Sunday, August 31, 2008

A girl can dream, can't she?

So, Gustav is not cooperating. He insists on coming where he is not welcome. And he has turned into a great big brute.
That being said, we may not have power for 3 after Katrina. I hope that doesn't happen. When Katrina hit, I was far away saying "those poor people"....yikes. I really don't like the thought of becoming one of those poor people.

So I have filled the tubs and a vast assortment of buckets and plastic trash cans with water. After all, we will need to be able to force flush the toilets.
Dean was buying water on Wednesday night....he overheard a man say "oh, gosh, maybe we oughta buy some toilet paper...remember LAST TIME?" The lady replied "yes, yuck, yes lets go get some!"
So Dean brought home a 24 pack.
And then he brought back another 24 pack today.
How much tp does one family of four need?

Dean already pruned the trees so heavily that they look like skeletons....but hopefully the wind will blow THROUGH them better this way.
And he scalped the yard.
Yes ma' really works. If you have high grass it catches water easier.
Everyone here is scalping their yard.
We still have lots to do. Plywood for the back doors to the patio, pick up ALL the garden stuff, patio stuff, etc. That alone could take forever.

Egads...the things you think about having to do........

If I'm off line forever you'll know why..........

Maybe we'll get lucky and it will go "somewhere else." Then I can delete this post and pretend it was all just a bad dream.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mama Margarita!

I was so excited when the mailman brought me a package today. I knew Wild Jenn had sent me 'something' and my curiosity was getting the best of me!

Just look at the gorgeous apron she made me! It was for the Garb-oodles swap. I had sent her a beachy type apron awhile back.

This apron is just beautiful....I love the pocket and the lace edging.

She also included a pretty pink bracelet, some postcards, and not 1 but 4 jazzed up recipe cards for margaritas! Now, I just want to put it on the record that I am NO LUSH.....but I do like a good frozen margarita and I WILL be making these....


maybe tonight...... :-)

Here is a close-up so you can see the little cocktail glasses on the fabric and the little polka dots.
The bracelet got lost in all that pink so I put it in April's pocket....too bad she doesn't have arms!

I have to tell you that as much as I love the apron, postcards, bracelet and recipes, the most special part of all were some Sweet William seeds.

I will plant them in the Spring in a special place in honor of her own Sweet William.

Thank you Jenn!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Boomin' Aprons Scary Swap!

Here are a few photos from the latest Halloween Apron swap I was in.

My partner really likes witches and she requested a full sized apron. I made her a fun apron using Lucy's is such a great pattern.

It turned out REALLY cute and I almost couldn't part with it.

I made it has a pocket on the other side. I especially like the fabric I used for the ruffle!

We had to include a potholder and a goody bag to hold candy. I decided to make her a tote instead because I thought it would be fun to use during the month of October. This one has a different set of pockets on the reverse side.

I also included a Halloween bookmark and some favorite recipes.

My partner, Marcel, from Aunt Pitty Pat's sent me this WONDERFUL fun autmny apron.
I haven't seen this fabric anywhere around here so I was really thrilled. I love the waistband and that the ties are really wide and long. I tend to wrap ties around my waist and then tie them in front.
She included lots of Halloween goodies too.....of which were quickly confiscated by my 2 kids.
No surprise there.

She used different fabric for the goody bag and potholder. She also included a cookie cutter and a jack o' lantern treat bag...I refused to give THAT up.
The kids got the candy, but the bag is MINE! Oh and some great autumn napkins.....looks like I cleaned up!

Here is a close up of the cute little jack 'o' can't see him in the first picture....she had him all wrapped up.....

Thank you Marcel!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A few swap goodies.....

I made some bookmarks for a Movie Quote swap. You had to come up with a quote from some movies that your partner listed. The "OOPS" bookmark is double is from the movie "Independence Day."

These cupcake toppers are some I received.....super cute!
I posted the ones I sent out here.

I love the little witchy-poo hats!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beach in a box

I was in Garb-oodles apron swap and guess who my partner was? WILD JENN!
Jenn had commented on being a bit saddened by seeing 'termination snow' outside her window. You'll have to go read her blog to get that definition!

Anyway, I thought she needed a little beach in a box so I came up with this package for her.
I know Alaska has beaches but I don't know if it ever gets warm there.....

Here is the beach babe apron I made...April looks great in it. I liked the fabric so much that I made it reversible...both sides with different beach babes showing.

And here is the rest of the 'stuff' I put together:

Let's see what I sent her.... some fun beach cocktail napkins, some beach cupcake toppers, some beachy recipes, an animal print beach tote (all the rage in the Southern states), and some beach sand from our trip to see my family.
The Gulf Coast beaches are gorgeous.....they have the whitest beaches in the USA so I thought it would be fun to send her some sand from there. I don't know if Alaska has white sand or not.
The only thing I left out was a torrid beach I can't believe I left it out!

I'm glad she liked everything.....I had a blast coming up with it for her!

Fresh Produce...

This weekend it rained and was a great weekend to hang out, eat and watch movies!

This dish is one that I can throw together without even thinking. It comes from a great cookbook called The Italian Country Table. I don't follow the recipe anymore....but this cookbook has so MANY amazing recipes...if you like Italian, you ought to check it out.

The dishes are rustic and WONDERFUL. If you like lamb, try the "Ninth Night Lamb' recipe. Even if you DON'T like lamb, you will love the is that good.

I made focaccia bread to go with it.
The recipe I like best comes from the book entitled 100 Great Breads. This book has some great bread recipes.
I use the tomato focaccia bread recipe but change it up a bit. I top it with chopped rosemary and sprinkle the top with some of the Maldon salt.

Here is what it looks like altogether on the plate.....we added some grilled shrimp for kicks.....YUM!

Needless to say, there were zero leftovers....even the kids have extra helpings when I make this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Strawberry Love

I was in Susan's Strawberry partner? Lucky me, I got Jill from Nature Girl (again!)

It is SO much fun swapping with her. I put myself into overdrive and sent some goodies off for both Jill and Nature Girl....I mean, who can resist that kid! So sweet!

She got her package so I can now post it.

I made them both a strawberry tote bag...I am going to have to make me one now....they turned out so cute!
Nature Girl's had a little sun catcher kit in it so she could make something right away.

And here is a close up of a reversible sketchbook, a great recipe and a fun pincushion.
The sketchbook has 2 pictures Curly Girl painted for it.

I put in other recipes, and a little strawberry shaped notebook too....I wanted this to be a really fun swap for both of them!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blueberry Bog

What do you do with all these gorgeous, fresh blueberries?

This one is so big it covers a QUARTER...that is one BIG blueberry! You can just barely see the edge of the quarter peeking out on th left side.

What I made is Blueberry Bog...a family favorite.

This recipe sort of evolved into what it is today.
I thought I'd share it through the recipe box swap since this month's theme is "Garden Fresh."

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


3 cups washed blueberries (wash right before using)...set aside.

1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c milk
1 and 1/3 c self rising flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together. Stir for about 2-3 minutes until everything is incorporated. The batter will be a bit lumpy. Don't overmix!

Grease or use PAM in a square or round baking dish (roughly 8x8 or 9x9)

Starting with the batter, pour half the batter into the dish and then top with half the berries.
Repeat once again. This will give you 2 layers of batter and 2 layers of berries.

Prepare the topping:

1/4 c COLD butter, cut into cubes
1/2 c sugar
2 TBLS brown sugar
1/3 c all purpose flour (NOT self rising)
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Use a fork and work the butter into the remaining ingredients until the topping forms into little bits.

Sprinkle the topping over the blueberries.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Start checking it at an hour. My oven runs hot so it only takes an hour.

As an extra treat, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. Look at the layers...yum........


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer Apron Swap!

This is the apron I made for my partner in the Summer Apron Swap hosted by Princesses in Disguise.

I used Lucy's pattern turned out really cute :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Toadstool Tuesday

In honor of all the cute Fairy rings in our neighborhood....some of which are HUGE... I have decided that today is Toadstool Tuesday.

I have a few cuties to share with you.
I received the one below in the mail but there was no note and no return address. I don't know who to THANK. So if you are reading this, please let me know who you are....and just so you know, I really love it! Orange is one of my all time favorite colors and polka dots are just my favorite print! It is really lovely.

Here is a photo of the cute little polka dotted underside........too cute!

The next ones are some I did for some an angel and as a partner myself. I always send two though...I included one that looks like this one.

And here is another little one I sent off with the red ones. I used this pattern for the red ones and the purple topped one. I was sort of freaked out because I couldn't find Karin's blog anywhere. After much web surfing, I found that she had moved. I'm glad I found her again...if you haven't checked out her blog, it is beautiful.

I wanted to try making a tiny one that was in one I didn't have to fasten off and join the cap and stem. It turned out like this:

If you are interested, here is the pattern:

You'll need:

G crochet hook
Bits of yarn
blunt needle

Row 1: SC 6 into a magic ring
Row 2: SC 2 into each sc, around = 12
Row 3: SC 1 into next sc, then SC 2 into next sc, around = 18
Row 4: SC 1 into next 2 sc, then SC 2 into next sc, around = 24
Row 5: SC 1 into next 3 sc, then SC 2 into next sc, around = 30
Row 6: SC 1 into next 4 sc, then SC 2 into next sc, around = 36
Row 7: SC in each sc around = 36

This makes the cap part, now to start forming the underside.
Begin Decreases:

Row 8: work decrease, sc 4, around = 30
Row 9: work decrease, sc 3 around = 24
Row 10: work decrease, sc 2 around= 18

at this point you can stuff cap not fasten off though.

This starts the neck of the stem....

Row 11: decrease around = 9
Row 12 and 13: sc around = 9

The rest of the stem:

Row 14: 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next, around = 13
Row 15: 1 sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next, around = 17
Row 16: sc around = 17

At this point, thread same colored yarn on a blunt needle. Go up inside stem and while pressing the cap down, stitch around the rim to flatten it out a bit.

Lightly stuff stem.

To finish:

Row 17: sc around = 17
Row 18: work 1 dec, sc 6, work 1 dec , 1 sc = 14
Row 19: work 1 dec, sc in next, around = 9
Row 20: decrease around and close hole. Fasten off and sew yarn into stem to hide.

Using your thumb, flare out the bottom a bit and stuff the knot and a row or 2 of the stem up into itself. This gives it a nice bottom to sit on.

As usual....I hope there are no errors but if there are, please forgive me!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Fairy rings and Rain lilies

It has been a pretty hot, dry summer here in Louisiana. The past few days though, we had a good amount of rain.
Yesterday as we drove to church we saw several few Fairy Rings in the neighborhood. This got the kids all stirred up and excited. I took several pictures but most were from too far away.....the rings were big!

A fairy ring, also known as a fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. Fairy rings also occupy a prominent place in European folklore as the location of gateways into elfin kingdoms, or places where elves gather and dance. Superstition calls fairy circles sacred and warns against violating them lest the interloper (such as a farmer with a plough) anger the fairies and be cursed. Celtic folk beliefs generally paint fairy rings as dangerous places, best avoided.

The only danger I faced was being run over by cars while I was in the road taking these photos!

Our rain lilies also bloomed. They are so pretty and delicate is always nice to see them bloom.

They seem to 'know' if I just watered them and only bloom after it rains. I just love them!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pincushion swap!

I was in a pincushion swap last week hosted by Mandy at sewSpun.

My partner had a few things being that she LOVED strawberries. Since I had some strawberry fabric left, I decided to go with that. I've not made a pincushion before so I went with a simple one. I found a tutorial here.

I also made my partner an amigurumi strawberry pincushion to wear on her wrist.

The photo is a bit blurry but you get the idea.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Halloween Cupcake topper swap and tutorial

I was in another cupcake topper swap through swap-bot. These things are soooo much fun to make. Anyhoo, my partners received them so now I can post them.

I've had a few emails asking how to make these so I thought I'd put something together to show the process.
Bake and Destroy has some awesome ones which she sells through etsy.

Some people REALLY go all out and use glitter, ribbons, etc. I keep mine fairly simple...I don't want to eat plastic glitter.
You could even buy stickers and skip the 'cutting out' process.

First, you will need to gather your supplies:

non-toxic white glue
scotch tape
double prong toothpicks (from Target & Dollar Tree in the paper product section)
wax paper to protect your table from glue spills
stickers or images you've cut out***
background paper if mounting
ribbon, glitter, extras..
paper punches...for these, I used a 1.5 circle punch. I also have a scalloped punch that is 2 .5 which works well.

***I have Publisher and find a ton of free clip art that I copy and print. Then I cut them all out at once. I find that a good 'size' is when you can fit 12-16 pictures on one sheet of paper. I got some in a swap where the lady had drawn the images, then scanned them to her computer first. They are super is a picture of them. Stickers would work too....

In this photo, I've shown you the back of one topper and the front of another kind. You use a small amount of glue on the upper portion of the tooth pick.

The 'skull' topper is made this way:
glue the skull to a circle you made using the circle paper punch.
Once dried, glue the circle to the toothpick. This takes a little bit longer because you have to let everything dry twice.

This is what they look like when done:

Then, package them up like you'd find them in the store. They should fit easily into a small zipper top baggie. I found that by folding the top down a bit, it shortens the baggie just right. Be sure the picks are all pointing in one direction, not helter skelter. You don't want them damaged.

The school where my kids go prefer muffins over cupcakes with icing. I think these toppers make them look really cute!

I made some others this summer. You can see them in this post and in this post too. This post shows some toppers that someone sent me. I forgot to take a close up. If you double click on the third photo you can see them a little better.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A little bowl of cherries.

I was in Lucy's apron swap again. This time, the theme is Fall and Pies.

My partner is Tracey and she preferred to have an apron she could wear anytime of the year. The one thing she stated on her 'list of likes' is that her favorite color is red.
I happen to know she LOVES the 50's and the whole "Atomic Housewife" thing.

I can show the apron because Tracey got it...and LOVES it!

Isn't is precious? I almost couldn't part with it! I'm seriously tempted to go back and buy more fabric to make me one just like it.

I found this fabric at Hancock's. It is one of those fabrics that has a double border. I cut the 2 borders off, used one to make the pockets and one to make the ties. As you can see, I made the ties extra long so she can tie it in front or back.

The pattern is the "Loreli" from the book "A is for Apron."

We had to include a potholder and recipe which I did. I also sent her a bunch of pretty scrap fabrics that she can use for her latest obsession....making fabric covered buttons.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A little phone call......

Due to the whole '2 hour for 4 minutes' doctor appointment I had on Monday, I decided that I need to find a new doctor.

So, yesterday I called to get an appointment with a new doctor. I know that you have to be 'WELL' to get your first appointment. Heaven forbid you try to get an appointment with a new doctor when you are actually SICK.

Here is the phone conversation I had.

Ring, ring....

Recept "_____ Clinic, This is LeeAnn, may I help you?"

Me: "Yes, I need to make an appointment"

LeeAnn: "I'm sorry but we don't have any appointments today."

Me "okay, so do I need to be an established patient before seeing one of your doctors?"

LeeAnn: 'what?"

Me "do I need to already be a patient of yours in order to make an appointment?

LeeAnn: 'uh, yes'

Me thinking I am getting somewhere: "okay so when can I be seen?

LeeAnn: 'huh?'

Me...trying again.....:"how do I go about doing that"

LeeAnn: "doing what?"

Me: "getting an appointment."

LeeAnn: " I'm sorry I don't know what you are talking about."

Me...: "I was just talking to you"

LeeAnn: "no you weren't, I just came on the line."

Me....thinking I'd had a brain fart....."mmmmmm, was I transferred somehow?" "I thought I just asked you when I could see the doctor." "Isn't your name LeeAnn and weren't you just telling me...." (I reviewed the conversation)

LeeAnn: "oh yeah, that was me....hmmmmm, our first available is Sept. 22nd."

Me..."uh, is that for first time patients or anyone?"

LeeAnn: "anyone...we don't have any appointments until Sept 22nd."

Me: 'no thanks..." I mean, I really didn't want to wait until late Sept. if I could get in sooner.

So here I am thinking, why did she lie and say she just came on the line?
I felt like I was in "Men In Black" and had just had that little strobe light go off or something. Or maybe she had that little strobe light go off. Or something.

I decided she must have been the one with the brain fart so I called back, crossing my fingers that a DIFFERENT receptionist would answer.

A different receptionist DID answer and promptly verified that a new patient has to see the doctor before getting ill. So I have to go in Sept 22nd. Then they can usually work you in WITHIN A WEEK. (I won't even GO there today...)

It kills me that in order to see a doctor nowadays, you have to be WELL.
Back when I was a kid, doctor's didn't want to see you when you were well. They wanted you to come in when you were sick so they could MAKE you well. That way, they could feel the glow of 'hero worship.' And give you lollipops.

Going to the doctor when you were well only meant one thing: YOU WERE GETTING SHOTS.
I NEVER went to the doctor when I was WELL. I ran away once because we were going to the doctor and I was WELL. I knew darn well I would get some SHOTS. I wasn't about to get more SHOTS.

So now that doctors are slammed with loads of PPO,HMO, and other varieties of "O" paperwork, they WANT to see us when we are well. But then when we get there, they rush us through like pigs going to market..."sue-EEEEEEEE."
I know there must be a valid least I hope there is.
Or is it that they simply want that 30 dollar copay?

Monday, August 11, 2008

2 gifts for me!

A couple weeks ago, I ran across the quarterly 'bloggy giveaway' carnival. I entered a few giveaways thinking it would be great to win something.
I was soooo excited when Tami emailed me a few days later and told me I WON the tote she was giving away.
Here is the tote in all its bubble-icious glory!

This tote comes from an etsy store owned by Tami's friend. Please go check it out! She has several others to choose from.

Now for my other gift....Strep Throat! Lucky me!
Imagine how much fun it is to sit in a doctor's office for 2 hours and only see the doctor for 4 minutes and to decide to WALK OUT. They were can't LEAVE. We have to do blood work. (my strep test came back weird.)
Not today....not after 2 hours. So the flustered doctor wrote me out a Px for a z-pack with instructions to come back in a week if I don't feel much better.

Of the 2, the tote was a much better gift and a serious mood lifter!

Cottage cheese on toast...I mean TOES!

Okay, You know you've become a blogger when you hear something fall and yell..."Don't move, I have to get my CAMERA!"

My poor kids. The average mom probably doesn't like disgusting stuff spilled on her floor. The average mom might even show some irritation at disgusting stuff spilled on her floor.
My mom was one of those that showed irritation at disgusting stuff spilled anywhere. Even non- disgusting stuff was not to be spilled. I kind of got paranoid as a kid about spilling stuff which made me spill MORE stuff. So I decided that when I had kids, I wouldn't freak out when they spilled stuff. And I don't.

I just wait until something spills and then gleefully run get my camera.

Yesterday Ripstick Boy was getting some tea out of the fridge. He chose to lift the tea over some nasty cottage cheese (my HUSBAND'S....NOT MINE.) He hit the cheese and the rest is history.

This is what it looked like:

This is what it looked like 30 seconds after the dogs realized there was disgusting stuff on the floor:

Notice the cleaner toes? Yep...Mojo dashed in and licked the toes before Ginger nosed him out of the way. He is still there.....he went to work on the other set of toes.

Who needs a mop when you have dogs? (Don't have a stroke...yes, I mopped.) As for Ripstick Boy, he was so grossed out he went and took a shower.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to school blues....

Where is BB King when you need him? I've got the Back to School Blues.... I'm so sad that summer is over. Of course, it is still HOT as h e double hockey sticks here but still.....BACK TO SCHOOL and SO SOON?

Ripstick Boy took the bus for the first time. I am not thrilled about it.
But he'll be fine. I'm sure. If not. I'll drive him. We'll see.

Curly Girl is nervous knowing her brother won't be at the same school anymore. Doesn't she LOOK nervous to YOU? NO? Not even a little bit?

We had lots of tears this morning. All mine. Now don't freak out....I wasn't a blubbering idiot, ruining my kid's first day. It was more of a general sadness that they are growing up too fast for me.
I really like having my kids around. The house is too quiet right now.
This is the first summer that we weren't either in the middle of moving IN or moving OUT and that I wasn't having to work outside the home. It was the FIRST time I could just be with them and be able to schedule fun stuff to do. We all really enjoyed the simplicty of it. There have been a couple other summers when I wasn't working...but that was because we were moving and I was packing our home into little boxes.


Of course, we did have one lazy bones who wasn't concerned at ALL about the first day of school...

yep...........while the dogs were running around in circles knowing SOMETHING IS GOING ON!, Leo was kicked back in his old crib.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Avocado Basil Pasta

After stalking for I don't know HOW long, I decided to jump in and join the recipe box swap.
August's theme is garden fresh so here is a recipe that our entire family enjoys....even CG and RB.

Avocado Basil Pasta

8 oz bowtie pasta
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 c fresh basil, chopped
2 ripe avocado, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1TBLS olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 c grated parmesan cheese, divided

Cook and drain pasta, set aside
Make dressing from wet ingredients and put into large bowl
Add avocado and bacon and mix well
Toss with the pasta, mix well, taste for seasoning
Mix in 1/2 cup of the cheese

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top when serving!

You can also add grilled chicken or shrimp or other veggies to it. Just compensate by making a bit more dressing.

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