Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunny Mixed with Rain

Our family is faced, again, with a challenge to succeed.

A challenge that shakes your core where worry sets in like the thickest steel grey storm cloud that hangs low on your shoulder.

We will get through this. We have faced it once before.

I really dislike cliches. I try to avoid them at all costs. I do, however, believe that out of bad comes good.

When I find the good, I'll let you know.

It's only money, right?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Tom encouraged me to wait until the NHL Finals and someone in Detroit would surely desire this bag.

I could never sit on this one for that long, nor do I think hockey fans in Detroit read my blog, view shops on Etsy or even have the 'need' for an octopus bag.

He is done, I really enjoy this bag. He was a ton of work, but clearly worth it.

You can see more pictures here.

Last Day of School

Today. Today is the day when teachers rejoice and parents cringe.

The last day of school with a summer of "I'm bored" to come.

Hopefully the creativity of this boy will keep him busy. This was our way to wake up this boy, I love how his mind works, even if most of the time it's filled with "boy" things like guns and hurting and pounding and digging and whacking. I definitely was not ready for the boy mentality. So, so different than I was as a kid. Sweet, cute, the one that fell asleep while eating ice cream.

I'm in for a long summer.

And to celebrate (cringe), I'll be posting the Octopus bag on Etsy today. I really love the size and design of it. It took much too long, but holy octopus, batman, it's cool!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Motherload

I've been on eBay lately. I've learned how to limit myself, how to find the listings that aren't seen by most or don't seem as desirable. Misspelling key words is a new tactic that is paying off. Instead of searching for 'doilies', I searched for 'doilys'...ahh, the intricacies of the English language. I spied a lot of 40+ doilies with one photograph. Not much to see, quite a risk. But a risk I was willing to take, for $10 including shipping. There were three 'doilies' that don't fall into vintage, think more 25 cent lace attached to a cheap piece of polyester. That left me with 2 pieces that won't work for my blanquilts, but will work for another project and 39 doilies that I can work with. That was a great risk that paid off.

And why might I need a 40+ piece collection of doilies?

I'm working on a blanquilt...finally figured out a use for those doilies made by relatives stuffed in a box in the bottom drawer of a hutch. This could be good!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Graduate

My little man participated in "Moving Up" Day at his current preschool. This is an amazing place. Kind of makes me wish I had another child. Whoa, feeling gone. Scratch that.

Their teacher made them all tie dyed shirts to wear. They sang songs and we had an ice cream social afterwards with two GFCF tables and one Peanut Free table...I love that it is a safe environment for all kids.

As for the ice cream, when asked, Little Man didn't really want any. He was all into the candy toppings, though!

So proud of the boy you are, Little Man!

What I've Finished....

Available here in the shop!

Happy Saturday! Off to dig a big hole for a pond.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Too Much TV

When I first read this book to my kids, I felt like I was the mom that encouraged crafts and reading and playing outside.

This episode was on the television last week while I was folding THEIR laundry. THEY told me my butt was in the way and they couldn't see the TV.

The threat was uttered. "You want me to take away TV and Computer and Video games for a whole week?"

"No, Mom, No. It's okay, you aren't in the way."

Yes, I use the TV as a time waster, filler, and babysitter. There is nothing I like better than making dinner (I don't like making the dinner, the next part is the best) knowing exactly what the kids are and what they are doing. They are a little young still to play outside unsupervised. Sometimes, their choices aren't the brightest.

So, when this episode was on, I realized that I am Mama Bear. I let them watch and watch and watch.

And watch.

My boys are feeling the end of the year spirit and showing it thoroughly (was that gently put? can you tell they are going berserk on me?). When my mom sent me an email - perhaps she was afraid I'd take it the wrong way - about turning off the TV for them, I knew it was a sign.

Last night for no real reason except it was loud, I declared it 'Guz Unplugged Week'.

Well, I didn't say that, I just made that up right now, good, huh?

I'm trying to abide, but it isn't really working. TV is off when the kids are here and awake. Once I know they are sleeping...on it goes.

Top Chef people.

As the first full day comes to a close, I know I've made a good decision. Wonder what I'll say after the weekend.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monkeys and Puppets

There are days when I want to hide in the closet. I've done it before.

There are days when I question every parenting choice I've made since the epidural.

There are days when I envision my life 30 years from now and see myself still making bag lunches.

There are days when I think my boys will never stop fighting.

And then there are days where the creativity takes hold.

Big Boy made a momma monkey and a baby monkey out of boxes. The sides have hands and the back has a tail. Of course the momma monkey is bigger and the baby monkey likes to fit inside the momma so she can carry him around.

I love the days where creativity trumps fighting and TV watching.

And, not to be outdone by his brother getting photos taken of his creativity, Little Man displays the sock puppet he made last Christmas. We took several videos, as well.

It is a SOCK puppet...it MUST go on the foot.

Creativity rocks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Hat

The hat.

Just a hat.

But the position of the hat only reminds me of one thing.

Tom's father.

He HATED when kids would wear their hats backwards like that. He was a Phys Ed teacher in Buffalo schools, so it was a daily occurrence.

I don't recall if the word he used was "punk" or "jerk" for wearing a hat in that position, but I can remember the conversations as if it were yesterday.

The funny part of this event today - my little man riding a pony solo - was that all I could think of was my father in law getting upset that his Little Man was being a punk.

Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Showing this picture to Tom, I heard a "hmph" out of his mouth at the sight of the "backwards punk" hat wearing.

This is one kid that may just put up a serious fight in his hat wearing style.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Blog Giveaway!

The Pioneer Woman is giving away a totally cool red Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a glass bowl!

Enter here!!! How cool is the red?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pottery Barn Giveaway? Why Yes!

Mary at Urban Farmgirl is having a super cool giveaway for a Pottery Barn Gift Card! Post a comment on her blog following this link.

Her blog reminds me of Country Living in a sophisticated manner. Just lovely.

Much Luck!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dessert of the Gods

You may have seen my post on Facebook or Twitter about this dessert, I apologize, I just can't stop.

It is one so simple.

It is fresh and chocolaty without being overbearing.

It is delightful and rich.

And yes, a bit orgasmic.

You can find the recipe here, but basically, it's a brownie in a pizza pan, spread with cream cheese frosting and layered with berries. A little melted apple jelly for sheen and you have yourself this pie.

This is a pie that I would gain back the 3 pounds I lost in my last week of running for.

And I did.

And I will again, on Saturday, when I take it to another party.

I'm predicting this to be my 'summer dish'.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This photo is the after bloom of my dwindling Allium collection. I started with 7 flowers and lost one or two each year since we moved here. This is number 2 of two that remain. I suppose it is fitting that I'm pulling out this flower bed to put in a rock garden with fountain or pond. Perhaps the Allium knew the cycle.

The flowers slowly decreased as weeds and junk increased. It became overgrown with the bad stuff and barely dotted with the good. Even the good hosta became ugly as the weeds grew through and surrounded it.

Pulling weeds is not my favorite task. It's like losing weight. It sucks, but it looks fantastic and rewarding afterwards.

My weight is dwindling. Well, lingering may be a better word. I've been doing the Couch to 5K plan and last night was the biggest run yet. Twenty minute job with no breaks in between. I was fairly doubtful as the workout before had us doing a 5 minute brisk walk in between two 8 minute jogs. For me, that was a stretch, exhausted after the 8 minutes.

I've been running at night, getting the boys fairly set for bed and taking off. Last night, no one was in bed, but I needed to return some movies before we were charged another nights worth and there was threat of thunderstorms.

Into minute 10, it started to sprinkle. Luckily, that's all it did for the full run. And I did it. I did the full 20 minutes. I even picked up speed at the end, pushing out all I had. It was amazing.

To my dread, as I approached my house, Tom was outside. I thought the kids were driving him nuts and he had to come out for some air. Instead, he started clapping. He was cheering me on. He congratulated me with smiles and words and clapping.

This is working. I am running. I am enjoying it. I am losing weight.

And it feels great.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Smoke Bush

Rose (that I tried to remove three years in a row)

Lupine Leaf

Daisy From Nowhere


Day Lily Leaves

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chakra Towel: Use # 5

It's no secret this is my favorite towel.

It is a great towel.

A fun apron.

Lovely styling options in photography.

A tablecloth for a small appetizer table.

and Number 5...

A great wrap for an ice pack. Thin enough to feel the full force of cold, yet enough to not give the old knee a freezer burn.

You can find Chakra Pennywhistle here - her shop is on vacation.

Oh, and she is a pretty cool chick, too.