Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Distracting You With Good Links

So, yeah, I haven't been so hot at updating. I'm slipping back into my old habits, it seems. I still don't have anything intresting to say, so I'm going to draw attention away from my lousy blog posts to say:

read this blog: Thursday is Bazzar Day

That is all.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Planning for the future, or at least pretending to

I have a guilty pleasure I indulge in sometimes. I go in waves, not indulging for weeks at a time and then all at once, hours have gone by while I sit over my obession. This is one of those weeks where I spend hours. Mostly, I look on the internet. It's fast and easy and I can indulge my fantasies without spending a penny. This is my porn. Isn't it lovely? Just decedant at 850 sq feet per person in my family. I'll never own a million dollar home (unless the US dollar somehow ends up with the same buying power as a Mexican Peso,) but it's fun to dream about it.

I love looking at home plans. I'll look at luxery homes (like this,) and budget homes, and modern homes (I adore this one. the floor plan is so practical and perfect and the whimsy of combinging the two styles totally works for me.) I even spent time yesterday looking at house plans for straw bale homes.

Yes, straw bales. You use them for the outer walls. It gives an impressive R value, is very cheap to use, is easy to aquire, and is a completely renewable resource, not to mention the very cool deep window sills all over the house. :) There are some gorgous homes out there designed for straw bales. google it.

I just love residential architecture in general. I would love to go to parade of homes, but I never manage it. It's a date thing to me. Can you imagine hauling five kids from house to house just because you feel like looking? Of course, there is the problem that once you've seen one cookie cutter tract house you've seen them all, so Parade of Homes are often not as cool as I'd like them to be.

Someday, Steve and I will build a house. We don't know what it will look like or how much money we will have to build. If we have a lot of money, we will hire an architect and buy a beautiful lot on a hillside. We'll build a house that's basically a part of the hill, building back in with tall windows and passive solar heating. I can picture it in my head. It will be long and narrow with a modern feel that gives a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright's Prarie style. Two levels. doesn't it sound lovely?

If we don't have a lot of money, we will buy a stock plan that hopefully looks nothing like what everyone else is building but it will probably be like naming your kid Ava, not nearly as unique as it sounds. Although this home would make me very happy even if all my neighbors had it.

Someday we will build and it will be either off the grid, or luxurious, or adorable, or a victorian, or a craftsman, or a tudor, or French Provincial (the real thing, not the stuff they just call French provincial) or georgian, or colonial, or . . . . it will be a house. And it will be a house I love . . . I hope.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


no, not me. Libby. Yesterday afternoon I decided to make bread the old fashioned way: in my Kitchen Aid. I had just gotten the bread into a warm oven to raise when Libby came bolting through the kitchen. She slammed on the breaks when she caught the sight of the mixing bowl.

"cookie dough?" she weedled, with big puppy dog eyes. The mixer being out only means one thing to her.

"no. I didn't make cookie dough. do you want a cookie?"

"No, cookie. coooooookiiieeeee doooooooough!" she wailed.

"no. there isn't any cookie dough."

"cooookie dough." and her eyes squinted up and the crocidile tears streamed down her face.

"no. I didn't make cookie dough. I made bread."

"bread?" the tears stopped and her face brightened.

"we're out of bread. I'm making some but it's not done yet."


"bread all gone. Have a cookie."

"no cookie. bread."

"no bread. There. is. no. bread. it's all gone. do you want a cookie?"

"cookie dough!"

"no cookie dough. have a cookie, for pete's sake!"

"cookie?" and she reached up and took it and walked off happily.

That folks is why I'm tired all the time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Taking my husband's background into consideration

Joshua: Why does the oven timer say 23 minutes?

Me: Because that's when the house blows up. (Yes, I am that type of parent)

Family discussion about bombs and home evacuation ensues and then degenerates to Joshua's discussion about how he would diffuse the bomb.

Me (to Steve): So when you diffuse a bomb, do you cut the wire giving power to the bomb or the one leading away?

Steve: I don't do either. I just run.

Me: how many bombs have you been around?

Steve: ummm . . . .

Me: Not counting the ones you and your brother's built.

Sigh. He's not a terrorist. He was just a bored teenage boy in a rural town with four brothers.

Forget purse obsession, we will now discuss cake pan obsession

I did it. I bought another Williams-Sonoma cake pan. This one is a castle pan:
totally cute, isn't it? Because it's a castle, I actually have more uses for it than the train cake pan. I have two girls who love princesses and two kids who love Hogwarts. What Matt likes doesn't count because he's stuck with the train cake until he's 16 and the cost per use has dropped to a level that doesnt' make me cringe. (because I'm a weird person that figures costs per use on things. This is why I don't own a swiffer. I couldn't bring myself to sweep my floor if I knew it was going to cost me 50 cents a day.) anyway, that's what he gets for liking trains at a time when W-S made a pan for it.

Rilla had a birthday this week. This was how I justified the castle purchase, of course. I intended to make her a princess cake. It came out like this:

so yes, the designers at W-S do a much better job, but Rilla liked it. All the funky green is my attempt at landscaping. Now you know what my yard looks like, only with fewer flowers.

Sarah and I joked about making Joshua a Hogwarts cake in honor of book six. Lego Harry and Snape would be up at the top of the north tower and poor Dumbledore would be all splat at the bottom. I would, however, refrain from using red frosting for that. That would be just tasteless.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I have this problem keeping friends. I have no clue why, I guess people just get tired of me after a year or two. Or maybe I just have unrealistic expectations. I get a little twinge of jealousy when I hear women get teary eyed when they talk about the woman who's been like a sister to them for 20 years.

yeah, not even close here. I have had maybe two or three friends in my entire life who considered me their best friend, at least that's what they told me anyway. I have had friends where that person was my best friend and I was most definitely not theirs and let me tell you, that's a pathetic, sad possition to be in.

Lately I've been really thinking about what I want in a friend in the first place. I had a friendship go sour this last year and it's made me stop and reevaluate what I was doing.

1. I want a friend who wants to talk to me as much as I want to talk to her. I want her to pick up the phone when I call (and how pathetic is it that I even have to specify that?) I want her to stop for a second in her day and say "I really want to talk to Amy." and then call me herself instead of waiting for me to call.

2. I want a friend who takes equal responsibility for the health of the friendship. I'm tired of it all being on my shoulders. Which has happened to me more than once. It's hard to continue a friendship when you get the feeling that your friend wouldn't miss you that much if you just stopped calling. and it's really sad when you stop calling and they don't, in fact, miss you. or call you themselves either.

3. I want a friend I can trust. One who doesn't talk about me behind my back. One who doesn't see me as competition or expects me to be the president of the fan club. I will cheer my friends on but I won't do that.

4. I want one I can be honest with. Not one who doesn't want to listen (or talk to me) when I disagree with her. It's not a matter of loyalty, it's a matter of me being a different person and having different ideas. It's ok. I can still be friends with someone I don't agree with 100%.

5. I want someone who wants to hang out with me and talk to me and really wants to be my friend. that's it. I want a friend who wants me as a friend.

How hard is that?

Harder than I ever thought it would be. I have given up on having a best girlfriend. I have Steve and he is all those things for me and more. He gets excited to hear my voice on the phone. He cheers me on when I have good things happen. He wants to spend time with me. He is my best friend.

Maybe that's one reason why I have such a hard time with friends. Steve is a hard act to follow.

Monday, April 09, 2007

He'd be thrown out of Circus Circus

Steve and I really love Smallville. We get it from Netflix and have never watched Smallville during the regular season schedule, which means we are a season behind and know nothing of what's going to happen in episodes that come after whatever disc we are watching at that time. The other night we were watching the last disc of season 4, when Steve again declared his pet theory that the writers would kill off Chloe, one of Clark Kent's best friends. This is not a theory I subscribe to, so I scoffed at him. He said, "alright, I bet you she dies by the end of season four." I jumped at the offer and we decided on an agreeable wager.

I was, of course, right. Steve was somewhat put out that I won that one.

Two nights later, I came home from a church activity and Steve offered to watch Smallville with me. We had the first disc of season five by then. We settled in for the second episode and Steve turned to me. "Double or nothing . . . Clark dies." he declared with the air of someone who's pulling a theory out of thin air. I jumped at that bet. Who would believe that Clark dies? Clark is Superman for pete's sake. He's the main character. No show kills off the main character.

And this I believed whole heartedly right up until the moment that Clark gets shot in the stomach. At the end of season four he had given up his powers to be normal, so the bullet does the same damage it would to any human. I was in shock, not because of the plot, but because my husband had called it. He sat gleefully at the other end of the couch watching me. "they aren't going to kill off Clark. That's stupid. He'll have to have a last minute recovery." "So if he flatlines, does it count." "yeah, if the doctors call it, it counts." and two minutes later, Clark flatlines and the doctors call it.

No way. Shocked. I tell you. shocked. Steve is practically jumping up and down on his end of the couch laughing. "how did you guess that?!"

"oh, well, I watched it while you were gone looking for something you would bet against."

I threw a pillow at him. And I still won the bet.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Beware the Placemat Purse

Most of my life I've done the perfectly practical thing of carrying just one purse. I buy some bag that's less than $20 and is small to medium, always brown leather. They are, of course, simple and practical and only contain exactly enough to get my by.

But deep down I've had a little purse envy. It's fun to have bags to match your outfits. I knew this about myself, but I had no idea what I had unleashed with the placemat purses. I have two now, by the way, in case you missed that. I would change them according to my outfit and I was proud to carry them. Window shopping for fabric has become a pasttime of mine. carries Amy Butler fabric and someday I will finally decide which pattern I want for my library bag. Amy Butler used to be my choice for a church bag, but my oldest sister carries a leather bag and it's beautiful. I've been leaning that direction this last week or so.

A lovely natural fiber purse with red patent leather trim was added to my collection last week, along with a new wallet to facilitate purse switching. I seem to have also picked up the habit of carrying things like a fold up hairbrush (which will get hair elastic added to it soon) a nail file, lip gloss, and a small pad of paper, all of which does not facilitate purse switching but does facilitate daily life.

I've also taken to sketching purses I'd like to make. Fabric ones, leather ones, it doesn't matter. I always have such a hard time finding exactly what I want, I think it would be fun to make it.

So if you happen to know a good place to get baby pink leather by the square foot, let me know. ;) (I'm serious here. I've had a terrible time finding it. and I neeeeeed a pink purse. It's a sickness. )