Misc around the house

Life is all work work work, play a little, go to the cabin a little, work some more.  The weeks keep flying by, and I have no idea where they’re going.  It’s funny how life at work can seem like it’s going so freaking slow, but then I turn around and the summer is over.  My birthday is in exactly two weeks, and no matter how old I get, that still means school is just around the corner.  Summer has been relatively good to me, though, despite all that working business and the speeding by business.

DSCN3228DSCN3234

Bountiful harvest.  I would say that I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with, but I can easily eat on of these in a sitting.  They do not go to waste.  I might, however, end up with more tomatoes than I can handle, but I have some great recipes in mind.  I will have to work fast, though!

DSCN3233

There is an airport nearish my house (not only has my official address been the same block my entire life, but I’ve also lived near an airport my entire life.  And a train track.  It’s a requirement), so there is always interesting aircraft flying around my neighborhood.  I made a rare trip outside of my house for something other than work last weekend, and was thankful I had randomly decided to pack my camera in my purse the night before.  As it turns out, I NEVER carry my camera around.  I just don’t ever think to take pictures.  But I managed to get a picture of the Good Year Blimp while I was driving.  I’m pretty sure I took that picture at a stop light, because the ones actually taken while moving turned out poorly.

DSCN3235

That lovely vision of shit greets me every time I step out of my house.  My neighbors are absolute rubbish, and their lawn reflects it.  This picture was taken (by the Hippy while I was gone; apparently my camera was more convenient) on a particularly bad day.  Turns out my neighbor and her children are moving!  Hooray!  Oh, but wait.  Her sister is moving in instead.  WTF? (or FTW? if you’re a wench)  So, sadly, it will be the same shit, same people, same nonsense.

Okay, summer has been MOSTLY good to me.  With the exception of the neighbor thing.  I also got a new washer–no pictures, because, well, it’s a washer–for nearly free.  It was in the renter’s side because it was “broken,” according to the woman who sold the house.  Hippy figured out what was wrong, got a $60 part for it, and WHAMO!  Even better washer than the one I’d been using.

For want of a post…

The HandmadeMN team is breaking in their Ning group (sorry, no link, it’s Members Only 😉 ) by listing 25 interesting things about themselves.  I made my list this morning after hours and hours of deliberation (sprinkled with Bingo Luau, which is the new Poppit and Sweet Tooth).  I thought I would share it, even though very little of it is interesting.

1.I taught myself virtually every craft I know.
2.I am terrified of glitter.
3.I hated reading from middle school until college.  Now I usually have two books going at once, and I’m completely addicted to used book sales.
4.I have a serious sweet tooth and can’t go a day without something sinful.
5.I don’t believe in greeting cards, but feel like a jerk if I don’t give one.
6.I make an amazing cheese sauce, but I adore Kraft Dinner.

Actually Target Brand Sports Shapes with one elbow and one shell mixed in

Actually Target Brand Sports Shapes with one elbow and one shell mixed in

7.I blame 9/11 for my D in college calculus—I skipped class to give blood, and rarely went back after that.  Truth is, I would have done poorly anyway.
8.I don’t know my own home phone number, but I still remember my mom’s work number from over 10 years and four jobs ago.
9.The only resolution I’ve ever kept was to donate my hair.  That will be my resolution for 2010 as well (and every two years after).
10.I was anti-Apple until I worked for a publisher.  Now I have two iPods and a MacBook.
11.I had a number 11, but I forgot it.
12.I wish I would have been alive in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
13.I love working on cars, even though I don’t know anything about them.

WIP: Tuco at World of Wheels

WIP: Tuco at World of Wheels

14.I don’t consider myself to be an artist or even all that creative.  I just enjoy working with my hands.
15.I have a degree in creative writing but no stories in my head.
16.I like making the things people usually buy: laundry detergent, clothes, pizza crust… Next on my list are bagels and marshmallows.
17.I don’t care how many people tell me she’s a bitch; I would love to meet Martha Stewart.
18.I once tried roasting a Peep (chick, not bunny).  While hilarious, I wouldn’t recommend it for consumption.
19.I’m on a bowling team; my average is 107.
20.My dad and I dream of going on Wheel of Fortune together.
21.I am almost always cold—I get worried when I feel warm.

Best.  win. EVER.

Best. win. EVER.

22.I always bet on the long shots and my birthday horse (seventh horse in the 9th race) at the track; I have a tendency to make a nice chunk of money and bewilder other track goers.
23.My truck is named Brody after Billy Zane’s character in the video game SSX Tricky.
24.I got my business name from my first license plate.
25.My sister and I dressed up for the first showing of the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie—I spent months making the costumes and didn’t care that we were pretty much the only ones dressed up.

I will probably not be forgiven for this...

I will probably not be forgiven for this...

Florida Recap…

We’re back, safe and sound. The trip was way too short with more travel than seeing and doing, but it was still really nice to get away, and I had a great time with The Hippy and his family. We spent the first night in Fort Lauderdale, of which I have no pictures. It was late, and neither of us had had more than an hour or two of sleep in the last 24 hours. We did eat at a really great pizza joint in Weston, so if you’re ever out that way, definitely stop at Pizza Heaven.

Day two was an unfortunately long drive to the Keys.  Long, but worth it.  We made a pit stop in Key Largo, and from that point on in the trip, I sang Beach Boys songs in my head.  There, we saw the African Queen.

Nope, never saw the movie.

Nope, never saw the movie.

Then… drive drive drive.

Old bridges are missing chunks

Old bridges are missing chunks

To Sugarloaf Key.

img_8667

Sugarloaf Key KOA=nearly heaven. Nearly.

Heaven except that it was a titch too cold and windy for lil ol’ me and there was karaoke at the pub where we spent St. Patrick’s Day evening.  I also discovered that if I haven’t had a good amount of sleep in 48 hours, and I’m cold, making fun of me repeatedly about my hoodie will, in fact, make me cry and make you feel like an ass.

Next day, relaxing, picture taking, and Key West.  Okay, we went to Key West on St. Patrick’s Day too, but that was a bust.  Let’s forget about that.

But(t)... Why?

But(t)... Why?

For some reason, among all his really great pictures, The Hippy decided to take a picture of my butt.  At least it’s not nearly as huge as I thought.  (I have just been informed that it doesn’t look big because of the lens used.  He was promptly punched.)

Wandered ’round Key West for hours, seeing all the cool stuff on Duval, before heading to Mallory Square (I think?) for their sunset festival thingy.  Lots of street performers, but we only watched one: an awesome comedian with a magic act.  No pictures of him, sadly.  But he was funny AND really good at magic.  Suffice it to say.

dark, but tons of people

dark, but tons of people

Last day was the Everglades where there are scary monsters.

Agligator

Agligator

Honestly, I loved the air boat ride, but aligators scare the crap out of me.  The big one kept circling the boat.  He kept looking right at us.  Not cool.  I would still do it again.  I would, and will, do the whole trip again.

Mystery Bag

I haven’t started my mystery bag yet, but I intend to be through Day 1 by the end of today.  I do, however, have my fabrics picked out.  I’m doing two bags, because I’m worried about liking the first one I picked.

Here’s the back up:

dscn3068

Yellow linen and a printed shirting fabric.  Yes, I will iron, but I have to be somewhere in a half an hour, hehe.

Now, the “first pick”:

dscn3072

A ridiculously ugly manufacturer remnant that caught my eye and a pumpkin orange suede.  I had to adjust the color on the photo to even do it justice, but everything is far more pumpkiny than the picture would suggest.

More to come 🙂

Beware the Rotary Cutter

We are asked constantly at work why we don’t use rotary cutters. The answer to that is because they KILL!  All around awesome gal Larue chopped open her thumb with a rotary cutter, prompting oh so many rotary cutting memories for me. (We are also asked why we don’t use electric scissors, and the answer to that is that things don’t always work the way infomercials would have us believe.)

rotary-cutter

Rocketdog and I were chillin’ at my store one day when my all time least favorite regular came up to us and decided to give us unsolicited advice on using rotary cutters.  She told us to be very careful with rotary cutters (we weren’t even TALKING about rotary cutters) because she just had to get stitches because she nearly cut off the side of her finger.  Then she proceeded to show us her finger.  Not necessary.  She’s my least favorite regular because she’s an insufferable cuss, but that interaction cemented her unpleasantness in my brain. (For the record, she’s been threatening to “never shop at our store again” for the last 5 years, and yet she keeps… coming… back.)

klutzgloves

For years I’ve been toying with the idea of getting Rocketdog the Fons and Porter Klutz glove.  I haven’t done it because I don’t want her to actually think she’s my slave.  She’s been a huge help to me when I need all sorts of crap cut out, and I’m quite grateful for that.  She does, however, have an odd way of holding the rotary cutter/ruler that makes me nervous every time she uses them.

The last time I made her cut, I was joking that we had bandaids (something she likes to say whenever I need to touch her evil cat) in case she did cut herself with her haphazard method.  It wasn’t long before she needed a bandaid.  But it wasn’t because of the way she holds things.

See, I was sitting across from her on the floor and I had set my cutter down on the mat.  She was telling some sort of story (I’m sure) which required flailing arm movements.  Or maybe she was just shaking out her hands to revive them from all the cutting.  Whatever the case, she ended up hitting my blade and slicing open her finger.

You see that little orange button on the side of the cutter up there?  That retracts the blade.  It’s a button I rarely (if ever) used to push in the past.  Trust me.  I push it now, regardless of whether someone is around.  I do NOT need that n my conscience again!

My jeans want me to stop baking

But I kind of love my kitchen.  It’s not terribly exciting, and it’s kind of small, but it’s my kitchen.  And I have dishes that I dig.  I received a ton of old Pyrex bakeware for my birthday, even when I said, “No presents!!”  For Christmas, I bought myself a mixing set from my work that I thought would be “okay” but I really love it.  It came with a giant measuring-cup-slash-mixing-bowl that I’ve used so many times that I feel it already paid for itself.

dscn2993

It’s not the greatest cookie making bowl, and paired with not having an electric mixer, this was a fun experience.  But I figured people have been making cookies for billions of years without electric mixers, so can I.  But if anyone would like to get me a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, I wouldn’t complain.

dscn2991

I wanted to try new cookies, specifically cookies with wheat flour, so I followed this recipe to so-so results.  They are a little dry, and that made them extra hard to mix.  I think I would just go for a full cup of butter and be done with it.  Otherwise, I think the biggest problem I had was taking them out of the oven soon enough.  I’m a soft cookie gal, and some of these turned out way too hard.  Others were perfect.  Go figure.  I finally got to use the cookie scoop I bought myself last Christmas.  This is not to say I haven’t made cookies since then… I just have never been able to find the scoop when I wanted to use it.

dscn3000

The result was little mound shaped cookies that were a little nutty like people say wheat flour usually is.  But they’re incredibly addicting.  And since some of them are crazy crunchy, it’s also a little like playing Russian Roulette.  Only the end result is always delicious…

Side note: That Pyrex bowl so precariously close to the edge of the counter in the first picture actually took a tumble.  It survived, cementing Pyrex in my heart for all eternity.  The fork was my dough tasting fork.  It got a thorough workout that afternoon.

Six more weeks…

I love warm, sunny winter days when everything starts melting and Minnesotans think they can go outside without coats.  It’s a funny phenomenon: when the temp hits 40 at the beginning of winter, people start bunding up; when it hits 40 after a cold spell, people start peeling clothes off like it’s a summer blackout.

I do, however, hate the nights that follow.  The nights, invariably, are never above freezing, and therefore anywhere melted snow pooled becomes a death trap.  As my knee quickly found out on Saturday night.

I had to stop to pick something up, and as I rounded my truck, I met ice and came down ridiculously hard and fast.  I was at the end of my parents’ driveway, so I called my dad and asked him to come out and help me.  Once inside, I rolled up my pants to find a rather bloodied knee.  Also, there were two holes in my brand new work pants.  Awesome.

8 hours later

8 hours later

I woke up at 3:30 and couldn’t sleep, so I got up and interneted until 6.  That’s what my knee looked like at around 5.  I was thinking I was off the hook from a badly bruised knee thanks to my quick icing….

24 hours later

24 hours later

Nice!  The biggest problem with this was that I needed to crawl around on the floor for a good chunk of Sunday.  That is, after all, where I cut out large pieces of fabric.  Not only was my knee all bruised up, but I must have either worn out my left arm at work, or jarred it when I fell, because I could hardly move myself around while working on the floor.  I was a whiny mess.

(I like that first picture better because I don’t look nearly as pale….  But really, it’s just lamplight instead of sunlight….)