Saturday, September 13, 2008

Makeover Time!

I'm not really sure why, but I've decided to make the move to Wordpress. I've also changed the name of my blog to one that's a little more fitting. Because this was originally meant to be a letterboxing blog, the use of our family trail name in the title made sense. Not so much anymore. Please join me at In This Life!

I've transferred all the posts and comments to the new site, but I'll keep this one up for a while, so people can find their way over. Eventually, I'll disable comments on this blog, then it'll go completely. Please change your bookmarks!

Friday, September 12, 2008

One Day More

I can't listen to this song on my iPod without getting choked up. I often wonder how the performers get through it night after night. Seeing it performed on stage is one of the most moving things I've ever experienced. The same goes for seeing Barack Obama speak, so it seems a fitting combination...

Les Misbarack:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

They Love Cous Cous

My children, that is. AND my husband.

That means...wait, can it be true? All four of us agree on a side dish?

Me: We're going to be seeing a lot more cous cous around here, guys.
Kids: Yaaaaaaay!!

You see, my kids don't like rice. Rice! White rice, brown rice, the color doesn't matter; they don't like it. Who doesn't like rice? I know, they're weird. And, since hubby and I are trying to eat a certain way, that third dinner dish (#1 - main dish, #2 - veggie, #3 - healthy grain) is always an issue. Brown rice is one of our staples. The kids simply don't like it. Oh, Nicky will eat some, especially if I mix it in with whatever that night's meat is, so he can't taste it quite as much. Nicky's become quite philosophical about eating foods he doesn't like. I wish I had adjusted so well to it. But Kalen whines about it, and when I remember how much I hated eating the veggies and such I disliked as a kid, it doesn't seem at all nice to feed them brown rice three nights a week. So, next week I'm heading to the farmer's market to buy cous cous and quinoa in bulk. (I don't know yet whether the kids like quinoa, but I love it with leftover chicken for lunch.)

Don't get me wrong, I so do not cook around my kids. With some rare exceptions, they eat what we eat for dinner. No "good" foods for us while the kids have grilled cheese, fish sticks or mac & cheese. Heck, if they're getting grilled cheese, so am I, dammit! Yeah, it's better to avoid the whole cheese thing...I'm not losing weight as it is. Mmmm...cheese....

Where was I? Ah, cooking for the kids. Nope, I'm totally unindulgent when it comes to food. I don't cut off sandwich crusts, I don't stock sugary cereals (Honey Nut Cheerios is as sweet as we get, and I only buy that about every fourth box of Cheerios), white bread is never brought into the house, and I don't cook separate dinners. So, I'll still make brown rice, because it's healthy and Jason and I love it, but it looks like the cous cous will be replacing rice at least half the time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Scrumbly Fun

I hit Goodwill this morning. That place really gets my creative juices flowing. I stopped in for a shirt or two to use as lining for my bags. (I'm determined to use reclaimed and repurposed items as much as possible.) I found a shirt. And a wool skirt that I can sew into a gorgeous bag. And two belts that will make nifty purse straps. And an unused skein of purple #10 crochet thread. And two purses that I had a vague idea of doing something interesting to. And another purse just for me. (It was $2.60! In my favorite colors!!)

So, I've seen a few examples of scrumbling online, which I can only interpret as kind of a crazy quilt sort of crochet technique. I love the idea and decided to try it for one of the purses I got at Goodwill. In keeping with the recycled theme, I'm using only leftover bits of yarn from other projects. I wasn't sure at first how I liked it, but I think it's going to be interesting. Any thoughts?

And an artsy shot, courtesy of the macro setting on my little point & shoot:

Happy Shawl Joy

I gave Mom her birthday present today, so I can finally blog about it!

I joined a mystery CAL on June 1 for this shawl, and I finished it yesterday. I'm so thrilled with it. This is the most intricate piece I've ever crocheted. It's done wonders for my crochet ego that it turned out so well. And bonus - Mom loves it!

Here's a close-up of the lace pattern:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Posts Pouring In

I know - three posts in one day after a month-long drought? What happened?

Search me. Or, rather, stay with me while I figure it out in my typically stream-of-consciousness manner...

Remember that whole cyclical-life thing I talked about earlier this summer? I sort of cycled out of creativity altogether for a few weeks there. A lot of stuff going other words, life.

I got a great IM from my sis yesterday, though. She began with, "I'm here to kick your butt in gear!" Turns out her messenger bag is a HUGE hit (and I'm still waiting for her to get pics of it, so I can share it with you), and now that law school is back in session, she has a bunch of friends who want plarn "bags, scrubbie things, wallets, whatever you got .. they want it!!"

Well, wow. That's pretty cool.

And then today I was approached out of the blue about another creative opportunity, combining two things I love to do. I have to leave that as a tease for now, but if you want to do a little happy dance to celebrate with me anyway, feel free! I was happy dancing all afternoon.

And, all of a sudden, I'm fired up again!

I've felt sort of in limbo since school has been back in session. When I took my leave of absence (in April) from the store where I worked evenings for three-and-a-half years, it was with the understanding that I'd come back during school hours when Kalen started Kindergarten. I sort of had the feeling as August approached, though, that my availability (10am-2pm) wouldn't quite mesh with the store's needs, especially taking the current economy's effect on retail into consideration. I spoke to my manager last week, and she wanted to mull it play with the hours a bit to see if it could work. That in itself is a compliment. She could have just said no outright. I talked to her Monday, however, and it is a no-go.

I'm okay with this. The income would have been nice and would have helped pound out the debt faster, but we're fine. And now that I know, I'm at total peace. I have excitedly thrown myself at the feet of my children's teachers, offering to do whatever they need me to, I'm going to start volunteering at the media center at school, I'm writing for my ongoing gig, and I can start designing and crocheting for my etsy shop. I am going to miss the closet design aspect of the retail job quite a bit, but bag design should fill my creative needs, don't you think? I don't believe I can accurately convey my thankfulness that I have the opportunity to stay home with my financial contribution being so little. Many thanks to my husband for working so hard, and to both of us for sticking to our total money makeover.

All off this finally brings me back to what my original purpose for clicking "New Post" was. I'm finally going to sit down tomorrow and design a bag for my shop. You heard it here first!

Why I Love My Husband

Reason #3,283,128 (more or less)

Today is my mother's 60th birthday. (Yes, I know it's rude to reveal a woman's age, but she sure as hell doesn't look 60, so revealing her age always gets her tons of compliments.) I am sick, so I can't go see her. My cold or infection or whatever's brewing in my sinuses and throat + her immune system = not good. It hurts to be only 15 minutes away and not be able to give her a hug on her birthday. So, on his way out the door this morning, Jason asks, "Should I stop and get her some flowers?" So he did. He broke into their house* a few minutes ago and left them on the kitchen counter, so Mom and Dad will find them when they return from her birthday dinner. He's pretty cool.

*He has a spare key, so it's technically not breaking in, but doesn't it sound cool?