Sunday, June 28, 2015

Brown paper packages...

Two confessions: 

1) I am absolutely awful about letting the mail stack up without opening it.

2) I am absolutely awful about ordering books and fabric, which arrive in the mail in manila envelopes.

So Carey is used to setting aside the shipping envelopes for me till I get around to opening them.  When I noticed this week's stack today, I had a real treat.

A surprise package of goodies from Lynne!  Which she packaged in a sweet gift bag embossed with a darling turtle...and she didn't even know I have a turtle collection.

She remembered my weakness for jacks, and what a hard time I had finding metal ones!

And this adorable little kitty which is a bead soon to adorn my neck.  Lynne is an amazing artist and one of her arts is her lampwork beads.  How she imbues personality into these little guys amazes me...oh, those eyes and the whiskers!

And the package also included a handwritten note.  I love receiving handwritten notes.  :)

Thank you, Lynne!  I'm sorry if you were worried when you didn't hear from me sooner that the package had arrived.  You are a sweet and generous soul!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday five...

1.) I worked Monday through Thursday this week (and Thurs/Fri of the week before).

2.) It was at one of my favorite offices to sub in.

3.) It was extremely quiet most of the time, but when it was stressful it was extremely so!

4.) Last night I slept for twelve straight hours.

5.) The person I filled in for called me this morning to make sure I had survived without vowing to never work for them again.  :)  I assured her I had survived, and would be glad to come again.  I love working with nice people.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Godforsaken Daughter by Christina McKenna


Monday, June 22, 2015

Tip of the week...

My job involves working a few days in one place, and a couple days at another place, sometimes multiple places in the same week, and never any kind of repeat schedule.  Work days involve things like making sure I have clean work clothes, and gasoline in the tank, so I need to be able to see what I have coming up.    

Call me old fashioned, but I cannot organize my life on any kind of digital calendar.  I need an old-school paper calendar with the whole thing visible without clicking or swiping or pinching.  And I need it staring me in the face every single day without me having to remember to open it.

I hang my calendar in a very small room that is visited several times a day.  And the calendar is the only thing hanging on the wall opposite the only seat in the room (ahem). 

This is the best and longest practiced tip that I picked up from "Hang your calendar in the bathroom."

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday desserts...

Today's confection: French Coconut Pie...the recipe from Cocinando con Alena linked here.  

I chose it primarily because I had all the ingredients.  It was quick and easy to put together.  The filling's top baked into a delicate crunch.  It was a little too sweet for me, but so good that I will definitely make again and try tweaking the amount of sugar called for.  

It is similar to a buttermilk pie (my favorite pie), but with no buttermilk...or milk for that matter...but the addition of the coconut makes it chewier.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Science Friday...

Work today was a moderately busy morning, with a moderately quiet afternoon.  Which I was happy about, because I could listen to Science Friday on NPR at my desk.  One segment included guests who were palaeontologists, and the topic was Jurassic World.  Very enjoyable since we had just seen the movie.

Then when I got home, StarTalk was on the NatGeo channel.  Guests were NASA administrator, Dr. Charles Bolden; astrophysicist, Dr. Michael Shara; and Bill Nye, The Science Guy (whom I frankly found a little annoying today, as he seemed to constantly interrupt to try to be clever).

After StarTalk I went outside to feed the dogs, and I found this clever little fellow.  So tiny!  That is a pinto bean there beside him for comparison.

At which point I released him back into the wild where I had found him.  With all the rain we've been having, he and his friends are partying like it's 1999 (which is approximately the last time we were this wet).

See?  It WAS a very science-y Friday...and I AM a big nerd.  :)

Happy weekend, all!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Retro entertainment...

What is this terrible photo supposed to represent?  Well, that is our concession-stand popcorn which we enjoyed from the comfort of our car at the drive-in outdoor movie theater tonight.  It was recently built and opened in a neighboring town.    You can just about make out the dark screen against the cloudy, darkening sky.  They wait till full dark to begin the movie.

We've been waiting for an opportunity to introduce the girls to the kind of entertainment we enjoyed 'back in the day.'  Tonight they were showing Jurassic World.  
city lights visible in the distance

Being a sequel, I'd say this one was comparable to the original.  The one thing that I found absolutely laughable was the major female character running through the jungle in a skirt and heels...never lost a heel...never slowed her down.  LOL

There was plenty of chomping of humans, but no one found it too disturbing.  Chloe, who doesn't like scary movies, said she felt safer because we were in our car.  After thinking about that for a minute, I realized that was a very astute observation.  I felt a lot less stress than I usually do at action movies as well.  It was familiar, and enclosed us from neighboring viewers, and gave us a sense of control since we could turn on the interior light if we needed to.

It was not cheap.  If we go again, we will be taking our own bargain-bought refreshments from home.  But it was a fun new experience to share with the littles.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Making it Monday...

Got some cards in the mail.  I made several of the very simple one above...the design of which I blatantly copied from one seen on Pinterest.

This one was also inspired by Pinterest.   I needed a sympathy card, and I always have trouble coming up with ideas for those.

I also made a little Patriotic windsock for the summer.  

And I received some cards in the mail recently too.  A beautiful vintage-chic card made by Dawn.  And another lovely card from Claire.

And I also received these cards recently: 
I designed and ordered them from Vistaprint.  Recognize the photo?  I was really happy when I discovered you could use your own photo for the background.  Do I need business cards?  Probably not.  But when you go to give someone your phone number, I think it looks nicer to pull a pretty card out of your purse than a scrap of napkin to scribble it on, and these are very distinctive.

I left the glare in the photo so you could tell that it is on glossy cardstock, and it's a nice weight of cardstock too.  I've edited out a lot of the identifiable info, but the white printing shows up quite well on the darker photo.  If any of you get a note in the mail from me, there will probably be one of these babies enclosed.  :)

Friday, June 12, 2015


Now that school is out, the girls have been wanting to operate a lemonade stand.  They took some strategic business advice, and learned an important lesson about location, location, location.  There is an empty lot at the end of their street.  It is located at a 4-way stop through which almost all traffic into and out of the neighborhood must travel.  That is where they put their stand.  

Their daddy made sure they were shaded from the sun, and their big brothers took shifts to watch over them.  Of course, we had to go give them some of the blessings to living nearby is being part of their everyday lives.

They had a very successful day.

And they can mark one of their summer goals 'DONE.'

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ladybugs for my Caity-bug...

Today is Caitlyn's tenth birthday, so I made ladybug cake balls.  I sent the ones above over yesterday to accompany her birthday cake for her sleepover.  I used the rest of the batter today for our Sunday dinner dessert.  I coated today's batch red, but lost my mojo when it came to the decorating, so I just did a few ladybugs, and simply topped the majority with sprinkles.  Not my best effort, but they were okay.  I think I should have just left those crazy-big eyes off.

As always, I make my cake balls / cake pops using Bakerella's directions.  

I made Bobby think twice before biting into one when I told him one of them on the plate was a cherry tomato in disguise.  That boy hates cherry tomatoes!  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Lawn Ranger...

Carey began mowing lawns to earn money when he was eleven years old.  He's a bit of a perfectionist.  He never procrastinates (more proof that opposites attract).  I think he actually enjoys it.  He mowed the entire yard, inside the fence and out, two days ago.  Keep in mind that he just had outpatient surgery one week ago.

You might think that that is him on the mower in the photo above.  You would be wrong.  That is our neighbor from down the street.  He is, I guess, the self-appointed keeper of the easements.  Soon after we moved here (almost five years ago) we noticed that he mows outside the fences along the entire street and around the corners...sometimes down to the four-way stop which is almost a mile away.  Did he skip ours since it had just been mowed?

No.  He brought a helper!  And they easily made six to eight passes in front of our house.  What is he trying to say?  I think he is saying, "Hello, I have OCD!"  Not that I don't appreciate him...our neighborhood is very well groomed.  

He is possibly the only person in the state who has to change the headlight on his lawn mower, because he routinely does not head home until long after dark.

I told Carey he should stop mowing outside the fence and just let the neighbor do it, but I know he won't.  It's his yard, and he's going to mow it.  If the neighbor wants to come along and do it again, so be it.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Post WWII story of brides traveling to new lives with the husbands they married during wartime.

I just picked this up from the library, and haven't tucked into it yet.  I'm not sure when I will have time, but I'm sure I will find some.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How the bright sun shone...

It always surprises me, this bright color of green when the sun shines through the leaves of the tree outside my kitchen window.  No photo can replicate the subtleties of shadow and glossy surface.

Quite often, my kitchen window is my favorite view of the world outside.
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