Wednesday, June 27, 2018


In the past few years, I've been increasing the flowers around my house.  I've always had morning glories, and the daylillies I've transplanted have really filled in and are just starting to bud.

 For the past two years, though, I've been growing an increasing number of flowers from seed and tucking them into wherever I can find room.

black-eyed susan
They are just starting to bloom, and they are beautiful.

dwarf cockscomb

I just picked up this Mary statue, and she is presiding over the front of the house.  Right in front of her are more of the dwarf cockscomb.  They aren't blooming just yet, but they should be soon.

Around the bed she is in are these flowers:

I think they are quite beautiful, but they are not a traditional flowerbed choice.  They are blooms from my onion plants!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer Rain

I often get asked if the water ever goes over the driveway here.
 The kids were impressed with our little "river".  It didn't last long (maybe half an hour), but it was a pretty impressive flow of water.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bulgarian Reunion

We are so blessed to attend a Bulgarian Adoptive Family Reunion every summer for the past 4 summers.  It is a great group of families.

The Bulgarian Society of Cincinnati comes to the reunion each year and teaches a little cultural lesson/activity to the group.  This year, they gave a brief talk on Kukeri masks, and the kids made their own masks.  Malachi, Lydia, and Gyunay really enjoyed this activity.  

The splash park is a perennial hit.  This year, Lydia and Gyunay enjoyed the splash park with me while Nathaniel took Elijah and Malachi on a canoe ride around the lake.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Tatume Zucchini

I showed you a picture of Lydia holding the tatume yesterday, but I didn't photograph the plant.  As you can see, it is taking over!  It sprawls across this garden, and it is covered in blooms and little tatume zucchini.  I hope it will continue to be healthy to provide a good harvest.  We did eat one last night with dinner, and it was delicious!  (Well, none of the kids liked it, but they don't like any sauteed zucchini, so that's not much of a test.  They are in favor of making zucchini bread with it.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Timmy and Bob

So Lydia has a habit of naming everything lately.  Here she is with Timmy and Bob:
And now she's telling me to specify that Timmy is on the left, and Bob is on the right.  They are tatume zucchini that I grew in the garden.  It's a variety that is new here this year, and I'm hoping they taste as great as they look.  They weigh 1.2 and 1.89 lbs.  I have one plant that is huge and covered in blooms, and several more small zucchini, so I think it is a success.

We had some fun with some cousins last week.  We met and swam in the lake, and then had a picnic.

Malachi was proud to beat Elijah at checkers for the first time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

All Four

So, I tried to get a decent picture of each of my kids.  You can tell which one was really not feeling the picture-taking thing.

But you also get a glimpse of his new haircut!

Chickens and Kittens

We have a lot of cute animals right now, and Malachi and Lydia are enjoying photographing them.  First, Malachi had fun taking pictures of the chicks:
These were taken just before I added lots of fresh wood shaving to the yard.  It's been so rainy lately that it's hard on the yard!

On the perches under the tarps.  
This morning, Lydia took the camera and had fun taking pictures of the kittens.  I love how picturesque this one is:

You can see the brown in their fur in the sunlight.

Gyunay has also loved playing with the cats.  Here he is to the right with the kittens, while the hugelkultur is to the left.  You can see the tall sunflowers, and there are beans, cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons, pak choy, onions, and arugula growing there as well.

This large colander of greens came from the hugelkultur; it is mostly arugula and pak choy, but there is a little bit of leaf lettuce in there, too.  It was delicious!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review - Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

 Together Forever by Jody Hedlund is the second in a series of books on the orphan trains of the 1800s.  I did not read the first book, but I don't think it hindered enjoyment or understanding of this story.  I like that the author did not sugarcoat the orphan trains, but presented both good and bad sides to the practice.  The main characters were engaging, and I wanted to know more about them as the story progressed.  The romance was sweet, and while it was predictable, it was still satisfying.  The story is firmly planted in 1858, and I appreciated the historical details.  Some of the plot lines seemed a bit unrealistic, and Marianne's habit of lying didn't really go away at the end, it just evolved to the point of withholding information instead of outright lying, so that was a bit of a problem with the lack of character development.  I do recommend this for anyone who is interested in historical romances, though.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mulching and Etc

Gyunay was my determined garden helper today.  He loved pulling the wagon, even though it is quite heavy for him.  We worked on mulching tomatoes:

We had a pile of leaves that was huge and fun for the fall, but now it has decomposed nicely, so I shoveled it into the wagon and let Gyunay transport them to the garden.  He lasted for longer than I expected, then he played in the water table.
I wore my leather turn shoes while I worked in the yard today.  Nathaniel bought them for my birthday (or Christmas?) last year, and I really enjoy them.  Generally, I am barefoot this time of year, but some areas of my yard are best traversed with some kind of shoe.

Gyunay also has been enjoying my stamp roller today, and he loves having his picture taken (although he often makes this face).

Now this is one of the neatest things.  We have baby birds just outside the kitchen window, and yesterday evening two of them were perched on the window screen!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Blue Glasses

This cutie got his glasses today!  He's only had them for two hours, but so far, he's very happy with them.  

The chicks are doing well in the small yard.  We have 7 americanas and 10 buff orpingtons.  (There was a predator incident...)

Malachi worked really hard on his knight project.  He's looking forward to the Middle Ages day at his school Thursday.

These cute kittens have gotten used to us.  Lydia calls them purring machines.

She also calls the woodpile their jungle gym.  They really do like playing on it.

Monday, June 4, 2018

May Garden Totals

Since we didn't really get a spring, our harvest for May was pretty small.  The garden is growing well now, but it was late getting started.  So here are the May totals:

Arugula - 1/4c
Eggs - 148
Garlic Scapes - 10
Lettuce - 2c
Onions, white -2
Onions, red - 1
Pea pods - 1/4 c
Radishes - 8
Strawberries - 10.5 cups!
Plus thyme, mint, sage, and cilantro