Ti'Loup is obsessed with tractors and the trailers they pull, and he loves to tell me, "I love you much." He is a born clown and loves to dance.
Farmer Boy still loves to be outside with me and went himself to harvest a carrot from the garden because I had cut up all the ones I had inside to make him kimchi carrots. He is only 4. He also loves to get "chefly," putting on an apron and chef's hat his grandma made for him, and help me out in the kitchen. He just had eye surgery to correct the squint he was born with. He hates that he has to wear glasses, but doing so is in important part of keeping his eyes from relapsing.
Sprout is still intensely creative and loves being inspired by her favorite YouTubers. She is decorating a horse figurine to send to one of them and will write (copy what I transcribe for her) a fan letter to go with it. Her interest in stories has been stoked by the Mennym series, 5 books about life-sized ragdolls who mysteriously came to life after their creator died. Two of the books were left here by the previous houseowners, which is how we learned of the series, and halfway through the first one, she begged me to buy the missing volumes. We are about to start her second year of unschooling, and it will be interesting to see if the education inspector finds a change in her from last year.
I have had mixed success with my garden this year. The first time truly growing stuff to supply most of your family's food is a challenging undertaking, and the weather was particularly capricious this spring and summer. But really, when is the weather not "weird"? In any case, I'll be completely redesigning the layout this winter and hope to improve waterflow across the land as well as incorporate more perennial elements.
It has been a little over a year since we have moved in here and that time has been full of ups and downs, nice and nasty surprises, and a load of work that has no end in sight. Right now J is digging trenches in the front yard in search of the old septic tank. Next month, we'll (OK, he and an aquaintance; don't know how much help *I* will be) install a whole new system. At the same time, he has to put rain gutters on our barn roof and redirect all the rainwater to our (to-be-enlarged) pond.
Taking out the old liner:
After we get the pond dug, we'll fence it off and put our ducks on it, using their waste to gley it, and thereby, we hope waterproof it enough that we don't have to put in a liner. Whenever we get pigs, they might be parked there, too, if the ducks don't do the work. But before we get off the subject of ducks, let me share that we have 19 ducklings from two different clutches. Sadly, our chicken hatching endeavors have not been so successful. Out of 43 eggs set 3 times under broody hens, we have but four survivors. What a knife in the heart that is. I have a duck sitting on chicken eggs now, but she broke so many from a previous attempt that I don't have a lot of faith in success this time. And the five that made it I have just transferred to a poor hen that sat on 12 and had only 1 hatch before dying of complications.
I really like chickens; ducks...they are OK. I might like them better when we get a dedicated pen built for them and stop all the chicken/duck sharing setups we have going on now.
Back to us being gone from Egypt for more than a year already. It is strange but sometimes I feel like this time didn't even happen in my life--no matter that it lasted almost 5 years and gave me my two boys!--and on Sunday I looked for the first time at some photos I had taken on the one occasion where Julien and I went out alone to some very "authentic" places in Cairo. Here is a glimpse, mostly stolen photos taken from the back of a moving scooter:
Two ways of providing water for thirsty passersby:
Two takes on the Egyptian flag:
Driving through the butchers' quarter:
And something different, images from one of our favorite places in Egypt, the Coptic monastery, Anafora:
Some iconic paintings from the underground church that is still incomplete:
Do you recognize the references of the last two?
Interesting to revisit that...
Things I miss from Egypt: Cheap takeway, free grocery delivery, our church and the people there.
I'll end with some h appy news: J was transfered to a "local" police station. As of September, he will be working the night shift in a town about an hour's drive from here. It is going to mean a lot of driving on a not-so-great (dangerous) road, but he will be home everyday. AND! His blacksmith training was accepted for next year. :D
What is new, old, and noteworthy in your world?