Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Learned February

Local Mystery
Who knew we had a local mystery in our little town?  The charming statue pictured below was found abandoned in a yard.  The police are looking for the owners of this large bronze statue of a boy they have nick named Huck Finn.  Details here.
Bronze Boy - Ferndale PD photo

Robo Lawn Motors

Yes, they have robotic lawn mowers that mow the lawn. That is AWESOME.  I have been training the boys to do the lawn but how great would it be to have that thing set to mow on a schedule and not have to nag. Of course, this is extremely pricey and kid labor is cheap but painful. IS IT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT MOWING THE LAWN?

Chip and JoAnn Gaines are writing a BOOK

I want them to adopt me.  I love their show and I can't wait to read the book when it comes out. Fun Facts about Chip and JoAnn. Read what they are up to lately - Life Lately


I am linking up with Chatting With the Sky - What I learned February

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Almost Leap Linky

February Sunrise

Research Shows Household Chores a Proven Predictor for Success - I totally need to assign some more chores to my teenagers!

Easiest Monthly Meal Plan is a way to plan meals for the entire month.  I don't plan for the entire month but I do keep a list of frequent meals and I detailed here at My Hunt and Feed Strategy

The Default Parent Resume - This cracked me up in a good way.  IT is so true, too!

Clutter Can Lead to Emotional Eating - interesting

The Movie Quote that Made Me a Better Parent

Geocacher Finds Homemade Bomb - As a geocacher, this is right up with things I don't want to find while geocaching.  I put dead bodies there as well.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Clock Tower/Mystery House Update

Side View of  the Ferndale Mystery House
Yes, this quirky house has been in the news again.  Update from Discover Ferndale

I have to say the front is looking a lot better with most of the real brick work done and most of the debris cleared from the front. I believe the city has said the mirror looking windows were not part of the plan and must be removed.  The other side features those mirror windows as well.  The wooden cut outs I believe are eagles.

Previous posts on Ferndale's Mystery House - Every Town Has One

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Batman Lollipop Bouquet

We ended up adding more lollipops to completely cover Styrofoam ball
My son was selling these specialty suckers/lollipops for band for the past few weeks.  At the end he had a bunch leftover.  The same son was also involved in helping with a youth group sweetheart superhero dinner so we came up with the batman lollipop bouquet to be raffled off at the dinner. We made this together but this is an easy enough craft for most teens. We found a batman mask coloring page and shrunk it down to fit our pot and traced on cardboard. 

Then we traced around the small mask shape and coloring in with sharpie. There is a Styrofoam ball in the pot and the lollipops are stuck into it.  We ended up augmenting our specialty lollipops with dum dums.

My main contribution was the little sign included in the bouquet

I had made one of these before for my cousin for her 50th Birthday- titled 50 sucks

Mavis at 100 dollars a month also has some good directions.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Gelli Plate

I got a new art toy! I have been experimenting with mono printing with a gelli plate.  This is a reusable gelatin plate used to make monoprints.

My set up with a 5 x 7 gelli plate

It is a lot of fun. and definitely addicting.   I like it because it is wonderfully messy and the plate can be reused over and over.  I liked Adventures of an Art Teacher tutorial
print made with bubble wrap and plastic bag

made with a valentine

***This post contains amazon affiliate links

Monday, February 15, 2016

What I read February

Do you ever end up with something on your "To Be Read" list and have no idea why.  Well, that happens to me a lot. I found this suggested read on the back of my to do list.  Someone, somewhere recommend this young adult book - Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This fantasy young adult book isn't normally something I read.  I found myself reading this in short spurts.  The main character is a girl, Katsa, that definitely demonstrates girl power. Graced with special fighting/killing skills she is employed by her Uncle.  This book has action, mystery, and a bit of romance.

Another book on my "To Be Read" list was The Circle by David Eggers.  This another type of book I don't usually read.  The book was completely thought provoking social commentary about the Internet and how interconnected we need to be.  The circle is a company that is controlling all the Internet and trying to make everything interconnected.  The book is through the eyes of  Mae. The ending made me sad. (No Spoiler Here) Modern Mrs Darcy Review .  This book also scared the heck out of me because the reality is we already pretty connected in not a very healthy way.


Those who know me know I love a good adventure read.  I love reading about other's adventures on long distance trails.  I myself will probably never hike a long distance trail.  I totally binge read this book. Southbound is about two sisters who tackle the Appalachian trail starting at the northern end and traveling south.  I have read a few books such as Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods book where most hikers start in Georgia.  These two sisters with the trail names of Isis and Jack Rabbit do most of the trail barefoot.  This was a great read.  I wish at the end of the book it would of followed up with what the sisters ended up doing after the trail.  There were also a couple of hikers they were traveling with which I would of liked to know what happen to as well.  Maybe their follow up book Walking Home can shed some light on that. Bummer that this book is not available at my local library. This was an engrossing and entertaining true story.

Need more adventure reads check out my post Arm Chair Adventures

Check out what everyone else is reading at Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.

*This post contains amazon affiliate links

Friday, February 12, 2016

Spreading the Love

Stencil on Outside of Card

Here is what I came up with for a Valentine Cards. 

I made a stencil of XOXO out of a cereal box.

cool stencil shadow photo

Then I use colored pencils to color in stencil.  I was able to find at Micheal's two different hugs and kisses stamps and used that on the inside of the card.

In addition, I made some boy specific Valentine cards.  These Star War Valentine printables came from Skip to My Lou.  I mounted them on tie dye origami paper that I had in my stash.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Car Learning Curve

Dear Diary
Somehow car technology has COMPLETELY left me behind.  We recently purchased a new to us car and I have had a steep learning curve.  I drove the same Ford Explorer for 13 years.  I KNEW knew that vehicle.  In the last 2 months between travel and new car, I have an opportunity to drive several new to me cars. 

That has left me with some funny experiences such as I couldn't figure out how to shut off the flashers or how they got on.  I had to send a SOS call to my hubby AND I even tried looking it up in the book.
Yep, that red triangle is the flashers

I rented a brand new limited explorer and couldn't figure out how to start the vehicle.  I embarrassed my son's by asking the lot attendant.  You had to push a button (got that part) and hold the brake down( didn't get that part). I bet they were wondering why the heck they rented me a vehicle.

I took my car in to get a new back windshield. They gave me a loaner car and I couldn't figure out how to turn on the wipers. I was super embarrassed when I had to go back and ask the service center as we were having a heavy down pour.   Honestly, I am not blond.

I have TOTALLY learned a lot of about cars and my ability to drive them. Change is hard and getting a new to me car really left me feeling like a beginner driver.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Linky Love

Is the Superbowl not interesting enough?  Here are some clickable links for your enjoyment.

5 Novels that Feature Unforgettable Houses

First Love Them - I love me some Teacher Tom and once again this applies to adults, too

Setting Children Up to Hate Reading

Here is a post when a snowy owl visited our neighborhood.

Friday, February 5, 2016

T-Shirts with a Message #7

Oh, I love some T-shirts with some messages. A favorite hobby of mine is when shopping at Value Village or Goodwill to find interesting t-shirts with a message.  The message usually needs to make me laugh. I realize that is a very low bar to meet.

Can you believe they wanted $7.99 for "Hello, I'm DRUNK" shirt.  That is funny.

Monday, February 1, 2016

What is Saving Me

Modern Mrs. Darcy asked what is saving you at winter's mid point.  I thought I would link up- What is Saving Me. I am lucky to live in an area that doesn't get brutal winter weather but it is so dark here AND rainy. Below is what saving me during the dark winter months.

Walking in the Fog
Hovander Park
My friend and I have been walking even if it is slightly rainy, damp, muddy, or dark.  The physical activity is great but also the companionship is lovely.   My friend is great listener.  I feel so much better after I walk both mentally and physically. I use a fit bit to track my progress.


Nothing ruins a morning faster than having to search for something.  This year I eliminated the search for the writing utensil by having pencils by the front door.  Such an easy thing has been making getting kids out of the door a heck a lot easier. I am adverse to rough mornings. Who doesn't like a freshly sharpened pencil.


Watching the birds from the kitchen window.  I guess I am turning into a bird watcher. I have a hummingbird feeder and it is fun to watch the hummingbirds.   I have joked that this has turned me into my parents. We also took time this January to go see the bald eagles. It has been fun to spot hawks, eagles and various other birds.


With 7th grade this year for one child, I have to deliver said child/trumpet player to school early for Jazz Band.  I struggle with being coherent in the morning. After a couple of missed practices,  I have been taping a reminder to my microwave above the stove. The note isn't pretty. However,  it has helped both of us remember to stay on task and get to "Jazz Band" with our "Jazz Hands".  (ha, ha)

What was saving me in 2015