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.