Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
So, here we are. The day we had all been waiting for--Labor day. My Dad managed to get hold of an old Farmall tractor and decided the wanted to "restore it" which pretty much means he sits there and tells mom and my husband what to do. Needless to say, that darned tractor is a thorn in all of our sides. Anyway, Dad wanted it in the parade today with the weird wagon thing he also watched get restored (heh) and wanted my husband's repair shop to be advertised on the back. Dad was sitting in the yard in his wheel chair just waiting with bated breath to see his tractor come down the street pulling his weird (It had spoked rims with rubber tires--so, weird) wagon with all his grandkids throwing candy. He was much like a little kid himself leaning forward trying to see if his tractor was next. We didn't tell him that it died before it even had a chance to get going. My husband ran down to the other end of the street to get it started, embarassed that his repair shop was advertised on the back of the dead tractor. It did start eventually (I guess there was a reason those things came with a crank start) and Dad lit up like a Christmas tree when it finally came. I'm probably the only one who was not lost on my Dad being so excited, but then I didn't have to drop everything to work on it all the time like my husband and mom did.
We cooked out, saw people we had not seen in a year, chased kids and laughed a lot. I think it was a good day.
Tomorrow the Big Yellow Angel of Mercy comes to take the kids to school for the first time this year. The leaves are starting to turn already, the apples are almost edible and oh my word I am sooooooo not ready for fall.
My garden isnt the best this year--I managed to grow quite a crop of crab grass. I did get an impressive tomatilla plant with lots of fruit. I was rather excited, since I had never had a tomatilla before. To my surprise, they tasted just like the wild ground cherries we used to pick when I was little. I'm only 33, but I don't think I have even seen a ground cherry since I was 7 or so, but I remember the flavor and I'm definately planting more of those next year.
Lastly, I'm going to try my hand at making jelly again this year. I made plum 2 years ago that set up beautifully; however, the choke cherries didnt set up at all, and I had to call it syrup. Last year I tried elderberry, plum and apple. None of it set up at all except the apple that was so stiff it was like eating apple flavored lutifisk that had been cooked too long. Eh. Like soft plastic. Like yuck. i thnk it had something to do with the pectin in the apples and my adding sure gel to that...something chemestry something. I always wrote the answers on the back of my hand in chemestry-squeeked by with a D+.
I sometimes feel like im wasting my time with all this. My husband rolls his eyes when he sees me drag up my buckets of fruit and big hot water bath pot. OMG huge mess-4,000 quarts of syrup and at least 210 of those need to be eaten RIGHT NOW because they didnt seal well. I have my laser jet printer printing off jar lables that say, "If its set up it's jelly, if its runny its syrup, you probably won't die-Merry Christmas." I'm pretty famous for my either/or home made/mostly harmless experimental Christmas presents. My neighbors have not taken to hiding when I come around---yet.
I really wish I could have figured out the laundry soap. i thought it would have been neat to give everyone good smelling soap; however, if you keep up with this gardening-fail blog, you know what my laundry soap did and did not smell like. I have, however, taken to buying free and clear soap with no fragrance at all and adding essential oil of my choosing-This last time was eucalyptus and it smells just knarly good! It even gets the shop/gear lube/armpits/???? sm
ell out of my husband's work clothes! Natural germ killer! Koala bears go crazy for it!--so I hear.
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I hope you all ate too much and had fun and saw your Dad grin over Puttin' John tractors and weird wagons. I hope you squeezed 100 babies and got to eat Aunt Linda's 3-bean hotdish. I hope your yards were perfect and your flowers were blooming just as hard as they could. I hope you all saw old friends and even made a few new ones. I hope you all had a great day today. Happy Labor Day.
I've given up on the flower beds. They will live till they die I guess. My pumpkins in the garden are starting to turn orange. The kids are excited to start stabbing at them. The concept of holding out until Halloween is completely lost on them. Jack o' Lanterns are year round you know.
I'm kind of hoping for 1 ear of corn before summer is done. I'm more than a little dissapointed that the 6 rows of sweet corn we planted is green, tall and very, very naked.
My poor apple trees are trying to hold up under the weight of all those apples. The Greening is a bit suicidal. Last year it was so heavy it actually split right down to the ground and 1/4 of its trunk is now gone. This year we actually trimed away a few branches and strapped the trunk together in hopes of convincing it that life is not so bad and it really isnt worth it. If it eventually does manage to kill itself, I can at least say it was a great tree... a real overachiever. I may bury a few prozac around the roots and see if that helps.
Anyway, As I said, I've been busy. Unfortunately, none of my new stuff has to do with outside-though you could say it does promote cooking what you harvest? Well, anyway...
Its a wine bottle display. I kind of like how these turned out.
These grapes were so darned nice...I may add some to the next wine rack below...
Maybe a cluster of grapes at each leaf thing...Oh, and this was an experiment, but I think it turned out good enough to try again. Its a pumpkin :)
So, for the last few months I have been A giggling scientist in my lab/kitchen brewing up homemade laundry soap. My mom calls me Arm n' Hammer girl, my sister calls me Betty Crocker. Little do they know that while I have bought stock inthe old standby Fels Naphtha and searched the entire county for washing powder so I can wash my clothes for a penny a load, feeling proud of myself for saving the planet and outsmarting "the man," I went to town and bought a buttload of smelly wonderliquid with matching sniff fabric softener and matching sniff bleach product. I'm sorry Planet Earth, but my sheets smell like feet. Either there was no such thing as mechanics and 80/90 gear lube back in the "old days, " people didn't get smelly, or everyone was perfectly happy smelling like feet--I dont know, but laying on my supposed nice clean sheets the other day I realized that over the last few months, my clothes went from clean to dingy and they stink. My washer is full of Fels Naphtha snot and I have to wash in hot water in order for anything to happen at all (sucking up any money saved by making the soap). I fell off the wagon. I lost the battle. I washed with walmart soap. Seriously, I quit smoking so I wouldent stink. I'd rather smell like cigs than feet. At least everyine knows what the cig smell is from.
"I smell feet"
"Yeah, its my laundry soap, Ode to toe. "
Im washing all my bedding today. I'm excited to envelope myself in lavender hung out in the sun...maybe Mother Earth will forgive me my weaknesses because I'm still hanging laundry outside.,..
Angel stake (because I cant just talk and not post pictures)
YES! Those ARE MY petunias! Those are also my weeds. I call this bed, "The Struggle Between Royalty and Thugs."
Happy 4th of July!!! I just came home for a while from my sisters house to put the baby down for a nap. Luckily, we only live a mile away from eachother, so Emma can still sleep in her familiar place. The best part is, my sister voleteered to keep the other 3 babies for me so I have a quiet couple of hours. My question is, Do I leave my nice cool air conditioned bedroom to clean the rest of my hot un-airconditioned house, or stay here and nap with the babe...?
Oh, I should clean. I like to pretend I can let people just come over and sniff my toilet, but today that would be just mean...I dont want to clean, I NEED to clean. and now that the kids are gone....BAH! Fine, I'll clean daggone it.
First, Im gonna post some pictures though.
Here is my Tiny takin her nap. She's pretty much the best baby in the world I figure.
So, my great nephew was playing with some bees he found buzzing around some little flowers on the edge of the yard. There was no tears when he was stung, instead he just pointed his little swollen finger at the flowers and said "Bee Movie!" Its hard not to laugh and feel sorry for the little dude, when he isn't at all sorry for himself. He must be the toughest kid on the planet.
This lil incidennt gave me an idea for a windchime. A safer, less painful "Bee Movie"
I am wondering, the more I look at it, if the hive looks more like a pile of doogie. If so, the bee should be a butterfly. Ive seem my fair share of butterflies on poop piles, not so much bees. Ahhh next time.
I actually got my very first custom request form a repeat buyer the other day and I finally finished it and sent it off today. I have to admit, I usually wont do custom orders unless the buyer is really open and willing to go with whatever a bit. i tend to just kind of "wing it" anyway, so you never know what will happen. You want a wind chime? I'LL give you a wind chime! Muahaha! This lady seemed cool enough. I'll know how cool when her package arrives in 3-5 business days :)
In other news....
I found these serving bowl thingies at the dump and snatched them up quick before someone equally as crafty and twice as thin could sneak in around me and get to them first. I saw my neighbor had this dog bowl sitting on her porch rail filled with grape Jelly. When I asked her what the heck, she said it was for the Orioles. Then I saw one and thought, HEY! I want an oriole! So I put out this dish with grape jelly in it...nothin....
The next day...nothin...
Is there a sign I can put up? Free grape jelly!
It seems my bird luring skills are as sad as my gardening skills. Sigh.
Anyway, I thought about the presentation and figured a silver platter bowl thing all strung up with beads and lovelies!! I'd eat the damn grape jelly if it was handed to me like that...so this was born-
RIGHT!? Eat the Jelly orioles!!!!
Okay, so then I was thinking what else? Candle holder? Put those battery-operated tea lights in there for outdoor safety or indoor for that matter---wouldn't that be a rather elegant night light situation? How about a place to put your earrings and stuff at night? A soap dish, a potpourri dish!? OMG the options are absolutely endless!!!! Well, at least until you try to figure out how to actually hang it in the house so you can use it. It's cool-I came up with THIS!!!
HA! Hang it anywhere to hold your hangy dish business--BUT THATS NOT ALL!!! I was also thinking just to hang there as a hook for, say, damp washing up cloths, dish cloths, wash cloths or a snazzy place to hang your-eep!- reusable grocery bags! Okay okay, yes I am a nerd, but the reason I am so excited really is because I was brainstorming for a while now about how I can continue to do my sculptures, but make them utilitarian for people even through the winter months when gardens and porches are abandoned. Oh sure ANYONE can make art for art's sake, but lets face it, it wont be flying off the shelves until I'm dead. Better to make something someone can use and make a living now. I have a reserve of abstract "Pincushion on a waterlily" paintings for later.
This angel wants to hold your grocery bag collection...aww.
Actually, okay, no. This angel is a replica of the angel I made for my sister's grave site a couple of weeks ago. it holds a wind chime for her. I liked it though and decided to make one for my shop--as a hook---or something.
Accomplished. I need to get back to my real job now and put aside the fun job until my day off. Maybe those picky orioles will finally eat some of my cottin' pickin' grape jelly!
If the plant is hard to pull up and often breaks off in your hand, its a weed, if it is easy to pull up, it is your plant and you have to replant it.
I spent lots of time replanting my plants today.
I'm starting this think that my plans on getting my yard cleaned up and respectable after the loggers finish working is not something that is going to happen. This logging thing may take all stinking summer. If thats the case, I will have piles of logs at the end of my driveway and skidster tracks through the lawn adding to the other messes again this year. How do you make 3 logger cord of wood beautiful? Sigh. OKay work with what I got. I had my neighbor (a farmer) come in the lower yard with the plow and make a quick swipe so I can make a garden. It's a manageable 12-feet across. Perfect for someone who is doing this with both eyes completely shut. This happens to be the only part of my yard that is not sand and that has 1/4 chance of growing something besides weeds. Take that 1/4 chance and add my tender loving care; that should make my garden at least 1/8 th likely to not die. Possibly a little Miracle Grow and a garden hose will improve its chances a bit--of course there is the dogs, gophers, my husband and a new driver in the family...
I have an idea for one of these Topsy Turvy things. I want a couple hanging from my eves, but I think the deal you buy is really ugly. I am going to try welding a scrolly cage thing and line it with landscapers cloth and then plant my tomato upside down. Maybe that will be the key to my success--upside down gardening.
Before I get myself into that mess, I'm going to try to test for a new job first. The one thing I have control over is medical terminology. Lets see if I can make that grow me some money :)
Oy, if I eat even one more piece of candy, I may go into a coma. I don't know how I'm supposed to get all cute and skinny with all these damn holidays showing up.
I'm not posting wire things today, Though I had thought of some window treatment things I may experiment with--anyway, today I was walking through my train wreak of a yard and noticed the horse chestnut tree had a TON of seed things all over the ground around it. I was wondering if anyone is interested. I had given my aunt a few of these seeds and her trees are growing like mad I guess. The only reason I even know what kind of tree this is, is because it was something my dad had dug up out of the ditch someplace and transplanted in the yard. When I bought the place, he made me swear to keep the tree forever, "Because you just don't see these kinds of trees anymore." I'm not sure if there are different kinds of these, but the leaves kind of look like a marijuana with big spiky balls. If they are a good trade, I would really like to set up a trade, since there is someone on the forums here that has a butt-load of daylillys (my favorites) that I would love to negotiate over :)
When I was about 16, I had made some hair sticks and barrettes and things using pheasant feathers and was selling them. There was one barrette that I absolutely hated and it ended up on my closet floor. My mom was the type that when she got tired of looking at something (like my messy closet) she would wait until I was gone and out of her way and she would clean it herself. It was one of those days when she got into my closet while I was away to school. She found that stupid barrette and took it to work and sold it to someone for $20.00. Since then I have realized that what might not be great to me, might be awesome to others. The last two days have proven to produce some substandard stuff. Partially maybe because my heart wasn't really into it, partially because I am in panic mode after loosing my job last Friday, partially because I have to share welding space with my mechanic husband and we have been stepping on each other's toes lately space wise. I figured I would put the new stuff out there and see if they get some loves...
This one. Well, the truth of the matter is, my hands were tired from twisting the 2-strand wire, so I decided to do one using 1 strand. It was so much easier on my hands, but way more difficult to weld and no matter how low I went, I was still blowing holes through my wire. I have a couple spots that are particularly globby, but after a clean and paint job, I guess it's sell-able. I think another thing that kind of gets me with this one is that I just could not call it quits with the swirls. I was like an addict...just 1 more! Just one more swirly bit right here! One more!!! Eh, I am such a nerd. This butterfly would do very well in a weird Pink Floyd-type video...
My thoughts were a key to the secret garden-type thing. I mean really, if your going to have a magical garden of magic-ness, you need a big honking, completely over-the-top key to open the door with right? I struggle with this not really because I hate it, but more because I had originally wanted to make it into a wind chime, but after just seeing it alone I kind of want to leave it plain and call it a wall hanging. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?
This sunflower and I have this love/hater relationship with each other. It definitely would love to be a garden floof hanging on the wall somewhere while, I seriously wonder what my 10-year-old-son spiked the kool aid with. I guess if I step back and look at it with internet eyes it really isn't that bad. After all I am my own worst critic, though I'm sure there was a few hours last Sunday that I must have been tripping on flux core because I completely lost any recollection of making this thing. I wonder if it came up before or after the psychedelic butterfly? Hmm.
They are all going on my site. I'm going to laugh if they all sell this week...
I promised I would post the bird feeder that I had worked on all weekend and it's finally done. I just love how it turned out and it's over the top enough to let everyone know who made it lol! Anyway, here it is, the peacock--
Yay! My shop is featured on the Everyday Living blog this week! I'm so excited! http://mrmomsunite.blogspot.c
Yesterday I got to spend the whole day in the shop kid free and uninterupted. It was lovely and I took on a project bigger than any one I have tried yet. As soon as I get it strung up and together, I will post it on my site for a debut.
What an awesome day! I cant wait until it's warm enough to clean up the yard.
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