Monday, June 27, 2011


I went clothes shopping this weekend.
I may have mentioned
- I can't remember -
I'm not a big clothes shopper.
I do shop for big clothes,
so I guess, technically, I am a 'big clothes' shopper.
But I'm not a big clothes shopper.
No wait, that's still not right.
I am big. And I am a clothes shopper....
Let's try this:
I don't much care for shopping. especially for clothes.
I needed a dress.
We've got two more weddings to go to this summer
and I'm not about to go dressed as 
the frumpiest woman in attendance
So I had no choice - but to shop.

I walked into the dressing room with 9 dresses slung over my arm.
That may have been over the limit - not sure.
As I walked down to the last little room
(I always go to the last room)
I passed a woman stepping out of her torture chamber
and I heard her say to her daughter,
"This," she drug the word out nice and long,
"looks amazing on me!"

I don't think I have ever said that.
Not even when I was skinny.
(Believe it or not - I was skinny, once upon a time.)
Which got me to thinking.
We are so careful to train our daughters
to not say, "Yes, I know." 
when someone tells them they are so pretty,
to compliment back if they've been complimented,
to focus on inner beauty, not outer beauty
blah, blah, blah

just maybe,
it's not so bad to think you look amazing
once in awhile.

I always suspected we were 'different'

Thursday, June 23, 2011

picnic in the LEM

little miss adorable panty-bottom
has only used one diaper in over 48 hours!

I need help.

have got to be
the biggest idiot
in the world.

Since I was on the south side of FSM
I decided I'd run by the firework tents 
so I could make a list of prices.
Figured it'd save time and driving back and forth between tents
when we take the kids.
I exited the bypass
and turned right.
And didn't see one single firework tent.
I drove a mile or so down 71
- you know -
just in case they were further down the road than I remembered.
But I was pretty sure there were right by the bypass....
I didn't recognize anything.
Not only was there no place to buy fireworks,
there were businesses
(that didn't exactly look new)
where the tents should have been.
I got back on the interstate and headed home
and called Tyler 
to ask him 
to ask the guy he works with who runs a stand
where they moved to.
Never once
did it dawn on me
I'd taken the wrong exit.

I clearly need help!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the end of an era

A few months ago - back when things were especially
and I was hanging on by a thread
and my back was killing me
pretty much all the time
instead of only occasionally,
I decided to put away the cloth diapers
and just use paper.
Washing diapers really isn't that time consuming,
but I felt like I was adding something to my workload
that I didn't really have to.
Tony asked my if I was sad our cloth diapering days were over.
I quickly told him that they weren't over yet.
It was just a short break.
But the realization that they would
be over before terribly long did sting a little.

Last week
when I realized I wasn't stressed
I pulled the diapers out,
threw away the ones that truly were unwearable
washed 'em all really good
and put one on my girl.
It made me happy.
Made Lex' pretty happy, too.
I started re-designing training pants in my head
(I never got around to making any for Lily....)
but I realized something today; 
We only go through a couple of diapers a day.
Lexi is doing super going on the potty!
They really need to be washed every other day.
It seems a little foolish
and wasteful
to run a load for 4 or 5 diapers.
And so, just like that
after 4 1/2 years
my cloth diapering days are over.

And yes, it makes me sad.

scrumptious summer salad

I could eat this every day!
It's so easy - just throw everything in a bowl,
mix it up
(although it does look so pretty in layers)
set it in the fridge so the flavors can mingle
and eat!
Summer eating at it's finest.
1 can garbonzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed & drained
(I rarely buy canned beans,
I just cook my own & freeze them, without liquid,
in can-sized portions in sandwich bags.
They thaw super quick;
just empty bag into strainer and run under hot water)

After all that, I feel like I should start over.

1 can garbonzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed & drained
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced kinda small
couple of tomatoes, diced.
1/2 cuke, guess how? diced
few handfuls of baby spinach, chopped - ha, gotcha!
 1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 c  cold H20
few splashes of Italian dressing*
splash of olive oil
squirt of honey
a bit of salt, pepper, and paprika
If you really want to make it special,
add a few handfuls of fresh mozzarella pearls

just a little FYI
 Aldi has peppers, onions and decent-tasting tomatoes on sale through today

for years, we have used Good Seasons italian dressing packets
(someday, I will try making my own...)
mixed our way in their cruets:
white vinegar to water line
splash of apple cider or balsamic vinegar
water to oil line
add dressing packet
1-2 Tbls of a light cold-pressed oil 
(grapeseed,, sunflowerseed, etc)

(if you know of a copycat recipe for GS packets
that really tastes like the real thing ~share, please??)

Monday, June 20, 2011

nap, interrupted

Whack, whack, whack...
I was immediately awakened
- if I had even been asleep at all -
from my nap.
"Stop that banging!" I hollered.
And I heard it again,
whack, whack, whack...
in rapid succession.
I jumped out of bed and threw open the door.
I figured there was a slight possibility
it was my husband making all that racket
and not a child, after all, so perhaps I shouldn't holler again.
I rounded the corner to the living room to see Josiah,
holding Jeremiah's brand-new-almost fishing net
up in the air
trying to catch a fan blade.
whack, whack, whack...
Of course
I then pulled the old (stupid)
"What were you thinking?!" card
and clearly
 - as is usually the case when that card is used -
he wasn't thinking at all.
At least not beyond, "I wonder if I can catch a fan blade."

I wonder what he would have done
if he actually caught one?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kieron, 3 1/2 months

Luke & Lana and the babies 
came over yesterday evening for some water fun.
I was busy cooking and forgot to pull out the camera.
I'm such a dork sometimes - sheesh.
I did have the presence of mind to grab it
when I sat Kieron in Lex's beach chair
and he matched it :-)
He's such a little cutie!!


Monday, June 13, 2011


this kid

makes me smile.

Every Sunday night
(and the occasional odd other day)
Ton' leaves a note for Tyler
requesting a wake-up in the morning.
I know - some folks are opposed to full grown peoples
(and little peoples, too)
being woke up by other peoples,
and think a blaring alarm is the only proper way to great the day,
but in this house, we think a loving 'rise and shine'
works just as well, if not better, 
when possible.
Now, the wake-up songs - those I could do without.
But alas
 this post is about Tony's notes, 
not various methods of waking one up.

Never, ever
is the request the same.
wouldn't be my boy's style.
And I do love my boy's style!

Love you, Ton'!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

an exciting discovery

More than once,
when I've seen the clusters of tiny starlike flowers

image courtesy of  irishviews
and then later in the summer,
when I'd see the clusters of dark purple berries
(which look an awful lot to my untrained eye 
like poisonous poke berries)

image courtesy of
I would wonder
(sometimes to myself, sometimes aloud)
do we have elderberries on our property??
Book learning is great
and I've learned so much via the world wide web
but sometimes,
it would be nice
to have a real live person
teach me things.
Things like painting furniture and identifying herbs;
'cause you really don't want to mis-identify an herb!

Since I am not aware of any 
herbal wildcrafting
after years of wondering,
I finally pulled out the book,
and grabbed a branch off the bush.
And I discovered that
yes, we do, in fact,
have our very own elderberries!
And, of course, the accompanying elder flowers...

It makes me happy that I have herbs (besides plantain
growing wild on the old homestead
 but I'm especially tickled
because elder flowers are one of four ingredients
in our most-used momma-made herbal remedy.

Now, I just need to learn how to harvest them.
Time to hit the books.

Friday, June 10, 2011

little baby is growing up

Guess who
- yesterday and today -
took herself to the potty
and pooped!

I'm sort of a pro, having done it eight times
but I have only one potty-training tip:
don't bother trying until the child is ready.
Really ready.
You'll save yourself
(and your poor baby)
so much frustration
(and laundry!)
If you do that
- wait on the child's readiness -
you won't have to potty train the child;
she will potty train herself.
Last weekend, Lexi wasn't quite ready.
Today, she's wearing panties.

I'm happy and sad at the same time...

another sneaky peaky :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

for women only

Consider yourself warned, Boys....


A little over a year ago,
there was flu bug running rampant in our house
and in an effort to keep from getting it,
I loaded up on garlic pills and probiotics.
I happened to be having my period at the time
(I told you ~ this is a ladies only post....)
and was shocked to discover that my flow was considerably
lighter than my usual soak-a-super-tampon-and-a-pad in a hour.
I had very little cramping and back pain to boot!
So the next month when Aunt Flo came to visit,
I repeated my garlic / probiotic therapy. 
I wasn't sure which of the two supplements
 was responsible for my tolerable period of the previous month
and having 'known freedom'
I wasn't willing to go back.
one month
I ran out of probiotics,
but I faithfully took 1 or 2 garlic pills every time I changed
(I'm almost blushing, ya'll)
and you know what?
Same results!
All along, it had been the garlic alone
that was responsible for the reduced pain and decreased flow.
I mentioned it to my doctor recently
and he was like,
 "Oh yeah, of course garlic slows your bleeding
because blah.blah,blah...."

I can't tell you why it works;
I can only tell you that
extra garlic
during that time

Monday, June 6, 2011

the test piece

 There are certain things that are non-negotiable for the LEM:
Tyler insists on a table.
I really wanted a window seat for reading
but we didn't think a built in would work well in the space, 
so in lieu of that, I gotta have a padded bench.
Tyler and I both said a comfy chair was a must
and Jeremiah has had his heart set on a nature table
ever since we started talking about adding on.

 When I spotted this chest
I got excited.
It was bigger than what I had in mind

but I thought it had nice lines
and I loved the pulls
and over all was in pretty good shape.
The drawers were a bonus ~ I hadn't even considered drawers;
I was just set on having a 'surface' for a nature table.

It was a bargain at $20
so I figured it'd be a good practice piece for me.
If it ended up being too big for the space
or if I ruined it,
I wouldn't be out too much.

So, I bought it and we got busy.
Of course, the kids all helped where they could.
And I made repairs just like the pros.

What?! The 'pros' don't  use popsicle sticks??

okay - so my fix isn't exactly perfect and professional....
  At one point during the re-do
 Tyler said, "You know, I'm testing you."
(remember, he's not a painted furniture fan)
I was like, "Yeah, well, I'm testing me, too..." 
I'd spent hours learning - could I actually do it, though??

 I gotta say,
even with all my imperfections,
brush stokes,
and obvious under-use of sand paper,
I love my test piece!

I'm not sure that it's gonna work in the LEM;
it is, after all, bigger than I had allowed for the nature table

I wouldn't say I exactly aced the test,
but I did pass with flying colors,
I think.

I linked up with Sarah's Before and After Party

Sunday, June 5, 2011


to this 
over and over and over.

Tony ~ put this on my phone, please?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

welcome home

I've been faithfully checking Craigslist
every couple of days.
My search is the same each time:
bookshelves / book case
paint sprayer
I change the order up to keep it interesting.

Yesterday, I found this baby

image 0

It looked rather ghastly,
but the shape was just exactly what I was looking for.
And craigslist photos are usually less than amazing...
"You going to reupholster it?" Tyler asked.
"Something like that."
"You going to paint it?!" 
"Um. Yeah I was thinking I might..."
My poor husband.
He wasn't overly enthusiastic,
but Tyler lovingly went to look at the chair anyways.
At 10 bucks, I figured it was worth the risk.
Welcome home, sweet thing!

Tyler and Tony are hoping I do something with the color,
but I'm not so sure I will;
I'll have to see how it looks as the room comes together
I kinda love the chair just like it is.

sneaky peeky :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the saga continues

I went and bought a can of spray primer.
It went on really weird - and when dry
the table looked and felt like it was covered in tiny powder balls.
So I sanded some more.
Fortunately, when done sanding that time,
I had a nice smooth surface of primer.
So I painted my first coat.
It looked just fine,
so I sanded it just a tiny bit
because everything I read said to.
Then I started applying the second coat.
It didn't go so well

can you see the drag?? click on the picture if you need to

I tried fixing it with a bit of water on my brush
(learned that through all my research, too...)
but it still looked like crap
so I stopped painting, waited for it to dry
and -  you guessed it - pulled out the sandpaper
This table is going to look good, darn it!

Tyler suggested getting a paint gun from Harbor Freight.
Now, I'm not a huge HF fan,
but some things from there are ok.
I looked up guns & reviews
and found one on sale for $14 that had 4.5 stars.
With 39 reviews, I figured that was pretty good.
I read through every single one
and when Tyler put the girls down for a nap,
I ran to town.
While at HF, I found another gun, also on sale,
that was specifically for latex paint
and sat down right there in the store
(SI joint is still bugging me)
and looked up reviews on it
(on the iPhone4 the fam bought me for Mother's Day).
I bought both guns.
Fortunately, I thought to try out the gun with water
before loading it with paint;
The latex gun has trigger issues - it doesn't stop spraying.
so I didn't even get to try it.
The other one, Brandon took apart and cleaned
as per the directions.
(contrary to popular opinion, I am a rule follower...)
We ran water through it,
then got ready to paint.
I'd read enough to learn that most problems with paint spraying
are due to operator error & inexperience,
so we opted to paint some less important pieces for practice.
I thought the boards turned out pretty good,
but was a bit surprised at how rough they were;
I'd thought the 1x2s were pretty smooth.
I decided that I should have sanded them more,
but wasn't worried 
since they were just for some beach chairs for the little ones. 

I decided I was sufficiently trained in spray gunning 
to attempt my table-top.
Big mistake.
My dadgum table feels like sandpaper!
And I know it was well-sanded and smooth prior to spraying!
But the good news is
I have further researched
(I am just about sick of researching!)
and think I know what I need to do to fix it
(short of buying a better sprayer)
and the other good news is:
Monday, while I was at Harbor Freight,
I bought more sandpaper.