Crazy Baby and Other Odds and Ends

Maddie and I just returned from a week and a half in Indiana and Northern Michigan. It was a beautiful trip, and it was so much fun to get away. The weather was in the mid-60s to lower-70s most of the week, so we actually needed to get Maddie and sweatshirt and pants for the time. One day during the week we went to a strawberry patch to pick some sweet berries for pie. I just carried Maddie with me, since she wasn't to enthused about the stroller. I set her down in the middle of the row of berries, and she snatched a huge one from the box I was filling. It was at least the size of her little fist. She began sucking on the thing (she can't yet chew) and dribbling strawberry juice down her new light pink onesie and white pants. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen, so I just let her continue even though she was a mess. I really wish now that we got a picture, but at least both my parents got to see the cuteness.

Maddie is having one of those days where she is getting into everything, and I'm having one of those days where I need her not to be. Her favorite place is the cat food, which we keep on the floor by the back door. At first she would simply tip over the water and food and let them spill all over the floor, but now she finds it fascinating to pick out individual pieces and try to put them in her mouth. At least it's less messy that way. She makes a bee-line for the bowls whenever I set her down. If she's not by the cat food, she's in the fireplace or in the cat box. Her real toys are just not that enthralling, I guess.

I never realized how messy she can be as well. She loves to crawl with her toys in her hand, so her toy animals from the living room will end up in the kitchen, spoons will end up in the living room, and my shoes somehow end up on a low bedroom table. Today she decided to knock over my full glass and watch it shatter all over the floor. At least we were outside on the back patio, so I didn't have to worry about cleaning all the liquid. Right now she's eating the springy door stop that she pulled off of the wall.

I've been working on my garden plan for next season the past few days. Although it feels weird to be thinking of starting now instead of next spring, when one usually begins. I figured I would ease into the process by planning one raised bed of fall veggies. I'm thinking of starting some lettuce, swiss chard, and maybe some rutabagas. This summer and fall I plan on doing a lot of work in the back to get the beds all ready to plant in the spring. I have a whole host of things I'm hoping to try then--hopefully I don't get to overwhelmed!

I'm also hoping to go peach and blueberry picking sometime in the next few weeks. I really miss my picking buddy (Hi Leslie!), so I'll either go by myself or ask one of my new friends here. I'm hoping to freeze a lot of the peaches and make freezer jam, and with the blueberries I'm not really sure yet what I'd like to do. Maybe I'll just freeze them all for smoothies and such. We had a blast picking strawberries over vacation, and I really wanted to bring some back with me. The only way I could think to do that was to get some dry ice to keep them frozen, but that wasn't going to happen. Next spring I'll have to find a place here in Alabama that grows them. There are U-pick cherry farms in Michigan, and I think next year we'll pick a whole bunch and I can take them home in a cooler, then make some jam or something at home. Hmmm, sounds like that might be a plan.

I've also been experimenting with pizza crust lately. I've never been able to find a recipe that I really love. The ones I've tried have been to think and doughy with not enough crisp to the bottom. I'm trying another recipe I found and have already prepped the dough, so I'm hoping to make the pizzas later this week. We'll see how that goes.

And that is all for now.

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