Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Know Where We'll Be If....

Our neighbours have been kind of a pain the last few years...they're older, so i don't want to say too much bad about them. A couple years ago, they abandoned their home next to us to move out to their family's homestead on Bainbridge Island. Who'd blame them, eh? However, why hold on to this house in a "gettin' crumbier by the nanosecond" neighbourhood?

I can answer that question...for thee *Almighty Dollar*. That's right, straight out greed. Sadly, the woman of the house thought she would sub-divide her 14,K sq. ft. yard into a bare lot and a house on a lot. She also set to doing up the house nice so she could rake in a cool million (yeah, right) with the sale of the two--no expense spared--refinished hardwoods, granite kitchen and bathroom counter tops, new paint inside and out, addition of rooms and bathrooms. All in a neighbourhood where just a 1/4 of a mile away, there is a rent by the minute hotel right off I-5 (where just yesterday, on his way home at 6pm, my hubbie saw a hooker being picked up & contracted for her services.)

Maybe when the housing market was roaring, she could have asked 600K, but now...she'll be lucky to sell it for $280K on the house and yard as a whole.

However, that hasn't stopped them from their projects...more, More, MORE! "More" is better, right? (huh?)

The past two weeks we've been living next to a construction site, which wouldn't be so bad if it were supervised, however when the clients aren't there the sub-contractors will play...their radio too loud, their fireworks, diarreah of the mouth and namely the frequent use of the "mother of all curse words." It's been aggrevating, to say the very least.

Hopefully though, this added garage and concrete slab means that their work is done, and they can get on with letting it sit for sale on Zillow, and things can truely be quieton our Western front. :o)

If there will be no construction today, *finally* Ri and i will be enjoying the peace and quiet...

and these...
and these

and trying our hands at a little fertility doctoring for the pumpkins.

And when we come inside i'll be continuing to enjoy the sight of Riona's new coat she picked out at the consignment shop yesterday.

Don't you just love her taste in clothes?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Worth the Trip

Yesterday i saw a Freecycle email pop up that read "cookie stuff" in Enumclaw. The person posting the cookie stuff was also posting lots of interesting lamps and furniture and household items. I was figuring it was someone helping clear out an older persons home. I answered the email on a hunch....

And i was right!
We picked the items up today and decided to spend some time in Enumclaw since we were all the way out there--made a little trip to Mud Mtn Dam & downtown Enumclaw.

On the way to MMD, i wanted to check out a house i've been pining over. It's a great as it's billed to be. Built 1927, renovated in 2000's, however antique fixtures and wood floors, doors and coved ceiling were all kept intact or restored! With 16 acres!! Perfect!

Especially their view!! This is the view from the front of the house looking across the street. You could wake up in that little bungelow above the front door there looking at Mt. Rainier every morning!

The original homestead is even still standing on it! Amazing!

Now, if only i had $700K. Would any of you happen to know who to raise that kinda cash legally, yet quickly? :o) *sigh*

So, after pining a bit more in person, it was time to head to the dam. It's a warm day here. And that pool at the park feels like Alaska glacial waters! But Ri and i still had fun anyway. We were the only ones there, so we tromped through the water and made animal tracks with our wet hands and feet on the pavement around the pool.
I couldn't get Ri to go through the waterfall with me though. :o(

However, in the back of our minds was this box we just picked up....so we came home after lunch to unload it.
2 cookie presses, bags of cookie cutters, mini muffin tins, candy molds, and...any idea what that rolling pin thingy ma-jig is for? Is that an old school meat tenderiser?
Here are some of the highlights for cookie cutters...

I can't wait to use these above sometime when we have a card night...with my card table tablecloth!!

These cutters are adorable!! They are marked "Stanley Home Products" on the back and most of the auction sites i looked at for info had just one of the these babies for $8. I have to do some research on the SHP company.

I think this guy will fast become my favourite cookie cutter!

And the gingerbread man i just love!!
I was perplexed at first with the peanut shaped cookie cutter...then i thought, "Hmmm, i wonder if there is a recipe for homemade Nutter Butters online???" More research. :o)

I was really excited about the cookie presses--hoping to give one to my sis in law how is just building her first apartment on her own and having one for Ri to use. Now that i am looking at them though, i am not such about them...but i am very excited about one in particular.

It has a handwritten! mailing label on the outside of the box with the fancy "G" from General Mills in the "from" area to a "Mrs. John H Soper" and a postage stamp for $.75 from Manitowoc Wisc. to Puyallup, WA on Nov 8, 1967. :o)
Comes with it's original brouchure for instructions of use. Says the press is made with "Mirro aluminum". :o) Not only does it have all those cute cookie stencils, but also the tips for making Schaum Tortes, Cream Puffs and Eclairs, and Lady Fingers!
I am so excited...we just might have to celebrate Christmas in July! :o)
UPDATE: i wrote the lady thanking them so kindly for the box of goodies...that we were totally enamoured with them. She wrote back this morning--she is in New Hampshire freecycling thing for her elderly mother. Wow!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gifts from the Garden 06.27.09

...well, and from the Farmer's Market. :o)

A beautiful sunrise. A favourite Summer Saturday breakfast of mine: dim sum from Panda Catering--a vendor at our local farmer's market. The haul: strawberries, Rainier cherries, cauliflower, lettuce, and asparagus. Russian Banana potato vine flowers. Almost blue-berries. Corn's sprouted! Oxalis flowers in bloom. First April in Paris sweet pea flower. Another P. John Paul II rose. An icelandic poppy. One of our cherries that the squirrels and crows haven't gotten yet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Evening Tea...

Here's our little spread for dinner last night. We took tea in the playroom, so we could watch Mary Poppins while we enjoyed chicken and munster and brie and mixed berry sandwiches. For dessert was raspberry tea cookies, lemon blueberry bread, and whoopie pies (Ri's first!)
Ri really enjoyed her new tea cups. They are the perfect size for kids, being that they are really fancy espresso cups and saucers. And the elephant tea pot went over really well too. She's very good at serving.

Maybe we should buy that house we looked at, and we could run a once a month tea out of it. By RSVP, of course. :o)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Excitement As If It Were September...

Ever since a few days before Kinder Grad, Ri told me she wanted to start homeschool right away. :o) Aah, youthful innocence, eh? I just hope we can keep her that motivated! :o)

I told her we at least needed to go have some summer fun in ID first, then we'd talk when we got back home. Well, we've been home for less than a week and Ri is already bored. And she is really missing her friends from school. So, today we decided we'd head to Sumner for a little fun at the park and some errand running. Didn't get to do any junking, but Ri was a good sport for the rest. And her first plant this month was a double impatient, so she was happy that it was something pretty.

We tried a new place for breakfast, The Berryland Cafe. It was your typical Mom and Pop greasy spoon breakfast joint. We opted just for a couple cinnamon rolls.
Couldn't believe with those and a cup of coffee and hot chocolate that we'd got out of there for $6. Not the healthiest breakfast we've ever had out , but certainly the cheapest! :o)
We drove past the in home of interest (see post from Friday) to check it out a little more. For some reason i am not too sold on it, but Hubbie is. I discovered that if we were to move there, then the next time i'm pregnant i'd just have to walk down the street about a mile and a half to the East to admit myself into the nearest hospital (uuuhhhh, not sure about living that close to a hospital, but we'll save that for another post.)
We headed to our couple other errands up in Federal Way (cause running errands here isn't truely running errands until you've driven through or visited at least 4 other cities) and decided that since Hubbie is working late tonight, Ri and i are going to have a tea for dinner while we watch Cars, Mary Poppins, or Enchanted. So we visited some great bakeries and got some items for that. Then Ri decided she wanted to visit Children's Bookstore, which is our local toystore/teaching supply store. It's our new home away from home. Driving there, Ri and i decided that we would start homeschooling now. She really wants to work on Math "at least a couple times a week" and i picked up some grammar workbooks too, because she's really been interested in playing Mad Libs. :o) And i couldn't resist these maps...factory laminated and perfect for that, "Mom, where's Gambia, et al?" question when we are listening to They Might Be Giants and their "Alphabet of Nations" song. :o)
I think we'll just use the world map for now as a little factiod generator/beginning Geography. The US map, i think we'll introduce with PE and Math. I think i'll make my own scale at first, and then we'll record how many miles (1 mi = 1") we can walk across the US. One thing that might be fun this school year too is to have Ri start learning the capitals. I think she's read for it. That girl is a sponge, i tell ya! And truth be told, just looking through these items gathered today, i'm getting a little excited to start, myself.
At this rate, we'll need a 3rd grade level cirriculum by next Feb. :o) hee hee!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Treasures from Idaho

There are a few thrift stores near my parent's home that i like to peruse through on my trips. They aren't as bold as the one's here yet, trying to sell donated items for what someone might have sold them on Ebay for. But there are a lot of treasure seekers out there that are looking to make a "big score" to pad their "Antique Boutique". How come thrifting just can't be centered around the thrill of the hunt for the right items for your collections anymore? I can see sharing the wealth a bit, when you've scored a plethra of cool stuff, but to make it your soul livelihood takes a little fun out of it for the rest of us.

I encountered one of these types of people at the Goodwill in Idaho. She was in her wheelchair/walker and for every book i'd pick up and put back, she'd snatch right up and give it the once over. If i'd look at a book sideways toward her "claimed territory", i'd get the "whale eye". Bah! I did manage to work my way around her and get a few little darlings--i can't wait to start reading parts of Anna Karenina to her. The book was copyrighted in 1948, however the drawings are from 1944, and are the most surprising and beautiful in a book of this nature.

Farm Wanted, c. 1951, is proving hysterical; somewhat of an omen to what it will be like when we find our farm. :o) I am reading currently about how the author feels clausterphobic on her 5 acre farm with 100+ chickens, 1 sow with 12 piglets, and Jersey cow and a heifer. And the funniest thing is that she can't remember how she came to owning all the animals at that point. The book is like the modern day version of The$64 Dollar Tomato, where funny anticdotes and practical advice go hand in hand from one page to another.

Why Did They Name It....?, c. 1964, is a historical account of names of most of the good ol' American brands and how they came to be known as: Lucky Strike cigarettes (my grandpa's favourite kind), Log Cabin Syrup (seen on our table everytime my mom made waffles when i was a kid), Jell-O, and such things non grocery related like Shell Oil Co, Scotch Tape, MGM and Leo the Lion, and 20 Mule Team. I could make a whole 2-3 months worth of posts just on this book alone. I might just do that to get me through the summer/harvest time. :o)

Then i found three Noritake "Blue Orchard" Cook 'n' Serve plates...just the amount i needed for a certain special something you'll see in a following picture. I think it'll go nicely with my Franciscan Rose china i've received.

At the local "Antique Boutique", i found these Fire King cups and saucers that i couldn't pass up and the dolies that i had intended as a gift for my WW leader's birthday, however seeing them now with my new items, i am waivering...sorry, WW leader!

Put them all together and what do you got???!? A new little tea set up!!

The stand i acquired new as a little momento of my friends treating me to tea for my birthday at that beautiful home in Sumner.

At one of the stores, i also found a little token of my old stompin' grounds...

once we have our huckleberry bush, i am hoping to make huckleberry jam with scones and i'll serve them on this plate. :o)

I don't know if i've mentioned it on this blog or not, but i'm in the process of collecting little things for fun little homeschool projects for 1st for Ri. I've collected a few items so far besides books: Japanese lanterns from Barbara of Oodles and Oodles fame. And an Egyptian tablecloth from Lori of My Vintage Whimsy. I saw these curtains and thought that they might make a cute table runner for any kind of Germanic/Scandinavian type celebrations we'll learn about--we'll find some fabric for the back, and Ri can help me with another sewing project. Two subjects in one project--love it! :O)

I also found a bag of wooden clothespins, some tailor tapes, and a yard of cute fabric.
The Pyrex dish i also found and it has the lid with it (unfortunately, the store writes prices of items with Sharpies on the glass--UGH!) Going to have to figure out how to get that off somehow.

More cute (albeit, new) material from Maywood Studios, that i got from the local Ben Franklin where my parents live.
These *fab*rics are destined to become dinner napkins for us.

Man, Bennie's are really upscaling their fabric shoppes! Some are even inviting in quilt shoppes for their "fabric dept." Whatever they have in their corportate idea bag is working for me, so far!
And these are some other treasures i've acquired--my parents gave me the Farmer's Market bag for my birthday. How great of a farmer's market to think of selling such quality reuseable bags. They are a canvas with the embroidered print. The Idaho tea towel bag is a repro, sold at their local Hallmark, and the soaps are from a family friend there at the market. She and my mom met years ago and we've been buying her soap ever since. We just switched to purchasing all our soap through her...i can't resist with flavours like: tomato and currant, rosemary rush, grace, blue blazes, etc... And i am really excited to try her Scat Gnat too, which comes in that cute little acrylic tube.
and if that wasn't enough eye candy...
Lo! And behold! I actually got my nightstand cleaned off!
Woo hoo!
Now just to cull a few more magazines and it'll be ready for inspection (or atleast ready for when we decide to put up the "for sale" sign on our place.) :O)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Befitting was the story Ri picked out for bed last night....excerpted from Tibor Gergely's Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories by Golden Press c. 1943-1967 (a book that was one of my fav's growing up.)

Such a precious book. Wishing you a wonderful Father's Day with your hubbies, fathers, grandfathers--a day of celebration for these faithful providers and loving giants is greatly deserved.
Happy Father's Day, Pop and Hubbie!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gifts From The Garden: 6.20.09

Saturdays are picking up around here, as i am sure they are in your home.
Gardening chores, errands, family Summer fun, and visits to 3 of the local Farmer's Markets usually eat up our Saturdays. If we're lucky, we get it all done in time to attend Sunday Vigil Mass at my brother-in-law's church.
So i am feeling the need to simplify Saturdays with "Gifts From The Garden" entries. Heavy on the photos, not so much on the words. Please, feel free to share your garden's treasures too!
first Santa Claus fuschia flowers

first Angel's Earrings fuschia flowers

oxalis returned

first promise of a pumpkin

first promise of Sugarsun tomatoes

Have a great weekend!