Catch Up

Holy guacamole. I don’t think it’s been this long since I’ve posted on the blog ever?? We have had a bum few weeks of Papa traveling and illness and I am barely caught up… Here is a quick recap:

Eoin turned 3!!! (Papa has more photos…)

Cool new firehouse from Farmor!

Donal came to visit!

Best godfather ever

We got 6 cubic yards of mulch:

Kings of the castle

Then Papa went away to Finland and we got very very sick with a 3.5-day stomach bug.

Eoin was the first to fall

Then Conor and myself…

We slept a lot and I cleaned up a lot…

When Mother’s Day came around we were finally all better. Such a relief.

Happy happy

Now that things are finally back on track…

Conor took part in Future Spartans Day

and the boys and I went to the zoo yesterday.

Bears!

Window

There you go, that’s a month condensed!!! Not my favorite month (apart from Eoin’s birthday and Donal visiting, but that was April. May started off just rotten……..)

Add to that the fact that I have done zero knitting and have not been motivated to cook exciting food then there has been precious little blog fodder. Hopefully I will stop feeling nauseous about knitting and cooking soon. I have been managing a stitch or two of cross stitch… I did make a lovely asparagus soup….. No pictorial evidence – it went into Donal’s tummy too quickly!

Maudslay State Park and Newburyport

I met up with a friend of a friend and her son, newly arrived in the city from North Carolina. They are staying on Plum Island for a while until their house opens up in the summer. I thought it would be cool to get up to Newburyport to check it out. We decided on a picnic at Maudslay State Park since the Parker River National Refuge is apparently pretty shut down for plover season.

Sheltering for our picnic

The weather was pretty gray and it started to spit rain. We sheltered from the wind off the Merrimac River on the old house foundations and then we set off to explore once the shower passed over us.

Old walled garden

The kids loved exploring the old walled garden. It had old ruined greenhouses, plots for a vegetable garden, a tiny “maze”, a well, an old coachhouse… The daffodils were all starting to bloom and it was just so pretty. I bet it is spectacular when the rhododendron come out, on a sunnier day!

We needed to thaw out a bit and I had read about the Jabberwocky bookstore in Newburyport, with an excellent toy store right beside it. The boys loved it!

Minecraft and colors

Eoin loved the “snuggle bear”

We scored some excellent whoopie pies and hot chocolate at Chococoa then I wanted to see some boats, so we stopped off at the wharf before heading home.

Soon this channel will be chock-full of boats

Looking out to Plum Island, trying to follow the diving cormorant

Hamburger Buns

I have been exploring making my own bread ever since Papa was contemplating getting me a bread maker for my birthday. I baulked at the bulky countertop item and decided I would rather see if I could get nice results with my KitchenAid first. My first attempt wasn’t fantastic but still edible. My latest attempt turned out terrific!

I had a lot of leftover picnic pork from Easter (that dinner wasn’t the highlight of my culinary career so I felt I wanted to at least let the leftovers shine). So cue a recipe in my Gourmet Cookbook for hamburger buns. Delicious and a huge success!

Rising

Ready

Spectacular

I used my own Bread and Butter Pickles too. Just pure scrumptious. And last night I made a Tourtiere (pork pie) with the final leftover pork which was yummy too, though it might have been trumped by my mushroom soup… Three dinners with one braised picnic shoulder. Not half bad.

Happy Easter!

Check out some Iris folding I have been trying out. It is my second attempt. Inspired by the Reading crafters group and the cool book Mum and Dad got me for Christmas.

The boys had a fantastic Easter Egg Hunt. The day was warm, the snow was mostly receded, and they got a lot of treats.

Let’s go!

There have to be some more around here somewhere…

Aha!

Getting Outside

We’ve been getting out and about doing things as usual. You can see the weather transitioning through this post, from indoor activities to more outdoors – phew!

Monster Mini Golf

Einstein’s Workshop

First “warm” day

What our entire winter has looked like

It must be Spring

Hockey season is over

Coming next week… Our first Red Sox game! Forecast is for 64 degrees!

Domino Effect

Having soooo much fudge sauce from my botched birthday fudge attempt meant I decided to make vanilla ice cream. YUM! I don’t know why I haven’t tried this sooner!

Setting up for ice cream

But of course then I had to find something to do with the 6 extra egg whites I had left over from making ice cream. I made my first ever meringues! They were a huge hit at a school parent’s night.

Airy delights

I love what happens when you think outside the box so as not to waste extra food.

Fudge

For my birthday I made myself some fudge. I failed, but candles fit very well in ice cream with fudge sauce too!

Starting

I needed to cook it a bit longer. I mistrusted my candy thermometer because my jam always sets at a lower temperature than the literature suggest so I assumed the same here. It needed another 10 degrees and I needed to assess a “soft ball” consistency better…

Still… Fudge Sauce!

Mending Jeans

Two pairs of jeans recently decided to give up the ghost but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them yet. One is just so comfortable that I had to try patching them up. I looked at a few tutorials online, found some confidence to go for it, some old scrap fabric (I’m sure you might guess what) and started pinning.

Not very ladylike

Ready to start

I did it! I only sewed the jeans to themselves once and realized right away! Phew!

View from the front

This was very rewarding, a little bit stressful, therapeutic, and hopefully useful, though I have yet to wear them and see if they chafe. Oh and I tried to sew my finger to my jeans… Ouch.

Done!