At Home, August 2018


Well. We were gone the first two weeks of this month, and returned to a weed jungle. Last planting of corn, late tomatoes, and pumpkins were overtaken by weeds or bugs and are gone. Many, many evenings of hand picking squash bugs off my pumpkin plants, all different colors and varieties…all for nothing. It is enough to make you cry while filling trash bags with the destroyed plants. Not that I would do that. The corn and pumpkin area got tilled up, and the rest of the garden got weeded by hand. I am still getting flowers, green beans, peppers, and…maybe a tomato a day.

I started some quick maturing broccoli and cabbage varieties, and planted some super late sunflowers. Also lettuce, spinach, cilantro, scallions, and carrots. I was a few weeks late on this.  If they don’t make it, that’s okay.  Still nice to have something to look forward to.



Well, after my post complaining about my grocery budget, a strange thing appeared in my Amazon box.  I ordered a soccer ball and water bottle for Camilla, and it came with a can of green beans that I didn’t order.  (Isn’t Market Pantry the Target store brand, too?  Weird.)  Thanks Amazon Gods.  I’m sure there’s a message in there somewhere.


I found a super cool crock in the scary basement of the old house and brought it into the kitchen. It has probably been home to many a rodent, and so I will never use it for food. (Not that I would know how to do anything in a crock, anyway, like fermenting things or whatever they are for.) But doesn’t it look cute with some wildflowers (weeds) picked by the kids? I think mums would be pretty in it later. It’s so heavy, with no type of identifying mark anywhere, which I think is neat.


As the garden winds down (or at least my interest in it does) I have turned back to soap making.  I forgot how easy to it is to use individual molds instead of doing a big “loaf” and slicing it.




We had a great time in California, going to the beach or a hike almost daily.  My in laws have a HUGE garden, an enormous grape…arbor?…patch?,  and tons and berries and fruit trees.  Since they have no humidity or rain there are no diseases and no weeds.  Just a $1200 water bill.  (I am serious.)  I think it might be worth it.

School starts next week. The mudroom is ready, but I am not. Too much paperwork, too many online log-ins to fill out stupid forms, too much driving around. I am reading a lot of posts of people’s plans for their homeschool year, and I am jealous. But the kids both seem excited about school, so I am staying positive.

I am feeling emotional lately for some reason, thinking about people who have died and how fast my kids are getting older.  I find myself wishing sometimes I had a career, and wondering if it is too late now.  Part of the seasons changing, maybe.

I hope you had a good month, wherever you are.


At Home, May 2018

Just a monthly update I am doing to document some moments with the family, the house, and the garden.


We had two birthdays this month, two days apart.  I had decided that only one child in the family would get a birthday party each year.  So this year we did little things for the non-party receiving birthday child.  Went out to dinner, went on a beach hike, did cake and presents at home, went out to lunch with my mom.  Well by the time it was all over I should have just given her what she wanted… a birthday party.  Next year I will.




We also took a family trip to Colonial Williamsburg, which I loved but the birthday children did not.  (Maddie loved it like I did, and learned a lot.)



We made some truly terrible cupcakes (America’s Test Kitchen, I continue to hate your recipes for baked goods), and bought some at the grocery store that were scrumptious.

The House

I ordered myself some pillow covers from Jenny Steffens-Hobick’s online shop which I love.  I am going to get more but wanted to see the fabrics in person first.  I was needing some big pillows and some color, and they fit the bill.  The square is 22 inches with a 25 inch insert from Wayfair.



I also got some clear bottles from her shop because I just love color.




I am also going to embark on a painting adventure, both the foyer and dining room.  The foyer is going to be a colorful shade of, um, cream.


(The swatch is Benjamin Moore Mascarpone.  The walls right now are Sherwin  Williams Accessible Beige and it is drab as can be in this room.)

The dining room is going to be Stratton Blue.  I picked out a few swatches from olive green all the way to a medium blue and let Matt pick.


He picked the second from the bottom, which looks totally crazy to me, but we are going for it.  (I wanted one of the two middle blue ones, the small squares, which he claims are gray.)  The bottom half of the walls will be white so it might tone it down a little.


Not sure if I can handle this.

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Maybe I like the beige!


I accidentally planted a dwarf variety of snapdragon so all my bouquets look like this:


We are harvesting peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and cilantro.  It is hot and humid with very little sun and the tomatoes will definitely be showing signs of disease any day now.  It is pretty unavoidable.  I am thinking of spraying with a fungicide but we have so many ladybugs that I don’t want to.  So instead I am in the house, reading.  Maddie keeps yelling at me for laying my library books flat like this.  I’m just trying to keep from dog-earing the pages, a habit I can’t quit.


My container flowers are looking good!  I am proud.

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Our pool is opening tomorrow.  By which I mean our plastic water trough is being filled up with well water and some chlorine tablets.  Then I can return to the outdoors.

Go Caps!