Sunday, August 31, 2008
And how was your week?
Did you get everything on your to-do list done? Hmmm. Me?
Ummm..Not so much.
My list this weekend consisted of planting a grouping of shrubs that I picked up for a song a couple weeks ago and actually putting landscape cloth around them so we don't have to deal with weeds. I have a couple rose bushes that are fighting a losing battle with weeds, they will get the landscape cloth treatment too. Has that happened?
Umm...Not so much.
So tomorrow I will get up early and get a jump on it before the heat of the day sets in. Since we are at the end of the summer season, the pots of shrubs must get planted this week in order to give them some time to establish roots. The end of the week is pay day, so I will be making a trip to the nursery for a dwarf pear tree (a request from one of my sons) and a dwarf peach tree. I really want to have the ability to just walk out back and get the fruit we like, in season and not irradiated. We don't have a huge yard, but we can easily accommodate dwarf fruit trees and still have room for a garden. When we moved in, we knew the deck would have to be rebuilt, so everything has been on hold until then. Work on the deck is supposed to start this month, so I am going to get some of the "bones" put in and then work the frou-frou after the construction. It will be so nice to have the deck completed and to have the backyard completed. The boys are volleying to have a hot tub next year and I am beginning to see that it would be nice to have a small one on the patio. Both boys are very active in sports, and it would be good to have a place to soak sore muscles...We'll do a little research this winter to see what will be required and the general logistics of it.
Can you believe it is September already? It seems like this year has just flown by! But I think that tends to be the rule as I get older. Even though I am no longer working outside the home, I have found that I have so many activities going, that I am rarely home. As a result, we have been in this new house for a full year and we are still in a state of disorganization.
I think it is time to start getting the focus back to the house. I get overwhelmed so easily though! That's why we have almost 2,000 square feet of decorating chaos....ARGGGGGG!!
Along with the backyard, I am looking to get the family room finished--or at least heading in the right direction. I know we are going to take down the wallpaper that is currently on the walls, but that may be too big of a project for right now, so we'll do everything but that and save the wallpaper removal for later, unless I get a wild hair... I did get really lucky and found some incredible pictures at thrift shops lately. I even found a picture that I REALLY liked and when I looked a little closer, I realized it is a low print number of a limited edition print that is even signed by the artist! And the frame is incredible! SCORE!!! I also found some other paintings that work really well, and some mass produced but well framed prints that will work wonderfully. In addition I am going to do some drawings and paintings myself. Can you say redecorate on a dime? That's what I'm looking for. When the weather gets cold and we are inside all the time, I want it to be a good thing.
On the knitting front, I am about to close the top of my first fiddlehead mitten. All that is left is the actual thumb. However, I am casting on the second mitten tonight. I may wait to get the thumb finished until I have the second one completed, I haven't decided. It might be better to just have a full mitten finished for motivation. I'm sure this one will go much faster since I am over the learning curve. I love this pattern so much I will be doing more. I do have enough of various shades of the Cascade 220 yarn that I like so much, so I will be doing a lot more.
I know, mind barf....Sorry.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Bumper to bumper on a weekend? I would absolutely hate to see it during rush hour on a weekday. On the way there, we were able to exit before becoming too entangled in the mess. Glad I didn't say something cheeky like " Later, Suckers!"
Oh wait, I think I did.
On the way back, guess what? Yep! A clusterflip of massive proportions. I could have sworn I heard someone whisper "Who's the sucker now?" Probably Casper, the smartass ghost.
The picture above is from our vantage point on the ramp. What you are not seeing is that there is a second ramp next to ours, just as bottle necked, that merges into our lane before all of us have to merge into the single line traffic of I35.Luckily, Kansas City drivers are remarkably courteous, so the drivers on I35 were making room for the feed off lanes to enter a few cars at a time. Luckily Staci was driving for this neck of the adventure, so were were at least facing the right direction!
I'm not used to this kind of traffic but I think if I had to drive in it, Kansas City is where I would rather be. Their drivers were really patient and courteous, even when they were behind me and I was trying to figure out where the heck I was. I really don't have the greatest sense of direction, so let's just say I'm sure some of them were thinking I was drunk! Bless them for not flipping me off, honking, running up on my rear or any other assmblege of possible antics.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
My nephew runs around with this really large guy (think Hoss from the western show Bonanza --for those of you too young to remember Bonanza--Google it) who is just a few bricks short of being able to hold up his cognitive retaining wall...anyway, my nephew and the guys were hanging out, like we Okies are so fond of doing, and chewing the fat..This guy, David, says "Can you believe the Russians have invaded the U.S ?! " and the conversation gets lively between David and one of the other guys. My nephew is sitting there trying to figure out what the heck he is talking about when it suddenly hits him that this guy thinks the Russians have invaded the STATE OF GEORGIA.
I kid you not!
So John has to explain that the Russians are in the COUNTRY of Georgia--not the state. This guy is a little dumbfounded ( I added "founded" on the end of that last word to be nice). Then John had to explain where the COUNTRY of Georgia is.
Can you imagine this guy gittin' in his pickup truck (Rednecks don't "get" in their truck, they "git") to go fight the red threat in Atlanta? I absolutely rolled...
Then I made sure my kids knew where the heck Georgia (the COUNTRY) was..
I kid you not.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Then Tim (not his real name I'm sure) hung up on me.
Say it with me folks "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!"
Let me give you a hint, DO NOT HANG UP ON ME IF YOU ARE A SCUMBAG TELEMARKETER.
So I am doing a little research and am out to scorch some ass. Yep, I'm pissed. I can be nice, but if I get hung up on, the transformation to complete bitch occurs instantly. It's just one of my little quirks....
And how was your day?!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Suzanne's blog (that I found by lurking on the comments of a fellow knitter's blog) also had this quiz. I came out 83% Dixie...Yep Y'all, I did!
I guess all that living in Georgia and Mississippi "done me some good" when I was a kid...
2. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well, then add 2 1/2 cups milk 3 large eggs. Whisk until smooth.
3. Put batter in gallon sized bag. Remove excess air, and seal. Cut 1/4 inch wide hole in bag. Carefully squeeze 1 cup of batter back and forth into oil making a free form lacy web. Cook until golden on bottom, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the cake over and cook until golden brown on other side, about 1 more minute. Transfer funnel cake to paper towels to drain.
4. Dust funnel cakes with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Friday, August 15, 2008
If you aren't sick of this song by now, try it in Swedish!
One of my boys pointed out that he seems to like to grab himself a little--kinda like Michael Jackson. I guess that would explain the playground scenes...I know, boo hiss....
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
They start 9th grade--I now have high schoolers again. It feels weird that as of tomorrow I only have 4 years before these guys are off to college. It seems like yesterday I was having a hard time coping because Jeremy told me they were kindergartners now and he didn't want me to walk them to their class. I wonder if that still applies..
It just feels weird.
I am still up at 11:30 doing laundry that realistically should have been done earlier. Not that I haven't done anything today. I actually stayed home today to supervise the kids since a friend came in from out of state and was hanging out all day at the house. It's probably a good thing I stayed home since I had to break up a football toss (in the house) and a wrestling match (again, IN THE HOUSE!) . Boys....
I did manage to get some things cleaned through though, so it wasn't all "fun and games"...
I have made pretty good progress on the fiddlehead mittens, although I have hit a part where I don't understand the instructions. Considering everyone else has sailed through the pattern, I'm sure I am over thinking it. I will be hunting down Jen at some point this week for clarification so I can get the first mitten completed. Maybe HelloYarn should let me test knit some of her patterns so she can be completely sure it is DUMMY proof! Other than this, I am totally in love with this pattern. It is very relaxing to knit and pretty addictive. After I finish this pair, I am actually going to cast on another pair in similar colors.
I rented "Indian Summer" from the video store this weekend and finally got to watch it. I read some reviews people loved it. I just couldn't seem to get into it. It seemed like something was missing from the start and it never quite filled in the blanks. The concept was great and there was no absence of serious stars, but...I guess I should have known when the reviews were playing it up as being in the spirit of "The Big Chill".
We have seriously blown the budget this week. School fees and just general school stuff nickled and dimed us--but that should not have come as a surprise. If I'd been smart, we would have saved a little at a time into a school fund. I'll seriously have to think about that before next year rolls around.
I noticed an article on the website of Wichita channel 3 that was talking about a convenience store at 21st and Webb road having WATER in their gas. Apparently there have been several people that have had problems after filling up or getting gas there. One person took their car to a mechanic and they found the gas was 75% WATER!!!!! A little could be looked on as an accident of some sort--but 75%?! That's running a con! I'm sure they are going to get zapped by whoever polices this sort of stuff--they need to lose their ability to sell gas! Steer clear of this place! We're paying enough already-we don't need a harder screw!!
Goals this week:
1. Finish fiddlehead mitten #1 and cast on #2
2. Get all boxes out of library.
That's all the goals--believe me, if I do that, it will be good! I am working on getting my oldest son's room changed into a studio/guest room so I can have all my art/yarn/fabric in one place. It has just been sitting empty and is wasted space.
Well, the laundry seems to be almost done and it is now after midnight, so sweet dreams!
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Not the kind of weather we are having today, but the picture was pretty... I took this picture at Botanica earlier this summer.
Friday, August 08, 2008
It's been an interesting week.
Night before last, ex-sister in law calls after getting nephew all worked up and tries to pull me into the web. I think she was attempting--actually I know she was attempting-- to make us think twice about backing out of the kinship adoption process. After much consideration, hubby and I decided that it is better if Skylar stays with the foster parents and they adopt him. They have had him for 15 months, and it just didn't make sense to pull him from that even if he is "family". After the ICPC papers arrived from Kansas, we sat down and talked about the fact it would take a month more to get him here and by that time he would be almost 17 months old. Nephew and I talked about it and he agrees, but I get the feeling he is afraid of making his mother mad. So hubby and I will play the bad guys and back out, which will make the process smoother for the foster parents. We have been assured that they really do intend to go through with it if we step back and if anything changes about their intentions, we will start the papers again. We will be calling Kansas SRS to let them know we are not going to follow through.
I am in the process of compiling a complete medical history of the our side of the family so the new parents can have this for future reference since we have some genetic issues that run in the family like lupus. I am pretty sure my sister in law is going to refuse any information--which is childish and stupid--so unfortunately he will only know our side.
My twins start high school Wednesday. It seems impossible to even fathom! In 4 more years, they will be starting college! One of the boys has decided he want to spend at least one year in a foreign exchange program. He is the "adventurer" of the two. The other just wants to stay home. Literally. We went out to dinner tonight and I tried to tempt him into going to the bookstore afterwards, but he wanted to go home and hang out. He is so much like his Dad. Cute man loves to stay home and read--luckily he is open to being dragged all around the city by his "can't stay home to save her life" wife.
Both the boys are in football again this year so Monday nights I will be sitting in the bleachers with a knitting project, trying to understand why a bunch of guys hurl themselves at an object, risking bodily injury while trying to inflict the same, for a $15 ball you can buy at Wal-Mart....Hmmmmm. Bet testosterone is responsible for this...
We got both boys formally enrolled today and I forget each year how expensive public school is. The first time we got "school fee shock" was when we enrolled the oldest after we moved from Oklahoma, where the only thing you paid for was school supplies...It was over $200 today to get the boys enrolled, plus I have to take them for sports physicals Monday. Luckily we planned in advance an put money into the health savings plan. Hubby's employer has a health saving plan that rolls over, luckily, so we have a pretty good buffer. A couple people I know, and the old office I worked at, had a health saving plan that you lost at the end of the year if you didn't use it all. Needless to say, I avoided that one like the plague! It seems safer to put money into an emergency savings account than risk losing it. I know the advantage is that it is pre-tax, but that is not a good enough reason. Having the accumulation of a rollover saved our bacon when I ended up in the emergency room while in Atlanta! I have a biopsy on Tuesday and we will be using that to pay anything insurance doesn't. I am so thankful we have really good insurance! This has been an interesting year health wise at Casa Crazylife!
On the knitting front, I am really plugging right along on the Fiddlehead mittens. I LOVE this pattern!! I will take pictures tomorrow. My colors are not shy, mellow colors, of course!
Monday, August 04, 2008
Seriously folks, I really need to work on some kind of organizational schedule so I can get my house in order. I am now home for several days out of the week, but it seems like I haven't gotten too much accomplished. I am going to give myself the goal of getting the master bedroom and bathroom in order by Friday.
This weekend is going to be devoted to getting the guest bedroom packed and cleared out. My oldest son moved to Iowa last year and the room is still full of his things, as though he were still living here. So it is time to pack it up and make it into the guest bedroom and my studio.
My shopping for the downstairs will entail finding a long curtain rod that will stretch the length of the double patio doors so I can make curtains. We've had long blinds on one side and the other side is broke. I have been waiting for hubby to buy and install another set, but today -- for some odd reason-- I realized that curtains would not only work as well, but be a little more decorative. I plan on shopping at Big Lots and trying to find the curtain rod, however I will also try Target and Wal-Mart if I don't find what I have in mind. I am trying to decide whether I am going to make curtains or just buy them pre-made. That will also depend on the price difference.
I am also looking for a small freezer. Hopefully I can find a small one that we can put downstairs so I can start doing some freezer cooking. I have several cookbooks where you make several entrees and freeze them, but I haven't done anything with these yet. One is the Super Suppers cookbook and several of the recipes look really good. Wouldn't it be great to spend a day cooking then have 30 days worth of entrees ready to just thaw and cook? When I go by Sam's Friday, I am going to pick up an industrial size box of freezer bags and aluminum foil to get myself ready. I am hoping to be able to get the kitchen in good shape and organized so I can do 15 days worth of recipes to try out some of the different recipes. If anyone in Wichita sees a great deal on a small freezer, email me and let me know. I'd definitely appreciate it! I don't think we need one of the really huge ones, but a small one would be great. Just something that would allow me to get a month's worth of entrees, plus other extra stuff (frozen pizzas, ice cream, etc.) in there so I can shop the sales more efficiently and buy in bulk when the good deals come along. Having meals in the freezer will also help out if I am ever down for the count like most of last week or gone from the house for whatever reason. Although hubby is an excellent cook, it would be great if all he had to do was pull an entree out of the fridge on days I am not able and he has worked all day or the boys could get dinner started in the oven before he gets home. It would just make things easier all around.
Big goals--now I just need to get some action behind them. Since it is getting cooler, I'd love to have the inside of the house in order so we can turn our attention to the outside of the house. There are several hedges that are not only severely overgrown, but in need of being removed. The previous owners planted them right up against the house and I noticed they were pushing up underneath the siding.
So they are going to be either completely taken out or moved to the area between our house and the neighbor to the East. That would allow me to reuse and recycle, but I'm not sure all the bushes are the kind I want to reuse. One is really huge and will probably not make the transplanting, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
I know, much ado about nothing...
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I had to share some cute beagle pics. This is Buddy after a hard day of...well, a hard day of just being a beagle....Doesn't he just look exhausted?!
Put down the damn camera, human. Geez! Who gave that darn human a camera? Which is also what the girls at Twist say...I'll post THOSE pics tomorrow...and yes, Jackie, Jill, Shelly, and Sally--there are pictures of you. I think the photo of Jackie should be our KIP logo...just a teaser for now.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I have been lusting after this book by Dorie Greenspan since it hit the shelves, but really couldn't afford the $40 price. I found it in the bargain section for $8 and snapped it up. I love this book. There are so many really good recipes in it that I just couldn't decide which to try first. So I have decided that I am going to start at the first recipe and bake the goodies in the order they are listed in the book. I will try one recipe each week and give you feedback on it. Tomorrow I will be making the first recipe: Blueberry Orange muffins. They sound great. Next week will be corn muffins.
This has been a rough couple weeks at Casa CrazyLife. I had a little incident with a kidney stone over a week ago and I have had a heck of a time getting back to my old self. Today I literally slept until 3p.m, which was the time I had to leave to get to my mittens class. I was supposed to get a call last week from the doctor's nurse to set up the details on another test that needs to be run -- that has not happened. I am starting to get "pissy"-no pun intended. I think I am definitely going to be changing doctors since I realize I have very little faith in the clinic and the doctor that I have been seeing. He doesn't explain anything clearly (Thankfully Shelly's mom came to the rescue on that) and is really odd about not making eye contact. I will be calling Monday and trying to get some info from the nurse. If they have lost my stuff that I brought in, you will probably see the clip on the local news under "Woman goes nuts on incompetent doctor"... I am getting pissed off enough that my friend Sue made me promise to talk to her and vent first before I call their office. Come on people, all I'm asking for are answers!! If there is not an answer this week, I am going to have them transfer everything over to my OB/GYN and ask her to arrange the proper tests and refer me to a doctor she recommends. Actually I am going to do that anyway. Ok, I'm done griping! I am looking forward to finally feeling like my old self though!
On the knitting front, I started the Fiddlehead Mittens for the class taught by Jen at Twist. I had missed the first class since I was sick, but I caught the second class. We have one more class. At first I could not figure out the I-cord cast on, but Shelly showed me and it finally made sense. I love this cast on! It is really the best cast on for mittens since it makes a firm, decorative edge. I may have to frog and start over though since I noticed my stitches are getting REALLY tight. Luckily I'm only a couple rows into the pattern, so it is not a big deal. I am going to spend a lot of time working on these so I can get the first one done this week. I'm sure the thumb gusset will be a new experience.
Friday night, cute man and I joined Cindy and Sue for sushi at Tokyo restaurant on Rock Road (near Applebee's) in Derby. There is a Tokyo in west Wichita that is owned by the same guy and both have fabulous sushi. The same guy also used to own Ichiban in east Wichita, but closed that one when the Derby store opened up. If you have a chance, go have sushi there. The spider rolls are the best I've had in town and I really like the Henry's roll too. We appreciate that there is usually not a long wait period and we can go dressed casually. The prices are also really good. They have a grill too, but we have never had that. I'm sure it is every bit as good as the sushi though. And yes, we sometimes go to Sumo for sushi, but I really prefer Tokyo because it is much more relaxed. This was the first time Sue had had sushi. Cindy and I are not sure what she thought of it. I used to think I'd hate sushi before I had actually tried it. However, after trying the spider roll, which is cooked crab, I was hooked. From there I tried the smoked salmon rolls and everything in between. The only one I'm not too crazy about is the eel, which is cooked. I know a lot of people who LOVE eel rolls, so obviously it is just my personal taste. My son will eat a plate of the eel rolls by himself if given the opportunity. One of the kids is really chomping at the bit to learn to make sushi, so I am going to take him to Overland Park this October to take a sushi class at the Kansas City Culinary Center. I have taken several classes there and love them every time. They have classes on just about everything. I wish we lived closer! I'd live there! I've taken a tamale class, a french pastry class and a healthy cooking class (on the same weekend I took the french pastry class--tee hee)..I did notice the Wichita Center for the Arts here in Wichita has a couple cooking classes this Fall, so I am happy that is an option. There is a soup class--it looks like cream based (potato, corn chowder, curried chicken) soups, but I'm game. I'll probably sign up for all the classes at the Center for the Arts since I really want it to take off and be successful. We NEED a cooking school here!!