Monday, July 18, 2011

Edward is back in a knight phase thanks to the latest in The Magic Tree House series, in which the brother-and-sister heroes travel back in time to save Camelot for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Daniel is more interested in participating now than he was during the first obsession last fall. However, he may soon be known as Sir Daniel of Anachronism. This afternoon he told me, "I have a horse and a car but they're both at the mechanic so I'll take my motorcycle."

Yesterday, while playing with John, Edward was barreling through blocked doors with this decree: "I am Sir Lancelot! In the name of King Arthur and Camelot I command you to open this gate!" John of course was quick to comply. Next up was Daniel: "I am Sir Percival! I do not command you to open the gate because I am going to pick up a pizza. Bye!"

Tonight they were playing in the living room while John and I were getting dinner together in the kitchen. We heard Daniel start to cry and waited a bit to see if they'd resolve it on their own. John eventually had to intervene, and when he asked Daniel why he was crying, Daniel said, "Because Edward banished me from the castle forever!" John had to explain that knights do not banish each other and that he, John, was King Arthur, the only one with banishing powers, so Daniel was most definitely not banished. Then it was back to the game.

I don't have any pictures to accompany these tidbits of daily life, so instead I'll share this first harvest from our green bean plant. These went from plant to dinner table in about 15 minutes and were quickly consumed with gusto.

You can see it's not a great quantity, but we didn't plant many seeds. We're still limited to container gardening (large pots in the sunny corner of our yard) because I just couldn't quite work up to building a raised bed this year. The soil here is not conducive to vegetable gardening (too much clay.) We have two bean plants, one green pepper, two tomato and two basil. The boys enjoy helping to water and harvest (they water themselves while tending our plants) so it's nice to have something manageable.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The corn is high in Iowa--not quite up to an elephant's eye, but our boys were impressed that it was "taller than our car" as we drove past cornfields on our way to pick blueberries this morning.
We had to go at 8 a.m. to beat the heat--sweltering weekend and week ahead. Luckily, there was cloud cover while we were there and a nice breeze. It was quite pleasant.
Daniel's interest was not sustained, but he busied himself with sampling the merchandise while Ed and I kept picking. Ed declined to lighten his load by dumping his bucket into mine, so when we were done he got to weigh his own--a whole pound!
These berries are so delicious. We simply can not stop ourselves eating them. It's a sad, sad thing whatever happens to them on the way from the field to the grocery store. Even in season, store berries don't even come close.
From there we went on to the Iowa City Book Festival, where a parade of characters was scheduled for 10 a.m. Again, the clouds were our friends, saving us from the intense heat. We met several of our favorites and then stuck around for a hilarious puppet show. I should note that the hilarity was indirectly proportional to the age of the audience, as it should be. John was invited to speak on a panel about book reviewing, so he was in the air conditioned university library rather while we were pursuing our fictional friends.

(The girls are our friends Eva and Franny who met us there.) Having spent the entire morning outside, I have no guilt about staying in the air conditioning all afternoon. If we're ambitious, we may hit the city pool after 5 p.m. (half price!)