Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Summer Time in June

June delights us each year with festivals and family fun. Once again on the first Saturday of June, we traveled to Pensacola's historic village for the museum open house.

The children love the hands on activities and I love that they can explore their inner drummer without having to allow that kind of noise in the house.

This year, Kurt worked and didn't join us. We missed him, but at least I was able to spend more time talking to the tatting lady. I found out she gives tatting lessons and so that is now on my "to-do" list.

We love the indoor exhibits because there is air conditioning, an important consideration in the summer. (This year the weather was unusually beautiful fortunately.)

Gabrielle got to practice her Irish dancing.

Last summer both children took Irish dance classes from the teacher in charge of this exhibit. The Irish dancing is a long standing favorite of ours.

For whatever reason, Gabrielle always finds the chair caning lady.

I think it is because she starts looking for a place to sit early on.

This year, Gregory discovered a new favorite exhibition: Weapons. Rather than playing on the trolley as in years past, Gregory spent his time learning about historical weapons, especially guns.

The Wentworth museum hosts the kids' favorite exhibit however.

Here they get to dress up in period costumes and play.

Gabrielle spends most of her time with the food and in kitchens.

For a child who fails to cooperate at every meal, she sure loves playing with food.

Of course Gregory is a soldier at heart.

He loves shooting and forts and ships and more shooting.

I'm more and more fascinated with basket weaving. Perhaps it is because I love baskets. Basket weaving may have to go on my "to-learn" list one of these days.

Wood turning is another of our favorites. I suppose part of it centers around the fact so much of spinning involves turned wood tools.

Gregory couldn't wait to show me his new discovery.

He thought it was a tractor tank. He is totally into all things soldier.

He even got Gabrielle in on the saluting thing.

After the open house, we had our traditional picnic lunch.

This year we went to the little bay front park at the foot of the bridge to Gulf Breeze.

Even with all of the beauty, Gabrielle likes "car picnicking."

Of course Michael had his little picnic meal too.

Although I didn't get a picture, since I was too busy trying to point them out to both of the children, we saw a couple of dolphin playing in the water.

It was great to be close to the water again. Naturally when I say "by the water" I mean by the sea.

A great blue heron watched us eat while it worked at catching its own lunch.

Back on the homefront, we continue to work towards chicken husbandry. Gabrielle and I explored the "junk" corner of our property looking for things we could use in chicken coop construction. We found some metal roof panels!

When Gabrielle and I took Kurt for a look, Michael had to come along. He loves riding along in his little pouch.

We were very blessed to have some friends of ours agree to spend Father's Day at our place building the chicken coop. They arrived at 6:30 a.m. and we all planned to have the coop built before noon when we would have a barbecue and some swimming.

When the chicken coop construction looked like this after a few hours, I knew we were in trouble.

After 8 hours of work, the guys quit.

This is what the chicken coop looks like today. The chickens will be here in less than a week. It turns out the bad drought we are having is doing more than killing our grass. It is also baking our ground into bricks. The men simply couldn't dig holes for poles.

I'm concerned about the hard ground since I've ordered 7 fruit trees which are supposed to be here tomorrow. I don't know how I am going to plant them.

I'm trying to soften the ground with some water. I pray this will do the trick.

The garden continues to grow despite an ever increasing list of challenges.

Gregory's corn is growing. However, the corn in the back is nowhere near as healthy as the corn in the front. I suspect Kurt spread the compost in an uneven pattern. I'm going to try to add compost to the back of the garden to see if it helps.

I discovered a new problem this morning when I went out to take pictures of the corn.

This guy apparently fails to understand the fence is supposed to keep him out. I caught him munching and squishing my plants happily without regard to our fencing efforts. It looks like he killed my cantaloupe. How disappointing. The cantaloupe were the next healthiest looking plants after Gregory's corn.

Saturday brought the Brewton Blueberry Festival to the downtown area. Despite the heat, we had a great time. I picked up 24 pints of blueberries, which are now blueberry jam and 2 blueberry bushes.

This bush looks great, but I don't think my other one is going to make it. I'll have to call the nursery and see if they guarantee their plants.

We loved the "Redneck Hammocks."

Michael got to cruise the festival in comfort.

Quite a number of people thought he was cute.

Even though it was not an official part of the festival, Gregory loved the camouflage golf cart.

Of course, this goes with his love affair with all things military.

Gregory even found a military booth.

He bought a yo yo to commemerate the experience.

Michael has learned to make our lives more difficult.

Not only has he learned to crawl, but he is climbing up on everything now too.

This allows him access to a whole new world of off-limits stuff.

It also makes it harder for me to be on the computer since he spots me from his crib in an instant. He looks like Kilroy of the "Kilroy was Here" fame.

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