Thursday, May 31, 2007

Twix bar recipe, as promised!

Several posts ago I mentioned that I would post the recipe for homemade Twix bars if they were good. Yes, they were REALLY good. However, they are best served cold since the caramel gets soft when warm. The chill brings out the flavors of the other ingredients also. They are pretty easy to make.

Keebler club crackers (I think I used one sleeve and had leftovers-don't quote me)
1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Place one layer of club crackers on the bottom of a greased 9"X13" pan. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, sugar, milk and margarine. Let boil for 5 minutes (I boiled for 6 minutes). Pour mixture over crackers in pan. Cover with another layer of Club crackers. Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler, stirring often until smooth. Pour melted chocolate mixture over top layer of Club crackers and smooth with a spoon. Chill and cut into bars. Keep leftover bars covered in refrigerator.

Monday, May 28, 2007


We close on the new house Wednesday at 4:00. YEAH!

It feels like it has been forever since we got everything else settled. I guess it has been a couple months of waiting. Hubby drove by the house today and said the current owners were moving stuff out of the house, so I guess it is getting really close.

I am finding out that it is impossible to get completely packed when you live in a small house! We have about half our stuff packed and are climbing over boxes and each other! We've had to stop so we could move around! We load a Uhaul Friday night with boxes so we can start taking stuff over Saturday morning. I am going to get the kitchen completely packed tomorrow night with the exception of a few pots and pans. That will be a task in itself. The biggest thing that will help is getting the furniture out of the house so we have space to maneuver.

I'm getting pretty excited and I am definitely looking forward to having more space! I am looking forward to having a dedicated space for my knitting and quilting. FINALLY!

Memorial Day

Today's post focuses on the soldiers both past and present. No matter what your opinion is about the war and previous wars, please take a moment to say a prayer of thanks for those men and women that fought for our country in past wars and the brave soldiers fighting in Iraq now.

Pray for those doing what most of us can't do for reasons that are defy political dogma in a place that most of us would not be able to survive. Remember this and keep all soldiers--past/present --male/female--in your prayers.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The "I can't think of a title for this entry" entry

I actually get to hang out until 11:00 before I have to be at work today, So I thought I would make a long and winding post. Actually court starts at 1:30 and I don't have to be there until 1:00, but I am going in a little early to show some of the girls how to make really neat stuff with rubber stamps and shrink plastic. It is probably a good thing that I just fill in there occasionally--they probably would never get any work done! I will be there again tomorrow, so I will not be at the main office for the rest of the week. That means Monday I will have to hit the ground running so I can get some stuff accomplished that I have on my "GET DONE" list.

I was so tired last night that I didn't even get up and wander the house during the really bad thunderstorm we had last night. Usually I get up and check the local weather channel when we have big storms--especially during tornado season--but last night I woke up, made a mental note that it was really storming bad and apparently checked out to La La land again....It looks like it may rain off and on all day today, but that is fine. I get to park in covered parking today...WOO HOO....ok, so it's the little things that make life interesting...Actually yesterday was so busy that I lost track of what day it was and completely spaced out going to a friends house to work on a quilt...Hopefully we will be doing that this evening since we don't have any kid activities going on tonight.

I am looking for activities and vacation ideas close to home this summer and I have found a couple ideas. The boys love to fish, so we are talking about renting a building at one of our local lakes for the weekend. I love to sit and fish too--I just don't like to take the fish off the hook, which usually is not a problem since we don't catch anything! They really don't have"cabins " like they have at most of the state parks in Oklahoma, but they will work for our purposes. We are also talking about finally visiting Cabala's in Kansas City. There are a lot of family friendly activities in Kansas City, so that will be a good idea that isn't too far. Plus there are some really neat fabric and yarn stores in that area...OK, ulterior motives....or would that be a multitasking vacation?There is also a really large Western theme park that opened outside Wichita. It looks interesting and will be the focus of at least once visit....

I recently purchase a magazine that had some really cute square pincushions featured on the cover and look what I found--- she has some really neat fabric designs too! These will be really easy projects for little stocking stuffers for Christmas. One can never have too many pin cushions. Plus, a lack of pincushions means there are probably loose pins lying about. When we were kids, my mom liked to sew. Unfortunately, not all the pins made it to a safe landing spot, so more than once we kids ended up driving a pin into our foot as we walked across the floor....and it's a wonder I EVER wanted to learn to do anything involving fabric....I took home ec in high school and excelled in all areas EXCEPT the sewing. I had this little twitch that surfaced when I thought about having to pin together the pieces.....I never did learn to follow a pattern, which is why I had to buy the Sewing For Dummies book recently to teach me all the things I zoned out on in high school! Who would have thought I'd actually find a use for needle and thread, let alone a sewing machine....But here I am, with multiple sewing machines and tons of fabric.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Best Laid Plans....

I had planned on going to work today--instead, I will do a sequel visit to the doctor. Same doctor, same parent, different leading man.....Mark went to the doctor yesterday. Today, his twin, Jeremy is going for the exact same thing.....thank God for insurance!

I did get to rest up a little today in between packing boxes for the big move. I still feel like I could sleep straight through the week, but I have a feeling that is just because my allergies are acting up. Oh well, could be worse! However, I am finding yarn stashed in places that I didn't stash it. For now, I am ending the mystery by blaming the cats for stashing it....I am going to keep a close eye out for proof they are using my knitting needles too since they are disappearing....

I did get a little snack made for the boys that hopefully is pretty good. It is for a snack called homemade Twix bars. They are a no bake, which is a really good thing when it is hot, but I'm hoping they are at least edible. You make the caramel candy topping to put between two layers of club crackers, then cover with a melted chocolate/peanut butter mixture. The only strange part of the recipe is the caramel mixture has a cup of crushed graham crackers in it....if it is good, I'll post the recipe tonight. I bought a book of no bake treats that I will be testing weekly. No bake is really the easiest way to go in hot weather and I'm all about easy! actually easy doesn't count unless it is also good eating!

Good Morning!

The boys are already starting the 1/2 day countdown until the end of the school year. Tomorrow they get out of school at noon. I will be in court until late, so unfortunately I won't get to see their "freedom faces" until I get home. I "stand in" occasionally for the Domestic Violence Advocate at the city prosecutor's office when she is not in the office. My job is basically to talk to victims and witnesses, then give it to the prosecutor. From there, he/she decides what they want to do. I really like it. I love the courtroom time. When we have trials, it is interesting to listen to closing arguments. That is another great thing about my job---I have been given excellent opportunities to get experience in a large variety of settings that I might not in a "conventional" law firm. I hate to use the term "conventional" but we are different in that we are registered as a not for profit law firm. We handle certain types of legal issues for individuals with legal fees based on income guidelines...It has been excellent job from the day I started as an intern years ago. It is rare to find a job that is both family friendly and female friendly as this office is.

Gardening season is here....I haven't planted anything yet since we will be moving in two weeks, but I am definitely looking into some blackberry bushes to plant when we get to the new house. I went to a self pick farm two years ago and really had a great time canning jams. I had also visited a peach orchard near our house and got a lot of peaches, so I had canned blackberry, peach and blackberry-peach jam. My favorite was the blackberry peach. The combination of the two fruits really tasted excellent. I love to can. Mainly jams and salsas, but I am going to branch out and put away other stuff this year. Jams are really easy and make excellent gifts. When I do get settled and can some stuff, I will post the recipes here. You really should try your hand at making jams--they are among the easiest to do. Marigold already has a jump on her garden, I'm jealous!
Hey! If it worked, I just linked Marigold's name with her blog--hopefully you just click on her name to go to her fabulous blog. Disclaimer: Remember I am new to this linking business, so if you get to Joe's Discount Sweat Sock Shop instead, sorry!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

And a Happy Saturday to you!

I'm a little slow getting around this morning but it has already started out to be a good day.

The post person just delivered two quilting books to my door. Normally I shy away from book of the month type clubs, but I do subscribe to one called Zooba that lets you pick the books you want sent each month. You just out them on a list and one book from your list is sent to you each month. Since the books only cost $9.99 including shipping, I have saved a mint on a lot of my knitting books! I have a book on knitting sweaters from the top down due to come to me this month. I am looking forward to that one. It seems to me that knitting from the top down makes pretty good sense. They don't have a huge selection of knitting books, but I have received a pretty good spectrum and have saved a bundle ( a penny saved is a yarn skein stashed---ok, I took a little creative license with that quote, but maybe Ben Franklin would have said that if he was a knitter!)...

Can you believe the gas prices? Let me know what you plan to do to conserve gas and money. What is gas running in your area?As I stated earlier, I am bundling trips together, buying more online and just plain making do with what I already have (shopping at the Davis department store!)....I guess that puts a small hole in the different small town a month plan that I had at the beginning of the year, but maybe I will just be creative. Since I am 5 months behind in actually posting the small town pic and postings, I will get it started by the end of the month. The first batch of small towns that I visit and knit in will be around Wichita, although Salina, Kansas is really looking good. They are more than an hour away, but there is a beautiful yarn store in that town (it has gotten rave reviews from some of the Wichita knitters that I know) and there is a quilting/fabric store that is completely awesome's like buying an ice cream sundae and getting a free sprinkle of chocolate chips!

I will tag 8 people tonight so I can keep up with Marigold's Random tag....beware, you never know if I'm going to tag YOU!! It is so fun to visit other's blog site when they leave a comment...I have found some of the neatest people that way, so leave a comment and let me know who you are...I'd love to read your blog!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekend is here!!!

This was a pretty interesting week.
Thursday the country singer Craig Morgan was shooting a video literally in from of our office. It was surprisingly painless. I was dreading the traffic and mayhem and people parking in my lot at work. That didn't happen. It was really well maintained. However, I now realize that a 3-4 minute song takes much more than 8 hours to shoot....All of us in the office have the first 10 words of Craig's song memorized, followed by the word "CUT". After the first 20 times they did the same 10 words to the song over and over and over again, it got a little old. Luckily everyone in the office agreed it was a really good song--even the ones that didn't like country, so we all got through it..... We were all feeling sorry for Craig and his band members after the 90th take...that would get soooo old. I guess it looks easier on the video than it really is. These guys earn their money. At one point Craig was playing around on a dirt bike--I got laughed at by some of the girls in the office because I REALLY wanted to yell at him for not having a helmet on....and the fact that one of the pick-up trucks had a very young child in the back....granted they only moved 5 feet, but still........It was funny to watch the people interact from our vantage point on the 5th floor. The girls in the brown/gold jeep got a lot of male attention....I have more funny stories to tell, but maybe later...So, as far as the video, it should be really good, however: CRAIG---WEAR A DARN HELMET WHEN YOU ARE ON A BIKE--EVEN FOR A HALF BLOCK!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tagged! I'm it....

Marigold ( and since I am not techno smart, I have to do it the "OLD FASHIONED WAY) just tagged me. So here goes:

8 Random Things about Me:

1: I was born in Baltimore Maryland, raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma (Home of Oklahoma State University---GO COWBOYS!) since 1976. I consider Oklahoma my home state (because I grew up there).

2. I never saw myself as having kids-ever. I now have three and wouldn't mind having dozens more except for that "giving birth thing", which I don't do too well. And the fact that I am over 40 (small detail....humor me).

3. I love to watercolor paint. And scrapbook. And quilt....and....

4. I have a yarn and fabric stash that is so infinite, it will outlast my great grandkid's grandkids....and I don't even have Grandkids yet! Note to 20 yr old son: This is not an invitation to give me grandkids yet--FINISH COLLEGE!

5. I love chickens! And cows...

6. I worked three days in a dairy barn when the twins were babies. I have infinite respect for those that can do it. I couldn't drink milk for almost 6 months after.......Cows are sooooo much prettier from the front!

7. I have no piercings or tattoos either, Marigold. I am a wimp when it comes to intentionally choosing pain. Plus, at my age, if I got a cute bird anywhere on my body, it would be migrating South forever....I know, the visuals have now scarred you for life!

8. Every morning I wake up next to my hubby, I feel blessed. The best decision I ever made was to say Yes when he proposed 17+ years ago.

and because I can't follow a rule to save my life, here's an additional:

8.5......I can't follow a budget or a diet for the life of me!!! I can hold on to 50 pounds forever, but $50 just melts away..go figure!

That was fun! Thanks Marigold!

I will figure out who to tag this evening when I get off work. Hubby just called to let me know they mentioned that the roads surrounding the building I work at are closed because there is a country music video being shot there, so I have to figure out an alternate route to the parking lot...and to the front door....Great....that's what happens when you work in a building that also houses a historic theatre from the 20's.....Thankfully he called to give me a heads up. I would not have been amused! Which is another random about me---I am usually pretty mild mannered, but I can back down a marine when mad. Ask my kids, they've heard me do it to a pushy marine recruiter....

Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Randon Cute Animal Pics

It's morning and I am really dragging, so I will distract and hopefully amuse you with cute animal pictures since I do not have the ability to compose pithy thoughts on the page...The top picture is Charlie aka. our $200+ stray cay and my son's cat, Socks, who is so at home in his element, that he does not feel the need to protect his soft underbelly....and yes, he is actually asleep in this position.

Have a great day. I will post this evening, when I have a better command of the English language!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This mornings post is just a short but funny blurb session. I wish I could take credit for these, but all the credit has to go to Barbara Lenz who puts out our church bulletins via email. These really made me giggle today and I hope they do the same for you!


*I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
* Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
* The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
* To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
* When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
* The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
* A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
* A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
* Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
* We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
* When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, UCLA.
* The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
* The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
* The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
* If you take a laptop computer for a run, you could jog your memory.
* A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two-tired.* Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
* In a democracy, it's your vote that counts. In feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
* A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
* With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
* Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
* When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
* The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
* A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulting in Linoleum Blownapart.
*You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
* He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
* A lot of money is tainted: 'taint yours and 'taint mine.
* A boiled egg is hard to beat.
* He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
* A plateau is a high form of flattery.
* When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
* When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
* Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
* Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Tee Hee!
Great coffee and giggles to you this morning!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Monday to You

Wanted to do a quick post before I leave for work. It seems like morning is the best time for me to do posting since my evenings are so full.

On the home front: Everything is in place for us to take possession of the house June 2---I am pretty excited. I read through my blog last night and realized how many times I said "if we buy a house" or "if we buy the house we're in" or something to that effect. Isn't it funny how putting something in writing causes the wheels of change to move one way or another?

I spent a little time packing yesterday and found all kinds of neat things that had been hidden away. It's almost like Christmas....Hubby and I went to Target yesterday and looked at furniture. I'm pretty surprised at how nice some of their furniture is. We will probably wait to get new stuff until we actually get to the new house (no reason to move it twice), but we did snag some pretty well made gaming chairs for $78.00. They were marked down from $99.00, so we snagged two. I had been looking for some nice gaming chairs for the kids but most of the ones I've seen are flimsy---these are pretty heavy.

On the gas front: It is down to 3.06 a gallon (that is as of yesterday, we all know it changes). Not great, but better than what it was. It is still going to put a huge pinch in my errand running and buying. A friend from Wyoming said gas there was $2.89---lucky.....and then I think " $2.89 LUCKY?!! I want gas under $2.00 again!" Ever notice that it may go down, but creeps right back up, like the gas companies are slowly numbing us...I did see a funny thing this week though. When gas hit $3.10 in Wichita, one of our stations here still had it for $2.96--there was a line of cars 10-15 deep of really big cars and trucks waiting to get gas at that price. Here's my problem: If you have one of those huge gas eaters and are idling in a line 10 deep, by the time you get to the pump, you have burned off any savings, and probably wasted an additional amount of gas.....think about it.

I picked up the new Interweave Knits last night, mainly because it had a really good article about knitting toe up socks---the last couple issues I passed on because there was not enough "non sweater/shirt" stuff. I think they should have a little more accessory patterns, more socks, bags, hats, etc for those of us who are not ready to commit to an intricate sweater or camisole (I know, everyone's a critic!) . They do have really wonderful sock patterns and hat patterns and their stitch technique articles are incredible, so it is not like I never buy it, I just seek out the issues with a little more accessory patterns or easy sweater patterns for beginners. I will say that there is a cables sweater pattern (it has a sweater for the woman and a vest for the guy) that piqued my interest. I think I could see myself doing those....which is another reason to buy it. I will be able to look through it more this evening when I take a kid to soccer practice, so I'm sure I'll have more to say. However, I do have to add that if you see the new issue. it is well worth the cover price, s snag a copy.

I guess I'm at the bottom of my coffee cup and that is a sign I'd better get ready for work!
Great griends and good coffee to you and yours!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


At some point today I have to suck it up and actually make it down to the basement to start packing it. It is probably a good thing that our new house is a bi-level and the lower level is actually a functioning part of the house (it has the family room, 2 bedrooms, a full bath and the laundry room, and a walkout to the yard) so it can't be a repository for delayed decisions, which is exactly what our basement is right now. On the sunny side, this will be like an archaeological dig I guess....

Cute bag pattern alert: I found this link by lurking in Brown Berry's site: that I found by lurking in Cactus needles blog How's THAT for blog dropping!!!
I am downloading the pattern to do one of my very own when we get to the new house and I can pull out my yarn!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gas Price Blues

I'm not sure what you guys are used to paying for gas in your neck of the woods, but gas just hit $3.19 a gallon here in Haysville...YIKES!!!! I am seeing a long summer of very little pleasure driving if this keeps up. I am already brainstorming ways to save gas or not have to use the car at all. Luckily although we live in a small town, a lot of what we need is either here in town or on the way to/from work. I've told the boys instead of getting in the car to drive the 1/2 mile to the video store, we are going to brush off the bikes. This could be a good thing--if I don't injure myself trying to ride my's been a while. A LONG while. If we had public transportation from Haysville to downtown Wichita (where I work), I would soooo take it. as it stands, I have already had to make decision about the way I shop. I had a 40% off coupon from Michael's Craft stores that was burning a hole in my pocket--they have a quilting book I REALLY want that is $25.00....Instead of making the 15 mile trip into that side of Wichita, I got online and found a used-like new copy on for $12.00. Even with the $3.99 shipping, it was cheaper than running my car to the local store. As much as I like the idea of shopping local, it may not work for me if it not a store in an area I have several other errands...I guess one good thing is that I will be at home a lot more and will have plenty of yarn and fabric from my existing stash to get projects done....One of these projects is a paper pieced quilt from class I took a couple weeks ago. You know, the one that cost me $250 extra because I fell in love with the instructors 1940's Singer featherweight and ended up buying one on eBay....I have posted a picture of two blocks--one completed and one in the process of completion. Paper piecing is tricky at first because you are placing the fabric on one side, then sewing on the paper side. Once the block is completed, you tear away the paper and just have the perfectly formed square. It's really neat, but it was hard for me to grasp at first. The thing I like the best is this method makes perfect use of all those scraps that are too small to use normally....Plus you don't have to be a stickler for matching/coordinating colors....The colors in these blocks are from a quilt I am working on--my first quilt to be precise..

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Day of Rest

I ended up using my last comp day today instead of going in an working. I felt like someone was having a party in one side of my head, and while I was the host, I was only allowed to watch...not good. I ended up laying down and got up at 2:20! Talk about sleeping the day away! Oldest child just left for his history class at the junior college. I really do wish I could talk him into just staying put and finishing his college here. I guess we'll see how the summer goes for him.

I've got to run down to the sewing machine shop tomorrow to trade out the free motion foot I got yesterday -- after talking with the salesman, he definitely got the wrong foot off the rack. No biggie--I should have thought to ask when the packaging said for a memory craft embroidery machine....I thought maybe they were interchangeable...They're not. With gas prices the way they are, I will probably wait until tomorrow to go since I have to be downtown anyway for work. I am trying to package trips together so I am not using as much gas as I usually do running around. Realistically that is how I should have been doing it all along.

There is a knitting group at Panera Bread tomorrow. I would love to finally be able to attend one of their meetings--it has been so long! We'll have to see. Every time I commit by RSVP'ing, something happens that makes it impossible for me to attend, so I don't want to jinx myself.

Not so funny fact about my blond dachshund: She barks at air. Repeatedly. Loudly. While I am trying to sleep.....and no, she doesn't have a turn off button. I've looked. Just as bad is the fact when scolded, she lays on the floor and growls repeatedly with occasional yips at the offending entity which, by the way, doesn't exist! It sounds like a continual motor with an occasional misfire.........

New House News and etc.

We will be moving June 2nd and have reached an agreement with the current owner regarding how much he is to pay towards what needs to be fixed on the house. It was mainly stuff that started from lack of maintenance on the outside (deck unsafe, windows leaked) and the inside of the house has been well maintained, so we didn't get bitchy about splitting some of the costs...If I haven't said it before in this blog: If you own a house, inspect the windows and things around the house--fix the small things before they become big things. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way! Eric and I have discussed the fact that we have a friend that is a contractor and home inspector, and it would be worth having him come out every couple years to look around the house to see if anything jumps out at him...

And so begins the long process of packing. Do you realize how much junk accumulates in nooks and crannies if you aren't looking? One the good side: I am finding things that I lost and can really use now. One the bad side: I am finding things I lost and have NO IDEA why I bought them in the first place...I better get over this impulse buying....and that is before I address the yarn stash and the fabric stash!

Speaking of yarn and fabric: I haven't had much knitting content lately because it seem like I haven't really had the space or time to knit. I miss it. I will be able to have my stash out in the new house and will have a place just for me to knit. I am looking forward to that. I will also have a place for both my sewing machines and fabric. I think half the problem with a stash of any kind is that if you can't see it, you don't know if you have it and end up buying more (a direct allusion to the above paragraph)...

My oldest son is still planning to move to Iowa to live with the girl he met over the Internet. As a mother, I am just hoping this turns out OK. He is 20, so I really don't have the option of saying no...It is a little unnerving that he will not be going to college. We are currently paying for his school, but have explained that if he moves out and lives with someone, he is responsible for school from there on out. I really wish he would at least finish his college. I know, BREATHE....

I took a machine quilting class last night with my friend Sue. It was really informative and just what we needed to get us to the point of being able to quilt the lap sized quilts we have pieced and waiting for that step. Sue doesn't have a portable machine of her own, so she used my little Brother NX200, which is the one that misbehaved the last time and lead to the Featherweight "incident"--you know, the one where I had to use the instructor's 1940's featherweight and got obsessed to the point of buying one...anyway, it behaved fine. So did my Janome 6260 QC --right up to the point where we put on the free motion foot...I didn't have one for this machine so I ran by the dealer to pick one up yesterday. The dealer gave me one for the wrong model. Damn! Partially my fault for not trying it on the machine before I took it to class...I used the shop's Bernina. While it was nice, I am happy to say, I am not looking to buy one and I am more than happy with my machines! However I have come to the realization that I am blessed and spoiled.....I am going to start piecing a 9 patch quilt this month. It is a pretty traditional setting and it will help me work on getting my fabric cut and pieced so the seams actually meet. Since I know the basics now, I am going to work on making quilts for all the kids when we get settled in the new house.

I guess I'd better head off to work. With gas at $3.10 a gallon, I fully realize I am blessed to not have to sit in rush hour traffic. By the time I leave, it is pretty much a straight shot except for traffic lights. I am not happy about having to shell out this much cash for gas! Hubby and I are discussing getting a really small car for when it is just one person and saving the vans for when everyone has to travel together. The vans get decent gas mileage, but it could be better. We can't afford a hybrid--although that would be nice..

Have a great morning and good coffee to you!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bad Weather-Prayers for Tornado Victims

As many of you may have seen on the news, this has been a really crappy week for weather here in Kansas. Greensburg, Kansas, a little town 110 miles from Wichita was literally flattened. 95% of the town is gone. If you have never experienced a tornado, you are blessed. I am asking that as you read this, please say a prayer for all the residents of Greensburg and the other towns that got hit.

Tornadoes are terrifying even on a small scale--and Greensburg now has the task of literally rebuilding the town from scratch. The sad thing is this tornado hit on the day after the 8 year anniversary of the one that hit our little town and wiped out a large swatch of it. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

Just a quick post tonight--it has been really bad weather all day and tonight it is no different. Lots of thunder, lightning and pounding rain. On the bright side, it is really cool outside, so I have been sitting on the porch watching the rain.

It is lightening outside, so I'd better cut this post short.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New House Progress

Approx. 1 month ago we signed the contract on a house just down the street from us. We've rented the home we live in for almost 12 years now and the landlord wants to sell it. Our current house only has 925 square feet of finished space (it also has an unfinished basement that would add 400-500 feet if it were finished....) and it is starting to feel cramped with 5 people in it. It was fine when the twins were little, but now they are teenagers and their mass has increased (we won't even start on mine), it is really cramped. The landlord wants an awful lot for the square footage, so we decided to bump up our price range and ended up buying a 1,965 square foot home...We don't take possession until June 2nd (the current owners close on their new house June 1) -- but it feels like the whole process is crawling. Buying a house is much more stress than you see on those home shows!!! I thought it would be an easy, painless process. Word of advice to current homeowners--if you have a deck-especially a second story deck important to getting to the back yard---TAKE CARE OF IT. That way, when you sell your home, you are not shocked by the inspector giving it an unsafe tag and the contractor giving you a $5,000 estimate! We are in the process of haggling that out. Actually a good rule of thumb is to just take care of all little things before they become big things. The window that leaks and causes the sheet rock to pull away from the window frame is not going to go away or freeze in status. It will get worse. The patio door that isn't working well will not magically fix itself, and yes, you will be surprised at the end on how much it costs to fix all this!!!

I am looking forward to getting into it and making it ours! The twins will share a room, but it will be twice the size of what they are sharing now. My oldest son is talking about moving out and going to live with his girlfriend (don't even go there...) in another state, so we may have a guest/quilting/painting/etc room...That would be so great!

In other news, I saw some blurb on AOL news that gas is supposed to reach $4 a gallon in some parts. WTF !!!!! It is not amusing me to gas my van up as it is! I am seriously thinking we are going to have to look at getting small cars for running across town when it is just one or two people and keeping one of the vans for when all of us are going someplace. Does anyone own or know anyone who owns one of the hybrid cars? I'm seeing lots of stay at home activities in my future! I guess that is a good excuse for the stash of yarn and fabric I have built up....We may just have to investigate some alternative power sources in the future. It would be nice to power the kitchen by solar---it may be a little too much to ask to power the whole house, but once we get settled, we may investigate taking part of the house off the grid. Solar power in our area is still a pretty new idea and not mainstream, so it may be hard to find someone who can convert us...

On the art side: I am going to start watercolor painting again. I have had the urge to paint for several years and never found the time (I used the "I'm not a professional, not a real artist, not....crutch) and it has been nagging me. I recently found a book by Dori Kanter entitled "Art Escapes" and it is very empowering! You really have to get this book. Even if you have never painted or watercolor is not what you perceive as your style...It has exercises that teach you about color, composition etc that can be transferred anywhere...My friends are nuts about the artists way books, which I will eventually work on (I own that one and Vein of Gold by the same author of Artist's Way), but this one is very hands on. Love it!!

I guess I'd better head off to work. This my version of morning pages for those of you familiar with Artist's Way, but unlike the suggested stream of consciousness pages, I'll edit my blurbs and not subject you to my random blatherings. Those I will save for a notebook.....

Good day and great coffee to you and yours!!