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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Knitting Debut

I'm excited that I just finished the burnt orange scarf. I ended up giving Laughing Water my hat because it looked better on her. So I gave her the scarf, too! I think I'm hooked on knitting!
I have my friends' three kids here today. Three-year-old twins and a 7 year old. It is a CRAZY day! But the sun is shining and tummy feels better than the last two days. Woohoo!!!!!!!! Feelin' lighthearted! TTFN - Nanette

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hanging Gardens, Part II

Our hanging gardens is up and working! The Wood Artist drilled holes in the bottom of the PVC. He also put screen over the holes to keep the dirt from falling through.

He hangs two PVC trays beside each light. (The light between them shines down to the level below.)
My Brother Schnickelfritz gave me some pea starts and some Chinese greens. I planted them along with lettuce, endive, and raddichio seed. I can't wait to see how they mature.
I'll keep you updated. - Nanette

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Fun

Sunday was a pretty exciting day for the children. We visited some friends who had a spectacular sledding hill. Laughing Water was a bit fearful, but Mr. Blueberry Eyes took to it with glee!
There were jumps and he caught some great air.

We also strapped on our snowshoes and took a trek through the woods. In the evening sleds were hooked up and the children were pulled for about seven miles on the long driveway.
A lone wolf had left his tracks of about four inches and scat on the road. One could easily see that he had recently dined on a rabbit.
We're lovin' God's great creation! - Nanette

Friday, February 12, 2010

Librarians Are The Best

Librarians are some of my favorite people. They are right up there with firefighters and policemen in my book! They are a breed all their own and they all seem to have one passion - helping you find books. At my local library, I'm afraid that someday I will reach my limit of the lengths they go to. I keep them busy finding and processing stacks and stacks of books.

There is one librarian, however, that goes above and beyond the call of duty repeatedly. She keeps her eyes open for books on subjects she knows we like and puts them on hold for us. The book in the above picture is one such book. It is a book about felting old wool sweaters and all the wonderful things you can make with them. I highly recommend "Warm Fuzzies" by Betz White. And thank you, Ms. Library Personified!

I've been flattered recently to learn that at least two local librarians read my blog. So, here's to you! May your influence inspire the children in our valley to become just like you!

In other news, Mr. Blueberry Eyes read for 30 minutes on his own today. He is very eager to earn a ticket to a local theme park. Whatever it takes! It is so fun to see him growing up. We've had some tough times with that kiddo, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, at least this tunnel. I hope we have a few good years before we hit the teenage tunnel!

My brother, Schnickelfritz, helped me highlight my hair this morning. I bartered with him for squash soup. I'm pleased with the outcome.

It was chilly the other night and we found Lucky Tiger warming her buns at the heat register! Thought you'd all appreciate a good laugh! TTFN - Nanette

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Putting Off What Must Be Done

I'm stalling. Yesterday I was given a large bolt of fabric for a wedding I'm sewing for. Although the wedding is not until May, I really want to get the dresses done. I have the measurements for two of the bridesmaids. The third is going to sew her own. There are several changes to the pattern and it is up to me to communicate all of that to the other seamstress in hopes that the dresses will all look similar! Right now, I need to compare measurements and start altering pattern pieces. Usually, I would look forward to the challenge, but I must be getting old. I just want to be done already. So, I'm blogging! Its more fun.

Here is a picture of the recent snow-shoe excursion we took into Glacier Park. It rejuvinated me to get out to my favorite stomping ground! Pictured with the kiddos and I are my parents, Health Food Man and Granny Flash. The Wood Artist is behind the camera.
I had a treat the other night. My sweet Laughing Water told me that she was making dinner. I ran to town on an errand and when I got back she was busily making potato soup and apple muffins. They were superb! I'm not sure where she learned to cook because, honestly, as much as I intended to teach her, I really haven't done so great at it! The muffins were so scrumptious! I couldn't have done a better job myself!
Today, Mr. Blueberry Eyes was in his skivies (I don't know how to spell that) scrubbing the bathtub (his favorite chore). He said, "Mom, can we web-catch today?" I thought, "Oh, bother! He has already passed me up in technology savvy." I said, "What is web-catching?" He replied, "You know! Getting down the cobwebs!" (So now you know that my house isn't perfect!) So, he spent part of his morning "catching webs"!
I'm excited to see how Mr. Blueberry Eyes has been motivated to read the last few days! It should help him make a lot of progress. I gave him a test, which he did not pass. I explained that he would pass it just as soon as his brain started paying attention to the vowel sounds in the words. That was all it took. He asked for the test again the next day and he passed it with flying colors. Now he is asking to read! Funny, the little things that can make a big difference.
I got some old wool sweaters and suit jackets from a local community service center that could not give them away. I felted them in my washing machine and plan to start making some hats and mittens out of them. Oops! That reminds me. I have a wedding to sew for first! I guess I can't stall anymore. I'm grabbing my measuring tape. I'll turn on the radio or a book on tape and just tackle it. Wish me luck! TTFN - Nanette

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hanging Gardens Progress

We're in the doldrums of winter. No snowstorms. No sunny days. Blah. Our spirits seem to be doing the same thing. It is hard to feel creative and energetic. Funny thing, though. When I look through my pictures of the last week, we've done quite a bit.

Above is a picture of the soil trays that The Wood Artist is making for my hanging garden. It is made of 4 in. PVC pipe.
Here he is building the frame to hang them on. He should have them up and ready to plant this weekend sometime. I'll keep you updated.

I promised I'd let you know how we liked the creamed kale made from the dehydrated kale. It was yummy! I made my sauce with dairy, but you could make it with a nut sauce if you prefer a vegan option. It was slightly chewy and I think that next time I would cook the kale next time. This time I just soaked it.
Mr. Blueberry Eyes lost another tooth today. He said, "Mom, I'm putting my tooth under my pillow." I said, "What if the tooth fairy is broke?" He replied, "It would be really nice if you'd give two dollars so that I wouldn't have to earn any more money for that toy I want." Inflation these days! - Nanette

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Super Bowl, Everyone

I am the scrooge of football. I don't understand it. I don't get it. I don't care about it. And I think it is noisy. I think it is silly for grown men to race around like idiots chasing an oblong piece of rubber. And why do they ALL pile on top of each other when one or two well placed takles could stop the rubber? At this point I'm cringing and can hear bones snapping. (Oh, wait, that was my knitting needles clicking away.)

So when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, all I care about is the food and watching my family and friends laugh, cheer and scream. As it happens this year, The Wood Artist is heading over to friends to watch it. I'm staying home to tuck in the cherubs and steal a few moments of peace. I'm not even slightly sad. (Though I will miss watching my friend, Nancy, scream and cheer. I'm told it is not to be missed!)

Despite all of this, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed "Blind Side". It even helped me track what is going on a bit better. If he was playing in the Super Bowl, I might have had to watch it.

This picture is of my new kitchen growing operation. Though I'm afraid putting it up inspired so much creative thought that it will soon be taken apart for the much grander "hanging garden" that I mentioned before. The Wood Artist has been working hard all day and it is taking shape nicely.

Yesterday we went for a snowshoe in Glacier National Park. We were looking for Charley Russell's famous cabin. But we didn't find it. We determined that we will have to search again in the summer by canoe. The day was nice and it did my cabin-bound mind good to see the Park again and breathe the pristine air.

So, now that I've allienated all of my football-fan readers, I bid you a good evening. Enjoy! - Nanette

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dried Kale

Thursday is my cleaning day. I don't like Thursday, because it is a lot to get the house sparkling clean and do school. But, I have some great helpers and today they were in fine form. I assigned Mr. Blueberry Eyes the job of mopping the kitchen floor. His response was, "Can't I do all the floors?" That is a sound a mother loves to hear.
So the house is coming along and school is coming along. Now I just need to work in my walk and wrap up loose ends and all will be well. I LOVE Thursday nights because it is the culmination of the regular weekly duties and I can relax and plan food for the weekend.
Speaking of food, I made a soup this week and tried out my dried kale. It was so yummy! I really don't think I will ever go back to freezing kale when I can dry it. It is easier to preserve, more nutritious and just as yummy to eat. I plan to try making a creamed kale over rice dish. I'll let you know how we like it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

Mr. Blueberry Eyes was delighted to have Papa come home from work the other night. He had some wiggles that simply would not be satisfied without a good wrestle. I'm blessed to not be raising that kid as a single Mom. I doubt either of us would thrive!
We got about two inches of snow yesterday, just in time for a 2 1/2 hour trip to our annual Pinewood Derby. I'll share pictures of that later.
I am slowly wading through the seed catalogs and picking my favorites for this year's garden. I'm particularly grateful that I saved quite a lot of seed last year. It will help with the budget this year!
I just got my "Heirloom Gardener" magazine from Baker Creek Seed. I learned that this is National Dill Month! But, in all seriousness, there are many more cool things in there that I learned. I love that magazine! They had a great article on parsnips.
I'm feeling a little down about my garden because there is so much I didn't do in the fall. I didn't get all of the old plants pulled up and I didn't plant my garlic. I did find out that I can plant the garlic in the spring, but it will cause small bulbs. Its o.k., though. We can start again from here and it will all be o.k.
The Wood Artist made more progess on our hanging kitchen garden lastnight. I'm so excited about it and can't wait to share pictures!