Friday, June 25, 2010

Father's Day

I have been blessed with a great Father. A great husband and father to my 10 treasures, a wonderful father in law ( who, I am sure, imparted his good fatherly skills to his son) and two terrific grandfathers ( God rest their souls, all three).  We celebrated their day last week.

Zak had to bring his homework. :) Summer accelerated classes are no joke!

7 Quick Takes--Summer Days

1. Today, June 25th, 2010 is our 27th wedding anniversary. In September we'll have known each other for 30 years. Yikes. I don't usually feel this way about aging ( ie: I would LOVE to be called grandma!) but 27 years seems like you have to be pretty old to be married that long. I sort of cringe to say it, although I am thankful for so many years with a good man. Every year I seem to appreciate something about him in a new and different light. We have our differences, of course ;) but I can say with all honesty I couldn't imagine a life that didn't include him.

2. JED MADE BREAD.  I sometimes wonder if we didn't name Jed-Jed just because his name rhymes with so many things and we just LOVE to come up with silly nicknames at the Vrazo house. ( rolls eyes in a very teen age way!) He really did most of the simple recipe by himself, with just a bit of help from mom and it actually did turn out pretty yummy!
3. Well, we've been enjoying our little country paradise. I say, this place has more beautiful parks, paths and general areas of repose than anywhere I can think that we've lived before. A few shots of a walk on the "Paint Creek Trail" which you can actually take to the library. Win-win for the Vrazo's! :) Is there anything more glorious than wading in a little creek. I have such fond memories of it from my childhood. Not exactly sure where it was (somewhere after a "smelting" trip with my father :).....but I can recall being SO enthralled by the experience being a HUGE fan of the "Little House" books and of course,  "On the Banks of Plum Creek"    in particular. I love re-living it with my own.
4. Mosquitos anyone? These pictures were actually from our first camping trip but sort of underline the experience we've been having with bugs this summer. :) Poor Gabriella at times looks like she has the chicken pox from all her bites ( I tell her it's because she is so sweet....while I get NONE. Very telling. ;) Not to worry! We found bats roosting in our garage. This little fella obviously fell from his nest, but we got him on a stick, climbed a ladder and he crawled right back in. Munch away our batty friends!

5. Is it just me or does anyone else get on food "kicks" and then can't stand the same cuisine for weeks afterward. I try not to eat eggs everyday ( why? I don't know when I don't put restrictions on any other kind of food that is bad for me :) but I have really been into "huerve ranchero"  for breakfast every morning. In fact, Mexican is definitely the top food I can eat for three meals a day for a week and then not want to look at for months afterward. Don't really know how to pace myself there.  Other munchy goodness:....a grilled vegetable painini....which was simply some sauteed vegetables, Havarti cheese slices on a baguette split in half. Not entirely original, but I love it when I can come up with something tasty from what I find in the refrigerator ( ie: this wasn't a planned lunch :)
Gabriella and I picked these black raspberries? from some bushes around the property. I can't believe the birds haven't eaten them. They probably have plenty of bugs :) I hope to harvest enough to make some jam!

6. I often have this strange co-incidence when reading. I will read one book and then another right after that have some connection.  (unbeknown to me beforehand)The latest version of this was reading a book about the English poet Rupert Moore called "The Great Lover" ( which is the name of one of his poems) by Jill Dawson. Just before that I listened to a book on cd called "The Moon and the Sixpence" by W. Somerset Maughm.  It was a biographical novel loosely based on the painter  Gauguin's life. The connection is that Rupert Moore ended up in Tahiti ( which is where I always tell the kids I am going when I am ready to fly the coop ;) and loved life there and guess what? So did Gauguin ( he died there, actually). I really enjoyed both pieces even though I am not a poetry lover and really don't know why I find Rupert Moore all that fascinating,. It was a good story and of course, set mostly in the pre WWI English ocountryside, what's not to love for me? ;) Gauguin's life story was really very strange, and he seems to be yet another example of a genius-jerk,  but he did do some interesting paintings. His use of  bold color is enchanting...if not all his subjects are.

7. Finally, my little garden. I am really quite amazed ANYTHING is growing in it. Probably because the last place we lived in had so little sun in the backyard, our very minuscule attempt at gardening wasn't successful at all ( not to mention I didn't have the tricked out fence like this one to keep the animals and children under 10 out!) I actually used some parsley we planted today!  I have high hopes, but I think even if it doesn't yield much produce, it was a step in the right direction. Now to get a compost pile going!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Birdhouse painting!

Outside my window: It was incredibly hot and humid yesterday.  Somehow, the lack of sun this morning has put a cooler spin on the day. Let's hope it stays that way! As much as we are enjoying summer weather humidity and I just don't get along. :)

I am thinking --  Trying to figure out the world and it's inhabitants, as usual. ;)
From the schoolroom:  Done, but had a whirl-wind week trying to get G/J in an online charter school for next year. Lot's of paperwork  just to get them in the lottery makes me wonder if it will be worth it. But, obviously it's a popular idea from the number of applicants.
From the kitchen: Camping food this past week! Finally, our camping- packets turned out swimmingly :) Brought chili in the crockpot for the first night which was also a winner of an idea. Muffins, corn bread and 7 layer bars rounded out the menu.

I am reading,watching and listening: (Highlights)

Read: The Stoning of Soyara M  ( which I think I read in one was a small book, but still a record:)
It still boggles the mind that this story could be true. And not an isolated event.

Introvert Power: Why your inner life is your hidden strength. Laurie Helgoe

Well, I've known for some time that I am introvert. I have no misgivings about it, other than I do get frustrated by our seemingly extroverted world at times. (*Disclaimer*, I think extroverts on the whole, are fine. The world, I believe, needs both types of people to make it run smoothly :) I do think that the our society ( especially American society) runs on extrovert *ideals* though, and that can be annoying).  I thought this might be an interesting book to read to help shed light on how to relate to my extrovert children, who I often wonder if I am not stifling by my extreme home-body-ness. :) While it didn't give a whole lot of pointers there, it was nice to read about someone who feels the same way you do about a lot of things. And I really liked her thesis that *speaking* is not the only way to connect with others and that introverts connect by writing, reading, pondering, art...etc. etc. 


Frank Lloyd Wright ( by Ken Burns)

Frank Lloyd Wright was always someone who I had peripheral knowledge of. I have really been captivated by his genius in learning more about him.   Well, his genius as an architect, some of his personal convictions were less than admirable. This was an excellent documentary.  It interviewed several people throughout; his son, ( who was 100!) grandson's and even had an interview with him done by Wallace ( smoking a cigarette throughout the on -air interview! LOL! How times have changed!)

Listened to:
The Piano Teacher:  Set in Hong Kong in pre/post WW2. I really liked this one. 

The Great Gatsby:
I know this is considered a great classic. While it was an interesting story, I can't say it was one of the best I've ever read.

Around the house: Noah- our amazing "Mr Fixit" got the dryer back in order. It went from taking nearly all day to dry a load back to an hour. Huzzah!

What we will do this week:    Recover from camping ( which = lots of laundry :) unpacking, and organizing things along with cleaning up a house that has been sadly neglected for a week. Festival meeting and a bbq with papa, meemaw and nan.

Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.