Sweet Rewards and Random Thoughts

castle toysWe have slowly been coming back to our “normal” after Simon left last week.  His bed is still up, though I should probably move it today.  We all miss him and hope things are going well where he is.  His arrival and departure were both so sudden, I think we were all shocked by the change.

Olaf has not been here this week, making it all very quiet at our house.  Or at least quiet-ER.  Perhaps this is why I am feeling able to take on a few of the household tasks that seem to have crept up on me.

Poppy flower

The produce auction went okay.  Between Jack testing boundaries, loudly, I was able to get candy onions, cauliflowers, zucchini and cucumbers.  I also learned that another, older, lady was not only a foster parent but also a parenting coach.  She was such a blessing as she calmed Jack down when I couldn’t get through to him.  Sometimes it takes someone besides Mom telling you exactly what Mom has been trying to tell you for you to get it.  {sigh}  I was also a bit self-focused and throwing an internal tantrum which didn’t help me handle the situation very well.

Update: I decided to remove the tantrum I was having in my head versus the nicer words I was using.  If you missed it, know that what I was thinking was not what I said.  It did have an effect on my patience and how much empathy I was having at that moment.

Over the years I have seen many of the same people weekly all summer long as I enjoy going to these auctions.  That doesn’t always mean we get to know each other on a deep personal level right away, but slowly it happens.  Who would have ever guessed that the majority of foster parents I know is because they go to the produce auction?!  Granted, it is still less than the fingers on one hand. And that includes myself.

green onions

Today I used some of the produce to try one of the recipes out of a cookbook I am going to write a review of this week.  Great timing.  I actually tried 3 recipes at lunch and will work on another one tonight for supper, but only needed the cauliflower from the auction for the one recipe.

 first cucumber blossom of the season 2 2013

This week I was able to take advantage of a deal a local store was running.  It was super easy and resulted in a free gift card.  Not too bad for about 10 minutes of my time and less than half a gallon of gas.  Not sure if I will save this to use for a gift or for someone in our household.  Living in Small Town has made it more difficult to take advantage of a lot of the savings found in Big Town.  More difficult, but not impossible.  I’m learning to look in unique places and outside the box.  Another example: friend’s husband helped a neighbor haul off sticks from the yard, but refused payment for helping.  The neighbor offered sweet corn instead.  Friend’s husband agreed.  🙂

Also found out this week that a young man we previously hired to help with some jobs around the house, and whom I was about to call again, was no longer a good resource to call.  Seems he made a few bad choices recently.  These are ones that will have consequences and be difficult to overcome. Living in Small Town can give you a tight network of support, but can also at times lead to making bad choices out of perceived limited opportunities.  While these decisions and choices are not unique to Small Town, it can make them harder to come back from.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”  ~Psalms 3:5,6

I am not sure why this young made the decisions he did.  What I do know is that the road ahead of him will be difficult.  Unfortunately, I do not think he is a Christian, though he might believe in God.  Please pray for him if you think of it.

onion sets may 6 2014

While looking for skewers, to grill with, I found a bag of onion set from this spring which were not planted.  While I do NOT need more green onions, these will not go to waste.  Either I’ll plant them for a fall crop or give them to a friend.  I also found other seeds that I need to plant for a fall crop.  Cooler weather lately has made even more possible to still plant.  I took advantage this week of the cooler temperatures and planted several Bleeding Hearts in an area of the yard that does not grow grass due to shade.  My hope is that they will thrive here.

Farmer's Market Stand

With things calming down a bit here at home I decided to put the roadside produce stand back out.  The kids were a bit disappointed no one stopped yesterday.  My husband had to explain that people were not looking for it, “as Mommy has not been consistent in putting it out.”  It didn’t take long, though, as several people have stopped by today.  There is not a lot out there, but maybe people will begin looking for it again.  It does not take long for word to get around.

The picture above is from the farmer’s market a few years ago.  It was a season in life when this was possible, though it no longer is. I am glad I had the opportunity to do it when I did, as it was always something I wanted to try.  Perhaps again in the future, but not now.

baked apple muffins

Now, I am off to bake cupcakes with George and Jack.  My friend’s mom gave the boys a baking set with cupcake papers.  I have not heard the end of it since they received this gift.  So I’m going to be a “good mom” and ignore the housework while we go bake.  At least there will be sweet rewards at the end – ones with calories and ones of the heart.