Friday, April 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
PS. I have always been irritated by the word verification, and never moreso than lately when it is so hard to read and finnicky. Then I was told others were having problems with it too (Thanks Lisa!) SO, I said "Good riddance with ya!" and turned it off. Until I get bombarded with SPAM and I need to figure out a new alternative- anyone can comment and do so EASILY. ;-)
Monday, April 23, 2012
The Peanut-turned-Panda-turned-Cowboy turned six a few weeks ago and had pretty much the best birthday ever. Nanny (that would be my Mom) made him a cake on the day before his birthday when we came over for dinner. He thought it was pretty amazing to be getting TWO cakes-one from her and the other from me.
On his actual birthday, Matt was supposed to be out of townall week and that was pretty depressing for everyone involved. I decided that perhaps inviting Matts parents over for cake might brighten the birthday boys spirits and, in a very small way, make up for missing his Papa.
But after dinner and after presents, what should appear but two headlights in the driveway; two headlights that drove almost four hours home so they could share in Da-Doo's birthday bash.
So yeah. Best birthday ever.
Andrew struggled for days with the terribly difficult decision of choosing a cow, a dragon or a skeleton cake. Eventually, he could bear it no longer and told me he wanted me to surprise him.
(Between you and I, this was my favorite option!)
Knowing my Cowboy-Farmer well, I knew it had to be (yet ANOTHER) cow cake. And knowing my own limits well, I knew the cow would be plastic and not sugar.
We went to Wegmans bulk candy section and I told each child they could pick ONE piece of candy. I have never done this before and the children were amazed at their luck. The choice of ONE candy took longer than my finding and bagging up all the candy I would need for the cake (rootbeer barrels, gray M&Ms, tootsie rolls, and a bit of Mary Jane sweetness. It worked out smashingly well, I might add.
Andrew was shocked and awed by the cake, which is the point after all. He told me later that he loves the surprise cakes I make because they have presents on them.
I get the idea that this will be his method for the foreseeable future. All to get more "hard plastic cows", he calls them. Not cows. Not toy cows. Not soft plastic cows. Hard plastic cows.
And there IS a difference, you know.
Also that day we went and got him his very own library card. Oh-what a day it was. A six-year olds dream.
Or, at least, MY six year olds'.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
The warm winds are whipping around Hopestead and my days are following suit. Now that the weather is warming, I am finding every excuse to get outside. And with the new season begins a new set of responsibilities and a new level of busy-ness.
One BIG responsibility: washing and packing up the winter duds and unpacking the summer ones. This chore, alone, has gotten more complicated with our move since-instead of just heading up to the attic, as I did before, it goes something like this:
Cross the yard and the road-go up in the Granary-bring down a bin. Cross the road and the yard and then go upstairs in the house. Do a switch. Haul a bin downstairs, out of the house, across the yard, across the road and up the Granary.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
(You attic and basement storers have it SO good.)
These summerish winds blow in some other responsibilities too~ like clothesline hanging, garden planning and preparations, and sweeping up dirt brought in by bare toes 100 times day. Exercising so I can actually swim in public this summer. Needless to say, I have been pretty busy lately.
A good busy.
One of these days I will blog about a Panda who turned six and his requested cow cake. (Surprised? Didn't think so.)
One of these days I will blog about my really great, really unique clothesline Matt built. (I thought it was going to turn out AWFUL. Instead it turned out AMAZING. Gotta love it when that happens...)
Or I could blog about the newly plowed garden plot over in the side yard. (Our biggest yet!)
Or I could talk about the little thoughts flurrying about my mind at any given moment.
But all these are going to have to wait because...
I haven't finished showing you Easter pictures yet! For Easter, we went to see my brother Jonathan and his new apartment which is really only an apartment in the fact that every month he turns over a rent check.
No. The word 'apartment' doesn't really suit the place at all.
It is actually an old, fully restored and now utterly amazing, granary which is attached to a fully restored and breathtaking, old barn surrounded by beautiful walking paths, a lovely pond, tons of perennials and an amazing firepit and conversations spot.
Yes, if OUR granary were this granary, I would beg to switch clothes over every season. And maybe, I would not even need the house at all.
I took lots of pictures because I just loved the place. It is quaint and eclectic and has so many features that just scream 'ME'. Like the light branch over the table my brother made. And the birds everywhere. And the colors in the living area are the colors in my school room! The mirrors everywhere. And...most of all, the BATHROOM. I feel completely and utterly in love with the bathroom (which I sadly, didn't capture well at all.)
Take a looksie.
The claw foot tub, the pedestal sink and the levitating mirror are all out in the open of the room. And surrounded with cattails and birdcages no less. Claw foot tubs? Suspended mirrors? Pedestal sink surrounded by vintage birdcages? I die.
(The toilet and shower are private. No worries.)
I already have plans to convert OUR Granary into a place like this. Expect a blog post about it in approximately....oh....2045.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
It has become a sort-of tradition around here to get new Mama-made duds for Easter. (This tradition, unfortunately, has never extended to MAMA getting new duds for Easter-- but I digress.) And this tradition goes hand in hand with the tradition of said Mama procrastinating until a few days before Easter to begin.
Duds are usually made in wee dark hours of twilight, and usually without patterns which means-it is a variable free for all whether or not they will actually look NICE or not.
Adele's dress was made without a pattern but using this lovely little dress as an inspiration. Unfortunately, I made it during the first of two 1 am sewing sessions and it turned out WAAAAY too big for her. I ended up having to use a bazillion safety pins on Easter morning just to get the thing wearable. Also, it turns out, the pleated bodice ended up hanging down (almost bowl-like) in front. NOT a good look. Not sure how I will fix that or how the inspiration dress didn't have that problem. Overall, I love the pom-pom trim and rick rack and of course, I love the fabric. But it didn't turn out quite as lovely as I had hoped. Methinks I will be altering it in the (very near) future.
Corynn's dress was my own design. A Mullet dress, as it were; unsuspecting in front but a party going on in the back. The dress channeled both a circus Ringmaster and a Lady, properly bustled. I did use a pattern for the bodice (I ran out of time for the buttonholes-they will be done in the -very near- future, too) but the skirt was all Rebecca.
The skirt sewed up just exactly as the idea had formed in my head...I love it. Bonus- Corynn helped me sew it! She (and I!) were both pleased to work together on her dress. It was worth the extra time it took.
Easter morning was the second late night sewing session. After finishing the two dresses I had been planning to make for the girls (minus the buttonholes for Corynn!) I noticed it was only 12:30 am (still early yet!) and so I whipped out a few wonky bow ties for the boys. Heaven forbid they feel left out!
(Andrew was a good sport but he was SO not interested in getting his picture taken. He is practically salivating at the places he could roam here.)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
1 ~ snap a zillion photos in rapid succession in order to (hopefully) get one usable one.
2 ~ be prepared to look like an idiot and do crazy things to get everyone who is supposed to be looking at the camera ACTUALLY looking and maybe, if I am especially lucky-get a few genuine smiles in there too.
3 ~ and lastly, call it a good picture if everyone is looking at the camera.
And so it was while taking a picture of the grandkids. I think outtakes are great fun to laugh over, and these just crack me up. Why? Because of two little girls...
Next to my mom sits my little niece Christiana-whom I tried (to no avail) to get to smile. I jumped up and down. I acted like a loony bird. And she never cracked a smile. Not ONCE. Not even a smidge.
And then there is Adele', who knows her mother well and cracks up in riotous laughter (humiliation??) at my antics. Watching their personalities unfold in front of the camera is hilarious. TO me anyway. All these pictures were taken in the space of like three minutes.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
An Easter weekend full of bread and wine and fruit tarts; of every baking sheet in the house full of warm bread and sinkfuls of dirty dishes; of sewing remnants flying about the Spare Oom and working in the wee hours of the morning because I procrastinated, as usual; of cutting hair and extra scrubbing under the fingernails; of visiting on patios and in kitchens and granaries; of hunts and laughs and bison sightings; of candy in eggs and candy in baskets and candy on tables and candy in bellies.
But the sweetest of all... the Truth of it.
Hope you felt it. Hope you FEEL it. It is pretty amazing.
(more pictures to come...)
Thursday, April 05, 2012
- Eggnog and toast
- Dippy eggs
- Scrambled eggs (several days)
- Oatmeal with brown sugar
- blueberry scones
- cornmeal mush with maple syrup
- yogurt with cereal on top
I can't remember the afternoon snacks-though I do recall making peppermint meringue cookies early last week and the children having them with snacks for a few days.
- Beef stew (the best I have ever made!) and buttermilk biscuits (using just three ingredients! and they were good!)
- Spaghetti with home canned meatsauce, spring garden salad, home canned pears and whole wheat parmesan breadsticks.
- leftover night (the last of the library classes I attended.)
- Marinated chicken and sweet peas over brown rice. Strawberries and huckleberries coated with vanilla yogurt.
- ugh. what did we have on Thursday?!? It was fancy.
- Pizza and carrot sticks with Ranch dip
- Split Pea Soup, Vegetable Beef Barley soup, Lots o' Buttery Crescents, Fruit tart for dessert. (Had friends over for a Soup and Scrabble night.)
- Sunday went to my parents' for a delicious *and big* lunch. I brought braided egg bread. That night the children had bowls of split pea soup before bed.
- Sausage gravy and buttermilk biscuits (same as above), peas and corn mixed together. Cake for dessert. (Birthday request)
- Chili, beans, and cheese fries. (The kids have never had anything like this and felt VERY special.) Strawberry and Kiwi salad.
- And last night- Matt wasn't home for dinner and I was busy all the way until supper so I had to scramble at suppertime. I asked the children whether they wanted Bacon and Eggs or BLTs. They chose the bacon and eggs (and strawberries and pumpernickel toast) and I chose a BLT on pumpernickel (it has been over a year since I had a BLT and boy was it gooooood.)
There is one other night that I can't for the life of me recall, last Thursday, but I remember it being a good one. Just not memorable, apparently.
As for tonight~ we are having Ham, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, and homecanned applesauce.
And you know what tomorrow brings! PIZZA NIGHT!
SO-what's on YOUR table these days?