Thursday, November 25, 2010

More Snow equals Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your a wonderful holiday weekend and yummy turkeys and pies!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Sew Much Fun Being an Aunt

At her birthday party, my 5 year old niece shared her desire to have a proper purse.  Of course, the only  special request regarding it was that it had to be pink.  Pink's all the rage with the 5 yr old set you know.

So, I got to figurin' that I could make one just as easy and with a little sass too. 

Here it is.  Not good enough for Made in China, but pretty darn good for a beginning seamstress like myself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Child Labour

It's the only way to get everything done by Thanksgiving. :)

Actually, in the spirit of this homeschooling stuff, we decided that Cookie Monster would learn to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. 

She picked out a sugar pumpkin at the store with Grandma and we roasted it today.  It yielded 1.5 cups of pumpkin, so we had to do a little mathematical figurin' to get the purse the cream ratio just right.  Then she measured all the ingredients and beat the filling.  I had a pie crust ready in the freezer, but she's made that before and if we get all our school done early tomorrow we're going to try our hand at making homemade puff pastry, which is sorta like pie crust.

Beautiful job, eh?

Next Turkey Day recipe she is going to tackle is dressing--two batches worth to feed all the in-laws!


It's been close to three months since the biddies gave up egg laying and Cookie had to retire from the egg selling business for the season.

Now, she's come up with an entirely new gig...

Hoping your day is full of fun--especially if you are in Western WA!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Washingtonians,

While stuck in traffic this morning when it took 2 hours to drive a mile and a half because of inclimate weather, i have a few insights for drivers living in our area.

Because our roads are like \ or / with lots of U, S or C (read "lots of hilly, curvy roads" for people with more than half a cerebrum), snow is never a good thing when it falls in the Pacific Northwest.

When conditions exist that make the roads look like this:

picture taken by Cookie Monster at 11 in the morning

there are some basic truths you should follow. See below my list of handy hints to help make yourself not look like even more of a moron than you already do, especially if you are taking your life and fellow drivers' lives in your own hands. Besides, if you end up dead, you'll never have another chance to prove that you aren't a complete jerk or totally daft!

1. Don't go out in your car if you've known you needed new tires since last Spring. (I actually heard someone admit this today while she was stuck blocking one of the lanes on the highway to our house.)

2. Don't drive your BMW with 16 inch rims (but 1 inch thick racing tires) ON ANY ROAD.

3. Don't operate a truck without 4 wheel drive, unless you have something heavy in the back. Also, if your truck is sliding all over the road because you neglected to put sandbags in the back or if you have bald tires, it's probably also wise not to try to "gun it" up the hill with a 65 degree turn in it at a high rate of speed when you are surrounded by at least 50+ cars.

4. Don't drive on the shoulder to avoid the traffic jam. (P.S. You will not get around because all of the semi-responsible people who have deduced correctly that they will not make it up the highway you are travelling have actually pulled their cars onto the shoulder and left them there till the snow melts. (That's why all the people are walking down the road...against traffic.) Your car, however, may get stuck sideways while you are trying to cut back into the lane of traffic that will be moving as soon as the semi up the lane gets his chains on.)

5. It doesn't matter how close you follow someone, it will not make them be able to go any faster, since they are in fact behind 50+ cars that aren't going anywhere either.

5.1. Along the lines of following too closely: when you see the vehicle ahead of you whipping back and forth across the road because they are losing control of their vehicle, that is not the time to ride their bummer.

6. If the road was a two lane road before the 2 inches of snow fell, chances are pretty good that it's still a two lane most. If you want to be completely honest, in a total white out, with no exposed asphalt, probably best to make it a one lane chain, slogging it up the hill together and leave space for emergency crews to get through to help clear accidents.

7. It doesn't matter if you are late. Slow down!! Breathe. And btw, you might want to hang up your phone. Doctors, your boss, the school....all will understand when you arrive really late, because they will hear on the traffic reports that the highway is at a complete stop.

8. Also along those lines, forget the speed limit. The new speed limit is only what it takes to get your car safely up the hill. Think of 5 mph as the new 55mph.

9. Don't cut off the guy with the Minnesota license plates. Granted, he may not look like he knows what's what because he chose to wear shorts to a snowstorm, however....he has more experience at this than you do. Worship (and follow) him (just not too closely.)

10. When you are stuck next to someone going the opposite direction (whether walking or driving), roll down your window and talk with them. Ask 'em about what's going on ahead. Oh share a better route to get through. Shoot, even if they don't know or you don't know anything, you can at least find something in common and help pass the time.

Truly, when it snows in the Greater Puget Sound area, it's probably best if you stay at home and do this.

I know that was our last trip out in our vehicle till Thanksgiving.

If it hadn't been for the bread for our dressing molding, we wouldn't have been able to put together this list. I am going to be most thankful this week that i still have my life. Now to try to get Moose home in one piece.

People back East had Snomegeddon last year; we're calling this snOMG here in the Pac NW. At 6:30pm it's 25 degrees and the wind is blowing snow at 20 mph. 2" accum.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Comes Early To Western WA

This just in....

The snow flurries that started around noon today have accumulated enough for Cookie Monster to head outside dressed like the little brother in A Christmas Story so she can throw snowballs off the deck.

Also, in other news, because it was so stinkin' cold this morning (for us webbed-footed Washingtonians anyway), we Wii'd it up a little. We all weighed in and i was delighted to find that i now weigh under 300 lbs!! Woot!! That's 7 pounds less of me in 2 months! 49 more to go and we can start trying for another little cookie...except maybe this one we'll have to name Snickerdoodle or Whoopie Pie. :)

Like i said, Christmas came early! Do you think it's too optimistic to think that one could possibly shed 15 more pounds before February 3rd?

Now it's off to make dinner. I have a feeling Cm will be eating her meatloaf sandwich outside. There's no dragging her away from the white stuff!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Denial Sewing

Well, the sale/purchase of any home is still on hold here. We're especially not keen on dealing with much of this during the holidays, but especially because we aren't sure our grand plan would work out best financially for our family, long term. It's not like we "have to" move like many families in America who have been victimised by a corrupt banking system that not only created panic, fraud, and more panic in a housing market, but by bring our economy to it's knees and shedding tons of jobs in our country. Due to the fact that there are many fellow countrymen having a vacate their homes, i feel especially guilty for wanting to move because we are secure in our house and Moose's job is still seemingly safe. However we still desparately want to move for many reasons like the unsettling events the last few weeks in our area (i.e. the biggest haul of underage prostitutes in the country was just a mile or so from our house last week and last night a gun wielding man who was disobeying a restraining order at apartments about couple mile from our house was daft enough to point the gun at a cop who eventually shot the man in a nearby shopping center about 3/4 mile from our place). Also because of our neighbour's complete and udder disregard for our safety, the safety of our chickens, and the safety of her dogs. Now both of her dogs have discovered our chickens, one attacking another chicken on our property while Moose was outside giving them chicken recess Tuesday. Apparently the neighbour is feeling like we are to she kept telling Moose that she is "trying to do what she can, but when kids come in the door the dogs bolt out." Moose kindly asked her to leave her dogs in a fenced area she has, and now she says "that isn't an area for is acceptable for the dogs." Apparently she is feeling like she is the victim here. Huh? Interesting conclusion.

So, as you can see, we need a little denial therapy around here (i've sworn off retail only leads to more harm than good.)

Moose distracted Cookie Monster with a trip to a local theatre production about the physics behind Star Trek. Apparently, Moose was called on stage to display that some object could only be picked up by a Vulcan and not a human. I am kinda sorry i missed it for that reason alone. :) However, i haven't been feeling very well because of a fall i took over the weekend down our stairs. Yet again another of the many reasons for denial therapy.

I stayed home and googled "sewing children's pants with no pattern" till my fingers flamed. Research from many different sites yielded a fine lookin' pair of fleece zebra pants for Cookie Monster.

Apparently making a pair of pants for anyone is as easy as tracing around a pair of pants that fit them perfect now and adding an inch all around for seam allowances. First i folded the pants in half lengthwise to expose the front and cut out two pieces. Then, i folded the pants in half lengthwise again to expose the back and cut out two pieces. Especially important is to leave an extra inch or two in the length of the legs on top of the hem allowance, as some of the fleece can shrink lengthwise when washed. Of course, if you prewash your fleece, you won't need to do this. You'll need to sew the seams at the abdomen and at the bum area, then place right sides together and marry the seams at the crotch to sew the inseams. After this, i veered from the simple and crossed over into extremely experimental territory....i had a great idea and reached for the ricrac.

I thought it might look so sweet to have ricrac exposed on the outer seams of the legs. So i sewed a length of it one of the right sides of the fabric.

Then i married the pant legs, right sides together, and sewed down the stitch i created when sewing the ricrac in place.

Upon turning the pants right side out, i discovered it was even better than i imagined: doesn't it look like a little zebra mane?? Ha ha! Success!

Another neat idea i found on the blogsphere is that many people sew a little ribbon in the back of pants, diaper covers, etc. to make the back easily identifiable.

Here are the results.
(and no, we haven't adopted a pet zebra. Yet.)

The most important result being Cookie monster's approval. :)

Well, i am sure you have more important things to do this week than listen to my predictaments, but i hope you find the fleece pants insightful. I suppose i should get back to school and Turkey Day prep. Frankly, i think all we'll be doing for the next few hours is singing and dancing to our new favourite song from the Recess Monkey, "Los Icepacks Estan ardiendo". Super cute and funny song, aiding in our denial quotent! Hooray for the Monkey!! Heard in the movie announcer's voice: "In a world, where a young boy or girl falls off of a swing. There is....Icepack." Then the chorus chimes in: "Icepacks are cool, so get them while they're hot! Cha cha cha!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friendly advice for myself

It's been a little while.

We're still packing.

I'll be back soon...I've love reading everyone's posts as I can.

Take care,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Time to Play Big Dose of Reality....

today's game is brought to you by people who can't control their implusive spending, corrupt banks that couldn't help but leave people swimming in money (aka debt that they could never repay), and the Party of No!

First Question: What would you do if you wanted to list your home in the 2010 market, however the listing price is the same as the appraised value from 11 years ago??

a. unpack all your treasures again 'cause you're not going anywhere.
b. curse Bush 2.0 and those who came before him...all the way back to the president after FDR.
c. raise your child in an area where they could possibly film a whole season of Cops.
d. if it's this bad for a family that has a stable-ish job and a slightly sensible mortgage, pray HARD for those families whose jobs are on the chopping block and who are teetering on the brink of foreclosure.

doo doo doo dum, doo doo doo.....
The answer is All of the Above, Charlie!

Second question: True or False. Can you negotiate the price of a short sale home?

doo doo doo dum, doo doo doo.....
The answer is false. You'll need to pay listing price. And as an extra added bonus, you'll pay extra fees too as the banksters way of saying, "Take that!", er, um, ahem, we mean "Thank you for your patronage (and more money we can throw toward the casino!)" It is actually easier to purchase a property that has been foreclosed on (taking down a low to middle income family with it) than it is to help them save their credit and find yourself a nicely discounted farm, turning the situation into a win-win for everyone.

We're sorry you didn't win anything on today's episode of "Big Dose of Reality." But as a lovely parting gift, we'll leave you with more cardboard and packing tape than you could ever use in your lifetime. Plus, the extra bills this month to fix the kitchen floors and the second coat of paint for the deck.

The more the mess unravels, the more ashamed i feel about the country of my origin.

This is not what America has been about these last 234 years. Except for maybe a short time during the 70's and 80's where you couldn't sell a home if your life depended on it and you were stuck in line for gasoline.

Good day, fellow Americans, and good luck!
It's murder out there!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegetarian Carmel for Apples

1 cup honey to 1 cup cream and at half tsp salt

medium to medium high heat for 30 minutes til thick