To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

For the love of buttons

I made this dress for Miss M. I know, it's cheating since you can buy it practically ready made. I sewed a back seam and added the straps. Her favorite part of the dress? The buttons on the back that make it adjustable so she can wear it next year as well. She says, "it's got buttons!", and proceeds to show everyone she meets. We should all be that easy to please.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Three R's

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - I'm not the best at it, but I sure try hard. I've been reading some of the blogs out here and, boy, are there some good ones with incredibly creative ideas for reusing and recycling! One of the things I ask myself before trying an idea is, "how useful is it?" It doesn't make sense to try all these cool ideas if I'm just adding clutter to my house. I found this and decided to give it a try when I had some down time between making market bags. Very cool, Meg! Thank you. I used smaller cans (from making black bean salsa) and cut the dimensions down accordingly. I already had the muslin and the embroidery floss. Soon I'll have the best looking craft room around, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Loot

Now, I know I'm not the only one who feels absolutely smug when I bring these goodies into the house straight from the garden. I've been practicing Square Foot Gardening for nearly 20 years now and it works great for me. My garden plot is only 4x8, but oh, the goodies I can pack into it. The radishes were eaten long ago and I've been picking basil and tarragon constantly. I even managed a bit of rhubarb this year. I admit, I had to do a second planting of beans, but only because the rabbits thought I should be sharing the first time around.

Look! I picked a whole bowl of fresh greens. The lettuce has been going crazy this year what with all the rain we've gotten. It still hasn't gone to seed so I'm picking fast and furious.

I love that I can pick a bowl of beans from the garden and be eating them in 10 minutes. Steamed, of course.

Ah, my loot from the farmer's market. I wish I could eat like this all year long. Alas, I enjoy it while I can.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Construction for the mind

A & P and I were busy making bean bag toss games which required a bit of sawing, hammering, sanding, painting and sewing. Sir S thought it looked like fun so he grabbed a piece of sandpaper and started sanding the scraps. Looks like he came up with his own creative use for the wood. He used a few rocks and the scraps from the fireworks poppers to make his own adventure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Bonfires

What I love about A & P is how they can make so much fun out of the simplest activity. They rock as parents! Seriously, they really do. Bonfires are a common occurance at their house and what kid (or adult) doesn't love a bonfire?

The Delightful Miss M is fascinated with the sparklers.

Sir K is great at humoring Grandma Mostly when she is sporting her camera, which is quite often.

Sir S, practicing writing his name with the sparks.

F.O.S., knowing all is well on this peaceful night.

D-I-L, who brings beauty to this family.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's been hot, hot, hot! Packed up our bags and went to the lake for a bit of cooling off. I showed Sir K how to build a better sand castle by dripping the sand from his fingers. Works great!

This is K's version.

Sis gave it her best try as well.

K using his secret upside down method.

The finished (not quite) product.

S irK and Grandma Mostly competing. Sis tries it too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Duckling Update

Nature is a cruel mother. Dolores started out with 9 babies and we're down to 2, Tippy and Savage, with Savage limping badly. Princess was sent off to the vet's when she was only a week old as her leg had been badly bitten by a turtle. The vet fixed her up even taking her camping with her to keep an eye on her. She is living in the pond behind the vet's office. Bandit disappeared a week ago and we can only surmise that he/she was eaten by a hawk - just a guess. All the other babies have slowly disappeared and we lost Fred, the 'father', on Monday. There were feathers all over the deck and no sign of Fred since then. Another hawk? The other 'mother' duck, Vera Wang Nut (who started out with 13), has become road kill and, surprisingly, Dolores has adopted her 2 remaining ducklings as well.

But let me tell you, the remaining ducklings? Darned funny! They tap on the windows when they're hungry, they eat out of our hand (I know, I know, they're ruined for life), they jump for their food when we hold it above them, and Dolores catches food in mid-air when we toss it to her, rather like a dog. It's hilarious to see our ducks do tricks!

We're quite attached to our ducks and hoping the remaining make it to adulthood.

Tippy - a really really noisy quacker. We know it's him when he's coming around the building.

The "twins", Ben and Jerry who belonged to Vera Wang Nut. That's Dolores in the background.

Savage - because he's very agressive when he eats from our hands.

Aren't they getting big?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 4th Weekend

We weren't going to paddle on this day, but Pickeral Lake was so calm and still in the morning. We launched and spent a few leisurely hours on the lake.

Close to shore on Pickeral Lake.

Couldn't help myself. This shot is so cliche, but I had to take it.
I'm always delighted to find Lady Slippers in the woods.

Oh, yes, the lovely Pigeon River. I am beat to hell after portaging the beaver dam and deadfalls just up from Tin Bridge.

Running the chute at the Pigeon River Bridge.

Self portrait?

Don't be deceived. The Sturgeon gets tough and I lost my hat when I rolled my boat under a sweeper.