Wednesday, May 6, 2015


So it has just been a mad dash lately. I'm at school volunteering in fourth grade every other week, and in first grade on alternating weeks. We've transitioned to spring sports and my husband is back on the road which makes the driving a bit tough. Happily my mother helps out twice a week and drives the boys to soccer. My left shoulder is still not healed so it's been off to the orthopedic, and PT, and an MRI (for which they drugged me and wow - I was loopy all day!). I see the ortho tomorrow for results. I was supposed to leave for Fl tomorrow and take the little sister to Disney but there has been a change of plan and we are headed to NJ this weekend instead.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A sweet summer dress for M

Ah, pretty lavender check dress! How sweet! And Mlyons loves it, says it is so comfortable! I haven't sewn in a while and this little pattern, that ought to be straight forward and take less than two hours, gave me a run for my money.

This bit here:

 that illustration 13, they are sort of lifting it up and I just couldn't figure out what it meant.

the pattern tries to tell the sewer that although you've turned the lining and bodice right side out, that you are going to sew front of bodice to back of bodice by turning that section inside out again. I had to sew and rip stitches 4 times to get that. 4 times! Following written directions is not my strong suit to begin with, and I was sewing late on Friday night, but still... 4 times.

She is pleased with it though. So of course it is worth it.

summer dress, lavender, check, seersucker, handmade, dress, children's clothes

kathleen, summer dress, seersucker, whigs & tories, children's clothes, williamsburg

Thursday, April 9, 2015


ah! It is spring in Virginia! *sigh*
I have friends in the North East letting us know it is still snowing and I am grateful that my lawn is covered in cherry blossom petals from the rainstorm last night.

My teenage track champion is not so pleased. "I am trying to run" she complained gasping "and everyone has giant pollen power puff bombs planted in their front yard. I can not breathe."

In truth she cannot. I finally convinced her to let me take her to Urgent Care as she has been sniffling and having sinus headaches for weeks and her mile times are showing that she is not 100%.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

So this happened, and then there was a chicken.

March 17th. Car Crash. Nasty Leprechaun's I *was wearing green!

this is my car! my poor car!

The 8 year old was in the car.
The 5 year old was in the car.
The German Shepherd was in the car.
The Black Lab was in the car.

I dropped my oldest off at Patriot Driving School, just behind the veterinarian there on the corner by the light near Eastern State Hospital. I was driving back towards Newtown and a car came out of one of the cross roads and hit my car. I have never been in a real car crash until now. Fender benders, yes. Air bags deploying, no.

So there I was just driving along. I noted the runner on my left, I'd passed him on my way to the driving school and I saw him again, now on my left, on the way back from the driving school. He was skipping sideways, had longish socks that came half way up his calves, and was wearing ear phones. I'm telling you all this so you know I wasn't off in a dream world not paying attention to my surroundings. And suddenly out of the corner of my eye to my left I see a black fender and it feels like this thing just came roaring out of nowhere and I had enough time to register that and then it hit. Holy Smokes. I kinda wonder what all happened in those nano seconds, I wish there was a camera in the car. Because I literally registered, black vehicle to my left and it is going to hit me, and then the physical sensation of being hit, and then my car was stopped and the horn was blowing and I registered some vaporish thing off the hood of my car and thought "get out." My door was smashed in so I climbed across to the passenger door and got out, and then tried to open the sliding door to get my kids. That wouldn't open so I had them climb into the front to get out.

People materialized out of thin air. Someone called 911. That runner I mentioned came over to see if I needed help. Someone in red/maroon colored scrubs told me I was bleeding, but it was just a small cut probably from the broken glass. There was glass all over my car. I couldn't find my phone. I used someone else's to call my husband in Florida. Thank goodness he answered, he so often does not. He sent a local friend to come pick us up. The woman in scrubs took the laces out of her running shoes to act as leashes so I could get the dogs out. A woman who lived across the street had already scooped up Bitsy into her lap while I was getting Little Hawk and she scooped up Little Hawk and just sat holding them while I got the dogs, talked to police, talked to EMTs.

The EMTs wanted to know who hit the windshield. I think it must have been the dog. Everyone else was in seat belts. Of course they offered to take me to the hospital but I was in full "mom" mode and was not going to be able to calm down until I had all 6 kids back at home. I had already called our neighbor and asked her to pick up the boys from soccer. And I had found a ride for the oldest home from driving school but the middle child was at home getting ready for ballet and expecting me. I needed to get home.

So I did get home. Thanks to friends and coworkers.

The next day my husband asked a coworker to go to the tow yard to get some more photos of the car.

being guarded by a rooster

B. sent pictures of this rooster guarding the car, and hilarious accounts of literally being chased around my car by said rooster. This rooster was absolutely guarding my vehicle.

Then he sent this video which possibly explains why the rooster was guarding the vehicle. If you are sensitive to foul language (no pun intended) be aware that the f-bomb will be said.


He later stated that it appeared that the chicken had found her way into the van and gotten comfortable on top of my bin of dog training items, but couldn't seem to find her way out. So B. literally had to shoo her out and help her along the way!

Tim (husband) was receiving all of these videos and photos while he was out of town at a clients. He happened to see the Geico Commercial with the Free Roaming Chicken and decided to edit his own version. 
When I look at these photos of the car I am amazed that we walked away with only soft tissue injuries. 20 years ago I would not have been able to get out of that car on my own. I can attest that the crash rating on this vehicle is every bit as good as it says it is. The children were not physically hurt. Frightened yes. But the 8 year old got away with only a little neck pain, they did X-rays and her neck was fine. Motrin for a few days and no more complaints. The 5 year old is having nightmares, understandably, but will hopefully work his way through that. As for me, it is taking longer to heal. I'm to see an acupuncturist Friday - I've never done that before. We haven't received the final from insurance as to whether they intend to total the car (and perhaps donate it to the chickens) or attempt to fix it. If they do total it, I'm likely to buy another Honda.

Oh, the man driving the car that hit me seems alright. Do you know how lucky he is?!? Head on collision and no seat belt! But he walked over and shook my hand and asked me if my children were hurt. So I believe he is okay. I hope he is okay. He was on his way to work.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kat's vegan chocolate chip cookies

Kat loves to bake and she's in the kitchen all the time. At one point we even had a little cookie business she experimented with "Kathleen's Kitchen" today she's headed over to her friend's house for a 17th Birthday get together and even though the invite stated "no gifts" Kat didn't want to show up empty handed. So she decided to make cookies. Her friend is vegan. Normally when I bake I substitute flax seed for the egg but we didn't have any in the house. So we did a search on "vegan egg replacers" and found this list on vegan baking first on the list is flax seed but second is chick pea flour. Seriously. Chickpeas. And yes, we actually had some. On occasion Tim visits the Indian Grocer in Richmond and picks up all kinds of stuff, lentils for dahl, amazing rice, and apparently chick pea flour also called besan flour.

So Kat proceded to make chocolate chip cookies following the regular recipe and substituting coconut oil for butter and chickpea flour for eggs. (1/4 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup warm water = 1 egg) She noted that the batter was very moist and thought about adding more flour then decided to cook up 4 cookies and see what happened before she adjusted the recipe.

vegan chocolate chip cookie, vegan cookie, coconut oil, chickpea flour, egg substitute
looks like a chocolate chip cookie

tastes like a chocolate chip cookie... but like it has nuts in it. It does not have nuts in it.
Both taste testers said it tasted just a little bit "healthy" or "wholesome" but overall it was a good cookie.

vegan chocolate chip cookie, vegan cookie, coconut oil, chickpea flour, eggless
all ready for gifting

we found an old cookie tin in the pantry and she wrapped the lid in pretty paper and off she went to celebrate with her 17 year old, vegan, best friend.

Happy Birthday Anna!

It just occurred to me that it is Saturday. I have not participated in a Pink Saturday link up in sometime. I wonder if they are still happening? A quick look at "How Sweet the Sound" blog and yes, yes they are. So I'm joining the pink ladies today:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

automatic phone sync

There are several people in this house.
There are several phones in this house.
Phones with cameras.
And small children who love selfies.
And the phones automatically sync, and if you aren't paying attention, they dump the photos into Dropbox. Dropbox is owned by the company (as is my computer.) So today, looking for a photo for work, I noticed that my son's phone has flooded the Dropbox "photos" folder. There are some photos of his and he would most likely prefer the entire office not see them, but not really anything incriminating (aside from the regular embarrassment of a 14 yr old boys private world on display) but there are literally hundreds of selfies by the 5 yr old. And hundred of pictures of a corner, or a bed, or the floor or whatever...

Little Hawk wuz here

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shenanigans at Great Grandma's

"Silly or High Spirited Behavior"

We have not checked in on Great Grandma recently and I've been feeling badly about that. So tonight we did. I called Rusy her caretaker around 5:30 and said we were finishing dinner and we'd be over within the hour if that suited her. It did. And we went.

It isn't easy to keep up a conversation these days, so we opted for a game of cards. "Go Fish" so that everybody could play. 8 year old Bitsy offered to be on Great Grandma's team.

Great Grandma & Bitsy
That pairing proved to be highly entertaining for the rest of us. Bitsy does know "Go Fish" however Great Grandma was playing her own game. Her winning hand:

Bitsy was in fits of giggles and we kept saying "go with it" so Great Grandma would tell Bitsy to pick up a card, and Bitsy would. Then she'd ask one of us for a 7 because she was still trying to make pairs. 

Little Hawk & Rusy
In Rusy we've been blessed with an additional family member. She remembers when MLyons (now 10) wasn't walking. She loves the children and is essentially an Auntie. The running around to activities keeps us from visiting as much as we should. Which is dumb really. 

this is Pumpkin.
Pumpkin the cat kept turning up under Great Grandma's porch having kittens. So finally Great Grandma's daughter, Grandma, got a hold of her and took her to the vet for shots. I think they spayed her too. She was initially just an outside visitor who would stop by for dinner but over the years she's become Great Grandma & Rusy's cat. 

emptying the kitchen of sweets

Great Grandma likes to make sure the kids have snacks and sweets. She usually has stock of Dove bars but with the weather they haven't been shopping. So Rusy pulled out everything they did have! Edy's Juice ice pops, Pepperidge farm cookies, left over Valentine's candy... I stepped out into the sitting room to speak to Great Grandma and Bitsy stole my phone to take pictures.