Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A new skirt for Princess Grace

I have enormous respect and admiration for crafty (literally speaking) women.  I've never been particularly creative or artistic, but I've longed for the knowledge of the traditional feminine arts, the "old ways," that have been largely cast aside through the decades due to feminism, technology, and our society's quest for all things easy and fast.  

It isn't often that a woman living in the year 2010 has to sit back and ask herself, "what would Ma Ingalls do?"  I think it's sad that so many of us women have lost the creative gumption of our great-grandmothers. 

I've had my sewing machine for nearly three years.  I just now finished my first sewing project.  It's a little pathetic, I know.  Sewing machines are very intimidating to me.  In a moment of naivete, three years ago, I decided I could teach myself how to use a sewing machine.   I taught myself how to knit, so darn it, I could teach myself how to sew.

This might sound sensible.  It isn't.  There are few things less intimidating than two knitting needles and a skein of yarn.  (Of course there are some complicated, advanced knitting stitches...but my 5 year old can learn how to cast on for crying out loud!)  I hit a wall that sad day when I unpacked my sparkling new sewing machine and tried...and tried again...and tried some more, to figure out the textbook of a manual that came with it.

Fast forward a few years and as fate would have it...my favorite neighbor knows her way around a sewing machine.  Between her patience, and lack of expectation for my perfection, I managed to finish a skirt for my lovely daughter Grace. The pattern is The Girly Skirt by Pink Fig. 

Yay!  My thirsty feminine soul has been quenched!  For today anyway... ;)

A close-up of the fabric.  I just love reproduction fabrics.
Little Ralph offering his critique of Grace's new skirt
She insisted on a curtsey.

With a skirt this fancy, one must always bob a curtsey.
Naturally the close of every photo session ends with love.
You didn't really believe that last caption, did you?  :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goat, decoded

"Hand over the sweet feed and no one gets hurt."

"Maybe I can lick the lid off."
"Let's rub noses, she won't be able to resist the cuteness."

Friday, August 20, 2010

First day of school

Last week was the kids' first week of school.  Grace loves her school and loves that she has homework every night (we'll see how long that lasts).  Luke is slowly warming up to school.  Grace is in kindergarten this year, attending a great local charter school.  Luke is attending preschool at the local elementary school, having qualified for speech therapy. 

Proud of his "han-pent" from his first day
Proud to be a "big kid"
The trepidation was palpable

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My future entomologist

Little Ralph loves bugs.  Yes I know many children have a fascination with all things gross, making goofy, inappropriate jokes about bugs, rear ends, and excrement of all kinds.  However, my baby LOVES bugs.  He doesn't think they are gross.  He thinks they are fantastic.  Every time he sees one he runs in to find me with widened eyes yelling, "BUH!" (This is "bug" in the language of little Ralphs)

He likes to pick them up, and study their legs, then set them back on the ground squealing with delight when they run off.

He insists that I appreciate how wonderful they are as well.  This leads to some interesting situations.  I won't bore you with the details.  I will just let your imagination do the work with these two words:  shower and cockroach.

A box elder beetle undergoing scientific study

Monday, August 2, 2010

The demise of the "Leaning Tower of Saguaro"

We have...er, had...two very tall and very old Saguaro cacti in our front yard.  We've now been in the low Sonoran Desert for nearly four years and the novelty of these majestic specimens of the plant world has yet to be lost on me.  They.  Are.  Awesome. 

This one has been leaning for some time.  Ralph and I knew it was only a matter of time before it could no longer hold itself up, and that time came a few days ago.  We had some monsoon rains, and it finally toppled over.

Happy it missed our baby orange tree...and our house. 

Just pretend you don't see the weeds.  Thanks.
There have been many cactus wrens, gilded flickers, and gila woodpeckers raise their families here.  I'm sad to see its end.  The current plan is to let nature take its course and let this old beauty rot away to its skeleton.  Ralph's back is incredibly grateful for this plan.  Trust me, it's a lot heavier than it looks.