Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tidying up the Projects Before Hubby Comes Home..

Hubby is finally coming home from Fargo today, just in time I think to miss their annual big flood. He was kept almost a week longer than he had hoped to be gone so he's been a bit cranky. I know he wants to be here in his own 'castle' (I could almost spill my coffee over thinking of our 'creation' here as a castle, LOL) Anyhoo... well I've had just about everything torn up around here and filled with the various things I'm doing while he's been gone.

Yesterday I started to tidy up a little. I had one of my sons go straighten out the inside of our shed and the other one got to push the giant mop on our painted floors. Lavender Pinesol--very nice--I had to run to the county seat to get some things done and its quite a long ways away, to the east. This was after a trip to the west to pick up an RX my doctor phoned in.

It was nice after all that run around to come home and find the house smelling like lavender, and the floors are clean. T'anks guys!

One of the things I did yesterday was to take the wedding arch out to the back porch to finish it, along with all the stray pieces of vine and moss, they are in the big blue tub under the arch. I'd been doing this in the dining room which already has my 'desk' and my felting mess and my big light stand of plant babies. I mean the place sort of lost the look of home here. I also lined up my big buckets that I'm not done turning into container gardens. I have drainage holes drilled in all of them, and I began to sand them and spray on the shellac. I have a couple gallons of paint out there waiting as well and brought my garden 'planting table' to the porch so I could do my sanding and painting on it. So these messy jobs will get finished outdoors rather than in the dining room.

The light stand has lots of empty spaces! Yeah! Well the reason is I've moved lots of plants to the cold frames outside now, there are 8 containers of plants outside. I use old rubber maid style dishpans for the cold frame plants. The clear, newer clean containers are for in the house. The old dishpans I've had for years and years. We used to use them originally to sort curriculum and educational manipulatives for my four homes-chooled kids. Over the years they eventually made their way into the garden and basement or garage depending on where we lived, they've always been useful. Well now the cold frame is temporarily full and the light stand needs more babies sown for it. Time to plant more tomatoes and of course start up some squash, cukes and the gourds I want to grow for crafting, and more herbs...more flowers.. etc. Slowly the plants make it from light stand to cold frame and then to the garden itself. I've used most of my new bucket plant containers so I need to hurry up and make more! Busy me, as usual.

In the house, my felting continues. I have one doll nearly done for my sister and the other waits for her dress. They are coming along. My Mom in law has received her Norske Sosteren dolls and loves them. She wants to treasure them and pass them down. I think its interesting that my best ideas seem to come and 'get done fastest' when they are ideas that relate to giving someone I care for a gift, more than just making a thing to sell it. I'll have to push past that 'emotional crafting' if I want to make a go of Etsy. Then again, its just about time to start making toys for Ruby isn't it?

Ruby got on a web cam last night and #1 Son walked dumb Gramma through the process of getting instant messenger so I could visit by webcam with him and his baby gal. I didn't know we had a web cam, after our visit #2 Son brought me one to use next time. I got to see and hear Ruby, but they could not see or hear me. :( Ruby looked like she was a bit 'gypped'. She was saying her best stuff "hi, by, yes, no" and even singing a little, and Nobody talked back to her! Where is Gramma in the computer? She couldn't see her.

Gosh she's gotten so big! I can't wait to have little webcam visits where she can see us all so she will be able to remember who are until we meet again in person. Such a traumatic thing that must have been for her last night... she needs a toy. ~wink~

Oh gee, I always said I would never be one of those Gramma's that spoil the kids... well.. OK, maybe just a little toy. ;)

I saw some neat stuff at some of the blogs I follow.

Tramp's Camp has a recipe for a traditional Irish Stew. My Mom was an Irish Cook--it brought back Memories when Tramp 2 talked about some of the recipes being a bit bland. That's true. My Mom was not one to use much for spices. She could sure get the 'real flavor' out of meat though. I don't know what it was but she did it right. I think salt was a biggy--but since I'm having to minimize that and fat I looked at the Irish stew recipe and came up with a little heart healthy side I think will a good way for me to enjoy something with Irish roots, but less traditional.

What's not to like about a pot full of food that includes bacon, sausage and potatoes? (Sigh... those were the days. ;) )

I'm thinking the amount of bacon I can eat now with my sodium and fat restrictions must be something like a chopped up half teaspoon... hmmm... wouldn't that be yummy on top of a potato? Maybe with some Mrs. Dash and a dressing made with that strange science 'no calorie' mayo and plain yogurt? And the parsley of course is 'free'. I'll call it a heart healthy Irish Potato. As for sausage...well, now that's a tricky one. I don't think I'll be adding that in. I did find a way though-- I can use a very small amount as a 'flavoring' on a whole grain rice or pasta dish. Just have to do the math with the sodium and fat so I know what's OK.

Another blogger that always has something neat on her blog is Julie at A Succulent Life. Julie always makes the coolest quick little projects. The latest one is a little book she made with old Christmas cards. I love the picture of the Santa with his head missing because she cropped all the cards together and didn't know what she was cutting. I liked it because it shows his feet up, and as the official Santa in our family I could appreciate that.

Its such a good feeling when its all over, gifts made or bought and wrapped and the holiday over, and you just kick back and think how it all went so nice. I'm thinking of making myself a sign to go over my desk here, and I'm torn between Pokeberry Patch, or maybe Santa's Helper or Santa's Workshop.. since I make so many of the gifts I give.

I kind of like to think of myself as being a sort of elf in the gifting process.. making the gifts when nobody is looking, like the elves in the old Shoemaker story who made his shoes when he was sleeping and helped lift him from poverty. Anyhow I've had that on my mind some lately and seeing Julie's little book was neat.

Actually one of my works in progress that didn't get finished was a little wool felted elf. He's in a zip-close bag right now with the poor no-face fox. They need some help. This is a learning process and I got stuck on those, but I then got busy on the dolls for the time being. No matter, cuz everything I do I learn something and that can be applied to more things. You can't have a 'bad' craft project, they all teach something if nothing else.

Well.. that's about it. Like the shoemaker's elves, I've got my work all cut out for me, so I'd best go do something. Have a great Pokeberry Day!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing my little book, Mary! It was a quick and easy thing. for sure...which seems to be what I like. I am toying withe the idea of making a few for some of my blogger plas, and wioll send you one also if I can ever get them made. Maybe I could send you my first one, which would be a gardening theme, for sure! I, too, like to give away everything I make!
    Oh, Claude found those succulent candles at Pier 1. No idea if they sell them now, or if he had had them a while. I was going to stop by my store here to see... one of these days, but haven't yet.
    You might be OK using them outside if it is cooler or evening least late afternoon they don't melt. It would be pretty. The tea lights are especially neat! You could float one or two in a bowl of water too!

  2. Ya know... I guess its an afternoon weeding.. we don't really 'need' the candles.. I just want 'em. LOL.. probably won't get them, but they ARE cute!

    The cool thing about a succulent wedding is you can re-use most of the florals. Yup, my frugal side got loose again. They don't care if they are out of dirt for the day at all. ;)

  3. Hi Mary! I thought of you when I saw THESE!

  4. Aww! Those are so pretty!! Wouldn't they be nice on a Christmas Tree?