Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hurricane Zeke

I think my little Zeke is going through the equivalent of the terrible twos in cat years. Oh my word, he is crazy!! Seriously fun, but CRAZY!! He wakes up yowling his little head off. I still haven't figured out what he wants. I will hold him, and he will purr up a storm, then want down. He then will go tearing through the house like a hurricane. Here he is hiding under a pillow, attacking a wadded up kleenex....

I actually was able to take this picture without it being a blur. He is usually moving, so it has been hard to get a picture of him lately!
Evie has been having fun with him. She decided he looked cold, so she put one of her doll jackets on him. He looks so thrilled, doesn't he? Lol. Super cool cat!
He was moving when I took this picture below. You can see how big he is getting! He is already almost as big as Daisy, and he has been quite a little brut lately. He keeps wrestling with her so much that she is getting annoyed. The mommy/baby loving phase has ended. He just wants to wrestle!
Here is one of my ginormous Zucchini Rampacante from my garden. Jeff said it looked like one of those horns the men blow out on the Ricola cough drop commercials!
Unfortunately, that might be the ONLY one I get out of my garden. The squash borers are in full destroy mode. After getting only 5 or 6 zucchini from my Black Beauty plants, they now look like this....
Yep, almost flattened to the ground, with wilted leaves. They also found my Sweet Dumpling squash. You can tell in the picture below by the yellowing leaves. I am hoping I can still salvage that plant, as there are several small squashes on them that aren't ripe yet. I HATE SQUASH VINE BORERS!!
From what I have heard, this year has been a challenging gardening season for many. My mother-in-law lost all of her squash this year to the squash borer too. I think the drought made them worse than normal. So far, my cucumbers are still doing well. I have a whole separate hill that I planted later in the season that is just now flowering. I also have my other 2 hills that are producing well. I have been making lots of fermented cucumbers. I have about 10 jars so far that I have made. I love that I don't have to process them! They are so easy, and are really crispy and good. Here are two jars that are still in the fermenting phase...
I haven't canned much this year. The peaches in our area did terrible, so I didn't do any this year. It is the first year in many that I haven't done any. I still have a few canned, and a few in the freezer. We don't tend to eat as many peaches as we do berries. I still got my usual strawberries and blueberries. I'm not sure if I will do apples or pears this year either. Our area was hit so hard with frost that I'm not sure there will be any. Also, I don't want to buy the non-organic ones anymore unless I have to. They are so heavily sprayed with pesticides, and Evie doesn't do well with that. I'm hoping I can find some organic sources, even if they are a bit more expensive.

Evie has been having a pretty good summer. It has been so hot that we haven't spent much time outside. It has been cooler this past week (in the high 80's instead of the 100's), so she has been able to go out in the hot tub more. When it was in the 100's, the hot tub got to over 100 degrees, even though the heat was turned off. It didn't feel refreshing at all! She loves to take all of her Barbies in the hot tub with her and play :).

We start homeschooling in 2 weeks. Evie will be in 5th grade this year. The summer is going by way too fast!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Normal, everyday life

I just read a blog post recently from my friend Jules that talked about joy. It got me to thinking a lot. It is hard to be joyful when things are hard. Lately here, things have been hard. Sometimes I feel like it has been about 17 years of nonstop hard, but I try not to look at it that way. After a lot of prayer, and after circumstances beyond our control, Jeff and I have decided not to continue with the adoption process. I hate the decision, but didn't see any other door. It is a long story, with lots of different things involved. We found out a lot since starting the adoption process. One thing we found out was that birthmoms are wanting only open adoptions. It is a rare thing for them to decide semi-open. Jeff and I aren't comfortable at all with open adoption. We also are finding out that birthmoms placing their babies is becoming a rare event. One adoption agency I contacted said that they stopped doing domestic adoptions because they were only doing 1 every year and a half. Our agency never would tell us how many adoptions they had done last year. They also would not answer my questions each month when I asked if birthmoms were coming in. They also kept changing our wait times. When we started out, they said the wait was about a year. It is now over 2 years. With almost 10 families on the list, and I'm assuming no birthmoms coming in, I would imagine that the wait time is way over 2 years. Add that to the fact that we won't do open adoption, and we are looking at years and years. Many adoption agencies have decided not to do domestic adoptions anymore, and are only doing international adoption. We would love to do international adoption, but we had a hard enough time trying to come up with even half of the $17,000 needed this time. How could we come up with $40,000?? Adoption has become a money making, sell the baby to the highest bidder market. Sad, but true. Birthmoms are keeping their babies or aborting them, not placing them for adoption. I wish it weren't the case, but it is. I wish I had other options, but I don't. I have to be okay with things. I have to be okay with Evie being an only, even though it tears me up inside. I have to know that God has a plan, even though I may not understand any of what is happening.

So how do you have joy, in the midst of all of this? I am realizing that we can find joy in many things if we look at things with different eyes. I can find joy in the fact that I have a beautiful daughter, and a wonderful husband. I can find joy in the fact that I know Christ as my Savior. I can find joy in the beauty that God created. As I have sat here typing this, I had a hummingbird almost land on top of my head. He sat about a foot away and stared at me, completely still (he even had landed with his wings stopped). He sat like that for a good 2 minutes. I was in awe. Also, as I sat here, 2 Orioles came and stood about 3 feet away from me on the deck. We have had 3 of them come at a time. Here is a picture of them (it is a bit hard to see 2 of them...they are on the top of the shepherd's hook). They are the babies that had been in the nest.

I can find joy in our newest little furry family member, Zeke, who is so much fun. He does a lot of sleeping...