Monthly Archives: July 2013

Nature’s Novelty

This week we are on vacation at the lake again. So far we have traded one madding crowd for another, but it does get quiet here during the week. One of my favorite past times here is watching the fauna, particularly the water fowl. Living out in drier hill country, one misses out on that unless one goes to the zoo.

So far we have enjoyed the herons, both lesser and blue, egrets, owls, and ducks. And those are my favorites. I love to watch them paddle like mad and looking so calm and important. This year we got to see a true novelty.

duck pic

See him?? A beautiful black duck, with green and blue feathers. I don’t think it’s a different species, since the patterns on his feathers are almost the same as the regular mallards. Genetic anomalies like this are rare and beautiful, and I admit to wanting to trap the sucker just so I could get a closer look. I don’t think he would like that, though. I’m pretty sure he would kick my butt, and take my money.

Well, time to get going. The bowling balls aren’t going to roll themselves, you know 😀

Ikea™ is Swedish for “Junk”

But what glorious junk it is!

Ikea™ is one of my favorite stores. I love, love, LOVE that place. It has everything. Unfortunately the nearest one is way north of me, about two hours. Hubby doesn’t much care for it because it isn’t solid-wood-to-pass-down-to-our-great-great-grandchildren quality. He also doesn’t like the hugeness of it. Or the crowds. Or the parking lot. About the only thing he likes about it is the view of the store from his rear-view mirror.

Anyway, I have been asking Hubby to stop there whenever we have a road trip up north, but invariably something happens to impede my wishes, be it by accident or design. Well, not this time! There is an Ikea™ on the west side of Houston and I am going to hit it like a screen door in a hurricane during my visit to my in-laws. And all for a few of these frames:

ribba frame1

Why? Because they are perfect for collages, and gifts, and pictures, and all sorts of stuff. I had bought several while in Germany, and kept giving them away. So, it’s time to replenish my stash, and maybe pick up a few lamp kits and shades and perhaps some vases to alter.

Because change is good 😀

Trying to Put Off for Tomorrow What I Can Do the Day After That

Sketchy blogging lately, I know. Sorry, but my Madre is in town, cooking and having a ton of fun with us, and that’s just not to be missed. Seriously, how often do you get the chance to eat for hours while laughing about everything?

Anyway, this week I shall be trying to get caught up on everything I have neglected, including laundry and cleaning. And maybe do some cooking for a change. I feel like I owe my mom and sis a night off from all the cooking and cleaning. We need some comfort food today. I’m thinking meatloaf and mashed potatoes and steamed veggies and homemade rolls.

slice of meatloaf

I’m also thinking I will throw out the bath scale.

And quite possibly my jeans.

Anyway, I’m still murdering books and will be posting the outcome and how-to over at Junk and Glue. Eventually. Little One is beyond thrilled with the sculptures and I am beyond thrilled she has kept her room clean. I know I am rambling but I can’t help it. It has been a crazy week and weekend. Still, I have to get the house is good shape before vacation so I don’t have to deal with it when I return. Nothing worse than having to clean house after frying your skin while having fun fishing.

I swear I will have a more coherent post sometime this week. Until then, enjoy the day!

Got $20 in My Pocket

Sorry about the earworm. But I just couldn’t resist.

Yesterday I went to the local thrift stores. My mom liked the little cupcake stands I made for my friend’s birthday party, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go check out the treasure troves in search of a candlestick to use, since I have oodles of dessert plates and saucers. In fact, I just found a couple of antique acid-etched saucers in the top shelf of the cabinet. Those I am going to use for another project. Besides, she wants something for serving cheeses as well so I have to use a dessert plate. Whatever makes her happy, right?? I had in mind using a Desert Rose by Franciscan™ dessert plate I bought at the flea market. But I was dissuaded when I went thrifting.

And boy howdy, did I score!

thrift store haul

Yes, to many of you that’s just a bunch of junk. But see those pink plates? Those are Majolica from Portugal. And that’s an antique Ball™ blue mason jar. And the cup and saucer is Noritake™. And the little white frame is wrought iron from Italy. If you’re unfamiliar with all the names I just dropped, let me just explain that the plates alone are about $30 each. And out of my $20 bill, I had enough to buy lunch at the local chicken joint. And still have change left over!!

So today I shall be showing my mom her new cheese stand and maybe getting a few orders for more. After all, she has a lot of friends 😀

So Far, So Good

Except when it comes to my waistline.

Mom has been cooking lunch and dinner every day. And like a dutiful daughter, I have been rising up to the challenge and eating lunch and dinner, every day.

Of course, now my jeans are trying to rise to the challenge of containing me.

The upside of this is that I haven’t had to cook dinner since she arrived. That is awesome in my book, and the reason I don’t dwell on the downside of this. I have been attempting to cook more Puerto Rican dishes, but let’s face it: they aren’t a patch on my mom’s cooking. Still, my family likes it enough to enjoy leftovers the following day, so that’s saying something. But I can’t let my mom do all the cooking while she’s here. I want her to enjoy her time with the family. So I shall be cooking this weekend for the clan. Not all weekend, mind you. Just dinners and one breakfast, maybe. And first request? Beer braised beef.

beer braised beef

Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

Because it’s beef, in beer. How can you go wrong???

Anyway, time for me to run. I have to go to the grocery store. Again. And to the liquor store. Again.

It’s for a good cause 😉

Ever Have One of Those Weeks When Everything Just Piles On?

Yeah, me too.

On the cusp of my friend’s farewell, my mom came to town for a visit. Then had a BBQ to attend on Sunday, then had to pick up kids from work, then had to fix something for dinner, then get uniforms ironed. Monday it was Eldest’s birthday, which is being observed on Thursday due to work schedules, and she also had to go run to main base and see a friend she hadn’t seen in seven years, because it was her birthday and that’s what she wanted. Then Eldest had to go take her driver’s test today, which took up all morning because she made the appointment waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over on the other side of Texas. But hey, she passed and I am no longer a chauffeur.


And as an intrepid friend pointed out, she can also be a designated driver. It’s a win-win.

Aside from that, we are also getting ready to go to the lake once again. But before we can go, we need to have some work done on the house. Luckily nothing major, just painting the bathroom and decluttering the upstairs. Why? Because the Lemur King and his royal family are coming for a visit!!!

Jumping Lemurs In Madagascar

And I can’t wait! We are going to do all the Big Texas things and eat Texas food and have a grand time. They’ll get a chance to rest on the trip back north, not to worry.

I will try to post more fluff this week. I just have to make sure my mom is otherwise occupied. Maybe cooking for the clan. That would be a win-win, too 😉

How Do You Do?

A few days ago, I was in line at the check out, waiting my turn to unload my cart, when my eyes wandered over the many, many tabloids and what passes for investigative magazines. Incredibly, I had not heard of most of the people that grace the glossy covers. Ok, maybe not incredibly since I am a hostage to the Cartoon Network.

If it’s not animated, I don’t know about it.

But I had to stop and stare to read one magazine cover, twice.

friend IRL

This made me a bit sad. I remember when we first moved to the US, being a new kid in school, and how every kid in my class came up to me to greet me, be it with “Hey, you’re new here?” or “My name is Amy and you can be my friend” or a few kids saying “Watch this!” It wasn’t hard to meet new kids. As I grew older it was more subtle, but it was still relatively easy to meet people. College made an art of it, what with “mixers” and frat parties and ice cream runs.

But I don’t remember having to read about how to make friends. Yes, I recall a book along those lines. But my issue here is how disconnected we have become from the physical and how connected we are in the technological. I admit to having plenty of online friends, met through the magic of the internet. And I am grateful for each and every one of them. But it’s a sad state when someone feels the need to publish a guide on social interactions that we should still remember from Kindergarten.

Always remember: it matters not how awkward or how smooth the path is to making a new friend. What matters is getting there 🙂

Here We Go, Again

Well, summer for most of us means vacation time and kids driving you insane. But for military families, it also means it’s a time to see friends move to other duty stations. And though we in the military have mastered the gift of “staying-in-touch”, it can still be difficult to say “See ya” to close friends.

Our close friend Flower Girl will be moving this summer, and Hubby and I wish to give her a nice going away gift. And this is the difficult part. Usually Hubby just asks me to get something for someone because let’s face it: shopping is something I do quite well. But this time he wants to help pick out a gift, because she was his protegé, and he her mentor. And I want to pick it out because she and I are like sisters.

And that means what HE thinks is a great gift is not necessarily what I think is a great gift. My suggestions of artwork, Le Creuset (she has been wanting a good sized casserole), Texas themed jewelry and such, have been met with reluctance. His suggestions of a fossil display, or some medical themed display have been met with a “Huh??” I think we are at cross purposes because he wants to give her something she can hang or display in her office, and I want to give her something she can have in her home. So, I think it’s best if we each get her something different. He can give her a nice office gift, and I will give her a small gift for her home.

Unless we find an antique pathology knife. She can use that at work and at home 😉

It Is Never too Late to Think About Halloween

Seriously, Halloween is just over 100 days away. I have to plan accordingly.

Each year, the kids’ costumes get more intricate. Last year, Eldest dressed as a weird, foul character from Skyrim™, complete with live snake for a necklace. Little One chose another character, and her cloak had stuffed crows attached to it.

Not real crows, mind you. I may be crafty, but I have never learned taxidermy.

This year the girls want to do something more subtle. Eldest may or may not participate, due to upcoming commitments, but Little One has plans…. big plans. And they involve cherry syrup and scar makeup. No, I have no idea if it’s for her, or a victim friend. Sometimes that child makes me afraid.

As for myself, I was all set to make an elaborate Steampunk costume. Until I realized that I would be handing out candy to a lot of kids and their parents who would have no idea what the heck Steampunk is. But not to worry. I have an excellent plan in mind. One that will probably get parents to ban my house from trick-or-treating next year. I’m not divulging what it is, but here’s a hint.

black tulle skirt

Only it will be black and tan. So you get two hints. And no, I am not going as Vader Princess, much as I would love to.

Maybe next year 😉

Getting Dirty

Heh, fooled you with that title, didn’t I? Well, I am clearing the garden today, and relocating those white rocks in the flower beds, and whacking major shrubbery.

ni shrubbery

But not with a herring.

As low maintenance as our backyard is, the dogs tend to wreak their own special kind of havoc by running in the flower beds while barking at the dogs on the other side of the fences. Consequently, all the gravel and pretty pebbles get displaced. If it were up to me, I would have all that taken out and replaced with MOAR DURT!! But it’s too costly of a project to undertake at this time, so we stick to maintaining it. Hopefully one day we will set up a hammock for nice summer evenings. Along with fifteen bug zappers.

Can’t take chances with insects around here. Not when they can carry you off 😀