Archive for November, 2008

Hey Penny, About Those Acorns…

November 30, 2008 @ 1:53 pm | Filed under: Nature Study

…looks like your bumper crop might be a rarity this year. Anyone noticing a dearth of acorns as described in this WaPo article?

“I’m used to seeing so many acorns around and out in the field, it’s something I just didn’t believe,” he said. “But this is not just not a good year for oaks. It’s a zero year. There’s zero production. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Sounds like it might be a good year for my East Coast bird-loving friends to put out some nuts for the squirrels, too.

Links for November 29, 2008

November 30, 2008 @ 8:27 am | Filed under: Links

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Wee and Wonderful Indeed

November 25, 2008 @ 9:41 pm | Filed under: Family Adventures, Handcrafts, Rilla

I took a leaf from Jenn’s book today and raided our scrap bin to make a spur-of-the-moment flannel quilt top for Rilla. We are in the process of transitioning her to her own bed in the girls’ room. (My three big girls share a room, and we’re adding a trundle for little sis.) This is something that’s always on the to-do list during a pregnancy, moving the toddler out of our room to make way for the newborn, but I admit I’ve been a bit lax with it this time around. Rilla still nurses a little at night; that’s part of it. And also, she’s very cuddly. Toddlerhood passes so quickly, and I like to savor every breathy little snore of it.

A month or two ago, we set up a (bedraggled old) child-sized futon next to our bed, and Rilla has been starting out her nights there. At some point in the night, she climbs into bed beside me. She’s like a cat, the way she sort of pours herself under the covers and curls up next to me with a contented sigh. She’s also like in a cat in the way she’ll turn on a dime and hiss and snarl at the blankets because they have offended her somehow, and she’s all flailing paws until the malevolent covers are no longer touching any part of her body. A mercurial little creature, is my Rilla.

Yesterday we moved the futon into the girls’ room. She thought this whole “sleeping with the big girls” thing was a pretty swell idea right up until bedtime, when suddenly it was The Most Offensive Idea Anyone Has Ever Had in All of Human History. But I snuggled up beside her in the dark, and her sisters whispered to her, and the devious plan I’d carried out earlier in the day—feeding her marshmallows at naptime instead of putting her down for a nap—paid off pretty quickly. She sighed, and sank, and slumbered, and when her limbs began lashing at the covers I knew it was safe for me to slip away. (Sob.)

Jane and I thought a special new blanket for her special new bedroom might help ease the transition. Rilla doesn’t have a blankie she’s attached to, though she does like the little patchwork baby quilt I made her before she was born. It’s way too small now, of course. So this morning Jane and I pieced together the remnants of the same cozy flannel plaids and prints I’d used for that baby blanket nearly three years ago and came up with a sort of wonky, large-patch quilt top. We’ve got a big piece of pink plaid-and-polka-dots to use for the backing. I’ve never actually quilted anything before, mind you—the baby quilts I’ve made are just patchwork tops with flannel backing, no batting in between. I need to go buy some batting tomorrow and we’ll see if we can pull this thing off.

In the meantime, the quilt top seems to have passed Miss Rilla’s muster.

The little embroidered kitty with flower umbrella at the bottom is a pattern from the Wee Wonderfuls “Tulip Fairy” Stitchette set, which I bought a while back and forgot about until today. That blank pink patch was just begging for a bit of embellishment. And I have to say, I am completely enchanted. The Stitchette pattern is a reusable iron-on which took all of ten seconds to transfer to our fabric. Suddenly everywhere I look are blank bits of fabric crying out for a little Wee Wonderfuls snail, or the mice pouring tea from that cunning acorn teapot, or that kite-flying ladybug, oh the cuteness of it all.

Links for November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008 @ 6:12 pm | Filed under: Links

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Our Staycation Winds Down

November 21, 2008 @ 9:44 am | Filed under: California landmarks, Family Adventures, Photos

I have lots to write about this past week, but we’re heading into busy breakfast time so it’ll have to wait. In the meantime, a few more photos. Lots more at Flickr.

(If you have a Flickr account, let me know so I can Friend you.)

Day Four: Old Town San Diego. Fun and free—can’t beat that!

One of the beautiful rooms in the hacienda that belonged to the commandant of the Spanish fort circa 1825.

Candledipping takes fierce concentration.

Stencil on the wall of the visitor’s center.

Like Father, Like Daughter

November 21, 2008 @ 9:06 am | Filed under: Photos

This was Scott’s favorite book, too, when he was a little boy.

Stay-cation Day Two

November 19, 2008 @ 10:01 am | Filed under: California landmarks, Family Adventures

Only a quickie post for now. What a day we had yesterday! Took the big girls to Julian, our favorite little California mountain town. This time we tried something new: visited the beautiful Smith Ranch and took a narrow-gauge train ride into an old gold mine. SO MUCH FUN. The engineer/tour guide/ranch owner was the nicest guy and had so much fascinating history to share with us. The tour usually lasts an hour but we were having so much fun he stretched it almost to two hours for us! More detailed post to follow. Have put some pix up at Flickr if you want a preview. (Added a few more photos to the Sea World set, too.)

Vacation, Day One

November 18, 2008 @ 9:43 am | Filed under: California landmarks, Family Adventures

Scott is taking his first real vacation since we moved to San Diego. Yes, I’m excited. My awesome parents have flown in from Denver and are entertaining my “twins” while Scott and I take the big girls on some outings of the sort that can be a wee bit difficult to mesh with the needs of little ones.

So yesterday, after two years of oohing wistfully over the proximity (i.e. 20 minutes from home), we went to Sea World.

Of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know this.

I’ve put a few photos up at Flickr. Mostly, though, I was too busy waving to my girls as their cars paused at the top of horrifically scary rides and revisiting my adolescent Vicky Austin-wannabe fantasies at the dolphin tanks.

Not to mention sobbing with awe through the Shamu show.

Not sure what’s in store for today. It’s possible I overdid the walking a teeny tiny bit yesterday. Today might have to be even more of a sit-and-wave-at-daughters kind of day for me.

Links for November 17, 2008

November 18, 2008 @ 8:40 am | Filed under: Links