Friday, April 30, 2010

Ravenna had a Birthday!

 Apparently she also can't believe she is two years-old.

Ravenna is 2 years old! I cannot believe it. We had a little family party to celebrate with grandparents, great-grandparents and even a crazy uncle. In our family we try to make sure that the gifts we give are meaningful and/or useful and everyone was very helpful in keeping up with that tradition as well as respecting our 2010 family resolution.

This year I made Ravenna a felt birthday crown that she can wear every birthday. She loves hats so the crown was a BIG hit. Andrew even got in on the handmade action and helped me to dye some play silks using Kool-Aid and this somewhat ambiguous tutorial. We also got her some fun crayon rocks.

The Birthday Crown

Dressing-up in the hand-dyed play silks.

I love this little girl so much it takes my breath away. How could I not love such a spunky, friendly, genuinely happy person? She is such a fabulous human being; I feel baffled as to how I was chosen to be her mother. Just so I will remember, here are some of my favorite things a:bout Ravenna at age 2:
  • When she wants to sing, she pretends she is conducting music
  • She figured out how to use my iPod Touch and appropriated it for her own use. Whenever she see's it she says "Pod? Pod!"
  • She loves to do songs with motions especially "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" and "Once there was a snowman"
  • She copies the things I say when I am frustrated like "Oh, dear" and "Okay...okay" 
  • When I am upstairs and she wants me to come help her with something she says "Carrie! Carrie!"
  • She talks to herself when she is playing and sounds strangely like me...
  • She loves to roughhouse with her daddy 
  • She loves to be outside and garden with me; she is very gentle with the seedlings
  • She is obsessed with animals as long as they don't get too close
  • She is not afraid of bugs
  • She makes friends wherever she goes, especially elderly ladies
I guess I could go on forever listing things I love about Ravenna, but I think I will go tell her myself.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The First Harvest!

The garden is doing very well so far! We had a problem with a cat using it as a litter box but I think it finally realized that the garden bed was not conducive to clean paws, either that or the animal repellent we put out finally did its job. In the front row you can see my lettuce patch. I just planted six more lettuce seeds. One of my varieties did not germinate at all (grrr...) so there should be more here but c'est la vie. The spinach is doing lovely. We have 4 plants right now but only one is ready to harvest. In the very back we have some bush peas and the big ones in the middle are the broccoli. The second spring planting is finished and there will probably be one more planting in a few more weeks to keep things going.

 Our First Harvest

Indoors we have zucchini and sweet peppers germinating and a bunch of beautiful tomato seedlings basking in the artificial light. Oh and great news! we might be able to get a small raised bed in the backyard! There is one spot in the back that gets sun most of the day. I will probably plant my tomatoes in pots and put them back there to see how they do and then next year, if they do well, we can put in another raised bed and have lots of stuff growing back there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Thrift Store Finds

These finds are not from this last week, they are from all the way back in January but I forgot to post them.

Last week I found an awesome deal on canning jars and bought 44 of them plus a mismatched set of stainless steel eating utensils, so there wasn't much to see there.

In January I found this super cool vintage fabric and some darning thread. Ever since I saw this tutorial I have wanted to learn how to darn socks. I am not very handy with the fiber arts, but I am very practical and if I can save another sock from being turned into a duster or a sock monkey, so help me I will!

I don't really have plans for the fabric yet. I thought about reupholstering a chair with it since it is a heavier weight cotton, but I am afraid 2 yards won't be enough. I do love the colors though, don't you?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


While this may gross some people out, this is our worm bin. We made it ourselves and it cost us less than $10 using this tutorial. I would have taken a picture of the inside but I didn't think anyone would truly appreciate it, especially the worms since they do not like to be disturbed. Worm composting or Vermiculture is a very simple, economical and fast solution to composting if you: 1) Do not have much space and 2) Do not want to have to deal with the sometimes complex nature of traditional composting.

Worm composting produces the best kind of compost you can get: worm castings. You can't compost with just ANY worms though, you need Redworms, or Eisenia foetida. These little guys eat half their body weight every day and with one pound of Redworms you will have about 5 gallons of worms castings in around two months.

Redworms, as you might imagine, eat organic material. Their bedding is made up of strips of newspaper that have been moistened so that they can breathe. They eat the newspaper. They also like to eat kitchen scraps. They just LOVE rotting organic material. The only things that they do not eat are meat and dairy. As far as pet's go they are very easy and prefer to be left alone to reproduce and eat.

So, does anyone have any questions?

This Week's Flea Market Finds

Ravenna and I took a trip to Roots again this week and despite getting the stroller stuck in the new laid gravel, we made some lovely acquisitions. Two things were different on this trip from the last one: 1) It was SUPER hot; and 2) I didn't think it was possible but it was even MORE crowded. While I am not a huge fan of crowds especially with a stroller in tow I braved my way into the flea market area in search of the ever elusive butter dish and came out wanting. There was nary a butter dish to be seen, or that I could see hidden among the vast tables of junk and treasures.

In any case, I did not come out empty handed as you can see above. The best thing is, I only spent $11.50! I discovered that if I wanted to get rock bottom prices, seek out the elderly gentlemen with the less pristine items. All the items I bought were in need of some TLC but cleaned up beautifully.

The end table was a steal at $10. It was tagged at $15 and the guy selling it says "I can give you a really good deal on that table $12" and I was thinking "yeah, I could use a table like that but would it work...?" and then the guys says "Ok! I will go down to $10 but no lower." I was perplexed because I didn't actually do any haggling. I accepted the price since I am not much of a haggler in the first place and it fit really well right on top of the stroller.

The juicer was selling for $6 at another vendor's table but I was able to get this one for $1. Woot! Amber and I had been checking out a similar one the last time we went but neither of us wanted to pay $6 for it. $1 though? I could do that.

The cup was a gift for Andrew. He grew up in and around Strasburg so I thought it would be fun to have. It was made in Japan. Didn't you know China is the new Japan? Once upon a time all the cheap souvenirs in the US were made in Japan, not China. Fun stuff.

I need to find a babysitter and go thrifting with other like-minded women. Not that I don't love my constant nearly 2 year-old shopping companion but it is so much more fun with people who are enjoying the hunt as much as I am.