Friday, March 29, 2013

Absolutely, Divinely, Deliciously Awesome

  I broke down the other day and finally made something I've been planning to make for years. I got the recipe from a neighbor about 5 or 6 years ago, but never got around to making them because they involve yeast which means making the dough, letting it rest, punching it around a bit, letting it rest, rolling it, shaping it, letting it rest a bit, etc, etc. It goes on like that for way more time than I have to spare.
But I finally did it! And my glob! They turned out absolutely, divinely, deliciously, awesome! Best cinnamon rolls I ever made! 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue Sky Thick With Geese

 I was driving in to work the other day and holy flocking geese Batman! There were flocks of geese everywhere! I must have seen at least 50 separate flocks on the drive in. A lot of them were flying back north for spring, but there was a fair number that were flying east, west and south as well. They were all over.

Blue sky thick with geese
Honking, winter is over
Spring is in the air


Monday, March 25, 2013

Maybe I Could Crochet a Backsplash

 I am such a slacker! For 7 months now I've been meaning to tile my kitchen backsplash. But have I done it yet? Nooooo!
I mean, it's not like I'm busy with work, family, housework, crocheting, artiness, baking, crafting, homework-helping, paying bills, checking email, grocery shopping, etc, etc, etc, right? OK, so that takes up some time, but what the heck?!? I've got at least 5 minutes to spare each day! Maybe even 6. So what is taking me so long?

I know, you don't really care. But I do! It's driving me crazy that I haven't done it yet! And by driving me crazy I mean, "When I actually have time to take a breath and look at the kitchen I say 'what the - why do the walls look like that??'"

But really, it's not that I haven't made any progress. I did get everything all measured out. I marked each tile where it needs to be cut, then set them aside and ran screaming from the room. I also cut and painted a piece of molding, screwed it into the wall above the stove and added hooks for the measuring cups so they can hang above the stove again like they used to.

It may not sound like much, but it took more time than it sounds like (probably more time than it should have). My next task is to actually get my butt in gear and cut those tile! Cut 'em girl! You can do it! One of these days I will. Really!

Or maybe I could just crochet a backsplash!


Friday, March 22, 2013

It May Have to Last For 25 Years

  It's time to renew my driver's license. It has to happen occasionally and it's not usually a big deal, but this time I decided I'm going to actually go to the DMV and get a new picture. I've been embarrased the last 200 or so times I had to pull the thing out because the picture is so absolutely, crazily, ridiculous.
It's my original picture taken when I was 17 - that's like 25 years ago! I look like a complete and utter dork. It's not like my eyes are crossed, or my finger is up my nose, or my tongue is hanging out, but I have on these big old '80 eye glasses and my hair is short. Super short. I haven't worn glasses in 5 years and wore contacts for many years before that. And my hair hasn't been short in about 17 years. It barely even looks like me.
So, I'm going to take the plunge. I only hope that the picture looks decent because it may just last me for the next 25 years.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So I Smiled at My Brother, and He Smiled Back

  So, the other day I took a break from crocheting and cleaned the kitchen did a few other things. I started by sitting at the sewing machine. I almost stood right back up and walked away. I have a love/hate relationship with those things. I love the idea of all the wonderful things that can be done with a sewing machine, but I just don't have the patience to deal with the mechanics of it all - the bobbins, the threading, the breaking, the fixing, etc. I've had some recent bad experiences with sewing machines you see.
About 3 or 4 years ago I bought a nice little Kenmore machine. I spent more money than I wanted but this one got good reviews, seemed to have all the nice little bells and whistles without having too many of them and I needed a new machine. But after using it several times, something inside the bobbin casing/area broke. I took it in for repairs and after an obscene amount of money exchanged hands - half what I paid for the thing, it was fixed. I used it maybe twice more and it broke again. So, I said "Screw it!" and did no sewing for a year or so.

And the mending piled up and up and up. And I stuffed it into the closet. And sometime someone would say, "where is that shirt I needed sewn?" or "Where are those pants that were too long?" And I would just shrug and pretent I had no idea. Occasionally I would pull something out and sew it with a needle and thread but really, who has time for that?

So then, one day a few months ago I was walking through Walmart and saw this Brother sewing machine in the aisle advertised for $40. I glared at it for a bit and it just smiled back blandly. I circle around it, pretending not to look, but keeping a close eye with my peripheral vision, watching and waiting for it to give me the finger, or lunge, or smirk at me.

But it didn't. It continued to sit with a small pleasant smile, laid back and comfortable. So I turned my back on it, then whirled back quick trying to catch it in some dastardly act. But no, it remained calm
and pleasant.

So I approached cautiously and laid my hands on it's back. It actually arched it's back happily and purred! When it rubbed it's bobbin on me I was hooked. I figured for $40, if it broke, I could throw it out, vow off sewing forever and not feel like I was screwed over too badly (unlike the Kenmore debacle).

So I bought it, brought it home and left it in the box for a couple of months. It never once complained.

One day I took it out, threaded it up and let Sweet Pea give it a go. Everything worked swimmingly.
And then, just the other day I got up the nerve to give it a whirl. It took me about 20 minutes to find the manual and get it threaded up, but after that it was smooth sailing. I had a denim skirt that was floor length that just looked ridiculous every time I put it on, so I chopped off six inches and sewed up a hem. So far so good.

I have no plans on making anything complicated any time soon, but as long as the darn thing doesn't break and lets me sew up simple seams once in a while, I'll be happy.

And I smiled at my Brother, and he smiled back and winked. I think we may get along fine.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Don't Think St. Patrick Will Mind

 Do you believe this? Well, some of you might, but those of you who know how many cookie cutters I own, may not. I mean, I own a bin full. Like, a big bin. I have cookie cutters for every occasion. Christmas, Easter, valentines Day, New Years, Halloween, Thanksgiving, football games, 4th of July. I have dinosaurs and flowers, elephants, giraffes and owls. Chickens and ninja karate guys, I have the alphabet and fish and boots and cowboy hats. You name it, I have a cookie cutter for it.
But I don't have a shamrock!

WTF?!?! I know, right? No shamrock. How the heck did I miss that? So, I made some nice flowers, hearts, owls and butterflies for St. Patrick's Day. Deal with it! I don't think St. Patrick will mind.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Ugli Sweaters

 As I said the other day, I've been teaching myself to crochet. And I decided, what better way to learn than to jump right in. I'm planning to start with a nice simple project - a sweater.

I can hear you now - What?!?! A sweater?!? Are you out of your mind?!? Isn't that little complex to start out with?

Well, yes, but this isn't any just any sweater. This is a sweater for Nandy Bear. Nandy Bear is one of Doodlebugs Ugli Dolls.

"Now what the heck are you talking about?"

Well, Ugli Dolls are these cute little monsters that Doodlebug and Snickers discovered on a trip to Toys R Us a while back. They've managed to get quite a little collection of them via various holidays (birthdays and Christmas and such). But the poor little guys get cold at night. So the boys spent some time a few weeks ago making sweaters for them out of felt and staples but they got discouraged when
I casually remarked that they should be careful not to get poked, cut, scraped, scratched, torn or ripped by all those staples. (Mom always ruins all the fun!)

But when I started crocheting, their eyes lit up and now I have a request to make some little sweaters. I figure it's a good thing to work on. I'll get some practice and if I mess up, the Ugli Dolls won't complain. I bet they won't even notice if one sleeve is longer than the other.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Slightly Crooked Pouch and a Half of a Purse

  As you may know, I'm teaching myself to crochet. I'm getting better with each stitch I make. Sweet Pea and I have all sorts of plans! You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) all the free crochet patterns that are out there on the internet. I could spend days just looking at patterns and never get any actual crocheting done. It's kinda like my art - I spend almost as much time rearranging art supplies as I do using them. So far I think I've spent way more time looking for free patterns
and browsing crochet books than I have crocheting.

But I have made a few things - a few bookmarks, a slighly crooked pouch to hold coupons in my purse and 1/2 of a purse. I'm still working on the purse. It's small, cute and once I'm done I'll probably wish I had lined it and added a pocket. But we'll see - if it comes out nice enough and if I'm sufficiently motivated, I can add that.

But it's very exciting, so many plans!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Prince Fuzzy Muffins

So, we have this sweet little gerbil. He spends his days running on his wheel, chewing on his
bars, rearranging his chips and, of course, snoozing. Sometimes he looks so comfortable, all curled up into a tight little ball, nestled into a fluffy pile of chips and fuzz, only barely visible.

And other times, it's like he's forgotten how to make a nest. He lays on his side on top of his chips and just looks generally pathetic. We all just want to bunch the chips up over his little shoulders and feet, but then of course he wakes up and wonders why we're messing with his stuff.

As I write this, he is curled up on top of his chips, looking downright uncomfortable. His eyes are closed but his little tail is sticking straight up and he keeps shifting as if there's a pea under his many layers of chips. I suspect he may be a prince in disguise.