Sunday, October 06, 2013

Weekending - A Night Out , A Craft for Birders & More!

This weekend was good, but I need another weekend to recover from the weekend.
I invited my friends out on a little triple dinner and drinks date to spend some time in town, which we really don't do often enough. I love my friends, I had a great time. Here's what I learned:

1.) I have some of the greatest friends in the world. To name a few, these five:

2.) I'm too old to drink. It just makes me feel yuck.  And for me, not drinking is as easy as not eating meat. I've  never learned to enjoy the taste of either. If only it was the same with chocolate. 

3.) I am,  without a shadow of a doubt a morning person instead of a night person. All of the yawning that started in the Irish pub at 10:00pm was a little embarrassing. Then I woke up at 7:15 on Saturday morning, because when I'm up, I'm up. 

4.) I don't understand loud bars. What are they for if you can't hear your own conversations?

5.) I can run home from the bar to pee, give the cats treats, fill a water bottle with ice and water, and get back to the bar in under ten minutes. Here I am with the water bottle that I snuck in. The bathrooms there smelled like air freshener which I didn't like. Oh and I am afraid of public restrooms. Why not run home if it's two minutes to your door? 
Why do I have a picture of this?

 On Saturday morning I went into the backyard to snap a few pictures. Although the weather has been unseasonably warm and annoyingly humid, trees and bushes and berries are starting to look more fall-like.

I trimmed this little tree back and then re-filled the bird feeders. It's been a while! We had a hawk, so I stopped in mid-summer. I've missed feeding the birds. This time around, I'm only going to feed the birds where they can be sheltered from the hawk if he comes back. The house and this tree do a good job, as does underneath the pergola. 

I filled the feeder and put out new suet and new finch socks filled with thistle.

The ivy down the fence is turning red!

The roses that my Mother-in-law gave me in June, are blooming again! Aren't they pretty? :)

Our yard is over grown at the moment. The ivy is creeping across the stone path. I don't mind it so much though, I've always loved the Secret Garden quality of this place.

Jon also spent some time outside yesterday. He and my stepfather transplanted some big, beautiful Hostas to the side of the house. They look great.

We ran a bunch of errands, and stopped for a late-afternoon coffee.

Well, Noah had hot chocolate.

 I had tea for a change. Coconut Oolong to be exact. It was delicious and smelled amazing!

I took this little Instagram video of Noah playing with his toy cars. :)

I was like: "Jon, I dare us to to take a double-selfie, right here in the middle of the coffee shop." It's so dorky.  So we did. Hopefully nobody saw.

This morning my Dad came by bright and early. He was in Los Angeles working and just flew home to Michigan.  I liked this picture. My Dad is checking a new pair of shoes that he sent Noah for fit.
Noah's wearing a toy hard hat from a field trip that he took with his class on Friday. They spent the morning at water treatment plant and the afternoon at Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit! Earthworks grows fruit and veggies for a local soup kitchen. Noah and his friends helped pick green beans! Isn't that neat!?

And you know what? This morning we found ourselves back at the coffee shop for breakfast. They have a wonderful breakfast/brunch. Their fried egg sandwich was delish!

Today I looked down and found that Willow had brought me this teeny tiny felted pumpkin. :)

This is our extra booster that we use for playdates. Hector fell in love with it. He sat on this booster for hours today!

I pulled together some little fall items for my table. I LOVE FALL!!!!

I felt like we needed a family activity today. Sometimes we like to make a craft, and after going through a bunch of my Pinterest idea boards together, we chose orange peel bird feeders.

They were based on this project from a nice site called "Donuts, Dresses And Dirt".

Here is our version, this is what you will need to make six feeders!

Some bird seed. I would say that 3 cups would do, maybe a bit more. 
A jar of peanut butter. I tried to find a salt-free version, but couldn't find one. I settled on some Jif that had much less sodium and sugar.
Three oranges
Twine, string or leftover yarn.

First things first, gather all of your supplies. We also used  some spoons, an orange juicer, cutting board, knife and skewers to poke holes. These things are all optional though.

Wash and cut your oranges in half, then juice! (If you want.)

Drink the juice. It's SO GOOD!

Next, take a spoon and remove all of the bits from the inside of the orange. Be careful not to weaken the peel, try not to scoop too hard.

Then, using a wooden skewer, pen or the end of a small pair of scissors, poke four little holes, in an "X" pattern, about mid-way down from the top of your oranges. (Does that make sense?)

Meanwhile, have somebody else measure out and cut pieces of string or yarn. I forgot how long we made these. Kind of eyeball it. The yarn has to be long enough to travel through two holes on your orange and then up and around a branch. So, I'd say at least 24" long. You will need 12 lengths of yarn, two for each feeder.

Using one of your pointy tools, thread both lengths of string or yarn through in an X pattern, like this! Try to then even out your ends. Gently push the X down toward the bottom of the peel.

Now, this is the fun part! Using two small spoons, coat the inside of the orange peel with peanut butter. This helps glue the string down, reinforce the walls, and sticks to the seeds.

After that, take a cup of your seeds and fill the orange. Carefully press the seeds in, fill them up!

Take your feeders outside, and tie them in a tree! I found that it was easiest to grab all four string ends first. I would make the feeder hang level and then tie a knot about six inches above the rim. Then I would tie the whole thing with the remaining ends to a branch. You can experiment and see what works well for you.

We hung a few from the pergola too! 

Pretty, aren't they? Now I'm just waiting for the birds to come back. Hurry birds! I can't wait.

This afternoon has been gray and rainy. So after doing a bunch in the morning, we've spent the afternoon inside. Noah got into some cozy pajamas and was playing on the floor with Legos while I worked on the computer. I heard Hector start purring, turned to look and saw THIS! THE CUTEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!

Hector was cuddling with Noah and purring. It was so adorable. He laid there for a while until......

 ..... Hector fell asleep. Awwwwww.


For dinner tonight, Jon made us this cheese tortellini soup recipe that I found on Pinterest. 
It was sooooo good! In addition to cheese tortellini, there are also tomatoes, carrots and spinach in the soup. You mix in a bit of balsamic and honey, which sounds odd, but gave the soup and absolutely delicious and unique flavor. Serve with crusty bread for dipping and a little Parmesan cheese.

I hope that your weekend was as full and fun as mine was!


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