Saturday, May 31, 2008


I am soooo dumb. And soooo sunburned. Why do I forget the misery of sunburn from one May to the next? You would think I would know better by now. For a few years, I did pretty well, building my sun tolerance a little at a time without burning. So I got overconfident, I guess. And here I am, crispy-fried.

Don't get me wrong, I think the sun is very healthy! I do not believe that we should wear sunblock all the time, especially since sunscreen is full of very harmful chemicals. Sun exposure is good for you-- in moderation. It's the very best way to get our vitamin D (forget vitamin D milk)-- cod liver oil is only a second choice for us northerners. But I love the sun so much that I forget to avoid a burn which is definitely not healthy... My usual rule is to allow a half hour or so at one time in the middle of the day (most days at home, I'm in and out, so I don't have a problem with burning), and then put on sun block only for prolonged exposure. And today, I had it in my purse! Duh! But in the joy of soaking up the glorious sunshine and the absorption of auction fever, I forgot. to put. it on. And now, I pay. Ouch.

Anyway, we went to the auction/flea market/farmers market that they have every Saturday in a near-by town. Someone told me they had plants there, and I'm in the market for some fruit trees and berry bushes. And sure enough, I got myself a lovely Dappled Japanese Willow (okay, so it's not fruit. But it was 8 bucks! And the bidding was so much fun!) and a cherry tree ($13, no idea what kind, also much fun bidding).

Also, I was very excited to get some new old wicker furniture for my porch. Nathan threw my old old stuff that someone had given me on the burn pile after my poor father-in-law landed on his buhind while sitting on the loveseat. It has been very much falling apart, but I was loath to part with it. I live on my porch in the summer. So we got a loveseat, table and two chairs for 5 smackeroos. Okay, so the leg is broken on the loveseat and (tell Nathan's Dad not to sit on that one, either!) and the seat on one of the chairs has a small hole, but they're still way better than the stuff I had. I think I can patch them up and make them usable. Also, I will probably try some spray paint to see if I can seal them up and get them to last a leeetle bit longer than they might otherwise last.

So... mission accomplished, I guess. We also met up with some friends there, so we had good company while waiting for my thngs to come up. My friend, S, and I walked around and looked at the animals for sale. I very nearly came home with turkey chicks, ducklings, guinea hens and a puppy. I have to be very careful with myself about those kind of things...

Now I'm off to find some more aloe with which to slather myself...

Friday, May 30, 2008

What To Post?

Okay, so I know I promised a picture... But really, folks. I got nothin'. I've just been plodding away at the usual stuff. Mostly planting the garden. It's a lot of time-consuming work to plant a garden with enough food and flavor to feed us for a year when I have to do it all myself (and we're only three people! Aiee! What will I do when (and if) we're ever more?). Nathan helps with heavy stuff like tilling and digging, but the rest is mostly up to me. And it's a lot of work. And to add to the planting, weeding and mulching, I have to go around with the hose (a little at a time because our well is wimpy) because we can't seem to get even so much as a passing shower in these parts. Rain has been predicted all day today, but it just keeps blowing and clouding up and blowing over. The rain goes north, the rain goes south, but it doesn't hit us.

So that's where I'm at. Planting and praying for rain.

Anyway. What to post? That's what I've been trying to figure out all day. But I promised, so let's see...

I could do like my brother and post a picture of my beer:

Hm. Not quite the same effect. (But it went down reeeeal smooooth)

How about the lovely spirea on my table?

I could show you Jonah horsing around in the yard before supper:

Or this picture:

I have no idea what's going on in that picture.


I could tell you how Jonah kept asking for "More asparagus, please." all through supper. Most parents complain about three-year olds who won't eat their vegetables, and I complain about a kid who won't eat anything but (actually, he ate all his sloppy joe, too. He's a great eater most of the time).

I could tell you about how I almost whacked our mean rooster into kingdom-come today when he went after Jonah. He flopped around and then looked quite stunned for a few minutes and I was almost overcome with remorse, but then he got up and crowed in an effort to regain some shreds of dignity. He's been avoiding me all day.

I could tell you that Jonah actually took a nap today! Novelty! And then I sat down to read (because Nathan was also napping, having worked since very early this morning, so I couldn't do anything noisy) and I fell asleep for about 20 minutes. Man, that was nice.

But I won't tell you about those things, 'cause I got nothin'.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


No post Stop Watching Lost season finale Stop Riveting Stop Am very shallow Stop

Photo tomorrow Stop

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Yesterday we took Jonah to the Memorial Day Parade in a nearby very-small (as in blink-and-you'll-miss-it) town. I went for the Garden Club plant sale, but by the time we got there, almost every thing was gone. What with the early-birds and worms and all.

Jonah didn't much care for the solemn Three Volleys of Civil War Gunshot, but after that came the tractors:

And clowns!

And more tractors! Literally every antique tractor (rust allowed but not mandated) in three surrounding counties was there. Jonah added a few to his repertoire of tractor names and colors. The red McCormack Farmall is his new favorite.

(Oh! Look again. Those were actually not the same tractor in the previous two photos! See? I wasn't kidding!)

Oh, an there was candy being thrown (but skimpy this year. I'm thinking they were spending too much on gas with the tractors and classic cars to splurge much on candy).

And then the firetrucks. Again, every truck from every town in the whole county was there complete with lights and sirens. Someone told me that one year the firemen all dressed as clowns for the parade and then had to split in the middle of the parade for a fire. Now they just wear their uniforms.

Floats? Who needs floats when we have tractors and firetrucks and classic cars (as well as hot rods carrying every Miss Teen, Junior Miss, Tiny Miss, Little Miss and all the runners up from every town for miles around?)

It's all about the tractors, baby.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Holiday Weekend Visit

Nathan's parents just left this morning after their all-to-short visit from Minnesota. Jonah sure had fun with his Opa and Oma. And I do believe they had fun with him.

Opa's a good playmate:

Aaaand that's all I have to say about that.

But Opa reads! So Opa read a story. Go Tell It to the Toucan is a hilariously cute story made even funnier by a silly Grandpa.

J: "Can you read ah Toucan Book?"

O: "Looks like a Threecan book to me."

J: "No, TOUCAN!"

O: Opens book, "'Hey, today is my birthday!' said the elephant one morning. 'I'll go tell it to the threecan..."


O: "Then he'll tell everybody and we can have a party! A birthday Jamboree! Old Jumbo looked around him, but he couldn't find the threecan..."

J: "Tou! Can!"

O: "... the threecan, so instead he told the tiger, 'Today is my birthday! Please go tell it to the threecan..."

J: "Toucan."

O: Et cetera... "...Please to tell it to the threecan..."

J: "Toucan"

After about 28 times, Jonah just really couldn't believe that Opa could be that dense. He must have realized that you have to be patient with senile old men, but he still didn't pass up a single opportunity to gently correct him--"Toooooucan."

Anyway, they had tons of fun. And my Mother-in-law washes my dishes. I love that (but I always make sure to politely protest the first time...).

And Nathan politely drank extra coffee (as if he minded, hmmmmm.) with his Dad. They were pretty much swimmin' in the stuff...

Ahh so, a good time was had by all. Too bad they live so stinkin' far away. But at least they're within a day's drive (unlike some other family I can think of...) Hopefully they'll be back for Thanksgiving-- provided gas isn't $25/gal.

Friday, May 23, 2008


...He's bad to the bone. (Oh, not really. He's actually kinda sweet.)

There must be a motorcycle gene floating around in my family...

Or maybe it's just that Y chromosome.

(That red paint on the side of the barn is a little disturbing, isn't it? Not sure whats up with that. One of many oddities around here. Lends a little gangsta appeal)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Garden Fever

Yesterday ended at midnight after Nathan finished sanding the floor with the big sander. The too-short night was spent in frenetic dreams of Nathan still sanding amidst piles of sawdust ("Please! Just stop now!" "JUST ONE MORE PASS!"). My day today started at 4:00 making Nathan some breakfast and coffee and helping him get out the door for work (poor guy...). My day started again at 6:28 when Jonah banged my door open-- "Mooooommy... I'm all wet!" Big surprise. The early-morning bed-wetting is gonna put me over the edge. But that's another story for another time.

So we got up, did some chores (and laundry) and braved the $3.99/gallon gas and headed to town. We had to return the floor sander anyway, so I got to use it as an excuse to run some errands (put off due to gas prices). Oh, and plant shopping. Definitely the plant shopping.

I look forward to this ritual every spring. I wander every garden center and plant nursery and just drool. It can be messy. Anyway. A few days ago, my neighbor clued me in on a place that's famous for their selection of herbs. So I checked them out. The only thing I really have to say about that is: "I lusted." Yeah.

They had every flavor of basil, thyme, sage and mint that could possibly exist. They had several varieties of rosemary and lavender as well as hard-to-find herbs like stevia and scented geranium (four varieties!) and toothache plant and soapwort. And I wanted them all. I don't have that kind of cash (even at $2.50 each) so I contented myself with a long-desired chocolate mint and a lemon verbena and some really cool coleus from the annuals section to feed my coleus addiction.

Then we went on to the big garden nursery where I always go zombie and wander helplessly. Jonah likes to look at the koi. I like to look at the flowers and shrubs. This place has such fantastic plants that looking at them and their price tags gives me actual physical pain. No kidding. Why do I torment myself? I'll take one of each, thanks.

I had to practice mighty restraint. I only got pepper plants and seed potatoes and corn seed (high-priced this year-- hm, wonder why) and just one pretty ornamental grass. Then I wiped the corners of my mouth on my sleeve and left quickly.

I suppose I may end up buying a flat of annuals in a couple weeks anyway, and then I'll have to settle for an inferior near-by nursery. I have my own annuals that I started, but they're just not doing well. They're spindly little weeds compared to what they should be. How do I grow my own robust gorgeous plants like the big garden center sells?

Note to self: Draw up plans for greenhouse. Convince Nathan to build it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Terribly Un-American Are WE?

While I'm making supper and Nathan's sanding the new kitchen floor, there's a knock on the door. I don't recognize the man outside, but I let him in, thinking Nathan knows him.

Man: Talks fast and way too hyper- "Hiya, Kids! SO great to see you again! Really, really great to see you! Been a year and a half! You must be new here! So nice to see you! My name's Bill Blahblah! My Dad drives the truck, having his annual [air quotes] Spring Fling! Nice to see you! My Dad... yaddayadda... you probably know... blahblah"

Me: Looks at Nathan- ??!?

Nathan: !!??!??!!!?

Man: Blah blah blah blah!!! Blahblah! BLAH!!! Haahaahaa!

Nathan: Uh, what did you say your name was?

Man: Bill Somethingorother! Here's a $25 gift card... blahblah... meat.... blah..."

Me: Discreetly sneaks back inside to finish making supper, leaving Nathan to fend for himself.

A few minutes later, Nathan lets in a woman who smells like cigarette smoke and is wearing way too much blue eyeshadow and shlumpadinka sweats and jeans. She sets down a heavy box, opens it and starts talking a mile a minute-- "Hi, I'm Tina Yaddayadda and we're running a great deal- have you ever heard of Omaha Steaks? It's all Certified Black Angus beef... blahblah" She opens smaller boxes and piles them all over our floor, describing the contents, giant fancy steaks.

Nathan: Frequently interrupts to ask the weight of each cut. I can see that he's going into Fullest Economy Analysis, a state with which I am highly familiar, the rest of the world, however, is not.

Shlumpadinka Saleswoman: "So let me describe how this works. When you go to the grocery store, you buy what, maybe some ground beef and..."

Me: "Actually, I don't..."

SS: "Oh, so a butcher or whatever..."

Me: "Nooo... I really don't buy meat."

Nathan: "We really eat a lot of venison..."

Me: "rooster, rabbit... We pretty much eat whatever meat is available nearby or that we can raise ourselves."

SS: "Uh... WELL, these work out to only suchandsuch each and at the store you would pay--"

Nathan: "Katie, what's your grocery budget each month?"

Me: tells her my all-inclusive grocery budget

SS: Blinks. "Oookay, so of that you maybe spend what, 50 bucks on meat?"

Me: "Uh, no, not even that. I freeze and can meat that we use throughout the year. I might buy lunchmeat and pepperoni... Bacon and sausage from the Amish..."

Nathan: "Thanks for your time, but I really don't think this is in our budget."

SS: "Well, let me just tell you... This is guaranteed for a year in the freezer, blahblah, great meat better than what you're eating now"

Nathan: "Yeah, but we really can't buy it. I mean, to make this work, we have to make this last etc.etc..." launches into Fullest Economy Analysis Reasoning.

SS: "Yeah but...."

Nathan: "Did you see that goat out there? He's going to eat our grass for the summer instead of my mowing it and we're going to butcher him ourselves in the fall."

SS: Blinks hard. Mouth falls open. "Uhhhh... So you wouldn't even pay $148 for all this meat that would be good for a year??!?"

Nathan: "No."

SS: Quickly boxes up meat, huffs, growls, "Give me that gift card." Leaves in a huff.

Nathan, ever polite and sweet: "So have a nice day!"


I could hardly wait until she was out to start laughing. Then we laughed even harder when we saw them drive off in the direction of the Amish farms.

***Update-- several hours later***

Our Amish neighbor stopped by and we told him the story. He asked if it was a black pickup with a freezer on the back and we said it was. He said he was just coming out of the milk-house with the milk and saw the pickup turn in and then back up really fast and turn around. What caught his attention is the tires spinning in the gravel. He asked his son, Jacob if he saw who they were and Jacob said there was a man and a woman and they were laughing.

Must have figured out they came to the wrooong neighborhood.

Happy Hundred

In honor of my one hundredth post on this blog:

more cat pictures

Okay, so nothing to do with 100, but it cracked me up.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Work in Progress

As I type this, my kitchen floor is being installed. It's going to be a GORGEOUS oak floor. I love wood floors. I don't know how anyone could not love wood floors.

My floor is made and installed by our Amish neighbor, Enos. He and a couple young Amish guys and Nathan are working on it.

I would love to show you a picture of them working on this. I would love for you to see how they don't let the grass grow over their feet, they just get down to business and get the job done. Many hands make light (and cheerful) work. It's amazing to watch the efficiency and speed of this task. I also wish you could hear them speaking to each other in their pleasantly stilted German.

I would also love to show you how Jonah is right there with his little hammer, pounding away alongside the men, learning to work like a man.

However, the Amish don't care to have their pictures taken (as far as I am aware), much less have pictures posted on the internet. (Okay, so I have taken some sneaky pictures a couple of times, but they're just for me...)

So, I'm respecting that, and just trying to store the images away in my mind. But I wish you could see.

Also, I'm making cookies. Many hands need mush refreshing. And the Amish like their cookies... a lot.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's A Hard-Knock Life...

...When you've spent all day, working hard on the tractor and you didn't get a nap and you're hungry for some supper an' nobody knows de trouble you've sown...


I've wanted to grow garlic for a long time. Finally, I have a place to grow garlic.

I have four varieties that I got Hood River Organic Garlic (Organic garlic! From my hometown!). I planted them the day after Thanksgiving. I was recovering from a terrible cold/sinus infection. My Mother-in-law insisted that I wear a scarf, except she couldn't find a scarf, so she brought me a dishtowel. She's pretty smart. And I'm just a think-I'm-immortal whippersnapper, coughing in the wind, planting garlic, flirting with pneumonia.

The wire is to keep the chickens from scratching them up. It works well, and it's a wide weave that the garlic can grow through easily. The chickens have no interest in eating garlic greens. Hopefully, nothing else will either as the summer progresses.

I love garlic.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Who Would Have Guessed...

...that this would be the most popular birthday present?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mmmmm... Sage Pinapple Fried Potatoes

I always have this dilema- What am I going to make for supper tonight? It's been worse lately because I haven't gotten groceries in As it is, I only get groceries once a month, so I often deal with this, but it forces creativity and makes me use up what I have instead of spending more money.

Case in point:

Tonight I made (nothing gourmet, rather, one of my cop-out-I-don't-know-what-else-to-make meals) some fried potatoes. I started out by cooking some unseasoned pork sausage (common among the Amish, so we ended up with some.) with a sliced onion. Then I added my sliced potatoes with a good long pour of bacon fat (Mmmm! I usually use chicken fat skimmed from stock, but bacon fat is even better!). So as I'm stirring them around, I'm thinking of what else I could add. Hmm, chives might be good, now that I have herbs outside... Wait! Sage would be even better!" So I went out and picked a handful of sage and tore it up into the potatoes. "Say," I thought, "this smells good... I have some organic pineapple chunks left in the fridge..." so I added those. Salt and pepper... and ooooh yum!

Pay no attention to the messy stove... I wipe it everyday, but I'm a sloppy cook, okay?

Anyway. Jonah had to have ketchup. Stinker. I had mine with a whachagot pinacolada. (Pineapple juice, coconut milk, vodka, pinch stevia. Not great, but it went down smooth...)

Quick, easy, yum.

How Does My Garden Grow?

And that is what I am wondering as it pours rain today and I can't go out and play in the dirt.

A lady at church who is an old hand at gardening and farming said, "Oh, it's too early to plant yet! Memorial Day! Wait for Memorial Day." And she should know, having grown things here for many decades. And I know that's the rule of thumb around here. That was my Dad's rule when I was a kid. We always planted the whole garden on Memorial Day. It was a family tradition. And then we moved to Oregon and two zones the milder, but still, we planted the whole garden on Memorial Day. I move back to Michigan, and the rule still is-- Plant on Memorial Day.

But, young whipper-snapper that I am, I don't agree. Yes, Memorial Day is significant of our last frost date. Yes, I would absolutely NEVER plant basil and tomatoes and peppers and sweet potatoes before Memorial Day (I could, but it would be more work to protect them if needed, and why bother when I can wait until Memorial Day and not have to worry?). But really, do we have to box ourselves in?

We ate fresh radishes yesterday, because I planted them April 8. That day (in my raised beds that Nathan build for me), I also planted peas, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, beets, and a few cabbages, broccoli, and kohlrabi. (As luck would have it, we had a hot spell after that, so those things took a long time to get going. But now that we're back to normal spring weather, they're doing great.)

An Amish neighbor told me that May 5 is the best day to plant potatoes. I raised my eyebrows, but he said that though he doesn't know why, he's seen it proven again and again that there are fewer bug problems if you get them in the ground on May 5. So, we planted our potatoes on May 5.

I much prefer to plant in spurts throughout the spring. I enjoy it so much more than trying to do it all at once and killing myself over it.

Yesterday, a dear friend gave me some rosemary (going in a pot this year since I can't get it to survive a winter), oregano, lavender, feverfew, parsley and black-eyed susans and I relished the planting of all of them (even though Dandelion, our pesky lawnmower, was trying to eat them).

As soon as we get a break in the rain long enough for the ground to dry a little, Nathan is going to till for me. I love it when Nathan tills. It makes my heart go pitter-pat. Combine my big, strong man (okay, not so big. Whatever. But very strong.) with gardening, and I am slain.

Eh-hem. Anyhoo.

He's going to till and then I'm going to plant carrots and onions. (Kinda wish I had done that yesterday, with all this rain they'd get going quick...) Then I'll plant a little of this and that as I have time and as the weather steadily warms up. See, this way it gets done at an enjoyable pace and with a slight head-start.

And here are my transplants who just can't wait to get their feet in the dirt:

Excuse the blur, but there's no sun today, so we're a little low on light.

They're a little spindly, but that's because we haven't been able to get the trick of lighting them. Last year we had fluorescent, this year incandescent (both with some sun from the window, but not enough). They've both done about the same, and I even abandoned the light weeks ago, and they're the same as last year. I'm told that you either have to use a combination of the two, or get expensive grow lights. So next year, Nathan plans to rig up some better light.

But these should still do okay, they'll just take a wee bit longer to get going once I get them in the ground. I have a nice mixture of veggies and flowers. I always like to try new things, and each year it's hit-and-miss. I've had some great successes, though, like that Nicotiana on the left of this photo. They were so fabulous last year! (and they don't care what kind of light they get starting out.)

I will be buying my peppers and sweet potato slips. My sweet potatoes didn't make it all the way through the winter, so I can't start my own. Maybe next year... But I will be saving those, along with tomatoes (and possibly vining crops and corn) for Memorial Day. So I won't completely thumb my nose at the rule...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

You Brought Home a WHAT?

My husband is a self-acknowledged scrounge. He brings home all sorts of free stuff, sometimes very useful, and sometimes not so much.

Today, at lunch-time, Jonah suddenly headed for the door and said, "I go out and see Daddy!"

"Uh... Daddy's not here."

Two seconds later Jonah scrambles back in the house, shrieking in terror. And I go out and find Nathan with this:

(Are you ready for this?)


And this:

Stunned silence. Crickets chirp. Maaaah!

I'm guessing he's 3-4 months old, an unaltered buck. He does have horns, but so far only uses them to scratch his back. And he's lonely. He cries when we walk away. And Jonah is completely terrified of him.

Oh, and Nathan corrected me-- he didn't bring home a useless goat, he brought home a lawnmower.

What with gas prices and all. (Insert your own joke about gas prices versus grass prices here)

Teeny Cuteness

I was just looking at Ann Wood's cute little birds. I don't know what I would do with things like that, but they're awfully adorable.

Oh, and check out the prices she gets for those things. Now why can't I have an original idea like that?

Friday, May 9, 2008


Since I posted an embarrassing photo of my sister last time, I thought it only fair that I post an embarrassing photo of the rest of us and even the score. (Naturally, this is all well before Samuel and Peter's time, and they're still to young for embarrassing photos.)

That's me on the bottom, the one in the loud shirt (what was I thinking?). I believe I must have been about 11. And there's Kristin, beside me, the one with the tongue. And above us is Neal, always in the middle, always the goof. And triumphantly, at the top, is Seth. He was the pesky yet good-natured little brother, generally left out of "big kid stuff". I think his triumph is not only in being on top, but in being on top of us.

And then comes the inevitable:

We all fall down. And just like that-- the silly, fun mood was lost, and I think someone punched someone else and someone started to cry.

Ah, good times.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In Which My Sister Quits Speaking to Me

This is Peter:

He's 6, the youngest of my five brothers, adorable, and very much the baby of the family. And that's his, uh, puppy. I don't know the puppy's name. But Peter is cute and cuddly with his puppy.

This is Alyssa:

She's 15 and my only sister. When I was a kid with three brothers, I prayed and prayed and prayed for a sister. Eventually, God gave in and I got a sister. Isn't she lovely?

Alyssa is also cute and cuddly, nevermind that she's 9 years older than Peter:

That's Lion. When she was little, we tried to convince her that it was Simba and that he was a boy, but she dressed him up in doll clothes and insisted he was a girl and his her name was Lion.

And apparently, she still does to this day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in A Zoo!

...You look like a monkey, you act like one, too!

Happy birthday, Jonah!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Random Three-year-old-ness

Me: Multitasking-- having just finished starting sourdough bread and kefir,waiting for the milk to heat up for making yogurt, so that I can use that pan to make the sweet tea for Kombucha, the latest batch of which is sitting on the table waiting to be strained. I'm drinking some Clipper organic white tea with raw cream and raw honey, reading blogs.

Jonah- finishes his tea, sees the Kombucha: "Can I have some kabooocha?"

Me: "Don't you want more tea?"

J: "No, I want kaboocha!"

Me: "Hmmm... I guess." Pours him a little in his cup, unstrained and warm (The drink, not the cup).

J: Drinks it down. "Can I have more? Look! A tractor! It's a Harvester Innernational! I gotta go to the potty. Be right back! Bye! Quack! Quack, quack, quack..."

Me: Sips tea, navigates over to Blogger...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What I Did Today: This Plus a Slight High

From the paint, okay? Sheesh.

Oh, and I went to church! Uh... before the whole "high" part...

One more coat tomorrow, and it will be ready for flooring! And Jonah has already watched more Thomas the Tank Engine than I normally would allow in a month.

Oh, and I think I did find the perfect yellow... (It's a little deeper and richer in real life. And gorgeous. Just what I was looking for!)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Putting Down Roots

This year I decided to save myself some money and increase my ornamental plant potential by overwintering cuttings of coleus from last summer, and using them to start new plants this spring. I figure that way I can have lots of coleus and not have to wait until late June to get a flat for ten bucks. About a month ago, I pinched the plants back so that they would send out lots of new shoots. Today, I took off those new shoots and started my own flat of colorful coleus! I probably should have done this step a couple weeks ago, but I wasn't here. Still, within a month I should have plenty of nice new plants, ready to go outside and decorate my porches all summer.

Jonah helped. can you tell which ones were his?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Er, Hai! Wait a minute... uh... Hi! There we go. That looks better. Them primer fumes is goin' to my head.

Happy May Day to you! (I know, I know... the masthead... don't remind me)

As I was priming the kitchen walls today, I was thinking of a certain brother of mine who is professional painter and how I wish he would come and paint for me. But no, he's off in Switzerland, starting a high-falutin' new job as a... well... I'm not sure what he calls himself. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with painting. He's going to be traveling around to third-world countries inspecting humanitarian building efforts and reporting back to the foundation in Switzerland (or something like that. I think that's how it goes.) So, what is that called? Charitable Attitude Adjuster? Mr. Inspectorsir? Executive tryingtoholddownlocalfoodandsleepinginacot Deputy? Homesick?

So, since it's the first of May, that means Jonah is going to have a birthday very soon. I'm trying to remember waiting for him to be born three years ago and it seems like soooooo long ago, but just yesterday all at the same time. Motherhood is a strange animal.

So I'm trying to decide what to get him for his birthday. So far, we've only gotten him one present from us for birthdays and Christmases-- largely due to budget constraints and also because he's little and doesn't notice whether we get him one dinky present or one really cool present or three so-so presents. And we generally don't get him toys. Okay, wait, I take back that last part. For Christmas we got him a used set of Brio Trains and he LOVES them. So I guess we might be willing to get him a very imaginative and not-annoying toy.

Here's what we're gonna do... VOTE! Give me your opinion (then make sure to comment and tell me what your vote was or especially if you have any better ideas):