– Well, it’s happened. We lost a few baby pumpkins due to the heat. I’m surprised we haven’t lost more plants, frankly. I think the marigolds have been waiting for an 11-day heat wave because although we put them in early in the season they’ve only just decided to grow and bloom. Isobel has been spending short bursts of time in the backyard by herself and yesterday she came back in with a marigold flower I didn’t know we had. “I picked it to save its life, Mama!” Ah, well. How can you argue with altruism like that?
– Soon the fair will come to town and with a predicable rise in crime comes the things we look forward to every year: taking photos on giant toadstools, goat snuggles, and kissing a giant Burmese python on stage. I missed my window to enter a photograph in the fair but I should have because if nothing else I would have gotten a sweet, sweet free fair ticket. Thinking about it, I should have had Isobel enter something in the fair, too. We’ve been crafting like crazy over here -I don’t even bother to put away our crafting tablecloth most days. She still gets in free but it would have been really neat to be able to show Isobel her artwork on display.
– Life has gotten immeasurably better since we installed those two swamp coolers in our living room. I’ve been able to successfully tweet in 106 degree weather without constantly using the words “hot”, “sweaty”, or “call 911 I am dying.” I cannot overstate how impossible it is to live in the Valley without air conditioning. It’s a form of torture. My family has lived in the Valley for several generations and in the late 1800s they survived on their ranch by plopping in bathtubs full of ice water. I can’t imagine not only living here without AC but also wearing all those layers of clothes. When electricity was installed on the ranch they put bowls of ice in front of fans. I’m sure that helped but I can’t imagine that made a huge difference. Viva la window AC units.
– When we get Kingston and Isobel together in the evenings we usually cap the night off by giving them a bath together before bedtime. This lead to Kingston walking up to Isobel at the Independence Day barbecue and delivering the mother of all pickup lines: “Hey Isobel, do you want to bathe with me?”
– Isobel has become fascinated with clocks. She’ll draw pages and pages of clocks and hang them all over the walls. If we’re going somewhere at, say, 3:00, she’ll change the hands on our wall clock to three and say, “Look! It’s three! Time to go!”
– Also her new thing to say when we catch her doing something she’s not supposed to is BUT I’M LEARNING! As in, I need to spread flour all over the floor–I’M LEARNING! Of course I pulled all the socks out of the drawer–I’M LEARNING!
– Just realized this whole update is almost entirely about Isobel. I guess because she’s a source of joy right now and times are hard. . In an effort to make this less about Isobel, let me tell you about reorganizing my pantry last week. Wait–where are you going!
Scrapbook: Rockets Red Glare. Patriotic explosions and lots of magic wands.
Scrapbook: Home Life. There’s no place like home.
Happy America Day. Welcome to Earth.
Little Big Kitchen: Ten Essential Pantry Items. Snoop through my cupboards.
33 Wonderful Words We Could Use In English. Grief bacon. That is all.
Wooden Train Set Lets Kids Compose Music.I would like to play with this.
DIY Boney Shoes. Sabrina the Adult Witch shows you how to take canvas sneakers and turn them into Grim Reaper Feet. Perfect for Halloween, of course, but why wait?
Better Know a Fish. The Sunfish, or Mola Mola, is something my friends and I refer to as “Weird Spaceship Fish.” Anthony and I saw one in the wild on a whale watching trip and it was so enormous we thought it was a shark at first.
Scrapbook: Isobel’s First Kitten. Isobel holds a kitten for the first time and doesn’t even kill it a little bit!
Home Movies: Washing the Pachas. Isobel decides to wash her own bottles and takes it very seriously.
Scrapbook: Justin’s Firework Birthday. Best old man ever!
Scrapbook: San Jose Children’s Museum. One of the funnest things we’ve ever done with Isobel.
I answer a reader question once a month. Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it! If it’s a short one I’ll answer it here. If it’s more complicated, I’ll give it its own post. You can leave your question in the comments, @-reply me on twitter, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a messenger pigeon. Don’t actually do the last one, though. My cat will eat it. Be sure to let me know if you want me to include your name and link to your blog or shop. Anonymous questions are fine, too.