Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My husband leaves for training in just over two weeks, so we're wisely spending our time creating enough good memories to last us until we're together again. Day trips to the city, mornings on the beach, hours playing on the jungle gyms, after dinner ice cream treats, and bed times...what are those? Who needs sleep when there are summer nights to be enjoyed?
We're making the most of the time we have left...and loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One bird finished for an order...
...nine more to go. Squeezing it all in between pajama making and pool time with the girls!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I bought a few books just about a week or so ago. I didn't bother to share them on the blog--I buy a lot of books, at a lot of used bookstores, and this would quickly become a book blog if I posted about all the books I buy. Anyway, I happened to be in the plants/animals section of the store (I have no idea why, guess I was just wandering or something) and came across a book I thought I'd read a long time ago, "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell. Breezing through the pages, I came across the mother/baby scorpion dinner table fiasco and immediately knew it was in fact the book I had read back when. Obviously I bought the book and I intend to read it again sometime soon. It's a hilarious story about a young budding naturalist and his eccentric family, all of whom are living in Greece...really good for a laugh, but fascinating at the same time! You can read more about it over here. My point in all this (besides making a book recommendation)...sometimes it feels just a bit like that book around here--not as regards the eccentric family part (I don't think...), but rather the whole naturalist/insects in boxes bit. Just this past weekend, I found a fishfly in the pool (and don't worry I didn't take any pictures of it, but if you're really interested and not too squeemish you can see one here.) As it turns out they're a fascinating insect--they live in the water most of their life and only get wings and fly for about 2-3 days before dying. This one was dying at the time of discovery, was protected from the ants (anxious to carry him away), and when he had expired was promptly saved in an empty gerber baby food container. He'll be joining my mother's collection of other interesting dead bugs (who, no need to worry, all died from natural causes). At one point I would have thought this was all kind of gross, but I find I'm starting to warm up to bugs. I'm starting to pay attention to plants and animals a lot more too. And I can only attribute this developing interest to my girls. They're fascinated with everything--nothing outside is too small, too gross (okay except slugs, the girls have decided those are gross), or too boring for them. Every little bug, every little plant--they can't get enough of them. And as I crouch down on the ground with my camera and look at the world close up the way they do, I'm discovering what a fascinating world it is too.I'm thinking the girls I might just have to start our own dead bug collection sometime soon...
(...oh and those pictures are of a great spangled fritillary butterfly, a northern cloudywing skipper, and some sunflowers!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

At long last I have finished one set of pajamas.
Sadly my poor pajama model is sick (both Pookie and Fig are suffering with a "runny nose with a little cough" cold of some kind), so those were the best pictures I could get of the pajamas. They are Simplicity pattern 9968. I love these pajamas!!--they are extremely cute and I'm already planning on the long sleeve/pant version, long sleeve dress version, and bathrobe for Christmas...hopefully. I still have Fig's pajamas to go...and some doll sized versions to do for Mimi and Flossie (the girls' waldorf dolls)...so at this rate I ought to start Christmas pajamas... now? Oh wow...guess I'd better get back to my sewing machine!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The house is really rather full. There are eight of us living here at the moment. However we all willingly made space for one more. And nobody minds at all. He's an extremely obliging guest. He doesn't mind sleeping in the kitchen. He only wants a little sugar and water at meal time. And the girls are fascinated with him!
We found him several days ago. He was sitting in the driveway, one wing horribly askew. We admired him for a time and then moved him to the lilac bush--he was gone several hours later. The next day he reappeared, first he was spotted resting on a pine tree and then later he was spotted enjoying some of the garden flowers. He was easy to identify--due to his broken wing he could only fly in circles. By day three he was looking extremely tattered and weary so we invited him in to stay awhile. And though I can't say he's looking any better now (his wings keep breaking off a little at a time) I would have to say he looks pretty happy.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The great outdoors from a Lilliputian's perspective...
Toadstools everywhere. This little red one--charming...
Peering through the leaves...being peered back at...

Staring up at the sky... through the black eyed susans... at long last we have blue sky!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

At long last, one little bird almost ready to enjoy the summer weather.
That one last little wing isn't attached yet...I'll have to get to that sometime today.
I had a horrible, horrible time getting a picture of this bird. A little while back she talked about how hard it is to get pictures of something red. I didn't understand the problem at the time, but now I do! Ugh, three-quarters of my pictures were worthless and even this one...not quite right. I'm making up a "to do" list today, top of which is going to be getting the girls' pajamas done. Is it me or is summer just flying by?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's someone's birthday today!
So obviously we needed a birthday cake! This is yet another recipe from the Martha Stewart cookbook. Chocolate cake with a chocolate peppermint ganache icing and some mint leaves for decoration. So nice looking and soooo tasty!Pookie helped me make the cake and icing (yet again while Fig was napping). I'm slowly learning to let Pookie cook with me. I've come to the realization that she is capable of doing so much more than I think she is. Today she carefully poured the cream into a measuring cup and then carefully poured it into the mixing bowl...I was amazed! And it's really fun cooking together, we both put on our aprons and we both take turns sampling the ingredients...

...the chocolate chips tasted just fine--thanks for checking Pookie! I'm looking forward to when Fig is old enough to cook with us--then it will really be fun to cook!

And so happy birthday to my husband/daddy! Here's to many many more birthdays!

Friday, July 06, 2007

While Fig was napping, Pookie and I made graham crackers using a recipe in this Martha Stewart cookbook (the same book I got the berry cake recipe from). Pookie thoroughly enjoyed cooking them with me. Pookie helped me measure each of the ingredients...and also sampled each of the ingredients (flour="bleh", brown sugar "gooood!" and honey="Mmm!), and of course helped me roll the batter out. The recipe was so easy (very easy to do with children), had no eggs (I didn't have to worry about Pookie eating the batter), and tasty (I'm having trouble keeping my hands off of them!)
It is definitely a recipe we'll make again! I've been talking about how good these would be to make s'mores with. My sister has pointed out we could make marshmallows too. Hmmm....I feel a camping project coming on!
And finally, the great part about cooking--the leftovers that need to be taken care of. I had some whipped cream left over from our July 4th berry cake and the girls were so kind as to help me finish it up.

I don't think they minded one bit, do you?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My camera wouldn't upload pictures. It told me I had no pictures, when in fact I had plenty of pictures, lots and lots of pictures to upload. The frustration! And a post without a picture just didn't seem any good...
But now it's works again--so I'm back with plenty to share!
I've mostly been working on the girls' pajamas. I feel like I've been making these forever! Somehow or other they just seem to be taking a long time to sew up, but so worth it! They're not finished (still need their little ruffled sleeve), but look how cute!
I'm really, really pleased with the pattern and so I'm seriously considering making up some of the long sleeve, pant version ones come fall. I also love the bathrobe pattern...Christmas perhaps?
And of course I've also been enjoying the holiday. We went to the fireworks last night (I know it was the third, but for some reason our city does them on the third) and it was so enjoyable! The display was beautiful! So today we've been hanging out here at the house and enjoying our fourth by eating this...
It's a Martha Stewart recipe--simple, yet tasty. My only trouble...I rather casually interpreted the "serve immediatley" instructions to mean "serve within a reasonable amount of time". Oh no! when she says immediatley she means immediatley! Within 15 minutes the whip cream layers had started to shift and the fruit was sliding off the top and over the sides! So all in all a cake I would make again--but would immediatley serve very quickly!
And now off to finish my fourth by watching the Boston Pops Orchestra on the television!