Saturday, April 30, 2011

catfish races and gardening

I was on the verge of a migraine all day since I woke up - about 7 am to nearly midnight here. But - we got a LOT done...anyway. We took Esme to see the catfish races this morning in Paris, and she loved seeing everybody clap and the occasional dropped fish in the grass. She ran around with several little girls there who were older than her, but had a hard time connecting with a girl her age that was smaller. The smaller girl was trying to be 'grown up' with her grandma and actually saw Esme as a baby... that was weird because Esme had a full head of height on her. The other girl said she went to 'school' and I think she thought Esme was a baby because she didn't go to school yet. Esme was in a VERY bad mood about everyone else going home and having to leave ourselves... such a bad mood we told her we would not stop for anything on the way home. She isn't used to that - and later when Grandpa was watching her she had a full diaper and wouldn't tell them - but did run off from them twice... so they brought her back home. As soon as she wouldn't listen to a word I said I checked and sure enough she needed a full-scale bath. I carried her in by force (very unhappy girl) and after a short bath and new clothes she was perky and played around the garden for me until Daddy came back home.

We gave away several of our baby kittens - including Milo - and Esme was sad about that. But, they needed homes, and not here.

Mark helped his parents put some stakes in the ground for their garden, and we put in four more rows of corn and other assorted things in our own garden. I don't think many of our seedlings (planted yesterday morning before I went to work) made it, but a few seem to be hanging in there. Then we jaunted to Rural King to pick up a new coffee pot, as mine had given up the ghost. I also bought more blue pumpkin seeds, as the ones I had bought from Etsy hadn't done anything. The orange stripey Turks Turban seeds from the same seller have come up, and what I replanted I did a foot to the left of the original blue seeds - to still give those a chance if they happen to be taking their time (but it HAS been a long time...they probably aren't coming). Esme had been being a very good girl sticking by the garden while I did work and Daddy came home - so after RK we got her a milkshake. I let her play outside in the bed of the truck and beside it until the storm was rolling in, then she had another bath and a round of cartoons before Mom insisted on bed because my head was still pounding. I won't take ibu until it is really necessary - but two ibu and three hours of sleep finally did put the headache in its place, at least temporarily?

It is supposed to storm more today, (Sunday) - so we will not be completing large circumventing the world plans today. That is why we pushed on yesterday to get those done ;) I have laundry in the dryer and Esme is asleep... I'm running hot water through the new coffee pot and enjoying not having a head full of ache before I turn off the dryer and go back to sleep myself. My largest plans for Sunday is to put away this laundry, maybe clean a few floors and/or make something at the sewing machine for Esme.

//LATER Esme will be 3.5 years old on the 4th of this month. A friend of mine told me online that other kids judge kids as 'their age' not by speech, but by physical size and speed. So, that explains why she does gravitate towards the older children, and has a harder time relating well with her own age - the last two her age have definitely been slower, more cautious and sometimes (but not always) intimidated by Esme's larger size and 'let's go' attitude. At both of the places we've taken her recently she has run and kept speed with older kids and her language identified her as younger, but both times the older children didn't care after they found a running game to play.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Esme's language is taking another turn - an interesting one. I asked her where her nose was, then where Grandma's nose was last night. I was actually asking about the Playmobil doll, which has no nose, and has made her confused before. This time she had an answer. She said 'up there, in the white house.' Grandma's house is white compared to ours, and since the logging happened we can see it from our doorway. Esme often comments now on wanting to see Grandma in the 'white house.' She addded, 'we go in the green house.' So, she has been paying attention - because our house is green with a white roof ;) She will also say 'I like a THIS dog. Grandma, I like a THAT dog (points), THIS dog (grabs around neck and shows the dog).' As we were walking I mentioned the sky was pretty and I liked it - and she said 'Do like, I do like the blue and white, too.' And this morning when I asked her where Daddy was she told me 'he went back to work, outside.' He went outside to talk to the loggers.

We also had a discussion about her saying she was a 'boy'. She asked me if I was a boy - I told her no, I was a mom, and a girl. She said 'yea, that right, you're a mom. I'm a boy.' No, you're a girl. 'No a boy, boy, boy, boy.' I asked the little boy if it wanted it's hair washed right then - come here boy.' 'Nooooooo. I a little GIRL.' Oh. Alrighty then. She said she wasn't a baby - I was a baby, she was a little girl. I told her a baby had to have a mumum... mumums take care of the babies, whether they are puppies or little girls or little boys. I asked her where was my mumum? 'You the mumum. *thought* I the baby! Give hug (swan dive into arms).' We talked for a minute about Daddy being Grandma and Grandpa's baby, and they LOVE him. And that Daddy loves her because she is his baby, and Grandma and Grandpa LOVE her because she is Daddy's baby. She nodded wide-eyed about all of that and gave me hugs but she was getting giddy by that time over it all and just wanted to jump around. She can be such a silly little girl :)

Some of the things she says is her own decision what they mean - like 'let's go home' when she wants to go play in the yard and is INSIDE the house. She said that to Grandma the other day about going into a back room to play. 'Home' is wherever she wants to be at the moment... I've translated it as that and it seems to work. We work on telling her 'home' is in our house and trying to confirm that with her... There are a few other things, as well - will try to post them as I remember them.

When I ask her what color something is her response is always 'it's name is PINK' or whatever color it really is. But, she has no trouble identifying something in a sentence with the color. 'I want milk in the yellow drink cup.' 'How about the orange cup here, with milk in it?' 'Nooooo! in there. That the yellow drink cup.' I open the cupboard, sure enough, there is a yellow cup in there she has had before. 'Ahhh... that yellow cup. Yes, you can have milk in that cup.'' 'Oh thank you, so much!' *laugh*

I answered my phone the other day but there was no one on the other end, just a telemarketer. I didn't even say anything, just put the phone away in it's case. Esme pipes up from across the room (looking at my face and how the phone was put away with no talking) and says loudly to Daddy 'Nobody HOME at NANAS house!' That cracked me up.

'CANTOONS' is cartoons, unless she tries really hard. Cartoons means only Ren and Stimpy. We ask her to put on anything else animated and she says no - cartoons! I could verify this by singing the 'LOG' song from their fake commercial - and she says in a matter-of-fact voice 'yea, CARTOONS, put on!' When the credits roll or the frontispiece of the DVD is up (menu), she will say 'TAKE OFF, all done.' In the middle of one of the movies they started playing a song and showing just sky and Esme thought that was credits and told us to TAKE OFF.. and then doubletook and said 'wha what?' as the movie continued about a minute later. She gets 'take off' and 'put on' mixed up when it is about shoes or clothes. She wants us to put on shoes when she comes home I know she means 'take off'.

She likes to sing almost all of the patty-cake song now, and has the hand signs down for the 'roll it, and pat it, and a put it in a pan.' She can sing a little bit of the LOG song and a few others suddenly that she didn't know before.

When I run 'screaming' that a dragon or a brown bear or something is after me she does this hand-swipe thing and puts it on her hip and says 'it be all right. MOMMMMM.. It be all right!' When she really wants to play or believes me she will say 'give hand - let's run!' She just got down from her chair and said 'I save you Mom! I gotta SAVE you!' I asked her what she was going to save me from. *thought* 'I gotta play. Please? I gotta play (points outside).' And now I have a lap full of Esme.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dog nap

Esme taking a nap against me last night, along with a puppy added by Daddy.

Little surprise this is the same puppy that would not stop yowling by the bed between 3 and 4 am this morning... she thought this was her new place to 'be'. I had to put her back with her puppy pile three times before she got the drift and went back to sleep.

I knit green washcloths out of a ball of KnitPicks CotLin 30% linen, 70% cotton yesterday. I intend to use them as good scrubcloths for the face and neck. I was disappointed at first at how thin the yarn was - but changed to a size 5 needle and they turned out pretty well.

update : used and washed these washcloths, am planning on ordering a few more balls of this yarn, I liked it so much.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

sniff a flower after the rainstorm

looking at a flower from honeysuckle vines


growth chart: 40 inches tall and 34.5 lbs in weight. She is very tall and long and is denser with muscles than most children her age.

tree ship dream

I had a dream last night that was beautiful and powerful. I was on a small ship, almost a raft, that had a great mast made of cedar. The mast went higher than the clouds - so I could not see the sail, and I could not see into the water around the ship as if it was a grey rainy day. However, at the base of the mast someone had chopped with an axe - and the heartwood was showing red and flaky there .. and it worried me terribly as the mast felt as if it could bend and break towards the cut. I put my hands to it and from the chopped place not knowing what could be done - looking for something to bind it with. From my hands a thorny bush began to grow all around the damaged area and down to the deck below - it grew with a fury and wrapped the mast so strong it stood strong and straight as if a tree. Then the bush began to blossom with Cherokee Rose. And I knew it was both love and protection for that mast forever from that point. That could almost be a painting in itself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Star council drawing

April 26, 2011

The main figure is a woman looking at the past - she is listening with big ears on her mask. The small figure shows a 'meeting of the minds' over a big idea. The 'stars' in the head of the small figure cross over in the message from the past to the future. Where the two masked figures cross over the color is blue, because it is happening on the plane of ideas. Leaves grow out of the forehead which is the big idea growing between the two figures. The main figure's hand reaches to the past to pick up a seed which is brought to the bird figure on her shoulder. The bird figure has a 'heart' to the left of it and also a heart to the right of it - with more leaves to show it has grown with the 'council' of thoughts (stars).

Basically, showing the drawings to Grandma and Grandpa and explaining some of the 'deep' stuff from them was a hard thing for me to do, but now that they have seen more of it they will know more about me, and I'll grow with that.

Was just at Grandma and Grandpa's - showing them some of my older drawings from when I came to live here with Mark, and while I was pregnant with Esme. I was drawing this while Grandma played with Esme - and she got into a lot of mud. She also needed a diaper, which is the main reason I told her she had to come home and have a bath. She cried up until the very moment she got cleaned up and ready to take a bath with her bath toys.. then she was happy as a clam. She just didn't want to admit to us she needed her diaper changed... she is getting to that point and sometimes will ask to use the big potty when she is at home, but mostly she just tries to avoid it being known that she needs to be changed - fights and cries and then finally gives in, then she is happy again after that 'crisis' is done with.

LATER: She is eating 'hot soup' chicken noodle and french bread and watching cartoons. For all the fuss she made getting her DOWN to the house from Grandma's, she is having a wonderful time now.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter egg hunt

Esme with Olivia, a twelve year old who was helping her on the hunt
pictures taken from another lady's cellphone and shared on facebook

It was very cute watching Esme run around with all of those other children - she is a charmer, getting kids old and young to chase after her, play with the wagon and in the dirt. She got into one fight over a ball, and had a few terrible moments where she didn't want to wait or participate in something she didn't understand. At one point she said she would crawl into a chair and 'go sleep' because everyone was eating pizza and she didn't want that pizza. But, overall she was so happy and was playing with all of the other children like a litter of puppies - running around and screaming and playing ball and chasing bubbles.

At the beginning she latched onto a slightly older boy. He said he was five and she said 'my name is Esme, name a three year old'. He said 'What?' He was nearly the same height as she was, but the big difference was when they talked - could understand everything he said and he even made jokes. Esme said 'look a plane!' and pointed at a jet trail in the sky. He laughed, pointed at the woods and said 'look a shiny thing!' and laughed really hard because she was trying to see what he meant. She asked him to move over on a chair so she could sit next to him and I think he nearly blushed - because of this little girl that was following him around ;) Later she came up to him and took him by the hand and said 'let's go walkies.' He turned and looked at the adults on the back porch 'Where are we walking to?' She said 'this a way' and lead him through the house by the hand, out the front porch, down the concrete walkway and then stopped, turned around and told him to give other hand, and then walked him all the way back to the house. He realized she was just a silly little girl and it was all very cute - and he started playing pretend 'boom shoot chase' games with her - which she gladly participated in. While he colored eggs she ran out into the yard with half of the other children and had a wonderful time playing out there, as well.

Mark helped hide the eggs with some of the other adults ;) During the egg hunt(s) Esme had no idea what was going on for a while - did find some eggs, but was more interested in the fact there WAS eggs than any idea of collecting a pile. She found two animal-shaped plastic eggs and gave them to other little boys - not sure if she meant for them to keep them, it made her momentarily sad - but she got over it quickly and was more interested in playing in a sandbox than she was in hunting eggs the second time around. Another older girl gave her a tiger egg later when I wasn't nearby - which she really likes and kept a hold of. During the very first run Esme found a beanie baby elephant which she really loves, and gave a beanie baby bear to another little girl who didn't find one. She is already teaching the elephant to drink milk and telling him about eating an apple.

She is going to crash soon, I know. We took no pictures, but it was a great time :)

Sidenotes: Esme really is tall, compared to others her age - and 'long', Mark says, compared to kids older than she is. Someone asked me what size clothes she was in - and I really can't tell them. She is a size 3,4 or 5 - take the pattern by chest measurement (about 22") and follow the pattern with whatever changes are necessary. haha :) Mark said she surprised him yesterday by looking into pockets on our pool table without standing on anything, and without holding on to the table. She never could do that before. She must have gained at least two or three inches since we last measured her - which back then was 39 inches. Compared to the boys that were at the party (5 to 8) she was not lacking very many inches on them. The girl a year younger than her had grown, as well. Her head was at Esme's shoulder and I feel she will be a tall girl as well, because both of her parents are taller than average. They do say girls hit their growth spurts before the boys do...

Another bit though on her age and size is - I keep expecting her to act like the five year olds, until I see her with them and she is obviously younger. I kept saying I was afraid she wasn't being good enough with the other children (which is partly just my mommy paranoia because I am hennish wih her...) and everyone else thought she was being exemplary for a three year old playing with older children. They said she was sweet and kind and generous, giving please and thank you to the children and I was all worried about her forgetting to say sorry when playing ball she mowed an older boy down twice in a row and he was starting to get annoyed with her. When we all had to wait in line to go out the door for the egg hunt it was obvious to everyone she was so much younger - she cried and laid on the floor until a twelve year old picked her up and said she would help her. She is at that age of needing independence from me (go talk mumum, go over there, TALK!) but still a few steps behind the 'gang' of children... she was paying lots of attention and trying to learn from them but still not sure what to do when the other kids changed the game, didn't chase her or all went and listened to a grown-up about sitting down and Esme still thought they were playing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eggs are boiling...

Simplicity 4969 in size 6

The eggs to bring to the party are boiling, and Esme's dress is clean and sitting ready to be put on tomorrow. This is a pattern that just came in the mail in size 6, several sizes up. There was one out there in the size she is now - but it was three times the cost of this one... and I'm pretty set for the size 4's. I'm GETTING set for the 5's and 6's, with this new round of patterns coming in the mail, and this one as well that, being a 'wardrobe' pattern, was a very good deal. It has a sundress which could be made with different sleeves, a jacket, shirt and pants. I told Mark that it is extremely likely I will still be making Esme's clothes at that time, and he says that is good - as he and she have gotten used to clothes that fit and don't shred as easily as storebought clothes do. That was as I had gotten home and was opening the 'snail mail' which the pattern was within. In almost the same minute I opened up an email message that had a picture of a little girl wearing a shirt I made late last summer, her mom says the shirt is "still going strong." It is the 'twin' to a shirt Esme was wearing in the 'with Milo' picture, except that it is in two fabric colors instead of one.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Esme and the puppies

Pictures of Esme's new blue dress and also of all the puppies in the basement.

I made her a pair of shorts out of this fabric about a week ago, and had to fuss with the remainder quite a bit to make it work. A few little changes, split seams on front bodice and less full skirt, it turned out quite well. She likes it.

EK mentioned the other day how much her daughter and Esme as well are 'lengthening' out in this last growth spurt. This picture shows it in her face and the dress kind of exaggerates it with a lower neckline and waist than she has been wearing lately. I put the dress on her to let her run down to the lake and it is just a bit 'pointy' at the top of the shoulders and maybe just a tiny tiny bit too wide in the chest for her. A 'grow-in' dress for her. She does need those, too.

Giving the puppy a ride on the big wheel. This puppy had two pink spots on its nose, so Daddy has nicknamed him 'Pink.'

Hanging out in a box with the puppy crew.

Some of them will likely keep the blue eyes, which come from the Catahoula side


Found a green cotton fabric on sale for a dollar a yard, and three yards of it is in the dryer now. Esme asked for a blue yarn to make her a sweater out of - but I told her it would have to be later because it will be hot out soon. She indicated the Red Heart yarn that said just 'BLUE' on the color name. After all the cleaning yesterday the house doesn't look much more organized but still is cleaner. I would like to sit down at the desk over there and see about making Esme something. A little afraid the sewing machine is going to act up. I'm pretty happy about everything but the shorts situation. She still has two dresses that are 'nice' enough to wear to the party on Saturday.. but a new dress might be nice. I am expecting patterns to come in the mail sometime soon...

mama Pogo cat has been in my lap and/or chair often.

PROJECT: I'm trying to piece together a new dress for Esme out of the blue fabric she liked. I had already made her a pair of shorts out of it, so I was having to make a few small alterations to the dress in order to get all of the pieces out of the remainder. I hope the alterations are not too much for it not to work. I split the front into a princess seam configuration and made the skirt less full and used one of the panels to cut the back of the dress bodice out of.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

hooded scarf yarn has come

Yay, the yarn for the hooded scarf has come in the mail today - to finish it.. and I am working on getting the main part of it done. I do think it needs a band. But that is something that can be done slowly over time, on double pointed needles. I tried it on in the mirror, the right way (Grandma saw it on the wrong way!) and it looks REALLY good. Mark says he thinks it will be much better when it is winter again *heh*.. yes, it will. I'm not sure which color to use - to mix with the very dark gray to make a bicolored band. Something simple.. that isn't difficult to keep doing, black or light purple.... still not sure whether to go light or dark. Then that band can be sewn onto the edge to make it lie flat when being worn. Should it continue all the way down to the ends? Should I fringe or make a second band for the back side? I'll get the main body of the scarf done then decide on those sort of things... It wouldn't be all that awful worn just as it is, either...

Mark and Esme had a wonderful time outside today - it was very nice most of the day. Grandpa and Grandma came to see puppies tonight in the buggy, and Esme showed them all to them :)

LATER : Finished it. Mark says it looks like a burka, but at least it will be nice in foul weather and also roll up and go in the pocket of the trench coat jacket. For being nearly lacework wool, it is very warm. The band needs to be about three inches wide without counting the garter-stitch edges of it. The multi-colored knitting will make it thicker and more likely to lay flat. It really is something from another time ie: women don't usually wear this sort of thing at all anymore unless it IS a burka... even in bad weather. But, I have no luck with umbrellas. I always lose them or do not have them in the right place at the right time.

Working more on the blanket now - after I pulled it out from under this arrangement.

more orange cat hair than usual on my knitting
I guess that is a stamp of approval

Going through the yarns I have (instead of tripping to a local yarn store) found 'riches' to use in the future, several balls of cotton to make more floor scrubbers out of and some black and brown silk/wool that I could never detangle before... took another stab at it today while Esme played and made both skeins into manageable balls of yarn.

Monday, April 18, 2011


My machine went on the fritz again, and I put it back into operation last night long enough to finish some burp rags for a coworker's soon to be born grandchild. I'm knitting on the blanket some more. There are more size 5 and 6 patterns coming in the mail for Esme's next sizes, as I caught an auction with ten assorted patterns all in her size. Esme has been invited to an Easter party on Saturday, and I worked my schedule so that she can attend. They'll dye colored eggs, make and eat pizzas and then go find the hidden eggs. It sounds like a lot of fun. I do need to arrange so that she will stay clean enough to be quickly picked up as I get off work a half hour before party starts. The indian corn came in the mail today along with some sunflower seeds that were a free gift.

I do hope the weather decides what it wants to be this year. It is nearly hot, then it is bitterly cold and wet every other day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

little note

My brain works overtime in my sleep - rarely, the results are useful in some regard. Last night was one of those rare moments. I dreamt last night of Esme standing by the door wearing a 'Norwegian' type sweater with a brown collar and sleeves and blue, white and lighter brown colorwork all around the bodice and shoulder area. I was, in reality, working on a really simple sweater shirt for myself yesterday (the blue and white thing in a previous post laying on the porch), and was thinking if it needed any colorwork at the top of the shoulders, and if it needed a collar or not... so I guess that transferred over to my main crafting focus, clothes for little girl :)

This is something like what I saw... but I've altered the picture quite a bit because I don't have the time to whip one up. The one in my dream did not have a turtleneck, just a round ribbed neck.

I do have a LOT of brown Palette yarn, and all of those other colors in my workbasket, left over from when Esme was born. The blue and white yarn I am using now is something bought quite a while ago, as well. Also in the dream I told myself to Fels Naptha the garden laundry and my pillowcases from this week and also to do math on the two sides I have been knitting to get the number of stitches the back needs to be. Find out how many inches the back is, and how many inches the side is. The side is 45 stitches and compare the ratio to know how many to cast on for the back.

Just making myself notes before I run off to work and forget everything my brain worked so hard on while it was asleep ;) I did do the laundry part as soon as I woke up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Esme and Milo play Starfall

We do not plan to keep this kitten, but he has earned the name 'Milo' and he has been spending a lot of time in laps. Compared to the others, he is the most people-oriented of the group. He licks toes, and is irrepressible when not wanted in a chair. He is playing 'Starfall' with Esme here, which distracted her enough for me to brush and braid her hair. That takes a lot of distraction! She hates her hair pulled on almost as much as she hates having it washed.

I bought Esme a 'Tangled' first-level reading book last night on the way home from work, even though she has been disinterested in reading or letters for several months. I believe it is mostly because it has become warm enough to play outside again and she loves outside even more. But, this morning it was raining severely and she asked for letters. I brought up Starfall again for her. She really enjoyed it. She has remembered a lot of it by heart! That doesn't surprise me much, because the other day she sang some semblance of the 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' theme to me in the bathtub and it was good enough for me to remember the real words to the entire thing. She loved that. We sang it a few times. Hearing her stumble over 'so they packed up the family car and left the city' in the first bit was what tuned me into what the song was... but it was not a part I would have remembered the words to otherwise. That did impress me :)

I have photos printed for Aunt Dot and my mom, now have to go through them, label them and make letters for each of them. I am hoping I will get either yarn or a pattern in the mail today. It would be better if the yarn came, because the pattern is a 'future snag' in size 6. But, I still do need to make shorts. It all depends on if Esme is happy watching Cinderella and something else for a little while!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More garden pictures

This is the fence and gate we put up the other day. So far the dogs have not been in there. We hope they stay out! I've built up mounds or mounded beds for each of the types of squash, which is the way I learned to plant them. I put in some very short rows of things we wanted to try, like the pinto beans.

Pulling rocks back out of the dog's water dish after she put a lot in. However, she still did not agree with me the dogs might not like the taste of water with lots of rocks.

Clowning around by the gate

A few more pictures of our garden and Esme bopping around the yard. We put in another wave of seeds into the garden today. There was already sweet corn, green beans, zucchini and carrots planted. Today, I added pinto and lima beans, spinach, radishes, 'Indian' multicolored dent corn, summer squash, blue jarrahdale squash, turk's turban squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. Mark put in a storebought tomato and ornamental gourds. We have LOTS of seedling tomatoes and peppers started - and they will go in with more corn in a few weeks. A few of the things we put in were just to see what they would do :)

coffee and knitting, sitting on the porch waiting for dinner to be ready.

Mark made an excellent little pizza for each of us :) It was very good!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

kitten picture

gotta run right now.. cuteness.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Esme called a 'train' on a dress a 'choo choo train for a dress' on a movie. I thought that was funny. She told me to stretch and yawn this morning and I told her my arms might fall off. I pretended one did - and she came to fix it. Daddy gave her some duct tape and she put a piece on my arm and was all happy thinking she fixed it. Last night I was moving some knitting needles from one table to where they belong - and Esme told me 'uh uh wait wait - those are OW, you gotta be careful, might hurt you.' At least she's been paying attention ;) She heard one of the puppies whimpering for it's mama last night and she petted it and said 'oh no don't cry - you're alright, don't cry baby puppy.' She is so very very sweet!

I have another late shift tonight. Mark is at the store getting cat food so we will not be eaten. I hope he comes back quickly - I've got to get going to work! I gave Esme an orange and cereal and a piece of pepperoni for breakfast. Silly - but she loves it and I was having one. The knit blanket is four feet wide by nearly two feet long now - nearly long enough to keep it at home for a project here and find something smaller to bring to work.

Monday, April 11, 2011

run by thought on crafts and sewing clothes for toddlers

I saw on one of my email lists I subscribe to yesterday a mom that had no clothes for summer for her child, and was asking if anybody had any to hand down. I thought for a few minutes about contacting her to make a few items - but know that might be more work than I can handle with Esme needing her things made for this season as well. Also, she might find it strange and I can't guarantee the child's size of "3-5" storebought is the same as sewing pattern sizes without getting measurements. And measurements is work... work most people can't or won't do.

But anyway - the whole thought process ended in being very happy that I can make Esme her clothes for any season when she needs them. My collection of patterns is quite good - and I continue to pick up a larger size or different variation here and there on Ebay if the price is right. I try to keep myself reined in on the buying there even though I like to browse it daily to see what pops up ;) It is one of the relaxing things I do every day - browse all the new listings of used patterns and see if there is any inspiration there. Some things can be made from patterns I have, others can be printed out or saved for later etc etc...

Even with what I spend on used patterns and yards of new fabric in a year I do not pay anything near what I hear other mothers complaining the costs of childrens clothes are. Just the cost of JEANS (which Esme does not own/wear) is huge compared to the cost of nearly an entire season's wardrobe. Some mothers I work with pay ten or twelve dollars a pair for jeans that do not fit for very long. A medium weight chambray cloth at the store can cost 5.00 a yard but will make a jean-like pair of pants. She had one pair made up of those and I consider those 'heavy' for her, good for running through brush. Most of her other pants are just cotton quilting fabric and serve the purpose extraordinarily well in all but the coldest weather (and we're in the South!) Now if I could just make shoes ;) *kidding*

Sewing handmade does take more time at home, but I find that kind of work 'sweet' - when the time is right it gets done and is a lovely thing that rewards again and again. Sometimes the longest thing about the process is deciding on what to make out of what fabric. Once I've decided what she needs and have the fabric ready to cut it does not take very long to cut out and sew a dress or a pair of pants that will fit her well and last a good while.

It is also nice to know we can make MANY of the things we want in our house. Once in a while I do a roundup of what I'm using and it is nice to see the array of things that are handmade. I've sewn several things for myself this year that are in good use and continue to knit things that stay in use as well :) Our garden is becoming a good working project, as well :) We could make even more if we got the woodshop cleaned up and I got some practice in there again.

Today: I am off to work today until late. I'll bring the knit blanket with me to work on during lunch. If I can find a nice moment tonight I might be able to rack off a second pair of shorts for Esme. The pair I made her last night were quick and she really liked them. After three pairs of shorts the itinerary will be a few larger sundresses. She is still wearing the ones from last year but they are getting a skitch hard to get over her head. After that they are fine until ready to take off - and that tiny bit hard again to get off makes her frustrated at bath time etc. If I make the bodice front a little wider and longer that should work for the next size up :)

NIGHT Quote: About Fantasia 2000 the whale scenes. 'I've never seen whales fly! It's the Northern Lights, don't get much of that here in Tennessee, that would explain it. Uhh.. I had always thought it was the lack of whales.' That's the kind of humor that goes on at our house.

I've worked on the 4 foot wide blanket more today... will need another skein of yarn for that from the WM within a few days. Thought hard about starting another project but will wait until the KnitPicks yarn gets here and finish the grey scarf.... or I could start a band for that...? I'm still not sure if it needs one. Laundry is in the dryer and I'm going over thoughts of other clothing items for Esme but not enough time tonight to start anything in that regard. Bought a few more seeds and am hoping our carrots did not wash away with all this storm!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bad news and other things

Get the bad news off the table first - our Suki cat is dead, Esme's kitten that we kept and was now a cat. She stayed outside last night - which isn't that unusual for her, and we think the dogs chased her into the fence and then who knows what happened. We heard something about 4 am in the morning but it seemed they were chasing a squirrel and none of the dogs acted funny when they all came back in after the howl. Maybe they were chasing something else and she got in the middle of it unexpectedly. She wasn't torn up, just dead, as if they cornered her and frightened her to death. I'm pretty sad about it - and don't want to tell Esme about it.

Suki and Esme together post

We're getting ready to plant and fence the garden. I reached the end of the yarn I had for the hooded scarf and am back on the blanket until new yarn comes. I've also finished a few of the Swiffer mop covers in dishcloth yarn and should scrub the floors somewhere with them to see if they work.

Esme is begging to go outside now - getting ready.

LATER: Esme is still outside, enpinkenating in the sunshine. We have run the fence the rest of the way around the garden and hooked up the gate to working condition. Three rows of corn are planted with space to plant another three rows in a week or so. We marked out the space for the green beans and carrots, then decided where the tomatoes will go when they are big enough to be transplanted. When it is a little cooler outside we will plant the green beans, carrots and I'll make the hills for the zucchini and squash seeds. I hope to sit down and make Esme a few more pairs of shorts - or start on it. Also, the skirt and tanks I made last month are doing well outside in the hot weather! Just corralled Esme in from outside to watch the movie she hugged and kissed earlier this week. She saw Barbie's Swan Lake on the shelf when shopping with Daddy and would not let it go... yeep! didn't expect her to be a Barbie type of girl!

EVEN LATER: Did the plumbing project in the wellhouse with Mark's help. Then it burst. Then we did it again. And then, it held. Planted the green beans and carrots and zucchini and pattypan squash and watered them all down. We are planning to put in more later - the cucumbers and gourds and pumpmkins and 'meat' squashes (Jarrahdale and Turk's Turban). Then, when the tomatoes and green peppers are at a good size, we can transplant them into the garden. I've also ordered a packet of heirloom indian corn which we plan to plant in between the other corn for a chance at some cross-pollination.

So - we did a LOT today, fence, planting, plumbing!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Hooded scarf, halfway done

This is the self-made pattern for the hooded scarf. The tails on the real one are actually a little longer in proportion to the middle, to wrap back around the neck further. It is kind of a 'babushka' type of thing, but can be worn around the neck until needed to be pulled over the top of the head. I have it a little over halfway done now, and realized I needed another skein of the yarn to finish it. It is being made up in 'Ash' color of 'Palette' 100% wool yarn from KnitPicks. I've ordered two more skeins of it to finish this up and am thinking if I want to knit a two colored band of dark grey and light grey and/or white to trim it.

I hope to be able to get a picture of the work in progress tomorrow when the sun is up again!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Yarns of Italy

I found this website on Etsy, and would really like to order a few skeins of one of their 'Supernova' yarns, a 12 ply (3 plies of 4 ply) worsted weight wool looks INTERESTING. However, I cannot decide on a color, - was looking for a medium gray or an indigo blue. The red and browns were gorgeous and homey colors - but I can't see a project in my head in those colors. The project I am working on (grey hooded scarf) is taking over whenever I see the yarns. So, instead, I am finishing the project(s) on my needles and not investing in more yarn at the moment. However, there are several other beautiful looking yarns, including a marled bulky weight (would buy it in an instant if it was lighter weight) and a linen/cotton blend that is also of great interest to me.

I thought I'd put her link up here and let some other people tune in to what looks like a wonderful addition to the yarn world.

Yarns of Italy Etsy shop, featuring very interesting yarns for sale!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

41 month language spurt

Esme is having another noticeable language spurt - fuller sentences and descriptions again that is quantifiable from just a few months ago. 'It is morning time, sun bright mom! Look morningtime! I need new pants. My pants are wet. My shirt is all wet, too.', 'What is that word?' to something I wrote out on the fridge. 'Hi mom. Help me. What are you doing? I go see.' I get it, I find it, where is it, I got you now' to a washcloth in the water - and then 'I got you, I SQUEEZE, put water on the hand, you squeeze, good job!' Also I told her she was in a bad mood yesterday and she said no she was an Esme, a little girl. It is quite hard to explain to her what a bad mood or a grumpy pants or such is when she thinks I am telling her she IS something other than a little girl *haha*. But she did get that one - because when I yelled at her for something later in the day (tormenting a kitten) she told me 'mom you a bad mood, be better!'

She often says 'What are you doing?' and 'What happened/is happening' and 'What is the big idea?' to us. She is saying 'I did it, what did you do, look what I did' etc which she never used to say all those variations. Also she saw a squirrel that had died in the forest and was VERY upset about it. 'The squirrel he is DEAD, oh NO, gotta put him in a hole, he DEAD (boo hoo hooo),' Even hours later she was crying for the 'poor squirrel he dead it so sad, boo hoo hoo'. She was telling our dogs to run away from a piece of big machinery and that 'oh no run dogs run it make you dead you gotta run! *ahh screaming cry as if running away from something* Later she was watching a movie and the characters unearthed a skeleton (Indiana Jones) and she cried 'oh no he DEAD! What happened?' She apparently has picked up much more about that from movies lately than I thought she was paying attention to. She does not care about dead bugs though. She comes running to point them out to us saying you WASH mom, it a bug, you WASH. She was also very interested in the green tape we were putting on trees in the woods, and that it had something to do with the trees the 'monster trucks' did not 'eat'. She saw tigers in a movie the other day and has been telling the cats they are tigers, they go meow. I have understood her better when she asks for a 'straw' when before she was very hard to understand on that word. She also sometimes gets 'two' right now when noting two cats or dogs or babies in the store.. when she used to always say three, 'one, two... THREE BABIES!' for twins in the store just a month ago. This morning she counted our orange cats and said 'two cats' properly.. which did impress me.

She has also picked up a few things she should NOT say... but she thinks it is funny and she does use them 'correctly' ("WTF" for something is messed up/bad and she wants to know why and 'Oh s*t' in similar circumstances when she drops or breaks something or someone else does and she knows exactly what happened and that it is bad). She said one of those in front of people we were visiting the other day and it was funny, but awful at the same time.

MORE: Esme also will tell 'monster trucks' in the valley or the dogs 'no turn a purple' meaning do not be mad. I think she gets this from Cinderella and other cartoon movies where the screen zooms in and the background 'turns purple' around the character that is planning an evil thing. When the stepmother locks Cinderella in the tower room her eyes glow and the background gets dark purple and Esme has stood up and waggled her finger at her 'no turn a purple!' She tells the dogs sometimes 'no turn a purple' when they growl or fight. She also still uses the 'too ball' comment for things she does not want to do or thinks is a bad idea. I'm still not sure what/where it comes from but she has used it often enough to be counted as a word, now.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

garden pic

Esme at where the gate used to stand

She is going to be PINK with sunburn the way she is refusing to come inside.

Misha dog supervises, and digs holes

Mark going uphill with the tiller
Esme trying to show him a green taffy candy she got from me

Mark is really out there pushing the Cub Cadet to till up the garden. Esme is watching him and being very good about staying out of the way, mostly. Misha dog is helping some and digging her own holes as well. I took a pass at the garden yesterday with the tiller and Mark says it is much easier today after the ground is partially broken.

There is something in the wellhouse that needs fixing plumbing-wise. I have taken a good look at it and it does require a bit more parts than we have on hand. I'll buy them at work next time I am there and set the project for the next nice day. It is the valve leading to our garden hydrant, and it is broken just after the shutoff valve from the main well. However, there is another shutoff valve between the main one and the hydrant which has a slow leak at the handle when the water is on. So - replacing that shutoff valve would also be prudent. But, that means having a shutoff on hand (we don't right now) and there is another non-necessary area which is also broken further down the line just after ANOTHER shut-off valve, which is okay, but too closely coupled to the broken pipe to be used again.

I still feel hot and tired from the previous week - like I could sleep the day away. I hope it is not anything more than just exhaustion. I FEEL hot but am not running a temperature. I'm measuring right underneath 97 degrees, which is a normal temp for me (cold-blooded, or something).

We have started nearly 75 tomatoes and 18 peppers in the garage, and a few marigolds to put between the tomatoes to keep bugs away. The tomatoes are 'Roma' hybrid breed, 'Oxheart' heirloom breed, and Brandywine heirloom breed. The first two are sauce type tomatoes while the third is a slicing. The peppers we started were a hybrid 'mix' package and I don't really want a lot of those plants but do want a variety of the ones we will have. We will direct-sow the rest of our marigolds, beans, corn, zucchini, carrots, squashes, cucumbers and anything else that ends up in the pot.

There are several other 'big' things we need to do. Mark has a chainsaw to rebuild, get that hydrant working, mix black earth into the garden and put the fence up around it with the gate working again. We have a big week ahead of us, or two.

sewing and growth blurb

Esme's robin dress from February is already shorter on her than it was then. I don't think IT shrunk. I think she grew! The skirt falls an inch or two shorter than it did back then, as well.

Today, in April 2011

Part of this picture is her positioning, but the sleeves are still much shorter than they were when it was made. When she stands up and the sleeve hangs normally it is still about an inch off her wristbone - where I had measured to place it when it was made.

In February, 2011

Her new measurements are:
Arm length: 12.25 inches from shoulder to wrist
Chest measurement: 22 inches
Leg measurement from waist to ankle : 20 inches
Waist measurement: (to be gotten later - she is watching Electric Company)

I did not remember her arm length last time - but the other two are definitely more than her measurements last time.

She needs more shorts for the summer and by this observation I will need to make some more dresses. However - sleeve length does not matter as much in the summer as it does in the winter! A further note - she is just about to grow out of the size 10 leather maryjanes she has been wearing so long again. I put thicker socks on her the other day at her request and the shoes barely fit!

Simplicity 5937

Another pattern I have picked up in size 5. It is a pattern for a jumper dress or tunic (with gathered waist) and bell bottom pants. The only thing it lacks terribly is a sleeve - but that can be easily made up from another pattern or done without.

No I no sleep I go see Grandma

Also, caught this picture of Esme falling asleep while eating yesterday. It had been a long hard day of her running around while we tilled the garden up. When I tried to get her to wake up she said 'No camera not funny - I go see Grandma' and then fell back asleep to the point where she was about to fall backwards off of the table and caught herself. Then Daddy and I picked her up and tucked her into her bed to the tune of more protests of 'No I go see Grandma no rabbit no blanket no.. *crash*' In about five minutes she was back up and playing and we got no rest until much later in the night. But, it was a nice thought that we might all get to bed early.

Pay attention to the bottom left corner of this picture. She was entirely asleep and Nova was certain she could steal the pizza crusts and run off.

The measurement of the Swiffer head is about 10 by 5 inches.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Logging and Garden

We have a logger who has been working in the nearby area. We caught a hold of them and now they are working to clear our valley. We hope to grow orchard grass out there and run sheep or goats at some future date. They will also compensate us for a percentage of what they sell the lumber for, which will help us buy the seed and some fencing for it without digging deep into our pockets for that.

These are a few pictures Mark took of them at work.

Very big impressive machines. At one point I had told Esme they were monster trucks hungry for trees ;) But that probably isn't a good story to keep telling her *ha*

All of this was trees up by the road frontage of our house.

And a great shot of Esme while she was walking out there with him.

This is one of the trees they cut down that Esme got to stand on. We had tied green tape around every tree we wanted to make sure they left standing.

We also made a big decision today from our tax return. We bought a Cub Cadet tiller and Mark has half of the area for our garden tilled up. He wants me to go have a go at it in a little bit, after he goes over some blackberry vines in one corner. I have bought some heirloom seeds and a few others and we hope to have a manageable fenced-in garden this year.

Cucumber 'Homemade Pickles'
Tomato 'Oxblood' (for sauces and canning)
Squash 'Jarrahdale' like blue hubbard
Squash 'Turk's Turban', very colorful
Connecticut field pumpkins
Grandma has some heirloom zucchini seeds she says we can share
and some non-heirloom corn, bell peppers and another tomato.

We already used the tiller to dig the bed for Mark's morning glories. He loves to put them all along a long fence and watch them every morning during the year. We bought about five different varieties of those and planted them in succession down the fence along with some very good dirt from the co-op.