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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Family Time

I've been enjoying having both of my kids home today. We've chatted, helped each other with chores, and laughed so hard my stomach hurt. My kids are so much fun!
Twenty-eight years ago, at this very moment, Greg and I were shaking hands and getting hugs in the receiving line after having said "I will" and vowing to make a life together. We made it through all the stages: newlyweds, house, babies, parenting, jobs, and now empty nest. Now we're on the brink of a new stage: grandparenthood.
Here's a photo of our little one who is coming in the Fall:Already sucking it's thumb. :o)
I know we're in for a new kind of fun and we can't wait!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Through the Lens

I love to give my digital cameras to the kids and see what they come up with. (Usually lots of photos of my carpet or the television.) This time each twin had a camera outside. Here's what they saw (with no photoshop alterations or editing) through the lens:
Garett looked down from the deck, over the bird feeder and lawn chair.
Grace was focusing on the iris in the foreground:
They were excited by the marigolds - I think Wyatt brought some home from school.
Garett's self-portrait:
Grace came dangerously close to showing my "cartilage", right Abbie? :o)

Don't you wish the wind would blow Grace?
Uncle Greg's cool truck:
They'll be here on Tuesdays each week during the summer, and I think there will be photography galore on those days.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday!

I say Happy Happy Birthday, Honey!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Vegetable Garden Begins

Last weekend Greg worked really hard getting the four raised beds staked down and filled with composted dirt from a local nursery. (Here they are stacked up in the back yard - that's where they were stored until time to fill them.) I did pound in stakes and drill screws for this last bed. But I was the one taking photos, so you only see Greg doing the first one. I did the rest. :o)
I do have to mention that each of these raised beds is exactly the same distance apart, and yes, they are in a perfectly straight line down the middle of the back yard. You can thank my OCD honey for that. :o) If I'd done them, they'd be "approximate" and still work okay, but he's got them looking very nice.

He used the pickup to get four loads of dirt, and each one had to be shoveled off the truck into a pile on the ground. I helped on Friday afternoon with the first load, then had to work on Saturday morning while he went and got the other three. At least the last load was still on the truck when I got home and I could help with that one. Once he had the big pile, he was able to use the Bobcat to fill each bed after he staked it down.
The dirt isn't completely composted, so I've been pulling out chunks of grass and tree stems, etc., but it is nice and loose and the beds look great. By using raised beds, the soil won't get compacted by us walking or sitting on it, and we won't have to rototill every Spring. Yea!
Now we can let the planting begin!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Composter

I've wanted a composter for many years - a place to put yard waste and food scraps and do good with putting it back into the earth. We looked at many options, but never agreed on anything. Greg kept telling me to go ahead and buy one, but I thought they were too small. I wanted him to put together some pallets for me to just toss stuff into, but he didn't really like that plan.

Recently I was looking at blogs and came across directions for making a composter using a large Rubbermaid trash can. I happened to have an empty can in the garage, concrete blocks in the garden, and plenty of "green" and "brown" components to add to it. The only thing I had to buy was a package of bungee cords to hold the lid on, cuz you know with the wind we have here, it's a good possibility that lid would end up across the street in the neighbor's yard!
For brown stuff I used leaves that had piled up on the south side of the back deck the past few weeks (stuff blows in and piles up there all year round), some torn up newspaper, and torn up brown cardboard. The green stuff was mostly lawn clippings and a small bucket of food scraps from the kitchen, including egg shells, strawberry hulls, banana peel, and some shriveled up cilantro. Fruit and veggie scraps, only - no meat or animal products at all, except for egg shells. One good thing for compost that I don't have any of right now a pile of worms. Any of my Adams cousins remember picking up night crawlers for Grandma to use for fishing? I'll tell you about that another time.
So I filled it up, sprayed it with the hose, and rolled it around on the ground a little bit. It's now heavy enough that the wind won't take it.
I should have some nutritous dirt to add to the garden in a few weeks. I'll let you know!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Little Re-Do

Okay, so I looked at that canvas I put in the bathroom yesterday, and while I liked the simplicity, it started to seem "too" simple. So I did made a little addition today and like it much better: Now I'm pretty sure I'll lose the ivy and bird's nest and put something else there. Just need to figure out what that is... :o)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rainy Day Play

It's been a dreary, soggy day here, so my gardening plans got postponed until another afternoon. Instead, I thought I'd finish an art project for the bathroom I'm redecorating.
It's been several years since the "public" bathroom in our house has had a makeover, and it was looking a bit tired. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, until one day when I was sorting through my scrapbook papers and came across this piece. The colors are fresh and spring-like and they inspired the new color palette for the bathroom. In fact, I decoupaged the paper to a 12"x12" canvas and turned it into art to hang on the bathroom wall. While the paper alone is pretty, I knew I wanted to add something simple to it. I love birds, and have collected a few patterns for bird crafts. This particular pattern came from Skip to My Lou, a creating and crafting web site. I did enlarge the pattern a bit to make the bird the size I wanted for this canvas.
I wanted the bird to face the other direction, so I flipped the pattern to trace it. My pencil was pretty dull, so when I traced, it didn't really leave lead marks, just a slight indentation in the canvas.
I went over the tracing with a black paint pen.
To finish the edges of the canvas, a little black/white polka-dot ribbon worked great. I used scrapbook adhesive for that.
Here's the finished project, hanging above the toilet. I'm thinking I might add a ribbon hanger, but want to look at it a few days before I do.
The silk ivy and little bird and nest are a "cottage-y" touch that adds softness to the room. We'll see if the cats leave it alone...
Since I decoupaged the canvas several days ago, it really only took a couple of minutes to finish this up today. I'm one step closer to having the finishing details done in the bathroom, and spent a rainy afternoon being productive. :o)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

On this Mother's Day morning, I've been thinking about grandmothers, Greg's and mine, and the little ways that they will influence the kind of grandma I want to be.
When we first married, 28 years ago, we were blessed to have all of our grandparents still living. A few short months later, we unexpectedly lost Greg's Grandma Wolfe. Myrtle was a tiny little woman, frail by the time I knew her. I didn't know her well, but Greg's mom tells me about Myrtle's needlework, and Greg remembers the raisin-filled cookies she made when he was a child. I have that recipe, and look forward to making the cookies and telling my grandchildren that their own Grampy loved them when his grandma made them.
This photo is from her wedding portrait:
This is Elsie, my Grandma Adams. She's the grandmother I knew best, because we lived in the same town and we were there all the time. Grandma will also be known for cookies, but more for the cookie jar on top of the frig that always had something inside. And the package of Doublemint gum on the counter - she'd always give us a piece if we asked, but just a half. There were dozens of grandkids and only so much gum. Grandma used to call us up and ask for either Tonita or I walk over and comb her hair. She had those big grey metal duckbill clips and would let us style her hair any way we wanted, as long as we kept combing. :o)
Mildred was Greg's paternal grandmother, and I only met her a few times after we were married. She was a gracious hostess, always wanting to know if we needed anything to eat. :o) One time when we visited, Greg's brother requested that she make Gumbo. She did, and I remember it was a long process, but she was happy to do it. She told me once that we were the only ones who had ever called her "Grandma". We were the Northeners - the rest of Greg's dad's family lives in Texas and they all called her "Maw-Maw". (I think that's how you spell it, you just have to hear it to know the difference between that and Mama...)

My Grandma Regier was the last of our grandparents to pass away. Her name was Tena, and one time she told us that was short for Katherine. She was quite a cook and a crafter. I recently got out the baby quilt she made for Jessica, and am using it as a pattern to make one for my own grandchild. I always enjoyed staying with her for a few days over school breaks - she made time to play games and read and go for walks, but we also helped with the chores. One time we picked cherries and I spent an afternoon pitting the big bucketful while she puttered around the kitchen. She was 91 when she died last December - this photo was taken in July. She was happy to pose for pictures, even if she wasn't quite sure how she knew us. The last time I saw her was a week before she passed. She only said one word, asking if I was cold, but responded otherwise by shaking her head yes or no. She held my hand the entire time, and Jessi swears that Grandma knew who I was.
I know I will take little pieces of each of these women and fit them into what I will be as a Grandma, and these women will live on as we share their life stories with this next generation.
Happy Mother's Day!