Saturday, November 29, 2008

Random Thoughts

What a week. Not only did Thursday's carbo loading leave me sluggish and with jeans fitting a wee bit tighter than I would care to admit, but I still feel like I'm playing catch up---trying to get all the things done that I've neglected this week. There have been numerous times I wanted to sit down at the computer and type a few thoughts, but either I was busy doing other things, or there was just too much happy household chit chat to form anything even slightly resembling a coherent thought. So now I have all these little bits and pieces floating about that don't seem to go together, yet they must be expelled from my brain.

*Earlier in the week our neighbors to the left brought over some banana cake. It was delicious.I had never had banana cake before. It was similar in taste to banana bread, yet with a fluffy cake like texture. I totally need to get the recipe for this. Also, I love how my neighbors have taken to the idea of passing food around. I need to think of something else to share now.

*Did anyone else watch the 24 movie last Sunday? Did anyone else almost have a stress induced heart attack? Jeez, that show wears me out, I don't know why I watch it. Oh wait.....yes, I do---It's because Kiefer Sutherland is really, really, really nice to look at. It has been far too long, Jack Bauer. Far too long indeed. *The girl and I spent Wednesday making chocolate bottom pumpkin pies. Here is what remains:
It's taking all the self control I have to not shove it in my face.

*I made my own laundry detergent this morning using a recipe found via Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op. I'm now feeling very self-sufficient.

*My dad took my son to Busch Gardens for the weekend. I miss him already. It just seems as if he hasn't been home enough lately. Plus, even though my dad treats my kids way better than he ever treated me, I still feel some anxiety when he takes them.

*The story about the Wal-Mart employee getting trampled to death is incredibly disturbing. What is wrong with people?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jay's Wood

As many of you know, and as I've mentioned here before, we live in a house that is in a constant state of remodeling, improving, repairing, and redecorating. (A little less of all that lately since we already owe Home Depot our non-existent life savings.) One of the things that really bothers us about our house is that we have a bathroom sink and a 1980's blue L-shaped counter top in our living room. I guess this was the previous owner's idea of a wet bar. As much as we despised it, we were slow in removing it because we had hopes of (eventually) installing a nice wet bar and we got used to the storage space under the counter. It couldn't just be ripped out without a replacement of some sort.

Every six weeks or so I get the Sundance Catalog in the mail. I've never ordered even one thing from Sundance because it's a wee bit pricey for my budget (ha!), but I love looking at it. A few weeks ago I was thumbing through it and compiling the list of things I would be buying when I become Queen of the World and have unlimited funds, and I immediately pictured this in my house in the place of half the ugly counter:Something like this wouldn't solve the sink situation, but it would certainly take care of the storage problem. But it's priced at $795 plus $300 for shipping. Which is $795 plus $300 more than I could (or would) spend. So I tossed the catalog at Jay and jokingly said, "Hey, make something like this for me won't ya?" And surprisingly, he said yes! I didn't even have to shake my boobs while asking either!

Even though he had never built anything before, Jay drew up some plans, got to work and with a little help from the kids:We soon had this:Can we just discuss how much I love it?! It's a lot bigger than the one in the catalog and didn't cost anywhere near as much. Plus, Jay even thought to build a spot for our mini-fridge. (Please ignore the fact that our mini fridge is UF orange. I choose my battles.) I now have plenty of room to hide the girl's art items, my fabric stash, and our liquor. As the first picture of Jay's cabinet reveals, there are still a lot of unfinished projects in our living room, and I still have the ugly ass sink to attempt to ignore on a daily basis. But our whole house is a work in progress and the new cabinet cleans the living room up a bit and controls clutter.

Now I just need to get Jay to work on making the other expensive item I want from the Sundance catalog:


Snap to it, Jay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weekly Update and Weird Things

My week was quiet. Other than work and school, the family was home a lot working on projects, reading, or spending time outside enjoying the cold weather. (It's been unseasonably cold here---down in the twenties at night! I'm not complaining though.) I almost didn't post an Update this week because at first I thought I didn't really have much to say, but clearly I was wrong....this ended up being much longer than I anticipated.

As far as my reading schedule goes, I've gotten back on track. I'm moving through Bird by Bird at a decent pace and I'm loving the book. I had some doubts about it because I generally don't like instruction-type books. But this book is written in a humorous style that makes it not seem so much like instruction. How can you not love a book with a chapter entitled Shitty First Drafts?

Once I finish Bird by Bird, I will have reached my goal of fifty books for the year. As far as reading goes, it's been an enjoyable year. Books are my weakness and my escape, but I've been trying to not spend money on them. Last week though I took advantage of some Amazon discounts and bought three books that I've been yearning for.If you visit enough blogs you are bound to find someone mentioning A Year of Mornings. It's a book by two gals who, for a year, took photos of some aspect of their morning and then uploaded those photos to their blog. The pictures are lovely and this is a book I like to look at while relaxing in bed at night. My only complaint is that some of the pictures are teeny-tiny and even if I look closely, I feel like I'm missing something.

Sew U is (duh) a sewing book. Even though I've gotten decent enough results with my sewing, I want to start really making clothes for myself and I've heard that this is an informative book to own. I have yet to crack the cover. I'm scared.

And the last book: Apples for Jam.......just typing out the title moves me to heave a contented sigh. I've read a lot of blog posts lately about cook books that I want (like this one and this one) and I have a list as long as my arm of cook books that I want. So when forced to choose only one, it was hard. But I'm glad I chose Apples for Jam because it has a lot of recipes for the comfort foods that I love. There is so much in this book that I want to try that it's hard to decide where to begin. I haven't felt this kind of quivery joy about a cook book since Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. I made the Jam Shortbread on Thursday and even though mine didn't come out nearly as pretty as the one in the book, it's still tasty. The folks I live with aren't that interested in the appearance of the food they eat anyway. Plus, this book is just gorgeous to look at. It really is a work of art.

Somewhat inspired by A Year of Mornings, I've been motivated to take more pictures. Not overly-exciting pictures mind you, just little bits of my days. Here are a few, with descriptions:

We tried to take the girl to the park on Wednesday. She wanted to play so badly but it was 30 something degrees and she kept complaining that everything was too cold to touch. That didn't keep her from crying when we left. She was torn between the desire to play and the desire to stay warm.

On an otherwise crappy mail day, I received a card from a friend. It brightened my day a bit.
Last weekend, while on the computer I got a Freecycle alert from someone giving away a box of leftover garage sale items. I love these. It's like a treasure chest. You never know what you're gonna get. My favorite item to come from the box was this candle holder:It matches my dining room and is in mint condition.

I finished the blanket I was making for a friends baby:I'm pleased with the way it came out.

While making the blanket, I got distracted by a phone call and mistakenly stitched a whole row of squares on upside down. (curse curse grumble grumble) Here is a picture of me removing that entire row of stitching:Yes, I'm using a kitchen skewer to remove those stitches. Remember, I'm new to sewing and don't have the proper tools. Although for what it's worth, I also use butter knives instead of screwdrivers, I hammer with a meat mallet, and I remove nails from the wall by putting the nail head between the tines of a fork and then pulling outward. If something needs to be done, I usually just use the first tool I find upon walking into the kitchen. I am the kitchen MacGyver.

We've had a pumpkin sitting on our dinner table since, oh mid-October. I decided to make my own pumpkin puree. Jay killed the pumpkin for me and I did all the easy work. Why haven't I done this before?? Pureed pumpkin is delicious. Especially with brown sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.

I also seasoned and roasted the pumpkin seeds--none of that pumpkin went to waste and I'm quite proud of that fact.

In other news, Thursday night I was doing my nightly blog reading and I realized that Selena over at Apron Thrift Girl tagged me. As I told Selena, I'm usually pretty bad about these but I'm going to do my best to do it and tag more people. I think I may have done one of these when I first started blogging, but it's been a while. So forgive me if I repeat myself. Here it goes.....

Rules:
1. link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.

2. share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

3. tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4. let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Weird Things:

1. I don't pump my own gas. Ever. I have done it once in my life, when I was about 17. Mostly my husband pumps it for me. I have been known to pick him up from work when the tank gets low just so that he can pump my gas. If that isn't an option, I will go to the one full service station in my town--but it's never come to that.

2. I eat most foods with a fork. I hate spoons...they feel like shovels.

3. I love my compost buckets. I love the worms. I love the decomposing food. I look at it all daily. It's like a science experiment in my back yard. When I'm angry, I go out and stab my pile with my compost turner. It's a great way to work out aggression.

4. I shave my legs everyday. Every single day of my life. Since I was about 13. I hate leg hair.

5. I have a grey hair streak at the top of my head. I've had it since I was a little girl.

6. I insist on organic milk and organic apples, yet I see no problem with eating candy that I find in the couch cushions or under the seat of the car. Really people, I have eaten some old candy.

7. I rarely download music. I like cd's. Jay says I will be the last person buying the last cd in the world.

There! Weird things. And I'm tagging.......Cyndy(who, by the way, gave me a lovely friendship award earlier in the week), Lyra at Bits and Pieces, Maria Rose, Aleta, and finally, Bridge, Earthmama, and Textile Nazi over at Ride the Waves of Life. I would love to know more about all of you, so please indulge me.

One last thing, some of you may know of Tania over at Blooming Almond and you've probably noticed she's been missing from our little community over the last few weeks. I finally got an e-mail from her earlier in the week. She's going through some personal things at the moment but wanted me to tell everyone that she misses you all and she misses blogging. Hopefully she'll be back soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cookies

Still motivated by that warm fuzzy feeling I felt when our neighbors brought us a chicken dinner, I spent a good portion of last Saturday morning baking cookies. My go-to cookie recipe is the stuff of urban legends, the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe. (The legend and the recipe can both be found here. )

The recipe makes about 8 billion cookies, which is fine because these cookies are quite the crowd pleasers. I shared most of mine this weekend, but even when I don't, I've never had any cookies sitting around untouched and going bad.

For the record, cookies are rarely eaten on a plate at my house. That was done purely for the purpose of taking a lovely picture. Around here, cookies are mindlessly shoved into mouths by the fistfulls, usually while completing other tasks such as bathroom cleaning, loading the washing machine, or doing homework. But those pictures wouldn't have been nearly as nice.

One final note:
When blending that oatmeal for the cookies, make sure it is weevil free. (wink wink)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

*The other day I ate a mini Snickers bar dipped in Nutella. Jay insists I have a sugar problem.

*A few weeks ago the CD player in my car went haywire and in the process (and through no fault of my own) my favorite Teddy Thompson cd was scratched beyond repair. If I don't get a new one soon, I may hurt someone.

*Speaking of music in the car, the merger a few months back between XM and Sirius has recently resulted in them consolidating all their channels. Now I can't find any of the channels that I used to listen to and there seems to be an abundance of garbage. There were reasons I was an XM subscriber and not a Sirius subscriber: I don't want an all Elvis channel. I don't want an all Jimmy Buffet channel. Now I have those channels and none of the ones I used to listen to. (Yes, I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a major problem---but it is just one more minor irritation keeping me from having a good day.)

*My quirky son loves the music in the Free Credit Report commercials. I would go so far as to say that the FreeCreditReport.com guys might be his favorite band. He downloads the songs off of You Tube. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can go here and watch a few of them. I apologize in advance.

*I love this picture of my daughter:
Her sense of style and what goes together is at the intersection of color blind and schizophrenic. If by some chance she manages to get her shoes on the right feet, you can bet they aren't going to match.

*There has been a lot of posts related to sewing around here lately. In truth, I never thought I would love sewing as much as I do. I love to sit at my machine and hear the rhythmic whir as I'm creating something. (Plus, the noise is just loud enough to drown out the incessant chatter of my daughter.) Learning to sew is sort of a bittersweet process though that has left me feeling a bit melancholy. You see, all my life I've just assumed I couldn't sew. Mind you, I have no grand delusions that the things I create are impressive to anyone but my friends and family. But I have been able to sew a few things that are useful and serve a purpose, and I've enjoyed doing it. This leads me to wonder if there are other things that I can do, that I always just mistakenly assumed I wasn't capable of doing. I'm feeling like I've wasted a lot of time in my life by allowing the negative talk (in my head and from outer sources) to direct me. Life is too fucking short.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Room For Squares

(I want to thank all of you for your kind words the past few days. I've just had a "blah" feeling lately. Sort of running on empty, doing a lot, yet none of it well-sort of feeling. I'm working through it.)

Ever since I began sewing a few months ago, I've saved every worthwhile scrap of material from all my projects. When I finished a project, I would open my top desk drawer, and with the side of my hand, scrape all the remnants into it. I did this with the intention of one day in the distant future, making a patchwork blanket for my daughter. Well that day turned out to be not so distant. Within the last week I have been working steadily to finish this:Oh the squares. When I started this I wanted so much for all those squares to be a perfect four inches on all sides and I wanted them to line up perfectly. I wanted everything about it to be square and well, perfect. It didn't happen. When I realized early on that it wasn't going to be "perfect"....I was bummed, but really I think I like it even more this way. I don't think there is any kind of patchwork blanket law that requires perfectly even, lined up squares.

Another goal I had concerning the making of this, was that other than the backing, I wasn't going to buy any new fabric for it. All the squares came from older clothes that I cut into, Freecycyle fabric, or leftover fabric that had been bought for other projects. You can't tell from the pictures, but if you were to look closely at the blanket, you'd notice that every row has a square of the adorable fabric that I massacred in last months pants making attempt.I was able to get a lot of squares from that disaster. The only thing I did spend money on was the cotton chenille back. But I got a really great deal on that from a gal who was closing her Etsy shop and had all her fabrics marked down.

I thought that the making of this would make me crazy and I'd vow never to do it again, but honestly, I loved it. I loved it so much I've already started working on one for a friend who is about to have a baby. And yes, I have enough squares of the china doll fabric for that blanket too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Have You Seen My Photo On Any Milk Cartons?

I feel as if I've been somewhat MIA from these parts lately. Not just my blog, but my computer world in general. Not only have I not posted here much lately, but I'm way behind in blog reading as well. Honestly, even in real life I feel like I haven't really been here. Like I've been living in my own head and I've been somewhat oblivious to the world around me.

Sometimes when my life gets hectic or I have a lot going on, I split into two Tammie's. The outside Tammie that goes through the motions and gets everything done, and the real Tammie that has retreated inward and is just coping and dealing with it all. It's exhausting maintaining two people.

Hopefully my life will get back to normal soon. In fact, I'm sure it will. There is no reason for it to not.

For those wondering, the boy came back from camp safely. He wasn't eaten by a bear. (Although he, and his luggage, did return smelling like six week old trash. I think the odor probably scared away any bears.)

All usually schedules should resume on Monday, including the writing schedule of computer Tammie.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

*My son is officially at camp for three days. It will take every bit of self control I have to not drive out to the camp site tonight and peer into the cabin windows to make sure he is safely tucked in. (I am looking forward to doing a thorough cleaning of his room while he's gone though.)

*A few weeks ago I found these birds and thought Hey, it uses very little fabric and it looks super easy. I'm gonna make a flock of these. Um, yeah. Had I been typing this out last night, the F-word I would have used in conjunction with these birds would not have been flock. My first two birds didn't look at all like birds. In fact, when I asked my daughter what it looked like to her she just said, "Um...." So then I perched it on my finger and asked, "Well, what if I told you it sang Tweet Tweet?" She got all excited and yelled out, "A fish!" (Maybe I was just asking the wrong person.)

Anyway, here are the ones that mostly resemble birds:
I had planned on making a bunch of these to share with friends and neighbors, but that's not going to happen. These guys were a bit of a pain in the ass for me to make and with my level of sewing knowledge, they just aren't worth it. It took me quite a while to really "get" the instructions, and by the time I reached that point I was just kinda done with the whole project. My best friend will probably be receiving a bird, since she will totally appreciate the amount of cursing that went into making it.

Anyway, if you are a better sewer than I or you are just smoking crack and feeling brave here is the tutorial. It's a clear enough pattern, but the instructions just aren't written at that simple second grade level that I require of my sewing instruction. I may revisit the idea again in a few months though.

*This morning when I was outside taking the pictures of my birdies, a beetle crawled up my back. I didn't realize this until I was in the kitchen pouring myself a glass of water and I felt the bug on my neck. While attempting to swat the beetle off of me, I accidentally slammed my glass of water down onto the tile floor. (Yes, I'm a spaz.) Right now my kitchen is covered in glass, but I can't really do anything about it until the water dries. I'm not looking forward to cleaning it.

*As pleased as I am with the outcome of the presidential election, I am so glad it's all over. It was starting to stress me out. It's nice to be able to watch the news again and not be inundated with election coverage and polling results.

Speaking of news, the other day I was watching a rerun of The Colbert Report and the guest was Rachel Maddow. My daughter came in the room and asked me if that was me on the TV. First let me say, I'm a big Rachel fan since way back. I used to listen to her original Air America radio show with Lizz Winstead and Chuck D. I watch her MSNBC show and occasionally listen to the radio show she has now. So yeah, I love Rachel. But as much as I love Rachel, I'm not a lesbian. I'm a gal that likes wiener. ( Although, I'm sure my husband would argue I don't like it nearly enough.) So, I guess you could say I'm having style icon issues at the moment. Do I care enough about this to change my hairstyle? No. I love my haircut and have been wearing it this way on and off for most of my adult life. I obviously need to just expose my daughter to more gals with pixie cuts. I'm writing this because I sort of want some feedback on this issue. If you are a straight lady would it bother you if your daughter thought you resembled a somewhat butch lesbian? As open minded as I am, I worry that this says something negative about my femininity. In feeling this way, am I believing the stereotypes? I suppose what bothers me is that the stereotype (gal with short hair=lesbian) exists in the first place. Am I just naive to think that assumptions shouldn't be made based on a persons hair cut? I don't like it when any assumption is made about me and this is a stereotype I've had to deal with from time to time. An older *friend* of our family once even made the comment that my husband must like women that look like boys. (No, he isn't our friend anymore. Yes, I need to get out of the South.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend In Review

Other than fighting with the boy on Saturday morning about the state of his room (filthy!), I had a mostly relaxing weekend. I hardly felt hurried or rushed and it was so pleasant. I worked on a couple of the projects I have going on at the moment and I did some reading.

One of the projects was this skirt:
(All pictures were taken by the boy as I hung laundry. And yes, even though I live in Florida, my legs are blindingly white. I have something against self tanner after September.)

This skirt was made with some fabric I got off of Freecycle, and it was sort of, very loosely, maybe, not really, based on a couple of the skirt ideas in the skirt book. I've been reading the book a lot lately, but haven't gotten brave enough to try making any of the skirts yet, and I definitely don't want to cut into any of the fabric that I actually paid money for. So, I just played around a bit and made this. It's nothing fancy and it has a few well-hidden flaws, but I figure if women can run into the grocery store with the word Juicy scrawled on the ass part of their sweatpants, surely I can escape ridicule in this skirt. Hopefully.

As mentioned, I was able to do some reading this weekend. I started reading book fifty,
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Jay picked this up for me from an offer on Freecycle. (Yes, Freecycle has been good to me lately.) I've never heard of Anne Lamott and know nothing about her work, so I'm excited to get into it and learn more what it's about. I will definitely keep you updated.

I genuinely like all of my neighbors, but as a rule we don't socialize too much. We just all stay busy and have our own, very different, schedules. Which was why I was so shocked when on Sunday our neighbors across the street cooked us a chicken dinner. I was surprised by this random offer, I guess for no reason other than that I am sort of a pessimist and just don't deal well with random acts of kindness. It was completely unexpected and out of the blue. But wonderful and delicious. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it before we ripped into it like savages. But alas, I only have a picture of a chicken carcass:
I'm still sort of riding a wave of happiness from this. It's a good feeling to be the recipient of such a kind act. I am really going to start sharing my cooking and baking with my neighbors more often. I want them all to feel the way I felt last night when they brought this dinner over. (Thank you again Paul and Maria, if you ever read this!)

Sunday night we started a fire in the pit. It was a gorgeous night for a fire. The moon was mostly full and the weather was cool.We toasted some marshmallows and enjoyed the evening.
I'm struck by how old my son looks in the above picture. He really isn't my baby anymore. I sometimes forget this until I see a picture of him so looking like a young man, and not at all looking like a little boy.

I guess that's it for this weekend, slow moving and peaceful. The most relaxing weekend I've had in quite some time. My son leaves to go on his fifth grade camping trip in a few days. I'm sure those days will be filled with worry, so I'm trying to hold onto this relaxed feeling for as long as possible.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekly Update

A lot of this week was spent watching campaign coverage. Then election coverage. Then post election coverage. Then suddenly it was the weekend. Where did the week go?

Speaking of elections, I have a couple of random thoughts on the subject:

*My son's school held mock presidential elections, all of the fourth and fifth graders could participate. Obama got a hundred and something votes, McCain got 59, and Bob Barr got one. I'm incredibly impressed with that one kid that voted for Bob Barr. I wouldn't know who Bob Barr was if I walked into him.

*If you're a regular or even semi-regular reader, you've probably heard me bitch about the poorly funded Florida schools. Well, my county overwhelmingly voted for a small increase in property taxes, with the money going to (drum roll please...) SCHOOLS! I love that my community approved this. This means my kids will have art and music again and local schools will go back to having full time school nurses. (Yep, my county had cut school nurses!) No one likes tax increases, but it's small. For my family, it will be about another $150 a year($12.50 a month) in property taxes. In my opinion, it's so worth it.

In other news:

I was so motivated by Maria Rose's latest Kindness Bandit effort, that I had to do it myself. I anonymously sent a handmade card with a small, kind message to one of my old addresses, my childhood house in south Florida.I hope this brightens the day of the recipient. I also hope they don't think someone is stalking them.

One of the boy's new favorite things to do is to make god's eyes. It's a fun, easy, almost mindless, yarn craft project that I found here. (Scroll down a bit past the key chains.) I bought some skeins of cheap yarn off of Etsy and in the evening the boy will sit and make these while watching TV. The walls of his room are now decorated with many of these in all colors of the rainbow.

Because of my newly found interest in sewing, I've fallen a bit behind in my reading. I just finished book 49 for the year, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. It was a great book of short stories and it shouldn't have taken me as long to read as it did but I've been spending all my spare time sewing or reading blogs about sewing. I've momentarily immersed myself in the subject. As of right now, I have no idea what book fifty will be. I've started reading a book called Every Man For Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being A Guy, but I really only grabbed this because I needed something to read while in the bathroom, and I'm not positive, but I think it might be written for teenage boys. I'm not entirely sure where this book even came from. I'm thinking I don't want this to be book number fifty. I had hoped for book fifty to be something a bit more interesting than trashy teen boy toilet reads.

That will about wrap it up for this update. I've been working on a few sewing projects lately that are nearing completion so hopefully I can share them with you in the coming weeks. Also, as previously alluded to, Jay has a woodworking project that I'm also anxious to share. For now, I'll leave you with this picture of the girl "helping" Jay with his project. And no, Jay's not building a coffin.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change

This morning, after everyone went off to work and school, I put my daughter in her stroller and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. It wasn't my usual walking style which is fast and for exercise. It was slower, more deliberate. We stopped and looked at spiders and leaves and flowers. I let her out of her stroller to walk a bit on her own. It was a long walk. But peaceful.

My whole life, I have never been someone that "fit in." I've never had my own group that I distinctly felt a part of. It probably has a lot to do with the area of the country that I live in (sigh....the south), but when I look around, I don't see a lot of people that look like me. This has always been hard, even as an adult.

Last night, as I watched Barack Obama speak, I looked at the crowd. Thousands of faces, no two looking even remotely similar. For the first time in my life I felt that I didn't need to fit in. Change is definitely a good thing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things I'm Into Right Now

This list of Things I'm Into is a bit shorter than usual. I had planned on waiting a few more days to post it, but I'm in a good mood, I'm feeling positive, and I wanted to post it before my mood changed. Hopefully my mood won't change.

* Old Fart Wine I meant to write about this delicious wine last week when Jay first bought a bottle. But I kept forgetting to take the picture and soon enough, it was all gone. What can I say, it's an easy wine to drink. Plus it's inexpensive, and it gets style points for having a clever name and cute label.

*My son's report card.
Straight A's. There is still a part of me wondering if maybe his teacher is going easy on him and not challenging him but I'm trying to not think like that. I'm trying to see those A's for what they are, awesome grades. The downside to this is that Jay and I, thinking he'd never get straight A's, promised him a video game if he ever did get straight A's. It looks like we're buying a video game.

*Cap Making Most of you travel in the same blogging circles as I do so I'm sure by now you've heard of the Caps to Cap-Haitien Project. (If not, click on the cute picture of caps at the top right for more info.) I'm so excited to be able to participate in this project. These caps are very easy to make, even for someone like myself, someone with (ahem) limited sewing skills. I know I'm not saving the world by making a few caps, but it sure does make me feel good to do it. Plus, I almost cried when my son asked if he could make a few caps too.

*My son's letter to the Fox Broadcasting CompanyHe wrote it after learning that King of the Hill is being canceled. This isn't the first time he's written a letter like this. The cancellation of his favorite shows tends to bring out the activist in him. I never edit these letters in any way, although I do read over them before popping them in the mail box, just to make sure he doesn't refer to the network executives as "dumb asses" or "douche nozzles," you know, like how we do at home.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Micanopy Fall Festival

Initially, this was going to be a weekly update, but my family has spent the past two days at the Micanopy Fall Festival, and frankly, anything that happened this week prior to the Festival seems dull and boring. Also, this post is probably going to rely heavily on pictures, so if you are sick of seeing my family, sorry.

We hadn't planned on going to both days of the Festival. Originally, the plan was to go only on Sunday, shop a bit, eat a lot, and then watch The String Kings. But when my mom and I saw that the folks over at The Weather Channel were predicting a 70% chance of rain on Sunday, we decided to go on Saturday so as to not miss out on the Festival altogether.

Day One

Thankfully, I had been setting aside money specifically for this weekend, which is a good thing because upon entering the gate, we were hit with $5 pony rides. Of course I said yes. And of course the boy had to ride a pony too. Fortunately, Old Rusty, was big enough to hold him.Right next to the ponies, was a bungee jumping activity that the boy wanted to do. By the looks of the sign, it would appear that this at one time cost $5, but they felt the need to up the price. Haven't they heard about the recession? Either way, the bungee folks got $12 of our money this weekend.
The festival takes place all along Cholokka Blvd in Micanopy. Aside from all the booths and vendors that come out for the Festival, Cholokka boulevard is filled with small cafes, used book stores, and antique shops. We stopped for lunch at the Old Florida Cafe. Their sandwiches served on warm, bakery fresh bread are amazing. I wasn't able to get any pictures of these lovely sandwiches, because we dug into them like savages as soon as they were placed in front of us. Except for the girl of course, who enjoyed a delicious and nutritious lunch of two bags of potato chips. Whatever. I wasn't going to argue with her this weekend.Interesting story about the scratch on my son's cheek, it happened when he was goofing off on one of our neighbor's homemade tree swing. He was doing something stupid (naturally) and rammed his face into the tree. The funny part is, that he told the kids at school that he fell while doing a skate boarding trick. He didn't think that the actual story sounded "cool."

After walking a bit more, we stopped to listen to some folk music and take a cotton candy break. Check out the skirt! Yep, I made another. I think I have a problem. I am loving this one so much though because it is the least flawed of all my skirts, and just look at that ribbon trim!Paw prints to go with the cats on the skirt. I had the fabric for a while and originally had no intention of making a skirt out of it but when I stumbled upon the ribbon while playing around on Etsy I knew I had to put the two together. Making this skirt brought me a kind of psychotic joy.

After the folk singers were done we watched the Inisheer Irish Dancers. I had seen these ladies last year and loved them but this year the performance was even more polished and put together. They had live musicians that were not only extremely talented, but I thought were just too cute. (When I got home I did a bit of research and found out they are all related--it's a boy and his parents.)
They also had dances built into skits based on the stories that were told in the songs. At one point "Father Mulligan" burst on stage to break up the dancing, since dancing is the "Devil's design."The fellow that played Father Mulligan also played the bagpipes.
The boy is always nagging me to make him something with my sewing machine, but since I've only mastered skirts I told him I could probably whip him up some kilts. He's not interested.

On the way out, we stopped to listen to a few songs by the Used Blues Band.Despite the kid covering his ears in the above picture, they were quite good. We were only able to listen to a few of their songs though, because the girl had just about reached her limit and was getting hard to keep an eye on.

Day Two

When we woke up on Sunday and it looked like the rain would hold off for a while, we decided to head back to the Festival, because we really wanted to see The String Kings. This time we convinced Jay to leave his woodworking project and come along with us.Sunday was filled with more of the same. Pony Rides: Cheap Festival Toys:Massive of amounts of unhealthy Festival Food:Dancing:And good music:Yes, we finally got to see The String Kings. The rain held off just long enough.
All in all, we had a nice relaxing weekend at the Festival. Yes, I spent more money on cheap Festival junk than I had planned, but the kids had a blast and I just keep telling myself that it all still cost way less than when we went to Universal Studios, and the kids had just as much fun. Now I just have to spend the next week cramming fruits and veggies into their bodies to make up for the dietary atrocities that took place this weekend.

Oh, one more thing. I stopped at the Mosswood Farm Store and bought some organic oats.Yes, they will be stored in the refrigerator.