Thank you all for contributing to my growing list of Grandma-isms! Jake is totally digging them, especially "Lord love a duck!" since one of his students is a real duck-lover. Please do add more as they come to you.
The Buttercup Bag Sew-Along was a delight---lots of quiet concentration, some laughs, differing approaches in all of our collective creative wisdom, great fabrics, and some yummy treats. I brought Cheddar Cheese and Dill scones from my very favorite baking cookbook, Once Upon a Tart. (And as an aside, the distributors all seem to be out of stock of this gem, so quick, buy up the ones on Amazon! A used one is going for $1.50, for Pete's sake! I am serious, do not let this one go out of print without owning it.)
that's mine, up front with the blue buttons,
a gift for a favorite girl called Sophie
Someone around here recently had a meltdown about the kids not being more on top of their chores (hint: it wasn't me). In the back of my mind I had been meaning to make something based on an idea Soule Mama had on her blog awhile back, called a chore board. I was too lazy (still am) to find the link on her blog and re-read the post for the details, but whatevs, I think I got the gist of it here and have adapted it to our use here with input from the lads.
So essentially it's just a bulletin board covered in some pretty fabric, with some pockets on it. Each boy has two pockets, an upper one and a lower one; they each picked the fabrics they liked. The top pocket is for Chores To Be Done, and the bottom one is for Chores that Have Been Completed. At the far right there are two more pockets: Indoor Chores and Outdoor Chores. Each boy has three chores of his own that stay the same each day, each written on a little cardstock ticket. Then each boy picks one Indoor and one Outdoor chore (also on the cardstock tickets), or alternatively THREE Indoor chores (since going outside is sooooo boring in this gorgeous summer weather we are finally having), tucking them into the To Be Done pocket when they are selected in the morning. Once you have completed a chore, you move your ticket to the bottom pocket. If you do extra chores each day, above and beyond your own three and however many Indoor/Outdoor ones you have selected, you get a point towards some incentives like selecting a favorite dinner/dessert, watching a movie, etc.
The result has been very positive, so far. One boy would much rather live in his books, which sometimes results in an unpleasant crash when he is asked to participate in normal household life. Today, knock on wood, he was engaged in chores for most of the morning, and then had some very lovely playtime with Legos and his brother, and a moderate amount of reading. Which I think brought him some balance. And certainly helped us, both emotionally and with the regular maintenance of the home.
So that I was free to work on this:
My next Barcelona Tiered Skirt.
The first Blueberry Pie of the season.
The filling recipe is from the Moosewood cookbook, but since I was out of lemons I used lime zest and juice. Delish, but honestly, hard to screw up a blueberry pie with fresh berries. The crust recipe is from Jerome and Frank, my two boys from Once Upon a Tart (have you ordered it yet?!), who helped me get over my pie crust anxiety so that I will never have to buy a gross store-bought one again. They give such wonderful step-by-step instructions in their book, with pictures. And there's all these great sidebars and stuff, like little quotes, as in Jerome saying something along the lines of: "I never use lowfat milk when baking, I mean why would I?" I just love those guys. Are you sold yet?