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Friday, November 28, 2008

I Found Happiness For $11, or Socks

I love my socks. Really, really love them. Check them out.



And


They are the coolest socks ever. I found my first pair of these socks in college and there has been no looking back since then. I have always had a hate/hate relationship with shoes and socks. I have large, wide feet and never found socks that fit right, unless they were men's socks. Yuck. And don't get me started on shoes...most of the time I can never find anything in my size that I like. I also prefer to go barefoot or as close to barefoot as I can get, and these socks get me close enough. Which is also why I wear Birkenstocks. Even in the rain.

Fun fact: My mom, a brother, a sister and I all have the same exact size feet. Birkenstock size 40.

So back to my socks. They are the best ever and they stay on my large feet quite nicely. Most of them even go up to my knees. Each sock is unique and no two socks are similar. So, sometimes I end up with a pair of socks that looks like this:


Now for the downside to these socks. They cost $11 per pair. It's ok if you feel a little queasy right now, I know I do when I go buy them. I just bought myself a whole load of new ones and I asked the salesperson not to tell me what the total was...I'm such a tightwad as it is, it really hurts to buy these socks. I do have regular socks and try to wear them, because my mom taught me when I was younger that You HAVE To Wear Socks With Your Shoes. But then I'm back to my original problem. I attempt to mend them to get a few more wears out of them, but it really doesn't work because these socks are stretchy and then I end up having a seam on the bottom of my foot. Yuck.

I relish these socks during the winter for their leg-warming abilities. And they are so purty.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

People, perfection has been achieved today. What started out as this:


is now this:


I have successfully replicated my grandmother's stuffing recipe! For me, Thanksgiving has never been about the turkey, it has always been about the stuffing. Specifically my grandmother's stuffing. She always used to give me a bowl to take home just for myself. Not to be shared. When she passed away, I thought the secret of her stuffing was gone. Thankfully her sister, my aunt, had the recipe as well. After a few years without it, I was ready to give it a try. The results were so-so. Close, but not quite. But this year, oh this year, I am happy to report it is as good as my memories.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Little Itty Bitty Toys

I am addicted to my daughter's toys. Specifically these adorable little animals. She must have at least 50 of them and they take up no space whatsoever. 5 or 6 of them fit nicely in the palm of my hand. That is my definition of the best toy ever. And they are so cute. How could anyone not love these little faces?

Guess what someone is getting for Christmas? Yep. In my defense, animals are her favorite thing to play with and she plays with these every day. Me too. Well, ok, ALMOST every day.


Ladybugs, snails, wiener dogs, huskies, mice, butterflies....too many cute options.

I wish I had recorded the cute little voices she was doing. So quiet. So tiny. So unlike her. She has two volumes - loud & louder.


Our happy little world...complete with 2 pink piggies, jet ski and a soaker tub. Notice the tiny toothbrush & toothpaste in the foreground? Too cute...

Charlotte's Web. I mean really, how cute is that?

Ahhhh, shag.....Someone got tired playing with her toys.


Post tally:

Used the word "cute" - 5 times.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Because I have nothing better do do with my time.

I got this from the Duchess over at Yarnnation. I thought it would be fun. Feel free to do your own. Highlight what you have done, leave the rest alone...



1.Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band I was a band geek in high school!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped NEVER EVER!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort In Seattle? Seriously? Not ever gonna happen.
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping I left a choice item of clothing on...
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors Does Ohio or North Dakota count?
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing First & last time.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted Painted my own portrait.
48. Gone deep sea fishing Duh. Although I didn't actually do the fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris Been to the bottom. I didn't have enough money to go up it.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie A TV movie. With MacGuyver!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies Never! I was a Campfire girl.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma All the time in college.
65. Gone sky diving NEVER!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar And how about making it too!
72. Pieced a quilt YEAH RIGHT!
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible Skipped boring parts. Sad, I know.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own

Tag, YOU'RE it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am not a domestic goddess.

Some mothers make fantabulous dress up outfits for their children. I don't. I give my children old socks. They don't know any better and they absolutely love it. Hopefully none of their friends will let them in on what a bum deal it actually is. Now these aren't just old tube socks, my feet have to have fancy pants socks. I cut off the feet when they are dead and they use the rest as leg warmers, arm warmers or clothes for their animals.


Notice my lovely model P sporting her personal favorites.


Part 2.
I was flipping through some Good Housekeeping magazines the other day, courtesy of my grandmother, and came across a whole spread on fancy cupcakes. Unfortunately for me, P was with me at the time. Her birthday was just a couple weeks away and she spied her dream cake. Cupcakes that is. GAK! Pandas are her second favorite animal, pigs being her most favorite. Here is my sad attempt at recreating them. Individually they don't look so bad, but together they look like they might come to life and do bad things. Good thing for me, 4 and 5 years don't know the difference. In the words of one child, "This is totally awesome!".





Monday, November 17, 2008

Favorites

I know I'm not supposed to play favorites. I'm supposed to love them both equally, but I just can't. Bad of me, I know. I feel guilty that I can't give them both the same amount of love and attention. It's just too hard. I focus more of my energy on the one I like better. I know that if I just gave the other one more love, more attention that maybe I might learn to appreciate them more.

I just don't think I can.

So, I think I just need to get it out and say it -

I love one of them more than the other.







My eyebrows that is.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

37 Dice Yahtzee

I went to my parents' house and had me a little vacation from life last weekend. Well, most of my life that is. I had to bring the kids. Bummer, I know. We had fun anyway. We made the best of a bad situation. Lemons & lemonade, you know.

It's not all that bad though. My mom takes care of me and my kids. I don't even have to get up with them in the morning. My mom is so nice. Oh, and the cooking. Fabulous meals. We had a great salad with quinoa (Keen-wa) in it. And apple dumplings. And yummy soup. And an amazing barbecue chicken made out of cranberry sauce and Russian salad dressing. Weird I KNOW, but it was so good. Must go raid the fridge now...

One of my favorite things to do while I am there is play games My husband isn't really a game kinda guy, so I get my fix with my mom. This time we played Yahtzee. 37 DICE YAHTZEE! So much fun. So many dice. You need a cup to hold all the dice and a box to contain them all. Sometimes we decide on getting just 1 roll, other times, we get 3 rolls and have to fill 3 spots. This time we decided we would get 4 rolls and had to fill 2 spots. My score was over 1,000. I think it was my personal best. And I lost. So much fun. We decided to play a regular game afterwards. You know 3 rolls, 5 dice. BORING. We also like to play Scrabble. Usually with at least 10 letters. Love it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What is Art?

In the eyes of a 5 year old:

Globs of paint
Batting
Fake flowers
Broken toys
Bits of scrap wood
Thread spools
Frozen juice lids
More globs of paint
Yarn
Twine
Rope
Broken necklaces
Cork
Used dryer sheets

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ketchikan

Yet another Alaska story. This is the week for them I guess. While in Alaska, I also had the opportunity to work in Ketchikan for a short while at another fish processing plant. It was the first time I ever worked at one in a city and it was awesome. I had only been married for a few months and it was a honeymoon of sorts for us. We were transferred there after the end of the season at another cannery. When we arrived in Ketchikan it was the end of the cruise ship season, shops were still open and the weather was still fairly decent. We very rarely had to work, so we had plenty of time to explore. Our place was above a mini-mart that sold "Chester-Fried Chicken". We could hear the timer go off occasionally and then a waft of oil & fried chicken. Good times.


So, I was reading Newsweek. I love Newsweek. Especially "My Turn". It usually has quite interesting essays. Here is the link to the essay that I was reading.


It was about the "Bridge to Nowwhere". This proposed bridge was for the city of Ketchikan. The city really is only a few blocks wide in some areas, it is...odd. You can only get to Ketchikan by boat or plane. There are no roads in or out of town. This town really could use that bridge, it literally has nowhere to grow (go). I know what some of you are thinking. We just got through with the elections....please no more politics....STOP & DESIST NOW!

Guess what? I'm not. I just thought the essay brought to light the other side of the argument. Things are rarely black and white. Especially Ketchikan. It is mostly gray. I think the Cullens would like it there.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brought to You By the Letter P and the Numbers 5 & 44

Happy Birthday little girl.

video

Sorry for the poor video quality...

This is not a political endorsement. I love how P says Barack Obama, and 44 IS her favorite number.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gooey Pumpkin Cake

This is a Paula Deen recipe and it is great! I love butter and Paula loves butter. I think we could be friends. This is really the best stuff ever and never lasts long while I am around! Enjoy!


Cake:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
8 T. melted butter
1 egg


Filling: 8 oz. softened cream cheese
3 eggs
8 T. melted butter
1 t. cinnamon
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
16 oz. powdered sugar
1 t. nutmeg


Mix all cake ingredients well & pat into greased 9 x 13 pan.


Beat cream cheese & pumpkin until smooth, then add eggs, vanilla & butter. Next add powdered sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well and pour over cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The center must be a little gooey because this is a gooey cake!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor the bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Monday, November 3, 2008

Alaska

There was a story in the newspaper last week about a fishing boat that sank and half of the crew lost their lives. Here is a link to that story. As I have mentioned before, I worked in the fishing industry in Alaska quite a bit. One of my jobs was working on a boat in the Bering Sea. Whenever I hear about these stories, I am always grateful that my experience was mostly positive and nothing truly bad happened.

Our boat was huge compared to other boats that you hear about in the news. Our boat was well over 300 feet long and was called a catcher/processor or factory/vessel. We caught the fish and then we processed them right there. We had a crew of over a 100 people. The boat I was reading about was over 100 feet long and had a crew of 11.

We worked 15 hour days, 7 days a week, which compared to cannery hours was a piece of cake! My husband and I were thankfully able to work together. Not that that meant much. We really couldn't talk because it was so loud. We did get to look at each other however. We didn't eat meals together. We didn't even get to sleep in the same room. Forget about trying to sleep in the same bed, it was a twin. We spent our first anniversary working on that boat.

It was a very different experience for me, after having worked several summers at a cannery. I remember the sobering experience of having to practice putting on a survival suit and hoping that I would never have to use that skill. Part of it felt like a school-time fire drill, the other part felt scary. We were very sheltered on the boat and we weren't allowed to go out on the deck very often. Several times we had the opportunity to go and see the captain and his view. Nauseating. The waves really freaked me out.

I only remember one time having to stop working because the weather was really bad, but that didn't mean much. We worked in treacherous conditions. We ate in them. We slept in them. Trying to take a shower was fun as well. Let's put it this way, I did not shave. There were railings everywhere and on everything. In the hall, in the shower, on your bed, at your table....for the longest time after working on the boat I would make jerking & grabbing motions if something was too close to the edge of the table.

Another sobering thing was realizing what the value of your life was worth. Once, a worker in the freezer area of the boat was blasted with something, I think it was freon. I just remember whatever it was was not a good thing. I remember watching as they tried to keep him conscious and alive, while everyone else kept right on working. That boat wasn't going to turn around for him. We heard many other stories of similar incidents, where the captain would only go as far as to meet a ship that was going back to land to save someone's appendage or life. Terrifying.

I have nothing but sadness for the families of those men and for others who risked their lives and lost them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Clam Chowder

This has to be one of my favorites. It is soooo good and perfect for yucky days. I got this recipe from a dear friend who was kind enough to share it with me. Not the healthiest meal, but I like to think all the veggies counteract the butter & cream (yeah right). I like mixing up the texture by adding minced & chopped clams and by dicing & chopping the veggies. I've also made this with just evaporated milk - it's ok, but the cream is what really makes this tasty. I've found that about half of each is good, but any more than that and I can notice the difference too much. Enjoy!

1 can (6 oz.) minced clams
1 can (6 oz.) chopped clams
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 c diced & chopped celery
2 1/2 c diced & chopped potatoes
4-5 slices chopped, cooked bacon

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 quart cream or 1 pint cream & 1 pint evaporated milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. sugar

Drain clams over veggies in pot. Add salt, pepper & sugar. Add enough water to cover veggies & simmer until potatoes are tender. Melt butter & add flour. Blend & cook 1-2 minutes. Add cream & cook until thick, stirring often. Careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan! Add bacon, clams & cream to veggies, heat again until thickened.