Friday, April 30, 2010

Forsythia Love or Propagation with a Pea

I have a love affair with the Forsythia. It's showy and demure. It glows like the sunshine in the spring, then takes a back seat to all the summer flowers by lending a green backdrop for which the summer's pride shines.

When we moved to Chicago, I took some cuttings from Tom's grandmother's home. She had several enormous bushes on the side of her property. I wrapped them in paper towels soaked in water and stuck in a red plastic solo cup. It grew, but it didn't thrive. Perhaps I should have chosen a yellow cup?

I attempted to take cuttings from that very same Forsythia back home to Buffalo with me. That time, it just didn't work. Perhaps leaving it under my Mother in Law's porch through the winter in a cup wasn't the ideal situation for my sticks.

So, since then, I've been ogling the signs of spring in neighbors' yards. Scheming in my head how I could 'steal' a cutting under the dark of night. Surely a cutting or two wouldn't be missed, right? I'm technically helping the plant grow by pruning it.

Then I noticed it. That sunshine peeking out between a tool shed and an overgrown yew. In my friendly German neighbors yard, two doors down. I've spoken about Annaliese before. She is an amazing woman. I appreciate her more every moment I spend with her.

Of course, she was happy to oblige my urge for two cuttings. However, she needed me to stay for 5 more minutes. Something about a bag of split peas. Often, it's hard to understand her, this was one of those times. Did she want to make me soup? Why are their peas in her garage? I played along like I understood. I think she knows when I have no idea what she is saying.

This is why she uses peas. After clipping the stem fresh and clean, she took a knife and split the stem, pulling off the low leaves and growth. Then, she put that little pea right in between the stem. A cutting needs air. Gotcha.

But then, she opened up a package of raffia. Huh? Was she going to wrap the stems together to look cute? Confused...I stopped talking to watch.

So maybe I'm slow, it was before 9 am when all this went down. She wrapped the raffia around the stem with the pea in it and tied it with a knot. That makes sense. She gave me an envelope full of peas for my three other stems (I know...maybe I missed a step, was I supposed to make that soup after all?), a couple strands of raffia and a cute little posey of purple flowers tied with twine. I love this women. Gardener, painter, skier, florist, Easter Bunny, all around amazing women.

She said I could just stick them in the ground right now, or set them in water for a week or so to get the roots starting.

It's these little tricks from women that have been around that make my day just that much better.

Thanks, Annaliese, you inspire me to be a better person.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Are Home!

Our trip to Maryland was delightful.

The boys were good, the drive was fine.

The weather was good, the food was delicious.

It's great to have friends as family.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Teasel - Me

My backyard neighbor (yes, that one) really dislikes my natural habitat in the back corner of our yard. It's really the last place I consider when graced with a fresh flat of perennials. It has become more of the "oh crap, where should I put this overgrown plant - oh yes, the back corner" corner.

While the boys were out playing tonight, I did some cleanup around the yard, ridding it of overgrown or not-supposed-to-have-grown dried stems from last fall. Ending up in the backyard to attempt to take down a gnome forest of seedlings from out other neighbors tree, I spotted these guys.


Who am I to not grab my camera?

Attempts at creative styling didn't result in THE photo, so I continued. Rock. Nah. Grass. Nah. Bunch. Nah. Sky. YEAH!

After I snagged my number one shot (the one at the top, of course), I realized I didn't know what this weed was. It is the number one google result to "prickly plant". This is Teasel. Further surfing resulted in this:

  • Historically, domestic Teasel (D. sylvestris) was not particularly popular as a medicine plant, it was however valued in the textile industry. The name Teasel comes from its use for teasing wool; it was cultivated for such a purpose at least as far back as Roman times. It was bred specifically to produce hooked bracts on the dried flower heads for more efficiency in the production of woolens. It fell out of fashion with manufacturers after machines were invented to do the same thing, but the mechanically produced cloth could never match the smooth quality of wool finished with Teasel. you all get the irony? How can a woman that works in wool not love a plant that aides with wool fabrication?

Sorry nice backyard neighbor lady...this one is staying!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Time Has Come...

I have some photos to share with you of the start of a new purse. Part of me loves this octopus in it's natural state. The other part is excited to see what he will become.

Stay tuned for the finished product in a week or so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Are You A Black Footed Ferret?

I'm having a love-hate relationship with this ferret (well not this one exactly, but one like it). Well, at least I think it is a ferret. I don't exactly know for sure.

All I see is moving white fur.

In a ball.

Please Mr. Ferret, show yourself.

The Elusive (aka Sleeping) Black Footed Ferret in the National Zoo (scroll down just a tad for the webcam on this link).

We are so looking forward to our trip south to visit family and give my boys their first look of DC and of course, the zoo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


If you haven't visited Regretsy- Where DIY Meets WTF, then you should.

After all, if I hadn't visited, I would have missed the Manllow. I was too late on the Barry Manilow - Half Man, Half Pillow.


You can get your very own Manllow here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kettle of Cheddar Love

I am addicted.

I blame it on my friend's pregnancy cravings.

Perhaps I'm entertaining the sympathetic pregnancy cravings as well (please note the word 'sympathetic', I'm not preggers).

These are Lay's Kettle Chips in Sharp Cheddar.

Over 80% (my number, not Lays') of these chips are curled and folded. In my opinion this is the best form of a chip. Crunchy, but not hard on the teeth. And the Sharp Cheddar makes my tongue sing.

You may find it odd to blog about a potato chip, but people, these are worth 10 blog posts. I could probably do it, too.

Of course I would need to eat 9 more bags solo style.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boy Toes

If you don't care for toes, please do not look any further.

If you're like me...toes are like candy,

I invite you to take a gander.

Little nuggets

Of tender dumplings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Final Egg

Enough with the Easter posts, right? Well, tough, one more. We celebrated Easter at my folks house with my cousin and her family. It was lovely. The boys hunted for hidden eggs left by the Easter (Dad) Bunny.

Some were easy, some were a tad more challenging.

I'm guessing the eggs will get more difficult to find as the years go on.

Everyone was in on the fun.

My Dad has done an amazing job in his backyard. He made little paths and stopping points laced with interesting plants of different shapes and colors.

A walk down that path can make you forget the strongest of worries.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Love these!

There were mixed reviews on the ones in the upper right corner. I heard "what are those supposed to be?" and "bunny butts" and one female body part that is truly female.

Either way, they are fabulous!

After a couple tries, we got the California Roll process down pat.

But more importantly, I had fun with my girlfriends making these and laughing and had fun presenting them at our family gatherings this Easter.

Easter was a beautiful day. Our family was together with heavy hearts, but we were together.

And that's what is important.

The Food For The Fattie In You!!!

The Food For The Fattie In You!!!

This is so disgusting. What have we done to ourselves that a company thinks this will sell?

What have we done to ourselves that people will buy this?

Maybe being gluten free has tainted me in someway to anything fried, but by golly this is gross!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Saturday

After an IMAX showing of How to Train a Dragon for $41.00 for three people, we hung out in the heat. I can't think of an 83 degree day in the beginning of April in Buffalo - ever. It was unbelievable. By the picture above, you see that I am sitting in my garage, the only shade I could find. It was hot.

I made two double crochet stitches in the wad of yarn seen sitting on my table. Texted some friends about peep sushi making (picture coming in my next post) and read the mail.

Those paddles are "shields". The boys had a great time.

It was the most beautiful day.

Nothing better than water fun on a hot day in April.

In Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY.

(I'll take this opportunity to share with those out of towners that contrary to popular belief, it doesn't snow all the time here. In fact, we only had three months of snow this year and less snowfall than Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Red Easter

I know Easter is white...but these were so pretty.

My mom can't stand red roses. Although they aren't my favorite...every flower is beautiful in it's own way.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Banana Bread

This time, I got a picture before I ate the whole loaf. This is basic banana bread. No nuts, no chocolate chips, just good taste. Oh, and it's gluten free.

When is the last time you saw a gluten free bread with air pockets this light?

I try fairly hard to not use a certain word because some people will cringe at the reading or hearing of it. But this time, it's the only word that will work.

Moist. This is one moist banana bread.

I followed Betty Hagman's Best Banana Bread recipe, except replacing the 1 3/4 cup of her various flours with one cup sorghum, and 3/4 cup white rice, brown rice and tapioca flour - just a shake of each. I also didn't measure out the banana...I just added one and a half bananas.

Who needs the extra measuring cup to wash banana squidge out of?


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Rare Sock Monkey

I go through phases. I'll be interested in something, carry a torch for a certain hobby or collection. Then in three weeks I'm over it.

My son is the same way. Both of them, but especially Sam. My almost seven year old loves to collect thing. Strange things at times.


Rubber items.



Sock Monkeys.

I made a sock monkey from a kit 20 some years ago and both boys have claimed it as their own. He sleeps on the floor next to turtle. There was also a recently pilfered from my collection, sock monkey key chain.

Sam asked me to make him a sock monkey. Make you something? Of course, my child. I live to please you. But then, I succumbed. I even bought some long socks to make this easier.

But he wanted a "miniature" and "very very very rare" sock monkey. So, in the truest sense of the word, I got a sock out of my drawer that had a hole in it. It happened to be a sock with monkey's on it - go figure.

So here he is, the rarest miniature sock monkey monkey.

And I have two new pairs of tall socks!