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July 2010

Morning on the Web


So pretty, that early morning light ...

I hope you all had a nice weekend - I spent it combing through last year's file folders, inbox piles and work baskets. Working on the end-of-year reports, due later this week - I didn't quite get it all done, but made a good start. Preparing the ed. plans for next year shouldn't take nearly as much time - we're going with Oak Meadow for all three boys so the curriculum details will be pretty straightforward. (I'm also writing a nature-based lesson plan for Earlybird, but that doesn't need to be sent in to the school dept.)

Summer sure is flying by -  it's so hard to believe we're knocking on August's door! It's been a hot and steamy one here in New England - my patio garden is thriving (herbs, tomatoes and morning glories) but our perennials out front are near dead! Today however, so far, is just beautiful - breezy, cool(ish) and bright. Oh, and don't forget: tonight is the Full Thunder Moon - be sure to look for it rising around 8:30 p.m. :)

Have a great day, my friends!

Close Encounter of the Cute Kind

As I mentioned in this week's "Nature Notes," the other morning I had a neat encounter with a little red squirrel. As I approached the feeders, the squirrel sitting in the tray feeder did not run off as did the other creatures in the area. Instead, as I worked quietly around him, talking to him in a quiet voice, he held his ground and continued eating, seemingly patient with my company for the time. Well, this morning I made sure to have my camera in my pocket ... and yes he was there, and yes he kept calm, and yes, this is how close I actually got!




I'm *thisclose* to naming him, lol ...


The last picture I took after he finally left the feeder to perch on a branch above us and just peered at me with those shiny black eyes, cocking his head and staring me down. I think I was standing there taking pictures and "chatting" for about 5-10 minutes before I left him in peace. 

This was such a special moment for a nature lover like me. :)

Good Home Reads


As I prepare to review my planning systems - something I do at this time of year when I put one "school" year to rest and look ahead to the next - I like to do a little "mood reading" to get my domestic juices flowing ... 

One of my favorite things to read over is the second chapter of Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson, entitled "Easing into a Routine." I've read this section over so many times the pages are tearing away from the binding, and the pencil marks are fading fast! There's just a lot of good information and inspiration to be found in those twelve and a half pages. :)

What books do you find inspiring when you're thinking about housekeeping, organization and personal planning? I'm always looking for new good reads to check out - my own shelf has held the same several titles for a while now. In addition to Home Comforts I also have:

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook

Better Basics for the Home

Absolutely Organized

The Organized Life

Sidetracked Home Executives

Miserly Moms

Sink Reflections

One of my favorite ideas from Home Comforts is the very simple concept of airing one's bed out each morning. After we rise I pull the top bedding down and open the windows wide (or just a crack in the winter or rainy weather) and then close the bedroom door (to keep the cat out lol). After an hour or so I then make up the bed all fresh and new. It's a very basic task, but one that makes me feel really good to accomplish.

Well, that's all for now ... I hope you are all enjoying a good week! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment if you have time. I hope to see you again here soon. :)

Planner Puttering

There's nothing like a brand new calendar to putter over and play around with! I recently purchased a Blue Sky Monthly Tabbed Planner (I found mine at Target for around $12). 


It's large enough to lay open on my work counter and for writing down all kinds of details about the month, but slim enough to fit in my backpack or tote bag. 


I just placed some pretty stickers over the original cover design. It made my calendar feel more personal and pretty. I'll talk more about the inside of my calendar in a future post. :)

Have a good week, everyone!

A Few Wildlife Pictures by Bookworm

A few recent specimens of interest - photos by Bookworm, notes by me. :)


The boys noticed the above creature while jumping on the trampoline. (Did I tell you all we got a trampoline recently? A fully enclosed, 14 foot tramp - it is such a big HIT!) NO idea what this critter could be - some kind of beetle, maybe? So crazy - and kind of creepy - looking. (A really great close-up by BW!)


The picture does not give justice to just how enormous this moth was. Bookworm spotted him in this shady nook on the west side of our house - oddly enough, right smack dab in the midst of all our birdfeeders. I guess he wasn't concerned about being eaten - he lingered here all day.


And here we have a rather acrobatic squirrel enjoying a bit of seed cake.


This little red squirrel fit nicely inside the appropriately-named squirrel feeder. He took a break from nibbling to stretch out and cool out a bit (it was 90 degrees on this day!). Also, it should be noted that when Bookworm took this picture we had a total of FIVE red squirrels at our feeders! The most we've ever had at one time - and needless to say we were thrilled. :)

Hope you've enjoyed our wildlife photos and "tales" from the yard. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

A Fun Treat For the Fourth


Though it looks a bit more green than blue in this picture, rest assured this was a "berry blue" cool 'n easy pie - Bookworm's favorite - with fresh whipped cream and a few homegrown raspberries on top. A red-white-and-blue treat for the Fourth of July!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday ~ we did here, spending the day up north at my cousin's with lots of family and friends. And now we're back to our workweek, and a hot week it is looking to be: close to 100 today!

Have a good one my friends ~ I'll see you again very soon. :)