Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Paint it Pink

I bought a folding chair at a second hand shop that just cried out to be painted pink.

Patrick primed and spray painted.  Katie stenciled.

squash and bagels 008

Getting started….

squash and bagels 009

Wah-lah! Love it!!

squash and bagels 010

Next we will spray it with clear enamel.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Going Green~Made Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

So , in my efforts to go Greener, I mentioned a couple of posts back that I had found some mesh produce bags for sale at Liked these.  You take these to the grocery store instead of using their plastic bags in the producesection.  They are very light, adding only minimal amount of weight (but you can take your produce out of the bag for weighing also)

mesh bags 

Well, instead of buying them, I went to the fabric store and bought mosquito netting for $3.99/ yd, buying a yard of white and a yard of olive green.  Then I bought 7 yards of cording which was $1.19 yd.  By now, you can see that I have already spent more than what I could have bought them for.  Being emotionally involved in this project now, I do like mine better, tho I don’t have the cute side tabs on my bags.  BUT! I do have Olive Green.

I ended up making 7 bags for $15.  (Amazon has 5 for $11.00, or is it $11.99?)

 mesh bags 002

One of my bags is two toned, having used what was left of each color to make the 7th bag (I had no waste, either).  They are 17 inches long by about 15 inches wide.

When the cording didn’t handle nicely as the drawstring, I found some ~*PINK*~ Nylon shoe laces (swoon) in a drawer and slid them through 4 drawstring sleeves. I used a length of white cotton yarn for one drawstring, but I’m really not satisfied with the thickness.  Maybe I’ll braid a cord out of it. 

mesh bags 003

SO, if you want to make them for the fun of it, don’t buy cording as it drives up the cost.  Braid some lengths of cotton yarn (comes in a ball for about $1.30-ish).  Use any 42-in+ shoe laces you may have laying around, but be smart about this, please.  We don’t want you or your big-footed teenage sons falling out of your shoes.  *;-.)   (I know I have now taken all the fun out of it)

Just my Green 2c

mesh bags 004 
Nice, yes?

I Have a Problem

My sister, Kris, the NASA geek, came for a visit in March and mentioned the Sesame Street Yip-Yip Martians. You remember them, yes?  The detective shows up at the empty house, looks around and has determined, in great detail, that the Martians have been having a birthday party in this dining room. His partner has determined that the detective has gone off the deep end.

Or the Martians are at the window when the phone rings and they go…..”BBRRRRIIIING! yip yip yip yip yip yip!”


Well, I’m walking around my house going “yip yip yip yip yip” alla time now, too, especially when the answer is “yes.” And forget it when the phone rings…I’m a gonner..”BBRRRIIIINNNGG! yip yip yip yip yip yip.”  Thanx, Kris.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Katie’s Paint-by-Number pictures

Katie had a birthday recently and she always wants a new Paint-by-Number.  She got 3!!  Here are two completed projects. 

pepperoni potatoes 003

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going Greener

going green

Well, I have learned that I have enough reusable bags for those days when my grocery cart is full!!  One day, recently, at the checkout, the girl just came unglued when I had my own bags and she totally forgot how to bag. I am not kidding.  It, like, paralyzed her mentally.  I bagged it all myself.

Kroger grocery stores gives you a 3c credit for every re-usable bag you bring. They can handle it.

I have bought Stainless Steel water bottles (we avoid aluminum for autism reasons) for everyone in my family in an effort to do away with plastic throwaways. 

water bottles 001

l-r Buddy’s, which says, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat”
Mine, which is bronze colored, Kaie’s is Royal blue and Mary’s is Dark Rose.  Patrick has his water bottle with him at Scout Camp—Camo patterned, naturally.

No curbside recycling in Toad Suck.  Not sure if we even have a re-cycling center here in Arkansas.

I have considered bringing a brown paper bag for those days when I happen to get something from the deli counter in an effort to avoid the plastic bags which litter the earth.  Yes, I could make my own deli, but, chicken and turkey don’t come in big boneless hunks to cut on your meat slicer. 

I am also looking at some mesh bags for produce. There is a set of 5 for $11. 

mesh bags

Now I could probably make them, but, dang, it’s one more thing to do!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Going Green

this post will be featured at the Latter-day Homeschool blog on Monday, June 14. This is the unedited version, meaning more fotos


Watching the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just made me sick.  I could only think of the Lord’s warning regarding the “evil and designs of conspiring men”  in these last days.  But it was also a wake up call for me about the importance of “going green.” 

I am not an activist, by no means.  I don’t march on D.C.,  don’t send letters to my Senator (yet) and have never made the journey on a Greenpeace boat. I am a shop-a-holic with more plastic Wal Mart bags than anyone in Arkansas.  It looks like I intend to die with the most bags and win.  But this….the oil leak, struck a chord in me. It’s time to consider going a little more green, one baby step at a time.  My children are watching. 

My first baby step in going green was to buy re-usable bags, and actually ~*take them with me*~ when I went shopping. I happened upon several, by chance, at the dollar store (I was originally planning to just add to my collection of plastic bags with my purchases). They had PINK ones <swooning> and a blue one with a Pink Flamingo!! (for the story about why I have a thing for Pink Flamingos, go here). There was a canvas bag with Pink trim….oh!!! 

Progress Report: I have taken all of my bags with me into the store 5 times!!!!  And today I bought another canvas bag with blue trim.  My kids now take the bags right back out to the van after we put groceries away without being told.  <gasp>  We truly must be getting greener.  While it is true I shop frequently, please understand, I combine my shopping with other reasons for going into town. We do the “green” thing. Believe me, if we lived in town, we would have bikes.

Did you know you can use your old, worn tires for growing potatoes?  Put your soil in the center, add your potato seed and grow “up.”  Add more soil and stack another old tire (as many as three tires) as the greenery grows. At harvest time, you will have potatoes in there…. The kids and I tried to grow peanuts in a tire once, but it ended up as a condo for a Red Ant community instead.  A couple of peanut plants grew with a few peanuts on them (I am convinced that central Arkansas is built upon a massive Red Ant civilization and they are battling to take back their ground from the humans). I will try again, move the Ant condo, I mean, the peanut tire garden, to another part of the yard.

I have found a few “green” links for you:

The Daily Green Tips

I picked up a book from the Library,
 “Ddo one green thingo One Green Thing’”
by Mindy Pennybacker.  I browsed through it and found some suggestions were so simple, advice on what fish to avoid due to over-fishing, when to buy organic and when not to bother, natural cleaner recipes and many more topics.   I’m going to buy this.

Homemade Laundry Soap.  I have made this twice and love it.  I use Ivory Soap in this recipe.  I am not a fan of the fragrance of Ivory soap, but the scent does not get into your clothes while washing.  They come out smelling fresh and clean.

We re-cycle our newspaper and make gift wrap.  We use spray paint, acrylic paint, stamps and stamp pads.  We did this for a Homeschool Group activity.

I liked the suggestions at Simple Mom, 40 ways to go green, and realized my family is greener than I thought.  We shop at thrift stores, grow our own herbs, have a compost area, not that we actually ~use~ our compost because we…um…forget to stir it up, but we have one…and *wow,* you should see what’s growing out it it!

arrowcompost 002

I think this is a butternut squash plant.  Isn’t it beautiful, whatever it is?

Readers  is a favorite site for just about anything.

We considered adding a wind turbine to our home so I googled “Wind turbine kit”; this page of links came up, which included a link for Wind Turbine science kits.  Cool…..homeschool project!!

I needed a planter for my Zebra Grass, so I dragged in an old stainless steel spare tire cover that hung on the back of someone’s old van.  You would never know it.  However, I do live in a high lightning strike area and since my zebra grass got hit once, I wonder if the “planter” was an attraction?  hmmmm

I don’t know, do something crazy; Google “going green” and see what comes up. I have discovered that going green can be cool and can be done one step at a time, line upon line…..hmmm..have we heard that somewhere?  If we want our children to turn out better (and greener) than we ever were, we have to do better ourselves.  (Train up a child in the way he should go….) We’re better at being green than I thought.  How about you? Were you “green” before “going green” was cool?


Sunday, June 13, 2010

I’ve made a decision…

I’m not going to be the black sheep of the family anymore.

pink sheep(

online foto from

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Zebra Grass

 I love Zebra Grass.  I love the tall blades of green with it’s yellow stripes.   Would you believe my planter is an old spare tire cover that used to hang on the back of…someone’s…

flowers and zebra grass 007

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Katie’s Birthday, June 7

katie's birthday 001

Katie loves to open her presents.  Yes, the Christmas Tree is STILL up (this is our record so far) and we placed her gifts under the tree over night.

katie's birthday 004

We have gone a little green, decorating newspapers for gift wrap.  We had lots of fun decorating boxes and newspapers for Christmas at a Homeschool group activity.

katie's birthday 012

Proud of her cake and  choices of candles; one squiggly candle for a good year.

katie's birthday 015

Patrick holding a sheet of paper over the AC vent.  LOL   See, we had to take Katie's birthday cake into the kitchen to light the candles because the ac vent kept blowing our our matches. We got them lit, started toward the dining room, singing “happy birthday”  to Katie, set it down on the table and the AC blew most of the candles out!   LOL
Start over…

katie's birthday 016

A soft gentle breeze….but it needed more now that she is older

katie's birthday 017

blowing a little harder (no help from the AC vent)

katie's birthday 019

She wears her birthday crown all day long.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

At nearly 50, I have learned something about myself

I was contentedly picking Sugar Snap Peas the other day,  just thinking thoughts, when I realized something peculiar about myself.



I like to spell.  I do it in my head without thinking about it, an unconscious thing.


So know this, my friends, if you use multi-syllable words around me in conversation, I am spelling it in my head.



spelling bee


Chocolate Cake?! I Think NOT

So my Chocolate Cake was more like….a crumbly, Chocolate flavored Plaster of Paris.  It probably would have been better suited to make a sculpture of Louis Armstrong blowing on his trumpet instead of trying to eat it. Satchmo!!! 

Louis Armstrong

Here is what makes great Chocolate Plaster of Paris:

3/4 cup butter flavored crisco
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Allspice
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups Almond milk

My thanks to Better Homes and Gardens cook book for this recipe.  I shall remember where to turn when I want to sculpt the Jazz greats.  Maybe we’ll do this for a homeschool unit. Hmmm….

We shall try again. FLAMBO!!