Friday, October 16, 2009

Ahhhh Fall

So, Fall. I love it. Every September I want to sew corduroy skirts and sharpen pencils. I love the crunchy leaves, and the hmmmm-should-I-wear-a-jacket-today-or-no kind of weather. I get really productive in the fall. We went apple picking and ended up with enough pie filling for 12 apple pies. I have to remember to put the jars in the freezer before the pie filling ends up in our morning oatmeal (not that that would be wrong at all.) Crafting up a storm (an announcement is pending on that front!) too: little sewn notebooks, Morsbags, holiday presents, Project 5 of Craft Hope, sewing fall skirts and jammies for the little one...and on and on and on.

Fall is kind of like the first hill of the roller coaster. You are click clicking up the track and thinking oh boy oh boy oh boy with your eyes squashed shut. It seems to be taking forever to get to the top of the hill so you open your eyes and look around. What a view. Wow! I can see the whole park from up here. Oh look, there is the funnel cake stAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Whipped headlong downhill into the holidays (fun yes, but sometimes a blur and not alot of time to focus on the little moments).

I like the downhill a bunch. I love the climb to the top.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ever since I embarked on this journey, I have been learning new things about drying clothes outside.

Some were pretty obvious ::
Towels line-dried feel like plywood, but smell like summer.

Some were not quite so obvious ::
Where I live, it gets pretty hot midday, but because of our big old oak trees, the backyard is completely shaded. If I don't hang towels out first thing in the morning, they aren't going to be dry before nighttime.

Some extra info I have stumbled into ::
Cotton kid clothes only get a little crunchy, so everyone thinks that I starch and iron them (!!).
It is still as much fun to run through the sheets now as it was when I was a kid.
My linen closet smells like the one at my Grandmother's lake house (that is a really good thing.)
I love looking at all of my knit dishclothes hanging out.
I prefer the kind of clothespins without the spring.
If you hang something too close to the bird probably will have to rewash it.
2 cleats and a rope make a fantastic "retractable" clothesline for far less money than the spring loaded ones that won't hold their tension.

I really like doing this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation.

I know. It's not quite over yet. But the big trip we have been waiting for has come and gone. Last week, we went up to Langhorne PA with my brother and his fam and went here. It was so much fun! Little one kept tapping my shoulder and saying "Can you BELIEVE it? We are getting to see the REAL ELMO!" I thought she was going to lose her cute little mind when he walked by in a parade. My little one is a bit reserved and likes to feel out a situation before stepping in. I figured that she would maybe wave to some of the characters and then grab my leg for a while. Well, she saw Elmo, ran over to him and kissed his hand!

She is still talking about it!
The really cool thing about traveling with a 4 year old is that everything is an adventure. We went to the grocery store to get some "special room breakfast and dinner picnic" things. That was met with "WOW! We have never been to this grocery store before! Their apples are nowhere near their bananas!" Very cool. One of her favorite rides? The Shuttle-ride (that would be the van we took from the hotel to the park.) This was such a great vacation. I am so happy we went.

It did get me thinking, too. There are so many cool things to do where we live (even going to the post office can be a big deal for us -- more about that later.) So, we bought a sketch book and that has become little one's passport book. Everywhere we go -- like the library or the local museums -- we get a stamp and a brochure if they have one. When we get home, we write in the book what our favorite parts of the trip were. We have taken to calling this the "Let's see where we end up" game. We get in the car and "see" where we end up. Yep. I usually have a plan where that will be, but she doesn't know it, so if the place I thought of is closed or whatever, we just keep going until we find something cool to do. Wednesday it was a Jousting (!) tournament. I'd never seen one either. Loads of people, tailgating with big fancy hats and summer drinks. I could very much get into this sport. We saw a yellow ladybug that day too.

The post office trip happened before we left on vacation. Jade from Craft Hope --who I have decided is some sort of super hero, wielding a glue gun and knitting needles and spreading joy across the planet -- just finished up Project 3. While our usual suspects couldn't come over to play, everyone gets pretty far flung in the summer, friends sent over stuff to send along to Jade. You can even see the little squares I knit for hankies on the Craft Hope site. They are the red and white stack. I made them cotton because, well, they would be soft, hypoallergenic, and er, absorbent. I remember being floored by the sheer volume of spit up babies are able to achieve. Sorry. That was kinda gross. But really, it is just amazing! Where do those tiny little babies keep all that ick?? Ok. I'll stop. Again, sorry. The point here is that we got to help out some more friends we have never met, that live in places we will probably never go, all because of the amazing efforts of Jade (who's third baby is due any minute!) Seriously, people. A superhero.

Now that the summer is winding up, my thoughts are turning to school and what we will be playing with this year. I think some backyard explorations are in order this year. I got this amazing book from my in-laws for my birthday (along with so many other fabulous things I will share with you soon) and am so excited to do all of the activities in it. We have been taking these little string walks from the book, which are such fun. It's how we found our yellow ladybug. You take a little bit of string, and put it in the grass. Pretend you are tiny and walk along the string -- you can use your fingers as legs, that's always fun -- and see what you find on your teeny tiny hike. We keep doing this one, because since it is August and crazy hot, we don't really want to move around that much. So, we get a little lemonade and have fairy hikes. I think I might show the kids in our homeschool co-op this one. It really is a nice way to slow down and see things you normally miss. Also, Blue Yonder's Book of Days is on my wish list for this year. You really have to check this out. I think it's going to be wonderful for us.

So there you have it. I never really have an answer for the What have you guys been doing this summer? question. All evidence to the contrary, right? Really though. I guess that all the little tiny things my family does are the important things to us. But how many people want to hear the details of our grocery shopping adventure?
That's why I love you guys for reading this. Till next time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

22 legs, 11 heads, and a ton of heart

So today, I put a big old box of fun in the mail. Little one even threw in a note to the Vintage Chica.

The back of this note says Thank You. It is because of you Eren, and your friends like Jade, that we can have this honor of helping others and seeing beyond our own very small world.
Let me start a week ago...

3 fantastic friends came over for a night of craftivism. Everyone brought fabric, supplies, and enthusiasm. One super mom even got her kids involved by trying out our project with them before we all got together. We spent the night -- 'till about 1:00am -- talking, cutting, and sewing a total of eleven dolls to send off to the Craft Hope project. I just stumbled across this project online, much the same way I stumbled across these friends.Well, I didn't find the friends online, but you know what I mean. They are the kind of friends you know really REALLY want to have, and you can't believe how lucky you are that your paths actually crossed at the perfect time. I know you have friends like that, too.
Anyway, these very different, very creative women gave up a night of sleep to help out kids they will never meet. I am forever grateful to them for doing this. I like to do what I can to help, and I love that I know people that want to do the same. My favorite question at the end of the night...
"What are we doing next?" My friends rock.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My kitchen looks like a slasher movie.

Today, I went with the fam and some friends to pick strawberries. This was my first time doing this (as a grown up, when the "you can only take home what you can carry" rule doesn't really help limit things much.) We had such a good time. Chatting, picking, watching the kids get completely covered in strawberry juice -- they were the stickiest, cutest vampires I have ever seen. Well...18.5 lbs of berries later, I am up to my eyeballs in macerated strawberry guts. Strawberry cream cheese, strawberry vinaigrette, strawberry puree, 2 kinds of strawberry jam, and I still have about 12 quarts left. I am freezing the rest. I think I'll make the world's biggest margarita. The thing is, I thought this all out. I said to myself this morning, self, since you are going to be in the kitchen anyway, you might as well pick up some battered and bruised tomatoes for sauce. 2 bankers boxes full. 16 quarts of tomatoes. I am thinking about painting the kitchen walls with the leftovers. That might be kind of fun. After I finish of that world's biggest margarita, right?
It really is fun, though. And I only get to (have to) do this for a few months to have summer and spring all year long in my freezer. Speaking of that, due to the Red Debacle of 2009, my husband is out at the hardware store pricing freezers. I guess the Get-a-ton-of-produce-they-are-so-cheap argument is a flawed one.
Hey, I did my first load of laundry on the line this week. It was great! I thought that I was out of luck this week, as we were supposed to have big rain everyday. Well, Wednesday afternoon the sun broke through. I grabbed the little one and my freshly washed cleaning rags and towels (they are so cute -- most of them I knit to get over the precious knits syndrome) and hung them (the knits not the kiddo) on my retractable line. I have to say, I was really proud of myself. We ran through the towels and smacked our hands in the middle of them just like I remember doing at my Gramma's house when I was a kid. It was fun, and because there was a little breeze, nothing turned out too crusty. All in all, a good start to the Clothesline Challenge. I'm sitting at 20% dried on the line. Cool. I should have taken a picture. Next time I will. Just have to charge my battery. And really, you don't want to see the kitchen right now. Trust me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Clothes lines and rainy days

I just took the Clothesline Challenge that I found here. I am starting out at the novice level. Sounds like a good push for me. 10% of my laundry on the line is doable, I think. Towels, and Sheets to start. I've got a little tally sheet tacked up next to the washer so that I can be sure to keep myself honest. The rainy days part came after I committed to the challenge. It's supposed to rain for the next 6 days. Ack!
A side note...I now have pea plants taller than my 4 (!!) year-old little one. She gets so excited going out to check on our garden. Every time we go out there and the plants are a bit more lush and flowery, she is sure that a garden fairy has been there. I asked her one time what kind of fairy she would be. "An everything fairy, Mama." Nothing stops this kiddo. I love her spunk!'s 9:30 and I think I am going to knock off for the day. Time to knit some scrubbies and get some sleep. My brother and fam are heading back across the bridge tomorrow. The weekends (even the long ones) just go by too fast. Gramma heads out on Tuesday, but as promised to come back during the summer to play with us. I wish there was a way to slow down the time when they are all here and really enjoy each minute. It all really just whooshes by. My Gramma and I did get a great chance to hang out together in the kitchen on Saturday. We made dinner for the troops -- 7 grown ups and 4 kids. It's funny, but we are so in sync (but not in a boy band way) in the way we cook, it wouldn't have mattered if we were cooking for 2 or 20. We just stirred each other's pots and added stuff here and there and it all was great. We giggled our way through it all. Maybe it was the wine, but it was a very silly time! My Gramma is fun. No doubt about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I can't believe I grew something! So, I have a famously brown thumb. People have long teased me that if we lived in pioneer times, my family would have wonderful toys and clothes and furniture, but nothing at all to eat. This is pretty accurate. Or, at least it was until about 20 minutes ago. Little one and I planted some seeds. Chives. I have never done this before. So we filled a bucket with dirt and put in probably way to many seeds (is one packet per 1/2 gallon bucket excessive?) and we dutifully misted them daily. The packet says that they should sprout in 7-9 days. Well...that came and went and our faith that we would have chives began to waver, but we kept at it, and 16 days later we have cute little shoots. 20 of them! We are so excited. We grew something here! Well, now I am all puffed up from this success and we are off to the local hardware store to buy some seed packets for outside. Because lets be honest, you can't feed a family on chives alone. Or can you? hmmmm.....