Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Concert

Anna's been to lots of band concerts and symphonies and plays and music in the park, but this was her first big deal show, with lots of people, and a famous performer.

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and Jimmy Wayne.

We got pretty cheap seats, dinner included! (A hot dog and a drink for each of us)

She stayed awake through the two opening acts, and then fell asleep for Brad. Poor girl. And poor adults! We had lawn seats, surrounded by stumbling young-uns, so we couldn't lay her down on the grass. 40 lbs of dead weight is heavy!

It was still a great show. Brad's always fun to see.

The next day we asked Anna how she liked the concert, and she said it was great, her favorite part was "sleeping!".

We went back the next day so we could see Daddy a little bit before we had to get back to the real world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We spent the night in Quinter, at their only motel. They didn't advertise having wireless Internet, but the owner put me in the room that was closest to the lobby, and I had no trouble. I love small motels.

We woke up early for a change and went for a drive through Quinter. Found an estate sale! We wanted to buy all of the boxes of fabric, but settled for just one. (Coming soon, a post full of gushing about cute old fabrics)

Then we hit the road to see Castle Rock. This drive was not designed with Lady in mind. We were stuck for one or two panic-filled minutes, and then got out and decided to hike up and see it from a distance.

It was a really nice view on a pretty morning.

About 8 miles down the road is Park, KS. You can see the spire of the Catholic Church from the interstate. Go ahead and take Exit 99, it won't take that long, and it's worth it.

My pictures don't do it justice, it's full of stained glass windows depicting the saints, and usually unlocked.

We had a lovely visit, talking about saints and stained glass and saying prayers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Runaways, 2009

There must be something about September that makes me want to run. Anna and I took the long way around to Denver last weekend, taking an extra day to wander and find something fun.

One of the rules of running away from home is that you must stop and play at many playgrounds.

This is a great time to practice taking photos. It's a good idea to stop at that "golden hour" when all of the pictures are beautiful. I missed it by a little on this trip, it was almost too dark.

But then it's fun to play with color levels.

More to come...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Anna got to pick a pumpkin yesterday.
And Kiki's home for a visit. What a great day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


After the whole Kanye/Taylor Swift/Beyoncé mess at the VMA's, I considered becoming a Beyoncé fan, but there's still the whole Anna sponge problem.

Then I found 4 songs recorded in Spanish. Bliss.

Then I found this: a Norteña remix. (The video's not great, just listen)

Definitely a fan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Susu!

Have a super day! See you next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pura Vida

Some of you know Molly and Patrick from GCHS days, and the rest of you are missing out. :)

Molly's a doctor, Patrick's an attorney, and they're living in New Zealand for a year.

Live vicariously here.

And leave comments! We want to keep them blog-happy. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today she would be 58.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bossy Love

On Labor Day Linda let me come over and help her organize her office. You know how sometimes there are spaces that just never get done when you move in, and then it's too hard to dig out? That's what happened.

The before picture is terrible and dark and blurry because I was just so excited to get started. I love organizing, I love being bossy, and I love spending time with people while being productive. It was my ideal vacation day. :)

And look what we did!

It makes me sigh with happiness.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Polo Dress

A few weeks ago we found Matthew a new polo shirt that perfectly matched his blue and yellow shoes, right down to the strangely electric color of yellow. I was excited.

But then the first time he wore it he got a little hole in the front. I was sad.

But then I went back to the store and the shirts were on an even better sale! I was happy again.
Now I had a perfectly new polo shirt with just a small hole in the front.

So I made a dress for Anna to match!
I had a great time with this one. First I had to make it smaller, then I had to resize the sleeves and put them back on, and then I had to make the collar smaller.
I sewed up the hole and let Anna pick out a button to cover it with, a pink heart. It works on a little girl dress, I think!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Improv Everywhere

Spotted this link on Twitter.

I watched a couple of the missions, but Surprise Wedding Reception was my favorite.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


One week I picked 50 tomatoes from the garden, so I decided it was time to try canning.

I used Sarah's blog instructions, on my laptop set up in the kitchen. Modern cooking is funny. First thing she said to do was core and score them. I ended up using lots of bowls for canning.

Next was the blanching and peeling step. I liked this one, and the naked tomatoes looked cute to me. Then I put them into the cans and processed them in the big pot.

10 pints in all! I'm not 100% sure I trust myself, but I suppose it'll become clear when we open the cans if they're not edible.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My ridiculous garden

I'm not a great gardener. I get better every year, but that's not saying much. I narrowed part of the problem down to the double whammy of our cabin vacation and school starting, which happen right together and take me out of commision for awhile. By the time I get back out to my garden, it looks like this:

A crazy overgrown mess, but it is producing a lot of tomatoes. It might be also producing other things, but the tomatoes are red, so I can find them. I picked over a dozen the other day. I'm going to try my hand at canning, we'll see how that goes. Thankfully Sarah posted a tutorial.

I had the idea to grow cucumbers in a tomato cage this year, to try and keep them contained. Marion smiled at me when I explained it. He was right, it didn't work. My one cucumber is growing all over the place, and mixing in with the tomatoes that are near it. I've never seen anything like this in anyone else's garden.

There's also something funny going on with the lilacs. They sprouted these funny seed-like things a few months ago... Now they're turning brown.

Is this a problem?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life dilemma

This week I've been pondering...

My trouble is that there are too many things in the world that I want to do, and so I get overwhelmed. I know that it's not a great idea to live by a list, with a million things to accomplish each day, but I can never figure out what to eliminate.

All of the advice that you read talks about eliminating the things that you don't really want to do, saying no to committees and people and all of that. That's not my problem. I hardly do anything like that.

It's just that there are too many things that I want to do. I want to spend more time with Anna, I want to hang out with Matthew, I want to work harder on school, I want to cook, I want to exercise, I want to have a reasonably tidy house, I want to hang out in town with Dad and Abby, I want to stay caught up with my classes, I want to make a zillion gillion (I always thought that was jillion) crafts, I want to only make gifts and not buy them. I want to refashion clothes from Goodwill instead of buying new, I want to read books, I want to talk on the phone with my friends, I'd like to make a friend in town, but who has time?

I've thought about not reading any more craft blogs or listening to podcasts, so that I wouldn't have so many ideas, but that seems awfully sad.

Any help?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

¡Día de independencia de México!

Independence Day in Mexico is September 16. People gather in the zocalo (town center) on the 15th, and at midnight the president comes out on the balcony, remembering the leaders in the fight for freedom. He gives the "grito" about 4 minutes in, it's neat, you should stick around to see it. Someday I'd love to be there.

The song you hear in the beginning and after the grito is the national anthem. When people say that the anthem for the U.S. is too bloody, I always think of the Mexican himno nacional. Way bloodier. Here it is, with lyrics, if you're interested (English translation).

¡Feliz día de independencia!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Plastic Stained Glass

Last Thursday Anna and I went to our local Craft Store, and I let her pick out a little project for us to do. With a little direction, she chose this plastic "stained glass" parrot to paint.

We had to do it together, because the instructions were to drop the paint into the sections, rather than brushing it in, and that was a little beyond her dexterity. So she chose colors and I provided a little extra stability.

At the end we sprinkled a little glitter on. Or a lot.

A big thumbs up!

Monday, September 14, 2009

35 years ago

35 years ago today my parents were married.

When the Hospice Nurse told me that I needed to ask any questions I had, I asked Mom how to stay married forever. She told me "Well, you just do it every day, and some times are better than others."
I'm thankful.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Movie Notebooks

You know how the kids movies come with that annoying cardboard thing over the DVD, and it's just an extra step early on Saturday morning when you're trying not to wake up all the way? But you can't just throw it away because it is pretty... Enter Bind-it-all.

I was a little sick, and not thinking too clearly, so I made some punching errors, but they're still pretty cute.

The Mary Poppins box was a little worn already, but it has a cool feature...

Can you see the Velcro spots? It has a closure!

I used some old index cards that I had left over (maybe from info cards at my wedding??) for the pages. Nice and sturdy.

I also some cool old pattern envelopes that I wanted to do something with, so I scanned a couple, printed them on card stock, used a lovely piece of cardboard I had saved as a stiffening page, et voila! (I don't really know if that's what you'd say in French, but it sounded good to me)

I could never make these clothes, but they're fun to look at!

The trouble is, I have a problem with thinking "I could make something out of that, I should keep it" and then keeping way too much stuff. But then look! It did come in handy...wrong lesson.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My favorite artist

Anna watches Monk with us (We make her leave for the scary beginning part). As she is a little girl in love with love, her favorite episode from Season 7 was "Mr. Monk Falls in Love". There is a dancing scene, and Anna exclaimed "In a picture, they would be dancing and there would be a heart around them!" and then ran off to make that picture.
Here it is. It is my favorite drawing ever.

Look at the motion! The hair!
I was thinking of making a bunch of cards with the image, but really, like I need more cards in my life. Maybe I could give them away?
As a side note: Here's a Monk trivia game. I only got 41.7% correct. :(

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anna's Room (with too many pictures)

And it only took me three weeks longer than I anticipated! Why am I so crazy about time and projects?

Once I decided that we really needed to redo her room, I stopped being so strict about cleaning up. And we had several REALLY fun days with cousins. I sent her to take some "before pictures" Here's one:

I don't see how she could even sleep. She kept the door shut and would tell me "Mama, don't look in there!" (How did she know?)

Aunties Linda and Abby helped with the enormous task of sorting through toys and junk and deciding what to keep and what to give away. It was very very kind of them. That mess of toys is now contained to this bookcase with four boxes.

And a giant hamper of dress-up clothes in the closet. She wasn't willing to give up any dress-up, and I couldn't make her. She's rarely in her regular clothes when we're here anyway.

My parents bought this bunk bed about 15 years ago, I think. I spent lots of time looking at beds online, and looking at auctions, and looking (usually too late) at Garage Sale ads, when I finally remembered this bed sitting in storage.

I'm usually terrible about skipping steps, but this time we sanded, and then wiped it down, and then used primer, and then did lots of light coats of paint, just like they tell you to. Dad mentioned that I should be sanding lightly between coats, and so I did that too. Abby came out and helped and helped until her hands were cramped into little balls. Mine too.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. (Fingers crossed that it holds up for a while).

I covered the top bunk with a pink chenille blanket I had saved, it's so pretty up there. I made her move the giant pile of stuffed animals so I could take this lovely photo, but normally it's pretty crowded (and much more fun).

She's sleeping on the bottom bunk, under her quilt from Grammy Rita, with an afgan crocheted by Great-Grandma Anna Streit at the foot. That makes me really happy.

I think she likes it too.