Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I SOOO Need a Cup of Tea!

And believe me...one is brewing as I type. It has been a long week and we are only halfway done. Arrggh. Let me explain.

I have attempted to pottytrain Chloe in the past but it seems I am only able (or willing) to deal with it for a couple of hours and then I give up...telling myself that she isn't ready or something along those lines. Well, after a conversation with my mother this past weekend, I decided that now is the time we are going to pottytrain. Even if it means I am the one who is trained and not Chloe.

This is the first time that I have tried pottytraining her that Chloe has been willing to sit on the pottychair. (for the most part. Sometimes she decides she would rather not and then I have to sing a few rounds of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" complete with arm motions and tummy tickles. It works though. Whatever keeps her on that chair for more than a couple of seconds, right?) Anyways, we finally had a victory yesterday!! She went potty on her chair!!! Hooray! Then silly me decided that maybe it would be easier to have her not wear any panties today. WHAT WAS I THINKING???? I don't know, but it was not my most brilliant idea, I can tell you that much! And do you wanna know the really funny thing? I didn't learn my lesson quickly either. Nope. It took me a whole day of stepping in wet spots on the carpet to realize that maybe this was a bad idea.

So, this has been my week so far. We sit on the floor next to the potty chair every 20 minutes or so. I read books to her or sing "Itsy Bitsy" and we have a ball. I am thinking that maybe I should read at least one potty training book though. It might help. Anyone know of a good one? I was thinking about getting Babywise's pottytraining one since I have used that method since she was born.

My tea is finished brewing and I think its time for me to go, sit down, crochet something mindless while I sip a cup of tea. I might even have TWO cups tonight. I think I deserve it!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Romantic Notions

I am currently reading "The Postcard" by Beverly Lewis. I have to admit that I am not too far into this book because I found myself weeping so hard from the first few chapters I had to put it down for a couple of days. I wanted to read some more yesterday afternoon, in fact, that was my plan...but I somehow managed to get a headache and then spent the next 5 and a half hours sleeping. Boy did that feel good! It only meant I didn't get any reading done. Oh well.

But back to this book. It is set in Lancaster, PA. (Amish country.) I have to tell you that ever since I can remember I have fantasized about being Amish. I think I read a book about an amish girl when I was in the fourth or fifth grade or somewhere around there and that is when my amish dream was born. I can't say that I think about it ALL the time or anything. It just crosses my mind every now and then. (especially when I am baking bread or scrubbing my floor on my hands and knees)

My mother always told me that I was too romantic. That life back in the 1700's or in Amish country is not really as romantic as I make it out to be. And I do make it out to be very romantic. I fantasize about churning butter and growing a huge garden. I fantasize about canning all my own food and eating it all winter. I fantasize about evenings spent with a brood of children around my feet, playing games and reading books by the light of an oil lamp. Reading this book "The Postcard" really has these romantic notions coming back up in my mind again. Could I? Would I want to? What would one have to do to become amish? Can you convert? Or do you have to be born amish? I don't know. But I am intriguied.

Maybe my mother is right though. Maybe I DO romanticize it up too much. I mean, what on earth would I do without my electric stove? And I would have to give up my Lullabies and Lace business. (no electricity means no computer either) And I highly doubt that my ornate dresses for Chloe would suit the attire of the plain amish. What would I do if I ran out of thread and needed more? I couldn't just pop into my horse and buggy for a quick jaunt up the street to the local yarn store. I have so many internet friends as well. How could I possibly say goodbye to them? I can't. I guess that means I can only dream about being amish. I enjoy my life as it is though. I don't think I want to change it.

So, speaking of internet friends. I recieved in the mail today the most lovely and unexpected package. A dear tester of mine sent me a little "thank you" gift. I guess you could call it a thank you gift. She was saying "thank you" for allowing her to test for me. I think it should have been reversed though. I should be the one sending her the thank you package for testing for me.

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Now I have one question. How horrible is this package when I am in the midst of a stashbusting attempt? I mean, look at all those little size 80 threads!!! Come on!!!! Now I have to minus 18 points from my score and I only have 2 points for this week. I left last week with a negative as well since I had to buy some threads to finish some projects. My oh my. *shaking head* What's a girl to do?? But, I guess I can forgive her since she did send along two skeins of my utmost favorite yarn in the entire world. (the Paton's Grace, in case you couldn't see that) I adore this yarn. I also adore size 80 thread, even though it takes me pretty much forever to use up a little ball of it. I guess I won't be stashbusting my size 80 thread stash for a while now. Does anyone want any chunky weight yarn? I might be getting rid of a bunch this week now just to get my numbers back into the positive. I really want my coat by winter. (although I KNOW I cannot possibly knit that fast. Maybe next winter???)

Anyways, jokes aside...thank you sallenlouise for such a lovely package. It warmed my heart and brough a smile to my face. (and to the face of Chloe who adores playing with little things.) But the next item I have to show you really got Chloe going. (don't ask me why. She's a toddler. Who understands the ways of a toddler???)

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As soon as that book came out of the package, Chloe pounced on it and giggled. She held it up for me to take the picture and then she ran around the room with it yelling "book" and giggling. (told you! typical toddler-like behaivor that has yet to be understood by reasoning adults)

Its almost time for the Holidays in July swap thingie over at the ville and I posted my wishlist there the other day. One of the things on my wishlist was the book you see above from Crochet N Beads. I had seen this absolutely gorgeous doily by Kathryn White and I just had to have it. When I went to her site, I saw that it was in a book and I knew that I had to have it. I wasn't really expecting it for my Holidays in July gift (nor was I expecting it so soon...I didn't realize it had started already) but lo and behold, it arrived today from a special Fairy Godmother! Thank you so much Fairy Godmother! I love this book. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. I can't wait to start on these doilies. Each one of them is so beautiful and different; I want to make all of them!!!

I did get a doily done this weekend though. Nothing for myself though. This doily was for a friend who had always wanted a doily with her married name on it. She had seen something like this done when she was first married and so she ordered one from me when she found out I knew how to crochet.

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This is actually the second filet project I have ever crocheted. The first was another name doily I made for the same lady about a month ago. She had asked for one for her sister who was getting married. I learned quite a bit about filet with these doilies. First I learned that you need two spaces for each block and not one. Opps. Had to frog the first doily for that. (and it was completed too. So it was a HUGE frog.) Second I learned that the letters need to be spaced closer together instead of far apart. Opps. Instead of frogging it again (because once again it was complete) I just started an entirely new doily. The old one is in my workbasket waiting until my anger dies down enough that I can frog the thread to use for a different project) So, three times is a charm. I got it completed and sent off. This second doily went alot smoother, I must say. But once again, I have learned something. ONE, my tension is actually getting looser as I get older and crochet more. I have been crocheting non-stop for about 8 years now. I have crocheted on and off since I was 8 years old, but ever since I got married I can't stop. Its something in my blood. TWO, I think I need to use smaller thread. Even though the above doily was only 4 letters long, it ended up being way too wide. Maybe next time I will use some size 30 thread instead of size 10. I want to make one now for Chloe so that will be the perfect opportunity to play around.

I need to get going. I have spent the past hour typing this post when I should have been crocheting. I came downstairs to get a lamp for my craft room and here I am sitting and posting to my blog instead. Silly me. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. God bless your week ahead and may you have many reasons to smile!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mexican Night

Last night was another ethnic night for us. After a month of this, we have found many recipes that do not work! I wouldn't neccessarily call them failures...just educational recipes. I have learned what recipes are gross, en-edible and just plain...umm....well, gross. Some are so bad that we can't even force ourselves to eat more than one bite. They are thrown immediately into the garbage. This saddens me since most of the time on ethnic night, I spent about 2-3 hours in the kitchen preparing the food. And believe me! The ingredients look nice. The dish sounds delicous when I am skimming over the recipe. (or else I wouldn't try it) But once assembled something happens to it and it becomes, well, gross.

Take last night. I made quite a few things. I started off with guacamole. You can't go wrong with guacamole, right?

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WRONG!

It was okay though. Finally, not something fit for the garbage can. It took me a while to realize that it was okay though. You see, I was sort of expecting my friend Sonia's guacamole (which is to die for) and this wasn't even remotely close. I think the fact that there were more bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and other junk in there than there was avacados is what knocked it out of the runnings for me. I would have liked it better with more avacados and less of the "clutter". Once I got my brain used to the idea that it was "different" I actually started enjoying it. I don't think I will make it again though. I will look for a different recipe. (it sure looked good when I was making it though)

Next I made something entirely new to me. Strawberry water.

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This was the yummiest part of the meal. It really was. You can't go wrong with strawberries. I would make this again...possibly for company. Its not an everyday type drink...that's for sure. It takes a while to make, but well worth the effort.

Now we come to the questionable items. First we have a Vegetable Medley.

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This was just plain gross. I shouldn't even be showing it to you. This is the item we took one bite of and threw in the garbage. Why is it that recipes will ask you to do something to a food item that cannot be done? Like pureeing kidney beans? I spent about 10 minutes with these beans in the blender and they did NOT puree. I got a few smaller chunks but for the most part the beans all went up the side of the blender away from the blade. Hmmm...I knew at that moment that this recipe wasn't going to turn out right.

Then I made some Mexican Fish.

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This was okay. I would probably cook it again sometime just for something different. Not my favorite, but definately something different. And it was easy!!!! I also made some Sweet Salsa and cinnamon chips. This was wonderful. (sorry I don't have a picture of it. We ate it too quickly) James ate the salsa out of the bowl with a spoon though. (it might have been a fork.) I made the cinnamon chips out of tortillas but I have a few issues with that portion of the recipe. If you ever make these, make sure you don't leave them in the oven for the full 10 minutes as the recipe states. They WILL burn. I think 5 minutes would be better if not less. It doesn't take them very long to brown. (and they aren't very good black) Also, you most likely will not need a whole cup of cinnamon sugar. I used 4 tortillas intead of the 3 it called for and I only used half a cup of cinnamon sugar and even that was a ton. I piled it high on my tortillas. (could be the reason they burnt quicker) Other than that, this was an excellent recipe that I will definately be making again!!!

Well, now. It is time for me to get going. We have a Sunday School picnic today that Chloe and I need to make cookies for and then its Scrapbook night tonight! So, an all around busy day for me. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Leftovers

I had a little problem. HAD. Let me explain. I love to use thread and I go through a lot of it with my various projects, from doilies to dresses and everything in between. Well, the problem is...I can't waste thread. I just can't. But what, might I ask, can you do with the tail end of a ball of thread? (which I can't throw away?)

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Pitiful, isn't it? Just pitiful. You would start to feel sorry for my dilemma if you saw just how many of these useless leftovers I have in my craft room. I have already made quite a few of PK's dainty little doilies. (I still need her book, "99 Little Doilies". That would help too) But I doubt there is even enough of this thread to make a mini doily.

So, what do I do? I keep the leftovers around until....TODAY! Inspiration struck. I always have ideas for new stitch techniques and I never get around to working them out in a sample and so they either sit on a bench somewhere in my brain or they leave from sheer boredom, never to be heard from again. (which leaves me stuck using the same stitch patterns over and over.) Well, today I took out the small ball of leftover thread you see above and I made up some samples with it. I played around with some different ideas that popped into my head and waaa-la! We have something.

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Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy! I can't wait to work this into a new design. But what? I don't know yet. I've got a few weeks left before I can start on some new designs. I have to finish up the ones I am currently working on. Almost there...almost there. Anyways, I am totally stoked about my new "inspiration". I can see many more samples coming along soon as new stitch technique ideas pop into my head. (And I am not lacking in the leftover thread department either.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sneek Peak

I've got a little sneek peak of a couple of designs coming soon for testing in case anyone cares to drool a bit. Not that you know what you are drooling for or anything. I just figured you all might need some proof that I have, indeed, been crocheting the past few months. In less than two weeks, I will have a major and long-overdue update for my website with tons of new patterns (many of which will be free). In addition to that, I have quite a few new patterns being released for testing on that date.

Here is a little something red and scrumptious.

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And here is a little something because I am in love with cables.

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I have more than that coming out but I figured I don't need to show you previews of EVERYTHING now do I? Where would the suspense be in that? If you are interested in testing for the Summer 2007 round, please stop by my testing forum. You will need to register, wait for approval (after which you will recieve an email), sign my testing agreement on the forum and then it will take a day or two after which time you should be able to view my pattern testing announcements.

I leave you today with a little poem I wrote recently. (half of it was written today over breakfast, actually)

Soul's Flight


The earth cannot contain me any longer.
My soul must fly,
be free.
Oh the ache,
the yearning,
the hunger...
For something more than mere eyes can see.


Freedom
for my longing heart.
Pure hope.
Sheer joy.
Eternal peace.
Gazing into the face of my Jesus,
There my dreams,
They shall succeed.
~by Anna-Marie Ness

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Tackling the Dreaded Basement


Our basement was really bad. REALLY bad. It used to house our lawnmower, weed whacker, bikes and anything "shed" related. I couldn't stand going down there. I only went into the room twice a week to do laundry and other than that, the door remained shut so I wouldn't have to look at it.

After this weekend (the one when we painted the shed and transferred most of the "shed" stuff out to the shed) the basement looked a little bit better. Sort of like a tornado came through. Perfect for a tackle.

Here is a before picture of the corner of the basement.

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Junk, junk and more junk. This place is just full of junk. I am not even sure but that some of this stuff was left by the previous owners because I simply don't remember owning junk like this.

Here is the before of our shelving area.

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Horrible, I tell you. As I was sweeping, I noticed tons of dead spiders everywhere. GROSS! (at least they were dead though...that bug killer is good for something)

And the before picture of the dryer area.

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You can't really tell from this picture but the top of that dryer was completely covered in junk. JUNK!!!! Loose screws, nails, driver bits...you name it...it was on there. That took me a while just to clean off the top of the dryer.

But, after an hour worth of work, we have clean surfaces.

The after of the basement corner.

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And the after of the shelving area.

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And then the after of the dryer.

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I also cleaned the bathroom out completely but I forgot to take any pictures so it does no good to show you the afters. You didn't see the befores. I am now completely and thoroughly filthy and just as soon as I get this PB&J faced kid cleaned up and off to naptime, I will be taking a delightful shower. (which will feel sooooo good...I'm telling you.)

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ethnic Night

Ever since James and I were first married, I have tried to be creative in our weekly menu plan by cooking food from different countries. Seeing as how we have traveled and lived in a few different countries since we have been married, this comes a bit easier to us. Lately though, our "ethnic" night has become a bit drab since we resort to Mexican or Italian. (and the italian isn't "real" italian either...more like spahgetti or pasta of some sort)

I decided that we needed to liven things up around here. I wrote down names of some different countries and James draws out a new country each week. I then scour the internet (okay...narrow that down a bit...I scour www.allrecipes.com) for new recipes to try based on that countries cuisine.

Last week was Japanese. As soon as James drew it he stated that he didn't want to eat Japanese that week. I asked why and upon further probing I found out that he doesn't like Sushi. Well, I laughed (more like chuckled slightly so as not to offend him) and proceeded to inform him that Sushi is not ALL the Japanese eat. Here is what I found for last week.

Yakisoba Chicken.

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Ummmm...that was delicious. And there was no raw fish in it anywhere. I also made Sausage Fried Rice.

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That was good too. The next time I make these recipes I will leave out the cabbage though. Neither one of us like cabbage at all and this was just way too much. Both dishes had tons of it. YUCK. But I do have to say that the chicken was to die for. We will be making that again and again. (and maybe we won't wait for the next round of Japanese night...it was that good)

I made a Japanese Fruitcake for dessert and the actual cake portion was pretty good but then I had to make this filling with oranges and lemons and it ruined the cake. Totally and completely ruined it. I may use the recipe again and make a sugar glaze frosting for it. Ummm...it would be good. I didn't get a picture of the cake though. I should have but I didn't. So sorry.

So, this past week was English night. You would think with us having lived in England for a year that I would be a pro at English cooking but that is simply not the case. For one, we expected to live there for 3 years instead of 1 so we put alot of stuff off until it was too late. For two, our neighbour was going to school to be a chef so he cooked all the time for us. We didn't need to learn. He was wonderful. Anyways, we had our "ethnic night" on Saturday this past weekend due to my having a terrible headache on Friday.

Cottage Pie

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I always wanted to try this while we were living there and I never got the chance. I knew James probably wasn't going to like it but I made it anyways. For myself. And I have to be honest with you. I LOVED it! I really did. I could have done without the two whole pie tins full that the recipe made though since James only ate one spoonful of it. Oh well. We will see how tired I get of it by the week's end.

I also made some English Pasties, but this recipe is nothing like the pasties we had while we were there. I think next time I will look for a more authentic recipe. I didn't photograph them because James ate both of them before I could and also because they weren't very good to me. After all was said and done, James informed me that they weren't all that bad and he wouldn't mind having them again. I couldn't tell that from the look on his face while he was eating them. He wasn't very enthusiastic...let's put it that way.

Anyways, the best part of the meal, in my opinion was the English Trifle. If you have never had an English Trifle then you haven't tasted perfection in pudding. Ummmm...summer's delightful dessert. It has everything in it except ice cream! (does whipping cream count? No. Its not cold enough)

English Trifle

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There are so many English Trifle recipes to choose from that I could probably make a new one each week and they would all be different. I might try a new one next time and let you know how it turns out.

Yesterday was Father's day. And what a Father's day it was too. James decided he wanted to stay home from church. So we did. Then he decided he wanted to paint the shed outside. So, do you know who actually painted most of the shed yesterday while she was supposed to be in church??? NOT JAMES! Nope. You would think it would have been James since he is the one who wanted to paint the shed in the first place. But nope. Wasn't him. Somehow, he suckered me into doing most of it. Well, I considered it my father's day gift to him. Then we went out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. I am not one who normally likes to skip church on Sunday's. Nor am I one who supports businesses who are open on Sundays by shopping (or eating) at them on Sundays, but since it was a day to honor James, I did as he requested. There was one thing I did behind his back though. He doesn't like to get gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or Father's day. He thinks its a silly holiday (but not silly enough to make a bunch of "father's day" requests...) But I made him a little gift anyways.

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That is a little coupon book I made by printing out items he can recieve by presenting the coupon and then glueing them to some cardstock I had. I cut a hole in the corner and added a bit of ribbon to keep them together. Some of the items redeemable are a free lawn mowing (I will mow the lawn...not to include edging, weed whacking or trimming...just the mow) a free truck wash (he noticed that I put "truck" and not "car". I knew he would notice and I always wash the car anyways) a get out of dinner free card (in case he really doesn't feel like musseling down the burnt green beans for supper), a free backrub and some other things. There were 12 in all, some of which I cannot post here...keeping this blog clean and all. Anyways, it was a huge hit. He loved it. Last time I made him a coupon book like this, he lost it after having redeemed only one coupon. Not my fault. I told him he better keep track of this one so he doesn't miss out on some of these opportunities. I know he wants to "win an argument" or "get out of diaper duty" or "choose the movie for date night".

I hope you all have a wonderful evening. I am off to bed. Good night.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Small Jackpot Things

I hit the jackpot today! I am so happy with my finds. James promised me this week that he would take me to a little local flea market I heard from a lady standing in line with me at the Salvation Army last week. And he kept that promise. (which made me a very happy wife, indeed.) As many of you probably already know, I have this sort of addiction to books. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to read. Well, lately I have had this insane need to fill my entire house from top to bottom with books. Can I ever read these books in a year? Not unless I forsake everything else in my life. (and I don't see that happening.) But I buy them none-the-less.

Some books I began reading as a young teenager were my mother's Grace Livingston Hill collection. I swear I read every single Grace Livingston Hill book my mother owned at least3 times before I graduated highschool. Why would my mother let me read such books at the age of 13? I don't know. I guess it was better than some of the other books I could have been bringing home from the library.

After I was married, my mother gifted me with her Grace Livingston Hill collection for my birthday one year. Oh boy. I have re-read these books through 2 more times since then. I just love them. I got this brilliant idea a few weeks ago that it might be nice to add to this collection. I found one book at an antique store (which I believe I already showed you at that time.) Today though, I found a box of books filled with Grace Livingston Hill books. JACKPOT! Many of them I already had, but I was able to pick up quite a few I didn't have. Hooray!

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I know that these books will send me well on my way to the 50 book goal I have set this year. I can literally read on of these Grace books in a day. They are a quick read but I still love them.

Anyways, the lady with the Grace books also had two Janette Oak books so I bought those as well. I remember my mother having those books when I was a girl too. I read my first Janette Oak book when I was 10 years old and I think I read everything my mother owned from that collection in one years time. I love her books too. I thought it might be nice for Chloe to grow up reading these books like I did so I think I will be adding to this collection as well.

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And speaking of books...I found a couple of books yesterday at the Salvation Army. I told myself I was not going to buy any books yesterday when I went in. I did a very good job of displaying some self-control for the first 5 minutes I was in the store. I did a VERY good job. I think I should be commended for how well I did for those 5 minutes. But then, I went to look at a rocking chair that was right next to the bookshelf. Why would they do that? Put something I want to look at right smack cab next to something I am forbidden to look at. Oh the agony of it all. Then I told myself, I would only buy books that are on my "wishlist". So, I found a Grace Livingston Hill "collection" book. (collection 8) It has four books in one including one written by her Aunt. JACKPOT Again!! I couldn't pass that up. And even though its not "technically" on my list...it really is since I have decided to collect her books. So, that is okay. I also found a book that is on my amazon wishlist. So, that one is okay too. So, I think I should still be commended for not buying any other books in addition to these two.

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Chloe sometimes displays toddler-like behaivior. Okay. I know this is hard to believe. She always looks so sweet and smiley. NO one believes me when I say this kid can cry with the best of them. But she can. Trust me on this one. Sometimes, she becomes so overly unbearable with the whining thing that I send her to time-out. If we are on the top floor of the house then timeout is on her bed. If we are on the middle floor of the house, timeout is on the couch. She just sits there until I tell her she can get off.

Well, Thursday I used this method and after about 5 minutes I noticed it got unusually quiet. Okay. First let me explain that during timeout she is not allowed to have any toys or anything. She just sits there. But she usually ends up talking to herself or playing with her cell phone or cup of tea (she has quite the imagination...since she has nothing in her hands to play with). But not Thursday. She was too quiet. I walked around the corner and lo and behold, the poor dear was....

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...sleeping!!!! No I am not a horrible mother that left her there for an hour or anything. It was literally less than 5 minutes. That is how tired the poor thing was. Sometimes, kids just need some peace and quiet when they are cranky and fussy because they are indeed too tired to know what they want. They just need some sleep.

So, now I am off to help James paint the shed. I choose a pretty sage green and we are going to add a white trim. He didn't really like my "cottage garden" idea of painting the shed white with white trim and then having roses galore climbing all over it with maybe some Hollyhocks and Asters. Hmmm...so a light sage green is the next best thing, right?

I leave you with the most adorable picture of the cutest kid in the world. She actually climbed into this box on her own. How she accomplished it, I will never know. I wasn't looking. James was too busy chatting on the phone in the chair behind her to notice this ridiculous kid. She is too funny. I tell you...she is not normal. This fascination with boxes has gone far beyond normal. If there is a box (yes...even a cereal box) she MUST attempt to get inside. (next time she tries to get into a cheerio box, I hope I have my camera on hand so you all can see it.)

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Happy Saturday to you all! Have a wonderful Father's Day weekend!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Goodness Gracious, Its a Garden

I finally did it. I splurged on myself and finished my garden. The only problem with buying a house with absolutely NO garden to speak of whatsoever is that I must start from scratch and that can be quite costly. All that dirt, the mulch, the actual flowers. That doesn't even cover the back-breaking work it takes to dig out all the grass and get the dirt rotatilled and the flowers into the ground. Thank goodness I did that last month. But I couldn't stand the sight of my garden not even halfway full.

So, today I ventured out to Home Depot and splurged. Now before you all lose control here, please know that I used my hard earned money from my business for this. James did NOT lose a penny of his money on my garden. (I don't know if I mentioned it on my blog or not but the last time I bought flowers - last month - he banned me from buying any more because it took me over a week to get them into the ground and they almost died) So, needless to say, the flowers I bought today got put into the ground today.

Here is my before picture.

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And here is the after.

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It took alot of work but the end effect was so worth it. You probably can't see a huge difference in the pictures but there is a huge difference. And just you wait until all this starts growing in. I can hardly wait. Look and see what all I planted today. I went with an eclectic sort of garden. You can't really call it a cottage garden because I don't really think there are "cottage" flowers in the garden. Its just a hodge podge of stuff all mixed together. (but seperated...if that makes any sense).

First is my herb section. This became much bigger than I had originally intended but I am glad it did. I love herbs. Here is my basil and chives.

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Next is my thyme and rosemary. I can't wait for the rosemary to grow. It can get to be up to 4 feet tall. I remember having a bunch of this throughout the garden in England including a huge pot by the front door that was almost the size of a shrub. I loved using it in my kitchen. I made pork roasts with it that were simply scrumptious.

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Next is my French Tarragon, catnip, peppermint and sage. I can't wait to try my hand at making my own tea with the peppermint and the catnip. Did you know you can make tea with catnip? I must look for a recipe for it and try it. That would be interesting. I wonder if it would have the same effect on me that is has on Pattycakes. (who goes completely nuts if she smells any within a ten mile radius. This should prove entertaining with it in our garden)

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Next I planted some grasses and some asparagus ferns. I just love those. They are so...umm....funky, I guess you could say. I love adding texture to the garden and these are a beautiful color of green.

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Next are my roses that you saw before. (because I planted them last month)

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The roses aren't doing very well. Okay. The patio rose bush is okay since it is blooming. But look at these leaves...

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Do you see what I see??? Holes. The leaves are riddled with holes. I have no clue why. I think I may have to locate a gardening forum similar to the ville (a crochet forum) so I can get some help with my garden. I have no clue what I am doing most of the time. I just see flowers I like and I plant them and somehow, the grow. I do know that we have spiders in the garden. Gross!! I hate spiders. What can I do to get rid of them? Also there are some roly polys. I wonder if they eat rose leaves? I don't know, but that would be a very good question to ask the gardening forum I find. (if I can find one...if not, I guess I will have to go find a local nursery around here)

Now let me show you the beautiful roses up close.

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Isn't it gorgeous??? I simply adore roses. Now this particular rose bush puzzles me. It is a patio rose and I always thought patio roses were miniature. This one is miniature but its blooms are full size. I love the full size blooms - in fact I like them better than the teeny ones - but I just assumed they were all small. Oh well. I am not going to complain. It might change its mind and start producing smaller blooms and then where would I be?

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And another picture because I was having fun editing them.

Okay, onto the next portion of the garden. Here I planted a honeydew melon and a cucumber plant. I planted these just for the sheer thrill of seeing what would happen. I have never grown either one before and I am curious to see if I can do it and if they will turn out any good.

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Next are my flowers that I planted last month. They sure are growing. I think I may have planted them too close together though. As you can very well see...they are NOT dead, as James claimed they were. They are thriving and growing and doing well. I am pleased.

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Next I planted a bunch of tomatoes. What garden is complete without tomatoes? I just love sitting out in the garden in the evening and snacking on some juicy, ripe, sweet tomatoes. I don't think they ever make it into the house. Hmmm. This time I bought a ton of plants though so maybe it will be different this time. Opps. Almost forgot to mention the two sweet bell pepper plants. Gotta try those out too.

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And last, but not least is my shade section of the garden clear at the back. I already showed you the Clematis last month but I added some hostas and coleus.

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And that is the end. I hope you enjoyed seeing the fruits of my hard labour today. Boy oh boy. I am ready for a cup of tea and a crochet hook. And maybe some banana bread. I made some today.

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I always think its slightly weird when people post pictures of food on thier blogs although I have been known to do so a time or two myself. But have you seen anyone edit thier food photo and then post it? Probably not. I figure if I was going to post a picture of my banana bread I made today, I might as well make it look as attractive as possible, right?

And now, I must be off. My delightful tea (won't name the brand or someone might get jealous) is calling me. I leave you with a picture of Chloe. She was a big helper today in the garden. She picked some gorgeous leaves off my dusty milller, uprooted my coleus shortly after I planted it, de-petaled a rose and then carried tomato plants for me, setting them in the garden at precise locations. She wanted to help so badly. But the swimming pool soon beckoned to her and she answered. Have a good night everyone.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Something About Tea

"Here we go again. She's going to say it. She's going to mention something about her beloved PG Tips tea, isn't she? I mean, the title of her post has the word tea in it. What can you expect from someone who flaunts her wonderful PG Tips tea around for everyone to swoon over?"

Okay. So I know that's what you all were thinking in your heads. But no. I am not going to mention my lovely PG Tips tea (which I have just had a delightful cup of, by the way) I would not do that to you. I am not cruel. What I am going to do is show you a little gadget I have decided I would like to own.

A teastick!

Yes. I took one look at this thing and knew immediately that I would like one of them. But check out the price!!! Egads!!! Maybe Santa will bring me one in my stocking for Christmas. I can beg and beg and beg some more can't I?

I just really wanted to show this to you because I think its clever. That is the coolest little tea infuser I have ever seen. I will tell you the moment I receive mine from Santa.

In other news, we had our swim today. It was lovely. Simply perfect. The weather was wretchedly hot and the pool was refreshingly cold. Not cool. Not frigid cold. Refreshingly cold. It was wonderful. I even got some photos of little Chloe. (as I promised I would. I actually almost forgot so you are very lucky I have some)

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Chloe instantly loved the water. We stepped right in toghther...no fussing...no screaming...no fear. I guess alot of kids are afraid of the pool? Chloe isn't. She loves water...bath water, sink water, cat bowl water. ALL water. Anyways, I put her on the steps so she could play by herself without me holding her the whole time. She loved it. I think next time I will take her lifejacket though so she can learn to swim without me holding her the whole time.

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And another one just because she's one cute kid.

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Guess what! I haven't finished my extensive to do list and I went and added another major project to the list yesterday. Here's the scoop. I really want a dream sewing/craft room. I want it to be a place where I can go for inspiration and to relax with a nice cup of PG Tips tea. (okay. honestly, I didn't need to mention that part, did I Ladysnow??? So sorry) Anyways, I am in need of something to sit on in this room. I found just the something yesterday at the Salvation Army. It was perfect. AND it was on sale for half off. Can you get much better than that? I don't think so. I got this lovely chair for $12.50.

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Actually, I find it quite hideous. Revolting. I can't even bring myself to sit in it. BUT...I see the potential. I want to recover it and have the most wonderful little crocheting cuddly chair ever. I love my recliner but I find it hard to crochet in. The arms are too big and cuddly. It is perfect for typing on the computer (like I am doing now) but for crocheting, it just doesn't cut it. This chair will be perfect. But now for my dilemma which I will need as much help with as possible.

What color should I cover it in? Of course, I will have to be able to FIND the colors you all choose for me from Joann's but I want to go in with a general idea. So, here are your choices. I will be taking a vote in my comments section to this post. Please vote for any of the following choices. (bear in mind that pink is my favorite color)

1. Solid Pink (a lighter shade...I am thinking something soft here like a velvety type fabric that would be oh so nice to cuddle up in)
2. Pink and brown. (dark brown...I am thinking maybe stripes of some sort. With some pink floral throw pillows because this chair is just crying out for some pillows)
3. Pink Floral (of some sort or another...very shabby chic type)
4. Blue floral (again...think shabby chic)
5. Pink and Maroon. (this is my least favorite option but I had to come up with something for you all to choose from.)

So, there you have it. The walls in my sewing room are pink. I like pink. The curtain is black toile. I don't neccessarily want toile fabric but maybe something that would go with it?? Not sure here. Also, for those of you who are experienced in this recovering of chairs thing, I am going to be making a "makeshift" cover that quite possibly will involve a little bit of sewing but I am NOT re-doing the entire chair. Just making a cover of sorts. So, with that being said...what type of fabric do you think would be best for this kind of project? I have never dreamed of attempting this type of thing before.

Before I go, I want to show you all a doily I made a few weeks ago for my secret pal. I am sending this in her reveal package so I don't have to worry about whether or not she reads my blog. I just know that if I don't show it to you now I will forget. I am sure you already think I don't crochet any more because I haven't had anything substantial to show you all in quite some time. Have no fear though. Have no fear. I have been busy designing and getting some patterns through testing and give me about 3 weeks and I should have a ton of projects to show you. Some are things I even crocheted back in December!!! (wow...that was half a year ago)

Without further ado, here is a doily. (I forget the name)

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And don't you all miss my fun shots??? I know you do. So just for you here is a fun shot.

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That doily is crocheted with some old Clarks thread that someone was kind enough to send me last summer as part of the Holidays in July over on the ville. It is size 30. I loved it. I think I need to make this doily for myself too. (but then I say that for every doily I make for someone else.)

I gotta run now. Date night is starting soon and I have the feeling we might have dinner out!! (and I didn't even plan it.)