Thursday, January 29, 2009

One Of Those Days

It was definitely one of those days. Didn't really sleep last night because my arm is killing me (still). Two hour delay for school because of the ice. Ryan missed the bus because he was arguing with me about why he had to take a lunch to school today instead of buying. Because my car hadn't moved in two days it was covered in snow and ice and was frozen shut. So with my bad arm I had to yank open the car door and scrape the snow and ice off the windows. Then while I was walking around to the other side I fell flat on my back on the ice because me feet went flying out from under me. I hit so hard I think I bounced! I am bruised from my shoulders to my knees! I know my headache has to be from the jarring! Then I got stuck in school traffic at Ryan's school and almost missed Kellie's bus. So after Kellie left and I was alone I came inside and emailed Mark about my misfortune and how I needed sympathy then grabbed some coffee and cookies, found a trashy novel, and spent most of the day feeling sorry for myself on the sofa. Damn ice! I ache all over now! And Mark's response...You are going to be really sore tomorrow are you sure you'll be able to go to lunch with Ann? OH I'M GOING! (I'm meeting my sister at 12:30 for lunch tomorrow) Tomorrow has to be a better day, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Hate Ice!

It is pretty though isn't it...
School is closed again today because of the ice. I had a doctor appointment this morning but there is no way in hell I'm leaving this house! Mark tried to shovel a little this morning but it was too heavy to lift especially so soon after back surgery. Yeah, don't get me started on that. And the ice is at least an inch thick under what Mark tried to shovel. Treacherous conditions.

So this will be day number 5 of a house full of kids. I hope you are warm, and dry, and not stuck in your house with a bunch of bored kids. I'm getting a little tired of hearing "It's MYYYYYY turn! MOOOOOOUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM! In that whiny kid voice. I'm thinking by the end of the day I'll be doing a little whining of my own. :O)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Very Colorful Weekend...

It was a rainbow in my kitchen all weekend!I love dying fabric in bags. It's so easy and you get a nice mottled look to the fabric which is great for applique - and I love LOVE applique. I did two different dye runs with 1/4 yard of velvet (so gorgeous in velvet!) and 1/4 yard of cotton in each bag. 30 different colors of both cotton and velvet that match! woohoo! These are the velvets...

I have 39 more colors to do, but not today. My kids are off today and tomorrow and Mark is home too. You know what that means...no time for play. I'll do the next group on Wednesday. Too fun.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Some Sewing And A Little Aquarium Update

For Christmas 2007 I made Mark and each of the kids a two sided fleece blanket. I figured after Christmas I would make one for myself. Well, today (a year later) I finally got around to it... So this is my fleece blanket that comes with rules! It is only allowed in the living room and is not NOT to be shared with Howard! Every blanket I have made has been shared with Howard! For some reason Kellie and Ryan think that Howard needs to be covered with fleece when he comes in from outside! "He's cold Mom!" Yeah, well I'm not sharing my pretty new blanket with him!

And this is one of our new fish...
He's very strange. He comes right up to the front of the tank and I swear he is watching us! He will look at you head on...It's kind of freaky. And these little blue fish (we have 4 of them) are so cute and they are really really pretty. They reflect the light like you would not believe...

Sorry about the light reflection, it was that time of morning when the sun shines into the room. I wanted to show you how large the elephant ear gets. It's huge! Like 14 inches across. At night it closes up to this tiny little blob about 2 inches across by about 2 inches high. Crazy.

And the star fish was out and on the front of the tank so I thought I would take a photo to show you.
I hope you have a nice weekend. I'm so excited! This package arrived today....
It's my order of fabric dye! Mark has to work Saturday so I'm going to dye fabric! I have cotton and velvet to dye! OOOOOO! I can't wait to get started!
Well, I'm paying for my day of sloth yesterday. I gained like 3 pounds and from the look of me I would say that the cookies are now residing on my hips and making sure I see each and every one of them! Okay, I admit I did eat like at least a dozen cookies yesterday but you know -- it was quality control! I wanted to make sure that I was making yummy cookies and that each tray was just as yummy as the last. And I was making two kinds of cookies. I had to be sure of the goodness. And after many many tastings I can say for sure that they are indeed yummy and that each and every tray held yummy tasting cookies! :O) And guess what?! my trashy novel had a happy sappy ending. aaah, good day all around.

Then there is today...

MY HOUSE IS TRASHED!!! Clearly while I was busy doing my very important quality control testing my children were running a muck! And I told the kids to put all of their dirty laundry in the hall for me...well, don't try to walk down the hall now because you will break your neck! So, no fun for me today. Work work work. Good thing I have these cookies to keep up my strength! I need to balance out my thighs with my hips ya know. :O)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I know everyone is making bread - the old fashioned way. But, alas, I'm not feeling the love -- I want instant gratification with the least amount of effort so I'm lovin' my bread machine. Today I'm making Raisin Bread. I've made this one before and it's really good.

Raisin Bread

1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups Milk (mine needed the 1 1/4 cups)
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Pinch Grated Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Raisins
1 1/2 tsp Red Star Brand Active Dry Yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine, using the least amount of liquid listed in the recipe. Select Light Crust setting, the the Sweet cycle, and press start. Observe the dough as it kneads. After 5 to 10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff, or if your machine sounds as if it's straining to knead it, add more liquid 1 Tbsp at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch. After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan and place on a cake rack and allow to cool 1 hour before slicing. In my machine it takes 3 hours 25 minutes on the fruit and nut setting. This makes a medium sized loaf (1 1/2 pound)

I think I even posted about it before - and I'm making cookies today - chocolate chip and oatmeal. And what am I doing while I'm making these cookies? reading a trashy romance novel! HA! I think I'll do a little laundry so that Mark doesn't realize that I spent the day laying on the sofa eating way too many cookies and reading trash! :O) What a great day, right?

Yesterday Kellie came home and told me that her friend had spent the day on Tuesday talking with Obama on TV. I tried to explain to her that she was just teasing. Kellie wouldn't hear of it. SHE SAID MOM! Oh, okay. I must have missed her on TV - she was probably on while I was eating lunch with the tooth fairy. :O)


I have to tell you about these shoes...
I love them! I love the little buckle and the stitching around the side. I wear them all the time which is making me nervous because I bought them last winter and I'm afraid I'm wearing them too much and wont be able to replace them - but I just can't help it! I love them. That's all I wanted to say about these shoes ... love them. I'm sure this information has made your day complete! :O) The bread is really good though, try it. And I highly recommend neglecting all house work and stuffing your face with warm cookies and reading trashy novels. It's what keeps me healthy. :O)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Peek Inside Kellie's Journal...

Kellie has been obsessed with frogs lately. She has been drawing pictures of them and then writing stories about them in one of her journals. I thought I would share some of them with you...




I love the swim goggles on this one...




Have a great day! Oh, and this http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4632991n is just disturbing and unfortunate. I'm sad to say this is in America.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So Classic Mark...


Sunday morning Mark went out on the deck and was looking at the Koi pond. And there just below the surface was a fish FROZEN! Eeek! We thought the Heron had eaten everyone long ago. I don't know where they were hiding! Mark had turned off the pump because all the fish were gone! So as he is looking through the ice he not only sees this frozen orange fish, but there at the bottom are two fish swimming! YIKES! He kicks into immediate rescue mode - BOIL SOME WATER! RYAN COME HELP ME SAVE THESE FISH! WE NEED TO MAKE A HOLE IN THIS ICE SO THEY CAN BREATHE AND SO WE CAN GET A HEATER TO KEEP THE POND FROM REFREEZING!!!! So, I boil three pots of water and they get a little hole in the ice. Then Mark decides that that isn't good enough so he gets a hammer - yes, a hammer - to speed things up because he's not a patient man. Oh and a drill was involved too! Then he takes the heater from the reserve salt water (yes, salt water) and drops that in (without rinsing it first). I'm not so sure the fish were happy with his rescue. He came inside AFTER all this and read the directions for how to fix this situation and there he finds in big bold letters NEVER EVER BANG ON THE ICE! It shocks the fish and kills them. Ooopssy :O) hmm, what does it say about using an electric drill? :O) Don't worry little fishies - Mark will save you! :O) They are still alive, but I'm not so sure that they are happy with all of this love and attention that Mark gave them.

DARN THAT SNOW!!!



rrrrrrr, I have a 10 am (desperately needed) hair appointment today. We have a two hour delay for school this morning. Sooooo, hair appointment at 10:00 - Kellie leaves on bus at 10:30!!!!! Can I just tell you I want to cry. CRY! It takes weeks to get a hair appointment! WEEKS! I guess I'll be sporting a hat on my head for a few weeks. Ohhhhhh, that darn snow! It's pretty to be sure but ... OH MY HAIR!!!!! I wanted Mark to stay home to put Kellie on the bus but ah, he said no. :O)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thinkin' About Hell Today...

Worst mom EVER! That would be me. I was thinking about guinea pigs today. You see, when Jason was 5 years old and Molly was 4 I said okay when they asked for guinea pigs. I don't know what I was thinking. Yes, they were tiny, and yes they were furry, and yes they were cute. But....they stink. Their cage was S T I N K Y! ick. Sooo, and I know this is going to come up when I try to get into heaven...about a year later they asked for a kitten. I LOVE kittens! So I said yes! Absolutely. Just one little teensy problem guys....hhhhh, kittens are allergic to guinea pigs. So .... sheesh, hhhh, we would have to find a new home for the guinea pigs. It's a shame but that's how it is. Kittens can't live with guinea pigs == makes them sneezy and itchy. Sooooo, guinea pigs went to live with a friend. How bad is that? Well it gets worse. About a year later I overheard Jason explaining to someone how kittens are allergic to guinea pigs...he knows because his mommy told him. That would be his sainted mother who never tells a lie! :O) Burn. Oh, I am going to burn in hell.

Not Fine Dining, But Good...

First, this was my morning...

Ryan do you have everything packed up for school? YES! Ryan do you have your project? YEEEESS! Ryan put on your coat it's like 3 degrees today. OK!!!! Bye mom. Ryan do you have everything for school? Y E S !!! Bang with the door. 20 minutes later...phone rings. Mom, I forgot my project on the table. AAAAAAHHHHHH! That boy makes me crazy. :O)

Oh, and today which is like 10 below with the windchill -- Molly has an OUTDOOR pep rally to perform at for the Ravens this morning. Greaaaaaat. Last night we went to the sporting goods store and bought 8 sets of toe warmers and 8 sets of hand warmers, another set of under armor for cold weather and more socks. We were laughing that she'll have a heat stroke this time! And I made her promise not to share her warmers!!! LOL. How mean is that?!

Okay I have another recipe for you. This is not a fancy meal by any stretch of the imagination but it's good and it's fast. This is for meatballs. They are easy to make in an electric frying pan or a large pot. When I make them I have them with carrots, peas and white rice or mashed potatoes...

Meatballs

1 lb of Ground Beef
1/4 Cup Parsley
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Egg Beaten
1 Clove of Garlic Minced
1/2 Onion Finely Chopped
1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs (three slices of bread)
3 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp oil
1 (10) Can of GOLDEN Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can (the soup can) of Milk

Shape into balls and brown in the oil on all sides. Add soup with equal parts milk and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with the gravy over white rice, mashed potatoes, or wide noodles.

NOTE: These meatballs can be made with tomato based spaghetti sauce and served over spaghetti too. And I double this recipe for my family of 6.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Recipe and A Shameless Commercial

Yesterday I made these scones. They are very very yummy and very very easy and very very quick. So here is the recipe...

SCONES

2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Quick Oatmeal
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
6 Tbsp Sugar
10 Tbsp Cold Butter - Cubed

1/2 Cup Dried Fruit (I used dried cranberries)
3/4 Cup Buttermilk (I used low fat Buttermilk)

Put dry ingredients (without fruit) into a mixing bowl with the cold cubed butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, blend until butter is incorporated. Then add 1/2 cup dried fruit and stir in. Next add 3/4 cup of buttermilk and mix into a sticky ball. Knead on a floured surface until a nice dough forms. Form into a 1 inch thick circle on a pizza stone or baking sheet (I didn't feel like getting out my pizza stone so I used a stone baking sheet and made it into a rectangle). Cut into slices with a pizza cutter or use cookie cutters (round or square). Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 -30 minutes. In my oven they take 29 minutes. Try them :O)
YUM!

When I saw my sister Ann last week she brought Howard's new winter coat with her...


It's really nice. It has a nice fleece lining. I was worried when I saw that to put it on it has to go over his head and then clips underneath, but it stays put when he walks and the opening to go over his head is really big so it wasn't any problem at all. She also brought some of his favorite treats...PIE!He goes completely insane when he sees these boxes! My sister Ann and niece Kate own a really great natural/holistic dog and cat food store Clippers Canine Cafe in Solomons Island Maryland. All of the food and treats they sell are made with natural ingredients - not the chemical and byproduct crap found in regular pet food. They sell natural/holistic dog and cat food, natural/holistic treats, really nice toys, pet care products made with natural ingredients, supplies, etc. It's a great store, but they also have a website that you can order from. Sorry for the shameless commercial, but they sell great stuff and I thought if you have a dog/cat you may want to check them out. They ship everywhere from their website now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Playing With Chocolate

Well luckily my crazy cleaning frenzy has gone away and I'm back to normal (sorry Mark).


I finished the stitching on this while waiting for Kellie at the dentist yesterday...

I'm not really sure what it is. It's small for a wall hanging, big for a brooch, and I'm thinking it's the wrong size for an ATC (I can't remember the size of those - I need to look it up). I also need to put on a binding. I think I might do an overcast stitch all the way around with floss, but I'm not sure yet. I painted it with Neocolor II Artist Crayons and then stitched it with DMC embroidery floss. And I still need to add the beading.



I also spent the day playing around with the layout of a box of chocolates quilt only to realize that the idea I had for the chocolates would be a little too 3 dimensional for it to hang right. I think I will need to make the chocolates a little less 3 dimensional. Right now they would be about 1 inch high. Which will throw off the quilt sections that have the flatter pieces - like the center chocolate which I was going to make layering felt to look like a petifore. So now I'm thinking that maybe I should make the chocolates big but turn them into pin cushions or ornaments and make the quilt with flat chocolates or at least almost flat. A dilemma to be sure. Maybe I should make a 3 dimensional box with a lid that opens of the chocolates. hmmmm, then it wouldn't have to hang at all and I could make them the way I planned. That could be fun huh? oh no, no cleaning again today Mark. :O) Anyhoo, that's what I've been working on this week.