Monday, April 27, 2009

Photoshop Landscaping

We've been doing lots of stuffing the backyard and there is tons more to do - but no matter what we do to the yard, the ugliest part is looking back at the house from the back of the lawn... SO... my next major project, after putting in my veggie garden, will be to pretty up the back of the house. It's a small brick house, not much going on except all of our crap piled up beside it....

Here is a shot from yesterday- kids playing and all...

Notice the gas grill we never use (cause it's currently not working) and the riding lawn mower that has killed all the grass around it's parking spot...

Well, here is what I did in Photoshop last night... It's not and exact representation of what I want but its pretty close with my PS capabilities.

The veggie garden will be behind the picket fence, the blobs are flagstone and will extend into a walkway to the way back of the yard, and I have no idea what plants will go in, but most likely roses or something else climbing....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ground Beef Sunday

So - it's raining today - all day so far. No gardening for me today. My big plan for today is to cook and prepare all the ground beef I have in my fridge... Unfortunately I just don't feel like it! But I will do it before the giant amount of pink meat turns gray and goes to waste.

I think I will make some meatballs to freeze - probably two freezer bags full. And possibly prepare a lasagna to bake tomorrow or the next day. And I have to make something for dinner tonight.... Oh what to make? I can't decide between patty melts and meatloaf. I think I just decided that patty melts will be easier... so patty melts it is!

(By the way - I'm only writing this because I'm bored and waiting until nap time starts in 20 min... both kids are currently occupied with Baby Einsteins).

Here are my steps:

Big bowl - lots of meat.
Add eggs (already whisked)
Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic salt, oregano, whatever else I find that matches
Add breadcrumbs
Remove wedding rings and mush mush mush
Roll into balls
Put more breadcrumbs into a bowl or plate
Coat balls with crumbs
Put onto wax paper lined cookie sheet(s) - or just onto the metal
Freeze separately for at least an hour or so
(this is so they don't stick together in the bags)
The put into freezer bags, lay flat in freezer
When ready to use, pull out, open bag, defrost in microwave
Cook and eat!

Ok - I had to stop there. As I was typing and Nola was watching Baby Einstein's on the couch she started screaming and crying about her finger... I finally figured out that she bit her own finger. Yes, that's right... bit her own finger and then was shocked by the outcome. Brilliant thinking on her part. And apparently she bit it rather hard. And I think she did it on purpose.

So, now she's sleeping and I'm off to put the baby to bed then on to my ground beef marathon....
See Ya!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hosta Transplant Project

I have these big hostas in my front flower bed. Some of them are an okay size, the other just get way too large. They killed both of the plants beside them last summer. And they just hang way to far over the actual border of the bed - so my husband ends up mowing over their leaves. So I decided this spring to dig up the really large ones and move them to the back yard. I've been slowly but surely beautifying the way back part of our yard. Two years ago or more I build a wall and a bed around our big pecan tree. Then I had two kids and it sat. I trimmed the honey suckle tree and planted some tulips, pulled weeds and trimmed the ivy from the fencce - but not much else. So this is my summer to pretty up the back yard. I already started by planting the bed around the tree last weekend - red tulips, white dusty millers, and a white flowering sedum. It should all look really good once it grows in.

So anyway - to day I transplanted the hostas. Here is a picture of the two that I dug up from the front (with the help of the husband, a little).

Here is the smaller one, which is still rather large and the leaves haven't even uncurled yet!

Here's just another shot of the two before the splitting process began. I had hoped to get 6 plants out of the two I dug up in order to plant 3 on each side of the circular tree bed (mainly to hide the corner joints of the wall - cause I'm not exactly a professional wall builder).

Here's me, splitting the hosta with a long shovel. This was so much harder than I thought! Word to the wise - if you have good growing hostas, split them before 4 years of growth... Man do they get solid! I would say it took me about 2 hours (with Cayce's help at the end) to split the two plants up....

But, I got EIGHT plants out of those to giants! Actually, nine... but the ninth is only one leaf tooth, it fell off and I planted it anyway.
Here is a section after the split:

And here's me planting the newly split hostas

Job completed! Here is the view form the right side of the yard....

And here is the view from the left....

Another successful day in the yard.... This is free gardening at it's best. Kirk says I should start a show called Ghetto Gardening (cause I'm trying to do my yard as best I can on as little money possible!) Oh, he's funny! But he sure will be happy once the yard looks nice and the cost was small.

Well, I broke my hand shovel and I need a longer hose, so off to the Home Depot I go!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crocheted Baby Rattles

Today I made something for the first time in a while... crocheted baby rattles. I got the idea from my sister, Cayce - who got the idea online somewhere....
So here's what I did (with lots of pictures):

I started with this bright colored baby yarn

I crocheted rows across to make a long rectangle:

Here it is folded over, so you can see how long it was:

Then I sewed the long sides together to make a tube:

I just crocheted the two sides together all the way down:

Then I looked for some sacrificial toys (ones the kids no longer play with or ones that are just past their prime). Also, another idea from Cayce, I found ones with the bells, rattles and squeaky things inside to harvest:

The lovely caterpillar above offered up his internal organs for my crafting experimentation. He contained lots of stuffing, a squeaker, the crinkle sound makers AND a bell!

And a mystery was also solved. What do they put into baby toys to make that crinkle sound? Well my friends, it's stuffing wrapped in plastic tape! How simple is that? Here is a crinkle sound maker:

So then I stuffed the tube with the toy guts:

Then I sewed the ends of the tube together to make the ring.
Here is one of the rattles, this one squeaks:

I made two, one that has the rattle bells inside and one that squeaks - they both also have the crinkle noise in them as well:

I included my hand so you could see the size of them, they're rather large. (Ignore my lack of upkeep in the nail polish department.)

So this is what I did today. Tomorrow we will see if the baby actually likes them.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Random Stuffs

Still having a hard time getting back into writing here... Not too sure why. But here are some things going on lately.

Kid Stuff:
Nola is almost all the way potty trained. I've even been brave enough to take her in the car and to the store with underwear (and no pull-up) on. And so far, no accidents. She went potty at Walmart for the first time yesterday (first time in public anywhere). Sadley though, after she was finished she was running out of the stall in excitement and ran smack into a plastic changing table that someone had left down in the main part of the restroom. She was face level to it and was running forward while looking backwards, as kids will stupidly sometimes do. She hit her head and then went down on the tile floor - BAM! Lots of tears and crying. So much for our milestone! But the water that appeared for her 'like magic' when she washed her hands made her feel much better.

I think we will move her into a toddler bed soon. I think we're doing it a little later than some people do anyway. But in order to continue down the potty training road, she has to be able to get out of bed to go. Unfortunately that will allow her much more freedom than I want her to have. This will begin the stage of getting out of bed over and over.... But I guess it's what has to be done. I can't very well have grade school kid locked up in a crib (althought that would be nice).

Logan is a giant. He has his two front bottom teeth already and is now getting some top ones. The front two, you ask? Oh, no. The next ones over. Great! Now he's gonna look like a big doofus for a month or more with a gaping hole in the front of his mount. I'm not even sure this is normal? I thought the front two were always the first to come in... oh well.

And speaking of teeth, his lovely older sister has bit him twice now! The first time was because he had a death grip on her hair and it was her way of escape. She got a 'talkin to' but no real trouble because she was defending herself in a way. But today she just walked up to him, lifted his hand to her mouth and bit down on his little finger! I was SO mad! The she bit Kirk. The time-out spot has been kept warm by her ass today!
We finally got around to spiking Logan's hair up today too. He looks so cute! Here's a pic of him with his new do:

Garden Stuff:
I have been in great turmoil over what to do outside this year. We have thrown around the ideas of moving and staying so much. Well, we've finally decided to just stay for a while... maybe another 2 years. It's small but once we get them sharing a room and what not we will be good for a couple of years. We got such a good deal on the house and I don't want to scrifice that because of the economy. So we will just stay and pay down the mortgage, make due with our small space and hopefully it will all pay off when we buy the mansion of our dreams (HA!). So, anyway, back to gardening.... Now that we know we will be here I feel good about gardenign in the yard... I won't have to leave all my plants and work behind so soon. I want to have a vegetable garden this year. An inground garden. And I want to plant lots of plants and flowers so we can have a nice view out back.... (If anyone feel like getting dirty feel free to come on by this summer and help out with our projects.) My tulips are blooming and it just inspires me to plant plant plant! I will have to make a plan and a design... then price out all the projects that are actually possible. I want to do so much back there! I would love to demo our concrete slab patio and put in a nice level deck or stone area.... Kirk would get to use a jack hammer on that one - he'll like that! Obviously if we do anything major I will document it in photos... Here are some backyard pics from today.

Other Stuff:
Our medical debt/bills are all now offically paid off! Having two kids and a few other incidents really adds up! Especailly when you don't have the best medical insurance.... But we are now free of all medical bills! And since I don't plan on having another baby this year we should be in the clear in that department for a while!
Our Home Depot debt is also gone (from redoing the bathroom, kitchen floors, and refinishing our hardwood floors last spring). So Hello! garden center at Home Depot! Just kidding!

Ok - enough random stuff for today... here are a few other random pics:

My mother-in-law's birthday was the other day and we had her over for home made lasagna and a home made birthday cake. (as in, I bought the box and mad eit at home) Since I have flowers on the brain I decorated it liek a giant flower!

My rose (from the clipping) is doing fabulously!

And we got to meet our niece, Elena, last week for the first time. Kirk's brother was in from MI and brought the family! Elena isn't allowed on the internet, but I thought the side of her head and her ear would be okay... Nola was in love!