Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vintage Photo (not) Friday: Kristin's first Christmas

I love this picture.  I mean, geez, it's me as a baby, and I was adorable!  Tina and I are obviously paying attention to two different things.  I was looking at something/someone fun and interesting!  Tina looks like she's watching Fox News or something else equally boring...

This is 1977, after Tina'd had 2 Christmases at school, so there are more and different ornaments on the tree.  But there's that same white garland.  Gotta love it.

Okay, discussion time.  Which grama do I look like?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vintage Photo (not) Friday: Christmas with a trike!

One year later and the tree looks so much the same.  There's that white horse ornament, front and center again!  We assume this is 1975 - any aunts have any idea if we're right?

I remember always having Christmas with Mom & Dad at home after Santa had been there overnight and then going to Grama & Grampa Betz's house.  They had an old farm house in the country, and we always knew were to find the toys.

I know that this is at Grama Betz's house because of the toys Tina's playing with.  I played with that doll and cradle when I was little too.
Let's take a look at Tina's incredibly awesome outfit a little closer.  Looks like she's wearing an apron.  At least she won't get her shirt dirty if her baby spits up!  And oh those pants!  Red and white plaid with some blue?!?!  That's some serious stuff right there.  And, um, I have to ask...  Did Tina have really big feet, or is she wearing someone else's shoes?  I can't tell what's going on there...  but her foot looks as long as her leg!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday - Christmas circa 1974

I got a text from my sister yesterday...

Tina:  u haven't blogged for 25 days...
Me:  I know.  [insert excuses here]
Tina:  well, you've missed a few vintage photo fridays.

There you have it folks, a request for a vintage photo if I've ever heard one.  Most of my digitized old photos include Tina.  Since she's all but outright asked for Vintage Photo Fridays, let's do a whole weekend!  Christmas-themed vintage photos staring Tina (and sometimes her very cool little sister)!  It's going to be the best weekend ever!

This is the Christmas tree I grew up with until about 5th or 6th grade.  I think it might be the tree that Mom & Dad had at their first Christmas together.  I remember that white with gold horse ornament that's above Tina's head, but not the others.  That garland was around for many many years - I wonder if Mom still has it somewhere?  The boxes of ornaments and the boxed up tree always smelled the same each year.  I can even smell it now.  A little dusty, a little old, and 100% Christmas.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pinterest: Successes & Failures

You know how you lose touch with a friend, and wish you could contact them again but it's been so long that it would be a little awkward because you don't want to be asked where you've been or why you didn't respond the last time she sent you a card with a picture of her kid?  Yeah, me too.

I really wanted to blog daily in November, it just didn't happen...  I have all the excuses everyone else in the world has.

  • I was sick.
  • We were out of town.
  • Work has been crazy.

But I just wasn't able to get past those things and find time to blog.  *sigh*

We're all here now, so let's not talk of this uncomfortable subject any longer!  Instead, let's talk about what I've tried from Pinterest...


Oreo "Pops"

The original blogger put sticks in her Oreos, dipped them in melted Andes candies bits, decorated, and viola!  An alternative to cake pops!  I couldn't find small enough sticks (mine were too big in diameter for the Oreo), so I just dipped them in.  And you know what?  They're delicious!  I highly recommend them!

You just melt the Andes candies pieces (I used my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup and the microwave on 1/2 power), dip away, and sprinkle some sprinkles!  Once I didn't have enough chocolate left to dip, I lined up the Oreos and poured chocolate onto them.  Worked out great!  This was a Pinterest WIN!


Rolo "Turtles"

The original blogger used the square pretzels, put a Rolo on top and into the oven, then added a walnut to the top.

Well, I love both caramel and chocolate, and turtles are a favorite (but infrequently purchased) candy of mine, so it was selected to be tried as well (oh, yeah, I'm taking the dipped Oreos and the turtles to an event at church tonight).

I am now able to saw with all sincerity that if they pull Turtles and all of their knock-offs from the shelves today, I will be fine.  These Rolo "Turtles" are freaking amazing!  It was hard to keep my hands off of them!  I made two baking sheets of them, and would have made more had I not run out of Rolos.

So, you put the square pretzels on your baking sheet, leaving some room so you can eventually place the walnuts, put a Rolo on top of each pretzel, pop in the 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes, then press a walnut on top and do the impossible - wait for them to cool.  They will look cool before they are cool - you'll see what I mean when you are licking Rolo chocolate off of your fingers.  Do I even have to say it?  Pinterest WIN!

Also, two things:

  • Buy the Rolos at the check out - unwrapping individual Rolos kinda sucks (and somehow a lot of them ended up in my tummy...)
  • I used walnut pieces because they were So. Much. Cheaper.  Many pieces were big enough, and other times I used two pieces on one Rolo.


By now I can tell you're looking for a Pinterest FAIL, so here it is:
This original pin said that you could make a cake mix cake taste better by adding an egg, using milk instead of water, and using melted butter (double the amount) instead of oil.  Rhy was making cupcakes for a friend's birthday, and I asked if she wanted to try this different way of making the cupcakes.

*Side note:  She also put a Lindor Truffle in each cupcake, which all melted to the bottom, but tasted WONDERFUL.*

Here's what failed:  Day 2 the cupcakes were okay, but a bit dry which I was confused by - I assumed they would remain soft.  Also, the bottom of the cupcake was really greasy - which was either from the butter or the chocolate.  And it fell apart easily.  Hmmm.  Day 3 I heard Rhy say "It's hard like a cookie!"  It was just disappointment from there...  We will not be making these modifications again - it was a Pinterest FAIL.


And since I'm sure I've made you all hungry by now...  The old "how to make your nail polish dry faster" pin.  It's kind of like losing weight - everyone wants an easy and quick way to make their nail polish dry.  But let's face it - you just have to put in the time.  I remember in college the thing was to go run your nails under cold water, but that gave you a false sense of hope, which just ended up with smeared nails.  So I was wary of this one.

The original pin (from Real Simple, BTW...  oh, Martha...) said "Set your manicure in record time.  Lightly mist freshly painted nails for instant smudge protection."  I knew better.  I kept my cool new purple nail polish handy [has anyone else ever noticed that Pinterest really wants us all to have our nails painted, and in some really cool way?  Do the nail polish companies pay people to go and pin their nail polish because those pictures look freaking professional and they are so. freaking. common!  So I bought nail polish and did my nails.  Because Pinterest told me to.] and sprayed some Pam (butter flavor) on my thumb.  And then gingerly touched that nail with my other hand.  Instant smudge.  Nice, Martha.  You suck.  Pinterest FAIL.


And there you have it - what I've been busy doing lately.  I promise to try better at writing.  Don't forget about me!  Kisses!

and a big THANK YOU to Rhy for showing me

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My first Pinterest fail... cake mix fudge

So there I was, Saturday afternoon, wishing there was something sweet in the house to eat.  I just wanted something yummy.  We had cake mix, but no frosting, and besides, I didn't want cake anyway.

I did, however, have a pin on how to make fudge out of cake mix.  So I pulled that pin up on my phone (gotta love the mobile app...) and saw that I had everything necessary to make that fudge.

It's supposed to be easy!  And fast!  And look like fudge and taste like cake batter!
what it was supposed to look like....
But, this is what I got...
I tried to make it blue/red/purple with a little bit of food coloring...
It was not cake-battery.  It was kinda opaque, but not.  I don't know, I can't describe it other than FAIL.

I sure hope the garbage disposal liked it...

Monday, November 19, 2012

HaHa for HooHas - so funny!

You have to read this woman's blog entry:

The Fart that (almost) Altered my Destiny

You have to admit you've been in an embarrassing fart situation too.  I know I have...

Before I met Jeff I was hanging out with this guy that I liked (cute!  funny! and he smelled good usually!*) a few times a month.  I had been eating a lot of veggies - broccoli mostly - and most of them were roasted.  Roasted in olive oil and garlic.

I looked great!  I was wearing my black dress, cute shoes, my pink jacket, good hair.  I was feeling really good about myself!  But then I was farting the entire drive to Madison!  Before I got to his place I pulled over and put the windows down to try to get rid of some of the smell.  Did I mention it was February?  In Wisconsin?  So I couldn't sit there very long with the windows down.  I was late and it was cold!

We took my car about 6 blocks away to the restaurant, and I know he smelled how bad the car smelled, but he didn't mention it.  I was so embarrassed.

And you know one of the ways that I knew Jeff was the one?  When that first fart leaked out in front of him, he wasn't grossed out and I wasn't embarrassed.  And he just farted on my foot 10 minutes ago.  We've been together 3+ years and married for 13 months.  I love that man, and the fact that I don't have to hide my farts...

*I should have known that guy wasn't the one.  I always thought to myself "I wonder if he likes me?  What does he think of that?  Should I do xyz differently?"  After I met Jeff and was able to be completely myself with him, I knew it was right, he was right, he was the one.  Don't change yourself for someone else.  Find the one you can be yourself with.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Improving upon Apples & Cinnamon Oatmeal...

Around Christmas time last year Jeff said that he and Rhy thought it would be a good idea to buy a Keurig.  They both like coffee, but different kinds, and I don't like coffee, but I do enjoy hot chocolate, and I could use it to get hot water for oatmeal.  And a Keurig would allow us to each have what we want in individual servings.  Perfect, right?

We had some gift cards left over from wedding gifts and were able to get the Keurig we wanted and some k-cups.  I fell in love with the milk hot chocolate, chai latte, and the hot apple cider.  Oh.......  the hot apple cider.  So so yummy.

One day after I made my hot apple cider I took apart the k-cup because it's still heavy after you make your drink and I was nosey and wanted to know what was in it.  There is some sort of apple pulp & filter going on in there.  So I thought, what if I run it through the Keurig twice?  What would happen?

What happens is you get watery hot apple cider.  And what do you do with that watery hot apple cider?  You use it as your hot water in instant oatmeal, that's what!!!
It gives the oatmeal another level of apple-y goodness.  An extra bit of kick or tang or something.  All I know is that it's wonderful!  It has, however, ruined me for apples & cinnamon oatmeal made with boring old water...

If only the chai latte flavor was filtered, I would try that in the cinnamon sugar oatmeal...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

You needed a laugh? Look at this...

The 25 Greatest Animal Photo-Bombers of All Time

I was laughing so hard my tummy hurt, my cheeks hurt, and there were tears rolling down my face (and almost down my leg...).


Friday, November 16, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Chores!

Picture it:  Illinois, 1979.  A house in the country.  Two cousins do the dishes at their Grama's house.

Or at least that's what I assume is going on here!  Only reason that I know this is Grama's house is because the cupboards are the same as another picture that I was told was in her kitchen.

So, let's take it all in.

Check out that amazing wallpaper!  What is that, watering cans?  Do I see some sort of juicer and a crockpot on the wallpaper too?  I can't wait until someone who actually knows can leave a comment and tell us!
The cupboards look to be metal, and for some reason I think I remember these being in our garage after the house was torn down.  Or is my memory just plain wrong?
What's so nice is that older cousin (my sister - her smile is just priceless! like "hey, I know you!") is helping her cousin (just 3 & 1/2 years old!) do the dishes.  How sweet!

I wish I could remember Grama's house.  I have faint recollections of it, and I often wonder if those are made up.  I'm pretty sure Mom had her sewing room there, and that would be where I had cut my leg with her pinking shears.  And I vaguely remember Mom telling me which bedroom had been hers.

I really need to get to Mom & Dad's house to scan some pictures that don't all include Tina...  Making her a photo book last year resulted in a bunch of old pictures of her!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding decor - lace covered bud vases

As I'm trying to come up with ideas for daily blogs, I've turned to the most wonderful, amazingly photographed day in my life - our wedding.  Pair that with the fact that I've spent too much time on Pinterest, and I found myself looking for pictures that would make a good pin...

And this is what I came up with:

One weekend my sister came to visit and do wedding crafts.  We spent more time that I would care to add up glueing lace to glass.  It was really quite easy.  We used parchment paper on the table as a work space, cut the lace to size, painted glue (white glue, graft clue, whatnot) onto the glass with foam brushes, and placed the lace.  It was really very easy.

And we didn't solely use round glass containers.  Nope.

 There were also rectangle containers.
And square bottles.  And even a lace-covered drinking glass or two...

In fact, I even ended up covering a few pieces with fabric:

The container with the candy sticks was covered in some of the fabric left over from the table runners.  I think it's so cute, it now holds my make-up brushes.

That picture also reminds me, now is the time to purchase "Thanks" signs.  The one above was purchased from the Thanksgiving section of Hobby Lobby.  It was close to the wedding so I asked my mom if she would please paint it for me.  She had silver, and I think it's lovely.  It looked great on the guest calendar / gift table.

Now, anyone want to suggest what to write about tomorrow?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies (my version)

I saw something (on Pintrest) that said Pintrest should have an "I did it!" button, which applauds loudly when pushed.  I agree.  In fact, I created a board on Pintrest that I labeled "I did that!"  And I made that board before I read that pin!  Yeay me!

Anyway, I have made a recipe that I found on Pintrest.  I don't want it to just be a website that sucks my time, so I knew that I needed to make one of the recipes I pinned, and I had the rest of that pumpkin to use, so...

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
brownie mix {and whatever the box calls for}
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tbs vanilla
1cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups pumpkin {pureed}
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

mix up the brownies as directed on the box, set aside. blend the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in one bowl and the flour, baking powder, and salt in another. mix all of the ingredients together until smooth. add remaining ingredients and mix well.

line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. pour half the brownie mix, then half the pumpkin mixture, and repeat. 

bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  

let cool in pan and top with melted chocolate or a ganache 

The differences between the original and mine:  I didn't have pumpkin pie spice so I used some nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  Also, no topping.

Verdict?  It was greatly enjoyed.  Quickly.  In fact, I don't think any of us ate lunch.  We all just ate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies all day, along with some clementines (me) and an apple (Rhy).  It didn't really taste very pumpkin-y, perhaps because I used the pumpkin pulp from the carving pumpkin on Sunday, but it was good nonetheless.  Definitely a recipe worth saving.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: 3rd Birthday

I think that was for my third birthday.  The curtains look vaguely familiar, or at least the material does...  Susana doesn't look excited enough for it to be hers, Tina's way to old, and look at me - fairly bursting at the seams!

I kind of remember getting shaped birthday cakes, and Tina has made them for her kids.  What I remember more are the candy toppers for my cakes.  Preston Ridley's mom down the road would use a page from a coloring book and make solid sugar pictures - I remember the Care Bears one she made one year.  I have no idea how it was done but it was awesome and delicious.

Now Rhy really likes to bake cupcakes and make them look pretty.  It's fun to help her, but she always has way more interesting ideas than I.  She made cupcakes for our new neighbors, and decided they should be neon colors, so she separated the batter into 4 bowls and colored them.  They were delicious!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

from pumpkin to pumpkin pie.

Rhy went to a Halloween party on the 26th.  She was adorable.  Seriously.  Do I have a picture of her?  Only if I can get her to download the one she took with her phone.  She wore her black dress and used black and orange body paint to make tiger stripes.  It was *awesome*.  She took a pumpkin because there was to be jack-o-lantern carving at the party.

And then she came home at 9:45.  Before the carving began.  That's just what happens when you aren't having fun.  Unfortunately her costume took her more time than she ended up spending at the party.

And so a pumpkin has been sitting on our side table for 9 days.

Rhy has been saying she wants to carve it, then Halloween came and went, so now she said she wants to make a pumpkin pie.  Hello, Google?  Can you help me please?  I really have never been mistaken for Betty Crocker.

So, on Sunday, we cut the top of the pumpkin off.  Rhy got grossed out by pumpkin innards.

We cleaned it out, cut it in half, and baked it.  350 degrees for 1 hour cut side down on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet (the kind with the sides).  The halves were so big only one would fit on the cookie sheet at a time!

I scraped the soft pumpkin off of the rind (not perfectly though, I'm sure there was more pumpkin pulp to be harvested...), then procrastinated on going to the store.  So the pumpkin got put into a ziplock bag to await its transformation.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, The Night of the Pumpkin Pie.  It took no time at all to vote, so I knew I had time.  First thing I had to do with really pulp-ify the the pumpkin pulp.  I tried using the food processor, but it didn't move the pumpkin around enough to be effective.  So I got out the immersion blender and used it in a way-too-shallow bowl.

After I cleaned pumpkin off of the surfaces around that shallow bowl, I mixed the filling using this recipe:
2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée 
1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 good crust

...with a couple of modifications.  I didn't have ground cardamom nor lemon zest.  I added a smidge more cinnamon to make up for the cardamom and zested a cute little clementine in place of the lemon zest.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
  • Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

The results?

Not bad.  A little too orange-y for my taste, what with the zest of a clementine, but really not bad.  Of course, I'm not the one to ask.  I really only like my Mom's pumpkin pie.  She uses canned pumpkin pie filling.  Which is what I'll do from now on, because the process to get pulp from a real-life pumpkin was more work than it was worth...

But at least the Keurig got cleaned...  :-)

What did Rhy think?  She said it tasted different, but good.  So I would say that's a win.  :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

There's a bird in my office!

This little birdie, who was at our wedding reception, sits in the corner of my office, protecting the books.  Isn't he cute?  It's something nice to look at when I'm at work.

Do you have a nice little something at work?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sometimes I feel like it's a merry-go-round state...

I'm so incredibly sick of living in a swing state.  My husband said last night, "I want to live in a teeter-totter state, or a slide state!"

In one episode of Jeopardy there must be 15 political ads.  It doesn't help that we have a Senate seat up for grabs either.  And Ryan is running for his seat in congress again.  So, you know, lots of people want my vote.

The two polling places that I pass on my way to work were not nearly as busy this morning as they were 4 years ago, but I heard that other places were booming at 7AM.  I'm so sick of all of it, I almost don't even want to vote.


But I will.  I will exercise my right that the founding fathers didn't even give me that Susan B Anthony had to fight for.  Thanks Susy!  This one's for you.

If the vote is contested and draws out for just ever like it was twelve years ago (darn you, hanging chad!), then I just might have to find a cave and move away from civilization forever.  Except I would miss Famous Yeti's pizza...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Who moved my cheese?!?! Why I've been MIA for over a week.

As much as I would like to think that I do a very good job of thinking outside the bun, sometimes I have a week that reminds me that, yes, I am human, which means that I, too, fear change.

There are certain things that I always do the same way.  Once the underpants got put on the left side of the drawer, that is where they will always live, and if they accidentally get put on the right, I will move them back.  I must pee last thing before going to bed; otherwise, I'm up and out of bed to go, no matter if I have to or not.  And once I get a pile started at work, you best not touch it, because I know just where it it and what's in it, and touching it makes my eye twitch.

So imagine when I got kicked out of my office for 3 days*.  During a week when my hours were all messed up anyway.  Because I had to go and do events at each facility and be nice to people at them.  Three things all grating my nerves, just waiting for me to fall apart.  It was all I could do to not go all velociraptor on everyone I came in contact with.

It was not a good week.

And you would not have wanted to read anything that I might have written, if I'd had 2 brain cells to rub together in order to create a thought to put on "paper".  It probably would have contained the word *stupid* a few hundred times describing a few dozen different things.  It was, really, the adjective of the week.

On top of that, after 9 hours of discomfort a day, I was impossible to live with.  So the fact that my Jeff & Rhy still live in the same house as me is really pretty freaking awesome.  Sorry!  Love you!

Regardless of the fact that I almost imploded from annoyances, there has been stuff happening.  Stuff that, now that I have regained my brain - and my sanity, I just might find the ability to share with you.  In a humorous, witty, or interesting way.  Because at times I really do think I am those things. 

please don't burst my bubble

So, soon to come:
  • Photomosaic puzzles - not the best idea ever
  • My pantry!
  • Pumpkin pie made with *gasp!* real pumpkin
  • And, I promise, a Vintage Photo this Friday.  For real.

*I have decided to spare you the details, since I probably would get all pissy if I wrote it all down, and no one wants that, really.  Suffice it to say it involved construction and a laptop missing essential work-related software.  And an HVAC guy who didn't get the whole "You moved my cheese" reference.  Amateurs...


Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either.  And then I started reading it on some blogs and in some comments on those blogs.  Apparently November is National Blog Post Month.  And people who sign up for the challenge write one blog post per day.  I'm going to make an attempt to do so.  Be prepared for the short & sweet some days.  ;-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Halloween circa 1979

I always had home-made costumes.  Check it out - I was a bum!  Awesome!  Okay, so I was 2 years old, and who knows if I even had any costume ideas.  Mom slapped a stocking cap, sunglasses, and a beard of mascara on me and I was good to go!

For years I was jealous that Tina had that store-bought Genie costume.  I was jealous of a lot of classmates store bought costumes.  And now that I've got a kid at home, I realize, wow, those store bought costumes are crap!  And expensive!  So, home made costumes aren't that bad.  It just sucks when you're a kindergartner and a home made Smurfette, and Jodi Carr has a store bought Smurfette costume that everyone compliments...  *sigh*

Now, just for fun, let's look at what's in the background.  The big huge console TV that lasted for about 20 years.  Top shelf on the left - a case of 8-track tapes.  Various book sets (looks like maybe a set of encyclopedias?).  How many of these things are unknown to teenagers these days?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Very, Very Pinteresting... Pinterest makes me want to spend my life crafting.

Yes, yes, I've joined Pinterest.  There's a little "follow me on Pinterest" button at the bottom of the page.  I can't figure out how to make a "Pin It!" button on my blog posts, so I've made pins from some of the stuff on here.  Obviously, if you'd like me to make a Pin, let me know.

I know that I have a tendency to have a compulsive personality.  
Freshman year of college I spent more hours than I would care to imagine in the computer lab on chat 
(chatting with someone just across our very small campus, btw).  
I was obsessed with checking the Cookie Lee site when I became a consultant.  
I find something new and I'm All About It!  It's a small reason I'm not on Facebook.  I've tried very hard not to spend too much time on Pinterest, but, well, yes, I have pinned things that I will probably never do.  I really wish, however, that I'd known about Pinterest when I was in the early stages of planning the wedding.

What I've learned since I joined Pinterest is that I really wish I could spend more time doing crafts.  

I would spend my life crafting if... were no object.  

Crafting can be expensive.  Even if you are up-cycling, it costs to buy the stuff at thrift stores, as well as anything else that you need to complete the craft, like glue or paint.  Also, I have to work.  We are not independently wealthy  so I can't live a life of crafting leisure.  But I'd sure love to try.  :-)

...I were sure I could turn crafting into a viable business.

Yes, I would love to be able to make all these cool things (sweater pillows!  itty bitty glass magnets!  puffy balls made from t-shirts!) and sell them in a store for a profit, but, hey, let's face it, I can't imagine a world where I could do it.  Not even on etsy.

...I had the space to put all the stuff.

We live in a 3 bedroom condo.  Sounds big, right?  Sorry, it's not.  We have about 850 square feet (or "sqeet" as CR once accidentally called it when she was shopping for carpet).  That's a couple of 11x11 bedrooms, a 9x11 bedroom, and a fairly small living room/dining room.  I have a 2x4 table against the wall in the bedroom-turned-computer room.  There isn't the room for the projects or all the stuff needed to make those projects.

...all the ideas in my head weren't already all over Pinterest.

I like to think that I have original ideas.  But I don't.  Pinterest has shown me that.  I had that idea to turn a sweater into a pillow like 8 years ago (also, flannel shirt - very worn and comfy flannel shirt), and it's all over Pinterest.  Is it just me, or has the Everything Must Go On The Internet mindset we all have forced all people everywhere to realize that we're not unique, we don't have unique ideas, and yes, we are succumbing to trends even if we don't realize it?  Who else here put a bird on it without realizing how trendy it was?  Yeah, me too.

So, how would you finish this sentence:

If I could, I would spend spend my life _____________.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday - my broken arm

Me, Becky, Tina
When I was four years old I fell off of the monkey bars and broke my wrist.  If I remember correctly, I had a removable cast that went in the freezer.  I could be completely wrong on that - I was only four!  It's not like my memory is perfect from those times!

Looks like we are playing on/around Grampa's old tractor.  I have no memory of my hair being that long, so this picture really surprises me.  I do think Tina's wearing a Strawberry Shortcake shirt.  Lucky!  I wish I had a Strawberry Shortcake shirt...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Last Game of the Season: Stoughton vs. Monroe

Last Thursday was Rhy's last game of the season.  She was nervous/excited/sad all at the same time.  I was just *hoping* she would get to play.  She'd only played 3 plays all season.  It's the sophomore team, Coach - let them all play!

I was being wimpy and didn't go with Jeff for the beginning of the game because of the weather.  But when he started texting me with the scores, I knew I needed to take the camera and go see our girl play football.  The Vikings were up by 5 touchdowns!

Rhy got put in 3 or 4 different times!  And unfortunately my camera didn't do a very good job at capturing the awesomeness of it all...

So I obviously need some help...  Anyone have any advice on taking night-time action pictures?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Husband!

Three years ago today Jeff & I had our first date.  Shortly after that I knew that he was meant to be in my life.  Forever.

A year ago today I was lucky enough to get to marry my honey! I feel both like time is flying by so fast and like our wedding was a lifetime ago.

The poem that I would have had as a reading at our wedding (not in the Bible so we couldn't) was Love by Roy Croft.  Sweety baby honey darlin', this is for you...
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Jeff, I love you!

Today is my Dad's birthday.

And I texted him a Happy Birthday greeting and he texted me back!  For those of you who know my dad, you know that this is a major big deal!  Dad's actually been texting for over a year now, and I floors me every time! 

Thanks for everything Dad!  Especially thanks for sharing your birthday with Jeff & I a year ago today!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday - Abe Lincoln and 1985 fashion

Okay, so you'll need to forget that today's Saturday.  I had this really good idea to share an old photo once a week, but I don't want to wait another 6 days.

Let's all just bask in the glory that is 1985.  Oh, man, what a year (decade, even) for fashion.  In this photo you can see that we took a family vacation over Christmas to Washington DC.

Now, lets look in greater detail...

Old Honest Abe up there, he always gets it right - his fashion sense is classic.

Then, Timo (our exchange student from Finland), on the left, is sporting the always popular tourist look.  Look closely and you can see his camera around his neck.  Other than that, it's all pretty normal.  Track jacket, sweat pants, white sneakers.

Dad is next to Timo.  He's wearing his Navy pea coat and what I always referred to as his Dr. Zhivago hat.  He got that hat around the time that I saw that movie, so I've always referred to his fur has as his Dr. Zhivago hat.  You'll also notice that his glasses have a bit of a tint to them.

Then there's me.  I think this photo was taken shortly before the Fashion Police showed up to arrest me.  First of all - Del Monte stocking hat.  Awesome.  John Deere green coat with yellow zipper.  Gnarly.  And blue shoes to match my blue pants.  Rockin'.  If I wasn't wearing the hat you'd be able to see my Little Orphan Annie hair.  Thanks for the home perm, Mom.

Last but not least, there's Tina, the stylish high school freshman in her high school jacket and Princess Di haircut (also permed).

Seriously - the 1980s - what's not to love?

Tune in each week for another Vintage Photo Friday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Trekker D!

Seven years ago today I was trying to sleep off the previous night's Oktoberfest party, and I received a call that my sister was in labor!  Imagine my surprise since she was scheduled for a cesarean later that week!

I got in the car, got on the road, and by the time I made it to the hospital (almost three hour drive), the baby had been born and he had been named Trekker.
6 or 7 days old
This was not the only time the little guy decided to go against the plan.  He's been known to say to me, "I'm hungry.  Can I have a snack of candy."  I've also seen him respond to the answer "no" by using a stool & chair to climb up onto the counter to get at the snacks he wants.  Little stinker!

Larry once called in to a radio show with a woman who was giving the meaning of names.  Basically, "Trekker" means someone always on to move...
look at those blue eyes!
He's definitely the youngest child!  He wants what the older kids have - he's told his mom to just go and he'll stay home alone.  Ha!
Trekker didn't know what to think of me with my make-up and fake eye lashes.  He didn't even want to look at me in the van on the way to Jennifer's wedding!

As the story goes, when Trekker was getting his tux to be the "ring bear (rar!)" he said "I not gettin' married! I not dancin'!"  And then, what did that little boy do?  He totally danced his cute little butt off!  He was breakdancing, and he invented a new dance that we like to call The Penguin.  Wear a tux, bend slightly at the waist, keep your arms at your side, and just wiggle a bit.  That's The Penguin!

There is not a shortage of pictures of Trekker.  He is often asking his mom to take a picture of him.  She said that he gets a prop or two and gets his picture taken.  His mom is the prop in that one up there...

This little boy is growing up now.  He's in first grade!  Tina said that, unfortunately, he's pushing the boundaries and rules, but hopefully he'll start listening and being good again before we get too close to Christmas...

Happy Birthday Trekker!  I hope you have a good day on your birthday!  Love you kiddo!

Monday, October 8, 2012

After the Garage Sale - an update

It was a blustery day here in Wisconsin on Saturday.  I think the high temp was in the 40s.  And I spent 7 hours outside at my garage sale.

The night before I was able to figure out where to put everything for display.  I couldn't put everything up because I wanted to put some stuff in the driveway - the only way people would be able to see the garage sale from the street.

Rhy helped make garage sale signs, Jeff got me change, and I updated the Craigslist ad with some pictures I took when most stuff was set up.  We were ready!  I got up entirely too early for a Saturday so I could shower and look presentable - you don't want to scare your customers, you know - and I made a list of corners for Jeff to put out signs.  He went on his errand and I went to set stuff up in the drive.

Not too long after 7AM people started arriving.  A few commented on how early I started the sale.  That brings me to...

#1 = Schedule your Garage Sale start time based on what season of the year it is.

I was not thinking when I started the sale at 7AM.  I was thinking of the summer months!  I wasn't thinking about the fact that the sun now comes up around 7AM...

I had a fairly decent flow of traffic.  Most people bought something, except for the men who came alone.  They were looking for outdoor items, and Jeff was not selling any hunting or fishing items.

#2 = Advertise.  Be specific.  Include pictures if possible.

I only advertised online on Craigslist and a few other websites.  A decent number of people commented on the Craigslist ad.  I took advantage of all 8 available pictures, and filled the spots with pictures I took the night before.  At least one group of women came specifically because I had included in the ad that Jeff would entertain offers on the motorcycle.  One woman said that she doesn't garage sale, but saw the ad on Craigslist, and she bought a set of dishes and a knife block for their new cabin up north.

#3 = Put arrows on your Garage Sale signs!!!

Seriously people!  Put arrows!  People do not know all the street names, and if they're at an intersection, they might not know which way to turn!  I included arrows on my signs, the address was kinda small, but that's okay because I was pointing people in the right direction.  And some people said that they stopped by on the way to or from somewhere because they saw the signs.  Yes!

#4 = Decide on the goal of your Garage Sale.

Is the goal to make money or to get rid of stuff?  I've always priced stuff low at garage sales.  Most things at our garage sale were $1 or less, and only a couple items were more than $5.  Obviously our goal was to get rid of stuff.  We made $125.  Not too bad.  I spent about $15 total on the sign frames and price tags.

#5 = Decide what to do with your leftovers.

I knew that we needed a plan for What To Do With the Unsold.  We're giving the clothing to a clothing pantry.  I'm keeping some stuff like the Christmas items, the Smurf glasses, and the doilies.  The rest, I'm calling St. Vinnies to come and pick up.  But you know what?  Seems like we only have about 1/3 of what we started with!  That's just amazing!

#6 = Clean up the garage right away.

Jeff and I got everything put away as good as possible tonight, so the car is now back in the garage.  No more sleeping outside for the Legacy!

All in all, it was definitely a successful garage sale.  I doubt I'll have another while we live here...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thank you.

A cool thing about Blogger is that it tells me, the blogger, my 'stats', like how many views it gets, what posts, referred by what websites, etc.

I see that a lot of people have read the post about Daniel heading to the 'stan.  Looks like someone, I assume Bethany, put it on Facebook.  All I can say is that if Bethany has as much support in this time as it takes to have 60 people read that post, then she is one lucky woman.  Please, continue to be her support system.  It makes me feel better to know that she has you.  I'm all the way over in Wisconsin and I can feel the warmth!

Any hey, new cousin, if you make it to Wisconsin, you have a place to visit & a place to stay!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rylee - the TEENAGER!!!!

Exactly 13 years ago today I was anxiously waiting by the phone.  I was in college, final semester, and about to become an aunt for the second time.  *squeee*

Earlier that semester, on the first day of Policy, the professor had to reschedule his evening exam, all because I told him I would not be there on October 4th.  
Him:  "Why won't you be here?"
Me:  "My sister will have her baby that day."
Him:  "Excuse me?"

You don't know how many 21- and 22-year-olds don't know what a C-section is until one changes the exam schedule.

Back to October 4, 1999.  Finally, I had to leave my apartment and head to campus.  As soon as I got to the computer lab (because back then not everyone had a computer; in fact, probably less than 50% had computers) I called my mom (using the lab phone and a calling card - before everyone had a cell phone, you know) and found out that Tina had a GIRL!  
baby Rylee-roo with her mama!
first birthday with her mama!  I really need to scan in some pictures that aren't of Tina...
I wonder how many people wondered why I was jumping up and down in the computer lab?  When she said they named her Rylee, I totally mis-guessed the spelling, but that's okay.  "Rylee" fits that girl.
At Loretta's house
not actually her beer...
note the juxtaposition between the NIU sweatshirt and UW hat...

The girl does her own thing and has fun while doing it.  Now she's taller than me, funnier than me, has always had more luck than I'll ever have, and is way better at sports that I would ever wish to be.  Thank God!

Happy Birthday Rylee!  Love you!
A true teenager, bored and tired!  (credit)