Sunday Snapshots (of tomatoes)

The prize jewel of my garden every year is my tomatoes.

I loved eating the spinach, swiss chard and zucchini. The peas were OK though I will likely never grow them again since the shelling was more work than I liked. I can’t wait to try fresh corn. Yet, nothing holds a candle to a fresh tomato.

It doesn’t matter that nobody agrees with me. Both Dan and Elly won’t eat fresh tomatoes. They have to be cooked up into something – anything – first before they will touch my tomatoes. Fools. Yet, I suppose it means more for me and that is just fine.

It has been a year now since I have had to purchase spaghetti sauce or tomato soup. It didn’t take me long to become completely spoiled by the taste of fresh tomato sauce. So, I wasted no time in pulling out the canning pot this year and processing the first batch of tomatoes.

One Circle Quilted

All 24 sections of the Dresden plate as well as the flowers surrounding the fisherman have been quilted.

Rather than transfer a quilting design and following it, I used the fabric as my guide. Any motif that looked simple enough to follow was outlined in black quilting stitches.

The Dresden plate

Close up of fisherman

In order to accomplish all this quilting, I drug this quilt all over Pottstown. It has been worked on at McDonalds, my neighbor’s house, MOMS club activities and local playgrounds. Basically, any spare moment has been spent quilting.

3 more circles to go. Expect to see the quilt if you see me.

The Green Carpet is Dead

The green carpet is dead!

Perhaps not as momentous an occasion as the Wicked Witch is dead, but really, really close.

For 8 years, I lived with a room covered in green carpet. Sometimes it was several rooms. First, we ripped it out of the guest bedroom. Then, we ripped it out of Elly’s room. Then, Elly and I single-handedly ripped it out of the dining room. On Sunday, we ripped it out of the living room. It was a joyous event!

My finger has a huge blister on it from pulling out all the staples. Dan hurt his knee from kneeling on the hard floor so much. Jake’s heart was broken as he watched his comfy rug being thrown out. Elly is the only one who came out of the project unscathed despite insisting on helping in every aspect from staple pulling to carpet ripping to sweeping.

Poor Jake. He kept moving around the room and laying on the ever decreasing amount of carpet left in the room.

The hardwood floor underneath is in amazing condition. Not a mark is on it.

It truly looks like nobody ever walked upon it. The original owners must have moved into the house and immediately laid ugly green carpet down. Goodness knows what they were thinking, but they gave us a wonderful gift.

Sunday Snapshots (of the zoo with Daddy)

Elly and I have been to the Philadelphia Zoo together 3 times since getting a membership. Last Sunday, Dan came with us for a family outing.

How is the zoo experience different with Daddy around?

Well, Elly gets to spend a lot of time up high on Daddy’s shoulders.

Other than that, it’s about the same. Zoo trips involve a lot of keeping up with Elly as she bounces from animal display to animal display.

Ell’s excitement hasn’t been dampened by our frequent trips to the zoo. In fact, I think she was more excited this past time than she was in the beginning if only because she got to show her Daddy all the cool snakes, lizards and frogs in the reptile house.

Walls of the Same Color

The living room walls have all been painted a bright, sunny yellow from their dingy pale yellow.

Started this painting project on June 17th 

Finished today, July 15th. It took me a full month to paint 4 walls.

Now the fun can begin.

Guess what Dan is doing this Saturday?

When I asked Dan what he was doing this weekend, he told me that he had plans to go to a board game group and then nothing else. If he doesn’t tackle the carpet by ripping it all out, Elly and I will whip out some girl power and do it ourselves. We’ve done it before. 

I can’t wait to get rid of the last of the green rug. It’s going to feel like a hot shower does after rolling around in mud.

Poor Jake will miss the cushion beneath his aging bones, but the rest of us will love it.

Sunday Snapshots (of Elly working out)

Just in case you are as nuts about Christmas as I am and are already starting your shopping list, you can add an elliptical machine to Elly’s Christmas list.

We recently visited dear friends to their new house and they had an elliptical machine. Naturally, Elly wanted to climb onto it because she likes to climb on everything these days.

It didn’t take her long to figure out how to move the pedals. She went forwards and backwards.

She would get off for a minute or two to eat or to play a game and then she was right back on it.

In Love with Bugs

I thought only boys loved bugs. I thought I was safe having a little girl.

But last night, Elly and I spent several minutes on our hands and knees watching a cricket and then a grasshopper hop across the grass. I’m sure the neighbors thought we were nuts.

Elly’s excitement when she found a bug

Once the sun started to set, Elly chased all the fireflies around. She even caught two on a leaf!

At least she doesn’t try to make me touch them.

No, I take that back. Elly instructed me to touch a firefly last night. Thankfully, the firefly wasn’t anymore keen on that proposition than I was and flew away.

Cutting the Grass

Our lawn mower broke. Hurray!

For years, I have encouraged Dan to replace his push mower. The untimely death of it was just the push Dan needed. Finally, he is going to research riding mowers and hopefully purchase one at the end of the season when they all go on sale.

If the meantime, we will be using a lawn service. My next door neighbor is going to be thrilled. He gets twitchy and downright annoying when our grass gets too long.

I too am thrilled. The lawn will no longer interfere with our family time.

Yet, I am a little nervous about using a lawn service. I have seen how fast their fancy riding mowers move. My newly planted trees and plants won’t stand a chance.

dwarf pine tree

3 abelias

crape myrtle

Perhaps I should construct brick walls around all of them or buy more round tomato cages.

peach tree

Sunday Snapshots (of Easter in July)

I don’t know about you, but here in the Haigh household we dye eggs year-round.

Although, we used to only use the Paas kit, I have since learned that normal food dye works just fine. My egg dyeing recipe now consists of a few drops of food dye, 2 tbsp of vinegar and about a cup of cold water. Easy.

The trouble is in limiting Elly to only dyeing 2 or 3 eggs at a time. Otherwise, all of our eggs would be hard-boiled, dyed and sporting smiley faces.

Knitting on the Beach

I take my knitting almost everywhere with me, allowing me to squeeze in a few minutes of knitting here and there. So, it only seemed right to take it on a beach trip.

Watching the kids happily wile away their time in the sand and listening to the ocean lap along the shore was beautiful. It was so relaxing to knit in such a place.

Sand has a way of getting into everything so naturally it got on the yarn as well as the rug. A quick shake got rid of the lion’s share. The rug will need to washed and blocked when I am done knitting it up and the rest of the sand should come off then.

The amazing part was how much knitting I was able to accomplish. All of the orange yarn has been knit up. All of the blue yarn that I brought with me was knit up. I might have even finished the rug if I had brought more yarn with me!

Thanks go to Michelle Haigh for the photos.