Mini Sasquatch in the Garden!

Local Teen Spots Mini Sasquatch While Reviewing Garden Pictures!

“I was on the computer looking over pictures I had taken of the yard when I noticed something funny in one of them.  It looked oddly familiar, as though perhaps it was something I’d seen somewhere before, though I knew this picture to have just been taken.

The teen was in for a shock when she cropped her digital photo and magnified the image.  What came into focus was nearly identical to the classic “Sasquatch” photo seen throughout pop culture references.

“Oh my goodness.  It’s Sasquatch!!”

Though the image clearly shows the same Big-foot like loping walk and attitude it seems to be of slightly smaller stature and decidedly more feminine in features.  It has been dubbed the “Neve-squatch”, after a feral creature spoken of by ancient peoples that wandered through orderly villages leaving devastation in its path.  Unfortunately the teen had not seen the creature at the time the photo was taken, and searches to locate it have been thus far fruitless.  There are also a number of skeptics who believe the photo to be a hoax.

“They’re ain’t gonna  find no Big Foot out thar”, claims neighbor Cletus Flobe, “No such thing.  Just a trick for to get money and fame”.

Our teen, however remains steadfast in her claim.

“I was simply taking garden photos for a class project.  What turned up in one is as much a shock t me as anyone, and I absolutely did not stage it.”

For now local citizens remain on alert for an elusive creature that many believe are simply the stuff of legends.


Updates and New Garden Beginings

Well, the bad news is that thanks to Swine Flu our trip to the Riviera Maya has been postponed until probably November.  (Insert sad face here).  I am not sure what the rest of the week will look like for us now.  My MIL and SIL are coming to stay with the girls so perhaps we’ll find someplace to get away to for a day or two so we can still enjoy a bit of a break.

Good news is that the front  gardens are well on their way to looking the way I was hoping they would.  We have yet to get moving on the big vegetable garden for the back – that will require much tilling and will be the next project in the cmong few weeks.  But the front looks great!

When we first moved in there wasn’t any grass or landscaping done at all.  Not even the bare minimum.  It looked like this:


See?  Nothing.  If you’ll recall, last summer we built two raised boxes on the left side there and in the fall we edged out the front right and started putting in lava rock:


Left Side


The Right Side

Our plan on the left side was to surround the raised beds with pea gravel, and it now looks like this:


There’s a nice hydrangea tree in the corner that is beginning to bud.  The beds will be planted with some nice annuals flowers, sun flowers, peppers, beans and tomatoes. (the back garden will have the squash, watermelons, peas and other vegs)

The front right side now looks like this:


In lieu of mulching every few months (or weeks with the rate the stuff gets washed out around here) we opted for some nice lava rock which has that red mulchy look to it and accomplishes the same thing.  I’ve got some bulbs planted in there which will be popping through this summer and I’ve just put in a number of perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary and lavender which should spread well.  There’s a nice Japanese Maple in the center, some nice blue vinca starting to grow around the edges, and some double blooming peonies and giant hollyhocks in the back.  Little by little I’ll be filling in the empty areas with nice colored blooms.  All in all I am very happy with how it’s all coming together.

I also finished Emily’s mermaid quilt, months and months after I started it.


And since we’re on the sewing subject, here is Neve’s new sundress I made a few weekends ago:


She’s worn it three times already and still loves it.  It’s holding up really well to all the punishment she subjects it to, and I love that she can feel pretty and dressy in something she can get dirty and throw in the washer at the end of the day.  I’m working on a tropical print one for Emily, whose purple hair has faded quite a bit.  But when we first colored it, it looked like this:


Next time she wants blue.

Now I am off to do some cleaning and baking (brownies with some hidden spinach and whole wheat!!) and planning for chickens that we will be soon acquiring.  Did I mention that is one of the girls’ jobs this summer?  Helping to care for the chickens?  They are also being tasked with weeding and cultivating the big garden and piano lessons.  I have to keep them busy somehow – no lounging in front of the tv all summer.  Again.


(Paul got them a special computer based piano tutor that has sensor stickers on the keys and progressively teaches notes, timing, finger placement and reading sheet music.  It’s set up like a game and they love it)

The Sweet Stench of Progress

It’s all over me.  I’m all sweaty and dirty from a job well done.  The house is considerably more presentable now, and a lot of the grime has been scrubbed off the walls, doors, windows and shower.  A good portion of the clutter has been taken care of.   A few plants were set in  the ground – forsythia out front, a nice flowering cherry tree, a lilac and a rhododendron in the front garden.  Soon the raised beds will be planned out and planted as well, and we are getting ready to till up a large portion of the back for squash and watermelons.  This is going to be an experimental year garden – wise.  In other words, how well can I manage a huge garden out back, and can it logistical work out there and survive all the deer/rabbits/goodness knows what else.

Paul got started on the built – in window seat for the playroom.  We decided to turn it into a nice twin bed – sized retreat that will lift up on hinges for storing toys underneath.  Hooray for hidden toys!!!  Now I just need to find a good twin size futon mattress that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

The girls took advantage of the beautiful weather by playing outside with the neighbors’ girls (we likewise got to spend time with their parents and relax a bit).  And Emily gother hair dyed purple.  I know.  Calm down.  I figured that childhood is the best time for weird hair colors and such and we should just let her get it out of her system now.  Besides, Emily has beautifully dark hair so even a shocking purple comes out more as subtle highlights in her hair.  You don’t see “PURPLE!” when you look at her.  You see a cool dark brown with a neat purple sheen to it.  Besides, it’s supposed to wash out in 3 weeks.  I have to say, though – the dye we used was awful.  We got it from Hot Topic and it was the thickest, messiest hair dye I have ever seen or used in my life.  It got all over Emily – her neck still needs a good scrubbing to free it from the lilac shade it has taken on – and all over my tub.  I had to scrub it clean afterwards.  I have pictures but they’ll have to wait.  My computer is woefully low on hard drive space, a condition I’ve been assured by Paul to be absolutely my own dumb fault for tuning out his expert computer geek advice and filling it up with 27 gigs of pictures.  So I can’t upload until I’ve fixed that massively horribly bad and I totally don’t want to think about it let alone solve it slight problem.

I also finished a dress for Neve and a dress for me, both nice and light for summer.  Again, pictures later.  I started working on a wrap skirt for myself from Weekend Sewing but ran into  a slight snag – I ran out of fabric!  I though I had enough, but it turns out that instead of a small I am in fact a Medium/Large. Now, I don’t mean to sound all self – congratulatory or anything, but this has been bugging me lately.  I am a fairly small person.  I hear it from a lot of people around me, and even the nurses at the doctor’s office refer to me as “petite”.  Dudes, I have chicken legs.  I’m average height (about 5’5″) and I am less than 130 lbs.  How on earth is that a Medium/Large?  It’s not really this pattern that’s got me bugged about this.  It’s clothing stores in general these days.  I just can’t believe that I would be a large in anything, and if I am, then what about all of the  still slender women I know who are taller and heavier than me?  Are we really going to call them XL?  Crazy!  No wonder all of us women have body issues.  Anyway that was my little rant for the evening.  Soon I will hopefully get pictures posted of all of the projects both complete and in process and the beginnings of this year’s garden.  Now that things are moving along I feel invigorated and ready for summer.

Bring it on!

Easter Weekend and A Love Letter to the IRS

Was everyone’s weekend as full and satisfying as ours?


We kicked off the weekend -long festivities with our friends’ annual easter party and egg hunt on Saturday.  This was Oona’s first year participating and she loved seeing all of the little colorful plastic eggs glistening all over the grass, waiting to be scooped into her basket (and she LOVED the “cAHndy” inside!).


When they first began hosting these parties Maddie was still fairly small, and now she has grown up enough that she and some of the other older kids are the ones setting out the eggs instead of collecting them.  Time flies.

It’s been a great time every year, and I think it just keeps getting better and better.  This year there was even more food to be had and a moon bounce was rented for the kids (and the “kids”, if you catch my drift) and great use was made of the beautiful new deck they put on the back of their house, complete with the much needed fire pit, since it was colder than we’d have liked all day.  The party kept going until well into the night, but we left before dinner since we still had to color our eggs so that the giant bunny could come and hide them.  I got the Paas Marbling kit this year, and though it didn’t work quite as well as we hoped, the eggs still looked pretty.  I don’t have a picture to share because my crappy camera can’t take a decent picture at night and I didn’t feel like searching for the photo lamps.  Either way the bunny still came (and the girls couldn’t believe they never heard the dog bark at him during the night) and hid the eggs.


Lots of delicious teeth-  rotting candy for all.  (I’m partial to stale Peeps myself).  Oona was occupied for a good while sorting through her little basket and picking out her favorite items.  Tops on her list are (you guessed it!) Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Can’t say I blame her.  She had them stuffed into her cheeks like a hamster, chocolate drool spilling down over her chin.


(She got a good tooth brushing afterwards.)

It was a nice lazy morning spent drinking coffee and listening to the girls sort their loot and do taste tests before we headed to my parents’ for dinner.  The girls wore the dresses I had originally wanted them to wear to the dance (the girls declared them unfit for a dressy dance and picked different ones).


We picked flowers and ate cheese and crackers waiting for my brother to get in.


The girls had some photo – worthy cute moments (right before Oona knocked Neve off the chair).

Then Caleb got in and we ate a lovely and intimate (small group this year – usually we have more relatives in for easter) ham dinner while making fun of his bed – hair.


The girls then were let loose on the outside world to work off their sugar and ham – fueled energy before the coming of school on Monday morning. Why the school system here does break the week before easter I’ll never know – it prevents being able to travel anywhere for the holiday.


Emily discovered that real tennis is considerably more difficult than Wii tennis.


Oona caused much anxiety with her full speed, face – first running style.


Mostly though it was nice just to watch the kids playing outside without a care in the world, as it should be.


Eventually the sun set and we had to head home to get bathed for school.  Oona’s been on a later sleep schedule with the break so it’s been hard adjusting for her and I.

Last night Paul took her to bed with him while I stayed up to trace out patterns and clean up a bit.  He closed the door to our room, claiming the girls were too noisy, and inadvertently shut the cats out.  Poor little Jasper was stuck away from his food and litter until I noticed the problem somewhere after midnight and let him in.  So when Paul went to do the taxes this morning and grabbed the cardboard box he was keeping the tax papers in it should not have surprised him that there was a gift of cat poop in it.  All over the W-2s.

Consider it Jasper’s contribution.

Feeling the Craftiness

There are times when I am really really glad that I have creative projects to fill my time, occupy my hands and keep me mentally engaged.  The weather has been very typically spring – like here, in that it varies from 75 and sunny to cloudy and damp and chance – of –  snow – ish.  Not really conducive to a lot of outdoor work yet.  Also not so much to sending the kids outside to play to preserve cleanliness inside.  They are home this week on spring break, and I had hoped to keep them out of doors, but so far it hasn’t worked out quite so well.  I may be spending time today putting some energy into creative games and projects for them to do.  There’s a new game called Scrabble Slam I want to get, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.   It looks fun, plus it would be a good exercise in vocab for the girls.  Meanwhile they are driving me crazy fighting over the Wii and arguing about anything and everything else they can.

Saturday was the one really great day we’ve had since spring break began.  It was sunny and warm and Paul was in more of a mood to spend quality time with us than work.  It was ncie to have a lazy and slow start to the day and Oona enjoyed having papa with her.  She even let me do her hair!


Not that it came out that great, what with her fidgeting and all.   Notice the ginger ale she manipulated away from Paul by batting her cute little eyes and saying soda please.

Emily mowed the lawn for us, and did a pretty great job to boot.  What really amazed us was that as she started up the hill we saw her stop suddenly and disengage the blades, turn to us and yell “Gekko!!” We ran up to her and sure enough, in the grass in front of the spot where she stopped was a small lizard, camouflaged well enough that I still cannot believe she saw him.  I certainly would have mowed right over him.  Paul picked him up and transferred him to my garden so he’d be safe.


Research showed him to be an eastern fence lizard that is pretty common around these parts.  And they eat spiders.  Did you hear that?  I’m thinking about maybe starting a new life as a lizard herder.  I hope he’s got lots of friends.

Alas, after the Saturday fun (and ice cream cones for dessert) things have fallen into a slump.  Yesterday I went to the dentist and was informed that the expensive crowns I had “installed” about 4 years ago all need to be redone, courtesy of the constant vomiting and reflux from my last pregnancy.  Geez at this rate if I have another baby I’ll lose all my teeth altogether!  Stomach acid plus teeth equals bad news.  I don’t even want to tell you what the estimate is for that.  Let’s just say I could buy a car.    A crappy not – so – luxury – or – top- of – the – line type of car, but a car nonetheless.  And my day got even better.  A routine test at the doctor’s office came back “not good”.  Now I get to go have a “procedure” and further testing.  Fun for me!  Actually it’s not that big a deal, really.  It’s a fairly common thing from what I’ve been told.   I like to think of it all as a little reminder from my dear friend, the Universe that things can’t be too good for too long or things become too unbalanced.  That’s how I get to sleep at night anyway!  I’m just glad I have family right now.  You need people to talk to, and as I have not heard from my friend with the abusive spouse (and I’m not sure I will after I told her I want nothing to do with him ever again),  I’ve been feeling a bit lonely (I expect that’ll change once the weather warms up – I have friends in the neighborhood with kids but we’ve all been cooped up inside with the rain).

So to keep my sanity and not give in to the anxiety demons I am diving deep into the fabric and yarn stashes to work the creative mojo and crank out some fun projects.  I’ve got some things started for me from  Weekend Sewing as well as some projects for all 3 girls from the Japanese sewing books I got on Ebay.  Knitting has been taking a bit of a back seat lately as I work off my sewing obsession but I do have a few cute projects to start on the needles as well.  I’ll post updates on that as they pop up.  Mexico’s coming up at the end of the month and I do plan on bringing my knitting.  You know, there’s nothing sexier than a ghostly white – skinned woman on the beach knitting. It’s what all the hotties are doing.

The Thief

7:15 pm.  There’s laundry sorting to be done.  I fold up the clean sheets while balancing the phone against my ear.  Paul is in Vegas.  Oona is undoing the socks I have put together.  I turn my back to stuff the sheets into the closet.

7:17 pm (approx.).  Still folding.  Somewhat distracted by phone conversation, Chowder previews on Cartoon Network and the ever – present din of sisterly arguing.

7:18 pm.  Realize Oona has wandered out of the bedroom.  Must follow and make sure she isn’t eating cat food.  Again.

7:19 pm.  Discover Oona sitting in my chair at my desk, holding peanut butter cup that had been rather well – hidden behind sewing machine.  She must have a nose for this sweet and forbidden stuff.  She moves quickly to defend her treasure;  she loves her newest word.