Sunday, May 31, 2015

Team Work

Well I'm pretty proud of myself today. You see yesterday Wesley attended a birthday party for a fellow 2nd grader at a skating rink. All the kids put on their skates and proceeded to stumble their way onto the rink where they promptly fell on their faces one after another. It didn't instill a lot of confidence in me, after all I haven't donned skates in nearly 25 years. But that didn't stop me! I went skating yesterday, and I liked it. Didn't even fall once. Even though Wesley tried to make me fall on several occasions. I'm thinking we are going to have family skating weekends this summer. We'll see how the other half of the family does on skates.

The kids and I were back at the garden this morning seeing what has drowned and what will make it. I noticed my big pile of manure/mulch was overgrown with Johnson grass and it was getting pretty tall. When it gets to a certain height it produces these massive seed heads that distribute the dreaded seeds all over my garden. Johnson grass in my garden nemesis. It makes these long tubers underground that send up shoots of  thick bladed grass. Best way to get rid of it is to dig up the tubers which is incredibly time consuming and work intensive. I told the kids all about this as we looked at the tall weeds on the mulch pile (that I can't mow). Wesley said he'll pull the weeds so I took them over and showed them how to grasp it at the base and pull the whole thing out. So for the next hour he and his sister pulled weeds together. They both grabbed the weed and pulled on the count of three. It was hilarious to watch. They did great! I told them I'd pay them a nickle for each weed bunch. They earned $2.50 each. Such helpers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Coffe Filter Wreath

I'm pretty much forced inside these days with the constant downpour outside. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled we are getting rain. It has taken us out of drought conditions which we've been struggling with for a few years now. It has interrupted our many outdoor spring projects, which I'm bummed about. The thought of doing siding again during July and August isn't very appealing.

So I've been trying to stay busy indoors with projects I've been putting off. One of them is this wreath idea I found online that intrigued me. It's a wreath made out of coffee filters. It looked fun and inexpensive so I thought I'd give it a try.

First you have to buy a package of 200 cheap white coffee filters (less than $2). I didn't want a white wreath so I made up a couple bowls of tea. One I used some hibiscus tea which I already had on hand and the other just basic tea (any brown variety).  I put the coffee filters in the bowls and let them soak for varying times, the longest (deepest color) was 15 minutes. Wring them out and let them dry overnight.

Next step put together your wreath base, which in this instance is a cheap pool noodle ($1 buck) duct taped together.

Then start hot gluing those dried coffee filters onto the noodle. I scrunched them in there to create a tighter look. You could do it any way you'd like. Super easy project.


I think it's lovely for a spring wreath. I'm thinking a brown one in varying shades for the fall would be pretty too.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


We are now at 11.3 inches of rain for the month of May. Second wettest May on file. It's officially a rainforest out there. I've always wanted to live in a rainforest so it's kinda cool. Mowing on the other hand, not so cool.

Friday, May 22, 2015

School's Out

School is out. It is officially the first day of summer vacation. I'd be pumped if it resembled summer outside...even a little bit. We're almost to 8 inches of rain this month. Yikes! Wesley had his 2nd grade field trip to a local wildlife park the beginning of the week and we froze! All the kids are in t-shirts shaking from the cold wind. Then is started raining, so we had 45 cold and wet 2nd graders. Poor kids. It was a fun park though and the weather conditions will make it a memorable field trip for sure.

It's hard to believe this dude is heading to third grade. I swear he was born just the other day. I'm very proud of the big kid he's becoming.

About a year and a half ago I bought a nice big point and shoot Nikon Coolpix camera. It was highly rated and did it's job well. I turned it on last week and it stuck out its lens and promptly died. No LCD screen, no life. We tried fresh batteries but it was a gonner. I, for some reason, think electronics should last longer than a year and a half. Grrr. So we started researching cameras and found a good replacement that would take nice everyday pictures as well as pictures for my sculpture business. It's a Panasonic LUMIX and I'm impressed. It takes lovely pictures, so much better than the Nikon. The close up pictures of the sculptures are far superior as well. I'm almost grateful the Nikon died. The wildlife park gave me ample opportunity to try it out.

The highlight for me was the giant tortoise exhibit. This park was a hands on experience and the kids got to feed the animals and get up close and personal. They had three 15 year old Sulcata tortoises roaming around looking for food. Wesley got to feed one. I can't hardly wait until our Billy Bob is this size. How cool is that?!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Next Stop Kindergarten

My youngest child graduated from preschool last night. She wore a cute little hat and walked across the stage to get her certificate. Crazy how time flies by! There was a little program that went along with the graduation that included some songs and pictures. Her teacher wanted to put all the girls on the front row of the risers but had the delima of Greta being super tall and overshadowing the little boys behind her. So she did this:

She had my super tall girl stand off of the risers. Hehehe. She's a foot taller than the rest of the girls (and boys!). I suppose being the oldest in the bunch and being 93rd percentile for height (meaning out of 100 kids, she's taller than 93 of them) will do that.

She did great singing the songs and doing the actions with each song. Miss Cindy said she did testing on each child and Greta's results were off the charts. She can spell each kids name in her class, which surprised me. Go Greta! Next stop Kindergarten.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Floating away

So it's been raining here a whole lot. So much rain that I had to turn around at a flooded dirt road to find an alternate route.....the whole time that little voice in my head is telling me to "turn around, don't drown". We're talking over 4 inches of rain in the last week and a half. It's like a rainforest out there it's so green. I love it! The kids really love it. It means mud and lots of it. It's like mud pie central around here.

Building immunity one pile of mud at a time. That's my motto. Hey at least she's not making mud angels.

She helped me get my garden planted a week ago. It's coming up like crazy. I planted everything, I kid you not. It would be easier to tell you what seeds I didn't plant than the ones I did. I'm really looking forward to fresh organic produce this summer.

I've also been planting flowers around the property in every pot I can find.

In the spring I always find some new egg being laid. Whether it's the chickens or the cockatiels or even wild birds in the yard. What I wasn't prepared to find was a random egg lying in the tortoise pen. My leopard tortoise, Cecil, finally became old enough to lay her first egg. I found that really cool. I'm not going to incubate it but perhaps sometime down the road I put a few in an incubator and see what happens. It would be a neat project for the kids to see (yep it's all for the kids wink wink). I ran across a youtube video on how to convert a mini fridge into a reptile incubator....and low and behold we have an old unused mini fridge in the basement. See it's meant to be.