Archive for July, 2008

Clean Team

I am not much of a housekeeper. I hate cleaning and I’m no good at it. John and I joke that I missed out on the “clean gene” — as my brothers are very tidy and neat. For years, we had cleaning help but the past few years we’ve been doing it on our own. Well, more like not doing much of it. Fortunately, the kids are now big enough to be helpful.

He even smiles when vacuuming — something I’ve never been able to do. And he gets in all the corners and dirty spots — another thing I always missed. Maybe the “clean gene” skips a generation? For their sake (and the sake of their future spouses…), I can only hope.


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Biker Boyz

We did it! The first full-family bike ride in over 9 years. I’ve always been left behind, tending a baby or child too big for a toddler seat yet unable to independantly bike. I recently found this cool trail-a-bike on Craigslist. We worried that our little boy, who just started riding with training wheels, would be afraid to ride. He’s not scared, he LOVES it.

And we love the thrill of biking with all the kids — oh, our horizons have opened wide! Bike on!

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Birthday Weekend

Oli turned five over the weekend. Five is such a monumental age for our children — it signals the end of being a little kid and the start of being a middle kid. As this was such a milestone birthday, we celebrated it all weekend long. John’s parents took us all out to our favorite Italian restaurant. Oli gorged himself on cavatelli and shirley temples.

Saturday was a trip to Six Flags. We didn’t bring a camera with us (ooops, forgot!) so no picutres. It was a long, hot and exhausting day but everyone had fun.

On Sunday, Oli had a list of everything he wanted to do on his big day. Starting with breakfast in MY bed:

Lunch at a salad bar restaurant:

An afternoon spent jumping at an indoor playground:

And, lastly, my nephew babysitting — with take-out pizza and a movie.

My nephew passed on to Oli his treasured Tyrolean hat. Oli has worn it constantly since then — which is kind of crazy since the hat is thick wool and it’s been 97 degrees here. He also has been clamoring to wear his number five shirt — to announce to the world how big he really is. Even though he’s still so little to me.

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First Egg

Our spring chickens are maturing. Five of our chicks have made it this far — one died and two grew into roosters and left for new homes. We’ve been waiting to see if there are any other roosters in the bunch. We know one is not because someone laid her first egg yesterday.

Gross, eh? It has no shell — which sometimes happens for the first egg or so. We were laughing that the bird thought the coil of hose was a nest. John and I really need to finish that new coop we’ve been working on and get the nest boxes in place. We are so close.

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Trash-picked Treasures

This was found at the curb in horrible condition. The desk top was not attached to the base. It truly looked like trash.

John reattached the top — 8 screws and some wood putty did the trick. After sanding, priming, a few coats of paint and new knobs, DNA has a new desk.

All for my favorite price —- FREE.

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More knitting

I’m enjoying sock knitting lately. I’m using one long circular needle and using the “magic loop” method instead of using double pointed needles. So much easier for me. I made these last week:

The sock stretchers (blockers?) are from my mother-in-law. She knit my father-in-law socks while they were dating — complicated argyle patterns of all sorts. My father-in-law tells me of how he remembers sitting in class at law school, looking down at his crossed feet and thinking “Now those are some good looking socks.” They saved the socks and they are, indeed, good looking…and dang well preserved since they were knit over 60 years ago!

My latest challenge is to knit two socks at one time. This is also done on a long circular needle.

These are anklets for Mojo. I can’t say I’m enjoying this process. I think it’s half that I don’t like the stitch pattern and half that I just don’t like fiddling with all the tangled yarn that happens when knitting from two separate balls. And, yes, I do realize the insanity of knitting wool socks for a child — socks that will need to be hand-washed and cared for delicately. There are just some crazy things I gotta do.

I made these booties for my cousin’s new babe.

They go with this hat that I made a while ago. Alas, I think the booties look too girlie and one is slightly bigger than the other. They are also gigantic — would probably fit a two-year old.

Back to the pink socks —- I’m determined to finish them so I can start planning some fun vacation knitting.

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Homemade blueberry pancakes with fresh berries, homemade jam and home-churned butter. Yes. Home-churned butter. Mojo and I made it — we cultured sweet cream overnight and churned it the next day when the cream was thick. It’s delicious! A pint of cream yielded about 7 oz of butter plus buttermilk for the pancakes.

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