Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bread before Breakfast

At least once a week, if not twice, I bake bread. Amandajean had passed along a link to a recipe that makes a very simple, effortless bread. In fact, the main reason I make it this often is because it's easy. Oh, and it tastes good, too.

So, this morning after doing some yoga (while most of the house was still sleeping), I decided to break away from my morning routine of jumping in the shower and made bread instead. Slowly the older boys trickled down the stairs for breakfast.

While the bread rose, I packed lunches. While the bread baked, I hopped in the shower and put on my make-up.

And before Carter, Jackson and Mason left for school, I had already pulled the bread out of the oven. After a quick cooling, I lightly wrapped two loaves and gave them away. One before the bus even came.

Now, the recipe makes four large loaves. Even with my size family, it seemed we couldn't finish that much bread before it got too hard and was tossed to the happy chicken girls. I have been cutting the recipe in half, making four small loaves, and I have been giving away one to two loaves to neighbors and friends.

I found the lecithin at the localish health-food store. Some times I hate going in there because every time I'm there, I'm the only customer and I feel like I'm being watched. (And I guess for good reason because one time Sawyer removed all the price tags off the soaps and lotions as I looked at the essential oils. I was completely clueless until the owner brought it to my attention. Of course I apologized and fixed all the labels.) When I walked in the door, I didn't putz around, I told the owner what I was looking for and he directed me right to it. It was fairly reasonable at just over $6 for 16 oz. And it's taking forever to use it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Little Owls

A few weeks ago I noticed a little something odd near our roof line. It looked like an owl. It was a Saturday morning. I watched it for a bit and it didn't move a muscle. I walked under it and it seemed to watch me, but it still did not look real. It looked like a fake owl that someone would stick on their house to deter critters. Yet (just like those creepy paintings with eyes that "follow" you), it followed me. From every angle I looked at it, it was in the same position, but still watching me.

I talked to it and asked it if it were real. It didn't answer. So I went about my business of cleaning out the chicken coop.

Later that afternoon (Joe and the boys were at the church mulching that morning), I noticed it again. Same place. Same position. I asked Joe if it were real or stuffed. We walked below it and stared up to the roof. Neither one of us was sure. Until it blinked. And we squealed. In fact, we squealed so loudly, that the neighbors came out to see what all the commotion was about.

The next day we noticed two owls sitting side by side. They were so tiny and darling. Then we had some overgrown trees trimmed and the owls disappeared. We were all very sad. The children checked for the owls before school, after school, before dinner, after dinner, and before bedtime. And there was no sign of them. We thought they went away when we trimmed our trees.

Last night (right before our nightly scriptures and prayer), the boys were talking about the owls. Joe noticed something out of the corner of his eye through our french doors. He saw an owl swoop down and land on our deck. Peering through the glass. The kids were so excited that they ran to the door, which frightened the owl away.

Joe and Carter grabbed their cameras and saw not only one owl. Not even two owls. But four owls sitting on the fence and in the tree above. The owls flew around our backyard from tree to tree. One flew into the loft of our barn. One flew to the the top of the barn roof.

Carter was able to capture one of the owls mid-flight. (Joe took the top two photos and Carter took the bottom two.) The boys are so happy because they are about to take the "new" original Tracking merit badge that has been re-released this year only in celebration of the Boy Scouts 100th anniversary.

And speaking of scriptures, our family finished reading The Book of Mormon for the third time last week.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Dress

A few months ago I thrifted this green dress. While I didn't love the brightness of the green, I liked the style of the dress. It seemed very 50's to me.

I had some grand plans for this dress. I thought about swapping out the buttons and making a belt for it, as the original belt was missing (which was probably a blessing in disguise because the dress was green, all the buttons were green, and I assume the belt was very green).

Several long months later, the project is finished. Two failed belt-attempts later, I think I like it.

Perhaps I should be wearing pearls with the dress and delivering a casserole to a sick neighbor in a vintage Pyrex dish?

And, look! It has pockets!

I chose different scraps of fabric to cover each of the buttons. Some were old vintage scraps or vintage sheets. Others were fabrics I thought would stand out against that green. Oh, that green.

Even the sleeves got pretty new buttons.

And the belt. The belt was made from some grosgrain ribbon scraps I had. Neither piece was long enough on its own, so I pieced them together and sewed a set of D-rings on one end. I sewed the flower together and made a coordinating covered button for the center. (I definitely wanted the belt to be wardrobe neutral. In fact, I think I wore it to church last week before I attached the flower.)

So, I must make a few confessions. First, after I bought the dress, I thought I had lost my mind. When I got the dress home, I realized that the green is really bright. I actually considered donating back to Purple Heart or bleaching the holy heck out of it. But it sat in my sewing pile for awhile. Then I finally decided to go for it, and covered the buttons, but never sewed them on. And it sat again. I had made two belts and didn't love them enough for the dress. Just within the past two weeks, I found inspiration for the belt (from a blog, I think) and attached the buttons that very day. I thought the dress was "dry clean only" so it sat for a few more days. When I looked at the tag, it was hand-washable. I decided to test fate and throw it in the wash on the delicate cycle and it survived.

Confession #2: The boys told me I looked like I belonged on the set of Elf at breakfast yesterday morning.

Another confession: I wore it to church yesterday. As I sat in church I started to think I must look ridiculous. I was brighter than noonday, for Pete's sake. During church (with full faith that I would survive the humiliation of wearing such a garment in public), I decided I would donate the dress to Purple Heart so I would never be tempted to wear it again. After Sacrament (our main church meeting), I had to make a few quick rounds around the church hallways to make sure all of our Primary (children's program) teachers were in their classes. I couldn't walk more than ten feet before I was complimented over and over again. By the time I had finished making my rounds, I decided that I love this dress and I will wear it every week. (Or not. 'Cause that would be overkill, wouldn't it?)

So I think I like it. At least enough to keep it for a month. Being that Purple Heart just made a pickup on Friday, the dress is safe for another month ...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Could it Be? A Garden Surprise

Our house is over 130 years old. We have lots of mature trees and plants that have been here forever. We bought our house ten years ago and we are still finding mysteries inside and outside of it.

We have a mint patch that is in full bloom. I think it was planted by Joe's great-aunt, who owned the house before we did. She hadn't lived in the house for several years prior to our buying it, and used it as a two-apartment rental.

Anyway, last night Spenser and I were watering the herb garden and strawberry plants and she was trying to show me something she and Joe had planted near the mint patch. Of course I noticed the pesky, giant weeds that are impossible to get rid of, so I quickly pulled a few. When I saw these giant leaves, I thought I'd get rid of them, too ... Until I realized (or maybe I just think) that it's rhubarb.

For ten years this plant has survived Lera's torture. I've cut it. Pulled it. And it's been mowed over many times. And, I am now just realizing (or hoping and praying) that it is rhubarb. I've been driving my friends and family crazy with the notion that I want to grow rhubarb. I think almost every conversation I've had recently has ended with my talking about rhubarb. And now, I'm not sure how much longer this plant will live, being that it's been maimed and assaulted for ten years.

I mean, I've googled images of it and it looks like rhubarb to me. What do you think?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Boy & His Egg Baby

I need to talk about Taylor. Just one more time. And then I'll try to stop. This past weekend he completed the National Youth Leader Training for Boy Scouts.

Before he left on Friday afternoon, Joe noticed a little something off about Taylor. Taylor had trimmed his bangs. By himself. Remember that cute hair you all liked last week? Well, he butchered the front of it. (Honestly, he was so busy packing and rushing out the door, that I hadn't noticed. And, perhaps, that was his master plan. That I wouldn't notice. Especially with his BSA cap on his head.)

About a week ago he announced he needed a blown egg for school. He picked one of our Araucana eggs and I helped him with the egg extraction. Later he told us that he had to "babysit" this egg for a week and take care of it for class.

It wasn't until this past Monday that I discovered why Taylor cut his hair. My friend's son is Taylor's friend and well, friends talk and I found out through my friend that Taylor cut his hair to put on his egg baby. Nice, creative work, my boy. (Oh, and apparently Joe knew this all along. I thought Taylor was finally sick of his long bangs and decided to cut his hair.)

And, I have to note that after six kids, Taylor is the only one who has cut his own hair. In 13+ years of mothering, this is a first. Even Spenser's wish to have hair like her brothers never materialized.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Long Overdue

Taylor, my eldest, had to compete in a karate tournament (U.S. Eastern Regional Karate Championships) a few weeks ago. He is quickly approaching his next exam (for brown belt) and needed one more tournament under his belt. No pun intended.

We were completely thrilled when he placed third in "one-step sparring ."

Just a few short days later, he attended a town council meeting in his boy scout uniform and presented his proposal for his Eagle scout project. And, because I have an "in" with the town council, his proposal was quickly accepted.

That's my boy! And he's growing up too quickly.

And, by the way, can you believe that tomorrow will be one year since the town council election? It seems like yesterday.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Little White Flowers

I was just weeding my herb garden and these little white flowers were everywhere. I thought they were weeds, so I started to pull them. I soon discovered that they were attached to bulbs. Oops!

Does anyone have any idea what they are? They are tiny and fragrant. (I didn't plant anything there ...)