Friday, July 24, 2015

Cucumbers, Pickles, the Garden is a Jungle this Year!

Because my shoulder was feeling awful this spring, I stayed out of the garden. Didn't help with any planting. I was purposefully staying away from any activity that I might get over involved in because that is what I do: I enjoy the moment and then realize later I've hurt myself. So no gardening. My oldest very much enjoys the garden, she likes living things, anything she can watch grow. And she was very involved in the planting so I tend to ask her what in the world do we have here? Because really... what in the world?

cucumbers, kids in the kitchen, whigs & tories strawberry swing top, tea tiger shirt
monster sized cucumbers

It would seem that someone chose "lemon cucumbers" These ones are humongous due to the rain. So in June we picked them before they turned to rot. But when I sliced off a taste they were sour. So we decided to try our hand at refrigerator pickles. Bitsy & Little Hawk were very helpful.

They wanted to cut the slices. Yep she's a lefty. Yep that is a THICK pickle. Yep it ended up tasting fine.

It wasn't the articles that German's let their kids use knives that has me allowing my 5 year old to slice & dice in the kitchen. It was the ones that talked about how kids who are allowed to use a knife (or other tools) have fewer accidents with tools because they learn to be safe with them. I'm supervising - his fingers are far from his knife - he is holding the knife correctly - he is being safe. It is something some of the parents I know (and several social workers I know) should think about. At what age is it really okay, and is it that you don't feel like supervising or is it that you really think it isn't safe to let your kid in the kitchen? He is very proud that he was able to help make the pickles.

kids in kitchen, refrigerator pickles, whigs & tories strawberry swing top
following the recipe

mix it all up then put into Bell Jars
We made these pickles at the end of June. My husband and the 4 older kids were away. They came home July 2nd and we asked them to try our pickles. BIG HIT.

This week K made some for her best buddy & her family.

I cannot find the blog I originally go the recipe from, but here is a similar recipe:'

6 c. thinly sliced cucumber
2 c. thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

we were not exact in our measurements. It seems to be forgiving.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Keeping my hands busy

My family is doing a remarkable job babysitting me, fetching drinks, and medication and sitting with me. We just finished the movie Eragon. I read the book back when it came out, and then each one after as it was released, except for the last one, although my son Dragon, as I refer to him on the blog, has read it. (There was a run in sentence there and misuse of commas!)

And while we are movie watching I have pulled out a very old project to keep my hands busy.  started this when I was 12 and we were living in WiBmansdorf back when it was West Germany. 
crazy quilt, hand embroidery, hand work, embroidery floss
what I'm working on today

I can remember what some of the fabric was for

pink, hearts, scrap quilt, crazy quilt, hand work, hand embroidery
I remember being very proud of that heart!

hand work, hand embroidery, crazy quilt, pink, 1980s, paisley, scrap quilt
I did that paisley at Uncle Dick & Aunt Joyce's house
it was the 1980s. Paisely was a thing.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Been a week!
Monday I received a message from my husband's sister that she was in town, but only until Thursday and she was hoping to see my kids. Mondays are swim meet nights and the kids were scattered so we picked Tuesday. I invited her and her parents over for dinner. As my husband is vegan and his family is not I spent some time figuring out a nice summer menu that everyone could enjoy.

I found this recipe: Easy Vegan Pasta Salad by the Vegetarian Snob
and added roasted veggies with white beans as a secondary dish.
We also had the Crowd Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad from Oh She Glows (minus cashews, my son is allergic to them)
Harris Teeter was running a fund raiser for veterans that involved pies. So we topped off with a blueberry & a peach pie from the Harris Teeter Bakery. This reminds me there may be some in the fridge, I think I'll have some with tea in a bit.

Wednesday I reported to Sentara Hospital for surgery. I had surgery on my left shoulder. It hasn't been right since the car accident in March and Dr. Lambert felt that if he corrected the shoulder then the pain I have had that includes my left arm, my shoulder and my neck would also be corrected. I hope so. I was home before noon and on lots of medication. In between sleeping I watched "American Sniper."

Yesterday I spent mostly asleep, though I did send out a call for books and my neighbors have brought me a library. I'm currently reading "Lowlands" by Jhumpa Lahiri.

I'm a bit stir crazy as not being able to use my left arm is more limiting than I expected. I can't cut because I can't use my left arm to hold things steady. I cant even get the pharmacy bottles open because I can't push with my arm, though I've figured out how to leverage the table.

I do wish I could sew, or that I had some thick wool blend for crotchet or something to keep my hands busy. I suppose I could sketch a bit... maybe I'll go do that

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Sewing

for years I've had this idea in the back of my head... that I would sew & sell clothes and eventually have people help me to sew and sell those clothes. And something clicked this spring and I decided to jump in and see what would happen. So with a friend I created "Whigs & Tories." Then my friend got promoted, found out her baby has some immune challenges and pretty much: bad timing for her to start a new project. So now it is me, and a lady named Heather who does about 1/2 of the sewing.

We have quite the little collection going:

 you can see  more on Instagram

some of our things are only being shown in local locations: Sugar & Spice and Revibe Co. are both businesses in Williamsburg that are showing pieces from Whigs & Tories.

You can also find us on Etsy:

For summer we are offering comfort waist shorts, JonJon's, Pinafore sets with ruffle diaper covers, and classic sundresses. As summer progresses we are starting to plan for fall; A-line jumpers and capris and Holiday clothes are being planned.

and I'm joining Bev's Pink Saturday link-up:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wet dogs - Happy dogs

We are *supposed to be at swim practice. But yesterday logged in at 100+ degrees out and we didn't get out too much so today we skipped the pool to take the dogs to river. It is only in the 80's so they could swim & play and still be able to walk 1/2 mile home without getting too hot.

We are keeping an eye on a friends Malinois this week. I think he is 8 years old. He still has the energy level of most puppies. Luckily he is very happy as long as he has a toy in his mouth, so he runs in circles with his ball while my dog fetches hers. My big black doesn't play fetch much anymore. He'd rather just survey the games from the shade. Honestly, I think the big black is a reincarnated southern gentleman. He would love to spend his day on my front porch, front paws crossed, watching the world go by. In my mind's eye I see an older gentleman in his rocker, with a cigar and his bourbon, sitting on my front porch doing the same thing.

Taking the Malinois to the river was funny. I know he plays in water but maybe not deep water very much. Once he got deep his paddling was very huge splashy front paw movements - he much preferred to stay where he could feel the bottom.

At any rate, all three are quiet for the moment.

it has been ages since I was on the blog so it seems silly to link up, but I'm going to anyway :)
Outdoor Wednesday

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