Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why make things

I just read a great post to cite when answering someone who says to you, "That thing you made is nice, but couldn't you have just bought one ready made for really cheap?"

Love, J

PS ~ Someone won't leave me be to enjoy my apple in peace this afternoon. Do you have trouble saying no to dogs who beg for table scraps? Imagine turning away this critter empty handed:

It cannot be done.

Another braid

My quest to perfect the crown braid continues. It's still a bit sloppy when I try it on myself, but I got to practice on my cousin-with-the-most-beautiful-hair-on-Earth last weekend, and was very happy:

Love, J

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beeswax candle night - Part II

The candles G & I made are still stuck in their molds. One of many projects I've begun with gusto only to lose interest when I hit a roadblock.

So we tried a different tact this week, with much better results. These burn great and are made with way less wax than the other kind were. Also, making these is a billion times quicker and makes no mess at all.

To make: Put a sheet of pure beeswax in a very slightly warm oven for a minute or so to soften, then roll it up tight with a wick in the center. Make sure you roll it as tight as possible, or the wick will burn faster than the wax and create a chimney effect.

I've still got tons of wax sheets left, so I'm going to be rolling in candles for a good while. Good thing, too, because I love burning a few and making the house all cozy and honey-ee while it rains and blusters like it's been doing so often lately.

Love, J

PS ~ Keep a serious eye on the wax in the oven, and take it out as soon as it begins to get soft enough to roll. G & I managed okay, but as we wound down, the hubs wanted to jump in and try one himself. We didn't give him very precise instructions, and his wax melted all over the oven. Messy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SNL census skit

Would someone like to explain to me why Christopher Walken is not in every Saturday Night Live skit?

This makes me want to not send in our census form, just so the guy will come to our house and I can mess with him...

Love, J

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth hour tonight

Turn your lights off from 8:30 to 9:30pm tonight to participate in this year's Earth Hour.

Earth Hour's website says:

What is Earth Hour?

• Earth Hour is World Wildlife Fund's global initiative where individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to cast a vote in favor of action on climate change. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants send a powerful, visual message demanding action on climate change.

• Earth Hour is the largest climate event in history. In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 87 countries went dark. Here in the United States, and estimated 80 million Americans participated, along with 318 cities and 8 US states.

• Participants in this movement are encouraged invite friends and family to take action, and incorporate ideas and solutions for combating climate change into their daily lives.

I always miss these things and then hear about them the next day, but not this time!

What can you do with no lights? For kids, I'd vote for board games by candlelight. For adults, I'd vote for... you know, that thing adults like to do in the dark ; )

I myself will probably channel Thoreau for the evening and write a bit near my candles, since these days the hubs drops like a ton of bricks the second he's swallowed his last bite of dinner. Apparently a 12 hour police shift and long commute each day wears you out. Who'd have guessed?

Love, J

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Still around

Been busy working, sewing, crocheting, baby cuddling, yoga-ing, bunny snuggling, friend visiting, and dreaming of what could be next.

The (wonderful) usual.

Love, J

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Be still, my heart

Check out what goes on sale in TEN DAYS:

G went to a midnight release of the 'New Moon' DVD last night (which I did finally see - gag).

A midnight release party for this book would be more up my alley.

Can you imagine how many nerds would show up for a party like that?

(Probably no more than for the 'New Moon' party, now that I think about it.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get a rag to wipe the drool off my keyboard.

Love, J

Friday, March 19, 2010

Birthday Slideshow

The new parents want to share this with their out-of-town family and friends.

Everyone's back home now, and sweet baby's still doing great.

Love, J

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New niece

Our pretty little niece arrived last night. This means that not only is she a St. Patrick's Day baby, but she's also a Pisces. And that means I finally have an excuse to share this rockin' video:

Both baby and mom are doing beautifully.

Love, Aunt J

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Keeping busy and then some

~ Yesterday/Today ~

8:00 PM last night: I get a call from my best friend from college. She'll be in Spokane for a few hours tomorrow night, and can I hang out? Absolutely.

8:30 PM: Hubs and I head out for dancing with friends in Coeur d' Alene.

12:00 AM this morning: We get a call from mom-in-law asking if we can run to their house and take mom-to-be to the hospital, she's in labor.

2:00 AM: Mom-in-law and I go with mom-to-be to the hospital, and hubs stays home with dad-to-be, who is way sick himself.

5:00 AM: Hubs picks me up at the hospital so we can go home and go to bed. Mom-to-be still hasn't been admitted, and it looks like she won't be.

6:00 AM: Go to sleep.

11:00 AM: Text from mom-in-law~ everyone's back at home, resting and waiting. Mom-to-be is walking around and trying to get things rolling.

11:15 AM: Text from college friend ~ she can stay the night with us after all, and will get to Spokane around 7 tonight.

12 PM - 3 PM: Hubs and I scrub the house and gut the office (which hasn't been picked up since it was used as the place-to-toss-random-crap during bar prep time). It needs to be all tidy because parents-to-be & new baby will be staying with us for a while until the in-laws' house remodel is done.

3:15 PM: Text from mom-in-law~ still nothing new to report.

3:30 PM: I relax with a snack and a book. I find an unidentified object in my apple fritter and turn it over to the hubs. He sets up a little crime scene and after some analysis, declares it to be a fingernail.

3:45 PM: Hubs is ready to head out to the store to complain about fingernail doughnut. (I don't think it's worth complaining about, but he did all that crime scene work, and wants to follow this through to its conclusion.)

3:50 PM: As he leans over to kiss me goodbye, hubs knocks over my full cup of scalding hot tea and it pours down my back. I react with what I think is a very reasonable amount of... zeal, and hubs suggests that maybe I am overdoing it on the theatrics. We then mutually decide it would be best for him to just get back to his fingernail doughnut sleuthing and let me clean myself up.

Normally a trip to the grocery store is considered an eventful Sunday for us. In the last 24 hours I've had about as much excitement as I usually get in a month. I like it though (except for the fingernail doughnut and tea burns on my back). Mostly I am SO grateful this day didn't happen a month ago while I was still studying, because at that time I am sure anxiety would have won out over excitement and I would be in a much different mood.

As it is, I'm just ready to see what happens next.

Love, J

Friday, March 12, 2010

Low-key Friday night in photos

A visit from brother-in-law and father-any-day-now.
(He's reenacting a scene from Peter Pan, because the game pieces remind him of thimbles... Nevermind.)

The agony of defeat.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love, J

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tart time

For the Oscar's party at Grandma's on Sunday, G and I made a tart.

This tart.

Which is really a cheesecake.

And I learned that cheesecakes, while delicious, are not very hard to make.

And then at the end we realized we were way late, so there's no photo of the finished product, with the blueberry topping. Which is a shame, because it was beautiful.

Love, J

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mix it up

I am a furniture-rearranger.

As I grew up, 2 or 3 times a year my mom would rearrange our living room, get us all to trade bedrooms, and just generally shake things up. It was so much a part of our household routine that I never thought there was anything unusual about it.

Then one day during my freshman year of college, when I felt like things were getting sort of stale, I set about rearranging my dorm room (which is no easy feat when your room is 70 square feet and most of the furniture is bolted to the floor). After a bit, the hubs (who was at that time 'the boyfriend') stopped by and wanted to know what the heck I was doing. And after some consideration, it dawned on me that a lot of people think of furniture placing as a one-time job. They pick where a chair goes, and from then on, that's where it goes.

I don't think I could live like that. When I get to feeling sort of blah, and the house just doesn't feel right, no matter how well I clean it, I know it's time to move things around and start anew.

I love the 'fresh start' feeling I get when I walk into a room that's been reoriented and shifted around. It makes everything feel new and clean, even when it's all the same-old stuff I've had for ages.

This time, however, I do have something new: a couch.

Thank you, Craigslist. I love it so much, even though it kicks up the old-lady factor in our decorating scheme by about a billion. I need some funky art to hang above it and bring the room's feel back to the land of the twenty-somethings.

Here's to spring and fresh starts, in any form.

Love, J

Lily likes apples

I'm laying in bed reading, and hear a crunching sound coming from the living room. And I think... and think... and think. And I cannot figure out what the bunnies could have gotten into that would be making that noise. I hadn't given them any treats yet that morning, and it wasn't exactly a chewing-on-paper noise.

So I go to investigate. (Just take the disaster-zone state of the living room as proof that these photos weren't staged. If they were, I surely would have tidied up a bit.)

Love, J

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birthday wishing

Is it too early to start birthday wish list? Because I came across this dress the other day, at this shop, and Oh. My. Goodness.

Since I'm dreaming, I'd really just like the pattern for this baby, so I could make up a bunch of them in different colors. And a dress form.

Love, J

Sunday, March 7, 2010

From where I stand

From my back porch, I can see:

My dining room set remodel finally under way...

The surprise treats neighbor Scott just dropped off...

Two sweet buns, bonding in the sun...

And the handsome hubs, finishing up some gardening...

Love, J

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Committed" book review - Post edit

Yesterday I read "Committed," by Elizabeth Gilbert. I wasn't much taken with her "Eat, Pray, Love." I wanted so badly to love it, but I got bored and quit less than halfway through. "Committed," on the other hand, held my rapt attention all day and I was able to finish it in one sitting.

I didn't agree with everything Gilbert said, but a lot of it rang pretty true. At least as true as any generalization can ring with someone who's had a finite number of life experiences. It was fun to spend the day really thinking about the institution of marriage, which I don't think I've ever done. I think about my own marriage often enough, but not Marriage in the universal, everyone's-doing-it, how-does-it-work-and-also-why-not, sense. Plus now I have a nice little book to refer people to when they ask why I'm hesitating on the kids/no kids threshold. Because man, does she make the case for 'no kids.'

And in other 'couples' news, the bunnies seem to be settling into a truce-like area. There were a few knock-down, drag-out fights yesterday, but I also caught them doing this mid-afternoon:

Love, J

PS ~
Probably I should finally admit that the job I started last weekend lasted all of two days before I quit. I'm back to job-hunting/goofing off - basically having days like yesterday, where I spend 10 straight hours reading.


1. I just
realized this isn't at all a 'book review,' it's just an endorsement. But you know what? I'm not in school anymore. If you want to know what it's about/like, you should read it. No more English papers for me.

2. I began my volunteer work with the local fair housing agency this afternoon and I LOVE it. So I've got something to fill my days after all.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beeswax candle night

Makes the house smell faintly of honey.

Tip: you can find beeswax for cheap on Craigslist.

Playing with his new fingerprinting kit.
(This candle is not one we made, but did inspire our attempts.)

Cooper & step-dad stopped by for dinner
on their way home from physical therapy

He can *almost* sit up on his own, and keeps improving.

Love, J

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Resolution change

I have kept my New Year's resolution. Really.

And at the same time, I have not, because part of it was to account for my progress on the blog, and that has not happened one bit.

And it will not happen.

Because every time I sit down to write about a gifting encounter, I get the worst case of writer's block ever. Writing an account of myself giving a present to someone else and how happy it made them apparently exceeds even my way-higher-than-average tolerance for bragginess. I've tried so many different angles, and trust me, there is no way to relate these experiences without sounding like a totally narcissistic ass. It's bad enough that I've taken on this project partly because of the high I get from people's reactions. To then get online and tell you all how nice I am crosses a line that just can't get comfortable with.

So I'm giving up on that part of the project. But I wanted to explain why, because I know it looks odd to say 'this is my resolution, and I'm going to tell you all about my progress,' and then two full months go by without another word on it.

Love, J