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So we’ve just started our 4th week of camp and it is going to be crazy hot! We’re talking temps of 100 degrees  – with heat indexes in higher triple digits! But I’ll  jump back in a day or so to tell you about my tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary for all you abandoned and haunted building lovers out there! I have tons of pictures!

Oh the dress I made my niece?!  Well – my SIL said it didn’t fit – it’s too small! and yes the straps needed to be let down in the back. I left those purposely with room to let out because you never know without the person in front of you how it’s going to fit . But I thought it was perfect and the elastic around the chest and waist had perfect room! And the length? Spot on!  I think she and I have differing opinions of how clothing should fit 🙂  SO! I shall make a size 3 and see how that goes …

Bright Blessings!


A Saturday or two ago, the girls and I made the short jaunt to my brother’s house for my niece’s birthday. She was turning 2!  I love 2 – such a fun age. Almost makes me wish for more girls. Almost. 🙂

I had such a hard time trying to decide what to make or buy for her birthday. I knew she’d be getting a lot of toys – light up toys probably – so I didn’t want to get her any of those. But I knew no one would get her any books. So books it was!  J and I went to the book store and picked out a couple of our favorites. Finding the “right” book for a two year old is kinda difficult. I would have bought any book for my 2 girls when they were that age. They would sit and listen to anything I read them. They loved the pictures and me telling the story. Not sure what my niece  would do. Is she capable of sitting and listening to a story that has a more complicated story line? Do they even sit and read to her very much at all? My brother and s-i-l are NOT big readers unfortunately. No bookshelves in their house and no stacks of books anywhere! The horror!

We did settle on books geared more towards the younger set – so Goodnight Moon, a counting book and one other. We also picked up a package of playdoh!  Why do parents always cringe at that?  Really!? It’s not going to get rubbed into the carpet if you don’t allow it to be smashed there. If you set up playdoh time a the kitchen table then they will learn that playdoh is only for the table! Seriously you would have thought I’d brought in a pail of mud!  (and really? mud is fun too!).  You should have heard the moan and groan out of that group when she opened that gift!  Oh well. I grew up in a house with absolutely NO crafts at all! Yep – no markers, no playdoh no glue and definitely NO paint! It’s a wonder I survived. Might be why I insist on having all these things for my 2.

Any way, I digress. I also wanted to make her some sort of cute dress, since according to my mother (grandma), little miss F is always in pants and boots. It took a while for me to decide on a pattern. I went through my Japanese sewing books (everything was at least a size 4), and I went through my Ottrobe magazines.  I wanted something simple and cute. I FINALLY settled on an older Simplicity pattern that had been passed on to me by my Aunt.

So last week, when I had some time away from the barn, away from camp, I sat down to work. Lucky for me when I went to trace the pattern I found someone had already traced it off!

Laying the pattern pieces and cutting it out…

The bodice pieces are cut out …

The top pieces. I went ahead and lined it.  The pattern just had you fold over the top piece to insert the elastic – but I wanted something a litter nicer.

The skirt and the bodice pieces sewn together.

I added a piece of ribbon to the waist for that piece of elastic. Then shoulder straps and I was done! It turned out super cute and I hope they like it. I’ll give it to them this Saturday at our family reunion.

I’m pleased with how it turned out. Now Jaia wants one!

Bright Blessings!

Have you ever been to the circus? That huge 3 ring catastrophe of possibly mistreated animals on performance? Can you tell I’m not a big circus fan?  We took the girls to one of these years ago and it was loud and I don’t think anyone of us had much fun. I was too busy thinking about how they treated the animals. We’ve never gone again.

Well, here in St. Louis – we  have Circus Flora! What’s that? You ask – It’s our very own one ring LOCAL circus! Many of the performers are locally trained and I think the horses, or some of them anyway, live locally too. In fact, one very fun horse at Avalon Horse Farm is a retired Circus Flora performer.

Waiting out side for the rest of our group to arrive – we went with Rowan’s Pony Club.

Stilt walker.

Here you can see most of the one ring – and did I mention they have LIVE music? No? They do. It was fantastic.

Each year the circus has a theme. This year it was the Wizard. As in Merlin and King Arthur.  The wizard told the story verbally as the performers told the story visually.  I wish you could have seen it! It is so hard to describe.

They have tightrope walkers, jugglers, acrobats, and Nino. They have majick tricks and dog tricks. And of course the horse act was the favorite part of the show.

It is a family show. The tightrope walkers are a family that have been doing this for years – for years! And the unicyclists were ( I think) a mother, father and daughter (about 9? I would say)

We spotted this performer when J and I stepped out to use the bathroom at intermission. He’s waiting for his turn.


All lit up!

After the show, the group got to visit “back stage” – where J snapped a fuzzy pic of this cute guy waiting for his grain.

We had a total blast and I cannot wait to see what next years theme will be!

Bright Blessing!

Well, here I thought that on my break week I would get a whole lot of catch up work accomplished. I planned to clean the house (which has been neglected because of camps), reorganize the basement, clean Jaia’s room and so, so  many other projects were on that list!  Needless to say – very little has been accomplished. I did post some desks on craigslist and the bathroom is nicely scrubbed, the floor has been mopped and several loads of laundry have been washed and folded.  But! She’s only had 3 days of camp so far so there is still time to get work done! Yesterday though I decided that the housework was really not that important and Rowan and I went to the library and then shopping!  She need a few things in her wardrobe so we hit the “teen” resale shop. Geared towards teens and fashionable young adults. Where, I’m happy to say, I found a pair of Lucky brand jeans for $20!!.

Our weekend was once again crazy busy. My nieces birthday party on Saturday. Which in my opinion was a total unorganized mess.  I arrived a little early than stated time and found that F was still asleep- all good. But then she slept for the next 2 hours! So while party guests were arriving and sitting around waiting – she was sleeping. Oh – she’s 2.   There was a cheese/cracker platter and a veggie platter – drinks? not sure I ever had one actually. Pasta – being made as guests are standing around waiting for something to happen. I’m not talking adding the pasta to the sauce but MAKING the sauce! I don’t know about you but I have everything pretty much planned out, food pre-pared and only heated if needed. My poor brother was so embarrassed. People were watching T.V. I absolutely cannot stand being at a party where the t.v is blaring. NOT what I came for if you know what I mean.

About 2 hours after the guests arrived we finally were told we could go swimming and after that the presents were opened – while we were eating pasta and brats. Whew! I truly hope that my daughters’ first ands second birthdays weren’t so scrambled. But that WAS 12 years ago!

Cool tractor my brother uses to mow.

ANYWAY enough complaining! Sunday we went to the St. Louis Renaissance Festival. Fantastic Fun as usual. A lot had changed since we volunteered there. Many of the people I worked with left and there’s been a change of management. Some of our favorite acts have left – but overall it was a very pleasant day.



Scottish encampment

Pony rides


Escaping from prison!

Wow! Can’t figure out how to get that picture normal size again!

Yesterday Rowan made homemade sushi –


And I picked the first offering from the garden.

I can’t seem to get this gardening thing down. I have a raised bed garden. I plant lovely heirloom seeds. I water them, I weed them and some of them never come up! Maybe I need to order my seeds online rather than buying them from the local mega mart shop.

Jaia has camp again today so off I go!

Bright Blessings!

Today starts the second week of camps! We are so not used to getting up at a fixed time every morning and rushing. We homeschool 🙂 We are normally laid back but these mornings I have to coax and nudge my eldest into moving.  And sometimes, Yes, I do get snippy.

But! All is well. Next week Jaia participates in camp. Should be fun for her! Rowan and I are planning some mom/daughter things to do and I plan on tackling the basement and at least getting it in some semblance of order.

Saturday is my niece’s birthday and I would like to make something out of this book for her…

Girly Style Wardrobe..

But we’ll see if we actually have time or energy. (I’ll keep you posted if I do! The girls and I picked out the cutes material!)

Bright Blessings and have a wonderful week!

Well we made it through the first week of summer horse camp at Avalon! It was fantastic – The kids in this group were by far the best bunch in the 3 – 4?  years I’ve been helping at camps.  There have ALWAYS been great kids, but these didn’t complain when cleaning stalls, they all had very positive energy – over all they were a very enjoyable bunch of kids.

If you’re on Facebook (and who isn’t!?) – hope over to

Avalon Horse Farm’s facebook page to see what we’ve been up to.

While the first week of camp was wonderful – it did leave us pretty drained of energy – so not a whole lot of anything else got done this week!  I did manage to make some home made pop tarts last Sunday- they turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself. They were assembled at home 😉

Store bought puff pastry – yep!

Sliced and filled with organic strawberry jelly.

Crimped with a fork and topped with cinnamon and sugar.


I finally received the tins for my plantain salve last week!

Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to finish the salve and start putting it to use. We’ve actually not had a lot of mosquitoes biting which is surprising – but other than the 90 + degrees on Monday it’s been a rather cool end of May first of June. Yesterday we were all in jeans and sweatshirts! And still cold!

Today Rowan is participating in a Pony Club dressage lesson – and Sunday -well Sunday is the day before week 2 of camp.  I probably should go grocery shopping and plan lunches.  But I would rather go to the St. Louis Renaissance festival! So well see. Maybe next weekend we’ll go.