Sunday, May 31, 2009

Girly Girls

The first part of Memorial Day weekend we went to Hutchinson with Matthew to see him play with R.P.M.

We had lots of time to kill while he did band-y things, and the Hutch mall is in a sad state. I think 50% of the stores are empty. I was there just a couple of years ago and everything was fine! I don't understand what happened. It's sad.

The one store that was hopping was the nail salon, which gave me the idea. It is the beginning of summer, and close to Anna's birthday, and we had time to kill...

So we used the TomTom to find another salon and went for our first mother/daughter mani-pedi.

She chose a shocking pink and charmed the whole shop.

Pretty toes!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Music

Last year Linda put out a plea for good summer music-I'm going to steal her idea.

The tricky bit is--Anna's a real mimic, so it has to be OK for a four year old, but still fun for Mama.

I get around this by listening to music in other languages.

So, any picks for me? French rap, Spanish pop, Italian Hip Hop?

Many thanks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Today I'm flying away with Katrina to go see Chelsea, and the three of us are going to have fun and play and talk and giggle and be friends.

Chelsea and I have been friends for 30 years.

We found Katrina in 7th grade, when she was Chelsea's locker partner. I had no idea how lucky that was. (with Brandi too!) at Katrina's wedding in 2007.

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

--Dinah Marie Mulock Craik (George Eliot)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kite Party

The Kite Party was a success! Matthew was nervous because it was awfully windy, he didn't think the kites would be able to stand up to it. He was partly right, out of the 5 kites, only two worked, but we all had fun anyway.

Anna's favorite food is Chinese, so we just ordered our favorites from Golden Dragon, along with some goodies from the Asian Market.
These "Fresh Jelly" candies were too strange for me to pass up. Can you read the label?

They had a fine flavor, but the texture was definitely not American. Sort of, more firm and more slippery than Jello. It wiggled, but didn't dissolve in your mouth.
Anna loved the Rice candy.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back Sacks

I had this idea that I wanted to make all the kids back sacks for the favor bags for the party.

I knew that was kind of crazy, making 8 back sacks for a 4 year old birthday party, so I tried REALLY hard not to make them, but then decided that trying not to make them was stressing me out just as much as sitting down and making them would, so I got the fabric and went to work.

First, I used this pattern, which was kind of hard and more complicated than I wanted and didn't have easily pullable straps.

So Abby came out and we tried to modify the pattern, but it still didn't pull nicely. So far we'd dedicated about 3 hours to the project, and we had 1.5 bags.

Finally I decided to trust myself and just think about it for a minute.

10 minutes later I had one done. The straps (some poly rope) pulled through easily, it looked cute, and it was super quick. I got the next 6 done in about an hour.

I didn't take pictures as I was making them, or I'd do a tutorial. Maybe I'll add it to my summer list.

Here's a picture of all 8.

Crazy, but fun.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kite Dress

Last weekend, in preparation for Anna's Kite Birthday Party, I decided to try and make her a Kite Dress.

I thought of this much sooner than 4 days before the party, but didn't find any kite fabric. Then, just 5 days before the party, I spotted some.

Here's a snippet of what it looks like.

And here's the pattern I used.

I'm not very good at sewing with patterns. I have very little experience, and it stresses me out and frustrates me.

I cut it out and put it together, and then tried it on Anna and the arm holes were huge and the neck was choking her and I over-reacted and cut the bodice off.

That was not a good choice.

I tried just stitching the skirt to a t-shirt but that did not look good. I was surprised. Are you? Probably not.

Then Matthew's Mom came over and helped me redraw the pattern and recut and sew the bodice. She also showed me how to use bias tape, which I had never used before.

I got it done in time for the party and she was as cute as could be, but I think it will be a while before I attempt to follow another pattern.

She wasn't interested in posing for me, but here's a sweet one of her with her cousin Jairus just before the party.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


School's out!

Here's my initial list of what I'd like to get done in the next two months...

1. Fix Windshield
2. Scrapbook-2 years worth
3. Funeral book
4. Anna 8x10's
5. Anna Frame
6. Shannon Quilt
7. Molly G Quilt
8. Learn to Machine Quilt
9. June video
10. July video
11. Oregon trip with girls June
12. Oregon trip with family July
13. Cabin trip with family sometime
14. Get out summer clothes
15. Keep up with garden and yard
16. Make Ruffle Top for myself
17. Train for 10K
18. Felt Rocks
19. Build a compost bin
20. Make digital recordings of the tapes I made for Abby when she was 4.
21. Make album from Katrina's wedding.


Looky Looky!

They're going to do an archaeological dig at Scott Park this summer! I think that's really neat and exciting and I hope we can go over and do something with them.

Crazy or ambitious? I never know.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


We've been busy little bees in the garden this year. All in one week, we planted 6 trees and an ornamental grass, dug a new flower bed and planted 40 or so annuals, potted geraniums for the porch, and got the garden started with tomatoes, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, sugar snap peas and lettuce.
The instructions from Wharton's for planting trees recommended planting annuals around the base of the tree as an easy way to make sure the tree is getting enough water. I thought that was a great idea. We decided to put a different kind of flower under each tree. This is "marigold". Wouldn't it be fun if I remembered that this particular tree was the marigold tree, and we followed suit for enough years that the trees have names and personalities, all tied up in their flowers?

Here are Abby and Anna, both roped into helping, and both thinking that I am crazy if I think we are going to get this done before the sun goes down. Turns out they are mostly right. We did finish that night though.

Here's the little flower bed I dug up by the back door. I plunked my first rose bush there in 2007 and it's been very happy, so I thought I'd try to expand a little. Mom would spend the winter looking at catalogs and drawing up diagrams. Abby and I both laughed at my haphazard plantings. I can imagine her closing her eyes and shaking her head and saying: "OK, Betsy."

Here's the obligatory shot of Anna with the tree, so that we can marvel at its growth someday.

And here's a shot of Anna with one of the pines. We are not marvelling yet, they seem to be growing at about the same rate... (2006)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

For Anna on her 4th Birthday

She leaps from the page
galloping from room to room
as the deer, Feline, stopping
to ask, "Why?" Now she is
Angelina, a mouse ballerina,
a pink twirling skirt calling,
"1, 2, 3 like me!"
She says pants are un-royal.
She is a princess, any
princess, in an ill-fitting gown
and a plastic crown. She dances
with the prince off-stage pulling
focus from the play. All choose
to watch the real girl,
pretending to be Belle.

She is like Mary and Laura,
a farm girl, listening to her own
pa, Daddy, read pioneer stories,
covering her ears when she is scared,
but demanding he continue.
She climbs into a car
with Mommy to run away from
everything that chases them.
They find a good land
to explore far from
tall garden weeds.
She climbs a rock near the cabin
pushing everyone up this
mountain they never wished to ascend.
She holds back sorrow with tiny hands.
It is her great power. (But her
fingers gape, and sadness escapes.)

Once, she helped her Grammy
plant the garden, now she grows
like a little flower from her Grammy's hand.
We thank God that Anna remembers her.
We beg God for mercy as Anna remembers
each tear that fell while she was three.

Now she reaches out her hand
and says, "what shall we do today?"
Today she is four and we have grown
old. Our joy is another year.

--Aunt Linda

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna!






love you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lemon scrub

I saw this tutorial on craftzine and decided it was the perfect thing to whip up for a couple of gifts. It's olive oil, lemon zest, sugar, and a little kosher salt. I always love projects that I don't need to get anything extra for, and I got to reuse a couple of jars sitting in the "do something with" basket.

It was easy and quick, but I can't smell very well, so I don't know if it smells very lemon-y.

I used some of the extra on my hands though, and it was very nice.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I knew I wasn't dreaming...

I mentioned something to Matthew once about the crazy period of time when Burger King brought your food to the table and gave you popcorn while you waited. He said it must have been for a very short time indeed-just until I woke up.

But I found proof!

Anyone else remember this?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Courthouse Memorial

The Finney County Employees all gathered up money for a memorial last year, and in May, just before Mother's Day, it was all planted and set up in front of the courthouse.

Mom loved the courthouse, I remember her being sad when they made the move to the administration building. She didn't want to leave the wood and marble for mauve and green.

So I'm glad the benches are in front of the courthouse, nice and symmetrical on both sides of the big steps. There are 24 bright pink/red rose bushes, Russian sage, which will be blue-ish when it grows up, and snowball bushes! Snowball bushes are a very important part of our family. Red, white, and blue. I think she would really like it.

I sat there for a long time.

Friday, May 15, 2009


After the Festival, we sped over to Manhattan to see some Daniel and Sarah and the kiddos.

Anna and Phinn played and played and played... good fun.

And this sort of thing is more than worth the trip.

We had lots of plans for Sunday morning, but when the alarm went off I thought: "Why am I getting up if I'm on a mini vacation?"

So we slept late, tried and failed to eat at several fun places in Abilene, and then got home in time to hang with the farm clan.

A great trip.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kansas Sampler Festival

We finally tore ourselves away from the rocks and hopped back in the car for the short trip over to Concordia for the Festival.

I had to talk Anna into it, but eventually she agreed to wear her bear backpack (leash) so that I could hang onto her.

We spent most of our time listening to music,
(this little guy wandered over to dance with her)
playing at the kid's museum,

and riding trikes! They had this great kids area that was just a fenced-in square of concrete with dozens of riding toys-trikes, bikes, scooters, tractors...she had a fantastic time there.

It was also fun to see Marci and WenDee, thanks for all you do!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rock City

Saturday morning we got up too late to get donuts downtown. They were totally sold out by 10:00 am! The store next door was open though, The Yarn Peddler and Classy Kids, together in one shop! Anna and I had fun browsing and picking things out. She chose a princess book that we can put her photo into, and I was excited to find some roving yarn. I have some felting projects in mind...
Next stop-Rock City!

I didn't know what to expect at all, I just knew there was something called Rock City and it was close to Minneapolis.

It was SO FUN! I can't wait to go back with a picnic lunch and cousins or friends. We had a great time running around and climbing and exploring and taking pictures. Here's Anna in her "Rock Car"
This picture of both of us involved me climbing a rock, setting up the camera on the timer, then scampering down and over to Anna before it went off.
And here she is all the way on the other side of one of these boulders.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Minneapolis KS

On a whim, we decided to pull off the big highway and spend the night in Minneapolis. We found a small grocery store and got some applesauce to donate at the sampler festival and a dinner recommendation.

I like small towns. I asked the girl checking us out where we should eat dinner, and she called over to a lady shopping and asked: "Is the Blue Moon open tonight?"

It was, and we got directions, where to park, and assurances that the food was good.

You enter through the alley, which Anna thought was very silly. It was dark and fun in the basement restaurant, with lots of twinkle lights. Anna and I shared a filet and some oven-baked fries, on the advice of the waitress. There were lots of locals hanging out and having fun.

After dinner we went back to the Rock City Motel, complete with fall forest mural and bright orange counter tops. I love small hotels because they're cheap and usually have free internet and good TV. And because the proprieters are generally happy to see you.

I had some trouble getting my computer to work, Anna bounced on the bed and preened in front of the mirror for a while.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Running Away Again, I

Anna had been asking if we could run away from home again, so we hit the road on Friday afternoon.

This is why we can do this. She's such a happy traveler. What a wonderful gift.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 09, 2009

More Notebooks!

I've been having more and more notebook fun. Here's another cereal box:
And then, because I had some white strips of paper left over from cutting the pages for that one, I made these skinny ones from paint strips. I LOVE these. And then there was a grand experiment involving a granola bar box, some fabric from an old pair of pants, a scrap of felted sweater, a sewing machine, and the bind-it-all...
That last one needs a bit of work.