Archives for August 24, 2015

All the Things

I finished reading Owls in the Family to the kids over the weekend.  I think this must have been one of my favorite read alouds in quite some time.  It’s based on the true childhood experiences of the author, Farley Mowat. (He is one of my older boys’ favorite authors.  Owls in the Family is one of the few books he wrote for younger kids.)

I did indeed dye yarn with pokeweed.  The berry picking part was unpleasant, and it took me close to an hour to pick enough of them.  I thought to myself, “Well, this will certainly be a one-time thing.”

But then my yarn turned out like this (the one on the left–on the right is yarn dyed with goldenrod) and I started having new thoughts:  “I need to pick more berries so I can dye more yarn!”

Later this week, I’ll try marigolds.

Larkspur spent her saved birthday money to purchase a cage for her new gerbils last month.  What a disgusting, messy nightmare that wire, multi-level cage was!  I share this only in case you are considering rodent pets.  I bought a nice big aquarium for them and now when they kick their bedding it hits the glass rather than the floor.  I told Larkspur that we can save the wire gerbil cage for bird rescue.

Small Things-0055

Because sometimes we find ourselves with an injured bird and they need a safe place to stay until we can get them to the real bird rehabilitators.  Gabe plucked this little goldfinch from the water on a kayaking trip last week.  Sadly, it didn’t make it.

Sunday afternoon, while I was working in the kitchen, Silas set himself up with a craft.  He told me he was making felt balls.  I’m not sure how the vanilla extract came into play, but it did smell nice.  I’ll ask Silas if he can put together a little tutorial for us.

I experienced the magic of turning a giant basket of fresh tomatoes into a tiny pile of cooked tomatoes on Sunday afternoon.  Beatrix asked, “Hey!  Why are you boiling tomatoes?”  I replied, “To make tomato sauce for dinner, silly!”  “Oh,” she said.  “I was wondering if tomatoes might make red dye.”  I’ve only been messing around with yarn and natural dyes for the past couple of weeks and it seems that my kids have forgotten that I do sometimes actually cook food in the kitchen.

The honeybees are in the Japanese knotweed, our last real flow of the year, thanks to this invasive plant that we have a love-hate relationship with.  I sure hope our bees are making themselves lots of honey for winter.