Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This post will take me forever to write. I'm starting at 10:37am. Let's see how this goes. I'm planning to walk to an antique store near Pike Place Market this afternoon - I'm so excited I can't stand it!

11:36am. I'm back.
Oh, I have a tip for you. If you and a friend are walking shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalk and you see someone walking toward you, do humanity a favor and move over. Even if you are dressed in designer clothing with those huge aviator sunglasses perched on top of your perfectly styled hair as you walk your toy chihuahua - the person who is walking toward you (no matter who they are) deserves ample sidewalk space. /rant

The set-up, our tent is the green one
On to happier things. Camping was great fun. I love the scenery here in the Northwest. We camped at Lake Easton and got a campsite just across the way from beach access. I use the term "beach" very loosely. Don't think of sun bathers and lifeguards. Think more of sand and trees and cold, rocky water. Really, I guess I can't call it a beach because it was a lake. Do lakes have beaches? Or are they just lakes with sand? A sand bar maybe? Or is that by definition a long strip of sand sitting in the middle of water?

I'm already getting bogged down with useless ramblings. I'll move on. We couldn't have asked for better weather. We arrived at our campsite at around 3pm on Friday afternoon. D's friend Krissi and her fiance, Slane, arrived at the same time we did. We set out food, set up our tents, and started a fire as a couple of D's other friends arrived - Oliver and Sara (who we learned are about 13 weeks along expecting their first baby!). It was getting a little chilly by the time we were set up but we waited for a few hours for D's friend, Matt, to arrive. Burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, chips - some good camp food! For dessert we ate some s'mores and just chipped the enamel. It's funny how conversation with friends changes over the years. We laughed about the fact that our conversations now revolve around houses, minivans, and childcare.
I love this picture of D

I slept beautifully. We brought our air mattress, two sleeping bags, and two thick blankets. Air mattress on bottom, then one sleeping bag spread out, then two blankets, then the other sleeping bag on top. It was wonderful - I love when it's cold outside but warm under the covers. The only thing that got a little chilly were my ears and D fixed that by giving me a skull cap (isn't that what they're called?). D and I got up once to use the restroom then I woke up once or twice more when a dog started barking at another campsite and then again around 7am when people let their kids run around the campgrounds screaming their heads off. Oh, only one minor dilemma. Halfway through the night our air mattress half-deflated. Since D is heavier than I am, he was basically sleeping on the ground while my side was still inflated. We'll be taking that air mattress back - it was our first time using it! Still, that doesn't really compare to having a dog pee in your sleeping bag.

The campground was pretty empty, considering. Last year when we went, we stayed in a completely different part of the grounds - the part meant for tent-camping. This year we stayed where the RVs hook up because it was the only part of the grounds still open. It kind of stunk (literally) because, since the season is over, we had to pack up our trash and take it with us to dispose of it. Not a big deal. Although next year D & I will be going through our camping gear to take only the bare essentials. We ha
The "beach" - Lake Easton
d 3 coolers and numerous bags with us this time, just for lack of planning. We should have sorted through all of it before we left, but oh well! We're talking about renting a cabin next year instead of tent camping since Sara and Oli will have a baby by then and we don't want to leave them out! Plus, let's be honest - cabin "camping" is more up my alley!

After Sara and Oli cooked us a mean breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hashbrows we took at walk to the "beach" (again - using the term loosely). It was a gorgeous day - sun was shining, it was maybe 70°. Beautiful! Cinnamon (aka "Little Bear"), Krissi & Slane's pup, ran around in the sand and flirted with a little white dog with a pink collar. The white dog was a male. Yeah I'll not say anything else about that.
Walking to "the beach"

We drove to the fishing bridge on our way out and took in the scenery. I don't really know how to describe it so you'll just have to go and check it out for yourselves.

Matt came home with us and hung out on our couch watching football for a while until he had to leave for the UW Huskies game. Matt moved to Portland, oh, about a year ago to be near his fiance and it sounds like he's loving it (who wouldn't?). Now to convince D that it's time to move to Oregon...

That's about it for our camping trip. Oliver has more pictures that I may or may not post - you can only post once about the same event, right?
Thanks, friends (and Matt who isn't pictured)!
We had a great time!

D & I went with two couples from church to see "Fireproof" on Sunday afternoon. Great movie - every married couple should watch it. Yes, the acting is a bit hoaky at times, but the message of the movie and the storyline are very, very good. I don't think there was a dry eye in the theater when the movie was over. ANd no, it's not a "chick flick" - it's an "anyone" flick! I can't say enough about it - go see it!


Yes, I've taken a lot of breaks for work and to get coffee, etc. I still haven't eaten lunch but I'm not hungry. I can't wait to head down to the antique store! Just a few more minutes and I'll head out. There's a cruise ship outside my window again. I wonder when the season will be over.

Tonight's agenda:
The drive home. Beautiful.

Finish putting up fall decorations
Make pumpkin bread
Knit. Knit a lot.

Maple scones will have to wait. I'm thinking maybe I'll make them when there's an occasion to do so - maybe around the 17th of the month so I can take them to Oregon with us.

Have a wonderful day!

Update about antique store
It felt like a long walk. It really wasn't but I was haulin' to get there in time to look around and then I was haulin' to get back to work since I actually have things to do today. I walked from, basically, the Edgewater Hotel to the Seattle Aquarium. Look it up if you care.

Things were expensive and they didn't have *old* stuff. They had books from the 60s and stuff, but nothing older than that, really. I'm going to have to head back to the Renton Antique Mall soon.

Um, I still bought stuff. Stay tuned for "Vintage Thingies Thursday".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Camping, camping...

My man on his motorcycle
Here's the responses I mostly got when I sent out the Outlook reminder to people at work that I would be taking a half day tomorrow to go camping:

"Camping? Outside? Try to have fun."
"Brave soul...camping in late September!!"

It will be cold. I think the low for Friday night dips into the 40s but we're only going for one night so I think we can survive! No rain is forecasted so that's a wonderful thing! Every summer for longer than I've known D he's been planning the annual camping trip for him and usually around 12-14 of his closest friends. As we get older, finding a date that works well for all of us gets more and more difficult which is why a late September date was decided on instead of a mid-summer date. I'm really looking forward to it - we always have a really nice time. Let me share with you a moment from last year's trip...

D and I go to our tent to go to bed. We've forgotten to bring the air mattress so we get into our sleeping bags on the ground. We have brought our little pup, Tess, with us and she isn't content to stay on her blankets in the corner of the tent so I call her to come sleep by me. She's nice and warm and even though it's mid-August, it's cold at night and it feels good to snuggle up to a heater like Tess. All of a sudden she gets really warm. I throw the sleeping bag off of us and she has, in fact, peed in my sleeping bag and it's finding its way onto my shirt. D and I opened both of our sleeping bags, turned mine pee-side-down and slept in his. Even though I changed my shirt it was still one of those feelings like you just feel dirty the entire rest of the trip. I smelled pee for the rest of the night - mainly because Tess's belly was coated in the stuff. Yuck. I seriously want to gag when I think about that.

We are leaving Tess with a nice family while we're gone.

D managed to accidentally stab himself in the upper lip with his pocket knife last night. Poor guy...the tip actually went all the way through his lip. We tried to put liquid Band-Aid on it last night but it wouldn't stop the slow bleeding. So after he took a shower I applied some Neosporin and put a round BandAid on the wound. This morning after he showered he tried the liquid BandAid again and it seemed to work - it looked so much better. I almost took a picture of it last night for blogging purposes and then I thought better of it. I'd like to keep my readers.

It's not that I haven't been cooking or baking. I have. As a matter of fact, a couple of nights ago I made a really yummy chili and some peanut butter oatmeal no-bakes. I also made a chocolate sheet cake for one of D's coworkers who was having a birthday. It's just that those are things that seem pretty simple and ho-hum... anyone can make those things so why post about them? Since we're going camping tomorrow, I probably won't be cooking anything until Saturday at the earliest. Tonight I might throw together something having to do with chicken but trust me when I say it won't be anything fancy. I've got Mt. Laundry to take care of as well as digging all the camping stuff out of the garage and trying to find warm clothes. Okay, so maybe D will be doing all of the digging and I'll be using laundry as an excuse to sit on the couch and watch "The Office" and "Grey's Anatomy". Hey - the laundry has to be folded.

I've been doing pretty well with my daily Bible reading, although I missed on Tuesday so I read two days worth last night. D had a "Daily Bible Reading" Bible that I've been reading out of, but I'm not really sure about the NIV. I'm really enjoying reading the Bible in chronological order, though!

I know a Christian couple who decided to tell their marriage story online. They went through very tough times when she had an affair but with God's help they worked it out and are now making it their life's mission to help other Christian couples who are dealing with the pain of infidelity in marriage. Their work is amazing - they counsel couples free of charge and do everything they can to save marriages. Please visit their blog and if you know of couples who are having a hard time because of infidelity, refer them to Derek and Lisa. If you like what you see on their blog and you feel you'd like to support what they do, they could use any monetary means you can give to further their work. It's such a blessing to have a Christian couple to open their hearts and open their lives to benefit the marriages of others! (click on the picture)

Right now they're giving away tickets to see "Fireproof"! If you haven't seen the trailer for this movie, click on the picture to the right of my blog. You really must check it out!

I will post camping pictures when we get back. Hopefully I'll have a recipe or two to share as well.

I was able to embed this movie but I could not get it to stop Auto-Playing. Since I'm not a fan of blogs where music automatically starts up, I decided to share the link with you so you can listen/look at this at your convenience. This is a beautiful movie - take a couple of minutes and I promise your day will get better :) (click on the picture)

I hope you have a great weekend! I'm feeling in the fall mood so I think when we get back from camping on Saturday I'll put some maple scones in the oven, a fire in the fireplace, and put up my fall decorations. I'm usually just the kind of nerd who will post pictures of my entire living room with fall decorations up, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've been Tagged

I've been tagged by Vintage Mommy and Diane.
I'm supposed to state 7 random or weird facts about myself. After seeing what others wrote about themselves, I'm certain mine won't be as interesting but I'll give it a shot!

1. I've lived in 7 different states. In order lived (if there's a slash between cities, it means I've lived in more than one city in that state)...

Harrah, OK
Stevensville, MI
Alamance, NC
Aloha/Hillsboro, OR
Temple Terrace, FL
Woodridge/Naperville/Lisle, IL
Bothell/Bellevue/Renton, WA

2. When I was around 8 years old I almost drowned at the local swimming pool. I was sitting on the edge of the deep end watching the divers with my twin and I saw a boy that I knew from school. I told him that a girl in my class liked him (I was on assignment - she asked me to) and he responded by shoving his foot into my back and pushing me into the deep end. I didn't know how to swim so I remember vividly grabbing onto my sister's legs to surface. It was scary... very scary. My mom went and scolded the boy but I didn't think she scolded him enough :)

3. When I was in 3rd grade I told my teacher, Ms. Pitts, that she reminded me of my aunt. Ms. Pitts was probably 50 years old and a chain smoker. My aunt was probably 20 at the time and not a smoker. I maintain that when Ms. Pitts gave hugs it felt like I was hugging my aunt. They were both skinny as a rail. I remember a project we had on Valentine's Day where we were to cut out a big red construction paper heart and pass it around the room and everyone was to write one nice thing about that person's heart. Ms. Pitts wrote "I like that you say I remind you of your aunt". Well, no wonder.

4. I have a birthmark on my upper lip. It's light pink and maybe the size of an M&M. Half of the M&M is on my actual lip and the other half is above it. When I was little other kids would rarely notice it, but when they did they asked if I had Kool-Aid on my lip. As I got older, some people thought it was lipstick and every time I got a new doctor or dentist I was asked about herpes. Uh, nope. It's a birthmark. I really forget about it usually.

5. I want to be a Kindergarten teacher. Real bad. So badly that I can't wait to have kids so I can volunteer in their classroom. I just love everything about Kindergarten. It would be so fun to get to teach those young minds every day and do it in a fun way! Reading corners, letters of the week, etc. How fun!

6. When I was 7, I went with my family to my younger sister's basketball game and while there I drew a picture of a cow in my sketch pad. I showed my mom and the next day she took me to get art supplies. Ever since then I've loved to draw and paint and everything having anything to do with being creative. Sorry that doesn't really fit into the category of "weird" or "random", but there you have it.

7. D, his friend Jason, and Jason's wife Lisa and I went to Giggles Comedy Club a few years ago. We were at the front of the line when all of a sudden this tall guy walks to the front of the line and tells the guy taking tickets that he knows the comedian. Jason, Lisa, and D recognized him before I did. It was Kevin Nealon (you know, from SNL). Since it's been so long, I don't really remember the details of the conversation, but basically the guy taking tickets didn't recognize Mr. Nealon. Let me interject something...if you're going to work at a comedy club, at least be familiar with SNL comedians. Come on. Anyway, I love that Mr. Nealon never, ever said "Don't you know who I am?" Lisa finally said to the ticket guy "Don't you know who he is?!" and finally the guy got a clue and took him back to the comedian's dresssing room. But Mr. Nealon was just going to accept that he wasn't recognized and leave the club. Gotta love a celebrity who isn't full of himself.

I promise you that when I hit "Publish Post", I'm going to automatically think of 7 things about me that actually are ten times more interesting than the stuff you just read.

I tag...
Mainly a Midwife

Monday, September 22, 2008

O'er the land of the fried and the home of the battered...

We used our deep fryer this weekend. We've used it a couple of times before but only for onion strings (YUM). On Saturday evening we thought we'd try to make a few things in our deep fryer since we had some time and have nothing else better to do on a Saturday night.

First, I made fried cheese. You know, mozarrella sticks? They were restaurant quality - very, very tasty. All it took was some egg, flour, breadcrumbs, cornstarch, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning to make the batter. We just bought a ton of string cheese at Costco so I cut about 8 of those in half then battered and deep fried them. I've got a picture for you...
Sorry that the picture is shadowy, but you get the idea. They were delicious. The next thing I fried I do not have a picture of because, for some reason, my camera decided to corrupt about 8 pictures on the SD card and the next item's pictures were some of them.

If you don't live in the south or didn't grow up anywhere near a Sonic Drive Thru, chances are you have never heard of a fried pickle. The very thought might disgust you. They are the very opposite of disgusting. Since I had so much mix left for the batter of the fried cheese, I decided to throw in some pickles and see how they turned out. I was pleasantly surprised. When I cut one in half, the pickle sat between a casing of breading, air, pickle, air, breading. I double-coated the cheese sticks and the pickles in the batter and they still turned out very good with a slightly crunchy outside and warm, tasty inside. Fry a pickle. You might like it. Next time I fry pickles I'll be sure to take pictures and not corrupt them.

If you don't like things on bones, turn away. If you're like me and love a hot wing every now and then, you may drool now. D and I have a good friend named John who used to host UW Husky football parties (I use the term "parties" loosely) at his condo in Fremont (a Seattle neighborhood). Every single time we'd go over there, John would be making hot wings: Teriyaki and HOT. As a matter of fact, John has been over in London for about 6 months but when he returned to the states for a visit and we hosted a "Good to see you, John" fiesta at our house, he brought hot wings. Bought at a wings place, yes, and not from John's personal deep fryer, but hot wings nonetheless. The hot wings John used to make were covered with a sauce that was amazing, so we asked what kind of sauce he used. Texas Pete's. Texas Pete's.

I didn't get a shot of the wings coated in Texas Pete's hot wing sauce, but I did get a picture of them on a break from frying in the deep fryer basket. I also, for your benefit, got a picture of the Texas Pete's wing sauce so you know where to go to get the sauce for your next batch of wings.

I'll be the first to admit that my intestines were not happy with my dinner choice on Saturday night. As a matter of fact, I think they're still mad at me. I'm attempting to swallow down some hot peppermint tea, but I can't get past the taste. It's just not very good!

I'll leave you with a sweet treat. On Saturday afternoon, while my good friend Shirley and I played a rousing game of Scrabble (rematch tonight - not that I think I can win!), D and his wonderful father (who, again, was taking time out of his busy Saturday) were in the garage - organizing. D got some peg board and a lot of really fancy organization gadgets from his parents for his birthday so he could clean it up a bit! He was really excited about these gadgets If you know my husband, you know he's very much a neat guy. And I don't just mean that he's pretty special and fascinating (although he is that, too!) - he likes everything to be in its place. I can't say that I blame him, but then I look at the conditions of that garage and I slap my hands to my face, let out a blood-curdling scream, and hit the road. It's really not that bad. The fact that I can pull my car into the garage and that D can make his way to his tool bench against the far wall must say something to attest to its non-hair-raising neatness. However, even though nothing in the garage is stacked so high that I can't see over it, the work bench was covered in miscellaneous tools and the shelves against the back wall are much the same - just littered with schtuff. Just having the new peg board up makes his garage look so much better...cleaner. So, thanks Papa B! Again, you helped us mucho!

Wow, I got off on a tangent. So, I was posting a recipe. These cookies are very, very good. What I love about them is that they stay VERY soft & chewy, even two days after baking if stored in an airtight container or freezer bag

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until just combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just light brown. Don't over-bake. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! I was going to make my Maple Oat Nut scones tonight, but David's coworker's birthday is tomorrow so I need to make a sheet cake for David to take in to work. I'm afraid I won't have time for both tonight!

In other news, I finally got my act together and wrote down a few chapters every night on our calendar that D & I could read our Bibles. It's supposed to be in chronological order so I thought we could have some great discussions about what we read as we are reading. We do our weekly Bible class studies for Sunday morning class and Wednesday evening class, but we have not gotten into the habit of sitting down and just opening the Word and reading from it together. I think I get in my mind that I'm "too busy" to sit down and read anything but in reality God should take #1 priority in my life and if I say I am "too busy" to read His word then I push Him back on my priority list. Not only will "eating the meat" help D & I grow together spiritually, I think it can only do wonders for our marriage, as well. I'm excited to begin!

Is Monday over yet?

Happy 1st Day of Fall! I love this time of year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I love Fridays

Happy Friday!

Notice how I can say "Happy Friday" when I wasn't able to wish you a happy anything on Monday? I can't believe it's Friday already. I'm elated.

It's a gloomy, drizzly day here in Seattle. There's a cruise ship out my window. I'm not sure how much longer cruise season will last. Just got back from Starbucks and they didn't mark my drink as a decaf so if I come back to post again later on it's because the caffeine is making my hands jittery and they need something to do.
I'm periodically breaking during the writing of this post to do one of three things:

  • Working (...)
  • Playing "Mob Wars" on Facebook (which really only consists of a couple of clicks every 15 minutes)
  • Playing "Scramble" on Facebook (3-minute increments. I'm hooked)
To the right you'll see an ultrasound of my twin sister's womb. Isn't it pretty? Inside that pretty womb is my new neice or nephew. Caleb, my 4 1/2 year old nephew (my twin's son), calls the baby Pablo Strong. I guess Pablo is the name of the penguin on Backyardigans and who knows where "Strong" came from. Personally, I think that's a pretty ingenious name and if the Lord blesses D and me with a child, I am going to ask Caleb to please name the child in my womb. I think my twin's baby, no matter what gender, will have the nickname Pablo for the rest of its life.

In other Friday news, we bought way too many groceries at Costco on Wednesday night before Bible class and now our freezers are stocked completely full. I have a love/hate relationship with a stocked freezer. On one hand, I love that God has blessed us with the food in those freezers. On the other hand, I feel an enormous amount of pressure to use every dadgum thing in that freezer and, not ever remembering what I've bought, I never do. I'm sure there are cookies and muffins from 2 years ago in those freezers. Believe it or not, I've gone through everything in the freezers and have thrown out some things like hand-me-down bread from David's bachelor years but there are things I've justified keeping around and now I'm not so sure. Cleaning out a freezer is like cleaning out a closet. Sure, you could throw away a t-shirt you got for donating blood in college, but it's not hurting anything or going bad just by hanging there in your closet. And who knows if you might need it someday? Same with the cookies from D's sweet grandma that have been in our freezer for a good year and a half. She used to save the cookies from the cafeteria at her assisted living facility and put them in a huge freezer bag and give them to D when he'd come to visit. As long as he still thinks they taste good, we keep them.

I do want to point out that I am not like the above mentioned closet-cleaner-outer. I get rid of everything non-essential. D is not so much that way. He has a closet full of t-shirts in his office. He's pretty cute about wanting to keep every shirt hanging up in there, but I tease him that when I'm at home full time, I'm going to put one shirt into a box every day until that closet is empty just to see if he notices. Maybe by that time he'll be more willing to take that box to the Goodwill :)

Oh, I just heard some awful news. Your prayers are needed. This is what I've heard about my friend, Lauren, who was 42 weeks pregnant and went to deliver her baby this morning:

"Lauren was induced this morning and the heart rate started dropping. They did an emergency c-section but it was too late. They believe the baby took in meconium. An autopsy will confirm."

"...weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

I can't even imagine the pain. Pray for the family, please. It's hard to move on to normal things after that but all we can do is give it to the Father and let the Master Healer do His healing.

To the right you'll see D's current object of confusion. The bird feeder once hung by our kitchen window. However, the birds would perch themselves on the feeder and invariably make a huge mess of the deck with the seeds. D thought he would put the bird feeder on that little table so that surely the seeds would land on the table instead of on the deck. What we didn't realize is that we have a lot of Blue Jay visitors and Blue Jays are inherentely slobs. This specific Blue Jay perches on the bird feeder every day and literally shuffles the food around as much as possible, slinging the pieces all over the table and deck. D just painted the deck a couple of weekends ago so he's trying to figure out a way to keep the seeds off of it. He's puzzled. I am, too. But, I love watching the Blue Jay enjoy the food!

I leave you with a recipe. These were, hands down, the best Banana Chocolate Chip muffins I've ever made. Yum!

This is my adapted recipe. If you don't like it, go find the regular recipe on AllRecipes.com.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (who really measures chocolate chips?!)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Monday

I would wish you a happy Monday, but it's Monday.

I wish you knew how long I sat here staring at the blank text box before writing this sentence. My brain just doesn't really know how to function on Monday mornings.

My sweet father-in-law came over Saturday night to help D move a bunch of furniture that was given to us by a wonderful friend of mine. FIL and D moved our current living room furniture downstairs (we have a split-level) to make room for the new living room furniture. This meant having to take our couch out the front door, into the backyard, and enter through the french doors in the entertainment room. So, you can imagine how terrible I felt when they brought the new chair into our living room and I realized it didn't match. Pretty terrible. Back came the old living room furniture and downstairs went the new living room furniture. Also moved: a mattress and box spring (for a guest bedroom), the headboard and bed rails for said mattress and box spring, a dresser, a nightstand, a bench, and I'm sure there's something else that I'm forgetting. Thank you, Papa B!

While that went down, I made banana chocolate chip muffins. When those were done baking, I pretty much hid in my bedroom reading Twilight. I didn't want to be in the way. Plus, I felt pretty useless just standing around.

I'm already excited for lunch and it's only 9am. I guess that's one of the pitfalls of waking up at 5:30am. Speaking of which, on Monday mornings I take the bus. The 6am bus. It's as painful as it sounds. I purposely wash and curl my hair on Sunday mornings before church so that when I don't wash it on Monday mornings, it at least looks nice when it's pulled into a sloppy bun. Some baby powder on my roots and voila!

I'm always in a hurry. I hate getting out of bed. Last night, D and I got to bed around 10:30. Since D falls sleeps with one leg under the covers and one leg out, I'm always worried that he's freezing but is unaware of the cold because he's asleep, so I try to cover him up. Last night at around 11pm when he was sleeping soundly and I was still awake, I gently started slipping the covers from between his legs so I could pull them over his body. I was amazed that I made it almost all the way to his foot before he woke up (he's an incredibly light sleeper - once, the sound of me quietly taking the cap off my deodorant woke him up). He shot straight up in bed, said "Duh", and pulled the covers around his waist. I didn't understand what he said until he told me this morning that he just remembers saying "duh" at some point. At midnight when I was barely drifting off to sleep, I saw D prop himself up in bed and reach toward the lamp. He kept reaching, reaching, until he was grasping for something on the wall above the lamp. I said "D, lay down" and he said "Okay" and fell back into bed. He does things like this every once in a while and I rarely catch him in the act. Usually he wakes himself up and goes back to bed then he'll tell me about it the next day. I'm a very heavy sleeper, so anything he does in the middle of the night goes largely unnoticed by me.

For some reason I woke up at 2:33am. I fell right back asleep, but still, how annoying to wake up in the middle of the night for no good reason!

I like to watch people on the bus. I like that, in the morning, I pretty much know who will be getting on the bus at which stop. The chatty riders sit in front where the seats face each other and they all seem to be good friends. If I didn't have a carpool partner who insisted on sitting next to me on the bus I'd probably like to sit by the chatty people once or twice. Not that I necessarily like to chat at 6am, but listening to them chat can be pretty fascinating. I'm sure I annoy my carpool partner. He wants to ask about my weekend and make small talk and I'm usually not a talker anyway, but especially not that early in the morning. I rode the bus by myself last week and it was so wonderful to sit by myself for half the ride then when a little Asian lady sat next to me it really still felt like I was sitting by myself. My carpool partner gets on around the same stop that I do and sits his 6'4" frame next to me for the entire ride. To and from work. I think he thinks that I need him to do that, bless his heart. I don't.

Rain is forecasted for later this week. Can I give a hearty "NOOOOOOOO!" to that? I've been enjoying our 70 degree, sunny weather so much. I hate to give it up. Rain. Blech.

And this is what you get for reading my post on a Monday.

Have a good one!

P.S. HA! I just wrote the subject line and as I did I remembered that I had a dream that I was in a commercial for Monday night football and a huge crowd of people in bleachers were singing the words "Monday, Monday" to the tune of "Mony, Mony" by Tommy James and the Shandells. I should pitch that idea to ESPN and see what they think.

P.P.S. Don't get me started on football. Huskies and Seahawks lost this weekend. BOO!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday

Here is the stack o' books. I got all of these from the local antique mall in downtown Renton. I thought there might be one antique store so my wonderful husband drove me down there and instead of one, there were at least 6! We hit pay dirt on the first store but still - it was a wonderful little antiquing experience.

"Folk Stories & Fables" - 1907

"The Little Captive Maid" - 1900 (easily the oldest book I own)
Inscription: "Miss Aggi A Broberg / Presented by her GM (thank you to marianedwardsdreamweaver for reading what I couldn't!) / Dec 26, 1901 / From Grandma to Aggi"

"Ruth Fielding of the Red Mill" - 1913
Inscription: "Calvary Church Sunday School / Presented to Margaret Matthews for Regular Attendance / Christmas 1920"

"Little Women" - 1947
Inscription: "To my precious Dolly from Granny 1965"

"Stories Every Child Should Know" - 1907
Inscription: "Elda Thomas / 4527-11 Ave NE / Seattle, Wash."

"The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew" - 1951
(this one cracks me up) Inscription: "Colored Pencils / Flash Light / Bugal / Books / Rose in Bloom / Dolls to make for fun and profit / Fun with Ballet"

"Bambi" - 1929

"Immortal Wife" - 1944
Inscription: "3-24-45 / Stanley E. Dumond / 840 Delamp(?) Avenue / Schenectady, NY"

"Teenage Cowboy Series" - 1949
Inscription: "Mary Duckering / 18003 Linden"

I hope you enjoyed my books! I haven't read them yet, but I definitely plan to!

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Pickling and Home Decor

Please go say hi to my twin, Carrie, if you get a minute. She's the mother of my cute nephew, Caleb, and she's in the process of growing another offspring.

I was going to post about my vintage books for "Vintage Thingies Thursday", too, but I realized that I don't have the publishing dates for the books here at work so that post will have to wait until tonight or tomorrow.

I do, however, have some pictures to share. The first is of the curtains in our living room. I was going to attempt to give you the full shot of our living room so you could see the entire picture, but I'm an absent-minded person and forgot about taking more pictures. When I was talking to my sister-in-law about the curtains, she asked where I got them. That's when I realized that they came from 3 different places. The shears are from Target (the ones I loved from the Sunday circular), the tab panels are from Lowe's, and the double curtain rod and hardware are from Fred Meyer.
We initially bought a double curtain rod from Target but when we got home we realized that the decorative end would be too big for the space. Meaning that the curtain would not cover the entire window because the decorative end would stop it from reaching all the way to the edge. We took that back, along with a chocolate brown colored tab panel that we bought at Lowe's so I could see what it would look like. Horrible, that's what. The curtains look better during the day when the light is shining through, but when I tried to take a picture it was too dark for you to really see anything.

D hung up the curtains, as he does everything else. He won't let me touch a nail and hammer. For this reason, every picture in our home is straight.

Last Saturday, as I mentioned, I drove to my in-laws' house to do some pickling with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I'll share with you how this all got started. Last June, my mother-in-law gave D & me a jar of her homemade pickles from August 2007. We literally consumed the entire jar in one sitting. That's the story of how we came to pickle last Saturday.

My MIL bought 37 pounds of cucumbers for SIL and I to pickle with. Initially, I think we just planned to stuff the baby cucumbers in the jars and have whole pickles. As it turned out, the baby cucumbers weren't so "baby" after all. So, SIL and I decided to cut them into chips and spears. The smaller whole pickles we stuffed into the jars, but for the most part we sliced them up. I imagined myself a few months from now with a jar of the pickle chips in my lap just eating away. I sliced them nice and thick for maximum flavor and crunch.

So, we pickled. I was over there by 10am and didn't leave until after 4pm. It was nice to have some girl time - all the guys were doing their own things. D was painting our deck at home, my father-in-law was at a woodworking show, and my SIL's husband was with my FIL.

I'll share the recipe with you because they really are the best pickles I've ever had. They're very zesty (2 dried red peppers) and flavorful.

I ended up taking home 19 jars which we are storing in our garage until they have "marinated" long enough to eat. My MIL told us "the longer the better", and that they'll probably need at least 3 months before they have "marinated" long enough to be tasty and crunchy.

Zesty Dill Pickles
4" pickling cucumbers

1/8 t powdered alum
1 garlic clove
2 heads fresh dill
1 (to 2, depending on how "zesty" you like them) dried hot red pepper

1 c coarse-med salt (i.e coarse Kosher salt)
3 qt water
1 qt cider vinegar

Wash cucumbers. Let stand in cold water overnight. Pack in hot sterilized jars.

To each quart add above spices.
Combine last 3 ingredients. Heat to boiling.
Fill jars with the brine and use a butter knife to push out the air inside the jar...move it around the inside of the jar between the cucumbers and the glass. Seal the jars with lid and ring. Immerse the sealed jars in water and when the water comes to a boil, count 15 minutes. Remove jars and let cool completely. Best to let them sit uninterrupted for 12-24 hours.

That's about it for today. I want to leave you with a few pictures of the trip we took to New England last year. I'd love to go back there again and spend more time in Boston and just leisurely driving around the countryside.

The first photo is of Louisa May Alcott's home in Concord, MA. The second photo is of the lake where the film On Golden Pond was shot. The third and final photo I took at one of our hotels - Grand Mountain Resort....it was beautiful.

P.S. When I make my first batch of Maple Oat Nut Scones for the season, I promise to post the recipe. Maybe.

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