Thursday, June 28, 2012

house guests and a mellow jam

For the last week we've been pretty much out of commission- busy taking a vacation here in Austin with our much loved house guests. We went to Barton Springs, got breakfast tacos, celebrated two wonderful friends getting married, and basically had a blast while also managing to fit in time for some of this --

I wish Los Angeles and Elkhart, Indiana were a lot closer to Austin Tx, but we'll take visits whenever we can get them.  It looks like it's our turn next. Road trip next summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

summertime wren

Kitchen helper, explorer, frog catcher, jumper, piano practicer, fish in the swimming pool.  Wrennel is a blast this summer. She almost always has a book in her hand, or next to her in her seat. Sometimes it's Grimm's Fairy Tales (current favorite is The Juniper Tree... maybe I should add 'bloodthirsty' to that list?) Sometimes it's a Little House on the Prairie book ("Dad, what does 'Hangin's too good for thieves" mean?") She loves Mrs. Pigglewiggle, and Veggietales, and she loves reading her old favorite picture books to Ben. Ben's new word this week is BOOKA BOOKA! He is very insistent that SOMEONE READ TO HIM RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

Wren still loves playing with babies and little kids, and she's pretty good at it- she puts on silly little shows for Ben and the other babies, and they giggle and giggle until their faces turn red. They love her.

The happiest moment of Wren's summer so far was when my dad and stepmom's little bird Tweet sat on her shoulder. She was just incandescently happy, and she still talks about it. The second happiest moment was when her dad brought home the super trashy pool. She spends most of every afternoon splashing around in there and it's ring is always littered with various outfits she's worn throughout the day. I don't know why I bother when she's just going to take all her clothes off as soon as I'm not paying attention anyway. Let's just say, Wren definitely does not need to worry about tan lines this summer.

We finally got the wonderful news this week that Wren's transfer went though and she will be at her great school again next year. This brings me to a hope I have for her, in the fall when we start school again. Being at home with everyone this summer it's become pretty clear how little Wren has that is just HERS- that she can set down somewhere without fear that it will immediately be stolen and rifled through. She's not getting her own room anytime soon, but I think this fall, whether we're still in this house or not, she's going to be getting her own desk. If I have to build a study carrel in the garage, I will give this kid a space of her own. And then we'll put an electric fence around it or something, because nothing less would dissuade her siblings from being sure Wren would really LOVE to play with them. And they're usually right.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

red bud isle

Red Bud 'isle' is actually a giant pile of displaced granite chunks from one of the many previous attempts at damming the Colorado. Eventually they got it figured out, and we got Lady Bird Lake, but first, happily for us at least, they also failed monumentally enough to give us a lovely little island in the process. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh Summer

The living is easy but the cotton definitely isn't high- in fact my yard doesn't get enough sun for anything but a tiny patch of tomatoes to be high. My cucumbers and watermelons and everything else just sort of sits there, stunted and confused. If I owned this house I would be cutting down hackberries two seconds after the ink dried on the contracts.

The shade is nice for the bees though - in their back corner. They're finally doing great- just bustling and growing out of their space. We put the next box on them this week, after I painted the starter strips with beeswax. 

With things looking so good, I'm hoping we'll be able to get some honey at the end of July, but we'll have to wait and see. 

In other news, Chase went to Goodwill last weekend to get some speakers for the record player and came home with a 1) a giant beige cartop carrier from the 80s, which he has become bizarrely obsessed with rehabbing. To the point that this morning at 7:15 I woke to the sounds of him sanding the rust off the metal components in the garage... aaaaaannnnnd 2) a giant inflatable above ground pool: 

As long as I've known Chase, pretty much every summer, I've begged for one of these. Long before we had kids. He has always maintained that it was way too trashy, would kill the grass, would make him ashamed of any life choices that had led him to that point, etc. 

And so I was pretty surprised, to say the least, when he showed up speakerless and started unpacking boxes.  But he says that his major objection was always that it would kill the grass, and since our grass is all either weeds or dead anyway... He just went ahead and got it. 

Fair enough. The kids are obviously pretty thrilled with this, and so are the bees. They turn up on the edges of floats to get tiny little sips from the water. They seem to prefer the pool to any of the other water sources in the yard, which is fine with us. 

We're still looking for a tenant for our apartment, if anyone knows anyone.  And we're thinking about selling, if we can't rent. We're holding onto it until Wren's transfer status is finalized but it does start to feel a bit like limbo after a while. But nothing says 'We're embracing our limbo' like an inflatable above ground pool and a puppy who loves swimming and chewing things. There's no way this could end badly.