Back To School Already?

I can't believe the second week of school is almost over (the third week for Karlye). This summer just flew by in a blur. Most of the things that make summer feel like summer to me didn't happen nearly as much or at all this year. I started a second job in December, so I worked more this summer than any in recent memory. That meant more chores for the kids, less get togethers with friends and less day trips to do fun stuff. Until last year we had a whole gang of neighbor kids hanging out and playing almost every day, but a couple families on our block moved and it's been really quiet around here ever since. Overall the weather was pretty cool, so we didn't hit up the beach much and we only went to the pool once. No family camping trip and no family vacation. We had the "fun" and expensive task of rebuilding our increasingly precarious deck instead. On the plus side, we now have a safe and gorgeous deck over twice the size of our previous one with stairs leading down to the back yard. Hooray for that!

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Well, it's official...summer is almost over and I can't say I'm particularly thrilled about it. I absolutely love summer. First of all, I'm not a morning person. At all. So not having to set an alarm is one of my all time favorite things. Secondly, I love warm weather. Being able to leave the house without having to pile on layers of clothes makes me very very happy. Also I love swimming, beaches, reading/napping under a shady tree, lemonade, iced tea and basil. Tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers are my favorite vegetables. And honestly, I love having my kids around.

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Free Fruit!

On Monday my boss told me that there were all kinds of blackberries along a nearby state hiking trail. I love berries, and free blackberries aren't something I can easily pass up.

Late in the afternoon Justin, Sasha and I went out to pick some berries. Sasha immediately fell down and scratched one leg up pretty badly, so she was relegated to picking up fallen apples by the wild apple tree. Justin and I braved the thickets and got quite a few berries. Justin also got quite a few scratches, while I was covered in mosquito bites. The three jars of no-cook freezer jam I made the next day made it all worth while though. We also froze a lot of blackberries.

Now if I could just figure out what to do with all the sour wild apples and even sourer wild grapes growing along the trail I'd be even happier. Foraging for food is fun, as long as you don't have to rely on it for survival!