Fairy Bath

Yesterday I had a play date with Isaac, my 5-year-old nephew, who’s practically perfect in every way.  Here’s our list of accomplishments:

  • Shopped at a nursery and only spent $6
  • Petted goats, a sheep and a bunny
  • Purchased a Tim Horton’s vanilla dip donut with sprinkles (sprinkles are incredibly important to 5-year-olds)
  • Made perler bead creations
  • Bowled, canoed and dueled with swords on the Wii
  • Made chicken salad sushi rolls (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it)
  • Played Candy Land (I won)
  • Geocached/walked/Isaac rode his bike
  • Made sloppy joes (during which he operated a food processor with great professionalism)

He also wrote a bunch of words and asked me what they said:

  • doxo
  • clo
  • iso
  • coxo
  • xod
  • oxo

He’s apparently fond of x’s right now.  Then he used a high-lighter to “light them up”.

As for photos – I’ll share with you a little something I created Sunday, in my yard.  I only had a small tray for the top level, so it’s for small birds and fairies to bathe themselves.

Fairy Bath Decoration Thingy

Fairy Bath in Context

I’m very eager to get back out there – lots more to do outside, but I don’t think I’m a rainy weather gardener.



The Chihuahua’s Birthday Party

That should be the title of a children’s book, should it not?

My baby turned 3 today! My baby is a Chihuahua named Maddie.

Usually we just snap a picture, post it on Facebook and it’s over.  But this year things got a little carried away…

Breakfast in Bed

Our family always serves the birthday boy or girl breakfast in bed.  I decided that Maddie needed the same treatment … mostly ’cause I thought the pictures would be hilarious.  So breakfast in bed it was!  She was a bit confused, but since it was her regular disgusting breakfast of raw meat and veggies, she didn’t waste any time scarfing it down.  The little slice of strawberry provided as a special treat took a bit more time … it was just too weird for her … but eventually that went down the hatch, too.  The umbrella drink just got a suspicious sniff.

Maddie the Chihuahua has breakfast in bed on her birthday.

“Mmmm, I love strawberries… Wait, what’s a strawberry?”


While chatting on the phone with my sister this morning, I mentioned that it was Maddie’s birthday.  She passed the news onto my nephew Isaac (age 5).

Awhile later he called me back and asked ever so sweetly, “Aunty Jennie, can we come to Maddie’s birthday party?”

What’s an Aunty supposed to say to that?  So, of course I ran to the grocery store for a cake mix (vanilla, ’cause chocolate isn’t good for dogs) and threw that thing in the oven.

Isaac helped me frost it and decorate it and he carefully arranged the candles “in a triangle”.  We sang Happy Birthday, Isaac blew out the candles and we all ATE CAKE!  Really, it was a decent excuse to have cake, which I’d been craving for days anyhow.

The birthday girl licks the beater.

“Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing”

Birthday girl licks the candles

A chihuahua sized serving of cake

What?!  That’s all I get?

Miss A was NOT impressed with singing Happy Birthday to the dog (I assured her it was voluntary), but she was fine with the EATING CAKE part.

And last, but not least, Dear Isaac brought Maddie a doggy treat, wrapped up in tissue paper.  Apparently it’s the same tissue paper that he used to wrap a present for his Mommy earlier today … a used pair of her own undies.  Such a thoughtful little tike.  Maddie didn’t seem bothered about the twice used tissue paper.

Maddie gets a birthday present from her cousin


Things are finally back to normal … Maddie is curled up snoozing in my lap.

An Anthology of Sorts

It’s been a few days, so I’ve compiled a few vignettes of the weekend, etc.

The Great Gum Exchange

I had my nephews, Isaac (5) and Silas (6), in the backseat of my car on Saturday.  I gave them both a piece of yummy green apple flavoured gum.  When it was time to get out of the car, Silas tried to hand me his gum, saying, “I don’t want this anymore.”

Isaac piped up, “Aunty Jennie I swallowed my gum.”

“Do you want some more?” I asked.


I suggested, “Silas is all done with his, why don’t you take that.”  I know, so gross – but they’re brothers, for goodness sake.

Silas handed the chewed wad over to Isaac, but was met with a disgusted, “But it has spit on it!”

I thought that was going to be the end of that and I’d have to dig around in my purse for a fresh piece.  But Silas piped up in the sweetest, helpful big brother voice, “I’ll get the spit off it for you.”  He proceeded to roll the wad between both of his hands, like you’d do when rolling bits of play dough into worms.  “Here you go,” he proclaimed.

“Oh thanks,” said Isaac and popped it in his mouth.

Communion Greed

So, it was Communion Sunday at church this week.  In our congregation, that means that little shot glasses of grape juice, representing Christ’s blood shed for us, and tiny wafers of bread, representing Christ’s body broken for us, are passed up and down the aisles and we all partake together at the appropriate time.


Mr T’s friend Mr M was sitting on the other side of him and then there was a big gap down the row until there was more people.  So Mr M asked Mr T to hold his little grape juice while he carried the implements down the aisle.  For some reason, Mr T passed it down to me.  Then Mr M came back with his own little grape juice and I was stuck holding TWO!

Communion should be a quiet and reverent thing … but I think Jesus will forgive us all for getting the giggles.  It was awful.  Those two jokers snickered and snickered.  Mr M tsked at me and whispered about how greedy I was being.  And when I shot back not one, but two little glasses of juice – they very nearly lost it.  But what was I supposed to do?  I couldn’t leave one full, it would have spilled on the carpet or upholstery.  And I don’t know why it was so hilarious, but it was.   What would you have done?

All I’m saying is, “Mr M – you’d better watch your back!”


Miss A, the two nephews and I went on a geocaching adventure on Sunday.  At one point, the GPS took us to a point right in the middle of the trail, where a cache couldn’t possibly be hidden.  So it had to be off to one side or the other.  We chose the side that made the most sense and hunted around for a while, with no success.

We looked over at the other side, which consisted of a chain-link fence which I could just reach the top of.  Directly on the other side of the fence, was a barricade made out of those giant concrete blocks that they use on the sides of roads to prevent avalanches from burying your vehicle.  They fit together kind of like Lego.  It was just a bit taller than the fence.

I thought I would casually climb the fence and just peek on the top of those cement things to see if the cache was sitting up there.  Ha ha ha ha.  Not sure why I thought I could still climb a chain-link fence.

So Isaac said, “I can do it Aunty Jennie.”

I held onto him and he climbed to the top like a little monkey.  The next thing I knew he’d climbed up and over and was standing on the concrete barricade, like 9 feet in the air.  “Isaac, you weren’t supposed to climb over the fence!” I shrieked, “But since you’re up there – do you see a cache?”  Might as well make the most of the nightmarish situation.  He came up with an empty Starbucks cup, but that was it.  “OK, now get down,” I hissed frantically.

Just as he was backing over the edge and trying to fit his little feet into the chain-link fence, a couple of people came down the trail.  “Oh my gosh, do you need help?” they exclaimed.

“No, we should be OK, he’s really light,” I responded, as Isaac was trying to stand on my face and simultaneously untangle his sweater from the pointy tops of the chain-link fence.  “We’re fine, really.”  So embarrassing.

Hopefully they don’t call child protection … or his Mom.

We found the cache, it was on the other side of the trail, where we originally looked.


For those of you in the know about geocaching, it requires that you replace whatever you take from a cache with a treasure of equal or greater value.  Since I’m not really into introducing more junk into our environment, I don’t like to buy dollar store toys like a lot of people do.  I’ve crocheted a lot of flowers through the years and left those.  But recently I got a new idea.

These are the designs I finally settled on. The flower is for tiny caches that don’t have much room.

Every time Isaac has been over at my house lately, he’s wanted to make something with the “beados”, as he calls them.  They are also called perler, hama or melty beads.  You arrange the plastic beads on a peg board and then fuse them together with a clothes iron.

Well, I got the brilliant idea to make a bunch of geo-treasures with the “beados”.  And that’s what I did.  ALL DAY YESTERDAY.  Seriously non-productive day.  I got lost online looking for patterns.  Then I had to experiment with patterns and make a bunch of prototypes.  Once I finally settled on my design, I had to make a big batch of them.  The idea is for Miss A to take over this job, but I’m not sure if she’ll be a willing participant.

I feel so silly for spending so much time on it, but it was probably more productive than reading … yet ANOTHER zombie novel.  (Do I need an intervention?)

Perler bead charms for geocaching. The little bag in the bottom right corner is how I package them to put them in the cache.

Can you find the robot with the missing legs?  He was in an industrial accident … poor fella.

Digging holes

Well, I should be good and sore tomorrow.

I didn’t actually get to those holes that I was going to dig last night.  But today I managed to convince my husband that the task would probably kill me and if he wanted me around a few more years, could he please please please dig the holes?  I’m moving the hostas and ferns from the front yard into the back yard, along the fence.  They used to live under the walnut tree, but now that it’s gone, they’re in full sun and a bit upset about that.

Anyhow, I only managed to divide (into three) and transfer one big hosta.  I already gave Mom a big hosta (which we also divided into three).  And I weeded a bunch along the back fence, too.  Gardening is seriously back-breaking work.  And when I see how much needs done, I get overwhelmed and a tad bit discouraged.  But I’ll just keep at it for a bit each day – not putting too much pressure on myself (or my aching back).

“Big Red ” (the super scary evil wheel barrow)

Maddie does NOT like our big red wheelbarrow.  A couple of days ago she barked at it frantically, practically giving herself a heart attack.  Today she just woofed at it menacingly a few times.  Hopefully she and Big Red can come to some sort of truce.

Besides weeding and tidying, the plan includes getting rid of the island flower bed in the front yard.  I’ll take some of what’s in there and transfer it; I just can’t keep up with it all.  The weeding alone will probably take me a couple of months.

And I also picked rhubarb.  Which I just remembered is still out on the lawn (and the rain is now coming down sideways – ugh).  I think I’ll make jam out of it.

And I tended to my sick girl who came home from school with a stomach bug.  Rice crackers, bananas and egg-drop soup seem to be staying down.

And I cleaned out a bunch of moldy food containers that the sick girl had stockpiled at school.  Gag.  Normally she’d have to clean them herself, but I decided to be nice … what with her being pukey and all.  Double gag.

And I read a bit.  I’m reading a Stephen King novel, Cell.  I don’t typically like horror … at all … unless there are zombies or aliens.  I’m having a bit of an obsession with zombies lately.  If you haven’t noticed … zombies are a bit of a cultural craze right now in literature and media.  I’m only comfortable with the kind of zombies that result from some catastrophic event that can be explained scientifically.  I don’t do any type of horror that has a spiritual or super-natural aspect to it.  A girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere.

And Mr. T and I went shopping at Costco and behaved ourselves quite well (unlike my Grandmother R. would have!)

And we’ll be eating leftover chili for the 4th night in a row … so I don’t have to worry about dinner.  Phew.

Transplanted hostas and ferns (photographed from the shelter of my back window)

Plans for the rest of the day:  Eat leftover chili (for the 4th day in a row), sew for a bit on my pantry curtain, read more about zombies.

Isaac’s Birthday Party

I can’t believe little Ikey has turned 5 (well, he turns 5 on Tuesday), but today was his birthday party.  Ikey was very adamant that he wanted an Angry Birds birthday cake (Angry Birds is a game he plays on the iPhone).  A friend of Leah’s was going to make the decorations for the cake, but forgot :(

Luckily, I’d already planned to make a bunch of mini cupcakes in the theme’s colours.  So, I quickly created some little flags on the computer and the Angry Bird’s cake was saved!  And the (gluten-free) mini cupcakes were SO YUMMY.  One of the guests at the party told me he’d trade me wine for cupcakes any time (he’s a liquor sales rep).

Angry Birds Mini Cupcakes

Of course, I was 45 minutes late to the party.  I kinda dawdled my way through the morning and then panicked when I realized I was running out of time.

First, I rolled out of bed, grabbed the clothes I wore to church the night before, slapped a ball cap on my head and headed for Starbucks.  I was so excited to find out that a gift card I received had $25 on it.  I had a nice chat with the Starbucks barista.  I told him I’d only just got out of bed 12 minutes before.

Then I went to the grocery store and bought way more stuff than I’d planned (as usual).  Grocery shopping with a venti latte in hand is tricky.  I spent a bunch of time looking at crochet magazines, but managed to talk myself out of buying one.  I got home at 11:15 – the party was starting at 13:00 – and I still had to make the cupcakes!  Terry helped with sprinkles and fetching things and making the birthday card, etc.

Isaac opening his presents (with his cousin looking on)

Ikey’s party was a casual affair – lawn chairs in Leah’s driveway, with kids running and riding all over the place.  Ikey wiped out on his bike and somehow did a handstand before landing on his side (in the grass).  We all cheered like he did it on purpose and he gave the cutest little grin.

We just gave him some cash and I’m going to take him shopping for a present on Tuesday.  Click here for a little video of Isaac opening presents.

The birthday boy

Plans for the rest of the day:  clean up the kitchen and dig some holes for transplanting hostas to my backyard.

The cupcake mess I came home to.

  • Jennie C.

    Just a regular gal, trying to keep up with things.

  • what i’ve been reading…

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