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Monday, May 31, 2010

My Neighbor’s Blooms

My next door neighbor has a very beautiful flower garden in the back part of their property. A week ago Saturday, as I was going blind at the sewing machine, she tapped on the back door and invited me out to the garden for a bouquet of iris. I needed a break and what better place to spend it than in the flowers?


There must be a dozen+ varieties of iris blooming back there right now, different colors, but all of them ruffly and smelling like grape pop. She cut me an armload and I was able to make three vases full for our enjoyment in the house.

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For several days, the house smelled florally and grapey whenever we walked by the flowers and stirred the air around them. kitchen iris

Thanks Donna, for being so kind and sharing your beautiful blooms!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How I Made the Playhouse

One day last winter when I was blog-reading, I came across this idea for a felt playhouse. It’s essentially a slipcover that fits over a table (I used a card table), with an opening to go inside. The one I saw in this blog was really cute and I started following links to see what other creative ideas were out there. I loved it so much and wondered who I knew who was the right age for one of these? Immediately my niece Taylor came to mind – there were several months before her third birthday so I’d have plenty of time to create.

A few Sunday afternoons were spent cutting, sewing, and stuffing the little things. Then everything was tucked away as other projects came along with a shorter deadline. A couple of weeks before the birthday party, I got things out again and prepared to finish up.

Large sheets of posterboard were used to make a pattern the exact size of what the finished side panels would be, then the felt was cut one inch larger on top and the sides for seam allowances. Before the panels were sewn together, each was embellished with whatever scene was going on it.

There is the front door (a panel that flips up over the top to stay open) with a mailbox and flowers in the grass. A small bluebird sits atop the mailbox, but he can go anywhere on any of the panels. There are some felt pieces of “mail”, too (no photos of those) – the flap opens to reveal an opening for mail delivery.

front door

One side has a garden scene with a stalk of sweet corn (peaches and cream variety), a head of cabbage, some carrots, and a couple of radishes.


The next side has an apple tree that houses an owl. The apples can be picked and then put back on the tree.

apple tree

The fourth side has a clothesline for Taylor to hang her doll clothes. I included real clothespins. The sun is shining in the corner.


My favorite little detail is the butterflies. I used my Cricut to cut out a couple of templates. Then the templates were cut apart with one part being the wings and the other the body. I cut two wings pieces from bright colored felt for each butterfly, then sewed them together in the middle with the black body.


I also love the owl. For his eyes, I used old black buttons, but did decide to ask Angela to take those off so there’s no chance that Reese will bite one off and choke.


The playhouse fit their card table perfectly (I’d emailed Angela for the dimensions, and it was the same as mine) and the kids dove right in to playing. Taylor loved it and Angela reports that the two girls have spent lots of time in it since the party.

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Okay, so she’s cheesin’ pretty hard because I told her to smile big! :o)

Jess helped me fit the finished playhouse on the card table the night before the party, and said to me, “You know you’re making one for Bradley.” I already had plans to make one, but wasn’t sure about a theme. We’ve decided on a starry night/space/alien theme and have been planning the construction. Brad’s will hopefully be ready in time for Christmas, since it apparently takes me months to get one done. :o)


Words to Live By

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.   Mother Teresa

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I’m linking to Notes from a Cottage Industry where you can find more Words to Live By…

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Words to Live By

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot

wedding I love the life we’ve built together over the last 29 years. Here’s to 29 more!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Diggers – May

Saturday was Little Diggers again! The morning began with clouds and a cool breeze, but by the time we got done, the sun was coming out.

The first thing the kids did was wander through the garden, checking out what they planted in April. There were mulched paths to walk on so they didn’t compact the soil where the plants were, nor did they step on any plants.

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The markers reminded them of what they planted last time.

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The bowling ball lady bugs keep watch over things when the kids are gone.

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Wyatt posed with the orange bowling ball caterpillar. All of the bowling ball creatures have been named, but I only remember that one is “Brunswick”.

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Time to get down to business. The kids were divided and one group planted head lettuces, the other group did kohlrabi. Here’s Garett putting his kohlrabi in the ground.

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I’ve never eaten kohlrabi, but was told it tastes like turnips. We like turnips, so I may try some in my own garden this year.

While Garett did that, Grace and Wyatt were in a third group and helped with the big tomato plant. We all learned about taking the bottom leaves off the tomato plant and making the hole nice and deep. This encourages lots of root growth along the stem, making it strong and able to withstand the seemingly constant prairie winds.

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Garett puts a bell pepper in the ground.

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While they were at that end of the garden, they planted a little bed of zinnias.

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Then they went to the far end of the garden and put in some giant pumpkin plants. These pumpkins should end up as big as some of the smaller kids who were there!

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Now that the planting was finished it was time to pull radishes!

Wyatt tentatively tried a bite and said he liked it…

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Grace ate a whole one with no hesitation…

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Garett didn’t even want to pull them because he said he didn’t like them. When he was reassured that he didn’t have to eat them if he didn’t want to, he was fine. He did eventually decide to take a tiny bite. He said he liked it, but I’m not convinced that either of the boys really did.

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Before we left, the kids checked out the goldfish in the pond that is in front of the store. They wanted to just stay there while I went to the greenhouse to look at plants.

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Of course that wasn’t happening, so they came with me. They asked if they could have a packet of seeds to plant at home.

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Garett chose morning glories, and the other two took sunflowers. I explained to them how the sunflowers would be eaten by the birds when they got big. The kids just seem to be fascinated by seeds and plants and the garden.

We look forward to next month when they’ll still be planting! Sweet corn and watermelon will go in the ground in June.  They’ll harvest more radishes and who knows what else will be ready? I did hear someone saying they would learn about pulling weeds…

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Day!

Today is Greg’s birthday. We celebrated with the kids last night by having supper at Vincenzo’s in the Haymarket in Lincoln.

I pulled out the camera, much to my family’s dismay. Too bad for them, I don’t mind their dismay. :o) Unfortunately, I married Earl Hickey…

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and birthed Earl Jr. …

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whose sister birthed another little Earl…

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Despite the eyes-closed photos, we had a wonderful meal and enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate Greg’s birthday together. There was veal parmigiana,  baked cannelloni filled with spinach and chicken, raviolis, and chicken fettuccine. This feast was preceded by an appetizer of crab/artichoke bruschetta (YUM!), and topped off with the sharing of a couple of orders of crème brulee.

Yesterday morning on the way to Little Diggers, I was telling the kids about Greg’s birthday coming up. Wyatt asked me how old Uncle Greg would be – I told him 51. He said, “Ohhhh, fifty – one…” Like it was so ancient. Then he asked me how old I was. I told him 48. “Oh, 48. That’s good!” Like I am so much better off than Uncle Greg… 

Happy Birthday Baby – wishing you many, many more!