Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Nearly a month, actually. If you’re still checking, I’m impressed. There has been a lot going on, including my going offline for weeks at a time and some serious writer’s block. But here’s the update.
School ended, thank God. Everyone survived. Summer is hot, hot, hot. There will be not trips to the zoo any time soon, membership or no. The goal is for everyone to survive the summer.
We’ve been keeping busy. I can’t actually remember what happened right after school got out, but we spent some time at Craig’s parents’ house (mostly in the pool) and then came back to spend a day canoeing with Theresa and her friend Paul, and then a day of rapid laundry and packing, and off to Bunkie. For nine days. If you don’t know where Bunkie is, it’s in central Louisiana, near Alexandria. It does not have its own Wal-Mart. That tells you how small it is.
So we were on the outskirts of Bunkie, LA, helping to facilitate a leadership retreat for some of the finest Catholic youth of the Baton Rouge and Lafayette Dioceses. It was really good (I think there are some pictures attached in some way I don’t understand to Craig’s Facebook page…or maybe he can see them but not share them…I don’t know) and we had a lot of fun and great prayer experiences and spent time with wonderful people. The down side was the ridiculous number of chiggers and mosquitoes (which I am still scratching) and the two poor baby sitters who were left with my attached baby most of the day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s only one danger with attachment parenting – they might actually become attached. And Samantha definitely is. So that was hard on Samantha, me, and the two patient young ladies who volunteered to spend their week watching the facilitators’ kids.
Also, the camp is run by the Department of Education, so we had school lunches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week. On the last night, vegetables were brought out as snacks. I have never seen teenagers attack bell peppers and carrots, watermelon and cucumbers like that before. The cookies were abandoned. The granola bars, abandoned. The Big Cheez-its were not abandoned, as they apparently complimented the vegetables. This should tell you something about the nutritional content of school lunches.
[I have been told that the nutrition in school lunches “balances out” over the course of a week – sure, sometimes it’s pizza, but sometimes it’s meatloaf. That only worked for our week if all the students were pregnant and needed 80 or so grams of protein a day, but only needed one serving of vegetables per day. Over the course of the week we had corn twice and carrots (overcooked and drowned in sugar) once, plus the lettuce for hamburgers and tacos, which I don’t count. I do not call eating French fries at least one meal a day balanced. But I digress.]
So we were happy, after another two days at Craig’s parents’ house (for meetings and a youth group softball game – which we won!), to return to our garden and our kitchen. We had pizza with chocolate bell peppers, a tomato, and basil and parsley all from the garden for dinner tonight. We’ve also had two yellow squash now, a couple of other tomatoes (including a beautiful Cherokee), and delicious purple beans which have all been eaten raw. There weren’t really enough of them to cook, anyway. I have battled slugs in the squash/melon patch, and finally have plants large enough to survive their onslaught. There are now beautiful yellow, black, and white caterpillars eating my dill plant, but the thing was taking over the garden, so I’m letting them go to it. They don’t seem to be bothering anything else, and Stephen Locke says they make pretty butterflies, although he couldn’t remember which kind in particular.
Meanwhile, Lucy has taken to singing made-up songs with repetitive words, which is pretty funny, and she is writing beautiful letter “L”s and upside-down letter “U”s. Samantha continues to learn new words to say, and to mimic whatever Lucy may be doing. They both swim fearlessly with floaties now, which is great except we have to make sure Samantha doesn’t get near the pool without them, because she will jump in and expect to float.
In case you were wondering, the pooping on the potty seems to have been a fluke on all accounts. There have been no repeat attempts. Two steps forward, one step back. Or something.
I have tried to update my reading list, but the plug-in is on the fritz, so that will have to wait. I’m busy with several sewing, framing, and card-making projects, which will hopefully be posted when they are done and/or delivered. There are pictures, I just have to sit down and put them up. I should really get Craig to work on that part I guess…
So for the rest of the summer we have a week planned with my mom’s family in Florida, and a week in North Dakota (actually, a weekend in North Dakota and the rest of the week driving there and back), and another weekend in Bunkie for Taylor’s wedding. After last week’s experiences, I, for one, will be wearing eau de bugspray with my bridesmaid dress. I’m still scratching. And then the rat race starts again. If, of course, you consider it ever to have stopped.