For the Boom of It

Today was the first day ever I went to town BY MYSELF and left 4 children at home.** I mean, I’ve gone to town by myself before, but not since TR was born. Since I was doing some last minute birthday shopping for LK, I didn’t want lots of little eyes watching what I put into the cart. Or the questions. If you have young people, I need not explain further. If you don’t have young people, you probably don’t want to know.

And so, it came to pass that upon the lengthy drive home Fogwood crested the top of the canyon grade. She beheld the looming thunderclouds slowly stampeding across the hillside before her and thought, “Oh. Shoot.”

Fogwood is not fond of thunderstorms, even less so when she’s in a minivan.

But maybe it would pass by the way of the greater canyon nearby and not cross the valley! So she pressed on, perhaps a little faster than she normally would, and kept an eye out for stormy things like rain patches and areas of concentrated lightning. Nothing came close to the road, so for quite a while she felt safe and consequently home free.

Then she reached the last road. Seven minutes from home. Clear skies mostly overhead.

*FLASHKA-BOOM*

Fogwood nearly had a heart attack, because that happened all at once just off the driver’s side and was so bright she couldn’t see for the briefest moment. Just when she started to calm down… *FLASHKA-BOOM* *FLASHKA-BOOM*

Fogwood will take this moment to say that there’s really only one thing she was truly terrified of as a little girl. Care to venture a guess? Yeah.

Desperate to drown out the noise she blasted the radio, which happened to be on a country station where a woman sang “Take it easy, take it easy.” Message from God or teasing? Fogwood may never know. She continued to feel the thunder, but at least she couldn’t really hear it anymore.

Three minutes of hard, hard rain later it was over, and the last few minutes of the drive home happened in bright, cheerful sunlight.

Fogwood is never going to town ever again.

 

 

* With a babysitting aunt, you guys, come on.

More Felt Talk

In case anyone is interested, I thought I’d share how I go about getting a “pattern” for the felt-scapes I’ve done recently. If you aren’t interested, then you can skip the chatter and just scroll down to the bottom for pictures of the latest! 😀

First I start out by picking what I want to feature. Lately this has been construction equipment, so I did image searches on Bing to get a visual understanding of the machines.

The second step is drawing, drawing, drawing (remember the chicken sketches for the rooster pin?)! The Tonka line has been very inspirational, especially since LK has a couple of those and I find drawing a real object MUCH easier than drawing an image on a screen. I fill anywhere from one to three pages of paper with sketches of various sizes until I’m comfortable with the lines. Then I sit down and very carefully draw The Pattern Image.

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Once I have the image with basic detail, I take a fine pointed black marker and outline the shapes for the felt pieces. I trace over these on new paper so that I can cut out the individual shapes. I store all the pieces and the pattern detail in a little plastic bag. One bag for each pattern.

Sometimes I trace something and then realize it’s easier simply to eyeball the felt without a pattern piece (like the arm of the excavator or smaller wheels).

Sometimes there are exceptions to this entire process, like the bulldozer:

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Maybe it’s because it was my third piece of equipment, but this was my first sketch. It happened to be the size I wanted AND accurate enough to work as a pattern base. Cool, huh? 😀

Everything else in the felt-scapes are cut out freehand.

To use up the foam board I had left after cutting out the larger felt-scapes, I created a set of construction miniatures, which are now available in the shop!

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Now I need to come up with something more feminine, because I’ve used up most of my green and brown felt but have a TON of purple, pink, and yellow. What to do, what to do…

Zucchini Muffins

‘Tis the season for zucchini (or courgette for those across the pond)! My house has been inundated with it, and so I’ve been doing my best to keep up.

One of my sister-in-laws told me about this recipe, and I’ve made it twice so far. It’s very good, although I don’t currently have applesauce in the house. I use 3/4 cup olive oil instead (I will try it with the applesauce once I get some!). Also, my muffins tested done after 17 minutes, but that could be due to oil instead of applesauce and/ or my higher altitude.

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Zucchini Muffins  (a slightly modified version of this recipe)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 3-4 handfuls of chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup apple sauce (or 3/4 cup oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

1) Preheat oven to 325° F and grease (or line with muffin papers) 18 muffin cups.
2) Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.
3) Combine wet ingredients and zucchini in a medium bowl.
4) Stir wet mixture into dry mixture.
5) Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans and bake 20-25 minutes or until it tests done.
6) Remove muffins to cooling rack and allow to cool about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Versatile Soup

I love soup. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, and when I visited two of my sister-in-laws last week I encountered one over lunch! TW made the soup, so I asked where she got the recipe.

She said it started out as The Pioneer Woman’s Cauliflower Soup recipe, only she didn’t have celery or carrots so she threw in some broccoli instead. I enjoyed the texture and flavor so much I went right home and looked up the recipe.

Of course, I wanted to make the soup Right Then, only I didn’t have any cauliflower or celery (celery, for the record, is all but banned from the house by The Dearliest; his opinion is that if a food takes more energy to eat than it gives you in return, it shouldn’t be allowed). I did have potatoes and carrots, so I thought “why not?”

It was really good too.

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One of these days I will go back and make the soup as written, but I can recommend it in general as a “throw whatever veggies you have into it” recipe and it’ll be yummy.

Topic Dump

Hey, it’s me again, and here’s another post of wending!

1) Zucchini. The Dearliest made the observation a few days ago that God must have invented zucchini in order to make even the worst gardener feel successful. We have 2 plants, the season is still going strong, and I’m already out of room in the fridge and freezer. I think the chickens will be getting a lot of it from here on out!

Here are some pics of the kids and I grating/ shredding the first big batch.

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Every year gets a little easier, I must say! The first year I grated gallons and gallons of zucchini by hand. It took my arm/ hand nearly 2 weeks to recover from that, and I swore “never again.” Last year I met the zucchini challenge with a salad shooter. MUCH easier. This year we discovered that LK can run the shooter by himself, and he was right proud of that! The girls washed, I cut, and LK did the shooter thing. TR, of course, gave instructions from his swing. 😛

Next year I hope to cut the processing time considerably with the addition of a food processor. We’ll see, though. The one I want is more expensive, but there is Christmas and my birthday before next season! 😀

2) Speaking of birthdays, my little man is going to be FIVE in a little over a week! I really can’t believe how fast he’s growing up and how quickly he’s learning to do things. In the last month he’s taken off in the writing/ reading/ arithmetic area, and the Dearliest and I have to be really careful now in spelling words in conversations. LK knows more than he lets on.

I think I have everything I need to make his space shuttle cake except a black pen (edible ink). Still need to track one down, but I have a lead! He keeps trying to talk me into letting him help make it, and I keep telling him it’s supposed to be a surprise. We’ll see who wins this one…

3) Little crochet things:

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The hanging photo ornaments are back in the Etsy shop! I do love these for using up little bits of scrap yarn, not to mention the plethora of canning lids floating around as we eat up all the preserves. I see little point in keeping more rings and lids than I have jars, but somehow I seem to always end up with an extra abundance.

4) Last Sunday the Dearliest’s two youngest brothers came out so that the Dearliest could teach them some self defense moves. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially considering that half an hour before “class” was to start, the Dearliest still didn’t really know how he was going to approach it (he’s trained in something like 4 different physical arts but wanted to combine elements of them).

As class started and he began to talk, I became rather captivated. He spent a good 40 minutes speaking on how the mindset is more important than knowing the moves, but then he pulled example after example out of Scripture of ordinary people who met situations that required physical defense. Some were more prepared than others in terms of training, but in all the cases God helped them overcome incredible odds. It wasn’t meant to be a sermon, but I told the Dearliest later than I would love to hear that kind of thing more in churches.

I have plans to make up a list of the verses, not just for me but also for the Dearliest’s sisters, since at least one of them asked if she could start coming to the class. I don’t know how long the class will run, but it’s off to a good start!

Naps are done and quiet time is over now. In other words, the baby is fussing for food and a couple children are quibbling over a toy. Time for Mommy things!

Star Blanket & More Felt

Guess what people! It’s done!

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I’ve been calling it a star blanket, but now that I see it all sewn up and such it almost reminds me more of ship wheels. Either way, I kind of dig the colors. I wasn’t sure how well they would end up working together.

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Remember a while ago I mentioned I had another idea for felt embroidery? Well, after LK announced I needed more boy things in my Etsy shop, I started thinking about trucks. Because my boy, like every other boy I know, is all over anything with engines and wheels.

So I made this as a trial run:

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It’s a lot easier than the brooches, so I’m definitely planning on doing more! I just have to decide if I want to do a backhoe or a bulldozer. Maybe I should ask the machine expert (aka LK) in the house.

(And for those of you who keep track of this kind of thing, no, Eli is not my son. :-P)