Parenting

Because you do your best to tell them and teach them right from wrong, hoping with all hope that you are modeling it, knowing that you are screwing up somewhere, but praying the ramifications are minimal and as they grow you loosen your grip despite what your heart says and suddenly it feels that they have slipped completely from your grasp and your heart is flailing and then there are two that need to be rescued.

Breaking Amish

How exactly did I get this busy?  I never finished blogging about summer and along comes fall.  It’s November 4th already???  Well, I will tell you one thing.  If I have not been very proficient in my blogging, I have been proficient in doing one thing.  Each month, I am for mid-month, I bake/make something.  Something I may have never done before, or something I have not done in a long time.  I started the adventure  in september with bread making.  it was an overall success, if not boulangerie worthy.  I didn’t take pictures of the process, but enjoyed it enough to try it again and will document it when I get time to do it.

This past month I attempted applesauce.  we took our annual trip to an apple orchard and plundered the trees to bring home a 1/2 a bushel of apples.  I won’t talk about how many we ate while out in the field….

Applepick Applepicks2 Applespicks1 Kids LuLu AppleNow the applesauce recipes I read all stated that one would peel the apples as part of the preparation.  However, my dear friend whom grew up in Eastern Germany, (yes they used to be divided and a communist state!) stated that once they are cooked, the skin will easily come right off when you press the pulp through the sieve. Hmmm….. well I am perpetually lazy so no peeling! So this is how it all went down……

ApplesFirst you get a bag o’apples, about 4 pounds worth.

Apples2Let them soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of cold water and vinegar-to clean them.

Apples3Slice and core. Slice and core. Slice and core….

Apples4Toss them in the pot.

Apples5Add cinnamon stick, sugar, dark brown sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice.

Apples6Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes.

Apples7Scoop and pour and smash and pull out skin and smoosh and sigh a lot.

Apples8pour into jars.  The end.

 

Overall, applesauce making is sticky.  If you are not Amish, perhaps you should avoid this.  If you enjoy peeling apples maybe you are Amish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against the Wind

And so the adventure began.  we travelled across the Mackinaw bridge under a wind advisory.  We were only allowed to drive 20 mph over one of the longest suspension bridges.  It is amazing how oblivious of potential death kids can be.  I was acutely aware.  So much so i was sure I was going to throw up.  Obviously we survived and hit up a meet and greet with Paul Bunyan and his great ox Blue

 
_DSC0322

 

Like I stated in my previous post, the weather had turned to a brisk 64 degrees fahrenheit.  However, it did not deter us!  Next stop?  Tahquamenon Falls!

_DSC0343 _DSC0346 _DSC0348 _DSC0366 _DSC0370

 

Since it wasn’t getting any warmer and we were already in the upper peninsula, we drove a little bit further north and headed to Whitefish Point on Lake Superior. It was incredibly windy, choppy and cold.  As we are true adventurers, it did not deter us!  Rowen even met a little friend!

_DSC0387 _DSC0384 _DSC0389 _DSC0397 _DSC0402 _DSC0404 _DSC0427 _DSC0428 _DSC0434 _DSC0436 _DSC0440We wrapped up our day and headed back south.  Along the way you could really feel the isolation and the “wilderness” of the UP.  we dd not see much for wildlife besides some cranes along the side of the road, however, this left an impression:

porcupineI call this image “Porcupine’s Revenge”.  Dead porcupine and a car with two flat tires. Ha!

_DSC0443

 

One of my favorite images.

We headed back over the Mighty Mac and got back to camp in time for an enchanting sunset.  Thankfully the wind advisory was done and I was able to take some pics of the bridge.

_DSC0464 _DSC0480 _DSC0487 _DSC0490 _DSC0518 _DSC0519 _DSC0526Good night!

_DSC0515

 

 

 

Summer Adventure Continues……

So we continue on the odyssey of the solo camping trip with the children…….  This is LuLu helping set up the tent._DSC0205

 

 

Not too bad if I say so myself…..

_DSC0237Our first moring!

_DSC0208-001

_DSC0214

_DSC0215Our view…..

_DSC0212-001

_DSC0234

_DSC0236Our neighbors.  We need to get that one next time!

_DSC0262

We took in some beach time…

_DSC0239

 

And a bit of putt putt…

_DSC0273

_DSC0275

_DSC0271

_DSC0272

The next night was the night of the thunderstorms.  The thunder woke me about 1:00 am and by 2:00 am I had to go to the bathroom really, really, really bad.  So I got up and braved the elements to pee int he woods, only to find it lightly misting, so I bolted to the bathroom.  Of course, when I got back the rain and thunder had stopped, but the wind kicked in.  I was sure that we were going to be blown away.  I was awake until 5:30 am.  We got up the next morning and it was 52 degrees out and this is what LuLu thought would be good to wear!

_DSC0311But the sky was blue and held the promise for an adventurous day ahead!

_DSC0304

 

 

 

 

Summer Synopsis, I

Hello out there!!!!  Oh my goodness, I had no idea how long it has been since I was actually posting.  What happened to me?  Oh yes, I remember, life.  Not an overwhelmingly exciting full of exotic adventure, but just rather life.

I hope everyone was able to squeeze out all the joy of summer and then can some for mid January.  This is the first back to school year where I really was not super organized.  I made up for it in a weeks time, but I guess my heart was not in it.  However, the last two weeks of summer, with my kids staring at me,  with an occasional wide eyed blink, made me realize that perhaps they needed to be at school.  Or somewhere else.

Our summer did not have a grand vacation, but rather a couple of adventures.  I had a couple of my own, as well.  We had too many to just sum up in one post, so I will inundate you, repeatedly, with antics of our summer.  Aren’t you lucky???

School’s out and Rowen has a birthday and a piano recital. We have a neighborhood pool party and India wraps up her gymnastics career.

_DSC0436 _DSC0446

Say hello to Enderman.  enderman, say hello to everyone!

 

 

_DSC0449 _DSC0457

 

_DSC0551 _DSC0553

Not sure if he looks more like Mozart or Beethoven….

_DSC0558

_DSC0635 _DSC0651 _DSC0653 _DSC0681

 

This guy, or girl, hung around most of the summer in one of our flower beds.  The one right next to the driveway, where I park my car and when I would get out in the evening  he would scamper around inside the leaves and scare the crap out of me.  I am pretty sure he was giving just what he was getting.  Touche, little turtle.

_DSC0713

 

Olympic hopefuls can now relax, Miss India is opting to head back to horseback riding.

 

_DSC0773

 

Stay tuned for when the excitement never ends……

Birthday Gifts

LuLu turned 4!  As many of my readers know, LuLu has been very obstinate about using the toilet.  If you are new to me, listen, she is my fourth kid.  All the others were nice and complacent and trainable.  And you have not met LuLu.  So, as a last ditch effort to get her to realize that she is going to half to get bigger, whether or not her or I like it, I let her know, very casually, that when she turns 4, she has to start wearing panties and use the potty.  I really did not believe in my method, but like i said, it was last ditch effort.  We may have mentioned this to her every other day, but certainly did not bombard her with this news, only when her birthday came up in conversation.  It must have come up enough for her to embroil this into part of the birthday festivities, because the day of her birthday she wore panties.  And has not looked back.  No accidents, no issues with No.2, no wet bed at night.  Seriously.  I totally got the best birthday present ever.  But I sure wish she would stay little a little bit longer……

 

 

Drive By Shootings

I have children.  4 of them. Ages 16, 11, 5 and 4.  And I am an artist.  Being an artist and having many young children makes creating restricted. I do not have my own studio, so I had to come up with ways to create without leaving a trace.  Not just because of messes, but because I did not want my children to get into anything.  When I received my camera 5 years ago I realized that I could create, have little mess, take it with me and even include them.

Some times the need to create comes upon you in strange places and odd times.  Having my camera with me helped me to have that outlet whenever the need arrived.  As a parent I find myself in the car.  A lot.  So I began placing my camera on my shoulder to capture what I saw and what the camera saw.  Here are some the first images that came out of this experiment.

Places….

 

Sometimes there are places you go, places where you have never been, that feel like you’ve been there forever.  That hundreds of lives have been lived and love and joy spread through the cracks and the beams and the air.  My friend Aimee’s family cottage is a place just like that.  Everything is old, yet everything is filled with life.  Everything in it a found treasure, or something discarded but given new purpose.

A place where around every corner, a surprise awaits.

Where treasures are found…..

And where the sun sets slowly, as if it does not want the day to end anymore than you do.

Sometimes you find that kind of place.  And when you do, you realize its not the place as much as it the people.  Love you, Aimo!