We are a family. We have jobs, hobbies and very busy lives. We have no secrets, only if you come over to our house, I would kindly ask you not to look in the closets, under the beds or in any drawer or cabinet. But otherwise, we are open books.
We took a little day trip to Starved Rock, which is this awesome state park about an hour north of Normal. We hikes many miles and had just a fantastic day adding on to our fantastically fun summer travels.
I just don't understand why they think day camp is boring.
We were able to get some spring onions and broccoli from our garden today. Penny has become very helpful and interested in the garden. We love biking to our spot and then taking a look around at the other gardens. We've got some great ideas for next year.
The Chicago subway is not very tourist friendly. Actually, I take that back. The transit staff has always been very helpful. Today was no exception. But the trains themselves are full of locals. Most of them scowling at the little rich girls with their American Girl dolls yelling "Hello!!!" loudly into the subway tunnel.
We're headed on a day trip to Chicago. I hope we have enough strength to carry back all our goodies home on the train tonight.
Also, I just have to say I love the new train station. Super modern and clean. Subway sandwiches for some good eats on the train (the girls love, love, love to eat on the train). I even paid the $6
to park and charge my car. Too bad it was already charged.
Edit: just found out the train travels 110 mph between Pontiac and Chicago. High speed rail!!! And Amtrak now has wifi. This trip just gets better and better.
Anyway, all this for $56 and not needing to drive and park in Chicago... Amazing.
I harvested my first crop. Lettuce. When we were regulars at the farmers market or when we belonged to the CSA, I always lived the lettuce in early summer. It's so much better than the store stuff.
So I watched a video on YouTube and decided to pull some before it bolts. And I'm darn close. It started getting that milky discharge at the base of the plant when cut, a sign that it's reached maturity.
But it looks pretty good. I cut three plants and got more than I think we can eat. Although, I can eat a lot of salad.
The girls finished school Friday. So we did what everybody secretly wishes they could do. We went to Michigan.
It was a lovely trip. We saw our Battle Creek buddies. We went to the farm. We saw Julia. And, best of all, we played volleyball. In the sun!
It was a nice trip. And a good reminder of how fun the farm can be, especially when you're 9. Carol had so much fun exploring out there, especially the old hay loft, my favorite childhood hiding place.
Let's just hope it takes a few years before she realizes it's a good place to smoke cigarettes and kiss boys. Although, I have no idea how I know it's good for that.
I went out to weed today because A) it rained last night and the ground was wet, and B) the community garden lady sent out a very friendly reminder that weeding was our responsibility. Something like, "Get out there and weed before you go jaunting around the Midwest this Memorial Day weekend or you'll be sorry."
Anyway, it needed it. As seen here.
But it looks nice when it's done. As seen here. (Notice the empty plot next to me and its weed patch. I think this is very bad for me.)
I saw a few small victories while I was at eye level with the plants. My first tomatillo flower.
My first sign of broccoli. This crop has pretty much been a failure for me. I think most other broccoli plants are much further along. But I was still happy.
My lettuce looked very pretty.
But an hour of weeding provided me with a very good lesson. Number one, I need one of those little foam knee thingys. Also, there were A LOT of ants in my garden. I don't know if ants are good or bad or neutral in a garden, but I need to find out. Also, they were the biting kind. Ouch.
Carol has moved on from virtual fishing on the Wii to sort-of-real fishing at Normal Circle. Every year, people populate the deep pool with fish. And sometimes those little fishies get carried away by the current and sucked into the drains. That was about to happen yesterday.
But a group of brave teenagers was trying to rescue it with a styrofoam cup. After a couple minutes of failure, Carol jumped in, grabbed the fish with her hands and stuck it in the cup.
"And that's how you catch a fish about to get sucked into a drain, " I'd like to imagine is how she explained her actions to her new teenage friends as they admired their work.