Friday, September 01, 2006

Where Did the Summer Go??

It feels like I just blogged about loading up the car and heading to the Adirondacks but as Barbara so wisely observed, its almost time for my kids to go back to school. We've begun packing up, in a noncommital, half baked kind of a way but we need to get moving because Monday morning we hit the road.

Its been a great summer. The kids made quite a few friends. The girls had their first summer job, walking the neighbor's dog. We've kept up jogging around the lake which I'm really proud of. Even Biscuit has run around the lake using the Walky Dog.

I think my favorite thing about this summer has been the acceptance of our multicultural family. I know I return to this theme often but when you have a non-traditional family, acceptance and welcoming can be the ultimate litmus test of a community. All of my kids were befriended by the lifeguards. Several took the time to go bike riding with my sons which thrilled them. My youngest son was welcomed at the story time at our library. My older daughter was encouraged to take the test to become a lifegard next year by the other lifeguards. (If she does it, I suspect she'll be the first lifeguard of color this town has ever seen.) Several year round residents, who I always feared disliked our family, made it a point to cheer on the kids as they practiced bike riding and roller blading. These were moments that made my summer special.

Our limited container gardening attempts really paid off. We've been enjoying kale, swiss chard, basil, chives, scallions, parsley and thyme all summer. The blueberry bushes are doing well and should have no problem getting through the Adirondack winter. My son harvested all the carrots from their container today and we used them in our Cold Thai Peanut Noodles tonight. Tomorrow, he'll harvest the beets and we'll make roasted beets and potatoes. Both the beets and the carrots could have stayed in their containers longer but in the interest of not making my minivan an unbearable jungle for passengers, I've opted to harvest them. Somebody is still going to get stuck riding next to a giant tomato plant, kale, swiss chard and all the herbs.

Once home, we're going to check out the potatoes. I'm anxious to see how they fared. I've heard some tales of overwatering from other people that tried them in garbage cans for the first time. I've got my fingers crossed. If I had good results, I'd like to try growing them up here next year.

We'll try to keep the next few days fun while we pack up. The current frugal challenge is to avoid the grocery store and eat only what we have on hand until we get back home. So far we've been doing really well but we'll have to do a Silk run tomorrow. I'll share our "clean out the fridge" menu over the next few days.

We'll start Saturday with a big breakfast that involves banana pancakes because I have quite a bit of frozen banana on hand.


Jennifer C. said...

Yes, where did the summer go? Time passes so fast anymore.

I'm working on an "eat out of the pantry" challenge myself. I haven't been very successful, but yesterday I wrote down everything I have on hand and planned some menus around those items.

I have to tell you, you are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing your frugal tips with all of us.

And congratulations on having such a great family. You must be really proud of your kids!

Hey, I tagged you over at my blog!

Barbara said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun this summer!

I know what you mean about acceptance, While a lesbian couple isn't quite so obvious as your family, it is so nice to be able to talk about it and act normally and have people just accept you. That's one of many things I love about Portland.


Katie said...

Thanks Jennifer!

We did have a great summer.

As for acceptance, I bet your experiences and ours are quite similar. I've found in many cases, worrying about how people react can be worse than seeing peoples' actual reactions. Its just so nice to be able to let your guard down.

kleo2 said...

Wow. Uplifiting post, really. You are an inspiration, to be sure.