Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Summer Lull

A year ago, I posted about some possible places to visit in the area like the various county fairs in and around Denver and Cheyenne Frontier Days (going on this week) in WyomingI had hoped we would be able to visit some or all of these places this year since we had the “Pickles” with us for the summer instead of with their grandparents, but I kind of killed that possibility when I suggested we start our Total Money Makover. The whole process showed us how much money we DIDN'T have to blow. Besides, we still have braces to pay for for both children. Oh well. We're only 3 months in it and have a long way to go.

It’s hard at times like this when we want to go out and explore and DO stuff (especially since Summer Vacation Boredom has finally kicked in) but extreme budget restraints keep us from it.

Thankfully, the "Pickles" play together so well despite the 4 year age difference and they have their neighborhood friends to help occupy their time.  In fact, the only time The Boy was REALLY bored was the 48-hour time period when his sister had some sort of stomach bug and he had no other playmate around.

One day, Mr. LH pulled out the ultra cheap, ultra ugly bike we picked up at a thrift store for $4 and rode around the block with them for awhile. They spent a good hour racing down the hill in front of the house.

Their cooking lessons have been suspended for awhile since the house is just too hot for cooking. I should mention that The Girl has been preparing lunch for both her brother and herself almost everyday...even if it's simply macaroni and cheese or Ramen noodles. THAT'S a big change from her skills in the kitchen last year. It usually hits 85 degrees or more inside the house in the late afternoon so most of our meals have been cold (sandwiches, salads, etc) or are made on the grill or in the crock pot (which still puts off a lot of heat but is much more comfortable than stovetop or oven cooking).

The EarthBox garden has been somewhat of a diversion for them (you can get EarthBoxes here).

They've been enjoying the fresh cucumbers and the slow harvest of beans that we have started picking. They absolutely love when a cucumber is discovered that has grown unusually large like this monster cuke we plucked from the vine yesterday.

This sucker weighed in at 1.4 lbs and was 11.5 inches long! I guess the little bit of cool weather and rain we got did it some good! I've had reports from neighbors that their cucumbers (grown in the ground) didn't survive the triple digit temperatures so we've been sharing our harvest with them.

We've also been watching the cherries slowly ripen... 

Hopefully, we'll get most of the fruit before the birds do. I can't figure out what kind of cherry tree we have and don't know when the cherries should be ripe. All I know is they were still yellow with a blush of red on them in September 2010 and they were SOUR! Maybe it was a late season? Last year we didn't get any cherries. This year they already look riper than they did that September.

(update - they are cherry plums)

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