29 December 2009

Women's Work

So, of what is women's work comprised? Well for one thing: making things with power tools. This is the fourth shelf of this size I've put together. It's made of three 1"x6"x4' aspen boards. One goes under the Skil Saw to become the two vertical boards and they are dowel joined using a doweling thing-a-ma-bob (Hey, I got the carpenter talk down pat for when things go wrong, I don't have to mess with the other vocabulary). All in all, pretty slick!

Here is one of the previous shelves in service:

And the big kahuna shelf:

This bad boy started out as five 3/4"x12"x6' edge-glued pine boards. It still needs some kind of back for cross-bracing. The little ones are pretty stable as is, but this one is taller and heavier and tends to prefer parallelogram to rectangle. With a load of books, things could get ugly pretty quickly.

The new shelves are a result of a desperate attempt to get organized. It's going slow, but yesterday, I unpacked 1.5 boxes of kids books that have been in one box or another since 1987 and a half a box of books that have been packed since we left Iowa City in 2005. At this rate, I should be in great shape right about 2025 or so.

23 December 2009

Those crazy kids!

Miss Bean got another dolly from a friend for an early Christmas present last night. She and Bug were making plans for playing house on the way home and while getting ready for bed. At one point, she came into the bedroom to update their progress and announced that Bug was willing to be the father "which was good, because then he could do the dishes and that would leave her time to do 'women's work'."

08 December 2009

The Novelist

Bug has not only taken up writing, but he is ready to publish his first novel. The only problem is that he wrote it in magic marker on the wood of his loft. Gonna be a serious pain in the tuckus to get it in an envelope to submit for publication! It is an enthralling and thrilling story about the Bionicles. Pictures and a (lightly edited) transcription can be found here.

I am just tickled beyond words by the whole thing, but I did gently suggest that he might consider using a notebook in the future. A word to NaNoWriMo 2010: Bug is looking at you!

14 November 2009

Taking inventory

Fiber-wise, that is. My fiber life has clearly been as chaotic and scrambled as my blogging life. I am up to my armpits in WIPs. We'll consider this post to serve the dual purpose of me getting my act (somewhat) together and updating the world as to my fiber stuff.

Fiber, the first: Knitting.

  • Turquoise Leyburn Socks: Done. Too small to get over my big heels. Need to take FO photos and find them a home with a smaller footed person.
  • Raspberry Charade Socks: Done. Need to take FO photos before I wear them out.
  • Beeb Shorties II (Red, Orange, and Yellow): Done. Need to take FO photos before Beeb grows out of 'em.
  • Bug's Fish Hat: Almost done. I'll have to dig it out to see what is left. I also need to sew the eyes back on Bean's Fish Hat again.
  • Kitty Man Socks: Need to figure out where I left off. I misplaced one of the socks, the non-missing sock's needle broke, and my mojo had left the building before I got everyone reunited.
  • Hemlock Shamrock Sweater: Heading into the home stretch. I have been plugging away and am currently working on the sleeves. I may even get to wear it this winter!!
  • More Beeb Shorties (greenish and bluish): Wandered away from them. Need to get back to it and finish before Beeb decides to potty train!
  • Bright Leyburn Socks: Was coming into the home stretch on the first sock when they got misplaced. Found them a couple of days ago, so hope they will start chugging along.
Fiber, the second: Spinning
  • Bunny: I have about an ounce of bunny that I haven't touched for over a year. We won't discuss it any further.
  • Mountain Colors Targhee: Over 3/4 of the way through it, but haven't spun since mid-September. Note to self: Locate spinning mojo and finish it up!!
Fiber, the third: Crochet
  • Little Crochet on the Prairie Scarf: I took a vintage crochet class at the Ear in October and started a scarf based on a crochet edging that Laura's Ma made as cuffs on a dress. I am now completely intrigued by vintage knitting and crocheting. Yeah, I know. I was just sitting around bored before, but now that I have another hobby to keep me busy, I'm golden. Or something. It is pretty though:


I've done about a zillion of the little loopies and came back to the circle to go the other way. Then I have to go around the whole with the edging. I'll have to get a more recent picture soon!

13 November 2009

Opting Out

First, obligatory mutterings: Yeah, it's been a while; no, I'm unlikely to try and catch up on what has transpired. Onward and upward. Anyhoo...

While reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, I came across the term "opting out" applied both to homeschoolers (opting out of public schools and all that goes with it) and locavores (opting out of supporting #2 corn production and the whole accompanying military-industrial complex). I have decided that I like the term and am shamelessly co-opting it.

It was a timely discovery as it is what has been living in my head a lot lately. There are (at least) two major sides to opting out. The first is the best part opting out: choosing something that fits better and works for oneself or one's family. This is the good part, the fun part. For homeschooling, this is not having to live on a strict clock and get everyone out the door at the right time to deliver everyone to the places they need to be; not having to have "discussions" with teachers when Bug digs his heels in and/or acts like a lively, active six-year-old boy; watching skills, abilities, and interests unfold and blossom in all three kids, on their own schedules. For eating local, it is getting to eat tomatoes that taste like tomatoes; getting to know the people that are involved in growing our fruits, vegetables, and meats; understanding how local and sustainable can get a lot of petroleum out of the food chain and get more of each of my food dollars into the hands of the actual farmers.

The other side is the downside. And that is pretty much the rest of the world. For homeschooling, it's the fact that everybody (okay, not really everybody, it's hyperbole, people) thinks they know more about what is best for my kids and what my kids need. In this regard, we are fairly lucky. Wisconsin has a fantastic homeschooling organization that has been instrumental in making it one of the more "hands-off" states for homeschooling. On the other hand, there are still the legion of people with whom the standard conversation goes something like this:

Them: Do you have kids?
Me: Yes, three.
Them: How old are they?
Me: Two, five, and almost seven.
Them: Which school do they go to.
Me: We homeschool (and/or clarify that we unschool)
Next comes the helpful advice part. And a big part of me feels really bad complaining about this, as I know that the helpful advice usually is coming from a good place, that the adviser is truly trying to be helpful, and, like me, wants the absolute best for my kids. The problem is that I have thought (a lot) about homeschooling and unschooling; I have read (a lot) about homeschooling and unschooling; I have been in the trenches with trial and error. And a lot of the advice I get is the equivalent of asking someone with kids in public schools if they have thought about keeping lines of communication with their children's teachers open; if they have thought about volunteering in the classroom if they have time; if they talk with their kids about what they are doing in class and as homework. On good days, I can truly appreciate that others mean well, even when their remarks are somewhat misguided. On the worst days, I usually manage to smile and say thank you and keep the crankiness to myself. I guess the upshot isn't so much "I'm crabby and don't want to hear your advice" as that I sometimes get tired of having to explain (and occasionally defend) myself and my choices. There are times when opting out can be much harder work than it seems and it would just be nice to live in a place where the things I do are normal and I'm not such an odd duck. Or that I could select my own communities (which I often do) without having to drive all over creation to meet up with them.

Likewise, as delicious as eating local is, it isn't without pitfalls of its own. Like living in a state where the state government lives in the pocket of big ag where our milk supplier, who was following the rules for distribution, can be shut down when the state decides to "reinterpret" the law in favor of antibiotics, corn-fed cattle, and factory farms. As furious as I am about losing my milk and yogurt, the thing that absolutely scares the dickens out of me is the possibility that the political winds could shift and homeschool law could be reinterpreted in some pretty scary and invasive ways. Plus, with the loss of the milk income, my farmers could lose their farm or decided to move to live and farm in a less hostile environment. Then I would also need to find a new source for my beef and pork and summer eggs. And how ironic is it that the state needs to shut down farms that are doing things right to prevent competition for big ag, while at the same town, the local cooperative grocery can hardly sell enough to stay in business?

Anyway, enough cranky ramblings for now. This is the hazard of storing up too many crabby blog posts over the last several months. Also, I have gotten dreadfully behind on posting finished objects and updating Ravelry. There have been fibery pursuit including at least a partial conquering of my crochet-phobia! More, and more chipperness coming soon, I hope!

09 October 2009

*snicker* *snort*

Oh man. It doesn't get any better than this. Eating local and organic, Star Wars, and painfully bad puns...

Clearly, someone out there has too much time on their hands.

28 September 2009

Crack for 2-year-olds

Four words: Ring Around The Rosie. Bean wanted to play and after one time through Beeb had to join in and would not let us stop. Maybe I'll have to enlist some of the bigger kids at the park tomorrow to play it with him. All. Afternoon.

25 September 2009

Yes I Can!

and have been doing so frequently. Can, that is. I got a pressure canner for my birthday and have been using it a lot. So far this summer I have "put up" strawberry and raspberry (both red and yellow) freezer jams, concord grape jelly, pickled beets, watermelon pickles, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sauerkraut, beans, greens, creamed corn, and pinto beans. I did the pinto beans as an experiment with my new pressure canner and many other kinds of dried beans will follow when the weather gets cold! The low price tag of dried beans without the hassle of always remembering to soak them the night before? Priceless! At some point, I need to get some pictures of my stash. The grape jelly is particularly lovely if I do say so myself. When I held it up to the light for Miss Bean, she said, "It shimmers like purple diamonds!"

Also, it turns out that the veggies in my chili recipe fit nicely in a quart jar:

So this winter, if I get kidney beans canned, there will be some super easy batches of chili this winter! Other than dumping jars and cooking, the only thing I will need to do is measure and add seasoning, water or beer, and ground been and/or TVP.

There will be at least one more trip to the orchard for apples for apple butter and apple sauce. We got a big bag of eating apples and all the grapes for jelly there last weekend. The concord grape jelly? Between that and the freezer jam, I don't think I am ever going to buy jelly at the store again. The homemade is SO GOOD, that I believed I have been completely spoiled rotten for the other kind. This weekend will be another big batch of sauerkraut as we currently have two CSA cabbages in the fridge.

There are FOs to post and lots of other stuff coming soon...I hope!!!

17 September 2009

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool was...

well, sheepy and wooly. The whole famn damily went up to Jefferson around noonish and we saw sheep dogs and sheep and shearing and lambs and vendors and lunch and shaved ice and all the wooly wonders. Since we had taken two cars, Kitty Daddy and the kids left around 3:00 and I got serious at the vendors. I found buttons for my February Lady Sweater and was viciously attacked by a couple of spinning projects. It turned out that Gale's Art booth was nearly fatal for me. First, this lovely jumped off the shelf, roughed me up, beat me into submission:

It's a merino/bamboo blend and it is as soft and cushy as it looks. While trying to get up and dust myself off, this subtle little lovely on a bottom shelf started flirting with me:

This one is an alpaca/silk blend and quite possibly even cushier than the ruffian above. Her booth also had trindles which captured my eye and my fancy, but they were out of budget after feeding my flock lunch and snacks. Next year, they can starve so I can have more fun at the vendors. Well, probably not, but the trindles did make my fiber encased engineer-type heart go flippety-flop. The etsy pictures hardly do them justice. I haven't tried them, so for now I am trying to convince myself that they couldn't possibly be as wonderful as they look.

Anyway, after the family left and I spent my money, I had some quiet spinning time by myself and did some people watching until it was time for the after-party and Ravelry meetup, organized by our very own Chocolate Sheep. The dinner was yummy and the cheesecake was practically illegal!

21 August 2009

Still here...

Um, er. Yeah, we are still here. The summer continues to fly past and I think I finally figured out where the unaccounted for time went! I had been on top of our scheduled activities: park dates with friends on Monday and Tuesday, library on Wednesday, getting together with our adopted grandma on Thursday or Friday, CSA on Thursday, and sometime other things with friends late in the week. So I knew we were busy, but since most of our stuff is half days or less, I couldn't figure out why I never got around to blogging. However, I think I finally solved it! Both park days plus some of the Thursday and Friday things are up in Madison, which adds a half an hour of driving on each end. It doesn't seem like much when we are driving it, but it sure adds up.

We have started listening to books on CD in the car, which makes the drive more enjoyable for everyone! We are almost through The Birchbark House, which Bean has really enjoyed. She and I are all about the 19th century these days. We have been reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books at bedtime all summer and are almost through with The Long Winter (the sixth book in the series). The Birchbark House is slightly earlier than the Little House books, but tells the story of Omakayas, an eight-year-old Ojibwe girl. Although we haven't gotten there yet, the story continues in The Game of Silence and The Porcupine Year and we plan to get those from the library once we finish the first book.

14 July 2009

More recent garden pictures

These are from just two days ago! The front porch tomato has gotten taller than its cage and has several green tomatoes:

The pumpkins appear to be planning world domination, starting with the entire rocky area. Tomorrow, the whole yard; the next day, you might want to be careful when you go out your front door...I'm just sayin'

We have had tons of blossoms, but have only found three little pumpkins so far and all three are sugar pumpkins (pie pumpkins). I really hope we get some jack-o-lanterns, too, or the kidlings will be disappointed! There is plenty of time yet, so I'm not worried yet. Here are two of our tinies (the third picture was even blurrier than these two...)

Next, the main garden with tomatoes growing tall and quite a few green tomatoes. The beets are few and still pretty scraggly and I think there ended up with a grand total of four carrots. Yeah, live and learn, I guess!

The herbs. Top row: cilantro and basil, second row: oregano and sage (not rosemary as I said in the last post)

And last, but certainly not least, Hin the topsy-turvy tomato.

It was clear from the start that Hin was more than slightly neurotic and refused to have anything to do with upside down. If you look at the previous post the vine is grosing in a very insistent U-shape. However, just a couple of days after the last batch of photos, a wind storm finally managed to make Hin see the error of his ways. After a windy night, I went out to check on Hin and discovered that the bottom of the U was now the middle of an S:

Right after the wind, you could see daylight through the broken stem, but the branches beyond the break have continued to flourish, so it appears all is well and no major veins or arteries (or the plant equivilent thereof) were severed. The broken part has even filled in a bit since then.

12 July 2009

Old Garden Update

These pictures are over two weeks old, so already woefully outdated, but I'll get them posted and then try and get a set of new pictures in the next day or two.

Container tomato on the front porch:

Pumpkins beside the house:
The whole garden:
Close-ups of the herbs - cilantro:
Rosemary (I think, need to double check):
Topsy-turvy tomato with actual tomatoes:
A quick comment about the topsy-turvey...I had been trying to heft the watering can over my head and hit the smallish hole in the planter. The usual result was water all over the deck and me and no clue how much I had given the tomato. After several weeks of this, I finally hit on a solution. I now fill a 12 oz. pop can and put it upside down in the hole. The lid is tapered and the hole is slightly smaller than the can so it just sits there and empties. I am inordinately pleased with myself for coming up with this.

And finally watering the garden:

24 June 2009


We have already discussed Beeb's dire need for hairstyling products, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he took matters into his own hands. The process went thusly:

1. Flip open cap

2. Pour into hand

3. Apply to hair

4. Snap lid shut

5. Wait about a nanosecond

6. Repeat over and over and over and over and...

The only catch? He was using Dr. Scholl's peppermint scented foot lotion. You could smell him a mile away. I think we may finally have to give in and get him a container of gel or mousse. Oh, and dude? The hairstyling would be more effective if you applied it to BOTH sides of your head.

15 June 2009

Garden Update

I can hardly believe it, but at least some parts of the gardening effort are thriving! The front porch tomato plant (with buds!) and its friend, Bean's pink snapdragon:

Four little pumpkin hills with almost vines (instead of just big leaves sticking out of the ground):

The garden with no longer free-range tomatoes (into the cage with ye!) and a lovely (except for holes in the green...darn buggies) row of radishes. There are some tiny beets intermixed, but I'm not sure they will survive radish harvesting. There is the odd fluff of carrot greens in the carrot row. I don't know if they are just slowpokes or if someone is dining on them.

The herb plots appear to be kind of a bust so far except for one little lonely fluff of cilantro:

Again, they may just be slowpokes, so I'm not writing them off yet. And, finally, our newest addition Hin II, a sungold tomato plant in a Topsy-Turvy. I thought we would give it a shot since we really didn't have another place for out new tomato plant!

So far the poor thing is trying to do gymnastics to get right-side-up. Hopefully, it will bow to the inevitable and give in to gravity. I'm considering this an experiment...I'm curious to see how it comes out!

13 June 2009

Little brother

Can you tell how much this little guy wants to be *just* like his big brother? This picture doesn't show it, but he wants to be just like his big sister, too. He watches both of them like a little scientist making important scientific observations and imitates them and tries to join in whatever they are doing. It's adorable, but baby dude? I know you want to be a big kid in the worst way, but can you stay a baby for a while for Mama's sake?

We have been enjoying the spring weather as much as we can. Just this past week, we spent parts of two days at parks, we walked to the library on Wednesday, and we went to an open house at our new CSA. After getting a tour each family got to pick out a bedding plant. We got a sun gold tomato and since Miss Bean was disappointed devastated by the choice, Farmer George helped her pick out a flower. He asked her what color (pink, of course), she rejected a geranium as not quite the right color before settling on a pink snapdragon that was just perfect!

Today, Bean and I went to The Sow's Ear to knit in public and watch the parade for Verona's Hometown Days. We had fun and it was a good reminder that I really need to make more one-on-one time with the kids. It turns out I'm a lot more fun when I don't have kids screaming at each other and bickering. They do play so well together a lot of the time, but they can both from zero to intergalactic crisis in about four seconds when the need arises. The more crises that Mom gets marinated in, the crankier she gets.

06 June 2009

(An Almost) Perfect Day

Yesterday was a glorious day! The only thing that makes me add the "almost" disclaimer is that we are just coming off a bumpy patch of shaken up routines and cranky kids and cranky mommy as we blunder around trying to find a comfortable groove. So there was enough crankiness to require the "almost," but with more days like yesterday, things should be smoothing out!

We started the day at the park with Bug's good buddy B. Both B's mom and I apparently have completely lost the entire month of May, but after not quite getting around to emailing each other due to chaos and endless to-do lists, we finally collectively said "To heck with it" and planned a park day and made it happen. I got to hang out and talk to a grown up, Bug got to run around the playground and be a Lego Agent with B, and, after the playground got overrun with a school outing, we walked around the pond and Beeb got covered in goose poop. All in all, a good morning. And a great reminder that we all NEED outings like this. After spending time with friends, the chaos gets better and the to-do list goes more smoothly.

After our play date, we drove to another park by Lake Wingra to meet our adopted grandma and grandpa (K and P) and his parents (who were visiting) for a picnic. They brought their canoe, a croquet set, a WONDERFUL picnic lunch, and some borrowed fishing poles. Bug and Bean went out with K and P in the canoe twice and Beeb and Bean and I went out with K once. Bug fished off the dock (actually just drowned worms, no fish were caught) with P's dad and Bean had a short go at fishing. We played croquet in various groupings with Bug and Bean making up rules and completely arbitrary scoring systems. A fabulous afternoon!

Then the icing on the cake was spending the evening with the divine Hog and Blog ladies at Late Night Knitting. I think that the best lines of the night were (probably paraphrased): "Poppy killed the wombat!" and "You just don't want to see that cut off and lying on the floor." The medicinal chocolate flowed freely in the form of birthday cake, smoothies, and creme brulee chocolate bars.

So after several weeks of general anti-social-ness, I wound up with three social engagements on the same day! A long, tiring day, but all three had just what I needed most right now!

04 June 2009


Phase I of the lofts is finished! Further phases will involve at least painting and bookshelves...who knows what else will evolve. For now, I'm just going to bask in the glow of having the first part done! Bug's loft:

He slept his maiden voyage in it last night and declares it very comfy! I had to kind of Kinnear Bean's loft as I couldn't get myself far enough into the closet to capture it:

Clearly, Beeb has figured out how to climb the ladder. My littlest monkey. Of course, he can't get down, so he just sits and hollers until someone comes to help him down. He tried climbing down once, made it part way and fell the rest of the way. No injuries, just shook up for a few moments. Since the picture was taken, Bean's mattress has been moved up. We had originally planned on her staying on the floor for a while since she still sleeps very soundly and wakes up disoriented once and a while. However she insisted on be "up" so we moved it. She decided that she would stay in her own bed all night so she wouldn't have to try and climb the ladder in the middle of the night (she usually joins us in the wee hours). However, shortly after getting all tucked in, she changed her mind and spent the whole night with us.

02 June 2009

Creative Energy

As the school year winds to a close for the public school kids, we have been sticking a littler closer to home that usual. EVERYBODY is taking end of the year field trips and some of our favorite places are unusually crowded with large groups of kids whose spirits are already on summer vacation, even if their bodies aren't! Since none of us really enjoys too much chaos, we'll wait them out and enjoy our favorite places again in a couple of weeks.

Even though we haven't been out and about so much, we have been busy! Here Bean models one of two new mama-made dresses. Over Memorial Day, we got a lot of good stuff on sale at JoAnn's and I also had two 40% off coupons, so I got two pieces of shirred fabric to make her two quick and easy dresses. I got most of both done yesterday, with just sewing down three more strap ends on the second dress. The straps on one dress have taken longer that the whole rest of the two dresses combined, but they are still pretty cute, instant gratification projects! The other is lime green with bright lady bugs, but pink with froggies will probably be her favorite of the two.

The boys got their summer hair cuts, so all three posed for a picture. I got a cute picture of Bug alone, but didn't have the same luck with Beeb. He didn't want to stand still, so one is focused and has his eyelids at half mast, so he looks stoned and the other is blurry. But the group picture turned out nicely for all of them!

Another project that has spun off of the loft project is a new flower press. We have lots of odds and ends of plywood left over, so I cut a couple of pieces and got bolts to make this:

After getting it put together, we made a trip out to a nearby state park and picked some wild flowers to press. Now I need to remember to ask at the grocery store for some corrugated boxes to make more layers! Then we can carry it with us when we go to the park and have some nice flat flowers to use in some of Bean's art projects or other activities (I have some ideas percolating...more later, I'm sure)!

01 June 2009

Weekend report

First up, we made great progress on the lofts on Sunday. We got the rest of the slats drilled and the pilot holes drilled (but not installed). We also got safety rails cut, drilled and put up for three sides of each bed. Here is Bugs:

and here is Bean's:

After some agonizing and pondering, we changed the location of Bean's bed and built a side ladder. Where it started, it had to be away from the wall a bit to accommodate the (kind of bulky) heat register. This way, it is across the window, but the vertical pieces are the only thing that touches the wall on that side, so there is plenty of room for the blinds and now Bean has a window in the lower level of her "house." Basically, all that is left is to make and install the safety rails on the fourth side of each bed and put in all the slats so we can put the mattresses up. I wanted to see how things fit together and measure Bean's bed before cutting the last sets of rails, but I think the rest should go pretty quickly!

Saturday was Last Saturday Knitting. Although we missed the delightful Ms. Bee, we are glad to hear that she is recuperating and has the Butcher flu, not the Swine flu. You know, Butcher flu: the people fight back and chop up those nasty little piggies! *snicker* (Yeah, I amuse myself). Other than that, no matter what combination of folks that show up, it is always a great time and this month was no exception. Knitting continues apace, but I'm at a bit of a slog point on everything, so nothing to take pictures of!

But! But! We do have garden pictures. Things are growing. The weather has been perfect. We get rain sprinkles over night fairly regularly and sun during the day (or at least part of the day), so things are growing like crazy! We have container lettuce:

I picked two of the bigger leaves out of the pots to put on my grilled hamburger Saturday night. After seeing me do that, Beeb did some aggressive thinning of the lettuce (especially the pot in the shade) on Saturday when we were all out playing in the back yard after supper. My littlest helper! The carrots are just peeking through:

You might be able to see some green if you embiggen, or you can just take my word for it! The tomatoes are going gangbusters (in spite of occasional abuse by small people playing) and the radishes are starting to get some real leaves:

The radishes still need to be thinned. The problem is that if Beeb sees me thinning, he will help and we won't get any radishes at all! I also need to get more tomato cages soonish. It just won't do to have them wandering around and I don't think one cage will hold the whole pack! And the pumpkins continue to go crazy:

One is a sugar pumpkin and the other is jack'o'lantern, but I don't know which is which off hand. And finally, the container tomato in front. I think this one is growing the fast of all the tomatoes. It is a little bit more sheltered and has some fresh potting mix, so it probably has better nutrition, too!

I am looking forward to seeing some flowers and little fruits. At this rate, it may not be long!

26 May 2009

Movin' on Up!

We have been working on making loft beds for Bug and Bean. Grandpa got a whole whack done on the job when they were visiting and we are finally starting to chip away at the rest of the project. Over the three day weekend, we drilled holes for the carriage bolts and assembled the pieces that Grandpa had put together. Since then, we have cut and drilled pilot holes for about 3/4 of the bed slats. We would have made it through all the slats, but Daddy is on call and had to run to the office, so our assembly line came to a screeching halt.

The kids immediately started putting up blankets and accessories to make their own little houses. Bean made a sofa for hers with two pillows and Bug mostly decorated with stuffed animals and Star Wars figures. Their top sheets were the perfect size for the long edge.

This morning, Bug ran "electrical" wires between the two houses. I'm not sure I want to see our next utility bill!

Beeb has been making himself at home in both houses. But his big highlight is the discovery of Chocolate Cool-Whip. MollyBees was over on Monday to visit and brought strawberries and Cool-Whip dip (I'm pretty sure it's chocolate cool whip packaged in a smaller container and labelled "dip." There is clearly a marketing genius at work). It was such a hit that we picked up some more strawberries and chocolate Cool-Whip. Yesterday, Beeb was a mere amateur with the whip event. Tonight, he clearly had it mastered:

From the grin, I would guess that he likes it at least as much as root beer floats!