Friday, May 31, 2013


I also wanted to remember the 'one more thing Mama' and 'just one more problem', she has been saying lately.  She also told me something was 'like the man fred who is standing'... and elaborated when pressed that he is the fred from shaggy.... I have no idea why he is the man who is standing, or what he had to do with the situation to begin with ;)  I'm about to mend Mr.Frog and get ready for bed - Esme finished 31 straight nights of toothbrushing and her chart is full - which means a tooth fairy visit tonight for a job well done.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

bits of speech

Esme last night: 'You got the cold weather so it is cold in here, and we will not be hot like this?" Hmm... yes, we do have the air conditioning on ;)  And she had a story about how she was out in the forest (the trees by the garage) and the puppies made her a trail where she found a leaf and the puppies were sweet puppies because they made the trail that brought her to her home.  She has described a lot of things she was doing in Minecraft quite well - what is a real village, what is not, how to use the dynamite that says TNT.  etc.  She told Daddy she was playing in her world, then in 'dog' world and sure enough she had made a new world and named it dog.  Outside in the garden she was talking about what sound a bee made and it was not a truck but it sounded like a truck.  She was talking about our echoes and how many echoes and how to make echoes properly etc..  She is really improving, and trying things out...  I take this as a 'next step' type of week... seeing lots of things that are one more step above the usual chatter for her.

tonight after work Mark and I both heard her use the word 'distracted' when talking about the puppies - 'I can't be them distracted'..   I also remembered that I have heard her playing with rhymes the past week - 'The gecko with an echo', and using and understanding more synonyms.  'It can't be animals, only a little girl, a HUMAN, like that' responding to Daddy telling her she was a 'strange creature'.   The other thing that caught my ear was 'You did it on the three times'.. 'You mean the third time?'  'Yes, the third time - not the four.'  That is some progress, as well.

Cherokee White Eagle flint corn - it looks more like a dent corn to me, and huge kernels.  Planted it already in between the sweet corn rows.  Quarter and also some of my last year's experiment (blue aleurone, red striped pericarp) that is planted in the back of the garden mixed with Mandan Bride.


This is Esme's 'dog world' she made new in Minecraft.  Mark said she made and named the world herself - and when we saw this (I took a 'peek' after work to see what Mark said she had been working on today) we both knew she was trying to recreate the iron golem farm pattern from the tutorial she watched with us the other day.  It had four 'cups' with water around a central square and required putting several villagers in each cup to have a population of 16, and she liked them because they looked like pools for the people to jump up and down in - very much her style ;).  She had been playing with the TNT in creative mode, as well - and had been blowing holes down to bedrock.  Mark said he watched her trying to place 'beds' on the 'bedrock' icon over and over again - and crying because the water and lava from deep underground would come out of the blasted holes and swallow up her bed in her 'new house'. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Whats growing around here...

 Cold crops, gladiolus, flowers and two garden loafers clowning off in the top left corner

 New gladiolus bulbs from Mothers Day are starting to come up

 Luffa gourds are leafing out

 Puppy twins are growing and snoozing

sweet peas are flowering, hopefully they will set pods!

And of course, Esme is growing, as well :)  At the moment she is tossing buckets and bowls around in Skyrim - and last night we were discussing construction in Minecraft.  She went to bed early last night and has been quite good, so far, today.  She is using good sentences and trying out new words with pretty good success... I have to remind myself to let her speak slowly and get out the entire thought even when sometimes she isn't quite making sense - that is hard sometimes.   It has been a nice quiet weekend - got some garden weeding done, a few little things planted and transplanted, finished a mystery novel, put a few rows on a blanket... might sew something later tonight or go fishing.  Have a good rest of the weekend :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Garden List

Hopi String Beans
Blue Black Shackamaxon Beans
Dragons Lingerie wax beans
King of the Early beans
Bosnian bean
Provider beans
Whipporwill speckled cowpeas
Hutterite beans
Kenearly yellow eyed beans
Purple hulled cowpeas (not up yet)
Purple Tennessee Greasy Beans (daphne colored)
Good Mother Stallard beans
Cotton (white)
Teddy bear Sunflowers
Autumn Beauty sunflowers
'experiment' corn : blue aleurone and red pericarp
Smoke Signals popcorn
Hopi pink corn
Glass Gem Corn (popcorn)
Japnica Striped Maize
Peaches and Creme sweet corn
Principe Borghese Tomatoes
Black Prince Tomatoes
Husky cherry tomato
Banana peppers
Zephyr zucchini
Early straightneck yellow zucchini
Golden yellow scallop squash
Green striped cushaw squash
Genovese bush type zucchini
Mint - lots
Sweet basil
Lettuces (several)
Carrots (purple dragon)
Gladiolus (lots of colors, and a lot of blue)
Gloriosa Daisy
Gallairdia Daisy
Painted Daisy (robinsons chrystnthemum)
Hollyhocks (colored and black)
Crackerjack marigold
French dwarf marigold
Eggplant (not doing well)
Baby's breath (gypsophillia)
Petunias (several)
Oriental poppy
Pink impatiens
Connecticut field pumpkins
Cosmos (regular and Pink popsock)
Gold Gem Zinnias and some misc. zinnias coming up from last year
Cucumber - lemon and regular type
Luffa gourd
Birdhouse gourd
Dipper gourd
Bushel gourd (cannot see these up yet)
watermelon (cannot see these coming up - may have failed)
"miscellaneous"  gourds from last year sprouting

need to look at planting:
another type of cowpea
other peppers (transplant out from greenhouse shelf)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pink star jacket - McCalls 8005 circa 1960s

I cut this jacket out a few weeks ago while we were at the library.  I finally got onto it today and finished it a little while ago.  The embroidery on the back is something I had cut out long ago and had not finished - it was perfect for this as I had accidentally made a black line down the center of the back piece in the middle before I knew it!

She said she liked to wear this jacket a long time, it is really comfortable, and she likes that I made it for her to stay warm in all the wind outside.  Those are very good words for her :)  Every day lately Mark and I look at each other and know her language has improved - full sentences, new concepts she gets from tv or computer that we understand what she means without having seen it, repeating names she has heard that are difficult but I do usually understand them.  She is also comparing words that are 'similar' like 'Brady' and 'braided' and knowing they are sounding the same.  She has said that things sound like other things, and said she has heard or smelled something and described it - which I cannot remember hearing much of before.  And all the theories she is coming up with lately are interesting, too.. so many of them - families, protecting each other in storms or when the lights are off or what will happen when I am finished with my computer or sewing machine etc etc...  She saw the news on Grandma's tv and told me it was a bad commercial - a tornatdo commercial, and the playground was in trash and needed help.  She has also told me that things on tv are 'just new', not real... so we have learned the word 'imaginary' or 'just a story'...but that the news really happened somewhere.  She asked 'In Texas?'  Well, the last tornado she saw was in Texas, so I understand that...

pattern used: McCalls 8005, houserobe pattern copyright 1965 size 6

Monday, May 20, 2013

Preschool graduation

Esme graduated from her preschool tonight.  We caught a few pictures.  She has made a lot of progress since January 2012, when she first started going there.

Esme cracked the crowd up again and again with comments she made.  Mark said to me : 'She was much quieter a year ago.'  Yes, and I am very proud she is not so much anymore!

I made a comment on the way back in from the ceremony that I should save some Indian Corn from the harvest this year, and when it is entirely dry bring a few ears to her teachers as a gift.  They did say they would like to see her again - to stop by some day and say 'hi'...I couldn't think of a better fit for a gift - something that is varied in depth, special and holds potential for the future.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stomach stuff bag turtle toy

Esme asked if I could make this toy she saw in a TV commercial.  I haven't gotten his shell made yet, but she is downstairs playing with him 'eating all the toys' already.  I still need to do the embroidery on his 'hands' as well... but that will take a while to do.  I designed him so that he could at least eat the zebra blanket from her bed, but definitely not what I was sure the commercial items had in them that would allow them to eat a LOT of things... he is just a toy with a bag in it, like the whale I wanted to make once and might still make.

We also went to the park today, fed some ducks and played with another girl.  We had ice cream sundaes and played in the garden some.  She has had a pretty good day - we both got some sun.  I planted the Japonica striped corn and the whipporwill peas today. 

Yesterday planted : (had a clearing out of every seed packet that I thought might grow... )
Smoke signals corn
Hutterite beans
Kenearly beans
columbine, gypsophilia (baby's breath)
african daisies, gloriosa daisies, gallairdia
marigolds, small and crackerjack type
pyrethrin robinson's red chrysanthemum (painted daisies)
lettuce (2 types)
salvia, pansies, snapdragon, campanula bells,  hollyhocks
shackamaxon beans, wax beans (dragons lingerie and golden wax)
pink hopi corn
shirley corn poppies
cushaw squash
connecticut field pumpkins
king of the early beans (I thought these had to be them.. hope so)

Still have to do :
more corn experiment if I can find room..
transplant the cotton plants outside
plant the pink evening primrose I got in the mail
get the transplant tomatoes large enough to go outside

Monday, May 13, 2013

s.s dinah cardboard pirate ship - stage 2

The second stage of the cardboard box pirate ship. I kind of plan on buying a few dowels to make a sail out of for her as well, and putting some pirate ship themed pillows in it inside her room. One bit at a time. Right now it is in her room and ready for play. We asked her what to call it - and she said 'The Dinah'. OK.

The stars and sunflower glow in the dark :)
And obviously, she did the artwork on the inside.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stage one cardboard box pirate ship

I brought these boxes home from work and they said 'pirate ship' to me.  I had also bought a quart of paint that was supposed to be brown, but ended up being purple.  All the better where Esme is concerned.  I took a pair of scissors and packaging tape and followed my instincts, and it took shape.

Daddy helped us paint the outside of it, and I will add some more details to it later.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Library, rain and leftover corn

We went in the rain to the library today, on Esme's request.  She was very happy to be there and to play.  They have so many toy animal characters from the books that are available to play with.  She had made the rounds, read a book with me, done some JumpStart with her headphones on...  we were almost ready really to go, when a mother with six children arrrived, all ages.

Esme was excited, and ran all over the entire room with the youngest two until she fell over.  We had two pull-aside talks about running, and I finally asked her to read with the big girls who were sitting nicely.  She said they were bad, but did not tell me why.  I told her they were big like the girls she will go to school with in July, and she should go learn to do like they are.  Esme could not do this - she was mad... she told me their talking hurt her ears and she did not want to be by the talking.  The toddlers she was playing with were running, shrieking, talking etc...but she did not seem to mind that.  The girls were reading in a monotone voice, back and forth - and that put Esme over the edge.  She went to a corner and hid under a table for a while with her hands over her ears, until they were done and went to a computer.  Then she came back out and played with the younger children again until they nearly knocked the older girls out of their rocker chairs and got them very mad at her.  Esme didn't seem to think they were doing anything wrong, and stalked away again angry.  I do worry what that kind of attitude will bring when she does go to school... but what do I do?  I understand some of it, and the rest I just have to hope she will eventually work out.

She did very well reading her own book with me, and when the girls came back to read again I found a beautifully illustrated Rapunzel and asked her to read that with me over by the corner.  We did, and then she leaned in very close to me 'They're back - can we go now?'.  OK.  We went to the store, and drove home in the rain, which was very hard and there was some water over the road - which was scary for both of us actually.  She did a good job at the store and has been polite and happy since we've been home.  The rain is stopping, and the sun is coming out.  I have a jacket and a pair of pants cut out to sew for Esme and I may do that while she watches TV with Daddy for a bit here.

 Playing in the mud after the rain

 We were out by the west field, where we had planted the corn experiments last year - and this one had been forgotten and was sprouting.  We will keep it and see how it grows.  Esme cut her hand outside and hadn't told me until after I had already went inside ... we washed it up with many tears and bandaged it - not too deep, but she had rubbed mud all over inside it.  She had some ice cream just after the bath and talked me into stringing my loom.  Now she is watching Simpsons while waiting for a real dinner (Fish sticks in the oven now).

Thursday, May 09, 2013

garden update and puppies

Cotton plants growing in the house window. I wonder where I should put them now that they have actually come up for me? They should have pretty pink and yellow flowers.

Adding bricks and another bean fence to the garden. I planted Glass Gem popcorn, Hopi Purple String Beans and some gorgeous blue gladiolus bulbs Mark got for us. Esme helped with the beans :)

This is what happens to the gladiolus that grow outside the garden.. Kitty goat mows them down.

Spud puppy (left) and Sweetie puppy (right), bluetick coonhound and catahoula leopard dog cross.

The whole garden with the new lilac tree in the corner. The sweet corn on the left is doing well but the tomatoes really don't like all this cold weather with dry periods in between large rainstorms.

I have to work tonight but have tomorrow off - sadly, it is forecasted to rain tomorrow, and Esme really wants to go to the park. I have been knitting on her blanket and right now she is painting a map on some paper.  Her preschool graduation is May 20th, which is a Monday, in the evening.

 Provider beans coming up next to the pea fence
 Yellow scallop squash is getting big now.  And, the mint is getting HUGE.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

bits of calligraphy and cotton seeds

This is a handwritten envelope with an invitation to the preschool graduation.  Very beautiful work by someone who seemed to enjoy our choice of such a long name!  I have the night off already so we should all be able to attend.  I described what graduation was to her, a time for teachers to say goodbye to all the kids going to the big school -- so she is accepting of still going to the little school until then...the 30 days+ until her 'big school' though... that will be difficult!

The cotton seeds are starting to come up in our pots indoors.  I'm preparing to work the area for the glass gem corn and a few other things.  The Indian corn (striped red pericarp/blue aleurone mixed with Mandan bride) is coming up in the back of the garden. If I had known I would get the glass gem so soon, I might have waited...  The glass gem is a popcorn, and I'm not sure how much separation I should make or if my little garden is even capable of enough separation to keep the popcorn genes out of my Indian Corn (much less the sweet corn, which we are growing only for eating purpose). 

My provider beans are coming up well - but the wax beans and the Good Mother Stallard are still dormant.  I am hoping for more stable weather soon!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


I was trying on a pair of jeans and Esme said 'You are another people!' (You look like a different person).  And there were other sentences she usually uses - like 'I want to watching the cakes', for 'I want to look at the cakes' at the grocery store.  I tried to get her to buy another t-shirt for school coming up but she talked me into bracelets with tags on them that she said were her puppy tags.  She had focused on a t-shirt in the adult section that was barely there fabric wise and way too big even for me - so I could not get her to find a girl size one... try again another day.  She wanted to play with a fishing lure Mark bought that looks like a frog  and/or a squid.. she kept flipping it upside down and saying 'ribbit ribbit now I have a dress!' because there were fringy bits that hung off the top.  I looked at Mark and said 'we have a little girl... undoubtedly, how did that happen?'  He replied 'Cane that way from the factory.'  We went to fish at the lake and Esme said a lot to us about the fish we caught and the fishing poles and about the mess of mud she had gotten herself into.  Esme had to touch a fish - out of the three small largemouthed bass I caught.  She had a thorough bath after that before bed, washing her hair for school tomorrow.

Earlier this morning, Mark gave away two puppies at the flea market and now we have eight.   Mark also picked up two large oak dressers with butcher block type tops.  They had some marks inside the drawers and I was glueing down some kraft paper inside of them.  There is also a mirror that we are thinking to put in Esme's room above one of the dresser banks and the other one up in our area of the house.

Esme this morning: I am not a good fish catcher one. (I am not a good fisherman). But Mom is a good fish catcher one.  And I screwed up Daddy's fishing rod.. I am not a good fish catcher one.  It takes a long time.

As we get ready for school:  The little school is for little kids and the big school is for little girls and BIG humans, too (the ceiling was very tall).  This is the little school with the red bricks.  (I told her about graduation and all the teachers having to say goodbye in the next few weeks, and the teachers having to get ready at the big school for all the children.  She asked about her test, what it was.  I told her all the children had to pass the test - (little kids and big kids?)  Yes - all the children, and it takes a long time, and then the teachers will be ready for the big school to open for everyone.

In the car on the way to school:   Is the car in the water?  (What?) The car that got lost, in water, did the mans built it and could not get it?  (The Neon car last year that was lost in the Duluth flood).  Yes, we couldn't get it out and it was ruined.//  Did the mans build this car for us? (We had this car then, too.  Yes, people build cars and Daddy bought this one a long time ago at a store that sells cars.)  And they built this (hook in ceiling) for all of us to hang tight?  And toys can go in there, too? (The hanger hook in the back ceiling that dry cleaning can be hung on).  Um.. yes.  She has stuck her little figures up there often so she doesn't lose them.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

garden bits

The beans are finally coming up - the Providers only, but that is a start.  Esme had a playdate today and it went fairly well - they always fight, but they are little girls, I guess.  Esme did wear herself out pretty well.. took a ten minute nap when she got home.

I spent some time out in the garden and Mark brought the camera.  I planted a few of many things - cosmos, marigolds, pansies, purple hulled peas, more providers (3), another zucchini, more basil, more radishes, some kale, a few more carrots, and the Daphne purple greasy beans from last year.  I need to invest in a few more bricks, as the beds are finally taking shape.  I had to reinforce the fencing some, too - as Daphne showed me she could jump right on top of it and mash it down.  Pictures by Mark :)

 flower garden
 watering with a bucket - my forte
 Esme in the tomato plastic playing some bakery doctor sand games
 A gorgeous blue cloud sky
pea fence
Bonnie or Clyde...

Saturday, May 04, 2013


Esme has used several 'big' words for her lately - 'cauldron', 'inspection', 'nervous'... remember these ones.  She has talked about fixing the engine on the mystery machine (which is imaginary).  The other day she drug a fifty lb bag of dog food from the garage to the stairs before complaining this was too hard of a job for her - she had only been asked to get a scoop, not a sack!  When we were at the playground I held her up as she crossed the monkey bars, and then when I was doing them myself she raced up to try to hold me up.. hilarious.  She said I was the guard and she was Aladdin and I should sword her *roll eyes* before she gets away.  We were playing IQball tonight and she was doing very well - a little encouragement needed, we got to level 22 before we could not continue.  She found another version of it and Daddy helped her through a few levels of that.  She said several things during that - 'What is happening here.  I have an idea.  I know what the problem is.  I don't know how to do it either.  etc.. very good.'

Friday, May 03, 2013

K test and puppy dirt lesson

 Giving the puppies a lesson in mixing dirt...apparently.

Esme's Kindergarten test was today, it did not take very long at all.  We filled out some forms, let them take some copies, and then they had her go into a room with the tester for about five minutes.  She scored 95% on her letters and sounds, missing just a few (h, y sounds, recognizing a lower case q by itself).  She scored 100% on numbers, counting and simple math.  She could not tie her shoes or skip through the room - but did hop on one foot and write her name (points taken off for bending her wrist over and gripping with a fist).  Overall she did very well - the tester had her IEP in hand and was duly impressed considering that.  They'll see her starting in July for the 'ease into school' program, which will be every single day for four days, then three days, then one day.. and the regular program will start in August.

We planted things out in the garden.  We have a genuine flower bed started in there now.