Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good Morning

Its a beautiful,  crisp, and cool morning here in Buffalo.

This is Millie's favorite spot.  She gets very excited when she spots a squirrel.   We have to slide the screen incredibly fast or else she will run right through the screen. 

I love how she never gives up.  She chases multiple times a day, she gets close, but never succeeds.  Frankly, I'd be afraid if she ever succeeded.

The first weekend in December is the Artist's in Buffalo Holiday Showcase.   My location is the Red Cross Building on Delaware.   I am excited, and nervous.   Not nervous to be there, but nervous that I won't have enough items made to show.  I have had a few dreams where I show up and have only a few items on the table.  Not very reassuring.

I'm going to take a lesson from my dog.

I'll keep chasing the squirrel until December. 

Now,  back to my squirrel (yarn).

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Not So Fairy-Fairy Garden

"Here lies Neil.  He slipped on a banana peel and kicked the bucket. "

Lines like this were abundant this morning.   My mom and I participated in a Fairy Garden workshop at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses.

The instructor was kind, creative, encouraging and funny.  He also happens to be my talented father.

For $20 you get the pot, the dirt, three plants, sticks, rocks, mulch, and moss along with a fairy. You may also purchase from the cute Fairy Nook, any other trinkets to go into your garden. I went with a Halloween theme and took advantage of a root turned upside down that looks like an old spooky tree. 

My favorite parts are the spider hanging from the root and the black cat peeking from behind the plant. I chose one succulent and two house plants (probably not the best idea based on water consumption, but I can make it work).

I understand there may be two spots left for tomorrow morning, Saturday September 28th at 10 a.m. It's totally worth it you should try. 

You'll be hooked.

Monday, September 23, 2013

What I've Learned From My Dog

We have only had Millie for four months, but she has taught me so much.

Millie is my first dog. I grew up with golden retrievers, but was never responsible for their daily care. I can't imagine this family without Millie.

Millie has showed me the importance of napping. Who doesn't benefit from a nap?

Fetch is ok, but playing with your toy without someone throwing it 20 feet away each time is better.

Surely there are all the lessons on unconditional love and forgiveness,  but the best lesson is: You don't need to see where you are going to enjoy the ride.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

This is Sunday

Wool and a dog that resembles a sheep.


The Rain

Forgive me readers, it's been much too long since my last post.

Our house phone rang at 3:24 am.  The confusion turns to panic, then turns to aggravation when it's an unknown number and dead air.

I had really wanted to sleep in, but was restless since then.

The rain is falling.  We have a part of our gutter that is bent and the water falls to the patio and creates a loud clapping sound.  Yes, I am truly awake, now.

Boys are all asleep and I think how great life has become.  It was hard a mere three years ago.  The load has lightened, our moods are brighter.   Our difficulties are different, but not worse.

Highlight the quiet, serene moments of life.

Even if they only last long enough to write one paragraph.

Pitter patter of little boy feet headed my way.

Portable Strawberry Cheesecake

Thanks to Pinterest, I finally tried the cheesecake strawberry.

It's dangerous people.  Really dangerous.

I was short on time, so made a no bake cheesecake.  It was soft and more pudding like than cheese like.  One gal tried it, even though she hates cheesecake,  she liked it.  This would be easy to do with pudding that was thickened with gelatin or whipped cream.  

I had extra cream after the initial batch and another eight for a neighbor.  This is where it gets dangerous.  All that precious cheesy cream filling in a big bag with a nice hole in the corner.  

Think Redi-whip.  


It was that kind of dangerous.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back at It

Finally getting the yarn needle moving.  I've had all the parts to this bag done for some time now, just waiting to be assembled.

If it wasn't for a boy, a puppy, or the heat, this would be ready for delivery.

The clouds are moving in, it's a great night to work.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Fourteen Minute Camping Experience

We went camping this weekend. 

Well, kind of.  I was so thrilled with myself.  Not only did I pack the entire camper, all the food and clothes, but I even cleaned the house before we left.   It was great.  I packed food for the less than two hour drive to Cayuga Lake State Park.

When we arrived, upon check in, we learned of a massive rain storm the park got earlier that morning that flooded many sites.  As we drove to ours, we were happy to find mostly dry land and a very wooded site...our favorites.

The boys were anxious to get to crafting and setting up and getting the fire going.  Tom and I unfurled the canopy and Tom cranked open the pop up camper. fell.  Well, more like crashed.  The whole roof fell straight down.

What a disappointment.  The boys weren't very happy.
Frustration was high. 

But, we looked on the bright side...we weren't in the Adirondacks or somewhere far away and mostly, we weren't inside the camper when the roof fell.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hazy Evening

Week 3.5 at the pool gave a creepy haze over the 7:00 PM sun.  One boy in swim lessons and one splashing away doing tricks.

I was grateful not to have to wear my sunglasses.  As much as I love them, they don't fit correctly.  If I look down, they fall off.  A normal person would take them back to the optical store I purchased them from and have them adjusted.

You see, I went to the wrong place.  I tried the new Stanton Optical on the Boulevard.  They have a wonderful selection of frames and a lovely optometrist and the building is orange, but that's where the joy ends.

The staff is horrible.  The workmanship is rotten.  The sunglasses were late and had a stress fracture in one lens.  My new frames had a stress fracture in the lens.  My new lenses in my old frames were not sitting in the frames correctly.  Every single pair needed fixing.

Too make a long story short, they stink.  The people working there seemed to make excuses and blame other things for their incompetence,  I was treated as if these were my first pair of glasses.

Don't go there.  

For me, I really need the sunglasses adjusted, I shouldn't avoid Stanton out of spite and I can't have my glasses falling in the pool every time I answer the call, "Mom, watch this."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Pickerel in the Pond

Speedwell (I think) by the Pond

Puppy in the Plants

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Half Way Through!

I'm not a big fan of summer.  It's just too hot most of the time for me.  I prefer snuggly sweaters and hot coffee to shorts and ice water.  This is one great way to cool off in our backyard.

On a day like today, where it's not hot (just hovering around 70), I move around quicker and actually get things done around the house.  Today, laundry day.  Three more loads to go and every clothing item in the house will be clean, perhaps not folded, but clean and dry.

There are parts of summer I like:  gardening.  ice cream.  cold showers.  swim lessons.  And the moment I realize the boys go back to school in five weeks!  Halfway, Moms, halfway!

First tomato and hungarian pepper

Dahlia Bud

Hot Dog

Friday, July 19, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (well, if rituals can be sporadic).
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments
for all to find and see.


We were able to take a quick weekend camping trip last weekend.  

It was so nice.  I love the short drive to a place unplugged.

First time with the axe.

Hummingbird in the fire?



Messy Dog

Tenzi...great game.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Walk Through the GREEN Garden

Dahlia bud
Clematis, past it's prime
Hens and Chicks...or just Hens?




Friday, June 21, 2013

Grass Flower and Butterfly Centerpiece Tutorial

I grew fifteen bowls of grass on my outdoor patio the past 15 days. 

I was getting a little nervous until I began to see some sprouts popping up.

These were made for the Teacher Appreciation Lunch at my boys' school.  I have seen the boxes of grass and thought they were so cute.  On Pinterest (shocking) I found an old wooden box with wheat grass and delicate butterflies hovering.

The old noggin starting cranking and after a couple so so ideas, I thought origami butterflies would be perfect.

The flowers must be credited to my Poppa.  I told him what I was doing and he said, "Butterflies don't like grass, they like flowers."  Touche Poppa, touche.

So this morning, I went around my house clipping tiny flowers and some weeds, to come up with this cute little bowl.

Here are the specifics:
I found plastic cereal bowls in the Fourth of July section at Dollar Tree, 3 for $1.00.  I bought 15, knowing I was only making 12, but just in case.  Thankfully, I did that because Millie ate one.

I purchased dirt from Lowe's specifically for grass starting.  I was under the wire in time, so I wanted to do everything I could to make the grass happy.  Regular dirt would work, too.

The grass seed was a quick growing regular grass seed mix.  I did not use wheat grass - I couldn't find it.  And, being Celiac, I have a distaste for anything called WHEAT.

In each bowl, I bet I used two hefty handfuls of seed.  The first handful I mixed into the top layer of dirt, the second was scattered on top.

The bowls were wet most of the time as we were experiencing tons of rain.  Make sure you keep these wet.

Origami:  I tested a bunch of origami butterfly patterns, but this one was the simplest and I really loved how it curved and the wings 'open' up at the last step.  I used small paper squares, 2 inch square.  Your first valley fold is the color of your wings. 

This is the origami pattern I used: CraftJr Origami Butterfly

The hot glue gun and some florist wire was all I needed to attach the wire to the butterfly at the top, using the final fold to help secure the wire in the butterfly.

Assembly:  I made a ton of butterflies.  They were easy, relaxing and I'm picky, so I wanted a bunch to choose from.  I used two for each bowl, I think that's sufficient.

I clipped flowers in my yard, including: Gallardia, Lady's Mantle, Lavender, Daisy (of the weed variety), Pansies and three other flowers that I have in my yard, but have no idea what they are called!  Regardless of the names, just make sure the stem is somewhat sturdy to make it through the wet soil.

Then, stick in the butterflies!  I like to have one appearing to be getting some nectar from the flower and the other on a longer wire fluttering above.

It was fun, and easy, as long as you have the forethought to get the grass started a couple weeks prior.

 Bowls without the butterflies
These flowers were from my russet potato plant.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It Has Begun

The neighborhood pool has been open for six days and my boys have been there at least four times.

Although this looks lovely and relaxing, it didn't last.

It was a struggle getting there as Big Boy had a meltdown about his brother and friend not being "friends".  Then, it was a struggle leaving the pool as Big Boy refused to get up from his sunbathing pose.  

I had taken out ground turkey this morning to thaw for tacos, one of their favorite dinners.  On the way home, I was told, "Here is the deal: we are having pizza, not tacos and we will have pizza tomorrow night and Saturday and Sunday.  I promise I will listen to you the first or second time you ask and will I still get Skylanders for my birthday if I'm good?"

How did this happen?  Where did my inquisitive, cute, kind little boys go?  

They got into a fight within ten minutes of returning home, capped with a round of door slamming.

The deal making needs to stop.  The demands need to stop.  The begging needs to stop.

We (I) need caring, compassion, consideration.  

I'd like this to be aimed at me, but I'd take a little showing towards others, too.

Friday, June 14, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Business

Little Man is going to be an entrepreneur.

He is constantly thinking of new ways to earn money.

Without further adieu, may I present the "Plastic Recycled Overalls:  Adventure Pants"

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Camper, the Ear and the Pup

I've been distant.

I've been wrapped up in other things that keep me away from my computer and photographs.

Here's a recap and random thoughts:

1.  A pop up camper is a really cool hideout for kids, unless it's closed, and then it's a real big pain for parents' ears..."you will open the camper tonight, or else!"

2.  Playing in the dirt is so much fun, until the poison ivy on your hands scratches the open sore on you neck.

2.a.  Antibiotics help an ear that is swollen twice the size and red and floppy, however, antibiotics with food coloring make boy crazy.

2.b.  Sometimes, a cold beer is the best medicine for Mom.

3.  Vertigo sucks.

4.  A puppy is a wonderful addition to any house, just use lots of air freshener.

4.a.  A puppy is a lot of work.

5.  Blogging makes me feel normal, again.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's a Girl!

Meet Millie.

She is the newest GoldenDoodle addition to our family.  She arrived on Mother's Day, bright and early and hasn't left my side since.  

It has been a challenge with the potty training, but realistically, it's only been four days.  I think we've done okay considering the time.  Tom may tell you differently, he is the cleaner-up'er since I'm the taker-out'er.  Thanks, Tom...huge help.

Today, Miss Millie had a bath.  She didn't care for it all that much, but didn't seem to mind it, either.  Frankly, I'm shocked she didn't frolic around in the tub, she's been eyeing the pond for days.

Even though ice not had a full nights sleep since last weekend, it's pretty cool.  She follows Tom around, trying to get his attention.  She plays with Little Man since he is more her size, and with Big Boy, well, they were meant to be together.