Mom came last weekend and I finally got around to looking through the photos today. We had fun with grandma and I was so glad she was here... but it wasn't our best weekend ever. Bea was getting over a flu bug and then I got it. So I spent most of Sunday in bed while grandma tried to entertain the girls. It was a huge blessing that she was here because Brian was traveling most of the weekend. And it was one of those occasional times when I really had to go get in my bed so my head didn't explode. If she hadn't been here the girls would have been finding their own meals which would probably have been granola bars, goldfish crackers and water.
We did get to go to the botanic garden on Saturday. We took all our umbrellas and watched the Halloween dog parade - I decided it was really a parade of kooky people who dress thier dogs up. Some people really go all out and it was very funny. They also had a club of fruit growers who were showing off and selling their apples. We got to taste test some unusual varieties - we even tasted a paw paw. The older men were really eager to tell us all about their apples - it was nice. I thought of Doug and how he would have liked talking to the men. We bought a bunch of northern spy apples and had a yummy crisp after dinner.
Mom brought some of my old dollhouse furniture and the girls dove right into setting it all up in my dollhouse. As a kid mom bought a dollhouse kit for me and we put it together. Then I spent many, many hours making all the furnishings. Oh I really did spend a ton of time on that little house and I loved it! I was lucky that I could use dad's jigsaw and his unlimited scraps of wood in the basement. And mom always had bits of crafty and sewing things around. I love that I could create so freely and independently and I want to have that same environment for my girls. There was a big miniatures (ha ha) store in Frankenmuth - it was heaven and I'd carefully choose some little item - dishes or a pair of ice skates or my (plastic) tile floor for the kitchen.
I looked down on Bea and Claire as they touched each piece of mini furniture that I made. It was surreal to watch my daughters play with my important childhood plaything.
See the little push button phone? I specifically remember being in a dressing room and seeing a little broken piece of a zipper. I had an ah ha moment and grabbed it to use as the reciever of my phone. It's teeeeensy.
I made the two chairs, the little pink teapot on the shelf and the flowers on the table. Also the cabinets and sink that you can barely see on the right. I think (if I remember correctly) the countertop is some leftover formica from Grandma Dice's kitchen makeover. I was always thinking of my house and I loved to scour magazines for little pictures to cut out frame.
The rug below is a piece of paper with thread glued in a criscross pattern.
These are also terribly tiny.
Our modern playmobil folks fit right in.
Grandma Dice made that little crocheted rug in the forground below. Thinking of that makes my heart ache from sweetness. The lamp is made from beads and a toothpick.
Funny how I'm still fussing over a house - it's just a little bigger and unfortunately my current house has sewer lines that need cleaning out.
After preschool the other day we were walking behind a woman and her son. Claire looked at the woman't shoes - they were short black boots with heels. She said in her loudest voice "Those are the shoes that witches wear."
I'm so thankful for the string of beautiful weekends we've had. Last weekend we went up to Wisconsin, again, to get our pumpkins and to go for a little hike. I've never picked pumpkins from a field - that was fun.
After getting just the right pumpkins we went to the New Munster Wildlife Area for our walk.
Taking a hike with daddy is so fun the girls almost forget they're hiking. He uses all of his powers of goofiness to keep them chugging along and giggling.
And they found a frog.
Brian is the purported cheese lover around here, but I too find myself missing the good cheese we had at our old home.
We're still enjoying some of the cheese that Brian smuggled. Even the packaging makes me happy.
We can get some Swiss cheese here - I spotted this big round of cheese waiting to be cut at the grocery store. Seems anything from Switzerland kindles the fond feelings I have for that country.
I'm sitting here on my non-couch* feeling happy because a few minutes ago I was in the bathroom turning the water on and off, on and off, on and off... with our NEW FAUCETS! Yeah we have progress. Each little bit of progress urges me on to get busy and finish up the whole thing. It's an adventure this old house of ours. I'm learning to be OK with taking it slowly. I'm having fun with things I've never purchased before - like sinks. Look at my cute charming rectangle sinks. I want to kiss them. I've been trying to do as much as I can on my own with these projects - we just can't stomach spending huge amounts of money on every little thing when there is so much on the to do list. Uhg. We had a hiccup with the counter installation last week. The contractor cut his finger when he was installing it and then the caulking looked like a nine-fingered, not so bright man did it. I was really discouraged when I realized how bad it was. Thankfully they came back and made it right so I didn't need to slip into a deep depression thinking about goopy caulk. Ha.
Anyway - hope I'm not boring my devoted readers with this renovation journey of mine. Next up on the journey is the tile - installation happens next week. And it's supposed to be rainy this weekend so maybe I will repaint the cabinet.
* The couch situation is frustrating - and I want to warn my mom - when you come to visit there will be no couch to sit on in the TV room. But maybe we will let you sit in the one chair.
We are back in the swing of the school routine. We've had lots of nice sunny days and I might have to, finally, water my garden a little. Fall feels nice - I'm surrounded, so closely, by big decidous trees here.
• We did some more raspberry picking. Bea had the day off on Thursday and we took along one of her friends. Then I made some raspberry jam. I gazed in the pan and enjoyed the darkest, deepest silky red color you can imagine.
• I struggle. I struggle between liking that my girls are creative and can gather stuff from around the house and make their own playthings and artwork. And then I get annoyed because ther are piles of pipe cleaner and paper clips and kleenex with sparkley things taped on and acorns in little yogurt containers, and bits of paper cut and colored and taped onto stuffed animals. Uhg. What's a mommy to do? Here they are proudly showing off their creations:
• Brian "imported" two large bricks of cheese from Switzerland last week (he's living dangerously). I hauled our beloved raclette grill out of the basement, along with the power converter. We had a yummy raclette dinner and felt nostalgic.
• House projects keep chugging along. Yesterday I sent our couch away to be reupholstered. Yikes - I've never purchased 20 yards of fabric - big decision. In the meantime this is our temporary couch. The girls like this arrangment better than a real couch. I'm looking forward to having a clean couch. One that doesn't requiere strategically arranged stain hiding blankets. I can't wait. I'm busy with the girls' bathroom too. The countertops and new sinks came this week and the week after next our tile floor will be installed. I'm searching for the perfect shelf to hide some flawed tiles, thinking about peach ceiling paint... the list goes on.
• The end.
I'm in a crafty and sewing mood. I cleaned my sewing room (things were practically piled to the ceiling) and I was reminded of the huge list of things I want to sew. I get a panicky feeling when I think about how my days of sewing sweet little dresses won't last forever. I came across this old stained tablecloth that I've had in my stash for a long time. I decided I'd better make a dress out of it now because a) a 12 year old probably won't be into wearing tablecloths and b) even if they were there isn't enough tablecloth to make a 12 year old sized dress. I had to do it NOW! Forget the laundry, forget the dishes, I must make this dress!!!
Here's the before:
Here's the dress. I used the Oliver + S. Playtime Tunic pattern, it's such a good basic pattern. The tablecloth fabric is really nice - it feels heavy and light at the same time. I don't know what you call it, but I like it. I used the hem of the table cloth for the bottom of the dress.
Time will tell if Claire will actually wear the dress. She tried it on for five minutes so I could take some pictures. There she is with her unbrushed hair and her forced (by Bea) smile.
Aaah - I feel much better now that I have that out of my system. Hmmmm - what's next...