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!!!


Chickenbells said...

My heavens, you've been so busy!! I hope that your weekend is a little restful for you...

I can not wait to see the end result of the bedroom painting!!

Sarah and Jack said...

Lowe's also carries those fabric basket thingys. They are folded up flat, and they are sold near the Cubicals stuff at both lowes and target. (I think whatever it was that $19 must have been something different!)