Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We did our annual pumpkin hacking and cutting last night and created this motley crew of orbs...

The littlest one is the spouse's creation for baby Ewan. It's actually a spaghetti squash rather than a pumpkin.
Unfortunately I received a call from preschool this morning and Miss Elsie had thrown up. Both Ewan and I were still in our pyjamas, so I hurried and got us both dressed and ran out to the van only to discover that is was covered in frost and apparently there was no ice scraper in it. Eventualy it thawed out and we picked up Elsie. She is extremely disappointed (to tears) that she may miss trick or treating tonight. So far she has not thrown up again and has kept down some dry cheerios and juice. Maybe it was just a morning upset stomach or something... I hope. It she can't go out this evening, she will be a wreck everytime the doorbell rings and some little goblin shouts "Trick or Treat".
On a more positive note, the basement is now completely insulated thanks to my spouse... who was down there until after 11pm last night. Our drywaller, Irwin, is supposed to come tomorrow between 8am and 8:30am to start hanging. I will get excited when I hear some pounding and banging in the basement. Somedays it's hard to get the help to show up... or call. I've been painting away in Elsie's new room. Two walls are done and two to go. It is still full of furniture that will move to the basement soon. Then we have to empty this huge closet before we can paint the floor.
There is light at the end of the tunnel!... and it has Christmas written all over it!... and a finished basement too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fall Bounty from the Farm

We just returned from a quick weekend trip to my parent's farm. Every fall we make apple cider. There are usually 30 or so friends and family, and we have a huge potluck lunch. I think we made 30 gallons this year. The most we ever made was 65 gallons. That was too much... we couldn't even give it away. I also bring back all sorts of farm goodies. The apples are from an apple tree next to an old house. They are very sweet and full of juice. We will be making apple butter out of those.

The walnuts are from a Carpathian Walnut tree. These are from this year and will need to be dried for a few months before they are ready to eat. The shells have such a pretty color.

Here's a close up of the cider. If you drink too much, regularity is NOT a problem... as Miss Elsie discovered. Of course, when you make cider, you have to do a fair amount of sampling while you are grinding and crushing the apples. Elsie did more than her share.

Then there are the gourds! We brought back four grocery bags of gourds...

Mom has a spot next to one of the fields where she started throwing leftover gourds a few years ago. They get chopped up and worked into the ground in the spring by the field equipment. Then they grow and cross breed and grow some more. This is the fifth or sixth year they have been out there, and there are some real strange ones this year...

So Elsie and I decided to bring back a lot to decorate the outside and the inside....

Since the house is still under construction and the dining room is a temporary storage facility, most of the gourds are outside for now. I have some that are still in a bag that I need to find a spot for. I'll post more pictures once we are all decorated.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rainy Day

It's a rainy and cool fall day here in Portland. A good day to work on projects indoors. I did go outside to take a few pictures of my fading flowers and to cut some roses that were in bud.

However, when I went to my rose garden someone had already yanked off the three buds that I was saving! I wouldn't have minded if they took one, but ALL THREE! We've been wanting to move the roses to the front of the house to prevent such flower thievery. I need to make that a priority next year. I grow them to enjoy inside in large bouquets, so the whole house smells of roses. Maybe it's time to prune them all back and switch to arrangements of greenery inside.

On the project side of things, Elsie has requested a Dorothy costume for Halloween. We've been working on it a little each day and it is coming together really well. We picked up the shoes yesterday.

Elsie also outfitted Tinkerbell to match.

Her creative side is already blossoming. Notice the copious use of pins.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My posting is rather infrequent due to the newest member of the family. But here are a few pictures I took the other day. The light was so beautiful in the morning... the warm colored light of fall. The kind of light that indicates a change in the seasons.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Another blanket...

I'm making another small knit blanket for Ewan. The first one turned out really well and is the perfect size for the stroller or car seat. He even naps under it sometimes. The second one will have 4 squares. Then the squares will be joined with a red whip stitch. I'm trying to use up yarn on hand, so I'll wind up with two blue squares, one pale green, and one blue/grey heather.

It's sort of like knitting 4 dishrags....

I thought the red added a nice masculine touch and didn't make the project look so "baby". Even though he is a baby, I didn't want it to be baby specific... in case he wants to keep using it as a little boy. This one will be slightly bigger than the last one... about 24" x 24".
I started some painting in Elsie's new room today. It shouldn't take too long to paint the whole thing. We still have things to move out, but with the basement not far enough along to use, everything is winding up in the dining room...

This is also my make shift sewing/craft area, but I can't use the dining table for cutting because it's full. The electric should be done at the end of this week, and then we can move things into the storage area in the basement. That should alleviate some of the mess.