Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why does this stuff always happen to me?

The girls were out this morning for a "nature walk" in the back yard complete with backpacks, graham crackers, pink lemonade and a Peterson's Field Guide. I followed behind at a distance, just watching them because they were so cute and funny - Hannah toted Abba in the wagon and every ten or so yards she'd stop, lug Abba out and describe some sort of "nature," share the grahams and load Abba back up.

Then Han asked me to join them on the "Hannah Hill." As I did, I heard a flapping overhead and saw yon pigeon land on a low branch. I spoke to it, and then promptly forgot about it as I stalked out to the creek to look for a rock I need for a craft project. Stone in hand I saw the bird fly to the dogwood tree near the shed, all the while peering down at me. I offered her a graham, but she wasn't interested. I joined the girls on the Hannah Hill and we sat down on the blanket. The bird followed; hovered a moment, then landed on the neighbor's shed roof, the closest thing to us. I again went over and offered her a graham (I know its a girl because she had a tiny pink bows in her hair) and she just looked me over, um...pigeon-like.

Sooooo, the girls were getting cold and it was time to head inside. Miss Bird followed to the John Deere that's parked in the carport. I set up a buffet for her:

I think she appreciated it, especially after I broke up the peanuts into tiny bits and found out she wanted bread instead of grahams. She's been hanging around for about an hour now and just peering in the window. I stayed outside talking with her and she rewarded me by jumping on my shoulder and walking around the back of my neck and sitting on my head. She doesn't want me touching her - but she sure likes me!

What am I going to do?!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

quasi crafti

Here’s my mom's birthday card I made last week..... I ended up liking it, but it just didn’t flow like they do when I’m in the groove. I stamped a piece of pink cardstock with pink, purple and white brilliance inks – using cork ends I’d salvaged from the old exterminating biz.

Next I glued on some random pink disc beads a friend gave me – then I trimmed the paper with decorative scissors, layered it - - and stamped the sentiment in watermark ink and dusted it with pigment powder. After layering that with foam squares I attached it all to a card and tied a ribbon on the edge (default embellishment when I can’t think of anything creative and the card is looking gaudy).

To accompany this card is the actual gift - - a late Valentine’s Day present, yes, because I borreyd it for mah back door…

Back: On the other hand, for the last month or so I felt like I had been churning out the creative projects – even the girls got in on the act. Here’s their donation to a blank wall in the kitchen:

(our wall isn't pink, that's just the way it turned out in the pix.)

I finished a few other projects that I’ll share with ya later.

I made it!

Don't laugh. It looks better in real life. Its a fruit wreath! You can barely see the dried petite pears, but those are grapefruit slices on a handmade wreath - made from wisteria vines I pulled down from our yard back in Chesapeake.

And then there are the gourds: I forgot to take pictures of them after I finished them in November. The best looking ones were given away as Christmas presents, but here is a before and after (I tried to crop all the dust off the shelf but it didn't work!)
I saw a wren perched in the hole this morning. Dunno if she was eating the seeds out of it that I left in or scouting out a nest spot! Its sprayed with glossy sealer so it should hold up just fine.

OK, and here is the last thing:

Hannah's dress. Its reversible, too - and before you get carried away thinking I know what I'm doing, that trim is fabric-glued on there because I messed up the stitching and couldn't figure out how else to cover it. The buttons are just sewn on because I couldn't figure out how to make the bodice truly reversible. I traced one of her other jumpers to get the pattern and just kind of guessed at it. The red polka-dotted side turned out a little better I think - but they both are good for church. I'm going to learn from my mistakes and try to do a better job next time.
OK, that's enough blowing my own horn. I just wanted to show you what I've been working on!!

Do U Hulu?

"Hulu....Hulu you think you're foooolin??" (a la Paul Simon - Loves me Like A Rock)

I can't watch Hulu without humming this at least once. Do you Hulu? Its a free, online video service where you can watch TV, movies, clips and just about anything. It has limited commercials, and an ever-growing collection.

Now, you know we don't have sattelite TV or cable - and I guess we don't have analog, either, because we never got a converter box. I haven't tried to see, though. Generally the girls watch videos I pick up for them at the thrift store, yard sales or check out from the library. We were all getting a bit tired of Barney, though, so we were glad to stumble across Hulu.

Hannah is currently a great fan of "Emergency!" and, like my sister, Johnny Gage is her favorite paramedic. When we need to tone down the excitement, we watch "Father Knows Best." The girls and I pile onto the guest bed and Daddy-o sits in the computer chair. Its still watching TV, I guess, but we are forced to make better choices and we watch one show all the way through - together. Or at least Daddy and the girls watch one together while I fix supper. they like NOVA, stores about Alaska,

There are not enough hours in the day, and I have so much fun discovering new things on the Internet that I never have the patience to watch a whole show on my own. But I am tempted because one of my favorites, Monk, is now on Hulu. And then there are the 80's movies that I loved way back then: The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire and Fast Times..... In a hundred years I will never allow my girls to watch these movies and I know my mom would have freaked out if she knew I watched them when I was a kid! Like anything else, you have to sort through the garbage to get to the good stuff, but Hulu does have a lot that is worth seeing. But Barney Miller reruns, Hill Street Blues, WKRP, and Welcome Back Kotter are always good for a blast from the past.

Anyways, I thought I'd share that site with you if you were interested in some (good?) entertainment on the cheap!

Monday, February 16, 2009

well baby

Abigail had a well-baby checkup today. I love well-baby checkups. It’s like a free doctor visit because there’s no co-pay and yet I can review my litany of health concerns. I'm so cheap, I know.

This time, of course, it is the Sugar Baby’s weight loss (does this child even BELONG to me??) after her bout with gastroenteritis. That and a funny-looking toenail. We trekked over to Fairlea, West (BG) Virginia in the snow:

Dr. Dukart, still a bit green around the gills from his own bout with the bug, said not to worry but to return in a month after I load her up with Instant Breakfast and whole milk. The toe thing, well, she'll have to tell her pedicurist to put a little extra dab of polish in the divot to even it out. Either that or just wear socks 365 days in a row and no one's the wiser. Except my blog readers. But don't embarass her by pointing it out or anything, OK?

We popped in over at the hospital to visit my neighbor, Heidi, who was, alas, on a mission with a stack of brochures to another part of the hospital - that according to one of the ladies working in her department. Oh, well, we’ll visit next time I guess. Anyways, it gave Abba a chance to say, "Heidi? Heidi? HEIDI!!" without getting told, "NO, NO, NO, its MAMA!"

And THEN, on the way home, I hearkened back to a top secret email received from my pal LeeAnna, last week alerting me to a BEAD store in Ronceverte. Of course, with my frugal nature, wanting to make the most of my gas mileage, after said doctor appointment, I made a quick U-ie in the WVDMV parking lot and headed into Friendly Fabrics. (See, Andy? I didn't make a special trip over there after all!! I comBINED trips.)

Weehhheeeelllll, let’s just say I was pleeeeeezed to say the least. Because not only did I find a veritable TREASURE trove of beads – and I am talking REAL beads – semiprecious stones, REAL pearls, Swarovskis – no plastic doo-dads here –but even more near and dear to my heart lately, I found FABRIC. Ahhh, yes, fabric.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know; I have 15 totes full of fabric downstairs – but it is not THIS fabric you see. There were actually about five bolts that I could use – ok, I coveted them – to make skirts for myself and matching dresses for the girls. I promised the proprietress that I would balance my checkbook and be back next week.

Wooo-hooo!! Thank you LeeAnna!

th' ick

Abba and her mama have been sick sick sick for almost a week. It’s that gross stomach bug that’s been going around the Highlands and the Greenbrier River Valley. Abigail has eaten only about a tablespoon of food a day since Monday – somehow, though Hannah and Daddy-o have managed to avoid the worst of this malaise. Mama has been queasy and had an “upset stomach” – you know, sounds like rats running around in a sewer. I think we are on the mend, however.
(Try not to let your eyes hurt from Hannah's fashion choices. I wasn't up to making decisions about What Not to Wear...)
We took a long drive yesterday just to get out of the house. We didn’t mean to, but we needed up about 10 miles outside of Snowshoe at Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. We even popped in to see the Radio Telescopes at Greenbank, West Virginia.

I didn’t get carsick, even though we drove up Route 92 and took some hairpin curves near Cass – and all we had to eat was some stale Cheerios. It was so good to have a change of scenery that it was well worth it!


If you know Hannah – and EVERYONE knows Hannah – she has invited you to her party.

The first “party” was at 6:30AM Christmas Morning. I’m glad you were unable to make it. I like you and all, but I wasn’t up for company.

The second one was a genuine Valentin3.e’s Day party (thanks for the input, Abigail) with the friends. It started out promising, but quickly went downhill after Han came tearing out of the bedroom sans pants. The other mamas raised their eyebrows….I mumbled an excuse along the lines of we are a clothing optional household, but realized this would only serve as grist for the small town rumor mill – Hannah’s appearance with a tutu around her head lightened up the mood - and then it was time for macker, chicken laigs, fruit and cupcakes.

A quick and only quasi-messy craft of Valentine’s Day cards and Hannah’s Party was an Event that has, sadly, passed. I think she got it out of her system. I can only hope that the friends find it in their hearts to brave the Morris Manse again sooner rather than later. Perhaps in the summertime…an afternoon tea, perhaps.

Somehow, though, I don’t picture my girls as proper Victorian hostesses.

Look, this is just how it is.

B-L-8-ed ConGRADulations, DH

Alas, I am behind in my blog postings, so if you are a subscriber and you get a mailbox full later today, my apologies. If you are a checker-inner then read all of the posts that I plan to post later today! Whew!

A bleated ConGRADulations to my ever-lovin’ husband on the completion of his B.S. Degree from Bluefield College and the subsequent receipt of the diploma therefrom. Yee-haw!!

And what is most congratu-worthy is that he made the President’s List every semester – I think except for one, when he made on a Deans’ List showing. A big ole' Showoff, if you ask me!

The girls and I brought a cake to his work when his diploma came in the mail. We tried so surprise him, and with the cooperation of his colleagues, I think we were successful. So, do you think the cake looks like him? Maybe around the eyes??

As ever, the girls enjoyed helping with the icing. I let them taste the black goo and was rewarded with a need for them to have quick dip in the tub.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Family Time

We've been spending a lot of time at Douthat State Park here recently. Partly because its cheap thrills, and partly because the weather has been a little kinder lately and partly because we just needed to reconnect with the outdoors.
There is a kids' fishing hole just below the spillway of the lake where the 12-and-under set can try their hand at landing the big one. For us, its the following one-sided conversation:
Hannah, are you going to fish? Han, Daddy-o can't fish by himself, the rules say you have to fish here. Han, what are you doing? ["Taking a nap on this rock!"] Hannah, do you still want to fish? OK, we'll leave if you are finished, no big deal, we'll go on a hike. [No!! I want to fish!] Han, hold the pole. Han? Abba, don't throw rocks in the water. Hannah, watch the line to see if there's a fish tugging at it? Hannah, Daddyo can't hold the pole the whole time, he'll get in trouble with the ranger......
Eventually, she got her reward and we enjoyed Rainbow Trout for supper. That is, Abigail, Mama and the kitty enjoyed it. Hannah wasn't interested, although she asked me how "Jimmy and Timmy" tasted. Ack.

Here's the view of the lake from the trail around it - its frozen, of course, and the water level has been lowered. We bought an annual pass again this year, so we'll be spending more time there.