Thursday, September 30, 2010

Well, well, well.


This is a bit how I'm feeling today.

I'm fighting a cold that has added a cough and the internal itching.  Inside my chin itches, inside my chest itches.  Anyone else get that?

Aside from my cold and my packed schedule these days and nights and a work load that I just can't seem to get through, I'm a little saddened by the lack of comments on the Giveaway post.

I know I'm no Soulemama or Pioneer Woman or Posie Gets Cozy...but a free photo?  Oh well.  I have to remind myself that I write my blog for myself.  It's really my personal journal.

And in that constant repetition in my mind that I shouldn't expect anyone to read, let alone make a comment, I am giving all four commenter's a free photo of their choice.

So Jill, Sam, Mary and Laurie (I need your address, Laurie)...let me know which photo of mine you'd love to have and if you want it in black and white, I can do that, too.

Thanks for commenting, ladies.  I appreciate it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pampas, Spiders and Dead Things

 This past weekend I had my camera in the backyard.

We have a nice backyard, we are in the suburbs, so there are houses each way I look and power lines obstructing my nature photos.  I've started taking pictures facing up to the sky, then lightening them so the background nearly fades away.  I really love what happens to the subject.

 This spider was cool.  He was the only thing living on my Japanese Red Maple that I got as a freebie from a friend. Unfortunately, it was too shocked to keep it's leaves this year. 

I'm hoping that the roots will find a good footing this winter and in spring, sprout back to life.  Oh, yes, that would be good.  I'd even let the spider stay.

REMINDER:  The free photo (from my entire collection) is still current, if you were to leave a post HERE  right now, you'd have a 25% chance of winning!  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shy Giveaway


I am in love with this little flower.

Not only is it just blooming at the end of September (thank you Liquid Fence!), but it has character.

Perfect, it is not.

Adorable yes.

As if the Pampas Grass in the next island bed told it a funny joke and Ms. Coneflower needed to cover her mouth when she laughed.

Yes, I may be a little wacky, but c'mon, it is clearly different.

There are so many scenario's going through my mind right now. What do you think?  Is this a story or just a crooked petal on a flower?

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think it's saying.  I'll pick a random number on Wednesday and send the winner a 5 x 7 print of it (or if there is another photo of mine you'd like instead, let me know).

Maybe her zipper was down on her daisy dukes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rocks and Sand


My rock garden is taking shape.

I like rocks, almost as much as plants.

Together is it love.

As much as I was against this rock garden (take-away-all-my-plants), I do love it so.  I still have a long way to go, but it really is fun.

Plants can still grow in a contained manner.

Little rocks and big rocks work together in shape and color.

And boys can use it as a playground.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Tom Ta-may-da

When I was living in downtown Buffalo with my friends Maria and Michelle, there was a commercial on and the only thing I remember is Maria saying, "I'm TOM Ta-may-ta" just like the little boy in the commercial.  I wish I knew the commercial.

Anyway, my tomatoes.  This has been my best crop ever.  I have tons of tomatoes.

Unfortunately, they are still very green.  It is September 23rd and I have all green tomatoes.  A good haul for the day, yields approximately three grape tomatoes.

My son actually posed for a picture!
Sometimes I get caught up in what is wrong with the world, people, events and forget the good things.  I'm upset I have nothing red in the average sized tomatoes.  I can dwell on something for much too long.  I need to learn to breathe.

I need to step back and watch what happens and let it be.  Often times I'll look to my husband for conversation and he turns it around to side with my opposing thought.  I get upset and say, "You never agree with me".  And it is rare when he does agree with me. Lately, since I brought it up recently, he makes it known that "See Carrie, I AGREE with you."  Funny, Tom.

And after I've stewed (no pun intended) and thought about my views versus Tom's, I realize that sometimes he is right.  Sometimes, it's good to play the other side of the fence and look at things from a different dugout.

So, cheers to my Tom Tamayda...thanks for making me think on the other side.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Turtles

Turtles.

We've been calling these turtles for some time now.  Sam came up with the name.

These are simple and delicious.

Corn tortillas on a cookie sheet.
Dress with your favorite pizza toppings.  We used a nice oil mix and topped with cheese and tomatoes.  I like to sprinkle oregano and onion powder just before the healthy dose of parmesan cheese.

Bake at 425 until cheese is browned and tortillas are crisp.



Yum!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Turkeys

There were twelve varieties of turkeys at this farm. Twelve...who knew?

I like the chocolate colored ones the best.

And then it got interesting.

See the sign? Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Yes, the question came up.

"Do they kill these?"

Here is how the conversation went with Sam, my 7 year old:

Sam: "So, uh, do they, uh, just shoot them with a BB gun and put them in the oven?"

Me: "Well, no."

Sam: (wheels turning in the brain)

Me: "You can't shoot with a BB gun because then there would be bullets in the turkey that you are trying to eat."

Sam: (wheels turning faster, clearly looking for an honest answer)

Me: "Well, the farmer takes a BIG cleaver, a really sharp thick knife, and CHOPS the neck of the turkey. Then they pluck all the feathers from the bird and clean out the organs and put them in a little bag, stuff them back in the turkey and then sell it to customers. Then we buy the turkey from the farmer and we stuff it with bread and onions and celery and other yummy things, shove it in the oven for many hours, then eat!"

And because I'm the mom and I know my son...

Sam: "Oh, cool"

and went back jumping off the haystacks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blackman Homestead Farm





We had a great day today at Blackman Homestead Farm in Lockport (Cambria area). I asked around on Facebook for favorite apple orchards and this on came up.

I wanted to fore go the commercial apple farm and spend time at a family owned farm. I should have known with 'Homestead' in their name that this was the farm for us. The other key in this farm was the pears. Bosc pears.

It was lovely. We got apple picking bags to hang on our shoulders and went picking.

Selecting apples off the tree gives me a feeling of pride. Proud to be supporting a local farmer and his family.

It beats selecting apples from a grocery store bin any and every day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Needlework

Last Fall I was working on my weaver bird embroidery blanquilt. I truly enjoyed that process and it comes to mind quite often for me.

The simplicity of thread and a needle creating such beautiful stitches has a connection for me. My great grandmother, Lillian (nickname Ghee), was an amazing stitcher. She hooked rugs from old coats, and was always working on some sampler or embroidery project. Two of which I proudly own.

I often see a pattern and think, I could do that. Just copy it and figure it out on my own. I had been looking at this pattern for over a year now, just waiting for a baby girl to come into my circle of friends. The time has come. I supported the designer and received the pattern. So glad I did.

I hope this little girl sees the simplicity and beauty in every stitch that I pull through for her.

Knowing her parents, I'm certain this Princess won't be bothered by a little Pea.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This is My Life

I'm a horrible cleaner. My house is a mess.

Things stay in one place (which isn't the right place) for so long that they become to take hold of that space and I no longer see it.

That paint brush for example. See it? On the sink. It was used for the blackboard paint (see far left of same photo, there is the half used can). I finished that project over a week ago. And yet the brush sits there. Empty can was from the prior evenings dinner. The rock next to the soap was from the crystals Tom grew last week. And yet the crap just sits and grows roots.

I do get to a breaking point. And if anyone is home, watch out. I'm best when left alone and given a short time period to clean. The best medicine for a clean home is visitors.

Anyway, I was cooking dinner last night and the boys were outside playing soccer, each with their own ball (no fighting then, or hogging the ball).

This is my life.

Making dinner and watching the boys play. Not having to worry that they'll run off. It was great.

Even though I had to stare out of a messy kitchen through a filthy window.

This is my life.

and I love it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Markdowns!

Marmalade - The Not-So Sticky Monster

Billy Bailey - A Monster Purse

These two monsters are getting really bored living in the basement in a sealed storage bin.

Marmalade is on Sale HERE.

And Billy Bailey is on Sale HERE.

Markdowns are rare at WashMyCloth, so take note!

Monday, September 13, 2010

MAiZE

American Gothic...in corn.

What a concept. There is a company that sponsors (not sure the business dealings) farms to develop these corn mazes. You may find one near your house at this website.

Ours, is patterned to replicate the American Gothic painting by Grant Wood.


It was fun, at least for the first two paths we took. Easy and Medium.

They weren't kidding with the Advanced. Every so often there are numbered posts. You stand in front of the post and read the clue. The clue will tell you to go right or left. Sometimes the clues are a bit tricky. Post number 7 proved to be a challenge. A very annoying, frustrating, exhausting challenge. The clue was: How many words in "This Little Piggy" rhyme? Not too tough, yet the answer choices didn't match any of our answers.

As we were trying to move to number 8, Sam got stung by a bee.

His first bee sting.

In a corn field.

Lost.

Good times.

Luckily, he was more of a sport that I had imagined he would be with his first sting. Then, every turn, we were looking at his sting to make sure it wasn't swelling and asking him how his throat was.

We just couldn't get out. It was looking pretty dim for a while.


Oscar kept asking why there were fingers coming out of the ground. I never really noticed the corn stalk roots.

At this point, it began to feel that all these fingers were laughing at us and about to grab our feet. We were all getting frustrated.

Then we came to post 6.

We were on our way back. Tom finally guided us out the same way we came in. I'm kind of pissed that the MAiZE beat us. We may need to go back.

To round out our weekend and give Tom study time, the boys and I went to the Buffalo Museum of Science. They had an exhibit on Robotic Dinosaurs, which was pretty cool. They have also moved some things around and made it a little more interesting for my aged kids. It always seemed that the one section was toddler like and the other was too advanced.

We found these new planks they have. Keva planks. All the pieces are the same size and shape. Just wood. At first, I thought they'd be boring. I was wrong.

The website mentions that Lego's and Lincoln Logs, although great, have more of a planning aspect. You have to hunt for the right sized pieces and plan out what you are going to build if you want a roof, or a window, or wheels. These are all the same, you just grab and go.

They are great! I've added a set to Sam's wish list since he really enjoyed them.

Did I mention that the museum has added a 3D movie theater?

(all photos taken from camera phone, forgive the quality. Maize photo from www.themaize.com)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bursting with Freebie Score

I have recently become a very lucky gal.

Luck comes in waves for me. In order to ride this wave through the winter, I will attempt to drive past and not stop at any more garage sales this season.

Surely, I'll be disappointed when I don't find another deal like this.

Seriously...gorgeous.

It is a Lane cedar chest. Check out the legs on that thing. Sturdy, well made, delightful.

Yes, it needs a good wipe down and disinfectant. Someday, I'll have it professionally refinished and I'm sure it will astound me at it's beauty.

But for now, I'm going to appreciate all the nicks and scratches and crackling stain.


I'm trying to find out more about this specific chest. The Style No. is 48910. I've sent an email to Lane to see if they would assist me.

Looking through eBay, Craigslist, Lane History, Etsy, all led me to believe that it's early. Lane began in 1912. There aren't any pictures of the earliest chests, the photos begin around 1934, with the most thorough photos at the 1951 mark.

Even if it is from 1984 (which I don't believe) I love it.

I will love it for it's imperfections.

I'll also love it for it's previous owners for being too lazy to clean it out after some vermin visited it.

Thanks for the FREE chest, folks!

Yes, free. They were throwing it out because the woman didn't want to clean it out. She then gave me paper towels and wet wipes and the 'mess' was gone.

Like I said, I'm on a lucky streak.

...

p.s. Sam: Thanks for not fighting me for it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Faith Before the Playground


Sometimes, I put my kids through a little more than they can handle.

And sometimes, I succumb to their protests.

This time, Faith came first.

Faith United Church's garage sale, to be exact.


This bowl was so interesting. It is very lightweight and has a bit of a copper feel to it, but no markings or stamps to really know what or where it came from.

I just found it so pretty, that I added it to my growing pile of doilies. I am now an official sucker for doilies.

My sewing machine really needs to get motoring...so many doilies, not so much space.


This was the first bowl I picked up (after the doilies, of course) and loved it from the minute I saw it.

The pewter bowl has a removable divider, which I have never seen before. What a fantastic idea. It is such a hearty bowl.

Don't worry, the boys made it out just fine. Oscar picked out a bag of three action figures, one of which has removable arms and legs that creates quite a belly laugh from that little guy. Sam, oh, my Sam. Sam chose a bag of wooden rings. That's my collector.

I'll have more to show you including a super swanky bag and a silver plate coffee or tea pot.

Faith was fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall is Falling

I have recently begun working at my couch. My office chair is so uncomfortable at times, that I find myself getting up much to often and appearing in the kitchen.

It must be a magnetic draw to that kitchen and FOOD.

Yesterday, with my new birthday gift of a laptop cooling station, moved myself to the couch. Many would think this would create a much less productive day.

To the contrary.

I am so comfortable in this space that I don't want to get up, therefore, working longer and more consistently.

The other wonderful aspect of this situation is that I can watch the leaves begin to change and fall from our tree lined street. This year, the trees looked quite healthy and almost fully regenerated from the destruction of the October Surprise Storm we had several years ago. Trees amaze me. The damage they endured from that storm, only to come back in their beauty a few years after.

I look forward to the colors of the season

And my cold toes

and chilly nose.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Legs

Look at those legs. Specifically the adorable bowling shoes. Oscar was upset that he couldn't keep the shoes. And I was with him. They were adorable! He is such a shoe hog, too. Loves his shoes more than I love shoes.
We had a great Labor Day Weekend. We got to visit with our out of town relatives and went bowling.

Twice!

The boys loved it so much, we went back the next day.

I am amazed at these two boys. I made them.

They are the best of friends and the worst of enemies (and tell each other often). I hope they will be friends for all of their lives.

I always wanted a sister, so I hope that someday they will realize how important they are to each other.


This is Oscar and his cousin. Look at their faces. Can you tell which one is upset that the other one has something of his???

At least he was a good sport and posed for this picture.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Waiting

This has to be one of the saddest pictures I've taken. I decided not to print to black and white because I thought I'd just tear up.

Sam was waiting for his buddy across the street to come home. Eventually he did, but unfortunately, they moved away over a week ago.

We miss them so much. I've caught myself opening the morning curtains and checking to see which cars are in their driveway. I spy out during the day when the kids say their bored. And I wonder what my friend is doing in her new home.

I sure wish we had spent more time with them.

As tomorrow morning brings the first day at the school bus stop, the bunch has dropped by two.

I think it's going to be a tough morning.

That is until the bus drives away.


We miss you John, Olivia, Rich and Jill!

Monday, September 6, 2010

In Print

Have you tried Picaboo? Well, they are the fastest, most professional printer I've found in quite some time.

A fellow blogger suggested Picaboo and guided me to a free book that expired August 31st. I put this book together in record time, which was easy without text. I see that for September, they are having 40% of all books with 40 pages or more. Let me tell you, 40 pages can fill up fast!

In my book: all my favorite photos from 2010 thus far.

It's so validating to see my pictures printed and bound, large and professional.

How is my photo styling? The photo book and the photo lens? Nice right?

That lens...it's my coffee mug!

My mom was so smart to order it for me as a birthday gift (she really did spoil me this year, really (thanks, Mom)).

It's small, but packs a super geek punch.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Project In Progress

You may remember this from months ago.

This is my new blanquilt idea.

My mom (and many women I know) has a box of doilies in her hutch that she doesn't quite know what to do with.

They are treasured pieces of family history. Many of which my great grandmother made, perhaps her mother even made some. And perhaps some she picked up at church swap. Either way, they hold memories of past women taking care of their home and decorating it and protecting the handmade furniture from scratches with these doilies.

Although the pieces I have used in this blanquilt aren't memories of my ancestors, they are memories of someone.

I would like to do a series of these where I offer to use a customer's doilies and create a memory for them that isn't packed away in a drawer somewhere.

As always, these are big. I like a big blanquilt.

Cold toes aren't fun.