We're building a house


I picked up this doll house kit for $5.00 at a yard sale. I thought it would be fun to let the girls build their own doll house and decorate it however they wanted.


Silly me thought we would finish the house in one sitting. So far we've only finished the window trim. Oh well, at least we'll have another rainy day project.


I was going to post links to dollhouse kits but it appears I got very lucky with the little one I found. The only matching kit on ebay was $25 and most dollhouse kits are close to $100 and up. I wouldn't spend that much to let the girls paint the walls and windows with glue (Madison) but for the $5.00 they can have at it.

Stay tuned for building updates. And don't forget to vote. We have discovered that little kitty no name is a girl and Dan is quite upset that Scaredy Face is losing so badly.

Life's little surprises.


Friday morning the girls and I headed out the door to run some errands. As we got into the car we heard a loud "meow, meow, meow, meow" I looked around the front of the house, in the garage, under the van and nothing. We finally decided the noise was coming from inside the hood of Daddy's car. I called Dan down to assist and when he opened the hood this is what he found.


After much coaxing, a bit of chasing and finally a lot of fighting we were able to get the kitty in the house. He/She was amazingly strong and fast for a kitty that can't weigh more than 1 lb. The he/she is there because the kitty is very reluctant to have us touch it. After a few days and bribes with food I finally was able to pet the kitty last night. He/She is most definitely a stray kitty that got separated from it's mommy.
Our first cat came to me at a gas station. While in college Dan and I had a little tiff. I walked up to the gas station and there was this adorable little kitten. A man there said he had found it and that it needed a good home, it was January and freezing, so I went in bought some kitty food, tucked Petey in my coat and told Dan he followed me home.
Our next cat, Dasia, was my sister-in-laws, she asked if we could keep him for awhile while she moved. The first few years I wasn't really attached to him because I felt like we were foster parents. After about 4 years I decided she wasn't going to take him.
After Dasia died we decided to hold off on getting a new kitty for awhile. It seems sometimes you choose to take care of life and sometimes a little life chooses you. I am so pleased that this little one chose us.


The girls are over the moon about the new addition to the family and the only debate is the name. Annie wants Tasha. Maddie and Dan are rooting for Scaredy Head -Dad is insisting I edit to show Maddie thought of Scardey Head all by herself because he was so scared when we found him/her. (she's 3 and he wanted to name Annie Tuna), I myself like Ford due to the cat being found in the Ford engine. The only other suggestion is Tink (aka Tinkerbell) and Pickles. I thought it would be fun put the new blogger tool of polls to use and let everyone vote on the name.

The second little surprise around here was marytree being named as a Blog of Note on Blogger. A big thanks to the folks at Blogger for noticing my little world here. Over the past few days thousands of people have come by to check marytree out, many of you have left really great comments. I have been trying to visit all of your blogs and leave comments and reply where I can. Thank you all for the positive words and I can't believe how many of you remember your grandma's button boxes.
I hope all of the new visitors find a little something here to inspire you or remind you of your childhood and for those of you that have been visiting for awhile thank you for your continued visits and comments, they really mean so much. All right, now that I have lapsed into my Oscar moment I will get back to playing with the newest addition to the family and cleaning out the litter box.

PS. Dawn would you please send your email address?

The Button Box Part 2.


I have my own button box, well, button jar. I pick up buttons at garage sales and the thrift store and toss them in. These are the buttons I use when I sew and when I need a few minutes to myself....


This time I sat with Maddie as she sorted and as she put the blue buttons together she said "Mama, there's lots of different blues, right?" "Yes Maddie, my favorite is the blue of your eyes."

I wonder if the girls will remember my button "box"?

The Button Box Part 1

Grandma's button box

One of the things I took home when we cleaned out my grandparents house was my Grandma's button box. It is the sweetest little box that was full of all these treasures. There were purple buttons all strung together and lots of pearl buttons that would have come from my grandpas work shirts. Along with all the buttons there were religious medals, thimbles and cardboard rulers. I don't use the buttons from the box very often, I feel as if they are to precious to use. Many of the buttons were cut from dresses, jackets and shirts. As I sift through the box I feel a connection to my grandma. I see how frugal she could be; clipping off hooks from the backs of dresses and how religious with the crosses and Mary pins.

I am named for my Grandma, Margaret, and I look very much like her. Looking through this box I also know that I am very much like her, a saver and a crafter, and although we usually wear plain clothes we both do love a splash of purple.

Playing Hooky with Harry....



It was Megan, a friend from the museum, that suggested I read Harry Potter. She said "It's a kids book, but I think you will enjoy it." I remember asking my 8 year old niece if she had read it, "Oh yeah, you HAVE to read it." I remember sitting through programs hoping no kids would come so I could keep reading. I was enchanted and reminded of one of my favorite books as a child, A Wrinkle in Time. As each new book came out Dan and I would get one copy and share, he always finished before me.

Friday night was the big Harry Potter party and we debated going. Around 8 I looked at Dan and the girls (who were in their jammies) and said get dressed we're going. The girls are to young to have read the books and Annie only saw the first movie-ahem, at my mom's. Still, it was a great night for all of us. The girls taking in all the fun and and excitement and looking at all the kids and adults dressed in character. There were wands and house elves, Hagrid and moving pictures.
There were thousands of people, teenagers and with parents, toddlers with grandparents and all of them having a wonderful time because of a book. It was really a wonderful experience and I am so glad we adventured out so late. We didn't stick around to buy our book at midnight but we did get to share the evening with our favorite Harry Potter fans.


The rest of the weekend was spent playing hooky with Harry and fighting with Dan over who got the book.
readingharry harryandpainting

By last night we had both finished and today it's back to business.
Hope you all enjoyed a magical adventure with Harry and the DA.

more on going green....


As I was reading through my post on going green I realized I forgot to mention a few of my favorite ways of keeping things green. One is my inability to pass by items on the curb and let them go to the landfill. I have accumulated quite a bit of goodness this way and a few duds that I thankfully have a big basement to store them in.

This spring I picked up a little desk from the thrift store. It was such a hit with the kids, both of them asking for their own. Not long after I came across one on the curb and the owner was happy to see it go to a good home. Annie picked a bit of pink paint (which we already had) and a new piece of furniture with very little impact. I love watching her sit at her desk, looking out the window and writing and working on projects.

One day Dan came home with a great little desk that he scored from a curb. It was the perfect size for a little spot in the family room. A bit of paint and now mommy has a nice desk to sit at and write, er pile stuff on. A little paint that we already had and the knobs Handy Annie removed.

desk1 desk

Singer Slant-O-Matic

My fab new sewing machine was also picked up curbside. I stopped thinking it was just the cabinet but then found the machine inside. A trip to the repair shop (supporting a small business owner) and it's good as new and would have cost me $300.00. The thought of that in the landfill almost makes me weep.

We have also signed up for freecycle and freesource in our area. We get daily emails of items people are giving away. I have picked up some Le Cruest pots, a full set of encyclopedias, a twin bed frame and more. We got rid of all the sod we pulled up from the landscaping project and if I wasn't such a pack rat we could give away more. Check it out, but I do advise you set up a special email because we get tons of mail from this.

We also do the freecycle with friends getting and giving hand-me-down clothing and kids stuff. Thanks to some very generous friends Annie and Maddie are always well dressed. We loaded the van up with baby goods for a friend last week and now our car seat, stroller, exer-saucer (used for 4 or 5 kids), bouncy seat, swing and bassinet will be put to use and save a friend some money and a few resources.

My last places to mention are the thrift stores and yard sales. So much good stuff to be had. I have the best luck with shoes including the pair of Bear Feet I scored yesterday for 3 dollars and a new pair of Birkenstock sandals for $1.50. I may sell those I eBay.

Anyhow, it always makes me feel good to reuse some of the things that are out there. Hope some of this gives you some ideas.

9 lbs. of Blueberries



Blueberry picking was great. Our friend found a great place in the country with a shaded picnic area, swing sets and a hayride out to the berries. Running late helped us out, no lines to the berries and no lines to weigh in at the end. The kids had a great time and picked and picked.
We have been enjoying the harvest all weekend. Friday morning was blueberry pancakes using this recipe and then I whipped up 2 blueberry buckles while the girls played happily in the other room. (You all know I love letting the girls bake with me but sometimes it is so nice to get things done a bit faster and neater.) The recipe was from here. I substituted for the raspberries. There are more buckle recipes here. Wondering what a buckle is? I was so here is a definition -

"Buckles are baked and are usually made in one or two ways. The first way is that
bottom layer is cake-like with the berries mixed in. Then the top layer is
crumb-like. The second way is where the cake layer is on the bottom of the pan,
the berries are the next layer and the top is the crumble mixture. Blueberry
Buckle is the most prevalent Buckle recipe found. "

You can find out the difference between a Betty, a buckle and a cobbler here. Dan has a blueberry pie in the oven now and I think I'll stay up for a slice. This was my first fruit picking outing and I think we'll be doing lots more. It was a really relaxing way to spend the day. Peaches, raspberries and plums are all coming into season soon. Lots more yummy desserts to make. Maybe a slump will be in my future.


We finished off the day with some yummy fresh mozzarella pizza that the girls topped with basil from the garden. I love summer.

Going Green(er)


I try to keep things green around here. I will say that adding two kids to the mix and made me go for the easy over green more often. I never used paper towels before the kids and I was much better a composting in the past. I do try to make green choices when shopping, paying attention to packaging, using refill water bottles instead of new ones. I have been feeling a little guilty of letting my greener tendencies slide so I have been making an effort lately to make some changes around here. They don't always happen but really I feel so good when they do.

Riding my bike to the grocery store and using canvas bags (if only I always remembered them and didn't have to haul 100 lbs worth of kids with me)


Draining the kids pool with a hose right into the garden. (Gotta love the soaker hose)



Next up vermicomposting and trying to get my husband to turn off the lights and tv.

What do you do to go green?

Here are some green links

green food
eating local
a challenge

rain barrels
water conservation

buying green

Summer Fun


We have really been trying to get as much out of summer as we can. Not much crafting has been going on, much to tired at night to do much more than watch a movie or read.

Here is a bit of what we have been up to around here.





Horsing around...




Stealing from the fridge....

a rabbit in the house

What have you all been up to?

Blueberries for mommy....



We're off to pick blueberries and make some more yummy blueberry jam. Wanna come?



I love the colors of summer.

I'm Mad as a Hatter


Today I used all my creative energy up making blueberry jam. Nothing left to compose a witty post, so you'll have to get by with this.....

What Alice in Wonderland Character Are You?

You are The Mad Hatter

One thing is for sure- you're as mad as a hatter. You have an obsession with time and if tea time were to ever cease, you would probably be even more confused.
Take this quiz!

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