Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Sunflower Season 2016 + Back To School

The sunflowers are doing their thing. All that worry about drought and birds stealing the seeds on my part and those little seeds came through for you and me. The garden is a splendid sight. What is amazing to me is that I began planting the sunflowers in late June and then did 3 more plantings through the end of July. I thought I would have a staggered crop considering planting dates and "days to flower" from the seed catalogs. But I was wrong. Over the past couple weeks, pretty much every single variety of sunflower has popped. Some are already done and I never snapped a photo because I was away.

Usually the sunflowers don't peak until about the the 18th of September. Not this year. They peaked in late August. I think it was the extreme heat that really made them grow and mature. 

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't even have time to harvest bouquets for the house until this past weekend. I was running around with the end of summer trips and chores while the sunflowers were doing their thing in the garden. Luckily I got into the garden to take these photos to share with all of you today. I'm going to try to get out again this week although the look of the flowers has really changed. 

Summer is officially over here. Julia started her Senior Year of high school last week. It is amazing how fast it has all gone. I'm sure many of you feel the same about the years your children or niece's and nephew's or neighbor's kids have been attending school. As a Mom, sometimes it seemed to take forever but now I look back and feel the years whooshing by. How did it go so fast and I haven't aged one bit? 

Julia has been in the local school system since she was three years old, beginning pre-school at the age of 4. It has been challenging at times, dealing with her special needs and health issues. I have learned to try not to measure her against other children. That has really been the hardest part of being her parent for me. I have to remember that she is Julia and not someone else. I am a typical oldest child (#1 of 5 kids), over-achiever somewhat Type A kind of person. I have had to learn to shed those personalities as a parent. I've learn a lot about myself but there is always more to learn. I cannot say I am always patient with Julia and sometimes I get incredibly mad at myself when I find my temper flaring. We have made it thus far though and I just love her so much and am so proud of everything she tries to do - succeeding or not. She is such a sweet and caring kid. 

We were talking the other night - her Dad and I - about how she really seems to be shining this last year of high school. She has some fun classes including wood shop and her favorite Yearbook class. (In "shop" she is beginning a "quilt inspired" table top.) She has volunteered to lead the entire school over the loud speaker each Monday morning in the Pledge. I think that experience will do her lots of good - her first chance at public speaking - even if she doesn't realize it. 

Here I will indulge you with 2 of her last "first day of school" photos. She complained to beat the band but she did it. 

That is her custom mocha I make her every morning to get her day going and on the bus at 7. 

I hope you all are settling into your fall schedules. This week is the 168th Annual Franklin County Fair held at the Fairgrounds in Greenfield, MA. It is one of those old-timey family friendly fairs and if you are local-ish, I highly recommend a visit. Animals, races, quilts and needlework, apples, fair food, and a demolition derby. Just walking into the Round House brings tears to my eyes. I'm volunteering at the local church food booth which should be a fun time. 


Patricia said...

she has gotten really beautiful!


Beth in Maryland said...

Julia is obviously what my dear mother-in-law used to call "a darling girl". Credit where credit is due - both of you are weathering adolescence in great form! When I was a teen, I wouldn't have been willing to lead the Pledge over the PA system for a million dollars.

Robin said...

What beautiful pictures of your Julia!

Anonymous said...

She looks so mature and happy. Helen

Sally said...

Sunflowers and your Julia's Senior first day! Perfection. Thanks, Kristin!

Auntie Shan said...

The term you're looking for is "SUPREME-SIBLING". [#1of3]
And, as the ONLY Child, Julia is also that, and the "baby" and the "middle"-kid all rolled into one... She's also looking all GROWN-UP too! And, jumping into the "FUTURE" with BOTH FEET! -- So, don't over stress yourselves, you've BOTH raised a GREAT CHILD with ALL of the proper "TOOLS" that she'll need!! I'm certain that WHAT she "builds" in the years ahead will AMAZE you beyond your hopes!! :-D

Meanwhile, LOVE the Sunflowers pics! [especially the one on your latest "header"!] - seriously, every time I see a sunflower-anything, I *think* of you! -- We have ONE growing against our porch... The result of bird-feeder-debris that actually managed to SURVIVE in a postage-stamp area of crappy soil between gravel and flagstones and weeds... I'm just waiting for the birds to "discover" its seed "potential"!

Anyhoo, "AUNTIE"-*HUGS* to your PRIMA-PROGENY "Scholar"!

Lee said...

Beautiful girl, inside and out!!

Monica said...

Wow. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and have really enjoyed seeing Julia grow into a lovely young lady. Her smile says it all! Hope her senior year goes well!

Brenda said...

This sounds so familiar---my mom is the oldest of eight, and I'm an only child.