Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Photo A Week

Our first little hopeful flowers of the season. Hard to believe they showed their faces after the "sneet" storm last night. Of course, it may not hurt that they are planted at the front corner of the house, next to the gas meter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday Photo - Late

Indoor hydrangeas on the dining room table. Praying for spring weather.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jelly Bean & Plumage

I've finally completed the Jelly Bean doll from Sherry Goshon's pattern. I re-made a couple parts, but overall, I'm pleased. I may just make another!

As gorgeous as Jelly Bean's plumage is (my nod to Spring bonnets), look at the plumage on this fellow. He and a mate landed on our pond, and have been diving and posturing all day.

My Oldtimer says he wants a truck the color of the duck's head!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feels like Spring!

We got some gorgeous weather today, not a cloud in the sky, temps in the mid 60s, and it was time to brush that undercoat out on the Hairy Boys. Also, more fish pics - I could see the swath of orange at the shallow end, all the fish nuzzled into the leaves that piled up at one end!
See Buddy in the photo above? I still think he looks like the Teddy Bear that has lost his button eye.

Cosmo likes to watch the dogs get tortured!

And poor Murphy agrees with me - his undercoat is awful in the mouth! I hope the birds use it to make nice nest lining.

A *few* of the fish!

Many more...and that isn't half of them.

Sweet spring :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Photo - 4

No matter what the season, I love the shape and color of this little Japanese maple (small portion shown).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twelve Years

Twelve years ago today, my dear Oldtimer, my two daughters and I climbed into my new blue Rodeo (named Daphne), and headed for the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. On the way, we stopped at my favorite florist and picked up a box of boutonnieres, a metal tub arrangement of stargazer lilies, three bouquets tied with love knots, and a huge grapevine wreath with live plants and flowers intertwined.

It was a bright and clear day, though the banks of snow at the curb were still huge, even by Minneapolis standards. We made our way to Turtle Bread, parked the car, and hauled in the goods; lined up our favorite music, made some requests of the staff, and waited for our guests to arrive. All the friends and rellies that showed got a flower to wear, keeping them from paying for any sandwich, drink, or dessert they might want - after the wedding ceremony.

We watched in horror as Pam Sherman herself pounded a huge stake in the beautiful French country corner cupboard and hung our wreath. We began greeting the early arrivals, pinned on the flowers, circulated, encouraged, and then Gretchen Thompson, a beautiful UU minister, performed our ceremony. We recorded the whole thing, and you can hear the cash register ringing in the background. The final words on the tape of our vows are Gretchen declaring us married, Oldtimer's statement of "Good, let's eat!" and my daughter Bekah saying "Smart ass!" That's the end of the tape of our wedding.

It was a great, relaxed, fun way to get married. We enjoyed it all and got to visit with our nearest and dearest. I still make a trek to Turtle Bread with every visit to Minneapolis, I miss it so. What a wonderful place!

Since our wedding, we've seen an extraordinary amount of change in our lives - from location to employment to number of family members. We've often mourned that we didn't meet when we were younger so we'd have more time together, but the truth is that we've packed a whole lot of living into those 12 years. I wouldn't change a thing. (Well, except for climate, perhaps...)

Sorry the photo isn't better. It's my favorite from that day, but it's always been grainy. Perhaps I can find some of the others...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday Photo A Week

Waiting for spring - still left on the bushes after a long hard winter...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Spring Fever

Give me a few warm days, and I look for lighter decor and start cleaning up and changing things around. It took all day of moving out and washing the depression glass, but (for now) this is the spring/summer look for the apothecary cabinet in the kitchen.
Lots more to do, but it's a start!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bird Song & Fish Soup

My heart, my heart. The joy I feel when the winter weather begins to lift and the scent of spring is on the breeze is indescribable. I feel like a new person. I smile at the people in the aisles of the grocery store; I plan to fluff the house for a lighter look; I pull cookbooks from the shelves looking for new recipes to fit my new state of mind.
This morning I was awake early. At 7:00 am, it was already 55 degrees, so I opened the door to the deck to let the "winter stink" blow out of the house. (Lolo often used the phrase with us as children when we'd get antsy - "go outside and run the stink off.") The first thing I heard when I opened the door to the deck was birdsong - glorious birdsong. Not just the "thief, thief!" cry of the bluejay, but that most certain song of spring - the cardinal singing out his bounds around the yard. Shortly after, the song changed to the clamour of multiple goose honks. Sure enough, we had 7 on our pond (a missing mate??) and Neighbor Joe had two on his pond - 2/3 of which is still iced over!
Seven on our pond...

...and two for Neighbor Joe

Later in the day, I heard my Oldtimer calling from the yard. He sounded so frantic, I thought he'd stuck his foot in a gopher hole. No...the fish apparently took advantage of the winter to cozy up and make more. Our first little bit of warm weather and they were there to color the surface.

Just a small portion of the fish in the pond!

Before summer gets here, you will no doubt be sick of my attempts to catch photos of the fish, just makes me so happy you're going to have to put up with me. Remember, we put a total of 90 little feeder goldfish (you know the type - all you see is two eyes and a tail) in the pond two years ago, and at least 15 by count did not survive...all the rest of these are homegrown!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Sentimental Journal Day...

Yes, that's right - Sentimental Journal (not Journey).

It's been one of those days. Odd, disparate subjects lead back to one another. Motivation low, but subjects winding round and round in my brain, making me feel as though there's a reason I'm not busy, busy, busy at work; or making, making, making in the Treehouse. Am I supposed to be watching for things, reading the signs? And, as I mention above in my header - my brain tends to work like an eggbeater. My Oldtimer says he loves the way I tell a story because you never know how far down the trail I'll go or what detour I will take before I get back to the original intent of the story. Thank heavens he's a good and patient man who likes my baby-boomer method of telling things.

So today:
My co-worker and I discussed Zimmern and the creepy things he eats, which...
Made me homesick for Minnesota, and then...
A belated birthday gift arrives from my children, followed by...
Reading a Voo Doo Cafe blog entry, leading to Roz's blog, which...
Made me think of a long ago entry in a journal...
Bringing me back to homesick for Minnesota...
...and this can all be interconnected.

So - Andrew Zimmern hosts the show Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. Apparently, last night's show was about Minnesota. Minnesota happens to be Zimmern's adopted home state, and it is also the state where I lived the first 45 years of my life; where I raised my children, too. Talking about the foods with my co-worker made me a little homesick. It made me wish I could bop down to Lund's and get some Minnesota wild rice, and some of their fabulous tapioca pudding (made with CREAM - it's a dairy state for god's sake...). I loved Lund's Foods. I craved their eclairs with the big, solid stripe of thick chocolate frosting during my entire pregnancy with Bekah.

Bekah...who turned 30 last October. Sigh. I miss my kids. I miss the crazy things we would eat on Saturday nights when we had "snack supper" and listened to Saturday Night Cruise on the radio. I told my co-worker about some of those foods - everything from grapes dipped in blue cheese dressing to smoked oysters to pickled herring to crackers and cheese. I'm still homesick...and I'm missing my kids. All adults now, all with good productive lives, all living in different states, none of them Ohio. How lucky am I to have *3* children, none of them black sheep or worse, and I miss them all and they all brag about me??

My three wonderful kids and Baby O, taken about 2 1/2 years ago.

Then the doorbell rings, and the mailman delivers a nice little box that makes a rattling sound. It's a birthday gift from my three kids. (Yes, my birthday was a couple weeks ago.) They all pitched in and bought me a mother's charm bracelet, and it has charms not just for me and my three kids, but also Oldtimer, the spouses, Miss Olivia, and the unnamed new grandbaby due in May. Gosh I miss my kids, and how lucky am I that they *cooperate* with one another and got this for me?

So I'm reading blogs and emails to distract myself a bit, where I stumble across Ricë Freeman-Zachary's post and link to Roz's blog about journaling. I'm an erratic journal keeper, but what Roz wrote really resonated with me. She made mention of snippets that she's written down, that others have written, that can still make the author and her daughter laugh, years later.

Then I think of the few things I managed to put in a journal, as spoken by my kids, and wonder how many more I've lost, because moms like me just get too many opportunities to save wonderful things said by the kids. I've saved a few, some really great ones, but one in particular came to mind, one that I probably remember only because I wrote it down. When my son Chris was about 4 years old, he had a great playmate living right next door (in a house just off Victory Memorial Drive in Minneapolis). They were allowed to go just one yard past their own yards in either direction. This allowed them into the back yard of the Malone family, who had four children, including a son who loved animals, and was always rehabilitating something. One day, he had a robin with a broken wing in a cage on the back step. When I called Chris to come home for lunch, he told me about the bird in the cage - but that was all. As he sat in the kitchen eating, the phone rang - it was Mrs. Malone. She was *very* upset because Chris and friend had come into their back yard to see the robin; the robin laid an egg in the cage; Chris broke it. It would not have surprised me to see steam coming from the phone, she was so angry.

I hung up and asked Chris why he broke the robin's egg. He gave a perfectly logical response for a four year old - "I wanted to open it because I thought there was a baby bird inside, but all there was was scrambled eggs!" That makes me miss that little golden curled, blue eyed boy. That boy who's now a full grown man, and will now have his own baby in a few months, way back there in Massachusetts. I hope he writes down lots of things she says.
Son Chris and his wife Robyn, 2 years expecting

I I homesick for Minneapolis, or am I homesick for those beautiful babies of mine? Who would think this would all come about because of a TV program and trying to describe lutefisk to a co-worker?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Our Buddy dog

Last Thursday, our Buddy dog had surgery to remove his left eye, which had some worsening issues due to glaucoma. I find it still a little shocking to look at him, but I've been assured that once the hair starts to grow back, it won't look so terrible. I tell myself he's like one of those well-loved teddy bears, missing one of his button eyes.

Buddy is getting around beautifully, and seems happy and charming, despite all he's been through. I know he'll look better soon, so I'll share photos then!

Jelly Bean & UFOs

I've mentioned to several of you that I've been working with Sherry Goshon's "Jelly Bean" cloth doll pattern. I'm still not done, but the following two photos show what I've finished so far. As much as I love this doll, and as easily as she's gone together so far, I now am having a devil of a time with her head wrap, and will probably do it over a couple more times before I'm satisfied. The second photo is very similar to the first, but you can see some of the other fabrics and sundries I'm working with for this doll.

We're also starting a new challenge today with a lot of the same folks who did the photo-a-day through the month of January. This is a UFO (unfinished object) challenge, and as you can see from the following two photos, I have plenty of those! I still have the dolls from last April's Doll Gala (the shame of it all...), a cigar box shrine, a beaded cat, two baby blankets, the mannequin from Jean Bernard's online class, and the wire and instructions for a "Whimsy Wabbit." Not included in this photo is the Pearl Moon doll I made over 5 years ago, still missing her shoes. Only her shoes. I could be finished if I would just make the ding-dong shoes. Oh, shoot...I just realized that two of the other unfinished dolls don't show in this photo! I have a Medusa doll, and a different Pearl Moon doll that didn't get moved into the scope of this photo. You'll just have to use your imagination!

And in the following photo are the unfinished clothing pieces... From left to right - the wearable art round robin piece belonging to Natalie Hamade, and hanging on my door hoping for some "under the sea" inspiration; an "Altered Ex's Shirt" which needs the addition of a piece of lace I received from Rice Freeman Zachary, which has the definite shape of a uterus, thus causing me to want to applique it to the back of this shirt that used to belong to my ex - because I know how much it would irk him; and denim jacket I got for cheap and over-dyed, but needs more work to keep from being boring. Forget the boas - that's just where I store them.

In the next few days, I'll be posting the names and links of the others playing along in this challenge. You can watch and see if we get anything done. Incidentally, I have many, many more projects cooking in my brain, but they aren't even started yet (except for supply purchases), so I'm not calling them UFOs YET. They include a couple fabric purses/totes, a "twirly skirt" for Miss Olivia, a wool felt jacket for myself, and some special journal work.

Wish us luck!