Monday, October 15, 2007

Office remodel update

I'm happy to report that our office remodel is moving along quite nicely! I have a real wall!!! Yes a real one. It's only about 4 foot high, but it's 4 feet of wall, not cubicle, and it has electrical outlets! Now everytime some random person comes in off the street and leans agains my counter, the counter will stay put instead of swaying.

Painting wasd done on the 5th (and it looks great!), vinyl flooring went in on Friday, and carpet is expected today. That means I may actually get my office area back up this week. Of course I would love to stay put in the nice office I'm in now, but for some reason they won't let me kick Tim out of it. At least my new area will be about 2 feet longer, and I'll be able to hang things on the new half wall. I have all of my office plants on a rolling cart right now, and the poinsettas and cyclamen do not seem to like the new location. The african violet is doing splendid, but it had just gone in to bloom (thanks to a repotting) before the flood. I have a bunch of new things from my secret prayer partner to put up on my new wall and on the counter, so I can't wait for this to be finished.

Christmas Shopping

You can tell that there's not alot to do today (due to the remodel) so I have time to post all those things I've been thinking of (don't worry, I have plenty of comp time and a lunch hour that I haven't taken to make up for posting time).

I've already been doing my Christmas shopping. This is nothing short of a miracle in my home. Thanksgiving usually hits and I have no idea what to do for anyone. This year I already have quite the stash. There is Dana's gift I bought in Leavenworth, Kaia has a puzzle and a lunch box that were both on clearance at Target. I'm working on my gifts for our parents (no clues as to what that is since you all read the blog). I also have a mission to buy the younger neices and nephews, plus our friends' two kids nice gifts without spending alot of money. Sure I could just buy cheap crap, but who wants that? Instead I'm looking around and taking my time to find really nice stuff that is on clearance. So far the pile includes: 2 pink sweaters, a Nike ball cap, 2 t-shirts with bones on them (for the boys of course), and some great ribbon for knitting coin purses (one of which is already knitted and just needs sewn up). I'm also going to try my hand at soapmaking. I just ordered the supplies today! This isn't the full on get out the lye soapmaking but a melt and pour base that you add to. So for all of you who live close by, you will probably get a bar of soap. So don't take it as a hint regarding your body odor.

Ode to Banana

Oh Banana you are my favorite snack
When you are gone, I wish you'd come back.
You fill my tummy, and taste so sweet
Banana you are my favorite treat.
~Morgan Kihn (with some help from Mama)

I couldn't help but write Mo a poem after his long talk about bananas. He was eating, and I kept asking him to say banana. He did, although it sounded a lot more like "mabnana." After he said it though, he began to chatter away at his banana. So I helped interpreting his poem into English.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The visitor

I'm a bit groggy today as is Dana, and I expect the kids. Late night visitors will do that to you. At 1 am I woke to Sampson's barking as did Mo. I retrieved Mo from his crib and went to look out the back door. Didn't see anything, but thought maybe Boomer was the reason for the barking, so I let Boomer in. Sampson quieted down, Mo and I climbed into bed with Kaia and Dana. I drifted back off only to wake again at 1:30. This time Dana woke up too.

We peered out our window to see Sampson pacing the back yard and appearing quite agitated. So Dana got his rifle, and slippers and we headed through the garage to see what was going on. I told Dana that I smelled skunk, and he agreed. We look out, but being the middle of a cloudy night and not having great backyard lighting we saw nothing but the agitated dog. What we smelled told us what was out back though. We went back in, Dana to get dressed, me to go get the .22 and the flashlight from the trailer. I also helped Kaia go potty and gave her a glass of milk before sending her back to bed.

We went back out and it didn't take long for the flashlight to catch 2 beady little eyes and a white stripe. I put Sampson in the garage while trying not to puke. We quickly realized that it had to have come in from the house behind. There is a gap between the fence and retaining wall too small for the dog, but just right for a skunk or cat. The problem was: a cat can jump back up on the wall and get back through, a skunk cannot. I opened one gate and walked around the front of the house to open the other up as wide as possible. Then Dana threw some rocks at it to try to scare it toward the gate. The skunk pawed at the lattice and paced up and down the retaining wall trying to figure out how to get back up. Finally as I went in to check on the kids, it started toward the open gate, and Dana shooed it out. We waited for it to get far enough down the house before closing the gates back up and letting stinky out of the garage.

It was about 2:30 when we went back in to sleep. The house smelled of skunk and both kids were awake. After 2 cups of milk Kaia was back out. Mo on the otherhand wanted to stick his fingers in my nose, eyes, mouth and ears. I took him into his room and lay down on a blanket with him in hopes of him calming down in a not so crowded atmosphere. Finally I just took him back to bed with me. Sometime after 3 we fell asleep. The alarm at 5:30 was an awful sound! Hopefully I can get some sleep tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be tired after deskunking the dog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Recipes Continued...

Saturday we typically have a nice breakfast. This Saturday I had to be downtown by 10:30 to start setting up for the Hop Festival. So I planned a quick breakfast. Grandma had talked about putting ripe bananas into pancake batter. We had ripe bananas (thanks to the visit we had with Grandma on Friday) so I decided to try it. I got out my Good Housekeeping cookbook and looked up the pancake recipes. I used the basic recipe and just reduced the milk a bit and mashed up a banana to add. I cooked up pancakes and some bacon. They turned out so good and didn't even need syrup (which is good, because we were out and I didn't feel like making any). I had enough extra that Dana and I had pancakes again Monday for breakfast and there are still some in the freezer for future use.

This recipe is another great use for leftover bananas and the more I use them and the other fruits in my house, the more damage I do to the fruit fly population that is currently in my kitchen. I know all the different ways to get rid of fruit flies, but every year right when the weather turns they come in on every piece of fruit. At least this year we avoided the general fly population. Although Hemi at least takes delight in catching and eating the every day flies, I wonder how to entice him to go after fruit flies?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


We tried out a new recipe last night that Grandma told me while we were having lunch. I thought it sounded yummy, Dana wasn't thrilled when I told him what I was cooking. Here it is:
  • Cooked and cubed pork chop
  • mashed potatoes
  • sauerkraut
  • cheese

Notice no amounts. Grams told it to me, and I went with it. I rarely measure unless it's breads. Just mix the cooked pork with the potatoes and sauerkraut then put in oven. I added the cheese to the top, because my family loves cheese.

Results: It was mixed. 3 of us thought it was ok, and Dana wasn't impressed. But the recipe isn't dead, he and I discussed it today. We both agree that next time I should not use pork chops but instead use some spicy sausage that would better compliment the sauerkraut. So we'll definitely use the recipe again.

Tonight it's pot roast and veggies. I threw one in the crockpot before leaving so dinner won't be so late tonight. I have found a pretty cool food document that is linked below. It has some great ideas for making the most of your food dollars. Of course quite a bit of the knowledge is in Tightwad Gazette but it's still good reading, and it has some great worksheets.

Monday's Trip

Just wanted to say that I had a great time Monday in Leavenworth with my grandma, who's visiting from Mexico, and my parents. We did some window shopping, and some real shopping. I even found a Christmas present for Dana! Here are a few photos (I think my dad took them all, except the one of him, I took that):

To be fair I included the photo of me. I definitely need to get these glasses adjusted!