Thursday, August 28, 2008


Well, usually I would break all of this up into several posts, but given my computer challenged state at the moment, you will just have to forgive one large post. :-)

We've been busy!

the last minor league baseball game of the season (the weather was positively AMAZING);

Giant (hard to photograph) spider webs all over our yard, and the changing of seasons as the light starts to fade earlier, the firewood starts to stack up and the mums start to bloom;

the cutest table at a garage sale, that I actually left behind the first time and went back for, and then nearly ran away screeching when she sold it to me for $9 (except that I have decided to completely tear apart my sewing room in order to use it in there);

lots of ball (Jack must have asked me 20 times at the baseball game when they were going to allow the children to play with them);

to throw a ball;

to vintage golden books on records, thank you Sue!;

a summer quilt that is taking forever, the cutest Halloween project and more. (This was just a quick shot I snapped to remind myself later of the layout I settled on, obviously there are no award winning pictures in this post, lol!)

No computer = lots of making.

We are off to the 61 yard sale tomorrow, and I am so excited! Even Jack is looking forward to it.

P.S. I miss you guys! Tons. Happy Holiday weekend. :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wishing you...

A Happy Birthday Grandpa Phoenix!
(And in his own handwriting too!)
With a cheesy grin on top.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Technical difficulties

Just a quick note to say that my laptop will no longer turn on and I am waiting on a new machine, but in the meantime, it will be pretty quiet around here. I can still post from the basement desktop, but not easily. :-)

Hopefully it will ship sooner than the estimated date of September 11 (!!! that's a long time), and I will be back sooner than expected.

In the meantime, Jack and I will be enjoying the last official two weeks of summer before his fall session of preschool begins.

See ya soon!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh gross

School started again on Monday, so Jack and I are back to taking our morning walks in the cooler air.
Earlier this week we came across this GIANT cicada on the street.
I figured we would look it over and move on.
Jack says, "Hey Mom, can we take it home?" Errr. Sure. I guess.

And then he went and did the unthinkable and asked me to carry the gross little bugger home. I tried to be all cool about it* and just say that if he wanted it, he had to be the one to carry it. But he was insistent that I touch it. So still trying to play it cool I told him it was a little bit scary.
His reply? "Mom, it isn't even an animal anymore."**

"Look at it's eyes! See them wiggle?" And then he proceeds to wiggle the eyes at me.

And that is where I nearly ran away screaming. LOL

God cicadas are gross things. Yuck, yuck.

So he carries it home and promptly deposits on his nature tray. And the neighbor girl comes over after school and picks it up. The first thing she says, "Hey Sarah, for a minute I thought this was real and it was really gross."

And my reply? "It is real."

And then she throws it down and runs away screaming. LOLOLOL

Did I mention they are gross?

*I don't want Jack to get unnecessarily freaked out about stuff, so even if it is freaking me out, I ALWAYS try and play it super cool. And yes, I am a biologist who is freaked out by a dead bug. My husband seems to think this is either a) ridiculous or b) hilarious.

**I have no clue where he got the idea that a dead thing is no longer an animal. My guess is school, since we are unlikely to have given him that idea here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Houston, we have...

Houston, we have lift off.
Or more accurately, we have gourds.
Awesome bumpy yellow gourds with beautiful green ends.
And loads of them!
And I spy with my little eye, a pumpkin of some sort!

Who knows what it will be, I buy all kinds of pumpkins: green ones, white ones, strange orangey ones, regular orange ones. They all go on the compost heap in November.

Now *this* is exciting.

(And the first squirrel I catch near that vine? Off with it's head.) (Just joking. Sort of.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yo, I need help

I was happily cruising along finishing the doll yo-yo quilt for a swap, but I have hit a snag. I had planned to do a bit of a fancy edge along all four sides, but I have realized that it won't work properly on the top and the bottom because of the number of yo-yo's in those rows.

So help me decide what to do?

Here are the three choices I can come up,, but if you have some other idea, I am open to that too.
Leave it as is. Sometimes quilts do have fancy edges on the sides only, since the other two ends would have been at the head and foot of a bed.
Option B: Add four yo-yo's at the corners. (Yes, those are quarters, lol.)
Option C: Add eight more yo-yo's, even though they will not be spaced properly in the middle.

Option D: Swear off yo-yo's for rest of eternity. Pesky little buggers. (Just kidding! I actually quite like how it is turning out, and I sewed every single bit of it by hand, yeehaw!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lucky Penny

I asked David to take Thursday off from work so we could spend some Jack free time together. I debated a bit about whether we should catch a movie and have lunch or thrift and have lunch. Thrifting won. (It always wins, lol.)

He and I always joke that he is my lucky penny. And last week was no exception. We found good stuff together. 2 bags full of bright buttons.
A piece of Hull pottery that nearly made me pee in my pants. (I wanted to jump up and down and scream, no really? Did I just find this in the thrift? And it is in PERFECT condition? For WHAT price?)
A sweet pair of dishtowel curtains.
Yards and yards of this gorgeous vintage fabric.
And a quilt top. (Which also made me want to jump up and down and scream, no really? Did I just find this in the thrift?)

It is stretching out wierdly on the fence because it is just a top. It's certainly not the most beautiful quilt in my collection, but it is a true scrap quilt. Pieces of clothing, scraps of feedsacks, and the red sashings are made with wool. (I was afraid they were polyester from a distance.)

That husband of mine, he is a lucky penny.

More photos on Flickr, including fabric close ups on the quilt, the rest of the buttons, and a tablecloth we bought.

Off to fold more laundry with me. Enjoy your Sunday.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What I love and a winner

A few things to remember:
Right now Jack is very into building. He builds these elaborate train layouts all by himself, and he does it with real vision. When I asked if he would be putting a bumper at the end of one of these loops, he told me that there was going to be a switch there. And indeed, he made a switch there, having apparently planned it all out in advance. Awesome.

In the kitchen last week he yelled out, "Exquisite." I don't know why, and it doesn't really matter, because he is 3, and his vocabulary includes exquisite.

A month ago he found a record album in the playroom and asked me what it was. I dug out the record player and set him up with some old children's albums. He fell in love with the scratchy old school Jungle Book, and I often will hear him singing The Bear Necessities to himself as he plays. (Now if only I could find one of those yellow thingys that makes the 45 records fit on the record player, so he could listen to the story book records we have. Grrrr.)

We saw Horton at the movies on Wednesday. For the first time ever, Jack was actually clapping at the climax of the movie, unprompted by me and with no clapping from other children. He really understood the story and appreciated the triumph of Horton. Then he immediately asked to go to the library to check out Horton again.
The pumpkins are back and full of blossoms. I see actual bees on them this year, but no pumpkins yet. I have high hopes that I am going to grow an actual pumpkin this year.

We are having chamber of commerce weather. In August. In St Louis. Unheard of and it has been going on for more than a week. I haven't been able to be outside because of the allergy problem for very long, but man, it is amazing.

David said to me a few days ago, "You know what I love about you Dear? You don't have fat clothes and skinny clothes and some day clothes, you have clothes for right now, that fit, and that you wear." Amen.

I invited my grandpa over for Sunday dinner yesterday. He asked what we would be eating. I said probably BBQ. Man did he perk right up with, "Oh yea? Can we have those hamburgers again? Those are the best hamburgers." I love how much he loves David's hamburgers and Grandma P's cucumber salad.

I made this zucchini quiche when Jessica posted the recipe. This thing is delicious. If I had an abundance of garden zucchini I would make a metric ton of it and freeze it for winter. I eat a piece every morning for breakfast and it is so good. Yummmy. (I used feta cheese and no crust.) Really, go make it.

And, what you all came here for: Jack used his brain to pick a number between 1 and 36, and he choose 29, which is beadgirl. Please email me your address so we can send you the charm pack!

(And how much do I love that he can now randomly choose an integer in a given set? No more cutting out a million pieces of tiny paper!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Charm pack on steroids

I cut all of my squares for the fabric swap at See Katie Sew this past weekend while Dave and Jack were at the company picnic. (I couldn't be outside that long.)

I ended up with a sizeable pile of squares and scraps leftover, sort of a charm pack on steriods if you will. LOL

Maybe one of you can use it?

There are at least 20 different fabrics (20 for the swap, but I added a few extras), none really smaller than a 5 inch square. Mostly vintage, a few 1930's repros.

You know the drill. Leave a comment. If necessary I will make the trusty assistant draw a name.

Speaking of the trusty assistant, I seem to be turning the corner on this allergy problem and actually slept 6 hours last night, so we are off to the movies! Wooohooo.

P.S. Need ideas on what to do with small pieces of fabric other than quilting? Here are just a few of the things I have done with the 5 inch squares from our last swap.

P.P.S. Sarah from Small Fox wants to do a virtual quilting bee, something I have been wanting to do for awhile now too. She still needs more participants, so if you can play along with us, go let her know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

National what?

This was my fortune when we ordered Chinese Friday night, "Opportunity is knocking on your door. Answer it tomorrow". I was so excited to see that fortune in my cookie, I almost jumped up and down. Could you ask for a better fortune on the eve of National Garage Sale Day?
Despite travelling far and wide, despite going to all the "right" neighborhoods where there are little old houses with little old ladies hoarding fabulous junk, this is all I bought. A giant Easter egg. (Well, really it is a vintage German candy container.) Giant I tell you. Jack can barely hold onto the thing, which is bigger than a watermelon.
Don't get me wrong, it is a way cool treasure. Even when I factor in the $16 I spent in gas driving far and wide. These are the kinds of things I dream about when surfing Ebay. And even though it was nearly 10 am when I got to the sale and there were a zillion people milling about, there it was, waiting for me.
The inside says Made in Western Germany.

I imagine the kid who received this totally gorged themselves on chocolate. LOL
Oh, I picked up a small handful of old fabric scraps too.
So I figured all the goods would be waiting for me at the flea on Sunday. I haven't been in weeks, there has to be stuff right?

I bought a roll of carnival tickets and nothing more. LOL I needed them though. I've decided we are going to have a big carnival birthday party for Jack this year.

Ah well. You win some, you lose some.

P.S. I finished the steroids (which make me not only VERY VERY VERY angry but very weak and generally discombobulated) on Saturday. By Sunday I was up all.night.long itching. Monday? Face and throat swelling again. Back to the doctor, back on the steroids. I am total wreck at the moment and have had to hire out the neighbor girl to help look after Jack. (Even though she is rather unreliable, right now she is more reliable than me. Scary.) Doctor says there is very little they can do for me other than what we are already doing. Yipppeee. If things are quiet, that's why. My child needs a quite attentive mother, and things quickly go to hell when I am ill.

Cross your fingers this passes soon.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Singing in the rain

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again

Ever since he picked up one of those paper Chinese umbrellas at a yard sale a few weeks ago, Jack has been DYING to use an umbrella in the rain. He has carried an umbrella everywhere we have gone just waiting for the chance. (He has even been using them as a parasol.) We were lucky enough to have a really heavy afternoon downpour yesterday, so as soon as the lightening stopped, we ran outside to splash in the puddles.

It was so much fun that now even *I* am looking forward to the next rain.
At preschool yesterday they picked the radishes they have been growing in their little garden. When I asked Jack if he had helped plant the radishes he said, "No. God did it." LOL

Tonight we will be ordering Chinese and watching the Olympics opening ceremony, which I usually really look forward to. But right now I am still itchy and incredibly cranky from all this medicine and I am busy moaning a bit that I decided way back in the spring to not go to the 127 sale this year.

Instead of enjoying a lovely picnic lunch with my husband overlooking Lake Cumberland in the gorgeous hills of Kentucky I will be grocery shopping. Yippppppppppeeeee. LOLOL

P.S. Tomorrow is National Garage Sale Day, happy hunting if you are hitting the roads in search of treasure!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Secondhand bliss

One bag of legos at thrift store, $3 + One rubbermaid bin of legos at thrift store, $2.92 = many, many hours of quiet, imaginative, independent play.

Secondhand bliss.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Do not ask me how I am lucky enough to have found another gorgeous quilt this year. I will not be able to tell you the answer. We just seem to keep finding each other.

I wish I could find a time of day to get a better photo of the whole quilt for you.
Look at all the gorgeous little prints.
Pink and greens
And purples and blues
and red and white.


This one is in amazing condition. It seems like it has never been washed. No real stains to note, only one or two open seams.

But it is a bit of a mystery.

It was quilted with a machine zig zag stitch. The fabrics seem 1930/1940 to me, with no hint of the 1950's, but machine zig zagging is a late 1950's/early 1960's invention for the home sewer as far as I understand it.

Maybe it was just quilted many years later?

We all know how easily that can happen. :-)

Monday, August 04, 2008


So, my little allergy problem turned into a big problem. By Sunday morning at 5 am I was in the ER, getting shots of adrenaline, being pumped full of steroids and antihistamines and anything else they could think of to throw at me. It seems that I am having a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic I was taking for a UTI, something called Levaquin.

And despite taking a million drugs and using a zillion creams, the only thing that even slightly helped me was the adrenaline shot. I am covered in the most miserable, itchy burning rash. My eyes are swelling, my lips are swelling and even my throat was swelling.

Scary stuff.
Since none of this stuff is working this morning I started googling homeopathic remedies. It was easy enough to google up something that might help, but try buying it in St Louis. You can forget about it. I called health food stores, Whole Paycheck, even Weleda to see if anyone sells it here. In the end, I have had to pay to have it overnighted to me.
It seems like more and more I find myself turning to homeopathic remedies as Western medicine seems to be failing me. And I find myself floundering. A lot. What to buy? Where to buy it? When to buy it?

St Louis is not really a cutting edge type of place. Call and ask for a homeopathic rash remedy and they will tell you to put some aloe on it.
I thought maybe someone out there has more experience with this than I might have, or maybe you have a few things you keep on hand that you would like to share?

What we have tried with success around our house so far includes:
Hylands teething tablets , for when Jack was a teething baby

Neti Pot for allergies combined with this sinus and respiratory stuff when it is really bad. (I have been able to entirely quit using all sudafed, zyrtec and prescription nasal sprays since I started this. And honestly? I have never felt better.)

I periodically use a probiotic for digestive issues. It works WAY better than all that immodium stuff.

arnica gel for all manner of ailments, from bumps and bruises to my current itching. (It is actually slowing the itching down, a lot more than gobs of cortisone cream was). This stuff is AMAZING on bumps on kiddos.

Weleda Diaper creme for when Jack was a babe

I usually wear a piece of amber every day.

Cystex for UTI's. Ordinarily this stuff works really well, I just got slammed hard last week.

And I am waiting on Weleda to send me this burn care for the rash. I think the urtica urens will help with the Urticaria currently driving me insane.

I know plenty of people are thinking about things like not using chemical shampoos and deodorants, avoiding plastics and buying organic foods. Medicine has to fit in there too, right?

Have any books you like to use that we might find helpful? Websites? Something in your own medicine cabinet worth recommending? Maybe you have been using a doctor that uses homeopathy as well as traditional medicine? Maybe you already have a good homeopathic first aid kit at the ready? (I would love to have one of those.)

In the meantime, I will be scarce for a few days as I am about to be driven completely mad by the itching. If you see a crazy lady with red rashy eyeballs crying about the itching, that will be me. LOL

(The photos: Jack spelling with food; a new nature tray complete with feathers, cicada shells, eggs and umbrellas (after reading Soulemama's Creative Family book); this year's Christmas in July tree, complete with paper parasols that Jack went CRAZY over.)