About Me

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I AM: wife to 1, mother to 3, sister to 2 and 5 steps, aunt to 27, not-so-much-a-chocoholic-anymore, coffee loving, cloth diapering wanna be (my youngest potty trained herself recently), friend to many.

Friday, December 10, 2010

By the way, I did find a set of A-Team walkie talkies on Ebay, just like I had when I was little. I had forgotten they were not battery operated. They were joined by a long plastic cord; think tin cans and string here. They were only $4.99 plus shipping. I didn't bid on them. But I did show the listing to my prince charming who just shook his head and walked away. But deep down, I know he wants a set of these for Christmas.

Ebay is my Weakness! Part 2

Move over CPK, forget My Friend Becky!! Welcome 1950's vintage doll patterns, and extend your hand to the classic dolls that made those patterns what they are! I had finally cleared my "watch list" of the dolls mentioned in the previous post. I had a realization that what I really wanted was to sew the dolls clothes and not play with the dolls myself. Don't get me wrong. I still have vivid memories of my dolls from the past, but I also know that having one today won't magically put me in a time machine and take me back to my childhood. So, instead of looking for more dolls I knew I wouldn't bid on, I started looking at the patterns for them. I have a few original CPK patterns that belonged to my Grandma, but I have none for Becky, or any that would fit Becky. So I started searching original patterns for her. And then I came across one that said, "Betsy McCall's Friend Mandy" which is the doll who started the "My Friend..." collection. Well, I didn't know who Betsy McCall was, so I had to do a search for her. Lets just say I opened a door (or rather, Pandora's box) to a whole new world of dolls. Dolls my mom is most certainly familiar with. Note: when I was a kid, every so often my mom would pull her childhood dolls (I think there were only 2 of them) out to "show" my sisters and me. We were allowed to look, but never touch them. Even though my mom went on and on about how beautiful they were, their faces kind of creeped me out. And one of them was much bigger than our average dolls. That creeped me out a bit as well. And then there was a memory (sorry to do this mom, I'll be as discreet as I possibly can!!) of an evening when it was late and mom was a little tired and a lot slap happy, and she started impersonating her walking doll. It was really funny! But also REALLY CREEPED me out. I used to think if any of my dolls moved like that I'd for sure get rid of them PRONTO. Well, yesterday Ebay opened the door to the days before my time. The golden yesteryear. I met Patsy Sue, Linda Baby, Terri Lee, Posie, Tony, Betsy McCall and her little sister Linda, Daisy, Ann Estelle, Roberta, Honey, Gum Drop, Princess Mary, Rosemary, Nanette, Mary Hartline, Sara Ann, Fluffy and Sweet Sue. Granted, not all of these dolls are from the 50's; they may range a few decades (but I didn't go THAT far in my research). #1. I think my mom's doll may be Roberta, Princess Mary, or Rosemary. She'll have to tell me which one. #2. My name is Tara LeeAnn, and growing up my mom would call me Terri Lee and I HATED IT! My name is Tara, NOT Terri!!! However I didn't know until yesterday there is a BEAUTIFUL DOLL Named Terri Lee. I called my mom and told her it will not hurt my feelings any more if she calls me Terri Lee! Really, you can ask her! lol #3. I found out why my mom had to do a moving impersonation of her doll. It is a "walker" doll. The doll is designed to walk and because it doesn't have bones and free motion, it only has joints so will walk a little CREEPY! There is a collection of dolls called "Saucy Walkers". Some of them do have faces that remind me of Chucky, but some of them are extremely beautiful! They range in size from 7.5 inches to 30 inches. And there are patterns for almost all of them. Patterns I have fallen in love with. I have mentioned on the blog before I am a sucker for vintage patterns. Mercy. I am in trouble. Now I have about 150 patterns in my watch list! And a few of the dolls, too. I like the Patsy and Honey dolls. And something else I realized. My grandma had some dolls for us to play with in the toy closet in her house. After she passed away, I kept some of them. No one else wanted them. They were small and plastic and old. Well, I had them until last year when we moved. We got rid of a lot of stuff we either weren't using or didn't need/want anymore. Guess which bag those dolls went into. Notice I said "bag" and not "moving box". I believe their final destination was Open Door. Maybe they met my Cabbage Patch girls. Those dolls were made by Effanbee. One was just a plain ol, nothin' special baby doll. But the other was an 8" Fluffy. Grandma had even made a few clothes for it, but I don't have the pattern she used. I could just kick myself. I don't have any 8 inch dolls to sew for here in the house. But there are so many 8 inch doll patterns available. I am a mess, I tell you! And today I told myself I am NOT going to Ebay. I have things that need to be done! But I have this hankrin', I want to see if what I was looking at is still available. My name is Tara, and I am an Ebay-aholic.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ebay is my Weakness!

This week I think I have spent more time on Ebay than anywhere else. We're in the Christmas (present) season. For the last few years my family has been on a spending diet. We have trained ourselves to live "frugally". So in thinking about what I would like to get the kids for Christmas, I came up with a few ideas and went to ebay to see if I could find some good deals. What I really found was that I could sit and browse through the vast selections for HOURS on end. I DID! UGH. SHEESH. And then I realized I was looking for things I liked as a kid. Not the things that are cool today. I looked at My Friend Becky and Cabbage Patch Kids until my eyes were crossed and I had like 150 of each on my "watch list". And then I had another realization. I am getting old. Why? Because I don't even know what is COOL today. We don't have cable, so I don't keep up.
Then I found myself looking for vintage doll sewing patterns. My great-grandma, Mimmie, used to make dolls for all the granddaughters every Christmas. I am thinking about re-birthing that tradition with my daughters and maybe nieces. We'll see. Backtrack with me for a moment. Yesterday while I was yet again caught in 1983 and looking at the CPK's on ebay, I remembered that a few years back I still had all 3 of mine. Valentina Cornelia, Hetty Tara, and Olive Candace. They were my all time favorite dolls. And believe you me, I was NOT a doll person growing up. I hated Barbie, I didn't care for paper dolls. I loved my Billy the Kid cap gun, A-Team walkie talkies, and I wanted to be a stunt man when I grew up. (Some dreams do die!! Thank heavens.) But I loved my Cabbage Patch Kids. Well, I had saved them well into adulthood. I couldn't bear to part with them. Then after AJ was born, I pulled them out of storage and cleaned them up, and "lent" them to her to play with. But much to my dismay she didn't like them. She didn't play with them. She didn't dress them. She didn't want to take them with us in the car, she didn't want to take them to church, she didn't want to sleep with them or have tea parties with them. She didn't like them. Period. So finally after years of being a pack rat, I read some books on organization, and cleaning up the clutter, and how to keep memories without keeping things, and I went on a purging binge, and added my CPK's to the boxes of "stuff" to go to Open Door or Salvation Army. And I took them! Yesterday I vaguely remembered doing so, but in hopes that maybe, just maybe "their" box didn't go bye bye, I went through all my boxes in the storage closet to see if I could find them. I wanted to cry. The girls are gone. But I did find my boxes of handmade dolls from my great-grandma. I let little Curly Top pick 2 to play with. She likes them, but she doesn't want to see them when she's going to sleep. Sheesh. I also remember having My Friend Becky. I mean having her well into adulthood as well. And I remember purging her as well. But memories! She had a green dress with little pink flowers, white slip on shoes, and a white straw hat with an elastic band to hold it in place. She had the sweetest smile, and red hair. And my big sister had one just like her. My sis, DJ, and I used to share a room with a full size bed. When making the bed, we would mirror image our stuffed animals and dolls for display. It totally makes me want to go back to 1983!!!!! Had I kept Becky to ebay her (instead of donating her to charity) I could get $50 or more! Its crazy. Anyway, because I loved these dolls so much I was once again thinking maybe my little Curly Top might love them, too. So I spent time on Ebay looking for the perfect ones for her. I saved so many to my watch list! And then I got hit with a reality check. If the dolls are mint in box now, they are priced so high I won't pay for it. And if they are not mint in box, they've been out for around 30 years! collecting dust and germs and whatever! And do I want to spend good money on 30 year old dolls for my daughter who might hate them??? Probably not. A better question would be, "Tara, do you want one of these dolls for Christmas?" To which I would reply, "Shh, don't tell anyone, but YES!!!" I wouldn't play with them or take them to the store. But I would sew clothes for them. I have my grandma's vintage CPK sewing patterns. But the Fisher Price My Friends patterns are hard to come by. Ok, its getting late and my eyes are crossing. Time to say goodnight!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hello my friends!
The craft show came and went. The things I rushed and made towards the end of "creative time" did not move, but the things that didn't move at the last show practically sold out. Funny how that works! I have been doing some thinking on "no more craft show" just because there is a lot of creative work and investment in materials/patterns/time, and not a lot of earnings by the end of the show to really really make it worth while. But this show this last weekend was better than the last 2 combined and kind of restored my faith a little bit. I am happy to announce my mom and I will not be involved in the spring show, but will most likely have a booth in the next fall show.
I have also done some reflecting on what made me enter this world of madness in the first place. And then I remembered it was my passion for cloth diapers! The first 2 shows and a yard sale a couple of months back showed no respect or interest from anyone for cloth diapers. But this show this last weekend was completely different! The basket-o-diapers was the main conversation piece of our booth. Young and old picked up, touched, felt, squished, laughed, questioned and had nothing negative to say about the "next generation" of cloth diapers. I even had about 18 baby doll diapers that sold like hot cakes! One of them is now on a chihuahua pooch! lol The owner took the diaper out to her car and put it on her dog and took a picture for me to see. Its a good thing I have a great sense of humor and an appreciation for "whatever works"! And I even got a couple of custom orders! The picture is from the first order I will be delivering this afternoon. Which leads me to the next topic!!
I am technologically challenged. I think I accidentally threw away my good camera at my son's 4th birthday party. Since then I haven't been posting pictures of my own taking. Well, yesterday I finally dove in and pulled out the OLD camera and dumped some pictures, so you can "see" what's going on. :)
We have not been using our printer since we moved. #1. No toner #2. The computer got a bad virus and had to be fixed last spring, and when that happened the driver for the printer (?) was not re-installed. Well, I pulled on my big boy boots yesterday and decided I would figure it out! I had this nagging idea the printer brochure and discs were in a drawer in my room. Then I thought why would it be there? I haven't had it out since we moved, so it must be in a box in the storage closet. Yeah. I spent 45 minutes going through boxes and found nada. When I finally gave in and looked in the drawer in my room, guess what I found? Yup. Exactly what I needed. So, I walked through the steps and loaded what needed to be loaded, and dusted the printer, and man, we are in business now! Its kind of empowering. (wipes tear)
Moving on...
Coco Bean is learning to read. He brings a small book home every night in his backpack for us to read together. They are called Baggie Books because they are sent home in ziplocs. And its a different book every night. It amazed me one night last week. He went from recognizing letters to reading to me in a very short amount of time. WOW is all I can say.
Miss AJ is doing well grade wise. We are taking a break from karate for the winter and volleyball season is finished, so I am looking forward to peaceful evenings at home. She is missing the activities. She asked if she could do basketball (which runs a few nights a week through the winter) and the academics club. If the academics club does not have a lot of running back and forth for me, I'll consider it. But I gave a full hearty no to basketball. Sorry, sports fans. Its just too difficult with two little ones who need to be in bed at a decent time.
Curly Top is a little pistol. Since Halloween she's been asking for candy at every single free moment of the day. UGH. She is also changing her own clothes every time I turn around. Again, UGH. She is still mimicking every single move Coco Bean makes. Even the CRY every time mommy says its time to play. I know. I'm so mean to make a child go play with... T.O.Y.S. What is wrong with me???
The chickens have stopped laying eggs. I miss them. The ones from the store really do taste different; they lack in rich flavor. Hopefully they'll start laying again. Its almost time for the pigs to be slaughtered. My mouth is watering. And we are in the middle of deer season. My hunter of a hubby did get a deer the other day! And he's going back out to the woods in his next group of days off. Coco Bean wants a small bow and arrow so he can go hunting as well. Wait, maybe it was so he could be Robin Hood. I don't remember.
That's all for now! Time for another cup of coffee and a trip back up to my sewing room. :) Must fill another diaper order for Tuesday. YAY!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Eat the Charmin!

On the way home from picking up AJ, I stopped at the grocery store for some food items and some toilet paper. The TP is currently on its side in the middle of the kitchen floor. Curly Top was on her way through the kitchen when her attention was grabbed. She bent over to get a closer look. She touched the plastic and then asked, "Are deese marshmallows?" To which I responded, "No, dear. It's toilet paper." To bad her dreams will be flushed down the drain...
Well, the craft show is just a few days away. If you know me at all, you know I am one who is trying to overcome the disease of procrastination. It is very difficult, though, because procrastination runs deep in my veins. I have 2 items I want to mass produce for the show. Last week it was no big deal. "I have a WHOLE week left". No problem. Yesterday, however, I was thinking "this is a problem" as I was laid out on the couch with a 101.5 fever. The couch held me from 12:30 yesterday afternoon until 5:30 this morning. I awoke feeling much better and well rested. Now I don't know if it is because my little bug ran its course, or because of a concoction my prince charming made for me last night. I had never heard of it before, but last night drank it and this morning googled it. I was very thankful to read it was not a poisonous drink; he's not trying to knock me off. lol Pine Needle Tea. There are some nice pine's in our back yard, so we didn't have to spend $12.00 on a mail order box of tea. The pine needles are loaded with vitamin C. Prince charming chopped up the needles and let them steep, and added honey. He enjoyed a cup with me. AJ wanted a cup as well, but she is allergic to most trees and weeds and plants, so we decided against it lest she top her night off with a bottle of Benedryl. The flavor of the tea is a tad bit pine-y, but not so much you feel like you're sucking on a car air freshener. And with every sip there is a tingle at the back of your mouth. It cleared my sinus pressure almost immediately. Well, either the pine or the hot steam. And then I slept all night long.
Today I am hoping for a nice long shower, and to make my way back up to my sewing room. I fear I must clean up the house a bit. When mama's down, the tornado hits the house. I am thankful for the leftover baked spaghetti from the other night so no one had to cook last night. And I will put on a smile as I do the dishes and be thankful for the dishes themselves and for the family who ate off them.
And maybe I'll learn a little lesson from this that will prod me even more to become less of a procrastinator.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The fall craft show is this coming weekend. I am trying to rekindle my love affair with my sewing machine. I am spending more time with it than with any other member of my family. One of my friends was here last week with her little munchkin and we were all playing together in the sewing room. Sarah was helping cut out material, and the baby was playing in the pack-n-play. And well, Curly Top didn't want to be left out, so my over sized baby was crammed into the pack-n-play as well. I haven't put the play pen away yet, and little Curly Top wanted to play in it again today while I was working. When I am in craft show mode, "WHATEVER MAKES YOU LEAVE ME ALONE" is my answer to almost anything. So, I threw her in. She played with her babies and her Barbie phone and her blanket while I cut and sewed away. And then over the buzz of the sewing machine I heard her say to her baby, "My mommy won't cover me. My mommy won't cover me. My other mommy won't cover me." I didn't want to be the mean mommy of the little play group, so I finished my seam, cut the strings, and went to little Curly Top and covered her up. She looked up and said, "No, my OTHER mommy. She is upstairs in her office." and promptly took the blanket off. I have been replaced???? I was cracking up at her imagination as I made my way back over to my project. I haven't been replaced. Her "other" mommy can't make her pb&j or give her popcorn, but I did for lunch today! And now she is happily ready for a nap! And I will happily make my way back to my play room, after making coffee. I don't know which I love more; the coffee pot or the sewing machine. I don't think I could live without either.

Monday, November 1, 2010

another oops on my part...

If you need a refresher, go back to my first blog after Christmas 2009. There's a little ditty about all of the horrific things that happened to our family on Christmas. Find the line about my mom blowing up the ham. Pyrex glass everywhere.
Fast forward to this past Saturday.
My brother-in-law and two nephews are in town. They had called to see if they could come over. Of coarse my answer is YES!!! But then I had to inform them that my husband and daughter would be hunting until dark. (AJ was at a volleyball tournament, but would get ready for hunting and rush out the door as soon as she got home.) To my dismay he said they would wait until Sunday to come then, because the boys would want to see AJ, and they were to be at a set of grandparent's house that evening. Which is ok, but my prince charming had to go to work Sunday so wouldn't get to see them, and I really wanted to pack in as much time with the boys as possible. So I went into problem solving mode. I thought real hard and real fast and determined that maybe the grandparents and the boys would all want to come to my house if I made supper for all! Then the cousins could see each other, and my hubby could see the out of towners, and we could all be with the grandparents. So I made phone calls, and I thawed out two chickens. Everyone agreed!! Dinner was to be at 6:00 or so. AJ and prince charming could eat when they got back from hunting.
I dressed the birds. I seasoned one with seasoned salt and pepper and onion powder. I seasoned the other with a blend of rosemary and Parmesan, garlic, onion and pepper. My mouth was watering. I peeled and chopped potatoes for mashing. I opened two quarts of the garden green beans for boiling with bacon. I had plans of homemade biscuits. I made a chocolate oatmeal cake. Tea was brewing. Smells were wafting. I was smiling. My brother-in-law and prince charming were sitting on the porch speaking of manly things while my younger two were playing with my nephews. I couldn't help but peek at the birds. I noticed the dishes were dry and browning. So moisture was needed!! I ran the tap water hot and put some in a measuring cup, and headed to the oven, and poured a bit into the first dish. Mid stream the Pyrex dish BURST! Glass shards and chunks were in the oven and on the floor and in the next dish over. My mouth dropped and I was stunned. What would we do?????? I went to the porch and asked the men to help me. They laughed at me. My brother in law made fun of me. "Wait til I tell your mom!!!" They asked how it could possibly happen. And they cleaned it all up. Then they asked what we would have for supper. My bro said we could all go out to eat. Which would be fine, except we had cake and green beans and mashed potatoes and biscuits in the works. I thought "WWGD"= What would Grandma Carol do?? Side note: Grandma Carol was a lady who could effortlessly and magically whip up a 5 course meal in 15 minutes while you swear she was sitting and talking in the living room with you the whole time. Mind blowing. Back to the story: Well, I had a package of chicken breasts in the freezer and some deer meat. So, I seasoned the breasts like the bird with the rosemary, and I made a meatloaf with the burger. Dinner would be about 45 minutes late, but problem solved. My dad and step-mom brought salad and ice cream and strawberry lemonade cake. Prince Charming and AJ made it home as the table was loaded with food. We feasted and enjoyed every one's company!!
I am so grateful our table is big enough to seat 10, even if 2 people are at the corners. I am grateful my husband repaired some chairs so we have enough to seat 10. I am so very grateful we have food we can share when we have friends and family over. I am grateful for my family. All of my family. Immediate and extended and all of the "steps".
And most of all, I am grateful I have two more Pyrex dishes. hahahaha

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Curly Top climbed on my lap and started frantically taking off her socks. She was whimpering. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "There's bugs on my feet!" I looked at her feet closely and didn't find any bugs. I told her so. She cried and said, "NO, there's bugs on my feet!" Then it dawned on me. She had been sitting, crouched over on the floor coloring for quite some time. Her feet were asleep, and this is how she describes that prickly sensation! Phew. I am glad there aren't really bugs on her feet!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Bloomers!

Ahem. May I have a drum roll please?? I said I didn't think there would be bloomers to go with tomorrow's ensemble. I also said I wasn't a quitter. Well, after the Hamburger Helper gave me a boost of carbola-energy, I went back to the sewing room and whipped out the bloomers. I skipped the 3 tucks that are supposed to be at the ankles, and instead cut off about 8 inches of length, put in a 1 1/2 inch hem, and sewed lace at the fold line. I also added a little blue bow to the seam at the hem line. Just for kicks. And I saw them in another person's blog and wanted to duplicate, even though hers were pink. I had blue thread in the machine, so I went with blue. But looking at the bloomers, I think I need to add at least one or two tucks, otherwise I think AJ will look like she's wearing white pants under her dress. The pattern does show the bloomers at pants length, so, I will think about it for just a bit and see what I end up with.
Phew. What a day. Now I'm off to the shower. Bliss.
Ok. Roughly 5 1/2 hours later I have FINISHED the dress!!!!! And I am thinking there will be no bloomers for tomorrow.
So, what crossed my mind today?
*I am psycho
*My back hurts
*I have a headache the size of Texas, and its still lingering
*My darling daughter had better LOVE this dress or I will strangle her
*If my darling daughter does not LOVE this dress, I will have it shrink wrapped in that specialty acid free paper and save it for Curly Top
*I can't wait to see AJ in this dress
*I inwardly laughed when AJ asked me what I was making and I replied, "A bar dress for some lady in town" and she replied "cool" and walked away
*I am thankful for the VCR and DVD player
*I owe AJ big time for making her make Hamburger Helper for supper tonight
*I am so glad I didn't buy the same pattern in Curly Top's size thinking I'd get a set done for her by tomorrow too
*Like stated in earlier post, the pattern is not hard, just VERY time consuming
*There is enough material in the skirt alone that I could make a tent and hide in it
*I'm glad I found some non-scratchy eyelet trim in a box of "left overs" that was my grandma's. This will make AJ happy too
*If this pattern is historically accurate, no wonder girls/women could wear the same dress for years: tons of fabric, gathered and cinched with ribbon at the neck, arms and waist. And its long enough to accommodate growth spurts
*At about 5:00 I went brain dead and couldn't figure out how to do the last two tucks above the hem of the skirt. I had just done the first one! It took lots of calculating in my head, looking at the pattern, looking at a ruler, and head scratching to finally get the job done
*The pattern said to hand sew the hem in place for the hidden hem seam affect. I rebelled and said an out loud "NO" and I machine stitched it. I even thought about using invisible thread so it couldn't be seen. But I didn't. I used the same thread used throughout the dress. Hem Police, come and get me.
*Maybe I should brush my teeth today so my children don't faint over when I try to kiss them
*Wearing pajamas all day does save on laundry, and its oh so comfy
*I do need a shower. A long hot shower. I am hoping one will help with my muscle pains from hunching over most of the day
*I am so glad this is over!
*I can't wait to see it on her! I was going to give it to her tonight, but my Prince Charming called and said he wants to see her face when she gets it. He won't be home until tomorrow morning. So, I will be patient
*I guess I should spend some time with the kiddos tonight. And then glorious sleep will take over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Apparently I am insane. Yesterday and this morning I thought I was Wonder Woman or something. Maybe Nancy from Sewing with Nancy, or Martha Stewart. Those women can pick up anything and with a slight wave of the hand over a pattern and a piece of fabric and a short amount of time at their sewing machine, the finished product appears! There is no "unsewing" with the seam ripper, there are no harsh words spewed from their mouths, there is just a pleasant Cinderella smile that silently says, "There now, that wasn't hard, was it?"
I think of myself as an experienced seamstress. But today I had to look up "understitching". Did you know that term is not in my prized "Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing: a Wise Book" from 1955? So I had to take a little Google break. But I learned what it was and did it.
I usually do not read through a pattern before I begin. I just tackle the project head on. I should have read this M4...whatever the number is. It is not a "hard" pattern, per say. But it is TIME CONSUMING. If I were just making one thing off the pattern, say the bonnet, I would be finished and sewing room put back together. But I was, as stated before, INSANE. I thought I could make the dress, apron, bloomers and bonnet in 2 days. Count them. TWO. Along with laundry, cooking, dishes, and children. HA HA HA. I didn't think ahead. When Curly Top was a baby, I was a night owl. I guess that had something to do with me nursing her. I would stay up until the "last" feed of the night. Usually around 1 or 2 in the morning. And while the house was quiet, I sewed to my little heart's content. I am no longer a night owl. Remember a few posts back I said something about putting the kids in public school? And they ride the bus? Well, they have to be ready and waiting for the bus at 6:45 AM!!!!!!!! Which means we have to get up before that so they can get dressed, have breakfast, and get the morning routine finished. So, I have to be up by 5:30ish. This mama can't stay up late anymore. I am usually in bed by 10:00. Sometimes even 9:00. And because I am used to that schedule, last night when I thought I'd stay up late sewing, I was yawning and going cross eyed while making the apron. If you know anything about sewing, you KNOW NOT to do it when you are tired, or the seam ripper that helps you unsew will be your very best friend. I didn't want that best friend last night, so I went to bed. Proudly when I woke up this morning, I was thinking "two down, two to go". Then I laid down on the couch with Curly Top after the older kids left, and without the intention of it, I went to sleep. FOR TWO HOURS! AGH. When I awoke out of my sleepy stupor, I decided I was ready to attack the dress and bloomers. Here I am almost 4 hours later, and the dress is not finished. The bodice is, but not the sleeves and skirt. And would you know why??? Because on this "costume" there is tedious work that I thought I could fly through. Button holes here and there to thread ribbon through. Buttons and button holes for closure. Eyelet to look pretty. Lining. I am not complaining about the dress. It is going to be beautiful. But my back is aching, I am still cross eyed, and I am hoping beyond all things holy that it fits my daughter. AND SHE'D BETTER LIKE IT!!! he he hee I feel bad because I have let the VCR and DVD player babysit my 2 year old yesterday and today. And there are still loads of laundry to wash and dirty dishes in the sink. And did I mention we are still in our pajamas???????? Now. Its time to pull myself together. When I start a project and have a time frame to work with, I do not quit. I am not a quitter. I am going to fix Curly Top a PB&J, I am going to heat up left overs for myself, I am going to have another cup of coffee, then I will brush my teeth. And maybe my hair. And then I will put myself back in the sewing chair and work work work until my AJ has a beautiful Little House on the Prairie ensemble to look beautiful in tomorrow. And while she is looking beautiful, I will wear a smile in spite of my aching back, puffy, bloodshot eyes, and possibly mangled hands. And I will completely forget about this the next time I decide to make another rushed project. Don't remind me, okay?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today is a big day. While I am still in my pj's and robe, and still enjoying coffee, I have yards of fabric in the washer, and a pattern I am working on cutting out. I am going to attempt the McCall's M4547. My AJ requested a Little House on the Prairie dress a very long time ago, and has reminded me a few times over the years she still wants one. She is 12 now, and I know that her want for "dress up" will not live much longer. This weekend we are going to a historical festival and I thought this would be the perfect ensemble for her. I am going to make the dress, bloomers and bonnet. And if I have enough time tomorrow, I might whip one up for little Curly Top as well.

Yesterday I started phase one of "no more toy room, move sewing room, and create pantry". In a few hours time I rearranged Curly Top and Coco Bean's bedroom. This consisted of emptying all drawers so I could move the dressers. While I was at it, I thought it the perfect time for weeding out summer clothes and out grown clothes, and went through 4 boxes of winter clothes and too big clothes. Then the appropriate clothes were put in the appropriate drawers, and the others were put in boxes and put in a closet. The toy box from the play room was emptied and cleaned and moved to the foot of one of the beds. I didn't have any toys in it when the boy got home from school, which was fine with him, because he spent the majority of the next 45 minutes hiding in the toy box. Curly Top then joined him. Yes, it is THAT big. I finally said, "Don't you guys want to come out of there?" To which he responded after pushing the lid up, " No! We're playing checkers in here!" I doubled over laughing. We don't own checkers, and if we did, I don't see my 2 year old and 5 year old playing it, together, in a toy box.
Last night I took AJ to karate while Prince Charming stayed home with the younger 2. They ate supper and he was in the process of getting them ready for bed when AJ and I returned home. We sat down to eat and little Curly Top decided to play in her car (laundry basket). She fell over backwards and yelled, "Woooaaa! Pick me up!" which was a lot funnier last night than it seems to me now. AJ picked her up and said something like, "Let's be more careful, sis", to which the little pistol answered, "I'm not a "sis". I'm Nikki Nichole!" Too funny.
Moving on. Here's what I've been thinking about the last few days:
My China is now at my house instead of in storage. I may take it out of the box, wash it all up (by hand of course) and use it on a daily basis. At least through the holidays.

I give my children napkins at meal time and they still wipe their hands on the edge of the table. WHY??

Is chocolate cake any different than a pop tart for breakfast?

I told AJ to dress warm the other morning when it was 45 degrees outside. She arrived in a t-shirt and a loose knitted poncho. I asked if that would be warm enough. "Mom, they have heaters at school." I replied, "And you have an hour long bus ride." She said, "I'll be fine." I grinned when I saw her shivering at the bus stop. Poor girl. The last few days she's been wearing a fleece hoodie.

My little Curly Top played with a toy spider/web off and on yesterday. Today she is refusing to go in the living room because the spider is in there. She even called Woody on the Toy Story cell phone to tell him not to go there 'cause there's a spider.

Dehydrated pears = yummy goodness, especially when you're the one who sliced them and dehydrated them.

My bangs had a wee bit of poof to them Monday, causing my face to look a bit longer than usual. I got asked if I'd lost weight. Then my head got a wee bit poofed.

The washing machine just ended its cycle, so I need to traipse downstairs with the spiders to put all the fabric in the dryer. And I suppose I should get ready for the day so I can sew and hit phase 2 of my "no more toy room" mission. Curly Top is being entertained by a Barney movie and a tea party on the living room floor, so this is prime opportunity, man!! Until next time...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well, Good Morning to you too!
I've had my 3rd cup of coffee, but not because I'm dragging, but because it's chilly! Pancakes have been eaten, dishes have been done, today is Friday AND payday AND early out for the kids, and AJ almost missed the bus. Almost perfect so far! lol
I have tried writing blogs the last few mornings during my sacred coffee time, but there really seems to be nothing wonderful to blog about. Nothing horrible either, so that's good too. I guess the most exciting news this week was Coco Bean got lost in the school. He was supposed to wash his hands and return to the class room. He washed his hands and freaked out because his class was no longer in the hallway. So instead of going back to class, he went to look for them elsewhere. Luckily an aide found him wandering, panic stricken, and returned him to his teacher. And of other note worthy news, we adopted a kitten from a bus-mate's family. The silly mother of Coco Bean's seat buddy told all the kids on the bus that she has FREE KITTENS. So, AJ, being the kitty freak that she is begged and pleaded. We finally told her if she could come up with a good spot for litter box and food dish she could have one. So, she did. And let me reassure you it is not in the kitchen or entry way. (Those were her first suggestions, and I laughed. And for a short moment I thought we weren't going to end up with a kitty. Sigh) The new member of the family is named Del Gato, and he is very cute with long white whiskers. But sadly, Coco Bean is highly allergic to him, so cannot touch him. Its funny, Coco Bean's allergy tests never popped positive for cats. But his poor little face gets beat red and itchy and his nose runs after he's just literally touched the cat. Wah.
I am trying to decorate for fall and Halloween. I haven't done this since, let's see... before AJ was born! I have sewn up a scarecrow panel and clothes pinned him to a hanger and hung over one of the living room doors. And then I sewed up what looks like a gigantic pot holder. It's a quilted piece with a printed jack-o-lantern pumpkin wearing a stove pipe patchwork hat with a sunflower on it. I put it on one of the end tables in the living room. The little ones have been working on construction paper pumpkins, ghosts and Frank-n-steins. They are taped here and there in the dining room and bedroom. I have more ideas in the making, but instead of sewing yesterday, I cooked. We had meatloaf and scalloped potatoes and dirt cake. Then last night before going to bed, I sliced up eight apples and put them on the dehydrator. TIP OF THE DAY: Before placing anything on dehydrator trays, lightly grease said trays. I wish I would have seen that tip or at least remembered it last night. Oh, well.

On a different note, there will be some changes taking place around our joint. Since the children cry and wail and gnash their teeth every time I ask them to play, I will be giving away the majority of their toys, moving the remainder to their room, and turning the play room into my sewing room. There will be more room for me, less mess for the house, and less crying for the kids. We shall see...

AJ has signed up for volleyball at school. When we agreed to let her play, we were not given any information that 6 of the 7 games were away games and she would not be provided transportation. Had we known that in advance, we would have been sticks in the mud and said NO. But, since we were unaware, we cannot say no now. Her first game is tomorrow. She is so excited! I am too. It almost makes me want to wear one of those "Mom of #___" shirts and put a bumper sticker on the car. But I don't have one of those shirts and we don't decorate the car. The gravel dust would just cover it anyway. HA!

I just asked Curly Top to go play. She started crying. I guess I need to go mother her. wah Until next time...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If I were a steam engine on this fine morning, I would need some steam to get a movin. I got a full nights sleep last night. I went to bed at 9:15 pm. Pathetic. But I had been up since basically 3:45 am when Prince Charming's alarm clock started slapping us in the ears in attempts to rouse him out of bed. He finally got up at 4:11, and there after, I helped make coffee, find clean laundry that was still sitting, folded nicely in baskets, and run upstairs to make sure the kids were still covered up and slumbering soundly. At 4:30 I dropped back into bed. At 5:00 I decided since I wasn't yet asleep, there was no sense in forcing myself. I had to be up at 5:30 anyway. So, I got up and started the daily routine.
Well, that was yesterday. Today is a different story. Today I woke up, got AJ and Coco Bean ready and fed and out the door to the school bus. My plan was to go back to bed. But what was that?? What did I hear?? Curly Top proclaimed, "Mommy! I am awake!" After she ate her breakfast I asked if she wanted to watch a movie. I knew the answer already, and knew that I might be able to catch a few zzz's while laying down with her. I did nap while she enjoyed Barney's Big Adventure. And now I have coffee. I want to get busy. There are sheets to be washed, dishes to be done, and fall projects to sew and craft. I. Just. Can't. Get. Started.
Maybe the steam from the coffee will help.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lessons for today

  • no matter how often and thoroughly i sweep, there is always a stray Cheerio lurking about, waiting for the broom and dust pan to be put away before showing itself
  • the trash won't take itself out. so i finally did it. but i didn't pick up what had overflown to the floor. wait til i have another cup of coffee.
  • the laundry is indeed like rabbits: ever multiplying
  • feeding a toddler beans makes for a poopie machine
  • a clean house is for magazine pictures. i really wish there was a magazine full of regular pics for regular people so i didn't feel so inadequate at times.
  • ice cream does make you feel better
  • i can prejudge my day by the amount of coffee i drink in the morning. 1 cup=not enough, 2 cups= normal day, 3 cups= be on the alert, 4 cups= you'd better stay outta my path
  • aveeno lotion is the best remedy for dishpan hands. scratch that. 12 year old is the best remedy. aveeno is second best. (grandma's, don't be alarmed. since aj started school, she has only had to do dishes twice.)
  • when curly top makes requests of me (like can i have juice or will you read to me), no matter how many times i answer her, she will make the same demand with increasing volume from the word "go" until I meet that request over and over and over and over. i have no solution for this.
  • when trying to teach coco bean how to tie a shoe, i know its time to stop when he falls over playing dead.
  • i would really like some french toast right now.
  • vinegar and/or bleach work really well at cleaning sippy cups that have been left in a toy box or car or under a bed too long, and when the lid comes off only a person in a special suit who works in a lab 6 levels under ground can identify the contents.
  • but sometimes its better to burn that sippy cup and buy a new one.
  • warning: do not eat LJ Silvers food and not expect to wake up in the night with bad dreams and a greasy stomach ache.
  • the last 2 nights i have prayed that my little curly top would stay in her bed and sleep all night long. the last 2 nights she did. prayer works.
  • don't open a new bag of potatoes when the bottom is seeping liquid. a plague of gnats will take you and your house as hostage and plunder.
  • when the toddler says "up, up, i want yooouuuu", you know you are loved unconditionally.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


From this day forth (or until the next time I decide to make a change) my monkeys will be forth known as:
AJ (monkey #1)
Coco Bean (monkey #2)
Curly Top (monkey #3)
Prince Charming will remain Prince Charming as long as he stays out of the dog house.

It has been brought to my attention that my precious babes should have more endearing names. After pondering this, I have agreed, and give thanks to the one who pointed this out to me.

You may now return to your regular daily reading.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Memo: The Mesh Shirt is STILL Out

To the man at Ohio and Broadway today:
This memo is being published to let you know THE MESH SHIRT WENT OUT OF STYLE IN 1987.

The self appointed fashion police

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Monday morning. (I accidentally started typing Monday Moron. oopsie. Glad I caught that one.) I have been up for 3 hours. I am nursing my 3rd cup of coffee. And I left the pot on thinking I may have to have the dreaded 4th cup today. I rarely EVER have 4 cups of coffee in a morning. I can't remember the last time I had 4. Sometimes too much coffee in the morning can really make guts hate the person they are indwelling. You know what I mean???
Well, this entry was not intended to make you think of my guts. So, I'd better get on with it.
Remember the mouse from the other night? 2 mornings later (which is now 2 days ago) my prince charming was still sleeping, and the oldest monkey was out feeding the animals. The younger 2 monkeys (is the plural form of monkeys: monkeys, monkies, monkey? Just wondering because of the whole fish/fish, deer/deer, goose/geese thing) and I were finishing up our breakfast at the table. Middle monkey got up to go get his cowboy gear on. Hat, bandanna around the neck, boots and lasso. er, uh jump rope. We improvise around here. As he was turning around to come back to the table to ask me a question (probably "where are my hat, bandanna, boots, and lasso) he started screaming like a neanderthal yet again! Which in turn scared monkey #3 into screaming at the top of her lungs as well. My seat is at the far side of the room. (at the table, but if I so choose to do a 180, at the keyboard of the computer desk. quite handy, I might add.) As they are screaming, prince charming shoots straight out of bed again, and as I see him trying to throw himself into his jeans (our room has a door leading to the dining room), I am trying to ask what in the world they are screaming at. Having heard the screams, my oldest monkey runs into the house to see what's wrong. Monkey #2 finally spits out, "Its the mouse!" I start laughing as I get up to come see it/figure out what to do with it. I get to that side of the room and there is indeed a mouse, and once again it is running in circles! Its the funniest thing I've ever seen! I think the high pitched screams of little children scares the bejeezers out of the poor little thing, and all it can do is RUN! In Circles!! Prince Charming and I were both barefoot, and I was trying to find something to do something to this unwanted-in-my-house creature. While I was looking around, my #1 monkey, wearing her mud boots (because she'd been outside) stepped up and stomped on the little thing. Shock and awe filled my hubby and me. And then she said, "It's still moving. I have to put it out of its misery!" So she stomped the thing again. And then she did the most responsible thing she could and picked up the little mouse by its tail and threw it outside. Then she cleaned the floor where the stomping occurred. What a gal!!!
P.S. I know the plural form of monkey is monkeys.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beware of traveling on the stairs!

(note the rusty orange color to add to the spooky factor)

As most of you are aware, my youngest monkey desperately believes there is a gorilla in the upstairs wings surrounding the steps. We've tried to calm her fears. We've searched for this gorilla. I even thought the mountain in the recently hung Ansel Adams picture might be what's frightening her. But, we haven't found the gorilla or anything that resembles it.
My husband, the man I thought was mature in his age, had to rummage through some boxes and totes in the storage closet that is nestled in the wing upstairs. While he was looking for his treasure, he came across something that he couldn't put down. He not only decided right then what he would do with this item, he enlisted the help of our oldest monkey to be an accessory in his crime.
The smallest monkey, only being 2 years of age, went up the steps to go play with her babies in the play room. However she did not make it to the play room. Her older, wiser, protector of a sister steered her instead to "show" her where the gorilla was upstairs. When my little, poor, unsuspecting monkey got over to the area where her gorilla resides, the older monkey gave some sort of signal, and all of a sudden the door bursts open and my masked husband, in a scary old bald man mask, jumps and snorts and yells, scaring my baby sooooooooooooooooooooo entirely much that she trembled and ran in a circle and screamed at the top of her lungs. She continued screaming and saying, "I want mommy!!!" over and over while her daddy tried to console and comfort her. Much to his dismay, he could not comfort the frantic baby. I took her from his arms and went straight to the rocking chair. The poor thing whimpered and frantically sucked her thumb for what seemed like an hour.

That was yesterday before supper.

My small monkey WILL NOT go upstairs. She wouldn't play last night, she wouldn't sleep in her bed (so I let her sleep on a pallet in the living room), and today she will not even go to her room to pick out her clothes for the day, which is usually her favorite morning activity. The poor thing is truly scared. The husband still thinks its funny. agh.

Then, in the middle of the night, well, it was about 4:00am, my middle monkey came down the steps into my room to wake me and tell me he was scared and asked if he could sleep on the couch. I didn't argue because I wanted to get back to sleep as soon as possible. Little did I know he went back upstairs to retrieve his pillow. Upon his descent, while I was returning to my slumber, he started stomping and screaming at the top of his lungs. My husband and I shot right out of bed and tried to get into the little space at the foot of the steps. My prince charming made it in front of me, so I was left standing in my dark room without my glasses on. They were all the way across the room on my nightstand. When we finally got my son to speak, after all his shrieking, he yelled, "There's a mouse!!!" All I saw was my hubby high footing it, as he was barefoot. He told ME to do something with the mouse! I couldn't see the mouse and I had no idea where he was at the time. Then hubby says, "It just went under the fridge. I don't have anything to stomp it with. I don't know why I told you to get it." Then he starts laughing as he tells me the mouse was on the 4th step up, ran down the stairs, and once it was on the floor it started running in circles until it finally shot under the fridge. He couldn't fathom why the mouse would be running in circles. I was rolling, and shot out that the poor little thing was probably scared to death of our son screaming at the top of his lungs.
The middle monkey was still freaked out, so I walked him to the living room and bedded him down on the couch with his pillow and a couple of blankets. Then I went back to bed and drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face thinking about the gorilla and the mouse.

Its Unanimous!

Many thanks to all who took precious time out of their day to vote!!
The vote is unanimous. Tara K., author of Sew Long Fare Well, will now be blogging on a regular basis. The allotted time will share "drink coffee" on her schedule.

Please keep in mind that while she is desperately trying to follow her new schedule, there may be days when the schedule is thrown out the window, or when things like "cleaning up spilled juice" or "sewing is too important" or "the kids missed the bus" may take precedence over coffee/blog time. She promises to make these days few and far between.

And as always, each and every one of you is important and valued and massively appreciated. Without you, this blog would be just an outlet; words aimlessly thrown into cyberspace. Thank you!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

There is a little monkey sitting in the dining room floor coloring. She has changed her clothes 3 times so far this morning. And she has sported a little white straw Easter hat, a straw cowboy hat, and a black and white polka dotted bucket hat. And to complete each ensemble, she must wear the princess tennis shoes. At one time, she carried her favorite blanket, her baby doll with hair that she rubs and pulls while sucking her thumb, and her over sized purple stuffed cow. Then she threw all those aside to play a game of Hungry Hungry Hippo. What a busy little monkey. I cannot complain. She is keeping herself occupied while the other monkeys are at school.
Real school.
Public school.
The first day of school, the youngest monkey was just fine. She stayed by my side and talked and sang, and was ever so excited when the older two were dropped off by the school bus. The second day she was a different story. She wet her pants twice and threw horrible fits. The third day she was just a little cranky. But now, two weeks later, she is getting used to time alone. Without her older brother to mimic all the live long day, she is learning to think on her own. She is telling tales, playing with her baby dolls, and taking wonderful long naps. One day last week she watched a Strawberry Shortcake movie and learned some big words. When I went to get her ready to go "bye bye" I said, "Lets get your socks on." She stated, "Deese are not socks. Dey are imagination!" They were gray and pink and white striped; ever so cute. How can one argue with that???

While I am enjoying some peace and quiet, I am trying to get used to my new "schedule". There is time for cooking and cleaning and sewing and reading. Or if the weather permits (like yesterday), just reading. I can feel some sanity reentering my brain.
I have made a meal plan for the month, have been keeping up with the dishes (so I no longer wake up to last nights supper dishes telling me hello on the counter top), and I've started baking some again. My next goal is to start sewing for the fall craft show.

Speaking of reading, the book I just finished is titled "Before Green Gables" by Budge Wilson. This book is about the life of Anne Shirley from the time she was born until she was on her train trip to Green Gables. The author wrote just like the original Anne author, and had my full attention from the first page. So, if you are an Anne of Green Gables fan, I would definitely recommend this book.

The older two monkeys are enjoying school. My oldest has asked everyone, including the teachers, to call her AJ. And they do. She loves her music and art classes, and next week she starts volleyball. She's never played before and is ever so excited to start.
The middle monkey was so thrilled to get a Buzz Lightyear lunch box that he didn't care what else kindergarten consisted of. He's learning his phone number and address, and how to tie his shoes. This morning he was miffed at me because I made him a bowl of Malt-O-Meal instead of letting him buy breakfast at school. If that's the worst thing he remembers about his first year of school, then I think we're doing ok.

Well, I didn't have "blog time" on my schedule. So I must bid farewell. Or, maybe I should change my schedule??? Should I take a vote?? My devoted readers, all 5 of you, would you vote to "get a move on" or "change the schedule"?
Until next time...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You've been in the egg biz too long when...

While heading into town tonight the monkeys and I were talking about the sad event that happened with the kitty and the dog. 5 year old monkey pipes up from the back seat, "I have an idea. The momma kitty just needs to lay another kitten, then we'll have more." Oh, my. Too funny. Did we correct him? No way!!!

How NOT to catch a tomato

I was standing at the counter peeling and quartering tomatoes today, preparing them for canning. Peeled and quartered tomatoes are quite slippery. One section slipped from my hand and the first thing I thought was "Catch it before it hits the floor!!" One hand was holding a knife, and the other was covered in tomato juice, so I did what seemed rational at the time and caught it with my hip. Yeah, the peeled tomato quarter was between my hip and the counter. Luckily I was wearing a gray t-shirt used mainly for lounging around the house and not my best "going out" white shirt. The moral of the story is: When preparing food and working in the kitchen, wear an apron.
(Grim reaper music playing in the background)
While I was weeding the tomatoes and green peppers I heard a little kitten meowing. I was smiling to hear the little fellow. I kept weeding. Then I heard my oldest monkey screaming, "NOooo LadyBird!!!" So I look up and see her in hot pursuit of the boxer dog. The boxer had the kitty in its mouth and was running and shaking it like it was a chew toy. We got the kitty from the dog. Dear daughter took the kitty to the porch to nurse it and I no more than got another weed pulled when I heard another kitty meowing. I ran to investigate and found yet another kitty in that dog's mouth! I rescued the kitty and ordered daughter to put the dog on a leash and tie it to the porch. Daughter was sobbing. She did as she was told. I got to looking over the kitties. The 2nd kitten was fine; just had a little doggy drool in her hair. But the first kitty was not so lucky. I could tell by looking at it that something was very very wrong. She didn't have any "out ward" injuries, but she wasn't moving. About 30 minutes later, I pronounced her dead. Darling daughter sobbed and sobbed. These kittens were born a few weeks ago to our neighbor/landlord's wild cats. They stayed on her back porch for a few days, then the mama cat moved the kitties. We didn't know for two weeks where she had moved the little babies until one evening my oldest monkey went on a quest to find them. And she did!!! They were well hidden in a place we do not venture to. A space we don't invade. The well house. Since her discovery, daughter has gone to visit the kittens daily. She has named all three: Starbucks (see, she is my kind of kid), Navy Blue (her absolute favorite), and Mittens (actually named by my middle monkey). The dog killed Navy Blue. Daughter keeps asking, "Why did it have to be MY kitten she killed?" What she fails to realize, and it really is a hard pill to swallow, is that the kitten who isn't really hers, was killed by a dog who really wasn't "ours". I can think of it like that and not be overcome with grief. But to an 11 year old girl, That dog killed Her cat. Nothing I can say right now will change her mind. And that is why I am not going to tell her how I see it. When her daddy gets home today, we will be having a kitty funeral.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is there a way to sum up the last 6 months without blogging what would seem like "The Longest Story Ever"??? I will try. Here goes. Drum Roll Please!!!!!!!!!!! rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

We moved from the city into the country. I only agreed to move because I was promised my own sewing room. It worked out because the house we had to sell was sold to the first couple who looked at it, and because the house we were living in (my grandma's) immediately had new renters that were as impatient as I'll get out to get in. We now have plenty of room to stretch out in, and plenty of storage space for all our things. We are trying to simplify and become self sufficient, so that led us to a garden, chickens, and pigs. I haven't hardly gotten a chance to sew, but the machine (or is it the room) is now beckoning me to spend time there. My youngest monkey is a pure mimic of my son. Copy cat extraordinaire. I asked her if she wanted big kid undies just like brother's. She said yes. I told her if she wears them, she has to use the toilet just like brother. She said OK. We got home from the store, she put on the undies, and she has been potty trained since. WOW! She's had a handful of accidents, but not in the car, and only once at night. What a change from using cloth diapers!! I am learning to can. So far we have pickles, green beans, and tomatoes. I've also made homemade rolls and bread. My husband has learned to build a pig pen. I have had to dispose of 2 dead chickens. Dead from the heat, poor girls. We have lived without air conditioning when the heat index has been over 105 for weeks on end. The kids have been sleeping in the living room instead of upstairs in their rooms because of the heat. I have killed one opossum with a .22 handgun, and my hubby has killed a momma opossum and 5 babies. Started out with a .22, and then had to move up to a shovel to decapitate them. Yuck. We've acquired a pure bred boxer because she was dumped down the road. We've seen loads of deer, a few snakes, killed hornets, fought mice, and welcomed kittens. The kids have gotten to ride a horse named Sadie. And we've played in the creek. We've also had a lot of company over the last few months. We will continue to home school this year. The oldest monkey has already started, and I'm trying to figure out when I'll start the middle monkey in kindergarten.

I am so thankful my husband wanted to move. I am so thankful he coerced me with a sewing room. Where we are is so peaceful. He and I make it a point to have coffee together every morning he is home whether he is here for the day, or will be heading off to work. Our family eats all of our meals together at the dining room table. (I mean we can actually use the table because it is not covered with my fabric and sewing projects!!!) We do not have cable, so our schedule is not built around favorite television shows. I am learning to plan and schedule a tad bit better, because we can't just hop in the car and run to the store whenever I feel like it. The kids are getting used to "staying home" rather than running around. Now don't get me wrong. Life is not perfect. I mean, there is a cow pasture right outside the dining room windows. Let me tell you, on a 100 degree day, that is a pleasant aroma drifting around! But, I grew up next to the fairgrounds and learned a long time ago how to hold my nose and keep breathing. And our basement is not finished. There are 3 rooms in the basement and it can be rather scary. Brown recluse spiders the size of my hand! I only do laundry when there's day light. I am a chicken. The house was built in 1924. It is old, but it has been very well maintained, and it is beautiful. The woodwork is gorgeous. Now, the lime green carpet in the living room is less than desired, but that's okay because we're going to rip it up and throw it out and refinish the hard wood floors underneath. And our landlord is like family.

OK, I am impressed. I don't think I have ever squeezed 6 months onto one page before. Can I have a balloon???

After some prodding from friends and family on facebook (well, they are my real friends and family in real life as well) I am going to try to blog more regularly. So, until next time!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

She's really not a baby anymore

My baby monkey, who will be 2 in April, as I am finding out, is not really a baby anymore. Though I will desperately try to keep her a baby as long as possible, and lovingly refer to her as the baby until she is 25. (maybe 30. Heck. Maybe until she is a grandma!) She is talking. A lot. She is particularly fond of her older brother, and therefore mimics his every move and phrase. If he says, "Can I have a snack, mama?" she is right at his side and immediately says, "nack, mama?" And she is learning how to respond. Just now she picked up the jumbo sized pump bottle of baby lotion and looked at me with her big blue eyes and asked, "woshin, mama?" as in 'give me some please'. To which I replied, "Not right now." So she cocked her head to the left and said, "I nut?" which translates to 'why not'?
I worked on a few sewing projects yesterday while the monkeys ran amuck. As I passed through the living room on the way to the powder room, I bent down and tickled her. Instead of giggling or running or pretend screaming, she looked straight up at me and said, "Top it. Top it, mamum." which translates to 'stop it'.
Hee Hee. The other day I ran to the store and left the monkeys at home with my hubby. He called me to tell me it was time to come home after the baby monkey had dirtied her diaper, stripped off her pajamas, stripped off the diaper and put it "somewhere" (where he couldn't find it), and gone to him to clean her up (because she did get some on her hands and belly---eeeewwww). Guess what she had done? She put the diaper (mind you it was a cloth diaper) in the kitchen trash. She had gotten out a changing pad and laid it in the floor. AND she had a fresh diaper ready and waiting by the changing pad. The kids knows what she's doin'!! Hubby cleaned her up. And I was kind of cracking up under my breath. Oh, and you ask how did I find the missing diaper? I followed the smell throughout the house. lol!
This little one. The one who likes to crumble drop biscuits in her palm. The one who likes to hide behind the living room curtains and shriek with delight when I pretend I can't find her. This little one who mimics me when I am wagging my finger and hollering at the older 2 monkeys is still very small and young. But she is not a little baby anymore.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Darling son got mad at me today. His 4 year old mind could not fathom why we couldn't just jump in the car and go to Disney World today. The conversation lasted about, oh, say, 30 minutes at least! "But WHY can't we go?????" and I was doing a pretty good job of explaining until he sadly sadly said, "but N. (baby sister) wants to go to Disney World, too. She doesn't like Santa, but she likes Mickey." If Disney wasn't a 3 day car ride away, and was a free attraction, that little statement would have had us at Disney world TODAY I tell you!
So, we did the next best thing. (not really, but humor me please) The monkeys sat down together and watched The Jungle Book. And all the while the littlest monkey held the Disney World ad from the Family Fun magazine. The ad that has the Muppet cast working like the Extreme Home Makeover show, and then the next page the Muppets are riding a fire truck down Main Street, Disney World, as Gonzo is being carried away by balloons shaped like Mickey Mouse's head. Cinderella's castle in the background. Boy. I bet that ad does get Disney a LOT of new business. How dare they put that ad in the ONE magazine we have a subscription to. I think tonight I will sing them to sleep with "when you wish upon a star". Maybe that little dream will come true.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just so that you know...

Just so that you know... My home computer has a virus, so there will be no picture uploaded from my phone tonight.
Just so that you know... We had pancakes for supper tonight. At 9:00 pm. We NEVER eat that late. 2 of the monkeys were begging to go to bed before I ate my last bite. That NEVER happens either.
Just so that you know... I love to sew.
Just so that you know... I am a major procrastinator. I don't know why. I just am. I am not proud of it. I am trying to change. And I've been saying that for about 10 years. The little engine that could??? I think I can, I think I can. Put put put. steam out ears.
Just so that you know... I hid in the bathroom from my children the other day. Really. So I wouldn't end up having a tantrum in the middle of the living room floor with them. It did work for a few minutes... and then... steam out ears...
Just so that you know... I still love coffee. And I love good chocolate. But I am not quite as bad a chocoholic as I have been in the past. Interesting.
Just so that you know... I don't think there is any point in washing my car when there is fog/rain/slush/puddles all around and MORE in the forecast. But, dear husband, if you tell me I need to wash it, I will.
Just so that you know... I have made my own bread from scratch all week. Until yesterday when my honey wanted some samichis (that means sandwiches, but its funner to say like that) and I didn't have time to make up the dough and let it sit and rise for a couple o' hours, so he was stuck with Sara Lee. At least nobody doesn't like her. (if you're scratching your head saying "what???" and picking your nose, remember the commercial jingle for Sara Lee.)
Just so that you know... I just threw a load of cloth diapers in the wash and added bleach to the load. For the first time in our cloth diaper journey. And I am scared to death I might have just done something very very bad. But hey, if they come out splotchy but smell good, maybe it'll be ok. (The little monkey has been eating a lot of raisins, and raisin bran this week. This has been a horrible mistake. Bran and raisins in a 21 month old create horrible nastiness I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Well, on second thought, maybe I would...) Lets just say, we KNEW when she entered the room BEFORE she entered. The scent preceeded her. PEEEEEEEE EEEEWWWWWWWWW
Just so that you know... I am wearing my pretty apron right now. I was too tired to take it off after cleaning up the kitchen after making pancakes at 9:00 tonight. who knows. Maybe I'll sleep in it, too. lol
Just so that you know... My mom and I are getting really motivated and excited about the upcoming craft show at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in March. It will be our 2nd time having our own booth. Me thinks it's the 2nd weekend, but right now, I couldn't promise. So check back soon. I'll get it posted.
Just so that you know... I made my first attempt at baked potato bags and rice packs this weekend. Baked potato bags for putting potatoes in, and then putting in the microwave, to give you nice and fluffy baked potatoes to eat. Rice packs to either put in the freezer to put on boo boos, or in the microwave to heat to put on your sore muscles to help with aches and pains. They turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. And I do.
Just so that you know, since it is getting late, I am going to turn off my husbands old laptop computer (That I am ever so grateful for) and am going to go brush my teeth and crawl in bed. I am really quite tired. Have a wonderful night, oh dear cyber friends in cyber world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nachos ala Gayle

Hubby was gone the other night. I was getting ready to put the monkeys to bed. I was getting bored. I called my friend Gayle. I hadn't talked to her since the day after Christmas, and that's just too long. We chatted for a bit and she asked me what we did for New Year's Eve. I told her (that because of our crazy Christmas) we spent a quiet evening at home, complete with Rotel dip and chips. Who DOESN'T have that on New Years??? As any good conversation goes, we stopped talking about the kids and our schedules and focused on the food. She asked if I had put taco seasoning on the meat that I added to the Velveeta. And I replied No. And she asked if we dressed it up with lettuce, and I replied "No, but if you keep talking like that I am going to get a hankrin for Nachos!" To which she replied, "Me too". And that's when we decided she would come over with nacho fixin's (minus the Velveeta, because I still had some o' dat) and we were going to feast properly. What a great friend! She ventured out in the freezing weather to the store, and then to my house. And that's when I learned how to make the best nacho plate ever. She made her plate first, and I copied every layer.
1. Crushed tortilla chips in the center of the plate
2. Lettuce encircling the chips, making a nice green decorative boarder on the plate
3. Hamburger--with taco seasoning-- on the chips (not on the lettuce)
4. Rotel Velveeta Dip on the hamburger
5. Sour cream
6. a squirt from the packet of "taco vinaigrette dressing" that came with the lettuce (WONDERFUL STUFF WITH A KICK)
6. shredded cheese
7. tortilla chip strips
8. more tortilla chips layered on the lettuce

We feasted. I don't know if it was the best nachos I've ever had because a) I was hungry b)they were just plain wonderful or c) because it was shared with my friend.

Use #567 for Duct Tape

Making sure the 7 foot artificial tree stays in the storage container that is too small to house it.
Mister who invented Duct Tape, This Bud's for you!!

Somehow I talked my husband into letting me throw out our old artificial tree last year after Christmas with the "plan" of purchasing a new one on clearance. And then when I went to shop for the clearance Christmas tree, the stores were already sold out.

And then I forgot.

Two weeks before Christmas the oldest monkey was fussing that we really needed to put up our tree, so I sent her out to the garage to find the box. It had housed an artificial tree that served us well over the last 11 years. And it too was held shut by the trusty duct tape. But alas, the box could not be found. And I hear a little bell in my brain reminding me that maybe, just maybe, last year I disposed of this tree. I couldn't remember for sure, so I called my sister to see if I could have really been this barbaric. You see, when I do anything major, like throwing out a Christmas tree, or throwing out holy socks, I call my sister to let her know just because someone needs to know what I am doing. Someone needs to care. So she humors me and listens to all my goings on.
She chuckled and said she did remember the day I threw out the tree. Yes, it was gone. And sadly, we were not in a position to fund a new tree just before Christmas. Before majorly flipping my lid, ideas started swirling in my head. Ideas like "paint a tree on the wall" and "make a tree out of construction paper, complete with fringed branches". Ideas like "let the children have a hay day with the arts and crafts supplies. We can repaint next year". And then I remembered there is a magnificent thing called "Freecycle". I am a member of this group! So I turned my computer on and went to my Freecycle page, and sent out a plea for a free Christmas tree. It went something like this: Wanted: Artificial Christmas tree. Doesn't have to be fancy. Prefer all pieces present.
That afternoon I got a reply from someone who had a 7 foot tree waiting for a new home!!! But it needed a stand. I knew my hubby would fashion something for a stand, even if it was made from potatoes and a coffee can. I set up a time for pick up, cleaned out my trunk, and loaded the 3 monkeys in the car to go get our new tree! We brought the tree to its new home. And it sat in its box for about a week awaiting a stand. My hubby didn't concoct a stand, for I found one at Hobby Lobby. The Saturday before Christmas my oldest begged and begged to put up the tree. I was not feeling the greatest, so I supervised with my head resting on the arm of the couch. I watched as she gingerly took all the branches out of the tote and separated them into their color coordinated families. I watched as she started assembling the pieces into a tree. I watched as this tree started to take up all of the space in my living room. We live in a modest sized house. The way I had moved the furniture to make room for the tree to be centered in front of the picture window was not going to work. The tree was covering a couch cushion from both couch and love seat: across from each other on opposite sides of the room!!! When she stated 7 foot tree, I thought "great! We have 8 foot ceilings!" But I failed to think about the width that accompanied the height. oops. I told my monkeys, "Daddy's not going to like this tree." And as the next row of branches was added to the tree I said, "Daddy's going to make us take this tree down." And when I could no longer see my book case or window, I exclaimed, "This is not going to work! This tree is bigger than our house!" And that's when my daughter put her foot down. "Mom, I want a Christmas tree! We can live with this tree for a week! Daddy's just going to have to deal with it!" And that was the end of the argument. She was working diligently on the tree when all of a sudden she threw a branch and screamed. She had seen a spider. I got a tissue and captured the spider as she freaked out. She yelled, "No wonder that lady wanted to get rid of her spider infested tree for free!" I had a little shiver run up and down my spine as well, so I got out the vacuum, hooked up the hose adjustment, and proceeded to vacuum all of the remaining branches. Then started laughing and praying the tree wasn't really infested. She finished putting together the tree, and applied the lights, and then helped her brother put on the ornaments. The tree was indeed a beautiful tree. I really think the only reason the previous owner got rid of it was because it needed a stand. The color was gorgeous. The branches were full of life and not brittle. It was a great tree. The next day I figured out how to arrange the furniture so we would be able to be in the living room with the tree without having to sit under the tree. We enjoyed our treasure for not only one, but two weeks. And then I decided we didn't live at the North Pole, so it was time to take it down. I did that deed myself one night when the oldest monkey and my hubby were gone hunting, and the little monkeys were in bed sleeping. I don't know how I did it, but somehow all the branches got stuffed back into the little tote the tree came to me in. But it was so full the lid wouldn't stay on. I thought about waking up the little ones and having them sit on the box. But then I figured I couldn't store them in the garage with the tree for the next year. So I found the solution. With each strip applied to the tote, I smiled and said a little blessing for the inventor of Duct Tape. And finally, the tote was sealed and ready to be stored. Did you see the little black thing on the floor by the tote? Can you tell what it is? A mouse. My son thought it was really funny to plant his rubber varmints he received from Santa all through the house. I found a spider on the piano. But I'll save the rubber spider story for another day.

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