Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Craftiness in a completely non-skilled way!

So, I have some friends who are having babies. It's very exciting. I like babies. So, I was reading a thing somewhere about something you could do for those ladies, and it seemed easy and fun and involved the eating of small candy-coated chocolates, so I was in!

So, the theory is that you make a "countdown jar" kind of like a really extended Advent calendar. To do this, you need to know the lady's due date (which we all know is just an estimate and no guarantee of an actual baby being born ON that day, which gives you some wiggle-room in case you do your math wrong or mess up when you're counting, you can just say you put in as many as you THINK there are going to be days left in the pregnancy, thus covering any flubs with a sort of "I think THIS is the day the baby will be born" thing).  I then went to The Internet and plugged that information into one of those countdown ticker things, and it told me how many days. I wasn't going to like... count on a calendar or anything. That's crazy!

Then I asked The Internet to tell me how many M&Ms were in a package, and I got the answer that there were 60-80 in each 7 oz package. (SPOILER ALERT: That's totally not true). Based on that number, I decided to get 4 colors of candies and make a multi-colored jar. You can do pink & blue if you want, but I went with giraffe colors, because this is baby #2 for my friend, and baby #1 has a lot of jungle-ish themed stuff.

But first I went to Walmart and bought a little jar. For $1.97.

Then I went to Party City to get solid colors of M&Ms. You can totally do this with the full rainbow that comes in regular packages and save yourself some money & a trip to a separate store, but I didn't do that. I got 2 shades of yellow, one beigeish color and dark brown. It looks black, but it's not. Trust me.
Then I did some math where I took the number of days left in the pregnancy of my friend, divided it by the number of colors I had and came up with 40.75 candies of each color. I rounded to 41.
Ta da! That's 1/4 of the candies needed for this project pictured above. Below is the rest of the candies left over. Needless to say, I was grateful that I know some other babies getting themselves born this spring, so I made some extra jars. And some for the dads-to-be as well. Because it turns out there are closer to 200 in each bag... yeah... extras for everyone!
Then I got these too stinkin' adorable stickers (also from Walmart, on my 2nd trip to pick up extra jars). I just put the stickers straight on the jar... no Mod Podge or anything. Just stickers on a jar. That's my level of crafty involvement people!
And there you have it! One "countdown until you have a baby" jar! I must stay, I'm really proud that I managed NOT to eat like a million extra M&Ms.  When counting, I was able to stick to just one of each color! I celebrated by taking the few extras left over and making sure they went to a good home.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I should have lots to say...

I feel like I should have lots to say, but I think it's all still floating around up in my brain at the moment, trying to figure out if it wants to come out or not. What follows may or not be a) coherent, 2) interesting, or D) have anything to do with anything that might be considered important. Be warned. You can walk away now, no hard feelings. It might be just a bunch of 2 second stories. I don't know.

I had a very full weekend. I attended the Women of Faith conference with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's mother-in-law and some other various and assorted family-type people. All women of course, because... that's the name of the whatsit. My in-laws go every year, and have been since 2004. I went last year, and while it's not really my thing, I go and enjoy the time with family. I usually get something out of some of the speakers, and I like the chance for singing worship songs with other people, so that's nice too. 20,000 other people is a bit much, but it's still neat to see. Just like at a concert at big arenas, it's cool to see so many people all together who might not have anything else in common but this one thing.

So that was my Friday & Saturday. Sunday was... I don't know. There was a lot of cranky in the house, which I'm totally blaming on the weather. Atmospheric pressure from the thunderstorm that hit last night. Yeah. That's it. But stuff got done and Fraggles got watched, so that's a pretty good deal. Red is perhaps my favorite Fraggle, but just because of the hair. I was once Red Fraggle for Halloween, which was pretty fun. Making the pigtails remains one of my favorite craft projects to date. But once the Fraggles start talking & doing stuff, then I'm firmly a Mokey/Boober kind of girl, although Wembley will always have a place in my heart that has little or nothing to do with the fact that Hoban Washburn is the spitting image of Wembley.

Photo from Comic Alliance

Speaking of crafts, and I was, somewhere up there, I recently read about and then actually completed a craft project for a friend who is going to have a baby next year. It's a simple thing: just a jar of somethings (I chose M&Ms) that you count out to be the number of days left in the pregnancy, and then they get to eat one each day and watch the jar empty out as their belly expands. Kinda neat I thought, so I did it. I have pictures. I might make it a separate post, call it a "tutorial" and feel crafty & neat. Yeah, I think I'll do that! Keep your eyes peeled for crafting with the Bean! The no-sew, no-knit, no-skill required craft niche!

Somehow my closet has gotten crowded again, and I don't remember buying just a whole lot of clothes. My current theory is that in a fit of organizational irrationality I decided to hang all the clothes because I had so much space to use up. And then I used it all up.

I was thinking the other day about online names vs. real names, and how some of the blogs I read use their real names and their husbands/kids real names, and some have nicknames for everybody, and while I would love to be totally awesome and creative and come up with a good identifier for my husband, I don't know that I've really got it in me. I type "J" because that's what I usually type when talking about him, because I'm too lazy to type out the other 5 letters of his name. Plus, the only thing that I could think of that went well with beans was rice, and I don't think that calling him "Rice" would really do anyone any good. I mean, he's white and all, but... no. I mean, green beans are good with bacon, but I'm not really green, and while he loves bacon, I don't think I could call him that either. So, my beautiful, talented, creative, caring, daring, cat-box cleaning husband shall remain J, because that's what I call him. In text. Not so much out loud.

So, I joined this book club thing. I've never done one of those before, but I've always thought I might like to, and then I got invited to one, so I did it. I met strangers in a public place to talk about a book we'd read. It really helped that the public place was Blue Mesa for Sunday brunch, which is a very nice treat. Good food makes meeting strangers easier. But it went well. I didn't feel totally bizarre and out of place. I think I almost remember half of all the names (which, seeing as how there were only 7 people isn't as impressive as I'd like it to be). But I'm gong to do it again. As soon as I find and read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

So there it is. That's what I've got to say today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where did my week go?

I was going to write a love letter to yogurt, the regular kind, the pansy not-Greek kind wherein I praised it for being awesome and lambasted the Greek kind for making my mouth feel like hate and chalk, but it wandered off into a weird place where off-label clinical uses of yogurt to treat miscellaneous infections came up and I got uncomfortable and grossed out, so I stopped. But please know that I love regular yogurt and am very happy to be back to my Yoplait mornings and as far as I'm concerned, protein be damned, I'm not going back to the icky sour Greek stuff. So there!

It's possibly too early in the morning to be using words like "lambaste" since I'm only about 80% sure of the meaning, but by the time I get around to actually publishing this, I will have a) consulted a dictionary, 2) probably eaten some yogurt, and D) let several hours pass so it will be nearly afternoon. Probably.

My 365 Days of Bean project is currently driving me crazy, because the pictures keep moving around... of their own volition, apparently. Not only are they rearranging themselves within the album, some of them have left the album!! Well, they've left my version of the album that I edit & upload stuff to, though they're still online. Online: 304 photos. In my off-line version: 178 photos. This is NOT GOOD!  So now I'm trying to find all the photos that I had in there and put them back where they belong, and the whole thing is sort of frustrating me. So, until I can figure out where the heck my pictures have gone, the project is sort of on hold. Don't worry, you're just missing more pictures of my cats, my hair, and things I saw while driving. Hopefully it'll get sorted soon.

There wasn't a holiday this week, so I have no excuse for the days not feeling right, but they just don't. Tuesday felt like Friday. Wednesday felt like Tuesday. Today doesn't feel like anything except LONG. And it's not even breakfast time yet. Thursdays are some of my favorite days, since I get to sing and see my Lace friends this evening, and that always leads to smiling. So does oatmeal with brown sugar, in case you were wondering.

Have I told you about the new Muppet Album?
Yeah! Ok, so, let's quickly review some of my favorite bands:
Alkaline Trio
Deathcab for Cutie

Now, 50% of those bands did cover songs for this new album. Yeah! Oh yeah! It's so awesome. OKGo did a video with muppets and Movin' Right Along is maybe my all-time favorite muppet song. I mean, I love Rainbow Connection and Mahna Mahna too, but the silly banter from Movin' Right Along is what makes it so awesome. "Cab it?!?"  And yes, there is silly Matt & Dan banter.  And the "duggadun duggadun." So... yes. It's pretty much the COOLEST thing ever!! On this day.

I'm still working on figuring out Pinterest. I like looking at other people's boards, and sometimes I even get inspired to pin something myself, but it's a slow process. In other news, I have Klout. Rapidly declining with few topics of true influence, but you know... it's there. I do know some stuff about biscuits, so you know, if you need your biscuity questions answered... just gimme a call.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fruit of the Vine

Oops, I did it again! Tried to write a post in my sleep that is.
This time, though, I think I remember enough of what I wanted to talk about to just dive in and do it.

This time, I want to talk about booze. Margaritas and wine specifically. And I will mention the mighty Manhattan too. That should adequately cover all of my favorite libations.  But it's not really the drinks I want to talk about, it's my friends.

Blackberry margarita?
What was I thinking?
Blood orange margarita...
seemed like a good idea at the time?
Ok, so, on my 21st birthday, I called my mother at noon to get her not-so-Super-Secret Margarita recipe. I wanted in on the family secret, and it's really quite simple, but makes fantastic frozen margaritas, which is funny, since Mom likes hers best on the rocks, but Dad likes them frozen, and it's just easier to blend up a pitcher of those anyway, so... yeah. I called at noon, and my mother (who was in California at the time, while I still lived in Nebraska) was a little shocked that I was calling for booze recipes before lunch, but then I reminded her of the time difference and promised not to consume them until a more reasonable hour. I think I waited until like... 2. Because I had to go buy supplies, or course! Now, in it's simplest form, I think a margarita is just lime & tequila (with simple syrup so it's not all bitter). I like my margaritas pretty simple, with just a splash of orange-flavored something in there. I don't care for flavored margaritas or funky recipes with sweet and sour mix or other nonsense. I've tried some. It never really ends well for me. 

I am not a margarita aficionado. I leave that to my friend MB. She's a... bottomless well of information about tequila and margaritas. If you need to know where to get a good margarita in whatever town you're in, you call MB. Also, my first memory of my friend Amy is that she was the girl with the good tequila at my first social function in the greater Dallas area. She's my margarita buddy too. There's a fabulous restaurant along I-35 called Bienvenidos and we love it for lots of reasons, one of which is Rene, the best waiter in the history of the service industry, and the other is that this happened:

A group of us came to dine, were seated, and when Rene asked my brother what he wanted to drink, my brother said, "I want a margarita as big as my head." Rene didn't even blink, took the rest of the orders and came back with the biggest margarita glass I'd ever seen outside of a cartoon. It was LITERALLY (not in the internet way, the real way) the size of my brother's whole head. That's why we like Rene. That, and the fact that 4 years later, I walk in and he still knows what I want (sour cream chicken enchiladas & a side of black beans).

Speaking of my brother, this is where I'll make a clumsy switch to talking about wine. My brother is the good kind of wine snob. He's turned his passion for wine into a hobby, and is now half-way to becoming a sommelier. Yeah, I know. It's awesome. But that's not the best part! Well, the best part is that he's my brother, so I get to use and abuse his extensive knowledge at every family gathering. But the other best part, is that he speaks my language when it comes to wine. Actually, he speaks lots of languages, or can at least imitate the accent, but that's not what I mean. I mean that I can tell him that what I'm drinking tastes blue, and he knows what I mean, and better yet, he remembers what I like enough to never let me drink stuff that will make my face pucker. While I can probably tell you the difference between a chardonnay and a Riesling in a blind taste test, he's so good that he can do that thing where he can tell you what kind of grapes were used, where they were grown and the names of the kids of the guys who picked the grapes. Or most of that information anyway. But it's really the best when he hands you a glass, tells you to sip and breathe and describe what you taste and smell. He doesn't giggle at me when I say it tastes like rocks and leather. Turns out, both of those things are on the tasting wheel. "Blue" and "fuzzy" aren't, but he can usually translate those into something useful.

Then, one day, he made me like gin. Pretty much just like that. I had always said that gin tasted like Pine-Sol, therefore I wasn't drinking it. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, he & our friend Dan were concocting drinks. From a book, not just inventing things, although making stuff up by the seat of their pants is sort of a trademark of theirs, and they're pretty good at it. Dan & my brother are a lot like Josh & Sam from the West Wing, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch that show, because Aaron Sorkin tells great stories. Anyway, back to the booze. Dan & Glenn (my brother, for those trying to keep up at home) like to explore stuff and learn stuff and discover stuff, especially when it comes to cooking or drinking or tiny metal sculptures of battle dudes and tank things... but this time, it was about old fashioned cocktails. Not the cocktail "Old Fashioned" although that's one of them. Classic cocktails. 60s type cocktails with sugar cubes and twists of lemon that require shakers and stuff. At first, it was a beautiful lavender concotion called a Blue Moon that Dan made for me. I liked it, but was convinced that it was a fluke. Gin was still an evil thing, and juniper berries should be left alone. Then I got curious about some of the names I was hearing. A Corpse Reviver? French 75? So, ok, I like gin cocktails.

Then I exercised the best rule of my brother's drinks--everything tastes better from his glass. I don't know why this is true, but it is. And usually he indulges me and lets me have a taste of whatever he's drinking. Which is how I fell in love with Manhattans. Now I have 3 different kinds of bitters at home and a very large jar of maraschino cherries in my fridge. Of course, my brother introduced me to the real thing, which is dark and sweet and rich, not like the bright red things we're used to, but I live with the bright red grocery store version for now. Someday I'll splurge and treat myself to a real kicker of a Manhattan. For now, I'll just sip them out of my brother's glass!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I could type while I sleep...

Last night, I had a great idea for a blog post. I had about 500 words written out in my head. It was about poetry, I think. Don't worry, I wasn't writing poetry.  I learned my lesson on that score years ago, though not early enough to save myself from lots of retrospective embarrassment. I took myself WAY too seriously and thought I had lots of profound things to say. Hopefully I've learned that lesson somewhat and look back on these someday knowing that even though it's obvious that I don't know much, I KNOW I don't know much. Except about U2. I know a lot about U2, but I'm not like an expert or anything. Just... full of trivia.

So there I was, comfortably snuggled up with all the pillows, waiting for my husband to come to bed. He said he was tired and going to come to bed early, so I was very excited. Usually "early" for him is about an hour after "normal" for me, so the chance to fall asleep together is sort of exciting. So, to keep myself awake while I waited for my darling spouse to finish whatever it was he was doing on one of his many connected-to-the-Internet devices, I started thinking out a blog post. I might have done better if I'd remembered that this sort of thing only ever ends in tears, because I never remember all the brilliant things I was going to say the next day. I don't know why I think I'm at my most creative and communicative in the 15 minutes before I fall asleep, but I'm convinced my best stuff is thought up in those moments.

I've considered getting some sort of recording device, and what would be great, would be if it could do that nifty speech-to-text thing, and then I could wake up and have a whole post already typed out and ready for publication. Only, everyone knows that I'm not necessarily my most coherent when speaking, and that diminishes significantly when sleepy. Added on to that the fact that speech-to-text technology is pretty cool, but for me only works if I try to channel Alan Rickman when speaking. That's not necessarily conducive to my creative flow...

an example, 100% from the speech-to-voice whatsit on my phone:

What I said- When I wanted to write a post about poetry when I was falling asleep, it was really frustrating because I think there's some really good stuff in there actually, about my poetry class and I wanted to write about my professor who's a little bit crazy and a lot a hippy and wanted to publish my book report, which was so embarrassing.

What it translated- when I wanted to write a post about poetry sleep because I think it's really good stuff in there ashley about to go to class and I wanted to write my professor who's the crazy I want to publish my book report soldier (photographic evidence as soon as I can get back to my computer with the cord that takes the pictures off of my phone...)

Pretty close, truth be told, but far enough off, with enough omissions, that if I was even the slightest bit sleep-incoherent, then filling in the blanks (And who is Ashley?) would be... problematic. In other news, a book report soldier would be fantastic!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Schmooblies, dreams and some other stuff

A quick review, in case you forgot:
This is my husband.

I know, right?
 He's a musician. That has lots of perks, and also some drawbacks. Right now (as I type this, probably not as you read this) he's in Houston, auditioning for The Voice, which is sort of American Idol-ish, only, a little different, but essential the same--singing competition reality show, and stuff. Anyway, he never was interested in American Idol, that I remember, but has LOVED The Voice. And being the awesome, ambitious, dream-chasing man that I love, he signed up for the live auditions in Houston. And that's where he is. Singing his heart out. I'm so stinkin' proud of him. Mostly because he's chasing his dream of making music full time. Which is funny, because he also loves his "day job" so much. I don't know anyone who is so happy with both their 9-5 and their hobby jobs. He's very lucky in that way, and I totally reap the benefits of a happy husband, so I'm lucky too.

So, dreams, in the "life goals" way, not the "what happened in my brain last night" way, because what happened in my brain last night is just disturbing and not to be shared with the internet, because no one but me cares. But life goals... see, mine are vague. I have a card with this quote from Jack Kerouac, "...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."  and a fridge magnet that says "To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."--Ralph Waldo Emerson  I really think that sums it up for me in lots of ways. Perfectly ambitious I think.

I was going to have more to say, enough to add a third "and other stuff" paragraph, but it's my wonderful coworker's last day & we're headed out to lunch to celebrate. I'm really gonna miss him, so that's all I have to say about that.  Oh, and good luck to him. And to my husband. And to everyone today--have great days. Do well at the things you want to accomplish. Be well, because I probably like you a lot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog

So, I started this thing out a year ago, in Illinois, with a baby duckling in my arms.
I was convinced that I would abandon it, ignore it, or just give up.

So far, I'm glad to have proven myself wrong!

Happy Birthday, Blog!

the extent of my visual artistic skills.... ta-da!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dude, not the ranch kind

Dude. (Translation: I have no better way to inarticulately start this post about things that I am selfishly upset about)

Dude! (Translation: My favorite co-worker is moving away. I am sad. I told him today that it wasn't about the fact that he got basically his dream job in a city he's been dying to move to for YEARS and gets to live inexpensively in a huge, beautiful house until he figures out what neighborhood to settle into, and he gets to live there with his best friend, while he works his dream job, in his dream town, with a company that's exactly what he wanted. No, I'm sad because he's the best work-friend I've ever had and now he's going to be gone and I will be doing my job and half of his and the only reason that I look competent or capable at all most days is because he & I communicate well and balance one another out in terms of organization and remembering details and what-not. I know I will find a way to adapt to the new normal and things will be alright. I know that I still have people to talk to and ask questions. But I'm going to miss my friend.)

Duuuude. (I gave a mini-dissertation, fueled only by first-hand accounts and vast quantities of speculation today on my right to say "dude" as much as I wanted because I was from California, even though I haven't lived there for over 20 years, and when I did, I never did anything even vaguely surf-like, was not frequently seen on any beaches, anywhere, and was from the part of the state that thought "hella" was a good way to modify other slang words. During my brief-but thoroughly enjoyable-stay at UC Santa Barbara I remember quite a few debates on California culture. NoCal vs SoCal... and just typing that makes me twitch, because... come on. You're from the Bay Area, LA, or San Diego, right? Or the way-north-almost Oregon part. There are all sorts of "valleys" that you can be from too, but for the most part, those are the areas of California that I recognize. Eureka and other parts north, The Bay Area-which extends disgustingly far in my brain, the central valley, LA and San Diego... If you're not from one of those areas, can you describe your part of the state to me using those areas? That would be helpful. I think of Texas that way too. El Paso, Amarillo-the panhandle, DFW, Austin/San Antonio, Houston, and East Texas...  If you're from other parts of the state, can you describe it using those areas? That would be helpful. I'm pretty sure Illinois is just stuff between Wisconsin, Chicago & Springfield too. Maybe everyone divvies up states that way. There are some big cities & some stuff in between? Nebraska is Lincoln, Omaha & everything else. Nevada is just Las Vegas & a whole lot of dessert. This is my grasp of American geography, and it gets worse on the East Coast.  It's all one big sort of blob in my head--New England & Other Southern States. I should draw my map of the US. It would be highly entertaining, if only to me.)

DUDE! (Translation: I did it. Standard Internet disclaimers apply--this is my version, from my brain, not meant to be an accurate or realistic representation of people, places, or heaven forbid, geography. This is just the way I think about the country. I realize that certain common labels (Midwest, New England) may be completely off, but this is what I think... feel free to visit the website and color your own map with your own labels, colors, boundaries, etc.)
Click here to see full size

Adoption, but not the baby kind

You know that I love words. I like lots of words. Today, I have adopted 2 words:

aquabib* and prandicle**.

Spell check and Words with Friends don't recognize them, but the Oxford Dictionary does.

Want some fancy words of your own? Head over to Save the Words to adopt some gems!

*one who drinks water
**a small meal

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kitchen Adventures, Bean-style

So, I first heard about the recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait from my friend Megan, who sent me over to Smitten Kitchen to wander about and lust after recipes I could probably never re-create adequately. Seriously, check out her recipe for skirt steak with bloody mary tomato salad. She even recreated the Ratatouille ratatouille. Dude! 

Then I went to the grocery store and somehow convinced myself that 2 lbs of blueberries was a reasonable purchase. Because they were on sale! That's how grocery store logic works. That's how I wound up with a lot of greek yogurt that I will have to pawn off donate to some culinarily hipper friends. 

But back to the berries that are blue! I ate some every day with my yogurt & for dessert & they were good. 

But... I don't know if you know this, but 2 lbs is a lot of berries. More than I could manage on my own. I thought about freezing them and thus surprising myself some long, cold, winter night with blueberries of summery joy, but I also had a desire to create something, to bake and be all... domestic. So I dug up the recipe and attempted it.
folding in the berries
ready for the oven

I gotta say, the batter was super tasty. I know it's just your basic cake/cookie dough batter-- flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, milk... but man! It was so good! I wore a fun apron and was quite pleased with everything at this stage in the game. 
However, I didn't read carefully enough. One of the steps that got skipped was coating the berries in flour before sprinkling them on top. I assume that makes them "float" throughout the cake.  What I ended up with was a cross between cake and cobbler... sort of blueberry upside-down cobbler.  I had some friends over to test it out, because I firmly believe one should always inflict kitchen adventures and untested recipes on friends and family. No one has died yet or suffered any undue gastrointestinal distress.  So I took some over to some other friends, because, you know... it made quite a bit of cake.  So far, I'm glad to report, everyone is still alive and no one hates me for inflicting this dessert upon them.  I was quite pleasantly surprised at how moist it stayed. So, you know... there you have it. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

a little more to the left

Despite the title, this is not a post about politics.

I know I'm not the only one who finds joy in re-organization. After the Closet Swap, I've been wanting to attack all the other closets in the house. And the pantry. And the kitchen cabinets. And maybe move around some furniture.

Strangely, I've decided to start with the last thing first. I'm going to rearrange the furniture in several rooms. This pleases me because I don't think there is any room where I am 100% happy with the current arrangement. I don't know that the changes I have in mind will lead to complete room harmony, but I have hope that it will add some ease of movement and storage functionality. I should take before & after pictures... that sounds smart...

be right back!

Well, nevermind before pictures. The rooms are way too messy for showing on the internet. So, you'll just have to trust me that the layout wasn't ideal.

The first step in the rearranging process has gone flawlessly. I moved our baker's rack from one wall to the opposite wall. This opens up the wall it was previously on to a lot of possibilities, since I also moved the dog's food to the other wall as well. I think I'll put our buffet thingy there and set it up as the pseudo bar again.

Then, I'm going to take our love seat, which is at the moment facing the couch with a coffee table in between. I will move the love seat to where the buffet was, move the couch down, switch the current sewing-table-serving-as-a-tv-stand out and put the currently stacked end-tables down as the new serving-as-a-tv stand (or maybe mount the TV to the wall, but that requires putting holes in brick, which seems tricky), and wait... the couches. Yes, then the couches will be in a L shape, which may or may not drive me crazy.

Also, can I just take a moment to say that at this moment, I really appreciate laptops. I'm not generally a fan of laptops when it comes to my own personal use. I like my desktop. I like my keyboard and mouse just the way they are, and all that jazz. But right now, I'm very glad I can take my husband's laptop and blog from another room. 90% of the time I love that we have our computer desks in the same room. It's very helpful when I'm playing WoW, because I can ask him questions very easily. It is less ideal when he is playing Eve and talking in Skype with someone about some crazy details that I half understand and therefore try to listen to and get distracted by and can't even keep a thought in my head when I'm trying to type out very self-important trivia...

So yeah. I'm not rearranging the computer room* but I do love being able to take a laptop and go away when I want to. Technology is grand.

Where was I...

Oh yeah, the couches. See, the original placement left the couch & love seat so far apart that you couldn't really have a conversation, which is no good for me. My husband loved it because he likes rooms with wide open spaces. I like rooms with open space too, but not the room I want to hang out and talk in. That room I want to be close and cozy. So, hopefully moving the couches into a closer L will give cozy & open a chance to share the same space. It might also mean that watching tv together will require some adjusting of our normal butt-grooves, but I think that's good for us. That will help balance out the couches, right? The occasional rotation of the butt-grooves is recommended by couchs experts, right? Yeah, I thought so.

So here are the after pictures.

 Of course, you clean out shelves cats suddenly appear there
The living room would probably make more sense if the TV were opposite these couches, but it's not
our "entertainment center" and yes, the vacuum, because it needs to live right there!

the bar, such as it is

the new home of the baker's rack.
Also, I made those curtains. Yes I did. 

*Sometimes we call it the office, but mostly we always call it the computer room. This is a holdover from living at home (with my parents, as opposed to now, when I live at home with my husband) I think. "Office" sounds like work gets done in there... and, well, we all know that's rarely the case.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So far...

So, I'm a little more than 300 days into my 365 day picture project. I haven't updated the folder since Saturday, so 300 is a good place to stop and take inventory of the year so far.
a card from MBFJ(c)G that reads: There are probably girls that think they're as hot as we are, but they're wrong!

I have:
26 pictures of cats
11 pictures of dogs
17 pictures of babies
28 pictures of food
13 pictures of me
12 pictures of shoes/feet
26 pictures of my friends/family
5 pictures of hippos
1 picture of a werewolf
8 pictures of flowers
2 pictures of spiders
10 pictures of makeup
7 pictures of clothes
19 pictures of accessories
5 pictures of the sky/clouds/sunset
21 pictures of cars
2 pictures of snow
3 pictures of drugs/vitamins
3 pictures of birds
4 pictures of crafts

...and some other stuff. I've missed a few days, but all-in-all, been much more consistent than I thought I'd be. So... less than 65 days until my birthday. Maybe I'll figure out some way to increase my photography skills in the final stretch... but don't count on it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There needs to be a "thumb sideways" option for the non-commital or indecisive

Lists of things in no particular order, inspired by some of the blogs I've been reading in preparation for this Blathering thing.

Likes: dancing freestyle, praying with my friends, playing with make-up and hair, playing dress-up, home grown veggies, walking the dog*, warm baths, fun decorations on my toes, Yay-God! moments, lots and lots of pillows, cat naps, woven-braid hairstyles, hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, dark chocolate almond milk, peacock feathers, ribbons, sparkle mod podge, computer games of the puzzle and/or dress-up variety, marshmallows, fondue, 2" heels, mary janes, headbands, all the colors, argyle socks, reading under lots of blankets, digital scrapbooking, giraffes, hippos, giraffapotamuses, octopuses...octopi?, chandeliers, crafts, sweater weather, looking at other people's awesome photographs of places I'll probably never go, watching movies, couch time with my friends, laughing until my sides hurt, metaphors, web comics

Dislikes: being cold, being hot, sweating, sprouts (brussel and alfalfa), spiders in a touching-type radius, cancer, Forgetting to take pictures of the people I'm with when I'm doing fun stuff and instead having to take some random cloud picture as my Picture-of-the-Day especially when those people include my Aunt Cheryl, who is awesome, sand in uncomfortable places (which are ALL of them except on the beach where it belongs), fever blisters, biting my cheek in my sleep and waking up to a swollen part that continues to get caught in my back molars for a week, folding laundry, 

On the fence: things between my toes and thus toe socks & flip flops, chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and anything other than nuts, mint or caramel, waltzing, lotioned facial tissues, yo-yos, jigsaw puzzles, shorts, thin crust pizza

Idea for today's rambling shamelessly ganked from the About Me section over at Two Adults, One Brown Baby because... yeah... it sounded like a good idea at the time.

*Actual 4-legged canine, not that yo-yo trick, because... no
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