If you remember last summer, my yard and I were having a bit of a summer tiff. This summer, we're friends. Enough said. I'm so very happy to be home and enjoying the yard. My flowers are getting pretty, my garden has been weeded, we have two (2!!!) hose boxes (finally after 14 years of wandering, snaky hoses), a new shed has been assembled, and the garden swing is ready to be re-painted. I just have a couple of beds that I'm trying to rid of crab grass and, so far, I'm losing. Here are my four approaches:
- Dig them out by hand - FAIL
- Use Round-Up - SUCCESS, but I'm always a little leery of such a nasty product. However, it works. But, I'm cheap, so.....
- Straight vinegar, as per Pinterest suggestion. Very small success, not even worth mentioning.
- Iron tablets dissolved in water. NO SUCCESS WHATSOEVER. At least, not yet.
Both boys have achieved their fair share of accomplishments at school this year. The bottom line is that they are well rounded boys who achieve some accomplishments that others do not. Ben's marks all year have been outstanding. They have both done well in some sporting events. At the end of the school year, Ben won the Grade 5 band award and Andrew won the Artistic Award for excelling in the arts of drama, art and music. Andrew has had to really dig in this year to achieve any sort of academic success. He has, unfortunately, brought a lot of stress home, with undone work, unrecorded "assignments due", etc., etc., with the odd email/phone call from the teacher. He's smart, no doubt about it. But I had an "AHA" moment when he won that artistic award. This kid may never love the academics - he's an artsy guy. I remember his Grade 2 teacher telling us that he'd hit his stride in Grade 7 or 8; a casual prediction on her part. I always hoped that she meant his academic, organized brain would arrive then. Maybe it will. But this year has been a strong, strong year for Andrew's artistic talents to erupt. So, at the end of the school year, I, all of a sudden, look at him and understand him a little better. Andrew, the artist.
Okay. I can work with that. It helps me define his learning style and interests a lot more and that will be helpful. Dean and I are both artistic in our own way but I wouldn't have thought of us as artsy people. Are we?
Funny how school can be joy for Ben and torture for Andrew. Random thought.
The end of the school year makes me melancholy. I know. I'm a sentimental sap. I can't help it. Two random thoughts in this paragraph.
Our youth group joined the Shellbrook youth group last night for a big end-of-the-year Amazing Race challenge that Shellbrook hosted. Wow! Creative level = excellence. It was so cool. A couple of things struck me - we arrived at the church to find at least a dozen bikes outside the church. Not locked up. And they stayed there all night and nobody worried. The 14 teams had 20 some challenges to complete all around the town and the last team of 4 young girls arrived back at the church AFTER ELEVEN and nobody worried. Small town life. I know it's not all innocent but there was a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Makes me want to move. ;)
One of their challenges was to mix a batch of bannock and cook it on a stick over an open fire. I woke up this morning craving this for breakfast. I settled for toast.
I want to bump up our trailer from tent trailer to hybrid. Hubby's not budging. Harumph.
In the summer, I have an insatiable appetite for ice cream and ice cream treats. Thus, the missing budget for a hybrid trailer. ;)
This week I concluded that I'm a better winter cook than summer cook. Winter can be full of all kinds of slow cooker meals, soups, stews, oven dishes, use-all-four-burners-on-the-stove meals. Summer is warm. My barbecue is located in the hot afternoon sunshine. How much can you barbecue? Help me out - besides burgers and steaks, what are you barbecuing? Perhaps we need to move the barbecue...simple solution.
I spend all winter dreaming of things to cook while we're camping. I want good taste with low fuss and I have a mild aversion to the overuse of hot dogs. I found an idea on Pinterest and tried it out yesterday. When it came time to eat, no one was hungry, we were in a hurry and it was hot. Hard to judge the success of a recipe on that then, isn't it?!!
"It Doesn't Have A Name" Supper Idea For Camping (how do you like my title?)
In a large slow cooker, lay one layer of pork chops. Cover with mushroom soup and sprinkle with onion soup mix. Wrap 4-6 baking potatoes (keep them small) in foil and lay on top of the pork chops. Cut 2-3 cobs of corn in half, and wrap in foil. Lay them on top of the foiled potatoes. Set slow cooker on "low" and walk away.
Results: I let mine cook for 8-9 hours on "low" and we felt that everything was overdone. However, my pork chops were very small.
Next time: I would cook it for 6 hours on "low". I think the results would be better. The potatoes were very moist, not dry like an oven-baked potato. The corn was great.
Possible Variation: I think I would also try a small roast, and perhaps add the potatoes and corn halfway through the cooking time.
Conclusion: For camping, a meal couldn't be easier than this meal. Small tweaks will make it a "make again" for this family! The slow cooker that I used this time is a large, oval one, 6-7 quart size.
Those are all of the