Sunday, August 31, 2008

what a lovely bunch of tomatoes

it took long enough, but our tomatoes are finally starting to come in, and they are beauts!
I bought 4 varieties of heirloom tomatoes this year, but 2 of the plants aren't doing much. I believe this one is trying to make up for it.
If my little marker is to be trusted, this is 'Rose'. We have 2 different plants on each cage, and the vines are intertwined. Makes it kind of hard to tell which is which.

As you can see, the fruit is huge. Bigger than my fist. Emma is holding up a quarter to show scale. There are about 40 tomats in various stages of ripening. They smell good. They taste great. And they continue to grow.
These are 'San Marzano'. Kinf of funny shaped, reminiscent of Roma tomatoes. Tasty as well. Don't know that I will go the heirloom route next year...I was expecting to much more wowed than I am by them so far. Plus I would like to try and grow some lettuces and beans, maybe a cuke or two. I see a whole plot in my future!
Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

bean me up!

Move over Martha Stewart
there's a new chef in town.
Evan & I canned beans today. Not just any beans. We made dilly beans. Ever since I learned how easy they are to do I planned on making my own batch.
So now we have 13 glorious jars.
Probably not near enough. But a good start.
Evan prepping the jars with spices, garlic, dill
beans, beans, beans!
stuffing them into the jars...this was the funnest part
adding the brine
the finished product. Delish!
Evan was a total butthead, declaring "No photos. Pictures are for babies" But I still snuck one anyway when he was ladling hot brine. Ha! That'll teach him.
Now all we have to do is wait 2 weeks and the beans will be ready.
How I'm going to keep Emma out of the jars for 2 weeks is another matter...
Have a great holiday weekend!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

knitting, and not knitting, as the case may be

I have been working up a slew of projects that are in various stages of finishedness, pretty much none of which i can show because that will invariably be the day the mom to be will read my blog. Whew, that was a lot of words. 
I am knitting. I am working on things. I will show them all at some point in time.
Also, someone very near and dear to me is expecting (IT'S NOT ME) and I get to knit a bunch of adorable baby things for her. Yeah! And since I know she will be finding out the baby's gender, I can pick and chose which loverlies catch my fancy. Even better!
So even though I have X many projects on needles, I felt the need to start something else to soothe my soul.
I'm hoping to turn this:
Into this:
I have never worked with laceweight before, and it scares the hell out of me.
Just winding it was making me tense, as I tend to drop the yarn and make it into an unusable mess. I need a swift, badly. And the color is so much prettier than the photo. For some reason, red yarn looks blown out and icky. It's really rich and beautiful.
I also don't know what to do about these socks.
I hate them. H.A.T.E. The yarn is fine, the colors are fine, the pattern is ok. It doesn't have any give to it, so the socks are very dense and don't stretch at all. They make my legs look like I have ginormous cankles, which is oh so flattering. I hate that I spent so much time on them already and am thinking of quitting, but I really truly hate them. I don't want to finish the one sock, much less start the second. ARGH!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

one hundred & sixty five hours

up north monkey, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

Approximately how long I have to hold it together until school starts.

This last week has been rough. The kids are crabby, slovenly, sluggish. I'm tired of following behind them every five minutes and cleaning up some random sticky/dirty mess that I had no part of. I'm tired of seeing them sit in front of the television watching the nine bazillionth rerun of 'The Suite Life'. I'm tired of harrasing them to get dressed and brush their teeth already, it's noon for godssake!
Too much togetherness.
I can envision myself the first 3 or 4 days next week, sitting quietly alone in the house. No TV, no video games, no bickering. Lapping up every ounce of peace.
Only 165 more hours to go.
In the meantime, the backpacks are all packed, the school supplies sorted, and fresh new clothes are hanging in their closets, waiting.
Tonight we are going to dinner with my Aunt Roberta for her 60th birthday, and having a little something afterwards at our house. We'll probably have a fire in the chiminea, and cozy up in the twilight and enjoy the beautifully-cool-almost-fall evening. Maybe she will wear her birthday Monkeys, to keep her feet warm.

Monday, August 25, 2008

transition day

tran·si·tion   –noun
1.movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Today is transition day at middle school. Emma picks up her schedule, gets her school supplies, walks her class schedule, and has her picture taken for her ID badge.
It's all so weird and makes me feel floopy.
At 10, there are so many ways she is still a little girl. She's messy. She hates to have us touch her hair. She watches Handy Manny everyday. But there are equally as many indicators that she isn't a little girl. She almost never orders from the kids' menu. She's starting to become fashion conscience. There are hairs in her armpits! What's a mom to do?
Welcome to the beginning of adulthood, sweetie. Take every last chance you can to still be a kid.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

a few of my favorite vacation photos

I'm going to upload in batches, so here is batch numero uno:
sunset view of Lake Michigan from our condo balcony
Scenic lookout of Lake Michigan from the dunes
Evan quickly exiting the icy water
Queen Anne's Lace
sunset jumping
Lake leelenau

looking for petosky stones
Leland (fish town)
our little hummingbird friend

More later!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I am home
I am weary
I am hot and sweaty 
because it's 90+ degrees
Day three of vacation and the internet stopped working completely
and we weren't able to 'borrow' anyone's connection
Up North is lovely
but it's good to be home
in my house
with my cat
and my high speed internets.
tomorrow after blog reading and laundry, I may just wander around Target
because I missed it so. It's also the #1 reason I'll never move Up North permanently.
Have a good weekend and I'll be back with photos later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

another day in paradise

beach girl, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

I have been wanting to post some vacation pix but have been hampered by a few factors...A ) the high-speed internet isn't so high speed. I think it's on vacation time and B) I was downloading a movie for the kids last night and it took 12+ hours to load and then C) I have been really tired at night; too tired to hold an intelligent conversation.
So there you have it!
Our stay has been wonderful so far. I would highly recommend the area to anyone looking for a little peace and quiet. The small town is nice, with many little totem stores, a well stocked market, and even a yarn store! YES, a yarn store. It's tiny, and carries a lot of funky yarn, but the proprietor is as sweet as pie! We've gone to about half the stores, but it's been hard to tear the kids away from the beach.
We are staying at the Homestead Beach Resort, but are so far away from the resort part it's like being alone on the beach. The kids have spent hour upon hour occupying themselves by digging holes in the sand. It's very restful.
I have slept better here in two nights than I have in a month at home. And the nights have been so lovely and cool, 'August' temps haven't been a concern at all.
We went to the dunes today and climbed to the top. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Obviously I am waaaaay out of shape.
We're headed off to dinner. I'll try later to post more pix. Maybe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

just a quickie

...and then I'm off to the beach.
We made it in last night around midnight. It was the longest day ever, but so totally worth it.
Evan's team won the tournament
in some of the most exciting soccer I have ever watched.
they tied their third game against a really good team we had lost to in Saginaw. We played them again a few hours later in the final match. We tied 5-5, and our team won in overtime. It was beyond thrilling. It was spectacular!
We didn't get on the road until almost 6:00, and of course stopped eleventy two times along the way, but we are here in Glen Arbor, enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the sand between our toes.
I'll post some pix later!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


a little photoshop fun. I don't even know what I'm doing...just playing.
I turned an ordinary photo into something you have to look deeper into to see what it is.
Evan, in control during today's game.
His team won 11-1, or something like that. I stopped counting and just watched.
They will automatically be in the finals tomorrow.
Good news, bad news.
We want the team to win, but the finals don't start until 3:00
(much later than our desired leave time for vacation)
I doubt we'll make it in time to see a Lake Michigan sunset
but we get extra time to pack
and a trophy may be in our possession!

random Friday (or is it Saturday?)

-Evan's team won the first game of their soccer tournament tonight. It was a great game.
-the nights have been wonderful this past week.
-Michael Phelps is amazing. Who knew swimming was so exciting?!
-we leave for vacation in 48 hours and I haven't packed a thing.
-a few of the trees along Hines Drive near our house are changing already.
-I finished a sweet baby something but can't post it because the mom 2 be reads my blog.
-I ordered some delicious Heather Bailey fabric today. I needed it.
-Emma starts middle school in 17 days.
-Evan took a nap today. First one in probably 5 years.
a few shots from the week:

Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

new ride?

Did the paperdiva get a new ride?

No, Daddy just brought his Mustang out for a little air. He needed a plate to drive around the neighborhood, and mine was closest. Emma almost wet her pants when we told her we uncovered the 'Stang. It's been 2 years.
Nothing much to report around here. Em's home and we are all in a nice sort of vacation routine...sleeping in, do a little work, hang out, stay up later. I'm starting to think about packing for our trip this weekend and making lists. The hardest part to comprehend is that when we get back, the kids only have a few days until school starts!
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

we miss our girl

It's bizarre how fast and how slow 5 days can pass.
 It seems like forever ago that Em & I drove to St. Thomas to meet her Aunt Shannon & the kids. She got into the car with them and drove off in the opposite direction.
It's not like she hasn't been away from home before, but for some reason this time it just felt different. We all miss her. It's too quiet without her. Our family doesn't feel complete.
Last night when we talked to her on the phone she had lots of stories to tell and took turns talking to everyone. When she said goodbye to me, she wanted to talk to Evan one last time, so I handed him the phone. They talked secret brother & sister stuff, and he got quiet. I heard him say "Me too" and hang up, looking around sheepishly.
She told him she loved him.
I'm glad we decided to go pick her up tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

team Nike

Let the games begin!
We had a mixed soccer bag today, with one win and one loss. One spectacular game, and one so-so game. One sunny, and one rainy (we sat in the car for 2 hours waiting for the rain to pass so we could play) Currently our team is second in the standings, so if we have a good game tomorrow we could be in the playoffs!
Did a little shopping @ Birch Run for the E man. Found some good bargains. We're all exhausted now, so it's bedtime!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Don't tell anyone.
I am all alone in my house
it's quiet as can be
(minus the weed whipper sounds across the street)
there are NO kids
and therefore NO Spongebob, NO Pokemon, NO Mario Kart
I am skipping thru the house in my tank & boxers
not doing a single productive thing
Later I have to pack for the weekend
and make salad
and give the dog a bath
and wrap birthday gifts
But for now I'm just going to enjoy the quiet
and the breeze wafting thru the windows
and be happy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

new do

To the untrained eye, my hair may not look all that different, but I did actually go to a salon and get it cut. On purpose.

I was going for a short do, but it ended up being longer than I thought it would be. I got 4 or so inches cut off the back. The front is longer than the back, and I have bangs. I can almost pull it into a ponytail, but not quite. She thinned it out a bit and it feels so nice and light on my head.
I made the mistake of trying to do some highlights and it looks a bit spotty. If you should see me out in public, just pretend you don't notice. K' thanks.
I am wearing my ever so fashionable wife beater. Every day this summer I have worn a tank top when I'm at home I am just so hot all the time. The minute I come home from out, I rip off my tee shirt and throw on the beater. Most people don't get to see them. Aren't you lucky!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

so I finally finished...

I finally finished the teddy suit after much procrastination and grumbling.
WHY? As much as I love knitting, I hate seaming. I loathe it. I try to avoid it at all costs. Unfortunately for me, most of the stuff I like involves seaming, so I do it. And you would think that I would look specifically for patterns with minimal seaming, but I don't. When I see a project I like, I go all out, until it dawns on me at some point in time that I will need to sew the pieces together. By then it's too late.
here we have a pile of pieces. They all need to be joined, and preferrably in a manner that makes them loook good.
I forgot to mention the zipper. I hate zippers more than I hate seaming. I have a pile of things that I want to put a zipper on but am afraid to take the plunge. My last foray into zippering didn't turn out well. This one called for hand sewing in the zipper! Crazy talk! But probably best in the long run, and I didn't take 2 days trying to put the zipper foot on the sewing machine.
Hi Alice! Alice is such a good model. Her only fault is that she is too small for this teddy suit. I knit it in the 9-12 month size and she is more like the newborn size. I'm hoping it will fit Isabelle much better.
Here's a shot of the whole suit. All seamed, zippered and ready to be worn. If it weren't 85 degrees outside...
And because it will make me nuts, I have to mention the booties. Or lack of booties. The pattern called for mitts and booties, which I had every intention of making. I ran out of yarn. I cast on in the contrast color as my second choice, but don't have enough to make 2 booties. I went to the yarn store and they didn't have any more of the oatmeal yarn either. After having a fit for the last day, I decided to just accept it as it is and move on. If I should ever come across a skein of the yarn, I will make the booties and stitch them on. It will be okay either way.
Tomorrow I am driving Em to Canada for a visit with her cousins. She's going to stay thru the weekend, and a few days next week. She'll miss Ev's tournament, but there will be plenty more games to see and cheer at. It will be strange traveling with just one child.
Have a good Wednesday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

a day late & a dollar short

That just happens to be one of the cliches that best suits me.
I try to be organized and on the ball, but somehow something always sneaks up on me and I'm thrown for a loop.
Today it was soccer practice. I have known for 2 weeks that today was the first practice. Wrote it on the calendar, arranged our schedule for it to fit in. Make dinner, hustle to practice..only to find that today's practice was from 4:00-5:30, not 6:30-8:00.
I even wrote it correctly on the calendar, but for some reason 6:30-8:00 was engraved on my brain stem and that was it. In the scheme of things it's not that big a deal; it's one practice. But it's one of only two practices with a new team before our first tournament. So I'm sure Ev is in for some torture on Wednesday, poor kid.
Even when I try to get a jump on things, it ususally backfires on me. At our team get together the other night I participated in a convo where 75% of the parents were backing out of our required 2 day stay in Saginaw, to make their own plans. So I cancel our reservations, book something else for us for Saturday only in Birch Run. I'm all happy.
They changed their minds. They're all staying the 2 days. ARGH! Phooey.

And because I love a challenge (i.e. forgot to shop for a birthday gift)
I am going to furiously knock out another pair of monkey socks for my Aunt Ro whose birthday
is the 26th but we are celebrating it on Sunday. The 10th. As in, 6 days from today.
I am going to use this lovely skein of yarn, and they are going to fabu-less.
I love making socks for her because she actually wears them. Good for the knitter's self confidence.
Happy Monday! Happy August!