Monday, September 29, 2008

Brownies, Bottle Caps, Comics, and Corks

Oh my what a busy weekend my family has had. Looking back, I suppose we've been busy doing only the typical things that families do--it just seemed to be a bit more nonstop than usual this weekend.

Late last week I found and killed a cockroach in the kitchen which meant that on Saturday I spent the morning scrubbing every kitchen surface to the point where my fingertips hurt and then spraying bug spray like a mad woman. I want to say that in most aspects I am very earth friendly but cockroaches are my own Achilles heel. If one manages to sneak past all the cats and finds itself in the kitchen, I am forced to get out the strongest chemicals known to man. I feel no guilt for this.

After the house was properly roach free, the boy and I spent the afternoon baking brownies to take to a kid friendly dinner party on Sunday night. I'm not a big brownie fan but the brownies we make are out of this world. The recipe comes from Ayun Halliday's book Dirty Sugar Cookies. ( Yes, I've totally been in an Ayun phase lately.) The brownies are very rich and not dry the way a lot of brownies end up being. They are always a crowd pleaser. This time in particular, they were so much of a crowd pleaser that the boy and I had to make another batch on Sunday because we realized we only had six left to take to the party. I couldn't find the recipe anywhere on the internet and I'm not going to post it here because I'm thinking that might be breaking some kind of law. But if you want the recipe bad enough, and you know you have no intention of buying Ayun's book, I'll send you the recipe directly because I'm nice like that. Sometimes.

On Sunday morning we moved the picnic table and cleaned out the fire pit that's been covered for the last six or seven months. It was a dirty job filled with plenty of bugs and worms to put in the compost. But the result is a wonderful, cleaned up patio and a fire pit ready for the first cold night to roast marshmallows. I can't wait.Plus, a bit more room for playing hopscotch.
On Sunday afternoon Jay was checking the email and going through the Freecycle posts when he found an awesome artsy woman who was preparing to move and giving away a lot of cool stuff. Jay made two separate trips to this kind and lucky (she's moving to Oregon) woman's house. Here is some of the items he returned with:

Lots and lots of Duran Duran magazines from the eighties. Some from other countries and in different languages. This is only a sampling--there is probably close to fifty.
Over one hundred comic books---mostly Richie Rich and Donald Duck.
One of my absolute favorite things is this Ronald and Nancy Reagan paper doll book.
Of course the Reagan kids, Ron Jr and Patti, are here as well: There are so many great pages in this book but I love this one titled, "Ron Jr. Goes to Greenwich Village." I think the tutu is a nice touch. Poor Ron Jr, so mercilessly ridiculed for his love of dancing.A few more treasures: Corks,
Bottle caps, And still more bottle caps.Probably the most useful thing to come from this haul is a giant box of paper.My kids go through paper quite quickly so this is going to be a wonderful addition to my ever-growing craft cabinet. I don't really know what I'm going to do with all this stuff yet, but I'm super excited to have it in my house. I plan on spending this afternoon sorting it all and deciding its future then. (I am keeping Ron and Nancy though. Love it!)

I had to leave my new found treasures for a few hours yesterday evening to attend the aforementioned dinner party. I want to say that I'm not a very social person. Whenever I get invited to a party I always get a little scared and nervous. Sometimes I end up not having the best of times. This was not the case last night. Even though the only people I knew were the hostess and her family, I ended up having a great time. The hostess, my pal Nadine, did a great job of inviting a mix of people. The guests included people from her old neighborhood and new neighborhood, extended family members visiting from up north, co-workers old and new, and a few long time friends. It wasn't a large bunch of people that already knew each other so mingling was fun and easy. Everyone brought a dish and the food was unbelievably delicious. (You know how sometimes you go to a party and there is usually that one dish that everyone avoids? There was no dish like that here.) There was fried chicken, risotto with sun dried tomatoes and veggies, lots of chips and homemade dips, spaghetti with sausage, and to top it all off cupcakes and cheesecake. We left the party stuffed.

When we came home from the party I had a surprise waiting for me. My dad had stopped by and dropped off a brand new sewing machine!If you remember, a few months back I got an antique one from Freecycle. At this point we still haven't quite figured out how it works. As I mentioned before we know it works, but because it is so old and there is no instruction booklet, we don't know how it works. It has been very frustrating so I can't wait to have a few moments to begin playing around with the new one.

All in all, it was a very fun, busy weekend and I appreciate you staying with me to the end of the unusually long post describing it. I also appreciate my daughter remaining uncharacteristically quiet the entire time it took me to describe it. Miracles can happen.


Nowheymama said...

I love your fire pit!

We got our wooden backyard playset on Freecycle. It is the best.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Wow so much to comment on. First of all bug issue: gross. Sorry you have to deal with that. Let's see fire pit? Totally neat thing to have in your patio. That will be lovely for fall. Freecycle stuff...amazing. I especially wish I had that paper collection. Who can resist paper. And parties...I'm the same way Tammie. I'd rather hide out in the kitchen or pretend that I'm a statue in the corner. Glad to hear it went well. oh and the sewing machine surprise. Just lovely.

BloomingAlmond said...

That fire pit looks so nice!! :D
Don't even get me started on bugs......
Apron Thrift Girl got me all excited about that Freecycle thing and it turns out there's a group right in my town! :D how amazing is that?
It's very nice you had a good time at the party :) why don't you host one yourself? It might be fun you know..

BloomingAlmond said...

p.s.- I want my dad to get me stuff too! lol All he gives me are veggies (ah yeah i know.. that's good too...) :)

Tilly said...

That Duran Duran stuff takes me back. They were the band of my teenage years! Love the Ron and Nancy paper dolls!

Tammie said...

nowheymama: thanks. and yeah, freecycle is awesome.

apronthrift: roaches are pretty much unavoidable in my part of Florida, but I don't think I'll ever get used to them. As for the social issue, I'm trying to get over my wallflower ways but it's hard.

bloomingalmond: I KNOW! I read Apron Thrift's post last week about Freecycle and I thought, Man I never get anything that cool on Freecycle--and then this! so excited. I'm glad you have Freecycle there. I thought it was just as U.S. thing.
And just so ya know: my dad gives me veggies too.

tilly: I was a big Duran Duran fan too. I had the biggest crush on Simon LeBon.
So nice to have you here. I just checked out your lovely blog and was intrigued. I'll have to give it more time later when the children have calmed down. :)

MamaBlogger said...

ok, now that was an awesome day (aside from the cockroach)! although i classify anyday with brownies in it as awesome :)

thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tammie said...

mamablogger: so glad you stopped by. your blog is definitely one of my faves. :)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love freecycle! I got a bed for my 12 year old this weekend from freecycle, and a headboard (2 different people). She'll have her own room in the new house and now she has a bed! It was in great shape, from a very clean home. I have gotten so much nice stuff from freecycle. I just gave away some stuff, too.
OK, I could go on and on about freecycle! lol