June 28, 2011

Sasquatch's flowers

I have been an embroidering fool these past few days and I am loving every minute of it!

I started this Sasquatch embroidery piece many months ago...maybe even a year ago...I don't even remember now. I have lately been in the mood to go back and finish little lonely projects that have been left for the dust bunnies! I have pulled old Sassy {aka Sasquatch} off the craft table...or should I say, out from under a heap of scrapbook paper...and picked up the needle and embroidery thread once again.

I know the basic embroidery stitches but, have been also learning some new ones. I am very excited as the new stitches are turning out very well.

Take a gander at what I've been working on.

What you see in the photo above is called "turkey work"...{the fuzzy part of the flower}. It's a series of many, many big loops that stand straight up. You then cut the loops, trim it to the height you like. Run your needle over the cut thread a few times and it fluffs up wonderfully. I wanted to create a dandelion and thought this to be a fantastic stitch to use. This was my first time at turkey work and I loved it. For the outer part of the flower, I used lazy daisy stitches. This was my first for that stitch as well.

In the photo above: This precious little flower...well, I don't quite know what it is, but I have seen something very similar in the grass. We used to pull the pink top part off when we were kids and they would fall apart into tiny little balls. {probably just a flowering grass} I used french knots for the pink part of the flower and am quite smitten with the results!!

And here is Sassy's name, all pimp-like, in gold metallic floss. That floss was a bit tricky to work with. I was surprised, I didn't realize that it had a tendency to untwist into a few very, very thin threads. Oh ya, and it knotted very easy while pulling through the fabric. I love the look of this metallic floss though...it's just one of those "slow and steady" things.

Well, that's all I'm going to show you for now. I will keep you updated on Sassy!

June 24, 2011

me and my boys

Just a photo I wanted to share with you
taken last month on Mothers Day
Me and my boys, Everest and Easton

June 21, 2011

book review: A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

Ok, I've been in the reading mood lately. I think because it's summer...and you always hear the phrase "summer reading".

Well, I went to one of those book exchange kind of places...if you're not familiar with the concept..here's what it is. You bring in your old books, any kind of book...paperback, cooking, history, childrens, etc...and they will give you "credit" for half of what the original price of the book was. Usually, you can find the price printed on the back. When you want to make a purchase from them, you can use your credit on 50% of your total. I love that place!! I find books that I wouldn't normally come across at a normal book store.

While browsing in the "classics" section, I found what I thought seemed to be the perfect, enticing summer read! The book is called "A Long Fatal Love Chase" by Louisa May Alcott. She is also most known for her famous book "Little Women". I found this book to be a quick read...I could never put it down! I always felt like I wanted to continue on. I don't think there was a boring part at all. The book was written in 1866...which, I thoroughly enjoy how they spoke back then...so proper! Also, men were men and women were women...men were gentlemen and women were put on a pedestal and treated with so much care and respect. It is really just amazing how our society has changed so drastically. I just really enjoy reading novels from that era...there's just such an innocence about it that I dearly love!

I will not give anything away, but here's a little tid bit:

A lonely young lady, just 18 years of age, lives with her aging grandfather. Having no friends or other family, she is dreadfully bored. Her days are spent reading and spending time with her grandfather who seems to care less of her presence.

One day, an unexpected visitor comes to visit her grandfather. The young woman is very intrigued by this man, for he has traveled the world and has had many wonderful adventures. The young lady soon finds herself drawn into his carefree life...a life of travel and riches...wanting nothing more than to feel free herself...to leave this lonely world all behind...to loved and be loved.

But...is this man someone she can trust? Is he a man of character? Can he make her happy all the days of her life? Wanting a life of excitement and adventure may be exactly what she gets...maybe a little more so than what she asked for!


Ok, that's all I'm going to say...read the book if you want to find out what happens to this young, passionate, naive woman. You won't be sorry!


Next book review: "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill
It's not what you think..it's not about a cup of coffee that is so good it changed someone's life...no not at all. It's actually a true story...I am almost half way through the book and very much enjoying it!!

June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father's Day to my Dad!

Yes, he is my biological Dad, despite the difference in our skin tones!

My Mom is very white and burns easily, and that is who I took after.

I just love this photo we took comparing our arms!!

Too funny!

Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you that I have the world's best Dad.

For real.

I'm not joking.

Apparently there are T shirts and coffee mugs that you can buy for Dad's at the
store that say "World's Best Dad"....

but I am confused...

Didn't they know???

my Dad won that title!

What's up with that?

Remember the Seinfeld episode about the #1 Dad t-shirt that Jerry gave to his father? I always loved that one! Here's the clip! Enjoy!

June 13, 2011

June, a poem by John Updike

The sun is rich
and gladly pays

In golden hours
Silver days

And long green weeks
That never end

School's out
The time is ours to spend

There's Little League
Hopscotch, the creek,

And after supper
Hide and seek

The live-long light
Is like a dream

And freckles come
Like flies to cream

*Poem from the book "A Child's Calendar" written by John Updike*

I absolutely love all of the poems from this book. I can relate to every one of them! Each month, starting in January, I have posted his monthly poems from the book, but never did get around to posting April and May {will have to do those next year} Anyhow, I'm back on track and I hope you enjoyed "June".

June 3, 2011

Reclaiming my childhood summer

It's June 3rd.

It's June 3rd!

Wait...it's June! It's summer!!

Now...of course...according to the calendar...summer doesn't officially start until June 21, at 1:16 PM....but that's beside the point. By the way, what that means is:

The first day of summer: the summer solstice—is the longest day of the year, the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting shorter. {*copied this from Farmers Almanac website}

So, this "it's summer" thought popped into my head this morning as I was getting fresh feed and water for my chickens. I told myself to "think summer" from now on and to try to put myself in that childlike mindset of what summer is, what summer means and really enjoy it!

The first thing that came to my mind was how I would have already been out of school by now {if I was a kid} and I would be waking up with a smile on my face knowing that the day was mine!

The day was mine to play, swim, lay in the grass, climb trees, ride bikes and skateboards, swing and climb all over the swingset like a monkey, roam the woods behind the house...basically to spend the ENTIRE day outside.

I found myself longing for those days. To just have one day like that as an adult...it would be so good!

Even if I tried to have a day like that...which... actually...I could come pretty close...as an adult...there are things you just can't escape.

I have to feed my kids and hubby, the bills and the mounding laundry will inevitably sneak their way back into my mind...people will stop by, and I will have to entertain, or at least be cordial.

The dishes will pile up and I will look at the Kool Aid spills on the kitchen floor until they dry and our bare feet are sticking to the floor..ugh, I hate that feeling. I am no neat freak by any means...I want to be a neat freak...I am a neat freak wanna-be....but it is just not in me...but anyhow, the mounting mess would still get to me because I will think about how much I have to do later. And for some reason, that overwhelms me.

So...I'm wondering...is it possible to have a carefree summer day?

I mean...a for real...really, really...for real...childlike, carefree, no responsibilities...carefree day. I think if I plan ahead, it just might be possible. How funny is that. There has to be planning to do something that's carefree!
Ha Ha Ha!!! LOL!

I have to plan everything out ahead of time so I can try to have one "childlike" summer day. I would have to make dinner the day before...something easy that everyone can just grab when they get hungry.

My kids are 9 and 12 so that should be no problem. We can use all disposable plates and silverware. I can get all the dishes and laundry done...or done enough...the day before. I don't have to answer the phone...I can screen the calls...wait...screening calls is still acting responsibly. Darn!

But, one thing I can't change..I don't think I can convince my kids to not fight or get into any disagreements on what's fair and not fair

I don't think I can convince them to not come running to me to solve the problem of how someone stayed too long on base during tag, or how someone never goes to get the ball when it goes too far, or how someone counts too fast during hide and go seek or he hit me for no reason, or he's hogging the tree house swing! Dear Lord...please help me on this one! So if I can get them to solve their own problems for one day...and believe me, I try to get them to do this anyway...I just might be able to pull this off.

Even if this completely carefree day never comes for me this summer...
I vow..{repeat after me}
I vow...
to take time...
this summer...
to do anything and nothing...
to consciously make the effort...
to have a child's mindset...
to lay in the grass...
look up at the clouds...
read a book in the shade...
drink some Kool Aid...
go swimming at least once a month...
ride a bike...
catch lightning bugs...
eat popsicles...
and take a walk in the woods.

It's summer!
Slow down and enjoy this beautiful earth
and the time you have been blessed to be able to appreciate it!

June 1, 2011

Blue Ribbon Pie Contest

We held our 3rd annual Memorial Day picnic at our house this past weekend. I decided to include a Blue Ribbon Pie contest at the picnic as well. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally got the notion to just go for it. We had a turn out of 5 pies which included mine. Here's a list of the pies in the contest.

Oreo Creme

Caramel Apple

Double Bottom Blueberry Lemon and Pecan

Strawberry Rhubarb

Banana Creme

I picked 5 random judges....lucky them!!

We numbered the pies 1 through 5, and each judge was given a small sampling of each delicious pie...one at a time...to taste, savour, and judge. When the tasting was done, each judge cast a secret ballot. The ballots were read as they came out of the bag.....and so a winner was declared!

How can I humbly say it...but, I actually won the Blue Ribbon with my caramel apple pie.

It was funny because, it was my house, my contest, I handmade the ribbon, and then...I won first place. As I put on the ribbon I jokingly said, "I feel like I fixed this thing." But really, it was fair. It was up to the judges, and they could have voted any way they wanted to.

After the contest was over, the pies were open to everyone to taste. I think pretty much everyone who tasted them had a sampling of each...I know I did!

Each pie was so good...they all deserved a ribbon! I mean, it's pie...how can you go wrong!

I am so glad we had the contest! It all played out very well. There seemed to be a lot of interest and a lot of laughs. I definitely plan to do this again next year. I hope that this year's contest has generated a lot of interest for next year, and that we will see new contestants next time!

Click here for all of the recipes for each of these wonderfully delicious pies!