Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the end.

I have decided to end this blog. I don't feel right about changing the name of this blog, and I don't feel right about leaving it the same now that we are in Wyoming, starting a new chapter. So this is it, the last post.

But after talking to Al, we decided that I should continue in a brand new blog! Allen came up with the name Rocky Mountain Fern in about 3 seconds, and it stuck. So, hopefully I'll be posting more of Fern, crafts, arid gardening ventures and such sometime soon here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Hi. Fern's birthday was a long time ago. And I've been wanting to post these for a long time, but you know how it goes. A couple of friends gave Fern some really thoughtful handmade gifts. I've been wanting to share their talent so here they are.

Else made her this beautiful dress with organic cotton. It has a little bird on it. I love that she'll be able to wear it for the next 3 years.

Eriko made Fern a kite bag, and it included a kite!!! She had so much fun flying it that day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I wish I had more of it. There's a special probiotic diet out there that is increasing in popularity as it has helped to heal many, many people from various ailments. It's called the Body Ecology Diet and I am convinced that it is an ideal way of life for me. The problem is that it's really dang hard to stick with it. Once you get past the first 3 months, it's smooth sailing, as you can add things back in to your diet. My start date keeps getting pushed back. I did it once before, back in 2004, but it hasn't gotten any easier. I've made it for a month recently, but I was waiting 6 weeks for a culture to arrive in the mail (an integral part of the program), so I gave up and decided that I would start again after Fern's birthday. But that day still hasn't come, and this time I have no excuse. The jist of it is no sugar. of any kind. not even fruit. No grains except amaranth, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. No flour of any kind. A small bit of meat, all organic. No dairy, except fermented dairy, but even that has to wait until month 4. Basically, it's veggies, veggies, veggies, a TON of sea veggies, and a bit of meat. But, not only do you have to avoid foods, there are foods on this diet that you are supposed to eat every day. And I can certainly do that part. They are cultured vegetables (and fermented drinks, like coconut kefir), and they are writhing with probiotics and goodness. I just made a big batch yesterday. They are tangy and delicious, and I eat them with every meal. I can tell a difference in my digestion amongst other things. Fern even eats them with me. And that makes me so, so happy.

This batch is made with cucumbers, purple and green cabbage, onions, garlic, lemon juice, and mint.
You have to blend some of it to make a brine.

All ready to sit on my counter for 1 week.

I put some hijiki in one jar as a test. (That's the black stuff on the left that resembles leeches)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it was a blue fox birthday

Fern turned three nearly a month ago and I am just now posting detail pictures of her party! sorry about that. We had a woodland animal themed party. Fern's party requests were nothing more than a big blue cake and blue.

She's holding the baby I made in her matching woodland animal dress:

all of the masks that I made for the kids. I had made Fern the bluebird mask, but Fern couldn't decide whether or not she wanted to be a bluebird. She kept telling me, "Mama, I don't want to fly!" In the end she decided that she wanted to be a blue fox, so I had to whip one up really quick. My personal favorites were the owls and the deer. {remember that you can click on the pictures to see them larger :)}

I made chocolate owl lollipops and then mostly forgot to pass them out! So, we ate our fair share of chocolate during the next few weeks, and I shared with co-workers. It was fun to make these little guys. I'll definitely do it again sometime.

I also made toadstool appetizers with hardboiled eggs, roma tomatoes, and feta cheese! Basil and lettuce grass/moss was sprinkled around the toadstools. Jolene helped me with these...thanks Jolene! They were actually all eaten too, which surprised me.

I made chocolate avocado and vanilla cupcakes, sweetened with agave (I'm a huge fan of agave) and topped with tofu frosting. I also threw together the cupcake stand. I was dreaming of vintage vases and plates, but all we have in Guam is dollar stores and Ross. (I will really appreciate garage sales once again when we return to the mainland!):

Fern's cupcake had turquoise frosting, her favorite color, and chocolate letters- she's a big fan of chocolate too:

I tossed together an arrangement of ferns at the terrarium making station:

I had all of the materials together with a sign of instructions on a table outside. I got this idea from crafty crow and it was brilliant. Moms could help their kiddo's make a terrarium and I didn't have to walk everyone through it!

I had this idea in my head of her party in a dark, majestic forest. with animal masks hanging from tall trees. My house hardly has a yard, yet alone a forest. So I had to make due and hang the masks from three big bushes around my house. As kids came, they could choose a mask for themselves. I made masks in 2 sizes: one for little kids and a bigger size for the bigger kids. Here's Fern sitting under one of the bushes before her party.

Fern had actually snuck upstairs and found her cake before the party and had a tiny taste despite my efforts to hide it from her. She also managed to open some presents when I wasn't around during the party. She's a tad bit impulsive, this one. She was very excited for the birthday song and the blowing out of candles. It's funny though....she says she a big fan of cupcakes, but she's really not. She always leave half of them. This time, she wanted to eat the icing off of every cupcake, but could care less about the cake itself.

I had a photobooth made from a frame I had lying around. We hung it from a very tall tree on the other side of the fence. Sadly it rained so much during her party that it didn't get much use. Here are Phaedra and Ariadne, sporting their masks. They were the first to arrive, so I was able to get pictures of them.

a fierce fox and badger (and it happens to be the only picture I took inside once everyone got there...a bit mad at myself about that):

Fern's terrarium. She wanted to put WAY more of each layer than you're supposed to, leaving very little room for planting. I bought some blue rocks especially for her. The toadstool cupcake toppers doubled as terrarium decorations.

View from above. All the kids planted a pilea microphylla (common name: artillery fern). These plants make perfect terrarium plants, and they happen to grow like weeds around here. I've always liked this little succulent, and then I thought, "Well no wonder...it's a fern!" But it's actually not related to the fern family at all. Her little plant is still alive - just a bit unbalanced as it is reaching for the light.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

happy, happy birthday Fern!

Dear Fern,

Wow, I can't believe you're three now...such a big, big girl.
Here are some things I don't want to forget about you at three:

1. You love your dink more than anything in the world.
2. You love playing with babies, real ones and babydolls.
3. You're extremely feisty and extraordinary, so much that you even shock your teachers at times.
4. You like to tote around a million things with you when we go places.
5. You love to pick pacific cherries every day and swing.
6. You're gaining confidence in the water...you like to go under and pick up things off the ground that sink to the bottom.
7. You eat my cultured vegetables in small amounts! (you love everything pickled, including okra)
8. BUT, you still have a sweet tooth despite my efforts to avoid it.
9. I can tell you are going to be a good climber...you have it in your blood ;)
10. You call yellow "lellow"
11. You are not intimidated by anyone or anything, and that kinda scares me.
12. You sneak into the freezer several times every day to get blueberries.
13. You're pretty mean to our cat, Horace. You think it's funny to chase him. He WILL scratch you one day.
14. You love exploring critters...toads, skinks, geckos, slugs, and snails.
15. You always end up dirty, and often naked.
16. We lay with you in your room at night until you go to sleep.
17. You can't be still.
18. You love to dance and sing and read stories.
19. You love to paint, but you are done with your masterpieces in about 2 minutes.
20. Dad has gotten you hooked on chewing gum. You want it as a reward for using the potty when you are clearly beyond that!!!
21. You just started a Montessori school, and Auntie Mary looks very tired when we pick you up.
22. You know how to express yourself well.
23. You're very clever.
24. You talk about the big bad, bad wolf too much. He's always lurking around the corner, or cutting the grass.
25. You just flew your first kite all by yourself!
26. You have already had lice two times. and so have I.
27. You are loved.

Love, Mama and Dad

Fern wanted a baby sister for her birthday as well as a 'blue' birthday. No sister was in the plan, but I tried to incorporate blue in her birthday party day. Here is a tiny video of her on her actual birthday when she woke up in the morning and found her surprise. She also had a little party at her school to celebrate her birthday and her last day of school. We had a bigger birthday party the day after, but those pictures will come later. I thought the family would enjoy this one. It starts with her at 2. She has grown so much as you will see.

Untitled from Ginger Haddock on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a surprise

So, I've been working on a doll for Fern's birthday. A long time ago, she said she wanted this for her birthday and she never changed her mind.... So I finally ordered it for her, since she really is so into baby dolls and not much else. She's not interested in pretend kitchen play (unless we suggest it and play along), and keeps stating that she doesn't want a dollhouse. She brings a baby EVERYWHERE. Along with the dolly changing table she said she wanted this. She wanted one with blond hair and blue eyes, and of course, blue clothes. She is so into blue everything. She told Grandma on the computer that she wanted a big big blue cake for her birthday. I'm not too sure about that, but I'm trying to include some blue into her birthday. I felt wrong about spending 105 bucks on a baby doll that she is going to drag around everywhere and possibly lose at daycare. So I decided to make one (and ended up spending almost that much in material and shipping...but it will make more than one baby, so I suppose it was worth it). It was alot of fun after some trial and error, and advice from a friend. It took me a while, but I'm sure the next time will be much, much easier. Will there be a next time? Who knows, but I had fun doing it, and I am soooo excited to give it to her in a few weeks!

I made 2 diapers for her out of old prefold diapers of Fern's. They have velcro fasteners for little fingers.

She has jointed arms and legs that move!

All dressed up! I created some blue accents to go with her dress. I bought Fern a dress with the same fabric for her birthday. I bought some extra fabric to make this baby a little dress. I thought it was turquoise, but it turned out to be more like a green, so I had to add the blue so that Fern would like it. I think Fern will like her dress if she is matching her baby's dress. She is always wanting to match me.

A little pocket baby. In my dollmaking book it says to practice on a few smaller dolls before attempting a large jointed doll. I learned that you have to stuff the head super tight in order to avoid the 'grandma with no teeth' look like this little baby has. After I made this first little doll, I jumped to the big one. not recommended!

I made little mary jane's with velcro closures. I used a pattern out of the book for the first pair of shoes I made, and they were ridiculous looking. So I designed these little blue ones myself.

A super soft snuggly blanket with lots of blue to go with her knitted bonnet, which I made for Fern when she was a baby. It fits the doll perfectly. Of course we didn't use it and now we will! so happy about that.

little hairclips that I made for Fern while back.

Her hair is made with mohair yarn. I quickly taught myself to crochet to make the wig of hair. It's much easier than knitting. Then I brushed it with the dog brush to give it a fuzzy look.

Ta dah!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


It's been a while, but here I am! I wanted to share our Valentines Day crafts. I made Fern some play cookies but they look more like little pastry puffs, mostly because I wanted to use what I already had around the house. And then Fern and I made Al some felt flowers. Fern had fun painting the leaves (I painted two sides but she wouldn't allow me to paint more than that). Then I cut the wire and felt circles while she was sleeping (you can use coat hangers but I happen to have a roll of bendable wire) and she put them all together with a bit of guidance. It was really easy and a great craft for a 2 yr old. Fern walked upstairs to wake daddy up with the flowers. It was pretty sweet. Check the other blog for pictures of Fern here in her heart-shaped glasses.

Fern runs a daycare here at the house. She always lining up the babes to feed them, laying them down for a nap or changing them. Here are a 'whole bunch' of babies in the midst of a diaper change. (She had run off to get some wipes)

She is talking so much these days. I wish I could capture (or remember!) all of the funny things she says. She's on a "I'm going to do my workstuff" kick right now. And then she grabs a pen and paper and my phone and a calculator and gets to work. I have captured some of her dance moves however - check out the video below:

Untitled from Ginger Haddock on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

stinky skunks

I have the coolest friends. They do the coolest of things and knowing that they are on this island is what gives me sanity. They started "Garden Day" (which is probably what you think it is and more) and for about a year I was able to attend on Tuesdays, but my work schedule no longer accommodates that which is a huge bummer. BUT, they still have weekend celebrations of sorts a few times/month, and holidays are no exception. So we were looking forward to our Halloween this year. I've been reading Fern 5 different Halloween books (thanks to sister-in-law Jenn) for the past few weeks to build her up about the festivities. I partially made our costumes and had good intentions to make them entirely but just didn't have the time to make three of them.
Back to how cool our friends are...they tell the story of the switch witch who comes in the night to switch out your bag of candy for a toy. (I had also been building Fern up for this!) Fern collected about 8 pounds of candy so thank goodness for the switch witch! (And Fern walked the whole entire way by herself, even through the spooky jungle) She walked up to every single person and opened her bag wide saying 'trick or treat! give me something good to eat!' I'm pretty sure I had just as much fun watching this night as I did when I was a kid, if not more.
So, this morning, I woke Fern up and told her that the switch witch had come and left her a surprise. She was sooo excited to go downstairs and was happy to find one piece of candy and a play stove!

I just didn't have time to get any really good photos but here are a few so you can get an idea of our costumes. (I also posted some of those cool friends of ours...)

I made pizza decorated with spiders and jack-o-lanterns!