Friday, July 31, 2009

Retail Therapy

Let's say you know it's supposed to get really hot, and you've gotten a notice that your power is going to be turned off for a few hours in the afternoon, so you won't be able to use your fans. The obvious solution is to find a nice, air-conditioned place to escape to.

So, where do you choose to go?

Let me guess...

...did you pick...



That apparently was not the choice of most of the local populace, since Ikea was pleasantly un-crowded. We had dinner in the cafeteria, and picked up a few little things. Kate likes the play room, the stuffed animals, and the yellow kid's computer kiosk.

We had a little trouble getting home, as the car was overheating (Doug will be dealing with that today) but everything worked out okay. We saw no signs of the power actually having been off.

Seeing the model apartment setups at Ikea makes me want to clean up and organize. They're so neat and free of clutter, and nary a cardboard box to be seen. I suppose there may be people who actually live that way. They probably don't have kids. Or projects.

It's lovely and cool right now! Ahhhhhh!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We're breaking records

... and it's not a good thing!

How do you like that steaming thermometer icon? I notice that now the forecast says 98, so perhaps it won't be quite that bad. But it reportedly did hit 103 yesterday. This in a place where we think the high 80's are sweltering, and hardly anyone has air conditioning at home.

We've been airing the house out in the morning, then buttoning everything up--drapes closed, bedroom and bathroom doors closed, kitchen windows covered, lights off, fans running, cooking kept to an absolute minimum. It doesn't get really unbearable till about 4:00.

We've had to put a moratorium on tag games, but we do have four Tinkertoy windmills spinning away in front of the fan. Wheee!

We were just in Portland this past weekend for Doug's brother Brian's wedding. It was hot there too!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy birthday to my blog! (Here's a present!)

My blog is four years old today! This particular blogiversary is significant, of course, because Andy is the same age now that Kate was when I started blogging. These pictures of her sitting were taken on July 25th. Andy's still not sitting, but he's got the Carpet Commando thing down and is rolling and worming his way all over the place.

Here's a little digi-gift for my blog birthday!

Click here to download the zip file. ("Save as," and then you'll have to unzip the file before you can use it.)

These frames were previously part of my contribution to the March 2009 megakit "Fresh" at NDISB.

I also got this up in the store a few days ago:

Super-realistic tears with a cool edge that lets your paper color peek through in places. It looks especially good with dark colors.

My brain has been more in crocheting than digi design lately, but I do have a lot of things that I want to do. So many projects, so little time!

(Update: Since NDISB has closed, this template is available here.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Say Cheese!


Thursday, July 23, 2009


My mom had been wanting some sort of water feature out in the yard, for the soothing sound. She found this fountain at a garden center and put it on the deck. Elizabeth and Kate were both drawn to it. "Oooh, water! Moving water!"

The fountain has since been moved because it was splashing too much, which would have been bad for the deck.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

the cure for the common pack rat

As their kids have grown up, moved out, and started their own families, my parents may have found that they have a little more room in the house, but the detritus of years lingers. We all managed to leave quite a bit of flotsam behind. (I'm sure this is not an uncommon phenomenon.) While we had everyone there, my mom wanted us to go through some of the stuff in the basement and figure out what we wanted to take and what could be gotten rid of. Karen, who's good at organizing, hauled a bunch of boxes out onto the deck and helped to sort through it all.

Most of these things have only been kept around for sentimental value. The clear solution is to take pictures--preserve the memory without the bulk! We ended up with "to keep" piles, "trash/donate" piles, and "to photograph" piles. The photographing fell to me. All the trophies, school art projects, and odder items were lined up and made to say cheese in turn.

Goodbye, frog basket! (Elizabeth thought the frog basket was cool.)

A paper-mache bug. (Or papier-mâché, for snoot value.)

Peter's creatively-spelled Star Trek character mahjong tiles.

I'm told that these are dessicated limes that Peter learned to juggle with. I'm still not clear on whether the dessication happened before or after the juggling. ("We can't throw away those limes! I learned to juggle with those limes!" "It's okay, we'll take a picture of them.") I should add here that I don't recall ever seeing Peter actually juggle.

Mollie helped.

Still helping.

Calling in reinforcements. (Petercat was happy to help too.)

Helping is hard work!

Collectively, we purged a huge pile of stuff. I picked out a very few things to bring home. We just don't have room. But I did take lots of pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family Picture, 2009 edition

Karen's brother (also Doug) was in town for work, so he came over on Sunday afternoon to take pictures. There's a green strip along the backyard fence that makes a nice backdrop. (None of that was there when we moved in--it's been neat to watch it grow over the past fifteen or so years.)

We tried this configuration first:

Yes, Kyle is about ten inches taller than Doug.

So then we tried something a little more streamlined, but had the usual trouble getting one with everyone looking good. Or at least looking as not-goofy as possible.

Kyle thinks this is fun! Peter and Karen are being cute. I apparently have a bug on my hand or something. (Actually I think I was looking at the light. We did end up moving back a little after this, because I could see that Doug and Andy were getting blown out.)

This is probably the best one that we got. Andy was complaining a lot by this point!

Karen and Elizabeth (and half of Peter)


Family picture! Everybody smile! Or... not.

Betsey and Angie, cute as always.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I could count on one hand--probably on two or three fingers, at most--the number of times that I've made a trip back to Ohio and not gone to Young's Jersey Dairy. I even remember going at Christmas once (when they had some cinnamon ice cream that Doug thought was very cool). The day that we picked for this excursion, by mischance, happened to be the day of the Yellow Springs street fair, and the place was packed. There was a line going out the door. Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long, as someone came back and told us that we could order ice cream at the food counter, which we did.

We went outside to eat. Kate and I shared some strawberry and French vanilla. Yum!

Elizabeth enjoyed feeding herself some ice cream...

... with golf ball on the side.

Hazel got to try a little. Too cold!

After the ice cream, we went into the barn to see the animals.

This must be why they tell you to wash your hands after visiting the barn.

Feeding the goats outside.

Kirsten was having a good time too!

They had this little ride--a train of oil-drum cars pulled by a tractor. Kate and Elizabeth both got to go on it.

They went out into the field, and even went through a big pipe-tunnel twice. When they got back, Peter said, "Wow, that ride was four-and-a-half minutes long. That's like The Beast!"

Barb watches.


Me and Andy (on grandma's camera).

We had some fun with these cutouts.

Karen, Elizabeth, and Peter.

Playing with Daddy's hat.

Ice cream, animals, and fun! A good time was had by all.