Thursday, June 12, 2008


Libby read Dick and Jane to me this evening. That's right. She read.

She's three.

Yes, I'm proud.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I have a major regret from my college years. (Not the student loan thing, although those suck) I wish very much that I had taken a pattern making class. With all the sewing I'm doing lately, I'm finding it very difficult to find patterns to fit the clothes I have pictured in my head. It's very frustrating.

Especially since pattern companies didn't get in on the vanity sizing act and a size 16 in patterns is exactly the same size it was 30 years ago and most definitely to small to fit my normally size 16 chest. About 3-4 sizes to small. Which means I must buy plus size patterns.

Plus size patterns stink. That's all I'm saying. For the most part, the blouses are all either basic button up or a tunic. I look terrible in a tunic. Since I have an hour glass figure and gain weight proportionally all over my body, wearing an item of clothing that hangs straight down is exactly the wrong look for me. I basically look about 20-30lbs heavier. It's awful.

I want a plus size blouse pattern that is shaped at the waist. I want a feminine blouse pattern, with gathers and shaping and cute sleeves. Apparently, I want too much. Hence my desire for a pattern making class. If I had, I could at least have the skills to alter existing patterns to fit me and maybe even design some cute patterns of my own.

Of course, since I can't even manage to get the clothes I have patterns for sewn, It doesn't seem to make that much difference anyway.

Goal today: at least cut out the brown skirt.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Ultimate in Geek Achievements

The other morning I walked into the living room to see Matt sitting at the table with a paper and dice. He was rolling the die and writing down the result on his paper, a D&D character sheet.

My children all decided the other day to put together a D&D group. Four character sheets were printed off the D&D website and they spent the afternoon filling out all the proper places on the sheets. Joshua also e-mailed his older cousin to be sure he brought his DM books for the summer so the cousin could be DM when he came to play at our house.

So I have achieved that ultimate: I have raised geek children.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

All Is Forgiven

Of course, you knew I forgave my husband shortly after his gift faux pas Saturday, didn't you? Because you know the secret to a happy marriage, right?


Get over the slights. Get over the weird stuff that comes out of their mouths. Chances are they didn't mean to hurt or say something off.

Anyway, I was feeling down yesterday and Steve noticed. I didn't tell him what was wrong until today, but he worried about me and wanted to make me feel better. This afternoon he called me from his cell and told me to come look out the living room window. I arrived in time to watch him pull onto our block in the world's most perfect car: The BMW Roadster. Sigh. Sweet little black convertible with only two seats and a five speed on the floor. He borrowed it from a local car dealership to take me out for a drive, only I got to drive.

Yeah, I'm not a car girl, but that was fun. I'm a bit out of practice driving a stick. I could sure get used to that car though. It's a 97 and quite reasonably priced and it gets good gas mileage (allegedly.)

It would mean starting back up with car payments though and I'm not ready for that no matter how cute the car. I sure enjoyed my joy ride, though.

PS. Steve wants to know about how he forgave me. He has his own blog though. Tell your own side of the story, buddy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

News Flash: Men are weird

This year for Mother's Day I got a grocery store card clumsily handed to me in the middle of church. that was it. No gift, not even a chocolate bar. I was moderately ok with this. I hadn't made a big deal about the big day or anything, so whatever. He usually gets me something nice, so one year of nothing shortly after getting a new kitchen is a forgivable offense.

Until Saturday.

I said: "what do you want for Father's Day."

Instead of giving the only appropriate response I would give in simmilar circumstances, namely, "oh nothing dear. You didn't get anything for your day, so we'll skip my day too." He actually gave me some suggestions for gifts he might like.

The only thing that kept me from decking him is that his suggestions were all under $20.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Unusual ingredient

Ever had Jello cookies? When I was a kid, one of my aunts brought a cookie recipe with her when she came to visit. The official name was "Pastel Cookies" and they were pastel colored spritz cookies. I remember them, though, by their secret ingredient, you guessed it, Jello.
The Jello gives them a fruity tartness and a fun color. I imagine they were invented in the 50's or 60's back when Jello had it's heyday and everyone was trying to invent a new Jello recipe. My favorite flavor is strawberry, but lime and orange are both good. Just about any Jello flavor will work, although you'll get a better lemon cookie with a standard spritz recipe and lemon extract.

I had forgotten about these for years until last week when Libby requested I make "pink cookies." She had never had pastel cookies before; she just loves pink. Her favorite flavor of ice cream is strawberry only because it's pink. Anyway, I dug through my recipe box and couldn't find the official recipe. I called my mom, but she was no help, having throw the recipe out after giving me her cookie press. In desperation, I turned to my new old copy of James Beard's American Cookery (purchased at a second hand store for all of 50 cents.) I took his recipe for spritz cookies and adapted it. It's a fun cookie that kids love. The bright colors make them perfect for a baby shower or a wedding shower, just change the flavor to match the theme. These are slightly more tough than I like a spritz cookie to be (I blame the gelatin), but the novelty of the Jello makes up for it.

Pastel Cookies:
1 c butter
1/3 c white sugar
1 package Jello (not sugar free!)
1 egg or 3 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c flour
1/8 t salt (unless using salted butter. Keep in mind Jello has salt in it)

Cream the butter until very light and fluffy. Cream in the sugar and Jello gradually, and continue beating until very light. Beat in the egg and flavoring. Sift the flour with the salt and add to the mixture. Do not over beat. Press through a cookie press onto cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees until the bottom of the cookies turn light tan. The edges will be dry and starting to color as well. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from pan immediately and cool before eating. These cookies are actually best if given a day to rest and mellow before eating. Makes 6-7 dozen depending on cookie shape.