Friday, September 16, 2011

Market and McDonalds

Perhaps not two things I'd normally put in the same sentence, but that's how our day worked out. :)

This morning was not-a-million-degrees, so we decided to head out to the farmer's market.  I called Mom to see if she wanted to come along and she said my nephew had a school holiday, so they both joined us.  We loaded the boys into the wagon (maybe not necessary, but they loved it), and Boo into the stroller (which we hardly ever use, so she was thrilled) and headed out.


It was awesome.  I've really missed going to the farmer's market regularly.

And I brought home some pretty, pretty veggies.


(In addition to what's pictured, we also brought home corn, sweet potatoes and a bunch of pretty little apples.  And Mom picked up something called a lemon cucumber...which is a cucumber that looks surprisingly like a lemon.  Go figure.)

We hung out at the park for a bit.  The boys exploring and finding treasures in the dirt.


(Bug with an eraser shaped like a cat.)

Boo ran around trying to keep up, and beelining towards the mud.


So I ended up holding her a lot.  She was not pleased.


(This is the first picture of Boo where I think she looks like me at all.)

Then it started getting hot and we were hungry, so Mom suggested we move the party to McDonald's - a rare treat!  This is the first time we've been since Boo has been even kind of mobile and she jumped out there like an old pro.

(I was right there ready to catch her the whole time.  Honest.)




She ended up making it up to the fourth step before it got too steep.  My nephew was so amazing with her.  He cheered her on the whole time she was trying to climb, and helped her down when she thought she was stuck.  Very sweet.

Bug didn't stop moving once. ;)


(Haha.  While tagging this post, I realized that ALL of the veggies were already listed.  Guess we have some solid favorites.)

Bug's Bread

A couple of days ago, Bug asked to bake bread.  And then proceeded to do it by himself.  I measured out the ingredients for him, but he did the rest all bu himself - choosing the recipe, getting everything ready to go, and watching and questioning the entire process.  (We used a bread machine, though might do it by hand next time.)  He even told me that baking bread was "more fun than watching tv" - high praise!

Terrible photography aside, the bread turned out great!  It was SUPER yummy!  He was so very proud of himself. :)  (And I'm super proud of him, too!)

Bug's Bread

We devoured the first loaf of bread pretty much immediately, so he asked to bake another loaf.  So my 3.5 year old baked two loaves of bread in one day.  I can see us making this an addition to our daily non-routine.

The recipe we used:

1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yeast

It turned out so light and fluffy and tasty.  Mmm...bread...

Sashiko Sneak Peek

After having done a bit of embroidery (and looking at waaaaaaaaay too many pretty things on flickr), I decided to try my hand at sashiko again.

I really think I love it.

I definitely love the way my first two projects are working out.  Sneak peeks only, because they're going to someone who sometimes reads the blog.  Sorry.  I'll post some pictures of the completed projects after Christmas. ;)



Fire Relief

Just a quick post to introduce an idea...

Texas has caught on fire, which is alarming.  And it's been a helpless feeling to catch little bits of news and see photos of places that I knew enveloped in smoke and fire.  As yet, no one I know personally has lost their home, but friends and family of friends have lost everything.

A friend put me in touch with a woman helping with relief efforts near Bastrop and I've gone to work.  (And it looks like there's some help coming from a post on one of my flickr groups - <3!)

Fabric and Zippers for TX bags 2

Fabric and Zippers for TX bags

Picked some fabric and started making necessities bags.

TX Bags, Batch 1

The idea is to stuff them with things like toothbrushes, soap, etc.  I know it won't be much in the long run, but maybe a bag of needed items, crafted with love, might brighten someone's day just a little bit.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rock Gardening...Sort Of

Earlier this week, we finally (finally, finally, finally!) got enough of a rain for it to cool down a bit in the evening.  So we took the opportunity to head out into our poor, deserted yard for awhile.  I dug out the last bit of my sun-cooked summer garden failure, Richard and Bug picked up random bits of junk from the yard, and Boo bee-lined to her favorite - the rocks.

She was having so much fun shoveling them that I tried to get a picture that captured her joy.

At first, she kept looking way over my head and past me whenever I called her name.  


And giving me this weird fake-baby half-smile.  I don't think I've ever seen this expression outside of this series of pictures.


And then she started talking to me, presumably about what she was working on.  Boo is very vocal, just not so verbal, yet.  (And someday she's going to hate me for taking this picture.)


And then she just ignored me and went about her work.


Bug was having fun, too, looking at how metal shavings behaved on a magnet.



Desert Critters

We have, in the past year, learned a bit about differences in wildlife between Houston and Phoenix.

There are things I miss, not being near Houston: deer, frogs (which are here, too, just not in the same abundance), squirrels (I've seen one, here), vultures, hawks, mosquitoes big enough that you can see them coming (versus the sneaky, painful microscopic version here)...all sorts of things.  Which is not to say that I haven't been impressed by the wildlife here.  I've seen a roadrunner, more rabbits than I ever saw in Texas, a jackrabbit, wild lovebirds...all sorts of things.


There is one bit of desert wildlife that I am not at all thrilled to have met.


Look a little closer.

Teeny Tiny Scorpion

That's right.  That's a scorpion.  A LIVE one.  Thankfully, it didn't come from my house...though Richard was kind enough to bring it by to visit.  He wanted Bug to see it.

As I recall, our conversation went something like this:

R: "I brought something home for Bug to look at."

Me: "Oh? What?"

R: "A scorpion."

Me: *stunned silence* "What?  Not a live one."

R: "Oh yeah, it's alive.  Don't worry it's tiny."

Me: *beginning to freak out* (Because the tiny ones are dangerous, you know.)  "What?!  What are you going to do with it once he's looked at it?!"

R: "Let it go."

Me: *now in full on freak-out* "NOT HERE?!"

He assured me not, and said that he hadn't expected such a strong response from me.  Holy crap.  A SCORPION.

And, yeah, it was tiny.  And maybe a little bit cool.  But, holy crap.  A scorpion.  *shudder*

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oh, Hello!

Well, it's been ages and ages since I've posted, and I feel pretty terrible about that.  Which is partly why it's been so long since I've posted.  You know how that goes, I hope.

Our Arizonaversary was the last week of June, Boo's first birthday was on the 4th of July, and the one year anniversary of my sister's cancer diagnosis was shortly after that.  It was kind of a lot to handle emotionally, as it turns out.  I had all these great blog posts written out in my head and every time I tried to sit down to write any of them...I just couldn't do it.  I think, at the one year mark, there was just too much I was still trying to process.

And then, it's just been kind of busy, too.  Which seems kind of insane because on any given day I'd be hard pressed to tell you anything useful that I'd done.  And yet, stuff has been getting done. ;)

So...I'll start working on some posts. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Craft Hope Bracelets

So, we did make some bracelets for the Craft Hope project back over Memorial Day weekend.  Given that we were working with three fairly little kids, it actually went really well.

The five year old made one bracelet to keep for himself, and then decided that he'd rather do other things.  The two three year olds were all over making bracelets, though.  My niece made quite a few, all with certain friends in mind, so ended up taking all of hers home.  Bug decided that he wanted to make a few for specific people, one for himself, for me and his uncle, and the rest went into pile to mail.  So, mostly my sister and I made bracelets for Craft Hope.  The kids did seem to think it was a really neat idea though.  They asked lots of questions about "the kids who don't have stuff" and Bug wants to know who - exactly - will be getting the bracelets that he made.

We ended up with 24 to put into the mail.


We all worked on the big pony bead bracelets.


It was fun watching the little kids pick out their favorite colors and color combinations.  And trying to make nice looking bracelets with combinations of colors that the little ones weren't picking for themselves.


These smiley face beads were fun, but the holes were too little to work with the big not-sharp needles that the three year olds were using, so I ended up putting these two together after bedtime.


And I love these.  I may have to go back and make myself one or two like this with the beads that I have left.


I'm looking forward to seeing the recap at Craft Hope.  It sounds like a LOT of people have been sending in a LOT of bracelets.

Chrysalis #1 - More Blocks and a Completed Top

I finally uploaded the rest of the Chrysalis blocks.

Chrysalis #1 - block 4

Chrysalis #1 - block 5

Chrysalis #1 - block 6

Chrysalis #1 - block 7

Chrysalis #1 - block 8

Chrysalis #1 - block 9

Chrysalis #1 - block 10

Chrysalis #1 - block 11

(I seem to be missing a photo of one of the blue blocks.  Hrm...)

Once the blocks were done, I got them all trimmed up.  That's always fun.  It makes for pretty trash. :)


And then I started playing with the layout for the top.  I knew that I wanted the squares to alternate yellow and blue, but with some of the inner squares being green, there was the chance that it was going to end up looking kind of clumped by color.

Bug took the camera and got this shot while I was laying things out.  Not a bad photo for a three year old!


The final layout.


Miscellaneous June Gardening

Mom found a giant zucchini last week.  This sucker was tucked away beneath a tomato plant.

Huge Zucchini - June 2011

(And that's Bug's "Whoa.  This is heavy." face.)

Daily harvest - June 2011

This is a good example of what we're picking on a daily basis.  Less zucchini and squash.  Mom usually picks those (3-4 a day!) in the morning.  That bowl of yellow tomatoes is not small.  I think it's a 3 quart bowl?  I'll try to remember to look next time.

Still not coming up with many green beans, though the cucumbers are starting to come along nicely.

And, look!  Green bean teepee!

Green bean teepee - June 2011

It's filled out quite a bit more this week, and the little sweet pea flowers that Mom planted in there are starting to bloom.  So there are some pretty little purple flowers tucked in there now.  Those are carrots in front, radishes on the side and cucumbers on the back.  And, behind the sunflowers, potatoes.  Awesome, isn't it?  My mom's green thumb just blows me away.

And look at how tall the sunflowers have gotten!

Sunflowers ad corn - June 2011

They're 11-12 feet tall, now.

I loved seeing this guy tucked in with the bright yellow ones.

Rust sunflower - June 2011

And a better picture of the corn.

Corn - June 2011

Puts my little dirt patch to shame.

And Summer is Here

There is absolutely NO denying it.  Summer is here.

June 16, 2011

That photo was taken in the evening.  In the shade.  It's getting stupid-hot and we've got a long way to go yet.  WHY does anyone live in the desert?


Richard walked into the house the other day, paused and asked "Why is my child wearing skulls on his shirt?"

"Because he says they're fossils."
Bug,  June 2011

Is it just me, or does he look much older than 3.5 in this picture?  When did he get so big?


There's corn in my mom's garden!  Corn!

Mom's Corn - June 2011

This is particularly impressive given that my mom's backyard is not all that large, and the corn itself takes up something like 16 square feet of garden space.  It's a tiny spot, really.

This picture was taken earlier this month, when we were happy-dancing that there were three little ears of corn coming up.  We thought that might be all there was.  At last count, about four days ago, there were 41 ears of corn.  Forty one.  There had been 35 when I'd counted three or four days earlier.  Looks like we might be feasting after all!

And that's not even considering the tomatoes.  There are two tomatoe plants and it's possible that one of them is related to kudzu.  It's taking over everything.  It's completely overpowered a rosemary bush, is stretching over the second tomato plant and into the sunflowers on one side, and is just about to choke the life out of a zucchini plant in the other direction.  It's crawling up the fence and has spilled over the garden wall to cover half of a large planting of lantana.  I'm picking tomatos every other day and routinely filling a large mixing bowl just off of the one plant.  It's insane.

Mom and my sister are both off of nightshades for the time being, and there are way too many tomatoes for me and my family to eat by ourselves.  We're snacking on as many as we can, but I've started cutting them up and freezing them, too.  So far we've put away 13 pints, and I'm pretty sure that I have about that many still sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for me to deal with them.

In terribly exciting news, the sad, sad little tomato plants in my garden have actually bloomed.  I noticed today that one of them actually has four tiny green tomatoes on it.  I was so excited that I almost fell over.  Tomatoes from my own backyard!  I mentioned it to Bug while we were making dinner and it stopped him in his tracks.  He wanted to go see and pick them rightthatverysecond.  I'll try to get some pictures of these plants for comparison.

Barnslig Skirts for the Store

In this last little burst of sewing, I've gotten a few new skirts in the store.  (They're listed at both and on Etsy.)

Barnslig skirt 1
I love this Barnslig print from Ikea.  LOVE it.

Barnslig skirt 2

Every time I think I've decided which part of the print I love the most, I move my eyes and land on another bit that makes me happy and THAT'S my favorite bit. (The lion!  No...the elephant!  Wait.  Is that a giraffe?  I love the giraffe!)  I am pretty partial to that lion, though. ;)

I've only listed skirts in a few girl's sizes, but have plenty of fabric in case anyone needs a different size.

I'm tempted to make another mei tai out of it, too.  I so love Boo's.