Sunday, July 28, 2013

bits as July dwindles

I am coming to an end on Esme's pink blanket for her bed.  It is about the size of the blue and brown one I made more than a year ago for myself.  I just have to tie up the ends.

We came back in from visiting with another family and trying to give away kittens.. but it was too hot, and we brought all of our kittens home.  Both of the girls start their schools after next week.  I went out in the garden and pulled a few things in, started some soup going on the stove that includes Whipporwill cowpeas.  They are going gonzo out there...

Esme has made her own bed every morning since we put this blanket on it.  She says she is 'making it pretty and perfect' by 'mixing it up, pull here and here'...(making it up, pulling the corners) Very worth the effort.

Whipporwill peas on top and out of shell - 'lady' cowpeas that seem a bit like purple hulled peas, second from bottom, rattlesnake bean on bottom.

Lemon cucumbers, and a regular cucumber.  We sent a few to Grandma and I chopped the rest up into a ranch dressing sauce for lunch.
Pretty zinnias this year again... yellow and pink.

We are still watching Downton Abbey, borrowed from Grandma.  It is the second season beginning tonight.  I can hardly believe it is almost August and as Esme keeps reminding me - she will be six this year, in November.  What will things be like in a year or more, when I look back at this.... ?

//note: // The pajamas seem to be a regular thing now.. she thinks she has to do that before she brushes her teeth, so formal!  I finished tying up her blanket and put it on her bed.  We played with redstone circuitry in Minecraft - she had tried to reproduce something that she saw on Daddy's computer (a picture he was looking at in a comment thread) and had the basic idea, shape and materials pretty well worked out from just one look... but of course she didn't have any of the circuitry done, so it didn't work.  I couldn't even get it to work... after some work and staring at the pictures provided.  However, we did do this one (shown below), and it did work, finally, after I adjusted and fiddled with some things.  I bet next year she'll be showing me those as her afterschool homework ;)

copied from a youtube presentation.. to show little girl Mama could follow a picture :)

Friday, July 26, 2013


We've hit a few milestones for Esme in the past few days.  The one that I would not have believed a few years ago was we had to tell her to stop asking questions about the movie (are the boy and girl going to get married? where is his head picture on the flag if he is a pirate?, do the hanging pirates die because they have no food and water and can't get down?, what is carribean?) to Pirates of the Carribean, and please just eat her dinner and no more talking until she was finished.  Wow.  It really has improved that much since she began going to school. 

She also got a radio/cd player for her room.  Many children have this before this age now... but I did not get my first 'owned' one until I was nine years old.. and it was a tape recording boombox then.  I can remember playing with the one my sister had a few years earlier than that, taping 'radio shows' with my cousins.  Esme can get the cds (burned backup because she doesn't know how to be careful yet) out of her own folder and put them in the machine and operate the buttons.  I tried to show her how to operate the radio and 'search' for stations back and forth in the static.  I loved this as a child - finding the faintest stations on AM and listening to see if it was something I wanted, continuing to the next station.  I drove my sister nuts when I discovered classical music stations, talk radio and an occasional foreign language speaker.  Those were good times. 

Esme spent several hours 'dancing' and 'having parties' in her room last night drawing pictures and words on her easel while the cds played.  She found a country music radio station.  *eep*... and said she liked that one without the talking.  She came upstairs and drew stick figures at her desk of Daddy and Johnny Test and herself dancing to the music, then added Mom and Loula puppy for good measure.  She found her 'best pajamas' (a set from Christmas) and put them on and said it was a slumber party.  I think she even stayed up a little late, as she is still in bed much longer than usual for her.

This is a 'spaceship' house that she has been working on in Minecraft.  I remember maknig the base circle for her out of the blue material more than a month ago... and she has done a lot to it since.  She told Mark the colored things were antennas on top of her spaceship house.

The other thing I want to remember is she is asking for 'rock star clothes', with stars and spots.  And she is going to show me how she can be a rock star, learn all the songs on her guitar and xylophone and 'rock you star' to make everyone dance. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Esmes gas world

This is supposed to be a gas station (at the WalMart, she said), with a watermelon house and chairs and couches.  The thing in the far background is supposed to be a shop with an umbrella - she showed me that structure the other day.  The orange wool structure is the 'gas station' pump with a bale of hay for the gas terminal.  The 'people' are watermelons with jack o lanterns for heads and wood for arms and legs... Lots of creativity here.. as Minecraft doesn't have placeable people and furniture (except for the bed) like Sims...

She did this today while I was down with a migraine and ear infection.  Now she is at Grandma's house and I am finally awake again enough to go explore it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 garden documentation beans, cowpeas, sunflowers and tomatoes

Here is how the garden is doing this year... the sweet corn was a success and went in the freezer a few weeks ago. We've had enough tomatoes already to make about four quarts of good sauce, and the sweet peas and beans have been producing a good amount as well up until now.

Bosnian bean (with one dried pod from the sweet peas).  I planted one plant at the base of the sweet peas and it is now starting to really take off climbing the old vines and the wires.  I have saved about four pods and am waiting for them to dry and see if the beans are like they should be.

 Connecticut field pumpkin growing well

 Glass gem popcorn has been hit by something... wondering if we'll get an ear for seed out of it this year.

 Dark red cosmo flowers

 Lady peas - another heirloom given to me by a local.  The seeds were small and white, oblong, but about the general size of a black eyed pea.  I'm curious to see what the pods look like filled out.

 Another shot of the pods starting out.
 Black  Prince tomatoes, I think...

Japonica popcorn growing.. it is VERY short... hmm..

 Principe Borghese tomatoes from the seedlings we started indoors.
There are TONS and tons of these coming in now.. glad we bought the variety.

 Blue black Shackamaxon bean flowers
I have planted these in several places in the garden and they are doing well.

 Heirloom brown speckled cowpeas (whipporwill, as they were given to me) - is this the third or fourth year we've grown them?  It looks like there will be a good crop this year.  And the purple flowers are so showy..

 Whole line of plants at the end of where the sweet corn was up until a few weeks ago.

 Speckled cowpea pods starting out...

Autumn Beauty sunflowers - this was a seed packet from Azure Dandelion
I have two heads drying from the other seeds I had saved last year - they are growing much smaller than these.. but that happens.  The birds have favored the smaller sunflowers - goldfinches have flown away every time I've been out there.

Super Kangaroo girl (unlined cape with ears sewing project)

Super Kangaroo Cape, with a hood, with ears
I love this picture :)

It's not Batman, Mom - it is a Kangaroo cave, in the DESERT. 

Looking at herself in the mirror. It is a nice length and this picture showed it off well.

McCalls pattern 6631
'red riding hood style cape'
size 6, 1940s
I bought this back in December 2011 and finally got a good enough ambition to make it.

A few shots of her playing in the garden with me this morning...
I told her she looked like a hobbit.. and she said no definitely a Kangaroo..

Saturday, July 20, 2013

bits and house drawing at five and a half

My Kindergartener has a workbook she brought home - and it had all the pages filled in around this one but this was empty. She said she could not draw a house - and I told her to start with a big square - then she did most of the rest of this herself.  I drew the stick people for her because she 'could not draw them tiny'... and I conceded when she told me the story she wanted to portray which required the people to be in specific places.  This is such a difference from last year... it is almost indescribable how different the outer expression has become that gets all of this inner activity out into the world now... 

"The house has a five family", she said. 'And they have roses.. all here, I draw them there and there...and this the three children have a rose statue, (on the right with the circle 'pedestal' under it.' The mom and the dad family - they are the meaner, they say 'three children, do not touch the rose statue'. And the children - they did - it falled there.. (shown above the original), and is all broken. And they have sad faces, the children, all of... but the men fix it, (the men?) the building men, who build all of it, the house.. all of it. And then the mailman comes, (mailbox and cars) and he has a letter, and the happy child is here now (beside the boy without the hat her own addition after much convincing), and they will all play.'

I asked her to think about her butterfly dream, so I could get a real smile from her.
Holding a kitten and thinking about something Mark is reading in the news on the computer.

'making friends' out of styrofoam, pipe cleaners and a marker - she played with this friend - because she has no other friends here in this house, only Esme... and she wants to have a friend... so sad, but she will be going to school full time after another few weeks...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Purple sundress and lightning bug hunter

sundress from scrap fabric

tieback sundress with lined top and long skirt
pictures courtesy of Mark

The fabric was from the flea market and it was already cut up in to long narrow pieces, so the front top is pieced vertically and the back top is pieced horizontally - with long tie straps out of several other pieces and the skirt of course pieced vertically out of the the rest.  Not too bad, considering - although the plaid mismatches all over from that.  In another fabric the same weight, it would be as nice, but it might not have come together the same way - as I did not use a pattern for the skirt and placed the pieces over another dress of mine to see how to cut and join them.

I really like the way it swishes and after making the skirt part (which was my original intention) it seemed to require a top that matched it and could 'hang' the skirt in a looser manner than a drawstring, zipper or elastic.  Esme and I also made cupcakes today, and she took a few up to Grandma with some watermelon.

Esme, the lightning bug hunter

She told me today that she says the WHEN now, not the FROM - the FROM makes the head go explode, so she says the WHEN now, is that good?  Well, yes... that sounds wonderful!  Thank you!  She is also saying things like 'ally-oop', 'eureka', 'luigi' and other words I have never heard her say before.  She asked me if dinner was a meal.. to which of course I said YES, and she said good, it will make her grow.  On the other hand - we had a discussion about her wanting to stay this size to play, and what a flea market was (when she knew what it was after I told her about giving away kittens there before).  When we were at the flea market she said 'oh, this is the yard sale.'  She is in the bath and there is school tomorrow... she found a little mud outside like usual ;) and a frog which she wanted me to take a picture of (A Mama frog with all the colors and the legs that go up and go down and she is stuck.. oh, (she went away))

Monday, July 15, 2013

We are making lasagna tonight

luckily we won't be needing this pan.. it is actually not in use for food anymore.. and the kittens have taken it over for the night.  I keep telling Minion cat her kitten casserole isn't quite done yet, it's still squirming!  They are so cute - all six fit in there for now... for the blink of an eye.

This was our lasagna, all Mark's idea.  It has a pizza crust rolled out on the bottom and in the middle, without any lasagna noodles.

Esme had three days of school last week, she goes back this Wednesday for three more.  I can already see some differences in her vocabulary and pretend play, as well as her creations on Minecraft.  I told Mark - she is going to rob the imagination of every other child she meets, and we'll see it at home.  She asked me outside the other day what I would say to the children who are losers - and that she was not a loser, because (name of child) helped her open her milk with the chocolate in it, and it was good.  Today, we were discussing what the word 'orbit' means as Mark played the Kerbal spacecraft video game on his computer.  She drew orbits of a planet in her notebook and took it up to Grandma to show her.  I tried to get her to try a Kindergarten reading test on a site another mom had posted - and she was very upset at it because 1.) it was not fun and 2.) it repeated several questions she had already answered and gotten wrong.  She said it would never be fun, she wanted a game - and went back to Minecraft and began digging 'treasure x' spots to bury things in and then dig them up later.

She started at this - a pit full of chickens and glowstones that was her 'treasure pit'

And ended up here, with "worklights" that are machines, and they come on and go off with the lever - she is harvesting chocolate (Cocoa beans) and the lights keep the zombies away while she digs for treasure.  There is also (not pictured) a very tall staircase that she was using to dive down into a small pool of water - for surviving...   I love seeing 'into' her brain with things like this.

 I didn't do much else today - but we plan to make cupcakes tomorrow if all goes well.  I've been knitting a few rows on Esme's pink blanket and cleaning things here and there - took all the unused greenhouse plants outside and built a bit in Minecraft myself..   I have tomorrow off, too.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Painting : Bunnies in an airship

I sketched this up after looking at a black and white drawing of a sailor rowing his airship across the sky and the airship had an eye to look out ahead.. In this decorating slideshow, picture 10  And I thought the basic overall shape was very inspiring - but I wanted to do something more childlike.

I might work more on the theme - but this was fun for last night.  I also decided I need a new detail brush as doing the little black linings with the edge of the larger brush was very difficult.  Mixed craft acrylic paints on paper -probably destined to be taped up in Esme's room.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

two sleeveless dresses and two more previously unpictured

'What you doing with that picture, Mama?' 
This is her tough girl face, and a sleeveless home dress made from a pillowcase that Grandma gave us over a year ago for sewing scrap.  The sleeves are just sewn under a bit, not faced, and the back has a mock-up tacked on buttonhole and button - like the pink owl sleeveless shirt she has.. but that serves well enough for home and washes up decent.

I tried to do the yellow one here with actual faced sleeves and I have deemed it well enough to wear to school - but much too fussy of a sewing project to do many more... It takes so much longer for less - odd, huh?  I didn't iron the fabric and it had sat in the sewing case for a while rumpled up, so it will need a wash and dry before it is really school ready.  The center one I did last week out of green fabric I really loved at the store.  The navy one was my attempt to make one like the 2011 dress, but it looks very formal and 'winter holidays' compared to the pastel ones.  I haven't even seen it on yet - maybe that thought will change.  I hope with the varying sleeve length and varying weights of these and her other dresses will adjust with the weather.  As it is likely to just be HOT though.. I might have to get over the 'uphill' feel of the sleeveless pattern and do more of them anyway.

And I need to make shorts and pants.. but they are so 'boring' compared to this, it is hard to sit down and do them unless they are very much needed.  I just transferred three pairs of older pants into shorts because of tears and slashes at or below the knee that were too large to patch. 

Back to work tomorrow - and Esme has school.  Mark will have to drive around a bit more...  I could tell she was with lots of other kids today.. she galloped around with her toys, talked about 'getting married' for half of the Short Circuit movie (is he getting married to that cow now?  is he getting married to that robot with the voice that sounds like a girl?) and then later told me that her teacher said that toys don't cry. 

Esmes Minecraft and second day at school

 This is a 'recipe ingredient room' for her to read all the books with all of the letters and words jumping into the books telling her what the next ingredient is.  The chickens will give eggs, which are ingredients.  It is enchantment tables, surrounded by bookcases (she asked me several times why the books were not putting letters into her tables and I gave her a few directions, but she placed everything herself after hearing the reasons why it wasn't working).  with glowstone on top so that it lights up when it is dark.  It is built in 'creative mode' where she doesn't have to go find and/or make every piece herself to use it.  She just has to 'go to the inventory' and every possible item in infinite quantity is available.  That can be good AND bad :)

This is the bigger house I was building in my game yesterday and the day before.  It is 'hearts mode' as she calls it, survival mode - which she does not like because the hearts can go away and make you die *ha*, but it keeps my world free of millions of chickens, lava and unwanted water springs etc..  I think this picture gives some light on what she was doing in her world here... although she did this on her own before I got home.

'Her pink house with the roof and window so she can watch sheep.'

I have not seen her use stairs like this before...
She amazes me with the new ideas and how she 'learns over our shoulders' as Mark says.

She also had a second day of school today,less eventful, but she had fun.  I made a play dress yesterday for home use and hope to do another one today... we've been having her switch out of her school dresses to keep them from being puppy chewed the rest of the day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

waiting for school, first day of kindergarten summer session

She was waiting in the kitchen for the right time for us to take her to school.  She told her kitten Pumpkin that she would have to wait until she came home to play.  She had just had her fingernail polish redone and was examining it over and over.

The session went well - she played on the playground and skinned her knee, but also had a bunch of worksheets she had done and a CD of songs to play at home.  The teacher said she was glad to meet her and would be happy to see her tomorrow.  Pretty good compared with the failure we had taking her in on Monday.