Friday, June 19, 2009

Pretty little violets all in a row

A year and a half ago, I purchased a lovely African violet at a yard sale. I enjoyed it so much that I got curious about starting new plants, so I called the seller and got educated, and then got excited.

I broke off three healthy leaves as far down their stems as I could and stuck them in compost (of course potting soil would work, but if you have a giant compost pile and not a stitch of potting soil, the choice is obvious to me!) I watered them about once a week and waited a long time.

Suddenly a baby leaf popped up! And then another and another! Such excitement. I could barely contain myself. Soon I had a bunch of baby violets that needed to be divided. Oh, what fun! I was off to the compost pile again, and then to the plastic recycle bin to pull out various tiny containers for the tiny plants. I found some baby food boxes and some single-serve applesauce cups. I also found a cute little ceramic thingie that I had picked up at Goodwill--the cute little kind of dish that I am always suckered into buying.

Look! How cute! Baby African violets basking in the sunshine. And wow! I cleaned my window for the year.
Since its leaves were looking yucky and yellowish, I also added fresh compost to the original violet, still in its original yogurt container because 1) deep down I am lazy, 2) even further down I am thrifty and 3) I am practical but enjoy redecorating--I can nestle the yogurt cup into other containers and have an instant change of scenery without dedicating a pretty bowl to growing a plant.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Local Meal

While I was slaving in the kitchen last night, figuring out how to cut up a chicken from Green Acres Farm that Jason himself helped to harvest and therefore got free (please excuse the chicken butt view),

scrubbing my new red potatoes from the garden, mincing the fresh rosemary that Helen picked from the herb bed,
slicing and seeding jalapeno peppers from my mother in law's garden with my hand in a baggie, measuring out a decadent concoction of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon, whirring a stale crust of homemade bread in the food processor,
nuking freezer corn from last year's crop in the microwave (which we seasoned with leftover pepper popper stuffing), and making sweet tea, the kids kept themselves busy impersonating me.
Can you guess what they are doing?
They also argued, cried, jumped up and down, shouted excitedly, expressed their approval over the upcoming sweet tea, laughed, crawled around, grabbed my feet and ankles, pushed each other a little bit, endured verbal chastisement and a time out, turned down their lower lips, got over it, and asked what we were doing tomorrow a thousand times, not necessarily in that order.
The potatoes were crunchy. The corn was yummy, of course. The chicken was lovely, but the kids balked at having to eat it off the bone. Must be taking after their daddy. The jalapeno appetizer became an after-tizer, because I started it way too late.

And because I was still recovering from all that crazy work, tonight we ate leftover chili from the freezer, along with more stale bread, toasted and spread with jam to cover it up. (No, I couldn't even lift my finger to make corn bread.)

Thanks, Deb, for the local food idea!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ten and Eleven

So very, very soon will be our baby's first birthday! I was a little late with Jack's ten-month snapshot, but worked it in at the eleventh hour!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Carrot Top

Helen has been asking for a T-shirt with an "H" on the back. I have no idea why. I found a plain shirt on clearance for $1, and put my freezer paper to work.
It was a little sad and empty on the front, so I added the first thing that came to my mind--a carrot, of course! I didn't have any green paint, so I added a green bow for the leaves.
Miss Helen then requested a big orange root vegetable all to herself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pig Cookies!

On Monday, we made pig cookies! They were a lot of fun, and pretty easy too---that is, easy to assemble, but hard to keep little fingers from gobbling up crumbs. Owen helped mix the cookie dough, even holding the mixer all by himself! Helen helped with the frosting by watching from the chair. Those are my rules--one kid at a time, and only standing on a chair. As soon as I had finished the first three pigs, we had to take a cookie break. Yum!
We decorated them in two batches, and I let Owen help with the second batch. (Helen was napping.) I admit, I'm a little bit of a control freak, but I finally caved and let him put stuff on the cookies. He had his own interpretation of a pig's face.
Aren't they cute? They're pretty good, too! The kids absolutely love them, and beg for them at all hours. Before bed, Owen told me his tummy was just a little bit hungry, and he needed a bedtime snack (which we never have.) He must have been imagining a pig-cookie-sized hole in his belly.

And speaking of pig pens....I thought Jack was pretty dirty in this picture until....
a few evenings later while I was digging potatoes. He dug for dirt.

Mmmm. Tasty.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things to do with field corn

I've had this huge bag of field corn in my house from last fall and the fall before that. I like to decorate with it, not in a Hansel-and-Gretel sort of way, but like filling up a dish with corn and nesting a tea light holder in the middle of it. Wait--do I need to explain myself? My cupboards hold a lot of odd things. Useful-some-day things.

One day when the kids needed something new to do, I pulled the corn out of hiding. I poured a little into two 9x13 pans and gave them each two measuring cups, a toy tractor and a funnel. They enjoyed their own personal corn boxes so much, we made two more for when their cousins came to play. Their progression of interest was entertaining. At first, the older cousin wasn't interested at all, and the other three played happily in their own pans. Then the three got together at the same pan, and the one on the outskirts realized the fun he was missing. So he joined. And then they naturally progressed back to their own pans when they got in each others' way. Now doesn't that look like fun? You could do the same thing with wheat or rice. The only hard part is putting it up when stuff-everything-in-his-mouth boy Jack wakes up from his nap.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Look 6613

Some recent sewing:

Jason's cousin hired me to make some dresses for her daughters. The girls picked out their own fabric, and I got poetic license to create whatever I wanted out of the pattern they bought.
For the heart dress, I made a new strap option--some fluttery butterfly ruffles. I took this picture before the fitting, and then found I needed to take in the bodice. It ended up looking even cuter, all said and done.
I embellished the green floral with yards of ruffled ribbon. I'd never tried that before, but it's what the pattern suggested. I was happy with how it turned out, and the new owner was thrilled, I think.