Bits and pieces from this week

Our three year old–we’ll call him Lil’ Adventurer– loves our great dane, Mischief. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that he was a toddler when we got her two years ago. They are play companions–he provides the imagination and she provides the very large prop. He tells me every morning that he wants to go on an adventure, and today he was a cowboy and Mischief was his horse. He was very matter-of-fact about that information, as if anyone with half a mind could see it to be true. He likes to spend quality time with her wherever she is, and when she is inside, she spends a lot of time sleeping in her kennel. This is what I found this morning:

Lil' Adventurer and Mischief

Of course that isn’t as cute as what we found Sunday when we were all playing hooky from church sick at home. I swear the child has his own bed! He just prefers to be with his dog…and sometimes she prefers to be without him:

Lil' Adventurer asleep without his dog

We picked pears last Saturday at a friend’s house. The tree was loaded and my 15 year-old, Sunshine, took on the job of climbing the tree to get the pears we couldn’t reach. She has been climbing trees since she could walk, and she is very good at it. She can climb trees without low branches, and she prefers to climb barefoot. If we believed in evolution, we would certainly have “proof” in her unique tree-climbing abilities. We got a bounty of pears:

30 + gallons of pears

And she got a bounty of poison ivy or oak. The tree was covered. She took a big one for the team–poison ivy bumps abound. We’ve an order in for some steroids. Day three and the poison is still coming out…time to bring in the big guns.

Sunshine a month ago without poison ivy:

Sunshine in the stocks without poison ivy

Sunshine in all her misery:

Sunshine with poison ivy on her face

give me your itchy hand....

We have grand plans for all those pears: canned pears for cobbler and eating, pear mincemeat for holiday pies, and perhaps some pear butter. We haven’t had any pear butter in about five years. It is a yummy way to preserve pears!

We can’t start the pears until I feel better, though. We’ve been down with a nasty cold since Saturday. I am starting to feel alive again, which is good. I still have a few children who are down. Our sixteen year old, Dee, is particularly miserable. The boys are both a little under the weather, too.

Right now I have some killer brownies in the oven. We call them Mackenzie’s Brownies because Mackenzie shared the recipe with us. She makes them for nearly every youth special event…and they are the best brownies I think I have ever had. We don’t make them too, too often because it is hard to have self-control when you are in the same zip code as Mackenzie’s Brownies.

Tonight we are eating ginger lentils with carrots and rice. We do eat a lot of meat, 90% or better of it deer, but I do try to have a few vegetarian meals each week to cut down on the cost. Last spring I bought a six-gallon bucket of lentils. Lentils are a wonderful bean to have on hand; they are so versatile and cook quickly, and they don’t have to be pre-soaked like many other dried beans. They also lend themselves well to different flavor profiles. My friend, Mackenzie, of brownie fame, does lentil curry–that is something we will try one day soon!

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