July 24th

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The intrepid explorer.

This morning I was feeling super morose about my kickstarter campaign, worrying it was gonna be a flop. Then I got an email letting me know it’s now a staff pick! Wow! It pretty much made my whole day, like yeah, there are tons of staff picks BUT in my category (sub-category?) of children’s wear there have only been five, including mine. It definitely gave me the mood (and ego…) boost I needed! Here’s me, on the front page!!
FRONT PAGE!!!!!

July 22nd

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Here it is, my top-secret special project, except it was never really that secret because I tweeted about it a week ago. ANYWAY. I’m running a kickstarter campaign to raise funds (mostly to buy leather) so I can start selling my baby shoes! So please, check out my kickstarter, watch my SUPREMELY EMBARRASSING video* and if you like my work then please share it on your twitter, facebook, blog, email your grandma about it, etc etc. Oh and also contribute money, that is kind of the point.

*I know I say “um” a lot but it was either that or look down at my notes constantly so lets just move past it and like, make it a drinking game! Take a shot every time I say um & you’ll be plastered in 2 minutes.

July 20th

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Gwen’s quest to climb every piece of furniture in the house continues. Recently she learned to climb up the dog stairs onto my bed, and this weekend she climbed onto the little side table my printer is on and from there, on top of my desk, which is just PERFECT. I have now put the printer on top of two stacked side tables so she’ll no longer be able to climb up, but honestly, it’s just a matter of time until she figures out another way. That baby is wily.

After a scorching hot week it finally cooled down a bit this weekend. Saturday morning was drizzly, but it cleared up in the afternoon. Today has been overcast and rainy all day. After we put Gwen to bed at naptime I took Georgie for a walk in the rain and it was really nice.

On Saturday Sym went to Ikea with her dad, dad’s girlfriend and her grandma and they picked up a few things for me- mostly toys, some washcloths and a little napkin holder. We actually use cloth napkins so right now the napkin holder is on my desk holding my coasters. It matches my side of the office since it’s bright yellow, but it’s shaped like a cloud? It really doesn’t make any sense, which might be my favourite thing about it.

We also got the GREATEST toy. It’s a stuffed Big Bad Wolf wearing jeans and a checked shirt. It comes with a little stuffed Granny that you can cram down the wolf’s throat into his belly! The front of his shirt velcros open so you can get her back out. At first I thought it was weird that there was no Little Red Riding Hood doll to go with it, but then I realized the kid is Red (so I guess I need to get Gwen a red hoodie now). At first she only wanted to carry around the granny and hated the wolf, but today she is all about Big Bad and insisted on taking him into her crib at naptime. She has about fifty stuffies in there right now; I tried taking some out but she yelled until I returned them all (except for one). I’ll have to try and clear it out when she’s not in the room.

July 18th

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The other week we ordered diapers online for the first time ever and they arrived in a huge box stuffed with a long (like 30 feet) piece of brown packing paper, and WOW have the babies & dogs been having a good time with it! The paper is pretty torn up and shredded now, and all over the living room, but the mess was worth all the fun.
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Gwen has continued to be into (and onto) everything recently. It’s literally impossible to keep her from climbing the furniture so to save our computers (and Gwen’s neck) we’ve been using bungee cords to tie our office chairs to our desks and also fasten all the dining room chairs together so she can’t climb up on the table. She is very frustrated by our attempts to thwart her and spends a lot of time pulling on the chairs and howling. I’m also very frustrated as it’s a huge pain in the ass to have to tie/untie the chairs every time I need to sit down at my desk or the table.

Actually I think EVERYTHING is frustrating me this week. It’s been really hot, which would normally be pretty cool (HA) but my Graves’ disease makes me intolerant to heat and extra sweaty. My hair is at this supremely annoying length where it’s so short that it’s literally impossible to tie or pin back and yet is simultaneously long enough to always be in my face. Sym is in super-tween mode to the point where nearly every interaction with her is a struggle, Taylor has also been getting inexplicably on my nerves and my cat WILL NOT stop meowing! Like, WHAT DO YOU EVEN WANT, CAT???
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I’ll never tell =^•x•^=
And remember when I said I was SO BUSY with a new project? Well guess what, I haven’t even touched it since because I’m feeling super anxious/a lot of self-doubt about it. Crippling amounts, even. How does one get past these thoughts? At this point I don’t even know if I want to do it at all anymore. I don’t want to do anything, I just want to lie in a cool, dark room and listen to my latest sad girl-playlist on repeat forever.
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LOL WHAT A ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTION THIS WEEK HAS BEEN. I started drafting this post a few days ago and the above two paragraphs? Wow. I’m happy to report that the crisis has passed and everything is cool. I even did more work on my super-secret project (don’t you hate it when bloggers go on about SeCrEt PrOjEcTs?) and all I need to do is take some pics, shoot & edit a video (this might have just given the whole thing away), and write a bio about myself. That last one though. Ugh. I hate writing bios! I was thinking I might copy the “About” from this blog buuuut as it turns out I just paraphrased Coffee Talk with Linda Richman. So now I need to start from scratch, and honestly the very idea is giving me shpilkis in my genechtagazoink.

July 11th

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Adding stripes, I feel like I may be overdoing it on this banner which, btw, is supposed to ship today & is not done :( Although TECHNICALLY it doesn’t make a difference if I take it to the post office on Friday night or Saturday morning, I still feel bad.
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Chocolate peanut butter sandwiches & orange slices, a very popular lunch around here.
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As I post this, Taylor is getting all of his hair cut off. ALL. OF. IT. He’s been growing it (without so much as a trim) for three years, which is very inspiring to me as I’ve been growing my hair out for a year already which means in only two years I’ll literally be at Queen Serenity status.
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Recently it’s been driving me crazy that my hallway has basically become a trash zone. There are just boxes of books and craft stuff that doesn’t fit in my closet EVERYWHERE. There are a few mis-matched shelves and cupboards: one crammed with disorganized books, one crammed with disorganized comic boxes & tabletop games, one holding some of Taylor’s shoes, and one with the laundry hampers inside. Other homeless crap currently littering the hallway:
• the disassembled remains of my tree bookcase
• the blue play kitchen
• a giant box of gift wrap
• a basket full of extension cords?
• a small trash can
• a pack ‘n’ play
• Claire’s hideous cat tower
• a piggybank shaped like and elephant wearing a basket of fruit as a hat

The hallways is one of my most hated areas of the apartment. First of all, it’s too wide. If it was juts a little narrower (it could stand to loose at least of foot of width, tbh) then all the bedrooms could be so much bigger! Why sacrifice living space for hallway space??? So I basically HAVE to have some sort of shelves or something in there, otherwise there’s just a massive amount of square footage going to waste.

HOWEVER it’s super difficult to do, because the hallway is just loaded with problems. First of all, it has SIX doorways opening off it. Two closets, three bedrooms and one bathroom. There isn’t a lot of real estate between all these door frames. There are also two light switches, the breaker box and the thermostat (which is LITERALLY in the middle of the widest expense of wall) to take into consideration. Third, part of what I would consider the hallway has linoleum flooring, while the rest is carpeted, leading to all sorts of height differential issues. And finally, all the various spaces between the doors where I could conceivably put furniture are weird widths which don’t accommodate regular furniture (ie cheap stuff from Ikea that I could afford) sizes well.

Compounding my hatred is the fact that when I painted it yellow years ago I used the wrong can of yellow paint; instead of the stuff I had leftover from when I almost painted the living room yellow I used the stuff leftover from when I painted my desk so it’s super glossy. NIGHTMARISH. But I haven’t bothered to repaint it because taping around all those goddamn door frames is a nightmare!

Anyway what I REALLY need is some custom built shelving units. I’d like something with cupboards on the bottom half, deep enough to hold all our shoes & boots, winter accessories, and other stuff I want out of sight, and open shelves on the top half that go all the way to the ceiling to hold books and possibly curios. They would be sized properly to fit between the assorted doors, and the height difference between the flooring types would be compensated for. At the end near the kitchen (where the stupid thermostat makes tall shelving impossible) would just be the laundry cupboard (which is convenient because that’s where the washer & dryer are). I’d paint the whole thing (and the walls!) white & replace the curtains over the two closets (I removed the doors forever ago) with something plain ie not weird yellow & orange flowers? What was I even thinking when I bought those?

Anyway. If anyone has amazing carpentry/cabinet making skills and wants to build this for me (and maybe also a shelving unit for the half-bath which is also stupidly big & lacking in storage, it’s just a big open space with a toilet & pedestal sink and nothing else) for a reasonably (ie low) price please do not hesitate to contact me. Because otherwise I’m going to have to learn how to do it all myself.

July 9th

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Eatin’ browies.
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Someone planted some of these in my garden last year but in a spot that gets literally zero sunlight so they are small and tragic. Also, bumblebee photbomb!
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All day, every day, climbing on the table & asking to be lifted down.
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Watching butterflies. She just noticed that they exist the other day and she is fascinated by them. There were three on these flowers, she tried to touch one and it flew away, startling her.
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She’s wearing the little shoes I made with the 2-piece pattern I modified from the 3-piece pattern I used for the black shoes. These stay on well when she’s walking, but fall off too easily if she tries to climb anything (which is constantly) or is picked up. I think the problem is a combination of too-loose elastic and a too-low back, but they should be fine if I add a little strap to them.
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Creating the illusion of having a shirt tied around her waist by stuffing her whole body through the neckhole and just wearing it around her waist.

Random things…

I ordered some stuff from Zara online and had to return a few things I didn’t like. I love that you can return things bought online to the store, and get refunded to your paypal. Some stores that take paypal online refund you in the form of store credit, which is annoying, but at Zara it goes straight back into your patpal. I actually got an email that I’d been refunded before I even left the store. I did have to send one item back through the mail as they’d sent the wrong size (it didn’t match with the code on the receipt so they couldn’t take it back in the store), so I had to call their customer service line which was super fast and painless & hopefully the proper size pants are on their way to me now!

Gwen is super into those dried yogurt drops. I hardly ever buy them because they are SO EXPENSIVE, like even the store brand ones on sale are still $4 for what feels like a bag of air. I know people make their own by freezing little dollops of yogurt but wouldn’t those turn into a melty mess if not eaten quickly enough? Yuck. Most of the other recipes (or instructions, really, I mean the only ingredient is yogurt) I can find online call for a food dehydrator, but I did find one for making them in the oven that I might try.

On the weekend Taylor and I tried the wackest snack. He always buys new products, like put NEW!!! on the label and he’s all over it. Anyway he got us this Smartfood popcorn which was a mix of caramel… and cheddar cheese? WHAT EVEN. Like if you are going for a sweet-and-salty vibe just throw some sea salt on your caramel corn, don’t mix super-orange-Kraft-dinner-cheese-powder-looking cheese popcorn with it! Definitely not a good combination. I ate all the caramel corn out of the bowl but since half the bag was cheese it wasn’t enough and now I have endless caramel corn cravings, wahh.

Kelly started a youtube channel recently and I loved this video where she talks about her chronic invisible illness. While she has a much more terrible autoimmune disease than I do I still related to a lot of what she said.

(It’s long but worth it!)

I’ve been doing a little work in Gwen’s room over the past couple of weeks. We don’t really spend much time in there so it was kind of disorganized and messy, but also weirdly bare as I’d moved some things from it out to the living room. Also, when her lil friend is here he naps in her room, and I have a portable, foldable crib for him that was always set up because I had nowhere to store it, and it made her already-small room seem even more cramped.
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In order to make the portable crib more storable, I cut the legs off so it sits right on the floor. This made it short enough that, when folded, it could be hidden behind Gwen’s crib. So that it wouldn’t be visible behind the crib I stapled lengths of ribbon to the large canvas I had between her crib and the wall and tied it onto the outside of the crib (previously it was resting on top the baseboard). Now I have somewhere to put the portable crib away where it’s still easily accessible and in the room where I use it.
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I also “made” some “blackout curtains” for her room. Seeing as how we live in a basement and her room has one window that is underneath my upstairs neighbour’s porch, you wouldn’t think I’d need them. However, in the summer evenings the sun straight up blasts into her room, right at bedtime! Last summer I taped (yes, taped) a pair of dark brown pillowcases together and taped them to the window frame, but this year I wanted to have a better setup. I also wanted to do it cheaply, so I sewed the same pillowcases together and then folded the top over (to make it the right length for the window) and sewed a channel along the top. I screwed a pair of cup hooks into the frame and ran a dowel (which I’d cut to size) through the curtain channel and rested it in the hooks. It’s not super secure (opening the proper curtains causes the dowel to slide around) so I need to figure out a way to properly secure it, but even if I don’t it has the desired effect of darkening her room at bedtime.

Normally these projects would have taken me about a million years because I always try to do things manually. The reason for that is partly because I’m afraid of many of my electric tools and partly because I’m too lazy to dig through the various closets to extract said electric tools. This time though, I actually got my shit together. I used my jigsaw to cut the legs off the crib & my electric sander to smooth the cut areas, I used my sewing machine to sew the curtains, and I used my drill to make pilot holes for the hooks. Honestly I think I’d use all these things more often, and therefore be more proficient with them, if it wasn’t such a hassle getting them out. I wish I had a larger craft area with room for a sewing table and maybe a door so I could keep lil babies out of it, and a workshop for the tools! That’d be living the dream for sure.

I’m working on a pet portrait banner right now and istg it’s going to be the death of me. I kind of hate making them because they are a lot of work, but I also love making them because I love how they turn out. The hardest to make are definitely tabby cats. So many unique markings! Such diverse colouring! This one needs to be shipped in two days and I still have to make one more face & I haven’t even started the stripes yet.
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July 7th

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Stretchy pizza cheese!
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I thought these lil flats were gonna be a total bust BUT they are actually perfect. Like, the perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect fit. Amazing! I already made a second pair with a modified pattern (the original is 3-piece, the mod is 2-piece) but they didn’t turn out as well so I’m planning to remod the mod.
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Gwen really likes being helpful these days. When I print things she likes to take them out of the printer and hand them to me; she gets upset if I grab the papers out of the printer myself. I’ve been making lots of little shoes & pouches out of leather, and I use these little scraps of suede to help push the needle through and she likes to pick up the pieces of suede and hand them to me, even though I already have them. Ditto with the box of baby wipes when I’m changing her little friend’s diapers; she’ll pick it up and try to pass it to me and if I don’t take it she’ll throw it at my head!

She’s super into clothes, putting them on AND taking them off. One of her faves is when I fold laundry and she has full access to a wide variety of clothes in many sizes and she can try them all on (before putting them back in their piles, she IS helping after all). She likes to take off her clothes and put them in new, exciting configurations: shirt-as-cummerbund, shorts-as-skirt, leggings-as-armwarmer. Her fave things to take off are tank tops and her sweet little jean shortalls, which is terrible because they are some of my fave things to dress her in. I am pretty impressed by her ability to squirm out of the shortalls though.

Consider that a neat segue into a topic I am supremely baffled by. Y’all might have seen a recent spate of hashtag activism (hashtagtivism?) in support of various mommy bloggers who have had their Instagram accounts suspended. A bunch of #bringbacksoandso’s and #stopcensoringmotherhoods. These suspensions seem to have all played out similarly: someone instagrams a pic of their child in a state of undress, pic is reported & subsequently deleted by instagram, they repost the pic and it is reported/deleted again (sometimes multiple times), their account is suspended, they FREAK OUT, other people FREAK OUT in support, account is restored after three days (this seems to be the standard timeframe for unsuspending accounts and NOT the result of hashtag hysteria). In some cases it’s clear that the person is deliberately goading Instagram into suspending them! This keeps happening and I am just like… what?

First, the reason why these pics are being deleted is because they are in violation of Instagram’s TOS, the TOS you have to agree to when you sign up. It’s pretty clear they have these rules in place to cover their asses (haha) so they don’t get charged with distributing child pornography (I will probably regret posting that phrase on here). If you’re SUPER desperate to share these pics, how about you just post them on your blog (which most of these women do anyway).

Second, pictures of half-naked children being deleted from your Instagram IS NOT a violation of your First Amendment rights. Look it up, in the US the First Amendment protects you from being censored by the government & any laws it might try to pass. Facebook (which owns Instagram) isn’t a branch of the government (yet…).

Third, some of these bloggers are crying out that it is breastfeeding pics that are being deleted/causing these suspensions, and using that to garner more sympathy & support from the breastfeeding community. However, I know of at least one case where once the suspended account was restored it was obvious all the breastfeeding pics had never been deleted, only the undressed kid pics. In this instance the blogger tried to backpedal and say it wasn’t about breastfeeding, but that’s not what she wrote on her change.org petition (seriously).

Fourth, why are you crying about the terrible loss of all your precious memories when your account is suspended? If those memories are so precious, why aren’t you backing them up, Carrie Bradshaw??? Instagram actually makes it super easy to back up your pics: when you post you have the option of sharing to different services, several of which (flickr, facebook, tumblr) will act as a backup. Also, if you go into the settings you can turn on “save original pictures” which will save your pictures to your phone, and from there you can back them up to your computer or the cloud or whatever. With the former you have to select where you want to share each picture every time, but with the latter it’s automatic, and if you have your phone set to back up each night then you LITERALLY do not even have to think about it.

Finally, and this is the thing I REALLY don’t get, is what EXACTLY is it that these people are fighting for? The right to publicly post semi-nude (or full nude, one popular blogger posted over the weekend about how she really wanted to post pics of her totally naked kids to instagram but all the ASSHOLES would report her, wth) pictures of their children on the internet? Really? REALLY??? Look, I don’t have a problem with kids running around with some or all of their clothes off. Sometimes it’s impossible to even keep clothes on a toddler (please see above re: Gwen). I also don’t have a problem with people taking innocent pictures of their kids like this. I have plenty of pics of my girls as babies with no shirt on or their lil buns showing. It’s cute! But I don’t POST THEM ONLINE*! IT IS LITERALLY COMMON SENSE.

This whole thing is just SO WEIRD to me, like with all the awful things going on in the world, THIS is the struggle these people have decided to hitch their wagons to? It’s like the epitome of non-problem problems. idk, what are your thoughts on this whole brouhaha?


* Ok, full disclosure, when Gwen was tiny (like, younger than six months) I DID instagram some pics of her in the bath or wearing just a diaper, but I NEVER showing her genitals or her bare bottom- they mostly just showed her face and MAYBE her upper chest/shoulders.

July 3rd

I realized I hadn't taken a picture of Claire in a month and I wanted to get one because I think she's gonna be leaving us soon.
Before I get to the cute bb pics I just wanted to post a little Claire update. If you follow my twitter or instagram or are in the same general discussion forum as me, you may have noticed my TOTAL FUCKING MELTDOWN yesterday about my cat. I seriously thought she was dying, you guys. Like, if you’d seen that cat yesterday you would have been like “dang, that kitty is at death’s door FOR REAL.” Here’s why I thought my cat was dying:

• old as hell
• diabetes
• basically stopped eating over the weekend and lost SO MUCH WEIGHT
• weird yowling?
• seizure-like activity
• wedging her face under furniture in a super strange way
• when I wrapped her in a towel & put her in a basket she stayed there for EIGHT HOURS
• you couldn’t even tell she was breathing, like at all
• cold
• no purring
• peed on the towel I had her wrapped in

Like these are NOT my cat’s normal behaviours and I was SO SAD. I cried a lot and kept checking on her and petting her and saying “it’s ok, it’s ok, you’re such a good kitty.” At one point I thought to myself “How will I tell Georgie that her friend is dead?” and I burst into tears thinking about how sad my dog would be lol good grief. ANYWAY at like 5 o’clock she came out of my room and was like “o hey guess what I’m fine now.” She ate and started purring and was just super chill and today you wouldn’t even know she was basically a cadaver all day yesterday. WHAT THE HELL, CAT. So to everyone who said sweet things to me, THANK YOU and also I’M SORRY MY FUCKING CAT JUST PRANKED US ALL.

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IT’S CALLED FASHION, LOOK IT UP.
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swimsuit & hat
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I made another cardboard cabin on the long weekend, gearing up to have a whole cardboard village soon.
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We had a totally chill Canada Day. Sym was out of town for the whole weekend so it was just me, Taylor and Gwen, and Taylor had to work that night so for the afternoon it was just me & Gwen. In the morning I set up a lil wading pool for her in the backyard and she wore her first bathing suit ever. She didn’t have one last year because I assumed she would fit into Sym’s first summer swimsuit but NOPE, this baby is too gigantic. The suit I bought her this year is for a 2-year old and tbh I don’t think it’ll fit her for the whole summer (she is only 20 months old btw).

In other Gwen news, she is just like out of control with her sneakiness. I’ve had to take two drawers out of my desk and put them in other rooms where she can’t get them because she will not stay out of them, and this is after I already took the knobs off the drawers! Taylor inexplicably taught her how to climb up on our desk chairs and now you can’t keep her off them, which makes it so much easier for her to get at all the stuff on our desks. Every time I try to get any work done, like etsy orders or housework or anything, she’s up on the dining room table. When we are outside her favourite activity is to act like she’s going to fling herself down the concrete stairs.
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She had a couple pretty spectacular tumbles over the last week. On Friday she fell off the back of the slide onto her face. On Saturday she was walking Georgie, who decided to suddenly take off at a run, pulling Gwen down on the gravel path in the park. On Sunday she literally just walked off the bench in the dining room into the air? What? Why would you even do that??? I just don’t even know what is going on in her baby brain.
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June 30th

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lil Canada Day tease on the clifftop.
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It took me literally hours to clean up this mess on my patio. HOURS.
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OH MY GOD, I am like totally dead. This morning Taylor and I took the baby around the Seawall (no otters this time, boo) and after we got home and everyone else went to bed I thought it’d be the PERFECT time to do some garden work*. I mean, I HAD to do some because I discovered that raccoons dug up my Corsican moss last night, those little shits. This is a problem I often have with my garden, fucking raccoons digging up my plants over and over until they (the plants) are dead (also the time they dug up my dead hamster, that was definitely a problem). Anyway I had to re-plant the Corsican moss so I figured I’d put in my little brick path as well. I had nine bricks and was planning on put them together in threes to form a little stepping stone-type path from my patio into the garden. Nine bricks, how hard could it be?

AHAHAHHA omg it was a literal nightmare. I only had a little trowel to dig with and there are two well-established bushes at that end of the garden with roots all over the place and the whole thing was just. UGH. Plus I was super tired and my legs/back hurt before I even started. I managed to get it done and moved a couple groundcover plants near the bricks and hopefully they’ll start to cover the ground (AS ADVERTISED) and that part of the garden will no longer be just dirt and dead leaves and crud. I’m also planning on foraging for some moss to put there, although we all know how it went last time I tried to put down moss**.

Since it’s summertime now we’ve been eating hotdogs a lot, more so than other years. Usually I serve them with tater tots, or corn on the cob, or a salad I make with corn, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. I think what I really need though, to take hot dog night to the next level is a good potato salad recipe. Gwen loves potatoes, and I like the idea of potato salad in theory but in practice it usually grosses me out. I’ve actually been having lots of weird food problems recently, like about texture or smell? The other week we had burgers, with just like frozen hamburger patties, and when I was cutting Gwen’s up the texture of the patty grossed me out so bad I couldn’t even eat mine. I think from now on I’m going to have to be more hands-on and make my own burgers from scratch.

ANYWAY if anyone has a line on a good potato salad recipe with no mayonnaise or mustard or dill (idk if those last two are even things people put in potato salad but JUST IN CASE) then hook me up!

It’s the last of the month, let’s see how I’m doing with my goals…

I’m still trying to quit pop. Trying and not succeeding. IT’S JUST SO DELICIOUS. Anyway I think I’ve convinced Taylor to join me in quitting, so hopefully once he stops filling the fridge with ice cold Cokes and Dr Peppers I won’t have so much trouble sticking to this!

Sunscreen is a bust, I have a terrible Birkenstocks tan on my feet. BOO. Obviously I’m going to keep using sunscreen because I’m not an idiot, but I have definitely failed in my goal to not get a stupid shoe tan. Better luck next year, I guess.

In brighter news, my hair is now TECHNICALLY past my chin. I haven’t gotten a trim in idk, months? I feel like I’m being very strong in my resolve to grow it, even though it is a very annoying and unflattering length on me right now.

*I hope y’all aren’t getting sick of my garden talk! I’d say I’m going to stop soon but for some reason I’m like SUPER COMMITTED to making the garden nice this year so probably I will never shut up about it.

**Poorly. It went poorly. The internet and also irl people told me the way to encourage moss growth was to get a lil bit of moss, blend it up with buttermilk and pour the resulting slurry where you want the moss to grow. So I did that. And all that happened was I broke the blender, my garden stank of old buttermilk, and it attracted even more raccoons that dug everything up even more than usual. NEVER AGAIN.