(OK, just one thing learned.) This weekend while in Illinois, I learned a very horrifying thing about my father. He wears Crocs. Granted, they’re black, but still… they’re Crocs. I didn’t even mock him for it, I was so horrified.
[What, were you expecting something more substantial? Are you new here?]
Playing around with Picnik
Yeah, I should probably post something of substance, but this is all I have for you today. Some fun with photos from our trip to Chicago this weekend. Picnik is an online photo editor that’s built in to Flickr, and even for free, there are some fun/neat effects. Enjoy! (They look much better if you click on the photo above, which will take you to Flickr. From there, you can visit each of the individual photos.)
Back in June, I decided that summer ended when classes begin (August 22nd), and then promptly forgot about that. That is my excuse for not having done a Summer Goals wrap-up yet. I’m only a month overdue. In short, my goals were to:
- Use hammock more than last summer. Kind of, but not much. Must set this as a goal for next summer.
- Go camping at least once. Total fail. Oh well.
- Unpack all boxes (with the exception of the garage and storage areas). There are very few boxes living in the house, so I’ll call this good. There are 3 or 4 in the living room, and I think that’s it. Oh, and a few in my craft room, but that’s to be expected.
- Learn to make potstickers. Done. They’re excellent.
- Re-establish order and purpose for the garden areas of our house (and the plant life in general). Without doing so to fulfill a goal, we have done this. Tomatoes, peppers, and a hydrangea now occupy spaces that were formerly nothing, an ugly rose bush, and several ugly rose bushes, respectively.
- Go out for margaritas with the girls at least once. Yes, I did do this. Only the once (or maybe twice?), but it still counts.
- Utilize that gym membership. Perhaps enough to be seen in my bathing suit this year. Ha! I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since April. Maybe earlier. And I haven’t been seen in a swimsuit in years.
- Not to get any more than one (preferably zero) bad sunburn (like I said, preferably zero, but I have very white skin and those freckles and red hair don’t help much). I did not get sunburnt this summer, and I am very proud of that.
- Go to at least one garage sale. Nope, no garage sales.
- Use my sewing machine a few times. A big huge check on this one. I made… two mini quilts, one lap quilt, one dress, and parts of several other projects.
- “Finish” my office / craft room. I’m glad finish is in quotes here. It’s mostly done. I still have to do the wall mural I wanted, and build a shelf on which to display things (and also from which to hang all my mini quilts). But it’s quite usable.
- Paint (or at the very least decide on colors – it might be too hot to contemplate painting) the master bedroom. Just decided on paint colors for the master bedroom this weekend. Boy, was that a task.
- We have plans to refinish the kitchen cabinets. We actually postponed this one so that we didn’t have to start until after September 1. We’re currently experimenting with finishes and our techniques. Once we have that figured out, then it’s a whole lot of elbow grease over the course of several weeks.
I’m going to be honest. I have no Fall goals. And I’m totally OK with that. I will take suggestions, as always, for new foods (ingredients) to try, especially if they’re fall-themed. Or maybe a cooking technique or recipe to try out. But really, we’re still just getting settled in the house, and while I don’t have a ton of homework for my class, I’m having a bit of trouble adjusting to the fact that I can’t just do whatever I want all the time, but instead have to *gasp* buckle down and do homework sometimes.
I have lots I could tell you about my weekend, but no pictures, and it all seems pretty boring without pictures. But, in brief:
- My quilt from Doll Quilt Swap 7 arrived and it’s beautiful and wonderful and I love it! Thanks again, Sondra!
- I finished a dress (which included 2 hours spent on Sunday afternoon trying to install a zipper), and started a skirt.
- I tackled an ignored part of our garden and conquered it!
- Our tomatoes have just the slightest hint of orange, which is very exciting.
- We have a small crop of jalepenos, red chilies, and cayenne peppers that we’re harvesting. Lots of green ones still on the plants, but many red ones cleaned and prepped for the drying process. OK, we tried drying them, and have not yet been successful. The bell pepper crop was not so successful.
- Went shopping for a new pair of jeans on Saturday, which was a completely demoralizing experience. Every pair I tried on (with the exception of the one “boyfriend” pair at the Gap that came already distressed) hugged my thighs in a less-than-comfortable/flattering way. It didn’t matter what size I tried on. It didn’t matter if they were “curvy” (ha! I am the farthest thing from curvy) or loose fit or straight fit. I still went home with two pairs, because I have been living with just one for way too long, but still, it was not fun.
- We picked up paint samples at Home Depot after tentatively agreeing on a color idea for the master bedroom. I thought that “white” which was a color (you know, white that looked distinct from the white-painted woodwork) was a good idea. Do you know how many colors of white there are? Ridiculous.
- I did get my Saturday afternoon nap (though I had a headache and started to feel nauseous/overheated, very similar to how I felt Friday night – perhaps a reaction to the flu shot?), which made me happy.
I’ll try to get those pictures taken tonight before the sun goes down. That happens a lot earlier these days (right after dinner!), so there’s a lot less daylight hours to take advantage of. That’s one reason I’d move to the Caribbean – longer days, all year long.
Short week – we fly to Chicago on Friday. Yay!
- My car is not mine.
- You never know what is coming up next.
- Lately, things seem to be happening either more slowly or quickly than they should; never at the right pace.
- The chair in our bedroom is one of my favorite ‘hiding’ places.
- What happened here we shall never talk about again; this blog is like Vegas.
- Losing 15 pounds is not impossible! (But might actually require effort of some sort. Novel idea.)
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to seeing if someone wants to get DQ with me, tomorrow my plans include a desperately-needed nap after class and Sunday, I want to attempt to own a second pair of jeans!
… I would be really happy if people would stop talking about health care reform, to me, around me, within earshot.
… tonight I start volunteering at the library’s Homework Hub. Supposedly at my library the age group is elementary school, and everywhere kids need help with math. This could go very poorly.
… I left my tennis elbow brace at home, and consequently need to use it. Murphy’s Law.
… if I could figure out how to hem the sleeves, I would have completed the shirt I was working on this weekend. Alas, they looked like crap and I had to rip out the stitches.
… from the afore-mentioned shirt-making experience, I learned many things. Working with knits can be fun, but is an awful lot of work. Trying to make it all pretty on the inside by doing French seams makes the whole project take twice as long (or three times as long), and is really a waste of time when using knits. Necklines are still troubling, but I got one finished, at least.
… since I have lots more knit fabric to work with, I logically started making a dress out of cotton. Really, I just needed a break from the frustration of working with knits.
… the tomatoes that we’re growing are still quite green. Very pretty, and healthy-looking, but green. The weather is trying to cooperate this week with some heat, but we may end up having to ripen them inside.
… we need to figure out the best way to preserve the bounty of hot peppers we’ve grown (chili, red, jalepeno, if I remember correctly). Any thoughts?
… I said this on Twitter, but I’ll say it here too: while I enjoy the Tonight Show with Conan, there is no good reason to stay up that late on a weeknight. The good does not outweigh the bad consequences (I’m so tired today I’m tempted to take a little nap at my desk).
… I’m not pregnant, nor do I have any plans to be in the short or medium-term future. No one has asked me or pressured me about this for at least 24 hours, so perhaps that declaration was unnecessary.
… I’ve given up on getting a new cell phone, and lost interest in finding a new digital camera. None of the options make me happy.
… it’s still lovely to have a piano in our home. And we still love our home (maybe a little bit less when faced with fast-moving red multi-legged bugs while vacuuming – we really need to do something about the bug problem).
… it’s Farmer’s Market Tuesday. Yay!
Anyone else feeling the need to go on the record about anything?
- Omelette :: Cheese
- Classic :: Movies
- Thrifty :: Shopper
- Search :: Function
- Fan :: Page
- Fussy :: Eater
- I am not :: Amused
- Indulge :: once in a while
- Poor :: Girl
- Manicure :: Pedicure
There’s soap in my coffee. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that I think I’ll keep drinking it anyway (I was halfway through before I realized that the funny taste wasn’t the fat-free creamer, but soap). It’s not a lot of soap, just some residue that I apparently didn’t get all the way washed out after trying to get my commuter mug clean. I think it smells more like soap than tastes. I did do a quick internet search to make sure it wouldn’t cause me to die (it’s Dawn dish soap, which is safe enough for animals, so I’m guessing it’s safe for me too). I’m pretty sure the nearly microscopic amount of soap ingested won’t affect me.
This may not sound very impressive, but last night, I sewed two sleeves onto the shirt I’m making. If you’ve ever made clothing, you know that sleeves are not fun. You might also be aware that knits are not exactly fun either (but often patterns for knit items are much easier and faster to make, so it balances out). Oh, and Vogue patterns, even if they say “Very Easy Vogue,” are always hard. Combine those three, and what do you get? Two hours to set in two sleeves. Actually, the second one only took 15 minutes. This weekend I plan on hemming the shirt, then figuring out the neckline (the fold-over elastic I ordered showed up yesterday, so now I’m ready, hopefully), and then hemming the sleeves (the pattern wanted me to hem them before attaching them, which seemed like a bad idea; I’d rather figure out exactly what length to make them while wearing the nearly completed item – seems like a better idea).
I know I said this before, but there was a change of plans. Tonight I’m going to make matcha ice cream. I couldn’t handle going to the grocery store and getting my homework done last night, and homework was much more important. However, there’s no homework tonight (though I still have to stop at the grocery store for the main ingredients of the ice cream). is going to a movie, so I have the house to myself. Maybe I should play loud music and dance while I vacuum and dust (seriously – is coming over tomorrow – cleaning must be done).
It’s harder to be excited about weekends with this whole Saturday class thing. But, it’s just a semester. Fifteen weeks left. Then I can start with the education classes. Small sacrifice.
- That’s a funny way to be.
- Pssst; I’m over here!
- The possibilities include: now, never, or when I feel like it; which would you prefer?
- Apple crisp is one of my favorite cool day recipes.
- How will you know unless you try (because asking me to give you the answer is not always an option).
- My tomatoes need a few more days of summer, not cool days and a stormy sky.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to matcha ice cream, tomorrow my plans include having MOM and her boyfriend over for dinner and Sunday, I want to finish the shirt I’m making for myself!
Time to share some things I’ve bookmarked recently, since grilling season is coming to an end for many people (not for those of us with a hard-lined gas grill two feet from the kitchen door):
via Google Reader (Shared Items)
In case you were wondering, last Friday was one year of being caffeine-free (with a few exceptions). Who would have thought I could last that long?
After discovering a new blog today, I’ve decided to throw the ice cream attachment (for the KitchenAid mixer) into the freezer tonight. It should be all nice and cold for tomorrow night, when I can make matcha (green tea) ice cream. I’m pretty sure I can multi-task making ice cream and homework. Tonight I hope to finish up (or mostly finish up) the doll quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 7. I just need to pick out a backing fabric, quilt it, and bind it. Assuming I don’t try and get fancy*, that’s easily done in a night. Oh, and throw on that last coat of polyurethane on the cabinet door that I keep forgetting about. It’s a good thing we have a lot more surfaces to test out ideas on.
Last night, armed with the gift card my father-in-law gave me for my birthday, we went to McCormick and Schmick’s to celebrate our two year anniversary. Oh, boy, did we indulge. We ordered an appetizer, drinks, and even desert, not to mention, of course, the main course and salads. Everything was delicious. I splurged on Alaskan King crab legs, which were fabulous, and also enjoyed a mixed green salad which had a tangy dressing, bleu cheese crumbles, and candied walnuts (a very confusing mixture of flavors, but I actually ate all of it, and that’s unheard of). I didn’t eat all of the mashed potatoes (which were just so-so, but hardly the focus of the meal), but everything else was devoured. (Also, my wine choices were not spectacular, but that can be forgiven.) had fish and chips, which is about the only seafood he likes (there were also some steak options, and one chicken dish, for those of you who are interested). The creme brule I had for desert was exquisite, and all together, it was all worth the discomfort I felt afterward (for eating so much). We went to Barnes and Noble to walk off the overly-full feeling, and I found a new quilt book and some magazines.
I had made reservations, but we totally didn’t need them (better safe than sorry, though). Since it was kind of a swanky place, and mostly seafood, there were no screaming kids, which was also enjoyable. Towards the end of our meal it started getting pretty loud, so if that sort of thing bothers you, I’d suggest going for an earlier dinner (our reservation was at 6, and we were there until 8). And, if you’d like to try them out but don’t want to spend a lot of cash, consider lunch. They have New England Clam Chowder for $3-4, and salads for $5-6. That wouldn’t be too bad for a weekend lunch at a fancy restaurant (it’s no dollar menu, but the quality is significantly better).
My desk here at work is clean again, including all those dust bunnies that seem to congregate around electronics. I was starting to feel a bit chaotic.
That’s about it for me. I seem to keep running out of time to do all the things I want to. Must mean it’s fall.
*I frequently end up trying to put extra squares on the back or otherwise make it pretty, but I find it difficult to get everything lined up correctly, so more often than not, it ends up a tad wonky. I think this time I’ll stick with a solid piece of vintage fabric. I wonder if I have some bright stripes for the binding….
We spent a great portion of our Labor Day… doing manual labor around the house. But let’s back up a bit.
Saturday morning, and I drove into Minneapolis together. I went to class, and he went to the State Fair, meeting up with and her boyfriend and his kids. They had a blast. I… was in class. We drove immediately from there to a Target, where we changed into our dress clothes in the bathroom, and picked out a “congrats on your marriage” card, and then were off again. It was a lovely wedding, complete with a bride wearing a huge smile (I don’t know if I’ve seen a happier bride), and was a full (read: long) Catholic service. That was a first. We got caught up with some of ‘s family, which included me meeting some of his aunts and uncles for the first time. We got home before 10 pm, so that was a pretty full day.
Sunday involved less sleeping in than I would have preferred, but the idea of chocolate chip waffles caused me to crawl out of bed shortly before 9. I don’t know what I was thinking. We decided to finally get started on the kitchen cabinet project, as well as tackle the switches/outlet project. After a trip to Home Depot, we were ready to start on our sample cabinet (we are lucky enough that one of the kitchen cabinets was removed by the previous owner and is sitting in the garage, so we can test stain and sanding and so forth on it, instead of on a real cabinet). It appears that sanding will be the worst part of this project, but that thankfully we can do it in small bits, rather than all at once.
I’m pretty sure we did other stuff on Sunday, but for the life of me I can’t remember what. I probably sewed something.
Monday, the Day of Sloth, I slept in until the glorious hour of 10:30. It was heaven. Then I got out of bed and started the polyurethane part of the cabinet-refinishing process, followed by mowing the lawn. After lunch, we decided to knock out that switch/outlet project.
To clarify, the switch/outlet project started quite a while ago, when I went to Home Depot and bought a bajillion outlet and switch covers. Less than half of the switches and outlets in our house were white, and many of the ivory ones were… beyond hideous. Since replacing them involved turning off all the power to the house for an extended period of time, there was some hesitation to get this project done. But, the knowledge that daylight hours are waning got us motivated.
With one 15 minute break to apply more polyurethane, we put last of the covers back on just before 7 pm. It was a huge project, suffice it to say. (Did you know our house is quite large? And very well covered with switches and outlets, considering the age of the house.) did most of the work, which in some instances included grounding outlets that weren’t previously grounded. We were so tired by the end that we left two or three un-grounded, and we didn’t do ‘s bathroom either (four switches and one GFI, the latter of which is apparently no fun at all).
So, if you come over, be sure to remark on how nice the new outlets and switches and plates look. It was a lot of work.
Then, even though we were tired and hadn’t had dinner yet, we headed out of the house. We were in search of malts, which we did not find at Panera, but DQ had acceptable ones. We also went to JoAnn, even though I didn’t really want to. However, since drapery lining was all on sale 50% off only through the weekend (Monday included), and then my 10% off your entire purchase coupon was only good through Monday, it was kind of important to go. After doing some math, we figured out that we needed to buy 13 yards of drapery lining. That is a lot of lining. They used a special machine and everything. It was rewarding to see the receipt where we saved $42 and spent only $37. I love getting things for more than half off. (Mental note: watch for a good sale before buying fabric for that sliding glass door. It alone requires 10 yards of 54″ wide fabric. Ouch.)
And then dinner, and it was basically time to go to bed. Exhausted. But, it was a good weekend. We started a project that we had said we would start September 1st (only a few days late), and got another project done that needed to be done. That feels good.
I know that fall weather is on the way, but if we could get a few days of heat, my tomatoes would really appreciate it. I’m quite sure that they want to turn red, but lack the appropriate environmental conditions to do so.
Also, today is our two year anniversary. Can you believe it? Two years ago today, at a church in St Paul, we were freaking people out that we were both so calm and relaxed, and not at all nervous. Oh, and then professing before all of our loved ones our commitment. And playing some kickball. And driving to Duluth. Good times, good times. We’re going to McCormick and Schmick’s tonight to celebrate – I made reservations and everything. My father-in-law gave me a gift certificate for my birthday, so we get to dine without spending much money.
- Abusive :: Relationship
- Psychotic :: Dreams
- Parents :: are people too
- Yell :: Don’t
- Amulet :: Sword
- Sandstorm :: Protection
- Amusement :: Park
- Imitation :: is the sincerest form of flattery (not that I believe that)
- Baby :: Lotion
- Rainbows :: Willie Nelson
- I feel simultaneously hot and cold. It’s cold in the office, and my fingers are icicles, but my space heater is way too hot to have on. There’s no winning.
- Having a holiday from work is always fun.
- Right now, I can hear these things: co-workers talking, typing, and the photocopier (exciting, I know).
- Facebook is awesome and I’m glad and others convinced me to do it.
- The last time I bought new pants was much too long ago, but I keep pretending that I’m going to lose 10 pounds.
- I am very surprised that I have class this Labor day weekend.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Target, tomorrow my plans include class and a family wedding slightly out of town and Sunday, I want to enjoy the fact that there are still two days left of the weekend!
… that this [work] project will soon be over.
… for all the Caramel Nut Clusters that have helped me make it through this week.
… for the Aunt Martha’s cookies brought home for me from the State Fair.
… that I was raised to filter the thoughts in my head before saying them aloud or putting them on paper. It means I still have a job.
… for new plugins to install on my blog, even if I don’t know how they work just yet (or why I might want to use them).
… that the cats have learned, quite quickly, that they no longer get to sleep in bed with us, which consequently means I get a full night’s sleep again.
… the internet, and its seemingly limitless ability to allow one to whine, complain, rant, or otherwise express one’s self (even if what one needs to express is only because the internet exists).
… the foresight to decide to buy lunch today instead of having my usual apple and yogurt. I am quite excited about that.
… for corduroy pants.
… for finally getting all the way caught up in Google Reader.
… for letting myself skip a story in the Legends II collection I’m reading right now. I really wasn’t interested in 75 pages about Dunk and Egg (and yes, those are seriously their names).
… that it only cost $150 to fix my car, and now the power steering again is smooth and usable. And that I might have found a repair place to take it to when other things go wrong.