Friday, March 30, 2012

Eggplant, field corn, strawberry

two varieties of field corn from last year's cobs

I planted two short rows of this for the pole beans to climb up on.  I have one more cob I have not shucked that is a rose orange color.  Eventually, we might have chickens or other animals that will appreciate having this as winter and spring food. We will be planting much more of this in the far garden and this fall the ears should be overflowing!  Mark has told me to go look up the theories behind a corn crib - if I intend to save much more than we did this year.


Well, I actually had about seven more cobs of different colors - and, including the two bags shown above, ended up with six bags of distinctly different characteristics.  The rose orange/butterscotch cob is one, and then another cob with more pink tones, the red above, the yellow/blue, a ruby red that was VERY hard to strip, and another bag of everything that was EASY to strip which is varied in color and shape. The kicker? I planted two field corns and a sweet corn last year. Corn is one of those that hybridizes easily within the same year the seed is made - so the differences from the parents can be seen immediately. We ate the sweet corn, which had a few kernels of colored corn in it. Some of the 'field' ears were not saveable for dry corn at all because of the sweet corn genetics. Sweet corn kernels do not have the starch to dry hard - they dry soft and then will rot.  Anything with spotty or very uneven kernels was thrown to the dogs.  In the end - what was stripped into these six bags were the 'winners' of the genetic lottery - dried well, even kernels, had great kernels and color, and now they are ready to go another generation.

Pink flowering strawberries 
I had not seen pink flowering strawberries in a long time, so I asked Mark to buy three of these at the greenhouse today.  I hope they will produce some fruit, as well.

Japanese eggplant 

I also put several more Blue Shackamaxon beans in the ground by the field corn - they will be the only bean in the garden that has purple beans this year.

Esme has been invited to an Easter egg hunt tomorrow.  There will be other gardening things to do, as I have the weekend off, but it should be nice if she has a good time!  She was so 'big' sounding today - asking me to put beans in the garden for her to put water on, and to open things for her and to come with her etc etc..  I can't recall any of those exact sentences, but she is getting much more understandable.  At the greenhouse she came and told me that she had been missing Grandma in the flowers and we should go and find her.  When I went back to work Esme called out 'We're going to miss you Mom!  See you later!'  When I left for work this morning she told me 'See you later!'  Moments later she poked her head back out the door and said 'Don't crash the car!'  Oh my!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

garden note

I did not plant anything today - what restraint ;)  I have winnowed out the sunflower heads from last year, the basil seed and a lot of the broom corn seed.  Just that tiny bit of red broom corn I bought last year has reproduced itself thousandfold.  I have given some away to anyone who wanted some at work - hopefully it will feed other birds this next coming winter.  We have so many new and different birds this year - because of the logging opening up our woods.  There are also quail and turkey I am hearing in the woods, and saw last year.

Work tomorrow, but also more seed preparation for the weekend.  There are still marigold heads and zinnias to strip out and maybe a dozen field corn cobs to strip as well.  The only planted seeds that have a chance of being up this weekend are some of the beans and the radishes.  I will see and report!  I bought a Japanese eggplant that will likely be planted tomorrow.  I have never grown eggplant before, but am willing to try.  They are self-pollinating, like tomatoes, so just one plant should do well.

Also: My sunburn is very itchy!  Tonight after returning home from work - being inside all day long mind you - I am itching up a storm more than 24 hours after having been in the sun.  I have such a weird system.  It is like that with nearly anything heavy I lift as well - 24 hours or so later my muscles are telling me about it... but not before, unless I do something really unwise and then I know it almost immediately.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Garden map so far

This is the little garden.
Mark says it looks like Eeyore...
so I am calling the map 'the Eeyore garden'
planted today:
(*)  seed
King of the Early bean (*) bush triple purpose
Parchman Lockwood Pinto (*) pole
Black Shackamaxon bean (*) pole
Maria Amazalatei's bean (*) pole
Jeminez bean (*) pole triple purpose
Goldrush (*) wax bean yellow
Bosnian (*) pole
Dragon's Lingerie (*) pole
Sunflower 'Ruby Eclipse' (*)
Sweet Basil (*)
Florida Speckled Lima bean (*) pole
Lemon Boy tomato plant
Black Krim tomato plant

We still have the 'west garden' to till and plant.  The area for the sweet corn and zucchini are planned but not planted.  Everything else is actually there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We are out in the garden (2012)

We have returned from a jaunt to the co-op bearing mint, tomatoes, peppers and more... The garden was tilled the other day and we will be making more soil additions and tilling again today. Then it is off and running! I just planted some cosmos and snapdragons from seed... zinnias and others to come as well. There is a small section we have already cordoned off for flowers and herbs. There are 'volunteer' gladiolus I saw when I was tilling and that was the start of that.

The co-op had many more varieties this year, including of field peas (cowpeas). I picked up a bag of Speckled butterpeas but am also anxious to decide which ones out of my large stash of different heirloom beans would be best situated for this year, and where. We have corn, carrots and a lot of other vegetable seeds. I am trying just a small stint of okra this year as well - it has overwhelmed me in the past but the flowers are pretty enough to plant it as an ornamental. Then there are zucchini, scallop squash and pumpkins as well.

Esme put herself between these four posts and told me she was in a castle, and waiting to find 'Her Majesty' to bring the people and the flags to. Funny girl.

Planted today:
(*) seed:
7 Roma tomatoes
2 banana peppers
1 orange bell
1 pimiento pepper
2 mints, an oregano
assorted flower plants, marigold, pansies, portulaca
red and green cabbage (new for us)
carrots, color mix and regular (*)
okra (*)
radishes and rutabaga (*)
pattypan squash (*)
3 beans each of special breed pintos and golden wax beans (*)
cosmos, snapdragons, zinnias, calif. poppies (*)
giant english peas (*)

I've decided to plant the Maria Amazalitei pole beans, the Jeminez, parchman lockwood pintos, bosnian pole, florida speckled lima beans, dixie butterpea lima beans, ingot yellow summer squash, cocozelle zucchini, black beauty zucchini and waltham butternut squash. I have several breeds of pumpkin over in the freezer seeds but I have not went through them yet. I think the one that I had planned to use was Small Sugar Pie. Some of these seeds will be put here in this garden and some in the 'west field' as we have begun calling it to determine it away from the hilltop garden near Grandma's house.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cooking Spaghetti and Robot Dress

washing hands to help cook

This is the robot dress I made her out of a half yard of robot fabric and scraps of two other recent items. I think it turned out very well for on the fly! These pictures I took as Mark and Esme scuttled around the kitchen cooking. She had just had a much needed bath, but I did not wash her hair. She had been out in the garden dirt with me after I got home from work 'helping' by staying far out of the way as I used the little tiller on the garden. She also kept Loula pup away and helped me water some of the plants we put in the ground the other day. She did a good job with her responsibility, and then helped Daddy stir the noodles for supper. The spaghetti was very very good! We hope to be able to plant in the garden plot sometime later this week. Mark also took the big tractor over Grandma's garden today while Esme played with Grandma.

mid chew of a popcorn kernel...
silly face!

Loula pup is doing so much better...
she seems like she is out of the woods
and is looking healthy again

helping stir the noodles

Friday, March 23, 2012

she's growing up...

The other night Esme was begging me to tuck her in after already refusing it less than a minute before. I told her to let her Mr.Frog tuck her in. She took a second, then said 'No Mom, he's a toy.' Tonight she was hopping around like a kangaroo carrying a basket of 'kangaroo children' who were hungry. They were imaginary, by the way. I asked her what kangaroos eat, and she said 'Wait a minute for me Mom, I'll look at my computer.' ?? She opened her laptop and used the special links I have there to go to Starfall. She went to the 'what is my pet' section, chose the kangaroo and then told me what kangaroos eat - 'grass' and popcorn, and pizza, and kangaroo food. Next thing I know she will be googling for answers!

I am working on a dress for her - 'on the fly' out of things on my table. The Simplicity 3096 was missing both of the bodice pieces, so I substituted the last Butterick pattern size 6 to try to make it up. It is looking like a pretty basic dress for her - except for the two front darts which are also not perfectly to pattern. I will see how well it works.... Esme is happy I am making her a 'robot dress' and is still playing with her Starfall.

I asked Mark about another fabric to use for sleeves for this dress - as I was out of both of the other fabrics in it. Mark says 'it works for me'. Esme pipes up 'No Daddy, it is mine. You cannot wear my dress. You are too big!' HA.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Simplicity 3096 and more

Simplicity 3096 dress pattern
and some fabric from the clearance rack

The yellow version's lines and pockets really caught me weeks ago, and then I won the bid on Ebay. I have some plain yellow fabric as well and also some blue gingham coming in the mail soon.

Practicing sewing some old white cotton sheeting
into a simple laundry basket.

This basket is a 'time sink' type item - it takes a long time to get something that could be bought cheaply in plastic. However, I have been inspired lately by the house magazine Skonahem, which is Swedish. But, I feel a deeper connection with things I have read lately about the Sami people. It is odder still that there is much in my 'spirit drawings' that also rings true with some things I read here. Drawings of deer, bears and lots of ornate clothing, turtle shells, the universe as a round house etc... I could have picked up those ideas anywhere in my studies in years past but they have 'stuck' more than anything else.

Esme went to the nurse this morning and she did not think her cough and gagging was serious - just a prolonged cold. Considering she does not have a fever and has been playing like regular, just with a cough and sometimes a gag - it was not serious but good to have someone 'check up' at the same time. Esme was very worried she was going to get another shot, but Mark distracted her by blowing up a glove like a balloon. By the time the nurse did arrive to look Esme over she was not worried about it anymore.

We are now sitting home eating chicken noodle soup. Loula puppy seems to be perkier - her problem might not be serious. A Pogo cat has a few kittens in the basement storage room that she likely had last night. She is happy with them.

Mark says I am 'special'... because I was rubbing black pepper on my chocolate graham crackers. He gave me the idea and it is a GOOD one. Black pepper is one of those things, like coffee, that I like to have in abundance.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

flea market in Huntingdon, tn

We bought these at the West Tennessee Farmer's Market stall at the Huntingdon, TN flea market. It is held every Tuedsday morning, weather permitting. The turnips and tomatoes both looked very good. We bought strawberries, as well - but they are already cut up and being eaten! I thought I was crazy for buying turnips - but they looked so good. Then I found that Grandma had already bought turnips as well!

The flea market this morning had ducks and chickens, rabbits and dogs - people were selling all manner of things. We had come to look for plants, as well - but the selection was not good enough to make us buy. Part of that is we have not tilled yet and are expecting a cold spell next week. However, it was starting to get 'hot' already and a lot of people were leaving by 9 am. Esme really liked the ducklings, and a german shepherd puppy that was sitting with it's mother and talking about the world. Watching Esme talk to them was very interesting!

I found some baskets, a sweater, some peppermint soap... Esme saw the pile of clothes strewn out on a sheet and asked me where all the people were, these were just clothes, where were the people? I wouldn't have thought about it that way - but she has an interesting point of view on the world from three and a half feet up ;) Then we were drawn to the produce stands. I saw a Morse sewing machine there but could not convince myself it was useable. We both noted there weren't as many books as there used to be - and that the prices seemed to have gone up on everything. Mark got his knife sharpened - as the sharpener there does a very good job.

//we've been out to town one more time and bought some flowering plant roots at the tractor supply. We have been planting the hydrangeas and hummingbird vines, settling into hoping for a beautiful summer ahead. Mark is trying to convince me to go out and drive the tractor over our new garden place. I have black eyed peas simmering on the stove and fabric drying downstairs for new pants for Esme again. She has torn another pair and another dress skirt again...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Diggers two and tulips

I planted purple tulips yesterday. Esme and Loula were digging outside in the sand, like two peas in a pod. Loula is really living up to her nosy coonhound heritage. The dogwood trees are also blooming now.

diggers, two

hunting stance

dogwood blossoms
This tree had broken in half but was still finding a way to bloom. Mark says if we trim this tree after this season it will have stored enough energy from this year to spring back better from where it has broken.

purple tulips

a brown mushroom

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The universe continues to surprise me...

A very unique piece of rock
(on a porch chair Ninja cat tore the upholstery off of)

I looked down on my walk with Esme and there it was - looking for all the world like a piece of circuitboard or other man-made item. The first thing I did was turn it over expecting it to be a piece of plastic - but it is chert rock from our driveway. Mark also turned it all over in his hands when I gave it to him - and said 'what in the world - that is worth a picture!' What would you call it, a naturally occurring piece of conundrum? *ducks down before the shoes start flying through the air*. I swear there is a near perfect question mark in there, to top it all off.

My partners in crime, in all their puppyness.

I feel like the day is very early outside - but there is not much I can get done with that time. There are things I can do, of course, but they are not 'big' things... I guess sometimes it is the little things that build together.

Things I would like to get done sometime soon:'
Decide where and plant some more flowers. I saw purple tulips today that spoke to me. Start the tomato seeds for the black prince - the only one we have to start. Make Grandma a simple plank bench in her back yard - hers has fallen to bits. -- I have not mentioned this to her, but consider this a reccommendation? :)

Things I will get done or close to done today:
Sew Esme's sweater together - if there is enough yarn (there was not :(
Wash the towels.
Pick up some toys off of my desk which is swamped in them.
Give Esme a bath. She is filthy from running around outside!

Friday, March 16, 2012

knitting and weaving update

Esme and I had a nice day out in the 'world' today, looking at rocks and plants and visiting her Grandma up the road. I have been working a bit more on knitting Esme's blue sweater and thinking more about weaving again.

I am down to one sleeve to finish making, sew the sleeves on, then to make the extra ribbing around the bottom and the cuffs. I have already done the collar and buttonbands. I think it is coming alnog nicely and the part that is done fits her well on the try-on.

This can be a loom. I know it can. I rescued it from a pile of display items set to be thrown away - it used to hold sprinkler wands for garden spraying. I know there is some way for it to hold a very long warp wound up. That is why I have not woven anything in a while - I have graduated from 'placemat' size to not wanting to start anything that doesn't have the potentiality to be larger than 18 inches by 3 feet long. This may be another project that will come up soon - or it may have to wait until after our planting is done.

I am oogling the kilims at marla mallett's site with awe. There is even one there called 'Esme' on the small kilims page... how odd! Sometimes I think my heritage must have a bit of nomad in it - but the Native American heritage I do know about is actually more agrarian ;). My grandmother was born on the Turtle Mountain reservation in the 1920s (only to be shipped to an orphanage in Blue Earth Owatanna, where all other family records except the actual birth certificate were lost or are 'unavailable'). Her father's surname 'Lipe' was told to me to be Russian, but I think I have found it in Ellis Island research as German (not him, just others sharing the name). That is about as far as I get into genealogy... bits and pieces, here and there. My grandfather (her husband)'s family actually has a very long record going back very far in England and Germany. Someone in our family has a very thick heavy book about it. In any regard - weaving strikes a tone with something in me, whether it be genetic or simply a found kindred relationship with the yarn itself ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Esme is at school and we are home. We both agree it is very odd not to be looking for her every few minutes and seeing what she is up to. Her puppy is quite distressed, has been checking the truck and the road and looking into the house again. She has coonhound in her, so she is vocal about the displeasure. Daddy will pick her up later from school, but I will need to work late tonight. My headache had persisted for a day and a half - so I got out the scissors again and cut my hair short. At that point, I was willing to try it - as I had been thinking of cutting it for a week or so and two peppermint baths, sinus medication and a myriad of other things had not worked. The sinus medication just gives me hives :( but I was willing to try it. The haircut worked if not let enough time go by for the other things to kick in. The headache is nearly gone. Esme held the sides of my head this morning and looked at the hair in the trash can and said 'it was all yucky stuff, no more long is now short!'. She kissed me on the forehead and I felt beautiful. :)

She was so happy to go to school she nearly jumped out of bed. That was a feat, as she had stayed up much too late watching Daddy kill dragons on his game. Mama was in no condition to argue, either. I did struggle with her earlier in the night to get her hair washed - she only melted down a tiny bit right at the end where the soap was still in the front of her hair and she would not let me pour water over it - and would not do it herself, either. She finally did, but cried for about five minutes about it even after it was all done. *sigh* at least I don't have to hold her down and wash it anymore! She lets me pull the soap through and wash it well but then that last front bit of hair she doesn't want the water in her face. Poor kid. We all have our hangups, and water in the eyes/nose is definitely hers.

Spring is happening everywhere outside. There are redbuds blooming, daffodils, baby's breath, sarvis, pear trees and the very beginning of dogwood buds. Grandma has some tiny blue bulb flowers growing in her garden as well - I forget what they are called.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the year

There is so much that has happened in the last year. I am sitting here at DST +1 (the day after day light savings time) and thinking the morning looks too early, and it makes me reflect back. I think of the planting last year - it was later than this - but it seems almost that time again. I think of how much Esme has developed in that time - and it seems like just yesterday and a whole other world at the same time. She still shoves toys in her socks, but not as often.

In the past year she has gained a lot of technical skills, and independence. She can mostly put on her own coat, do the buttons on them, and put on and take off her own shoes without any trouble. She loves her school backpack, and going to school with the kids and the 'ladies.' She can get a cup, fill it 3/4 of the way with cold water, get the gallon juice out of the fridge, open it - pour it into her cup, put the screw cap back on, put the juice away and bring the cup upstairs with very little spillage. When she spills she cleans it up with a paper towel, and tells us about it later. I can now rely on her to really put her own dishes away after a meal, hang up her coat on a hook and put her shoes away, get almost everything ready for her bath at night except for that back zipper on her dress which I still have to help her with. And all of her dirty clothes end up in the hamper or directly in the laundry room. Yet, her toys are all over my desk and her desk and pretty much everywhere ;) She can write her name pretty well, still has trouble with making the 'S'.

She still mixes up the gender of he/she, trying to use the opposite one to the one she was just talking about, to indicate the 'other'. Example: She was talking about her elephant doll 'Elly' and I asked if Elly did something - the toy pointed at her and said 'no, he did.' 'He?' I asked. 'Yes, Esme.' the elephant replied. I am certain that was a pure case of opposite to indicate the other - even though she knows for certain 'she' is a girl if you ask her. Her toys talk more now, too - and reply to her using her name with back and forth conversations. That is somewhat new. 'Here you go Scooby Doo. 'Thank you Esme.'' etc. and so forth. She was trying to tell Daddy something was 'locked' in his game after she saw an indicator for a key needed on a door he had passed. He really hadn't noticed it - as he was running somewhere else and the door was long gone while she still tried to make us hear the word. It sounded like 'rock' or 'dark' - finally she said 'It is like - UNGH can't open this (with gesture of pulling on a door handle). *locked*.' Then we understood her. I was impressed she found another way to say the word to help us understand. That is going to be very helpful for her. She will still say something like 'How can you look at me' to mean 'How do I look?' when standing in front of me with her coat and hat on. She has a fondness for both her Sherlock hat and ball caps. She thinks hats protect you outside in the rain - and if it is raining really hard, a jacket would help. I might have to get her an umbrella this year of her own.

Her pretend involves magic spells, octopuses, crocodiles, cooking, 'writing', doctor, building and fixing things, tea set, sports type games, ghosts and much more. She ran in scared from playing outside the other day, shut the door really fast and leaned against it. 'I saw a ghostses!' 'YOINKS!' and she ran away into the stairwell. Daddy and I just looked at her 'dust' in the air and shook our heads. A minute later she was back and said there was no ghost, no.... we don't like ghosts.

She is a back seat driver when it comes to games on our computers - who can take the controls and walk around the game quite well when she wants to. But, she says she is still 'too little' when there is something scary in the game. She is quite scared of some things, like zombies, and bones, and bugs - when she starts talking about them I am amazed at the complexity of her descriptions, especially some of the 'wrong' ideas she has about what makes you bones etc... And then she will refuse to talk any more about it to 'get it straight' because she starts to scare herself silly with the conversation itself. I know she is 'seeing' the pictures in her head - and the more she talks about it the more scary and real it seems even though it is imaginary. She has her Mama's brain on that one - the 'seeing memories/imaginary pictures as if it is here' talent/curse. She really watches things everywhere - and we have to be more careful about what she sees now as she is putting them all together into large nightmares and sometimes daymares. And other times her talent of observation is simply too keen on the fact we can't put anything away from her (she finds it - even if it takes a chair to see it) and she remembers things she saw in stores and gets 'ideas' of what we could do with this or that etc... As I was walking down the stairs with her yesterday she says to me: (not exact) 'Oh good Mama, you have money in your pockets. I can put those in the (gumball) machine please?' She could hear the coins in my pocket moving as I walked -- that one is scary. Her 'I have an idea!' or 'I want to talk to you about something' discussions are interesting, indeed.

She tucks me in when I have to go to bed early and she is staying up to watch a movie or watch Daddy play a game. She can run so fast outside that she wears the puppy out on a simple jog up and down the hilltop. She is very interested in nature - growing things, how she grows, the beating of hearts and the ideas of 'how everything works.' We have read her Dr.Seuss body book and she comes up with good ideas of how other things work - and I am often amazed to hear her 'expanded logic' on why she thinks things are the way they are. There is a brain in there - and it is working and trying to connect everything.

She is understanding time more, as well. I hear the 'ten minutes, fifteen minutes' and such often, although I am not sure she knows them as well as she thinks. She knows the sun comes back after the night - and that often will get her to go to sleep at night. She says she loves the sun, and it chases away the brown bears who live in the night. She is still worried about the brown bears and I am glad - because she can open the door to the outside now and there is a lot more than brown bears out in our woods that could find her! (coyotes and more). In our Minecraft game she will run inside a house when it is dark or raining outside, and if it is dark she will find a bed to sleep in to 'make the sun come back and be morningtime.' She will find torches and put them around her outside if she cannot find a house - and sit in the middle of the torches and 'be safe.' Those are her own ideas from watching us play the game. She also tells us not to use the wrong tools to do something (like a pair of sheep shears to dig - mom, use the pickaxe or the shovel, not the sheeps!) even though they technically will work. She sees octopuses in the water and nearly hides under the desk.

Last night I heard her belly grumble and roil several hours after she had eaten. She heard it and asked me what it was. I told her the food inside was processing - and she of course gave me 'the eyebrows.' The food was processing getting ready to be made into all the things that help her grow. 'I grow?' she asked, very interested in this prospect. 'Yes, tonight your food will help you grow, just a little bit, maybe this much.' (indicate a centimeter) If you keep growing I will need to make you more pants AGAIN!' 'No Mom, you made pants yesterday.' HAHA. Yes, I did. And I made them just an inch TOO long to roll up so there was room for you to grow some more. I was impressed by her use of the word 'yesterday' and it was correct. The day before I had made her a pair of planet and stars pants.

She also had her playmobil people out all lined up in front of a 'cooking pot' and was pretending to cook. She picked up each person and shook them on top of the pot - saying 'You are peppers.' She went all down the line with them doing this - and it was a good ten minutes before I realized she was playing an episode of Fraggles - where Gobo and Moki are pretending to be salt and pepper shakers and the Mama Gorg picks them up and shakes them. When I connected it and asked her if she was making goomba soup like the Mama Gorg she got all red in the face, denied it - No I am an ESME not a Gorg! - and found another game. *ha* But - she was back playing that game again within the hour, as long as I wasn't watching ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sarvis blooms

The sarvis trees are blooming. We should mark them soon so we save them in the next brush clearing. We always enjoy seeing them 'start spring' with their white flowers. The dogwoods are 'maybe another week or two away', Mark thinks. We took a short walk out in the world today to look at them.

Esme with a sarvis cluster

Misha came with us. She had found a 'treasure' a deer hunter left in the woods somewhere near our house and was galloping around like a puppy.

Some of them have a tinge of pink

Esme watching Daddy look at the dogwood buds.
The contrast was dark - but her expression was wonderful.

Skittering around out by the hydrant

We planted a rose bush out here on Esme's first day of preschool - it is getting leaves, so we may get roses this summer?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

getting there

I finally get the day off tomorrow... getting there has been tough. Esme seems to be feeling quite a bit better - not all the way yet. She is running around the house with her Sherlock hat on and purple clogs, playing alligator games. She has been busying herself in Minecraft putting colored wool all over the outsides of the houses that I had already built, and playing with my rail system. Mark said she wanted to make a new launch point for the rail system the other day and went back to my 'bakery' (I put a cake in there and materials so she could 'bake') to pick a button out of the chest there. Buttons 'start' minecarts but only if there are powered rails attached to them underneath. That is sort of a complicated step. She had gotten the blocks built around the rail area and put the button on a block - but had not hooked it up with two extra steps. She had her character sitting in a minecart (which she had to place) at the spot and was furiously pushing the button when Mark realized what she had done/was trying to do and got her the other two parts to complete the idea. She was happily riding around the system for a while the other day. I haven't had much energy to do much in there except see what she has done each time. And, I still have not sewn any new clothes for her. Maybe tomorrow.

//after work. Daddy bought the Lion King for Esme on sale - she watched it and liked it very much. I am working on the sleeves for her new blue cardigan sweater. She is noticeably outgrowing the one from last year and I have been so slow to finish the new one. On the sewing agenda are some more pairs of pants and probably another few 'basic' type tieback dresses. I should make another pair of my own house pants again. Esme asked me yesterday when I got home from work and had changed out of work jeans into a pair of drawstring calico pants - 'Mama, you put on REAL pants! You are home!' HAHA. I really wish that was the truth that the drawstring pants were the 'proper attire.' They show her point of view quite well - she likes it when I am home ;)

I had to explain going to work again this morning as well. She keeps wanting me to tell them 'no' and stay home. I explained firing - 'No, no... not real fire. They just point at me and say 'Go away and do not come back, we don't want you here. AND we get no more money for groceries.' She thought about that for a moment - let go of my leg and said 'OK, Mama. You go to work. I will hold the door for you and kiss and hug.' What a turanabout. She is also getting much more understandable - lots of phrases I am hearing 'complete' for the first time. I will have to try to record some of them as I hear them.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

second day of preschool...

Esme was not too sick this morning to go to school, and she really really wanted to. She got all ready to go and was very happy to be there. She wanted to be with the kids, even though they were scuffling some last week. Daddy will pick her up later when I am at work - so I hope she has a good day.

//Esme did have a good second day of school - there are a lot of social lessons she needs to learn. One of them is that even if the kid asks you to bury them with sand in the sandbox, it isn't a good idea ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The sick continues...

Not much news from the frontline here - we are still sick with the 'green junk' and Esme is coughing a lot. We might actually keep her home from school tomorrow if she continues. I am trying to recruit Daddy to go out and get us some more juice - as I have been drinking more of it and that leaves Esme with not much. He is willing. And I have to go to work in a few hours. I was sloshing through work hours yesterday in a very grumpy state - which isn't good, because they are stepping up their 'flavor of the week demands' and it is making me a little teed off. That is not easy to do - but it is easier when I am sick and the demands seem to swirl about insignificant things rather than helping people in front of me. They were asking me to clean displays that had just been cleaned - and then cleaned them themselves just to spite me, and they were dirty again in a few hours. Why? Because those displays are under the freaking air return on the furnace. But, there is no reasoning with them. They are just passing the buck and quoting company policy about 'being clean and presentable for customers'....grr.. About 2 percent of customers are going to think anything at all about some dust in a sink bowl of a display - and even then, the situation disappears in the face of the person who actually needs a sink bowl. I brought up some 'real' concerns - things customers had been complaining about - and they came up with wild plans that involved us moving mountains to cover up a hole in the carpet. (metaphor). Like I said, I get in a bad mood when I am sick. And I just want to feel better - and have Esme be better, as well, so I am not watching in the middle of the night to make sure she is breathing okay every few hours. Yes, I still do that, especially when she is sick.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

catch up bits

Bits and smatterings. I cleared up the mending table, two dresses with minor problems and two pairs of pants that needed to be made into shorts. Esme and I both have colds, and I have not done that much this weekend. My nose no sooner unclogs than it starts seizing up again. The mending, some laundry, made Jell-O, played Minecraft and began to crochet a new pair of slippers. Esme still asked me to pack her backpack for another of day school 'tomorrow' - told her she would go back but not today, or tomorrow. She played more with her stethoscope and magnifying glass today - pretending to be a doctor. She listened for Loula puppy's heart - and looked in my ears as well. She has happily eaten Jell-O and chicken noodle soup today and has been sad that we have not been outside. We keep telling her to go check outside and see if it is warm yet - she says 'no, still cold.'

Saturday, March 03, 2012

random bits

Esme got sick last night - mostly because she was crying with a stuffy nose and a full stomach. She is still coughing some this morning because she hurt her throat and her nose is still stuffed up. It is cold outside, so we probably will not play outside as much as I thought we might. She played outside a lot with Daddy yesterday - and ran the puppy into the ground again. When I got home from work Loula was lying on the floor on a blanket saying she was TIRED. And Esme was still going sixty-per at that point.

On preschool the other day - Esme said that the kids were mad at her, they hit her, and the lady (teacher) said STOP. She said they were not friends - but we convinced her they might be friends. Daddy really laughed over his milkshake when she said that holding two hands out as if weighing options 'Kids are not friends. But, they might be friends?' She was swinging her arms at us and pushing us, which is something she has not done in years. Her mood improved after we got milkshakes - she was turning 'back' into our Esme at that point, but she thought about the difference between kids and adults all day. I could see it in her eyes as she thought about things. She said she DID want to go back to school, although I haven't told her when. We will see what happens when next week arrives. I can help drop her off and have a short word with the teacher about it.

9644 Butterick circa 1960, size 6

This is the 'basic bonus dress' pattern. I still scan the patterns on E often - but don't feel inclined to add much more to my collection. This one was basic, yet had variations, and I had never seen it before. I snapped it up, and found that it was quite rare. I am hoping to make one up for Esme soon. I really need to make some pants - she has ripped another pair, which makes us down three.

I have the weekend off - which is starting out to be lazy. I'll see if I get any ambition later.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A four year old and Minecraft

In Minecraft -
We are just sitting here often in awe of how quickly and accurately she works out the mechanics of the game - just by observation and experimentation. She knows her way around in an uncanny manner - knows exactly where she is going and what she is going to do when she gets there. She has picked up the use and purpose of most of the tools, the inventory system and even some of the more complicated things like redstone, fishing, feeding animals and cooking (fish) in the furnace. She knows what makes the fishing rod, and a few other things - and will go and get those things out of chests and ask us to help her craft the item.

Daddy had to put all of his 'hard to find stuff' in a new set of chests in a locked room - to keep Esme out of it on the multiplayer server. She asked Daddy to open the door a few times, and he said no, it was locked. He locked the door with a set of six switches, only one of them worked to open the door, which was located around the corner in another hallway. He thought that would be enough. NO - within minutes she had her character over there examining the switches, because they were new. She was playing with them, randomly, checking what they did. Just one of them made the 'open door' sound - and she paid attention to that, and looked for a door after she heard the noise. She went away and came back a few times - watching to see if we were looking at her. It was less than three hours and she had the door open and was inside the room. He is now wondering just what he has to do to make something she can't get into.

Also - she has been watching him harvest a garden with a switch mechanism that pours water down to force the harvest (so you do not have to do it piece by piece) and collects the wheat at a trough at the bottom of the hill. It is quite elaborate - and clever, I think. She knows where the seeds are kept in a chest - and knows the steps of making a garden - water, hoe the ground, plant the seeds, wait until it turns brown etc.... Wheat makes sheep have babies - and she likes that. I saw her watch Daddy harvest the garden and then she ran 'across the world' (a good distance) to a sheep field. She took out the hoe and started making a garden and put seeds in it.

Also - she is happy that my character (whom she plays at my permission) has a 'helmet' now. She was scared of him going out in the rain before - he would get wet. Now he has a hat, and he does not need to be scared of the rain. I was mining clay in a river today and it started to rain. She came up to me and said 'wait, I click the i'. She hit the inventory button (i) and said 'OK, man - you have helmet, you be ok with rain, no hurt.' Too funny.