Friday, October 31, 2008


last night phillip and i watched "in the valley of elah" for the first time. i don't know why i never hear about these movies when they come out, but it seemed okay in the video store, cause i love tommy lee jones.

i was not prepared for the heaviness.

this is not a kid movie, but if you want to have a look at the war from the perspective of a soldier, and his father who thought he had a perspective because he was a veteran, but who found out he was not prepared for how things are now, this is the movie.

i cried at the end.

how's that for a recommendation?!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

thursday cute

must stop thinking about stuffed animals to sew.

must not stop looking though :)

find these really really cute ones here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


i love babies. probably a good thing i don't have any, because i have no idea what to do with them :)

but when phillip mentioned that a co-worker from Africa was about to have his first, we both thought it might be a good idea for me to take a break from the gazillion granny square project, and whip up a blanket.

i bought the biggest, fluffiest yarn i could find, and it was absolute HELL to work with. never again. but it did come out kind of cute and yes, big and fluffy like i was hoping. since they had their baby girl yesterday, it is just the right timing, too.

now i have a million ends of big fat yarn to sew in. oh, and a box of matching confetti cupcakes to make :)

babies are good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

apply now accepting applications for a suitable partner to go see this movie with sometime soon.

i loved the book, hoping i will love the movie even more!

boys need not apply.

new routine

if i had to do a photo essay to sum up my life right now, this one pic is probably all i'd really need. well, it would be better if it had a piece of pie in it. otherwise, life has settled into "cold weather" season quite nicely. evenings of crochet, reading magazines, and the new dvr are quite comfy and fun. i don't know why i resisted so much.

not that i'm keeping count, but i have 85 of these puppies done (well, the ends are not sewn in. i gave up on that after about 20) as of last night. i want SO BADLY to lay them out and see how they look, but i promised myself i would go to 100 first. will not be long.

in other news, the new print from nate duval that i ordered arrived last week. luckily, i ran across a perfectly nice 18x24 frame a few weeks ago for $2 at a thrift mart, so i was good to go with it as soon as the mailman dropped it off. whhhhhhheeeeee.

now, my view from the couch is looking pretty sweet :) good thing, since i'll be looking at this until about april 2009!

Monday, October 27, 2008

where have i been?

do you guys know Laura Story?

where have i been that i had never heard of her?

i guess it doesn't matter, because today she is just what i needed. she sings the song "mighty to save" so so so so well....

tip o' the day

if you're procrastinating with dealing with fall leaves everywhere, and you just cannot get yourself to go outside and rake them up, because you are sick to death of dead stuff, and you wait and you wait and you wait....

one day, you might find that a 74 mile per hour wind has come along fortuitiously and made the whole raking thing unnecessary.


don't worry. be happy.

i worry alot. that is probably an understatement, but it's still a fact. i worry about whether next week will look like this week. i worry about winter coming. i worry about phillip's new job, and my old one. one thing i look forward to is the weekend, it seems i give myself permission not to worry so much.

anyway, i was a little nervous about church this sunday, because somehow i got involved in the decision to take a group of Jamaican workers on temporary leave in SF, out to lunch. i guess our church came to the rescue when a call came in that approx. 30 Jamaicans (along with 30 people from the Congo!) had shown up in COLD south dakota with a visa to work at the john morrell plant for a few weeks (months?), and did not have alot. so our pastor thought it might be a good idea to take a few people out to eat.

truthfully, i usually don't volunteer for this sort of thing - what will i say?! i don't speak jamaican! what DO jamaicans speak?! i am not a "people" person, to say the least. i would much rather hang out with cats and dogs. anyway, phillip advised me to jump out of my comfort zone, and we volunteered together.

so, it turned out fine. no, it was good. of course, a dear older couple from our bible study was standing right in the "greet zone" so that i was not afraid. the 4 of us teamed up, and by the time it was over, we had 13 people to 1) get to the restaurant; 2) buy the buffet for; and 3) get to their homes when we were was crazy at KFC! but everyone (who thankfully spoke ENGLISH) was hungry and very nice. we sat with a younger man who had quite an entertaining personality, and a quieter older (my age?) woman who i immediately liked.

i even offered up to have her over, and cook a jamiacan meal together before they leave. we gave them our phone numbers, and we'll be giving rides to church/bible study for the next few weeks. oh. and praying. lots of praying, because it's hard work that they came for, and hard to be so far away from home.

but i'm sure God will figure out a plan, no need to worry, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

temporary silence

okay, i am feeling pretty happy with myself right now. since last friday, i have not been able to make comments on my own blog. who woulda THUNK that would send my world into a spin?!

anyway, it's kind of hard not to say "hi" or "yes, that's red enchilada sauce" when you need to. but it reminded me of the time when i lived in an apartment, and my oven quit working. since my landlords lived out of town and i didn't want to "bother" them, or have them putzing in my house, to be honest, i did not call them. for FIVE years. i ended up using the oven for storage, which was sorely needed, and did not look back. sometimes, denial is a good way to deal with adversity.

this time however, i was determined to not just accept the duct tape on my mouth. so this morning, i accessed the "blogger help group" and low and behold, several people had the same trouble last friday, and one of them figured out the solution (switching their comment box to a "pop up" window). that worked!!!


now if i actually had anything important to say :)
happy sunday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

friday food

yesterday, i had lunch with cass and kristie. chicken tortilla soup on a wet, chilly day. it was so yummy, that i came home and made some in the crock pot for supper as well! i did a couple of things differently from the recipe, i'll mark those on the recipe below. but for the most part, this tasted just like the restaurant!

ps. for some reason, i cannot make comments on my own blog anymore. which is kind of like having my tongue cut out. thankfully, it will still let me post! please keep talking to me, or i will go insane :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup In the Crockpot
  • 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken ( i used 3 frozen chicken breasts)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers ( i used 1/4 c. chopped green pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder ( i used a few red pepper flakes instead; don't much care for the taste of chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (omitted)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro ( i used dried)
  • (i also added one can of black beans, drained)
  1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet. (i just sprinkled some tortilla chips on top).
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup. ( i also added some shredded cheddar, and a dollop of sour cream ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

comfort able

okay. so it's the first really crappy day we have had here, wet and rainy and cold. and i have been in and out and in and out and in, all day so far.

so i just ordered me a big ole fluffy down comforter.

am i starting to get kind of weak, or what?! i cannot STAND the idea of cold. not even the thought of it.

i am so in trouble :)

symphony time

i seriously love paula deen. i am just always captivated by how beautiful she is! don't you think? maybe it's the hair, and maybe it's the laugh, and maybe it's the accent, or maybe it's all three. it might be that i am even a little jealous that she lives in my dream city, savannah, georgia. dunno. anyway, in the midst of trying to figure out how to get the @#$%^& dvr to work, i saw her on tv yesterday. and actually WENT TO THE STORE to buy the stuff to make these brownies.

wow. wow squared. wow quadrupled. i did not use the foil, and they came out of the pan fine. but for the love of goodness, you have to cut them in 2" squares. any more than that and you will DIE of chocolate overload. oh. and eat 'em warm. if they are not warm, microwave for 10 seconds, then eat them :)

who cares if the dvr is hard to use, if you have these to distract you?!

Paula Deen's Symphony Brownies:

One 17.6-ounce package brownie mix with walnuts
Three 5-ounce Symphony candy bars with almonds and toffee chips

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions. Line a 13x9 in cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with remaining batter. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


so, i was real excited today, cause i got this new box that is supposed to be cool....

now, i cannot even figure out how to turn the tv on!

seriously. i need a 7-year-old. pronto.

Monday, October 20, 2008

party girl

last week, i heard that a bunch of the blog girls took a trip over to facebook, and discovered there is a whole 'nuther world of social media out there.

i have to admit, i've had a facebook page for a couple of years, and i've never ever posted one thing there. i decided to look again, and i saw about 50 people that i know/knew, who would probably be my "friend" if i asked. with some of them, it would be truly fun to say hi! with others, i would feel silly, and would probably have a hard time coming up with anything at all to say.

it got me thinking about blogging, which i so love. oh sure, it's not without its weirdness, like when you find out somebody has been lurking around and reading your posts without telling you. or when someone you don't really WANT to have in your life is there, right along with your good friends, partaking of your vulnerabilities. there IS that.

but still. i think of blogging as "going out to coffee" or "chatting about what you did last night" with people i really truly want to share myself with. i'm open here (within reason) and i feel like i "know" you guys. it's intimate, too. when i'm hurting, the whole world does not comment, but one or two of you do, and that is enough. i can tell you guys stories, and read your stories, and connect. and that's good.

facebook, on the other hand, reminds me of going to "parties" when i was in college. yep, i actually attempted to be a partier once. i remember the sweating about just what to wear, and who would actually be there, and calling so-and-so and seeing if i could ride with her. i remember how silly i felt most of the time, anxiously awaiting to find that ONE person i was hoping to see, so i could crawl back in the corner and hole up with them, thus avoiding the masses.

even when i got to be a grownup with a grownup job, my behavior at the "work parties" we held was much the same. aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggh! it was hard to pretend i wanted to be in a huge room full of people when i SO did not want to be! for a time, i actually enjoyed myself. it was fun "being seen" and acting kind of cool. for a little while, anyway.

so, back to facebook. it looks kind of fun. and i might be missing out on the party by not going over there. and to those of you who have invited me to be your friend, just know i already AM your friend. but i'd probably rather talk to you right HERE, where i can actually take the time to see how you are doing. is that okay?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

not yet

in my never ending quest to imagine what kind of items i would sell in my "dream store," i found this amazing painter on etsy.

his work is so simple, yet says so much. i have NEVER been a huge bird fan (as in, "let's get a parakeet" kind of person), but lately, i think they are pretty. i still like birds from a distance, but i would have a grouping of these in my house.

some day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

this woman's work

thanks Janet! these beauties (except for the one i'm having for breakfast) will be put to good use, as pie, pie, pie.

wish me luck with the crusts!

Flaky Pie Crust

3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening or 1 c. lard
1 egg
5 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vinegar

Blend flour, salt, and shortening together. Beat egg with fork until mixed, add water and vinegar. Pour over flour mixture all at one time. Let stand several minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Mix with fork. Makes enough for two 9-inch double pie crusts.

morning call

that's the name of the cute fabric that was waiting in my "inbox" this morning. both of them seem very "me" and would look cute with my vintage stuff. i think they might even be the answer to the stuckness i have been feeling about what color to paint the kitchen. lately, a buttery wall has been calling my name. but i'm afraid to let the cinnamon color go!

what about combining the two, like the top pattern does?!

i love the roosters, too. hmmmmmmmmm.

i guess fridays are for redecorating in your head :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


look what a surprise i just got in the mail from my beautiful and talented friend.

i guess telling her that i use a target receipt for a bookmark was a good idea, huh?! she even included a lovely blue/green bookmark for phillip the page folder.

i think we are set for snuggly winter reading nights, and i feel especially loved :)

thanks, dear...!

one more day

well, it's 28 degrees right now. and even though i did NOT take any plants inside, i will blame bible study and low energy for that lack of action, not all is lost.

the stuff on the north side of the house is gone, but thankfully, the pretty bronze coleus faces south. i think it had a bubble of warmth that protected it somehow, for at least another day.

one day at a time, i'm thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


today is crisp and bright outside. i went out for a little walk, because already i am missing the outdoors. there are alot of dead tangly things, and a few bright spots.

this is my hanging planter, a gorgeous bronze colored coleus. it's served me well all summer, and still looks so bright. tonite, it will most likely hit around 29 degrees, and tomorrow the coleus will be black and limp.

i plan to stop and gaze at it today as much as i can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

look what came in the mail

the new boots are here. very. cute. boots. but you can forget that old adage about always ordering a half size larger, because they are just a smidge too big. unfortunately, i am not so good at sending things back.

so, i'll wear a thick pair of socks, and hope that the apple pie i've been eating goes straight to my feet :)

mustard seeds

that's what phillip and i are, as our behavior the last couple days shows. the last 5 days, to be specific. that's how long it was that phil was out of a job, and that is how long our faith was tested. here's how it went:

day one: well, let's just give it a month before we start to worry too much. hey, i know! let's do a bunch of projects around the house and take it easy, since it's been so long since you had any time off! that will be so fun!

day two: hmmmm. i think maybe you should run down to the employment office at 6am, just to get your name out there. here, i'll get your resume updated and printed out! and THEN, we'll just relax and have a great day, okay?

day three: did we decide to wait a month? well, i think it's FINE to relax this week, then next week you can hit it hard. seriously. you deserve some time off, and i'm sure God knows exactly what the right job is. no worries. i can always pick up an extra project or two if i have to.

day four: wow, time goes fast. i wonder why that guy did not call back on friday like he said he would? do you think God is testing us? well, worst case scenario is that we'll be homeless and have no food, what with winter coming. i don't think that is really too big a deal, do you? i'm pretty sure God just wants us to suffer, so we can be more like Him.

day five: okay, you've been to 5 employment agencies, and STILL nothing? whatever! this is crazy! where are you God?! have you foresaken us????!

day five, 4pm: as i run a quick errand to the printer, phillip gets on the internet, makes a couple of calls, goes on an interview, gets a job, and starts this morning at 7am.

oh, what a feeling!! and an immediate feeling of "duh" - we should have relaxed more these past few days, because God DOES have it under control, and now it's just...back to work.


"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. Luke 17:5

Monday, October 13, 2008

monday grey

well, things including my heart seem a little bit grey today.

as i look back on a cozy quiet weekend, the t0-done list does not look so great.

things not accomplished:
• yard work
• house work
• closet cleaning
• window staining
• anything of value

things accomplished:
• grape jam made
• apple pie made and consumed
• banana bread made
• meatloaf and homemade garlic mashed potatoes made

um. notice a trend here? how come all the fun stuff comes with calories and guilt?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


even though i didn't luck out enough to have an unexpected bag of apples show up at my house (and i'm much too cheap to actually pay for them!), i did get a surprise last night when my neighbor gave me a BUNCH (ha ha) of grapes from his stash!

what to do, what to do.

grapes are funny. these were super sweet, so i made a quick batch of jam. now, i have about 2 quarts of pulp left, and a couple options. there are recipes for grape pie (that does not sound too appealing to me), fruit leather, and wine, among other things to consider. or, we could just skip the welches for awhile, and drink this instead!

they were fun and quite easy to work with, although the whole kitchen is stained purple now. guess today is cleaning day :)

other "to dos" for the weekend:

• feed the yard with fertilizer/weed killer
• finish insulating the garage
• shelving in garage
• tackle the dang-blasted office closet
• football, football, football

happy sunday all!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the goods

good finds thrifting today. which is a great thing, since supposedly a snowstorm is on its way right now.

i found a great old clock with very nice "lines" and a pretty face. $2.

i got a vintage pie plate, in which a nice apple pie is baking right now.

i scored when i found a cute set of two reindeer, and a sleigh that looks like a leaf. i know they are christmas decorations, but i have a fixation with deer. they are "in" right now, so one of these little guys is going to live on display year round.

ah. now, i can relax.
happy weekend all!

Friday, October 10, 2008


so it's friday, and even though i have a load of work to get done today, all i wanna do is visit each one of those little potential treasure spots on the map above. i cannot believe it's way into october, and garage sale season is still going strong! bring em on!

strongly coinciding with my dream to someday have an artsy store/studio here in town, is the desire to hit every rummage sale and estate sale ever held. i have even gotten phillip into the gig, as he wants to go to "the world's longest yard sale" with me and a uhaul next summer.

i cannot STAND how much i love junkin.!!!

i just seem to find the coolest things. lately, i have been fixated on clocks, old books and magazines with good design, and fabric. of course, fabric.

i have decided i may have to rent a shop space just to HOLD all of the great finds! i challenge each and every one of you to go and buy something old for $1 or $2 dollars today, and see if you don't love it too :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008


sigh. what could be better than october days with sun and sixty degree temps? i am just feeling so grateful. every day i wake up and cannot believe it's still nice out!

it makes such a difference in the middle of a day full of "life stuff" to be able to go outside, take a deep breath and look around. thank you Lord!

ps. please say a prayer for Phil and i today, if you think of us. He lost his job yesterday, so "on we go" for another roller coaster ride. please help us to take our motion pill(s) first!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i want this

tell me i can have it :)


so, i'm 44 squares into my 169 square crochet project.

i am waning a bit, though. i mean, after about 36 squares, it's kinda "been there, done that." however, i am determined to stick with it to the end...which hopefully will coincide with the end of 2008.

unfortunately, not so determined that my eyes did not wander a bit to see what else i might be able to dream up.

i found these books, and promptly ordered both. maybe a little eye candy will not hurt my dedication to the 169 project. ya think?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

in progress

boy, if life isn't one step forward, two steps back. nothing demonstrates this more than home ownership. take a look at the lovely back entrance to the house that i am now dealing with, courtesy my own brilliant (ie, stupid) idea to replace the door to the garage.

i'd been dealing with a crappy, flimsy, window paned door that's let entire BLIZZARDS in the house for 5 years. so this summer, i got a great solid wood door at the habitat for humanity REstore. thing is, i didn't realize that we would also have to deconstruct the whole frame around the door in order to replace it. so far, this is a 3-trips-to-menards special. wish me luck that it won't take many more.

and please God, don't let the blizzards start today.

Monday, October 06, 2008

change of plans

no, i did not clean the #$%^&*( closet this weekend.

i really think i need professional help! at the very least, i need somebody to help me figure out what kind of shelving structure(s) i need to buy.

anyway, i still tried to organize my life. somewhat.

i decided to add a little $12 bookcase to my kitchen nook, so that i have somewhere to put extra kitchen stuff. it's not the most beautiful sight in the world, but it's nice to be able to find my flour bin when i need it.

mostly i spent the day yesterday in BED. on purpose. feeling kind of sleepy tired, but happy to have a day to rest. started reading this book while i was there.

i bought it in a clearance bin, and just now i had to order the follow up books on amazon. it's funny, there was no mention on the cover that this group of women was a "christian prayer group" but THAT is why i like it. i can relate to the silliness of sharing so much of yourself with a group of women, but still being a little afraid to put it ALL out there.