Sunday, January 24, 2010

Worst Dinner Ever (coming soon)

So tonight I had the worst, but funniest dinner experience EVER! I've had several glasses of wine and don't really feel like telling the whole story now.... But ooooh the anticipation!

Tomorrow sometime, or the next day, I will tell you the whole story.... And let you know where NEVER to go out to eat!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back Grounds...

I'm learning how to make my own backgrounds for the blog... sorry if I keep changing it or it's all out of whack. Please let me know what you think if you get here and you see a good one. I'm still working with the dimensions... hopefully what I see as correct will also be what you see too... if not, well... I will never really know.

PS - once I figure it out I can make you one too! (whoever you are)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Present Plans (Help!)

So my mother is turning 60 next month. Wow - 60!

She has pretty much everything she needs. She has a great man, a new house, a new ring (she got engaged over the holidays), and an awesome backyard. They have most everything they need as far as gadgets and gizmos, knick knacks and decor. She has tons of clothes, shoes... and no jewelry will compare to her newest acquisition. So what the heck to get her?

I have an idea!

SIXTY presents! Yes, 60 individually wrapped presents!

I've discussed it with Cayce, my sister, and she thinks it's a good idea. Which thrills me because now I'm only responsible for 30 of the gift ideas! And between us we have 4 kids and I'm sure a few hand made items and cards from them will be counted into the mix. Yes, we are going to count EVERYTHING! I think we will go with a basic, solid, monotone wrapping and have big numbered tags on each item to designate it #1, #2, #3.... #60. Even the cards.

So I have started my list. And I would love any suggestions and/or ideas to help me along.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foggy Afternoon

Here are a few views from around my house in the creepy, misty fog.

These are down my street.

And this is in my backyard.

Hopefully nothing comes out of the fog....!
(I've read and seen lots of sci-fi about mist and fog.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I have all my seeds in my pretty little hands! I've been waiting for them to come in the mail and THEY ARE HERE! YEA! Now... I have to restrain myself from planting them. I think mid to late February would be an ideal time. Then they will have 8-12 weeks of growing indoors before moving on outside. That will give me March and April to prepare my garden areas.

I have an old side table, now living in the basement, that I want to set up in my bed room by the window for my new babies. It will be the same sun they get in the backyard (minus the roof coverage). I'm going to use cardboard egg cartons for the seedlings. But my main fear is that one of my little monsters will knock the whole set up over and not only upset my plants, but get dirt all in my carpet. Soooo.... I have an empty, clear, plastic, storage container. I'm thinking about just putting the whole thing up on the table, putting the egg cartons at the bottom and seeing what happens. The fact that they're in a bucket of sorts will allow me to water them more freely. The plastic walls will hold in more heat and deter tiny hands from poking in the dirt. I might even try to Velcro it to the table to prevent accidental tippage.

I will admit that I was slightly disappointed by the packaging of my new seeds. When you buy them in garden stores they are bright and shiny with full color photos. I guess you also pay for those photos... but my seeds came in rather boring , monotone packets. Mainly just descriptions and planting instructions.

Since I have to wait so long to DO ANYTHING with them I was looking forward to just holding them in my hands and imagining my garden-to-be. I suppose I can do that anyway... It's just more fun to have full color photos to help along the old imagination.

I will just put my seed packets away in my seed box.

I will wait. I will try to have patience. It will be hard....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Magical (Day Two)

So - aside from and handful or so of sunflower seeds at the end of yesterday I am still sticking to my plan. If you know me, that in and of itself is Magical!

I'm still hungry.

I have also been pretty diligent about exercising on the new Wii Fit we got for Christmas. I have really been sticking to a 30 min (or more) workout every other day. Sometimes every day. Yesterday I Wii'd it for over and hour. And today I've already logged in 35 min.! That thing will make you sweat if you choose the right 'games'.

So... what you've all been waiting for: have I lost any weight due to my Magical Leeks?
YES! I actually have!

I have lost THREE pounds since the day before yesterday. I expect another to be counted before the day is through. I think it will be a total of four. AND! I've lost NINE pounds (and possibly ten) since I've started working out on the Wii. Apparently I really just need to move my arse.

I still have 40 more pounds I want to loose to be at my pre-weight-gain-weight. When was that? I have no idea! Maybe in college? When I thought I was fat but SOOOO was not! I don't want to or even think I could, get back down to my highschool weight. That would mean another 60+ pounds I'd have to loose! I want to loose all my weight by the end of summer. That's about seven months. Roughly five and 1/2 pounds per month. Not at all impossible. So... here I go!

What's in Your Garden?

Well, here's what I hope to have in mine!

From Territorial Seed Company I ordered:
Qty Item # Description Price
1 HR1044/S Basil-Purple Ruffles - 1/4 gram $2.95
1 TM884/S Chocolate Cherry Tomato - 1/8 gram $3.15
1 HR1130/S Coriander-Confetti - 1 gram $2.65
1 SQ799/S Eight Ball Squash - 3 grams $3.30
1 SQ829/S Fairy Squash - 3 grams $4.55
1 PP696/S Miniature Yellow Bell Pepper - 1/4 gram $3.35
1 SQ805/S One Ball Squash - 3 grams $3.35
1 ON560/S Purplette Onion - 1/2 gram $2.35
1 TM902/L Red Currant Tomato
Organic - 1/8 gram Organic
1 TM931/S Snow White Tomato - 1/8 gram $2.85
1 TM924/S Super Marzano Tomato - 1/8 gram $3.85
1 BN035/S Violet Podded Stringless Bean - 1 oz $2.05

Subtotal: $37.55

And from Burpee Seed Company I ordered:
Item # Product Qty Price Each Total Price
60139A Okra - Red Velvet, Organic 1 packet (50 seeds) 1

64310A Hot Pepper PiƱata Mix - Packet (30 seeds) 1

68105A Tomato Razzle Dazzle Hybrid - Packet (30 seeds) 1

51771A Cowpea California Blackeye No. 5 - 1 Pkt. (100 Seeds) 1

51243A Lima Bean Burpee's Best (Pole) - 1 Pkt. (2 oz.) 1

60327A Kohlrabi Early White Vienna - 1 Pkt. (400 Seeds) 1

63770A Pepper Red Popper - Packet (40 seeds) 1

61432A Chives, Common - 1 Pkt. (500 seeds) 1

97000 Free Espoma Plant Food 1 Free Gift Free Gift
Free Plant-Tone plant food with a $25 order

$5.00 off a $30 order ($5.00)
Order Subtotal: $26.20

Seems like a lot (cause it is!) but I hope to have some (or most) of these seeds left over for next year's garden as well. So next year's seeds will be free. Also, I received a $100 bill for Christmas and am using that money towards my garden, so no money out of my pocket really.

And now I just have to figure out how I will start my seeds. I figure I will start them sometime in March (maybe February). And then I have to start my construction plan for my green bean/blackeyed pea/lima bean trellis/archway. I want a trellis that is an entryway from the garden into the yard. So an arch, or a straight, up and down doorway structure made from trellis. And I want it to be covered in beans beans beans! So when you walk under it you can look up to see hanging beans and peas and just pick them! This will be a contruction project I am thinking of trying to do myself....
Have I ever built anything? Nope.
Do I have the skills required? Not sure.
Do I have a brother-in-law who does wood projects? Yes....
Do I want to try and see if I can do it all by myself? Absolutely!
Will it fall down and crush the lives of hundreds of beans? Quite possibly! (But I hope not)

My Burpee seeds are on their way and hopefully the others will soon be too. I can't wait to get the seed packets in my hands and just look at them! Touch them! I'm super excited about this year's garden!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Magical (continued)

So I have stuck to my guns all day long! So far. I had another wonderful leek dinner. This time I prepared the leeks (warmed in microwave and topped with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper) and them poured the hot broth over the top. An improvement for sure. And I was generous with the pepper.

By the way, I'm starving!

I have cheated by having coffee today. (any diet that makes me cut out my life's blood can go eF itself!) And I was very tempted to slap my daughter's hand and steal her cookie at snacktime! It smelled so good! And for dinner I decided to make them something that generally doesn't appeal to me, peanut better and jelly sandwiches. But for some reason those PB&Js looked like ambrosia today! I found myself wondering why in the world no one has ever thought to make peanut butter flavored coffee creamer... Since creamer is my only real source of flavor today, it has taken on new value. After a regular meal this may seem disgusting. But today- peanut butter flavored coffee sounds like a magical invention! Screw Magic Leeks!

Overall, it hasn't been so bad. Other than the starving feeling in my guts. But I will say that during my dinner "meal" I was very proud of myself for the first handful of bites I took. The pride slowly wore off and morphed into jealousy (of the peanut butter). And Nola was even offering me some of her food, which she NEVER does! Damn kids!

So... I guess that's all I have to say about my first Magical day.

Not So Magical!

So in the attempts to keep with my New Year's resolution of trying to loose weight I have tried the Magical Leek Soup jump start from the book, French Women Don't Get Fat.

Basically it's leeks boiled in water. You drink a cup of the broth every 2-3 hours and can have the boiled leeks (1/2 cup) at meal time with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Not sure if I got my ratios of leeks to water correct or if it's just a flavorless concoction... but it definitely wasn't very magical. I did what they said with the leeks and that part was pretty good. The broth was bland and left me wanting more... So I ended up putting the last half of my seasoned leeks back into the broth to save it. Let's just say I finished it. But not with a smile on my face.

I will keep it up. It's only for a day and a half. I may break down. I may not. I will try my hardest. It's only a day and a half. It's only a day and a half! Only!

Wish me luck.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!

This is one of my favorite books that I read to my kids. And I love it when it snows and they really want to read it. If you have kids or a kid you love, I highly recommend this book.

Snow Day by Lynn Plourde

Today was a Snow Day for many people here in St. Louis.... the second in a row for the lucky ones. Since I stay home with the kids it doesn't seem quite as special but I still love the snow. My husband doesn't ever have snow days but we always do! Yesterday I was feeling a little lazy I guess, and not really prepared to trudge out into the snow with the kids. Putting on two snowsuits, two pairs of mittens, four pairs of socks, two coats, two hats, two sets of gloves and two pairs of snow boots is a lot of work. Especially for the 10-15 minute span that we will be out there. But today I did it.

I felt like a bad mom yesterday for not doing it. And since Kirk was home during the daytime today I bundled everyone up and we took the kids out into the snowy back yard. It was fun. Cold. Very cold. But fun.

Can we? Can we? CAN WE!

So out we went... all bundled up like abominable snowmen.

Nola was luvin it! Running and playing. Cold? What cold?

Logan was afraid to tromp around in his snow boots... and when he tried, he fell.

But Papa saved him!

Between throwing and punching snowballs!

Snowy Nola.

I love my little snow babies.
Snow Day, Lovey Snow Day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Blanket?

I finished the blanket I was making for my niece's Christmas present (see post here).

And I was really excited that she liked it... at least when she opened it she did. I assume she still does. I wasn't really expecting a happy reaction fro a four year old about getting a crocheted blanket from her aunt... but I did! See:

Now I feel like I need a new crochet project. I have so much yarn, mostly given to me from my aunt who's mother-in-law passed away and had tons of stuff... So I feel like I should use it. But I don't seem to follow through with projects when there is no goal, deadline, or expectant recipient. I don't know of any pregnant people right now and there are no gift giving holidays coming up... what's a girl to do?
I tried at one point to make some gloves, but they just didn't turn out like I wanted so I gave them to my sister, Cayce, to sell on her Etsy site. I think I should stick to things that come in a square.

Maybe I will try to finish some existing projects that are tucked away in my yarn boxes. I never did finish my blue/purple/black blanket.... first seen in my post, Off the Hook!
Maybe I will try to get that done... but what hangs me up is: what to do with it when it's finished?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Garden Planning

So I have almost finished planning my veggie garden for the spring... I'm so excited!

I have my seed catalogs ordered and my little notebook already busting with notes. I have a note card size box that I got last year and saves clippings of what I may want to plant, flowers and food. I have seeds that I saved from last years plants in there too.
I ordered free catalogs from:
The Cook's Garden
Sow True Seeds
Tomato Growers and
Territorial Seed Co.

I plan to choose my plant varieties once I get all my catalogs. I am going to try and order only organic seeds... but I have a feeling I might fall for a tempting colorful hybrid or two. Then once I get my seeds I will start planting them indoors.
(By the way: if anyone local and friendly wants to plant a garden this year I will most likely have extra seedlings. I will plant twice as many as I need to ensure good starters, but I will probably not use them all. Just let me know. I will post again once I figure out what exactly I will be planting this year.)
I think I will set up a side table in my bedroom by the window and hope that it stays mostly left alone by the kids. They will of course be involved in the seed planting... but until they grow to garden size and we aren't frozen indoors I hope they leave them alone. ha ha, right!

I know I want to build/construct some sort of bean/pea trellis this year and put it outside my existing garden plot. So that will free up some space I didn't have last year. And then I want to extend the garden plot area by a few feet at least. And I do plan to use all my empty pots this year to grow more things... I really want to grow enough for us to eat during the summer months and some to save and freeze for the winter months.

Here is my rough draft of what I want to grow this year:
Green Beans, one green, one purple
Peas, green and black-eyed
Tomatoes, regular, two varieties
Tomatoes, cherry, 5 varieties (colors)
Okra, one green, one red
Peppers, bell
Peppers, two hot
Squash, two varieties
Onions, to keep the squash bugs away mostly
Cilantro, for Salsa Baby!
Basil, for pesto
Misc Herbs in pots

Oh Spring!
Where are you my Old Friend!?
Hurry Back... You are Missed!