Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Okay, if you're not homeschooling, this book may not be of great interest to you. But, if you have children in school or if you just want a huge list of educational resources, this book is fantastic.

Homeschool Your Child For Free by LauraMaery Gold and Joan M. Zielinski

"All good parents homeschool their children. Some do it full time. Some do it part time in partnership with professional educators. And some do it while their kids are on break from traditional schools. If you teach your children at all, you homeschool."

P.S. Should it worry me that the spellchecker always marks "homeschool" as incorrect?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh, sure, it's clean NOW...

The pool is looking sparkling clean and ready for a refreshing swim now, but yesterday was a different story. It was like the plagues-- there were frogs everywhere!

We were out of town for the weekend and there was a torrential rain while we were gone. The frogs decided that our pool was THE place to be (I'm keeping my eye out for tiny beer cans). Most of the frogs survived-moment of silence, please, for the ones who didn't make it--and my daughter and I scooped up the rest and set them free in the woods.

Good luck, frogs! Keep your parties in the swamp, please.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Waiting for Grass to Grow

My youngest daughter followed me out to the clothesline the other day, with her bucket and shovel handy (you never know where treasure might turn up). The clothesline is strung between two trees, near where we put in a pool this spring.

It seems to be taking forever for the grass seed we put out to get going. I have visions of a beautifully landscaped yard/flower beds/pool garden. Right now, it's mostly sand and a lot of weeds.

I don't think my little tomboy princess is too eager for grass to take over. Have fun digging, sweetie, but could you pull some weeds while you're down there?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Plum Jelly and Blackberry Jelly

Jars of plum jelly and blackberry jelly, as well as blackberry jam, are cooling on my kitchen island. My daughter and her friend made the plum jelly the other night, and I did the blackberry.

My husband, son and I picked blackberries until, as my father used to say, "Perspiration's pourin' off me like sweat!" A bucket full of berries only makes about six precious jars of jelly and maybe 8 or 9 jars of jam--but it's oh so worth it!

Our canning season is in full swing. How about you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

I'm reading a best seller thriller novel. Must be summer.

"There was only one way to warrant a blatant breach of business ethics such as this, and that was to attribute his actions to a higher cause. If Molly was right, then a cute but quirky mailroom temp had identified a grand, unified, liberty-crushing conspiracy that had been hatched in the conference room of a PR agency."

The Overton Window by Glenn Beck

Monday, June 21, 2010

Life and Death in the Swamp

We've had a bittersweet week here in the swamp. After doing well all last year in the outrageous heat of a South Carolina summer, just last week, two of our chickens died. As far as we can tell, the heat was just too much. My brave husband (okay, the least likely to cry over a dead chicken) burried them for us. No way we could eat a bird we raised from a day old chick. I know, some country-folk we are, huh.

We've since set up a sprinkler on part of their yard, to keep them cooler and provide a continuous fresh water supply all day. So far, so good.

The good news (depending on how you feel about kittens) is that the calico cat that showed up a couple of months ago, has four kittens. She kept them hidden for at least three weeks and just brought them for a visit last week. It's hard not to smile when kittens tumble over each other or pounce on their mother's tail as she tries to eat.

Aren't they adorable?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Garden Guest

This little guy (or girl) stopped by for a visit in my yard. He climbed around the children's playset for a little while before disappearing wherever it is little lizards go.

Nice to meet you and help yourself to all the bugs you can find! Well, not the praying mantis on the rosemary bush. I kind of like him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love hydrangeas! I have four hydrangea bushes in my front yard, next to the shady side of the porch. They've been looking lush and green for the past three summers, but haven't bloomed until this year. I'm not sure what the difference is, except maybe that they've gotten consistent water (thanks to my husband setting the soaker hose on a timer!)

I'm enjoying them, both outside and as cut flowers inside. Fresh flowers on the table just feels so elegant.

What's dressing up your place this week?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Today, my dear husband and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. He is a precious treasure and I am grateful for every day.

Love you, Andy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

My current read:

"What if the problems were not just liquidity? What if the mounting mortgage losses led to mass insolvencies? O'Neal, for one, was worried."

What are you reading?

Monday, June 14, 2010


I have three kinds of lantana in my butterfly garden. Don't ask me to name them; I'm doing well to know they're lantana.

An almost white one:

A bright yellow one:

And a fabulous multi-color one:

They are perfect for the hot dry conditions of a South Carolina summer. Unlike me, they don't wilt in the afternoon sun.

So, what's blooming in your garden?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jinx the Cat

Jinx is our "official" outside cat. She showed up about a year and a half ago, around Halloween. There's another cat, a little calico, who's been hanging around some also, but she's just a guest.

Jinx is in charge of keeping snakes and rodents away from the house. So far, she seems to be doing a good job.

Now, if she'll just hold still for a photo.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Canning Season Has Begun

Look what's cooling on my kitchen counter--six jars of strawberry jelly and 19 jars of strawberry jam! (I'm not telling which jars of jam didn't set. To my relatives and friends: you'll know if your Christmas basket includes "Strawberry Ice Cream Topping".)

Canning season begins around here when strawberries are in season. I'll soon move on to blueberries, blackberries, peaches and tomatoes. After that are pears-cubed, pickled and "honeyed", followed by wild muscadines. The season ends with applesauce.

It has a nice rhythm, the music of harvest. I love eating "in season" when fruits and vegetables are at their peak. And, oh, the joy of opening a jar of strawberry jelly in January and dreaming of warm spring days.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The pool is finished! And it is looking sooooo tempting on these hot days.

The water temperature has only just gotten above 80 degrees, perfect for swimming. Below 80 and it's too cold for me; above about 87 and it just feels like bath water--yuck!

But right now, as Goldilocks said, "It's just right."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

My current read:

"He paused. It was necessary, he felt, to order the mind when one was about to think something profound."

What are you reading?

Monday, June 7, 2010


My daughter graduated from high school on Saturday. I'm so grateful for the family and friends who came to wish her well. All of her grandparents have passed away, so she rarely expects a crowd for special occasions. What joy it was to have 15 people there to support her! Thank you all so much.
She, along with several dozen others, was homeschooled for the entire 13 years. As a homeschooler, it's easy to feel that you don't fit, when most other families have made other choices. But gathering with hundreds of people who have made the same decision is so reassuring. We are in the minority, but we aren't alone.

As my daughter says, "I'm unique, just like everyone else." I think my sense of humor has rubbed off on her.