Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013


All of my sewing stuff is organized, packed up, and ready to go--I can't use any of it until we get to our new location.  I am hoping to make some new outfits for the kids this fall though, specifically for the boy.  Inspiring me right now are these images of my grandfather as a boy.

I'm really loving the little black socks and brown shoes!  Now to find some patterns.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I was supposed to be washing walls and cleaning carpets.
I did this with the kids instead.
Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Using some readily accessible items as a "make do" spreading board for a new specimen.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Mondays are so much nicer when...
...they begin with strawberry shortcake for breakfast!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Avian Wall Art

This year, as part of our homeschool nature studies, we learned all about birds.  We spent a lot of time going on nature walks and looking for birds to photograph.  At home we researched the birds we had spotted, wrote all about them in our nature journal, and then painted them for our bird mural.
Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Bluejays, Mockingbirds, Osprey, and House Finches are all up there in our tree.

Not pictured are our Egrets, Blue Herons, American Black Ducks, and Mallards.  (They were all in a pond beneath our tree which, unfortunately, the boy destroyed).  There were quite a number of other birds that we didn't get around to painting, but that's okay, the tree was getting a bit crowded.
I'm taping the birds into our nature books and dismantling the tree. The birds may reappear at the new house, on a much bigger tree, with more room for new birds...and
maybe a toddler proof pond too!

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Three years ago, I planted some little hydrangea plants in the front flower bed.  It was no easy task. The construction crews had dumped their waste in the flower beds, so mixed in with the heavy clay soil were large chunks of concrete, metal bars, broken glass, and empty soda bottles.  It took hours of back breaking work just to get a few little plants in the ground.
But oh, was it worth it. They have grown beautifully and have put on a magnificent show every June. I've enjoyed stepping outdoors to see them, but I have been waiting and waiting for the moment when they would be tall enough for me to enjoy the sight of them from indoors.
This is the year.  The blooms rest on the window sill and bat against the screens.  I've started having my morning coffee in the front room, just so I can see them.  Yes, they were well worth all the effort.  I wish I could take them with me...
I hope whoever moves in next likes to garden.  I hope they'll tend to all the perennials I've planted out front, the roses on the side and the irises our back.  But if nothing else, when the hot, dry days of August come and everything starts to wilt, I hope, so very much so, that they will water the hydrangeas.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Our move is just over a month away.  I don't have to do any of the packing (the movers will do that), but I do have the cleaning and decluttering to take care of.  The move itself is exciting, but the process is at times boring, stressful, and emotional.  The mundane tasks of wall washing, carpet cleaning, and closet clearing are decidedly boring.  Determining timelines, travel arrangements, housing--all very stressful.  Realizing that it is the last time you will do this, go there, see that person...  Well, there have been plenty of tears and more to come I'm sure.
I've been trying to get out once a day for a walk just to help unwind and relax.  Most often these walks are with the family, but sometimes I get out alone (or mostly alone rather, I generally take the dog with me) and can wander a bit further for a bit longer.  
On one such walk, I stumbled across these mushrooms.
They seemed almost unreal they were so intensely orange--certainly unusual enough to warrant pausing for a picture.
I'm thinking of doing a picture a day for the next month or so--a little project to help distract me from the ever growing "to do" list and a chance to document our last days here.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ice Cream

I haven't used the ice cream maker in years.  I think I may have even forgotten it existed.  It required quite a bit of dusting off and needed a few cobwebs removed as well, before it was ready for use.

I whipped up an old favorite, raspberry chocolate chip.  The kids were amazed--they couldn't believe how easy it was to make your own and they couldn't believe how good it tasted.
We spent the rest of the evening discussing all the possible flavors we could make next.
No more cobwebs for you little machine!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ups and Downs

This spring weather has been a lot like a roller coaster ride. We race up to eighty-five degrees, sunny, and humid and then rapidly plummet down to forty-five degrees, cloudy, and windy. One day it's swimsuits and sprinklers, the next it's jackets and mittens. Almost all of the flowers are in full bloom, but the threat of a frost still lingers in the forecast.
Our life, over the last few weeks, has greatly resembled the weather. All kinds of ups and downs. Ups--Pookie's first communion, visits from family, an exciting new assignment (moving this summer!) and downs--stomach flu for everyone, one case of the seasonal flu, and one broken arm.
But summer, with its constant (and often monotonous) hot and sunny days, is just around the corner. And I expect that our days, much like the weather, will also stop fluctuating so drastically and will quickly return to normal. I'm ready for a little peace (and even a bit of monotony maybe) before the big move!

Friday, March 08, 2013


A collection of "treasures" acquired during our most recent walk.
The landscape is still mostly brown, there is no real green yet, but there are plenty of pinks, whites, purples, and blues scattered here and there.  I am so glad that spring is finally here!