Saturday, June 28, 2008

She's Off the Needles..... YAY!

2 years in coming but project 08-Christmas Secret #1 (9-06) is finally off the needles! The (9-06) is Sept 2006 when this puppy was started. I'm a changed woman.
A little finishing here and there, a little ends weaving and I'll be on to another project!

This little beauty isn't haunting my UFO box anymore!

Ahh .... relief!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Did I mention I had a lazy week last week.... and as such when I saw that my menus have run over by a day the last couple weeks because dh decided to have something different one of the nights.... that I noticed there were still 4 things left on the menu and all the groceries were in .... so I decided that Thursday was a play day instead of a shopping day.....???

So this week's menu will be what I was supposed to be eating this week.... So though I cheated....
here it is! :)

Scallops with Snow Peas and Crispy Noodles
Ham w/Scalloped Potatoes Broccoli & Cauli
Ultimate Veggie Chili
Lemon Pepper Chicken
Chop Suey (Vegetarian)

Linguini Vongole

(brought to you by the letters L - A - Z and Y) hee hee!

Jams, Walks and Sleeping Babes

Its been busy around here.

The Strawberry Freezer Jam turned out beautifully! Dh says that it is too sour, but I found it just right, and I'm the one that likes SWEEEEET things! LOL! I've been working away on Christmas Secret #1 and making good progress I must say!! I have been tempted to pick up a 1/2 dozen other projects but I figure I'm going to dig out of my current stash and dig out of UFO stash 2 projects at a time before I go anywhere near a new project. So once #1 and #8 are done and socked away (no that wasn't a hint) I'll work out a new project... I think I deserve it! :)

So after all that work and the yummy strawberry jam, the girls asked me blueberry jam, so that was tonights challenge. But first we had to walk to the store to get some berries. We came home with 2 things of Blackberries, 1 thing of Blueberries, 4 peaches and a thing of Lychee fruit, which we haven't figured out what to do with.... but I'll figure it out! :)

After all that walking.... poor thing the littlest was super tired.... so when we got home, I left her to play for a bit, and was showing M how to make scrapbook pages... and when we looked down here she was curled up under the desk with Stanky Bankie

Friday, June 20, 2008

7 and Smarter Already

My 7 yr old is apparently smarter than me! She just told me how to clear my cache in firefox. *sigh*

Not completely smarter though.....
I had to figure out my own cookies!

Back to Scrapping

Its been a while since I did more than a desktop computer calendar with my digi-scrapping. Like everything else life goes in waves. I'm feeling guilty for not having taken more photos of the girls this year, so take this as my aim to take more photos over the next couple months.

Template - June Blue Print Challenge by Monica McGill, Paper and frame - LemonadeKisses Freebie by Kathryn Estry

7th Birthday images

Up to Mischief in the Kitchen!

I've always said I'll try anything once.

So I've always wanted to make jam. But lacked both the tools and know how to do it. (Add that to one of the many crafts out there that I have yet to try! LOL!) So on one blog, I followed a link to another blog, and as always happens I blog hopped my way to someone's blog where they had recently made some freezer jam, based on a really simple recipe here. My first attempt, so I have no clue how it will turn out.... but hey it was fun making it. I asked the girls if they were interested in helping but both declined, though I'm sure if it works out they'll be glad to sample the merchandise! LOL!

I'll keep ya posted on how it turns out and how it tastes too! :)

AmyDe.... the item in the previous post that has begun its second life is a Starfrit manual food processor. I discovered the attachments that went with it and discovered that it had a mandolin that attaches to the top of the bowl.... with funky little slicers to go with it...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back to Cleaning

So we spent a couple hours in the basement yesterday. As visitors would visit things got stuffed in boxes and shoved into the basement. Dh had completed a couple projects down there but left things like the plastic sheet when he finished painting. So there was no rhyme or reason to the mish mash of stuff down there, well now there sort of is.

I have a ton of decluttering to do still but slowly I'm working my way to getting rid of stuff.

I found a ton of gift bags - Birthday, Christmas and misc - which have been organized into a manageable collection. I found a ton of craft stuff which needs organized... and after 3 hours I found almost 2 garbage bags worth of trash (well you know odds and ends and papers) and at least 1/2 a dozen 'now' emptied boxes. The girls have room to play with their "stuff" and I have room to work.

So in the process of that, I found an item that I received as a wedding present almost 10 years ago... and while I loved the item at the time, it got squirreled away because it was a pain to clean... but with getting back to the home cooking stuff.... I found a feature on this little contraption that I had no idea existed... so it has now become useful and extremely cool again!


More cleaning now means less cleaning when we have to move (did I forget the IF we ever move part!) ... so I'm all for it. Not only that it makes the house more manageable.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I've been doing much better about planning our menus over the last couple weeks. We do have some troubles sticking to it, but at least we have a guideline to follow.... So for this week here is what we plan...

Scallops with Snow Peas and Crispy Noodles
Ham w/Scalloped Potatoes Broccoli & Cauli
Ultimate Veggie Chili
Lemon Pepper Chicken
Chop Suey (Vegetarian)

Linguini Vongole

With that all done I have freed up my day on Wed/Thurs from planning! (hee hee!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Feeling Productive

Of the 12 Christmas items on my in Progress list I've been working (along with other projects) hard and have just picked up a project that I abandoned in 2006 when it was too late to make it for the Christmas run! With any luck I'll get it done this year along with a few other things! :)

So far I've managed to complete 5 projects on that list... so I'm almost there, with #6 fast on its way to completion and #7 at least on the radar screen! I'm loving it.

Its never too soon to start your handmade Christmas list!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Earth Hour: Part 4 - the Haunting

Ha, yes folks, its been a month since DH has had to do a SHOUT OUT to the power company. Now it is time to call the PSC, in all its insanity.

8 - 9 pm Earth Hour - Mar 30 - Family survives 40 minutes
7 ish pm April 3 - 4.5 hours - No logical reason
4 ish pm May 11th - 6.5 hours - 1 hour post thunderstorms
7 ish pm June 9th - 1 min blip! - post rain
7:20 pm June 11th - 2.5 hours. - 1 hour post thunderstorms.

K, so when I said that we would revisit Earth Hour weekly for 1 hour each week, I had no idea that we would visit Earth Hour monthly for several hours at a time instead and make up our quota in one sitting! We're still ahead in terms of hour usage! I think what irks me most is that the control would be totally out of my hands. I mean if I had control, we wouldn't be cooking dinner by candlelight - thank goodness for the gas cooktop! It seems that our little corner of our subdivision (which isn't a corner at all) has been afflicted with a bad transformer (or two, me thinks!) - so the worker says. Me thinks, there is a slight water problem right along with that evil transformer as noting the weather after each session it has been almost an hour to the minute after a rain shower! (thank goodness I have documented each outage HERE! - ammo for the PSC!)

The neighbors are rightly cranky! And rightly so, I'd say. We gave it 20 minutes after the lights went out and then dh called. We've made the decision to be pests - and call every 30 minutes until power is restored, ordinarily we wouldn't do this but with monthly outages its time they heard us - its not like the bills are piling up unpaid. *sigh*

So this is one instance where pre-planning the meals worked in our favour - as our electric oven was useless for cooking pizza last night - so instead we had a pre-planned Spanish Omelette (turned scrambled egg! LOL!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I made it 5 hrs

"I'm barricading myself away from the fabric stores unless I have an immediate need for something that isn't in my current stash!"

Did I really say that??? I made it 5 hrs....
I visited a site... I fell in love....
I bought fabric.... 1 lbs bag to be exact.
I'm hopeless. Must remember to barricade myself from the online fabric stores too! *sigh*
So many dangers... A little white padded room would be my best bet! LOL!

Deep Cleaning and Declutter

I'm tired of it.... I'm tired of all the clutter, I'm tired of all the junk, I'm tired of not being able to stay on top of things. I'm tired of having to scramble everytime someone comes to visit to make the place look somewhat tidy. I'm tired of living out of boxes and having to dig through things to find what I'm looking for. So my goal is reclaim my house from the clutter monster and then make it a little more cozy and comfy.

I can't handle the FlyLady emails, despite of how effective they are, so I'm back to peaking at the website to work on the house one room at a time very slowly. The girls are my top priority so I do what I can and then go back and forth as time permits.

Its kinda funny how my ideas waffle back and forth over time. What today is sentimental clutter, tomorrow is trash, and in 2 days I just won't be able to part with it. So I'm aiming for more "Tomorrow" days than "today" or "future days!" LOL! in other words the more clutter I can get rid of the happier I am.

I was thrilled to discover in the past week that my Garbage company has resumed accepting glass and cardboard, which they weren't for a while (5 yrs to be exact!) To that line up they've added more types of paper, and more plastics, which is a good thing. At least now I won't feel so guilty decluttering!

Now I just need to find places to accept my donate-able clothes, and kids toys. Slowly, slowly I will master this clutter instead of vice versa!

I'm following AmyDe's lead on the hobby stash - ie yarn and fabric stash - and working to have no stash, except the project that I'm working on. It's gonna take some time to burn through what I have but I'll get there eventually! I've done good, in that I don't think I've bought yarn (wool, cotton or acrylic.) Now the fabric is more difficult - for me at least, I'm barricading myself away from the fabric stores unless I have an immediate need for something that isn't in my current stash! And then I'll need to quiet that little stash-devil that whispers in my ear when I'm there - do you think ear plugs would work??

So there ya go. If I'm not around I'm decluttering.
3 of 15 rooms done.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cellphones - Popcorn - Musings

Its rather funny. Our family owns only one cell phone.
I've been reading a novel that bounces back and forth between today and the Early 1900s. Its a quilting book but I'm fascinated with the differing attitudes for the children then, the children when I grew up and the children of today. Its rather startling differences.

So we headed out to the HD today to replace the 14 gauge wire that I trimmed yesterday with the hedge trimmer, cut clean through the wire if you must know! (and that was being ultra careful!) The technology that made me angry 5 yrs ago probably saved my life last night, but I digress. So anyway, back to technology, in the car beside us was a kid about 10yo, with his cell plugged into his ear while his parents drove the Prius. I mused to myself how generations differed, how kids today can be reached at the drop of a hat, unless their batteries die or they conveniently lose their phone. How they always know who is calling even before they answer their phones, when back in 1991 Caller ID was just coming to home phone, and cell phones were a new fangled device! LOL! I marvelled at how much I enjoy being unreachable, but I also distinctly remember the day I longed to have a cell phone when I needed it most.

So with that thought in mind :
I found this disturbing and long to get 3 friends together with 6 phones and see what damage we can do to a couple kernels! LOL!

Leads to the logical question. If a cell phone can do that to popcorn, if you let the cell phone ring in your pocket long enough what else can it make explode??

Just idle musings!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tadpoles, Frogs and Smelly Tanks

What? I can't believe I didn't post our Tadpole adventures here.

On May 21st our little Grow-A-Frog Tadpole arrived in the mailbox. I was totally unprepared. I thought it would take a little longer than a week to get here but low and behold Little "Tad" arrived. I just assumed she'd be a boy! But here SHE is at 7 days. Just 2 days after she sprouted her front legs. I have learned that a tadpole's gender can't be identified until they are grow into frogs. From the research I have done... this tad has the nub of a tail (for laying eggs) and she is spotted with no dark patches - though that doesn't mean she won't grow some later. I'll have to watch and hopefully prevent spawning - I don't think I could handle another frog for the next 17-25yrs!

If I'm not mistaken she will grow into an African Claw Frog /Toad. Not the prettiest of frogs in my opinion but I guess it serves me right for not doing enough research. Beggars can't be choosers. Given a choice, I think I'd opt for a red-eyed tree frog, a bull frog or maybe even a Fire Bellied Toad. Oh well! Life goes on! Maybe some day we'll go there but for now we'll stick with this frog!

A few days after Tad grew her front legs, I requested the Stage 2 Habitat from Three Rivers (the Grow-a-Frog) Company and OOPS if it didn't arrive with another Froglet. *sigh* Froglet has now been called "Lily."

So now we are a 2 frog family!

Over the last couple days I've noticed the water is horribly cloudy with stringing things growing in the stinky water despite the fact that I've been following the instructions to a T. So today I sought a new temporary container so that I could clean out the nutri-sand from Tad's tad pool and Lily's pond. I've decided not to put the nutri-sand back just because its a pain to keep clean and I'm a total novice .... all the gunge hides down there and when the water is all gone, you still can't get the sand clean! :( So BYE BYE SAND. My reading suggests that it was for our benefit anyway, and didn't really offer much to the pools.

The adventure today has both Tad and Lily in the same pool now, so less maintenance - I just hope neither is too aggressive to the other. I suspect Lily would be the aggressor if it came down to anything so we'll keep our fingers crossed. I think I'm going to abandon our Three Rivers Habitats in favor of a bigger temporary home for the little ones. What I picked up was a Mini Critter Tote but I think I'll go for a bigger one and put the two Three River things away - just in case we decide to get a different tad in the future.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Happy Birthday

7 Wonderful years ago, this little was born. It seems just like yesterday, I can hardly believe it.

Today she turned 7.