Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to School Thrifting for Clothes

Two dresses, three shirts, and two Wiggles puzzles for good measure. Total: $13.76. Annie was in heaven trying on garment after garment, though it was frustrating for me because there was so very little available in her size. Of course, we only hit the Goodwill store. The Salvation Army store usually has a much wider variety of clothing, so we'll try that one next. Airius is set for this year, and probably the next, because The Husband's aunt passed down all the clothes of her TWO older boys to us. Love that!

The puzzles were only $0.50 a piece for 25-piece puzzles, one Captain Feathersword and one Wags the Dog. That's just enough pieces to keep a preschooler busy but not so many that they get frustrated and give up. And I love the Wiggles, probably more than the kids do. We haven't seen an episode in years, but the kids remember them. I love to see the twins helping each other to put them together, and it sure beats sitting in front of the tv on a rainy day. Anyone who has a boy knows that, at the age of 4, they are much more appreciative of more mechanical, tactile activities like puzzles.

After our trip to Goodwill, we headed home. I dug a bit around the potato plants but felt nothing. Annie was begging me to dig up a carrot for her, even though I knew they weren't ready. The one I pulled up was maybe the size of my thumb, but she chowed it down right there in the garden, dirt and all! Airius asked for one too but wasn't nearly as delighted with his. I ate half of his. Mmmmm...

Friday, August 22, 2008

What I Really Need...

Is an awesome article on picture railing in 1920's bungalows. Anyone have one they'd like to share?

Though the weather has warmed once more from what was feeling very autumnal, my cold weather nesting is in full force. The garden is not really winding down yet (pictures to come if I can get myself to upload them). In fact, many things are just beginning, like tomatoes and peppers. Still, I feel the gardening season winding down, and my focus is slowly shifting back to the house. The attic is almost completely cleaned out, and once preschool starts for the twins, I plan to get working on decluttering and reorganizing their rooms. Something's gotta give if we're going to fit a 4th baby in this 3 bedroom house! Cross your fingers for a boy, y'all...

Oh. Yeah, so the picture rail thingy... Since I'm planning to start work on the bedrooms, part of that work is restoration. Picture rails were standard at this time, so I'm assuming our house had them originally. The problem is, I've been in several neighborhood houses very similar to ours and not a one of 'em has the picture rail. Hmph. Most of our walls (I think all the bedroom walls) are now drywall rather than plaster, so the rail isn't necessary, but well... It's authentic! I tend to get really picky about these things though, so I'm freaking out over the fact that I don't know what the original picture rails looked like. How could I possibly choose one without having something to go on!? Um, right? Well, so far I'm loving the 2 1/4" Stain Grade Hemlock Picture Rail Molding from House of Antique Hardware the best, but I'm having trouble actually picturing it in the room. I need a sample, I think, to see how well it goes with the rest of the trim in the house.

Of course, since the picture rail needs to be stained, that means the rest of the wood in the room is probably going to need to be redone. Oy. Just to be clear, most of it doesn't "match" now, simply from age fading, and the previous owner did the most lovely splattery paint job with apparently not a bit of painter's tape in sight, so the trim really needs to be redone anyway. I'll have to get a picture of all the horrifying paint details up sometime.

Man, I'm tired just writing about redoing all that wood.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Literature Inspired Food

If you haven't noticed before (perhaps in this post or that one), raspberries and I are an inseparable pair, especially during pregnancy when they both nourish me and inspire great feelings of nostalgia. It's my way of connecting with the woman who birthed me and who never got to see me give birth myself. One of the things that both my mother and I loved when I was growing up was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. We raced each other to get through the books and watched the movies together at least once a year. I used to make fun of my mom for crying during the movies, but I'm sure she'd be chuckling now to see how misty-eyed I get just at the first notes of the movie's theme song. Yes, Mom. Now I understand. I really do.

Back to the raspberries. I was drinking my raspberry leaf tea this morning and my mind began to drift to the scene in Anne of Green Gables where Anne mistakenly gives Diana red currant wine instead of the permitted, non-alcoholic raspberry cordial. Oh, the mayhem that ensues! Bosom buddies ripped apart! Again, I'm being diverted. The point is, I kept wondering just what raspberry cordial was and how wonderful it must taste and how transported I would feel to roll the bright pink liquid over my tongue. I googled recipes, and lo and behold! Apparently, I too can learn how to make P.E.I.'s traditional raspberry cordial. W00T!

It was about this time that I remembered another literary favorite that's inspired food traditions in my family: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. There's a chapter in Little House in the Big Woods where Ma and Pa bring in some fresh snow from the first snow of the season and allow the girls to make maple syrup candy, 'cause "maple sugar never hurt anybody." I had poured through boxes and boxes of books in the attic (before the big declutter, of course) in order to find my worn copy of Little House in the Big Woods on a whim, and after that chapter I waited desperately for the first powdery drifts of the winter to come. When it did, I surprised the kids with the making of this little treat. Thus was born a brand new (to us) first snow family tradition. You can bet that we'll be doing it again this year, and I'll be blogging about it too!

Raspberry cordial and maple syrup candy are just bits and pieces of the culinary traditions held within these favorite books of mine. Tomorrow we head to the library to pick up the two cookbooks featured above (thank goodness for the home internet accessible Marion Public Library catalog), and hopefully my morning sickness will give me enough of a break to whip up some delicious, literature inspired eats. Not only will my body and unborn baby be nourished, but so will my spirit and my inner child.

Do you have any favorite foods or family traditions inspired by literature? Please share if you do!