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Circles of Life & Some Suzy Homemaker-ing

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I was so busy sharing monarch and chick news on other social media, that I forgot to write about it here. Lots of exciting circle of life stuff happened in the span of about 12 hours one day last week. First, one of the older baby chicks (how old are they now? maybe 4 weeks?) died, sadly and under suspicious circumstances. Broken neck. But then two new chicks hatched! Sorry older chicks, you are no longer the cute ones
Old News//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsbecause these tiny fluffballs are adorable. Sweet peepers//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
They definitely seem to be a smaller variety. They are doing very well and Little Silk seems to be a good mother, although her choice of a safe place to spend the night is questionable (on the ground in the open. Why isn’t she under the coop as every other mother has done? Safe and sheltered, duh.)

So, at the same time that was happening, the second monarch was emerging. I had gotten up and checked on the chrysalis. I could see that the chrysalis was transparent and I could see wings were underneath. I knew it would be emerging shortly. Went outside, confirmed that two baby chicks hatched, came back and the butterfly was coming out. Shouted for everyone to come watch and we saw it! Unlike, say, a chick, the butterfly very quickly comes out of the chrysalis.
A monarch emerges//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsA monarch emerges//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
It crawled around until it came to the branch we had in there for it. We watched the wings unfurling
A monarch emerges//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsand then they were straightened out and the butterfly stayed there waiting for them to dry. A monarch emerges//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
And then it flew away. Hooray!

Although my garden has been dismal/non-existant this year I am still doing my best to freeze/can summer’s bounty. In my freezer I’ve got peaches and blueberries (bought local at peak ripeness, then frozen for future pies, muffins, pancakes, etc.), jalapeno peppers (gifted from a friend’s garden), bell pepper (bought at the farm stand), and corn (you know I have a great love for my corn zipper.) And then this weekend I also canned corn salsa.
Corn Salsa for the winter//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThis is basically now the only thing I care about making sure to can. I love this recipe so much-fresh tomatoes and corn, and a vinegary sugary base that gives it a tang. I’m passionate about New Jersey’s tomatoes and corn being extra delicious and believe me, in the winter this is going to taste so summery and fresh. I canned 9 jars, but may need to do more. And because I make this salsa thinking only of snowy weekend afternoons where we put on a movie and I make a big tray of nachos, I labeled most of the lids with movie titles for fun. Corn Salsa for the winter//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I was very brave and entered one of my quilts in the neighboring county’s 4H Fair. I was pretty nervous because I just didn’t know how it would go over and I had a feeling this fair gets a lot more entries than the previous fair I had entered. I entered my Scrappy Prism quilt as it is the one that is hand quilted and I love it and think it’s beautiful. Indeed, I did not win a ribbon. [But did get a participation certificate, which made us all laugh.]
2015-08-24_09-22-45//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsNot so deep down I was really hoping I would, but I guess it’s enough to know that it was hung and admired with all of the others. And at this fair you actually get a judging sheet. I got “fair” on almost everything, with an “excellent” for my stitching on my binding (thank you for noticing judges-my hand stitching was nearly invisible.) The comments admired my fabric choices, but said that it needed more stitching in the center. Fair enough. I can see why they’d say that and I’m ok with it because I had made a deliberate choice when I was quilting to not add more. I happened to like the simplicity and didn’t want to add more. I stand by my choice and don’t care if they didn’t like it. Last weekend we went to Bethlehem PA for Musikfest and so we could all check out the Steel Stacks where Paul has gone to some recent concerts. It was really neat and the Steel Stacks were striking. Steel Stacks//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

2015-08-24_10-02-26//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsHuge old industrial buildings/equipment. Can you see our little shadows in this picture? Steel Stacks//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Very recently the town made it a centerpiece of their arts scene and, somewhat like the High Line, put in a walkway around these giant stacks. It’s incredible to see and imagine what it was like in operation (“Hell”, as most of the descriptions said. It was in operation as recently as the early 1990s.
Steel Stacks//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsAnd what’s a post this summer without a Willow update? She is doing great. pretty princess must have her beanbag chair//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWe’ve had her for almost 8 weeks, she has gained 15 lbs and I don’t know how many inches. We are starting obedience classes this week, which will hopefully teach her to not pull like crazy on a leash and to stop biting us lovingly all the time. Keep off the furniture is not a rule that worked for us. What can I say? I love having my dog cuddle up next to me on the couch. 2015-08-24_10-01-26//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsT & WillowAnd one last thing, although we haven’t been geocaching this summer, this weekend we placed two more of our own. I hope they get approved quickly and that people enjoy finding them.

After a dreadful heatwave we’ve had a few nights and early mornings of cool weather, which are sparking a little fall fever. Yesterday I started planning a Halloween quilt I’m hoping to do in time for this fall.  It’s definitely back to school time and the kids received their class assignments this weekend too. They were very excited to see which of their friends were in their classes (or, in Clark’s class, which of his most disliked classmates he was assigned with yet again.) Our school district starts pretty late so we’ve got a good few more days of summer ahead of us and will hopefully make the most out of them!

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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