This is what Jeff came home to, today. I didn’t know about it until I discvered it this afternoon — Tyler had put up the letters, and the kids set up some snacks around his reading chair (an extra pillow on the chair) and set all his turned wood bowls out on the piano for him to feel proud about.

Jeff got an answer today about a job in Virginia he’d been really excited about — and they picked another of the three finalists. He’s really disappointed, and I guess the kids wanted to cheer him up.

At dinner, we took turns listing things we’re happy not to move away from: our friends in town, nearby grandparents, homeschool park day, scout troops, our nice back yard and the climbing tree, my parents’ cottage in the Irish hills, my brother and his new wife/new Tia Jenny.

Now we’re making summer plans: canoe trips, camping trips, building a new treehouse/club house, making a tile mural for the sunroom floor. We’re scheduling back yard baking and gatherings, dinner parties, and some redecoration projects.

We had a good weekend. Friday night Connor had a friend for a sleepover, and Jeff and I fired up my old raku kiln in the back yard with my new weed burner. (The little girl next door had come to play with Molly earlier, and I heard M say, “That thing? That’s my mom’s flame thrower.”)

In the morning, we headed for Wolf Lake (taking Connor’s friend along) to help my folks rake leaves, pick up sticks and put in the docks for the summer. On the drive up, we saw a fox trotting through a field, several lovely hawks, and a glorious rooster pheasant. At the lake, we saw a big raccoon strolling across the beach in broad daylight, after the nestlings or eggs of the red winged blackbirds in the reedy marsh.  A pair of swans are nesting on the lake, and Connor caught a fish.

C started complaining of a headache in the afternoon, and we headed back home.  We stopped to drop off his friend and got out of the car to visit the 11 new lambs born at his farm in the last week or two — I wish I had taken pictures!  There may be something in the world cuter than a wooly new lamb, but I don’t know what it is.

By saturday night, Connor had a temp of 102.5. It lasted all day Sunday, and when I looked in his throat Sunday night it looked like a horror movie. So we headed for the doc today, and the test confirmed strep.

On the bright side, this is the first Monday since last September that I am not scheduled to get in my car and drive to EMU.  We have been so well for so long that I’m feeling like this was pretty good timing.

I rode home from the lake with a wire mesh box in my lap holding three pounds of Italian honeybees. They are all set up in the hive, and finding the gooseberry, currant, crab apple and plum blossoms.

The grass is so green and succulent, this time of year, full of dandelions and tiny flowering weeds. I spent an hour out back in the grass with sickie-boy and his rat, and an hour under the weeping crab with Molly-pie and Tyler’s white guinea pig (who ate clover to her heart’s content.). Spring is a miracle, every time.  I’m trying hard not to miss it.