Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here you go, Melly.



Fourth photo in the fourth folder. Riveting, isn't it? lol This is a carrot cake I made for MissE's birthday last year. As we're not ones who use refined sugar, it got a honey and cream cheese topping a little later. (Wasn't very pretty, though. My baking skillz have gone down the tubes since we quit sugar.)

I still have the pan, and should really use it for tonight. The kids would love it.

Thanks so much for the fun chain post!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Mother's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo & Barbie flipped through their heads.

Yes, and dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch TV and rest.
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the child and hummed her a tune,
as she bundled the small one in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you too."

The mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That's my child's LOVE she is going to steal."
Smiling wisely, Santa said: "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child and tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
Sometimes I forget, it won't be very long,
before they'll be too old for my cradle and song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side, Santa said: "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, you'll be all right."

Sometimes we need reminding of what life is all about.
Especially at times when the Holiday season shouts,
and all we do is clean, bake, and procure.
You get the picture -- I'm sure.

So stop for a moment and hug that little one so dear,
whether he/she is 2 or 22, or even older this year.
For they are the gift that God gave us from Heaven above,
and what a special gift to be treasured, with endless LOVE!

May The Real Meaning Of Christmas Be With You All Year.

--Unknown
(If you know who wrote this, please leave a comment so I can attribute it properly.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News from the Snopocalypse

We're all safe and warm, thankfully.  We've had over a foot of snow, and are among the lucky ones who still have power.  Surrounding areas haven't been so blessed, so while we've had successive brownouts each evening, we're warm, illuminated, washed and fed.

And now, some evidence of the Stormaggedon.

This first one is of Cair Paravel (a.k.a. the back patio), on Sunday morning.  We thought that was an impressive amount of snow for Portland.  After all, there's about four or five inches accumulation on those chair seats.



The part you can't see in that last photo is the layer of ice over everything.  Witness other examples . . . a tree at the park:



A nearby Japanese maple:



And from this morning, (before additional inches fell), showing the astounding whiteness that the latest front dumped on our heads:



And all of this in a place that just doesn't get persistent snow, or freezing temps.

More snowy photos to follow . . . 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Now That's What I'm Talkin' About

It will be interesting to see how this unique economy handles the coming crunches and market corrections.

The Economy of Women

"The only way through, is through." --Gwen Bell

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here She Is!

There was a ring at the door, and there stood a friendly-looking woman, with this huge box for me. :o) It was easy to see, from the stickers and postage, that this box had made the trip from New Zealand . . . my wheel had arrived!



Oh, wait. Did you want to actually see what's inside the box? So did I! It was a little tricky though, keeping all of my helpers' little mitts out of the contents. Thankfully, it was naptime, and I only had the two oldest wanting to help. ;o)

Oh yeah. The box contents . . .



Beautiful, isn't it? {sigh} But wait! There's more . . .



There. The long-awaited wheel portrait. Spinning next to the fire is one of my most favorite things, e-v-e-r. And, thanks to Sheepish Creations, I had some lovely sample fiber all ready to spin.



I haven't come up with a good name for her yet . . . and a Majacraft Suzie Alpaca needs a proper name. She's smooth and easy to work with, and lovely to look at, as well. MrC, my 9-year-old, has quickly taught himself to spin with her, and has turned out some fairly nice singles, considering they're half the diameter of the ones he made with his wimpy toy-wheel spindle I made in September.

First wheel yarn:


The aforementioned 1oz. sample of hand-dyed Merino from Sheepish Creations, a mother/daughter team I found on Ravelry. It was almost too soft to be nice to touch in roving form, but once spun up, it's lovely.

Here's show-and-tell on the plied SC Merino:


Not the most even, but not too shabby, eh? (It's a pretty lousy photo, but I haven't built my light box yet, so please forgive me.) I spun from the fold, trying to pull the colored sections off cleanly. Didn't work entirely, but the colors were preserved fairly well. It was fun to spin. And the wheel is lovely, lovely, lovely!



Here it is, the sweet little skein. I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it, but I'm eager to do something. Maybe an accent on some fingerless mitts, or a band of colorwork on a handspun hat.

And now, the rest of the day awaits. Or rather, it's steaming on ahead at full speed, and I've got to do my best to not be run over . . .

More handspun soon!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Did you say Snow?

And I was looking frward to a temperate winter . . . . this was issued after nearly a solid week of frigid temps and snow on the ground.

At least reading these to Vern lets me practice my "weatherman" voice. ;o) I could so totally be a news anchor. (Well, except for not being able to keep a straight face.)

Issued by The National Weather Service
Portland, OR
9:56 pm PST, Thu., Dec. 18, 2008

... WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST FRIDAY FOR THE GREATER PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREA... ... WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE GREATER PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREA...

THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST FRIDAY. A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR SNOW... FREEZING RAIN... AND WIND REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

SNOW SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREAS TONIGHT. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ON THE VALLEY FLOOR WILL BE GENERALLY LESS THAN AN INCH EXCEPT ABOVE 500 FT WHERE 1 TO 2 INCHES OF NEW SNOW CAN BE EXPECTED. SNOW SHOWERS WILL BEGIN TO TAPER OFF EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

ANOTHER SLOPPY FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL SPREAD A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION INTO THE METRO AREA BEGINNING SATURDAY AND CONTINUING THROUGH THE DAY SUNDAY. THIS STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DROP SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW OVER THE AREA. STILL QUITE A BIT OF UNCERTAINTY ON AMOUNTS... THOUGH 6 TO 12 INCHES SEEMS REASONABLE. IN ADDITION TO SNOWFALL... STRONG EAST WINDS SHOULD DEVELOP LATE SATURDAY INTO EARLY SUNDAY POSSIBLY CREATING HAZARDOUS BLOWING SNOW CONDITIONS ACROSS AREA ROADWAYS... AND POSSIBLY BLIZZARD CONDITIONS NEAR THE GORGE. AS WARMER AIR MOVES IN ALOFT... A TRANSITION TO FREEZING RAIN IS POSSIBLE BY EARLY SUNDAY... GIVING THE POSSIBILITY OF SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCUMULATION FOLLOWING THE SNOW. SLIGHT FLUCTUATIONS IN THE EXTENT OF THE WARM PUSH NORTHWARD WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AFFECT ON SNOWFALL AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES... AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW... SLEET... OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Photos to follow . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dare you to memorize this.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do You See What I See?

No lights.

And I can't find the photo of the dark house front I just took and imported either.

Excuse me, now, while I go have a Yosemite Sam moment.

Pretty Woman . . .

like you've never heard it before. :o)

Friday, December 12, 2008

What if . . .

Mass-tagged by Melly, here goes. 

1....you could bring one character from your favorite book to life, who would it be?
Lotty Wilkins, from The Enchanted April 

2....you could solve one of history's unsolved mysteries, which would it be?
Who Killed Rodger Rabbit. 

3....you were stranded on a deserted island, what 2 people would you chose to be stranded with?
Vern, and an eldery native of a similar island, to teach us how to survive. 

4....you could spend a day with any celebrity, dead or living, who would it be?
 Thomas S. Monson.  I'd love to get a chance to see him as Tom, who his family and friends know. 

5....you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 
To know what to do so that I could take care of my family the way I really want to. 

6....you could live anywhere, where would you live?
Right where I am.  (Or at least within a five mile radius. ;o) 

So, not too exciting, not very unusual.  Hopefully it works, though.  I hope all of you and yours are having a wonderful December, and will have an even better Christmas and New Year.  And now, off to feed the hordes . . . again . . . 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Catalog Creativity

So, my bloggy friend Amy Boogie challenged her readers to find something to do with the glut of catalogs we all get in the mail.  



(What's up with the catalog avalanche, anyway?  It used to be the JC Penney Catalog and the Sears Big Book, and that was it.  I'm just glad they can be recycled.)  I counted the stack, and a couple other strays, and I had collected 15 in ONE week.  Yikes.

So, as I was trying to think of something fun to do with them before they went into the recycling bin, I came up with a kid-friendly idea.  Kiddie decoupage.  (Unfortunately, no children were decoupaged during the making of this project.)  Even better, kiddie decoupage on some of those boxes we keep getting in the mail.  (Since when did cardboard become so ubiquitous?  Cardboard boxes were such a rarity when I was a kid.  Hmmm . . . a glut of catalogs and cardboard boxes.  Could there be a connection?  Ummmm . . . nevermind . . . Vern, you didn't just read that.)

Materials:

Catalogs
Previously-used cardboard boxes
Glue sticks
Scissors
Munchkins

Give the children their tools (age-appropriate scissors, please), and let them snip and trim to their hearts' content.  

While they're doing that, take all of the tape and shiny labels off of the boxes.  The glue stick glue won't stick very well to the glossy surfaces, and this saves a lot of frustration for the little ones.



Try to get them to cover the cardboard completely with the pictures they cut out.  Glueing the edges down is helpful.  Only the sides, and the larger flaps on top and bottom need covering, as the short flaps will be covered by the other flaps once the boxes are closed.



Do your best to keep them focused until the boxes are covered . . . but if not, Daddy will likely love it anyway. :o)  And finally, voila!, you'll have works of art in which to nestle precious gifts from children to beloved relatives and friends.  (Almost as good as wrapping gifts in comic pages, no?)



I don't have a finished photo yet of the boxes . . . naptime was finished before they were, and then dinnertime and bedtime and all of those other mandatory -times took precedence.  They're coming along beautifully, though!

So, there's a way to use up fairly large portions of the catalogs, and reuse boxes, too.  Double recycling karma points, eh?  I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.  I woud love to win the contest, but I'm afraid my contribution isn't as beautiful as other's will be.  Here's to hoping. :o)

And lastly, a teaser . . . 



Guess what those are???

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Overheard at my Island

MissE, playing make-believe with the Anderman:

"And, how about, when the volcano was interrupting . . ."

Anderman:

"Yeah! While the volcano was interrupting . . . "

Pass it on, please . . .

Don't let this one get you.

Man, I hate viruses . . .