Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meet our newest addition, Kiwi

A good friend of mine who convinced me to have runner ducks lost her male late last week. That left her with only one female at her house. Changes in life, with the busyness that happens to all of us, means that she needed to find a new home for her precious Kiwi.

Would I be willing to take in her baby? WOULD I?! You bet I would! This is a beautiful chocolate runner that has been hand-raised from a day-old duckling. Sweet as can be.

She joined our little flock this past Saturday, and wasted no time in trying to find where she fit into the group. The two blue's I have have never been high on the group list, Kiwi ignores them. Kiwi wants to be part of the main group, buttering up to the dominant female (the white and fawn hen, Spicy) and dominant male (the Mallard, Mario).

It is interesting to watch animal politics play out in the back yard, let me tell you! After a few hours of some pecking and feather pulling, things have settled down. Now it is mostly chattering and bluffing each other (just between Kiwi and one other hen, Chatty, who are battling it out for position).

She is learning the ways of our flock, following them into the pen at night, running up to the deck with them whenever I come outside (I come bearing treats of lettuce and oats...so they know momma has goodies!).

My youngest son has declared that we need another duck, because we now have an odd number. Ah, no. Nope, I don't think so. Good try, though. My husband thinks we need to put a sign out that we are fostering ducks. Again, no. I don't think so. I think we need a duck crossing sign in front of our house. YES!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It must be spring

Considering I hung my first batch of laundry on the clothesline.

Can't wait to have sunwarmed clothes. They just smell better!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Laptop case


It's done. Worked my fingers to the nubs with hand-stitching the binding on, but doesn't it look spiffy. I like the zesty colors. And I love me coffee. Mmmmm, boy.

I have a messenger bag that I carry my laptop in when I travel out of the house. But it has no padding at all. So, it was time to make a case to put the laptop into, and then use the messenger bag.

I doubled-up on the batting to make it softer, and used leftovers from an earlier quilt for the interior of the bag. I also had some binding leftover from another project that matched these fabrics just right (I KNEW I was hanging onto that for a reason. Saved me time making some new up. Go me!!).

I'm happy with it. The colors certainly make me smile.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Repurposing--making pillowcases out of curtains

My mother made us a quilt for our bed a few years back, and there were some leftover blocks. Seemed a shame to waste them, so we sewed them into a valance for the bedroom. That worked for several years.

Until the city finally fixed the streetlight outside our bedroom, and the light was keeping us awake. Silly us, we blamed the neighbor's Christmas lights for a few weeks (then we realized they were off. Opps!) I made a new light-blocking cafe curtain to block the light while we are in bed, but it doesn't match the valance. Hmm...I don't want to just throw away good quilt-block fabric, so what to do with it??

For the past two days, I have been re purposing them into a pillowcase. Sadly, the valance wasn't wide enough or long enough to make two of them (I did try to figure a way to make to work, but it just wouldn't have looked right). The center blocks are from the valance, I added the side borders to increase the size. I needed to try out how to do some quilting (I wanted to try free-hand quilting), so I did that over the top. Then I added some ribbon on the edge to make it spiffy.

I think it turned out well overall. Took me a crazy amount of time, but it looks very pretty.

My next project? A fabric case for my laptop. I will post pics of that once it is done!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's sweetheart

I may have been gone for the weekend, but before I left, my sweetheart gave me a card (awhhh!) and a quilting foot for my sewing machine that I have been eyeballing for a while now. He even remembered to use the 15% off discount (I love him even more for remembering that). He rocks my world!

And then, while I was out of town, he made hooks for my measuring cups, hung a phone on the wall that has been in my way in the kitchen, and cleaned the coffee pot (he doesn't even DRINK coffee!). How cool is he? Plus, he cleaned out the filter in the dishwasher.

All those gifts of service to show he loves me.

Means the world to me. Truly, truly does.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I don't have iron in mah butt

Or is it supposed to be lead??? What I mean is, I get lost at the drop of a hat. The family calls it "going on a Wendi Adventure". When we go someplace new that the kids aren't used to, the kids start asking "are you lost, mom?" Not a good sign.

I used to live in Indianapolis. Never got used to living there. Never COULD learn the landmarks. I drove an entire circle around the city because I missed my exit. I existed in a state of anxiety because I was constantly lost. Was a factor for why I moved back home.

This is a HUGE reason why I continue to live in the same town I grew up in. I am used to this town. At least in the metro area, I can look for Mt Hood as a landmark, or note the rivers and bridges. I have lived here long enough for things to look familiar. I still get lost around here, or friends tell me short cuts of how to get places that I never found on my own....but it's better for me.

This weekend was a hockey trip out of town to Seattle. Bane of my existance. It was horric. The teen boy wanted to ride with other kids, leaving me with my youngest (who is autistic and cannot read a map!!!) to help me navigate. Oh not so successful. I have anxiety issues. Whopping ones. Particularlly around driving (as you can guess by the "Wendi Adventure" comments and the fact that I haven't moved from my home town.....). An hour long drive on an unknown road to the hotel took me an hour and a half. I got lost THREE TIMES. I was shaking. One really should not try to read a map while driving at 65 miles per hour. I don't recommend it. Really. I had to beg the fast food workers for help. Yeah....that bad. Only to get to the hotel, calm down for an hour, and do the whole drive in reverse, back to the ice rink. NOOOO......

Two days of this. Two different rinks. Many, many different highways. The 167, the 405, the I-5. Construction, moved exits. My nerves being shot.

And it hit me. I did so much better when I had my lovely Mr. TomTom. I got Mr. TomTom as a gift for Christmas. I only had him for a year before he went to data heaven, but he was sexy. His ducet tones "turn left ahead" was such a God-send to an inept map-reader like me.

Is buying a replacement for sexy Mr. TomTom a waste of money? Or a much needed balm to my soul? At this point, considering my nerves (the scrawled notes written at 65 miles per hour on a crumpled printed Google Map so that I might be able to duplicate this feat of finding the hotel a second time), my blood pressure (through the roof!) and my relationships with my kids ("YOU NEED TO HELP ME FIND CENTRAL AVENUE RIGHT NOW!!!!")....I think it is time to re-think the importance of a satellite mapping system.

A few weeks ago, if you asked me, "Do you want to spend $100 on a satellite mapping system with your tax refund?" I would have told you no. No, I can think of a hundred other things to do with that money. But after a weekend of misery, driving full of stress and anxiety, well, I think it is time to buy a replacement for that old Mr. TomTom.

mmmmm......hoping for a new, sexy voice to serenade me on my drives in the near future and guide me on my way.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

and now we are back to rain

But before it started raining again, I did manage to rototill part of the garden. Like, a quarter of it. No need to get too ambitious.

This past week, I have been reading the book "The Cake Mix Doctor Returns" by Anne Byrn. I had read her first book and used some of the recipes, so I thought I would give this book a whirl.

Oh to the YUM. I have been baking way too much. Three cakes in just over a week. I have made the Cinnamon Struedel Cake, a Lemon Cake, and yesterday was the Apple Spice cake with Caramel "frosting". These cakes don't survive long at my house. Just a few short days. Oh the horror!

My youngest thinks that a small slice of cake is perfect to take in his lunch. My oldest thinks that a honking big slice makes a perfect after-school snack. Me, well, it's nice to have a piece in the mid-evening, once dinner has settled.

I love these books. If you aren't a cake baker, these cakes are fairly fool-proof. And oh so very, very good. Plus, it makes your family feel special.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Enjoying the unseasonably warm weather

It is gorgeous out! Sorry to gloat, but here in the Pacific NorthWet, it is beautiful today. We have had a run of warmer than normal weather for over a month now, but it's been rainy for a lot of that. Today, however, it is pure sunny goodness.

My kids just went to their father's for the weekend, I got my oldest to help clean out the duck pen before he left. And now, I am sunning my face on the front porch. Ahhh.....it feels almost sinful.

The warmer weather also has my mind turning toward gardening and planting. When we cleaned the duck pen, I always put the used bedding into the garden to amend the soil. It's nearing time to til it into the ground and think about planting the early veggies. I told hubby I needed to buy seeds soon. Word is there is a seed shortage around for certain things. Of course, seems like particular kinds of seeds always sell out faster than others. I need to hurry and get what I need soon.

Hard to believe it is February and I am thinking of planting! But we haven't had a hard frost in a while. The weatherman said that we are one to two weeks ahead of schedule for our weather temperatures. If that is the case, it won't be long before I need to get the sugar peas and lettuce's into the ground. I typically plant those in March. And March isn't that far off!

Life comes at you fast! I am hoping my peas do better this year than last.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this one lovely warm weather day, and soak up some sunshine.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wintertime Illnesses

Sorry to have been away for the week.

Isaiah came home from his dad's last weekend with a cold. Lovely. Coughing all over the place. He stayed home from school on Tuesday, and wanted to cuddle with mom (ah, the love!).

Consequence of the love? By Thursday, I was running a lovely fever of my own. Thanks baby. The worst of it was Friday night, but I ran a low-grade fever on Saturday as well. Sunday had me feeling better, but still shaky (you know how it is, stand up to do anything, and after about 10 minutes, get that feeling like you have to sit down NOW!).

Hubby's way of dealing? LEAVE THE HOUSE. He's treating this like it's a Middle Ages Plague. "I have to work, I can't get sick, so I am leaving." Uh, that leaves me at home with two kids, sick, by myself. Please, no!! Needless to say, there was a lot of mindless television going on this weekend. Bad mom (sorry, I was delirious.....it was the best I could do at the time!).

So today, I am trying to clean up the mess. Masses of laundry from four days, piles of dishes. The horrors of my house. Seeing what happens when I don't stay on top of things for four days. Sad thing? I DID some laundry yesterday!! I did some dishes. It was WORSE.... WOW....

And people think that stay at home mom's do nothing. pfft. Really? I cooked a few meals WHILE SICK, did some laundry WHILE SICK, and the house is still a wreck. Oh the horror.