Monday, October 31, 2011


Didn't mean to scare you.  Yes, I am really still around.  The last couple of weeks have kept me hopping from dawn to dusk, leaving little time for updating.  You can decide for yourself whether that has been a trick or a treat.

Finally finished painting the Hearth Room, Kitchen Living Area or whatever you want to call it.  It is in the old section of the house and was originally a combo kitchen, living and dining area.  Since the remodel, we use it more as a kitchen with a small living area (and the fireplace...thus, hearth room) and desk space for the computer.  It is nice to be able to be in my own space, cooking while watching TV and in the winter, enjoying the fireplace (hopefully we will soon be replacing the gas insert with a wood stove insert).  

We first painted this area a deep blue called "Mountain Lake".  It is beautiful, but in such a large space got to be a tad bit overwhelmingly BLUE, not to mention that it appeared very bright blue in pictures.  After much discussion and paint chip evaluating (am choosing to forget the incident where Wes pulled out the Pantone Book and decided that a periwinkle shade was his choice...he redacted that choice once I pointed out that it would be very costly as it would require all new furniture because it matched NOTHING...and would be more suited to a child's room).  Final choice...Juniper Berry.  Surprisingly, it was actually on the handy dandy little pamphlet of coordinating color choices that we used for the rest of the new addition.  Imagine that! 

This is mid-mess and besides the fact that Jack has once again stolen a shoe, you can get a glimpse of the blue on the right.

Aaacckk, what a mess!

After several late nights and a marathon painting, cleaning, rearranging weekend, this project can finally be marked off the list.  

Yes, those are fish imprinted in the ceiling texture.

I'm a cooking/sewing/knitting/spinning-aholic and he is a fishing-aholic!

Happy Halloween!  Now, things to go and do so, off to find my broom...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Awkward...and random

Over the weekend my dearest darling experienced an odd, awkward and hilarious moment.  With the cooler temps, the sleeping porch is back in full use.  It is a blessing to be able to sleep outside in a fully furnished bedroom.  Sometimes the tree frogs or crickets lull us to sleep.  Once in a while an overly enthusiastic "weekender" floats near our cove in the middle of the night on their boat partying away (loudly) while completely oblivious to the disturbance they are creating.  Every now and then animal noises get a little creepy...especially when you can hear the coyotes howling and realize they are slowly getting closer and closer.  And then there was Saturday night.  Odd.  Awkward.  Hilarious.  

Wes had gone to bed a little bit before me.  When I finally came outside and crawled into the bed he started laughing.  

Me:  "What's so funny?"

Him:  "You are not going to believe it."

Me:  "WHAT?"

Him:  "Well, I had just got into bed and the lights were out and someone next door came outside."

Me:  "Yeah, so?"

Him:  "They smoked a cigarette, then ripped a loud one off and then..."

Me:  "What, what!!"

Him:  "They came around the side of their porch (the side closest to us) and peed on the side of their house!"

Me:  "OMG!!!! Are you kidding me!?!?  What did you do?"

Him:  "Nothing, I just lay here trying not to laugh."

Me:  "If it were me I would have laughed out loud and said something."  (most likely inappropriate, but c'mon who is being the most inappropriate at THAT moment.

People...just because you can does NOT mean you should!!!  Really, how difficult would it have been to go back inside and take care of business???

Something else happened this past weekend.

Something wicked this way came:

The scary/wicked part?

It was full Sunday afternoon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Behinder I Get

It's the truth.

After a WONDERFUL visit with my sister, I returned to the self-made world of ridiculously impossible self-imposed deadlines.  It seems my "self" keeps throwing a wrench into the world of normalcy. 

But back to the fun with my sis.  

Metamora Canal Days---always a fun time.

Before getting there, we had to take a short detour to share the Tree Tower with her.  It is amazing.

The sky could not have been any bluer!

Once in Metamora, we wandered and looked and wandered some more.  But it would not be a trip there without a visit to our favorite hoarder's collector's store.  It is a picker's paradise.  And I fell victim to its allure and nabbed a few things.

I could spend days in there and still not see everything.  The amazing thing, though, is that the shop owner shared that she has EVERY single item inventoried on her computer.  That gave me a headache just thinking about it.

REAL homemade peanut butter ice cream = happy hubby.

Scads of verrrry old books = very happy hubby (especially after finding purchase worthy titles)

What a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blecch Beans

Not a fan of black beans.  There is no rhyme or reason to this dislike.  It  

My sister has been here for the last few days and we have been having a wonderful time.  She has been attempting a vegan lifestyle since April, but does resort to basic vegetarianism when faced with the difficulties of eating out...and when eating at her omnivore sister's house.  

I did try to accommodate her wishes, which was pretty simple to do as she is flexible about this topic.  Her eating choice is a matter of health practices rather than other reasons.  

The recent renewed interest of mine in the Southern Living Cookbook that has been languishing on my china hutch provided an opportunity for me to try something I have previously professed to dislike and for her to try another recipe.  Naturally adjustments had to be made to it to suit the cook's issues.  This recipe is super fast.  It only took about 25 minutes (the longest part was waiting for the rice to be done).

Black Beans and Yellow Rice

1-5oz package saffron rice mix
1-15oz can black beans
3 tablespoons lime juice (I was out and subbed in lemon juice)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided (thanks to obnoxious chipmunks, my cilantro was long gone from the back porch.  I subbed in fresh parsley from the pot that is now living in the family room...HA take that chipmunks!, but the cilantro would have been better)
Optional garnishes:  salsa, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to package.  Meanwhile, drain beans, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid.  Combine beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder and cumin in saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, stir in 1 tablespoon cilantro.  Serve beans over rice and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.  

Would I make/eat it again?  Yep, it was good enough to make the blecchy girl say yum to black beans.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Memories Winner

The handy dandy random number generator selector thingy picked #1 Holly. Shoot me an email and I'll be in contact with the stuff you need to know. Heading off to bed pretty soon...having loads of fun with my sister and it has been made painfully clear to me that while I am the younger sister, I'm not as young as I used to be!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gettin' Scrappy

I truly have good intentions.

And good plans.

And lots of distractions.

Which explains the state of all the photos of my life.  With the first child it seems so easy.  You take lots of pictures and you diligently put them into albums to preserve the memory.  Then the next one comes along, or in my case the two-for-one package deal I got with my boys and something happens.  You still take loads of pictures, but now...well, they seem to get stuck in boxes.  Granted, most of my boxes are pretty organized by date.  That is they were until I dropped a few of them.  And there are several generic-type albums with pictures sort of chronologically arranged.  Again, that is until I dropped them and the ever popular school activities of making "All About Me" posters, and let's face it, the pictures pulled from their previous location NEVER make it back.  I even went so far as to be mindful of creating memories for my three boys by having doubles and triples of pictures developed in order to make a special memory album for each boy filled with pictures not only of themselves, but of their brothers and the rest of our family.  Like I said, I have good intentions.

Then, the scrapbooking craze really took off and of course, I fell victim to its allure.  What do I have to show for it?   A lot of tools, paper, embellishments, boxes and boxes of pictures taken out of the "offensive" sticky page albums, plastic container drawers filled with photos and...lots of good intentions.  And now, all my picture taking is in digital format and I am terrified at the idea of either printing myself or having all these photos printed.  I have a number of friends that create the most gloriously beautiful scrapbooks, but I am not afraid to admit that that is just not me.  A few friends have been experimenting with digital scrapbooking and I must say, the appeal is greater for me.  All, literally all, of the needed supplies are neatly stored within my computer and the webby world. 

Recently, I was approached by My Memories to test their digital scrapbooking software.  I have been playing around with it and LOVE it.  It is easy to use and has so many beautiful options to create unique scrapbooks.  But, the options do not end with scrapbook pages.  Not only are you able to create your pages, but you can choose to do so many things with them:  print (on a variety of sizes), add video to pages, add music, text, embellishments, print as calendars, burn to DVD and on and on.  There are many preloaded templates that can be used, or you can create something totally unique.  Here are just a few sample pages that took me only minutes to create:

 Now, here's the fun part.  My Memories has graciously supplied me with an opportunity for you to win your own copy of the software.  So, here we go with another giveaway!  But, also, as a special for anyone and everyone, they are also offering a code that can be used to provide a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store--$20 value.  You can visit their site and use the code:  STMMMS18091 when you check out.  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below (one per person) and next Monday, October 10 I will announce the winner. 

And now, I am outta the picture for a few days having some fun and creating memories with my sister!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And the winner is...

According to the handy dandy random number generator the winner from last week's post is: #5 Marushka.

Send me an e-mail with your pertinent info and which prize you would like...handspun or soap.

Thanks to all that participated!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby Blue Re-do

If you will recall, I started a very simple little baby sweater with what I thought was enough yarn, only to be thwarted by my inability to knit fast enough before running out of yarn.  Ripped it out and pouted until recently breaking down and starting it over again, this time with MORE than enough yarn. 

Sounds like my act is finally together doesn't it?  Umm, wrong.  Finished the front and started on the back and kept thinking the bottom looks different.  Well, duh, I messed up the front.  Fortunately, it is a pretty quick knit, so I plan on finishing the back and loosening the bind off to allow me to unravel and knit the sleeves from the messed up front and then come back and do the front AGAIN!  Sheesh, perhaps the knitting gods are trying to tell me to quit messing around with baby stuff.  Yarn being used is Kraemer Perfection in a lovely shade of spit up.  (they will thank me later!)

I would share more about the Dahlia, but it needs some Miracle Gro as I am only on row 27 of 90.  What fun, a few stitches in seed stitch, a whole bunch of stockinette, and a few more of seed stitch...over and over and over.

On a happier note, my weekend stalking shopping adventure was a success.  Made the short jaunt to Louisville to locate Humberto, who frankly looked a little bit taken aback when I confessed that I had been stalking him.  All was good once I explained (after he noticed I was wearing one of his pieces and I showed him the one I had in my, okay, that sounds a little bit weird doesn't it???)  I explained that when I was planning my trip to Metamora for Canal Days I had discovered that he was not going to be there and I panicked a little until, lo and behold, his handy dandy little website events list told me he was going to be at the St. James Art Show. 

This is what I got:

Pictures don't do it justice.  Every year he works in a different medium with the silver.  My first piece was a druzy agate, last year it was polished jasper, this year it is polished spiny oyster shell (plus an amethyst).  For all his hard work on such beautiful pieces, and for not calling for Security when I told him about the stalking, I gave him a hug...doesn't hurt that he's a cutie pie either!

Embrace your inner stalker craft lover and visit the links below to see a bunch of other beautiful works of art.

P.S.  Don't forget, the giveaway entry deadline is midnight EST tonight.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A dog and no chapped lips...

He thinks we don't know he does this...


Still loving my renewed interest in a cookbook that has not had a lot of attention in my kitchen.

One of the most recent trials was Artichoke and Shrimp Linguine.

I like artichokes, but normally only in dip with a whole bunch of chips.  It literally took longer to peel/devein the shrimp and boil the water for the linguine, than it did to put the whole thing together.  That is my kind of recipe on a busy weeknight.  

What do you need?  (as edited by my tastebuds)

8 oz dried linguine, uncooked
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound peeled medium fresh shrimp
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-14oz can artichoke hears, drained and quartered
1/4 cup lemon juice
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and keep warm in a large bowl.  In a large skillet , heat oil over medium heat add shrimp and garlic.  Cook, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Stir in artichokes and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt/pepper to taste.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Add skillet contents to pasta, stir and sprinkle with cheese.  

***Warning...there is a bit of heat to this and trust me, it will open your sinuses and make you really glad your lips aren't chapped!


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