Monday, June 30, 2008

Playing with pottery

Yesterday I had the unheard of opportunity to go to the flea market with a girlfriend instead of trying to get David to get dressed or going on my own. 6:30 in the morning, no whining children, junk to browse and good company, does it get any better? (We even had a quiet breakfast together. Food, eaten without getting up 26 times to attend to a million different needs!)

I found 2 really nice pieces of pottery for my ummmm, ridiculously large collection. A pink McCoy that is pretty big...
and a piece of Weller that I am crazy about.
And since I am in serious need of a creative fix and there is little chance my sewing machine will be repaired in this decade, I decided to clean and rearrange the pottery a bit.

It's a hard cabinet to get a picture of since it is big and dark and the glass reflects only me taking the picture. (And my pictures are still leaning to the left, which really is getting irksome.) You get the idea though. I love the light, bright pottery against the dark wood.

Now, what can I make that doesn't require the sewing machine...?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lions and Berries and Cookies, oh my!

Ok, so there are no lions. I had the Wizard of Oz in my head. The weather this weekend has been gloriously unsummerlike. Cool and cloudy and perfect really. Instead of wasting time with garage sales yesterday, we went back to the farm to pick raspberries.
(Yes, I went back, even though the strawberry experience was the pits.) Clearly it went better. Jack had a good time, Dave and I had a good time. It was a winner.
I am not usually a raspberry fan, but oh my goodness, right off the bush these things are the best berries ever. We all ate more than our share while picking. And me, the woman who would rather order pizza than cook, is going to make jam.
I think I might go back this week and pick more. Yum-O. Seriously.

And the other Yum-O, the oatmeal banana cookies. I sort of altered some kind of internet recipe, I have no idea where it came from (I am bad about bookmarking). Whenever I cook I just tend to use whatever is handy, which doesn't always work out, but these things are delicious. We ate them all in one day.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter (you might be able to use less, I didn't try)
1 egg
1 super ripe banana
1 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat would work too)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
milk chocolate chips (have no clue how many we put in there, I just let Jack dump some in)

ETA: Mix it for awhile. Dave made some and didn't mix them very long and they weren't as soft. I know, real technical eh? I am so not Paula Deen or Rachel Ray.

Drop on cookie sheet (I have a silpat, you probably need to grease it if you don't) and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

We made ours BIG, so they were like fluffy little banana breads.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, a whole bunch of whatever

So, it's Friday. It's hot. I don't have the first clue where this week has gone really.

I am absolutely DYING to have my sewing machine repaired. It's been weeks now. I have things I want to make, things that need to be repaired. I need to sew.
Jack and I went to a garage sale on Wednesday where I picked up a big handful of old Halloween decorations.
Aren't they cute? I am a crazy person. I am already wishing for Halloween! Pumpkins and fall leaves and apple cider and pumpkin patches. Man do I love Halloween.
These are the oldest ones, and have been ever so carefully refolded since I brought them home to bring their honeycomb back to life.
I saw a Frugal Friday feature on Twiddletails last week, and I love that idea. I think I will try and do that for awhile.

My frugal tip for the day today is: make your own microwave popcorn. It's fast, it's cheap and it's free of all those fake buttery chemicals in the other stuff. Just buy regular popcorn kernels, put about an 1/8 of a cup of them into a brown lunch bag, fold over the top a few times and pop for about 2 minutes in the microwave. Yummmy, fresh popcorn with no weird stuff.

A bag of kernels used to cost me less than a dollar and it lasts forever. That probably means it's around $3 right now. LOL Still cheaper than prepacked microwave corn though!

We are still loosing those levees left and right around here. This is the latest, brought down by a muskrat. :-( There used to be a sign on the highway right by our house that said, "There are only 2 kinds of levees - those that have failed and those that will."

I was reading part of a book on line last week that said our county has the highest frequency of floods and flood related damage in the entire United States. Crazy.

I will be back with that cookie recipe this weekend.

Happy Friday to all!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cute as a button

We've been up to new and interesting things around here.
We made our first clover necklaces;
Jack picked out his own shirt ("just like Daddy's") AND he buttoned it all by himself, correctly, on the first try;
we made banana oatmeal cookies and narrowly missed having to walk home a mile in a wicked thunderstorm;
and I spent something insane like 6 hours on my hands and knees on the lawn washing and bleaching my new treasure.

It was hard, but totally worth it.

Speaking of new and interesting, anyone want to tell me what your most favorite blog is right now? Want to pimp your own blog?

Leave me a link! I am going to revive the 5 new to me blogs feature I used to do occasionally. :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday I was seriously disgusted with the state of the junking universe. Garage sales continue to be few and far between, and the ones I do find seem to be loaded with used tires, dirty clothes and bullets (!!).

Definitely not the kind of junk this girl is looking for.

The only redeeming thing about yesterday is that my favorite quilt shop owner in the entire world had her basement open for a few hours yesterday. She is still trying to liquidate stock since she closed the store a year or more ago. It was nice to visit with her, chat about quilts and get another taste of her gorgeous fabrics.

I am pretty sure that if I could only buy vintage fabrics and 1930's repro fabrics it would be enough for me. I rarely feel the urge to buy any other fabric these days.*
So I vowed to get up extra, super duper early to go to the flea this morning. I was so early that I passed several dealers on their way in on the highway. I was there well before 7 am, and it's a good thing I was, because had I gone at 8 like usual, it would have black outside and raining.
I didn't find more than I could carry or more than I could afford (oh those are the days!), but I love what I did find.
And this. Oh this. Oh how I love it. At first I walked away from it because he wanted $20 for it and it really, really needs to be cleaned.
It has mildew spots on it which are highly intimidating. And not just a few of them either.

I have bought a fair amount of stuff from this guy, and I know him to be very fair and very friendly. I HATE to pull out the "oh, it's dirty and needs to be repaired, blah blah blah" card, I know they hear it all the time. But in this case, it was true and unavoidable.
He took $15 for it. And I love it more and more. Look at how she has gathered those inner petals!

I will be taking my sweet time figuring out how to very gently clean it. And then I need to do something about rebinding it.

Ahhhhh, turning lemons into lemonade.

A very, very good thing.

*If they ever get my sewing machine repaired so I can actually sew again. The Husky dealer takes at least a month every single time any little thing goes wrong with it. Frustrating stuff.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A retrospective

It's June 20, 2008 and I have been journaling on this little spot on the web for a little over three years now. It feels all at once like a lifetime and the blink of an eye. And I am proud of myself for sticking with it.
I've bought things, both new
and old. (Mostly old.)
Really cool things
and wonderful steals that made my heart race with excitement.
I've made things. Hard things
and even harder things
and easy things
and things that filled my heart with joy.
I've painted everything that stands still.
And my sweet pea has gone from a chubby little baby
to a growing up boy.

What a journey this has been. I can only imagine what the next three years will bring!

Thank you to each of you for joining me here. Whether you are a new friend or an old friend, I appreciate that you take time to be a part of our story, and that so many of you take the time to share your story with us.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yo Yo Mama

I really love making yo-yo's, they are slow going, but there is something soothing about the slowness of it. And I love yo-yo quilts. (Maybe one day I am going to luck into a gorgeous, cheap 1930's yo-yo quilt!) So I decided that what I needed to do right now was to make a doll quilt sized yo-yo quilt.

Except that it takes at least 80 yo-yo's to make even a tiny quilt.
Well then, there is no better time to put my Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter to use then, is there?

I bought it at the flea in Chicago for $3 brand new, still in the package, look at the retail price! This thing could drive you crazy though. I wish I had asked Pam before I started because she wisely pointed me to the video on their website, which helped immensely with making this gadget work.

I sat on the porch last night for hours waiting for the big strawberry moon to come up thinking I could just yo-yo myself into oblivion! LOL I still love my yo-yo lampshade too.
Speaking of love, instead of going to the movies as usual yesterday Jack and I went garage saling. Man oh man, there was so much dreck out there. I wish people would put their trash in the trash can instead of leading me 12 miles into a subdivision looking for it. So we gave up and went to Goodwill.

The thrifts are still really dreadful this year (although Jack had fun, he found a new kite and a new ball and a brand new toothbrush), but this was lying on top of a bin coming out of the intake room. I knew I liked it, and it was $4.

It's the kind of thing I always look at on Ebay but can never afford. $4 I can swing.

I just quickly hung it up someplace when we got home so it wouldn't get ruined and I love it more and more every minute.

Other tids and bits:
Jack is back at school today for the summer session. He was full of questions like "is the potty far away?" "who are the teachers this time?" "What friends will be there?"

I was holding him on the porch on Monday and he said to me, very quietly, "Mom, when I am number 12 you won't be able to hold me like this." (I am pretty sure that kid of mine is destined to be at least 6'5, I will be lucky to hold him like that for another year.)

The river just keeps rising and some of the levees are starting to breach. It isn't '93, but man, there is water everywhere again . Last year I fell head over heels in love with this old house in a town that is right now sandbagging day and night to try and save their homes. :-( They are certainly on my mind today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And the voices rang like the angels sing*

Thank you all very much for the thoughts/commiseration/suggestions. Some of them have definitely been on my mind (getting a job of some sort, which I doubt I will do, but it has been discussed several times), some of them made me laugh (is there an 800 number for the gypsies?), some of them never crossed my mind (forget entertaining him, he needs to learn to survive!), and some of them are on my figure out how to make this work list.

I think a big part of my problem is that I am still doing EVERYTHING for him. But, inspired by all of you**, I am working on getting the bathroom faucet changed (right now it is very hard to use, so Jack cannot even wash his hands independently). I am also going to pack up all of his current toys (again!) and put new toys in his bins from the "seldom visited during the summer" playroom in the hopes that fresh toys will entertain him a bit. And we are going to rearrange the fridge so that the bottom shelf is full of things he can get for himself: milk, juice and prebagged snacks.

Clearly I need to sort out how to get him to a big kid place in his life so that we can both stop being frustrated by having to depend on/wait on each other constantly while somehow getting past his reluctance.
He starts back to his Mother's Day Out on Thursday and I think I might have a party. :-)

But most noticeably, and in true Jack fashion (just when I think I am over the edge he makes a big leap), last night he slept without a pull up. I was up at 5 am thinking of all the sheets I was going to have to wash, but he woke up dry.

That's right folks.

I have not changed a single diaper today for the first time in 3 years, 7 months and 29 days.

Sweet cracker sandwich*** that feels good.

So good that I am off to start cutting out circles for yo-yo's.

*That title's for you Capello .

**Today when Jack refused to take a nap I offered him a choice: nap or work. He choose work. I had him vacuum the house. I figured even if only got 50% of the dirt it was 50% less than I had on the floor this morning. He did an excellent job and even vacuumed the closets! LOL

***Miss ya LLA

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not right now

I don't know what it is about our life for the past 8 months or so, but I am becoming increasingly frustrated. In short, I have zero time. Zero. Zippo. Zilch. I keep hoping it's Jack's age or some kind of phase that will pass, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I spend every single moment of every single day trying to keep him entertained, or cleaning up messes, or doing laundry, or running errands, or doing battle with him over behavior, or cleaning up after my grandfather, or answering a million totally unnecessary phone calls from my mother, cooking 9 different meals for a kid who never eats, doing the grocery shopping, etc etc etc.
And I am so over it all.

The more there is to do, the less time there is to do anything I enjoy. And then I get even madder about not having any time to do anything for myself. And then I do less around here, so there is even more to do and then I have even less time than I started with.
Truly a vicious circle.

I used to have help cleaning the house, but it was really unreliable and frustrating and Dave sort of convinced me (I was already halfway there on my own) it wasn't necessary anymore now that Jack was over 3. Oh sure, Jack can help clean up around here and he goes to school 2 days a week and Dave can help and blah blah blah.
But truthfully Jack is still the same kid he was at 7 months old, and it is no easier to get anything done with him here. And there seem to be so few hours in the day that Dave is even here and he already has to keep up with the never ending lawn care and so on.

Everything just seems so damn busy all the time. And still there is mildew in the toilet, there 6 loads of laundry to be put away, the grass needs mowing, I need a haircut, Jack needs to have a recent photo taken, I still haven't ordered my Mother's day present much less bought Dave anything for Father's Day that was yesterday, the floors need to be vacuumed, I am running out of clean underwear, I have not managed to get my eyes checked in like 3 years and I need new glasses, I need to get the tablecloths in the mail, Jack has a giant pile of books he wants to read, he needs lunch, and on and on.

So tell me, please, how do you get it all done without crazy? How do you unbusy yourself so that you can actually have a minute to breathe?

I miss my sewing machine and my house is a disaster area.

*And please don't tell me to get a babysitter! We don't really have family to rely on, and I have yet to find a babysitter that I feel comfortable with.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No siree Bob

When I popped into Erin's blog this morning I thought, "How refreshing to see someone say that there is no way her kids would pick a ton of strawberries in the boiling heat without all of them ending up frustrated." And then I swore I would give up on the idea of Jack and I picking berries this year.
Except 5 minutes later he was in the kitchen kicking me and calling me a damn stupid poopy mommy.

Ok then. We had better go visit Farmer Karl after all.

It started out promising enough, Jack was so cute asking why we were in the "meadow", and asking what those noises were (crickets).
But do not be fooled. This was not some idyllic trip to the local farm where my child romped through the fields, stuffing his face with berries warm from the sunshine while I snapped perfect photographs and soaked up the beauty of it all.
Oh no. No siree Bob. This was us being told by Farmer Karl that pickins' were slim and that it was so hot we were going to be boiled down there. This is us traipsing WAY down to the lower field in the blazing hot sun desperately hunting for a few decent berries. This is Jack picking three strawberries and declaring that he was done with this stupid poopy "cherry" picking. This is Jack spitting out the only strawberry he let pass his lips while declaring it disgusting. This is us practically passing out from heat stroke after only 20 minutes in that field.
That's ok, I'll just eat them all myself. (The 1 lb I managed to pick, LOL.)

I didn't name this blog The Misadventures of Mama & Jack for nothing you know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Like the good old days

Saturday morning before our big adventure with Thomas, we went to a city wide yard sale. It was good. It will probably turn out to be my best haul for this summer. (Particularly if gas hits $6/gallon as predicted.)
I bought nearly all the fabric she had at the very first sale we stopped at. Gobs and gobs of vintage 1940-ish roses everywhere. There were 2 panels of these curtains;
Nearly 9 yards of this print, which reminds me of my tablecloths;
the sweetest vintage duvet cover with tiny roses all over (it needs to be mended on the bottom, but I have to get the sewing machine repaired still);
and several pieces of smaller fabrics like barkcloth and decorator weight fabrics.

So good. Really.
I also picked up this tiny cornucopia vase (I had just been admiring Barbara's small collection );
an old hatbox covered in wallpaper (all of my pictures are leaning lately, a bit bothersome!);
and something that made me squeal, a big pile of nutcups for crafting.

And there was more. One is being painted right now and I will try and get the rest onto Flickr as soon as Jack stops launching cat toys in the living room. LOL

I had better go get out the duct tape. :-)