Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome to our Chocolate Shop



Hello! I finished painting the kitchen cabinets last week, but just now got around to shooting some photos.

I love our chocolate beam. It's a vintage beam we picked up because previous owners had knocked out the beam for some mysterious reason. It wasn't vital for support, but looked very odd with the whole it left in the counter top.


The cupboards just make me want to eat chocolate brownies with a cup of coffee... all the time.

I'm so glad this project is done! It was so time intensive, but it makes it so much more pleasant to be in the kitchen. The next house project will have to be the hallways...

Things I'm hoping to Cook up Soon:
-fried green tomatoes (Oona keeps stealing green tomatoes from the garden so I've got to do something with them!)
- veggie pot pie (I haven't tried making one yet and I think I'm just going to wing it... I'll let you know how it turns out.)
- pesto pasta (It's time to use up the rest of the basil in the garden.)
- summer squash soup (I haven't tried this yet, either, but I have tons of squash to use up.)

I'd love to hear what you're cooking too!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting for the Season to Turn


It's that time of year when I start daydreaming about cooler weather, flannel shirts, pumpkin butter, and changing leaves. I know it will be here sooner than I expect, but something in me always wants to hurry it to be here all the sooner. I love keeping a garden and swimming, but I'm not one for the heat. It slows me down considerably. I feel my cognitive and creative abilities suffer dearly in the summer. I just want to sit on the porch and sip some lemonade, but even that seems too much of a task sometimes.

I made myself take a walk this morning with Oona because I've been feeling so sluggish, and I saw those hints of rusty orange creeping into the trees on the mountainside. I also felt a gentle breeze that made me think perhaps these long hot days will be coming to an end. Please. I am an Autumn girl. I do my best with a little chill in the air and color in the mountains. I suppose I will have to wait patiently for the season to turn but at least I know it is not far off when I look at the lovely pumpkins popping up here and there. And I can begin to think of Halloween costumes, hot apple cider, cornstalks on the porch and picking wild apples.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What We've Been Growing

We've been growing...

morning glories on the wagon wheel...

sunflowers taller than the porch...

long legged babies and sun shades...


a garden full of lovely things to eat and weeds galore...


sunny cherry tomatoes that are oh so good...

flowers, and spice and everything nice...

There's more too, I'm sure. What have you been growing?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Something Crafty

With all the house projects and summer fun I've been posting about, it might seem like I'm not crafting anything these days. Well, it's true, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for making things, but I always try to keep at least one or two projects going on in the background. I recently decided to start a granny sampler using the lovely cotton yarn you see in the basket below.

It's my first attempt at an afghan, and I'm learning most of the squares as I go. I'm using the book "200 Crochet Blocks" by Jan Eaton for my squares so they'll all be the same size, which will make it easier to assemble. I'll probably only do five different style squares, but I'm hoping it will help me get better at crochet and better at reading crochet instructions. If I do a little each day, maybe I'll have a blanket come the winter.

Lately I've been taking on more long term projects that I use to shy away from because of the time commitment. But, having a wild little girl running around makes everything take a lot longer, so I may as well just do something that's suppose to take a long time, and then I won't feel guilty when it takes me forever to finish it. I'm also just starting on a twin size quilt for Miss Oona's big girl bed. I'd like to have it done for her 2nd birthday, but realistically it might not get done until her 3rd birthday! (No rush, she doesn't actually sleep in the big girl bed.)

I've also got a dozen holiday and birthday projects spinning around in my head. I usually start out with a very long and untidy list of things to make, that has to get slimmed down considerably to fit time and sanity constraints. It's still hot and sweaty out, but I know Fall is just around the corner, and there's much to do.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hot Chocolate and Strudel

We've been busy bees repainting our kitchen cabinets this past week. Yikes, talk about a commitment. They're still not finished! Our cabinet set is massive... about 23 doors top and bottom and heaps of shelves. They were white when we moved in, and as a result, always looked dingy. They drove me crazy for the last four or five years or however long we lived here. Also, because the hardware had been painted over and they had been painted so many times, they never shut properly. Hopefully that will be remedied with some new magnets we picked up.... why we didn't think of magnets sooner, I have no idea. We had to take off all the doors and strip down the hardware... Jake pulled an all nighter doing that part... way more work than just painting the walls. I'm currently working on painting the interior, which is happening in stages because all the contents need to be removed. The colors we picked are "hot chocolate" and "strudel". Yum! They are perpetually making me hungry, but at least they won't show dirt so glaringly as they did in white. The walls are still blue, and our dining room is cream, green and a pinkish red. It looks very"Black Forest" to me, like a kitchen that should be inside a cuckoo clock. I'll post a photo when they're finished. Golly, I do wish they were finished!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Arts and Craft Time

Hello! Just wondering if anyone out there has any arts and crafts suggestions for the toddler crowd? Oona has already begun to explore crayons, homemade play dough, and watercolors made from berry juice. My mom just gave me a fabulous teachers guide for children's arts and crafts, but most of the projects will be better for when she's older. Any ideas? Any blog suggestions? I'm trying to cut back on her cartoon addiction. She loves this British show called "Kipper" about a dog and his pals. It is pretty cute, but I don't want her to be a cartoon junky.

P.S. The cute owl place mat in the top photo was a gift from my friend Jenna.
P.P.S. The house is quiet right now. Oona is sleeping. Jake is practicing with his new band. It is a strange experience. Seldom do I get to hear my own thoughts echo against my brain.

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Old Couches

We've had a sad history with couches. The two that we've had in our seven years together have been on their last legs and fallen apart on us. The last one was just a metal frame dorm style futon couch. It was good in that it could double as bed for overflow guests, but the metal lattice work underneath started to come apart and then one of the legs started to split. Our first couch was a fifteen dollar impulse buy from a tag sale when I was still in college. I didn't even have an apartment when I bought it. Whoops. It too disintegrated and fell apart. More on that couch in a minute. So the plan was to save up and buy a new couch, but sticker shock and lack of good options was making us wait. Finally, the couch(es) came to us. My parents were given a family couch made by a great grandfather, I believe. They didn't have a place for it so they brought it up here. The seat was worn and the it wasn't very comfortable so we added some foam and covered the seat in new fabric. I also made two large pillows that match the curtain I made a while back.

The other couch, the one with the burgundy/wine/ maroon color had been in the store for a while, and we are taking it on loan. We also recovered it with the fabric you see above and used the old gold couch pillows from our first couch for backing.

So, now we have a couple of couches that look almost respectable for once. Wow!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Queen of the Berries

One of the lovely things about living in VT is that there are lots of places to hunt wild berries. This comes in handy when you have a little girl who can devour pounds of them by the second. So, in order to keep this little one fed, we've been dragging all our visitors on berry hunting missions.

Our little helper ate all of the berries Mama picked. It was a good thing I was not the only one picking berries! Okay, I lied, Mama ate one or two too.


Master pie maker, Jake, turned these blackberries into a tribute pie for our dear Terrapin who is still MIA.

Yes, Jake is wearing my apron, a master pie maker doesn't ask questions, he just puts on the apron his wife hands him.


It's hard to see in the picture, but there is a kitty in the center surrounded by two moons and a heart. My heart is still very broken over Terrapin. Sometimes I forget, and I think of him as just out on a walk, and then it hits me that he may never be back, and the tears won't stop.

Here are some funny names we like to call Terrapin, so I don't end this on a totally sad note:
- the Pin
- Pindaloo
- Little White Paw (of course!)
- Mr. Pin
- Pooka
- Stinkerpin (that's when he's being a brat)

*his name means "land turtle", if you didn't already know that

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Serious Artist

My darlin' girl is really blossoming as an artist. There was a time when she didn't seem all that interested in coloring, but now she'll do it anytime and anywhere! Look at my beautiful window sill! I love the color palette. I'm not sure I can bare to wash it off.

I promised myself I wouldn't post any pics of Oona on the potty, but this one just illustrated my point too well (pun intended). And do you see the purposefulness in those scribbles? Magnificent! And look at that expression! "How dare you interrupt me, Mama, while I'm at work?" I guess the ball in her lap helps her think. Hmm. I will not be crushed if she decides to choose a different path than her Mama, but I'm enthused to see that she is at least appreciating drawing in the now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August

August, I know I am suppose to welcome you, but you are too hot for me, and I will be counting the days to September. At least there will be some blueberry picking and hopefully some swimming to get us through it.

In other news, there is no news on Terrapin. Sigh. I miss holding him, his friendly love bites, the way he gave gnome kisses/nuzzles. He was really the best of all cats. I am probably in a huge denial right now, hoping against hope that he will return us, despite news of other cats in the area disappearing and sightings of a fisher.

Despite all this life keeps spinning me a long... one giant wheel just rolling. We've been tackling house problems... digging into the great unknown of our cupboards... trying to figure out, where the heck did that come from? I'd really would love to get rid of at least half of all we own. Anyways, time for bed for me!