Monday, June 28, 2010


Happy to report that the garden is coming along nicely... tomatoes are nice and big already and the cucumbers have taken over... but how do I tell when my snap peas are ripe...?  Hmmmmmm...

Too bad I don't have more room than this little spot... I FINALLY have the gardening bug after years of WANTING it and now I don't have much room at all.  Guess it's time to move to the country!  ;)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Raven: 9 Mo Stats

Raven had her 9 month checkup today... yay!  No shots, so that was a little bonus surprise.  (She will have 2 at 12 mo and 3 at 15 mo and then DONE until she is ready to go to school.)
She is at 19 lbs 14 oz (66% percentile), 28 inches long (60th percentile), and an 18" head (40th percentile).  As the nurse stated, being only 2 oz way from 20 lbs, we won't have to worry about whether she meets the weight limit at 12 mo when we are able to finally turn her car seat around.

Raven was good during the visit, as was Julia.  All around it was pretty routine but it's always fun to see where she's at.

Last night Raven crawled a few paces FORWARD... yay!  She did so again this morning... so, I'm sure that soon she will truly be on the move.

Have a lovely day!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Basement Update

I thought I'd send an update on the basement situation...

Monday night, after spending the entire day breathing extremely rank air, we decided to rip up the carpet.  It wasn't drying well at all, a spreading stain could be seen, and I was starting to become concerned about mold.   After calling the insurance company, I found out that due to the nature of the water invasion, insurance wouldn't cover it.  Also, I found out that to have it professionally dried (which was about the only way to actually get it dried), it would cost the same as replacing it... so... up it came.  (See the pictures.)
I had a guy come in this week to check out the drywall, as I was concerned that the water had wicked up into the drywall... we found that most of our drywall in the basement is down to the floor... not good.  Perfect for wicking.  The guy had some good news... if we sawed off the bottom two inches and kept the fans and dehumidifier on it, then most likely we won't have any further issues... but the bad news is that the drywall under the stairs is saturated and needs to come out.  So, poor Adam will be put to work when he comes home from Minneapolis.
After some thinking, I don't plan to fully put carpet back down again.  After talking with a number of folks in town, it may be prudent to paint the cement and bound carpet remnants.  We discussed level cement to level out the basement floor (which as you can see, is pretty scarred), but I was informed that the nature of our floor is meant to slope towards the drain, so it would not be a good idea to level out the floor.

So anyway... well, anyway.  I don't know what more to say right now.  We're packed to the gills in the dining and living room... the dining room is my work office, sewing area, and our dining room... the living room is our TV-watching, relaxing, book reading, and toy playing area... suffice it to say, we're kind of on top of each other right now... not that it's a bad thing, but we're adjusting.  And hey, nothing like water in the basement to say, "Hmm, time to REALLY get out the clutter!"

Oh... and last night... well, last night we had a bad storm and my gardening shed blew apart... more fun.  It's been quite the June!



So Cute at Nine Months!

I wanted to share the picture I took of Raven the day she turned 9 months... how fun!  I set her on the floor that morning and she popped right up onto her knees and gave me a big ol' grin.  Love that girl!

Pool Time!

We had an early summer here, with temperatures reaching well into the 80s near the end of May.  After our trip to Georgia, Julia was adamant that we get out the pool, and little did we know how much Raven would ALSO love to swim.  Both girls love their pool, even though it's a bit small and Julia can no longer lay down in it.  Oh, well... it's all about getting wet no matter what!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Ready for Praise Band

This week I've been helping with opening and closing at VBS at our church, which involves singing.  The last few days, Julia has been standing next to me and I can hear her singing along with the songs... so cute!  So, this morning while we were waiting for the VBS day to start, Miss Alecia started the music and Julia promptly asked for the microphone... and stood on the steps and sang along with the songs... dance moves too!  TOO CUTE!  I think she's ready for Praise Band!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spinning a Yarn...

... literally.
This last weekend, my friend Stacey flew in from Pittsburgh to visit... such a good, good thing for my soul!  We don't see each other nearly enough and before the water had hit, my main goals with her involved hanging out, moving watching, chatting A TON, and knitting. 

Stacey and I had also signed up, along with my friend Chrissy from Cedar Rapids, for a Beginning Spinning class... as in, spinning on a SPINNING WHEEL.  Woohoo!

Earlier this spring I had learned about the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival from the Des Moines Metro Knitters.  The thought of spending the day hanging out around sheep and wool... well, it sounded heavenly to me, and when I mentioned it to my two knitter friends, they both were on board.

So Saturday morning, Stace & I met Chrissy at the festival (what a drive in the rain -- who knew what that would bring at the time!), and we began our class.

DiAnn Boehm was a DELIGHT as a teacher, and she loaded us down with information... so much to the point that one could be overwhelmed if one didn't realize that the information overload was meant in such a way that something would stick in our brains... and it did!  We learned to use drop spindles first (which were part of a goody/materials bag from the class)... how to turn roving into yarn!  DiAnn also taught us how to hand card wool that had been washed and dyed, and then we got to use the spinning wheel.

Spinning wheels hold a fascination for me.  They always looked so interesting to me, but also complicated.  The interest was such that I had a dream of being able to spin... as Chrissy put it, a fairytale of being a spinner... as another friend put it, becoming the likes of Rumpelstiltskin.  While I was excited about taking this class because I wanted to learn to spin, but I also was sure it would put the kibosh on the dream part of it... I didn't think it would be easy.

But... while it wasn't easy, it wasn't hard either, and Lord knows I need another hobby like I need another hole in my head, but I loved it.  I LOVED IT!  I know what I want for Christmas!  We uses spinning wheels made of wheelchair wheels and PVC made by Nels Wiberg - Babe's Spinning Wheel.  What a load of fun!

I CANNOT believe that none of the three of us took any pictures.

I ended up buying a bag of alpaca top roving (BEAUTIFUL!) and then Stacey and I split a bag of washed wool so we had something to hand card and then spin.  We were delighted to spend the day at the festival and ended up walking around and almost buying some goats and sheep.  Lin said Stace couldn't bring home a cat but she didn't say anything about sheep...!  At any rate, Stace and I spent the rest of the weekend developing our plans for starting small with Angora Rabbits and I think if I show enough dedication over the next 10 years, Adam might make good on his "10 year plan".  Ha!  We shall see!
What a fabulous fun day!


Sunday, June 13, 2010


Raven is nine months today...!  Yay!

Raven is crawling backwards now and is able to sit up on her own finally.  Yay for her!  She enjoys her mobility but one can tell that she desperately wants to figure out how to move forward.  She is also big into food... any table food available to her.  And those two teeth of hers... they are coming in further by the day.  Yay!

Just a quick note... more updates with pictures this week and also with doctor's report after her appointment on the 24th.  Fun!


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Ummm... where to start.
Well, it seems that every time my friend Stacey comes to visit (yay, Stacey!), she gets put to work.

Today Stacey and I took a class in beginning spinning at the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival in Adel, Iowa.  We took the class with my friend Chrissy... SO FUN!  We all know what we want for Christmas.
About halfway through the class, Adam called me.  Apparently (FOR THE FIRST TIME), we had water in our basement.  He was trying to figure out how to soak it up and had already (seemingly) fixed the problem... the gutters were clogged.  By noon he figured he had done what he could with the wet vac and decided to head out of town with the girls... something that was already in the plans... and I was hoping to come home to a basement well on it's way to drying out.
Not so, as you can see from the pictures.  After a bit of investigating, Stacey and I had found that the water had wicked into multiple places in the room... requiring mass quantity of furniture moves and basically a COMPLETE UPHEAVAL of our basement.  I can only wonder what Adam is going to say when he gets home tonight... it's been described to him, but I don't think anyone can begin to understand WHAT we did/felt we had to do without seeing it in person... big pieces of furniture are out in the garage (i.e., we took apart the entertainment center because we realized it was becoming water logged and the carpet was soaked underneath)... the TV and sound system have been completely dismantled... my "work desk" is a storage place and I have moved the internet router and computer upstairs... basically, we have one big mess. 
Between Adam, Stacey, and I, we soaked up at least 60 gallons of water today, if not more.  Fans and dehumidifiers are running... Stacey and I needed a break after working our tails off for at least 5 hours...
Here's hoping and praying that the carpet dries out and that the drywall doesn't suffer... and that the rain stays away... ack.

Anyway... so there is the excitement for our weekend!  I have to wonder if Stacey will ever come back again...


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It's not often that I link to my friend's blogs because you can access them easily from the right side of mine... but I had to link this one because I do so love this piece that I made (... it was... 2006) and am so excited to see it framed and hung on a wall!  How fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cucumbers and Tomatoes and Snap Peas, Oh, My!

And green beans and raspberries and gladiolus...

This spring I installed a raised bed over our very-sad-state old garden and we had a dump truck of dirt dropped on the new raised bed... it took a few days of severe miscommunication to explain that we didn't have a means of picking up the dirt... at any rate, it finally showed up and Adam took a picture of it.  How crazy to have a dump truck drive right up and dump the dirt out.

Today I took a picture of my plants... they are happy and doing well!  I am even diligent about weeding and watering... this is new for me... I am not much of a gardener but am trying this year because I know that there are a lot of benefits from fresh produce.  It will be fun to have some fresh veggies later this summer.  Yay!


Almost There

I wanted to post this picture to show how very *close* I am to finish a sweater for Raven... one more inch of ribbing and then all I need to do is stitch up the seams and block it... yay!  I have given myself a deadline of 5 pm tomorrow (to finish the knitting... the rest might take a little longer), so here's hoping I find some time between today and tomorrow to add one more inch and bind off. 

I am making this sweater for her first birthday, mainly for picture reasons, since it will still be a little warm yet to wear a sweater in September, but it should fit her well this winter.  I am excited to post a picture of it when I am done!