Monday, December 30, 2013

lost and found

Puppy went out yesterday morning with the other dogs at 3 am and had disappeared without a trace an hour later... no sign all day, except that Daphne dog suddenly went missing yesterday evening, as well. Daphne came back an hour ago, but no puppy. Then about fifteen minutes ago, Mark let another dog in from the yard and heard yipping up at the top of the road. He went out with a flashlight and came back with a furry, cold and hungry bundle. We are so glad this was a happy update and I was not wanting to post a sad one.

 Minerva is home, hopefully she has learned following big dogs out past the yard is not a good idea...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Introducing Minerva

Esme and Minerva, the puppy we have kept from Nova's litter of Catahoula/Blue tick cross.  Mark named her this because she was 'the thinker out of the group'... and she looks so much like her grandmother Misha.

Esme helping put together the K'nex roller coaster set I gave to her and Mark for Christmas.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mostly simple brown dress

 Brown dress (this is a color that looks good on Esme, so I grabbed it up when I saw it at two dollars a yard), with little leftovers of blue dot fabric for facings and a butterfly/bug applique for decoration.

I started this Christmas night and finished it tonight.  I haven't done one in a while and it was nice to finish one again.  Esme has been wearing handmade dresses during her school break and they still look so good on her in this style.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas morning

 Twilight sparkle princess pony, which she had asked for

Grandma's blanket I had been working on for several months.
The one I have this size doubles as a shawl while I am reading or making coffee in the morning

Blowing up the pink inflatable chair

 Thank you, Daddy!

 Reading books in style with a new chair and Christmas socks.

Esme was thoroughly spoiled by us, by Grandma Irene and also by Nana Josie from Minnesota.  She received a lot of things she wanted and things she needed, as well.  We hung her ringbar (trapeze and ring combination) up temporarily on a beam but it will go outside when it is warm enough.  She already has impressive strength and can pull herself up on it upside-down (no pictures of that).  Grandma spoiled us, too. and gave Esme  a dress-up magnetic paper doll book and kitchen sets, several stuffed things that also have uses, books, a video, lots of needed clothing and a pretty jacket.  My big gift for Esme was a Playmobil Indian village set (1980s vintage with horses and teepee and a full family of grandparents, parents, baby and child.  Then Mark had found the Twilight Sparkle pony, a stuffed Pinkie Pie and the chair seen above.  I got her more clothes and pipe cleaners in pink/purple colors and she immediately began to attach them to things as is her habit.  Nana Josie and Papa Kenney had sent her several Barbie dolls and a set of linking rings, as well as a stuffed teddy bear.  The teddy bear immediately got an arm sling built out of pipe cleaners.  She is really uncertain of what to do next with anything, just like usual for a Christmas morning hehe ;)  Currently, she is running around outside in her new jacket blasting off energy before lunch.

I'd like to get some time to sit down and cut out a dress out of brown or blue fabric and work on one a bit.  Mark has lots of plans for us tomorrow and I don't think I'll get to sew then.  He bought me more yarn, and I have to figure out what to knit next as now everyone has a blanket finally and I have to see what is needed, next. 

We played with the Indian village quite a bit - they picked 'raspberries', had a fight and then a reconciliation with a brown bear (the teddy bear), gave it honey and corn soup, went fishing in the canoe and fed all the horses.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

bit and playing outside

Playing outside 

Playing with the crank on the trailer, it is an 'invention' that smashes leaves. 

A leaf! 

Looking off across the yard 

Standing by the rose tree

playing outside before sunset

I had one of those 'I'll think back on this in the future' moments the other day with Esme.  I was listening to 'Great Big Sea' on the headphones and she dances across the room shimmering in the early morning sunlight.  I hold out the headphones to her and she puts one ear in and 'jams' to the last riff of 'I'm a Rover' with me, saying this is good music.  The moment made me smile several times later that day.. Sometimes I feel that 'this moment' is resonating in time forward and backward.. something tied to the past and that will be remembered and 'touched' back in the future.  And I love those moments... they let me know I'm in a sweet spot.

We're getting ready for Christmas.. things are wrapped, the Christmas stocking is ready and I'm finishing up knitting one last Christmas present.  Esme has been on break for several days and won't go back to school until a week after the new year.  She has been showing off her reading skills again and generally telling me a lot about how she thinks the world works.  The lights went out last night in a storm and I went upstairs to find her standing in the middle of the room scared stiff - the lights had come back on - but she was still scared.  She felt better with someone to accompany her downstairs, just in case the lights went out again.  Daddy told her that the world was raining outside and the house would need to become an ark, which was a big boat.  She took an attempt at drawing a picture of the house as a big boat - said it needed metal to protect it from being lightning...   Currently she is sitting on the floor near me putting barettes in ponies' hair and fending off kittens.

I've got some fabric from the store to make her a plain dress, in a warm russet brown color... not sure if I'll get to it today.  I finished the Christmas project, washed it and wrapped it up.  I then finished a little blue deer on my desk and put it in another package with the printed pictures to send off to my Mom in Minnesota.  The brown fabric is washed and put in my zippered bag to work on another day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas movie at school

 Early morning sendoff, so the pictures aren't quite the best as there was no light.  She was home sick yesterday, but really didn't want to miss her movie, and seems to be noticeably better today.  These are her Christmas pajamas Grandma gave her with the iron-on name.  We did it last night after I got home from work.  I've added a tshirt underneath and her 'coonhound, not poodle' skirt to keep her from freezing to death today.

Polar Express, here we come! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Packed school lunches

Esme said that there were kids bumping her tray and making her spill things at school - and apparently nothing had been done about that by teachers, so she wanted to start bringing a lunch box to school.  She also wanted to sit with certain girls who sit at the lunchbox table... so there is a double motive there.  We told her she would have to earn the lunch box by taking brown paper bag lunches to school until Christmas Break, which is at the end of next week.  If she does good with those and is actually eating what is sent - she can buy the pink lunchbox at the store.

So, now she is eating ravenously at home, and she 'appeared' to eat her lunch yesterday as the bag came home empty.  I packed her another today, and she seemed to approve of all of the contents.  I had went out to the store and picked up some fruit and better bread etc etc.. to make the lunch more complete.  And I insisted she eat a cheese stick this morning and part of a bagel and milk.  Which, she did.. although she hates cheese she said it wasn't so bad.

Since I don't know and haven't been told if they refrigerate their lunches (Esme says they don't - they stay in the backpack) I have just sent (good) strawberry jam on bread the past few days and assorted other items and a drink to make it balanced.  If she gets refrigeration or a lunch box I can send an insulated sandwich case with a cold pack so she can take bologna sandwiches with ketchup, which she likes.  It might make her a little less picky about what she eats and/or just be a learning experience for both of us.  I kind of like the idea of packing her a lunch at night for the next day - but don't like the idea I might not know what she eats and what she doesn't.  etc etc...

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Pancakes on birthday

It was Mark's birthday today and we celebrated 'in' with games and movies and a short trip to Grandma's house. The ice outside is over everything.

Mark cooked sausage and I backed up with pancakes, which are a special occasion thing I do from time to time.

 I always end up with the same recipe - although I keep having to go track it down and find three copies later hidden on the fridge etc etc...

Recipe for Pancakes

 1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
 1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
3 tbsp melted butter

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix Combine egg and vanilla and milk in second bowl, mix, add melted butter, mix again Mix all materials together. Using small amounts of coconut oil for each pancake spoon 1/2 cup quantities onto a semi-hot skillet (6/9 temperature) and flip as soon as edges are able to be slid under with spatula and small bubbles emerge in center of pancake. Make all pancakes, smother in maple syrup, and eat.

I go back to work tomorrow but right now the world is covered in strange ice.. .pretty but scary. I am thinking to go to the worktable and see if the sewing machine will function... I go to my sewing machine and find several of my paper patterns out of place with torn pieces carefully put back with them.  I remember Esme said last week she had saved my pattern from the dog - but it was there, and it was safe.  It didn't look damaged then.. and she did save it - careful taping and it is useable again.  I know a four footed creature was involved...  a week before that I found my bird shaped pincushion on the staircase where things end up chewed...and it was intact but the pins were probably a big surprise for that same four footed individual....

Saturday, December 07, 2013


 A picture she drew last night showing us at the rainbow leading up to our green house with her swing tree and how much she loves it.  Then she tried to draw the zoo on the left.

Her eyes are getting green and blue together in them, and the light was just right to take a few new pictures for Grandma.  Now I just need to make sure I print them so I can send them out.

We are staying in for the weekend as it is icy and planned to snow.  It is Mark's birthday tomorrow, and he thinks he'll cook himself a steak.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Christmas is approaching, and we are getting a few things in order for that.  Esme's list to Santa Claus included a 'jackhammer' to do road construction with (pretend, of course), a trapeze/ring bar to strengthen her arms, a My Little Pony (which keeps changing so we just picked what was available today) and a teaset.. which has already been delivered by the tooth fairy but she argues it had to have been Santa because it was on the list.  I saw the note from the tooth fairy ;)  I've got a few surprises and some necessities saved out, too. 

Her reading is getting a lot better, and her guesses are getting better, too.  Her art is much more detailed, the bridge she drew today had blue waves underneath it, two cars and one of them was a 'mouse' car that was tiny with tiny headlights.  She gets in counting moods, still, and she has to count all the pieces of pizza or all the dots on a toy speaker and trying to figure out how to group the pattern etc etc.. to count faster - I wonder if I've encouraged that with her showing her math things on top of her already obsessive nature, or if she just comes by it naturally and it expresses that way.  Her attitude is great at times and awful at others... and our communication is still 'off' at times, we argue or she doesn't tell us about something until it is much too late. 

Today she reminded me at night, while in the bathtub, that she had not had her shirt she needed for her school project today.  She was sure she could bring it tomorrow - but that did not look like what the note said when I read it... so I told her we will decorate it together at home and she can wear it at the party later in the month.  Early this morning she was all up in a tizzy about some drawing of a bridge she needed to bring to school to the 'bridge hall' and lay on the table with the other bridges.  We had no note at all for this - so I think she was trying to break into another class project from 2nd or 3rd grade and add her contribution.  I made her put her name on it and she said I was ruining the plan.  *ha*... she took it in her backpack and it has not come home tonight, so....  some days we just know she's ours, other days, its radiantly obvious.  And at other even rarer times, like tonight, she crawls into bed at 7 pm while I am making up the covers and she usually fights until way after 8.. and settles down to go to bed like it is nothing... and we look at each other and say 'in bed by 7:15... how?'