Monday, May 17, 2010

"I love my house, I love my nest..."

"In all the world, my nest is best!" sang the little bird in a memorable book

I love my house, too, and I am quite pleased with the nest I found outside yesterday.  I should have looked sooner, I suppose.  I did notice a bird or two taking bits of stuff into our tall juniper a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to interrupt.  And then I forgot.  Yesterday afternoon I peered into the bush, and yes, there was a nest.  At first it looked empty, though being right about at my eye level, it was hard to tell.  But when I moved the branches a bit, I saw
hungry baby birds, beaks wide, waiting for something delicious.  I grabbed a stool and the camera, instead, and we all took a peek.  I think there are three chicks, though this one is the most eager to pose.
The wary parents waited nearby.  They look like Oregon Juncos.  I think they have forgiven us, and I hope they don't mind our looking in again sometime.  And I hope that they think their nest is best!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stash to Treasure: Drawstring Backpack

I've heard this too close to game time:
"Mom!  I can't find my cap!"
And this, too often, afterward:
"Oops.  I must have left my water bottle there."
So I decided it was time for an organizational tool.
I sewed Rollo a drawstring backpack, based on this tutorial from Noodlehead.  I used some fabric with which he should be comfortable: his own old jeans.  Old denim is pretty much a renewable resource around here.  I mostly use it for, well, renewing the resource.  But once the patches start ripping, too, the good parts are perfect for some other rough sorts of projects.  The initial comes from a scrap left from the quilt I made for the Caterpillar, lo, these many years ago, and I lined the bag with a light gray marbled fabric (original purpose forgotten).  All I bought this time was the string.

The bag holds a water bottle, and should be able to fit a mitt and cap as well.  And shin guards during soccer season.  I plan to make one for the Caterpillar's soccer things, and it will be easy to vary the pattern to make it bigger.  I just hope they don't lose the bags...

Speaking of baseball, Dandelionslayer speculated the other night about whether there will be baseball in heaven.

"I know how to play baseball in the Celestial Kingdom!"  Rollo announced right away.  "You use a really long celery stick for the bat," (he demonstrated his swing in slow motion) "and a meatball for a ball!"

I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Branching Out

One part of this blog is growing beyond its bounds, so I have decided to provide more space that it may grow.  If you enjoy news and photos of the four cutest boys ever born in the world, garden updates, and crazy craft projects, and if you can put up with my more fact-based ramblings, please continue to visit us here.  To read my more creative writings, please visit T's Subplot!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Springtime Visitors

Grandma and Grandpa O came to visit, and brought Cousin S along for the ride.  Cousin S is one year older than D2, and they had a wonderful time together!
Here they explored a submarine hatch . . .
and steered the vessel on a wild ride.
Cousin S brought a few of her own toys, but she quickly adapted to our stock.
Train engines can play "house," too, you know!
We also enjoyed some baseball,
doctrinal discussions,
and games.
The sunniest day was a little too windy for comfort,
But we explored a nice, dry Mermaid's Cove.
Thanks for coming!  We love you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Too Big for Their Britches

My little seedlings have grown a bit.
     I was not planning to transplant the tomatoes until next week, but some of them were just too unwieldly.  So I set out the longest, strongest plants yesterday afternoon.
     Drooping pathetically against last year's battered cages, the plants did not look so big anymore.  The wind picked up as I gave the rest of the garden its Saturday night bath, and I wondered if the poor things would survive the night.
     Is this how all mothers feel? 
     As my sons have grown from sucklings to toddlers, and beyond, they seem so big and mature at home, so ready to take on the world.  But when I send each out into the world at each new stage, I wonder.  Is he ready?  Have I taught him well enough?  Is he really big enough to go to the nursery class at church?
     Or kindergarten?
     Or swimming lessons?
     Or Scout camp?
     Now we are approaching junior high school in a world which is, by all accounts, a tougher place than the one in which I grew.  Is he ready?
     And the answer is, of course.  He'll be fine.  He has strengths I know not. 
     So we set out our little plants, with some water and lessons for support, and watch them wilt, and stand, and blossom.  We can watch from the window, and pray that the local wildlife will not dig them up, but we cannot grow for them.  We must grow with them.
     I appreciate my mother, and my husband's mother, for raising us up and setting us out, for trusting us to plant our own little garden.  And for teaching us to trust the Master Gardener to watch over us all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You should see the other guy . . .

. . . but you might not recognize him.
The other guy was a baseball.
It was propelled toward Rollo's eye by . . .
Rollo's own bat.
The coach told him not to watch the ball that closely . . .
Which might be an excuse for what happened later.
Rollo was on second base, where the play was.
His teammate threw the ball to him.
Rollo was watching the runner, a friend of his . . .
and the ball hit him on the shoulder.
This time his team came over for hugs,
and some of the parents suggested the application of ice cream.
I hadn't even made dinner.
I was glad that Rollo didn't sit out.
He took all his turns, if not with enthusiasm.
And his team played well.
Finally it was over, and the teams lined up for high fives.
As the exuberant players ran back to their dugouts, one figure was crumpled on the mud.
Yes, somehow Rollo got knocked over in the celebration.
Hopefully, it was a game for the record books.
He doesn't want to break this record.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rollo is Seven!

To celebrate his birthday, Rollo invited some friends over
 for Jedi training.
They used the Force to keep balloons off the floor.
They used their powerful senses to identify 
scents, tastes, and objects.
They even did some light saber drills.
Rollo renamed the cake Scoot won for him 
in honor of a lava planet.
His guests were starstruck!
Happy Birthday, Rollo!

Scoot Takes the Cake

For the recent pack meeting, the Cub Scouts were challenged to each make a cake for the cake walk, without female assistance.  Scoot was in luck; the Caterpillar was qualified to help him bake a chocolate cake in the morning before school, and in the afternoon his Dad helped him transform the brown rectangle into this spiffy purple light saber!
Here are some of the other Cub Scout cakes:
The names were as good as the decorations.  Behold the Monster Cupcake!
Mr. Smiley
The Egyptian Green Pyramid
Is that Gator guarding the other cakes?
Scoot was among the first to win the giant group cakewalk.  He was told not to claim his own cake as a prize, so he chose the Glacier Cake.  It was a delicious choice!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Poem: Goldfish Lament

Another Magpie Tale

Take me out of the fishbowl,
Take me out to play.
Swimming in circles,
Day after day...
Is that all you think I can do?
Maybe it's true.

Take me out for a picnic,
Let me try pasta and steaks.
Swimming in circles,
Week after week...
I get so tired of flakes.
I'll manage somehow without teeth.

Let me smell the blue sky,
Let me feel the grass.
Swimming in circles,
Year after year...
Watching you live through the glass.
Is water so different from air?