Wednesday, December 31, 2008

i give up

i am officially DONE with the coen brothers. seriously, i mean it. i don't care how much hype their next movie has, how "offbeat and hilarious" it might seem, how GOOD the poster is (and this one was pretty good)....i am not going to watch another coen brothers film. ever. even if they are from minnesota.

i submit that "fargo" was a great film.

and i liked "raising arizona" too.

everything else, i have borderline or completely HATED. so last night, i felt like charlie brown and the football when i rented yet ANOTHER coen brothers film, burn after reading.

it was, actually, not very good. yes, brad pitt is hilarious. i got over that after about the first 5 minutes. and sure, it's "offbeat." and yes, francis mcdormand is still kind of a good actress.

but much like "oh brother, where art thou" and that absolutely AWFUL "no country for old men" - i just think the movie kind of sucked. i'd like to think i'm clever and get where these guys are coming from, but somehow, somewhere, i don't.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

wordle for the day

one of the great things about my new computer operating system is that at long last, i can use the wordle website. have you tried it yet? you can post any text you like in there, but i put my blog url in first, of course...i kind of love my wordle for today :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

new start

why is starting over so dang fun?

i went grocery shopping this weekend, and was so happy to NOT BUY SUGAR. or chocolate chips. or anything related to baked goods!

i did buy these things, which have not seen the inside of my fridge in awhile:

red, orange and yellow pepper pack
salad mixings
frozen shrimp

um, yeah. fruit and veggies. and fish. i have to tell you, after 2 days of eating this kind of stuff, i can actually stay awake past 1pm. that sugar literally sucks the LIFE out of you. i'm sure it won't be long til i'm jonesing for a cookie, but for now, i am pretty stoked on the good stuff!

happy monday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

chili review

ps. i finally made the vegetarian chili with bulghur...and it's pretty good. the bulghur is not really a flavor, but it adds a nice meaty texture which is good. to be honest, i think it might have been better with just a touch of ground beef or turkey in there.

but healthy i am. for today, at least :)

oh pss. i left the kidney beans out. because somehow i was forgetting how much i hate kidney beans! he he.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry merry

ah. i hope everyone out there is breathing a big sigh of relief. i know i am. what a happy day! what a thing to look forward to each year! we are blessed beyond belief, no?

today i am thanking the Lord for:

the snowy world outside. it looks so bright and cheery, and i feel so safe and secure and warm looking out at it.

friends and family alike. how could we possibly exist alone?! thankful for my cyber community, as well as those i get to actually hug and laugh and cry with. you make my life worthwhile.

anticipation and hope for tomorrow. after anxiously cleaning the cobwebs off this year, i realize a new day is dawning. what a good idea the Lord had to renew our lives continually! but still, there is something about this time of year, looking forward to 365 new sunrises and sunsets, sure to hold amazing miracles, and perhaps some heartache too. thankful that the Lord holds it all securely in His hands.

gratefulness above all for the birth that happened so long ago. for the amazing story that we all get to be a part of. thankful especially to Jesus for extending His hand to me - now just about 7 years ago. i love you, Lord! and i wish you a very, very happy birthday, with all eyes set upon you, our Glorious King :)

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Luke 2:16-20

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

one leopard leaping!

oh boy. it's darn near time to go to bed, and i'm sitting here at the computer because i CAN NOT LOOK AWAY.

my new operating system, Leopard, makes things fast. and sparkly. and oh so appealing. i feel like gollum in Lord of the's mine, all mine :)

he he.

what do you want to bet it crashes after i have admitted THAT?! wishing you all a good, computerless night...!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

cute overload

what better thing to do when you're snowed in than hop on over to cute overload?!

ahhhhhhh. good stuff.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


this is the view from the front door this morning. more of the white stuff. actually, we haven't gotten THAT much snow, it's just that there has been a fresh covering every couple of days for awhile. today, it's supposed to blow around too. i wish i had a copy of "the long winter" to read! i loved laura ingall's wilder. i might have to see if i can find a used set of her books somewhere.

anyway, the crafting is in full force, still. i am actually PLEASED this year with the gifts i made! i have yet to deliver any of the home made stuff, that will happen next week. crafting is really pleasurable when everything works out :)

in other news, i forgot that i did not have any kidney beans, so i couldn't make chili yesterday. not sure i will be going out today, so it might have to wait until next week. i feel super duper indulgent to be so relaxed. it's almost sinful!

i hope you are having a great weekend (relaxing sinfully) also!

Friday, December 19, 2008


oh guys. i have to tell you what a DUMB thing i have done! i got a water bill yesterday for over $200! yes, that is more than an entire YEAR normally costs! apparently, i left an outside hose turned ON for the whole month of november!

arrrrgggh. heartsick. i feel like all of the strides i've made trying to be responsible and frugal with energy, etc. is gone. i cannot get this out of my head. my back yard must also be a mud pit, will not know for a few months i guess!


in an effort to get back some mojo, i'm going to make chili this weekend. out of bulghur. such a strange word. but seriously, if you have never eaten it, i say TRY it. it's a very nutty flavored grain. made of wheat, i think. it looks like this:

i found the recipe on the moosewood blog. they make nice cookbooks, and hopefully good recipes. it's a big batch, so i plan to make half. ya think? note that the recipe will not take a whole lot of water :)

Red, Gold, Black and Green Chili
Total time: 35 minutes | Serves 8-10

1 cup bulghur
½ cup hot water
6 cups undrained canned tomatoes (2 28-ounce cans)

6 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
6 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 generous teaspoons ground cumin
2 generous teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce, or ½ teaspoon cayenne

4 green bell peppers, chopped
4 cups fresh or frozen cut corn
3 cups drained cooked black beans (2 14-ounce cans)
3 cups drained cooked red kidney beans (2 14-ounce cans)
salt to taste

grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place the bulghur, hot water, and about a 2 cups of the juice from the canned tomatoes in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat and simmer gently.

While the bulghur cooks, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and Tabasco or cayenne. When the onions are soft, stir in the bell peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes more. Chop the tomatoes right in the can and add them to the pan. Stir in the corn and beans, and heat thoroughly on low heat. Taste the bulghur. When it is cooked but still chewy, add it to the pan with its liquid. Cover and simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to meld. Add salt to taste.

Serve plain or topped with grated cheese and fresh cilantro, and possibly with warmed tortillas, or tortilla chips and crudités.

Reprinted and adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, Copyright ©1994 by Moosewood, Inc., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, publishers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

memory lane :)

so, i was watching a video of some puppies today (yeah, i do that sometimes!) and they had this soundtrack playing...!

it opened up a big ole can of memories. ahhhhh. good ones.

okay. WOW. hootie has stayed pretty cute in the last dozen years or so since i checked.ummmm. itunes, here i come :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

let's play a game

it's called "stump the cookie baker."

whoever correctly guesses what these these four oh-so-obvious cookie cutters represent, gets to accompany me to the next art girl baking day, because i am strangely incapacitated in this area....:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

snowed in

if my facebook updates are any indication, we are pretty much all happier with the snowy day we are having today, because the crappy subzero temps are going away.

this is what the front step looks like when you haven't been out for two days. and yes, that is a thanksgiving pumpkin enjoying the view too. i bet it especially enjoys the christmas lights!

what a good time to stay snuggled in! good thing the sewing bug paid a visit last weekend. nothing better than crafting and snow days.


Monday, December 15, 2008


brrrrr. -11 this morning, but the sun is shining.

last night, as the wind howled outside, i started thinking about how blessed i am. i had a warm, warm blankie. and a working furnace. and electricity. and a big screen tv. and a big fluffy duvet to look forward to sleeping with. and a big pot of soup in the fridge.

this morning, as the world adjusts to the cold outside, i am very thankful for my little warm spot...

happy monday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

fullness of time

so, i went to church this morning with an expectant heart. not expecting anything in particular, just needy for God. for SOMETHING.

and what i got was extraordinary! an ANSWER to the plea i made here on friday! i knew the Lord was up to something when pastor pulled out the title of his sermon called "fullness of time."

the passage he referenced was Galatians 4, which describes the birth of Jesus in this way:

4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba Father." 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

pastor talked mostly about how the birth of Jesus made us full sons and daughters of God, right now. that we are not a slave to this world anymore. needing more, i googled the phrase when i got home, and found some stuff to make it even clearer to me.

Herman Ridderbos says that the statement means something is being summed up, completed, united, concluded in Christ.
What is meant by this "fulness of the time" is not only the maturation of a specific matter in the great framework of redemptive history, but the fulfillment of the time in an absolute sense.The time of the world has come to a conclusion with Christ's advent.

i'm kind of slow, but i think it get this. when i say to God "please, make all of these time constraints go away!" He says to me ever so gently: "I already did, when My Son was born."

ahhhhhhhh. so that is why i can be at peace. i may not know how i'm going to get my shopping done, or if the economy is going to kill my business, or when/if the people in my life i wish would change, will, but i know that TIME HAS ALREADY TOLD that things will be okay :)

happy sunday, all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

forever cannot come soon enough...


friday already. which is good and bad, depending on how i think about it. only 12 shopping days til christmas!! now THAT is shattering news.

i have a brochure to make.
i have billing to do.
i have end of year "for tax purposes" purchases to make.
i have shopping to do.
i have baking to do.
i have crafting to do.
i have friends to see.
i have loved ones to pray for and support.

i have to stop the wheel, or i will go nuts, this time i really mean it.

i was thinking about how frantic i feel this morning, and the word "eternal" sprung up in my head. aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. eternity. the promise of God. it boggles me how He doesn't have a timeclock to punch! how He looks at things without looking at time! isn't that crazy?!

i want more of eternal on my mind, and less of everything else. i wish i had even a small idea of what forever looks like. if you see some when you are out shopping, please pick some up for me :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

what they said

...stole this off a client/friend's website.

love. it.

light 'r up

i'm not the type of person who does all of her christmas decorating at once. i'm more of a "shoot from the hip" girl who kind of, sort of decorates the whole season.

now that the leaning tree is finally done, i had a void to fill. so yesterday, when i was at hobby lobby shopping for TOTALLY NECESSARY things, i wandered down the christmas light aisle. i'd been reading about the new rage - LED lights, and i wanted to check em out.

naturally, i bought some. they looked kind of normal, although i read that they are 2-3 times brighter than regular lights! get out the shades! mine were in a really chunky looking patterned plastic bulb, i was hoping for an old fashioned new fashioned look.

anyway, here they are. i would classify them as "kind of weird." the light is just kind of wrong, although not awful (and not really super bright). the blue ones are especially funky and unnatural. maybe these are just the diet cokes of the lighting world. tastes weird at first, but, you get used to it.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


since i am a calendar junkie, i really loved it when i found this sweet one. what is even better, is that you can download it and print it FREE! i like free, too.

i am going to print it out "mini" and hang next to my desk.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

herd of fun?

well, when i got home from the cities, the herd of plastic reindeer was waiting. they were way more shabby than chic, even the silver ones.

and a little too big for the tinsel tree.

so today i went to ace and got a can of copper spray paint...wha la!
just the finishing touch for the colorful tree!

love the whole dang baker's dozen of them!

color splash

last year i had a really cute little brown/green/turquoise thing going on my christmas tree. i really had no plans to change anything when i set up the "leaning" tree a couple of weeks ago. in the meantime, in addition to leaning, about 2/3 of the lights went out. so change seemed like it might not be a bad idea.

finally yesterday i stopped at target to get new lights. i think all this talk about "clark" on everyone's blogsites made me do it. i got all-colored lights instead, and pulled out the bright orange globes that had been in the basement for a couple of years gathering dust...

and guess what?

this little bright tree makes me kind of happy :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

no coast

went to the no coast craft-o-rama in minneapolis this weekend with the girls. cassie had a great booth and sold a bunch of stuff!

i did not take any photos as usual, but i have some really cute arm warmers on today :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

slightly obsessed

they come out of nowhere. these compelling needs to see things. certain things. alot of them, like groupings or collections or entire rooms full of things.

i am nuts! if i ignore it, it usually just goes away!

this year, i did not really need any christmas ornaments. i have a really small fake tree made to look like a real charlie brown tree. it's packed. full. not one more thing will fit.

i did buy a smallish metal tree for my office when kirst was here. now, i keep dreaming of oldish shiny ornaments to adorn it. i keep looking at it, imagining the possibilities. i keep SEEING THNGS IN MY HEAD. so, i just bid on THESE on ebay.

these would actually fulfill not one, but two of my strange obsessions. shiny christmas ornaments AND deer. i like deer. i imagine rooms full of them, too.

there. i feel better now.


schwew. i got them. somehow, i also got these :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

totally useless things i love: a series

#1: glass figurines (especially chickens)

i thought i would start out this thrilling new series with a CLASSIC...the glass chicken. is it just me, or are these the most fabulous things ever? i was so bummed last week when a special hand-blown glass chicken given to me by carey's mom busted all over the stove. i almost cried.

and i have been thinking about glass chickens ever since. not only did i find a cute one at hobby lobby, but this lovely GROUPING can be found in the pier one christmas catalogue.

other than dusting them, and staring at their loveliness, i cannot think of a use for them.

Monday, December 01, 2008

long long time

a 4-day weekend spent doing very little can seem like a whole week! i think there is something to be said for being less slug-like, however.

i did accomplish a few random things:

kicked off the weekend on wednesday by thrifting for old christmas stuff. very fruitful :)

spent afternoon with a 3-year old wielding a glue stick, and learned that she could do more damage than a herd of wild cats. rani, i salute you.

made the first batch of christmas cookies, half of which are eaten already. must. make. more.

finally dove into the turkey carcass yesterday, and made soup. realize that cooking turkeys is HIGHLY overrated, and increased my love of ham tenfold. yikes. i should have realized a carcass of any kind would not be fun.

watched 2 of 3 epic "lord of the rings" movies. STILL have not made it thru the last one. please, don't tell me how it ends :)

nagged phillip to the point of completion on the christmas lights. perhaps that was more satisfying for me, than him, however mabel looks like a storybook house :)

thought of cher AND katie as i attempted to put up the christmas tree this weekend. after arranging all the ornaments perfectly (and asking phil what he thought, to his reply "that's the most ornaments i have ever seen on a tree") and sitting down on the couch to admire, noticed a slight lean. which, after about 20 minutes had reached to the point of touching my shoulder as i sat there. UNLIKE cher or katie, i just said "i'm done with you" and it's still leaning there, waiting for help. maybe MAYBE today, if it looks pitiful enough.

anyway, back to monday world. hope you all had a good one.

Friday, November 28, 2008

full but not quite

i hope everybody had a great day yesterday, turkey turned out fine, but it had to bake an extra hour...not sure why. it seemed kind of not worth it in the end, but perhaps i had just hoped for something better. i do that a lot :)

otherwise, it was a quiet, peaceful day. i think knowing we have the next several days "off" together makes for the contentment. luckily, i avoided the black friday mess, as a result of staying up way too late last night. thank goodness for that, i did not really want to go shopping today.

i'm gettting to be more and more "anti" when it comes to shopping ... although selfishly not for SOME luxuries, like books and craft supplies and art. i have to remember that for phil, video games ARE art :) ha. but even so, it's difficult to tell him what i want for christmas without saying "everything, but nothing."

i guess because christmas is not about shopping. hands down. if i read one more "review" from somebody who hates the holidays because it seems hollow, i will scream. if it seems hollow, IT IS. christmas is meant for celebrating Christ, no matter how much we twist it around! oh yeah, the family love, and the warm lights and the food and festivities and shopping ARE good. but they are not GOOD ENOUGH. and if we look for satisfaction in just those things, we will still be left with longing.

so, i'm still a little hungry, i admit. not sure how to go about filling up this year. i hope to donate to something/someone in a meaningful way. there are way too many people in need, so choosing will not be a problem. but shifting my mental state from "me" to "we" and looking at my fellow man and loving them as myself can sometimes be a shake. i'm asking the Lord to shake me, and make me love extra hard this christmas. i'm sure He does not disappoint in giving that kind of gift in full :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

countdown to turkey day

number of trips to the grocery store: 3

number of pies baked for big day so far: 1

number of pies that did not make it past the "midnight snack" or "just one slice for breakfast" stage: 1

number of pies left to bake: 1, 2 or 3 depending on energy consumed in process

number of almost-sliced-off fingers in baking process: 1

number of dishes yet to prepare: 27

morning's left until you have to BAKE A FREAKING TURKEY:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

how to make ...

a cat bed.

when i googled the above, this seriously came up!

SOMEBODY must know i have 17 empty suitcases in the basement, eh?

w. o. w.

have you guys checked out this baking site?

i think it's one of the best on the web...

Monday, November 24, 2008

one down

ah, well, now that the crazy, busy, nutso, not-ready-for-monday morning has passed, i have time to sit and reflect on the weekend.

not much to report, except that Phillip and i happened to be at the mall, buying some $300 not-very-fun tires to replace what we THOUGHT was a flat,

and we happened upon THIS.

those crazy kiosks do it every time. who doesn't need a weasel ball, i say?!

shhhhh. don't tell siesta, it's her first stocking stuffer :)

jack's back

oh, jack bauer, how i love thee. funny how you hear EXTREME opinions about the tv series "24" - people either love it or hate it (kinda like vampires, i guess - te he)...

i'm in the "love" camp for sure. and last night's return to tv after a long absence was JUST what i needed. the 2-hour showing of "redemption" was awesome!

when we last saw jack, he was heading to africa, after being wrongly (sort of wrongly, anyway) run out of the country for a really BIG crime. he was once again alone and on the run. maybe that is why i love him. redemption happens in africa, i guess, as the title implies. the movie is almost a carbon copy of parts of "blood diamond" which i also loved...lotsa love here.

okay, back to jack. not sure what the appeal is. maybe it's that he is the kind of hero who ALWAYS saves the day. it's not his fault that everybody he loves ultimately dies! just bad timing, i guess :)

last night, in the middle of all the drama, i said to phil "aren't you just GLAD that jack is in da house?"

:) he he. can hardly wait till january, when the series returns for good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

protein power

well, i did it for the FIRST time yesterday!

not alot of firsts at 46, so i'll celebrate the day i ordered my first turkey to cook for thanksgiving. oh boy. kind of scary, no?

i am also a bit scared of all the recipes out there. i just bought one of those "bags" and a cute little roaster at walmart for $9.

i think i am set.

well, except for the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, biscuits, cranberry salad, pecan and pumpkin pie!

what are y'all havin'?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

not gonna do it

well, it's almost thanksgiving, which means i am KIND OF SORT OF starting to think of christmas. i love christmas. the cookies, the lights, the love, all of it. however, i dread thinking of the gift giving. dread it. not because i don't like giving gifts, because i do. but because i am such a loser procrastinator that i NEVER seem to give the gift i really want to give. you cannot do that, if you wait til the night before you are seeing the person, and then run to the mall.

this year, i vow to NOT DO THIS.

i mean it. actually, i have pretty much given up malls year around...i just never really go there. well, maybe twice so far this year. pretty funny for a girl who used to need a new outfit about twice a week!

anyway, that leaves options. best option: making things to give. best time to start best option: waaaaaaaay sooner than now. however, i am determined to make a few gifts. i have a measly start, and need to get some supplies for some other ideas i have.

2nd best option: buying online. i know, that is kind of impersonal. however, i LOVE when a box comes from amazon. or some amazing etsy artist. everybody would love that sort of thing, right?

i need some help here. let me know your favorite place to christmas shop. the sooner you reply, the better :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

botched plan

since you guys are used to my "boasting" about all my home decorater projects, thought i'd show you my latest extravaganza, er, mistake. perhaps it's just because i was starting to get accustomed to NO draperies. perhaps it's because i am reminded of Tara when i look at them. perhaps it's because i hung them about 4" too high, so they look like "highwater" curtains...

i don't know. but the new drapes bug me. i started with the best intentions. chocolate brown velvet. rich and creamy and warm for winter. they came in the mail. oops. a little TOO dark and rich. oh well, can always paint a wall to match them. then, the thought that they looked a little too naked. so i decided to add the green. i was contemplating adding more pattern, but dang, i have alot of pattern going on in that room.

long story short, i ended up with this. you never know. if rhett butler ever stops over, i'm all set to make him feel at home.

but before i go, lest you should think i've completely lost my touch. the infamous afghan, all laid out on the kitchen floor. oh. my.

this photo was taken over a week ago. i have gotten a little waylaid by the sewing of the squares together. perhaps this photo will inspire me to press onward!

Monday, November 17, 2008

communal living

after spending the weekend with kirsten, i am starting to think about the benefits of communal living. how GREAT it would be to have a woman friend living in your house with you all of the time! to commiserate! to chat when the man-folk just want to play video games! to actually offer to help! to compliment you on nearly everything!

yes. the weekend was good. yes, we sat around alot and crocheted, but also visited and shopped too. and slept. did alot of good sleeping.

however, being the ding dong i am, i forgot to take any photos. i have asked for one of THESE for christmas, not that it would help me remember to use it.

thanks kirst :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the visitor

well, she is on her way. or soon to be on her way.

so excited.

i'm sure very soon we'll be headed here:

and we might even do some of this:

and for SURE a bunch of this:

and probably even more of this:

cannot WAIT!

happy early weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

end of the spear

yesterday phil had the day off because of the weather, and i ended up taking most of the afternoon off with "post-big-meeting-relief" and laziness.

we ended up watching "end of the spear" finally. i think it came out 2 years ago? dunno.

anyway, it was a good flick. of COURSE i cried at the end. if you have not heard of the movie, it's about 5 christian missionaries who are killed by a remote ecuadorian tribe in the 50s. with a twist, of course.

the little boy in the movie totally TOTALLY reminded me of the oldest j boy. i think that made the movie better for me. although it's not a movie for little kids, if you are a big kid you should watch it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


okay, here is something i gotta try. isn't that fantastic?

Monday, November 10, 2008

too good

ever meet somebody and think "man, they are so good, i don't even deserve to know them?"

the guy who took this photo is one of those people to me. he went to humble sdsu just like the rest of us, but somehow he stands out a little among most of those that i knew. his talent is just so amazing, i could look at his work all day. from landscape stuff to sports and just about any kind of people shot you can imagine. greg finds a way to make everything look good...

and yes, i stole this photo from his blog :)