Capturing the Joy of Kids and Summer

We fill our days taking Maryjane here and there.  We always wanted to enjoy summer!  Farmer’s markets, canning, gardening, and farm animals made us so busy we would blink and it would be fall.  We always missed out on that hammock or ice cold drink outside in a lawn chair.  Every day we are out and about enjoying summer since we now have absolutely nothing to do but be grandparents.

We took Maryjane to the park yesterday.  It was a large sweeping park with large playgrounds and rolling grass for soccer games.  Daycare groups and families filled the playgrounds and pavilions.  Maryjane loves children and we watched close as she went from one group of older kids to another.  A low water fountain created a strong stream to fill dog bowls and water bottles.  The children splashed and played and Maryjane stayed near, laughing if the water droplets hit her.

Suddenly a universal scream of glee rose up in a bubble of sound above the park.  A mass exodus ensued as dozens and dozens of children left their posts and began to run downhill.  Maryjane looked around wondering, saw what they saw before we did, and took off running with the mass of children.  The sprinklers were on.

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Can you imagine if adults did that?  What fun!  How do we recapture some of that intense joy of simple things?  Those days in the sun with our sweet granddaughter and walls of screams of laughter and joy help push us on to the next day.  May we all capture that kind of joy!  The next sprinkler I see you will find me in!

Well, off to Rodney’s!  Tomorrow I will write you from Wyoming!

To Impress a Hummingbird

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She fluttered onto the porch to say good morning as we enjoyed our coffee and books.  We had so diligently kept the sugar water feeder filled for her.  Then we were so busy that after awhile the feeder remained empty.  Yet, there she was, our summer princess, the hummingbird, visiting.  She went to the pots of petunias that line the porch rail and took a drink.  Then to the yarrow.  The motherwort.  The oregano.  Flitting to and fro around the apothecary garden dancing from plant to plant.  She drank her morning nectar and with a thank you and a little buzz, off she went with her mate.

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I began to rethink my prior ideas.  In an earlier post, I had told all about how to make the sugar water, how often to change it, how to keep the hummingbirds near.  But, when I saw her drinking from the plants, a sudden ridiculous thought came to me.  She doesn’t need my sugar water.  It is really probably not very good for her tender frame anyways, and she does seem to enjoy my herb garden ever so much more.  Instead of giving her the equivalent of crack for birds, I think I will plan more flowers and plants that give her sustenance and us hours of enjoyment watching.  When the plants fade, she will know it is time to fly south.  A most natural balance and one that, even though it seems obvious, needed to be brought to light.

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The Entertaining Farmgirl’s Summer Party

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Ever the Entertaining Farmgirl I must host shin digs.  It is my inner Martha Stewart.  Our summer party is my favorite.  Our friends are like dear family to us and to have everyone together is a blessing and a cause for celebration.  We can stretch out when we have the party outdoors instead of crammed in the old farmhouse in the winter for dinner parties.

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The weather started blustery, and rainy.  Small chips of hail hit us from the side as we tried to figure out how to fit twenty people in the living room if the weather did not let up.  An hour later, the temperature was perfect, the air fresh, and the sweetest party weather ensued.

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We set up our farmers market tents in case the rain joined us later.  The table was decorated simply with Santa Fe blankets and oil lamps.  Twinkly lights strung across the yard (I thought ahead last year after Christmas) made the scene enchanting.

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Our friend, Rodney, has a great system for music and karaoke and we are lucky enough to use his expertise and sound system for events at the farm.  Joyous singing, from serious and astounding vocal performances (like Dave’s rendition of New York, New York.  He was this close to making it on X Factor, the television show.), to the group performance and rousing remake of Bohemian Rhapsody.

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The goats were a big hit and they did their best to show their most fantastic antics.  Our little friend, Lucy, sure enjoyed the animals.

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We set up the party after having our booth all day at the street fair.  After three long days of farmers markets.  The house was not spotless.  We premade baked salmon with tropical barbeque sauce (fire ban here) and served it cold.  I set a pot of baked beans to cook itself in the crock pot early that morning (2 cups of pinto beans, 5 cups of water, 1/2 bottle of barbeque sauce, a couple good shakes of liquid smoke, a dollop of Worcestershire, five swirls of molasses, and at the end a few teaspoons of salt.)  In bean fashion, they weren’t quite done, but no one complained.  Everyone brought a summery dish.  Deviled eggs, bean salad, chips, fresh garden salad, pasta salad….the spread was mouthwatering.  Friends don’t mind making it a pot luck.  If almost everyone brings something, you will have enough food.  Lots of wine and beer were enjoyed plus a little spiked lemonade courtesy of Pat and Rodney.

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The conversation was great, the sunset was breathtaking, the music was hoppin, the food and drink were refreshing, and the summer party was a great way to take a breather from all the work required in the summer and enjoy the season.  Get some folks together for an impromptu pot luck.  Enjoy summer!