Friday, September 28, 2012

Soup and tea remedies for sinus infection

My family was always one for making 'herbals' , tonics and teas and food combinations to try to chase the basic ills of fever and cold and stomachache away...  I guess I inherited some of it, the information and the art.  My nose usually tells me what I need and then I go about trying to make that happen.  Mark says I can eat more black pepper and garlic on something than anyone he knows. 

My shelf contains the following always - garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder (madras style with yellow turmeric), black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, mint leaves, cinnamon, ginger powder and diced ginger root pieces.  Beyond that I have strong black tea, lemon juice, honey, coffee, cocoa powder, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup (or broth), miso soup, canned carrots, canned pineapple, licorice tea, peppermint tea and a certain brand of echinachea tea that is hard to find but is from Traditional Medicinals.   There are a few off the wall things in there that are not used very often (anise, marshmallow root, etc.)  I have peppermint extract and eucalyptus oil for adding to vapor baths to clear congestion.   Sounds like a major tea party and luncheon, right?  Those are the basics for throwing together something in the middle of the night that might break a fever, have a chance at fighting a bacteria and just keep everything on the way to recovery.  My grandmother (part Ojibwe / Anishiniabe ) was told to be also fond of willow bark and white pine needle tea.  I've had the tea before, but the trees do not grow here in the South very well, and the willow bark was a substitute for aspirin.  I remember just a tiny bit about going through the Northern Minnesota woods with her and a few things she showed me that were edible there, a few sweet clovers and of course raspberries and blackberries.

What I have been making every few hours the past few days with my sinus infection was the echinachea tea with honey, chicken broth with garlic, ginger, black pepper and curry powder, ginger/honey syrup and tomato onion powder soup.  I feel much better than the past two days - with a lot of sleep, water and coffee on top of that.

Armed with my 'strong soups' and plenty of fluids I'll probably be back at work tomorrow.

Tonight, I have a new dark blue dress half done for Esme, with long sleeves and a gorgeous astronomical pattern to the fabric.  I am using the Simplicity 4969 pattern from her camp shirt, size 6, with the opening adjusted to be in the back instead of the front.  That, mixed along with the sleeves from Butterick 9644, size 6 jacket.  Since I put most of my 'go to' patterns away, it is hard to find just what I want to work with.. so I end up conglomerating whatever is on the top of the stack.  So far, looking at what I've got, it looks like it will work just fine.  I could tell I was sick, though -- I sewed a facing to the wrong side and took several minutes to realize what was wrong... then I looked around my table for five minutes to find the bobbin case cover that was underneath my pair of scissors.

Size 6 Simplicity 4969 TOP front, back, sleeve head, 
skirt from DRESS cut in half vertically.
Size 6 Butterick 9644 jacket sleeve, length and elbow width

Yes, the dress turned out perfectly.  I had to add the normal 'three small tucks' at the front of the sleeve on each side to make it line up properly with the other pattern.. but it looks pretty and normal for her little girl attitude.  The dress hangs a little large in the bodice (as she is technically a size 5 right now and it is a 6) but that is a good thing and she likes her dresses that way.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sinus Wednesday

I stayed home from work today, trying to beat this sinus infection from the wisdom teeth - maybe halfway there but it could turn on me and go the other direction.  Mark took Esme to school and picked her up - did grocery shopping which was very cool.  Esme has had a fairly good day, and the teachers have a busy week planned next week... a field trip and PTA meetings.  She received her IEP progress report and it says she is making 'some to very little progress - more time needed' on things like using proper descriptive words, answering and asking questions and understanding similar and dissimilar characteristics when shown pictures.  That is what they are testing her on to check 'progress'.. but I see progress in other ways and know it is helping.  I can say 'The orange thing above the milk, on the right - no above that.. there you go.'  and she understands (and gets the jello she was claiming was not in there)  instead of staring blankly at me or going into wail mode  What is more - she can give those sort of directions to me sometimes.. getting better -- let's go right Mama. etc.  She has had a hard day - she wanted to go to Grandma's much too late - said it was her work, and she hadn't done it yet.  That made her upset.  Then when I asked her what she wanted for dinner she said she wanted a birthday cake and a present.  *roll eyes*  Not today.  Then she wanted dinner 'not today'.  OK... she did eat all her lunch, and there is a chance she is coming down with some of this as well and I have a cold virus on top of the wisdom teeth infection.  She is asleep on my bed now - after saying she was not tired and did not want to sit on her beanbag chair and did not like the movie I had on and ... then she was passed out.  She has spent most of the past few hours before that playing creative mode on Minecraft.  She even let me have a few naps...  I did get her to eat some cereal before bed - and she was a perfect little lady during 'dinner', talked about how she was doing a good job, and was growing, and used her napkin and ate every last bit happily - got her book, went to bed... I think Mark hit the nail on the head that she was being grumpy because she was thinking Mama was going to sleep and not spend any time at all with her tonight...

I need to make her a new dress sometime this week.  She tore the navy dress with pockets straight across the middle playing on the playground today.  She hid the tear with her hand when I saw it and said 'it was okay - kids did not see in - I put my hand here.'  *roll eyes again*.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It Can't Be Tuesday

I don't remember where Monday went... so can it be Tuesday?  I am fighting the wisdom teeth again but not as hard as in July - and it saps a lot of my energy.  That is probably why the weekend involved so much Minecraft and very little anything else.  All of the early risers in the household (Esme and the dogs and cats) don't help much in the sleep department.  Esme actually shut off her alarm this morning though and rolled back over and went to sleep.  She has a cold and is coughing some, but hopefully not as bad as a few days ago.  She told me the other day she was 'four of five' and she was trying to grow up, tall, just like me, and she would eat her food and grow up and be big, and she would have kids, and they would eat their food and grow up big and tall and... she wandered off. Those are some mighty lengthy plans kid.  She knows I am having trouble with my teeth and I have told her they are growing but my head is not - and that hurts.  She said her teeth were growing too, but her head and her hair were growing, so that was good, and she was going to have brown hair and her eyes would have green in them when they were grown up.  Her eyes are blue still, but there is a center of green peeking through... they might just change color within the next five years.  Mine were blue up until kindergarten, but I lost track of just when they turned hazel green, I think before eight? She has started looking at her teeth in the mirror often, brushing them more, and talking about how they chew food and help her grow.  I do need to find her a dentist soon - but having her learning about brushing her teeth on her own (after refusing with banshee screams for years) is encouraging.  Off to another fun day of work in an hour and a half .. all this week until Friday.

Note :  I let Esme play my Minecraft when I went to work yesterday.  I was down in the valley shearing sheep to get wool for my roof on my house.  I told her this and she kept shearing sheep.  When I came home and loaded my Minecraft she had taken the character back up in to the house (up a very long winding staircase from the valley) and had 'installed' half of my roof on the house where I had started.  That is a pretty good task for someone her size - it impressed me that she had put all that together, found her way back up there, and used dirt 'piles' to place and stand to reach the roof to put the blocks in.  She really pays attention to how we play and what we do - and she picks it up faster than I expect.  She was laying powered rail every few spaces with the regular rail for Daddy the other day without him telling her she needed to do that.  She really likes the railroad set in the game.

other note: She has been saying 'I can't' and 'I'm just a kid' a lot though, lately... about things like filling her drink cup, and blowing her nose, reading simple signs on chests in Minecraft that she knows the words for  - things she definitely CAN do.  I'm not sure who has put those words in her vocabulary. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I thought I did nothing much last Sunday - triple that for this Sunday.  I've done laundry and knit a few rows on a pair of slippers.. but other than that most of the day has been spent on Minecraft and shuffling between Esme is doing all day long while drinking coffee.  I can feel the chill in the air, and am glad to not have to be anywhere.  Esme woke up with a cold yesterday morning before we went to the party - it was a bit worse this morning, but since she has been up and about it seems gone for a while.  It doesn't help she is outside playing in the sand in air that I feel is chilly (my northern hackles are gone - it is only 68 out there and I think it feels cold).  Mark and I are both feeling sniffly as well.. he says we can't do that - we already did it this month and our quota is full. 

I have not touched the sewing machine in a week... although I put a handsewn patch on our quilt and did some work on Esme's quilt a few days this week. I did receive two new patterns in the mail recently and should scan them in and put them on my list.

Simplicity 8477 size 7
top and pants pattern c. 1970ish

Simplicity 1503 size 6
coat and dress pattern c. 1940s

Saturday, September 22, 2012

off to the big big town

Esme and I are off to the 'big big town' with present in hand for the birthday girl today. I hope she isn't a tried and true girly girl by now - as Esme's present is kind of borderline... Esme loves these things, and some of it is purple - but some still see dinosaurs as a 'boy toy' sort of thing. I heard the theme was Yo Gabba Gabba... so if I am insane and unresponsive for a week, there you go. Just kidding - have to wake her up soon, brush her hair, get us out the door by eight o clock to drive the hour there to be there by nine thirty. I drive slow, so I need the padded time.
Picture the birthday mom sent us from her camera.

NOTE: I did get slightly lost on the wrong exit - but managed to get there on time.  Esme had a great time at the party, and playing at the Chuck E Cheese which she had never been to before. She did very well during the opening of presents when the birthday girl got the one thing she has been begging me for her own birthday -- she laid down on my lap and cried for a minute and wanted to go play. But then the birthday girl opened up Esme's present a minute later - and Esme was sparkling showing her the gift and encouraging her to look further for the other part of it and smiling happy that the girl liked it. Her unhappiness barely rememebered, she celebrated the rest of the openings and then went back to playing the games and heading off home happy. She has been playing all night and is a little upset we are not letting her in our Minecraft games tonight (we both have projects going we don't want her putting her particular spin on) but then she decided to watch Simpsons, have a bath, and watch Simpsons again. Ha...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This morning we brought Daphne the puppy with us on the way to school. Esme was in the back seat, geared up for cold in her jacket and hat and backpack. Daphne was howling and grumbling and 'talking' as coonhound puppies do. Esme was telling her 'it will be alright - we are not bringing you to the people', and 'it is morning time, the brown bears only come out at night, don't cry, don't worry'. Both of those cracked us up in the front seat. 'not bringing you to the people' was because we had given away all of the other puppies and we are keeping Daphne. It is funny and sad that Esme is still that scared of the 'brown bears' coming at night if we are outside. But - that has kept her from wandering too far in our woods or from going outside at night when we can't find her. Some day she will realize that brown bears do not live out in our woods - or at least anywhere close. However, coyotes do, and bobcats, and other things that would like to tear her up. So the legend of the Brown bears will still hold as long as it can. For the record - she has told me the big dogs and the goats fight the brown bears all night with their paws and their teeth and their horns - and that is why they don't get hurt but sleep a lot. Pretty good theories...

Mark said he watched Esme play at school a bit before he picked her up. She was chasing all of the other kids, throughout the playground, whether they wanted to be chased or not. That definitely sounds like her mother at her age ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

note slice

Esme has been invited to a birthday party this Saturday. She has been 'expecting' this party for months now, even though I have not told her about it until she has asked. It was about this time last year - so she must have some other cue that she is following for 'G's birthday balloons time'. She keeps telling me she misses her G, even though she hasn't seen her for nearly a year. ?? She may have seen a picture on Facebook or on my computer when she was poking around and been reminded of the event that way. I've grown used to things like that around here, almost. She still gets me 'out of left field' sometimes and I have to work out how she got there.

We bought a small present at the dollar store the other day and she is making her plans how we will give it, but of course, she wants to keep it at the same time. Lessons ;) It is happening at ChuckECheese in the 'big town', and I asked for the day off. I usually do not ask for time off esp. at short notice but after telling my HR exactly why I wanted to be with Esme and how she had been looking forward to it already, she signed off on it. The birthday girl's parents offered to take Esme down there with them and back... but I couldn't say yes to that.

It is their day, and they don't know as much about Esme as they think they do (ha!) Esme doesn't go out with other people often at all, (close to never) so I am not sure how she will behave, or misbehave, for them. Maybe I'm being too protective, but Esme has never been there and has all these big thoughts about the day already -- and the bg's parents have not seen her in a year. They said she couldn't be that much different than G, because they are only a year apart, and G has a temper, too. A lot has changed for Esme in a year, mostly for the better but she still has her 'unreasonable' moments. So, I'm taking her, and hopefully I can arrange more playdates after this so I am more confident myself in how she is with them. She does not want to wait for Saturday for 'kid can be a kid' place though.. she has seen commercials and is excited. She wants to go today. Of course. And she wants G to come to here so she can go to school with her and we can have her birthday now.

She told me last night we would open up the lone dinosaur balloon (it is a purple brontosaurus) and it would fly and have necklaces. Yes, we were going to wrap mardi gras necklaces on it and tie helium balloons to it. I don't plan on getting it ready until Friday.

She also wanted a Barbie cartoon but she wanted the one with the lady cat. I chose wrong - it was the one with the 'kid cat' not the lady... she is getting better at telling me what she wants but I still misinterpret. 'Three Musketeers' has a kid cat - Prince and the Pauper has a lady cat and a boy cat. The lady cat gets caught in a cage. *duh Mama*... Oh well. How am I supposed to keep them all straight when she hasn't seen it in months? She is my kid with that memory, for sure.

I also finished binding Esme's quilt and am now making the inner quilting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lazy Sunday and sewing Saturday

I think this is the first day I have not went to town in a long time... just wandered around the property and the house. It feels good, lazy almost. There have been a few whole hours I have not pried myself out of the chair while playing Minecraft.

Esme has played outside in the sand, watched a movie and rebuilt her Smurf kingdom in her bedroom. We made paper crowns and flags and she had a 'horse race' that involved many imaginary characters including 'Johnny Test' and his dad, so someone else could win a prize besides her. I did medical attention on her stuffed horse and a stuffed kitty that both had tears in them. I wandered and harvested in the garden. The Tennessee Greasy Bean has finally begun to put on small purple beans.

Esme's good ideas: The other night I was binding on Esme's quilt some more and she asked me why I was making my 'rar' noise. Honestly, sometimes I do that as an audible sigh and she perked her ears up at this one, as it was loud. I told her it was taking a long time to do the project, and my needle kept hitting a cut I had gotten on my finger earlier in the day. She came over and looked at the cut and watched me sewing for a moment. She dove into my sewing box and I tried to stop her - but she said she was looking for my thumb - to put it on my thumb so the needle would not hurt it. Yes, she remembered I had a thimble that was supposed to protect against hitting your finger with the needle.. and I found it after her surprising suggestion. She waited until I put it on, then satisfied she had fixed the problem, she went back to giving Daddy backseat driver directions on his Minecraft game. She wanted him to put up a sign to tell the Zombies to go away - so they would read the sign and go back to their Zombie houses with their mom and dad Zombies and not bite us in our house. **he did put up a sign that said 'keep out', just because it was a good idea**

Turned around the sewing tables while Esme napped and we watched 'Hunger Games.' Later, when Esme was outside I pushed myself to rethread the machine and made a red six gore skirt for myself out of some remnant fabric in the bags Sharon gave me. It is high waisted and still mid-calf length and has a deep pocket on one side and a zipper up the other side. It will be better than the yellow one for winter warmth. I started a sleeveless shirt as well. It needs buttonholes and armhole binding and then a bottom hem and it will be done.

Winter To Do:
Replace the insulation on the windows through the house.
Plant vetch in the west field
Finish Esme's quilt
Make slippers
Esme's hanger rod for her clothes

Note: As I am walking back from the mailbox, my nearly five year old daughter running to her grandmother's house up the hill... and the wide open September sky surrounding me... I feel one of those moments. I feel I am very far away from the nine year old girl sitting on top of her swingset in 1980s Minnesota. Yet I feel her - and at the same time that wide sky, approaching winter as those thoughts are on my mind today, reminds me of that same feeling. I would climb up into the 'rafters' of that swingset and sit there as a child and stare at the sky and the trees around me, 'talk to the wind' and feel this 'vastness' of time - imagining an older me from the future looking back at myself like a time travelling adventure - I imagined I saw them and spoke to them and asked what they had done. I could almost swear one of them had dark brown hair and said I would have a daughter and her name would start with E, but I couldn't think of any good 'E' names at the time... so it couldn't have been true, plus my hair would never get brown - it was blonde, so that couldn't be true, either. I was a bored and imaginative child...not able to leave the yard and nowhere else to go. I daydreamed a lot and maybe got 'something right.' At times now, as I age, I 'feel' that daydreaming time back then - and almsot step back to it, think about what I have done since then, and think forward to other times that will be looking back on --right now--. Just now, I could feel the little girl asking and almost feel some older me remembering, like something tracing a finger in sand within your mind... As I stared at the open sky towards the lake and thought about putting the vetch on the field for winter - about how hard and cold this winter might be - of the years ahead that I will think the same things, perhaps on that same walk. And tomorrow it will be all bustle again and before I know it, that time will have passed and I will be thinking about now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

At the verge of the weekend

I put away several of my sewing patterns the other day - I have been tending to leave them out and the pieces get swapped about. It almost felt like closing off -- putting a stop to the making - but it needed to be done to keep everything together. I have the weekend off and want to 'make' but also have been in such a flurry the past few weeks it is hard to sit down and start something. Spiegelstiksels is a blog I found today and it is very inspiring. This lady can sew, and sew well. It is something to aspire to. I received two large bags of fabric from a lady at work as well - which is a further itch towards making things... lovely and kind gesture from Ms.Sharon, it was her mother's stash and she is not a seamstress. She said she knew it would make lovely things she would see in the future on Miss Esme ;) Another blog : Hart and Sew, also lovely.

At the same time I am a little jealous of all of the people who have notion and sewing shops near to them. The closest one to me that is not a Walmart is an hour drive away - that is disheartening if something takes something just slightly different than what is in stash.. and it is hard to always know what you will be needing. I know I have a personal tendency (that is not always a flaw, but sometimes) to charge ahead at those moments with the closest thing to hand and get the project 'done' instead of wait to acquire the proper tool or material.

I think I know what I should do. I should clear and pull out my table and 'turn around' my sewing area. Now that Esme's room is downstairs (which is so nice - especially when she is in her mood she gets and is in at this very moment because I would not let her open a glow stick until it is dark) there is so much more room there. It would give me room to spread out fabric and cut larger things - revitalize the area.

I also need to complete the plan to make Esme a hanger rod in her room - to hang up dresses and shirts and not have them piled on her dresser. That would also help to give a good idea of what is there - and what can be added etc...

Here comes the weekend - let's see what it can bring.

Friday, September 14, 2012

bits with dog skirts and smurfs

the roller coaster
at the west tennessee state fair

written this morning:
Esme is due to wake up any minute. I had to giggle again last night as she has so much faith in my construction abilities. In the past few weeks she has asked me to make a WordWorld robot for her that talks and plays and moves its eyes. She was certain we had the materials for one in the garage in my workbench. If not, she was certain I could go to the 'work store' in the big town and buy all the stuff to make the robot, just like her room. She calls where I work the 'work store'.

Last night she decided to ask Mom to build a rollercoaster like the one she rode at the fair. She said we could use our yellow wagon and I could build tracks and lift her up on to it. The one thing I COULD make for her was a poodle skirt like the one she wanted there - made one last night for her. As I entered her room after she went to sleep - to put it in the dresser drawer - I found an entire smurf village built out on the bedroom floor. As I had been stitching earlier she had told me she had been playing with pretend smurfs in her room and built a village where each one could be safe in their houses. Sure enough, little block houses all over the floor, fifteen to twenty of them.

this afternoon:
The smurf village is still intact on the floor. Esme is passed out in her beanbag chair in front of a Land before Time episode. Mark said she came in during the rain and was very upset about not being able to play outside. She is wearing the skirt I made her last night over her pants. Mark said she came to him wearing her smock top dress and pants and asking him to help her find the sleeves on the skirt because she thought it was a new dress. He showed her how it was used and she was happy. It is a six gore red trumpet skirt with an elastic waist and a brown dog applique poorly stitched by me last night. For a first attempt at a 'poodle' type skirt for her, not bad - useful, she likes it.

8943 simplicity pattern size 5
had the skirt in it

hand drawn by me from looking at some vintage clothing and putting my own spin on it

passed out in the beanbag chair
with a bag of chips wearing the skirt

Esme's 'smurf village'

Thursday, September 13, 2012

West Tennessee State Fair

At the West Tennessee State Fair
pictures taken by Mark

Getting instructions from Mom before the ride

riding a pony

woodworking exhibit

hang glider ride

We had a great time at the fair on Wednesday night. Esme had a few temper fits but she got through them. She rode a pony and saw lots of animals in the petting zoo. She took an interest in the beauty pageant at the exhibit hall that I did not expect - and is now focused on winning a trophy, although she isn't really sure what the contest was - singing and dancing she thinks. She asked me to let her wear a skirt from the exhibits and then she would get up on stage and sing. I thwarted the idea and got her a fireman's plastic hat instead. We rode the rollercoaster twice, the Ferris wheel with Grandma, and she also rode a 'big girl' ride with me which she did very well on. We saw sheep and corn and chickens and there were lots and lots of children running around. Esme played one game of darts and won a small stuffed corn toy. She cried when 'all good things must come to an end.'

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

language notes

We bought a large toy at the flea market today - and Esme carried the toy into her room. I was out in the kitchen and was proud to hear her say this to her toy:

"You go in my room. See that sign? It's ESMES. My mom and dad - they do that, they make it, with the stuff. It's pretty cool. I like it."

She said a toy from the fleamarket needed a battery in it so it could make gas and go beep.

She said she was wanting to 'watching the cakes' in the bakery department. I tried to get her to say she wanted to look at the cakes instead. Later, she wanted to be watching something else - candies in vending machines - and again, 'You want to look at them, not watch them.' Esme: 'OK - I'm looking at them watching them.' *sigh*

After she got in trouble in town (not listening as we exited out into the parking lot) and was carried out to the car she is sitting in the seat with her arms crossed scowling at me. 'Daddy said I was a KID.' I told her she was a kid - a child, the same thing. She has been proud to be a 'child not a baby' lately - she decided she still didn't like the idea but cooperated getting ready to go home.

Later she was happily munching a sandwich I had made for myself. Then she peels back the bread and says Mama. Daddy not cook it, sandwich. It has white stuff in it. You take it.

She told a fish at the lake that it was going to be made into small fish sticks - we will take it home and cut it up and make fish sticks and eat them CHOMP. But it was really too small.

Things still a bit 'out there': This is from you, you can have it. And I can give it to you and it will be from you. Me: Err, you mean for me? Esme: Haha. You're right. I'll give it for you. Me: Facepalm.

She takes a bit more time now trying to sort out what she wants to say - which is a good thing and also can be annoying when what she is about to say is going to take forever and not be on topic at all. She will be starting to go out into left field 'and I will find a toy, and I will bring it, and it will be here and we will play with it, and that's a good idea Mama?' when we are talking about making lunch etc... When I try to interrupt her to redirect onto course she will squeeze her fists together and say in an agitated voice 'But I'm talking to you!' *roll eyes* Lots of arguments over that and I am glad she tells me she isn't finished just wish she didn't use that voice to do it.

She still says a lot of things are scary, or involve zombies, or bears, or 'bumping' which is her generic term for falling or crashing or colliding. Daddy helped a man who drove a van over a hill and had stuck the wheels out in the air -- and she watched him help get it off of the hill with a tractor. She said quite a bit about 'Daddy helped the man who bumped in his car, and it fixed, and it not bump!'

She tells me when she goes to sleep at night that her 'story will end when the clock beeps and I will wake up and come and find you!.' She talks a lot about how she will wake up after she sleeps and not be dead and it will be morningtime! This is a common worry among children her 'general age' on Hannah's message board. We have been talking about it and comparing the descriptions. She plays this game where she won't do something until I close my eyes - something she half wants to do but doesn't want me to know she will do it - ie: eat the rest of something on her plate. That is annoying. She has been practicing being 'good' and 'sweet' more, and as she has been able to speak her mind a little better lately we can usually get her to tell us what her current upset is about at the least... she 'misses the water' which is why she is so upset about getting out of the tub lately. Getting her to understand things we need to do for 'tomorrow' or further is still hard unless she is in a focused and ready mood.

Notes: She has started to call her 'ladies' at schools teachers, now. That pricked my ears last night as being a new thing for her. She still calls the other students 'my kids' and sometimes 'the children'. She says the other children cry sometimes, and they hit her sometimes, and the teachers help, and she helps them not to cry. She may not have needed the extra help the school is providing for her language - she may have grown out of what I was seeing - but she has improved greatly since she has been there in many things. She is getting different types of social interaction and hearing language she would not have at home.

When she gets to a 'regular' type school in a few years, this experience will have helped. And having an 'IEP' individual education plan will help as they might notice she is not just another fish in the school... they'll notice that anyway given a few hours to a day with her. She does some things like a kid three years older and some things like a kid three years younger. She is just being our Esme - doing everything on HER own schedule. Nothing too bad about that, except it drives Mom a little nuts at times ;) And those are the times I'm glad for Hannah's discussion board - the meeting place for other moms who have similar kids doing things all over their own schedules (asynchronous) and we can talk about 'what they are ready for' based on what they are already doing instead of 'what are other kids this AGE doing' which doesn't help us much.

The Appreciation of those 'normal' things

Mark and I were talking on the way to the flea market, as to what day this is - and that the best piece of journalism he saw on this anniversary of tragedy was this article from Theresa Willingham's Thinking Out Loud A Personal Look Back on September 11th - fishing with Grandpa This lady is speaking about how it should remind us not only of all of the things people normally speak about, tragedy, patriotism, freedom etc.. but also that freedom of 'normal' that still persists in our world and how important and valuable it is, and how difficult it was to achieve and maintain. Although nothing will ever be the same for those who lost loved ones, and the earth is scarred there -- we still have our way of life that a day can be 'normal' and 'banal' and we can go fishing and go to a flea market and give away a puppy to someone for free knowing they will give it a good home. That was what 'they', the terrorists, were aiming to take away from us - our peace of mind to be 'normal' and exercise those freedoms our country was built on. And, we have to remember that and uphold that freedom to 'be' and balance that against 'safety' and other worries so that the worries and rules and burdens of the world are not getting in the way of the freedom.

At first I thought I would not post today, because of the anniversary and how 'normal' our life is here. But after reading that - here is what we did today - we went to a flea market, and gave away two puppies to families who wanted dogs. And I bought a fishing rod. And Esme bought a toy spiderman figurine and a plastic snail. Then we came home and played with some of the puppies we still have, and dirt, and are getting ready to do our weekly grocery run with Grandma.

She is pointing to the goat who is
unseen here but is trying to eat the camera strap

In other news, Esme has school tomorrow. I'll need to wash her hair tonight. She has been a terror to remove from the bathtub several nights in a row, but she is making an attempt to be sweeter when she THINKS about it... but when it is time to get out of the bubbles in the bath her reasonability is exceptionally low.

I finished the yarn blanket for this winter - Mark approves of it, you can tuck toes under it and also pull it over your shoulders at the same time. That is what a year and a half in progress will get you ;) I still have Esme's winter quilt to finish - it will hopefully done in less than a year and a half.

Fiinshed knitting the yarn blanket for this winter

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tug of War Lessons

We had our internet out the past few days, it is back now just in time for my two days off. I caught these pictures of Esme on Friday the 7th, and she was giving and receiving tug of war lessons to her pack of puppies.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Golf princess after immunizations

It was awful to see and hear her cry, but those were the last ones she would need for Kindergarten admittance next year. She chose a toy off the clearance rack - a golf set.

Those are a new pair of pants made today, too

She was quite proud of it

Daffy puppy


Didn't I see this in an
episode of Highlander?

Clowning around before bedtime

owl dress with the color of pink
'that can be seen from orbit' according to Daddy

I made this shift dress with a scrap of the owl fabric I had left and some plain pink. She likes it, and it fits well enough to play around the yard or as a nightgown. After her bath last night she picked it out to wear for sleep. It has a simple button closure on it and was made with Simplicity 5937, size 5, which is also her current pants pattern.

A kitten named 'Junior' we have
That is her winter quilt unfinished in top left.

This puppy got her official name last night 'Daffy' short for Daphne
Esme tried to hold her up for a picture but decided she was too heavy now

I told her this was a blackmail picture
to show when she was older that her feet are either running or in the air.. hardly ever anything else

Simplicity 5937
size 5
bought April 2011 - getting used fulltime now!

We've got a few big things today. The windshield repair guy is supposed to call us to tell us when he will fix it today. Esme needs her last immunization and I had it scheduled for noon today before the windshield thing happened... we'll see if that can happen. She will likely be cranky after that, but she won't need any more shots for quite a while after this one.

She is outside running with Daphne and her siblings now, a whole pack of puppies at her heels. How many other kids can say they've been able to do that in this day and age? I should get on my sewing machine and make another pair of pants - with my work schedule and her 'mud' schedule, she has been going through every pair in the dresser between washings.

Memorable Quote Last night at dinner Esme had laid her head down on the table and was not eating. When we inquired, she said 'I just sleep here a little bit, so I love you again and not be mad.' She was in a pretty good mood for the rest of the night... Are we having mini naps now?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wednesday with pictures

I hit a buzzard on the way to get Esme from school

How weird and awful is that?

garden haul

Ready for school this morning

Her toy elephant was having trouble breathing water...

Having fun and clowning for Grandma

Showing me the mud pies she is making, and telling me about a color song at school. Daffy duck is black and orange and brown. I'm gray and pink.' Hmmm.. really. I couldn't see it through all the mud.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Long long day... we were up at about seven and to the flea market. We gave away one puppy. Then back home, and make lunch, and get ready for work. Then a very long shift - and someone came in to change all the delivery specifics for tomorrows (already pulled and trucked) delivery. So I was kept late... I think I moved about 2,500 lbs of stuff during those few hours. I'm training in a new guy in my department too - although he left before most of that. I think I scared him a little today when I turned a cast iron sink up on its corner and pivoted it down onto a lift truck by myself. In general, I do not look like I can maneuver 150 lbs like that - pick up I can't do, pivot and slide and swing I can and do. I need a t-shirt that says 'Physics, Use the Force.' I really do - maybe with a lever and a fulctrum.

Esme is asleep in her bed after a bath and hair washing. She has school in the morning. Her attitude has been a bit better today. I found pink spiderman toys and they came in the mail. She liked that.

Lots to do tomorrow... first day off of two. I need more pictures - have been lacking in that department lately with all of this going on.

Monday, September 03, 2012


Esme and I started out the morning on the wrong foot - but then we decided to go fishing at the lake. Daddy strung us an old rod and we went off with a puppy following behind us. Everything was fine until about 10 am, when we heard the other puppies yelping in the woods. The yelping got louder and louder and more high-pitched. Mark had gone to town to get groceries - so I had to come up to the house, change shoes and send Esme to Grandma's house because she was too scared to sit on the porch with the other three puppies. By that time they were still yelping loudly and Mark had pulled back into the driveway. He charged down into the woods and found the puppies on the edge of the dam crying, having tried to follow their mom through the woods and she 'scraped' them off there. Mark walked two miles through the brush and around onto the dam and brought them back out to the road - where I drove him home in the truck. As I said - laborius - for poor Mark. Esme has been good today since we went fishing though.. we had two bites and no fish before that all happened.

Mark says the day can only get more restful from here.
Nope, I have to go to work on a day they are trying to make a Black Friday sale when it really isn't... I need another vacation! And I ask you - isn't this supposed to be Labor Day? Then why do we have all these sales and promotions going on and stores full of people working?

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Another early day off to work, still not sleeping extremely well but Mark let me crash early and put Esme to bed again. I hope today will get over the rainyness.. Just received a text that someone I worked with passed in the night, an older gentleman. Very sad, I'll be thinking about his family. Made Esme a pair of pants last night and she was in a better mood, right up until I had to crash.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Found another blog that seems to speak to me a little: Enjoying the Small Things. I can't even remember how I got there, but the post today struck just the right place. I really did not feel like being at work today - and had been 'arguing' with Esme all night in my dreams before leaving way too early for the shift. Mark said it was audible actually - although he couldn't tell what it was about. I left before she woke up. She has been pretty sweet today, and I know I am just stressed out by things in general, and with what is going on with my Mom, and need to step back a little and get with real-me as the stressed-me isn't very good at this. I'm not a person who finds it easy to relax - I feel edgy just cruising the internet for an hour - the inner me wants to 'get up and do something', but there isn't enough of me to go in all directions at once so I stay at rest for a while... then finally start doing things. Quantum procrastination? Maybe it is the hurricane in the air that has me feeling all tossed up .. or everything else, or all of it together.

pictures of a Friday off with toy fish

We went to town today and Esme got to use her piggybank quarters to buy a toy. She looked at every toy in the store and I told her how much she had to spend in the little purse she was carrying. She picked this fishing toy, which is the non-magnetic one. It was very frustrating for her at first (the one at school is magnetic I have to think..from what she tells me) but she found out the trick and has been happy with it for hours.

and she missed a lot for several minutes...

then she gets one

Mark asked me if she figured out the 'trailer hitch' by herself. Yes - but I can't remember how long ago. She 'hooks' it up to both her big wheel bike and a little push car in the downstairs and drags all sorts of toys around in the bed of the Tonka truck. I had ceased to think it was anything but normal, but yes, it is a pretty good trick.

It's moments like these that I truly think she intends to rule the world one day. I tell her to not leave them there because they will get eaten by a dog. She says, no - dogs don't eat them. But cats will. Cats (chomp) fish. Then she gets out of the 'vehicle' and lines them all up on the edge of the truck bed. Are they having a meeting? No, they are going to fight the cats. They are ready.

We are also making a solar system out of paper mache.. or at least starting with the Earth. Esme says it looks like an egg. It will take a lot of work until it looks like anything but a strange caterpillar cocoon.

1 cup of flour
2 cups of water
mix that up really well with fingers and get as many of the lumps out as possible.
Add a few good squeezes (probably about 1/3 cup?) Elmers Glue
mix it up really well.
Use only 'rough' newsprint, nothing shiny. The black and white works the best but color ink won't ruin it, just maybe be a bit harder to get soaked through.

Use a blown up regular balloon as a model for round things, plastic boxes work well as molds if you can get the finished product back off the bottom easily.

Cut 1 inch strips out of the newsprint, and spread some of the mixture on top of the blown up balloon (under the paper) as you lay it strip by strip. Smear more mixture on top of the strip and try to soak it through without tearing the strip. Work around the object and lay some strips crosswise and overlapping to make a mesh - or it will fall apart later. Think structure and strength. Small pieces will not have enough crosswise strength and if there is nothing to hold it vertically and horizontally it will fall apart when the balloon is gone.

Cover the entire balloon slowly from one side to the other - keep working to make the structure stronger. Lay on a shiny piece of newspaper flyer or ad to dry - as it is less likely to stick to the object as it dries. Let dry overnight or 8-10 hours. Carefully pinch some of the balloon tail up and make a hole there - let that area reconverge with the rest of the balloon air and slowly let the air out. If the paper mache is dry, strong and the structure good - the balloon will separate from the outside and deflate, being able to be pulled out. If it is a tupperware or other plastic box you are using, work it back and forth gently when entirely dry to try to separate it from the mold.

Be careful painting your object - remember it is paper, and as it gets wet again the surface loses its structure It would be best to paint small areas at a time and let them dry.

Ideas : planets, eggs, 'lanterns' (no candles or fire), bowls for decoration and holding small things, masks (cut in half), pinatas, lots more I am sure...

Notes : We went to a fast food and Esme tried to place her order but the older lady at the counter could not hear her. Still, she did good with that and happily stood in line, listened and was perfect all the way to the car and home. She ate nearly everything - and ate a big sandwich for dinner later. That is good, she has been having philosophical discussions with me about growing, food and not needing to eat because she is 'big enough' - I know I stress over these too much... but the more she argues the less capable I feel sometimes to argue back effectively and correctly so I don't give her a wrong conclusion - like 'food is for growing' which is one of her current ones. We are trying to modify that, now to 'food is for energy to be strong - including growing.' She was in argument mode again last night - mostly over bedtime, but not listening about a few others things. We were playing downstairs and she was being her usual bossy Napoleon attitude when it comes to playing... I came upstairs to let the dog out and started to fix her dress instead of returning to her. She came up, saw what I was doing and then got into the button box (off limits because she does this repetitive thing with them that annoys me and Dad both) even though I told her my hands were full and to quit... classic - 'I'm not playing in it, I'm being busy.' Then Daddy tripped over the mess she left downstairs. We put her to bed after that although that was a trial, too. Daddy took charge of putting her to bed because I needed to be up way too early for that.. and she was determined to make it a battle.