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adventures with spicy pickled beans

Well, thanks to COVID, we had some extra time on our hands this year (with all the lack of activities and school and commuting and all), so we did what everyone else did and planted an extensive garden. Dave built me these fantastic raised beds, we filled them with compost, added plants and didn’t do a lot else. One of the things we wound up with an abundance of is green beans. I planted both bush beans and pole beans. We eat beans at least once a week (with our pizza, because we’re weird like that), but at the height of the season, there’s really only so many green beans one family can use. Now, because I’m old-fashioned like that, I have long held this delusional fantasy of something along the lines of homesteading… living off-the-grid, if you will. I have this idealized, Little House on the Prairie idea of how we should live, not dependent on the grocery store, or really anyone, to aid in our “survival”… But, let’s face it, I’m not exactly cut out to be a “prepper”, much as I would…

Micah’s Birthday

This kid had the audacity to turn 13 yesterday… As was expected, I was a bit of a hot mess about the whole affair.Here’s his “last day to be 12” photo. He ran out of fingers a couple years ago, so taking a page out of Shane’s book, he borrowed a couple of feet from the cat to make 12.But, not too old to choose Lucky Charms for his birthday breakfast.He got his happy birthday facetime call first thing and got to open his gift from Gramma and Skip while they watched…He’s had a boom box on his list this year. You might remember that 2 years ago, it was a Walkman. The obsession with 80s audio continues. Gramma found this one and it seems to fit the bill. Looks totally retro, plays and records tapes but also has radio AND a USB port so he could use some modern tech with it, as well.So, he spent the morning taking advantage of the birthday allowances of not having to do his weekend chores and lifted time limits on video games… all while listening to the radio or one tape or another on the b…

fall.

I have kind of a confusing love/hate relationship with fall. 
On the one hand, I get super excited about the beautiful trees changing color. I love seeing pumpkins piled up on people's porches. I love cuddling up with a hot beverage in the afternoon. I like windstorms - yesterday's was pretty impressive - and even the potential power outage that follows, provided it doesn't last too long. I love digging out my Uggs.
But at the same time, fall depresses me. I love summer, and I hate rain. Knowing that my shorts and sandals are put away until next May (at the soonest) is super sad. Knowing I'm going to be cold and wet for the foreseeable future is extremely discouraging. 
Some people love fall because of Halloween. I'm kind of ambiguous about it. I don't love it, I don't hate it. Really, at this point, it just means arguing with my kids for the next month about candy. I could easily do without it...
Some people love fall because of pumpkin spice everything. Doesn…

just a fall day

Yesterday was a little bit exciting, in the usual mundane way... on my way out of my neighborhood in the morning on the way to work, I passed a school bus on my street. a big, full-size school bus! then, when I pulled up to the light, there was another one!!! Kindergarteners in our district started in-person school this week! a few little signs of "normal" can be found returning here and there. I didn't realize how much that sort of thing would affect me, but then again, school buses always get me a little bit verklempt.
Although it was absolutely POURING all night and in the morning, it all moved out by afternoon and Bonezy and I got a proper walk in.

After our walk, I did a little garden clean-up/maintenance. We had a few of the giant sunflowers that hadn't fallen over yet, so I cut them down and composted and started pulling out some pumpkin vines. I harvested our final pumpkin that has now turned almost entirely orange and put in on the porch with the others.

And, l…

Leaving Social Media behind - at least for now

I'm attempting to resurrect this blog as an outlet for all those mundane things I might have shared on Facebook or Instagram, but have decided not to. Mostly because I enjoy using that sort of thing as a record of the happenings in and around our house. But Social Media has become particularly icky and I don't really wish to contribute to or partake in it any longer. I still take pictures. I still want to record what's going on. I still want to share funny things that happen, even if only with my future self.Right now, I'm wading through the technical aspects of doing this. Back when I blogged regularly, I did so usually from my desktop. Adding photos was easy, because I regularly uploaded the pictures from my phone or camera to files on my computer. Then 3 or 4 years ago, I got a phone with obscene amounts of storage, and I haven't done that since, and I honestly don't even know how anymore! Yes, all of my photos get backed up to google photos, but that is und…

ramblings from quarantine...

it's been like 37 days since the kids' schools closed and we all started working from home. for the most part, it's been WONDERFUL. for me.unfortunately, not all the people who live with me seem to agree with that stance and i don't think they'll allow me to institute a quarantine lifestyle when we're no longer required to do so. {insert sad face}so I'm trying to make the most of it now, while i can. But, in true "rachel" fashion, i'm already anxiously analyzing what will happen when things return to "normal".  that's where i am today. it's kind of a blah day. we've had the most amazing string of beautiful spring days. i've taken my dog on a good, long walk every day of this quarantine. i have only been rained on once. ONCE people! do you understand how crazy that is for March/April in the pnw? but today it's been rainy and overcast. it's messing with my positive attitude. i've been toying with the idea of…

Project Life, Week 8 of 2019

Holey socks, melting snow, knitting at the pool, and belly rubs.

Project Life, Week 7 of 2019

Lots of pictures this week because, omg snow!! So much snow! Also related, snow plows and trading in the van for a Suburban! And Valentines Day.

Project Life, Week 6 of 2019

Snow, snow, more snow, orthodontics, random fevers, a secret gift for someone, Top Gun team challenge, and Hannah seeing snow!

Snow day memories

Some day, I'll get around to finishing the story of our epic 3 week long road trip from 6 months ago... But today, we have snow. And no school. And neighborhood kids building igloos in the front yard. And hot chocolate. And sleds and shovels and a rack in front of the fireplace that's literally dripping with hats and gloves and snow pants.

I like the snow, in case you can't tell.

Actually, I love the snow. Like L O V E the snow.

It used to be, that when snow was predicted, I would glue myself to the tv, watching all 3 or 4 channels of local news, morning and evening. (This is significant because I am not a news-watcher. I actually hate the news.) Now that the way we watch tv has turned into something completely different, and we don't even subscribe to any channels, I'm glued to my weather app (or apps, actually), watching, days in advance to see if that snowflake still stays on that day. What % chance is it? How much accumulation? Is there an advisory? A warning?

I…