Category Archives: Make

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Matthew’s cunning hat

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Pity

It is always sad when one decides that [the best tool for a job](http://www.ulsinc.com/english/laser_systems/product_line/VersaLaser.html) is a tad bit out of reach. But it involves lasers! And comes in purple! How can that be a bad thing?

I see a homebuilt laser cutter in my husband’s future.

Quite Contrary

rebecca's first flower

I went outside this morning to water the garden and saw that Rebecca’s very first flower had finally bloomed. (The small white ones don’t count.) She has two planters by the front door and a huge planter of sunflowers by the side of the driveway.

the good apple tree

One of the apple trees made it. Three apples are growing on it, it has plenty of leaves, and I spray it regularly for rust. The other apple tree, not so much. It is a stick in my front yard, and I am dreading having to dig it up.

vegetables in the front yard

Torrential rains while we were on vacation left many of my plants slightly out of place in the raised beds. I found peas in with the squash, lettuces snuggling up against the zucchinis, and cilantro getting frisky with the eggplants. I was unamused.

I thinned out the squash, harvested the radishes, noted that the spinach had bolted and was decidedly not spinach-like, and strung up the peas on a quick-and-dirty framework of driveway reflectors and cotton twine.

cascades of roses

One side of the backyard fence is covered with roses, honeysuckle, and grapevines. The honeysuckle bloomed a few weeks ago, and now it is the roses’ turn. Rebecca regularly comes in from playing outside with flowers in her hair.

potted herbs

I made tzatziki Friday night with fresh herbs from my garden. It was so nice being able to wander outside and snip off what I needed without the $2.99 grocery price tag. The tomatoes and green beans in the backyard are doing nicely; hopefully the Thai basil will perform well.

I must plant ramps and garlic and shallots next year.

Squashed

Yesterday I slathered sunscreen on everyone and went back to work on the garden. Matthew was working on a dog solution for the backyard beds, so I planted out the two front vegetable beds. Rebecca managed one row of peas before she was “bored, Mom”. Each got eight patty-pan squash hills, three yellow and three green squash hills, and a rectangle for radishes and spinach or lettuce.

Once the vegetable beds were done, I watered them and helped Rebecca and the next-door-neighbor’s daughter plant out a flower bed. Sunflowers, morning glories, cosmos, shasta daisies, pansies, and more.

Last, I planted a squash bed in the backyard. Matthew built another box out of scrap lumber (from helping a friend dismantle his deck) and filled it with some of our extra dirt. (We have a bit of extra dirt.) Acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, and butternut squash, two hills each.

Of the seedlings, I now have Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, onions, basil, chives, and the bell peppers are _finally_ peeking their heads out.

Busy, busy, busy!

Save The Worms!

I spent the entire afternoon outside stripping sod from the front yard. (I say sod, but really, it was a mix of grass and weeds and green things. Sod is being kind.) Four inches down, two feet across, ten feet long. Four times. I filled a wheelbarrow every half block, and Matthew carted it to the backyard where sod is needed, and Marcus brought back the empty barrow. I tried to save as many worms as I could; they kept making for the sidewalk. Morons.

I offered Marcus five dollars if he’d eat a worm. He said he didn’t have any ketchup on him. Clever boy. He picked up the slack while Matthew and I worked on our gardening stuff. Marcus walked Kaylee up and down the block and brought us drinks and ferried Madeline around and otherwise helped out a great deal. Rebecca, having failed at breaking sod and bored by other tasks, did the dishes and babysat Madeline inside the house.

So that finished off half of the front yard planter boxes. The raspberries went in yesterday in a nice hedgerow of six canes. I am restraining myself from getting more. Restraint! Must show restraint!

Liquid laundry detergent

Ingredients

6 C water
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated fine
1/2 C washing soda, not baking soda
1/2 C borax
6 C hot water
2 gallon bucket with a lid

Method

  1. Mix Fels-Naptha soap in a saucepan with 6 C of water. Heat on low until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and borax. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens, and then remove from heat.
  2. Add one quart of hot water to the bucket. Pour in soap mixture, and mix until completely combined. It should be a light yellow color. Fill the rest of the bucket with hot water, and mix well.
  3. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/41/2 C of mixture per load of laundry, depending on size and soiling of load.

Homemade playdough

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