Monday, June 30, 2008

anatomy of a buzz

Start with one hairy child. The hairier the better.
You should also have a towel to drape over hairy child (to minimize whinniness)
after 5 minutes of shaving, some head starts to appear!
get hairy child to pose. Pretend at this point that the shaver has died and his hair has to stay like this. Then wink at him.
Remind yourself that he is still your little shaver :)
Take photo of your handsome, less hairy son. Scold older sister for making bunny ears.
We did go to Howell for the balloon festival but didn't see any balloons.Bad weather. Poo. My dad & stepmom have friends that were having a big party, so we went to their house. We had a good time. I'll post some pix tomorrow.
We spent the day on the lazy side yesterday, with a trip to IKEA filling up the majority of the day. We bought a loft bed for Emma's room. Now we just need to paint her room.
Until tomorrow!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

they're so crafty!

The craft party was a huge success! Whew! I'm glad it's over. :)
Here are Emma, Sami & Anna getting ready to tie-dye their shirts, bandanas & pillowcases. We prepped them inside, because overnight it turned 90 degrees and humid.  Immediatley the die bottles started leaking, so I got them out of the house asap.
Disaster averted.

This is Emma practicing the 'less is more' theory. HA! She was a wild thing with the squirt bottle. All of her creations were sopping wet.
Costco wipes and the hose saved the table. Woo hoo!

Back inside for some pompon animal creating and pop drinking. There are apporximatley 7,194 poms in that bowl. We will be able to make creatures for her wedding centerpieces. With googly eyes.

Every girl needs a pair of fleecy flip flops ! We got the flops at Target for a buck a pair (woo hoo Target) and I had the fleece in my stash. They cut the strips themselves and tied them onto the shoes. A fun and super easy craft that any age level can do.

Emma, Anna & Sami posing for me. Cute girls. Nice girls. I can't believe they are middle school girls!

Tonight we are headed to Howell for the balloonfest. I have wanted to go for years and we never pull it off. It's been raining buckets all day but hopefully by lift-off time the weather will co-operate. I want to see some balloon magic!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wee little friend in my garden

I'm not huge fan of rodents in general, but Bart discovered this tiny little white mouse eating birdseed in my garden the other day. She's cute!
I was standing no more than three feet away from the mouse the entire time, and she didn't seem bothered by my presence. I didn't notice the red eyes until I downloaded the photos.
Our little visitor is no bigger than my thumb and lives under the green & yellow bush. You would think that a terrier on the premesis would be enough to keep the mice away, but you would be wrong. Every once in awhile we get little field mice in the basement, and they pop up under the potting bench. But I've never seen a white one!
Emma has named her 'Missy', because everything has to have a name if it crosses into our yard. She checks several times a day to see if Missy is out, and likes to put out nibbbles of things for her to eat. Naturally, Buddy gets many of the treats. He's bigger, he wins.
Uh-oh! Someone else has spied our little friend. Ben stays glued to this spot about 20 hours a day when we have the doors open. He's like a small version of the bear rug by the fireplace. He probably saw the mouse way before we did.
Tomorrow Emma (I mean 'I') am hosting a craft party for 2 of her friends. Way back when I mentioned something about doing tye-dye tees and it stuck in her brain. We went to Michael's yesterday to buy the rest of the supplies she thinks she wants to do 4 different crafts. Someone shoot me. Actually, she used her own money & gift cards she got for her birthday last September, so she is paying for 99% of it. We'll see how it goes. I think one of her invitees isn't a big crafter, and this may wreak havoc on Emma's plans. She'll have to get over it!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

fireworks 2008

fireworks 2008, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

here are some shots I took during the festivities.
The evening ended up being gorgeous, so we decided to watch the fireworks outside on the promenade. GM passes out armbands to a certain number of people and cordens off an area, so we had kind of a private viewing area (with a few hundred friends). There were face painters and balloon twisters. All for free!
Emma wanted to venture down to the carnival rides, so we went. I should have known what it was going to be like. The entire population of Detroit was loitering about in one small area. Most of them talking on cell phones. (who are they talking to? It was loud and crowded and why do you feel the need to make a call now?) They went on one ride, because we didn't have enough tickets to do a second ride and because they were ridiculously expensive. The kids used the rest of their tickets to buy italian ice. I think they made a wise choice.
Evan talked thru the entire show, which I totally expected. But he did leave his ears uncovered...except for the finale. That was loud. He still talked to me though.
I think they had a great time!

Monday, June 23, 2008

bye, George

Comedian George Carlin passed away this weekend. I'm bummed out. I love George. I remember having several concerts of his on tape back in college, and I listened to them over and over. His humor never failed to make me laugh. So sad.
We are going downtown to watch the fireworks tonight (another benefit of GM employment)! We have passes both inside and on the promenade, so depending on the weather we may hang outside, or we'll be on the 26th floor, eye level with the pyrotechnics. That is a very cool vantage point. We took Emma when she was little but have never taken Evan (he's not a fan of loud noise). It's been a few years, so I'm excited to go. Not excited to drive home with the million or so other fireworks fans, but it's a package deal.
Happy Monday!

Friday, June 20, 2008

the first cut is the deepest...

We had some major de-forestation done at our house today.
Guess what? I took pictures!
Here's Emma watching the huge limb come down, rather closely to where she is sitting.
And Evan, plugging his ears, just like he did when he was little.
This is Tommy Tree. I doubt his last name is actually Tree. That's the name of his business. He lives down the street from us. We pretend we know each other and give a little wave, and he gives us good deals on tree services. He also looks really good without a shirt on.
This is a smoke bush that grows on the side of our house. It is pretty even thought it makes huge smoky tumbleweeds all over the place.
Here's the smoke bush after, with only one limb remaining. I wanted to ax the entire thing but I was outvoted. Nw you can actually walk to the front yard without being attacked by branches.
Ahh, the back 40. Used to be a massive jungle, and the remaining trees are plotting to take over. Yes they are.
Such a difference! We took out the middle spruce (who was really the instigator) and now we can see into the neighbors' yard. That's his spruce peeking thru.
Now on to the good stuff, the front yard. This is the view on my front porch. We have massively overgrown maple tree #1, and an arrowroot bush that has been killed twice and come back to life. Nothing short of an exorcism will do.
Good ol' Tom shimmied up the tree and with a few well placed hacks of his chainsaw, we can now see all the way to downtown Northville! Well, almost, anyway.
Say goodbye to my little friend.
She is gone, hopefully to never return. Now if only they would have dug up all the rocks!
If you look closely, you can see Em & Ev sitting on the dirt pile watching the action. This was well after the branches were down and it was safe to venture from the garage. My favorite part about this tree trimming adventure was Emma following Tommy around with a checklist her dad had made, making sure Tommy was doing everything on it. She gives direction well, for a 10 year old. He thought she was adorable.
We are now letting in approximately 275% more sunlight into the house than we were before. Shit! I need to wash the windows!
Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

no gain, no pain

After reading this post just under a month ago, I have wholeheartedly thrown my consumer hat into the ring and given up buying stuff. It's going very well, I might add. (for those that don't like links, I'm referreing to Crazy aunt Purl and her mid-year resolution to not buy anything unessential for the remainder of the year).
The hardest part for me was determining what I equate with an essential and what I equate with a want. Sadly, 80% of the stuff being brought into my home is want stuff, and not needed stuff. Add it all up, and no wonder we are drowning in junk. I'm tired of shopping for it, I'm tired of storing it, I'm tired of marking it for garage sales. Enough is enough.
Through the end of the year, I am not buying myself one more thing.
The key word in that sentence is 'myself'. I don't need one more tee shirt, one more skein of yarn, one more scrapbook anything. I have enough stuff to craft 24/7 for a long time. There are 3 other people in my household, however, and I don't impose my ban upon them.
I know it's only been three weeks so far into my resolution, but it has been very freeing. No more wandering the aisles of Target for an hour = more time to read or knit or surf blogs! I have gotten my shopping fixes from little trips I have made to the store, and buying things for others. There is always a birthday/anniversary/holiday on the horizion. I just don't throw an extra something in the cart for my time.
The benefits of this are twofold- 
less money spent & less stuff in my house. 
To me, the less stuff in my house is the most important and gratifying reason to stop shopping. The less I have to take care of, the happier I am. It's going to take awhile for the effects of the ban to be noticeable to others, but I know I am being faithful to my goal.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have bought a few things. 2 knitting patterns. Some new music. I downloaded a movie. But not one of these things takes up physical space in my house. They are all contained within my computer. While I considered not spending the money at all, I paid for them without regret. I may have bent the rules, but I didn't break them.
In my life music & entertainment are very important. They are my essential. Downloading a song here and there makes me happy. It takes no physical space. It's all good. I have been making lists of books I'd like to read, and then checking them out from the library. We have been doing Netflix for years-I love it. We watch all the tv shows /movies we want for one monthly fee and nothing comes to live permanently in my house!
I'm sure there will be times when I am tempted to have something. For these things, I will make a list. If I still want them in 6 months (and I can afford it), then I will treat myself.
I'll keep you posted on my success!
Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

got berries?

got berries?, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

we went strawberry picking today.
It was overcast & cool, but sure beat last year's 90 degrees and sunny by a mile! The fields were also dry (a first for us) so the berries were smaller and firmer.
And delicious.
Nothing is better than fresh picked berries.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A: you bet

Q: So, do you think he's happy?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

what up!

So many things happening in the last week...
-school finished Thursday with a bang! The clap, the roller skating, and then Evan had his final game of the season (they tied). 
-Friday was spent going over the ground rules and expectations for the summer. Cleaning rooms and making the house presentable. Reviewing chore charts. The kids are excited at the prospect of earing some cash for the summer.
-Went to see 'Indiana Jones' with the family and my dad yesterday. It was pretty great! I was happier with it than I thought I would be. I rarely pay attention to critics...if I like something I don't care if it's perfect, as long as it entertains me.
-took Emma shoping for some bras today. We bought a few sporty non-padded models. This was actually harder than you would think, because they are all padded. Not only padded, but covered with glitter and patches and crap. They even had the demi push-up style. Seriously.
-today was the first day of soccer tryouts. It didn't start well. We kind of got into a shouting match with one of the program directors or whatever she was. She hollered, we didn't. But for the first hour my stomach was in knots thinking about her and the effect that she could have on Evan's potential placement. I needn't have worried-his coach offered us a position on the Nike (A team) team before the day was finished. We haven't told him, because we want him to play well tomorrow. And so we can see his face when he gets his letter of acceptance.

awesome awesome awesome. We are so proud of his acheivement. And because I didn't take any pictures today I played with this one until I liked it. I also didn't take any pix while bra shopping, because I would like my daughter to still like me in a few years.
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the clap

There is a tradition at Winchester Elementary that on the last morning of school the kids line the halls while the fifth graders walk down them for the last time. Parents are also invited to participate. they call it 'the clap'. It's weird to say "I was at the clap" but it is what it is.
Emma was the leader of the fifth grade! I didn't expect to see her first in line at all...and she volunteered for it! Pretty cool, huh? Unlike my photography skills, which were suckish.

After the clap, 3rd, 4th & 5th graders go to a roller skating party. I didn't volunteer to drive because I was trying to avoid a war in my household, and that's cool with me. A bunch of loud kids in my car is something I try to avoid whenever I can. But I went to skate and watch and hang out for a few hours.
And I know you are going to doubt me, but I skated. Shut up, I did! I borrowed regular skates (no shin splints) and skated with my friend Judy. We didn't fall once, although there were a few close calls. Sorry about grabbing you, Jude!
It was fun to skate again. I used to live in my skates when I was a pre-teen. I was afraid of making an ass of myself, or knocking a kid over but I was fine. The best part was being able to get away from the gossip about who was going to slow skate with whom. Too much drama for me. Too much drama for my kids. Emma hung out with her 2 new Japanese friends that had never skated before, and Evan just did his own thing.
More fantastic photography skills. 
Now I need a nap. The skating wore me plum out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

one more day

tomorrow is the last day of school.
How that happened, i don't know.
Like many things, I knew it was coming but didn't see it coming.
Even funnier, is that Bart has been so preoccupied at work, he didn't know it was the last week of school, and I have thought of little else.
We don't have any solid plans for the summer (which I have already logged multiple complaints about) so if anyone wants to rent a kid for a week or two, let me know. I don't have an income but will pay what I can :)
Emma's final soccer game of the season is in an hour. Evan's is tomorrow.
Busy days, lots going on.
And it's way too hot for the beginning of summer. I hope it evens out soon.
I'll leave you with a nice cool image-
January 2008. I can almost feel the chill.
Stay cool.

Monday, June 9, 2008

WWIP (wet work in progress)

How do you like my fancy yarn drier? It's lovely, isn't it?
 After unloading the car yesterday Bart discovered my secret project in progress. It was all wet.
I'm guessing we had a leaky water bottle. I'm hoping it was a water bottle anyway. Thus, the need to dry some yarn.
I first attempted to dry it (with the needles in) in a lingerie bag on no heat in the dryer. This was a stupid idea. Some stitches slipped off the needle and the skein was no closer to being dry. So i sucked it up and cut.

I needed some way to dry it without making a tangled mess (a specialty of mine) so I used this Costco box we had sitting around. Woo hoo. Way to use those resources!
Ahh, much better. And dry!
This is the most delicious yarn called Panda Wool. 51% Bamboo, 39% wool, 10% nylon. It is soft, and beautiful. For those of you that think wool socks are itchy, you needn't look any further for softness than this yarn. Divine!
I'm just about to start turning the heel on the first sock. I was hoping to have these done for Father's Day, but since I have been knitting on them only when not around the father, progress this weekend was slow. So it looks like he'll get a sock, with the promise of another in the near future. If he's lucky :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

wiped out

It's 8:30 on a Sunday night in June and both of my kids have been asleep for the last 20 minutes. This never happens, no exaggeration. The heat and the events of the week must have caught up with them and taken their toll. It's all good- I am enjoying the quiet :)
Evan's team had their soccer picnic today, and it was a blast. Of course it had to storm heavily and we had to hide indoors, but before it did they had tons of fun.

Here's a shot of the tug-o-war contest, with Evan's team being pulled into the soapy pit. As you can tell they really disliked it.
Actually, I think he may have just dived in for fun. I would be willing to bet money on it.
Obviously his dislike of bathing and soap in general didn't make this activity any less fun. Maybe I'll set up a soap pit in the yard and throw him in, once a week, just so I know he has come in contact with soap.
He is also now totally waffling on quitting soccer for football. Ever since they played in the Cincinnati tournament he has changed his mind a thousand times. Rush tryouts are next weekend, and we told him he has to decide by then. Also muddling up the equation: he wouldn't be staying with the same boys. They have changed the cutoff birthdate, and he would have to stay with U9 (what he played this year). But he would get to have his coach again, and for him this is the deal maker. So I don't know what he will choose.
Hope you had a good weekend and stayed cool!

the week of many games

Goalie kid, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

4 down, 3 to go.
As much as I enjoy watching the kids play, the end of the season can't come fast enough. Too many games & practices. Too hot. Too many other end-of-the-year things going on. We're ready to pack it in.
This week has been brutal. If it wasn't 90 degrees, we had 50 mph winds to deal with. Or dodging thunderstorms. No one wants to make up games. We're all burned out. Check, please.
We had a mixed bag of games-one of the best played games of the season followed by one of the worst. Evan was goalie for the second half of the worst game.He's a good sport about playing in goal. If Coach Paul asks him, he does it; but it's not his favorite. He gives it his all, and sometimes he's exceptionally good. Yesterday was not one of those days.
I'm so proud of how far he has come this season. He really learned a lot from Rush soccer, and I'll be sad to not have him suit up in the fall. It's hard to not be buoyed by his optimism though- he can't wait for football to start, and would like to sign up for rec soccer in the spring. He doesn't feel like he is 'playing down' to go back to rec, and that is a great attitude for him to have.
One more game. Hope for a win!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

it's getting hot in here...

So it looks like we are going to go straight from mild spring to the dead heat of summer. Fabulous! There's nothing I like better than sweating profusely, 24/7.
But hey, my graden likes it, especially after the rain the other day. Things are looking good...

I bought this little yellow lovely at the farmer's market today. It's a type of poppy, and it's a shade perennial. And it's native! I forget what it's called, but I will look it up.
I have some little alliums popping right now. I love aliums, even though i really wanted to move these particular guys and they went and bloomed on me, I won't mess with a blooming plant. Maybe they sensed that...
My irises are spectacular! The color is a very deep violet and I love love them. I wish they would bloom longer. It's their only fault.
Hi Bullet! Haven't seen you for a few days...
A glimpse around the pond. (Note the wooden  'Sue' clog that I bought at the antique market filled with little pink blossoms.) Everything is doing so well, so I have to go and change it all! Until the heat, I had been busily digging up and moving things around. NOw it's ninety-eleven degrees and stuff is blooming, so I quit. Plus, I gravely injured myself with a shovel last week and I'm not over the trauma. Gardening is dangerous!
Stay cool peeps!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

this guy

Is pretty unhappy with me lately.
Since Savannah's passing, we switched him from a fatty, protien laced food for diabetics to a weight managment food. He doesn't like it. Not even a little bit.

He looks at me so pathetically and does little silent 'meow'. Paws at my lower leg, as if to say "What's the deal here. Where is the good stuff?"
I don't think he missed her too much at first, but now I know he does. The funny thing is, I keep waiting to hear the 'call' he would do for her. Her summons. I haven't heard him yet, but I'm sure he's gotta be thinking 'Where the heck did she go?'
No weight managment issues here. Move along!

Monday, June 2, 2008

welcome, June

Busy weekend. Busy week to come. I have about 112 things on my mind and it won't all fit in one post. First, I want to say thanks for all your well wishes about Savannah. It was a sad week for all of us. I still look for her for a minute, until I remember she's not here. I miss her.

We went to see the Red Bull Air Races on Sunday. We watched from the 26th floor of the RenCen, which is a great place to see a wide spectrum of downtown activity. Only part of the course was out of our view, so we didn't miss much. The planes were very cool to watch, but I can't help but feel we missed out on 'the experience' by being indoors. There was no broadcast for us to watch, or announcements, so we never knew what was going on. But the whole thing was free for us, so it was a pleasant way to pass a few hours and support the city.
Evan and his ginormous sucker, watching the races.
Both kids had games on Saturday & Sunday. We skipped the Sunday games to go the the races. Saturday was a bizarre weather day. Ev's game was in Dexter, and looked like it was going to rain throughout but never did. His team dominated, but lost 2-1 in the last 2 minutes. So frustrating. Emma's game was at home, but it was so windy that it was hard to play. I took a lot of pictures, but evidently not a single one of her. We tied 3-3; amazing considering we were short players and it was so frickin' windy!
We celebrated Greg & Tracey's 1st anniversary at my in-laws with a dinner and dessert. Evan thought he was pretty sneaky giving everyone bunny ears. The two of them even cleaned up the dinner dishes. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
Sayonara May! Welcome, June.