Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rain and Kayaks and Cameras

A. It has been raining every day for two weeks. I LOVE RAIN! I am still not sick of it, but then we haven't had flooding so that's probably why.

B. In the rain last night Joel went out to by a used kayak with accessories. At 10 pm. He got $100 off the price because he went last night.

C. Joel, the amazing husband, fixed our camera last night. We had bought a new one because we didn't know if the old one was fixable, and Joel likes to wait to take things apart till we have a replacement. But he fixed it!

D. My friends are so nice to me! One of them gave me a bag of super cute clothes. I'm wearing purple today.

E. I have to go get the kids up cause I have somewhere to be at 8:30. Why is it they always sleep in on the mornings you don't want them to?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I just saw, in our backyard, a hummingbird. I do believe it's the first one we've had. It was blue and seemed to be somewhat interested in our salvia. How cool!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thrifting and Altering

I got to go to a thrift store today with some friends. They were gracious enough to watch my kids while I tried on 17 items. Thanks! The store was having a 1/2 off everything in the store so I spent $31 and got 6 clothing items and some toys for the kids.

One of the dresses, which I spent $6.50 on, was lacking something. I figured out that it was a waistline. So I made one.

Here's the dress before alterations. Pretend it's not crooked and that my neck isn't bisected. Although it does make my neck look long!

I measured my ribcage just under my bra and fiddled with different widths for the sashing. This fabric is very stiff and black. I bought it for fixing Joel's car, but there's enough for me too. I decided 2" was about right. So I cut a length of fabric about 33 inches long (2 for give room) and 3 inches wide. Then I called my fabulous neighbor over to pin it on. Neighbors are great because I really really wanted it done by tonight.

I found some buttons in my button box for the back. The dress wouldn't go over my head without a little more give so I just sewed the sash on the front half and the back half is loose, then buttoned. I stole some dress hangers out of another dress to make the loops for the buttons.

Then after about another hour, with the kids watching TV, I finished it. I don't have a closeup of the buttons in the back. Imagine them. This one is taken at my neighbor's house.

And this one with my neighbor's camera. I like the sharpness of the image.
So there you have it! $6.50 and 2 hours of my time for a really cute dress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thornless Blackberry Bushes Installed

Joel's sister brought us some thornless blackberry bushes from the University of Arkansas. We counted about 17, which is technically too many for the space, but you can see that some of them are pretty sad from being transplanted. So we doubled up the spacing, figuring that half of them would die.

First we dug 16 holes and stuck one plant in each hole, except one hole got two. We filled the holes with a mixture of compost and the existing dirt.

Then we added lots and lots of water.

Then we took some paper bags we got for free from Lowe's and put it down around each plant.

Next we put mulch on top of the paper. This is pine bark mulch, which in the U of A's study did the best for production.

We borrowed some bricks from the neighboring bed to edge it out. Here soon we're going to go get a bunch of limestone from a local supplier and edge it all out in style.

Did I mention we watered again? We want to give these plants as much of a chance of survival as we can.

It will probably be a couple of years before we get any berries, but we'll take care of them and keep hoping.

Oh and we did all of this between 8:30 and 10 pm tonight. After the kids were asleep and it wasn't hot. It actually worked well.

We harvested our first peach today.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Beauty and Children

I have been reading a lot of things recently that reminded me that children need to be surrounded by beauty in order to thrive. I also listened to an old Jewel song the other day that reminded me.

I was therefore pleased when Grandma Linda gave us some beautiful linens she had designed and crafted. We have been short on table linens because I just don't like many offered in stores.

Anyway she gave us these beautiful items, which I think she could sell for lots of money, and I am excited. And one of the best parts is that she said I could really just wash them in the washer, and that it was okay if they got used and/or stained. That's something that paralyzes me from using the nice things sometimes. I am not good with the stain removal, and Denali is really good at making stains.

You see? Our first stain in the making.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

We had a great trip.
Too much rain- 5 or so inches
Too much laundry to do- still have hives from something
Too many roses to cut- the post lady left a complaint about Joel's rosebushes and he had to trim them back from the mail box
Too many pictures to download- 286 and counting
Too much stuff to unload from the car

Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Almost Ready

The packing is coming along. I managed to do the errands, all except for mailing my package. My friend is in the Peace Corps in Namibia and asked for mail. I put a package together for her only to find out it would cost $52 to mail it. The stuff inside is only worth about $10, so I'm going to re-package it and switch some lighter-weight things in. I hope she enjoys it.

Made one kind of cookies and now I'm going to make the other kind. I'm also going to cut up fruits and veggies and make some sandwiches because I really don't want to spend so much on food this trip.

Got to go steam some veggies for dinner.

Weigh-In Wednesday

This morning I weighed in at 153. That's only 3 pounds till my goal. Hurray!

I had a reaction to something last night and got hives. I don't know what it was but today I feel very strange because I had two doses of benadryl.

The kids are being great though, and Joel got up and let me sleep for a couple hours this morning.

Going on a trip tomorrow; a road trip to Oklahoma. Today is my packing/cleaning/errand day. I hope I can get it all done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Slippery Slope of Pest Control

Joel and I don't like to kill bugs. I've talked about that before.

But what about termites? They are very bad! They will eat your whole house up!
And then there's fire ants. They eat your kids up.
And then recently we have had issues with carpenter ants. They eat your whole house up too!

So where are we supposed to draw the line?
Most people would agree that you should kill the termites. That's one kind of pesticide that is, I think, mostly geared just toward termites.

Lots and lots of people kill the fire ants.

The problem with the carpenter ants, though, is that they don't have a pesticide for just carpenter ants. It's for "anything with 6 or 8 legs." And that's sad! I like spiders! And most other bugs don't bother me.

But I just paid $92 for the dude to spray for carpenter ants all over my house. And that includes anything else with 6 or 8 legs. And that makes me sad.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My honey

1995 (2 years before I met him)

2002 (The first digital camera was so exciting for taking pictures like this one)

2002 (New papa to Emlyn)

Climbing (every week)

I'd just like to give a shout-out to my awesome husband Joel.

We have been married for 8 years now, and every day he astonishes me with his talents and his ability to take on any project with clarity and a willingness to learn new things.

Today we got some good news and I just gotta say- Joel's the bomb.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Well today our quarantine is officially over.

Last night we went out to eat to celebrate Joel and how hard he works at his job.

This morning we are going to the Farmer's Market. They are having a 10 year anniversary event with chefs and fun.

Then this evening we are going to a grown up party (with the kids, but still) and there will be bluegrass. Have I mentioned I like bluegrass?

Friday, June 08, 2007


Almost exactly a year after I began our wildflower border project it is finally done.

The first time I posted about it was last June. I took some concrete blocks and have been slowly installing and painting them. Today I got the last color painted on. If only I had a camera to show you the pictures. Emlyn wasn't too find of it because it doesn't have pink or orange on it.

I had enough green mixed up to go ahead and paint a step-stool. It wasn't exactly ugly before, but I though it might look nicer when green. The kids ran out of patience for me to finish the stool, but hopefully I can finish painting that soon.

I also got the upstairs bathroom cleaned. So that's a good thing.

I've been listening to swing music on our TV and it's really fun. It makes me want to dance.

Quarantine Day 5

Well today is the last day. The doctor told us until the weekend, so even though the kids still have spots, they don't have any new ones, and hopefully they aren't contagious tomorrow. I don't know what I'll do with my new-found freedom...

I got to go grocery shopping after dinner without the kids. I was able to get there, back, and get gas in under an hour. That's cool.


We are pretty tired of being at home.

Emlyn wants candy.
So sad.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Quarantine Day 4

Natives still restless.

The good news is that yesterday evening Joel was able to watch the kids while I went to visit my sister down south. I love spending time with her and I got to see her new house. It's really little but still I think they will have a nice space.

I stayed up way too late but I really needed the time away from the kids.

Last night for dinner I was going to make a very special meal- coconut shrimp which Joel really likes. I had all the ingredients (gasp!) and I took a long time with it. Then I burned it.

It was still edible but not as yummy. I have issues with the broiler. Any time I do a recipe that calls for the broiler I ruin it. I don't like it. It cooks too fast and I don't check it soon enough. So whatever. I feel bad that I ruined it but I got over it.

I really need to do some grocery shopping but I'm worried the kids are still contagious. I guess I'll make my list today and go tonight when the kids are in bed.

I have to fix a graduation hat now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quarantine Day 3

The natives are restless.

We ventured out to spread some germs do some errands this morning.

I ran into the post office with a package and then we went to Lowe's. I found two doorknobs, a storage cabinet for my gardening supplies, and I did not find the correct hinge-lock for my front door. It's a little safety lock that you install way up high so your children don't run out into the road.

Then I came home and started to assemble my cool cabinet. It has a broken piece and takes more concentration that I have available at the moment. So whatever. Guess I'll do it later.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Quarantine Day 2

I would be posting pictures of my wildflowers because they are really beautiful right now, but our "new" used camera is dead. We will just have to buy a new one I guess. Luckily Consumer Reports just reviewed cameras this month.

The laundry is still getting done but the kitchen is clean and lunch is in our tummies. The rain has been coming down off and on for a week or so, so our plants are all very happy.

The kids are not bored of legos yet, so that's a great thing. We have watched TV more today but not too much.

Emlyn was learning on Starfall about idioms. She knows about "ants in my pants" and "letting the cat out of the bag". She thinks they're funny.

Off to move some laundry.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday- Quarantine Day 1

I paid a lot of money (for 2 appts) to see the doctor this afternoon. Both kids have a rash on their torso/trunk area that started looking like mosquito bites and ended up having very small white spots in the middle of some. They weren't big enough for chicken pox, the doctor thought. There was no fever, and they itched somewhat. Emlyn only had about 5 and seems to be fine. Denali has about 20 and is somewhat uncomfortable. Diagnosis: could be atypical chicken pox but it's 50/50. She really doesn't know.

So we are considered contagious until the weekend.

Today as far as housework is concerned I:
1) Cleaned kitchen all the way to mopping
2) Worked a little bit on the neverending pile of papers
3) Caught up on laundry including our sheets
4) Cleaned some in the garage
5) Gave things away on Freecycle (anyone need an umbrella stroller or 10 small boxes?)
6) Cleaned master bedroom and bathroom
7) Ate too many cookies...

I have a feeling the house is going to be very clean by the time this weekend rolls around...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sing, Sweet Nightingale

Our friends Daniel and Melanie and their three kids came to visit us this weekend. Our kids stayed up VERY late Friday night playing and having fun.

This afternoon we were all cleaning up as it was time for them to leave. One of the kids decided to be Cinderella and they all took up the idea.

Soon I had 2 girls and 3 boys mopping my kitchen floor with baby wipes and singing "Sing, Sweet Nightingale" in dulcet tones. My kitchen has never been so clean or so sweet.