Monday, December 9, 2019

River Cane

So, it was about 50 degrees and drizzly today.  I had ordered the Kentucky River Cane (Arundinaria gigantea), and it arrived and needed to be planted.  I have tried to find info on best planting practices, but ended up just planting most of it outside today. 

Lydia was an enthusiastic helper.  We planted it mostly by the pond, because that is where it traditionally grew.  We did plant one plant in a pot in the playroom, and we will see if any of the 10 plants grow.  I don't think we'll know until spring, in any case.  While we were out planting, we noticed that something (probably a squirrel?) has dug up some of our tulip and daffodil bulbs that we planted a while ago.  It looks like most are undisturbed at this point, but we definitely lost some.  It can be hard to wait until spring to see what will come up!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Busy Day

We went to Nathaniels' work dinner last night.  As you can see, they had a type of photo booth there.  It didn't print out pictures, but sent these electronically.  So we had some pictures done around the time the younger kids were heading to bed.  It's nice now that we can leave Elijah in charge at home (and a lot cheaper).  The kids had a good time, and no complaints there, so it went well.  

Around the house, a lot got done yesterday.  We got most of the Christmas decorations up, but we still have a few things to finish.  Elijah hung the Christmas lights outside, with some help from Malachi and Dad.  Inside, I hung up the Virgin of Guadalupe tapestry that Nathaniel just bought for me:

So that's in place before her feast day on the 12th.  It really is lovely.  Nathaniel bought it during Thanksgiving at this little Catholic bookstore in his parents' town. 

So we had a pretty packed Saturday, with work around the house, driving with Elijah, and the dinner.  Today, we had Mass, and then Nathaniel headed out of town.  Lydia's catching up with her friend, and right now the boys are playing Super Smash Bros on the Wii.  Now I really need to figure out the rest of the Christmas presents....

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Curls and Chickens

Do you notice anything about Lydia here?
My mother-in-law tightly french-braided her hair.  She left it in for two days, and yesterday, she let it out and had curls.  I never realized quite how much she favors me, especially from the side.

Gyunay wanted in on the pictures. This one was right before bed, and as you can see, his eye still turns when his glasses are off, especially when he's tired.

And lastly, my Mamaw made this towel!  It matches my kitchen perfectly, and the kids and I are so excited to see it hanging off of the stove.

Monday, December 2, 2019

November Harvest Totals

Arugula - 2 cups
Carrots - 40
Eggs - 72
Radishes - 2

Friday, November 22, 2019


As the chicks have been getting bigger, I have been noticing a lot of signs that three of the four are most likely cockerels instead of pullets.  

They have shiny, pretty feathers, and their tail feathers are just starting to not only have some green feathers, but are starting to drop over instead of stand upright.  I'm not sure about one of them, but I am pretty sure that two are cockerels.  None have started crowing yet, but I think it's pretty safe to say that they aren't all going to be hens, as we had previously thought.  I mentioned it to Lydia, and she admitted that she had noticed, too.  So maybe we'll have some chicken dinners in a few weeks.  

Also, getting dirt delivered to cover my hugelkulturish berm in the front yard has been harder than expected, so nothing can be planted there yet.  I had hoped to have bulbs in the ground by now, but no such luck.  

On the plus side, Nathaniel has been busily chopping up the firewood, and we have had nice, cozy fires to warm the house.  I've been baking up some pumpkins for pies and other things, and school has been going pretty smoothly lately.  Lydia and I are both really enjoying her new art/art history program, Ever Ancient, Ever New, and Gyunay and I have been doing the art projects alongside her.  It's a nice break from math and language.  We've also been doing mini science units with Mystery Science online, to supplement Nathaniel's science lessons.  And I've always got some history project going for them.  Right now, Lydia is on ancient history, and Gyunay is learning some basic American history, in addition to our monthly classes at the history center.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Slug Pumpkin

I baked one of the Long Island Cheese pumpkins that I grew this year, and Lydia was delighted to see that it looked like a giant slug:

Looks aside, it was packed full of bright orange pulp that I will be putting into muffins later (and sneaking into various sauces, like the spaghetti sauce we had last night).

Lydia also took a picture of Midnight on her "throne":

This is the extra booster seat, which stays in the garage when not needed, so Midnight has pretty well claimed it for her own.  

And here is a spot of bright beauty on this cold morning:

We still have snow in our yard, but it should melt today.  Gyunay loved the snow, but it would be nice to have a bit more fall...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review - Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters

Deadly Deceit
Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters is the second book in her Harbored Secrets series, but it is a stand-alone novel.  It is set in the same town as the first, but no prior knowledge of the characters is needed to follow the story.  Main characters Vivian and Ryan both have issues trusting others, and both had bad experiences with their fathers during childhood.  The author does a good job of writing realistic fiction, and the main characters are certainly believable.  The mystery itself is very intriguing, with a good amount of plot twists woven into the story.  I also like that it is supposed to unfold over weeks, not days, which makes the romance blossoming between Ryan and Vivian more realistic.  I would warn sensitive readers that some of the crime involved is especially heartbreaking, but the writer does not use graphic details to portray the serious subject.  The overarching themes of forgiveness and not letting the past dictate who people are today are very well handled.  The plot moves forward at a good pace, building suspense while giving time to get to know the characters.  Overall, this is solid romantic suspense.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.