Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spoils of War

On our recent trip to Ohio, the girls and I stopped at an antique store named Benkin's in Tipp City. The store itself has a lot of interesting history and character (from furniture store/mortuary to general store). I have a particular weakness for antique linens and I scored big this time. Linens don't always wear as well as the sturdier furniture or dishes and it is always sad to see someone's beautiful hand-work stained and ragged from neglect. I love seeing all of the different techniques and styles. I came away with Huck and Swedish embroidery, crochet, lace, cross stitch and a few other interesting samples that I can't even identify yet. The most exciting piece was a pale yellow Hardanger runner in perfect condition. The prices were surprisingly low. I'm sure most of the materials were worth more than what I paid for the finished pieces. I'm not at all convinced that they are all truly antique, but I don't care. For what I spent on them, I can even afford to let M use some of them for her tea parties. You should have seen her eyes when she saw the Water Lily table runner. She loves water lilies and I knew she would love that one.
I hope you enjoy seeing my spoils of war (sorry I didn't iron them first).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Bad Year

Prairie Dog, Questar and I went letterboxing up in Northfield yesterday. It was a fantastic day and we found all of the boxes in Atomic Beans' winter series, A Bad Year. It's a fun, clever series and we were particularly intrigued with the containers. The stamps were fun and I loved how all of them could be stamped with black ink. These boxes will be out until April 3rd, so if you get a chance, I would highly recommend that you look for them.

It would have been a great day even without the boxes. The weather was gorgeous and (according to the man pushing his daughter in the stroller) we saw lots of "naturey things". You have to love it when noxers come up with your cover story for you. What did we see?
  • Deer. Staring at us. Not afraid. Making snide comments under their breath as we stamped in. Very unnerving.
  • Birds. Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadee, and something that said "Ow" when it sang.
  • Fungus. Because of our friend, FungusWoman, we notice fungus everywhere. Even 50 feet up in a tree. Don't have a clue what kinds they are, but we notice them.
  • Moss. Until M decided she wanted to make a moss garden (a project in one of those big books of things to do), I had never paid attention to moss. Yesterday I couldn't get away from it. Perhaps because everything else is still dormant and brown, the moss seemed to glow in the sunlight. I never imagined that there could be so many textures and patterns to moss. Of course I brought some home for her.*
  • Cyclists. Blurring past. Oblivious to the beauty around them. I ask you, why do you need special shoes to ride a bike?
  • Mud. It could have been worse. Yee-ha!

It was a very satisfying day.

 *I realize this violates the Leave No Trace policy, so you can yell at me if you like. However, I can guarantee that none of the moss I took had a conservation status that was threatened in any way and I'm pretty sure that before spring is out, it will all have grown back.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mud Pie

Since yesterday was Pi Day, M and I made a Mississippi Mud Pie. Thought you might like the recipe:

Mississippi Mud Pie

3 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/4 c butter
3 T light corn syrup
3 eggs
2/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
pie crust
whipping cream
chocolate curls

I use the Betty Crocker pie crust recipe. The pie directions call for par baking the crust, but I think I'm going to skip that next time. I would recommend pricking the crust with a fork before baking.
In a double boiler, melt butter, chocolate and corn syrup. In separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. When chocolate is smooth, turn off heat and slowly add egg mixture, stirring until completely combined. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350* 35-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool on wire rack and spread with whipping cream and decorate with chocolate curls.

*Photo provided by Zazzle...since my pie didn't last long enough to have it's picture taken.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March BOM

Mud was the word for today. But I'm not complaining. At least we were able to stamp into a couple of boxes without it raining on us (which is par for me). The March Box of the Month was as nice as the others. I think we need to get a little more creative with our photo-in-the-same-spot-each-month though. This is only the third picture and I'm already bored with them.

More boxing on Tuesday-woot, woot!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hamster Dam

I have already shared some of the 119 reasons why we home school with you. Today, we added a new reason.

The girls started learning about the Ottoman Empire this week and today was about Mehmen the conqueror and how he changed Constantinople to Istanbul. So, of course I had to find the song by They Might Be Giants on the internet and play it for them.

Only M was singing "Hamster Dam" instead of New Amsterdam and J laughed so hard so she got the hiccups. And now, if I dream tonight, I'm sure it will be of a dam breaking and a rushing river of hamsters coming to flood New York.

That never would have happened in Ms Culpeppar's history class.

And if my children were in a classroom somewhere, I would have missed that. So, if I ever get discouraged and start threatening to put them in school, all someone needs to say is "Hamster Dam". I'm sure I'll snap out of it.

Monday, March 8, 2010


It has been weeks since I have had anything worth posting here. I seem to be stuck in a rut. I don't feel like carving or working on embroidery. In fact, I can't sit still at all. I've been cleaning, folding laundry (which is sooo not right) and spending hours on the treadmill.
We had been planning on going letterboxing this week, but now the forecast is calling for rain every day--so nothing to talk about there either.
February/early March is typically a difficult time of year for me. I've been stuck inside for too long and the only contact I have with the earth is the mud that comes in on Kirby's tail.
And then there is the writing thing. It's sort of consuming me at this point.

Don't give up on me though. In a few weeks (right about the time the smell of spring dirt invades my senses) I'll hit my stride again. By then, I'll be done with my 1st novel rewrite and ready to set it aside for a bit. PZ Kut will be back in production (I'm also planning on attempting a linoleum carve) and we'll all get rid of our rubber DTs. I'll be ready to plant seeds, hike trails and ignore my housework once again.
Life will be grand. If I can just get past March.