Monday, January 18, 2010

No. 1 had her baby shower over the weekend.

Her mom-in-law made a double-layer sheet cake in the theme chosen.


Primary colors:


That diaper "cake" was made by the host's mom-in-law.


She REALLY got a haul!


Games were played, food was eaten, friends who hadn't seen each other in a while chatted for hours. The host did a wonderful job and everyone left at the end cleaned up my house, put food away, etc. Another great bunch.

Tired, folks plopped on the couch. No. 1 is the huge frog-like creature.

Photobucket Almost forgot to include pics of what Diane made. Here's the ribbon blankey and sensory block. Those of you who sew, cook, garden or are crafty will enjoy joining Modern Roots. They're currently having a nice giveaway as indicated on the sidebar.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cloth Shopping Bags.

We don't have an Ikea store near us here in Texas, but every time I visit No. 2 we go to Ikea for lunch and a look, even if we buy nothing.

For a few years in a row, Ikea offered cloth shopping bags for a ridiculous price of something like $1.34 each. I bought a few on my first trip, liked them and bought more on each trip thereafter. They were SO cheap that I could gift them to encourage others to stop using plastic bags. I gifted to No. 1, No. 2 and her roommate, Jen Z.

Before my last trip to see No. 2 and No. 3, I washed my Ikea bags in the washing machine WITH my gym shoes. They fell apart. I was on my way to visit No. 2, though, so I thought I'd just purchase more. We did our Ikea lunch and look, but there were no cloth bags to be found. A friendly store clerk said that the cloth bags were a limited-time item. Desperate, I bought 5 of the Ikea store bags for $.59/each. Em absolutely HATES them, as do grocery store check-out people. They're wider than they are tall, bulky as all get out, but made of something that looks like weaved plastic reinforced by stitching.


The first time we used them was for a canned goods sale. I told the checkout clerk to put all the cans in one of these bags. Then, Em tried to pick up the bag. Heh. "Woman, ..?"

Next time we used them for a big meat buy. Meat was what messed up our cloth bags to the point where I felt like they needed to be washed. We decided they're great for meat buys because they can simply be wiped after the meat's been removed from them, but we really preferred the cloth bags with the long handles for anything else.

Knowing Diane is handy at sewing, I hired her to fix the bags. I trusted her judgment completely on how to fix them from her scrap fabric stash, but she outdid my expectations completely.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that the bag repair would result in sturdier AND more attractive bags while still retaining their original size/shape.

You can see a photo here, and if you click on "cloth shopping bags" below the photo, you can see what she started with.

She showed me some pics of some things I asked her to make for our new granddaughter, but No. 1 reads this blog so I'll wait until after the shower to post them.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Pie from sweet potatoes frozen in paper lunch bags.

You might remember my experiments with freezing squash in brown paper lunch bags. Yesterday, Em found a bag in the kitchen freezer that said, "Sweet Potatoes for Pie - 10/09/09" and took it out to defrost. He was ready for his sweet potato pie.

Neither of us feel well yet after he caught the cold/cough in Northern Nevada at the end of last month and shared it with me, but he went to the store and bought two frozen pie shells and was determined to make this pie. That was yesterday. He asked me to find him a recipe for it and I had that ready this morning right out in the open for him to read along with a stick of butter and the bag of sweet potatoes that we'd put in the frig overnight, but he fell asleep instead. So, I asked if he'd like ME to make the pie for him and he said, "I'd LOVE for you to make the pie; I only seem to have enough steam to walk to the couch and lie down."

My plan was to begin a tradition of Frugal Friday meals starting with some tuna/quinoa patties mentioned at What's Cooking?, so I went outside and scrounged up an onion or two and some cilantro for that one. After I made the pie, though, *I* only had enough steam to walk to the couch, so we're having frozen pizza tonight and Frugal Friday will be tomorrow night. That explanation was to explain why the ingredient photo for the pie includes onions and cilantro.

The equivalent of two sweet potatoes were put in 3 layers of brown paper bag. After defrosting, I was able to save all 3 bags; they weren't wet at all! Of course, I had to scoop them out of Em's hands before he threw them away.


The batter still had some lumps because I hadn't fully cooked through the sweet potatoes as indicated in the recipe I sorta used (with changes based on reviews). They were simply the sweet potatoes "processed" and then defrosted.


We both helped lick the bowl from the batter and we're gonna LOVE it.

350 Movement; We're Not Done Yet.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Baby Shower here on the 16th, but no babies allowed.

How hypocritical is THAT?

The woman originally slotted to have the baby shower for No. 1 got the flu right before the shower, so that was canceled. Turns out that she also lives 2 hours drive away from all the other people coming to the shower, so I volunteered my house for the event. She didn't take me up on that offer. I think she got pissed off, actually, as she still hasn't responded to the shower invitation being hosted by another friend who lives in a small apartment and agreed to host the shower here.

Several people (including ME) had gifts sent to the address of the first shower and the status of those gifts is unclear.

Today, I noticed that one of the attendees said that if she can't find a sitter she'll be bringing her THREE kids. Um ... I hadn't anticipated KIDS and don't have a childproofed house where kids could roam unattended while I serve appetizers and mini cream puffs to the moms. AND, we're picky people! We insist guests take their shoes off before walking past the foyer. We insist that smokers smoke outside and don't try and sneak out and in in your stocking feet because the whole point of not wearing shoes indoors is to not drag in the outside stuff.

So, I'm frustrated today ... not JUST because of this, of course. I'm ALSO frustrated because we've been feeling crummy for the past week. Em's got the cough that won't go away and our energy-level has reached ZIP most days. I also don't have enough chairs for all the people, don't want people eating on the new couch and loveseat, don't know how to diplomatically suggest that kids aren't welcome ... at a party to welcome a new kid.

Might be time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It's tough to not use it when you have it right there!

I'm talking about water ... HOT water.

It's winter (even in North Texas) and believe it or not indoor temps of 72 have us wearing sweaters over sweatshirts. It's an interesting phenomenon to observe and I remember when we first moved here from Chicago (some 15 years ago). We were both smokers then and we'd go outside to smoke at work wearing no coats or anything and the temp felt comfortable to us while the Texans were shivering and complaining about the cold.

I bought the switches for the showers so I could turn the water off in the shower while I soap up, and I use them. Thing is: sometimes after soaping up and turning the water back on the water is cooler than it was when I turned it off. It FEELS downright COLD, so I tend to finish my hairwash/shower without turning the water off again.

Fortunately (for the world) I don't shower/hairwash every day. In fact, I feel less guilty for NOT showering more often now. Let there be human stink in the world!

No Impact Man - the book.

I'm almost done reading this, so it'll be soon time to pass it on to the next reader as I continue the "chain book read" as Em calls it.

If you're interested, leave a comment so saying. I've really been enjoying it even tho I pretty much followed everything he did via his blog for that year.

To receive the book you must commit to reading it and mailing it on to the next reader in a timely fashion.