Monday, August 25, 2008

Living Room- Take 503

So, I've still not quite settled on an arrangement for our living room. Every so often I get uncomfortable enough with it as to start moving furniture. It is sort of unique in that it has an angled wall and a hallway that I don't want to crowd. So for now I am liking the new set up, but I am thinking it might be better if I swapped the roll-back couch for two arm chairs. I don't like it when it feels too closed off or only has one entry point. Because then we never use it. And then I could always put the couch in the "formal" living room, which is still empty and is basically a big wrestling ring. But every time I think about it I think " where would the kids rough house or do ballet shows?" and I don't have an answer so the room just sits empty.
But with our "Ladies of Maderas" get togethers, its been inspiring to see the other homes decorated and get ideas of what I might like. Which is difficult becuase I'm not especially clever when it comes to decorating, and I actually don't know what I like and sometimes have to go through lots of arrangements and even couches until I find the right one. But so far I'm happy with this room. I went to load the pictures and couldn't find the camera. Kateri told me " It's in the cupboard. The one with the tracing paper" which is the art cupboard- not the camera cupboard. I found the following incriminting pictures on the card as well.
Evidence the kids were in the library without parental supervision- not ok.
The kids removing the couch cushions- also not ok.
To make a fort- which is ok. Just not with couch cushions.

And of course there is the fact she had the camera in the first place.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring....

And somewhere I am sure there is an old man snoring. It has been quite a bit cooler lately. Some days it feels so fallish and I am glad to wear jeans and long shirts. And then an afternoon will clear up and get hot and I remember," Oh that's right. It is only August." Silly weather. So silly that last night for the neighborhood girls' get together, most of us drove. Even though it was one block to the hosting house.

Shane always throws the paper up inthe mornings before he leaves. This particular morning, he got a little over zealous and maybe had flashbacks to his paper route days. He held it by the plastic wrapper, wound it up, and sent it sailing. It landed on the roof. I was really glad it did not get stuck in the gutter because it was Monday and Mondays are just a little less harsh if I have coffee and the WSJ to look forward to. And I was really glad it was positioned just under the side of the window that opened so all I had to do was pop off the screen and grab it.

On Seafair, we went to my parents. I was sillly and forgot my camera. Kateri and Gretl were so cute all day playing and holding hands as we walked along the Boulevard. Then Shane remembered his phone. So though the quality is not fabulous, you can still see how cute the girls are.
Speaking of Kateri, yesterday she came downstairs and said Pippin had a wet diaper but she would change it. She grabbed a diaper out of the drawer and then said she she should take some wipes too. She took them upstairs. A few minutes later Pippin came down in a new diaper. Followed by Kateri carrying a bundled up diaper which she handed me as she passed and said,
"Pippin just had a poop." Like it was something silly but no worries, she took care of it.
The next day she offered her services again. I watched this time and she did it like a pro. I can see the headlines now'
"Five Year Old Opens Day Care"
She just came in to show me some stickers she got in her toe. Some were bleeding but she didnt' want any help removing the remaning 6. As she pulled them out blood started to pool up on the top of her toe. All she said was a very dis-passionate,
"Wow, look at that."
McCain could far worse in choosing a VP. They'd have to get a really small podium though.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sailor Pips

I've been working- or trying- to get organized before the school year starts. After working on the books and things I decided to tackle the storage room. Well I got as far as un-packing this little sailor suit and looking it over decieded I'd better try it on Pippin ASAP. So I put everything else down and grabbed the camera. He was so excited to try it on. I don't know who made it, butit real wool and very well sewn. I think it belonged to Shane's uncle. His father was in the Navy. I'm not sure though. You can set the record straight GG. It would be good to have the story right.
Shane's grandmother did her part and has some really neat stories about weaving torpedo nets. Kateri felt she needed to do her part too and tried to enlist. Unfortunately the neck was not roomy enough for her hair. But she still wanted a picture.

This was dinner a couple nights ago. It had been very warm for several days and I was not wanting to heat up the kitchen so I just made tastly little treats instead- crackers with ricotta, basil, tomato, and balsamic vinegar and some apples and gorgonzola. Very tasty.
Unlike the new wine Shane brought home. It was $60 but we much preferred the $25 Earthquake.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Swing and More

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
"Oh I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!"
"Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside"
Till I look down on the garden green
Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!"
-Robert Louis Stevenson

It has been very warm here. At least for Seattle. This morning the house had cooled down to 71 degrees. I opened all the down stairs windows and we are now at 70.
Monday we stayed cool by hanging out in the woods. The kids really wanted a swing- because a rope swing is different from a swingset-so we got some rope and proceeded to make one. Which meant I had to lob the rope up over a branch about 15 high. And get it in the right spot so you wouldn't be on the slant and swing into the tree trunk. I tied several knots at the end to give it some weight and swung it like a lariat. It felt like on of those carnival games. You always just miss it, and there is that big stuffed dog staring and disgusted at your ineptness. Only it was a tree.
I was very encouraged by Natalie, my neice, who kept cheering me on saying "just keep trying. That's how you do something. That was really close." She should be a little league coach or something. Kateri ,on the other hand, was not so optomistic, and cried the whole time about how she wanted a swing and it was taking too long. I was just hoping the kids were staying far back enough so I would not swing the big ball of knots into their heads. I didn't. And with the help of a ladder, a metal wood clamp, and Natalie the swing got done.

Here is Pippin the next day. He wandered out on his own and was swinging away. Naked. Given the lack of attire, this was the best photo I could publish.

Kateri Juarez- I don't think she is taking appointments at this time. Which is good.

I did some more window dressings. Shane tried a blind in here but he didn't like the quality of so didn't put any more in. It has a very pretty view but it gets too much sun and heats up. The new shades don't block so much light as they just soften it. But I like them for now. Especially how they glow in the morning sun. There are two more windows but the sheet was only big enough for two. I have the bottom sheet but that means I will have to do the hem- which are I think my most dreaded part of a garment. That or zippers. Or maybe lining a sleevless and zippered dress.

But I felt very resourceful making the shades. I bought the little spring rods for $3 each. The sheet was from a king size bed but part of it had gotten dyed pink. So I cut it up and there they are. Of course something has to go wrong when I sew- I'm such an optomist-so of course the thread tension kept getting messed up and I had to take out the yards of thread that kept piling up in 1 in of a seam. Then I had to rewind the bobbin because that is what seemed to be causing the problem and I only have one bobbin becasue I bought a whole box of the wrong size. Forutunatley, the fabric was a damask stripe with real, spaced lines. Normally, I don't like stripes because you can tell how far off you were. But these were great as I was only sewing parallel or perpinducular seams. So it made the seams and hem come out quite a bit straighter than I normally like them. I was a little bummed though, when after all the sewing, the iron started leaking rusty water on the fabric. I guess we have had it since we got married. Shane bought it for me because he was tired of having to turn around most Sundays because I was not sure I had uplugged the iron. This one shuts off if you don't move it every so often. But now I guess its time to retire it. I was able to peroxide, vinegar, oxy clean, and bleach my way out of the stain. And this morning they were there, filtering the sun. Looking so pretty in the morning light.
These will be my next project. The actually don't get any direct light but I think the room would feel cozier with some privacy. I'm really excited to go look for sheets. I think I just really like the resourceful feeling I get. I think I get that from my dad. He is the Martha Stewart of mechanics. If he doesn't have a certain tool, he'll weld various metal objects together until he gets what he wants. He made a floor scraper when we were removing the linoleum from the old house. I can't remember what he used but it was great. I think I also get my penchant to reuse containers from his as well. You know those heavey duty plastic jars form Costco for the cashews or whatever. Or the buckets from the powdered detergent with a lid. Most people go out and but containers. But they are really handy for cookie jars, nut jars, nuts and bolts jars. You name it you can put it in a Costco jar. Finally, Shane told me to stop saving them. I had told him how useful they were and he agreed. Then he showed me the 10 or so jars just sitting in the gargage, waiting their turn to be useful. So I have since slowed down on accumulating containers. Now I am on to sheets. Luckily, we have a lot of windows.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kids Projects

The kids have been stydying rocks and crystals and all kinds of stuff. Cyril is working on his rock/fossil collections and in one of the books Shane got for him he came across the cyrstal growing project. He and Audrey were very excited to mix up the solutions and suspend the little paper clip in the glass. They were not entirely excited with how long it took to actually grow them. Cyril uses salt in his and was rewarded with a really neat cube crystal, which was sturdy enough to move to his rock collection case when it was done.

Unfortunately, Audrey tried sugar crystals and by the end only had some fuzz at the bottom of the cup. They are trying it again, both using epsom salts this time. Which, the book says, are the fastest growing kind. We'll see.

Take Two.

I found this collection in my freezer. Cyril is always making potions and experiments. And as he can't cook them, he freezes them. Most of them I just toss in the sink so I can have my cup back. But this one I thought was pretty artistic. Audrey says she helped make it. I like all the action-the leaping eel and the diving shark. I thought it was quite good.

When global warming hit, we found all kinds of animal parts- fake of course. And a hot dog.