Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clever Craft Ideas, part two

(photo from www.livinglifecreatively.com)
Aren't these fabric birds the cutest things ever?

You can find the instructions here.

I think I shall have to make some of these lovelies this weekend. I thrifted a birdcage that is waiting for some spray paint and some little birdies to call it home.
(photo from designspongeonline.com)
This is called a pouf.

I. love. this. pouf.

I love the colors, the form, the "poufiness" of it.

You can find directions to make this here.
(photo from creativelittledaisy.typepad.com)
This is a GREAT idea.

Especially if you love old blue canning jars.

They can be kind of pricey in the thrift stores. Sometimes you can find them for a couple bucks. But if you have some clear ones, you can turn them into blue ones. Don't they make pretty vases? I can just picture them with yellow and white daisies.

Instructions on how to do this are here.

Well. That's my list of things to do. Time to get busy.

More Hearts

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. ~ Albert Smith
One of my favorite heart movies, Where the Heart Is.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body ~ Elizabeth Stone

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Newport and John Hiatt, part two


Just got home from a weekend in Newport. Some friends of ours went with us to see John Hiatt again.

We got there in time to watch the U.S. drop their football match to Ghana.

Pooh. Time to go get refreshments. That was a tough loss.

So we met our friends' daughter and her boyfriend for drinks before dinner. We haven't seen half pint in probably ten years. It was great catching up with her, meeting her beau, and getting to see her as a grown woman.

Dinner was good, company was great. Time to go see a concert!


Mr. Hiatt was playing under a tent, right on the wharf. It was a perfect night, with a nice breeze blowing off the water to keep us cool. The Man and his friend went to the beer tent. They walked up, the security guard slapped an it's-okay-for-this-person-to-drink bracelet on them, got their beers and came back. My friend, J., and I razzed them a bit about not getting carded.

J. and I headed over to the wine tent. The security guard stopped us and asked for our I.D.

We got carded. Are you kidding me? I knew my hair colorist is good, but evidently she's fabulous. She knocked about twenty five years off me.

Uh-oh. I don't have my license. I have to go find the Man since he's holding it for me.

The guys couldn't believe we got carded. Believe it, baby. That's why we color our hair.

John Hiatt and his combo were fantastic, just like they were in March at Lupo's. We had a blast watching people dance in the aisles and get so into his music. It's hard not to move when he plays "Riding with the King".
After the show, we stopped in at a place called Newport Blues. Heard a pretty good Heart cover band. It was a hoot watching kids, just a few years older than J., dance to Heart, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and other bands we grew up with.

Summer in Newport. That town comes alive at midnight.

I can't believe how many people are out, walking through the downtown area. I can't believe we were out, walking around at midnight. Time for this Cinderella to go back to the inn.
This morning we got up to fog surrounding us. The coast line was obliterated because of the fog. I was a bit creeped out.

Especially since the kids had just watched "The Mist" and I got sucked into watching it with them. There was nothing good in that fog, let me tell you.

As we were walking along the shore, I kept watching for prehistoric bugs to come flying out at any moment.

Again, with the drama.

The Man rolls his eyes and walks away.
It started to clear up a bit by the time we got to The Breakers, the summer home mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt and his family.

Unbelievable. Ostentatious. Absolutely the Gilded Age, to the max.

And you can't take any photos inside.

I tried to get the Man to commit to re-creating this garden template in our yard.

He ran away from me.

After walking around the mansion, absorbing all the richness, we were a wee bit hungry. Our friends knew of an Irish pub that fixes a mean lobster roll, so that's where we went.

Ahhhh, more good food and good company. A great weekend comes to an end.

We're already planning the next one.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Aaaaah. Friday.

Aaaah. Friday night.

What a nice night it was for a drive. The Man and I stopped in at a friend's house to pick up some day lilies she was digging up.

We miss the day lilies we had at our last home. There were hundreds of them and they bloomed all summer long.

Now? We have none.

Since I can't grow anything, I took the Man with me to talk to them and dig them up and tell them it would be okay, he would be taking care of them.
We meandered our way through back country roads, past corn fields and cow pastures and horse farms. Through older sections of small towns with churches and steeples and brick buildings and buntings in preparation for the fourth of July.

We sat and enjoyed homemade carrot cake and iced tea and lots of good conversation. My friend and her husband have lots of stories to tell, especially about home repair.

We laughed until we hurt our cheeks. And then we kept laughing.

"My brother was cleaning out the stalls one day with a pitchfork and when he went to swing it in front of him, he put it clean through his thigh, catching the muscle. There wasn't a lot of blood so he didn't panic and run screaming or anything. Later that night, when the boys came in for dinner and had washed up, my brother casually asked my mother, 'If a person were to put a pitchfork through their thigh, do you think they should go to the doctor?'

Well, you can imagine the reaction of my friend's mother as she scurried to get her son to a doctor, pronto.

I love swapping stories like these. Especially with older folks. They got into more trouble than we did.
Back on the ranch (I always wanted to say that)....

Our lettuce looks great and tastes oh-so-good. I tell you, the Man is a plant whisperer just like his mom.

But there's something rotten in Denmark. The Man had planted some sunflowers for me and one of them was a super achiever. It was about a foot taller than the others. We called it "Jack" because it reminded the Man of the beanstalk in the story "Jack and the Beanstalk".

Jack is gone.

Or rather, a large piece of it is gone. There's only about twelve inches of stem left. The top is kaput. Gonzo. Sayonara. See you later.

Only we don't know where it went.

Someone mentioned chipmunks but I'm wondering about the Man. He has a track record for destroying flowers I like. I should see if there's remnants of it on the lawn mower.

Just call me Miss Marple. I have a new case, "The Disappearing Sunflower".

More hearts. Leaves make the nicest hearts, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fun with Knitting


Nothing much happened today except knitting class.

Boy, does that make me sound like an old woman or what?

But, really, knitting class is so much fun. And sometimes we even knit.

Go out and find a knitting class, people.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer at the library

Lazy, hazy hot days of summer.

Hammocks. And a good book.


Fans whirring softly in the background.

Birds singing.

Gentle breezes rustling leaves and bringing relief from the heat.

That is a perfect summer day.
Screaming children. Running children.

People lined up outside the doors of the library, twenty minutes before we even open.

People who assure me that no, really, their child is a gifted reader and is reading three, four, five, sometimes even six years ahead of the other children. I didn't know we had so many gifted children in our small town.

Super achievers who want to finish the school summer reading books before summer even begins.

People who argue about silly things, like 10 cent fines.

Oy vey.

That's what my summer days look like.

I want a hammock. And a glass of sangria.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pool Day

Can you guess what we did today?
That's right.

It was hot, it was sunny, it was a perfect pool day.
Sissy bought squirt guns so we squirted each other.

Things were pretty calm and civilized until J. and P. came. They brought A., P.'s brother, with them.

Two big boys in the pool. You know what that means.


The waves got wavier, the splashing got splashier and the squirting was out of control.

There was a cannonball contest. E. gave it her best but she only made little splurps in the water. For Pete's sake, she only weighs about twelve pounds soaking wet.

J. won the contest. No shocker there.

Wee-haw! What fun! The little girls were hanging onto their inner tubes like they were in the perfect storm. It looked like a season finale of "The Deadliest Catch".
After that, we drank iced tea and we ate popsicles.
And at the end of the day, there was one cookie left.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day tribute

My dad and K., the ballerina. He always goes to things the kids are in, including four hour long dance recitals. My kids don't really require him to do this anymore, but Sissy's do.

He makes sure to spend time with each of his grandchildren. He teaches them to golf, he takes them out to eat, to museums, to the movies. He takes them to the beach to give their parents a vacation. He buys goldfish crackers for the little ones, and he always made sure to have ya-ya's (aka. Raisinets) when J. was a toddler.

Oh, and my dad was a rocket scientist. Really. Kind of humbling.

I'm NOT a rocket scientist.
Grampa C. and J.

He was a good snuggler with the grandchildren. He always gave them candy and made them take two pieces at a time, "one for each hand".

Boy, do we miss him.

He told this awful chicken joke.

"Did you hear about the chicken that got arrested? He was using fowl language!"

He loved that joke. Even when the Alzheimer's progressed and he forgot lots of other things, he remembered that joke.

My MIL runs into people now who remember her as being the wife of the man with the chicken joke.

He loved to make people laugh. And he did.
Grampa R., my grandpa. This was at their 40th wedding anniversary party. It's one of the few pictures I have of him smiling.

He used to take a nap on his sofa and pretend that he dropped change out of his pocket. My sisters and I would race to the living room to find all the change that somehow "spilled" out every time we went to visit.

He took us on the "rounds" on the mornings we were there during our visits to their home. The "rounds" meant going to see three or four of his sisters. He was the baby of twelve children and he always made sure to visit his sisters and brothers, almost on a daily basis.

After that, he would take us to a pub he hung out in with his fellow retired union members. He would have a beer and we would get an orange soda and a bag of potato chips.

Different times, back then.

He was the best grampa ever.
The Man's grampa, called Grampy. He was alive to see our son, J., born. I have a great picture of the four generations: Grampy, Grampa C., the Man, and J.

He was an avid deer hunter and got his last deer well into his 80s. He lived to be 100 years and three months.
The Man's other grandpa, Grampa W.

I didn't know him. He passed away long before I came into the picture.

My MIL loved this man deeply. She can't talk about him without tearing up. He was the biggest, the best, the smartest, the funniest, the best dad a girl could ask for, if you talk to Mom.

That 's what I think of Mom, so the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Thank you to all the dads in our lives, past and present. You're the best.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Congratulations Class of 2010

Tonight was P.'s graduation. What a lovely night. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining.

And everyone was happy.
Lots of family and friends were on hand to see the graduates close this chapter of their lives.

They have so much life ahead of them.

There's a friend of mine taking some pics of her daughter as she went by.

See how she's standing apart from the graduates? That's what it feels like now. Like we're on the outside of their lives, peeking in when they let us.

We used to be right in the middle of their lives. Sometimes I miss that.

Jeesh. I'm getting a bit melodramatic. Graduations do that to me.

It's over.

Thank you, P., for inviting us to be part of tonight's celebration.
Driving home with the Man and K.

Don't you just love the way the sunlight is hitting those telephone lines? I do.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh Say Can You See?

This is the common life form, teenagerus maleum, a.k.a. teenage boy.

They drink large quantities of milk. They eat large quantities of food.

They create loads of laundry the size of small islands.

The Man hung up the new flag. It was windy and I grabbed my camera, although you can't tell by this shot.

Keep reading, the wind picks up.
Really. It got fairly windy out.


I told you so.The flag and a windy day makes me smile.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Real Life Art

When I saw this pic of K., I immediately thought of Anne Taintor. I heart her art.

She makes me laugh out loud in the stores.
Especially when K. has her Anthropologie apron on while she's baking.I always know when I've reached K.'s limit for picture taking. She gives me "the look".
Do you see it?

Pooh. Look schmook. I keep taking pictures.

I'm so excited. Sissy and I are taking a photography class in a couple weeks. Five weeks of classes.

We're going to learn how much we don't know.

I'm used to that. The older I get, the more I realize the less I know.

Whew. That's quite a sentence. But you know what I mean, right?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Clever Craft Ideas

(photo from www.prudentbaby.com)

Aren't these fabric flowers adorable? My next craft project. I need these all over my home and porch and patio and barn and desk and anywhere else I can stick 'em.

I found them on this blog.

Here's the project sheet from Clover.

What a great way to use up some of that extra fabric you may have collected through the years. Not that we collect stashes, or anything.
And here's a way cool way to give somebody a money gift.

Fabric fortune cookies.
(fortune cookie photos from craftystaci.files.wordpress.com)

What a clever idea.

This blogger packaged these up in cute little Chinese take-out boxes. Check out her blog for the full instructions and more pics.