Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yard Work

When I bought this house after Mike moved to Texas, these are the pictures I sent him. 



Not really all that bad, and I just ignored the back area for years, having a yard person to cut the grass and planting some daisies and other flowers in the bed beside the door.   Looks like mainly rosemary.



Then we got the new patio done last year and a new look to the back.  It's still very much in progress, but we've started on it anyway.

This is what I brought home from Wal-Mart in a quick shopping trip last week.








A few vegetable, a few herbs, some annuals, and a couple of perennials (dianthus).  I grabbed a few more things at Home Depot Thursday, but I still don't know what to put in the huge pots we got last year.  I guess it will be clear to me one day.

Mike just dug out the flowerbed by the house and spared nothing except maybe an old rose that was there.  I planted 3 squash and 1 tomato (and realize the squash will be spilling out everywhere if they live.)  I did a few seeds next to the tomato and saved room for maybe a hydrangea by the patio.  



It's a start anyway.  And the flower bed under the crepe myrtle --




I have seeds and petunias there now, but it looks to be shady, so I'm thinking about a couple of hostas and a clematis.  Even with the grass short, the cat/dog path is clearly visible.




The reason for this brick-licking episode is known only to Darby, and she ignored me when I asked her why.  It's lizard season, and she kind of loses her mind this time of year.

While I'm waiting for a sign of what to put in the big pots, all the plants found a home somewhere but with no reason whatsoever.

Parsley with the verbena.


Marigolds and 1 tomato.


 Banana pepper and Thai basil.


Chives and petunias.


Sweet basil, rosemary, chives, parsley - and more petunias.



And the one squash in a pot alone.



It's going to take a little more work, but it's looking like a place I'd like to spend a lot of time this spring and fall - maybe not so much July and August because no one spends much time outside in Alabama in July and August.

Someone had sunshine in Snoqualmie, and I got some sweet pictures today.  





April Catch Up

If I would write a little bit every week and not put it off, I wouldn't have all this catching up to do.  I'm tired of feeling guilty every time I see that orange blogspot icon, so I'll give it a shot but not sure where to start.

I'll probably split it into several small sections so I won't lose my focus and neglect writing for another month.

First cousins!  Well not FIRST cousins, but it gets a little complicated.  Trevor and Emma are grandchildren of my first cousin, so that makes Graysen and them what?  3rd of 4th?  I never know about those things.

Gracey and Myles and Myles' future baby brother are great-grandchildren my first cousin, and that's even more confusing.

Anyway, here are some pictures I've gotten lately:

This is Gracey.  So beautiful.  So much like Debby at that age.  Gracey is the daughter of Krissy and Forrest, one of Debby's grandsons.  She is the only girl in this big family of boys.



This is Myles, son of Paige and Justin, another of Debby's grandsons.  His mom is expecting another boy (of course) this summer.  He is beautiful too and so sweet-looking  Maybe I'll get to meet them when they all get through with Texas and come back to Alabama.



The Florida cousins are Emma and Trevor.  They are just about as far away from Graysen as people can be in the United States - from Homestead, FL to Snoqualmie, WA is a loooong way.

This is Emma's first birthday party back in November.  She's already changed so much.  She just always looks so happy and full of fun in every picture I see - except for the wagon one on Sherry's blog - but she's cute even looking sad.

I can't believe she's already wanting to ride a bike.  I think she was 16 months old in the picture below. She is definitely going to be adventurous.   So cute. 

Trevor was just born, so he doesn't do much yet but the usual newborn things.  He's taking it all in though and will make his presence known soon.  He does look a lot like his big sister and is just a healthy handsome baby.


I wish I could wave a magic wand and have them all appear to spend a weekend together.  I'm sure it will never happen, and it's sad when I think about all the fun Sherry, Debby, and I had growing up.  

Sherry and David's blog, Tails from Tennessee is now in my blog list to the right and comes to the top every time it's updated.  There are lots more pictures of the children as well as Sherry and David's trips in their motor home.  Speaking of which:


They brought this back from Florida on their last trip.  Can't wait to see it.  I told her it's probably bigger than some apartments we've lived in, certainly bigger than the pink trailer in Pennville, GA.

Can't leave Graysen out for sure.  I got this picture today of her hippo outfit and the unfortunate "clown pants."  I think her legs aren't long enough yet to pull off the gathered look, but she's cute in her bunny shoes.

The next pictures are so funny to me.  Sometime in the early 1970s Elise got this little stove for all the   cooking she did for her babies.  When you turn the knobs on the right, the burners go from "on" to "off" and look just like an electric burner.  A lot of little girls and probably boys too cooked on this through the years.
 When I took it out of the attic and cleaned it up, it looked a little shabby, and I almost threw it away or donated it but decided to hang onto it and included it in Graysen's last box.  I think it was a hit.



Emily said she refused to put it down and was still playing with it past her bedtime.



Who would think something so simple would cause so much fun - at least for an evening.  I imagine she's going to give up on something happening when she turns all those knobs pretty soon.

Speaking of old and simple and fun, Emily said she didn't want the Fisher-Price A-frame house, so instead of tossing it, I decided to take it to my Friday moring kids and see if it would generate any interest, and it most certainly did.


It almost caused a few scuffles with everyone wanting to put their treasures in one door or the other.  I wish I had taken some pictures but forgot my camera.  Bronner and Mark rang the little bell over and over and over and never got tired of it.  The older ones used it for various things - a zoo, a cookie holder, and a train station, to name just a few.  

Ok, that's half the afternoon, so I'll end this.  I have a camera full of before-and-after house pictures and our efforts at gardening that I'll try to get up tonight.  Think squash in a pot.

Oh, video for today.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Love Thursdays

It's the one weekday I don't have to go out and don't have to work.  A whole day just stretching in front of me to do as I please.

So I made pudding.

We overbought on milk this week, so I did one of my big pudding makings.  Two boxes of Chocolate Fudge Fat-Free pudding mix and 2 boxes of Cheesecake with 8 cups of milk.

Swish it around in the mixer a little.



And there's dessert for 3 for a week.  Just add a little Cool-Whip Free and a few toasted pecans on top, and it's very handy.  I'm going to pretend all those lumps are supposed to be there.  I think they're chocolate chips.


Mike made an excellent salad for lunch, and then I spent the rest of the day in the sewing room, vacuuming, cleaning, and embroidering a couple of shirts.

This was my first try on the faux smocking designs.  Well, really the 2nd after I did my first one upside down.  No pictures of that.  I thought you had to do it on pleated fabric, but so many people were embroidering it on T-shirts that I thought I would give it a try.  These are designs from Applique Junkie.  There are so many new designs, it was hard to pick just a few.  I got the bunnies, foxes, sailboats, and hot air balloons.

I love the look of it, but I think these designs are a little too much for baby shirts.  It covers this 18 month shirt, and I even left off the top and bottom rows.


Also, the bottom wavy lines showed through the top stitches in a few places, but I don't think it's enough to detract from the overall look.  Very different.


I then did Graysen the little yellow gingham chick  from Planet Applique that she had on a burp pad when she was a little baby.


I hope I have time to make some yellow bloomers before we mail the latest package.



The best part of the afternoon was playing around with and (I think) conquering this intimidating-looking thing.



It's a ruffling foot  for my sewing machine that I bought last year, and my first attempt I didn't give it enough time and patience, and it was confusing.

I read the directions carefully this time and then watched a YouTube video on it, so I knew a little bit more what to do.  I have a Babylock machine, but the people there recommended the Bernina foot, and it fits my machine nicely (after a little trial-and-error time on my part).

I first did the gathering settings, gradually going from tight gathers


 to more relaxed ones and lots of looks in between.  I wrote down the settings so I'll have a better idea of what I want when I start a project.



Next I tried the pleating ones, and that's what I really like.  It makes a pleat every 6 stitches, and you can control how deep a pleat you make.  You can also do one every 12 stitches, but I think I will hardly ever use that one.



My favorite thing is pleating or gathering directly onto another fabric.   I can see myself doing this a lot.



 This piece took about 10 seconds with no measuring or pinning, and no taking out basting threads.

I've bought pleated ribbon before, and now I see I can make my own.  It will take a little practice and slowing down to get it just right, but I believe I can do it.



I finished my rooster and hen and got it delivered to Ann who seemed to like it.  It was fun to do.


I'm playing around with crocheting my dishrags now instead of knitting them.  The knitting pattern just will not behave every time, and I end up getting a lopsided square.

I still think the knitted one is prettier with the lacy border.  Maybe I could try adding a crocheted border around the other one.  Or maybe not.  It's just a dishrag.

I got back into emptying toy boxes from the attic again this week.  This barn is old and about used up.  It's silo is missing as well as most of the animals, but it has such sweet memories for us.



It was Gray's 2nd birthday present on December 28, 1973.  We had it waiting for him when we got home from spending Christmas with the grandparents.


This is one of my favorite pictures.  He had grown up so much that year, becoming a big brother and handling it so well and was just returning from an 8-hour trip, from Alabama to South Carolina, but he sat down in that chair and played forever.

Nope, forget going to bed.


I put this video on Facebook, but it will be hard to top it for sweetness.  I sent Graysen one of Emily's old Cabbage Patch dolls I found in the attic and told her to video Graysen's reaction to it.  I couldn't have asked for a better one.


I just got this video.  This phone was also in the box of old toys I sent.  I believe Emily got this for her first Christmas when she was around 11 months old.  We think her  first sentence was "Do it mySELF,"so she now has a daughter who is just like her.