31 December 2009

#365 ... OMg!! I Did It! ... Blogging Done?

Day 365. I have posted over 365 photos the past year and just took a peek at all of them. For those of you who have followed along, I think you must be as nutz as I am! I posted some pretty strange pictures. First, I shared my stashes from fabrics to recipes to hidden chocolates; my critters from wild turkeys to my horses and cat; my projects including painting the house inside, sewing totes and quilts; I shared a 5# sack of flour to acknowledge the weight I'd lost and then didn't lose another ounce; I gave you a tour of our home and our view; I showed how busy Jack stays with his woodworking, gate making, rock laying abilities, and his helping others with their jobs; I shared our trips to California, Washington, Virginia and the Yucatan; I shared my volunteer work mainly with kids in our community; Danette's cancer and how she triumphed; my family - kids, grandkids, Moms, sisters, brothers and the whole bunch; I shared the stupid things I do like scrubbing my counter tops with Miracle Gro, dumptster diving for 5 cent returnable cans for school funds, packing my bags 2 months before a trip, trying to whip 1/2 and 1/2 because it "felt" like "heavy cream"; I shared photos of friends and just plain every day objects.
It was a fun journey and some days I thought I'd never be able to find another photo when there it was, right in front of me.
So I've decided to leave you with just one more photo of my craft/sewing/art/computer room and how I organized yesterday. I spent the entire day in the room, except for when I was trying to make chicken noodle soup and sourdough bread (see "bonus blog"). I have some counter tops to clear off and bags to haul out to go to the dump, but I feel good about this area now. Not that I didn't know where everything was before hand, but I had become pretty lazy and just stuffed things back where ever they could fit instead of taking time and tucking them into the correct box.
This is the before shot...
and the after shot.
and this one is for Mom. This is the pie plate I took home filled with an apple pie. Mmmmm, it was good, nice and sour and tasty. This isn't just a photo of a pie plate, but a photo of a promise.
Mom, I'll see you soon so I can return your dish in person!

I hope all of you have a special year ahead filled with smiles, happiness and good health.
It's been a fun experience doing this blog thing. I highly recommend it to each of you.
I don't know how next year's blog will look, but I do believe it won't be a daily event.
I need to think about it and see what I can come up with - another challenge to myself that I'm willing to share with y'all.
Love you each and every one!
Thanks for tuning in.

30 December 2009

Bonus Blog - No Photo Needed

Okay....I admit, I am the definition of "dweeb" - dimwit, cousin to nerd, inept, a doofus, etc. etc.
Today was one affirmation after another that I truly am a dweeb. Take a peek into my life:

Jack is sick with a cold so I decided to make him homemade chicken noodle soup. (Especially in light of the fact that he made me CNS when I was sick.... one good turn deserves another!)
So the chicken is simmering and I'm chopping veggies. QUESTION: How much protein is in fingernails? I kept chopping off one after the other! I had to finally quit chopping and got out my Krups FoodSlicer (which I plan on offering on Craig's List quite soon). I sliced everything I needed on it and cleaned it up quite nicely. Everything was on simmer, (minus the fingernail chunks) so I decided to whip out my sourdough starter and make some bread.

I had added some flour when I needed to open another sack of flour. I had 3/4 of a cup filled and only needed to top it off. Well, as if my cup were empty, I picked up the cup and managed to throw the 3/4 of a cup of flour all over myself and the counter top and floor. (Grrrrrr).
(How come I never remember that Flour + Water = PASTE?????) Paste on my floor, on my cupboards, on myself, on my towel, my rag and my chopping block. Nothing like it. (Where are my paste eating friends when I need them?!)

Anyway, I get everything rolling along. Only takes 8 hours for the first rising! So rise it shall. Meanwhile, I figured I'd head down to get the newspaper and mail.

The pond was quite frozen so I decided to throw this cool big rock onto the ice to hear the "twannnnging" noise it makes. I threw it as hard as I could and it landed in a bush not 3 feet away from me. Hmmmph! So I picked up a smaller rock and threw it underhanded. You won't believe this, but it went straight up into the air and came down about an inch away from my nose. (Even the Cubs would turn me down for my lack of pitching arm...no matter that I'd play for FREE!) Okay, 3rd times the charm....I did manage to throw this tiny, tiny rock onto the ice. Yup... no twannnnng for me!

A bit down the drive and I decided I needed to spit. Have any of you ever seen "Gone Fishing" with Danny Glover and Joe Pechi? Well, there is a scene in that movie that makes me about wet my pants every time because I relate to it so completely. It is where Joe and Danny are tied up by the bad guys and Joe goes to spit in the face of the bad guy as an insult, only he ends up spitting on himself. Yup, that's me. Spit-on-myself Sandee! I spit like I throw, down and dirty! (eeue Gross!!!)

Later in the day, I needed to put the bread into my mixer with my bread hook and stir it up a bit. First of all, I added everything backwards and had the liquid yeast mixture flying out all over my counter with recipes, and papers and over my toaster and counter. OK, I'm good at cleaning up messes.....then, sure enough, after it was mixing awhile, I turned my back and no sooner than I looked back, the dough had literally climbed out of the mixer bowl and up the body of the mixer! It looked like The BLOB from that 1950's movie. OMG! Try to get that off of everything. Luckily, my girls knew to give me an industrial mixer that could withstand whatever I dish out to the poor thing! It really, really was a mess to clean up.

Remember many, many posts ago, I discovered that garlic squeezed out of a garlic press made great contact cement when it wouldn't come off of my cupboards and every thing else I sprayed it over? Well, do I have news for you....SOURDOUGH STARTER MAKES THE BEST GLUE EVER!!! Honestly, it just plain does not come off of anything. I think I should go into the business of "natural" glues!

What else went wrong? Oh yeah, I was on the phone when my pasta boiled over. I have no clue why I have any finish on my hardwood floors in the kitchen at all!! I need to install a high powered vacuum system in the baseboards that sense when I spill and automatically suck it up off the floor for me!

I ended up waking Jack up talking to myself - or shouting at myself is more like it. I just don't know how people cook. It is such an ordeal to me. Nothing comes easy. Nothing. Nada. Rien.

It is 7:00 p.m. and the soup was good. The bread is rising yet again. I have found a new respect for sourdough bread. I understand how much time goes into a loaf of it and I'll never EVER take sourdough bread for granted again. I'll most likely make a scene like "When Harry Met Sally" and she pulls the fake orgasm over her salad...uh huh! That's what I'm going to be thinking about when I eat my next slice of sourdough bread. For sure.

So I'm a dweeb. Officially. I can't cook without making a mess. I can't walk without spitting on myself or throwing a rock at something I am NOT aiming at.

I am beginning to think I must have come out feet first. Everything is just all mixed up for me!

Hey.....tomorrow is my last posting for the year. Hip! Hip! Hooray!!!

#364 When 5 becomes 37

Family. (sigh).
We were missing 8 from this gathering: Danette, Joseph, Zoe, Kai, Chrystal and boyfriend (sorry I don't know his name yet), Kurtis, Stan and Bree. That would make 37 of us all from 5 siblings.
Wow, Mom, what a family you have made! Congrats!!!
Geeze, Mom, I think we need to have our own Fortune Reunion and invite all our Virginia kin to come out this way! I think we could pull it off, don't you?

29 December 2009

#363 Master Plan

Okay, so I've been purging cupboards since I got home. I've done well so far and have this great Master Plan to chip away at until it's time to start the circle all over again. I have to say, it feels good to pull something out of the way back of a cupboard and decide it needs a new home, far far away from my home!
Anyone need a cookie jar with matching salt and pepper shakers. (What the?! Salt and pepper AND cookies? Too weird...but cute.)
The problem is that I now have so much empty space in my cupboards, it feels rather sinful. I have more than I will ever need yet there are millions who would give anything for my kitchen, let alone my lovely home. ('guess I'll have to work on these feelings.)
Speaking of more space, Jack and I have decided we are going to extend our master closet into the walk-in attic space. We use it for storage of suitcases, and who knows what. (That is one of the areas on my Master Plan.) So we will put a floor in there and some drywall, etc. Then in the space remaining, we are setting up some strobe lights to get rid of the bats. Hopefully, this will work on those little buggers.
I want to do some major changes in our master bathroom too but that has to wait because I'm talking ripping up the sink and knocking down a wall and giving us 2 sinks rather than 1. Not that we have a problem sharing, but I want the house to really stand out when it comes time to sell it. (Don't panic, we aren't talking about moving yet. Well, I am, but Jack is NOT.) So I keep thinking of little things that would be nice for resale value. I figure as long as we are working upstairs we might as well keep on with the construction. But Jack says "not right now with the bathroom remodel."
Hey, y'all....only two more postings and I'm done with one full year of snipits of my life in photos. Too cool! Thanks for following. I just wish a few more of you phantom followers would leave comments! Okay, I'm off to pull more crap out of deep, dark spaces.

28 December 2009

#362 Newly Engaged

This is Ray's younger son, Stan, and his fiancee, Bree. I have wanted to meet her forever and finally got the chance to do so. They are so much alike and fun to be with. It makes you happy when you are around them because they are so doggone happy!
Aint' love grand?!

27 December 2009

#361 - R3

My OLDER brother, Ray, has one grandson who happens to be a miracle baby. He was born extremely early and fought like a warrior out of the tubes, wires, hoses and needles of his hospital world.
This little miracle is named after his daddy who is named after my brother...so he is Ray the third. As a nickname, he was called R3 at first. I rather liked that little name and that is the name I've used since he was born. (My old brain...you know..) He is called by his family Ray San.
Anyway, here are Ray and R3...
Ray is showing R3 how to use his new cell phone toy.

R3 took Grandpa's finger and had Grandpa work the buttons on the toy cell phone. Not only is he one of the sweetest little ones I've ever known, but he's obviously smart too!

#360 Boys

The boys loved Pike Place Market at the fish stand. They could have stayed there for hours watching the guys throwing fish around.
It was a good time for everyone, but I think mostly for me. I was with part of my family and it made time that much more precious to me.
Bragging Time: I work with a lot of middle school kids and Josh is one of those rare 8th grade boys who just loves everyone. He is so intuned to people and their coming and going. Every time someone entered Mom's house or got ready to leave, Josh would stop what he was doing and hug and smooch those arriving/leaving. He is just amazing. He's as smart as he is sweet - taking Trig in 8th grade. Heck, the brightest of our bright students take Geometry. I've never known any of them to ever take Trig in the 8th grade. I hope he can continue with the math, what a gift.
All three boys were amazing. They got along well and were polite to everyone. The younger ones played with young cousins and were just plain fun and caring. I was proud to be with them and watch them in action.
Unfortunately, they saw me in action too....I had a melt down and it was NOT pretty. The next day, I had to load up on my homeopathic Calmz...'shoulda taken them sooner. So now the boys have seen a side of Granny they never knew exiasted. (dang it!)
Okay, confession is over, don't ask for details!

#359 Catching up with some snapshots

Eileen, I love you!!!! I hope you had a great Christmas, dearly friend.

Little Miss 7 year old at her tea party.

She lost another tooth the morning of her party. The dresses were compliments of Jessica and family.

24 December 2009

#358 Seattle Tourists

We are waiting for the monorail here.
Then we hit the Farmers' Market. MMmmmmm

This is a huge museum dedicated to music. It is an experience making place as you try out everything inside. (Not me, of course....we just looked at the pretty building.)

Mom, Jacob, Joshua and Jarod

Colorful displays....

fish on ice...

Downtown Seattle.

Space Needle. Some rode to the top for the view.
So it's Christmas today and everyone is running in different directions today. I'm home with Mom baking apple pies.

23 December 2009

#357 gift bags

Just before I left home, I jammed and made bags for all the gifts. Here are the Seattle bound gifts.
We are headed to the Space Needle today and Pike Place Market and my favorite....the art museum to see the Calder exhibit.

22 December 2009

Photos continued...

I realized I had never posted the sweet afghan that Amy made for me. This is my favorite spot to curl up and read and I cover with the afghan and think of her and her precious family.

Mom with the youngest member of our family, Caleb. So from the eldest to the youngest.

Charles reading to Madison.

#355-356 Washington bound....

Jarod reading to Madison.

Okay - we all made it to the greater Seattle area safe and sound. Well, okay....safe.
I have more photos to upload but they just don't want to load right now....so later gator!

20 December 2009

#354 Party Dress

Grandkids are just the best, (for those of us who know this to be true!) This is the Christmas dress I made for Zoe. I wish the photos showed the shimmer of the fabric better. For Christmas, the design is Christmas lights or bulbs...after Christmas, they are shiny circles! It is extra long as she likes to wear her dresses long. I love sewing for her. Maybe I'll find a shirt pattern and try and make a shirt for one of the boys....I'll have to ask them first. I think they are mostly t-shirts and jeans kind of guys. Since they will be here today, I'll ask them in person!

19 December 2009

#353 Projects...

I've never made Charles, my son-in-law a quilt and he somehow "snagged" Joshua's old quilt to cuddle with. I decided it was time Charles had his own, plus I made Josh a new quilt too. This is 94" x 80" so it is a good size quilt. It is called "Broken Star". I liked the pattern but when it went together, you weren't supposed to line up any of the joints and as a quilter, I didn't like that at all. Some joints joined and others did not. I had to toss my "rip it out and sew again" thoughts out the window and just enjoy the process of sewing smaller pieces to make larger pieces. I love the colors and I'm sure he will enjoy having a quilt of his own.
I need to make a gift bag for it now.
Charles, Kari and kids arrive tomorrow!!!!

18 December 2009

#352 Cougar

On the way out yesterday, my neighbors were stopped in the drive talking. I waited behind them and one came up to me and told me a deer was at the side and the entire back end had been eaten. He told he he checked my horses and they seemed okay.
(I feed and check my horses every morning and had already done so.)
He took care of the carcass and sure enough, it was a cougar that had killed the deer. The part that bothers me is that it was just across from the horse stalls and one ole horse is lame. Hopefully, there are enough other wildlife to keep the cougar away from my horses.

(Photos were downloaded from Google Images)

17 December 2009

#351 Kool 103 Radio WINNER!!

YES! I'm a winner! I went on-line to Kool 103.5 FM and sent my favoirte Beatles' song to the DJ. I'll be doggone if he didn't choose my song the very next day! He played it on air and I get a free lunch out of the deal at Howiee's on Front. 'never been there but I certainly will now!
My favorite Beatles' song? Hint: it is on the "Revolver" album. Click here to find out....

16 December 2009

#350 The Pity "Tree"

Don't be misled by the title, there is no self-pity going on here at all over the lack of a Christmas tree in our house. I don't remember ever wanting to cut a tree down for my pleasure. I even wanted to build our house without cutting down trees! Go figure. (Of course, the house is made of wood...duh!)
Here's where the pity comes in: my girlfriend thinks it is a pity that we have three grandchildren who will be here in 6 days and no tree and even worse, no decorations! So I received some lights and was told to string them on our carved trees. (She's watching my blog so I have to show her I did it....out of pity for her!)
And the Amazon.com boxes....that's our gifts. We don't mess with wrapping paper either!
What I really needed are lights that spell out "Bah Hum Bug" to flash from the roof top.
Okay....Christmasy enough?
My entire family will have decorated trees so I can visit their decorations! No one will miss out on a thing.

15 December 2009

#349 Our Trolley

Shady Cove has a trolley that is run for special town wide events. Christmas in The Village was last weekend and our trolley was running.

14 December 2009

#348 Staying Positive

I really, Really, REALLY do not like snow. Every time it snows here, I have to try V-E-R-Y hard to find something positive about the snow. After all these years, this is what I've come up with:
Snow is beautiful.
There is a peace blanket covering Mother Earth when it snows.
Discovering what animals have romped in our snow covered woods is great fun.
It was melting here and we only had about 1/2" to begin with.

This poor guy left tell-tale tracks. He was limping something awful and one track was very light and the other was heavy as it bore his weight.

13 December 2009

#347 Christmas in the Village

Weeks of planning and the 2nd Annual Kids' Christmas Party finally came to pass. There was face painting, photos with Santa, crafts making, cookie decorating, gift bags, food and live trees for all the kids.
This took a lot of folks to pull this event off. It is great fun to see folks who don't normally socialize, working together and laughing. Team spirit in our little village.

12 December 2009

#346 Kari's Non Edible Cake

Maybe you have seen these baby shower cakes made with disposable diapers; but you haven't seen one this pretty! Kari is one of the best cooks ever on this earth. She goes into her tiny kitchen and whips up an incredible dinner with appetizers and the whole works - chaos of 3 active boys, a hubby, a big dog sneaking indoors, company walking through - none of it phases her. Cooking is second nature to her.
Looking at this non edible cake, I'd say her talents go far beyond her kitchen! (This isn't just a mom bragging here!)