It's All So Peachy

An acquaintance let us know she was on the way to a town near us with a truck load of peaches straight from the orchard. I ordered a bushel, which turned out to be 50 lbs. Now you know what we did all weekend. Peach jam, peach butter, peach salsa, peach barbecue sauce (when you have 50 lbs. ready to rot, why not?), peach leather, dehydrated peaches, and some banana chips, just for fun. We also made a blueberry peach cobbler (eaten too fast to get a picture) and I have just enough left for a peach pie, when the guys come home. My friend, Brenda, sent a pie crust recipe made with olive oil. I’ll use that and see how it goes. 

We usually do school year round, taking off every Friday, everyone’s birthday, and every federal holiday. Lately, I have been feeling the NEED for more of a break because I have all these other projects and interests that I want to do and never have any time leftover for. Since the guys are out of town for 10 days, it didn’t take much to tempt me to put formal school on hold for the entire month. But I guess we are still learning. At least Grace and I are. Grace is very interested in canning and has been at my side the whole time. When we canned applesauce last fall, she was afraid to use a knife to peel the apples, but she has gotten over that. So far, we are just doing water bath canning, as I am more comfortable with that, being the novice canner. My silly flat top stove hardly helped at all. I had to get a gas burner, meant for a turkey fryer, and set my canner on it out by the pool. We could call it the Summer Kitchen. LOL

Canning peaches should have been work, but it was fun, since I hardly ever get to enjoy the fruits of my labor more than a fleeting moment. But still, I persist. The second major project we began was Princess Team Tidy. This is when the princess opens a window and sings, “Ahahahahah...ahahahahaha...ahahahaha,” and all the dwarves and forest animals scamper to her cottage to help her scrub it from top to bottom. We recently watched a movie where this really happened, so the dwarves and animals in the vicinity knew what to do. The dog really does come when you sing that melody, but he doesn’t help much, unless we are cleaning food off the floor. The dwarves were much more useful. We tackled one room a day, giving previously cleaned rooms a quick pick-up. We have about 75% of the house officially spring cleaned, and might just have to call it good until next year. I have no picture to prove this ever happened. You will have to take my word for it. 

Mike, David, and Paul were at Boy Scout Summer Camp for a week, and now they are on the Appalachian Trail Hike. I didn’t hear much from them when they were at camp and haven’t heard a thing since they went on the hike. I did hear that our boys were making great progress on their merit badges. David earned a Golden Arrow in archery for hitting four or five bull’s eyes in a row. I expect they will come home exhausted and ready to sleep the rest of the month. Too bad that is not on the schedule. 

Unfortunately, strep throat might be on the schedule. Ethan had it a few weeks ago and now Grace and Jonathan have symptoms. See, I will never get the rest of the spring cleaning done without the help of my dwarves. I am going to take everyone in for a throat culture tomorrow and then everyone who is infected is getting the shot so we can just get it over with. No ten days of individual doses of antibiotics for all. (Including me.)

I have had a few surprises with the big guys gone. I was surprised that the rest of us could do ALL our laundry for the whole day in ONE LOAD. I was surprised that these little ones hardly eat anything. They lived happily on cereal and leftovers until I couldn’t take it anymore and had to have a big salad. I was surprised how very small Mike’s car is. He took my bus so he could tote eleven scouts. I only have five people to haul around, but there isn’t room for much else. It is quite a bit easier to park, though. 

The first few nights without the boys, the little ones decided to take turns sleeping with me, so I wouldn’t get too lonely. Ethan was first. I never knew he talked in his sleep, mostly about Jonathan, and mostly in aggressive tones. That night, Grace, Jonathan, and Victoria were supposedly all asleep in the girls’ room when I heard someone calling my name. Victoria had thrown up in the middle of their bed, directly on top of pink bunny, plus a little bit all the way down the hall and into the bathroom. I sent Grace and Jonathan to the little boys’ room and began the massive clean up effort. It would take three loads of laundry to erase the effect of that spill. 

The next night, Victoria bunked in with me, after solemnly promising not to barf in my bed. She didn’t. I never knew she twitched in her sleep. Constantly. She threw a leg over mine and three seconds later assaulted me with a violent jerk. I was unable to fall asleep, as this repeated itself every minute or so, arms or legs lashing out onto my side of the bed. In the wee hours of the night, Victoria asked me, just as if we had been talking all the while, “How can you know you are saved?” We had a serious conversation in the dark. In the morning she brought it up and remembered it all. Thankfully, Jonathan and Grace just sleep when they go to bed, but there was no way I would allow Hopesie to sleep with me. That girl is cutting teeth! And when they wanted to start the cycle all over again, I told them one night each was the limit. 

Somehow, we have been busy but taking a break at the same time. One morning Hope followed me when I went to water the plants on the patio. She headed toward the big pool and I told her, “No.” I turned on the hose and heard a soft splash. Hope had plopped herself into the baby pool, fully clothed. I took off her dress and let her splash around in her bloomers. All the rest of the children came out to gawk and laugh. I had Grace bring the tea pot out and we sat down to watch Hope play. It felt good to not have a schedule, to have no place to rush off to, so we could enjoy the scenic route, so to speak.

© Being Fruitful, 2012