Tuesday, August 16, 2016

day of the mantis






Last month, it was all about the dragonflies. A family of five set up house in the butterfly bush. Some days, two of their cousins visited the yard. Two, sometimes three, of the original family are still hanging around.

But this month, it's mantis time. I've watched my columbine mantis grow from a wee green thing into an adult. I find more mantids in the butterfly bush every day.
Today, for example, there are two in the bush as well as my little guy in the columbines.

Mantids intrigue me. They scare me. They are filled with mystery and wonder.

The word mantis comes from the Greek mantikos, for soothsayer or prophet.
They have binocular vision but only one ear!
And, they say the mantis comes when we need peace, quiet, and calm in our lives.

This is one of my favorite mantis quotes: "Meet the eye of a Mantis and feel the presence of God."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

folk science....plain and simple










It's still blazing hot out there. My dragonflies cling to the yucca tree, watching me as I lay wet vintage linens to dry in the blinding sun. Lucky contemplates life.

The best linen cleaning recipe I've found is the simplest one. Lemon juice and salt directly on the stain. Lay in sun till dry. Soak linens in a big pot of boiling HOT water with 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda. (Be very careful as the combination of salt and baking soda foams everywhere. I found out the hard way.)
Rinse, rinse, rinse. Dry them in the sun and let the neighbors wonder what the heck you're doing.

And it works! The neighbors are confused and the linens are snow white.

Just look how grungy the blue and sort-of white potholders were before I soaked them in the pot and how incredibly CLEAN they were after soaking a few hours! And the tablecloth stain? It was older than I am. Now, it's gone!

I know, yes, I know now, why pioneer women were always boiling things.

Friday, July 15, 2016

102 in the shade











Crazy things happen when it's 102 degrees in the shade. Lucky thought she would dig a small pool in the back yard. Durango and Pinto treed another roadrunner. A family of dragonflies took up residence in the butterfly bush. At last count there were five of them hanging out in the branches! And I decided to clean and restore my grandmother's collection of antique linens, some of which she embroidered herself.


I read up on the old school ways of restoring linens and started two experiments.
Pot #1: One gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup of kosher (don't ask me why the recipe said kosher) salt. Soak linens 48 hours, rinse, and lay in the sun to dry.
Pot #2: Boiling water with lemon slices. Soak linens 24 hours. Rinse well and wash with mild detergent. Lay said linens in sun to dry.

I'll let you know which method worked best.

Durango settled for his wren when the roadrunner flew off. And the pool Lucky so thoughtfully tried to dig for the family? I filled it in and we don't talk about it anymore.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I love socks!






It may be 98 degrees in the shade, (I kid you not), but I have become obsessed with knitting socks! I am hypnotized by self-striping yarn, watching the stripes form, wondering how in the world it even happens.

I've found my calling with #1 dpns.

I can turn a heel! I can make toes! And I can even wear my socks in about four or five months! It's all too much!

Here's the pattern I used and it's insanely easy:
 http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-i-make-socks.html


Saturday, June 4, 2016

lucky's world

I'm Lucky. This is my world.
 I play. I eat. I poop....outside. (I am proud to say I was housebroken very quickly.)
Sometimes it's exhausting being a pup. It's a good thing there are comfy dog beds throughout the house because when I have to crash, I have to crash.
 Pinto is in charge of teaching me the finer points of begging. Pinto ALWAYS gets treats and I am hoping some of this awesomeness rubs off on me.
 Durango is teaching me how to kick back and relax. He's a pro at this. I'm doing my best to follow his lead.
Here I am, in my very own back yard, asking Pinto to play. She likes to chase me around the yard while Durango eats grass. Grass is more exciting than a new puppy? Really?
 They say I'm cute as can be and smart as a whip. All I know is life has been pretty amazing since this pack found me and brought me home.
 Pinto was the first rez dog they adopted. I'm the second. Whenever my humans tell someone I am a rez dog, they tell me how LUCKY I am! I'm not quite sure what a rez dog is, but apparently I am one and that makes me Lucky.
 It wasn't easy, but we did manage to sit still--together--for an entire 1/500 of a second....just so our human could take this photo. We celebrated with alot of hoopla involving tearing it up in the yard.
 More relaxation lessons from the master.
 The humans have a strange thing for dog bellies. They're always taking pictures of my little spotted tummy!
 It's been five weeks since they found me, cleaned me up, and brought me home. They say I fit right in. I say life is pretty darn good.

Friday, May 13, 2016

even chairs have feelings

 This chair belonged to my grandparents. It sat in their attic for a long time. Before that, it sat in their cabin in northern Wisconsin. It also sat in my living room, just like this, for a while. I could not bear to part with the memories.
My grandfather. The chair. 1959.
 We never used the poor thing so I decided to give the chair a new lease on life.
 Scary 80 year old cushions!
 The bare bones....and this chair has amazing bones.
Wax. Buff. Repeat.
 New cushions.
Updated. Pinto approved. The chair is feeling pretty awesome now!
I like to think my grandfather would approve too.