|Ineke gets very nervous about loud noises like blenders, lawn mowers and tractors. This is her 'safe zone'.|
|Her love of Papa trumps her fear though. "Look! Papa!!"|
|One of the only thriving things in the garden this year|
|Zucchini Relish ~ my recipe here|
In the meantime, I have been pickling and canning relish like a mad woman. I have to reorganize my canning shelves to accommodate this years' new canned goods and put all of last years' in one place (to be used first.) And now that I am canning in earnest, I am reminded every time I run down cellar to grab jars/the canner/rings/etc. that my cellar is slimy, disgusting and needs to be cleaned out in a major way.
It is the kind of basement that water runs freely through (an old stone foundation) making the floor always dank and slippery and mucky. The ceilings are so low you must duck not to bang your head and even still, your head acts as a mophead for the million spiders that reside in their little webbed towns down there. Cardboard boxes turn to mush, everything is coated in wet dust and the winter clothing that had at once been hung on pegs fell off their high towers and onto the floor right before the basement flooded with the large amounts of rain we've been having. So I have a lot of laundry to do as well. It is so unpleasant, when I ask the children to take something down there they plop it right at the foot of the stairs so they don't have to step one step further in then they have to. (Who am I kidding? I totally do that too.) It's going to be an awful job. But extremely necessary. And the sooner, the better. *sigh*
People are gearing up for school to begin and that isn't even on my radar. Even though I had grand plans for summer 'relaxed learning' and even though I had grand plans to have next years' school year all planned/books ordered/mentally prepared for in April. (Ha! That's hilarious.)
I have read books to the children and they have (occasionally) read to me. The biggles are finishing up the math lessons in their books so they have their toes dipped in that every day. And there is lots of time to explore and do. And the children don't need encouragement to read books on their own. (Well, the middles do...) I am not stressing (too much) about all of this as I realize the great value there is in freedom and exploration and self-guided interests. I just wish I didn't plan for these things in the first place because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have bits of guilt and failure running through the back of my mind like a gurgling Gollum saying "You didn't do what you wanted to do! Failure! Loser! Liar!"
I do need to wrap my head around a new school year though and I really need to sit down and plan for it. I'm not sure when that will be. But it WILL be. With Corynn in the 9th grade this year (what?!?! No!) we need to step things up a bit for a high school schedule. And, with four very different learners, I need to make some adjustments to be sure everyone gets everything they need from me. It's a new year- a fresh start. A new chance. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. But it is totally worth it.
We have quite a few more places to go/things to do/fun to have plans for this summer. I really want to take the children to the zoo before our free membership expires (a Christmas gift!), I want to meet Matt at a park for dinner and swimming after work some day. I have quite a few baby gifts and birthday gifts to get crafting. Matt and I are having our 15th anniversary and I'd like to do something special for that. I plan to have a yard sale with all proceeds going to my little stash of funds I've been setting aside to fix up the girls' room (sloooooooooow going...), and I am trying to reorganize our budget and get on top of our finances to accommodate for some not-so-pleasant changes soon to come.
So- plenty of things to fill up these last few weeks of summer. How is August shaping up for you? Are things winding down or speeding up for you?