October 26, 2008

life can be so exhausting.....

....getting sent to the time-out chair and whatever behavior caused you to be sent there can be so exhausting!

Hot Drinks for Hot Mamas!

My package for the "Hot Drinks for Hot Mamas" Apron Swap is ready to mail tomorrow. I won't mention my partners name or state since I don't know if she might be reading this as we are both members of the Apronista.

we were given some information about our partner: favorite hot drink, favorite and least favorite color. Apron could be a full coverage or a half apron. Package should include 3 little extra somethings and apron should be wrapped in tissue, tied with ribbon.

My partner loves tea and the color pink. From reading her blog, I know that she also loves roses and frills......I found the PERFECT fabric!! Take a look at this.......

I added ruffles and lace and pink ribbons and I'm VERY pleased with this one! I think she'll really like it.....

I also made a matching tea towel.

I included some yummy sounding teas (I'm a coffee drinker myself, but these sound wonderful!)

and two cookbooks and a homemade, tea-themed bookmark.

I can't wait to see what the mailman might be bringing to ME this week...........I AM REALLY LOVING THESE APRON SWAPS!!!

October 24, 2008

taking things for granted

WOO HOO!!! We have hot water! YAY!

10 full days without hot water........talk about taking things for granted! At least we still had running water.... cold running water. But I think having no hot water is one of the worst minor inconveniences in our modern world.

For me, no more getting up in the dark at 5:15 to drive to Daughter's house to take a stealth shower, trying not to wake anyone up in the process.

For Son & family, no more inconveniencing Daughter's family with our inconvenience, taking tired, cranky kids to shower at her house in the evening before bed.

No more heating water in the microwave just to wash the dirty silverware and glasses piling up the kitchen.

note to self: never, ever again will I take for granted the ease with which we turn on the faucet and get whatever temperature water we desire....clean, fresh water for laundry, dishes or our bodies. We are so fortunate!!

Shan, I can't thank you enough for moving only 2 miles away so we would have somewhere to shower and sleep and cook and sew and play and just hang out during our exile from home and our flood aftermath that just seems to drag on and on.......just one more reason why I'm sure your move was the right thing!

What would we have done without you guys these last 6 weeks?

October 20, 2008

High praise indeed!

I love salads. I've developed quite a nice collection of salad recipes, mostly my own creations. Most of them are of the lettuce/greens variety and I also make my own dressings most of the time.

At most of our family gatherings, I am the one who brings the salad.

At home, I often make a whole meal out of a salad of some sort.

For wedding gifts I like to put together a gift set of a salad spinner, salad dressing cruet and a homemade cookbooklet of some of the recipes I use most often............

Tonight, Daughter's family was here for dinner. I made one of everyones favorites:

mixed greens & cilantro
chopped tomatoes
chopped avocado
grated cheddar cheese
crunched-up tortilla chips
dressing: 3/4 ranch-1/4 salsa mixed together

All the grandkids were eating outside on the patio. Grandson (3 1/2) called out to me "Mimi, can I have some more of that really good salad!?" When I stepped outside with the salad bowl he said in his loud little voice "Mimi, you are the salad-iest girl in the whole wide world!" .....I tell you, that boy is something else! He is always ready with a compliment and his sweet little heart tries so hard to let you know how much he loves you whenever he can.
High praise indeed from a picky 3 yr.old! He's going to make someone a great husband someday!

I think we'll keep him.

October 18, 2008

E.T. phone home...

Remember in the movie "E.T.", towards the end, when the family's house is draped in plastic and all those men are in Haz-Mat suits? Well, that's what our house has looked like (except for the men in suits part) for the last few days while our mold situation is being taken care of! I can't tell you how disconcerting it is when these words are inside your house!

and the downstairs guest room/playroom looks like this (yes, that's a zipper!...)

and the inside corner of the garage looks like this....

and yet, you don't actually have to leave the house while all this is going on!!! You just go on about your normal living as usual....this is all just so weird! Because all this moldy business was happening in the wall behind the hot water heater, we have had no hot water for the last 6 days, with 3 more to go.......Thank goodness Daughter has 4 full bathrooms w/showers!!

Mold is not something you are allowed to ignore if you know you have it. You cannot sell your house with previous mold damage unless you have a certificate to prove it's been cleaned up. It was all cleared today by a health/hygiene inspector so we are now good to go. Look at the difference!

BEFORE: all that black stuff on the wood framing is the mold.

AFTER: Look at that! It looks like new wood.

Now we can repair the drywall, lay the new flooring and carpet and be done with this whole inconvenient business! Hopefully one more week and we'll be back to normal......

Here's another little disturbing tidbit: for the first 2 years we lived here, this was MY room and my bed was up against the wall on this very spot! (I don't even want to think about it....)

Thank You so much, Previous-Homeowners (you know who you are) for leaving us this little gift to find 4 1/2 years later. We found your attempt at a quick coverup. Just remember, what goes around, comes around........

October 16, 2008

A Meal Fit for a King

Yesterday was my day off. I usually spend a good portion of my Wednesdays off sewing, but today I just was not in the mood. I felt like cooking instead. Since we are now in week 5 of the aftermath of our downstairs flood, there has not been much cooking in our house lately. The contents of our entire kitchen is still in storage and will be for 2 more weeks!.......Daughter, however, has a wonderful kitchen just 2 miles away, and since Son-in-Law is away on business this week and she isn't cooking much, I decided to take over her kitchen for the day and cook for everyone.....
The Grandkids recently discovered BBQ ribs and have asked for them several times. Since I am not a big fan of them I've never made them before (that whole getting-stuck-in-your-teeth thing turns me off!) I'm willing to try cooking just about anything, especially if the Grandkids are asking me to, and these turned out great! I even ate several of them myself....
I marinated them for a few hours in Coca-Cola and lots of minced garlic. I poured off the marinade and baked them covered with foil for 2 hours. Then 45 minutes uncovered, basting with BBQ sauce (next time I'll make twice as many and use the grill) They were falling-off-the bone-tender and we ate every one of them! Served with Buttered Noodles w/ Parmesan Cheese:

Roasted broccoflower: If you haven't tried broccoflower, get some and cook it like this. It's delicious! The non-veggie loving grandkids even ate it (well, a few bites anyway). I love broccoli, but not cauliflower so much, but this hybrid is great! Just toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees.

I could live on this salad! Baby greens, chopped pears, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, balsamic vinaigrette. (add some cooked chicken and it would make a perfect meal!)

Garlic cheese biscuits: Make Bisquick drop biscuits according to the box, adding garlic powder and a good amount of grated cheddar cheese. I normally would have made homemade dough in my breadmaker if I had my own kitchen stuff available, but these are quick and tasty. Not a single one left, and I made a double batch!

For dessert, I wanted to try out a new recipe, something baked, with apples or pears, but the day was getting late, so I went with the always kid-friendly ice cream cones...... peppermint ice cream on chocolate-dipped cones.

Look at these happy, satisfied faces!

Boy, was that a good dinner, if I do say so myself!!!

I can't wait to get busy in my own kitchen again once it's put back together.....I'm planning the menus in my head as we speak......

October 12, 2008

run, Family, run!

I am a non-runner in a running family. Today each member of Daughter's family ran in various races in the Long Beach Marathon.

I went along to help out with the girls......
We left Saturday afternoon and stayed overnight so that we could wake up at much-too-early-o'clock in the freezing cold to be at the course before the sun came up! (and yes, I think all these people are nuts!....MAYBE, if I were being chased by a pack of wild dogs, I could manage some running....maybe!)
(not everyone was pleased to be up so early in the cold)
As I was standing there, watching the sun rise over the crowd of 18,000 people waiting at the starting line, the crowd was dead silent as the National Anthem was played. It was quite a sight to behold and I was suddenly quite overcome with emotion....that was worth getting up so early!!
Son-in-Law ran a half-marathon (13 miles) and bested his previous time by 9 minutes!

Daughter and 13 yr.old ran a 5K (3.1 miles).

Granddaughter beat her Mother's time by 15 minutes! This was her first race and we're all so proud of her!

11 yr.old and 8 yr.old ran a 1 mile fun run and were very pleased with themselves.

I made sure the girls were at the starting line on time while their parents were busy running their own races.

Oldest Granddaughter's best friend and I were the offical family photographers.

The family that runs together, gets hot and sweaty together! All 5 were pleased with their performance.......

Now, go check out Daughter's blog and see her perspective (hurry up Shan and get your posting done!)

October 10, 2008

making up for lost time

In an effort to make up for lost apron-sewing time, I've signed up for three apron swaps! That should certainly keep me busy in the apron-making "studio" for the time being. It was also the PERFECT excuse for some.....fabric shopping (YAY!)

The "Mommy/Grandmommy & Me" swap needs to ship by 10/20. My partner has 3 daughters, so four matching aprons in varying sizes should keep me busy!

The 'Hot Drinks for Hot Mamas" swap needs to ship by 10/25. My partner is a tea drinker and I love the pink, tea themed fabric I found!

I don't have my partner yet for the Winter Sassy Apron Swap, due to ship by 12/01, so there's plenty of time to work on that one. The theme is Christmas/Cookies. Oh! And of course, I'll need to do more fabric shopping for that one!

I'm going to get busy right now! It's 8:oo p.m. on Friday night and I feel an all-nighter coming on.......

October 9, 2008

a gift......

Look what 3 and 4 yr. old brought me from their Other Grandma's house!!! Look how small the quarter is next to it! It's the size of a dinner plate! I didn't know they came this big......

Wow, Margot!! What are you feeding your plants??

October 5, 2008

Crafty Sunday

Today, Daughter and I and all 5 grandkids (plus a friend) had a Crafty Sunday at Daughter's house. Daughter got out all of her scrapbooking supplies and we made Bookmarkers....

The big kids did all the cutting......

There were LOTS of stickers to choose from......

Daughter finished them all off with clear contact paper.....

Some people were busier than others!......

I even made some for myself......(cooking and sewing theme of course!)

We snacked on yummy Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies.........

Then the dress-up chest got a good workout.......(check out oldest granddaughter in her Mother's prom dress from 1989! She can't believe her Mother actually went out of the house dressed in that!))

And we ended the day with chicken soft tacos for dinner and an evening Dance Performance in the backyard......

What a fun, fabulous day!!!