summer flowers are nice

Lizzy must have picked up some kind of flower-arranging gene from my sister Betz, because she has a serious knack for it that didn't come from Richard or me. Give her free reign in the garden, and that girl will come up with something both gorgeous and inventive every single time. Tonight she streaked into the house hollering, "Mama! Mama! Come and see your surprise!" She'd carefully arranged marigolds, cosmos, dill, daisies, yarrow, and geraniums into a perfectly beautiful ring around the table, all ready for dinner.

The sunflowers are a happy reminder of last Friday, when I got a babysitter so I could go to my OB appointment solo, have lunch out at the inimitable Bombay Duck Pickle Cafe, and garner sideways glances (and some outright stares) while trundling out of the farmer's market, fully 9 months pregnant, with an enormous armload of sunflowers.

We're keeping busy. Trips to the beach, trips to the $1 kids' movies, endless kitchen experiments, playdates, OB appointments, on and on. Having fun plans makes me not mind waiting around for this kid a little longer. As in, he can't come today, I've got peaches to can! Thursday we're planning on visiting the farm where the Bombay Duck lady gets her produce, hoping to score some tasty grass-fed beef, so I really do hope baby boy can wait until after that.


squishy cheeks

Somehow I managed to convince the kids tonight that blackberry picking in the weeds at the park counted as dessert. They were jazzed. It was worth every scratch, poke, and insect bite. This one's a vision, ain't she? I felt so blessedly content tonight to waddle along after the girls as they scampered up and down the woodline, hollering out every new blackberry patch find, reaching out with juice-stained hands to pluck more, more, more. I thought about coming back with a basket to get enough to bake something with, but you just really can't beat fresh blackberries right from the bush, now, can you?

3 important things:

* This post is taking forever to write because I keep pausing to take mind-blowing bites of these muffins
* NPR's list of finalists for the best YA fiction ever.
* This girl is so nonchalant about stuff. Soundlessly makes a bunch of faces for the camera, then walks away without a word. 

See, I told you. Only the important stuff around here.


indiana vacay

This is one of those picture-happy posts that's more for the grandmas than anybody else. I, of course, think my kids are outrageously cute and couldn't possibly pare it down to any less than this. We had a great time in Indiana; there were cousins, water fights, lake-swimming, board games, and tire swing rides. Our drive out (12 hours straight through) was miraculous and I only had to make one threat to the back seat crowd the whole time. The way back was a little different; somewhere in Pennsylvania I told R that I now understand why it is that some species eat their young. We also listened to some Mercy Watson stories (over. and over. and over) in the car, which convinced both girls that their new favorite food is, like Mercy's, hot toast with a great deal of butter on it. Lucky for them, Grandma was an unfalteringly willing hot-toast-with-a-great-deal-of-butter-on-it-maker. Thanks, Grandma.


it's the great kale, charlie brown

Golly, we've got a lot of kale. Swimming in it. Yesterday we clear cut a ton and froze it, following directions from Not Martha. I like the way she does it, so it's not just a solid block of greens, but a bunch of smaller pieces so you can pull out a handful for soup or whatever.

Also loving:

:: flowers from the garden, looking so happy on my kitchen windowsill
:: The Patron Saint of Liars -- one of those books I wind up snitching off to read during every spare 30 seconds
:: peaches. lean-over-the-sink, juice-to-your-elbow peaches.
:: cool evening breeze
:: baby in 3 weeks or so, trying not to fool myself into thinking he's showing up any earlier than that.


garden :: grow

We spent last week in Indiana, visiting family. It was a beautiful visit + I have lots of pictures to show off, but first, I'm gonna show off this garden of ours. I can't believe how much it grew while we were gone! Upstate New York is incredible for gardening, a veritable Eden, and all these plants are thriving in spite of me, not because of me. Some decisions: someday I will have a gigantic herb garden. It will be planted in a circle. With a brick path around it. And a fountain in the middle. Also, oriental poppies are my new favorite flower. Sigh.