31 December 2007


i couldn't end the year at 49 posts..... that just wouldn't do.
happy 50th posting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! booze for everyone!

looking back, ahead, & inward

i cannot believe we've come to the end of another year. one year ago today i was worrying what 2007 would bring. thehobbit was scheduled for surgery in january, & all that could go wrong never left my mind.
today i sit in wonder, looking back at everything that we've been through since. it seems at once so long ago, & just yesterday. my memories of that frightening time will never leave me... but that's good. it keeps me aware of how fragile life is, & how truly blessed i am.

2007 brought me more joy than i could imagine possible. i got to meet & chat with jane goodall, i turned a few dreams into reality, & was able to drive to oregon to see family. i watched my beautiful hobbit get healthy, & grow, grow some more, find 2 amazing bestest friends, & grow again. i saw my manlyman discover who he is, & what that means. i also looked around me... found that buddies had become close friends, & close friends had become family. so blessed.

my front yard, looking up

*deep sigh* thus ends my deep, meaningful post. thehobbit walked through the room, making it impossible to remain serious. he is wearing (over his uniform,) an invisibility cloak, leopard print cowboy hat, glittery 2008-shaped sunglasses, wooden sword in hand. the wildest part of all of that, is that he doesn't dress 'creatively' for attention. for him it's just what he does, just who he is. if we ever comment, he'll rush off to change into 'normal' clothes... so we try to never bat an eye.

same tree, different view

thank you all for starting this blog journey with me. i joke that i have just the one reader, but many have told me, or written to me, that they've been reading. i cannot tell you what a warm feeling that gives me. of course you know i shall not give up the only reader bit.

my hope is that this year brought you more joys than sorrows, & that you find love, peace, & happiness in the year to come.

blessed be.

30 December 2007

hiding & babbling

what i need to do is finish the cleaning i didn't get to yesterday, & wash the bedding. what i want to do is sew something, or cut pages from magazines so i can stop tripping over stacks, or finish the painting project i began yesterday (when i was supposed to be cleaning.) unable to do what i want, & refusing to do what i need... has me here online... hiding. shhhh.

look! a prezzie!!
manlyman's order was late in arriving, so i only received her yesterday. isn't she lovely? i'm not a fan of orange, but oh how i shall love her. watering the farm has been a royal pain in the arse since my last spray nozzle broke. do not waste money on plastic gardening tools; pieces o'crud the lot of them. now i can water without having thehobbit stand at the faucet adjusting the water for all the various stages of growth. the last time he didn't hear me call for a low trickle, & an entire row of seeds went flying who knows where.

i know i'm not the only person pleased by receiving simple prezzies. what everyday items send you swooning?

time to stop hiding, & time to get to cleaning. paper said she never starts a new year with a messy home. i think that sounds like a peaceful way to ring in the new.
i covet this!

29 December 2007

roses are red...

the cold made us blue, homeschoolers love field trips, & parade floats too! so poetic, & so true! i may still be a slight shade of blue today. brrrrr. we went with a small group of homeschoolers to see the rose parade floats being finished. what fun!

pestilence is brewing at my house. it was bound to happen, what with all our friends having been ill the last few weeks. it looks like the remainder of 07 will be spent at home, in our jams. :-(

i have a terrible secret to share! i killed our holiday tree. a few days ago it dawned on me that i hadn't watered it very often. it still looked green & lovely, so i assumed it hadn't needed much. i should say that it's not a pine (i'm allergic.) we think it's a juniper...pine-looking, with soft 'needles.' when i went to check the soil, i noted that the 'needles' were hard & brittle. oops! we think the lack of water, & the heated air turned it to tree jerky. sigh. thehobbit hasn't yet noticed. that makes 4 trees in 4 years dead.

i just looked up to find my entire bigroom turned into a sherrif station. oh sorry... he corrected me... it's andy's home, the station is in the playroom. ok the bench with pots & pans atop it makes more sense now. he's just explained that it's his day off, & that's why he's not wearing his uniform & badge. if you were wondering what he is wearing (whilst lounging in an armchair, reading a 'newspaper'): dress shirt, sweater vest, slacks, daddyo's slippers. one fun little kid!

well my only reader, if pestilence is truly upon us, i should take care of a few things around the house. have a lovely day, & make sure to smell some roses! ~peace.

27 December 2007

fear not, for we are safe...

...should any goblins decide to storm our house. yes i know! whew indeed.
today auntiesoap & i took the shorties to a private screening of this. as soon as we got home, thehobbit ran about making sure we had salt, tomato sauce; every protection he saw in the movie, & could remember from the books. he even met daddyo at his car with something steel (this... which just cracks me up!,) to escort him safely inside. i love how seriously kids take things... it makes for a vastly more fun life.

during the screening, i spent almost as much time watching thehobbit & minisoap, as i did the film. where does time go? i didn't see my wee boy... he looked so big. the two of them cheering at the screen, & whispering to eachother. i asked; during a few scary scenes; if he was ok, & he nodded without even looking me. just nodded! as in 'yeah lady shhhh i'm watching a film here!' whatever.
as quickly as that glimpse of what's to come appeared, it vanished. in the car they were their usual giggling, odd, little selves, & i couldn't see the big kid in him no matter how hard i looked.

ahhh this mamahood.... quite the journey.


26 December 2007

wait, no... now i am tired

we had an er adventure from 11pm last night, until 3am today. don't worry, everyone is ok. i don't know how personal i wish to get here in blogland. for now i'll stick with a vague intimacy. i am an all or nothing person by nature, so finding the balance with this should prove an adventure in itself. as i said... i am fine. but i am beyond tired. i imagine manlyman is beyond-beyond, for he had to get up for work at 6am. yikes! i must say... there's nothing like an er scare to make you appreciate how lucky you are.

aside from our late night adventure; christmas was wonderful! manlyman spoiled me rotten, & thehobbit made me a sweet card. oh how i love my boys! don't think badly of me for my pleasure at being spoiled; i am quite easily pleased. i am thrilled by a few handmade items, or a small bag of books from a thrift shop! but to be truly, & utterly spoiled? i cannot lie... it was marvelous.

as is our tradition, we went to pom's for brunch, & a lovely time was had by all. she surprised me with this! oh my reader it is heaven in a jar! this year we stayed until it was time to go home for dinner. not that any of us had room for dinner after our day of non-stop feasting. there are only a special few able to make brunch last the day.

the holiday season is nearly over, & the new year about to dawn. wow! today i rest, tomorrow it's back to our wild life, getting the bizzie off the ground, & planning thehobbit's birthday. i'll need this day of rest to be sure.

for this birthday, thehobbit has requested a tea party, (themed) with only three friends. last year's was much too large an event for my shy one. still freaked by last years, he originally asked for no party, but this is to be a biggie... 10! fortunately he changed his mind. a small party is easy peasy, but it means a separate dinner with family. also easy, but not so peasy.okey doke my one & only... it's time for me to rest, & a certain hobbit wants to make snowflakes. have a lovely, restful day!

24 December 2007

one tired mama

i am. oh so tired. however... the to-do list is finally to-done! i finished sewing the last of thehobbit's dinkie gnomies last night, & have taken all the tea loaves from the oven today. whew!
here are the (still not finished) luminaries
i plan on spending the remainder of today relaxing, & having fun. i am sure i shall enjoy it... until i realize, in a panic, that i forgot something. ahhh christmas.
myhobbity boy, & his owl "pig"... trying out the lovely cage from the oregon grandparents (please ignore the messy room.)

well my one & only reader... i'm off to make snowflakes. may you be safe, well, & surrounded by love... have a happy christmas!

22 December 2007

here comes the sun....

here's a photo of me this morning, after i hiked to the top of a nearby mountain...

... in my imaginary world. clipart to the rescue once again. well, not rescue exactly; elvie has been unwrapped, but i am feeling a tad lazy today... & uploading pics on she of slower-than-dirt sounds like too much work.
instead of actually hiking a mountain to greet the sun, i woke thehobbit with tickles & raspberries (belly, not food.) nearly the same thing.

i have to share what happened to me last night. i went out to run last-minute errands for santa, & ended up at whole foods. santa really wanted me to have this, so of course i had to buy it. one cannot deny santa his prezzie-giving. well... they carded me (which is silly to begin with,) then accused me of having a fake id! not joking sweet reader, they had to bring in a manager. they did not believe i was my actual age! heeheehee! now that was the best prezzie i could have ever been given. santa works in strange & mysterious ways indeed.

countdown, day 20: today we shall make luminaries to light the way!
review: we half-made them. i have yet to find the wire cutters, so we couldn't make their handles. the jar part was great fun though, & they are really beautiful. we used white tissue paper, then once that was dry, painted on glitter. i couldn't find the silver glitter glue (i see a need for better organization here) so my lantern had only a thin layer of glitter. i'm not a gold person.

countdown, day 21: tonight we shall turn out the lights & have a family concert!
review: did you know there were zillions of people out last night running errands for santa?! traffic was wretched, & i got back too late for a concert. we can rock tonight instead.

my last solstice prezzie for you:
the shortest day by susan cooper
so the shortest day came, and the year died,
and everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
came people singing, dancing,
to drive the dark away.
they lighted candles in the winter trees;
they hung their homes with evergreen;
they burned beseeching fires all night long
to keep the year alive,
and when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
they shouted, reveling.
through all the frosty ages you can hear them
echoing behind us - listen!!
all the long echoes sing the same delight,
this shortest day,
as promise wakens in the sleeping land:
they carol, feast, give thanks,
and dearly love their friends,
and hope for peace.
and so do we, here, now,
this year and every year.
welcome yule!!


20 December 2007

less ready each day

just yesterday i vowed to cut things from my list, so i could relax & enjoy the holidays. & so i did. it wasn't easy, but i did it, & i was ever so proud!
then today i decided that i should make a scarf for my dad, minisoap2 needed a flannel boo-monster for xmas, & the minipoms' faery skirts simply must have sequins. sigh. i suppose i should be grateful i didn't think about sequins before i packed the five faery skirts to be shipped. silver linings.

i never did get anywhere near the end of my to-do list. i have met me... i don't think that entire list stands a chance of getting to-done.

countdown, day 19: today we shall make orange pomanders with friends!
review: the friends have pestilence, so we made ours without them. we did see them (through car windows) when we went to pick up our order. the activity was fun, & the oranges look lovely studded with cloves. i'm a tad sick of the aroma at the moment, but there are worse smells. said smell shall be taking a bath tomorrow for sure.

today's solstice prezzie for you:
(adapted by dorothy morrison from "a visit from st. nicholas")
the dawning of solstice
t'was the dawning of the solstice
the shortest day of the year
and we cheered on the mother
for her delivery was near
and as we watched the pink streaks
that flasthed bright in the sky
we knew he was coming
in the flash of an eye
then the mother groaned once
and an orange streak appeared
then yellow, then white
and we all laughed and cheered
then the first ray of sunshine
bathed us all with its light
and we knew that the sun
had been born of the night
and he rose in the sky - just a tiny bright ball -
to warm our hearts and our planet...
happy solstice to all!


19 December 2007

here is what we see...

... from our windows...

in the land of make believe. in the land of here & now, this beautiful photo is from clipart. i cannot access elvie as it actually is raining here, & she needs to be wrapped until we are sure the recent roof patch did the trick. day two, & so far no drips! whew!

i have such fun photos to share... thehobbit playing poker with half-clad dolls (on their train ride to river city - music man,) the gorgeous antique-looking birdcage the oregon grandparents sent him (for his owl,) & the fun play skirts i made for various shorties. all shall have to wait for the rain, rain to go away.

countdown, day 18: tomorrow is grandmama's birthday, so let's bake some teeny cakes!
review: a certain person; who shall remain nameless & is not me; used all the eggs the day before. a certain other person; who could possibly be me, but i'm not saying it is; hasn't been keeping track of what activity is coming up, so didn't make sure we had eggs. bad daddyo, & bad other person who could possibly (or not) be me.

it's almost solstice! i think that is the source of my funk. not the solstice itself, but all that we're not doing to celebrate. usually by now i have everything on my holiday to-do list to-done, but this year the winter faire took that prep time. i'm utterly behind. last night i decided to slash everything off my list that i could. that will help a little. i may also ship packages late... i'm sorry to the shorties in oregon & minnesota! i really need to be able to get everything done, so we can relax & celebrate. ok i've babbled long enough. thanks for letting me get it out of my system.

i want to share some solstice joy with you, so today i have a list of books we love this time of year:

like everything else in life, we take from these books what we need, & skip the rest. give them a look, then take what you need as well.

18 December 2007

funky funk

i am in a funk today.

countdown, day 17: tonight we shall go look for christmas lights!
review: i am thankful thehobbit is easily impressed. as is usual of late, the day was freaky-busy, then before we knew it, it was dark. just a few streets, & thehobbit was happy as can be. whew.

that's it for tonight. i'm just too funkificated (real word) to have a chat.

17 December 2007

ever so proud!

today my hobbity boy did something that made me proud. i feel silly posting twice in one day, but i just had to gush.
we took him to b&n, so he could use his new gift card. while there we saw a display on buying books to donate. did he want to do that with some of his gift card? yes he did! we chose a tag that read "boy, age 9" then went poking about the kiddie section. he decided upon one of his favorites:

he could have used the entire gift card on himself... it was one of his christmas prezzies. no pressure, no sneaky ploys to get him to buy for a stranger. he just thought it was a good idea, & happily did it. i love being his mama.

ps... they are making it into a movie!

the day after

we survived our day. i'm a bit worse for wear, but it was a lovely day, & thehobbit willingly hugged his grammie 3, count them... three! times. of his own accord. he was not asked! yes my only reader, wow indeed.
two of the hugs were for prezzies he wanted very desperately; this (she found an all-wood set), and this. some may be surprised to hear the former isn't always all in wood. it's sad to see plastic parts put into toys from our childhood. as usual there were many more prezzies, & as usual he really didn't care for the majority. he's so amazing that way - really wants very little, but what he does want, he wants ever so desperately. maybe the hugs helped her see that he doesn't need the explosion of prezzies to feel loved & special?

manlyman took us to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner... yum! grammie was a great sport, & ate all the veggie "meat" dishes right along with us.

countdown, day 16: today we will make potato stamps!
review: someone, i'm not naming names, forgot to buy potatoes! ooops. luckily we had a sweet potato left, & it worked nicely. we carved the cut edge into a tree shape, & stamped away. it was fun!

i have to get ready for a freaky-busy day. i hope yours is a lovely one.

16 December 2007

fred, fred, & fred

years ago we lived in a sweet little apartment. our windows all faced a row of beautiful, old trees... & that is where we first met fred the squirrel. he would play in the trees daily, & nick all the avocadoes that we wished were close enough for us to reach. we grew to love fred.
when we moved to our house; almost 3 years ago; he moved with us. we didn't bring him, we merely saw a squirrel in our new backyard that thehobbit swore was fred. miracle number one! he managed to follow the moving truck across town!
fred has brought thehobbit much joy since the move... running atop the fence to climb to our roof, chasing crows up our giant pine, & racing around the trunk of the huge pecan with his friend 'the other squirrel.'
two weeks ago we had a small storm that brought fierce winds up here on our little hill. the next day i found fred at the base of the pecan. it was a very sad day for our family. we wanted to believe it was the other squirrel, but the sadness at finding the creature made us all sure it was fred. we still haven't removed him, neither manlyman nor i have the heart to go back there.
so this morning thehobbit looked out his playroom window, & saw the other squirrel in my seedling pots! rats & fleas! the one who was destroying the farm wasn't the one who died. in the excitement of chasing the squirrel out of the pots, thehobbit decided this was fred. sorry? haven't we been mourning fred's passing for two weeks now? yes, but he is sure this is fred behaving so badly. who am i to argue with such logic? so another miracle... fred back from the dead.

some friends have reunited their old knitting group, & i decided to join them! no, i cannot knit. i'm not one to let mere details stand in my way - i made myself a pair of needles, sat myself down in their circle, & asked to be taught. thus far the needles themselves are my only knitting success. still...

i am quite proud of myself!

did you know that if you shut a cupboard door without checking to see if the faery lights are clear of the opening, the teeny light shall shatter into bazillions of minute glass shards?

well i'm here to tell you it's true. adam & eve have gotten into the holiday spirit! actually those lights are always wrapped around their metal home, but i only ever remember they are when i'm plugging in holiday faery lights elsewhere. do you see that jar? that's one of two pet black widows. don't eww me! they belong to manlyman... the original doctor doolittle. i should love to squash them.

countdown, day 15: today we shall have a spa day! review: i had a date with a circle of knitting mamas, so manlyman agreed to have a spa with thehobbit. they played make believe instead. great fun, but today thehobbit is bummed to have missed having his feet soak in warm, scented water. sigh. no time today as we have to bake, & grammie is coming to visit. perhaps tomorrow.

have a wonderful sunday! if you see fred at your place, tell him 'hi' for me ;-) ~peace.

15 December 2007


why did you not tell me of my new, favorite plaything!?! you sign up (free!,) & start creating your own stations. how very simple, & how wonderful! i don't know how i have lived this long without it. some of my favorite artists aren't featured, but i've managed to find many more that are. manlyman set it up for me last night, (before abandoning me to leave for his swanky hollywood party) & i hardly missed him; what with my personal concert & all. all being a pint of chocolate soycream.

elvie & i are much better today, so here are the promised photos :-)

my new apron! i used pieces of my most favorite fabrics for this. the body was left from an armchair slipcover i made eons ago, the flowered was a bit of fabric i bought at a thrift shop, & the taupe was scrap from a renaissance faire skirt. i couldn't resist the early morning light coming through the kitchen windows.

here is detail of the neck strap.. hung on my match safe (a thrift shop treasure.)

can you believe i bought this oil lamp at a dollar store on thursday? ok i bought 2, but seriously! i wish i'd gotten a whole mess of them.

countdown, day 14: today we shall snuggle, & watch holiday movies! review: nope. after our r&s meeting, i lay on the couch in a migrane stupor until manlyman came home from work. by then thehobbit didn't want to sit still for a movie, he wanted instead to arrest daddyo, & put him in jail with otis (stuffed doll 'sequoia', playing the roll of otis in thehobbit's mayberry production.) ok by me. i wasn't up for holiday cheer to be honest.

did you know it's almost christmas?! yes i knew it too, but it is almost christmas! i have not sent our holiday cards, nor have i mailed prezzies to my brother's beautiful little chickies! bad auntie. we're a tad famous in my family for sending packages with this holiday's prezzie, plus a belated birthday prezzie, & a few times even the prezzie from the same holiday last year. pathetic + sad = pathetisad.

have a lovely saturday oh solo reader of mine! i have to "inlaw" my house today. what is that you ask? when your manlyman's mama is due to visit; neither regular clean, nor company clean will do. oooh. when is she due? tomorrow. ah. when did i hear of her visit? yesterday. yikes! indeed. ~peace.

14 December 2007

thank maude...

for musicals. well i do in general, but today i'm ever so much more thankful. you see, thehobbit shares my love (obesssion) of showtunes. yesterday he was halfway into this when his daddyo arrived home from work. very little holds a candle to daddyo, so the video was turned off. that means that he's at this very moment, snuggled under a blankie in sir fennel's room, watching the remainder of the movie. yay! why the yay? i woke with a migrane. i should like to add that i first woke with said migrane at 3am, then dozed in and out until it was light. i adore my sweet hobbity boy, but bouncy 9yos, & migranes do not go together.

i think elvie has a migrane as well, as she's refusing to upload photos. & me with pics of the apron i made! sigh.
to avoid a photoless post, here are some things that i want for thehobbit's nook (play kitchen area.)

a fabric egg, cracked from a wooden shell!
a tin of wooden mushrooms!
& another tin, but this one filled with wooden tea bags!!!! now this one i think i can make, if i sew fabric tea bags. goodness knows he's got a zillion small tins, nicked from my kitchen.

i think it's wonderful that he's not yet outgrown his nook. in size he has, which we're fixing after the holidays; the knob legs will be replaced with turned legs. i shall post pics after it's finished. by outgrown i mean he still plays with it. he does need new food, but that's for my benefit - i'm tired of wooden pizzas, & greek salads.

countdown, day 13: tonight we will build an indoor fort, & play!
review: i'm not sure who had more fun! we built a giant fort from blankets, & tables, then i strung faery lights around the perimeter. inside we had a large blanket, & all the couch pillows. we shut off all lights, but the string of faeries, read stories, played this, & got out flashlights for this. manlyman took our fort down, so he could get through the bigroom in the morning... fort-grinch. thehobbit & i plan on rebuilding today whilst he's at work. no fort-grinch is going to keep us down!

well my sweet, only reader... time for me to rest a bit. my head is pounding, & we've got a gaggle of shorties arriving in 2 hours for roots&shoots.

13 December 2007

my naughty kitten

has lost his mittens! we only made them two days ago. that has to be a record. he had the mittens on during breakie yesterday; that was the last either of us remember seeing them. i hope he finds them soon as it's snowing! giant, magical snowflakes

we captured one, & brought it indoors. isn't it lovely? i wish my camera could capture the amazing sparkle. instead, you shall have to just make one for yourself:
giant magical snowflakes
3c boiling water
9tbs borax
heat-proof jar
white chenille stem, cut into thirds
fishing line
1) twist cut stems together, & spread into shape
2) tie one end of line to the shape, the other to the pencil (it needs to hang freely in the jar without touching the bottom)
3) fill the jar with boiling water, & add borax 1tbs at a time (stir each time)
4) lower shape into the mix, & set the pencil across the opening.
5) let it sit over night, undisturbed.

countdown, day 11: today you will play games with daddy! review: it didn't happen. daddy worked a double shift. :-(

countdown, day 12: today we will make giant, magical snowflakes! review: easy, fun, & we were thrilled to find it transformed when we woke. i want to make more!

all plans this week seemed to have gone awry. no etsy opening this week... sorry! i've gotten too far behind in solstice & christmas prep, & really should put my family & friends first right now. i will get the etsy shop up as soon as i can. in the meantime, please email me if you want to order something. i have drink slings, market bags, a few patchie totes, & needlebooks. the gnomie factory is running though. i couldn't put that on hold. the world needs more dinky gnomie orphans. currently i've just the people colors. other genera won't be available until after the holidays.

i hope you make snowflakes today. let me know how yours turns out. ~peace

11 December 2007

that list just gets longer

we began the day with a list of things that must get done. we got washed & dressed, then set out, list in hand. after we bought manlyman's christmas prezzie (sorry, i cannot handmake a set of free weights) we spent the remainder of the day doing not one... not one! thing on our to-do list. wow. aside from knowing i now have an even longer list of things i must take care of asap, that impresses me. that two adults with great intentions managed to do none of it, & had a lovely day whilst nothing was getting done.

we did buy a bunch of 18gal storage bins for the garage. let me clarify... for manlyman to store his off-season clothes. the man has more clothes than any one person should. he also utilizes the largest closet in our home - or rather the only large one. his is in the part of the house added on in the 50s. the other two closets are literally regular doors, with door-sized spaces behind them. hopefully these bins will keep the stacks of his overflow off the streets... so to speak. or maybe i mean that literally? heehee. if you need large bins, & don't mind what they look like; we got these at target for $4! that is an amazing price. the catch? they are red with green lids. i imagine to store holiday decor. at least manlyman will know which are his in the garage at first glance hahahahaha! or should i say hohohohoho!? sorry reader, i've not yet had coffee, & i'm a bit slap-happy.

coutdown, day 10: today we will bake & decorate cookies! yum!
review: we ran out of time as nothing took quite a lot of time. he had been promised an hour of games with daddyo, so had to choose which to do. i lost. normally i love being chosen, but i will share a secret with you... i wanted to be alone for a little while! so yay games with daddyo!

today we are making mittens from fulled, wool sweaters. fun! we finished the borrowers, so will be spending the remainder of december, & all of january, reading & crafting this! which we leave for in just over an hour, & me still in my jams. bye!

10 December 2007

simply lovely

yesterday was a lovely, relaxing day. i helped thehobbit bake blueberry scones! other than being completely purple, & a tad dry, they were pretty good. i have to tell you that i'm not a baker. that is to say that i have absolutely no gift for baking. in the least. seriously. i am thrilled that thehobbit is interested in learning to bake, & i only can hope that my inability isn't contagious.

(this is my new imaginary stove)

countdown, day 9: today we shall dress in our fancies, & have a tea party!
review: the scones came in handy! i set thehobbit's little table with plates of scones & jam, & a dinky pot of blackberry tea. he wore his dress shirt, invisibility cloak, & a fake dalmation fur wrap. i sat down with him wearing my victorian hat, & was promtly told i was not fancy enough. i put a floor-length slip over my jeans, & tossed a sparkley shawl around my shoulders, then was allowed to tea.

no rest for the wicked. we have errands to run, the farm needs tending, & i must hand over a fortune at the library so they'll allow me to put books on hold again.

have a lovely day!

**update: you can see a few pics from the winter faire on paper's site; upper, right corner!**

09 December 2007

yo ho, yo ho...

a pirate's life for me. that's the song going round & round my head this morn. yours now too i imagine - you're welcome!

the maiden voyage of kats in the belfry was a success! even without someone of import smashing a bottle of champagne over my whatever part of the ship it is they smash champagne over. also a success was the launch of the cooperative - yay dragonfly artisans!

that's the nearly completed banner. i simply ran out of time. eventually it will have two more dragonflies above the writing. one shall be smaller, the other even more so - to appear as though they're flying into the spiral. i plan on becoming filthy rich, so i can have the talented pom paint all my future banners.

so the day!?! it was such great fun! attendance was lower than usual; i think the threat of rain kept the boring people at home. no rain did ever so much as threaten us. the sky was clear & sunny, the people just lovely, the venue a beautiful winter faeryland, & the food! mmmm. i had yummy baked treats, & a huge bowl of fantastic vegan potato soup.

sales were steady through the day, which makes me giggle with delight! thank you to all who purchased my wares! i cannot begin to describe how it felt to see that i wasn't sewing merely to clutter my home.

thank you to manlyman for believing in me, & for helping where you could - to my parnters in crime, paper & soap, for going on this adventure with me - to the academy for finally giving me an oscar - & most of all to my sweet, sweet hobbit.... thank you for being so patient, & so helpful whilst mama was going mad these past few weeks!

now what you ask? as a matter of fact i do have plans... this week i hope to get my etsy shop open. i'll post the grand opening as soon as... well as soon as i'm grandly open!

countdown, day 7: today we will read holiday books, & drink hot cocoa!
review: thehobbit asked to do this immediately! it was breakie theatre heehee. he asked me to read this, this, & requested i sing this one. our copy of the latter is not a board book; it looks like it's no longer being sold as a little golden book.

countdown, day 8: today you may spend $5 at the winter faire on anything you like!
review: he never found anything he liked! auntiepaper took all the minis on a shopping adventure, yet he came home treasureless. he did enjoy carrying a fiver about in his pocket all day. heehee.

ok my one & only reader... i'm beat. worn to a frazzle, & in need of vast quantities of coffee. plus a nap. & a day of doing nothing. which we both know shall not take place, as it's sunday. what is sunday? did you also forget? it's baking day mama! whimper. nap day? think i can convince a 9yo of that weekly event in lieu of baking messy goodness? no? i thought not.

i'm off to get ready to go to the market. if we're to bake, we shall definitely need yeast. & eggs. & butter. & booze. it's sunday... go bake something too!

07 December 2007

it's raining, it's pouring....

... no it's not! no old man snoring here! the predicted rainstorm is nowhere in sight! yay! we did get a bit in the night; & there's sure to be more; but nowhere near what they thought would hit us.
that means the winter faire is to go on as planned!!!!!!! yay! please go if you can, & please stop by the dragonfly artisans booth. i'll be selling: market bags, patchie totes, drink slings, needle books, & dinkie gnomies. who shall be my first customer?

i am sorry i've no pictures to share today. i had to wrap elvie in oilcoth in case the roof patching didn't work (again.) the drip would have to be directly above my computer. even with the rain being vastly less than expected, i dare not remove the covering until i can be sure the threat has passed. soon. i promise!

countdown, day 6: today we will cut, & hang our solstice spirals!
review: through the day i heard, "can we make them now?" "now?" "how about now?" i eventually was able to say "yes!" which resulted in a squeal, & a huge grin from my wee boy. we hung two perfectly formed spirals (mine,) and 5 of the wonkiest ones you can imagine (his) - along with two sparkley stars just for fun. (cut an 8in circle from white sketch paper, then cut it into a spiral. pierce a hole in the center, tie on a length of fishing line, & hang it from your ceiling! a row of them is lovely.)

as much as i love spending time with you, i fear i must be off. there is much to do today, sweet reader. the next time we speak, kats in the belfry will have sailed her maiden voyage! wish me luck!

06 December 2007

all's well that ends well

the majority of yesterday sucked wretchedness, but i'm happy to report that the day ended with one or two animated forest creatures lurking about me as i hummed christmas songs.
as with the foulness, nothing specific happened to account for the pleasant mood. i'm just happy to be relaxed, & cheery again.

the planned nature theme for the tree went out the window, when thehobbit asked if he could pick all the decorations. it is so hard to push aside my desire to have a magazine-worthy tree, & let him have at it. now i know why my mil always had two trees: a gorgeous one in the bigroom, & a smaller one in her kitchen, covered in kid decor. here's a closeup of our little tree:

sorry if it is very blurry. my camera thinks that photos taken within 4 feet are the devil's work. can you see the pinecone lights? they are just too precious. the barn red garland is the closest i can get to what dottieangel created; as i can only do the one crochet stitch. the silver garland is from thehobbit's stash of treasures.

countdown, day 5: today we will paint pictures for our holiday cards!
review: the menfolk voted to use markers instead. painty poopers. it was a lovely, quiet way to end the day. my plan is to have the three pics scanned, shrunk, then put together to make one card. i know i'm not explaining that well. i'll post a photo once they're complete.

i'm still poking along in bizzieland. yesterday i made 8 more needlebooks; which means i'm officially out of fulled sweaters! time to scour thrift shops for more. i also completed the last of my kiddie market bags.
a rainstorm is headed our way, & may mean a postponement of the winter faire. i have mixed feelings about that - 1) i would enjoy the extra week to prepare, & b) i want it done. done! i'm aching to craft holiday prezzies.

here is the beginning of the dragonfly artisans banner. i didn't like the dragonflies that manlyman drew, so he spent the remainder of yestereve drawing more. his natural style is enlongated, with sharper edges. his work is always gorgeous, but we want our dragonflies more wispy, & flowing. there is time yet. if he gets the banner drawn today, then i can paint in the morning. so here's the background, lovingly held by thehobbit:

i hope soap & paper like it. you're seeing it before they! shhhhhhh. it hangs on a beautiful wooden dowel that has a knob at either end. there is no 'v' on the banner by the way, that's just thehobbit poking his head into the backside.

the dec/jan issue of homeschoolla.org is up, & with the cutest of patooties on the cover! the every cloud article is a repub of an article i wrote for last year's dec/jan issue. i hope you like it.

thehobbit wants me to watch how the grinch stole christmas with him. how can i resist an invitation from a handsome prince? reader... go watch a movie!


05 December 2007

rats & fleas quite frankly

you'd think i would have been in a foul mood during the pestilence, the back woes, or the pestilence yet again. oddly, i managed to remain fairly cheery. so why the rats & fleas? well i haven't a clue to be honest. i woke today feeling much less pestilencificated, (a real word) & my back is nearly healed. it's a crisp, sunny day, & thehobbit is at this moment admiring his latest fashion choice in the mirror (beige dress shirt with sherrif badge, beige cargo pants tucked into rainboots, no hat as of yet.) update: he chose an oatmeal-colored linen cap. slightly oliver-ish.

i should be singing through the house; with animated forest animals following me about; happy to feel so much better. instead i sit before you in a foul, foul mood - with no explanation to be had. & so i say.... rats & fleas!

countdown, day 4: today we will light the menorah, & play dreidel!
review: thehobbit was excited all through the day at the prospect of lighting a match, & rounds of dreidel until into the wee hours of the night (also known as 7pm.) the lighting part went well... what's there not to love about starting a teeny fire when you are 9? what did not go well was that we never found his dreidel. oops. hannukah has only just begun, so hopefully we shall find it today.

& to thank you for putting up with my foul mood; here is one of my favorite recipes!

*cabbage & leek pasta*
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1-2 leeks, rinsed & sliced
spinach linguini, cooked
olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
smallish chunk of chevre
salt & pepper
tsp dried parsley
chili flakes to taste
panko - japanese bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 c milk of your choice (we use rice)
1) preheat oven to 350.
2) saute cabbage, garlic, & leeks in olive oil until cooked to your liking (i like them reaaally cooked)
3) add the cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, chili, & pasta. stir to incorporate the cheese.
4) transfer to your baking dish
5) whisk egg & milk in a bowl, then add to the rest, stirring quickly to get the egg throughout
6) cover with a layer of panko, & bake for 40 minutes.
(vegans: omit the cheese, & egg. add a heap of nutritional yeast to milk substitute, increase oil a tad, & bake only 20 minutes.)
have a ratless & flealess day!

04 December 2007

um.. no.

no i haven't the time for pestilence again, but thank you for the offer. hello? i said no. no! *whimper*
rats & fleas! dear only reader... i am sick again! this is becoming a tad ridiculous! we are not amused.

in my imaginary world, coco (beautiful man who speaks only french, cooks, cleans, & wants nothing more in life but to be at my beck & call) is, at this very moment, making me a plate of poached eggies, & brewing soycreamy coffee for two.

ooh look! he swirled a heart into the foam! he's so thoughtful. ok coco dear, drink up, then go play with thehobbit whilst i nap.

speaking of hearts: did i tell you that the 1st was one of my 'versaries? saturday marked seventeen years i've been with manlyman! one day i'll tell you our story; it's very romantic. today is another 'versary. it's the day we had our wedding. we don't do much for this one to be honest. i'll spare you that story, not all that romantic. so last saturday's was our biggie, then in april we'll celebrate the 'versary of our marriage, which is our next biggie. am in confusing you? sorry if so. all of this isn't leading up to anything, i just felt like sharing.

nothing much to report from bizzieland; i sewed not a stitch yesterday. i did get the dragonfly artisans banner started, & that was fun! i always forget how much i like painting. manlyman promised to sketch the design today, so i can finish the banner tonight.

countdown, day 3: today we will buy prezzies for donating, & take them to the firehouse.

review: thehobbit had a great time searching for the perfect prezzies. i took him to michael's, because he loves crafts (& i needed to replenish supplies.) he chose three craft kits: two birdhouses, & one bulldozer. we adore these kits! they're wood, very durable once built, & fun to play with. of course i just enjoy reading the box aloud - en bois, kit de modele. ooh la la! the day got away from us, so we never did drop them at the firehouse. i am hopeful that manlyman can take them later today.

i'm off to find coco to let him know i'll be napping now. before i do, i want to show you a fabulous garland the talented dottieangel made. i want one for our little tree!


03 December 2007

i'm dreaming...

of a newwww camera... err whiiiiite christmas. that's the song that's going through my head right now. there is a radio station here that plays non-stop christmas songs from thanksgiving, to christmas - & as every year, thehobbit is obsessed with it. i truly would like a new camera though. one that zooms, takes clear photos, & doesn't make all indoor shots appear as though they were taken in a cave. a white christmas would be lovely too. but as we live in southern california, i shan't hold my breath on that dream.

elive is behaving nicely this morn. here are the latest drink slings

the brightly-colored one is a bit of fabric left from the market bags we made for the roots & shoots peace day. those sold out quickly, so hopefully there is some peace day mojo attached to the fabric.

a closer peek

the grosgrain inside the lip was an idea i had after i'd already made the first bunch. it makes getting your drink bottle in easier. i use the same color on all of them, as i do with the thread. i'm running low, so i shall have to go back (oh how sad) to the amazing ribbon store for more.

countdown, day 2: today is the day we'll bake bread & eat it! yum!

review: fun! i didn't plan very well, & found that my yeast had long since expired. did that stop us? nope...we made quick bread instead. i found some yummy scone recipes, but thehobbit chose raisin-cinnamon bread (yuck.) he & manlyman said it was delicious. thehobbit asked if every sunday can be baking day. i think that is a lovely idea.

i'd like to revamp manlyman's grandma ruby's banana bread recipe. it is so delicious, but we don't use crisco... i'm sure that is what made it taste so good. any ideas how to substitute? i am a wretched baker, so dare not try to figure that out on my own.

i just looked up to see what thehobbit was doing, & found him playing with a jar of shells. how wonderful that at 9 he still loves the simple things! i love it! my sweet little boy. arrrgh! that was a too-brief moment of quiet mama-bliss. he just asked for the laptop, so he could google how creatures poop if they live in sea shells. *deep sigh*

& on that note...


02 December 2007

december photoless tidings!

december began with frustrations. i'll spare you the boring details, but know this... huge college football games should not be scheduled on a day we're taking hogwarts to the museum, nor should the dinosaur printer (that recently replaced my broken printer) break when i have labels in desperate need of last-minute printing! & need i explain that heaters should not decide to just stop heating? i mean really. poor mortimer was found floating on an iceberg this morning.

*deep breath* i am sorry for the morning rant sweet & only reader of mine. i just needed a bit of a vent. on to happier december babblings.

i decobwebbed (it's a real word) the entire house yesterday. i love my blue, fluffy thingamajig for dusting. it's on a very long, telescoping handle, so i can reach up to the ceiling. why do the cellar spiders love ceilings so? & why are they not called ceiling spiders instead? i also managed to get the bigroom cleaned & organized. whew. only the rest of the house to go yet!

today is to be a day of wicked-serious sewing. i plan on taking breaks to play with thehobbit, but not as many as either of us would like. we did bring the holiday bins out last night, so he'll most likely play guitar with elvis most of the day anyway. i'm not quite ready to sew... one more cup of sweet, soycreamy, hot coffee should get me there.

countdown, day 1: today is the day we pick out our holiday tree, & start decorating!
review: it went well. thehobbit chose a lovely, little potted tree from trader joe's. it came with a string of the most adorable lights! they are shaped as little pinecones. really isn't that the sweetest? so now the theme of our tree is to be "nature."

i'm off for the final cuppa! have a lovely day, & go hunting for pinecones... real, lit, or otherwise.

a prezzie for you! get your own title...
signed, honourable lady kat the ingenious of much bottom
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