Thursday, February 28, 2008

2nd verse, same as the 1st...

No, that's Henry the 8th, not my blog! We had a close one with the White Jeep. Thank God! The mechanics tried all day to find something wrong with it but couldn't. It started beautifully for them every time, and for Mark when he picked it up tonight. He will drive it for several days to make sure it doesn't happen again. Maybe it was bad gas. It would be nice to be that lucky with it!

I did NOT take Tom across the street. They know darn well where he is and they can come get him if they want him.

Now for more pictures:

(Muffin today because she feels left out)

(Jasper with the mouse, because I know Karen wants to see him!)

(The girls' new walls, because I am FINISHED!!!)

If its not one thing, its a mother...

And I don't mean mine!! Yesterday afternoon my lovely 18-year-old Suburban, affectionately known as "The White Jeep" broke down on me. Sarah and I had gone to get our raw milk and visit for a while and when we got ready to leave it wouldn't turn over. It wasn't the battery, nope couldn't be that simple(or cheap).

(The White Jeep)

Its the fuel pump!! Yeah! Soooo, $400 will vanish before our eyes. But, at least I wasn't at the farm collecting the milk!! That's about 50 miles from here. And, at least it wasn't dark yet, or cold or in a parking lot somewhere. Mark happened to be right around the corner, literally, playing racquetball with a co-worker so he was able to come get us right away. I got up at 5:30 to take Mark to work so he could get a vehicle to drive to the health club. Our homeschool park day is today so I had to. Thank God for coffee.

Last night I had a dream about Tom dying. There was a big, wide staircase with metal railing in the middle of an atrium(like an office building or mall might have) and Tom was wanting to come down, or go up, I couldn't tell. A black cat(our long-deceased Blackie) had scared him so he couldn't decide which way to go. Then our Junior cat(also deceased) came down and helped them both up the stairs to some hay bales that were covered with soft blankets and rugs. It was a very strange dream. Tom is worse today than he has been so I'm going to take him home tonight and let them have him put to sleep. I think it is time.

My computer is back to hating my camera so I can't show you the pictures of the girls' newly painted room, or the cute shot of Jasper playing with a toy under my computer chair. Grrrr. I will try to get it going again tonight. This afternoon when we get back from the park I have to touch up a few thin spots of paint and then we can move the furniture back! I'm looking forward to having a few days to play with my needle felting stuff finally. This weekend I'll get our room prepped for painting and start that on Monday of next week(I think). When I went back to Lowe's to get that second gallon(of course), I asked about the purpleness of the gray paint. They guy said that my swatches were probably not big enough and were playing against the yellowness, think vanilla ice cream, of the existing paint. That made sense, the dirty looking beige-peachy-pink color of the girls' room really brightened up to a lovely pink shade when I started putting the blue on the walls. Anyway, I came home and put a BIG swatch on a few walls and it doesn't look nearly as purple. Whew. It will be a beautiful shade in the end.

Photo from my stash:


This is a coy-dog. Mom was an Australian Cattle Dog, dad was a Coyote. She belonged to some of my cousins in Oklahoma but sadly was killed by a car on their country road several years ago.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Play all night, play a little longer... purr all night, purr a little longer...

(Jasper a few days ago)

(Gypsy a few days ago)

(Both, right after we got them)

Aren't they CUTE??? I love how Jasper is peering in that last picture, shows his personality for sure! He's definitely well adjusted to us and isn't afraid of much these days. He isn't as loving as his sister but he does purr when we scratch his chin and face. Gypsy gets on our bed at night and just purrs and purrs, she's such a sweetie!

(Rosie after her second favorite thing, the first being food)

(Ruby having a nap with friends on the girls' quilt)

Ruby and Rosie are the same as they've always been. They've adjusted well to the new babies but aren't ready to be friends yet. Ruby does act like she wants to play with them. I wish she'd join in and see what happens. Muffin is still our ghost cat, we rarely see her.

(Tom napping on the coffee table- he rarely sleeps there any more, having taken up in a corner in our bedroom)

Tom is still among the living but definitely slowing down. I'm thinking he won't be around come Springtime. He seems to want to be here more than his owner's home, in fact, he hasn't asked to go outside since Valentine's Day. I think he is lonely and wants our company. Why else would a cat who has always been a mostly outdoor "only cat" decide to move in with a family that already has 5 cats, 4 dogs(2 who want to eat him), all the guinea pigs and 3 kids who are home all day long. It has to be complete chaos to him compared to his first 15 years! I do feel really bad for his owners, I know their dad misses him, but they know he is being taken care of over here. If they thought we were neglecting him I feel sure they'd come get him. Still, it makes me wonder why he doesn't find a nice corner in their home to live out the rest of his days, there must be something missing over there that he gets here. Animals are funny critters sometimes. I tried to turn him out on Saturday afternoon. I carried him across the street, put him in their yard and clapped my hands to make him go up to the door. As I neared our front door, I turned around to see where he'd gone and he was causing a traffic jam coming back across the street to us. Sigh. Guess he loves us!

We're having Turkey Tacos for dinner tonight, no recipe. I'm about to get the first coat finished up on the girls' room, pictures tomorrow!!! One more coat on theirs then I get to start ours. Yeah!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dogs and their Bones...

I *must* get more of these, the doggies LOVED them!!!



****edited for this update****
I'm still painting today, in the girls' room. And drinking coffee. But, the Obama rally was yesterday, another classic case of our online newspaper not being very well organized, it was listed as a headline for today. We would have gone had I known about it. Drat. It makes me curious though, the campaign headquarters are in the exact same area that the flashlight/pipe bomb was found last week(when we took the dogs for their shots). I mean, probably within 50 yards or so, sounds pretty dang fishy to me anyway... And, there was grafitti on the walls this morning, some idiots who couldn't spell "racist" if their lives depended on it. Stupid dingdongs spelled it "racits".

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The post in which I catch up... sort of....


(full moon)
This is the night before the eclipse, also the last time we had a clear sky. It was supposed to be 60 yesterday and it got to 38. Yeah, well maybe it got near 60 in the early morning hours, I did see it at 52 when I woke up but 38 by 2:30?? Come on! The low last night was supposed to be 38 but it was 33 when I checked at 8:30 this morning, it was also supposed to be sunny yesterday and today. Hahaha. I get weather-induced headaches occasionally, due to barometric pressure changes, and I'm going on day five with a bad one. I'm more than ready for this weather weirdness to blow out of here. Mark and Ryan have a fishing trip planned for Sunday morning, hopefully things will be as they should be by then.


(the girls, clockwise from the left, Rainbow, Shimmer and Magic Panda)
We are still deciding what to do with Bevo. He is so aggressive with Basil and starting to be mean to Moonshine as well, plus he now nips at us! We will probably build a coroplast cage to put on the top of their existing cage. Right now they are sharing a cage divided down the middle with grid squares but it is not healthy for them to be in such a small space long term. The fleece bedding and alfalfa litter boxes get changed twice a week(per cage) so I was really hoping not to have another one added to that mix.

The other stuff:

(LNJ photo)
Lets see... The week we saw Bill Clinton was a busy one. We were gone EVERY day, for hours at a time! This is not like us and we don't enjoy being away from the house like that. It is all such a blur that I can't even remember exactly what it was that we did, I think its the week Ryan had his orthodontist visit maybe.... I do recall going to the health club every other day to work out and going to get the milk, taking the kitties for shots and worming, going to Park Day, grocery shopping, Ryan having church and then two friends spending the night on Saturday, health club for 2 hours on Sunday...

Oh yeah and I made the BIG(and painful) decision to give away the rest of my homeschool books. I had about 2,500 books to sell. Several weeks ago I put an ad in the paper and 9 people showed up. I made about $60, maybe. Very disappointing. So, rather than hang on to the 3/4 of them that were leftover, I offered them up for FREE. I had two people inquire. TWO. The first woman drove about an hour to get them on Friday and said that if nobody else got the others she'd come back the next day. So she did. Two carloads(trunk, back seat and passenger seat) of books left our garage. I wish her well with them! It really is nice to have the space freed up in the garage too.

This week has been just as crazy. We had an early park day on Tuesday, then that afternoon we took the female dogs for their shots. Already, a neighboring county has found 4 rabid skunks this season. Dragging the dogs to the clinic is an ordeal of epic proportions, trust me. Buttercup is stronger than a pony and Daisy is freaked-out scared and aggressive at the same time and Puppy-girl is just her contrary old self. It is definitely an adventure. A woman arrived after they closed, complaining that she was late because traffic was being re-routed. We later learned that the city's police department had the other end of the road blocked off because someone found a bomb-yes a real bomb-in his hedge just yards from the clinic. Oh joy.

(chrome shelf, very lightly "decorated")
Tuesday night I made Mark take me to Target to look for containers to put my fabric in, like what Sarah has at The Misadventures of Mama and Jack(or click for her Feb 19th entry). I didn't find any to my liking(big enough or cheap enough-they weren't $6 at my Target, they were $19 or something) but did find a really nice chrome shelf. It is HUGE!! 72 inches tall by 48 inches wide by 18 inches deep huge. This is to hold all the fabric that has been stashed in two very large rubbermaid bins and many, many smaller containers. I'm going to make a flat panel curtain to hide the contents, something that will cover the top and hang down in the front and on either side, with tie-backs for when I need to see whats in there.

I worked out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we did Books-a-Million Thursday, Wednesday Sarah had a play date with one of the other homeschool families in our group, and I've been up to my eyeballs in fabric and....

(valspar signature color, Sterling)
When I dropped Sarah off at her friend's house I ran up to Lowe's and got paint for our bedrooms. Yes I did! Ours is the gray, "Sterling" and the girls' room is called "Woodlawn Blue Angel", a pretty sky blue. It is hard to choose a gray that doesn't end up too blue or too brown or too something other than gray. When I first did the test areas it had a slightly purple cast to it but has since cured to be more gray. At first I didn't like it but now I LOVE it and can't wait til the walls are totally covered.

Other decisions include:

Headboard. It will be a simple wooden shape, possibly rounded slightly but maybe just rectangular, that will be attached to the bedframe. I'll cover it with foam and batting and a basic white fabric and make a few different slip covers for it with ties on the ends. This might be a few weeks down the road.

Curtains. Some kind of tab tops, maybe tied to shaker pegs mounted above the window or a nice decorative pole. Currently we have some vanilla ice cream-colored brocade formal pleated curtains but they aren't my style at all. The only reason they are up is because they are heavily lined and keep the light out. Our neighbors have floodlights on their shop that shine in our window all night long so we have to have something very heavy to keep the room dark enough for me. We might do blinds but I'd rather not. I am a true princess and can't have even the slightest beam of light hitting a wall, the clock and other electronics have to be covered as well.

Quilt. I have picked a pattern and fabrics for a new quilt as well. It will be a Turning Twenty Again for our bedroom, out of deep blues and purples with some teals. The main fabric is a stormy background(in deep blues) with a large whitish-gray unicorn on it, accented with silver threads. Just beautiful, a lot whimsical, but dramatic and strong at the same time.(pics later) I've also decided to make my Anvil Quilt big enough for our bed. Its done in vintage fabrics and 30s repros with a buttery yellow background(pic in my sideline-in UFOs I think). At first I was just going to do it for a child's cuddle quilt but it will look great with the wall color so there!

After Lowe's, I went by the gym and did my workout, then got Sarah and we headed to Hobby Lobby for a picture frame for my print of Sarafina Shimmerfoot. Back in January I entered the naming contest at Art and Ghosts and WON!! The prize was a book, Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing, but the REAL prize was Sarafina! She is beautiful and I'm so happy to have her!! A nice bonus that she matches our (new)room so well.

I also bought myself a needle punch felting contraption. A bristly rectangle base and a 5-needle punching device, plus a bag of roving in pretty Easter colors. I had this less than 24 hours before Sarah got hold of it and broke 4 of the 5(veryfragileverysharpverydangerous) barbed needles. So far we've only found 2 tips. I'll have to replace that part before I can continue. To console myself, I might have to buy a book that I saw at BAM, Needlefelting by Hand or Machine, by Linda Turner Griepentrog and Pauline Wilde Richards. Meanwhile, I did manage to snap a picture of the whole shebang with my practice piece. This could easily become my next favorite thing, it is VERY addictive!

(Rosie as prop master)

Friday night I made a new recipe! Made it up, that is...

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder (serves 10, about 5 points per serving)(no pics, batteries dead)

3 large bone/skinless chicken breasts, in small cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, in small cubes(smaller than the chicken)
6 cups water, or to cover potatoes
3 cups frozen corn
1 can green chilis
1/2 cup green chili salsa or tomatillo salsa(mine was rather spicy-you'll want it that way)
garlic powder, oregano, and cumin(about 1-2 teaspoons each)
2-3 cups milk(this will depend on how juicy you want your chowder)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheese plus extra for serving(jack or cheddar, whatever you like)
tortilla chips, crushed

Dice potatoes and bring to boil in the water.

Dice the chicken and brown with the onion. I did this in a non-stick skillet and used no oil. After it is well browned, add the corn, chilis, salsa and spices, mixing well. Turn down to low and stir now and then. When the potatoes are tender, scoop out much of the water, leaving about 2 cups or so. Add chicken mixture and heat for 30 minutes or so on low heat, covered(I did this because I had to take Ryan to church and wasn't ready for the next part). Add the milk, sour cream and cheese, heat through for about 10 minutes, and serve over crushed chips and more cheese.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming! I hope to be blogging more regularly next week. I've got more to tell, more to share and all that good stuff.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

up for air

(South Toe River, Carolina Hemlocks Recreational Area)

I've got lots of stuff(good stuff) going on so I probably won't get to post til the weekend, then it will likely be a blog explosion like never before!! I feel like I'm in the rapids, things are going on, decisions have been made, tasks are being completed(mostly), it is crazy! But, I am nearing the calm, deep pool. What does this all mean? Nothing wild and crazy just that things are hectic here. But I did win some stuff and have received it all, need pics to go with. Hopefully I'll be through the fast waters soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It Isn't Every Day That a President Comes to Town...

But boy is it exciting when it happens!!

(Les Hassell, Longview News-Journal photo)

(Molly's photo)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Only 3 Days til the Weekend!!

It is only Wednesday but already it has been a long week. Monday I was nursing sick kids, yesterday we had to run errands and today we had to take Ryan to the orthodontist to get started on his braces. He is completely healed from having his adenoids out so they should be able to get him going real soon. Turns out he's gonna need about $40,000 worth of work done on his mouth, including a jaw extending surgery. We have to find an insurance plan that will pay, currently his state insurance will not.

We went to the gym so I could work out after that and had lunch with Mark at the mall. That, of course, included a shopping spree at Bath and Body Works where I picked up hand sanitizer for $3 and some new lotion. Sometime this afternoon we'll stop by our co-op leader's home to pick up our raw milk for the week and I think I'm dropping Sarah off there for a play date. Whew! And I still have to get some crafty things and housework done.

Last night we had Beer and Brats, inspired by Sadira of Foolsewoode fame. I browned them in a skillet and then simmered in beer til cooked through. I also simmered some cabbage but I'm the only one who ate it. They just don't know what they're missing!

That's Shiner Bock from Shiner, Texas. Love that stuff!

This was Ryan's with yellow mustard. Yes, the plate matches the cookie jar cat. I got them at Mervyn's several years ago along with coffee mugs, each plate and mug has a different cat.

I like mine with grainy mustard.

Doesn't this look healthy? Why won't they eat it?

In other news....

There isn't any other news today, except that the woman who sued Mark's company was awarded $15,000 but the other party(not their driver) in the wreck is having to pay 90% of the costs because he was at fault for running a red light(as per several eye witnesses). Of course, this is the guy who never showed up and they were unable to reach so good luck wth that. Mark overheard the woman's lawyer complaining to the judge that he'd already spent $30K on this mess so I guess someone is out some money. She should have taken the settlement. 'tard.

Oh, and I think the oil company is about to start tearing up our driveway. They have a leaky saline line that bursts about every 2-3 months and they've probably gotten some heat from the city about fixing it permanently(instead of the way they have been) since they don't have a stake out there with the company name or phone number and the city has to send out a fire truck and track down the owners every time so they can come out and put duck tape on it(or whatever they do that hasn't worked to this point). Last week they went up and down for 3 blocks marking the natural gas, phone, and water lines, now they have turquoise(water?) pipes on site along with a bunch of "bubbas" standing around staring at it. Looks like we may be parking in the street for a while.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


****edited to include this wonderful announcement: Today is the 19th Anniversary of our (official) Engagement! We were going to get engaged on Valentine's Day but Mark had to work so we did it on his day off. Actually, we were unofficially engaged in November of 1989 but my mom wasn't ready for that so I made him take the ring back(yes, you read that right!). We had only met that July but knew from our second date that we were meant for each other. 'neeways, just wanted to share. And, no, I didn't forget, just didn't realize today was the 12th.****

You're the time of day right around sunrise, when the sky is still a pale bluish gray. The streets are empty, and the grass and leaves are a little bit sparkly with dew. You are the sound of a few chirpy birds outside the window. You are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative. If you move slowly, it's not because you're lazy – it's because you know there's no reason to rush. You move like a relaxed cat, pausing for deep stretches that make your muscles feel alive. You are long sips of tea or coffee (out of a mug that's held with both hands) that slowly warm your insides just as the sun is brightening the sky.

This is pretty right-on. Early mornings are nice since it is usually just me. Mark leaves for work about 7:15 and sometimes Amy isn't up until 8. I can eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, read the news and my email and think about what needs done for the day. However I am more active, both physically and mentally, in the late afternoons and get most of my stuff done then.

Apparently yesterday my body needed some extra sleep for some reason. I was exhausted most of the afternoon yesterday and got very little done in the way of cleaning and decluttering my bedroom. Three of my smaller treasure(junk) drawers got de-junked and I threw away about 1/2 a drawer's worth of trash from them. Just the tip of the iceberg of what I had planned. Maybe today will go better. Except that Ryan thinks he is getting the stomach virus, he informed me at one point last night.

Mark brought home some tortillas for leftover chicken fajitas. I ate, took a quick bath, then fell dead asleep at 7:05pm. He came in to see if I wanted to watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles but I was barely able to respond to him(he said it was a great episode so I'll have to catch it online later this week). The girls kept coming in to tell me various things(about which I cannot recall and were answered by my grunting) and they finally went to bed around 9:30. Next I knew, Tom was in and it was 12:30. Puppy-girl woke me up barking at thunder at 5:50 and I've been up ever since. It is now 9:45 and I've had 3 cups of coffee. I'm still groggy and the bed is calling me back but I must resist!!

In other news...

Mark has to be in court again today. His company is being sued because one of their drivers(no longer working there) had a wreck while on a delivery. The woman suing wasn't even involved in the wreck except that the delivery van came to rest in front of her car, and slightly bumped it. She wouldn't accept the insurance company's offered settlement so they're in court to decide if she deserves more.

I have to grocery shop sometime today and then we need to take the kittens for their shots and worming. Fun fun! I think the temperature has dropped 15-20 degrees since I first took P-girl for her walk at 6-something. Oh yeah, just checked and it is now 45. I think it was 69 when I logged on earlier this morning. It is still spitting but should clear by this afternoon. We'll see.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Not Full-filled Quite Yet...

Well, the Fulling part is done but nothing has been made from it yet. I wanted to share pictures of the sweaters but we've had a bit of a detour.

Last Monday I came down with an upset stomach. It hit harder the next night with fever and body aches and then Mark got it to a lesser degree. We didn't have a bad case, no vomitting(or even feeling we needed to), just stomach cramps and other unpleasantness that comes with stomach viruses. We both felt 100% better by Thursday night. I did manage to process the sweaters during this time but didn't take pictures, trust me, it was boring aside from the outcome. They are even better than I had hoped, just beautiful, but hard to photograph.

My plan was to get up today and make some secret crafty things out of some of it for my Pay-it-Forward gifties but things don't always go the way we plan do they?

(Sarah and Tom, Fall 2006)

I was up late last night waiting for the neighbors across the street to kick Tom out for the night. He is ill with some aging cat illness that causes him to have very labored breathing, probably CHF. It bothers me that they turn him out in the cold at night so I wait on him and bring him in our house to sleep. Anyway, last night it was well after 11 when they put him out.

After I got in bed I tossed and turned worrying about him and had just dozed off when Amy woke me up. Now, when Amy wakes me up during the night she sneaks as close to me as she can WITHOUT waking me up, then taps me on the shoulder and says, "MOM" in a loud stage whisper. Talk about scaring the beejeesus out of me!! So, she woke me up in this manner at 12:30 and said she felt sick to her stomach. I asked if she needed to throw up and she didn't know. I told her to get in the bathroom NOW and as she turned she started vomitting. Lots. I'm betting half of it didn't make it in the toilet but most did get in the bathroom instead of on my carpet thank goodness. She felt better, I got her a drink and an Advil and helped her clean herself up while Mark de-vomitted the bathroom. I had a hunch she was getting sick with it because she'd had a head and neck ache yesterday and general malaise, just like mine started on Monday. Unfortunately hers was the whole package. She is now resting on the couch, still feeling pretty rotten.

After I got back in bed I couldn't sleep so I got out my bible to do some research on a something Ryan is dealing with now(I may blog about it someday if I can do so in a responsible way). I found lots of good things to share with him when he is more alert this afternoon. It was about 2am when I turned out the light. And about 5:30 when I woke up for the day. Would it be too much to ask for a nap later? Now Sarah has a sore throat and runny nose(and mine is getting that way too). So, it looks like sickness has hit the Sonier household. Hopefully everyone will get the mild versions of what is going around and Amy will have had the worst of hers.

I am still going to work on my PIF projects but won't be posting them until after they've been received. Yes, I did say I was sending things out before Christmas but if you've read anything on my blog about our Soshie cat and the other daily stuff we've been up to you'd know I was suffering from wishful thinking. Now that I actually have the projects in mind, have the materials to do it, and a bit more time, I am aiming for mailing them by Valentine's Day or the weekend after.

There was something else I wanted to post here but for the life of me I can't get it out! I can't even remember what it was but it was very important! Grrr, I hate it when that happens. Maybe I need that nap now. If I think of what it was, I'll come back and update.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Coyote Conspiracy and a Blog Award!!

But first, the kids sporting their new hair dos! Ryan got about 5-6 inches cut off his!!! YEAH! I do wish they'd give Amy a different style though, I keep trying to explain what I want and they do this thing that is popular now with it in short stacked layers in the back and long stringy in the front. That is NOT what I'm asking for people!!

Ok now...

Yesterday we saw a dead coyote on the side of the road. In town. We were headed to our homeschool group's park day at a park where it is known that coyotes, deer, homeless people and wild hogs hang out. So, why do we go there? It is a beautiful park, they've put in a nice walking/bike trail, and cleared out lots of the underbrush. Still there are coyotes, deer and homeless people, we aren't sure if the hogs are still around or not because they tend to go up and down the creekbed to better pastures. A coyote yipped as I passed a thicket along the trail last summer, so close I could have hit it with a rock had I thrown one. A friend of mine, whose backyard borders the park, saw one in her yard with a dead cat in its mouth. When we left the park the dead coyote had been picked up by the city's crew. Now, there was a skunk, a very large one, hit by a car back around Christmastime on an equally busy road. It is STILL there. Nobody cares if there are skunks about. But a coyote? People will start freaking out. So, they came and got it probably within hours of it being hit. Had it been a dog or cat, or possum or skunk it would have been left to rot, I feel sure. It is a conspiracy. Read here about the urbanization of coyotes.

Last night when I walked P-girl, they were shrieking and carrying on across the street and when I went to bed they were howling like I've not heard in a while. I feel horrible for them. Construction of new homes has closed them in tighter and tighter and they have no place to go. Because they have no enemies except people, their numbers are growing by leaps and bounds. This causes huge territorial issues for them, hence the reason the ones across the street can't just pack up and move to the "country". They aren't welcome there. So far, the woods at one end of our block and the pasture at the other end are providing enough food to support a breeding population of probably six. They have stopped terrorizing my dogs and I don't think they're currently in a territory war like two years ago when they were scent marking and scatting all over the lawns. So far we've only known of a few cats disappearing at the end of the neighborhood near the pasture. It remains to be seen what will happen to them. Hopefully something good.

Please visit a Girl and her Coyote for a fascinating tale.

Susan over at Blackberry Creek awarded me this!

I am flattered that someone thinks my blog is excellent. I would also like to point out that ALL of the blogs listed in my sidebar are rated E for Excellent, or I wouldn't have them there!

My blog came about as a way for me to keep myself honest with my weightloss and UFO finishing. Well guess what. I gained some weight back and haven't finished a durn thing yet. But I have discovered this crazy blogworld!! Wow! Many blogs are for information purposes for a person's business, some are craft-only or stick closely to some other topic. Then some folks will blog about their very lives, which I love! I consider some of these folks to be my friends. In fact, I've met two of them in real life(but before we did blogs, I knew them from online email groups, quilting and unschooling respectively). My family had lunch at Barb's(The Quilting Belle) and spent the night with Karen(Leaping From the Box) on our way from east Texas to North Carolina a few years ago.

Here are some other beautiful blogs. They are not in my sidebar because I don't visit them often and they're not ones I comment on(maybe once on a few of them) but they are all just wonderful for many reasons! Check them out and you'll know what I mean. I'm not putting descriptions, I want you to be pleasantly suprised. Maybe I need to add them to my blogroll.

As I See it Now
Garden Variety
Dutch Colours
Arkie Mama
Coffee Time Quilt Studio
Em and the Gang
Mostly Adventurous
Adventure Journalist

And of course I have to share a great recipe with you all! We had Indian Rice and Chicken last night. Something I threw together out of pantry and freezer findings. No pictures because we inhaled it, there was NONE left! It was SOOOOO GOOD!!!

3-4 chicken breasts, mine were med-large so I used 3
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

Brown these 3 things in a bit of olive oil, in a 3-4 quart pot.

1.5-2 cups of brown rice
garlic powder
curry powder
coriander(dried powdered)
1 can of chick peas, drained
2-3 teaspoons red wine vinegar(or to taste)

Add the rice, chickpeas and 2 cans of water along with the seasonings to taste(between a teaspoon and tablespoon of all, more garlic than the others).

Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, checking for water absorption about 30 minutes in(you may need to add as much as another can full). When the rice is tender, stir in about 1/2 cup of regular cream cheese. Serve with crackers and a green salad.

Yall have a great weekend!! We have a friend of the girls spending the night tonight. The weather will be super, mid to upper 60s and sunny. I'm thinking yardwork. We really need to get all the leaves off the pool cover and start working on the rest of the pool area. Anyway, be safe and have fun this weekend!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Just Some Stuff...

First, some sad stuff.

Please pray for all the tornado victims across the south. I fear the death toll could possibly double from the 45 so far. We missed much of the nasty weather but did get high winds and hail for a brief time late yesterday afternoon. It got much worse as it moved east. I have a bloggy friend, Susan of Blackberry Creek who is in the line of storms. Hopefully they are ok there. I also have several homeschooling friends in northern Alabama and a sis-in-law in Tennessee, praying they are safe as well.***updated, Susan is ok, just some strong thunderstorms at her place*** Thank God!

Now for more uplifting stuff.

If you read the some of the same blogs I do, you've probably already seen these but they are worth watching again!

(go to Faith is Messy to see what she is up to with a similar project)

(not an endorsement, yet)

Our Furry Friends....

Puppy-girl is our oldest pet. We bought her from a Cairn Terrier breeder who'd had an *accidental* pregnancy(her nephew let the dog out when she was visiting for a wedding). The father is a Daschund, she said long-haired but we think wire-haired by the looks of P-girl's face. She turned 13 on October 7th.

Muffin is our oldest kitty and the last one we have from our Nacogdoches days. We got her in June or July of 1996 after she was secretly transported in the engine or some other part of a car. She jumped when they stopped at the corner in front of our house. She's a weird cat.

This is Daisy. She has just turned 4 years old. We have no idea what kind of dog she is. Probably a border collie/lab mix(she weighs about 40 pounds). Any guesses? She has lots of mental and emotional *issues*, it seems like we've had her forever!

Daisy and Buttercup in their usual place, on top of the dog house. They love to sleep up here and keep watch too.

Buddy is Buttercup's brother(she is hiding behind him). They were in a litter of 14 with a Chocolate Lab mom and a Yellow Lab dad. Five of them were black but have a sprinkling of gold. They will be 2 this July. We got Buttercup when she was about 4 months old, after we'd met Buddy(who was known as Judas then). His owners were unable to take him when they moved to California so we adopted him last June after they had him neutered.

This is Buddy again. He is a gorgeous dog and very loving.

Ruby and Rosie will be 5 on April Fool's Day. We got them from our cousins in Oklahoma.

Tom is not really our cat but he lives with us 80% of the time, especially when it is cold out. He sleeps on our bed and is 16 years old.

I didn't include pictures of Jasper and Gypsy, scroll down a few entries and you can see them!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Fullin' Fool am I...

Well, not yet anyway. I need all yall crafty ladies, help me!! Please, direct me to your favorite fulled(or felted) wool crafty sites or blogs. I found 3 books at the bookstore but only one used sweaters, the others were for knitted objects that were then fulled to make a specific shape(I don't knit so those don't work for me!).

Here's the stash:

I wish the pictures had come out better. The dark one next to the mint is a medium-dark mossy green and beside it is a navy blue with the lighter top.

The white/cream sweater on the right side has some embroidered detailing and a ribbon sewn around the hood and across the front. Should I remove this before I full? I'm thinking yes. I should probably also do two batches, a light and a dark, huh? And, there are two sweaters that look like they've been accidentally fulled. Should I go ahead and do them again just to make sure or clip a piece to see if it unravels? It is hard to tell on one of them but the other is obvious. Any advice is most welcome!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday!

First, I made some of this:

(8oz each fat free and regular sour creams, about 6oz light mayo with Hidden Valley Ranch Original Dip Mix)

Then, I made some of these:

(filling of mayo, mustard, relish, egg yolks)

At the same time, I started this:

(orange cake from box with pokes filled with sugar free raspberry jello, frosted with french vanilla cool whip)

Along with this:

(secret recipe chili= pinto beans cooked with salt pork, turkey meat, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, green peppers, onions, tomato sauce and diced tomato)

****updated 9:37pm, MY CHILI WON FORTH PLACE out of TEN!! Wooohooo!****

Then, after I wished for(but didn't get) a nap, I took pictures of these two cuties:

(Jasper snoozing under the nightstand)

(Gypsy-that Jypsy thing just isn't working for me- checking in with her piggies)

(she just knows they'd be great playmates!)

I am wiped out! We are expecting rain tomorrow, a good excuse for movie watching and/or napping!