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October 2010

How to Make a Scarecrow Without Involving Any Money or Actual Skill.

October 12, 2010
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The corn in our garden is starting to grow, so, one morning, I woke up irrationally determined that we needed a scarecrow. True, I’ve never actually seen a bird moving anywhere near this garden, but I firmly believe it could happen. Someday. Because these are the kinds of “ohmygodwhatifonedaythatthinghappened” things that I think about. Regularly.

I believe you can buy scarecrows, (right?) but that seemed silly, and wasteful, and really how hard could it be to make a straw man? I consulted Professor Google and found that yes, actually, it can be quite difficult. In fact, a variety of people have found a variety of ways to make it difficult…and then made videos of themselves showing you all the difficulty while explaining how easy it is.

So. Even though I don’t have an ounce of crafyskill (and also because I don’t have this ounce), I believed I could make one using items around the house, all the while not using any tools, glitter, or other technical things. Here’s what I did.

Step one. Find the stuff.

Here’s what I found and used:

1. A small bag that was holding other things. I found some burlap bags (pretty) and dumped out the other things. Then I took out the stitches (with scissors) to make the bags larger. I just made that sound waaay more difficult than it actually was. I’m the opposite of the scarecrow video people. Just find something (an old pillow case, T-shirt, shopping bag, whatever) that you can imagine stuffing to make look like a head. It’s not that hard.

2. Two old rake/shovel handles.

3. Old buttons + thread and a needle. Or hot glue. That’s between you and God.

4. Two T-shirts and a pair of jeans that were going to Goodwill (sorry, Goodwill)

5. An old hat.

6. Straw, hay, or other filler. I used hay that I “borrowed” from my dad.

7. Rope.

8. Safety pins.

That’s it.

Things you will not need:

N/A: Tools.

N/A: Tool accessories, like nails and screws and stuff.

N/A: Hot glue.

N/A: Electronics, instructions, or cords of any kind.

Step Two. Make the scarecrow.

First, I made the face. I took a burlap bag and sewed two buttons for eyes and a button for the nose. I don’t know how to sew. But you don’t have to know anything to sew a button. If you don’t believe me, Google it. I drew the smile on the face instead of making it with buttons because I got tired of “sewing.”

Then I tied two sticks together to look like a cross.

Yeah, I’m no Boy Scout, but the knots worked fine. Deal with it, Boy Scouts.

Then I put the clothes on the cross and stuffed it with hay.

You can shape your Scarecrow man any way you’d like. You know what I’m talking about.

Ours looked muscular at first, but now it has a giant beer belly, because yes, time and gravity take their toll on everything.  Deal with it, Scarecrow.

And speaking of gravity….

There was a bit of a flaw in my engineering, so James, who actually has brain skills, cut a notch (with a knife) at the top of the pole and used mad rope knotting (any knots will work here) to reinforce the man’s neck and head to his pants. Insert joke here.

It was perfect and necessary. And hooray for engineers! They always have to fix things.

And while this Scarecrow will not fix my technical difficulties, it will spend its days guarding against imaginary birds. Just in case.

I feel safer already.

Toasted Pecan Pesto = The Best Pesto Ever.

October 5, 2010
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A few days ago, my back patio was overflowing with basil. I took care of most of that. Using tons of it and three bags of pecans collected from the yard last year, I made pesto for the winter. For real. It was super easy. Here you go.

Toasted Pecan Pesto

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1/8 tsp salt

Set oven to 350 and bake the pecans about 10 minutes until toasted. Let cool. Chop them in the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor. Chop. Done. I made 5 batches of this and froze most of it for the future. My basil is like Walt Disney.

The easiest way to freeze it is in ice trays. Then you can just pop out a cube or two when you want to add pesto to salad or pasta or whatever. You are a genius.

Best Coast

October 4, 2010
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Over the last month or so, I’ve noticed that I put on Best Coast anytime I want some extra pep. I think that’s a pretty good endorsement for awesome.

Listen here. And get ready for the happy.