A quick note:

As I was letting our dog out tonight I saw this…

It was an awesome gift from my mother-in-law on mothers’ day.  It is a solar powered owl and I love seeing it at night.  It glows on our back deck and is the perfect mixture of cute and menacing, depending on your mood.

I have a fondness for owls.

Quiet Evening

We had a quiet evening tonight.  As storms started we gathered on the front porch and watched the rain rush down the street.  The thunder boomed in the sky and lightening flashed in the distance.  It was nice and relaxing.  Gathering on the porch during storms has become quite a tradition.  Sometimes it is all five of us, sometimes the kids wander in and out of the house…there is something special about the power and force of a storm and we are all drawn to it.

Before the storms we were gifted with some green tomatoes from our neighbor up the street. Ben made us fried green tomatoes.  No batter, just tomatoes, a cast iron skillet and herbamare – keeping it simple.



We have been working on Isabella’s room in the evenings.  We finished the walls and now need to apply white paint to the doors and trim.  The biggest accomplishment so far was getting the carpet out of the room.  The wood floors are in surprisingly good shape.  They are painted, but we had planned on painting them anyway.  It will probably be a couple of weeks before we purchase the paint and sealer- in the meantime we will start pulling up all the little staples and tacks left behind from the carpet removal.  The room looks so much bigger and brighter already.  Here are a couple of pictures…

So glad to be ripping out the carpet

Not too much clean up before painting


My favorite part of the room. We spray painted the radiator a dark purple.



Dreaming of Fall

I despise this weather.  Summer is my least favorite of the seasons.  I hate the fact that the garden is bone dry and yet I am soaked in sweat.  I long for apple picking, pumpkin carving and even the christmas carols that start in November.  I have tried to appreciate it more, I really have, but I dream about cool days and light jackets.  I look forward to the day when the sun is a bonus on a chilly day as opposed to a constant, blistering ball in the sky.  In order to hurry summer along I have started knitting again, washing winter quilts in preparation and making soups and stews…this past weekend I made such a dish.  It is easy and can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand.  First, we heat olive oil, one whole, sliced red onion, and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, until brown.  We add 8 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  After boiling add equal parts potatoes and carrots.  From here you can get creative.  We add one red pepper (cut in big slices so certain little ones can pick out), corn, and herbamare.  You could also add meat, Ben is vegetarian so we leave it out.    Lower the heat and cook until potatoes are done.

olive oil, red onion and garlic

Ben makes fun of me – when I cut vegetables I raise my pinkie as if I am having tea.

Equal parts carrots and potatoes

Add extra- we do red pepper and corn- see Ben keeps his pinkie down

mix all together and turn heat on low

Let simmer until the potatoes are cooked

We also made gluten-free cornbread for dipping.

There is nothing better than corn bread slathered with butter.

This is a great cold weather meal.  Now I just need the cold weather…


Saturday morning we got up bright and early and checked out some yard sales.  We didn’t have much luck so we decided to hit up two of our favorite thrift stores.  First we went to St. Vincent de Paul on Beechmont Avenue where the girls scored lots of good books.  While there I debated back and forth over a cute chair that was really cheap, but in the end I passed because I wasn’t sure where I would put it.  Then we went to Goodwill in Oakley.  Again, the girls both found some books and this time Blackburn did too.  Ben and I bought some cds.  Our next stop was Lowes to pick out paint for Isabella’s room.  It didn’t take too long for her to settle on a color so we went outside to the gardening area.  There were several plants on sale for $3.00 a piece.  Isabella picked out a Creopsis with bright yellow flowers, Vita chose a pink Dianthus, Blackburn got a flat of strawberry plants (of course), Ben picked a Clematis and I chose some Scotch Moss.   I can’t wait to plant them.

Isabella’s started reading chapter books. I remember reading some of these when I was little, especially the Babysitter’s club.

Vita’s book purchases Scooby Doo, Little House on the Prairie  

Harry Potter- I am going to collect the series here and there so we can all read them together.

Lots of good cds: Goldfinger, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Warped Tour 2005, The Pinstripes, Tori Amos, and for the kids – High School Musical

Isabella lost a tooth right before bed…

She lost the front right one.

First coat of paint is on the walls and ceiling in Isabella’s room.

Official Color: Imperial Lilac

Hope to show you more soon!


As I was leaving the office at 5:00 today the storm rolled in.  Winds, rain, thunder and fierce lightening erupted downtown.  We headed to the Corryville library to pick up some movies and books for the night.  Blackburn picked out a pop-up book titled The Chameleon and the Dragonfly, written by Lorena Eliasen.  It is a cute, short story about a wish that gives Pepe the chameleon the power to change his coloring.  Isabella checked out the book My Name Is Not Isabella, by Jennifer Fosberry.  In this story a little girl named Isabella takes on the names and personas of well-known women throughout history.  Vita could not decide on a book so I grabbed one for her called  The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum, by Kate Bernheimer.  I am guilty of judging a book by its cover.  I picked this book because of the illustrations.  The illustrator is Nicoletta Ceccoli.  I love the pictures in this book.  The story is about a girl who lives in a castle in a museum and how she watches the children who visit.    For myself I found the book Grow Cook Eat, by Willi Galloway.  I am getting serious about the garden next year and am going to start planning now.  We have a small backyard, with limited sunlight.  I am going to try all raised beds and this book has lots of tips on which vegetables to direct-sow and which ones to plant as seedlings.  I also want to learn more about succession planting.  I plan on keeping this book checked out for a while and taking notes.

Library books

I love this picture where she is sleeping with the flowers growing around the path.

I love how the children are peering into the globe containing the castle.

My favorite picture of the book is of the moon with tiny stars twinkling in the background.

I hope to get some good tips from this book.

On a completely unrelated note, I bought this new dress at Target  a couple of weeks ago and wore it for the first time to work today.  I put a black cardigan with it in order to cover up my tattoos.  I always have some sort of cardigan on at work.  The elastic at the waist was a little tight so I made a small notch on the inside to loosen it and now it fits perfectly.