make a splash!

wait for it!

its coming!

100 degrees today with God awful humidy.   

tonight my cousin (who has a pool) is inviting a bunch of us over...to swim...in her pool. 

did i mention she has a pool?

if not - well then she has a pool...........and we are swimming in it
in her pool....

i'm sorry but there is really nothing else i can think about today!

hope you are finding a way to keep cool this weekend!!!


i am grateful - really i am!

i am very grateful for this air conditioner.
~it is unbelievably loud and obnoxious.
~it is so loud i have to turn it off every 20 minutes or so because i feel like my head is going to explode.
~it is so loud that breaking out into a sweat within 15 minutes of turning it off is worth the peace and quiet i get from not having the a/c on.
~it is so loud that i have to turn the speakers on my computer up to 100% just to hear it.
~it is so loud that when the phone rings i have to quickly turn down the computer speakers just to hear the person on the phone.
~it is so loud that when i turn down the speakers to hear the person on the phone i find myself yelling because my ears are still ringing from the loud speakers and loud a/c.
~i am very grateful that i only work 2 days a week and this a/c is at work.

about 15 years ago i sold real estate for a year. i remember one hot summer day i was taking a mother and her child to see a few houses in a not so desirable, low-income neighborhood. we were driving around and i found myself apologizing for the mess inside my car. she looked at me and told me she could care less about how my car looked inside because she has never owned a car that had air conditioning and driving around in one that had a/c was heaven.
with this being the hottest summer in recorded history for our area - i think about that woman everytime i start to complain. i wonder if she ever bought a car with air conditioner...or is she ever had a house with a/c for that matter.
but mostly i think - if that woman had a choice for no a/c or very loud a/c - would she laugh at this post.........or roll her eyes at me for being so spoiled?


getting back into sewing......

i used to sew years ago. i took a class when pregnant with my first son and made the curtains for his room and a maternity dress (well actually a tent) that i wore on my way to the birth center! and i stopped there. i had visions of sewing all these things for the house and for the boys - but never really did. i mainly stuck to costumes

these are one of my favorite costumes i ever made. they are reversable so the boys could be either a knight or king just by flipping the costume. they are pretty beat now b/c they were well used (my youngest just barely fits the larger one!). i love the idea though and am thinking of making more of them to possibley sell - with a version for girls.

so anyway. a few months ago i was asked to make these pentecost banners and suddenly got the itch to sew again. i have a decent stash of fabric and vintage sheets/tea towels (i love fabric - and yarn - and wool......anyone else just hoard without using????) so i decided to just jump in and try something new....namely bags. i requested a bunch of books from the library and when they came i took the plunge. i made these three for my friend cindy's birthday. one thing i found that the stress of picking a fabric for someone else is crazy! i was constantly second guessing my choice. since i was determined to use only what i had - it made it much worse. (i didn't realize that most of my stash was tiny floral prints!) it is much easier to craft for me or just make some things and have someone pick what they want!

for these bags i followed the pattern exactly - just to see the entire process without having to focus on being creative. but now that i've made them - my wheels are turning for other materials to use and styles to make. i'm really enjoying myself here.

first was this zippered pouch. once i completed this one i knew i could do anything! i learned lining and zippers and handles all in one pretty piece! i have some really cool vintage green floral fabric already picked out for my next one. i like making these pouches so much i have a feeling they will make up the majority of my pieces. now i want buttons and trims and embellishments! oh my!

from these pouches i moved on to a reversible tote bag. the floral is a vintage sheet. i used the remainder of the sheet to make lounge pants that as soon as i finish the waist i'll be able to post a pic of it. i like this bag too - even though i like the stripped pattern as the main fabric instead of as a pocket.....also learned to make pockets with this one....the right way...with pretty finished edges.

the coolest tote i made was this one. remember the tyvek envelopes i said i took from the recycling center? well that is what this tote is made of - fed ex envelopes! i love love love how this turned out! super quick too - i could have easily had it done in an hour...but it took me two...mainly b/c of stupid mistakes i made and had to redo. did i mention that my new bff is my seam ripper!!!!!! i had to rip out seams for each project at least 3 times......not fun but part of learning.

so what's next? well - the lounge pants i mentioned are just about done. and after that - skirts. i have fabric picked out and the simple (a line) style chosen. i can't wait to start on them. i have 8 more books requested from the library too. ah - like christmas in july!

our local recycling center.....

recycling is very important to our family. for the past 15 years we have worked very hard to limit the amount of waste that leaves our home. food waste gets composted or tossed into the woods for the critters to eat. items in decent shape gets sold or donated. if i'm really on top of things i can get my act together to freecycle items that are broken but that i can't bear to toss into the trash. but most of our trash gets recycled.

our township has the standard #1 and #2 plastic, glass and cardboard pick up. our school and church has the big bins for paper. everything else gets hauled to our local recycling center.

i love this place. its dirty. its smelly. it is home to a peacock that someone just left there one day. i volunteered there for a bit right before i had my first child...only stopping when my belly got too big to comfortably bag and haul the items!
if you don't know if something can be recycled - bring it anyway - chances are if it can't...it will be used for something creative. i've been known to pick through the trash and bring stuff home (like tyvek envelopes - and you'll see why tomorrow!)

while i love being there - the boys don't like it. they complain about having to go there (this particular day was really hot and the trash crammed into our car was pretty smelly so i couldn't blame them). they complain about having to sort the trash once there. then suddenly they get into it for a bit - fighting over who gets to smash our cartons with their feet and finding numbers my aging eyes can't see. but soon enough they are back to complaining again b/c they are sooo ready to be done.

so while recycling is a great thing to do - not buying in the first place is even better...and that is what i've been focusing on lately. in some areas i'm really good at using what i have first.....in others not so much. but i still feel we are doing more than most so that feels good.

so until we really reduce the amount of stuff coming in to our house -- off to the recycling center we'll continue to go!


how to eat fish with absolutely no waste...........

i can't personally vouch for this method (being that i am a vegetarian) but from i can tell from this guy here - it works!

on our recent trip to the mountains - we stumbled upon this water snack in the lake.  we followed it to this dead sunfish and for the next 20 minutes or so - we were mesmorized by what we saw.

the snake spent the first minute or so trying to decide the best way to eat this fish.

once he figured out that the best way to tackle it was head on - he got right to work

this snake literally stayed in one area just a foot or so away from us

he knew how to put on a show

every once in awhile he'd stop and pose for us - proud of his progress i am sure

sometimes he'd swim back just a tiny bit - maybe he was using the force of his body against the water to help push the fish further into his mouth - or maybe he needed some more water just as we would take a drink between bites.........

he was nice enough to give us a shot of just how wide he could open his mouth

another bow

and finally he was finished.  see how fat he is right behind his head?  i honestly thought i'd see a fish shape come out the back and make its way down this body.  i'm sure he would have stayed longer to let us watch it travel down this body - but by this time we had drawn a crowd (lucky for us they came at the very end) because crazy grandma lady came over and scared it away.

i'm so happy that the guy we were with came through and emailed me this pics! aren't they awesome! i'm not sure i'd be as thrilled had the fish been alive and i would have seen it being killed.....but i am glad this fish was not alive and we got to watch...esp the boys. they talked about it for days!


finally some sun at the lake!

so far this year everytime we've come to our lakehouse it has rained and i haven't been able to take a kayak out onto the water or go for a swim in the lake.  but not this time!  it is beautiful up here today! the sun is shining - there is a little breeze - cooler temps (well in the 80s as opposed to upper 90s at home).  we took a sailboat out this afternoon, swam a bit in the pool and lake and had a competitive game of bean bag toss on the beach.  a major highlight was watching a watersnake completely swallow a dead sunfish.  we got to watch it from the moment it swam up to the fish to the final moment when he got spooked away by some crazy old grandmom and swam away with a fully ingested fish no longer visible.  the worst part - I HAD FORGOTTEN MY CAMERA AT HOME!!!!!!  lucky for me some nice man took my email address and offered to email his pics to me (i really hope he does b/c he got some great shots!!!  it was like the snake was putting on a private national geographic show just for us)

since i have no camera - here are some pics from a month or so ago.........since i basically take the same pics whenever we come up here - i was planning on taking some different types of shots this time around - but alas i'll have to wait until next time.

tomorrow we get to visit with friends who have a house about an hour north of ours.
they have a lakefront house
and a boat.
we are really excited about finally being able to connect with them up here.


what do you do if your headache won't go away?

go to mom and beg her to please do "the mal occhio"
(yep - bad grammar and all - but that's how we've always asked for it!)

it works everytime.........

and no its not snowing here in PA - far from it
i just wanted to remind myself how much i begged for this heat 5 months ago!


its hard work being beautiful..........

with 100 degree heat (and oppressive humidity) outside the best time to weed the patio is 7am
...before the sun hits the pavers
...and as you can see before i get out of my pajamas

but lately i don't mind the work. 

its quiet at that hour
even though i'm not the only one working

and when its all said and done

i can proudly stand back and admire my work


more 4th of july fun

with temps in the high 90s
celebrating the 4th in a pool was a perfect way to spend the day