Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Someone had a Birthday.

 DOT turned 1 year old, on December 3rd. Yeah. Time FLIES. I wish it would slow down, but here we are none the less. We went and saw Santa and Mrs. Clause in the morning, had some lunch and then home to play till dinner and cake. DOT was by far the least messy first birthday cake eater of the bunch. We all had a great day.


I am 1 year old.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A partial living room renovation.

Some things have been changing around here. Little by little, when free time is had, between with Mr. T's new shift at work and general winter prep, this time is limited, but things are getting done. The current project is our living room. A roof leak, working around a giant fireplace, and ridiculous ceilings are just a few things on the agenda. So far Mr. T has flashed the chimney, something the previous owners thought was unimportant and has stopped our roof leak. Woohoo! Only took 2 years to fix, but I am SO not complaining. It is fixed and that is what matters. And since this was fixed, other, more fun, projects can be undertaken. Cue- The Living room Built-in Project 20011

Here is where we started on October 9th 2011

When we started the only project I thought was on the docket was to build book shelves and a cabinet but then this happened...
Which turned into this
 This needed to happen for three reasons. 1) it was VERY ugly. Seriously, I can deal with many things and label them charming, but this was not, it was just ugly. 2) many of the tiles were broken and/or chipping, and slate is SHARP. This was a daily hazard for our kids, DOT in particular who often was found with shards in his mouth, so this was the main factor in the change. and 3) there was this weird carpet peninsula thing that ended up under the wood supply so it was always dirty and it just didn't work.

And as a bonus 4) Mr. T started removing it without me even asking, we were on the same page about it, sweetness.

We saved many many of the whole undamaged tiles, waste not, and I have a project in mind for them in the laundry room. For that project, they will be charming and wonderful. Mr. T also started on one of the built-ins I was promised when we purchased the house.

Tile up, and 3/4 of a built-in all on October 9th. And it sat that way for all of the rest of October. I was starting to get concerned that another two years would go by before we had a floor and bookshelves. But as chance would have it, Mr. T had 6 days off in a row last week, and he wanted to go deer hunting. We made a bargain and a lot was accomplished.
First we purchased tile and tried to pick out a stain. The tile was fun, but kind of a pain. The one we like was out of stock and we needed to get this done in 6 days, no time to wait for shipping. We ended up going with a different tile, that WE love. It was more expensive than the one we wanted, still inexpensive compared to the majority of other options, but it is beautiful and all other options could not have worked better. So first Mr. T handled the tile instal and did a beautiful job. ( I would have helped, I did help with the cabinets, more on that later, but my tiling skills SUCK. I did not want to mess up something that had the potential to be so nice. I opted for camera handling rather than slinging mastic and grout)

From start to finish in about 27 hours, with a couple hours of deer hunting in there too. Tada!

Yeah, Watermelon was  HUGE help with this project too, as always.

So the tile was down and 3/4 of the left built-in was built, now the right side built-in could begin. This one doesn't have a cabinet on the bottom, it has tile under it for firewood storage. Yay! Me. T got it up in a flash.
And then after some fast learning and quick work, I stained it. *bows gracefully* Thank you, thank you, I try my best. I am very proud to have helped.
Then DOT woke up and I couldn't help any more because my job of baby wrangling has become all consuming. Have I mentioned to you all that DOT started walking? Yup, he did, just a few days before Halloween. And he now walks EVERYWHERE, quickly. It is marvelous, and I am thankful that he waited till he was almost 11 months old before doing so, unlike his 9 month walking brothers, but really a toddler makes remodeling difficult and far more dangerous than it already is. Mr. T took over the staining and did a fine job.

He also fabricated some doors for the left cabinet and added an additional shelf to the right one.

Waiting to be loaded with goodness.

All loaded with goodness and fun.

The cabinet on the left holds games and puzzles. My books are very happy in their new home. The bottom shelf on the right side will, eventually, house the satellite box and dvd player. I say eventually because this will only happen after we purchase a new wall mount tv and build another book shelf on that wall. And since a flat panel tv can cost quite a lot of money, it could be a while. However, black Friday deals have been known to pop up, and you never know. But for now, we are calling it done. Hole in the ceiling, unmudded drywall , tv and additional built-in aside it is done. I am very happy with the end result, in fact I might be in love with them. I put the room back together and here it is. As of November 9th 2011, 1 month from the start, we have a finished(-ish) living room.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011

Good times were had by all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Taking a break...unintentionally

Our desktop took a nap with the fishes and it is talking Mr. T a little longer than usual to bring it back from the depths. What with the AC going out, sealing the leak in the roof before winter arrives, general fall cleanup, and little safety projects here and there (like covering the gap the previous owners left between the basement stars and the wall they built, that is just perfect size for a T child to fall through), finishing the special project he did for the boys and working 40+ hours a week.

So with all that to do, recovering pictures and user friendly options ( I hate the finger mouse thing on the laptop), I might not make another post for a while. I have lots of things to post, but until I can easily post them with photos it is not worth my aggravation. Hopefully I will be back in short time, but I am guessing it will be a few weeks at least. Thank you for your patience. TTFN.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

King sized quilt for me...and Mr. T too.

I have been working on this quilt for what seems like years, though it has only been about 9 months.

However, I have been saving fabirc pieces for nearly a decade for the "someday" quilt. Well folks, someday has arrived. This post is actually a few months overdue, the finished quilt has been on our bed for more than a month. I am a bit behind what with thefood preservation, garden cleanup, MAT's tonsillectomy, DOT's learning to walk, tattoo coloring, and other general life things. 

Anyway. This quilt has been slow going and a whole lot of fun.
 I don't have any pictures of the piecing, mostly because it was done in our dungeon basement and the light is no good there. But here is the finished top quilt, the bottom sheet (literally a king sized sheet, for $5 is far more durable and cheaper than quilters cotton at that with and length) and the batting is two polyester twin size blankets that are no in good enough shape for the boys to use but will be just fine once quilted. The coffee mug holds my fantastic curved safety pins. Ask me how much I love curved safety pins... SO MUCH. They are much easier for this big ole fingers to work with than straight ones.

Watermelon is my constant sewing pain in the ass helper. So much so I often have to banish her from the working area. She is super cute though.

To get started I cleaned out my kitchen furniture, swept the floor and laid the bottom sheet. Then I found tape, I was looking for duct tape but only found electrical, oh well still sticky. I taped the bottom sheet down.
 Then I laid my batting ( the poly blankets)
THEN I locked the cat in the basement, and RELAID the poly batting and then laid the quilt top over that and secured it with tape.

On to the pinning! PIN ALL THE THINGS!

After it is all pinned and secure some would hand baste.  I am not some. I do not have the patience for this. So I started folding. And then someone opened the basement door and this happened. It was still flat till the tornado cat decided to ball it up for a nap.

So once again Watermelon was whisked away to her room and I folded it up, and stored it in a bin in my workroom, for 4 months. Yes, thats right. Then 2 months ago I got the itch, about the time I did the receiving blanket quilts, I decided to hand tie this quilt too. I will most likely go back and hand quilt it since I now have a quilt frame, Thanks MOM!

So, its been a while from start to...mostly finished, but it is done-ish, and I love it. So does Watermelon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How much do I love the Muppets?


If you do not have viewing capabilities, so sorry. The basic concept of the video is a monster, dressed as a bunny, with actual Muppet bunnies, singing "Stand By Me", doing what monsters do best.

But to those of you who can watch it, right at 21 seconds is my very favorite part. I must have watched this 10 times and laughed out loud each time. I do love the Muppets, so very very much.

I also have a huge crush on Jason Segel, ever since "Freaks and Geeks", yeah, so... I can have a celebrity crush, and I adore him. And I bring him up because the new Muppet movie comes out at Thanksgiving and Jason co-wrote the new film and also stars amongst others...He loves the Muppets too, one more reason I adore him. Anyway. I hope you could view the song and if you couldn't stop by and I will play it for you, repeatedly.

Oh and go see "The Muppets" on November 23rd.

Thank you goodnight. You may now return to your regularly schedules day and avoid any more plugs from me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A bit of helpful advice to myself

Note to self: Self, on the very rare occasion you clean windows both on the inside AND outside of our house, just a friendly reminder, clean the outside FIRST. Otherwise you will have to re-clean the inside windows when little helpers, children, dogs, and cats, decide to watch you and put their grubby adorable little faces and hands/paws all over the freshly cleaned inner glass. Work smarter not harder. Just sayin.
Secondary note to self: Remember THIS is why you NEVER clean the windows. It is much easier to have dirty windows and zero frustration toward adorable housemates than it is to be annoyed whilst re-cleaning an entire ground floors worth of interior windows. Please make a note of it. Love, Self.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rhubarb custard pie recipe, as promised, 2 months ago...

Rhubarb Custard Pie (Grandma's Recipe)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I also add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 TBSP. butter, cut in tiny cubes
2 eggs
3 C. chopped rhubarb, raw, washed, dried, and about 1/2 inch pieces.
2 layer pie crust

Combine first 4 ingredients, then add:
2 eggs, 1 at a time, and beat till smooth, and then your rhubarb.

Pour mixture into pie crust and add top crust, and BAKE 450 degrees for 10 minutes, THEN turn DOWN heat to 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes.( I like to do a lattice because the custard bubbles up between the strips)
Remove and cool on rack.

Try: Cutting it hot and tossing a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it, it is insanly good, my boys thought it was apple pie and now, because of this recipe, will GLADLY try anything with rhubarb without even a thought. Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fiber Rich

It was a successful visit to the local thrift store this week. I came out fiber arts rich and only $7 down. 2 twin size afghans, 1 throw, 1 crib size throw, and one...I'm calling it a shawl because that is how I am gonna use it. No holes, a few loose ends to crochet or knit back in and a couple stains that, thanks to the magic of homemade laundry soap paste and hand washing, came right out. They all washed up beautifully and dried very quickly on the line. Oh, and did I tell you, we are currently without a dryer, thankfully it is only August and a perfect time to hang all the laundry out to dry. The only thing that gives me pause is we need new prefold diapers, the ones we have are 6 years old now, and it was my intention to purchase some more, but I suppose we will have to go to the laundromat to fluff them up...that OR we could beg the favor of a neighbor. Anyway, this is about the wonderful scores from the thrift.
A twin size red, white, and blue blanket. I cant decide whether it will go in the guest room or the Independence day decor. Hell it may stay on this chair. It is marvelous.

FINALLY a granny square blanket, and its TWIN size. Weee!

I will probably store this with the Independence day decorations, as I don't see the lightness of color faring well as an every day use blankie.

Perfect size for baby or kiddo and it is all cotton.

I am going to use this as a shawl, it is very bright orange, but I like that a whole lot.

"Custom made, especially for you, by Helen Dworak". Thanks Helen.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This Moment

This Moment- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember ( inspired by Soulemama)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A new use for that unfolded basket of laundry

We all have baskets of unfolded laundry around the house, right?
Just me?

Okay, well...Oh! YOU have one or two too, good!! So glad I am not the only one.

In my house there is always the dilemma of what to DO with said basket. Can't put it away, oh no, that would make sense, we like to leave one, willie-nillie, sitting about the house. You know, to trip over on occasion, for children to pick clothing out of rather than walking all the way upstairs to their closets, to get messy again and require rewashing before even being worn. You know how it is.

Turns out there is another USE! It works especially well on laminate flooring, I would assume hardwoods or tile would be equally as stellar. Full laundry baskets make EXCELLENT walking push toys for babies.  And if said baby gets tired they can lay right down in their walker, win/win. And this is a good reason to always have one ready and in the living room. That is my rationalization anyway...

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"ME CAN do IT!!!"

I LOVE when RAT realizes he is capable of yet another big boy task. I have just spent the last 20 minutes watching him repeatedly, unhook his overalls, drop them to the floor and then put them back on and rehook them, all by his "own self", and then he proclaims "ME CAN do IT!...again Mommy?"  Of course buddy, do it again, ignore mommies poorly masked blubbering over how big you are, and carry on growing up... I will be cheering you on through my internal sobs. High five sir! I am very proud of you.

I missed him getting on by seconds

Why did you pick MAT's first day of first grade (CRAZY) to accomplish such great a feat!
You will notice one hand on "base", this is after the 20 second free stand as I was too afraid to leave him to get the camera in case he fell, which of COURSE he did not.

And not to be outdone, DOT chose today to stand for 20 seconds hands free of support (and frankly too wobble-free for my comfort level). He will be walking before I know it.

He made it three steps up the stairs yesterday before anyone noticed...and Yes the baby gate situation has been rectified, there will be no more unintentional baby mountain climbing for the foreseeable future.

Why so many big changes TODAY? Such is the way of things I suppose. You three are so BIG to me today.

You three are making me feel, happily mind you, completely obsolete. This momma needs some snuggle time, lest she feel unnecessary. I am a touch sad, but VERY proud, my heart bubbles over with pride. My big boys. So many big things for a Monday, what will the rest of the week bring?

Friday, August 12, 2011



I love it. It is nowhere near finished, but nearly 4 hours of work and it being an hour after closing, required us to stop. I love it just as it is, I can only imagine its beauty when all colored up, I suppose I will know in a month. Thank you Ken for being a master of your craft, thank you Mr. T for the gift, and thank you boys for not driving your father mad while I was gone all last evening. And the biggest thank you to natural childbirth, for making every other discomfort not seem so bad.