Friday, May 28, 2010


I thought I'd make some potato salad for this weekend.   
But the potatoes had ideas of their own, and started climbing out of the sink.
One by one...

Up an' at um'

My little Sweetpea, going to be 3 at the end of July, woke up for the first time dry!  This is a big moment for me - nighttime potty training.  I am not one for having my sleep interrupted, but I am also getting really tired of washing diapers.  We've used cloth diapers on our children exclusively since the beginning - over 10 years ago.  There was a brief period of time in between kid 1 and kid 2 where I did not have to wash any diapers at all.  But since kid 2 came along over 6 years ago, I have been washing them weekly without fail.

Also a strange event this hot and muggy morning - I have already done one load of laundry AND mowed the backyard.  It's not even 10:30!!  AND I have not had my morning tea!!  Just for the record, I am sooo not a morning person.  At All.  But for some reason this morning, I feel so very energized.  Wonder how long that will last...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ladybugs and Caterpillars Take Over Our House

We have had an invasion of ladybugs and caterpillars over the last couple of days!  They are just appearing out of nowhere!!!

My son, who my youngest has dubbed Boy, receives Your Big Backyard Magazine every month (totally awesome magazine, as is Ranger Rick).  This month, they featured a ladybug craft.  Boy, being so utterly fond of a good craft asked (read insisted) on going to the craft store to get the necessary materials.
Now having all the materials, we sat down to make them.  After fussing with several puffy balls and glue and goggly eyes and more puffy balls, I remembered why I never made crafts with them.  Nothing every sticks to them in the right way with normal glue your kids can use.  And they don't have the patience (neither do I) to hold them until they are near dry.

Being the quick thinker that I am (ha!), I replaced the glue with thread and taught Boy, who is 6, how to thread a needle and sew the ladybugs together.  This whole time my oldest daughter, Munch (10), was busy making about 85 ladybugs all on her own - the nice thing about a 10 year old.  And my youngest daughter Sweetpea (2) was lining puffy balls up in cool rows - wonder where she gets that!  Sitting there staring at the incredibly cool rows she was making gave me the idea for an alternate craft - caterpillars!  They would be so much easier to string on a thread, and they would be so very cute to boot.

We strung them up.
And made little antennae.  Before putting the head on, we sewed the antennae onto the last ball, by wrapping the thread around the pipe cleaner in 3 or 4 places like so:

Then came the head.  And of course, the googly eyes.

Just too cute!

They multiplied like bunnies.

And took over our dining room alongside the sheep made earlier using this really cool tutorial from The Inadvertent Farmer - check her out, she has Great ideas!!

All underneath our flying bees, made using this tutorial, again from The Inadvertent Farmer.  Check her out, she's really cool.

After 2 days, the craft stuff is still out, and the bugs are multiplying like crazy!  We will be completely overrun very soon. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Noodlehead's Spice up your Kitchen

Anna, over at Noodlehead, has been doing this awesome Spice Up Your Kitchen series with lots and lots of really great kitchen crafts!!! Check her out. She has really great ideas and all of her tutorials are super easy to follow. I know I'm having fun!! And when I actually get some of the things made, I will post them as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I have been traumatized by squirrels. Anyone in my family who has had the pleasure of having one of the attic bedrooms at one point or another, will probably tell you the same. We grew up in a turn of the century (the last one, not this one) in the city across the street from a park. And we had squirrels. Not the cute ones you see running across country roads. Not the little ones you might see scurrying up a tree in the woods. NO! These were City Squirrels. We're talking big, honking, fat, raccoon-sized squirrels. And they lived in the vast rafters of our attic. The part of it that surrounded my bedroom on 2 walls plus the ceiling.

They did not sleep. They did not rest. They ran about rolling and tumbling with one another. Yelling and screeching at which ever one of them got in the way. Yes, they. For there were several. They moved furniture (so it seemed to the 10 year old me lying awake wondering if they were ever going to leave me alone). And, they scraped and scratched on the wall right at the headboard of my bed. All night. Scrape, scrape, scrape. I always thought they would pop right through the thin lath and plaster wall that separated us.

Seriously. I thought they would. How could they not? They scraped and scratched at the same spot day in day out (when they weren't doing the other things they did, of course). And they were huge. HUGE!!!

My parents tried everything they could think of to get them to move away - moth balls (that just smelled up my room); they put battery powered radios to scare them away (they just changed the station and started clogging); they blocked up all the holes from the outside in (that just made them scrape more furiously); and they even called a trapper once (who said that he did not possess traps big enough to catch them). So, we were left with them. And I was scarred.

Now, I am stuck with a severe rodent phobia which isn't limited to just the fat city squirrels of my childhood nightmares. It extends itself into my garden when i accidentally step on those little grass balls of baby voles and they start screeching (EEE EEEE EEEEEEEE - mama mama! this big foot just stepped on me!!! and mama comes running straight at me!! Yikes! ... Ahem, sorry.) It extends to the mice we have in our house (did I just tell you we have mice?). It extends even to the cute little bunnies who sometimes stupidly nest in our backyard.

But I am all grown up now with a house of my own. And there is no lath and plaster on my walls. And I don't have an attic room. But!! I do have a nest of squirrels in my rafter-y attic space above my library. I have tried to ignore them, and am generally successful at it. Until, that is, they try to get out of their hiding place from the underside (the part closest to me) of my porch through an opening we have there (too hard to explain, just some random opening we have in our underside of our roof underneath the skylight). The escape always seems to be trying to happen as I am standing on the porch hanging clothes on the clothesline there. Squirrel - "eeeee". Translation - "can you move, I really want to come down from here." Me - "Uuuuuhhhh.... Please go away. Please just let me finish hanging my laundry. Please." Squirrel - "EEEEEEE!" Translation - "Girl, get out my way! I want to come down. And if you don't move, I'll come down anyway!" Me - "Alright!! Just go away long enough for me to walk under you."


Well, last evening, while I was doing dishes, I heard a ton of commotion on my back porch from my dogs. They were growling and running to and fro as if they were tying to get some small animal. But what could that be? What stupid small animal would be on my porch with 2 big huge dogs?! Then I heard the dreaded "eeeeee", so I went running. You see, I could tell it was a rodent. And despite my severe rodent phobia, I am also a lover of animals. I could not let my dogs kill something in that fashion. After lots of shouting and scuffling, we realized that it was a baby squirrel.

There were no visible wounds, but he seemed in bad shape. Laying there twitching - eyes open. We thought about putting it out of it's misery. But neither one of us could do it. So we waited and watched. After a while it stopped twitching. When we went out to look at it, it looked like it was just having a peaceful rest right there on our porch. My husband, not me, I would never get that close, poked at it and it stretched like a little baby waking from his nap. Cute! I thought so. I actually thought so. He might end up being ok after all!!

Carefully, my husband, not me, I would never get that close, put him on a little rag and carried him up a ladder and set him in that hole in the roof he must have fallen out of, far enough away from the edge that he would not roll off. We are hoping mama squirrel will find him, take him home, fix him up, scold him about falling into such dangers, and then move out of our house with her whole entire family.

We'll check tomorrow to see if he's gone. I hope he's ok. Even though he is a squirrel.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's done!

I have been working on a twine bag for a little while now. Well, more accurately, I've been waiting for my cool little local hardware store to restock their twine so I could finish it. Knowing how impatient I am, my hubby offered to stop at the equally cool little hardware store near where he works to get me some more. He did. And I worked on it last night. Now it's done!

I have been teaching myself to crochet out of books. It's really not as hard as it may seem. To kick off my new found hobby (read obsession) I made some gifts for my kids - a little ruffly pink handbag for my youngest daughter, a juggle ball for my son, and a hip belt for my oldest daughter. I had so much fun making them, and they loved their stuff so much, I
had to make something for myself. And this bag is it. My new market bag for all my market purchases. Well, the smaller purchases that is.

The bag had a round bottom whose diameter is 12 inches. The height is just over 12 inches to the bottom of the handle. A nice size I think.
I used regular garden twine and green garden twine doubled up. For that other little darker brown/green stripe, I cut up a piece of material I had leftover from making my hippy owl skirt for myself for mother's day. (I know that's not how it's supposed to work, but it was really cool.)
Anyway, that stripe is made out of the third tier material. I cut it into a 1 inch stip that ended up being 10 yards long, folded it in half, ironed it, and crocheted with it. I just left the wonky corners and turns in what I cut so it would be one long continuous piece. It worked well.

My plan is to make more bags out of used baling twine.

What would you put in here?


Hi there. I've decided (a wee bit obvious at this point) to start a blog - a place where I can record all of the things I am currently enjoying doing. Right now those things include gardening, sewing, and crocheting.

I'm not sure to what extent I'll be able to keep up with this. As my husband can tell you, I'm not the best of record keepers. But I do enjoy reading other people's blogs about what they are thinking and doing. It makes me feel connected in this sometimes very disconnected world. Their words, tutorials, photos, and ideas have inspired me more times than I can say.

So, here it goes...