We’ve been enjoying theses babies for the last couple of weeks. Their nest of mud is right near the back screen porch door. Lately we mostly use the front door so the family isn’t so disturbed with comings and goings. Mom and Dad are busy feeding them and they are looking a little big for the nest now!
The day finally came yesterday when I had the following conversation:
Woman: Is he your real son?
W (insistent): No, I mean is he your real son?
Me: Yes. (Long awkward pause, W starts blushing) Are you meaning to ask if he’s adopted?
W (embarrassed with some hesitation): Yes…is he adopted?
I’m sure I gave her a look when she asked the first time that said I think she’s a moron, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she thought E was my nephew or a friend’s child. After she was insistent about the question, I knew she was asking if E was adopted. But that’s no way to ask someone if he’s adopted!
Of course he’s real! He has real feelings. He is a real child. And he’s really my son. Fortunately, E was out of earshot petting her cat. But later I asked him if he was really my son. He LOLed and said, “Of course! You feed me, you teach me, you care for me, I’m really a little boy. I’m adopted. How am I not real?” I then told him the what the woman had asked about him, and he seemed to think it was a dumb question.
But really it’s not dumb, it’s just unkind. Adopted children are real sons or daughters of their adopted parents, even if they were adopted as “older” children. I would have been fine with the woman asking if he was adopted, but real? E is proud of being adopted and talks about it all the time. She could have even asked him!
As I’m reflecting now, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was right there when she asked. It would have made her more embarrassed though because I’m sure E would have spoken right up and said the same thing he said to me.
Saturday when we had the big, long rain I thought it would be the perfect time to work on gilding a large ‘A’ for one of the Reggie homeworks. It would be slow to dry and I wouldn’t have to rush laying down the Instacoll.
I painted in the Instacoll and then worked on other homeworks for quite a long time, three hours. I checked it multiple times in multiple places to see if it was dry during that time. Normally it only takes 30 minutes to dry before gold application so three hours was quite unusual. After three hours, I was quite sure it was dry enough…
I breathed on the base to “activate” it and make it take the gold better, smoothed on the gold, and horror of horror, a section wasn’t dry! It squished out onto to acetate that held the loose gold.
I ended up working around it and letting that section dry all the way before applying more gold but it looked wrinkly and a little sunken. I decided to do the lettering anyway and go forward even though it wasn’t nice and glassy smooth like the rest of the letter.
Finally, out of the recesses of my mind, I remembered what Harvest taught about tooling the gold and hoped it would make it look better, not like a big mistake. It does look better, not perfect, but much better than so wrinkly as before. We’ll see what Reggie says…
(The quote is “Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude.” –Zig Ziglar)
I read about honeybees a bit to learn about taking care of them when the time comes in a year or so. And I came across this article about supplemental feeding of sugar to bees.
Although I’m planning on keeping my future bees in a Top Bar hive, feeding bees sugar water appears to be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The idea in the article, that feeding the honey bees sugar water causes the bee’s enzymes to not activate which helps break down pesticides they may possibly ingest, is concerning. There’s no way I could control everything my bees pollinate so if they do get into pesticides or GMO crops I would like them to be healthy enough for the hive to survive.
I’ve read elsewhere that if you really must feed (and you shouldn’t be taking all the bees stores of honey to have to feed them) to feed them a honey based mixture.
Many people take having an imagination for granted. I always thought, who doesn’t have one? Then E joined our family and I was shocked he didn’t come with one! He couldn’t play by himself and make up a storyline to entertain himself. He couldn’t think up anything to draw. He couldn’t build anything out of blocks or Legos. In fact, he didn’t like to play with toys or outside by himself because he couldn’t come up with an idea of something to play!
Suddenly I had to think of ways to give him or help him find his elusive imagination. I did a little reading and thought about things that might stimulate his imagination and figured a combination of activities might help.
Reading stories and looking at picture books was the primary activity we did. I also limited video games (read: didn’t allow any unless they were math games on my iPhone while driving places far away). Any TV or movies we watched, we watched together and it had to have an uplifting plot. We played card and board games and I showed him how to build various things with Legos and blocks a few times. We drew things, taking turns back and forth, me drawing first then E.
I’m happy to say, almost a year later, E happily plays by himself and has an imagination. We doesn’t have trouble thinking of making up a storyline, thinking of things to draw, or building with blocks or Legos. He found it someplace and I’m very proud of him! Hopefully if his brother comes without one, E will help the brother in finding it.
I am very happy this year there are so many Agarita berries. Finally just enough rain! E and I went out last week and picked berries for a couple hours. We ended up with enough berries to make 8 cups of juice (about a gallon of berries)!
We tried the common sheet method for picking the berries off the pokey bushes but it was easier just to brush the berries off the bushes with leather gloved hands into a bucket. Long sleeves were ideal to protect the arms. In fact, there were a fair amount of bushes with unripe berries yet so we’ll have to go out harvesting again soon.
I learned this year when looking for sugar amounts for the jelly that Agarita berries are also called Texas Wild Currant! No wonder I like Agarita jelly so much, currant jelly is one of my favorites!
Agarita Jelly Recipe
Pick out all the leaves and other debris and rinse a few times to get out any bugs. (I wasn’t so fussy because I was going to strain it later multiple times.)
Cover berries just to the top and simmer to plump up the berries. Mash and strain through a cheese cloth or dishcloth. Measure the volume.
4 cups agarita juice3 cups sugar
1 box no-sugar-added pectin
Get your jars washed and sterilized, prep the lids, and get the water boiling in your waterbath canner. Boil the juice with the sugar and pectin for a minute or two until it passes the jell test. Spoon into the jars within 1/8″ of the top, wipe the edges, screw on your rings and lids. Process for 10 minutes.