01 June 2016

End-of-month motley: the sweeping update/excuse edition

The title probably says it all, right? And here I am, not even managing to post it until June. So sorry, lazy blogger, etc.

What we're doing
We're all enjoying the outdoors, now that it's cooled back down to reasonable 50s and 60s from the insufferable 80s we had a week and a half ago. Well, all but Matt. Birch pollen is tapering off, but he seems to have just this year become allergic, or at least much more allergic than he was, to some other kind of pollen: possibly cottonwood or aspen, since their "fluff" started flying right around the time he got worse.

I've been moving slowly for a couple of weeks now; there's a whole collection of things going on which are causing fatigue and abdominal pain, but I think we've finally figured out what all is happening and how to deal with it. So! Antibiotics, probiotics, supplements, teas... it feels like my to-take schedule is longer than my daily to-do list sometimes. But I'm feeling better, slowly, and I'm grateful for the midwives and other practitioners who have helped figure out what's going on.

Little Bear is firmly against the idea of summer break, so we're still doing school; all of the public schools up here finished a week and a half ago, and most of the homeschoolers I know were done a few days before that. If he wants to keep doing schoolwork this badly, though, I'm not going to say no... It's piqued my interest in the concept of trimester systems for schooling instead of semesters, too, so if you have any experience with that I'd love to hear about it!

We're using the Critical Thinking Co's beginning level math books for the summer, and so far book 1 is just ridiculously easy, but I didn't want to start out with book 2 because there are a couple of topics introduced in 1 that Little Bear hasn't seen yet. He's having fun with it, though, and would rather fly through 20 pages in one sitting than skip over things. I will not be at all surprised if we finish the entire book 1 by the end of May, though!

Kit wants to walk everywhere, all the time, but still insists on holding onto a parental finger with each hand. She's capable of walking without holding on, but doesn't seem to believe that she can: as soon as she realizes that she's not holding on with both hands, she starts flailing and sits down. She's growing more vocal too, and expressing her opinions more firmly, which can make me a little crazy sometimes because no, child, I cannot let you hold my fingers and walk in circles for hours, or go out on the deck while I'm trying to make supper, or let you eat the tomato plant, or whatever it is that you simply must do right this minute. She's such a happy, funny girl, though, it more than makes up for the fussy moments.

And! I'm still nervous about saying anything in case it doesn't work out, but I'm going to go with my principle of telling people anyway in order to ask for prayers: we are in the process of buying a house! We had the inspection last week and the engineer found only a handful of minor, inexpensive fixes; there are some complicated paperwork issues we have to work out before the deal can move forward, though, so we'd sure appreciate prayers on that front. I'm so excited about this house; it's pretty much perfect! After looking for so long, it's hard to believe that we might actually be in our own house before summer ends.

What we're eating
There's been a batch of these no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars in the fridge more often than not since I discovered the recipe back in April. They are delicious, and so easy to make! Little Bear has lots of fun helping me mix them together and press them into the pan. 

There was some extra starter left in the bowl after we made sourdough flapjacks last Sunday, so I decided to see whether I could get away with feeding it spelt flour instead of white flour. The next morning it was very happy and bubbly, so I turned it into bread. I've made sourjacks more times than I can count, and sourdough brownies nearly as often, but I can't remember whether I've ever made bread with it before. This was a San Francisco-style French loaf, a.k.a. cheater sourdough bread, because there's a little yeast added to help the dough rise more quickly. It also meant that the loaf had less of that distinctive sour twang, which was a little disappointing. It was good bread, though!

What we're reading
Little Bear just signed up for our public library's summer reading program yesterday, and is very excited about writing down the titles of books he reads this summer. The PreK–2 level of the program includes stories the kids read or listen to, and I'm sure we'll use both, but I'm planning to encourage Little Bear to make at least one of the three titles each week be a story he reads himself.

I just discovered Librivox the other night: an online library of volunteer-read audio books in the public domain. Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying Andy Minter's recording of The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, one of my longtime favorite novels. Minter is an excellent reader, and I'm looking forward to checking out more books he's done when I finish this one.


  1. Good luck with the new house!

    And those granola bars look delicious; I'd be tempted to try them if I wasn't supposed to be packing for a trip out of town. :p

    1. Thank you! Yes, packing is probably more important than making granola bars... unless you're making bars to pack along as trip food?

  2. Ooh, can you share the granola bar recipe? If I make them with almond butter instead of peanut they could be excellent snacks for us!

    And I'll definitely pray for the housing stuff to go well for you guys!!! How exciting!! I want to hear all about it :-)

    1. I may or may not be almost out of bars...again... So yes, I'll make a note to post the recipe with photos! I changed some quantities from the original recipe this last time I made them, and I think I liked them better. And actually, there's a jar of almond butter in the cupboard right now, so I can test it out for you too! I'll get on that :-)

      Thank you! Hopefully we will have good news on the house soon.