5photos: weeks thirty-four & thirty-five

The last days of August, the first days of September. I love this time of year. September is one of my favorite months because things settle into a predictable rhythm. We’re still doing our weekly beach nights, with this past Thursday being the most beautiful beach night that I can ever remember. The tide was low and the water glimmered on the flat expanse of sand, we ventured to the end of the cove to explore the tidepools and saw four starfish, a zillion sea anenomes, tons of hermit crabs and a few regular crabs, and even one sea urchin! Then there was that family of dolphins who decided to show off by swimming slowly along the whole length of the cove, their dorsal fins and tails slapping through the air. What a beautiful night. We’ll continue beach nights “as weather permits,” Uncle Stan cheerfully reminds us. Which is fine with me…the more beach nights the better.

We’ve especially loved spending more time with my cousin Michele and her daughter Delaney this summer. It’s so great that Delaney and the boys are the same age so they can entertain each other while the adults relax. (Depending on the size of the surf, some evenings are more relaxing than others!) I’m so thankful that Michele and I have become so close over these last few years…it’s almost like having another sister. Relatives are wonderful that way. They know you, they know your past, they speak your family language (in our case…honest, straightforward, blunt!) There’s no need to put on a mask when we’re together. I’m glad we’ve decided to keep getting together regularly even after beach nights end!

But it’s not ALL scenic beaches and beauty around here. Here’s one of those hectic nights when the recipes you’ve planned for dinner just aren’t coming together as quickly as you’d thought. Chaos and dishes reign for an hour or so in the kitchen…

…and then this: the result is always worth it. (Tuna bouchons from Molly Wizenburg’s ‘A Homemade Life’ with corn roasted the way cousin Michele taught us and a “Zapple” Pie. (Apple pie with zucchini instead of apple. The cookbook said ‘the most discerning palate would hardly know the difference.’ Which I guess means I have a most discerning palate. As do Greg and Tyler. Jake ate a whole piece so I guess he’s not as ‘discerning’. I will try the “Zapplesauce” and “Zapple” muffin recipes, as my Uncle Martin gave me three giant zucchini for my birthday!)

It’s the time of year for making school bags. This is my last preschool bag project. Sniff sniff.

Tyler sneaks downstairs to be near us after his bedtime but he knows better than to come in the family room with us. This is where we found him the other night.

It’s also the time of year to think about taking Christmas photos. I’m wondering how many families I’ll be shooting this year. Last year it was four plus mine.

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My birthday marks the beginning of the school year. A return to routine. What a nice gift.

The birthday death march. Not such a nice gift.

A tall ships festival that I’ve always wanted to see. We had a picnic of roasted chicken and sourdough bread. Let me tell you, I am roasting my own chicken from now on! The drippings in the bottom of the pan (along with the onions and carrots that caramelized there) were the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in a long time. Jake and I could not stop sneaking bits. We scooped the onions, carrots, and juices onto the sourdough and ate piece after piece. So good. Did I tell you that Greg grew out of his chicken allergy sometime in the last ten years? Finally I can start finding chicken recipes to eat! Woo hoo!

And an era begins…Tyler started his first sport this week. He loves soccer and I actually think soccer loves him. I know it was only the first week, but that boy goes after the ball like nobody’s business. What a champ. He scored five ‘goals’ and was truly smitten with the game. It would have been a perfect day except that he broke out in a speckled rash that looked like his peanut allergy. I’m not sure if the physical contact with kids who’ve eaten peanut butter for breakfast is what did it, or if it was something else, but I had to interrupt the game to give him some Benadryl and it was all I could do to keep from pulling him out of the game completely. We’ll see how it goes next week and find out if I need to do something about it or if it was a one time thing.

Wow. Life is full and busy and moving along so quickly. Life is good. We are blessed. The boys are starting school this week and I should be able to post about some crafty things soon.

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3 thoughts on “5photos: weeks thirty-four & thirty-five

  1. Tyler under the table- it is just torture to be out of the action. I determined to remember my childhood and yes, there is a lot of tough stuff required. An old man visiting us at the the ranch leaned down on his cane and told me that childhood is best, so I should remember it. I thought he was an idiot. I couldn’t even reach the sink faucet to get a glass of water. I had to ask permission it seemed for everything. Like all of life, a mixed bag.

  2. Last week really was an amazing beach night! I especially enjoyed the dolphins. But the best part of the night for me was the family encouragement about Delaney’s new combo class. It’s wonderful how family can talk you off the ledge like no one else!

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