Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Small Muscle Coordination...

When Cris, Dusty and Chad were little I had a great idea to teach them to play jacks. I loved jacks when I was a girl. I mean, what is not to like? A red rubber ball and ten metal pieces that felt good and heavy in your hand.

To play jacks you spill them out then bounce the ball and with the same hand pick up one jack. Then you try again, picking up two jacks and so it goes. You can play against yourself or a friend.

It is cheap, takes only a bit of space and is portable. And, as a young mother, I thought that it would be a great way to develop hand-eye coordination in my sons. They didn't know anything about jacks and were not prejudiced against it for being a girl's game.

But, I found out why it is a girls game.

I gathered the boys and showed them how to play. Since it had a ball, they thought it would be great fun. They got started and I went to do a never ending job like laundry or cooking or something.

The next thing I know there is crying and hollering and when I got close, blood! What? "What are you guys doing? What happened?"

One of the boys in his enthusiasm for the game was diving for the jacks or the ball or something and his bare knee landed on a jack--puncturing it. Time for band-aids and antibiotic ointment.

I got the kid bandaged and tears dried and they decided to try again.

I am not kidding, about 5 minutes later I hear another cry of anguish and came running again. Another boy had blood pouring out of his knee! Who would have thought?

I played jacks for years with various friends and not one of us ever got a jack in the knee. NEVER. Now I have two boys with large band-aids on their knees and one crying, "Why are you making us play this dangerous game?" Can you believe it?

The jacks went in the trash and I was left pondering one of the mysteries of the ages. Boys should not play games that have historically been played by girls. They are just too dangerous. I think they should stick to nice calm, safe games like darts or football.

Take Care,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little House on a Big Hill...

We went out to meet with our builder, Milton, today and this is what our cottage looks like right now. A little house on a big hill. I feel like I should be writing children's books or something and maybe when I am sitting looking out those wonderful windows, I will! Maybe something that includes the adventures of Scrappy the Wonderdog or the sad tale of a dear who ate all the fruit off the peach trees.

At any rate, it is coming along. The carpenters/framers were working like crazy today. Everyone with a job to do and I couldn't help but admire the way they went up and down the ladders without tripping. I would never make it as a framer--never. I would probably fall to my death while tripping over floor braces. [Ask me how I know about tripping over floor braces.]

When I was in high school I actually helped do some limited framing and worked along side my dad doing various construction projects. I love the smell of the wood and sawdust. I love the fresh wind blowing through the house and the sound of the air hammers as they make lumber into a home.

Little House on the Big Hill...It has a good ring to it, don't you think?

Take care,

Inexpensive labels for every occassion...

Just a quick post today. I use a LOT of labels. And this time of year I use even more. I have to put a coupon label on every Sonlight Catalog I give away [1700 this year!]. I put a label on every Smencil case [I am giving Smencils away at conventions this year] and sometimes I use special shaped labels [stars, hearts] for various projects. I also label all the books I take to conventions. At any rate, that is a LOT of labels.

The cheapest and best place I have found for labels is http: On-Line Labels
So, check it out...I think you will be pleased and you can find all shapes, sizes and colors of labels--way beyond what is available in your typical office supply store.

Take care,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dreams coming true...

Dreams are coming true as I type. If you don't believe it, come and look...

We bought our farm about 6 1/2 years ago, intending to build a house on it someday. Come along with me and see the nice little house we are having built.

It is really a cottage, about 580 square feet, with a full basement and a 100 sq ft loft. It was lovely out there today...

The top picture is me standing by the front of the house, it looks over the KY River gorge. You can't see the river, but it is a breathtaking view.

Here is Bob standing on top of the living room ceiling, in the loft area.

Here I am looking out the over-sized bedroom window.

This is looking up at the front of the house. There will be a nice porch on this side, 8 ft deep, covered.

Looking at the electric pole and the driveway. We were thrilled--all they had to cut down was one nasty picky thorn tree. A honey locust and they are nasty!

Here is a shot from the side. The dirt will be back-filled around the cement part of the basement. the side you see here is the front of the house and the left side is the bedroom part.

Bob climbing up to the loft area.

Ahh, me looking out my kitchen window. I haven't had a window over the kitchen sink for the 17+ years I have lived in Wilmore.

Water trench. Bob said he was glad we didn't have to dig this by hand. It is about 1000 feet long from the road to the cottage.

Looking at it from the back, which is the side that faces the road. They will back-fill the dirt up to over the cement part.

Ahh, my dream come true. This will be a weekend get-away and eventually our retirement home. It is designed so we can add on to it, a wing coming off the other side to make a three bedroom home. Right now it has one bedroom, two baths a living room, kitchen and full basement with laundry room [and one of the baths].

Take care,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Guido and my Keys...

Do you remember when I was almost a movie star? My Jeep is awesome and has one of those remote keys that unlocks it at 50 feet! That is important because it only has one key hole in the whole vehicle, so if you don't have that key you have to always open the driver's side door first, then unlock the other doors/trunk area. Kind of a pain if you want to put groceries in the back.

Well about 6 weeks after I got my Jeep we had some wonderful friends visit for a few days. They have a few kids, all under six, and we just love them like family. The little boys, one about 11 months the other about 2, loved playing with our basket of match box cars.

I will digress for a minute to say that our basket of match box cars has been a favorite of kids, all kids, for the past 30 years--and yes, some of the cars are that old. Any kid who has ever been to our house before will always head right to the basket of cars. Any kid who has not been here before will soon be introduced and will spend quite a bit of time with the cars before looking up to see what else is going on. So, if you have limited money and want to spend it well, buy a match box car or two once a month and you will soon have long-term quality entertainment.

OK, back to the story. The boys all played very nicely and did really well in our limited space. The little boys were into hiding the cars. You know, they would put one in your shoe, or under a magazine, then "find it" and laugh. It was quite entertaining, and kept them busy for a long time.

At one point, I thought about some little carabiner flashlights I had in my Jeep so I went out to get a few to give to the boys. They loved them and called them their "lasers." In no time, Mr. Bob was exploring the upstairs with the older boys and their laser lights. Lots of fun!

The next day I went to run to the store and my keys were not in the place I ALWAYS put them. I mean I always put them on the hook in my office--a habit, I never even think about it.

So, I started thinking, when did I use them last? Yep, to get the laser lights for the kids. So, I must have laid them down somewhere and maybe the little guy picked it up and hid them? We looked everywhere--turned furniture upside down, etc. No luck. In fact, a couple of months later I was convinced the little guy had hid them in the trash in my office-gone for good. Five months later I went to price a new opener. $160 PLUS programming.Well, that isn't going to happen.

I was hoping for a new one for Christmas, but I guess I didn't drop enough hints.

Fast forward to March 13th, this past Saturday morning. I was sitting in a favorite chair drinking my morning tea and for some reason, I put my hand down in the cushion and felt, felt--hmm, I pulled out THE KEYS and a little match-box type car!

I mean, It was like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. MY KEYS and the signature of the one who hid them--a little car, but not one of ours, no, it was one which belonged to this favorite family. It kind of reminded me of those classy burglars who leaves a sort of calling card after they commit some crime to sort of flaunt how clever they are-- just to drive the investigating detectives crazy.

We had turned this chair upside down and were very thorough. BUT, we had not sat in it, lowering the springy bottom and then felt under the arm area. Apparently, after the little boy "hid" the keys and the toy, someone sat in the chair before he "found" them and they slid under the arm rest part of the chair. Then, when the sitter got up, the springy bottom sprung back into place holding them there for all these many months.

This was totally my fault. I should have hung the keys up when I came in the house. I called my friend to tell her the good news [they had helped search for the keys, searched through the diaper bag and other totes and such, etc.]. I sent her the picture and the kids rejoiced. One little boy said, "Oh, she found Guido!"

So, a good day was had by all. Guido was lovingly packed into a Priority Mail envelope this morning for his trip east, and I have been unlocking my Jeep from various distances for the past two days.

Guido and my Keys--you gotta love it.

Take care,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Floor...

Well, our cottage is coming along.

The plumbing is in and the basement floor poured. It may not look like much to you, but it is exciting for us. This is looking into the area that will be the basement bathroom [complete with shower] and the laundry area.

On the left side the wall is only 1/2 cement, the rest will be frame and and siding, so we will have a window in there to let some extra light in.

This is from the front, kind of looking in from where the walk out part will be. You can see the half wall on the left.

And, this is the newly re-graded driveway. Now since things have dried out a bit, it is easy to drive to the top of the hill. This is looking toward our closest neighbor.

Hopefully they will start framing this week.

Take care,