Other Stuff

In other, non-musical news, hi! I have been freezing apricots and raspberries over the last couple weeks, but I haven’t done any more canning. Yet. I’ve decided it’s a venture that’s probably best attempted while I have someone else around to help keep an eye on the kiddies, so I shall wait for a weekend when the Dearliest will be home and available.

Our garden is trying, and I’m proud of it for that. The deer are trying too, but so far the netting seems to be keeping the plants safe.  We have a zucchini, a few tomatoes, and several bell peppers in the works, so hopefully in another week or so we’ll have some bounty!

What do you do when you find a mysterious sprout in a dark forgotten corner of your indoor plant shelf?

You pot it up, of course. Well, maybe not of course, but that dead thing in between them is a spent shrimp flower and I was hoping the sprouts might be shrimp plants. I’ll never find out now, though, because they both died yesterday. How anti-climatic of them.

But look here!

Here we have a really cool specimen that the Dearliest found on a hike. Does anyone know what it is? It reminds me of peacock feathers. And passion flowers. Sort of.

On the handwork front, Project Emerald continues. I’m trying not to talk about it too much, because I’m not sure how much the Dearliest reads this journal and I’m trying to keep the end result a surprise for him. That said, here’s a picture of half of the blocks* in no particular order. Heehee!

And lastly, the purple and brown afghan is done! The pictures aren’t the greatest, but they were the best ones with true color. One should not attempt pictures late afternoon in a room half-filled with windows full west. Nope.

It still needs to be blocked, and there are issues with it that I’m not happy with (like the obvious difference in dye lots, which couldn’t be helped), but overall it’s about what I was expecting and I’m not going to complain.



*By half the blocks I mean I have others of different shapes and sizes, but they’re not quite done yet so no picture for you!

Musical Discovery

What was I thinking, trying to make a weekly post on a specific topic? I must have had a momentary lapse of mental faculties, because 1) the second I make a commitment like that I’m pretty much dooming it to failure. I always have good intentions, but they never stick, as evidenced by the ONE POST. *eyeroll* 2) My updating is so unpredictable and dependent on what kind of the day the kids and I are having that trying to schedule one post let alone a weekly one is, honestly, laughable to the highest extreme. Seriously. And 3) I get bogged down in “what do I share next?” because the truth is, there will always be more music out there than I have the capability to write about. You’re never going to see everything I want you to see, and this can be discouraging. Not in a “what’s the point of even trying” way, but trying to decide what to share with the understanding that something else might never even see the journal is HARD.

So forget that. If I want to share something, I will, and today is a day for it! The kids and I blew the morning utterly and completely by watching all the videos by ThePianoGuys.

I’m not going to go into great length talking about them because I don’t think I could do them justice. I will say that I generally don’t like popular music as a genre (there are, of course, exceptions), but the kind of covers ThePianoGuys do I can get behind. If you like the two videos I’m sharing here I strongly encourage you to check out the other ones. They do amazing work, and the cinematography is just as stunning (neither of these videos are outdoors, but they have quite a few videos in various outside settings). Bourne Vivaldi is the other one I’ve been watching a lot, and LK’s favorite is their cover of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” (I haven’t heard the original, but the cover is absolutely lovely).

Well, ugh.

Apparently I can’t use my big canning pot on my new[ish] stove. Last year I had a glass top and it worked fine. When I canned back in Oregon I had an electric, and that worked fine too. My current stove is also an electric, but different from the one in Oregon.

I’m waiting for the pot to cool enough for me to dump out the water so I can survey the damage, but from the stuff in the catch pan of the burner it doesn’t look good. That and the discoloration on the stove itself. I sure hope it comes out…

I spent a couple hours working on the fruit intended for today’s batch, and I’m still feeling somewhat “Blarg! Blarg! Blarg!” about the whole thing. I wasn’t able to finish the processing, and so I fear have lost a batch of apricot preserves. I’m moderately comforted by the fact that I have free access to lots and lots of apricots, but 2 1/2 hours of prep work down the drain is just disheartening.

Tomorrow I will try again with another pot, one that I know won’t malfunction on me.

Unrelated: Just a few rows away from completing the purple and brown afghan! Also, tomorrow I start sewing on Project Emerald!

Migraine Forecast

Now this is of interest to me.

AccuWeather.com has a migraine forecast (link located in the green bar directly beneath the weather forcast).

As someone who got weekly migraines pretty much all winter and most of spring, this could be helpful. I should say, it’s helpful because I already know that changes in barometric pressure is one of my main migraine triggers.

I’m hoping this will allow me to plan ahead more than an hour or two. Instead of, “Oh, I feel one coming on, I guess I won’t be cooking today, where’s the box of cereal?” maybe I can make a meal or two the day before a “higher risk of migraine” day.

The Dearliest is the one who pointed it out to me. AccuWeather only recently started reporting for area*, and I’m going to switch to it for a while to better see how well the migraine feature works.




* For those who pay attention to this sort of thing, no, we don’t live in New York. 😉

10 Minute Box Plane

I know I’m not the first person to do this by any means, but it was simple and one of the more occupying things the kids have encountered so I thought I’d share.

Having finally organized my fabric stash, I was left with a few empty cardboard boxes and generally the kiddies like to play with them before they get tossed. I decided to make them planes, but I wanted minimal effort on my part. The last time I made box planes I spent too much time on them and they ended up not lasting an hour.

Here’s what I came up with, and you know what? So far the two planes I made have withstood several hours of dogfights and “bumper planes”. I will have to remember this.

I probably should’ve taken pictures as I was making it…hopefully the description doesn’t get confusing.

Start with a box, obviously. Cut off all the flaps from the bottom. On the long side of a removed short flap, cut about halfway across. Return to the box, and on the long side of an attached short flap, cut about halfway across. Line up your slits on the short flaps and work the loose flap onto the attached flap so that it’s flush with the box side. Tape it down. This is your tail.

On the front side, tape your remaining short flaps together, then line up the bottom edge of the flap with the bottom edge of the box and tape in place. This is your nose.

On LK’s plane I taped the long flaps that I cut off onto the wings to make them longer, but when making Pokado’s I was feeling tired and in need of tea so I skipped that step. She didn’t seem to care!

Finally, I poked a couple holes in the sides and fed through some fabric scrapes to make handles.

If these planes last more than a day, they might even get painted! Oh, and another perk to these is that they collapse sideways and take up very little room. Easy storage! If they last  long enough, that is.



March of the Irises

I love irises, but I’m afraid I don’t usually have the dedication to cut them back and divide them like I believe you’re supposed to. I was excited to discover so many varieties here, and the last few years I’ve been living in spring iris bliss.

This year was different, however, and I’m looking at some serious care of some of the rhizomes if I want them to survive this winter. Erosion and rotting have affected a few of the bigger iris clumps such that two varieties didn’t bloom at all this spring. Yet another one only put out a couple blossoms, and I remember the yard being covered in them last year. Not good.

Randomly, two irises I don’t remember seeing before showed up behind the shop in the old and overgrown compost pile:

I brought several irises with me when we moved, and they’re all doing well except for the one the deer like.I don’t have pictures of that one, not that you’d want to see it anyway. It’s a sad little plant…

You will note I have a lot of purple. That wasn’t entirely intentional, as about half the irises already here are shades of it. No complaints from me! It’s one of my favorite colors. 😀

Coming soon: I’m almost done with the purple and brown afghan! Also, nothing beats homemade ice-cream.


4th of July Festivities!

One of the highlights this 4th of July was a lovely surprise from one of my sister-in-laws. I knew she was making matching dresses for her nieces, but I didn’t see them until Wednesday morning. They are absolutely adorable, and I couldn’t help but take lots of pictures!

Then I got a little carried away by the cuteness of my children. I might be a little biased…