We are awash in strawberries.
We put one little wilty plant in the garden last year and this year, despite my general farming ineptitude, the garden is littered with strawberries. I've been picking them every other day for the last week or two, collecting enough at a time to fill a 16 ounce container, but today things look like they're getting a little out of hand. We can barely walk in there without being pelted by these things. The berries on the towel are the pretty ones; the container at the top left of the photo is full of the rejects, which my chickens seem to like just fine. They taste really good. I just wish you could smell them through the picture.
On the culinary downside, I seem to have injured my coffee maker. I failed to install the lid/carafe assembly correctly yesterday (yes, that means that I forgot to put the lid on), which caused the coffee filter to overflow and dump heaps of ground beans and hot water back into the water chamber. I love that leaving the lid off actually keeps the coffee from making its way into the pot. Despite lots of rinsing and draining, the poor little thing no longer seems to be able to suck the fresh water out of the water chamber and pump it into the filter basket. Instead, it makes sad little gasping noises and hisses and issues a lot of steam. Half of the water seems to come through as coffee (not very good coffee, though), but the other half refuses to leave the water chamber. So there is no coffee. Also, I stopped buying chocolate recently and at this point, I feel that I really am entitled to an explanation for why my weight has not plummeted.
We have survived the first day of summer vacation. I don't count the two days at the end of last week, largely because they were dreadful. My kids acted like inmates just released from prison which, regardless of my personal regard for our local schools, they kind of were. They had no clue what to do with themselves and their time. They fought and fussed and begged for TV (no!) and Wii (no!!) and quit in a funk half way through board games that they were begging to play five minutes earlier. They didn't want to go anywhere and they didn't want to do anything, but they were BOREDBOREDBORED because there was nothing to do and there was nothing good to eat and, shockingly, no one wanted to play with them.
This week we're off to a fresh start. Everyone seems clear now that there will be no TV, Wii, computer, or any other such thing until after 3 p.m. and that they can expect lunch to take place around 12, not 10:30. Also, they need to make a good faith effort to do stuff before they can earn an hour as couch potatoes. It seems to be working. Emma has agreed to play mother's helper, or au pair, or whatever else you want to call it; for three measly hours in the morning, she is Matty's playmate and I am free to work with many fewer distractions. Admittedly, she was a lot more prompt for and patient about her work yesterday than she was this morning, but today is payday and hopefully the fist-full of green will help adjust her work habits.
The other two got hold of the Dangerous Book for Boys (well, I checked it out of the library for them), and have decided for their first project to make bows and arrows. It requires me to let them use the swiss army knife, but in return they go out into the woods and fields and spend the morning looking for sticks and trying to follow the construction diagrams in the book. So far, everyone still has 10 fingers, plus an assortment of bug bites, and they seem happy.
When morning adventures lose their shine, there is always the new rope swing. El Husbando got it in his head that we were pathetic losers because we had no rope swing. So he set one up and we have recovered our social status.
Here are my children flying out over the drop-off at the edge of the yard, except for Matty, who takes a less aggressive approach to swinging.
The weaving project seems to have recovered from my rookie methods. Here are the first few repeats on the Mystery Project, Mark II. I took advantage of my warp mishap to fix a pair of crossed strings and modify the design a little bit and I'm hoping that the rest of the project will go smoothly.
Back to work for me; it would be a shame to waste my few hours of morning peace.