Summer Is The Busy Season


Summer is the busy season around the Tako household.  While most of the world is undergoing some form of shutdown because of the pandemic (including our family), we’re still finding a myriad of ways to keep busy.

So much so, that I hardly have time for blogging.  I wish I still had the time to crank out a two blog posts per week, but alas, my time is now very limited.  The pandemic isn’t making it any easier — I still have to find good ways to keep the kids entertained despite most kid-friendly entertainment being closed.

It’s not easy.  Our summer vacation plans were canceled, and no pools, no playgrounds, and no in-person summer camps.  I’m doing my best to still give the kids a fun summer, but it’s a challenge.

That’s why today’s post is going to be a little shorter than normal.  I was too busy entertaining the kids this week (aka “goofing off” from blogging).  The end of the week rolled around and I realized I’d hadn’t prepared a blog post for this week.  Ooops!

Oh well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a few photos of what we’re up to this summer…

 

Hiking and Walking

One of the main activities I’m able to do for the kids this summer is taking them hiking.  We walk or hike almost every day.  It’s a good way to get the kids out of the house to burn off some energy.

hiking2

The forest has really become the kid’s playground in 2020.  Rocks, stumps and trees have become our new jungle gyms and tree branches have become our monkey-bars.

tree hiding

We’re blessed with plenty of forested trails in the PNW, and I’m taking the kids for as many hikes as I can.  In the photo below we found a pond that was *loaded* with frogs and tadpoles.  This was a huge hit with the boys.

hiking_pond2

I tried to take pictures of the frogs, but most were too blurry.  See if you can find the frog in this next photo… (Fair warning, it’s not easy.  It’s like a super-hard Where’s Waldo puzzle.)

frog

Honestly, the kids are doing really good, all things considered.  They’re a little sad they can’t travel, see their friends, or even go swimming this summer, but they’re adapting well to this “new normal”.

brothers

 

Summer Projects

Summer is the busy time for DIY projects too.  I recently wrote a post about some of my more interesting DIY projects.  That post was no joke, I really do a lot of DIY stuff most people would never consider.

This week for example, I was painting doors.

painting doors

Its taken me a awhile, because our home has A LOT of doors, but I’ve now painted every door in our house.  I’m also replacing the 80’s-chic brass door hardware with something a little more contemporary.  The new door knobs are ultra fancy!

door hardware

Gardening is another one of our big summer projects this year.  The kids are now old enough to help out, and I try to employ my favorite child laborers whenever possible.

Tako Jr. #1 (for example) likes harvesting the lettuce and arugula from the garden.  He’s getting to be a pro.

harvesting arugula

We’re harvesting LOTS of lettuce these days.  Most nights we have enough lettuce to make a salad with dinner.

lettuce

Both kids love picking snap peas from the garden, which we often use in salads or stir fries.  I think they tend to eat a lot of the peas while they pick, but I don’t mind.

snap peas

Last weekend it was time to harvest the garlic crop.  The boys did all the harvesting this year, which was fantastic!  It was a decent garlic crop.

garlic harvesters

The kids harvested around 30-40 bulbs from the little garlic patch in our front yard.  Not bad!

 

Plenty Of Delicious Food

With so much fresh food coming out of the garden recently, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a few photos of the delicious food we’re making.  For example, we’re eating a ton of salads right now.  Check out this luxurious beauty…

green salad asparagus

Sometimes a salad makes-up our entire evening meal.  Yep, just a salad… although we do tend to get a little fancier when it’s only a salad.  Like this bbq salmon and Walla Walla sweet onion salad.  (Don’t forget, I have a recipe for an awesome salad dressing)

salmon salad

Mrs. Tako is a huge fan of taco salads, so inevitably I have taco salads hitting the menu…

taco salad

And with my basil plants finally producing, I’m been baking some of my specialty thin-crust pizzas with loads of fresh basil from the garden.  Yum!!

basil pizza

That’s it for this week folks!  Catch you next week!

 

18 thoughts on “Summer Is The Busy Season

  • July 26, 2020 at 1:12 AM
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    I think that’s a frog’s head a bit left of the center. Most people’s grocery bills are getting more expensive this year. Meanwhile you’re enjoying fresh produce from your own garden which is smart. I sold my 300 acres of farmland last year. Now I’m thinking maybe I should have kept it, haha. Do you have any preventative measures in place to stop wild animals from eating your crops?

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  • July 26, 2020 at 2:54 AM
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    Looks like you’re making the best of it, keep those kids working in the garden and have them earn their college money!

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  • July 26, 2020 at 7:15 AM
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    All I can say is that you’re definitely living the life over there… the pandemic’s got nothing on you guys! I love that you’re making the most of things, which is what everyone should be trying to do regardless. And with all that outdoor activity going on, your kids will probably look back on things and say, “Yeah, I don’t even remember that summer with COVID-19. We just kept playing and having fun!”

    Now make sure to share some of that garlic with me!

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  • July 26, 2020 at 7:47 AM
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    Its rare I can “well, actually” Mr. Tako! But…..Well, actually, that isn’t a photo of 30 or 40 cloves of garlic, that’s a photo of 30 or 40 heads of garlic containing probably well over 300 cloves of garlic. We love to hike but when the heat index is in the hundreds almost every day here, its just more of a mosquito and deer fly massacre to venture into the woods in the summer. Not to mention snakes, spiders and horse flies. But we do get to take the boat to local waters to fish and we do brave the heat and run, play tennis and pickle ball outdoors with our friends. Its actually been a very good spring and summer for us, we only know two people who caught covid and they’ve both recovered. Of course its a big thing nationally but when it doesn’t impact anyone you know it seems like news from another country.

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      • July 26, 2020 at 7:37 PM
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        Sounds like a lovely summer! I’ve been going for walks despite the heat. I’ve seen neighbors getting creative with kiddie pools for theirs kids, pets and themselves.
        Your salads look so tasty!!
        I agree the handles are better! The only caveat is I knew a cat who could open the long ones. That’s about the only practical use for the round knobs, cat deterrent!

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  • July 26, 2020 at 7:48 AM
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    We went crazy and replaced our leaking 22 year old fridge and kitchen spout which was spraying water out the side happy trails Mr. Tako

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  • July 26, 2020 at 9:59 AM
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    I’m expecting one of those posts “how I pay my kids as gardeners through our LLC in order to deduct their health insurance and housing against our taxes” once this ‘new normal’ really sets in!

    I’m kidding. Mostly. 🙂

    Come back to us with more writing when life lets you. Don’t turn the blog into a job!

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    • July 26, 2020 at 3:52 PM
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      Uhh… yeah, I don’t do anything like that. This blog doesn’t even make enough money to pay anyone. It’s just a hobby.

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  • July 26, 2020 at 11:19 AM
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    Your kids are learning valuable skills working in the garden with you! They will probably grow some of their own food when they grow up. My college age daughter and I have paid to work on a community share farm this summer (work in exchange for a cheaper share cost.) We’ve learned a lot and it’s been a good way to get exercise, learn something and take some fresh produce home that we can’t grow in our own garden.

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  • July 26, 2020 at 4:50 PM
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    nice door hardware – lever style excellent!
    whoever dreamt up ROUND doorknobs should be condemned to eternally trying to open those doors with arthritic hands – round knobs fall into the category of medieval torture devices – some designer no doubt – I believe the EU has actually banned their sale – wish the bone heads in North america would follow suit.

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    • July 26, 2020 at 5:11 PM
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      I particularly like them because I can open the door when I have my hands full. Just need an elbow.

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    • July 28, 2020 at 8:24 PM
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      Haha! Funny that…I say that because I always get my sweaters and loose clothes caught on those lever style door handles. In my small house, I know I’d always be getting hung up on those things.

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  • July 26, 2020 at 11:14 PM
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    Your food pictures made my mouth water! Also: I just learned bears can open lever doors easier than knob doors. Hopefully that doesn’t create an issue for you! Fingers crossed.

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  • July 27, 2020 at 7:22 AM
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    Good job keeping busy. Our garden hasn’t done too well. We’re not very good at growing stuff.
    We just came back from a road trip. It was great to get out of town. I tried to write a serious blog post, but I couldn’t focus so I just posted pictures from our trip. 🙂

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  • August 6, 2020 at 9:55 AM
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    I’m in on the hiking, biking, and kayaking (we just got the inflatable kayak). We are also trying to do a lot of hiking, and I feel you on the cool factor of finding any type of animals on the walk. We started bringing small cameras to turn the flatter hikes into photowalks, and that has changed up the fun.

    I am a fan of the door handles they do look good. Thank you for the new DIY idea, I never thought to do the door handles but now I think I might try updating them.

    Reply

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