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Sometimes dads need to schlep the baby stuff around. They aren’t going to want to have to tote the girly looking thing around. So I made these for the guys.

My cousin is a HUGE Mavericks fan. Even before they won the basketball championship. I found this fabric in our clearance section here in the Seattle area. Huh, go figure.

The baseball one is for my son who is expecting a son in September. He could have probably borrowed one from his little sister, but again, the flowers and girly patterns just won’t work.

I have a few more to finish top stitching. I have two more baby shower gifts coming up, and I like to have a couple on hand, just in case.

This pattern makes great tote bags for just about everybody, not just diaper bags. You just pick the appropriate fabrics for the intended person and off you go. You can even customize the pockets if you want. A couple of narrower seams and you have a perfect sleeve for knitting needles or crochet hooks.

If you want a closer look, check out SewBaby and their Double Duty Diaper Bag pattern. If your fabric store carries the SewBaby line of patterns, it is usually one of the ones they keep stocked.

I have made several modifications to the pattern, like lining the pockets and adding an extra two inches to the strap handle so I can extend the tab into the bag further to secure them with extra stitching. That is from trial and error, and it looks like they may have tweaked the pattern a bit from the one I picked up 5 years ago. If you are looking for a super handy bag this is it!



Here are the pictures of this year’s baby goats. I have at least one more momma’s worth on the way, and I’m hoping for a beautiful doe baby or two from her. She’s due on the 19th, so I have a few more days to wait.

These kids are assorted 3/4 standard goat and 1/4 Nigerian Dwarf. They all have standard breed (Alpine, Saanen, or Togg) moms and dad was half Nigerian/half standard.

This is Picante. She is one of our best milkers and certainly one of the smartest goats we have. She is an Alpine, so that is to be expected.

Friday morning we put the lattice back up. That was an adventure. That clematis is a lot heavier than it looks! In the process we ended up putting one of the rails though the window screen in Em’s room. Oops! Now three need replacing. The cat has messed up the two on the kitchen windows.

 Lattice up

Friday also saw the trim get a first coat of paint. We ended up going with the pre-primed white (spruce) trim boards. They were about half the cost of the cedar. They may not last as many years as the cedar, but since we will need to replace the siding in a few more years that is a minor concern.


Friday afternoon we painted/stained the skirting. We used the grey solid-color stain that we had used for the out buildings. It kind of makes it look like concrete, but we were just aiming for clean. The downspouts were up back up as well.

 Euphorbia & Rock Garden

We have some problems with the front deck and back porch. The boards are starting to rot, especially where we have had planters sitting on the deck. We had several sizable holes under the tomato pots that were starting to head towards the front door. While he had the deck torn apart, I mixed up a batch of termite/carpenter ant insecticide and got busy laying down a nice line of it around the perimeter of the house, shop, woodpile, and part of the barn.

In the interest of public safety, Eric tore up the rotten boards and laid in new. The back porch will be another project for another day. It is on poor shape, but at least there aren’t any holes yet. The front looks nice and we wish we had the funds to replace the whole thing this year, since we don’t, it is currently scheduled as a 2012 project.


Eric also replaced the torn/shredded window screen material Saturday afternoon. The new screens look so much better. I suppose that will be another thing to add to the list of “To Dos”. Item #647 – New screen material for the rest of the windows.

After Sunday morning chores I walked up to the house and I noticed how dirty the lattice was. It is the plastic stuff and it had grown a lovely coat of green. Just about everything here in Western Washington will grow a coat of this. I’m not sure what it is exactly. It’s not really a moss, but perhaps an algae that can take being dried out and rehydrated multiple times. Whatever it is, it was making the pretty new paint job on the house look a little unfinished. So I took a bucket of hot water and a scrubbie and went to it. Even though I ended up with icky water flooding my underarm, the lattice looks so much better. A swampy armpit is easy enough to fix in the shower and a small price to pay for a tidy looking finished project.

Wanna guess where I stopped to take the picture?

The rest of Sunday will be spent getting ready to have the family over to celebrate Mom’s birthday. I think we all need a break from the paint fumes!

I was pretty much out of the painting loop on Wednesday. Otis, the livestock dog, woke us up at 3:30 to tell us that we had new babies out in the pasture. Good dog! Bad Momma! I rounded everybody up and put them in an empty pen until at least daylight. 6:30 rolled around and we received a phone call from the son asking advice on his overheating car. I spent the rest of the morning trying to get the two babies to eat since their mom didn’t want them. Bad, bad momma goat! In the afternoon I had an appointment with the dentist for a root canal. How much fun can you pack in one day?

The E’s got some more done on the house. The back side received a second coat and the East end of the house was also finished. That left the front.

This is what it looked like when Em & I returned home from her appointment and the other errands we had in town. A little too stripy for my tastes, but we soon fixed that. Eric rolled the walls while Em & I put a second coat on the grooves.

Then there is the trim. It looked white until you put real white paint on it. Now you can really see the difference.

This is where we knocked off at about 7:30PM. There is some trim work to do and the door jamb will need a second coat for sure.

We’ll be back at it in the morning!

This is the color we chose for the house.

It is pretty bright. I think the paint chip was darker, but with a 3″x5″ swatch is hard to determine how it will really look on the house. We managed to get the trellis pieces down and we are hoping that no permanent damage was done to the clematis vines. I do believe we will have the only blue hollyhocks in the neighborhood.

Apparently the “One Coat” paint we bought doesn’t work. We paid extra for the paint that had the primer in it so we didn’t have to roll two coats. What do you think?

We had our junior painter with us today. She got to paint in the grooves before we came back over with the roller. That was fun for a while and then some art needed to be added. This is our secret blue dragon. The secret is that he is hidden under the rest of the blue paint! Since we have photographic evidence that he existed we are safe.

This is how far we got today. I had an appointment this morning and didn’t get to start helping until about 1. I have another appointment tomorrow and will have to knock off about 1:30. We’ll see how far we get. About half of the back needs the second coat. My guess is we’ll make it around to the front porch by tomorrow.

It is time to change the color of our home.  Actually the house really needs a good coat of paint, and since we have to do it anyway, we are opting to change the color while we are at it. The house came in this nifty drab fog grey.

If you live in Western Washington you know that this is the color of the sky about 10 months of the year. We did go with grey for the out buildings, but it is a deeper blue-grey and we got it for $15/5 gal. You can’t argue with that.

We moved the tool shed away from the back of the house where it ended up after it had to move for the construction of the barn. It now has a lovely coat of paint, some new roofing, and looks much less ugly.

This is the house as “before” as I could get it. Eric had already removed the horrid shutters and some of the trim.  We also vetoed the old house numbers. They are cutesie tile things and were nearly invisible from the driveway. A few deck boards will have to be replaced while we are at it.

We have some plants for this end of the house once the paint goes on.

The back of the house is pretty boring. Our “Someday Plans” include a set of french doors from the living room on to a nice deck.

The back porch is going to have to have all new decking boards. Thankfully it’s not that big of a project.

This end of the house is going to take a bit of finesse. The lattice is mounted on 2×2″ lumber, so hopefully by removing a few screws we can gently lay over the lattice with the clematis and not do damage to either one.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress….