About 30 years ago I wove my mother some cotton pot holders. And for the most part they are all still in service but are showing their age. My mother asked if she could have some more because she really likes how much better they work than store bought one.
So I enlisted Jellybean and pulled out our bags of cotton loops to make some presents for Grandma. I did most of the weaving while Jellybean was in charge of color placement.
We managed one potholder with 30 year old loops (top right) and it was a BEAST because the loops were not as elastic anymore. Next up Jellybean devised a patterned one (bottom right). The colors aren’t my jab but I was proud of his 6 year old patterning ability. And finally we used newer loops to make a random one (left).
We wrapped a ribbon around the lot and sent off to Grandma to replace her kitchen collection. I thought Jellybean would be more into this project but after three he seems to be content and not really interested in making more. Maybe we will put the supplies away for a few months and try again this summer?
I set some private goals for myself early in 2021. I needed to get past the fog of 2020 and feel like I was moving towards getting some positive things done. One of those larger goals was to actually do something with all the photos and scrapbook pages I made on my phone.
I had one year, 2017, completely done and half of 2018 printed. But I was woefully behind after that. I had a mix of finished pages hanging out on my google drive and many many pages left to do on my almost out of memory iPhone. So I worked on weekly goals that started to stack up and as of April I am all DONE! By the grace of some babysitting, shutterfly free coupons and 60% off online scrapbook supplies.
These are four years of memories of my littles and life events. It was bittersweet to work back through these. But I’m happy I did. It gave me a little perspective of how my kids have grown and what we have managed to accomplish, even if its just feeding and clothing ourselves on a regular basis.
These projects are important to me. Even now Jellybean is old enough to enjoy flipping through pictures and remembering some our shenanigans. I know my books will get thinner as they get older but I will never not regret having these captured. But I don’t think I will let four years build up again…shoo boy that was both a time and monetary investment that would be better served to spread out!
PB, Jellybean and I decided to take advantage of the polar vortex and do a new to us craft. We made ice globes! We dug out some balloons and my food coloring and just made it up as we went.
We put like two squeezes of gel food color in each balloon and then filled up the balloon in the bathroom. After a gentle shake we set them outside in the -10 degree weather. It took about 5 hours but then we got the most beautiful globes.
We took our finished globes and transported them out front. I ended up dropping the cookie sheet in my entryway on the way outside. So this mom got to scrub food coloring and ice chips off her floor. But the globes mostly survived and looked pretty cool in our front flower beds.
Mess aside it was a pretty good craft for the kids and kept them entertained for half a day as they kept checking to see if they were frozen. And then they were delighted to see them every time we drove up to our house. I think this whole craft cost me like $1.75 so thats a win!
One of my greatest skills is something I call “procrasti-cleaning” aka cleaning or organizing something in my life so as to avoid work or a task I really don’t want to do.
This week’s target? My home office. I had been collecting boxes and files just on the floor under my counter and it was annoying. So a few dollars at online Wal-Mart and some pictorial assembly instructions I have a five cube shelf. I have just enough space for my bags to the side and all the junk from the counter now lives nice underneath.
The cleaner and more organized space really helps me feel calmer and more productive. And then I can usually get back to the task I was avoiding. Anyone else out there have skills like this?
This last week was our last hurrah with Green Chef. We liked their environmentally friendly business models and it was super easy to make all the recipes. But they just didn’t knock our socks off on a regular basis flavor wise. And for what they ended up costing it just turned out to not bet a good fit for our family. The kids basically hated all of the dishes except for the burgers.
We gave it one last hurrah with the Japanese Fritters with veggies and rice. Basically rice with edamame and ginger, seasoned broccoli and cabbage fritters with siracha aoili.
I will have to say, this was a definite hit. It was savory and spicy but still fresh tasting. Both the hubby and I said we would most definitely do this again. For a meatless dinner it was very filling. And it looked very good plated up.
Next up in our food adventures is Home Chef. The recipes appear to be more kid friendly and more affordable. Our first week includes Spicy Crispy Boom Boom Shrimp….my mouth is watering!!
All this time spent at home lately has really made see how shabby some spaces around my home are. I spent all of last Sunday repainting the trim around my front and garage door. Seven years of furniture moving, dog scratches and kid marks really made them look ROUGH.
I busted out some paint from the basement and some painters tape and put two new coats of fresh paint. I was even a good homeowner and pre-sanded the woodwork before painting to make it look smoother and less dented up.
Next up was the bathroom wall that the hubby had turned into swiss cheese while trying to hang a second towel rod. My blessed father patched the interior wall and fixed up the sheet rock for me. All I had to do was sand and paint.
I just happened to have a TEENY TINY amount of green paint left that was JUST enough to repaint this section of wall and feather it in so that you can’t see the contrast of new versus old. Well….good enough for me anyway.
Next up on my to-do list is hang photos from PB’s birth (two years ago) and the kids height boards I received as Christmas gifts. Better late than never!!
Our current temperature in Kansas is roughly the surface of the sun with like 1,000% humidity. So why wouldn’t I want to haul out all my canning supplies and heat up my kitchen? I was having some anxiety related to world events and general unrest so I felt the need to make something. That feeling turned into one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, two batches of blackberry jam, two batches of peach jam and one batch of strawberry jam.
Jellybean helped me off and on saying that he “didn’t like the hot and sticky parts”. Which we all know is almost the whole process. He did like how dark and ruby colored the blackberries cooked down into. All this fruit, except for the strawberries, was homegrown from my families gardens. To me this gave me a grounded feeling and a connection to people I can’t visit right now.
This project did make me feel a bit better. I did have a tiny bit of frustration when my peach jam didn’t set and I had to haul all the supplies back out to re-cook and add more pectin. But the re-do process did seem to work. Now I have some jelly stores for the next year and enough to give as gifts this holiday season.
We spent what we hope was a responsibly safe 4th of July with my parents. We kind of have made our own little “bubble” and see few people but each other up close and within breathing distance. Everyone in my family is getting really good at cleaning…even the littles. And we stayed up WAAAAY too late shooting big fireworks and chasing fireflies.
So Sunday morning, after the 4th of July, I found myself awake with PB with the rest of the house was snoozing. So PB and I raided the fridge to make breakfast. Being good hearty Midwestern folk I made a well rounded country breakfast. I turned leftover baked potato into hash browns, used up the last of the sausage gravy, cooked off some thick sliced bacon and fried a perfect medium egg in butter.
Restrictions here in Kansas are easing despite our cases of COVID still rising. I have opted for my family to err on the side of caution so we are largely doing the same routines we did during Shelter in Place. However, my kids and I really needed to shake things up so we decided to do that carefully. We loaded up the van and spend a quiet weekend at my parents house as a “vacation”.
We opted not to interact with other extended family or public spaces. We played in the yard and around the house with lots of trips around town in my dad’s golf cart to get some wind in our hair and dust on our boots (or bare feet in Jellybean’s case).
One evening we stopped to say hey to the local high school’s chickens. They are definitely missing their kids! We rolled up to their “coup” after they had been put up for the night to protect them from predators. They came RUNNING to us. So the kids and I talked to them and threw in some fresh grass and chicken feed. It was quiet and simple and a nice way to spend time as a family.
Note: These chickens are most certainly well cared for despite schools being closed since March. They are fed, watered and set to graze daily by the ag teacher and her family. They even collect the eggs and hand out to local families in need. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post 🙂