Bug Hotels, Ginger Cookies & Balloon Globes

This week, we had to make our own bug hotel for a school project, so we spent an evening doing that in the garden 🙂 We just cut up an empty plastic bottle and tied string through it. Then, the girls collected any sticks, pine cones and bark they could find and we filled it with as many as it would hold. Then they hung it up. I’m curious to see if any bugs actually stay there 🙂

We visited our favourite library. It’s such a novelty to be able to go in and look around again – even if it results in the girls bringing home a bag mostly filled with baby books 🙂 I got a couple of books to read too and I’ve resolved to actually read them this time and not get fined 🙂 I got Giovanni’s Room, which I’ve never read, and Cat’s Cradle, which I wanted to reread. I’m hoping to return this week with them finished and get more 🙂 The girls are going to do the big summer read, so we will be using it a lot over the summer 🙂

I decided to try a new recipe for ginger cookies. The girls always love gingerbread, so I hoped they might like it, and they did 🙂 They were covered in cinnamon sugar before going into the oven, so they have a lovely crunchy coating 🙂 I made some chilli and homemade tortilla chips too. I’m definitely back in the mood to cook. (At least that makes up for the fact I’m not in the mood to write!)

This week felt really hectic so I cherish the moments of peace when I can read when the girls are asleep and have a glass of wine by candlelight 🙂

Yesterday, I had some peace after school while the girls went to gymnastics to have a cup of coffee in the sun. There is something about sitting outside with a book and just feeling the sun or wind on your face that makes you appreciate everything more 🙂 I felt more refreshed after doing that for 45 minutes than I do after a full day of running around on my own getting things done.

This morning, we went back to the farm. The girls wanted to start with the play village again. I think they could spend the whole session in there if I didn’t eventually pull them away from it 🙂 They “milked” the cows, played vets, shops and rode the horses. Then, we visited the animals and fed them some cabbage. I love visiting the animals; it makes me feel like we have got far away from everything, and all the trivial things that seem important during the week. I love the shetland ponies (and the fact they have a miniature one!) They are so gentle and cute 🙂 We noticed a guinea pig eating a whole orange by itself and thought it was funny 🙂 The girls went on the go-karts and the quad bike. Then, we went to see the chickens and there were ducklings in a paddling pool outside 🙂 I insisted on going to see the duck with the hair again 🙂 I still think my favourite part of the farm is the little walk beside the stream. I like the fact it’s so tranquil and I like looking at the ferns and little waterfalls 🙂

When we got home, we had lunch in the garden and I made a den for the girls. Then, we got out the tuff tray so the girls could do some crafts outside. We did one of the crafts from the girls’ art box. They had to make globes, using balloons, maps and a strange kind of thick paste 🙂 They loved tearing up the maps to stick them onto the balloons. It took a long time and kept the girls quiet 🙂 (or quiet for them!) They have to let them dry overnight and then they can pop the balloon. They should be left with a globe, but I’m unsure of whether it will work yet 🙂

We went for a walk to the Greenway so I could try to teach my daughter to ride her bike. She can do it, but panics because she thinks she can’t. I don’t know if we got any further with it, but at least we tried 🙂 We spotted some lovely daisies. It’s funny how long it has been since we walked on the Greenway, considering we had a daily walk there in Lockdown. On the path, we spotted something hanging from a plant. Someone had crocheted a little flower and left it with a note for someone to find 🙂 I’ve seen postings about that around Belfast. It’s such a thoughtful thing to do and it cheered us all up 🙂

This afternoon, my daughter helped me with a recipe I wanted to try. We had watched a show about food waste. I always end up throwing away lettuce that has gone off before we’ve had time to use it, and it suggested using it in Salsa Verde instead of throwing it out. I improvised with what we had – we just blended lettuce, gherkins, mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt until it became a paste. It made a delicious dip that one of my daughters liked too. It was one of the nicest things we have made and saved us wasting salad 🙂 (It’s good with crackers and I’d imagine with crisps too.) Today ended up being unintentionally busy and now I’m just enjoying the peace (while it lasts anyway!)

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