“I’m almost a pie,” said the rhubarb.

I bought strawberries last week and texted everyone that I was making pies when I got home but wouldn’t you know it, my friend Kathy texted me and asked me out to lunch because it was her birthday.  I thought this was a pretty interesting coincidence because strawberry rhubarb pies are one of her favorites and I didn’t remember it was her birthday but had felt spiritually moved to make the pies so…..of course I went out with the birthday girl, but I didn’t get a chance to use up the strawberries that day and the family ATE THEM ALL in one evening.

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Meanwhile, the rhubarb was growing and sending out invisible vibes to my mind; “I’m almost a pie…..I’m almost a pie……”  “just come and cut me down and chop me up and add me to strawberries……”  “put me in pastry!…..”

Every spring Rich, I swear, is determined to accidentally plow up the rhubarb patch.  I guard it with my everything but still in the spring of 2017 he helpfully plowed up the garden when I wasn’t home.   Later I stood by the side of the garden and silently looked down into the freshly tilled earth, hoping and searching for any sign of rhubarb.  I picked up a piece of bruised and uprooted sprout, reburied it, my heart aching.  I was sure it was all destroyed.

Let this be a lesson to remember from the rhubarb patch; There is always hope.  Plants can still be alive underneath the dirt.  Things can still grow and thrive after a near death situation.

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Rhubarb is quite a marvelous plant with huge poisonous leaves– but once those are removed and carried out of the house and into the woods by a helpful child, we are left with crispy sour stalks and still that invisible voice (that must live in the stalks) saying “I’m almost a pie”.

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Caleb says we should plant a strawberry patch.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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There are thousands of recipes for using up rhubarb but I found an intriguing recipe for pie in a Taste of Home cookbook that called for an egg in the filling.  Since we have a flock of hens and a never ending supply of eggs, I decided to try it.

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I doubled the recipe and had enough filling for three small pies.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb pie

1 egg
1 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sliced rhubarb
1 pint strawberries, halved
1 unbaked pastry shell

Topping:  3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup oats, and 1/2 cup butter.

In a large bowl, beat egg.  Beat in the sugar, flour and vanilla.  Gently stir in the rhubarb and strawberries.  Pour into pastry shell.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350; bake for 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.  Cool on wire rack.

RECIPE SOURCE:  Taste of Home Baking Classics, page 107

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There is currently one pie remaining.  (The family loved it.)

This was my breakfast piece this morning, along with a book I found yesterday at Goodwill for 50 cents.  It was one that I had discovered at Barnes and Noble and added to a running note on my phone “to look for at the library”.  . . . I was happy to find it at Goodwill and can’t wait to read it.

This is my current book which I have to finish first:

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West With the Night, by Beryl Markham

weekend report

He has been with me everywhere I have gone.  Genesis 35:3

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.  Job 5:9

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to you be the glory.  Psalm115:1

The friends and pleasures of which you speak cannot compare with the joys which I seek.  Christian, in Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan

If you love me, feed my sheep.  John 21:17

*****

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Sarah’s last school program for 1st grade.  Next year she will be moving on to the bigger elementary school in town.  (my baby!)

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On a flower the size of a dime.  Sarah and I made baby sounds at it because it was so small.

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The tree we planted from Grandma and Grandpa  (Rich’s dad and step-mom).  The children never forget about this tree and love to check on it.  “It’s growing, Mom!”

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Lady’s slippers in bloom

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We found a small toad….. I took this picture moments before she started jumping around (similar to a toad) because she’s trying to be brave holding it in her hands….but she’s really feeling rather squeamish.

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~Buttercups and guess what?  We all like butter, very much.  Especially on toast and popcorn.

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Gentleman Gray walked with us.  I had to carry him back, he’s not a cat that enjoys walking in the heat through tall grass with a strange dog “over there”.

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While I had Gentleman, my sister randomly texted me a picture of herself with her fur baby.

Sisters!

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Tessa’s Jr. Prom!  She invited Ethan, of course.

They’ve been dating almost 2 years.

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It was so hot outside.  I did a five minute photoshoot on the driveway before they left.

Aren’t they good looking?

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cuties

They didn’t get home until around 1:30 in the morning so I didn’t sleep very well.  Mom-worries, you know.  🙂  They had a wonderful time, so happy.

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Lots of baseball games for the boys!

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I turned to Rich and silently mouthed, “Take my picture!” seventeen times before he got it.  I had to be sneaky because if Seth had heard me he would have run off — he likes to tease me.  This boy…..we rarely see him during his brother’s games but every once in a while he’ll come visit me.  In this case he was coming to say,  “No one’s working the food booth today.  If you had a key would you work the food booth Mom?”  Maybe he was hungry.  Or wanting candy.  Look at his outfit.  Batting gloves, knee high Garfield socks.  He’s so cute!

But what I love the most…..is he is still so much a Mama’s boy and loves to come close for some obligatory lovin’ .  He knows it’s his duty so mom doesn’t get lonely and sad because her children are growing up.

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Grown up Jacob came to the field after work.

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The little kids spent most of the time up in the unused announcer’s booth watching the game from up high.  Sooooo cute.  Rich and I could see them from across the way.

The little league fields are our “home away from home” these days, we are there almost every day.  If I drove a horse and wagon I wouldn’t even have to direct the horse….I would just say, “Take me to the ballgame” while flicking the reins and off we would go in the wagon.

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Our rabbits are not caged, they live free in the chicken coop and when I let out the chickens they are also consequently free to roam.   Number 1 bunny never hops out, but number 2 bunny is more adventurous and we were highly amused when we came home from the game and found it talking to the cat.

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Sunday night dates, we love Pinkberry and Auntie Anne’s pretzels at the mall.  And each other.  Rich says, “I don’t even want to buy anything I just love walking around with you.”    He’ll stare at me while we eat our treats and say things like, “you’re beautiful.”  or, “I love that hair color on you.” And he’ll walk behind me five steps as we go upstairs and whistle.  You know, regular & comfortable married couple stuff like that.

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We went to Barnes and Noble and I took a picture of books I want to look up at the library.

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Sunday evening walk all by my lonesome.  I picked a few wayward lily of the valley (they spread through the years and I found some fair game– in the ditch) one of them pulled right up with it’s roots attached so I transplanted it in the garden back home.

I found a feather on the side of the road.  I also got scared by the neighbor’s little vicious white dog.

Thus concludes the weekend report.

ct shore beach day with my older kids

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It was one and a half hour drive.  We stopped at Target and Dunkin’ donuts on the way and brought along a cooler of drinks and snacks.  We were at the beach for five hours.

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I realized why floppy straw hats are so necessary.  I hid under mine all day.  You can bend the sides or front down and you’re in your own little world.  You can read, look at the mesmerizing waves, or eavesdrop on the conversations happening around you.

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Now THIS is a beach read.

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He’s going to the prom tonight with a sunburn.

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Lobsters and fried seafood platter, milk shake and dr. pepper.  Oh my word we made a happy mess.

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We also stopped at our favorite “after the beach” bookstore and the boys had coffee while Grace agonized between two poetry books. . . . . . . .

I chose two memoirs, a cookbook for my mom, and a book for Seth and Larissa’s baby.

My grown up kids took turns playing songs for us to listen to on their phones all the way home.

I thought over and over to myself yesterday, “I have grown up kids and I still look fabulous.”  (I mean, I was in my swimsuit for the first time in a year and it was the natural time to evaluate).

 

Time for the utterly predictable Mother’s Day post!!!

SUNDAY morning I got up and sipped my coffee while looking through one of those old scrapbooks that I bought at the thrift store and found the most dear little poem.

DANDELIONS
by Katherine Saunders
What child has never tasted dandelions,
The bitter of their hollow, curling handles;
Picked yellow blossoms by the tortured fistful
Nor blown the white fire out like birthday candles?

Grownups may shudder, dig them out of lawns,
And yet they make a very fine bouquet,
Especially with no other flowers handy
For a little boy on Mother’s Day.

And since, truth be told, my own dear children were having a hard time keeping off the TV and video games, I came up with the brilliant idea that THEY should go pick ME a dandelion bouquet…..after all it was Mother’s day!

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It was raining and they got wet but they very much enjoyed their little nature walk, they told me they played a game called “adventures”.  The bouquet didn’t have any dandelions in it, they said there weren’t any dandelions.

Jacob went out for breakfast with his friend Cody and he came back with a bouquet of flowers from 7 Eleven.  I saw him get out of the car with them so I rushed to the door to receive my beautiful flowers and hug him.  Thank you Jacob!

Seth gave me a marigold plant in a paper cup after school on Friday, he had the flower part in his other hand, “It fell off.” he cheerfully explained.

Sarah Joy gave me paper flowers in a plastic vase, glued all over with tissue paper.  The card said, “Happy Mother’s Day, I love you even more than toys!”

She also gave me a “thank you” card and it said this on the inside of it:

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We think it may be a variation on “I hope you have a nice day.” and it gave me a good surprise and a long healthy laugh which was the best gift ever.

We went to church and then to McDonalds, which was super fun, everyone was full of happiness and energy.  You can be a bit more wild at McDonalds and not have to use your best manners ……therefore mom can relax.  How lovely.

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We took the offspring home and then Rich took me to the mall for a date.  Was it because of the diet Coke or the fact that it was Mother’s day that I was so cheerful and happy all day long?  Or my natural disposition?  I dunno.  It was just a very nice day.

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Back tracking……this was Friday night.  Grace went to her Senior banquet with her friend Kylee.  Her boyfriend Caleb is at basic training in Texas so she went with the next best person; his sister.

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They got ready in my bathroom; so sweet.

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Jacob went to Senior banquet, too, with his good friend Emily.  She was the one in the last post with the Sapphire tumbler.

Jacob bought his tie from the Brimfield Antique show, it’s vintage.  He was on the hunt for a royal blue tie to match Emily’s dress.

It was 10 dollars.

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Grace wore the dress Hannah made for her, silver sandals, and my new leaf necklace and earrings that Rich gave to me when he got home from his last business trip.  She looked magical.

And guess what?  I took the photo of her and Kylee at the top of the driveway so naturally Grace checked the mail…..and found two letters from Caleb inside the mailbox!

(all she does lately is write long epistles to her boyfriend and haunt the mailbox for replies)

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Beautiful Kylie with Gentleman Gray ❤

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******

This week is going to be exciting starting with today when I take Sarah to get her wart removed and then go shopping with her and the two older boys.  Tomorrow I’m getting my hair done, Wednesday Seth has a program at school and Thursday I’m taking Grace and Ethan with me for a beach day!!

It’s currently 47 degrees and raining but by Thursday it’s supposed to be partly sunny and 89.  We shall see.

*****

mother’s day quote:  “I plan to give you love, nurturing, and just enough dysfunction to make you funny.”