Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I'm reading Wednesday...

image credit: author's website
The Medium by C. J. Archer

Just starting this one.  It's a free ebook...YA Historical Paranormal Romance.  Even if I love it, I'm not sure I'll admit it.  LOL

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today is Tuesday...

...and I am at work and making a card for a former co-worker.  Last week she slipped and fell (of all places in the hospital, visiting her 90-yr-old mother) and broke her kneecap.  After having surgery on that, she is now back in the hospital for an unrelated issue.  Another co-worker called this morning and asked if I had any supplies here at work to make a "Hang in there" card she could take when she goes to hospital to visit later today.  I went a little McGyver and dug up some scraps, the lining of a privacy envelope, and a paper voila!  :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brace yourself...

I saw this cute jack-o-lantern on Pinterest the other day.  I wish I could give credit to the original poster, but I couldn't track it back...and I really tried.  But the minute I saw this smiling fellow, I knew I had to make one for our boys in braces.  

Bobby, Jack, and Diego

Awww.  Aren't they cute?  I think the carving was easier than getting a picture of them all in toothy smiles.  I've been forbidden from putting it on Facebook...they didn't say anything about emails, texts, or blog though.  :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

You say it's your birthday! It's my birthday too, yeah!...

It's #56, and I baked myself brownies in honor thereof.  These are such awesome brownies, that I only make them if I have someplace to take them, otherwise I would eat the whole pan all on my own.  I have a lunch meeting today, so I volunteered to bring them.

I've seen similar recipes around the web on a quick search, but I didn't see the exact one, so thought I'd quickly share it.

2 boxes Duncan Hines Chocolate Lover's Brownies Mix (I like walnut version)
2 (or 3) 5 oz. Symphony Milk Chocolate bars (I use the Almonds & Toffee Chips kind)
(also oil, eggs, and water as called for on brownie mix package)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray.

Mix just one brownie mix according to the 'fudgy' directions on the back of  the package. Pour batter into the cake pan, and bake for a few minutes just till barely starting to set up (usually just long enough for you to mix the second mix and break up the Symphony bars).

While that's in the oven, mix second brownie mix according to the 'cake-like' directions on the back of the package, and set aside.  (I just mix it in the same bowl without washing it or anything.)

Then open Symphony bars and break into pieces. They don't have to be chopped, I just break them along the rectangular grid lines on the bar. Remove the pan from the oven, and arrange the chocolate pieces evenly over the top of the hot partially-cooked brownie batter. Then pour the second brownie mix over the top and spread to the edges of pan. The Symphony bar starts to melt over the first mix, so when you spread the second mix it will move around somewhat...this is fine.

Return pan to oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or till they're done to your taste...we like them really moist and chewy around our house. :)

Y. U. M.

Of course after I packaged  some to take to the meeting, there are plenty left for the family to enjoy.  The kids want to have them for breakfast.  We'll see.  

At the table after dinner, we made a bit of a game out of the discussion of brownies.  What started as brownies became breakfast brownies...then brilliant breakfast brownies...then we were off and running.  It went around the table, and everyone tried to add a 'b' word while remembering all the words already added.  We ended up with:

Brontosaurus Billy bartered a big barrel of Bobby's brilliant breakfast brownies with bacon (added by Uncle Jared) to a beautiful burglar breaking into a beauty shop on a boat.

I'm not sure I remembered the whole thing just now.  But we had a lot of fun.

Have I said lately how much I love having them living here?  :)  I think this may be my best birthday ever.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

I was excited to find this among the stacks at Costco the other day.  I haven't seen a full-length rather than compilation by Ann Rule in a long time. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Making it Monday...

photo credit:

When Jared was little, he went through the knees of jeans in the blink of an eye.  A dear friend and quilting/sewing mentor taught me how to mend blue jeans as shown above (click link for a great tutorial).  It probably saved me many hundreds of dollars before he outgrew that stage.  I haven't thought about this particular skill in over twenty years.

But last night Bobby brought me a pair of cargo shorts that had been ripped when he jumped over a fence, and he asked me if I could repair them.  Tonight after work, I got out the machine and set to work.

I should have taken a photo of the repair that I actually did, but I forgot in the moment, and now the boys are in bed, and it is a school night after all, so I guess I'll let them sleep.  Suffice it to say, it all came back to me...just like riding a bicycle.  :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Costco reflections...

Just a few things I reflected on while walking through the warehouse store today...

...The book aisle is my downfall when I make a trip to Costco.  Stacks and stacks of best sellers to browse, hold, choose from...and at discounted prices!

...Why can I never remember that the store pharmacy is closed on Sunday?  I specifically went to pick up refills today.  Damn.

...Note to self: wear a pedometer next time I come here (which will be in a few days since I still have to pick up those refills)...between the packed parking lot and wandering up and down all those aisles, it's gotta be around five or six thousand steps, doesn't it?

...Hmm...giant rolls of clear cellophane to wrap gift baskets...need it?  Probably not.

...Do they carry probiotics?  Why yes they do!  (I heard a very interesting interview on NPR about probiotics on the drive to the store.)

...Christmas trees, lawn ornaments, is upon us.

...Gallon-size Ziplock bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil, giant pack of paper towels all could be useful, but there's no room for extras in my kitchen at the moment.  I'm expecting the cabinet guys to call any day about starting work.

...So I ended up with six...SIX...books in my cart.  That's an all time high, I think.  I'm pretty sure that I don't own any of them on my Kindle.  


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday snail mail...

My endeavor to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks continues.

I can't believe how long it has been since I've posted any cards.  (Actually, I've posted them in the mail, I just haven't posted them to the blog.)  I've made quite a few, but didn't want to post until after they had been received in case anyone checked in and it ruined a surprise.

These first few are just quick cards made to use up scraps.

This is a really simple sympathy card.

This one was definitely not simple.  I made this one for a friend of mine who is a Dominican Sister. She's had a few health issues lately, and I wanted to send a card that would make her smile.  I had to research what a Dominican habit might look like, as none of the nuns I've met wear them any longer, then had to find an origami pattern I could adapt.  I got the sweetest note back from her, saying that she was hanging it outside her room at the Mother House, so that all the Sisters living there could enjoy it.

Another origami card.  These are so much fun to make.  I didn't have the best lighting when I took the photo.

Accountability stats:  43 weeks / 43 letters

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Name that goon...

This is a section of fence that I drive by every day.  I love whoever left this.  It never fails to make me think of a certain movie.  Can you guess which movie? 

Extra points if you can name the six-fingered goon.  :)

Edited to add:  Here's a hint...My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Popular pastimes...

Here's what the Rainbow Loom looks like.  The bands are stretched over the pegs in a pattern and the hook is used to weave them.  It looks somewhat like loom knitting to me, but I've never done either one, so I don't really know.

Different patterns will result in different final products.  Here are two that were made this weekend.  

I was afraid when I bought all the bands, that the boys would be jealous that I didn't get anything for them.  Not so.  Turns out it's a good thing I stocked up on the bands and got another loom.  This seems to be a popular pastime with everyone around here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The week in review...

Not much blogging time lately, so when I enjoyed Dawn's latest post, I had to copy her and do a catch up post.

Last Saturday I went to The Container Store and browsed and purchased some organizational stuff.  Then I came home and cleaned off and reorganized my night table.

Sunday the 6th was my dad's birthday, and I finished the book I was  reading in honor thereof.  Carey got home from spending the weekend with his brothers at the hunting lease, where he had a flat necessitating the purchase of two new tires.

Monday was a really busy day at work, and a lunch meeting meant there was no break at all so I came home absolutely exhausted.  Love coming home to dinner ready on days like this!  Thank you, Kasey!

Tuesday was another busy day...the closer to the end of the year, the busier it gets, then it stays that way right up through tax season.  I bought some tamales from a lady that comes by the office selling her homemade ones occasionally...yum!  Bought enough to bring home for an easy dinner.

Wednesday was somewhat quieter, but I played catch up all day and worked a bit late so that I could squeeze in all the work for the week.

Thursday I took the day off, and I spent a decadent day to read and sit in silence, and then spent an inordinate amount of time researching Rainbow Looms and where to get refills of the tiny rubber bands for them (see above).  They are all the rage right now with the kiddos.  

Friday I had to attend an annual meeting for work.  Normally I despise these meetings, but this year it had a good vibe.  After the meeting, I ran around the city looking for those tiny rubber bands, and once I found them I went a little know...'cause I like to encourage the creative spirit.  Also they were not the easiest things to find, so I wanted to stock up!  Then when I got home Beau was at work, Kasey had a function to attend, and the girls were spending the night with a friend.  So I spent a rare and wonderful evening taking all the boys out for dinner, and came home to an evening of playing Yahtzee! with them.  :)

Today Kasey tells me she is going to the city to get a couple of things and asks if I need anything.  I thought I'd better ask what she was going for, and sure enough one thing she was going for was to look for the bands!  So it was a nice surprise when I told her I had that one covered.  :)  (She wasn't home when I got home yesterday, so I hadn't told her yet that I had found them.)  

Jared went grocery shopping for me today.  On the way he ran out of gasoline, and walked almost all the way home before I saw that he had called to ask somebody to come bring gas.  I still had the ringer turned off on my phone from the meeting yesterday.  Now I have all the ingredients, and I am in the mood to make a feast of chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, so I'd better get to it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The House Near the River by Barbara Bartholomew

After last week's book I needed some lighter fare.  The House Near the River fit the bill.  I think it's only available as  Kindle e-book.   It had a few problems with editing, but it wasn't terribly distracting.  I finished it yesterday.

 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Next up is a book of short stories by Joe Hill.  The author is the son of Steven King.  A book of ghost stories...what better way to get ready for Halloween.  Reviews are good, and I'm looking forward to curling up with it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October is...

art credit:  John Wagner for Hallmark

I have my mammogram scheduled.  Do you?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This is the biography of Louis Zamperini, an Italian American, an Olympic athlete, an officer in the Army Air Corps during WWII.  I'm about a quarter of the way in, and his plane just went down in shark-infested water.

I'm not usually into war stories, but I'm reading this one for two reasons.  

One:  I loved the author's previous book, Seabiscuit.  She has a way of bringing an amazing amount of research into a gripping story instead of just a list of events.


Two:  though my father served in the Pacific Theater of WWII, I know very little about it, so I'm reading this now in honor of my dad's upcoming birthday.  I can almost imagine that I might see his face in the background of a photo.  I can't believe he has been gone for over twenty years.  Sunday would be his 103rd birthday.  (Why yes, I was born to my parents rather late...maybe not by today's standard, but certainly by THAT day's standard.  Don't get me started on my whole 'old egg' rant.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Some Face time...

I rarely log into Facebook.  When I do, my favorite part is seeing the humorous things that friends post.

cartoon by: Marshall Ramsey

I had to share that with my fellow Downton Abbey fans.  After the last traumatic season, I think this might actually work.  :)

And this is the most adorably funny thing I've seen in a long time:   (Embedded video doesn't seem to have stuck, and since I'm now trying to edit from my phone I can't re-add.  It is SO worth watching.  So copy and paste the preceding url.)

And one last one, because it's October now, how about some Pumpkin PI?  :)
photo credit: Humocracy
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