Friday, August 06, 2010

Feria de Las Flores

When I saw the paper flowers at How About Orange, I knew I was in the inspiration zone. And honestly, I am congratulating myself on waiting for an "appropriate occasion" to put aside laundry and chicken wrangling, to make flowers out of paper napkins. Because, yes, I appreciate that this is probably not, technically, a high priority activity.

But, gee. They are so fun!

Jessica Jones made her flowers as a simple party decoration, and she got her inspiration and a terrific tutorial from Dana-Made-It

I made it over a month without breaking out some napkins and going wild. And since we were invited to a garden fiesta, it seemed to me Maria and I had the perfect excuse to play! Garden fiestas must have big, bodacious, summery flores.

They are lemon-squeezy-easy-peasy, and you don't need me to make a tutorial, because Dana has already covered those details. <------Click Link! Click Link!
A generous stack of Ikea napkins (2$ a pack = cheap thrills!)and you are ready to bloom. We figured out the basics, and then started fiddling with our own variations. It was Maria's idea to cut the larger napkins in to fourths, and we made lovely smaller big blossoms.

Here is my gardenia... from white cocktail napkins.

We delivered a bouquet to Michael and Patricia for the fiesta. I think they are going to look festive on the biergarten fence.

Two in the cupboard. Maria wore one in her hair. Then I gardened with one in my hair. The big yellow one is on my dresser.

Maria and I were spreading our flower love all over the house. Alex thinks we should make a wreath. Marvelous!

Ummmm... garden party anyone? Fiesta? Tea? Fairy woodland? Let's get carried away! Una feria de flores.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

From WHY?... Fresh Air

Good morning.

You cannot know this, but I am whispering. Actually I am not speaking, but as I type out this post, I am imagining the words in a very quiet, hushed voice. This is because everyone is sleeping, and I do not want to disturb the house... the house is sleeping too. All is calm.

Sometime before eleven last night, Alex and William hollered up the stairwell, "Can we watch Batman?" Aren't they good guys? They ask. On a summer night, when we (adults) are falling asleep, and they could probably get away with about anything, they want permission to stay up way too late watching old Batman animations. Why do I love this?

"Yes," was our reluctant reply. Aren't we supposed to insist they go to bed at nine, and wake at dawn, and paint fences, or something?

"But QUIETLY," is my last word, as they laugh giddily in cartoonish anticipation. They are still laughing when they promise to not play the movie loudly.

They did play the movie quietly, or at least I think the volume was low, but they laughed so loudly I wouldn't know. We love to hear our children laughing.

Even though I was kept up late by the very loud laughter coming from downstairs, I am up early. It's fine. I read news headlines, and cruised FB, checked email, visited blogs. I had the same debate I have every month or so... Why do I blog? Do I say too much? Could it be better? Should I go back to just emailing mom, friends, some in-laws? What is the point of this strange, open journal, and couldn't I just walk away? And then, as part of the same every month or so debate, I have a small pity party for myself, because I have not landed a book contract, or sponsors, or had my interview with Terry Gross... for a series she does speaking with semi-normal, mediocre, underachievers who are unaccomplished, yet surprisingly fascinating. And then I remember... I would not have a thing to wear, or a skill to demonstrate if I were waking up to appear on the Today Show. And I don't even like flying, or thinking about what to wear. And I am horrible at managing my usual routine and chores, and would likely fail epically if my duties/responsibilities were increased. Then I feel a kind of relief in my semi-normal, mediocre, underachiever realm, except that I wish I had gone for a walk, instead of having a small pity party. I may have wasted another opportunity to better myself.

Did I say too much?

Now I am going to pay bills. Then I am going to load the dishwasher. I also plan to go to the post office... finally. I am the world's worst post office visitor ever. I simply cannot get myself in there. with. packages. ever. It is a source of shame. I am sharing the shame in hopes of shaming myself in to action. I'll let you know if it works. Won't that be worth reading about?

By the way, three roosters are in a crowing match, somewhere in our back yard. I have a feeling we will be meeting more of neighbors soon.

Have a nice day.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Puss 'n Boots, Roots, and Toots

Oh Ferris, how you've grown! Kitty is thriving, and surviving. He is turning out to be quite the energy bundle... bouncing, springing, darting, and sprinting in every direction. Max and I were discussing the fact that neither of us has ever seen Ferris sleeping, bathing, or in the same place (other than his food dish) for more than two minutes. At fourteen weeks he is a brave explorer, eager to slip outdoors at any opportunity... through out the day there are cries: Help! Ferris got out! And we all spread out in the garden to try our hands at cat herding. Ain't a feeling like it in the world.

Obviously Ferris is wriggling too much for a focused shot, but as you can see, Chango is focused... on Ferris, and making sure we are at least trying to discipline the little usurper. Both Chango and Benjamin have been patient, tolerant, and mature. Unfortunately, Ferris is fearless, which is really trying Chango and Benjamin's patience, tolerance, and maturity.

I am not sure why, but the original water main to our house was laid out with a cut and an angle, under the asphalt driveway. The roots of the two pine trees were definitely contributing to the break, and the joint was the likeliest weak point, and once Geoff bisected the angled and leaking section, our eight-thousand gallon leak stopped flowing. I am grateful for all the things it wasn't (sewage, under the house etc...) but still a bit bummed that the last two days of our vacation were spent working on this, instead of sipping exotic drinks by the pool, or reading trashy novels on the beach, or getting pedicures at Chez-Fancipantes.

Some home improvements are more fun than others. A water main gets fixed and buried, and there is not much to show for it, except it working like it is supposed to. But a barn raising... now that is a fun improvement. And it is especially fun, when many hands are together making lighter work, or making light of the work.

As a birthday celebration we met at Ruth's house to help her with some household improvements, and assembly projects. Her place is beautiful... spacious and pretty, and very nicely decorated. Together Ruth and Holly have a gift for making a house in to a finely feathered nest.

After the cute shed was assembled, we moved on to rose pruning, furniture assembling, and blind hanging. Oh, and eating Spam musubi. And cake. And pie. And sangria. Gee, no wonder barn raising is more fun than repairing water mains... we forgot to make it a party!

Happy Birthday Toots!