Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm Not a Vegetarian

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

My line used to be I eat more vegetables than vegetarians eat meat. I have since then added more vegetables to my regular diet. Tonight's supper was meat-free. Strange.

I made Burgundy Mushrooms from The Pioneer Woman Cooks today. I was going to make them on Wednesday, so Tuesday evening I pulled out the cookbook to check out what I needed to get for groceries to make it. I wasn't even reading the instructions when my eye caught the words "cover with lid and simmer for 6 hours." I read it again and then the next step which was "uncover and simmer for 3 hours." I knew then that it wasn't a weekday supper recipe. I would have to save it for the weekend. This morning I got up and put everything together and on the stove.

Nine hours later I was having supper. It is recommended to serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices. I served it over couscous. The mushrooms are really yummy and I can see making them again. This serves as my good intention to cook from a different cookbook each month. Now I know the internet rule - if there is no picture, it didn't happen.

For the most part I'm happy with how I did with my good intentions this month. One craft project completed, one new recipe tried and some Christmas ornaments made. The photography good intentions didn't work out as well, but there is always room to improve. Next month I won't worry too much about my intentions, with the intention of trying again in March.

Two Things

First of all, supper is already simmering on the stove (it's before 11 a.m. here) and the smell is fabulous. However, the side effect is that I'm going to want to eat all day so probably won't be hungry by the time it's ready.

Secondly, I'm having a fantastic hair day, but am not leaving my house all day so no one else will see it.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Old Laugh

I've been reading It Made My Day, and yes, it's making me laugh.

It also reminded me of one of my favourite stories. I was at my friend's house and her younger sister who was about 13 at the time was watching TV. After listening to J sing along with a commercial I said, "J you watch too much TV." She spun around to face me and with a deadpan face said "And I eat too much candy." And spun around to watch TV again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


So what's been going on since the last post? Not much, hence the lack of posts. I've made some more of the Christmas balls I showed in the post. I've now used up all the appropriate cards I had saved from last year. I've made 18 so far. I still don't know where I've stashed previous years cards, so I'm not going to worry about making more for now. I may make more if the cards show up in the great craft supply organization planned for later this year.

I did not consider the Christmas card balls as my intention to complete a craft project a month. I did complete my planned project this evening. Using the instructions from here I made a zippered pouch. You can see my results on the left. The most difficult step for me was the stapling of the second side of the zipper. However the material was quite forgiving in the matter of removing the staples and trying again.

So my criteria for a successful project include how easy was it to accomplish, did the results match my expectations and will I make it again. Like I said, I had trouble with one step, but other than that everything went well. I am pleased with the result - I did not choose fabric that I'm completely in love with (the colour is more burgundy that the picture is showing). The result is quite satisfactory and met my expectation. I will be making more of these. First of all I bought a remnant of fabric from WalMart to do this and I have lots left over, so might as well use it all up. I also have an entire roll of Duct Tape to use. So the cost of future pouches will be more zippers.

I still intend to cook something out of my cookbooks this week. I've decided on making a recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook (website). I was going to try to do it this evening, but the snowstorm has kept me really close to home so haven't had the opportunity to buy all the necessary ingredients.

As for my other good intentions, I haven't been taking a picture a day, maybe I'll do better next week. In fact all my photography intentions have not been successful. But there is still time this year. I've kind have decided to not sweat some of this until after getting back from my holidays in late February. I'm also waiting for some research materials so I'm allowing myself all year to meet my intentions.

My vacation in February will also be a vacation from my good intentions. Since I will be gone for three weekends and the last weekend of the month is already booked with other obligations I will not be pressuring myself to accomplish stuff, especially when it concerns my hobbies. Hobbies are supposed to be fun, not add additional stress to ones life.

Now it's time to decide what to make for supper and then settle in for an evening of stitching, TV and a few chores.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Little Bit of Christmas

I think the best time to make Christmas decorations is in January. There is no pressure to complete them now, since Christmas isn't for another 12 months. You are not busy with other Christmas prep like decorating, shopping, baking and finishing projects that are to serve as gifts. The only downside is that you can't display your cool new Christmas decorations for 12 months. I get bonus points since the main material I'm using are old Christmas cards - using, not storing - huge bonus points.

These are the ones I made over the weekend. I'm not very fast, mostly because I'll do some and then I'll get up and check my computer or get distracted by the TV show (or have to change the channel).

They are quite simple to make. Cut your cards into strips. I cut my strips anywhere from 1 cm to 1" and came out to 8 to 20 strips. Punch holes in the top and bottom. I've been using Martha Stewart's hole punch and it works well. It might be the reason these have been slower. I hurt my wrist putting away my trees on Saturday and it's still twinging a bit today. The punch isn't super wrist friendly. The put a couple of fasteners (brads) through the holes, making sure they are thick enough to go through all the sheets. The longest ones I've found were at an office supply store, but only in brass. I picked up a bunch of others at Michaels, but I have to be careful how many strips I have for those because they are not as long. All that's left is bowing the strips of paper and spreading them out to create the ball.
These are the four I made today. I only have 3 cards left to do then I have to find where I stored the previous years cards (in anticipation of doing this project).

These qualify for mention in the good intentions category. Specifically the intention to make more Christmas decorations. It does not count as doing one craft project a month. I have another craft in mind for that intention.

Friday, January 08, 2010

A Good Friday

Not The Good Friday.

Today was my first earned day off (EDO) of the calendar year and I've had a very good day. It actually started last night. I washed my car and headed grocery shopping. There I parked my car underground so it would dry and not freeze up too badly. After I finished grocery shopping I went to my weekly stitch - in. (It's held in the community room at the grocery store, so it makes sense to do both concurrently.) After thawing out my car thoroughly (3 hours above freezing) the weird clunking sound from the back of my car is gone. Yay! It was also great stitching for the first time in a month.

This morning I got up, showered and started to de-Christmas my house. Boy it takes a long time to take down the decorations on a tree when there are well over 50 ornaments and 4 different types of garlands. I sure glad I leave my lights on year to year and don't use tinsel. I also took the Christmas decorations off the white tree, the mantle and the shelf unit. All that's left is getting the trees actually taken down and put away and packing up the ceramic ornaments. By the way, we have tree decorating parties, we should have tree un-decorating parties since un-decorating is a lot less fun than decoration.

After lunch I headed out running errands. I was 66% successful. I cannot find tree bags in this city. I think I waited a week too long. So it's time to get creative with storing my trees. I also went to my parents for a few minutes before heading home for a nap.

This evening has been great. The curling game was top notch. While watching I worked on the sock I'm knitting. I also made a couple of paper Christmas ornaments. More on these in another post.

So the game plan for tomorrow is a visit to Michaels, breakfast with the gang, spending some time doing stuff at mom & dad's and then working with Photoshop. That will meet my intention to work with Photoshop once a week.

Now a picture and story. The picture is quite simply of my bead garland that goes on my tree every year. I like it a lot - the creamy colour and the fact that there's a lot so it loops around my large tree. The first couple years it was a huge pain to deal with. It would tangle on it's self it you looked at it funny. It took hours to detangle. I think one year it took over 4 hours to get it straightened out and then it had to go on the tree without tangling again. There was a bad chemical smell to them too. Not that your could smell it in the air, but your hands would reek after working with it. Mom came up with the simple solution you see here. We made a bobbin out of some cardboard. Now it goes on and off the tree easily. The chemical smell has also gone away with years of use. I really love it on my tree.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cross Stitched Humour

Reminder: need to take picture tonight, especially since I didn't to do it last night. I should be at my needlearts guild meeting tonight, but I'm not feeling 100% so I decided to stay home and save my energy for work tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let's see if any of my readers share my sense of humour.

Here's the information of the design. I have this one on my desktop wallpaper on rotation at work and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Made Me Laugh

Last post of the day - I promise. Here's hoping I post again sometime in the future.

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog is occasionally I live in the moment a little too much. Something happens and I let it slip away - how I felt about it, what I learned, etc. Maybe if I record some of these moments, I won't lose them.

This is a first in what I hope will be a recurring type of post - things that made me laugh, especially out loud. I'm usually alone when it happens, so I want to shore my joy. And the strangeness of my mind.

Today when I drove into my parking lot, I saw a vehicle with personalized Alberta plates that read "HABSRULE"

I won't explain the joke here, but if someone asks, I'll post it in the comments.

Good Intentions

So New Year's Day (Official Day of Good Intentions) and some people make resolutions and some people resolve not to make resolutions. I'm not that fond of making resolutions since I suck at self-discipline and I don't want to feel bad about myself. I'm also not good with plans, but they are necessary at times.

For the past 6 years while doing school part time I would have summers off at least from the school part of my schedule. This last June when I knew I wasn't going back to school in the fall, I didn't make plans for what I wanted to do during the summer. (Please note, the last time I attempted to blog was early summer, obviously a summer plan that year.) That meant that anything rattling around my brain didn't really get articulated with a deadline and nothing got accomplished. The thing to note about self-inflicted deadlines - I mostly ignore them. However some time after the deadline, I get what I want done. So I need the deadline to make my plan feel more real to me.

Don't worry if the previous paragraph makes no sense. I said I was endlessly fascinated with my mind. It doesn't mean the rest of the world is.

So these aren't goals or resolutions, but what I'm calling good intentions. Sort of like a plan. With a timetable. Subject to change on whim. I am female after all. But there are categories.

1. Blog. Part of my reason to blog is to record progress on the rest of my good intentions. Hopefully all the posts won't start with "Well I didn't get a done or b done and forget about c, that's never going to happen ..."
2. Weed through the music on my computer. I have picked up stuff from various places over the years and some of it I never listen to, have never listened to, don't know why I have it. So it needs to go.
3. Load all my CD's onto my computer. I know, most people did this about 4 years ago. I know about the trends, but the last thing anyone would call me is trendy. These two intentions have a reward attached to them. I want an iPod Classic to load all my music on.
4. Go through my RSS feed list. Google Reader tells me I have 331 subscriptions. Some I never read the new posts and others that are completely dead. So I need to get rid of the deadwood. (Yeah, yeah, I know this used to be one of the completely dead blogs.)
5. Learn enough about web pages so my blog template doesn't look so dorky.

I'd like to get good at photography, but that's not going to happen without some effort, so...
1. Learn something new about photography once a month. Potential topics here include camera settings like aperture, or styles/techniques like macro photography. I really would like to take wonderful pictures of my projects and the children in my life.
2. Learn more about photoshop by doing a photoshop tutorial a week or fixing a photo a week.
3. Post pictures related to last 2 intentions on blog.
4. Take more pictures. I'm think this means to trying to do Project 365 which means taking a picture every day. I took one today, if I don't forget I'll post it at the bottom of this really long post. (Incentive to keep reading.)

1. I have a lot of cookbooks that I've never made anything out of. So my plan is to cook something from a different cookbook at least once a month. Maybe bake something once a month as well. So then I will try something new every other week.
2. Post results on blog.
3. Invite people over so as to cook for more than just myself all the time.

1. Lots of ideas for craft project, very little follow through. I intend to plan/complete a different craft project each month. I have hundreds of ideas stored, so I just need to start trying different stuff.
2. Organize craft supplies. I have just about everything I need, except for the work table. Which since my craft room is also my living room will be the coffee table. My dad is building my coffee table, so once that is done there is no excuse left for not organizing the craft supplies. (Coffee table includes storage.)
3. I love Christmas trees but I haven't made ornaments for several years. I want to make some this year. Especially the idea I have for using old Christmas cards. I'm not making any goals for how many need to be completed, just that I want to work on this.
4. Needless to say I'll be posting the results to my blog, hopefully.

Thus ends the thesis, let's see how this year turns out.

Here's how it started:This is where I slept last night. Grandma spent the night so I gave her my bed and was too lazy to blow up the air mattress.

About me updated

So I was reading the post that started this all in 2006 that was all about me and decided a few updates were in order.

1. I'm no longer working for the VP of Manufacturing. I know work as a Project Coordinator in Operations. I still don't know what that means, but I still don't answer the phone or type. It's actually a great job with fabulous co-workers/bosses and I really think that we are on the cusp of greatness.

2. School wise I've completed the courses for the Accounting Certificate through the local technical school. I'm taking time off school right now since I've been doing work full-time and school part-time for the last 6 years. Right now I don't have any intentions of pursuing further study unless my career warrants it.

3. My brother and sister-in-law no longer have a dog, but do have a son. I love being an auntie. There may be a lot of Linc stories (or at least pics when I don't have anything better to go with a post, he's so cute). They are also expecting twins in spring. I'm so excited.

4. Megan has 2 sons and Mel has a husband.

5. I have a digital camera and no excuse not to post pictures.

That should catch you up.

Blue Moon

So it's New Year's Day, or as I like to call it the Official Day of Good Intentions. One of my good intentions is to reactivate this really old blog to record my other good intentions. This time, I'm going to be really brave and tell people about my blog. And I won't lose it again - hopefully.

Last night was a blue moon. The picture was taken by my grandma. We went looking for the moon when I picked her up last night. She spent the night since she didn't want to hang out at my parents while they were having a party. We had a quiet evening. I made a simple supper, we played Mexican Railroad (in which I slaughtered her, the game was close twice - before we started playing and after the 6th round where I got within 30 points of her), watched the end of the exciting Canada/US World Juniors hockey game and went to bed before midnight.

So my hope is that I will post more frequently than once in a blue moon. (Since a blue moon occurs about every 2 1/2 years, I haven't even managed that type of frequency yet.)