Getting Bigger at the 4H Fair

I was shocked by how much bigger the boys looked on the pony rides at this year’s 4H Fair.

He got the big pony

A world of difference from the screaming two years ago!

I still love love love this fair. It is the best part of the summer for me. Conor loved the “pigs, french fries, lemonade and ice cream”. Eoin loved the “horses” but it seemed to me he also loved the sheep and bunnies. He loves to get down at an animal’s level. My favorite was the champion silky hen we saw. So fluffed!

Baaaaa

It was pretty hard to get the boys away from the music man they enjoy here every year, Kevin McNamara.

Rapt

Oh and of course the bouncy rides and hay ride were a real hit too. It was just so great to get here before the school year starts. This year will be the first year we have to go to the Topsfield Fair on a weekend because of school… Yes, Conor is starting KINDERGARTEN and Eoin is starting preschool. Our daily rhythm is going to change, big time. Hmm, maybe we could do an evening fair… Worth looking into.

The Rose and the Rogue

I will not profess to being the most attentive gardener. Being an Irishwoman, I forget that rain does not pour down from the skies every day in New England, and I forget to water my plants… This year I have been trying much harder and have been slightly pleased with not killing toooo many things. I am baffled however as to how I could have grown a corn without even knowing it…

This area was getting water because I was really delighted to be given a rose plant for being a room mom at preschool. It managed two more blooms this summer thanks to Karen watering it while we were in Ireland…

When I got back from Ireland I noticed a “weed”. Something about it told me to leave it, and lo and behold, we have a corn plant! Conor and I tried to grow some last summer in our usual patch but got no fruit, just tall stalks.

This makes me sure now that our sunniest patch of our garden is the best for growing. My current patch gets too much shade and Papa wants to maybe build a shed there. You need more proof?

Pumpkin

So Conor wanted to grow his own pumpkin for Halloween, but we planted some seeds that the pesky (“f***ing” was a more appropriate term according to Conor) squirrels dug up, so I constructed the tomato cage to protect those, then when we went camping, a sneaky “squirrel” neighbor planted a pumpkin plant grown from the seed of the pumpkin that won the giant pumpkin contest at Topsfield fair. That is the one on the left that is doing awesome and trailing forever. Karen said that there was actually a pumpkin growing on this when we were in Ireland but I think the pesky bunnies might have eaten it? I cannot find any. Just lots of blooms… I have not given up hope…

Speaking of critters, look what has managed to bloom despite proffering up a lot of delicious leaves to the bunnies.

Just in time for the start of school, as I had hoped

There should have been a whole row (four fence sections worth) of these sunflowers but the bunnies got to most of them. GRRRRR! The one reason these still managed to grow is probably the irrigation system. As you can see from the scorched grass at the back (by the pumpkin), the irrigation system does not go that far, something we would like to remedy when we win the lottery. And that way I will never have to water and I may actually grow things!!!

Summer Reading Club Tickets to the PawSox

The boys took part in the library’s summer reading club this year and got some free PawSox tickets and recognition on the field for their hard work.

I took the boys on my own since Papa was in Arizona, but it was a great road trip in my new car, despite the traffic on the way there doubling the journey. The boys were a little wild thanks to the 2-hour car journey, but I survived, and we caught a soft ball from the mascot’s cannon!!!

A New Car

There is some upsizing to be performed in this household over the next few months, and the first step was a new car for me. I am pretty sad to say goodbye to Pumpkin, my first ever car.

Actually pretty emotional

I realise this is not the first time I have been emotional. My school principal had to keep me in her office when I was crying at school over losing Bessie, mum’s orange Renault 5 of 16 years.

But it was short-lived…

Gift for a Knitter

My friend Una (she who got engaged) just got married to Roger on July 4! We missed the wedding unfortunately, but I had been thinking of them both for about two months anway as I worked away on a gift for them.

Since Una and Roger got engaged in the Adirondacks, I wanted to do a cross stitch picture with two Adirondack chairs, and I found this Mill Hill beaded kit that was pretty perfect. It had seed beads and MICRO seed beads… Phew! But Una is a knitter, so I knew she would understand the love and care that was poured into it for her and for Roger.

It was totally worth it

Oldcastle and Loughcrew

Mum and I brought the boys to Oldcastle to see my uncles and aunts and continue to foster their interest in ancient rocks.

But first some hurling, and a lovely roast beef dinner

We went to a very windy Loughcrew, an excellent network of passage tombs with astoundingly detailed petroglyphs.

Cruciform

Making a wish on the Hag’s Chair

Inside the main tomb the boys took in all the petroglyphs. We are both so happy they responded so well to this place. It has been special to me since childhood and it’s Papa’s favorite place in Ireland.

When we got back down off the hill the boys got some great jumps in with Eddie and Ciaran.