Friday, February 29, 2008

we'll come visit ;)

congrats sue and larry, on your upcoming move to portland!

phillip and i will be excited to come for a visit!

weekend plans

Very Creamy Potato-Cheese Soup
This is one of our customers' all-time favorite soups and probably the richest soup we offer. Cream cheese is our secret for giving it a velvety texture. You may substitute Neufchatel cheese which is lower in fat, tastes very similar, and is also very creamy.

Serves 4 to 6

3 to 4 tablespoons butter
cups chopped onions

1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed

2 large potatoes, unpeeled and coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, unpeeled and coarsely chopped

3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 ½ cups milk (or part cream)
4 ounces of cream cheese or Neufchatel
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
salt and black pepper to taste

chopped fresh parsley

In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and carrots and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Add the stock or water and dill and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.
Puree the vegetables with the cream cheese and milk in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the soup pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheddar cheese and reheat gently. Serve each cup or bowl garnished with chopped fresh parsley. A simple green salad is the perfect complement because opposites attract.

Reprinted from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Copyright ©1987 by Moosewood, Inc., TenSpeed Press, publisher.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

real art

on my daily blog visits, i ran into an old friend this morning. erika tysse is an incredible collage artist. she lives in norway, but somehow has found her way to some of us in SF...kristie and i both have a couple of her pieces. okay, i have five. and i keep saying that i don't need anymore, but then whenever i peek, i see something else beautiful. one of my "goals" is to not buy art at target anymore, but to try and purchase only original art. my "peacock" print from a few weeks back counts, it's a limited edition print. etsy is great for finding affordable art. erika usually sells her stuff on ebay, which is how i found her.

anyway, for your viewing pleasure. you have 4 days to bid if you are interested :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

pb update

last night we polished off season one of prison break...that makes 18 episodes in three days (evenings, actually). it will take every power i possess not to break into the season two dvds tonite. in fact, i'm pretty sure i don't possess the willpower to resist. there is something magical about these "marathon" weekends that phil and i have had a couple of times since we've been dating. it's very fun to share in an adventure, even if it is a tv show. i told him last night "i kind of forgot our real lives. i just want to go off and take a car and run for the border." he said, "that's good, right?"

he he. i think it is. i love that movies and books let you escape from your normal life for awhile. and i may not be ready for reality quite yet :)

attack of the giant snowflakes

oh, march 20th, how i long for thee!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

lazy sunday

finally. a lazy day. and when i do lazy, i DO lazy! not much accomplished in the last 24 hours except for baking and watching prison break. i believe we'll polish off season one tonite. but we have all of season 2 yet to see, so that is encouraging. i feel like i'm reading a great book, and SO want to peek at the end! not yet :)

anyway, i have been cooking ALOT. i think it's starting to sink in that cooking is a handy thing to do. we are really eating out alot less, and i am snacking less too. but it does take preparation. here's what i've made this weekend:

- whole wheat waffles. i just tried adding in half whole wheat flour. maybe next time i will go for it and substitute all the flour. they were light and yummy.

- carrot bran muffins. the last batch of bran muffins was great. but i started to think about making them even MORE healthy. this recipe, however, has more oil than the last one. it's kind of a cross between carrot cake and bran muffins. oh. so. good.

- green chicken chili (thanks chris!). good stuff. easy and delish. phil won't eat beans, so i'll get the leftovers this week!

- lasagne. this works for quick meals during the week. which phillip calls "snacks." yeah. if lasagne is our snack, just imagine what our meals look like :)

- french bread...i'm getting pretty good at this, although my loaf is still a bit too dense. still. baking bread every few days. FUN.

i also botched a batch of yogurt, which is not easy to do. must have mixed in the live yogurt at too high a temp. oh well. 4 out of 5 ain't bad!

happy sunday all!

Friday, February 22, 2008

be still my heart

my heart almost stopped last night. literally. several times.

okay, not really but ALMOST. phillip and i are watching the 1st season of Prison Break on dvd...he started it awhile back on fox, and liked it.

AAAAAAAAAAAhhhh. you MUST rent and watch this show! it's crazy good! the first 4 shows were suspenseful, but i could live with or without them. then, last night, we started on the second dvd, and i ABOUT DIED. i made phillip watch all four episodes that we had rented! FOUR in a row! poor guy, he is probably dead tired at work right now because i was jumping around and asking questions (why did they not know about this before? do you think that will work? they won't really kill the CO, will they?! omg, do you think he knows what is going on? and on and on and on :)))

anyway, i am jonesing for the next 4 shows. which we will probably devour tonite. i remember a couple of years ago, watching an entire season of Lost in a weekend, and this show is MORE suspenseful! better! has a cuter guy! ha :)

anyway, don't tell me any stuff i haven't seen yet. i might have to hurt you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


this morning, it's a sunshiney -19 degrees here in SD. every time a car comes down the alley, the "CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH" of the snow on the road is very loud. i think cold and loud go together.

thankfully, i just heard a quiet "ding" from my email, announcing that my order for some heirloom seeds had just shipped.

the flowers below are called "kiss me over the garden gate." i'm sure they will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

cool bunners

woo hoo. the new sdsu "mascot" was unveiled today! it's a super-cool bunny! obviously it was done by a professional, even though it was supposedly a "design the logo" contest that the school put out a request for awhile back, after a company they paid $8,000 produced some awful designs!

i hunted around, and it looks like the winners are a couple of guys from spearfish who have a design company in denver. i sure hope they end up paying these "lucky winners" for their efforts. they did a great job, in my book.

Monday, February 18, 2008

like a child

today, i set out with the best of intentions to:

1) NOT dally around. only peruse a couple of blogs, not all 227 that are bookmarked.
2) WORK on work, instead of talking about it. since it's a "holiday" i thought this might be possible, because of fewer phone calls.
3) enjoy my day. NO MORE stressing over small things.

it's now 3:12, and i have done pretty well. but i am TIRED already! i have no doubt reverted back to kindergarten in my behaviors. not only do i throw tantrums when things don't turn out my way, but i also need to nap at 3pm. or take the bus and go home :)

anyway, i really did get quite abit done. i think i deserve a break, don't you?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

french bread, experiment #1

recipe: back of bread flour package
appearance: perfectly imperfect; golden
texture: flakey outside, fairly dense inside
taste: yummy, but phillip says "yeasty"
devourability: half loaf with homemade spaghetti sauce

the quest is on - to find the perfect french bread recipe. needs to be very light in texture. i think it may have something to do with the rising/punching down/rising factor.

oh. it's good to have goals :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

about time

i buy watches all the time. and all the time, my watches stop working. probably because i buy them in the clearance bin at tj maxx or gordmans. i keep throwing them in the dresser until the day comes that i actually bring them all in to get new batteries. then, i will have a LOTTA watches.

but right now, i am watchless (again). so today when i wandered into the local antique shop (really local, 2 blocks away) i was SO HAPPY to see this beautiful old Bulova watch staring back at me! $10! i wound it up and walked away, thinking i would come back later to see if it was running.

okay, so i waited a minute and a half. but yes! it worked, and i grabbed it up. it reminds me of my grandma. except that i will layer it with some various bangles to jazz it up a bit and make it more artsy.

oh. and look at the box it came in. i would have paid $10 JUST for that! aaaaaaaayyyyyiiii! pretty.

Friday, February 15, 2008

friday on the forty

temp: a whopping 7°

time: 11:47am - oh crap!

sky: sunny and bright and calling me out

me: jammies still on, itunes jamming

my fingers: making the "magic" happen, workwise

my cat: as high as she can possibly be

my thoughts: the not too distant future

happy friday everybody :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

day of love

happy valentine's day everyone! this is really seriously one of my favorite holidays. i know there is the notion that being single means valentine's day should be depressing, but i never bought off on that craziness. love is love, and that is good. i suppose it also doesn't hurt that this day is marked with pink and chocolate and flowers, either.

since it's my first holiday as a "betrothed" person, i was in a quandry about what to get phillip. i thought of alot of "stuff" before deciding to just make him a pretty card. this is a poem by khalil gibran, one of phillip's favorite authors. when i first met phillip, he gave me a beautiful book of gibran's poetry, and now i am smitten also. i hope he likes it.

i will probably also try to bake a cake today. i got a really cute pair of heart-shaped cake pans on a rummage sale a few weeks back, so it will be fun to try them out. valentine's brownies, anyone?

also a couple weeks ago, in my worship group, a dear friend came with "destiny words" for each of us. she had asked the Lord to give her words of encouragement for each of us in the group. she prayed for each one of us for a few minutes, and wrote down what came to her heart afterward. the neat part is that each of us received a "valentine" from the Lord. mine related to His love for me as my Father. i knew instantly that it WAS a word from the Lord, because often when i am stressed, i worry about if He will stop loving me. it was beautiful to hear Him say "you are mine" to me. the best gift of all on this day of love.

may He speak into your heart today with His love also!

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father
and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son,
will be with us in truth and

2 John 1:3

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

good job!

remember the nasty note i found last november about placing the shopping news paper out of the line of the snowblower?

thought i'd give a progress report:

so far, the deliverer is 2 for 3...almost. none of the papers actually make it to the front step, but they do seem to make it on the sidewalk most of the time.

i hope the guy is getting a deserved pat on the back from his boss for his performance :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

meet bert

meet the new addition to the family. bert is doing well so far - starts fine in the cold, is very easy to drive, and has that cute/ugly look i was going for. phillip says it looks like a car an artist would drive :) ha.

anyway, ernie is on the sidelines until we can afford a very expensive part. so we figured it was FINALLY time to get a new car. took me exactly 9 minutes to buy this one :) he he. but, never having been one to dawdle when it comes to vehicle buying, it just seemed right.

woo hoo! road trip, anyone???! oh. ps. sorry, karen. i cannot help it, i love the goofiness of how this vehicle looks. i do think it would be fun to drive to a garage sale in alabama :)))

ps again. you are not going to believe it, but i just got done watching "knocked up" this evening, and i really liked the movie. what on earth am i becoming?!

Friday, February 08, 2008


The latest news on my friend Doug seems phenomenal. here is the latest post from his wife Jan!!! Thank you so much for praying everyone...

Great News!! Doug continues to feel better. He has had food for the first time this week. He is sitting up in a chair today, and feeling good.

The nephorology Dr. (kidney) is signing off the case as Dougs kidney functions have returned, and levels (bun, ceatinin) are normal.

Doug's calcium levels are normal, so that makes him feel so much better.

The best news is that the cancer has not invaded the brain!!!! This improves his chances of successful treatment.

Doug also seems to be responding to the 1 dose of chemo in a way that makes the dr.'s feel this treatment will be successful.

The next few days are critical in how he responds to this chemo. These are low doses, but the next round will be much higher. It appears that they feel that he may go into that treatment immediantly following this round. Doug MAY get a few days when he can leave for a few days.

The regimen looks like only 5 days in a 3 week period of chemo. All of his treatments will be inpatient here at Mayo, and any presentation of infection or illness he will have to be back at Mayo immediately.

God's greatness is already been cause for celebration today, but we believe that we will be awestruck in what he does in Doug.

portion control

on my quest to eat better food, i decided to make some yummy bran muffins with raisins and walnuts this morning.

perhaps they were a bit too yummy. i ate two in about 30 seconds flat.

who binges on bran muffins?! i must be some kind of freakoid!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

please pray

i have a prayer request that really hits my heart hard. many of you who read this blog know my friend doug. lots of people in the advertising community are praying, and i'm hoping you will pitch in and join in prayer for him right now.

doug lee is one of THOSE people. you know who i mean. he is one of those people who clearly displays what being a follower of Christ is all about. i love working with doug! he is one of the most talented people i have ever had the priviledge of being in this business with. he's also a kind, gentle, funny, athletic, easy-to-talk-to guy. he loves his family, he loves life, and i feel like i can (and have) told him things i would not tell people i know twice as well.

this past tuesday, doug found out he has cancer. as of yesterday, he is in mayo clinic being treated for an aggresive type of lymphoma. please pray for God to use this time for His glory, to bring healing and peace to doug, jan, and their three little ones.

thank you LORD that we don't have to sit back and take this kind of stuff. we have the Great Physician on our side, and Lord, we trust doug and his health with you.

UPDATE: thanks to a great idea (a caring bridge website - whoever thought of that was a genius) i found out that doug is doing well, his chances of recovery are great (70%), and his road is marked out for the next 18 weeks - chemo at the Mayo Clinic. keep him and his fam in your prayers, and we can shout "victory" as we watch God do big stuff!!!!

movies galore!

oh boy. looks like my nights are going to be filled with less hgtv, and more movies for awhile here. phillip decided to join Netflix last night, in an attempt to cut out our budget at the local movie rental place every weekend.

last night we made a queue together, and these are the first 3 movies we'll get. at first glance, i am frightened. but actually, he let ME have a pick, and i got "shooter" so it's not as bad as it seems :) i also have "the jane austen book club" coming in a bit, so every once in awhile i might get a girl movie to watch.

i hope netflix is as good as it sounds. i have a feeling there must be a catch.

here we go again.

i love the idea of HAVING a new vehicle, but i really hate the idea of picking one out. but once again, i think maybe it's time. ernie (bless his old heart) is making a TERRIBLE noise from somewhere underneath, and i'm beginning to see the writing on the wall.

so, the quest begins. or continues. whatever.

what do you guys think of this little guy? i am not so sure i am really a "small car" person, as much as i would like the gas economy. the honda element is kind of like a car as far as gas usage goes, but still stylin.'

yes? no? will you come shopping with me this weekend?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

disturbing trend

i have noticed that when i am feeling "out of sorts" or upset, i buy something. like this peacock i just found on etsy.

or else i eat something.

not. good.

can't stand it

i cannot stand it to have a crabby post like the previous one as the first thing to show my peeps when they visit (but i do feel it's my civic duty to post that for coffee lovers everywhere :))


here's a happy post. i am getting ready to paint the kitchen (before the big floor / tiling project that is upcoming) so i am hunting for fabric for curtains. it has to be just perfect. vintage or whimsical or graphic or any combination thereof.

found this on this morning. it's called folklore. maybe it's just the name i love, but this might be a possibility....!

don't get yourself one of these

last christmas i was so excited to get a fancy coffee pot from my mom and dad for christmas. yesterday, i came into the kitchen to discover hot water and coffee grounds all over the floor. thinking it was a fluke, i washed up the thing and unthinkingly discovered THE SAME THING this morning! this stupid thing cost over a hundred bucks!

i don't know what is worse, no coffee this morning, or a wasted hundred bucks! grrrrr.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Raining from heaven
Frozen white crystalline tears
In age-old splendor

Copyright ©2006 Melanie Bartelt

super day

go team go!

finally i got a chance to watch a whole football game with phillip. well, perhaps i have had other chances, but just not taken them :) ha.

anyway, we enjoyed the super bowl yesterday. the snacks rocked - homemade calzones, which i must admit i excelled at creating; chex mix, and soda. we did not go crazy, but had plenty to eat!

early on, we decided to root for the giants. i am not much of a fan of football, unless i have someone to cheer for. funny thing is, i remember eli manning not for his famous brother, but for his DAD, who i watched way back in the 70s. i grew up watching football, but stopped sometime around the early 80s when i became an "artist" instead. nice to go back to my roots!!!

so, when the winning touchdown happened, both phillip and i jumped off the couch, cheered, and hugged each other. it was really really fun to watch!

what's next for me? nascar?

he he he he he.

Friday, February 01, 2008

design police

this one is for my design friends. make sure you scroll through all the pages.

LOVE it.