30 May 2007

Yooooooou're out!

These adorable little shoes are a gift for a friend of mine who recently had a baby boy.
Baseball shoes

29 May 2007

One more picture, and a contest!

Here's one more shot of something growing in my yard. The first person to correctly identify it wins their choice of a pair of soft-soled shoes or a skein of hand-painted yarn. The only hint I'll give is that those buds are about to be flowers, not fruit. Good luck!

eta: not to sound confusing, but the flowers will be fruit eventually, but to me the picture looks like berries right now.

guess this plant

28 May 2007

A Birthday!

I can't believe she's four! She wanted another Barbie cake and volunteered her own doll for the cake when I told her I didn't have one.
Barbie cake
And has been asking for months for ballet clothes, so that's what she got.

What's up?

Radish seedlings, the first of the summer garden!

radish seedlings

The garden. Go to flickr for details.

The Garden 2007

What's growing...
strawberry patch

24 May 2007


The problem with having so much to blog about is I'm too busy to actually blog about it.

I know I've been scarce lately. It started at the end of April when Frugaldad went to Singapore for 12 days. Since I'm not crazy enough to announce to the internet when my husband is out of the country, I kept my mouth shut. There were no major medical emergencies (one of the girls kicked the other in the mouth the last time he was gone and I almost had to make an emergency trip to the dentist) and no major catastrophes (I even started two irrigation turns all by myself), but by the end of his trip I was really tired of being the only responsible adult around here. I was mostly tired of doggie duty.

I have some great pictures of the stuff that is starting to grow in my yard, and I have spent the last couple weeks working in all my spare minutes turning my garden from a weed-infested wasteland into a beautiful plot of seed-planted goodness. I tell you what, it is a crying shame that I didn't take any "before" shots, because it was almost too depressing to even start the job. Thanks to a Mantis, and some carefully placed sprinklers, I was able to get all the weeds out.

I hate to toot my own horn, but this is the first year in seven that I have had my entire garden planted this early in the season. Usually something gets pushed to the bottom of the list and either doesn't get planted until mid-June or doesn't get planted at all. This is also the first year that I did ALL of the work myself. Frugaldad usually helps with at least the bed prep, but between the trip, the illness that plagued him when he got home, and taking Frugalboy on the Father/Son camp out last weekend, he wasn't available. So I did most of the work during the heat of the afternoons because that is when I was home. I got all the weeds out. I raked all the beds smooth. I put hay down on all the pathways (well, I guess Frugalgirl2 helped me a little one morning with the hay) I spread all the mulch (minimal kid help there, too) and I planted all the seeds (I guess the girls helped a little with that, too. But in all honesty, it would have gotten done faster if I had done it myself, so I ought to get extra points for letting them help me.) And in seven years of gardening, for six of those years I have started in either new ground, or rearranged the planting beds enough that it was like starting over. We decided to change the direction of the beds again this year, so I was starting over. Again.

I have worked hard, and I am proud of myself! And I know I will be even gladder in a couple months when I am able to start eating beans and squash.

Tuesday was Frugalgirl2's birthday and she is quite a beautiful ballerina.

Stay tuned for pictures!

06 May 2007

Saving time and money

Yesterday I mixed up seven pounds of meatballs. I froze them individually on baking sheets and they'll go in ziploc bags in the freezer to be used as I need them. I used my Bosch mixer with the dough hook to mix them up really quick, and a scoop to portion them out. So basically, in the time it took to make one dinner, I made seven. This will save me time in the future, and also some moo-lah because I won't have to order a pizza or drive through McD's. I just threw them together without a recipe, and they turned out pretty good.

For each pound of ground beef, use one egg, about 1/3 cup of either bread crumbs or oatmeal, a couple tablespoons of dried minced onion, 1/2 tsp salt, and some pepper.

To cook them, I either put them in a baking dish and pour some sort of sauce over them, and bake them at 375. Or, I put them in a skillet, start to brown them, then pour in the sauce, cover, and simmer them until they are done. I use an instant-read thermometer (160 degrees) but it takes around 25-30 minutes total.

For sauce, you can use sweet and sour, barbecue, or tomato. My kids love them almost every way.

03 May 2007

Busy hands

I've been busy, lookie, lookie!

I am so pleased with how these shoes turned out! They are actually getting swapped, though, to Stacy.
Flower shoes

I made two versions of Katja.
The Katjas

The pattern is actually quite flawed, however. A quick search of a couple knitting forums has confirmed that everyone had the same problem. Basically the garter stitch at the top of the body gapes because of the nature of the stitch gauge. I compensated by weaving elastic through the stitches. There's a couple more pictures of both tanks on flickr. When Frugalbaby wears them, though, it's as a top layer over a shirt. I'm teaching modesty at a young age. No bare shoulders at the Frugal Farm!

I'm also attempting to get back into my household cleaning routine, and attacking little household projects one at a time. Monday I reorganized the laundry room cupboard and today I did some pantry organization. One of these days I might even get to the sewing table.