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Just finished reading "Poky Little Puppy" to The Miss, while The Boy revved up the toy chainsaw. Odd, odd combination.

The Boy correctly named the parts of his face this morning, and then he did it again, pointing at the parts of my face. Yay for increasing vocabulary, and finally starting to use it. Now, if I could justget him to sit down and pay attention when I'm reading to The Miss.

Today's to-do list includes, in no particular order:
* put away clean dishes, reload dishwasher
* make a batch of soft breadsticks to go with dinner (I have a new recipe that's supposed to be similar to Pizza Hut's breadsticks)
* 2 loads of laundry, washed AND folded (I always have trouble with the "and folded" part) 1 down, 1 to go
* feed kids and get them ready for school, and to the bus on time
* take out compost, water greenhouse, move last pot of petunias into greenhouse

* finish the crocheted snowflake I started last night, and do at least one more

I had thought, yesterday, that I'd spend this afternoon cleaning out the other pantry cabinet, but now I don't think I will. My hands are cracked and irritated from cleaning chemicals yesterday, and I'll be happier if I give them a day to heal.

Did manage to finish the piece of sweater I was crocheting on yesterday. That makes the back and both front pieces finished, and I started the first sleeve this morning. With 8 1/2 balls of yarn left, so I ought to be good. (I was worried when the back took a third of the yarn I'd bought for this project.)

Edited 2:12pm, to adjust list.

Also, am waiting to hear from Sis, who watched a shoot-out somewhere near her home last night. Which is WAY out in the boonies, so this is a rather odd incident. Hoping she'll respond soon, with details.
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Been busy enough I forgot to update. Again. Spent Thursday getting ready for the wedding, Friday travelling to and attending the wedding, Saturday visiting Mom and travelling home, and Sunday crashing. The kids and I spent Monday and Tuesday sick, By spent them at work. (But not, thank goodness, too sick to send the monsters to school.)

We have a new project at school, as part of thing sponsored by Scholastic. They want parents to read to the kids at least 20 minutes a day. The Miss and I have managed 20 to 30 min, as far as my voice has held out. The Boy won't sit still for it; he wanders off about 5 minutes in. The Miss is already excited about story time, and on a couple of stories, is trying to pick out words as I read. So, I've read some of these books too many times for my own sanity, in just 3 days.

The wedding was nice. Maybe 25 people there, mostly family. The Boy behaved better than we expected, which was an extra bonus. Mom was terribly put out that Sis wore a dress that showed almost all of her tattoos, and no panty hose (probably to set Mom off, knowing Sis). Sis's two boys "gave her away", after walking her up to the preacher, all clean and tidy and very proud, which was very sweet. Her husband's parents cooked the reception dinner, which included large amounts of tasty smoked meats, and the cake was chocolate.

They held the wedding in the McPherson Opera House, a recently restored building, which has some stores at ground level, and the opera auditorium, and ballrooms and meeting rooms. It's a beautiful building, with a lot of the original stained glass and walnut trim. And plenty of stairs, which all the little kids at the wedding ran, in a little pack, giggling.

One of the street-level stores in the building is a new(ish) yarn store, called Oh Yarn It! Great place, friendly owner, with a solid, basic selection of affordable yarns and needles. I did indulge, in some forest green laceweight alpaca, and I think I may still be in trouble for sneaking down to buy yarn and not taking Grandma with me.

I scrambled Saturday evening, when we got home, and got most of the tender things in the greenhouse. I missed one pot of petunias, but they're okay so far. *crosses fingers* Don't think we've had a frost since that night. We got some puttering done Sunday. By finished unloading the truck after that last trip to Neosho, and I started cutting back frost-killed things.

By's dad is *supposed* to fly home today. His folks are pretty fed up with the schedule changesm I think that this is it for that project, though. One hopes. They're still having issues with the peope trying to buy the farm in Neosho, but they've got a backup contract for cash, for the full amount, if the first one goes south. Haven't heard anything on that in a couple days.
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Never did make a formal list for the day. Got a fair few things done anyway.
* cleaned out old aquarium, bleached it, and set aside for planting as a terrarium tomorrow
* took carload of old clothes, blankets, and other stuff to Goodwill
* found lightweight coats for both kids at Goodwill, along with a shirt for The Boy, jeand for Yhe Miss, and several things for me
* did light grocery run @ Walmart, also got myself jeans
* put all the shopping away
* took more of the trash out
* baked pumpkin muffins for breakfasts for the next couple days
* started a batch of soft pretzels for snacking; they're on first rise now
* ran clothes from Goodwill through the wash to get all the awful fabric softener scent off of them
* handwashed 2 sinkfulls of dishes
* made up the rows on the sweater that I didn't finish yesterday, and then a few; am halfway through the shoulder and neck shaping on the right side of the back piece

And, my biggest accomplishment this afternoon and evening, I have kept the kids fed. Monsters haven't stopped eating since they got home from school. A bowl of soup apiece right after school (by request, believe it or not), then 5 bananas between, since. Which was the entire hand I'd bought, thinking it'd last until we left for Mom's on Friday. *shrug* That's what I get for thinking, I guess.


Oct. 1st, 2012 11:25 am
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Since 8:30 this morning, I have:
* fed and medicated children
* finished loading and run dishwasher
* 2 loads of laundry, with another currently in washer
* folded 3 loads' worth, out of the dryer and baskets of clean clothes (which puts me about half done)
* fixed broken toy truck
* gathered trash
* 5 pattern reps on the sweater I started for myself


By is in Neosho again, gathering up whatever tools and such might still be of use; we're hoping it's the last trip. He likely won't be home until 8 or 9 tonight.

The Boy has settled into being merely sick with a head cold, which is a vast improvement over the weekend. The Miss, unfortunately, has a bad head cold, and I'm afraid I'm getting it. Bleh.

The rest of today's to-do list:
* get kids pulled together and off to school (yay!)
* clean kitchen counter, dig out slow cooker, put together veggie stew

* finish folding laundry, put kids' clothes away (boo)
* take out compost and trash
* water some stuff in the garden and put the most frost-tender things on the back bench in the greenhouse

* rip out defective sleeve on sweater I'm knitting for The Boy, and restart properly
* 3 more pattern reps on my sweater, minimum
* energy levels permitting, throw together breadsticks to go with stew Scratch breadsticks, there's still plenty of oatmeal bread. And plenty of cool week coming up for baking.

6:22pm ETA: Final chore update.
Laundry's mostly done, the rest of my stuff and By's can wait until the kids have crashed.
Am most of the way through my 3-patterm-repeat minimum on the back of my sweater; will probably stop there.
The Boy's sweater will have to wait until I am less interrupted and less irritable. Maybe tomorrow.
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HOr, is it Monday *again* ???

The Boy barfed last night, but seems ok at the moment. No fever, which counts for a lot. Am trying to feed him easy-on-the-tum foods, so he'll be ok to go to school.

The hub barfed in the wee hours of the morning, but is on his way to Neosho anyway. Even though he was skipping his morning coffee, because his tum and throat were still unhappy. Because...

By's mom called yesterday afternoon. They've got an offer on the farm, which needs an answer or counter-offer by 5pm today. There were a few tractor parts By and I had never made it down to retrieve, so he's after those, plus whatever tools and household items survived the depridations of partying teens. According to the guy who rents the pastures, the local kids have broken into the house and used it for parties a few times, and it's pretty trashed; part of By's trip is to take pics to send to his mom. There's also damage from an ice storm a few years back (flattened outbuildings). Our understanding is that the potential buyers want to bulldoze the house (maybe outbuildings too) and build new. So, he's got to go, and he's got to go today. Bleh.

In the column of "news we don't have to act on immediately", Sis has set a time and date for the wedding, even if she hasn't gotten around to sending invites. People they want to see are getting phone calls. Friday, Oct 5, in McPherson. We'll probably go out that afternoon and crash with Mom, do a little cake to celebrate The Miss's birthday a week late while we're there.

By's dad is still in Greece, trying to herd cats. His mom said he's calling this the "ground hog day" project, and he's not happy. He's tenatively scheduled to come home Oct 5. All this dinking with his schedule jacks with the paperwork to close on the farm.

Last I'd talked to Mom, the siding and new windows are done on her house, and she was waiting for them to come back and do the garage. And she's thrilled with the results.
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Haven't had much worth updating recently. It's been hot, and very very dry, and we've been busy, but not interesting.

The garden is down to only the hardiest things blooming, and the rest dormant or limping along. Zinnias, morning glories, a few marigolds. The perennials are mostly dormant; the daylilies are completely dormant, down to dead leaves. It's quite sad. Oh, the maypop is still blooming, mustn't forget's 12' up the tree, silly thing, but I've been watering it. D's mystery clematic is blooming, a tiny, white, four-petaled flower, like virgin's bower but more delicate. Once D get moved and unpacked, I need to borrow her clematis book and try to look it up.

Still haven't mowed. Might, in a week or two; the north field is a little shaggy with lespedeza and queen anne's lace. Even those are only knee high on me, so it's not urgent.

Went to Mom's last weekend, for a quick visit before we all went back to school. Her first day back was Wednesday, same as for my kids. We had a good visit, and By and I got her yard pruned for her, and a neighbor hauled the mess off. We brought Grandma over for one day, so she could see the kids, which was nice.

Mom's really looking forward to being retired at the end of this school year. She's counting down the days. She'll be just as busy, I think, but she'll be busy in the ways she chooses, and away from all the politics of education policy that's been wearing on her the past few years. There are substitute and full-time teachers at her school already circling for her job, some of them rudely so. Jobs are always scarce out there, but she'll be glad to be out of that.

The monsters are in the afternoon section of preschool this year, still 4 days a week, and still on the bus. They were thrilled to see their teacher again, and seem happy about the bus rides. It's taking a little adjustment; their school times is when they used to take afternoon naps. So no naps most of the week, and short ones on the weekend. On the up side, we've moved bedtimes earlier, and they're going to sleep with less fuss.

D has to be out of the house her late husband built by the end of the month. She's starting to panic about getting everything done, naturally. Especially moving the things she loves out of the garden....the dry hard ground makes that slow and difficult. By's going over there today, to help her with stuff in her late husband's workshop. I may or may not go over, depends on how long his part takes. She's got someone who'll take stuff to the new house all week, if she'll pack it and have it ready. And that's great, except she's still got to do that, and then unpack and put it away at the new place.

She's got a contractor lined up to do repairs and some updating on the new place, but he's giving her a runaround about getting prices in writing. He's not good at showing up when he says he will, either; the work should have been done by now, by the original schedule he gave her. I'd be looking for another contractor by now, but I know she's short on time to do that sort of chore, so she's kind of stuck.
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Maybe a quarter of an inch, last night, plus a bit more this morning. Enough to damp down the dust for the day, and soak in an inch or two. I still watered the new things and the pots.

Not much blooming the past couple weeks, everything's too dry. The stuff I'm not watering is wilting and going dormant, and I'll probably let some of the watered things go too, because it's just too much to keep up. I di have some annuals, mostly zinnias, in flower, and the queen anne's lace is still going. One stalk of surprise lily bloomed yesterday, but I think it's too dry to get a show from those this year. My maypop started blooming last weekend, and I've had one or two flowers from that every day since.

According to the drought monitor page I've been haunting, we are 11" down from the amount of rain we ought to have had, by this time in the year. That's about half. My mom, in central Ks, said last week that her area is 21" down for the year--that's 75%, and that's scary.

I've been redoing a path in the garden the past week, a little at a time in the heat. Trying to make it wide enough for the big wheel barrow or the riding mower, and level. Which means cutting into the uphill slope, which is being turned into a flowerbed with a low limestone terrace. I'm only doing an hour or so on it a day, so it's slow going, but it'll be nice when it's done.

Indoors, it's canning season. My neighbor left for a family visit out of state, and gifted us with bags of peaches and apple. Plus instructions to finish harvesting her trees and the grape vines. I started canning yesterday. Two batches of peach jam with granny smith apples. Today's project is peach butter in the crock pot. I've got a notion to do a batch or two of peach pie filling, with my great aunt's recipe, and to try a "fall harvest jam" that I found online. That one blends peaches, pears, apples, oranges, and a lemon. And then we'll see how much fruit I still have to deal with. By's contemplating cobblers, perhaps enough to freeze for later.

D's about half moved. We spent part of Sunday at her place. The kids and I helped pack the basement, and By worked on the tools left in the barn. She's got until the end of August, and she's had other folks with trucks helping, so it's going well so far. Only thing we're really worried about is moving her garden; we'll have to water heavily, just to be able to dig.
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Today is Death By Laundry day. 1load in the washer, 1 in the dryer, 2 loads already folded on the bed. To be completely caught up, I've got 2 more loads to wash and dry, and 4 loads' worth that have waited all week to be folded and put away. *sigh* I've always hated laundry.

Yesterday was very productive. I had spent Tuesday evening visitng D, and came back with a trash bag full of starts. I got the whole bag planted (a white-flowered lavender, lots of lychnis, comfrey, and different kinds of sages), plus most of the seedlings in my greenhouse. Only a flat left, yay! I also pulled heaps and heaps of weeds, moved a couple things, and made 2 more mini terraces going down a slope. That last both uses up some of the rock we've got stashed, and keeps water in place long enough to soak in. Then I planted the terraces with basil and perky little marigolds. After gardening, I cleaned some, gathered and took out the trash, cleaned up The Boy's mess and bathed The Boy*, cleaned the catboxes and back bathroom, and cleaned out the dubious things that had gotten pushed to the back of the fridge.

And, through all that, I've added 7" of radius to the round afghan I'm crocheting, which used up 4 skeins. It's almost done, and then The Miss can have it-she asks for it every time I sit down to work on it.

I have embroidery projects in progress too. An oak and acorn themed group that will eventually be an autumn colored sewing set--needlebook, couple of pincushions, needleroll, scissors fob, all down in autumn colors in blackwork. I pulled out an old UFO, "Elemental Stitches", and I've been working on that after the kids go to bed, because it's on navy aida, and needs more concentration.

I have some sewing projects to finish, sundresses for me and The Miss out of that fbraic that's sold already shirred on top, and prehemmed. Three are done except for straps, and I bought fabric for another dress for myself last week. Blue at the bottom, fading through to green at the top, very pretty, and there's enough to work into a dress for The Miss too. That may have to wait until summer school starts next week. The kids aren't sewing-machine friendly yet.

* The Boy got onto his counter yesterday while I was in the bathroom, found a mostly-empty tube of Desitin, and used it to paint himself, his clothes, the counter, the wall above the counter, and the front of the aquarium zinc white. Took 20 min to get it off all the surfaces, and another 20 to get it out of his hair, and I still haven't gotten rid of the smell.
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Had put off doing an updatey post, because LJ buggered my cross-posting from DW, and I didn't want to have to type things twice, and then I got bogged down into where the heck would I start anyway.

So, starting from beginning of December, in more-or-less the right order:
* Grandma spent from mid-September until just after her birthday in the hospital, trying to get her glucose stabilized and her meds in order
* Grandma very nearly put herself back in the hospital a week later, the Wednesday before Xmas, by taking her non-diabetes drugs wrong. If the home health aide hadn't gotten there when she did.....yeah.
* After several days of long tearful talks, Mom and her brother decided to move Grandma into the nursing home. It was past time, and she finally admitted it.
* Mom and Uncle M moved Grandma to the home the Friday before New Years. We went back for that weekend, and I helped them clean the apartment and spent time with Grandma.
* 10 days ago, Grandma went **back** to the hospital, for a fungal skin infection that's taking some very serious drugs to treat. Mom suspects she'd had it for a while, and just wasn't telling anyone.

Grandma is supposed to get released today. Last I talked to her, she sounded like she was going back to her apartment, and I know she's been telling her nurses that. She's very mad at Mom for moving her, and taking her stuff (she's too blind to be using a sewing machine or iron, really), and taking her money. Mom's been gritting her teeth and doing what needs to be done, and Sis and I are giving her pep talks as best we can. It was the right thing to do, but it certainly wasn't an easy thing.

There's a lot of details left out of all that, but that's the important bits.

In non-Grandma news, The Boy was officially enrolled in preschool on Jan 4, and has been riding the bus since. Both kids like the bus, and I like not having to make two trips into town 4 days a week.

I'm working on another order of tatting, which has is another thing cutting into my posting time. Same pattern as before, 200", plus the same length of a second pattern. Still in silk. That's given me too much time to daydream about projects I want to do for myself. Let's see, I think I'm at around 130" on the first pattern, and about 45" on the second (slower) pattern.

I started sewing on a just-for-me doll project last week, because I just had to get the idea out of my head. I'm sewing a dragon, in shades of red, and eventually he'll get a Joan-of-Arc styled rider. As soon as I figure out how to get something that looks armor-ish on a 6" doll. Gotta make the rider too; the ones I've done recently all have the wrong coloring. Except for the one I did for The Miss for Yule, and she's attached to that one.

Our weather has been crazy mild this month, and very dry. No precipitation for 10 weeks, and except for a slight chance of a little drizzle tomorrow, nothing in the forecast for the next 2 weeks. I'm thinking of not putting in a veggie garden this summer, unless the weather pattern changes real quick. Figured it'd be easier and cheaper to mulch the garden heavily and let it lie fallow this season, and try again next.

By's working on the roof over the deck this morning. He's got most of the rafters up, and corrugated metal roofing is next. Don't know that he'll get it all up while the warm spell holds, but he's making progress.

Saturday, I started the trench for the electrical line that will run from the herb shed to the house. Basically, I got the trench dug to half depth, across my flower beds, moving things (or digging to replant after the trench is filled in) as I went. So now I've got several pots with sprigs of bayberry bushes and ajuga in the greenhouse; hopefully they'll be rooted enough to plant out in April or May. The iris just got replanted, and I've got a bucket of daffs in the cold end of the greenhouse that I need to divide before replanting.
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So far today, I have:
* gotten the kids up, fed, dressed for school, and driven to school
* sorted laundry, run 2 loads (2 loads left)
* made 3 sundresses for The Miss, one for myself, and altered a skirt I got at Goodwill a month ago (sundresses still need some hand sewing)
* picked kids up from school, dropped bag of old clothes at Goodwill
* mended 2 pair of socks (1 pair left to do)

Sometime soon, I need to figure out what's for lunch.

If today goes the way I hope, I'll finish the socks and the handsewing on those dresses, get the laundry folded, do my foot or so of tatting, and still have some energy left for a bit of frivolous needlework later tonight.

I am ignoring the hints from the kids' teacher that The Boy, and possibly The Miss as well, is ADHD. She's bound and determined to slap a diagnosis on the kids, and I'm getting fed up. Mom and Sis think she's angling for diagnosis that get her program funding. Grrrrr.

Grandma went back into the hospital last night, after her regularly scheduled doctor's visit. The home health nurse says Grams missed all her insulin for the past week, Grams says she just didn't get it written down. It's hard to say....she's been alert enough to argue that she did take it, just on autopilot, but ....she's getting less alert every month. It's very distressing.

Her doc admitted her to figure that out, to watch her kidneys (she couldn't produce a urrine sample for them, couldn't remember the last time she'd peed, and they're worried about her losing more kidney function), and to deal with the diarrhea that she's had for 2 weeks. Last tim.e this came up, it was a nasty bacterial infection that took very high-powered meds to knock back, and doc thinks that's the case this time.

I may try to get up to see her this weekend. We're still trying to figure out what we're doing for Turkey Day. With By only getting the one day off, it makes travelling an ordeal, and Mom's not up to visitors and cooking.
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I need to call and check on her today, but Grandma was doing alright on Saturday, and Sis said she was ok yesterday. The good news is, no broken bones, just deep bruises. The bad news is, the rattles in her lungs are pneumonia now, and she's on serious antibiotics for a few more days.

I day-tripped west on Saturday to visit, and spent the afternoon playing cards with Mom and Grandma. (Which doesn't say much...Grandma has to be on her deathbed before she won't feel like playing cards.). She was alert and followed the game well, and we had a good visit. Mom took me to dinner at the "Happy Days Diner", which is better tasting than it might sound), where she talked me i nto eating battered, deep fried cauliflower. Also better than it sounds.

Spent 2 hrs out at renfest yesterday, mostly to visit the people we know out there. Managed to wear both kids out. They and I napped in the afternoon, while By worked on framing walls on the shed. It's looking more and more like a building.

The Miss was sick last night--threw up all over herself, her bed, her pillow, her teddy bear, and the two walls by her bed--so she's home from school today. She just figured out that being home sick means she can't go to the tool store with Papa, so maybe this isn't so fun. I am the big bad mommy.

We had some light rain this morning, the first in weeks. Not as much as we need, but it did settle the dust and rinse the cars.
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Just put a braided loaf of multigrain bread in the oven. There is lentil-veggie soup (with chicken, and turkey stock we made and froze a few months back) in the slow cooker. Got the dishwasher loaded and running. The Miss is enjoying a movie and a bowl of cheerios. The Boy has been asleep in the papasan chair for the past hour.*

Think that counts as progress.

Also, The Miss has gone two days without an accident. Momma is so happy.

* Just thought that The Boy is sleeping an awful lot lately--he crashed last night around 6:30, and slept until morning. Oh gods, what if he's growing into those feet?
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It's barely passed 60 degrees the past two days, and today is supposed to be the same. And it's kind of raining, just often enough and heavy enough to keep us inside for the morning. So of course, The Miss is bouncing off the walls. And it's Friday, so no school.

Put two more blankets on the bed last night, because we didn't want to turn on the heat yet. There's something very satifying about pulling a heavy pile of quilts over yourself on a cold night. And this morning, there are pumpkin muffins and tea to keep us warm.

The Boy and I ran errands while The Miss was at school yesterday morning. Took a pile of outgrown clothes and other stuff to Goodwill, shopped there for clothes (and had a good haul), Walmart for groceries, a quick visit with D. Then home, unload car, and hurry down to the road to meet the bus. He already recognizes that the bus means sister is coming home, and is very excited.

The Miss made it all day yesterday without an accident, which makes us all happy, and gave us happy news for the when both Grandmas called to check on her first week of school. Now we just have to keep her dry overnight.
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Quick trip to the doctor yesterday; The Miss needed her ears checked, and a pre-preschool physical, and The Boy just needed his ears checked.

The Miss has grown an inch since April, and is now 40" tall and still 36 lb. The Boy has grown 3" i. Height, 4 shoe sizes, and 2 lbs since April, and is now 38", size 9T shoe, and 35 lbs. That would be a size ahead of his sister in shoes, already.

Doc looked at The Boy's build, and recent growth rate, and told me to start buying clothes in a range of sizes, 'cuz I'm gonna need him. Yikes.

We've gone 5 days without naps now, and I think I'm going to give it up. The Boy sleeps beeter at night, without all the fighting to keep him in bed. But I'll sure miss my little eat-lunch-and-do-chores break in the afternoon.

By got more done on the shed poles are in the right places, and standing straight up, and he's getting the new floor joists set up. He's vexed at how long it's taking, but we both know he'll be much happier in the long run if he takes the time to fix everything Salvage Guy buggered. And that mess is almost done, so it should go quick from here.

By hit the clearance section of Walmart's lawn and garden last night, ans scored a truckload of bagged topsoil and pine bark mulch for $20. Hooray for cheap garden supplies! The topsoil is slated to fill in my raised beds, that have settled the past two years and are now only half full. Any leftovers will go to topdress parts of the flower beds. The mulch will go as a soil amendment in the raised beds, and then actually as mulch in other spots.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I got enough of the root on a rare native milkweed that I dug and moved yesterday. An antelope milkweed, spring blooming, with large heads of green flowersm it had some up in the middle of what will soon be the front porch of my shed. I managed to get about a foot of the knobby taproot, I just didn't realize that species would go that deep.

So, lots to do. Finish sanding the wood banding on the trunk (might get that done this morning), do soil and mulch things, pull weeds and move some daylilies....and chase the kids, do laundry, clean the kitchen, gather trash......
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The biggest part of the day's to-do list involves running the kids until they are too tired to shriek (because they are wild, shrieking little monkeys this morning), and a week's worth of laundry. Bleh. Hates laundry, we do. Also have to make hamburger buns (caraway rye, yum!) for dinner. And, if the kids behave enough for me to dig out all the ingredients, make up a batch of plaiting soap for By; one of his side-job clients wants a braided whip.

Got D through the funeral and reception on Saturday. There is still drama with J's daughters, and D is preparing to go to court. J didn't leave a will or "transfer on death" for the house, so who knows what's going to happen to that. And she's working on establishing their common law marriage, which one of the daughters will likely fight.

And that reminds me, I need to figure out where to put four more fruit trees, a couple peaches and I think the others are apple or pear. D and J were planning to plant them this fall, and since the fate of the house, and her residency there, is still fluid......I told her I'd find good places for them, and put benches under them so she could come visit. And there are three or four things I'd planned to dig for her this fall, that I'm just going to keep for now, until she figures out where she's landing.

On the up side, D heard from her mother Sunday, and her mother is all moved into her new apartment (assisted living, like Grandma is set up in). The facility had called D's mom a week early, saying the apartment was ready when she was, so she called her new church, and thwy had her moved, set up in the new place, and the old house clean in half a day. That is such a huge help for D; she's been trying to figure out when she could carve out time to go do that, with no help.

I started my holiday gift project production last week, while I was sitting with D. Done so far are a hat and scarf set for Sis, and a cabled hat for her youngest boy. And there is yarn in my bag, waiting for me to start another hat, as soon as I've typed this. I've got a pile of stitched pieces that are destined to become ornaments (and gifts), if I can just make myself sit down and do the finishing bits. It's worse than weaving in ends or sewing on buttons.

Speaking of sewing on buttons, I need to do that for some doll dresses. I'd finished a couple that I'd meant for presents for D, and I should get those done and to her. Completely frivolous, but she needs a bit of that right now.

By got more done on my shed/studio this weekend. The rest of the posts are set, and sqaurw, and plumb, and he's started peeling off the floor joists that Salvage Guy did so messily, and redoing them right. I'm so excited about having a space that's just mine.

The kids have been watching, and helping, and picking up new tricks. The Boy watched Papa use a hammer to pull nails out of a board. As soon as Papa put the hammer down, he snagged it, found nails sticking out of another board, and used the hammer to pull them. And succeeded, which scares me a little. He is also learning to use a shovel to scoop up dirt and put it in a wheel barrow, though he's still a bit clumsy on that. He gets excited, and tends to spill. But it keeps him occupied while I'm doing other things.
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The Boy has commandeered two of his sister's baby dolls and her toy stroller, and is giving those dolls the ride of their lives. Complete with revved-up-engine noises and wild swings around corners. The Miss is not amused.

We probably should have gotten two of the toy strollers, but we honestly didn't expect him to take to the dolls and strollers like that. They're hand-me-down baby dolls, well-played-with, and he latched onto them as soon as the neighbor brought the bag of toys into the house. Odd little unit, my boy is.

Had some rain lately, and it's cooler, so the yard is less crispy and a little greener. The veggie garden would be producing, except that I've got moles in the garden, and they're eating squash as soon as the fruits set. Dammit. I'll probably slip out while the kids are napping and put out poison, so I can get some produce out of there.

I do have a few things blooming, despite the brutal heat the end of July:
* Lycoris squamergia, aka hardy amaryllis, resurrection lilies, surprise lilies, belladonna, or my personal favorite name for them, naked ladies. (And I learned that name as a child, from an 80-yr-old pillar of the community, who said it was an old name for them, no matter how improper my mom thought it.)
* zinnias in abundance, just old Oklahoma Mix, but bright and cheerful and durable
* verbena-on-a-stick
* a last few queen anne's lace
* gomphrena (purples)
* morning glories-- three shades of starred dark purples, and tiny sky blue ones
* the last few daylilies-- "Autumn Minaret" (golden yellow stars on 5' stems), and a lemon yellow charmer that I think may be "Hyperion"
* apple and silver mints, which have pale lavender spikes, and a few last spikes of agastache
* balloon flower (which I should plant more of, because they look delicate, but they bloomed all through the heat)
* seedlings of "Goldstrum" rudbeckia, with smooth clean foliage and sunny golden blooms
* pardencanda, pale yellow this year (it's a hybrid, and the seedlings range from rose to oranges and many shades of yellows)
* white rose-of-sharon

Have been doing mostly cross stitch lately, working on things for holiday gifts and some things for me. Finished Teresa Wentzler's "Needle Guardian" as a needlebook for By, it just wants a snap sewn on. Also dug out a needlebook that I'd stitched for me a year ago, and got it assembled and into the "needs buttons and snaps" pile. Still making progress on Joan Elliott's "Green Goddess". Slow, but progress.
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The heat finally broke, it's held at around 88 today. Thank the gods. My garden looks burnt and crispy, and most of the things that were blooming when we left are withered now. Makes getting The Miss's morning bouquet more difficult--most of what's still blooming are things I want to save for seed.

Everything being so dry did make mowing go quick this morning. Dusty, but quick.

I need to take wire cutters out to the garden tomorrow morning, so I can cut hand-holes in the tomato cages and start picking tomatoes. We picked the first armenian cukes a couple days ago; I think the heat is slowing them down.

Had a tree come down day before yesterday. A 6" caliper, 25' (ish) mulberry, nothing special, just weird that something bent it over and broke the trunk enough that it stayed there. It was on my list of "maybe remove", and now it's on the "definitely remove" list. I cut enough of the canopy off to get at the flowerbeds underneath and water; the rest will have to wait for weekend and a chainsaw.

Grandma had an "incident" a couple days ago. Her home health nurse (who checks her weekly as part of her assisted living facility care) noticed she had a sinus problem and tried to admit her to the hospital. When Mom got down there, the nurse and Grandma's doctor needed a referee. Doc said he knew about the problem, gave Grandma something a little stronger than the OTC meds she was taking, declared her basically well (for her age and condition), and sent her home. Mom says Doc and the nurse don't get along, haven't since the guy moved in (he's foriegn, you know), and this isn't the first time the nurse has pulled one of these stunts with Grandma. Mom's pissed because the nurse got Grandma all riled up, which reqired some effort to soothe over.

Haven't heard how Nephew is doing. He's home from the hospital, but that's all we know *crosses fingers*

By found an old UFO in the closet the other day. He'd started stitching Teresa Wentzler's LPeacock Tapestry" years ago, but not gotten far. All the threads and pattern are together in a bag, the fabric's on a scroll frame. If I didn't have so many things going right now, I'd dive in, because I love that design. Maybe that'll be my winter project. Or maybe he'll pick up stitching again.
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It's summer, we've been busy, just not with anything notable and post-worthy most of the time. The siding is up on most of the last side of the house, the bathroom window is fixed and all the trim redone (yay for straight windows!), the yard needs mowed but it's too damn hot.

By managed to take the laptop apart , replace the keyboard that The Boy spilled coffee on, and get it all put back together correctly. My hero! He has also replaced the factory stereo in the car with a new one that has a jack to plug in the ipod, so we can have tunes on the trip.

The garden is growing well and starting to produce, now that it's hot. Picked the first tomato and zucchini yesterday. I'm sure everything will come into harvest while we're gone, and that our neighbor will get some tasty things off of it.

I don't have as big a variety of flowers blooming right now, but what I do have are full and lush. Echinacea, queen anne's lace, black-eyed-susans, and every color of daylily. I have small patches of other things, scarlet zinnias, balloon flower, lavender, and of course those are the things The Miss demands for her morning bouquet. I gotta plant more flowers next year, so i can have some too.

The weekend's big news is that Sis and I were disowned by our father. He called her Sunday, drunk as a lord, to harangue her for our show of disloyalty and lack of filial affection. She admitted she *might* have said something rather rude before she *might* have hung up on him.

And then Crazy Aunt Kathy called her at 730 yesterday morning, because Crazy Aunt Kathy is not trainable, to tell Sis that she and her oldest daughter were now Dad's executors. (I'm sure my cousin is thrilled, she's got enough on her plate taking care of her mom.) Whatever estate Dad leaves behind (and I doubt there'll be much, he's drinking it up pretty damn fast) is to be held in trust for the grandkids. Sis told Crazy Aunt Kathy to "call me when he's dead" and hung up on her.

So, yeah. Major relief. I was so afraid he'd manage to kill himself in a car crash, and I'd have to go to some backwater in Texas and clean up his mess. And now, not my problem. Yay!!! I am fine if my kids don't inherit anything from him--freedom from his baggage is priceless.
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The BoyChild's safety pillow is in the washer this morning, and I am the Big Bad Mommy, because I put it there in front of him. He's even managed to rescue it from the washer (through the child safety latch!!!), but Papa held him while I confiscated the pillow and locked it in the washer again. Sometimes, it's terribly hard being two.

We had planned to go out and be social last night, but The Boy threw up at lunch, and again an hour later. So, we decided to keep him home. Think he just got overheated, then ate too much, but we'd feel terrible if it was contagious, and he passed it on.

Because we didn't go out, all the baking we'd done to take with us and share is here. We've got caraway-rye buns, some oatmeal bread, and miniature apple pies. The pies were a little fussy to make, but fun, and very cute. We filled them with pie filling that we canned last August.

My mom and sister are trying to seduce me into quilting. I went looking for fabric for Sis on Sunday, when I was shopping for floss. And left with a handful of fat quarters. I'm telling myself that they're for doll clothes. And then Sis started sending me quilt patterns, telling me that those were easier than they look, and she could put on together in a weekend, and it's so much fun........Says the junkie trying to get someone else hooked.

There's been no more news about my father this week. I'm guessing that means there's a warrant out, maybe more, and he's gone to ground somewhere. It gets him away from Mom and Sis anyway, so I'm not sure I care.
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In between phone calls from my sister about all the stupid human tricks that our father has pulled lately, we've been busy getting things done.

By cut out a section of railing along the east side of the deck, and replaced it with a 6' wide set of steps down into the yard. I love them. They make the deck and yard flow together better, and it's a great spot to sit and watch the kids play.

He also has a bunch of siding up on the east side of the house. And since he got the leaky bathroom window refine yesterday, he'll be able to finish that section of siding. I'm thrilled with the repaired window--it's finally straight. Salvage Guy had left it so crooked it looked crooked on the inside too, and it made me a little crazy. But it's all better now.

The sewing machine has been to the repair shop for a clean and time-up, so I can sew sundresses for me and The Miss. Had the fabric for a couple weeks. Green with flowers and Tinkerbell on the skirt for her, shades of green for me.

I made a new garden area, although it won't get planted until we're back from our trip east. (And resisting diving into that project is taking more willpower than you'd believe.)

I finished the last of six cross stitch pieces last night. All small, and all on the same chunk of fabric. Got it washed, and now it's drying, before I turn the stitcheries into pincushions and needle books and such. And I started another cross stitch last night, because I am weak and Joan Elliott designed a fabulous green woman face, with leaves and bugs and such.

Ive finished two hats out of soft cotton blends, to give the relative of a friend, who is undergoing surgeries for Parkinson's. She'll have her head shaved for a while, and the family is getting hats and scarves for her to wear in the meantime.

And finally, this morning, I got the play yard mowed, and the veggie garden well watered. And now I'm knitting a head scarf for my friend's family member.


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April 2017

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