Doh-dee-mime Success!

Well, this week’s storytime provided me plenty of reasons to chuckle.

Remember last week’s storytime?

This week was pretty much the polar opposite. The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the library with Hula Girl was a brand-spankin’-new poster, the size of the window in the door, stating:

Our Storytimes have Changed!

Bumblebees (0-15 months) Mondays at 10

Time for Tots (15 months – 3 years) Tuesdays at 10 and 10:30

Something Cutesy that I can’t Remember (3-5 years) Wednesdays at 10

Yes, they reprinted the poster, made it about 4 times as large, and stuck it right there on the front door of the children’s wing. Teehee.

The next thing that made me feel giddy was today’s handout. The theme listed at the very top was “Quiet” and the sign language showed the sign for quiet. Our books for the day were The Quiet Book and Shhhhh. I am pretty sure Miss Kirsten was planning to follow last week’s “Noise” theme with this week’s “Quiet” theme anyway, but it just made today’s theme seem so ironic.

There was one part of storytime that frustrated me- the loud discussion held by some moms prior to the start of storytime. They were talking about last week and how one mom’s children were the ones to blame for the pandemonium. I will admit, one mom did bring in 4 of those boys over 4, but that does not mean that the other moms then have the right to discuss her parenting style, children’s behavior, or rights without her present. I think I have not noticed much “mom gossip” because I have intentionally kept Hula Girl and myself mostly at home during her life (even though I am well aware that it exists everywhere- after all, these are the same ladies with whom we all went to high school and if gossip reigns there, why would it stop when we all grow up?). It just really bugged me that these ladies felt the need and the right to have that very demeaning conversation right then and there, including acting out scenes and pretentiously describing “What I would have done….” Sigh. Women, who should be kind and patient with one another, and who should be able to lean on each other for advice and ideas about raising these kiddos, are just plain cruel sometimes.

Anyway, on with the success part.

Hula Girl participated! She has always been a watcher and observer at storytime. Each week we sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” and do the hand motions. There is also a “Let’s get Ready for Storytime” song. I have tried to move her arms and hands along with the others for a while now, but she isn’t really interested. However, all this week, she’s been wanting to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” at home and she’s been practicing the hand motions. We do it at every meal, and at least 10 other times throughout the day. Apparently all that practice boosted her confidence, because when it was time for “Twinkle, Twinkle”, she was ready. She had her little hands up and made the best little diamond she could possibly make. It looked like she was clenching her fists together, but she tried!

And when it was time to get the shakers, she walked over to Miss Kirsten but didn’t take a shaker. Evie asked her mom to come with her, and I suggested that she show Hula Girl what to do. She happily agreed, but then Hula Girl still wouldn’t reach in and take one. I had to go help her with that. I think next week, given the opportunity, she’ll know what to do. But when it was time to put the shakers away, I said, “Go put your shaker back in the box!” and she ran over there and put it in, then danced in the middle of the carpet until I asked her to come sit down. That’s my girl!

Of course, she chose her same spot, on the “U”.

After the official storytime was over, we were coloring (again-success! Hula Girl got to color as long as she wanted- she didn’t try to stick a crayon in her mouth!) and the moms were talking more than usual. Another mom and I were talking to Evie’s mom about her pregnancy (she’s due in June). The other mom has an almost-2-year-old boy. She is new to the storytime, but she was very friendly and outgoing. I finally got up the courage to talk a little more to her after we got out of the storytime room, and I asked her how she meets people and/or finds activities in the area, since we’re new and I’ve had very little success. She said she’s newer and has faced the same struggles, and that she’s thinking of just starting her own playgroup. YES! She’s also a member at the Y (we’re planning to become members soon, too), and she said there’s a lot going on there. Another YES!

We exchanged numbers and she just texted me asking if we want to join her and her son for a picnic at the playground after next week’s storytime (weather permitting)! I am very very excited, since this is our first real planned “playdate” since we’ve moved here. I sure hope the weather stays nice like it has been for a few weeks.

So, all in all, doh-dee-mime success. Wouldn’t you agree?


Have you missed me?

We moved! and, we moved. 😦

We Moved!

Jonathan got a new job in a bit larger town. So, we packed up our little life and got out of our tiny little house ASAP. Moving this time around was quite disastrous. I just had no motivation to pack, and we did things in such a random manner that I am still unpacking boxes and finding “homes” for our belongings. And yes, we moved two, almost three, weeks ago. Sigh.

There are many exciting features of our new location, not least of which is the shopping opportunities afforded here. Let me be clear: while WalMart is still our closest store, we do not have to shop there unless we want to! Now we can choose between 3-4 other large supermarkets, all of which carry-get this- organic foods! Hooray! It would have been so much easier to live here when I was on a total elimination diet during the winter. I could have gone shopping and eaten more than just… well, never mind. We are just really excited to shop for foods that are wholesome and fresh again.

Another perk: our house is officially large enough to store all our belongings inside! We don’t have to rely on an old chicken coop any longer! In all honesty, we have had to put some of our things (my old teaching stuff and some books) under the house in the crawl space. And our garage is a nightmare. But it all fits inside, and that is what we were going for!

I can even cook, clean, read, watch a movie, facebook, blog, exercise, and entertain company… all outside the confines of our bedroom! Our last house was so small that when we had guests over, they had to go outside or into our bedroom during Hula Girl’s naps, just so she wouldn’t hear us and wake up early. I diced veggies for soups and stews on the bedroom floor. I did yoga in the 25 square feet available between the foot of the bed and two dressers. I watched movies with the headphones on while lazing in bed for hours on end… because it was too cold to go outside in the winter. But not any more! All three bedrooms are upstairs, and I have ample cooking, dining, entertaining, exercising, and relaxing space downstairs. Now the only reason I laze in bed is that I stayed up too late the night before and I just.don’

We moved. 😦

Okay, our move has not been all sunshine and peaches. (Or colorful leaves and pumpkin spice, if you’re going by seasons. Which I am. So leaves and spice it is.)

First, we miss our old neighbors dearly. They are some of the best folks walking around on this planet. I had so much fun with them, and they never thought my exuberance was too much. Unless you count that one day I had caffeine in my latte on accident. But for real, they are awesome, and we miss ’em like heck.

Next, we haven’t made any friends. In fact, we’ve kind of made enemies. I don’t want to go into details, but we’ll never be BFFs with anyone living on our block. And it’s because… drumroll, please… we’re white. I thought prejudice was the other way around? You know, like the white slave owners, Rosa Parks, and all that? Isn’t that the whole point of things like affirmative action and equal opportunity employers? I haven’t really ever experienced anything like this before, where someone doesn’t like me for something that has nothing to do with my personality. I’ve dealt with that plenty of times (can you imagine!? lol). This one is just hard for me to take. I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to reason it out. I’ve been thinking, praying, and talking to Jonathan about it for a few days now, and I can’t seem to figure out what to do or how to help the situation. Any ideas appreciated.

Our final downside is another delicate situation. This time, with our landlord. Let’s just say that he doesn’t appreciate that I have anything to say or think, since I am not a man. Um, ok.

But we’re okay with things the way they are. The house itself is lovely and we’re thoroughly enjoying it. Hula Girl is especially excited to be here, since she can run and run! There is just so much more space than in our last house. She is also enjoying the extra exercise from climbing up and down the stairs all day long.

Tomorrow I will be posting something a little more specific. I just thought you’d like a general idea, you know, for context. I have a lot of projects and other ventures I’m bursting to share, but I don’t want to write a three-million-word post. Just don’t want to overwhelm ya. 🙂



Pray for Missing Children

Hello friends and readers,

Today I’m asking for your prayers for my pastor, his children, and his family. Eric was granted primary custody of his children, Luke (11) and Cambria (10). The children were visiting their mother, Wendi,  for summer vacation, and they were to be dropped off with Eric outside a police department in Holland Michigan, on Tuesday. However, Wendi did not bring the children, and has since fled the state.

Wendi’s vehicle was last seen Tuesday morning outside her home; it was later ditched in Missouri, where some members of her family reside. FBI and police were led to Nixa, Missouri, and have not turned up any information there. However, they now have a lead that Wendi may have taken a dark SUV and driven the kids to southern California, where she has more family members.

It is absolutely imperative that those children are returned to their father as soon as possible. Here is some more information regarding the case:

My prayers are mainly for the children’s mental and emotional health after this ordeal. Whether Wendi successfully flees the country or she is arrested and the children are returned to their father, their lives will never be the same. A level of innocence has been stripped away from them that can never be repaired. There is so much anguish in my heart for the two of them. Please pray with me that the Lord will heal and restore and that these children will not wander off the path.

Garden Photos/Project Update

Here are some lovely hollyhocks- these were actually here before we moved in. They’re perennials, they’re beautiful, and we’re taking LOTS of seeds when we go!

Aawww, how cute! Our carrots have foliage!

Our kale can beat up your kale!

A wildflower from the wildflower mix finally bloomed! It’s lovely, is it not?! It’s about the size of a half-dollar coin.

Another view of our carrot patch. Kind of blurry. Very messy with dead leaves and sticks.

Our snap peas blossomed… and gave us beautiful flowers to behold!

Remember those tasty little rubies? Here they are!

Okay, so I didn’t plant these. But this basket is a beautiful basket, and I tend to it better than I do to the rest of the plants!

Our first harvest! Yummy, they were good!

And here’s a teaser shot for the table- I haven’t gotten it cleaned off enough to take a picture of the entire thing yet. Trust me, I love this thing. It’s worth the wait.

Another teaser shot- there are drawers on the ends of the table. My neighbors, who are awesome, got me these acrylic drawer pulls. Lovely.

There’s the back of a chair- just to give you an idea of what they look like. Distressed, but not too distressed, you know?

Annnndd…. A new project! I found these beauties at the flea market a couple weeks back. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on them! I’m thinking aqua, with a bit of white. Or maybe steely gray. I can’t decide.  (And yes, that’s a king size headboard behind them, which I was unable to convince the lady to keep… so… anyone need a really old headboard?)


I’m thinking of doing steely gray fixtures and then making the wire part steely gray as well. Or gold! See, haven’t decided.

Surprise! 4.5-day Weekend!

Jonathan came home early on Friday and surprised us. He them proceeded to get a surprise migraine Sunday night/Monday morning, and ended up staying home yesterday as well! So we had a lovely 4.5-day weekend.

It was pretty awesome. I primed and painted our kitchen table. I still have to do another coat of paint and then distress it a bit. I also have to paint the chairs and cover the chair pads with a new fabric. I am considering the one I already posted, but I’m not sure if that’s the vibe I want to go for. I have another idea in mind already. I have to set up the entire thing, china and all, before I can decide.

I also spent some time with our neighbors this weekend, which was fun. We met up at the flea market down the street, where they helped me haul a set of nightstands and a huge (AWFUL) headboard home. I am super-excited about the nightstands- they’re exactly the kind of thing I want for our future home, all for the low low cost of $40 for the pair (headboard inclued- gag me).

Then Neighborfriend and I went to another town very close to here with lots of great antique shops. I found some window accessories, fabric for a pillow I’m making, and some antique eyelet trim to use on something else in the future. Oh, and some great old suitcases in which to keep my crafty stuff, as if two old suitcases were going to be enough- HA!

Our garden is going… fine. I guess. I mean, there are great parts and not-so-great parts of our garden. Great: peas and kale. Seriously, our pea plants are already producing pods that are at least 2-3″ long. Not-so-great: pretty much everything else. Okay, okay, the green beans are coming up. And I have 2 corn stalks. But aside from that, NOTHING is coming up. Nothing. In fact, some of the things I put in the ground as starter plants (ahem, cucumber) are DEAD. And this is not for lack of trying. We did what we had to do to improve the soil (chicken poop, aeration, compost). We water twice, if not three, times a day. We have the entire garden fenced. We have flowers in pots scattered throughout the garden to attract the insects to the flowers. I put down ant poison. I spend 8, if not more, hours weeding each week. And yet, it is somehow not enough. Is it possible for the weather to be too hot for a garden? I thought vegetables LOVED the sun…

Well, I have a lot to do this week, since I’m planning Hula Girl’s birthday party on Saturday. It’s not going to be wild. It’s a few friends and neighbors and family members coming by to enjoy a cupcake and possibly a goody or two. Hula Girl will be wearing a dress from Hawaii, sent by my best friend after her whirlwind honeymoon (mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, and sister included). We’ll have “Aloha Rolls,” which I invented for another friend’s bachelorette party (but unfortunately no one got to eat them because I missed the shindig). They’re delicious. I think I’ll add mini chocolate chips to a few of them this time. Yummy goodness. We’re also planning to skewer some pineapple and veggies and roast them on the barbeque. That plus pink with pearls cupcakes and drinks, and we’re set!

Thoughts on my Hula Girl’s birthday tomorrow.

Loop’n’Swoop or Bunny Ears?

Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! Seriously. It is gorgeous here today. Everyone is out and about. There are two yard sales on our street, all the neighbors are out watering their lawns, and there is far less wind than there was yesterday. Hula Girl and I have seen more neighbors today than we’ve ever seen the entire time we’ve lived here. No one has been outside at all this winter! Thank goodness for our first taste of glorious spring.

I take Hula Girl out for a walk every morning. We stop by some houses on our route that have pretty flowers, trees, or bushes or interesting rocks. Hula Girl loves to gently stroke flowers. She touches them with just the tip of her little left index finger and then looks at me and smiles with a huge dimply smile, as if to say, “See, Mommy?! I am so careful! And these flowers are such a delight!” It’s simply precious. I have to say, she is somewhat less careful with rocks and sticks. Those tend to go straight into her mouth. Tasty!

In preparation for our daily walk, we have a simple routine that we follow. (Not surprising, I know. We have simple routines for every single aspect of our day.) I tell Hula Girl to come to me so we can put on her jacket/snowsuit/hoodie, socks, and hat. She does not yet wear shoes, although they are not far off in her future, I have no doubt. Then she watches me put on my jacket/hoodie and my shoes. I do wear shoes, and have for many years.

The past couple of days, I’ve worn different shoes than normal. They’re plaid “Airwalk” shoes with Velcro. For some reason, whenever I undo the Velcro and it makes the riiiiip sound, Hula Girl freaks out. She is absolutely terrified of the noise. I’ve tried having her do it, with the same result. She almost cries every time. This got me thinking. What will we do when she’s older, and she needs to be able to put on her shoes by herself? Will we have to teach her to tie her shoes before she turns one?


Someday, Hula Girl will be here...



I know this is a ridiculous question, particularly because she will likely outgrow the fear of Velcro ripping far before self-shoeing is necessary. I bring it up simply to highlight something I have been learning and relearning for months now: first-time parents worry about the silliest things.

I am a moderator in an online Babywise help group. Some of the questions that moms ask just seem so silly to me now, but I remember when I was far less experienced than I am now, and Hula Girl was far younger. She just seemed so fragile, like any little mistake on my part was going to mess her up forever. I am not going to say I have completely gotten over that fear, but I have learned to have a lot more flexibility with things than I had when she was first born. But just for kicks, here is a list of questions that I have asked in the past, and that I have seen recently on the board. Let’s see if you can guess which ones I asked and which ones are from other moms.

A. When will we need to start giving her water?

B. When will she need to start wearing sunscreen?

C. Is it ok to let her sleep at night until she wakes up on her own for a feeding?

D. Is it ok to let her use a pacifier?

E. Is it ok to let her sleep on her grandfather’s chest?

F. Is it ok to give her a bath every day?

G. What should I do when she spits up?

H. How far should I let her go between feedings?

There are so many more questions. Some of them are far sillier. For example, here’s one I actually asked. In the interest of self-preservation, let’s remember that when one first has a baby, one is extremely sleep-deprived. “Is it ok for her toenails to be growing like that?”

Jonathan and I are considering having another child. As in, we are considering whether we want to or not, and if so, when. I can’t imagine going back through all that silliness again, but then I remember that I have learned so much. I will never ever be as ignorant again! It’s all downhill from here! (Right, seasoned moms?) Maybe by the time we do have another child, we’ll know some of our neighbors.

How did you learn to tie your shoes and/or teach your kids to tie their shoes?

Who would have Thought One Needs to Pay for Poop?

Well, we did it. We started our garden.

Jonathan woke up in major project mode this morning. So before 10 o’clock, Hula Girl had new window coverings in her room, the garage was cleaned out, and the garden was started!

Hula Girl’s new, improved window coverings are removable, so I can open her windows when it’s nice outside. But they’re still completely light-blocking, so she’s got her cave to sleep in during naps and nights.

The garage was just getting to be a mess. Any time I’d say, “Please take this out to the garage,” Jonathan did just that. He’d take it to the garage… and put it down just inside the door. We ended up with a very untidy “tunnel” of boxes, odds’n’ends, and furniture. Jonathan tackled that one all on his own. He moved a lot of boxes out of the garage into the chicken coop. Yes, we have a chicken coop. Not to raise chickens; rather, we use it to store unimportant belongings, like our TV. Then he reorganized our garage into sections- gardening, garage sale, movies and games, tools, painting stuff, et cetera. I am happy with the results!

And the garden. Oh, the garden. It’s going to be monumental. Yesterday we went out and bought seeds for 21 different varieties of vegetables. Then we made a planting calendar for our seeds and seedlings. We’re going to start a few seeds indoors (hence the garage clean-out) and we even get to sow some seeds today! I have been doing a lot of research about our soil type, our zone, what our plants will need, and general “how to” information on each of our plant choices. This garden will be a lot of work. But I’m sure it will be worth it.

We were outside working on the garden (well, Jonathan was working. I was sitting in a chair in my pajamas with a blanket wrapped around me, a tissue box on my lap, and my phone in my hand- I am sooo sick still) this morning and our neighbor came over to give Jonathan a hard time about working so hard while I watched. She found out what we’re going for and then she offered to get us some free fertilizer! Score! I knew those chalky melty super delicious cookies were a good idea! I love neighbors like ours. Seriously. Then she saw Hula Girl’s diapers pinned out on the line, drying in the sun, and she offered me some more clothes pins. I turned down her offer, because I really don’t need more clothes pins, but it was a sweet gesture.

Anyway, free fertilizer will be great for our garden, because we’ve got some pretty sandy, clayish dirt. I am guessing it’s probably void of many key nutrients for good plant health. Probably anything we do to improve it will make a drastic difference in the life of our first little garden.

Jonathan is also working on expanding our gardening area. Our entire front yard is covered in rocks. (I guess that was our landlord’s way of not having to deal with a lawn at a rental- my parents did the same thing before they sold their rental house!) However, there is no insulating layer under the rocks- it’s just dirt. So, Jonathan got out the rakes this morning and raked away about 100 square feet of more garden space! Now I can grow my winter squash mix and my watermelons!

Here’s a list of plants we’re going to grow:

Kale, Snap Peas, Jalapeno Peppers, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Thyme, Green Onion, Oregano, Summer Squash, Winter Squash Mix, Basil, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Chives, Corn, Green Beans, Watermelon, Zucchini!

We’ve also got some tulips that have started to poke out of the ground and a wildflower mix that we’ll use to fill in some extra space (if we have any).  Stay tuned for great garden pictures!

Do you have any great gardening tips or advice you’d like to share?

Practice Eggs

Well, I think we’re finally on the tail end of this week-long nightmare. Jonathan is feeling about 90% healthy today, Hula Girl seems to be functioning at about 80%, and I’m back to 50%. I’m not sure why, but I definitely had this waaaaaay worse than Jonathan or Hula Girl. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been sick in so long? No matter the reason, it really knocked me off my feet. Literally- I’ve been in bed for days.

As I typed that last sentence, Jonathan walked in and surprised me with a plateful of pancakes and turkey bacon and a cup of chamomile tea. How sweet!

Lately I’ve been thinking about my old school and my students a lot. I checked out the website this morning ,  and I found out that this school is doing amazing things this year. They’ve grown into a school that does fundraisers, family nights, principal’s coffees, before-school “jam sessions” in the music room, before-school “mileage club” with the PE teacher, after-school sports, student government, and parents curriculum-training nights. They’ve truly developed a sense of community, and I am so proud that I was a part of establishing that environment. Congratulations, Vanguard Classical School! I miss you!

We don’t know where we’re going to end up once Jonathan is finished getting his license. We will be able to move away from the place we live now by December. If we move back near where we were living, I want Hula Girl to attend Vanguard once she reaches Kindergarten. Therefore, I called and asked the front office to send me a letter of intent. Am I planning too far ahead? I don’t think so!

Speaking of planning ahead, I went ahead and did some practice eggs for our Easter Egg Contest.

Love 'em!

Oh, my poor sister-in-law. She never really stood a chance against my Easter Egg spirit. I wonder if I should tell her how I did such an awesome job, and give her a fair shot?

Do you have any fun holiday traditions in your family?

It Snowed Last Night

Welcome to Day Two in the life of my little blog.

Yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities were altered for Hula Girl and me. Instead of getting chocolate coins (who really wants to eat them, anyway?), we purchased the most wonderful delicious melt-in-your-mouth-in-a-really-really-chalky-way super-soft sugar cookies with frosting and St. Patty’s sprinkles. Then we took them to our neighbors.

The thing about our neighbors is that they are different-albeit nice-people. They were happy to have the cookies, delighted by Hula Girl’s tutu,  but then they asked us to come inside. It was a mess. And their little dogs-oh, don’t get me started on ill-trained little dogs-kept jumping up on me and yapping, which scared Hula Girl into her silent “I’m drawing more breath than you could ever imagine, mouth wide open” pose for about thirty seconds before she let out a scream that would rival the siren of a passing fire engine.  Delightful. That, coupled with the fact that they had the giant-screen blaring made me bow out gracefully with a “I’ve got to go home and get Hula Girl’s dinner going.” At 4:00.

We’ve been dealing with wacky naps all week long. Hula Girl hasn’t taken a nap longer than 45 minutes for her second nap in 3 days. She was tiiiiired by bedtime last night. She fell asleep nursing, like she hasn’t done in months. So sweet. But then she kept crying out over and over all night long. We never had to go soothe her, but it was a very disrupted night’s sleep for all of us.

Jonathan went to bed last night with a sore throat, headache, and fever. I got Hula Girl up this morning and checked her temperature since she had been coughing all night, too. Sure enough, her underarm temperature was 99.6°, and they say you should add 1 or 2 degrees to an underarm temperature to get a real body temperature. Judging by that, she’s running a slight fever today. She also had a runny nose and a rash on the back of her neck. I put in a call to the doctor’s office, since this is only the second time in her life that she’s been sick. Poor baby was super fussy this morning, and she cried over the smallest things. She also didn’t really feel like eating much.

So today will be a long day for me, what with trying to take care of my sick family and do the things I normally try to get done in a day. I sure hope Jonathan feels better soon so I don’t have to avoid my bedroom (I have a TON of laundry to put away).

This weekend will be fun. I am planning to try to get to my best friend’s birthday celebration. She’s having three major events so that people can work around their schedules. This is her first birthday back in the US in like 3 years. She just got home from Burkina Faso, Africa, in August. She was in the Peace Corps and she did a fantastic job in her village. Way to go, Banana!

What kind of fun things are you looking forward to this weekend?

An Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I took Hula Girl’s first nap as my opportunity to make her a St. Patty’s tutu. Since her V-Day one turned out so fabulously, I decided to make her one for every holiday. I make them with ribbon, which is long enough to be tied around her waist for many years to come. I figure a little investment- both money and time- is well worth it now- she’ll have a killer dress-up tutu collection when she turns 8 and all the girls come over for a slumber party!

Here are the directions to make a sweet little tutu for your ballerina:

Items Needed:

  • scissors
  • 3-6 yd tulle (any color/color combination- I recommend no more than 3 colors)
  • 1 yd 1″ ribbon
  • extra thin ribbon of coordinating colors (optional)


  1. Roll each length of tulle width-wise (from the selvedges to the fold-this makes it way easier to cut)
  2. Cut each roll of tulle into 3″ strips
  3. Cut each strip in half to make 18″ strips
  4. Loop each strip of tulle behind the 1″ ribbon, bringing the ends back through the loop; pull tight. This will secure the tulle to the ribbon.
  5. Cut your thin ribbon pieces into 14″ lengths.
  6. Loop each thin ribbon behind the 1″ ribbon, bringing the ends back through the loop, pull tight. This will secure the thin ribbon strips to the thick ribbon- remember to disperse!

The Result:

Super Cute, Right?


I’ve really gotten into crafting and sewing and I have a lot of ideas about what I’d like to make for Hula Girl. We just finished reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you Hear? and I really want to make her some masks and/or outfits for each of the animals listed in the book. Think about it- a purple cat costume! A blue horse outfit! A leopard mask! Too fun.

Something else I’m working on is starting a garden. I am somewhat nervous about it. I kind of have this picture in my mind of a perfect little culinary wellspring late this summer and early this fall, but I’m not so sure it will go as well as I planned. After doing a bit of research, our soil is terrible. And gardening is a lot of work. A blog I read recently included a post on gardening. That post mentions like 14 steps to creating a “good” garden. Yikes.  I think I’ll listen to that blog’s author and start small! Any gardening recommendations you could shoot my way would be appreciated!

Here’s a complaint I have today: having repair men working at the house is a loud, smelly, and filthy business. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing- they do it loudly. It doesn’t matter what they’re repairing- it could be the washing machine!- and they still leave a rank odor. And they always track in dirt. I could live in Antarctica, and they’d bring dirt in on their boots.  Complaint over.

After these awful repair men leave my house today, Hula Girl and I are going to Walgreens to buy some chocolate coins. She’s going to wear her tutu, and then we’re going to drop those coins off with some of the denizens of our little town who have made our move here seem less awful than it really was. We’re going to stop by WalMart, City Market, the library, and our neighbor’s houses. Hopefully we’ll spread a good deal of Irish luck through this drab little town.

What are you doing to spread the holiday festivity?

I leave you with an old Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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