Sunday, July 27, 2008

The day I thought I would have nothing to blog about...

...has turned into one of the most jam packed days ever. (And this doesn't even include a secret craft project)
It was supposed to be a day where Dave and I each got 'me time'.
He was going to take the kids and head out to the lake for a few hours so I could clean and then he was going to go to the football game with a buddy.
Well it was just one of those days where the kids wanted us all together and  I just couldn't resist a trip away from the house.
The toilet bowl can wait so off we went.
It was a day not to be missed, calm and balmy, exactly like Mexico. Sticky actually. I guess it is tornado weather and there were warnings but where we were was just hot and humid. 
This trip out was just to have fun. I was wondering what to do when we first arrived so I started going around taking pictures of all my favourite things. Then I started taking pictures of all the gross and yucky things.
I will save that for another post. It involves stains and rust and cobwebs and cracks and dirty yucky house stuff.
I am not in a mood for yuck right now, so we'll skip that and just let you think we have this cute little place this post.
Turns out I have a thing for orange right now. I hadn't realized it till now but the proof is in the pudding.
Found in the garage full of tool stuff.
Also found in the garage was this vintage (I really have no idea how old it really is) roll of children's wall paper. Maybe a playhouse wall someday. Seems kinda wrong to crack that seal after so many years but we'll see.
And again. Possibly my favourite room of the house and it is not even really a part of the house and doesn't even have a lake view.
The shanty of a porch, but it has my treasures there.
This girl is growing too fast right now. Tonight I taught her to read a few words (as suggested by my sweet blogging friend Bethany.) Easy words like, mom, cat and hat. So, Grandparents, for her birthday if you are stumped, beginner reader books should be a great hit.
After just a few times of repetition she was picking them out and reading them back.
Leaps and bounds I tell ya!
Between the boys. A moment no one could steal. No words were needed. A guy thing for sure!
Ahh, another favourite thing. This is an old canister set my mom gave me. It was on it's way out and I couldn't resist but saving it. The memories it holds for me from childhood bring me to tears. Baking and measuring at my moms side. Egg and vanilla stained cookbooks and a faded well used apron, the smells and the giggles.
Funny how a simple possession can bring so much up.
Well then last week my grandparents came out to visit. Grandma and I sat there sipping coffee and painting crafts while grandpa dusted the ceiling fan then crashed on the couch for a snooze.
All of a sudden grandma looks up at the canisters and declares, "I wondered what had happened to that old set. It is still around, imagine that!"
I asked her what she was talking about and told her it used to be moms.
Apparently before it was passed down to mom it was my grandmas. She got it as a shower gift over 55 years ago.
Now it is super special. 
Now this is an odd thing. I am short. Really short. 5'3" to be exact and actually that might be pushing it a little. (and yes that is my pj tank, it was a lazy kind of day ok)
See the counter, how low it is. Ya, it is hard on my back. I need to be a foot shorter for it to be right. It is just plain odd. The old owners were my height...ok, a little taller. Like most people, but seriously were the bottom half of the cupboards not included in the price so they got left out?!
Next. I hauled out the cushions that are for the red rocker. I still have yet to get the new foam cut but thought I could at least start on the slip covers.
This is the fabric.  Intimidating.
I decided to start with the throw cushion since I had never worked with piping before. I pushed the pedal and all I got was a clunk and the machine just whined and the needle wouldn't budge.
I opened the side door. Don't know why because to me it would be like lifting the hood of a car. What would I be able to fix?
Money fell out. I then had to pry a few jammed coins out as well. Hmm...."Kaitlyn, Ethan, this is not a piggy bank!"
Oops, I uploaded the wrong photo here, there was a focused one too but you'll get the idea.
I managed one seam with the piping but then I got stuck. I have no idea how to turn the corner and keep my lines straight and have it fit and look sharp. Piping really messes a simple cushion recovering up. I am so out of my league with this one so I dragged everything into the city with the intension of visiting a certain aunt.
Kaitlyn was quite excited watching me mess around on the machine and decided she really wanted to learn how to sew right this minute.
Everything seems to be right this minute with her right now. It is rather funny like you can see the light bulbs going off and her brain filling by the moment with tidbits of information.
She was determined and steady. She had watched me intently and knew exactly what to do. Right down to lifting the lever at the back to turn the corners.
"A pillow for my babies."
And since my whole cushion recovering was a major bust I asked Dave what I could do with the little piece of scrap I had cut off.
His answer was, "make an octopus."
So I did.
Turns out he was kidding, but it was a fun little wing it project.
I am all about winging it!
No patterns to screw up, no lines to follow. Perfect.

Meet "Octopus." I would love to say she has a fun whimsical name but they were all turned down  and I was voted out. So octopus the octopus it is.
Later in the early evening Dave traipsed off to his football game. A few minutes in a storm let loose and there was rain and hail and piles of it in minutes.
The game went on standstill till it was over and the kids and I waited patiently at the window for the rain to stop.
The minute the water stopped gushing over the gutters we were out to get a good splash on.
Testing, testing....yup this puddle is ripe for a good splashing.

They splashed till they were soaked and were walking around with the puddles in their boots squishing and sloshing down the sidewalk back to the house.

Bath time!
P.s. The football game resumed and the Riders won. Dave came home soaked and happy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A peek inside my sketch book

Today was one of those days where I should have brewed a pot of coffee.
Ethan was up early and I had stupidly stayed up late last night skipping around in blog land.
I was tired and cranky about the loads of housework to be done. Naps couldn't come soon enough.
We tried a few times over three hours and naps didn't happen.

Why is it when the mom is wiped the kids are wired?

So by mid afternoon the whole nap idea was ditched and I dug an old slurpee out of the freezer and slurped back some sugary goodness.
Ahhh, now I felt alive. Distractions were next so I could pull away and tend to the floors.
Kaitlyn found my box of markers and my sketchbook. She loves this book as much as I do and I suppose it is because we really share it.

So since I have nothing but mush on the brain tonight here is s sneak peek at a few pages.
I was sweating hot yesterday and tried some reverse phsycology on myself by drawing this chilly pic. It kinda worked, for like a minute.
Here are a few pages from our days out at the lake. Before bed Kaitlyn likes to do school work. What this means is that we go through one after another Pre-k books doing puzzles, learning letters and numbers. For some reason while at the cottage she wanted to put all the stickers from two books in my sketch book. This is the family she requested and then dressed.
The girl on the rt side is her...hoarding all the stuff.
The baby gets toast.
Then she wanted shape people to "match." Kaitlyn loves to match things no matter where or what it is.
Two weeks ago we ended up checking 8 doubles of books out of the library because they matched.

Now the fad of the last few days is her obsession with learning how to read.
I had no idea why a not yet three year old would even have any interest in reading but she is actually extremely frustrated when she looks at a book.
She declares, "Mom, I can't read these words, come teach me now."
I am just as frustrated. Doesn't learning the sounds of letters come first, or even  word recognition?
I have no idea and did not think I would be dealing with this for at least another year.

Not only that but Little miss 'I wanna grow up right this minute' has turned into a teenager in the mornings.
Waking her is like waking a bear.
She cracks one eyelid open, shrieks "I am still tired!" and pulls the covers over her head.
She then rolls around and moans and hides. This whole charade sometimes goes on for an hour before she finally comes out rubbing her eyes looking for breakfast.

Seriously if this is what three is going to be all about what the heck is 13 going to be like?!
Enough of a jaunt off there, back to 'my' sketch book.
Many pages are filled with ideas for paintings. Some of them make it to canvas and others wait. Maybe or maybe not, depends if the inspiration comes around at the right time.
Some of them are just an idea to start with and completely change as the painting evolves.
Some pages are filled with doodles to pass the coloring time with the kids.
Some pages are shared pages.
And some pages are completely taken over by the kids and in this case it looks like daddy made an entry in the form of a little man with a balloon and a few cars.
More ideas. You can see a few that have come to life in canvas and the others are still dying to get painted. The canvases are ready waiting for their moment. On the right was the inspiration for this tote of Kaitlyn's.

And that is all for the sneak peek. I might share more another day but I do want to keep a few ideas up my sleeves.
The rest of the day was actually quite smooth.
 As I was hauling up the vacuum  I thought I heard a still small voice. I usually think this is just me in my head but sometimes I think it is God. Don't know what it was this time because it backfired in the end but what it said was...." The long days with the kids may be rough sometimes. They may not nap when you need it but just think, when they go down early you will have more time to get done what you want."

Turns out they went down early but too early and Ethan was back up by 8 and raring to go till 11 pm.
We had a few minutes though so no complaints here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

City slacking

So we are back again. We have spent most of the month out to the lake house and now we have no choice but to hang around here.
We have just had way too much fun and it has to end.
And it bites.
Problem is we have a lawn to mow here too and the house... it makes me want to cry it is such a mess.
You just cannot neglect a house and plants and chores for three weeks and have it go unnoticed. 
It bites bad.
The simplistic clean lifestyle we have created at the cottage is so easy to maintain and stress free and relaxing.
We have come to the mutual decision that we just have too much stuff in the city house.
The purge is on this week.

Anyway we managed to get back out to the lake for a few days this week to get the last of the junk pile cleared up.
The kids played in the rain while Dave loaded up the sixth massive load to haul to the dump.

While he made the treks to the dump and back (an hour round trip each time) we busied ourselves in the house. After chowing down handfuls of Saskatoon's we cracked out the muffin supplies and got busy with the last of the berries.

Last week I made cookies while Dave had the kids out for a walk and had issues with them.  I figured I either had the butter to egg ratio off or something since I had forgotten the recipe and was going from memory. The cookies turned out flat and really dark on the bottom, still edible but odd.

Well this whole muffin making experience was going to be different. I was a little worried that the cookie fiasco was the stoves fault but I was going to give it the benefit of the doubt...but err on the side of caution.
So the muffins went in. The book said for 25-28 minutes or when golden brown.
I checked them at 10 mins, I don't know why but i do this a lot.
They were done.
Stoves fault for the cookies. The temp thinga-ma-bob is way outta wack!
No wonder the chicken the other night was so crispy. I thought I was loosing my touch. Whew! 

Despite the mess of a place we bought there are a few beautiful things about it too. There are cherry trees, a plum tree and an apple tree. A few redeeming qualities to the rubble.
Thing is we seem to get ourselves into one mess after another.
We have this habit it seems for seeing potential in things.
We buy fixer upper after fixer upper. 
It has payed off so far but that is partially because of the hot housing market. 
Why we don't just find a nice place I don't know. 
I guess it is so we can pursue our dreams in our own way. It could also be that stubborn creative bone.

As the yard clean up wrapped up a friend stopped by with his skid steer.
Ethan loves tractors, trucks and anything with wheels.
However once they start up he is terrified and starts to tremble.
He has to watch but from a very safe distance and preferably through a window. 
Thursday was finally a day of rest. With the yard cleared we now start the drawing faze. 
A day off and we didn't know what to do with it so we headed out for a little drive.

To see so much greenery this time of year is a real treat. Usually by now the hills are brown with dried heat withered grass. 

Anyway, I must get to bed so I can tackle this mess of a house in the morning, oh joy!