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Speed Blogging

What happened to September?  I know it was here.  I have pictures with dates that prove it!

It must have been warm because Jess, Mark and Charlie took a final swim.

Pool fun

Well, maybe Charlie didn’t find the water very warm.

Cold water

We had a family celebration and surprise party.  DGG Karen turned seventy.

Surprise Party

No Greene surprise party is complete without a German chocolate cake.  I should have posted the recipe because this is one of the few that I have made that wasn’t completely lopsided.

German chocolate cake

Niece DGG Emily had the party at her new house in Kalamazoo.  She, husband Jim, and baby Raleigh moved from L.A.  Grandma DGG Nancy couldn’t be happier because she gets to babysit a lot.

Emily, Nancy and Lil' Ral

All the family is coming home to roost.  DGG Kathy moved from Chicago to Kalamazoo.  And the VanLoos that were east went west to San Francisco to be with DGG Peggy.

Speaking of roosting (a poor segue when you are lacking pictures of family members), we have added to our flock.  Meet Ping, Pong and Paddle:

Saxony ducks

So dubbed after a book about a wayward duck that I remembered reading as a child, The Story about Ping, by Marjorie Fleck.  Mark added the names Pong and Paddle.  Paddle is on the far right in the above picture.  He is the drake.  We hope.

Saxony ducks are on the critical list with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  They are larger ducks and good layers.  And they were a surprise. I was cleaning the goat stall when Mark introduced them to me.  Not a very opportune time to introduce more animals.

endangered ducks

Our birds are maturing and should be laying soon.  This is a pearl leghorn.

Pearl Leghorn

And again, with a face only a mother Guinea could love, the keets are getting their helmet heads:

We did lose one of our Columbian Wyandottes to a predator.  We think it was a weasel.  Mark and Charlie worked very hard to seal up any possible entrances into the pen and coop.  So far, knock wood, we haven’t lost any more birds.

Dannon and Marigold continue to get spoiled and beg at the fence anytime we step outside.  They love the fresh alfalfa that Mark found on the edge of our property.

Oberhasli goats

Our frozen fruit came in to our local country market.  Mark and I spent part of a morning bagging 140 pounds of fruit.

frozen apples

Forty pounds of apples, thirty pounds each of blueberry, strawberry and cherry, and ten pounds of rhubarb.  There is no more room in our freezer until I start baking.  Mark calculated this should make about forty pies and it’s less expensive this way.

frozen fruit

We had another very important celebration.  Mark officially became Jessie’s daddy.  We went to court and finally completed all the legalities.  (Don’t you love Charlie’s Kermit imitation?)


Even the judge noted it was rather disrespectful to have to complete the process as a “step-parent” adoption since Mark has been “Daddy” from the day Jessie came home from Guatemala.  Paperwork doesn’t always tell the story.

Jessie received her first “grown-up” pair of earrings.  Ruby hearts from Mark.  And again, my stellar photography missed the moment.

Adoption gift

And on into October, Jess competed in her first ice skating competition.  Here she is with her coach…

Ice Skating Coach

…and during her warm up.  I didn’t want to be behind a camera during the actual routine.

Ice competition practice

Ice Skating competiton

Figure Skating Competition

Jess took a fifth place in her skills set and she made the podium with a third place in her music program.  She battled through a fall, confusion with the judge and finally, overcoming her fear to go out on the ice all alone for her music program. She was excited and proud but no where near as proud as her mom and dad.

Ice Skating Medals

Jessie wrote notes in her notebook about her competition.  She has it ready for school tomorrow so she can remember everything for her writing workshop.  Writing workshop teaches them to take one event and expand on it.

I can learn so much from her!


3 thoughts on “Speed Blogging

  1. Congratulations to Jess on her skating & to “new” dad, Mark. You guys have accomplished a lot – plus a fruit bonus. Katya will be so jealous when she sees all your critters. They just have 1 cat.

  2. Yes September was busy! Does all that fruit mean we get some pies? You make great pies. Love those pictures of Jess on ice. She looks like she has been skating for years. I am still thinking of the surprise Birthday for me and feeling so grateful for my family.

  3. So much news! Sept. was very productive. Loved seeing the ducks and chickens. The chickens have really grown since I last saw them. Couldn’t help thinking when I saw the pictures of Jessie on the ice how natural she looks. Always knew you were a dad Mark but having a legal document and going through all the paperwork and home visits etc., seals the deal! Congratulations to all your family!

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