes, including pottery and guitar. They also auditioned for the Southern Maine Children's Choir (SMCC) at the end of May and we heard back end of last week, that they both have been accepted! Also, earlier this week, Olivia attended the Blunt Youth Radio Project Open House and she's committed to hosting, reporting and assisting with programing through the summer. Finally, just a few weeks more, and both Adam and Olivia will be attending day camp, Olivia as a CIT, for five weeks and we we're already gathering supplies and checking gear in preparation.

some finished pottery: unschooling
new endeavor: teen unschooling
she wants to be on radio

Otherwise, our days have been about gardening, caring for the four animal friends, trying to follow along at a friend's final softball game, household tasks, finishing books and starting new ones, playing Minecraft, making movies, seeing movies, riding bikes, observing, contemplating and yes, we'll have beach days, too. This weekend we'll celebrate Alex's 39th, as well. Our summer calendar is filling up and having a few days to revel in the strawberry moon and these, the longest days, feels good, too. I hope these days find you well also and that it won't be quite so long between posts next time. Enjoy these long days!

how the garden grows
garden spider
meaningful work: unschooling
1st base
play time
our day starts with a late breakfast together--unschooling
strawberry moon over the ocean


  1. I'm always surprised at how full and varied your garden is. Aren't you "in town" and have a small lot? It's amazing and looks wonderful! What a sanctuary!

    Glad to hear the guinea pig is doing fine! Our animals mean so much to us, huh? We just incubated (for school and to have our own fresh eggs) chicken eggs. 9 perfect baby chicks hatch out yesterday to the delight of the kids! They're already QUITE attached!

    Jessy (up near Sebago Lake)

  2. Thank you, Jean!

    Jessy, yes, we're on just .11 acre, two blocks from the beach, on a corner, in-town lot, with lots of close neighbors. Thank you so much, what a lovely comment! And yes, we've only had a our guinea pigs for a month, now, and we adore them. Hatching eggs and little chicks is so much fun! Aww! I bet your kids are delighted!

  3. the garden does look beautiful. and thank goodness the guinea pigs are healthy. my 13 yo son eli and i may attend the homeschooling conference in ma. in august so perhaps see you there..

  4. Thanks so much, Liane! Oh, if you attend NEUC, please, please say hey, I'd love to meet you and Eli, both. We're really looking forward to the conference this year and it's so great to catch up with friends.

  5. So glad I'm not the only one finding life getting on with itself and not getting blogging done!
    Glad the guinea pig is doing well, enjoy the beach and your house looks fab



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