27 April 2008

666 hades blvd., infernoville, hell

that's my new address, in case you were wondering. sometime during the night, our home was moved from our cool, misty hilltop - to hell. i had always assumed hell would be hot; what with all the fire & brimstone; but i had no idea! thehobbit & i spent the majority of today miserable beyond belief. ok i was miserable, but my misery was enough for the both of us. i suffered, so that he could bop about the house unaware of just how miserable he truly was.

i've been in full belfry mode the last few days. the dinkie gnomies are stacking up, as are the crowns, & the flower pins. i plan on making acorn pins, & leaf pins (both hobbity requests,) but need to find brown & green wool sweaters first. it feels really good to be back in the swing of things.

i've also been making sure to take a little time to make things for myself, & my family. that goes far in keeping me from feeling overwhelmed.

other than the above, things are the same as usual... busy & lovely. i may not get much blogging done in the next two weeks, because we're getting ready for a visit from my brother & his family! they live in oregon, so seeing them is a rare treat. thehobbit has already begun making plans for playing with his cousins. so far he's talking about sharing his most favorite toys, & spaces - which is huge! & unheard of.

that's all for today. it's just too hot to sit still for long. i hope the weather there is mild, or at least to your liking. here is a peek at the bag i made for oddsox:

photo :: property of 'something out of nothing'
i'll have a proper photo for you soon. hopefully soon. soonishishish.

24 April 2008

today's theme :: books

we have officially run out of room. every bookcase is filled, & i've resorted to stacking books here & there, pretending they are artful arrangements. soon the stacks shall be large enough to use as furniture. yet i cannot stop getting more - i love books so.

here is last night's purchase!

i bought it for $1 at the library's sale room!!! the photos are wonderful, & there is a large section that teaches all of the embroidery stitches. i cannot explain how happy this treasure makes me. & no old book stink either.
we also purchased this book a few weeks ago, as well as this other book. i've borrowed them a few times from the library, but i thought it was time we finally owned them. about half the activities we'll never do; like hunting; but that still leaves a great many things we can try. if you're interested in getting the books, don't limit yourself to whichever sex child you have. there is much in them that would appeal to either.
bringing our theme to a close, i want to tell you about a fun series that teaches history. the official website has the full list of books in this series, as well as a few web books. check those out to get an idea what the actual books are like. in the uk they go by a different name.
we've been a fan for a few years now, & cannot get enough. happily our library carries most of the titles. right now we're borrowing all those dealing with ancient cultures, to recap what we studied this year with the history club. sorry if you're local, & needed one! i'll try to get them back to the library soon. soonish. before they're over due.
having nothing to do with a book in anyway, but i just have to share.... i am knitting with ribbon! thehobbit wanted a funky bag to wear on a long strap, so i thought i'd try knitting one. the ribbon is about a quarter inch wide, matte, & multi-colored. i didn't think i would like how it looked, but it's really funky, & fun to knit.
that's all for today. go buy some books, or go to the library. or both!
** edited to add:: seriously... why does blogger keep removing my spaces between paragraphs? **

22 April 2008

the ever-increasing to-do list:

1. put everything away even though there are too many everythings, & too few places in which to put them. make sure to dust & sweep again, so thehobbit's dust mite allergy doesn't trigger an asthma attack.
2. water & weed the farm. try not to cry when you find yet another plant destroyed by bugs or birds. calculate if you've time to start more seeds, or if you'll need to suck it up, & buy plants.
3. research for the articles you are writing for the homeschool website. don't forget to actually write those articles. apologize to p & p for falling behind. again.
4. keep hounding the legislators regarding the current homeschool court case. try to get others to step up, & get involved. while you're doing that, write more letters to stop the city from imposing a dollar fee for every inter-library loan.
5. play with thehobbit.... really 'be' there.
6. read this month's book club book - after you finish last month's.
7. go to the grocery store. & the other one. & the other one.
8. if you actually get to any of those stores, make three meals a day for a family riddled with food allergies/sensitivities. snacks too.
9. try to be all the things people require you to be. try not to be hurt when they are annoyed that you cannot be all they require.
10. sew for upcoming show. for your etsy shop. for custom orders. for birthday prezzies, for yourself.
11. pay attention to manlyman... really 'be' there.
12. yoga?
13. plan & prepare for roots&shoots meetings, holidays, events, book/craft gig, hogwarts classes, & the homeschool expo session. oops! don't forget to get the hogwarts blog set-up to tie into the expo session.
14. get to every class, meeting, field trip, event, outing, playdate. on time. bring lunch & snacks. forget batteries for the camera. again.
15. find days/times to squeeze in all the to-dos. rearrange that schedule more than once. consider buying white-out rather than just scribbling over everything. contact people to schedule, to reschedule, to rereschedule.
16. do science, art, history, cooking, etc, etc, etc project with thehobbit... really 'be' there.
17. be more busy than is humanly possible, all the while knowing there are at least a dozen things to-do that you've forgotten.
18. do almost all of the above with a 10yo in tow. remember why you chose homeschooling, why you chose to have your child with you for all his waking hours. be frustrated anyway.
19. breathe.

21 April 2008

'twas a wonderous day indeed!

ah sweet reader, i cannot but tell thee what fun was had... & i'm done. i am sorry. i know i threatened promised today's post would be in elizabethan, but i am so tired that i may in fact already be asleep. you're stuck with 21st century kat.

the faire was great fun, & thehobbit is still talking about it. mostly he's been talking about the treasures he found. he always finds neat things that others have lost. this faire thehobbit came away with a silver ring, a brass bell, a nickle, & a dime.

today i went to a fancy, birthday brunch, whilst manlyman wrangled thehobbit, & minipaper. it was so lovely to sit in a nice restaurant, dressed in kid-unfriendly clothing, & play grownieup. happily, the knitting bag i spoke about here, was much loved by the birthday girl. she's going to loan the bag to me, so i can photograph it for you, & make a pattern. leave it to me to forget to do both before wrapping it.

speaking of patterns: i'm happy to say i finally made a fabric version of my birthday crown. when thehobbit turned 6mos i made him a paper crown to wear - then every year after that on his birthday. the last few years i've been saying i should just make a fabric one, & today i finally did.
i finished it just as he was getting tucked into bed; so i tied it on, & went in to show him. he loved the crown! yay! i need to figure out an easier way to line it, so i can quickly sew a bunch to sell at the may fair. photos soon... i promise!

that's all the babble i have for today. i need to get some research done for an article i'm writing. or! i could poke about blogland.....

19 April 2008

sunday, lovely sunday

poor today. today is not getting any love around here. today we are rushing about, trying to get ready for tomorrow, as well as squeezing in all the to-dos i ran out of time for yesterday. why do i love sunday? let me count the ways...

1 - tomorrow is the big 4-0 for oddsox! joyeux anniversaire mon amie! see you at the faire :-)

2 - on the morrow we hie to the renaissance faire.

3 - manlyman got the day off work to go to the faire with us... huzzah!

4 - tomorrow's moon shall be full. thehobbit loves putting out treats for the faeries at the full moon. let's hope i don't forget. again.

i hope your weekend is a lovely one. see you on monday.
~peace, kat

18 April 2008

now even i miss my photos

it's come to pass my sweet & only reader. i am officially sick of having to choose between clip art, & no photos. i need to sit down with elvie, & figure out once & for all what is going on. i've done all i know how to do, & consulted with those who know more than where the on/off switch is located. now i think i need to do the uninstall-reinstall tango.

unfortunately i haven't the time today. nor the next few days, but definitely this week. i swear it upon a stack of historical romance novels! ooooh she's serious now.

today was all about crafting. well errands, cooking, & mamahood too, but the rest... that was all about crafting.

i am two rows away from completing my first knitted dishcloth! it looks nothing like it's supposed to, but i am quite proud of it. i did a double moss (or double seed) stitch on #7s, using sage green cotton yarn. see me using actual knitting jargon? i want to make a bunch more; using an unbleached cotton color; but i think i'll stick with a garter stitch for those.
** edited to add - i finished it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! **

i designed a knitting bag! this one is longer horizontally, than it is tall. i really like the way it turned out; & i wish i could share it with you. i used a lightweight, funky fabric for the outside, and a soft sweater-y(?) material for the lining. i want one now; this was made for another; but with damask on the outside, & a linen lining. or perhaps i have some patchwork left?

there was also loads of rifling through fabric bins; for inspiration; but i ran out of time to craft more. i hope to finish the dishcloth tonight. then i'll frame it! no nasty filth for my masterpiece.

have a great night sweet reader... i'm off to put the kettle on.

17 April 2008

random randomosity (real word)

here is where i whine...

i had a huge piece of cake last night; whilst out with the tu-wednesday night mamas; then stayed up late with manlyman. today i feel oogy. deep in the pits of oogosity if you will. my stomach is still roiling, & i want very much to go back to bed. for some reason thehobbit wasn't interested in sleeping past 7am.

here is where i no longer whine... perhaps...

* there's been a discussion on english lessons on one of my homeschool e-lists. a few of us suggested using school house rock videos. i searched youtube, & i found some of my favorites to share with you. this, this, & of course this (which we've been singing to thehobbit since before he was born.)

* a friend finally gave me the link to her blog. she writes about her life as a homeschooling, single mama. please visit her, & say hello! in the future, you can find her over there <-------- with the other bloggies.

* all morning thehobbit has been listening to cds his auntiespryte has sent him over the years. this is the song he is currently playing. don't click the link if you don't want a song stuck in your head all day. just kidding... go on & click on it! no scaredy-kats around here. the fan video is actually pretty cute.

* the belfrys are in get-ready mode for this sunday's trip back in time! elizabethan england here we come! this year manlyman has opted to not wear a costume, because he is a party pooper. we're thrilled that our favorite act the bold & stupid men, shall be there again this year. if you went to peek at them, our faire gets bolt upright & gianni vespa. i thehobbit cannot wait to see their show!

* thehobbit just now informed me that he is "done playing music today, because my throat is singificated out!" first let me say "yay", & second... "singificated?" that is so not a real word. where did he learn to talk like that?

this doth bring today's babble to an end. i shall see thee anon. prithee cease thy whining. i but bring thee a taste of the next sennight's monday's post. fare thee well!

16 April 2008

of creatures & pincushions

ok my sweet, & only reader - things here at the belfry have gotten a tad out of control. you know we have a giant jar in which lives a fish, 2 small jars housing black widows, & the jar we talked about here. all told, more than enough creatures in jars; wouldn't you agree? of course you agree, as you are neither manlyman, nor thehobbit. you are sane. well it seems i forgot we had joined an order for painted lady larvae. they arrived yesterday (in two containers)... all 14 of them!
now i have to admit there is a small part of me that's thrilled at so many creatures. the part that loves butterflies. but! are there 2+14 butterflies currently in my house? no there are not. creepy crawlies everywhere. for now i remain oogificated (real word.) i knew i had to buy a new butterfly habitat, but now all i can think is we're going to need a bigger boat.
unrelated to any of the above; have you seen the new website crafstylish?! i've only poked about a little bit, but so far i like what i've seen. in their sewing section is a great tutorial for teeny pincushions.
photo :: property of craftstylish.com
they really are adorable. soap has a book dedicated to pincushions, & teeny ones were featured. i thought about making some, then promptly forgot. when i found this tutorial last night, i grabbed the materials, & made it right then & there! for a first attempt i have to say it's quite ugly. i had fun though, so shall try again. does anyone have plastic bottle caps i could use? we don't buy anything that comes with that type of cap. if you have some, & are local, please let me know. in thanks i shall make you an ugly pincushion of your very own :-)
& that brings today's babble to a close. i hope you have a lovely wednesday!
*edited to add - why does blogger keep taking away the spaces between paragraphs? anyone?*

15 April 2008

put that hobbit to work!

have i told you that thehobbit has a job? he is in charge of shredding junk mail, & old bills. each week he fills a large bag with the shreds, & takes them to auntiesoap's house.
once there he puts the shreds into the hens' boxes, & takes out any eggs he finds. his payment for this important task? eggs! fresh, organic, eggs from chickens that are treated with love. they are the best eggs we've ever tasted.
photo :: property of shenanigans

these are the girls. there are more of them, but i suppose they weren't in the mood to be photographed. bad feather day or some such.

that's what thehobbit is doing as i type... shredding. he takes his job quite seriously. i'm glad auntie offered this responsibility to him, & that she's giving eggs instead of cash. barter rocks!

14 April 2008

pets, prey, & corn skewers

continuing with the letter p usually results in a cute title. in this case; pets, prey, & porn pkewers; would have left you disappointed in the end.
what began as a quiet family day, turned into homeschool adventure extraordinaire! we discovered a ladybug larva walking on the patio, so put her on aphid-infested potted plant to see what would happen. watching her eat was wild! she would walk up to an aphid, grab it with her front legs, & hold it as if it were a little aphid sandwich. when she was done, she'd move on to the next aphid, then the next, & on, & on... ad aphiditum. i crack me up.

i left the menfolk to look for more larvae, & went to do a bit of peaceful gardening. whilst tending one of the beds, i noticed huge holes in some brussels sprouts leaves! gone was my inner peace, & i set about cursing calmly searching through the leaves. it didn't take long to find the offender:

photo :: property of whatsthatbug.com

reader, meet lunch. this harlequin bug, & his friends, were captured by manlyman, & fed to foul & loathsome (black widows.) normally i get angry at manlyman for feeding his horrid pets; but today lunch was my idea. i had mentioned the spiders to a lovely blogger earlier in the day, so i suppose they were in the back of my mind. taunting me. threatening to figure out how to unscrew their lids, & come after thehobbit & me. besides... the bugs were quickly destroying my food. so they became food. it's the circle of life. song now stuck in your head too? you're welcome :-)

checking the sprouts again; just to make sure we hadn't missed any harlequins; i found 2 cabbage white caterpillars happily eating away! what the?! these i couldn't give to manlyman, as they morph into thehobbit's favorite butterfly. we grabbed a clean jar, poked the lid full of holes with a trusty corn skewer, & now have two more pets to care for. i mean - yippee! more pets!

go here for all your bug identifying needs. i know many who are addicted to the site. you have been warned.


12 April 2008

some like it hot

i am not one of those some. i love this, but that's for another chat. the hot i loathe is of the weather-variety. anything above 75 85f, & you'll find me miserable,whimpering, & most likely... complaining. doesn't that make you want to spend the summer with me? i grew up where summers were in the triple digits, so i haven't a clue why i am so intolerant. thehobbit is miserable when it's hot as well. not manlyman though; he's a freak.

it was horridly hot at soap's today, & that's where we hold hogwarts classes. the shorties did an endothermic experiment - made juice slushies by surrounding their jars of juice with ice & rock salt. the experiment was a success, & they enjoyed the results. sadly there were no endothermic pina coladas for the professors to enjoy.

this week has been busy, & the weeks ahead look to be even more so. the 100s luncheon was a huge hit with the shorties. they proudly shared their projects, & showed great enthusiasm when looking at the others'. when elvie decides to work again, i can show you some of his drawings. & when pigs fly...

yesterday the r&s group met at the nhm for preview day of their butterfly pavilion. it was such a lovely outing. we go many times a year, & never does being surrounded by all those butterflies fail to amaze me. a news crew was there, & interviewed one of my r&s shorties! she did wonderfully well, & sweetly tried to introduce thehobbit to the news crew. to say he wanted nothing to do with cameras & newsmen would not begin to describe his flight! my boy became a blur. he did watch the news clip later, & thought seeing his buddy on tv was "so neat!" after the butterflies we had a picnic in their rose garden. if only every homeschooling day was that magical, & peaceful.

tomorrow we're closing the 100s project by going to see a play based on the book. i am looking forward to it, i just hope the theatre has air-conditioning. that's all for now. i'm off to get some ice coffee water, & poke around blogland for a bit.
happy saturday!

10 April 2008

life on the farm

is not 'kinda laid back.' i'm not sure why john denver claimed it to be.
we worked hard yesterday: transplanting, weeding, tending, repotting, & harvesting. there was no laid backification (real word) going on. instead there was back outification (also real word.) i just never learn.

my plan is to get the exsisting beds filled, so i can focus on building the new ones - in which 'focus' means sitting on a bench with an iced tea, watching manlyman build the new beds. all that's left to that end are tomatoes & cucumbers. i have some teeny seedlings planted, but i think i am going to cheat, & buy some big plants to extend the season. we loves us our 'maters & cukes.

today is the luncheon to celebrate the completion of our 100s! thehobbit is so excited, that he got dressed at 7am, & has been talking about it non-stop since. noooooon-stop. he loves the formalness of the word luncheon. it lends a certain air to the day... which; knowing his penchant for dressing to the occasion; would mean he was dressed in his fancies. right? were you to assume this, you too would be wrong. he who dresses fancy to use the toilet, decided this was a perfect occasion to wear normal people clothing - tan cargo pants, dark gray long sleeved shirt, taupe fleece vest. as a matter of fact, he's been dressing this way for about a week now. his way of being different? dressing like actual people who live in this time, & are not going to the opera?
*edited to add: before we left, thehobbit removed the fuzzy vest, added a short sleeved dress shirt, & a black tie.

& that brings today's babble to a close. happy thursday :-)

08 April 2008

there was no trip to paris!

i know! you are as shocked as i was yesterday morn... why aren't you getting up? what do you mean 'late for what?' what do you mean 'what ship?' no not paris las vegas. what? what?!.... really? no seriously, really? oh.

good thing i didn't finish cleaning the house to surprise hewhodidnotsailmetofrance, formerly known as manlyman.

i eventually hid got over my disappointment, & we had a lovely; albeit los angelesian; day.

today was the usual book/craft gig out at soap's. we read this to them whilst they worked on their 100 somethings. the book is short enough to read in 1 or 2 sittings, & we all enjoyed it.
after that, we set the shorties loose on the backyard, & spent the remainder of the day knitting, & cursing. ok perhaps only i did the cursing, but! the double moss (aka double seed) stitch is a bleeping bleep!

that's all for today. no croissants, no parisian shopping sprees. no sniff walk along sniff the sniff seine. Mon coeur se casse!

have a lovely night.

07 April 2008

change for change

i've been moving the furniture about again. two successful hacks in one sitting! the links & blogs
<-------------- over there - shall now open in new windows. the labels -------> over there as well.

but that's not all. if you look <----- that way again, & scroll down a tad, you'll see i've gone over to the dark side. but! if you've been clicking my book titles, you know i've always sent you to the evil amazon. the difference is now i get a few pennies when you buy something i've listed. you can think of it as helping fund my coffee addiction, or sticking it to the man one penny at a time. whatever helps you sleep well at night.

if you prefer the library for all your reading/listening needs - now my list shows the covers for easy identification once at la bibliotheque. (see me gearing up for tomorrow's trip to paris?)

ps... if my filthy money grubbing upsets you, please don't feel the need to tell me. my ignorance is bliss.

06 April 2008

she's getting mushy again

tomorrow is one of my 'versaries! manlyman is taking me to paris to celebrate. at least i'm pretty sure he is. each time i ask him what he'd like to do, he replies, "i don't know." i'm not falling for his ruse. i know that he knows that i'd like to sail to paris, so i'm certain that is what he's planned. i should start packing. or! perhaps; because he's made no mention of suitcases; he's also planning on buying me a new wardrobe once there! that must be it. ahhh... just think of it: this time tomorrow i shall be on a ship bound for france. the honeymoon we would have had all those years ago had we not been broke struggling artists. ooh la la!

my present to him shall be magic. i am going to take the filthy sty in which we live, & turn it into a home that is clean. mountains of things blocking pathways - poof! things everywhere to trip over - poof! piles of clean & dirty laundry becoming one - poof! poof! poof! once i dig thehobbit out of his playroom, & locate my wand.

so you see i have manlyman on the brain today. 18 years together, 16 years married, & 9 years publicly wedded, & still he makes my heart go pitter-pat. to my lover, my split-apart, my raison d'etre, my wonder twin, my husband: you have stolen my heart, & brought me more joy than even i could have imagined possible. i am happy that you are mine. & you are mine. aaaall mine. i have a legally binding piece of paper to prove it. that's right my gorgeous man - i own you.

our song
our other song (to which i later walked down the aisle.)

05 April 2008


have you ever realized all of a sudden that you have to peeps really badly? that you probably had to go peeps for a really long time? so much so that when you go to the bathroom you peeps enough to fill a swimming pool? and your bladder hurts? no? just me? ok then.

04 April 2008

in a former life...

... i did something terrible to technology. something horridly unspeakable. & now, in this life, i'm paying for it.

there is still no wifi on elvie, & now i cannot get her dial-up to work. or perhaps she's found out my previous life's deep, dark secret, & is refusing to work properly. no internet on elvie means no printing for tomorrow's hogwarts, & no photos for you.

striking technology aside - thehobbit & i had a lovely, quiet day together. we played on the farm, worked on our 100 project ("shirts" was the final choice,) went to a thrift shop, & read a few chapters. while out back we saw baby pigeons attempting to take their first flights. neither of them actually made it off the roof, but it was fun to watch. we also harvested quite a lot of food, including the very first ever fennel. over a decade of gardening, & it still astounds me that i can plant a seed, & it will grow into what it's supposed to.

i like when thehobbit falls asleep with a lovely day still in his mind - i always hope it will result in lovely dreams. or at least ones not featuring me leaving him somewhere, & forgetting to come back for him. those always result in me having to assure him; repeatedly; in the morning that i shall not leave him somewhere, nor should he need worry i would forget to come back for him... were i lying about the first assurance.

as much as i enjoyed my day with my sweet hobbit, i'm feeling very melancholy tonight. no blahs or funks on the way... no need to worry that another woe is me post is on the horizon. i'm just in my own head tonight.

i hope your dreams tonight are lovely.


03 April 2008

mamas make it all better

thank you - all one of you - for putting up with my blahtitude. i slip into it every so often, & occasionaly; as you have noticed; i do not easily get out. to be honest: by the time i'm fully into the blahtitude i don't try to get out... hence the wallowing. this time the blah was in danger of morphing into a full funk, which is not something to be wallowed in. no no no.

there was something that began pulling me up through the blah, but i'd rather not discuss that. suffice it to say i see things more clearly. the main hoisting up through the blahmurk, & back into normalcy (ha!) happened last night. paper & soap took me for a belated birthday dinner, then we went to our usual wednesday nee tuesday coffee shop for crafting. the oh so lovely bhan joined us, & we crafted/chatted into the night. mamas make it all better, just by being themselves... & by not requiring me to be anything other than i am at any given moment.

today thehobbit & i are staying home specifically to spend the day together. we'll be working on 100 somethings. paper's post explains the project. thehobbit has no interest in making 100 dresses, so we're not yet sure what our somethings shall be. we are considering 100 gnomies made from magazine pages.

for now thehobbit is playing quietly without me. mmmmm quiet mornings are the best! he has a container of sand to which he's added half a bottle of iron filings. there are teeny animals in the sand, but those don't appear to be for anything other than chatting with. basically he's using magnets to find all the iron. did you do this at at the beach and/or park when you were little? i did, & thought it was the greatest of fun. kids are so easy to entertain.

have a lovely, peaceful, unblahtitude day!


01 April 2008

a blah day

first no wireless on elvie, then all day without wireless on delilah! i know it's not the end of the world; except that it is; but i specifically cancelled today's craft/book gig so i could get work done. i thought i'd do that grownieup thing where one stops watching youtube, & looking for new blogs to love, & actually does the work one has promised. still no wireless on elvie by the way, & i have no idea why.

i've been trying to play catch-up the last few days. it's slow going, but i'm getting things marked off the to-do list. the downside to getting caught up is that i've had no time for crafting or sewing. blah. i wish i had hermione's time turner, so i could get all my to-dos to-done, then go back & play.

today has been such a strange day. we cancelled our usual outing, i couldn't work without the wireless, a childhood friend emailed that her mother passed away on friday, it's manlyman's dad's 5th deathday, it was really cold outside, & i just feel out of sorts. how is that for complaining? not enough? want a little more? well it's tuesday night, & i'm not at my favorite coffee house, crafting with my mamas. i should not complain about that - we switched to wednesdays. it's not like i shall have no crafting this week... i'm just pouting because i want to be there nowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

a friend once told me that when i start letting negatives overwhelm me, i should purposely list a bunch of positives. something about refocusing my mind, blah, blah, blah. i know i should do this. i know it would work. i have no intention of doing such. i feel the need to wallow in my blahness.

wallow with me!!!! but first watch this. it's our new theme song for mama tuesdays wednesdays. there is a cute coffee guy at our coffee house :-)

ok now we wallow.
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