Friday, July 30, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 16

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Cleaning the cat litter box. I love cats, but that part of the "cat keeping" process grosses me out. Granted, not as much as cleaning up after a dog. Nor as much as cleaning up after my cat puking on the carpet (which he's only done twice in the nearly two years we've had him). So I guess I should be glad it's not worse. Unfortunately, the only time my hubby is willing to go near the litterbox (he had a really bad experience cleaning up a house where the cats had pissed all over the place when he was younger, at least that's his excuse) is when I beg and plead, or threaten him, when I'm out of town.

Does Cooking Make You Feel Sexy?

I am currently reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, yes, the book the movie was based on. Usually I like to read the book before watching the movie, but this time I happened to do things the other way around. I'm really enjoying the fact that I get way more of the story surrounding the central plot (girl decides to go on hare-brained cooking adventure and blog about it), which is pretty much the only thing the movie deals with. It's also way less chronological than the movie. She jumps around quite a bit, lots of flashbacks and such. Now I personally enjoy this type of storytelling but I know it's hard to do in a movie.

So that brings me to my point. I was reading a chapter today about how she thinks that cooking certain foods can make you feel sexy, just like eating certain foods can feel sexy. It all depends on who you're cooking for. Now, I'd like to preface this by saying that I am not the cook in this household. I barely ever cook and when I do it usually turns out mediocre at best (with the possible exception of things that don't need to be cooked like my 7-layer dip and most things that come out of the oven like stuffed shells). My husband is a chef, so there's really not much point in learning. However, I have been craving this chanterelle omelette my father used to make after we'd go mushroom picking. For the longest time I couldn't figure out what the mushrooms in the omelette were, but I finally figured it out.

My husband, being the sweetheart he is, offered to bring me some home from work. Apparently, they are a) in season and b) they are using them at the restaurant he works at right now. This made me extremely happy. Then he proceeded to forget for almost a week to bring any home. But fortunately, he remembered today and came home with the loot and booty (no, he didn't actually steal them). I had crashed and burned the second I'd gotten home from work, several days of not enough sleep finally catching up to me, but I woke up when he came home. I'd stopped at the farmer's market after work and grabbed a baby cantelope and some purple peppers. When he got home, I woke up, grabbed the mushrooms, cut up the melon so we'd have something to snack on while I cooked and cut up half the mushrooms. I sauteed them in butter (managing to almost burn them... I told you I can't cook) and then dumped three eggs whipped with some heavy cream over them. Since I was still in a bit of a haze, I managed to pour way too much pepper into the egg mix, because I forgot what I was doing for a second.

Flipping the omelette was a nightmare (if your mind can't wrap itself around the idea that an omelette doesn't have to be folded over with cheese in the middle, then call it an egg pancake) and it looked like a mess. I toasted an egg bagel to eat with it. Luckily it still tasted delicious (I blame the butter, not my cooking skills) and the pepper wasn't completely overpowering. My husband deemed it "well seasoned," which I think is high praise from a chef. But maybe he was just glad I didn't make him cook tonight.

And as for Julie's point that cooking can be sexy, I must say I totally agree with her. While chopping mushrooms and trying not to burn them and the eggs, I felt like a domestic maven, a true goddess. And I felt sexy as hell.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 15

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

SomeTHING I can't live without would definitely be my computer and specifically my computer running World of Warcraft. Sad but true, I'm addicted to the WoW crack. Although I do have long lapses where I won't play at all, even though my account is activated, and I like to think that I live a pretty normal life despite this addiction. However, go too long without it, especially when my account has lapsed, and I start craving it like nobody's business.

SomeONE I can't live without is my hubby. That darling and often-times irritating man makes me ridiculously happy. We did the long-distance thing all through college, but ever since we lived together for the first time down in Florida, we just couldn't do the separation thing anymore. We tried, for almost a month after Florida, he was going to stay in Michigan to finish up his culinary arts degree while I moved to Washington, DC to start my new job there. Well, it lasted only long enough for us to decide, screw it, this isn't going to work. Luckily I'd decided on a one bedroom apartment instead of the studio I was originally looking for, so he drove down my my dad and the furniture. We haven't looked back since. Traveling independently isn't too bad, especially if I'm the one traveling, since I don't have all of the joint memories that come with being at home, but if it goes on too long, like my enforced stay in Germany in April, it starts to get old really fast.

Friday, July 23, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 14

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

Dear Governor Granholm,

I was so excited to see a woman as governor of Michigan. I cannot remember a time when you were not governor of Michigan and when you weren't trying your very best to pull Michigan out of the slump it was in thanks to your predecessor. But amongst all of your budget cuts, your frugal plans, you cut one thing that should never have been cut. The scholarship program for Michigan graduates, the Michigan Promise. While I was not personally affected by this, several of my friends and relatives were. My brother-in-law in particular was counting on that money to help him in his first year of college. He's working full-time, living with his parents, and going to community college so he can pay for college himself. He plans to complete his four-year degree at another college, after his two years at community college are finished. He was really excited that he didn't have to figure out where those $1000 for his first semester would be coming from, until you pulled the rug right out from under his feet.

The budget had to be cut, I understand that. But why do it at the expense of your future workforce? And now that you are getting companies interested in staying or opening a plant in Michigan and things look to be going uphill, that scholarship still has not been reinstated. The Michigan Promise was not everything you made it out to be. You broke that promise and the next generation of workers had to pay for that. You'll always be my hero for the things you've accomplished, but I can't forgive you for this.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 13

Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter)

Dear Enya,

Everytime I get mad, sad or scared, I can put on your music and let it do its magic. It calms me, it puts me in a better place. The best memory I've had of your music was the first time I got the spins after drinking too much. I hate not being in control of my body, so getting the spins was terrible. I started crying and my husband held me, put on your music, and everything was alright again.

Thank you,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 12

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

"Never" is a tough one. As mentioned in the previous day's post, my husband compliments me on my looks, even if very few other people do. So that doesn't count as a "never." You know, I don't think I've ever gotten compliments on my glasses. There's not much to them, just some very skinny rims in a copperish brown. They bring out the color of my eyes, but I guess they're meant to fade into the background a bit. That's all I've got. My glasses. Maybe that's a good thing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 11

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

My laugh (see Day 1). My ability to get shit done, quickly and efficiently. How quickly I learn new things (This is starting to sound like a resume). Apparently most people appreciate my perfect imitation of a worker drone. Except for my husband, I don't have too many people complimenting me about my looks. But really, as long as he finds me attractive, who the hell cares what anyone else thinks?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ahh... the Potential

I finally got the scrapbooks I ordered online a couple weeks ago. It took me forever to find something that was the right size (20x20), a ring binder (no post-bound scrapbooks for me), that was something other than the same old boring three colors.

Behold... my beautiful new scrapbooks. Lavender, yellow, lime green, and wine red. Don't you just love the potential a new scrapbook holds? What will I put in this one? A theme, a single event, a year of my life? I know there is a huge debate about chronological scrapbooking, well, I'm one of those strange creatures. I must say, however, that I have one scrapbook devoted to the "outdoors"... my family's trip around Lake Superior one summer and my one week long canoe trip in Minnesota. I also have one dedicated to the early years of my husband's and my relationship.

However, I fully intend to use these to continue telling the story of my life. The red one is dedicated to becoming our wedding album. I'm currently working on scrapping the Civil Ceremony section of the saga. After our reception, I'll be adding those pictures as well.

The lavender one will probably end up being dedicated to my early childhood. I have the least amount of pictures of this part of my life (in part because my parents didn't take many and in part because they still have most of them and didn't feel like getting any more remade). So that album will probably span quite a few years.

I may devote the yellow one to our year and a half in Spain. Not the best time of my life, my dad's heart attack and all, but I do have quite a few pictures from that time.

I'm not sure about the green one yet. Maybe it will be devoted to my freshman and sophomore year of high school. My senior year takes up an entire album of its own (and is complete, I'm happy to say) and my junior year is resting in an album of its own (just tossed the pictures and accompanying items in a scrapbook, still need to actually scrap it). Another option is to use it for my college years. I actually didn't take a whole lot of pictures during college, except during my semester in Ireland, but that's already in an album of its own (and also complete).

So many projects, so little time. But that is part of the fun of being a chronological scrapbooker after all, you never can catch up. But that only makes sense. After all, I take new pictures all the time.

30 Days of Truth- Day 10

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Besides my dentist, I actually try not to surround myself with people who are negative about or to me or our relationship. So I'm not sure I have anyone that I need to let go or that I wish I didn't know. Although I guess our dentist qualifies as a person I wish I didn't know. But unfortunately I can't let go of him until this issue has been resolved.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 9

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Most of my friends growing up, actually. When you move around so much, it's hard to keep up with everyone. I also was never much of a letter writer and most of those friendships were pre-email. However, even now, with Facebook and email, etc. I have a hard time keeping up with people. Maybe it's a desire to keep things current, but I really do feel like I'm all alone a lot of the time. And I sometimes get jealous of DH's close group of friends, that he's had since elementary school.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 8

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Well, this is actually an ongoing problem. Some background... my DH had some dental work done. And unfortunately in his line of work, added to the fact that he hadn't been to the dentist in five years, that meant a lot of cavities. So he had the first six done, no problem, but on the second set the insurance company suddenly wanted to call in a medical expert to get a second opinion and asked for the X-Rays. No problem there either. But then they said that the X-Rays showed that the fillings were unnecessary and refused to pay. Now they want a medical narrative from the dentist, which the dentist refuses to write because it's an "unnecessary unpaid administrative cost" and "his time is valuable."

We have had issues with this dentist since the beginning. He makes me feel 2 inches tall every time I talk to him. He actually had the nerve to tell me off several times, even though there was no way for me to know ahead of time. I think my favorite example of this was after my X-Rays. My previous dentists would actually take the time to show me my X-Rays, explain to me where the cavities were, and why they needed to be fixed. This dentist actually yelled at me for looking at the computer screen on which they were displayed, because "there could be classified patient information on there" and "I wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway."

Then today he calls my husband's cell phone to remind him of the cleaning appointment tomorrow. And I told him in no uncertain terms that we would not be keeping those appointments until we had figured out the insurance situation. He actually sounded surprised when I told him that they wanted the medical narrative and told me the bit about unpaid administrative costs. Then he went so far as to ask me if I was sure that my husband had called his office to ask him to write it. Yes, my husband would have a 10 minute long conversation with me about a phone call he didn't make? Let's just say, we will be looking for another dentist as soon as this insurance issue is taken care of.

30 Days of Truth- Day 7

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

My parents. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate your parents for everything they do while you're growing up. They're the adults standing in the way of you and the fun time you know you could have, if only... However, having had several years to compare stories with other people of their childhood, seeing good and bad parents on TV or reading about them, they make you really take another look at what you had and appreciate it more.

My parents were always very strict about my curfew, my grades, knowing my whereabouts, etc. At the time it seemed annoying, but now I appreciate the fact that they were just concerned about me. They also showed an interest in my school and how my day was going. My mother was sparing with praise, at the best of times. But I guess that became a goal I set for myself, because I knew that if I did get praise, it meant something. They wouldn't be just empty words.

They didn't always support me, but raised me to be realistic both in my expectations of myself and of others. I know they will always love me, and that's what makes my life worth living.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 6

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

There are several things for this as well. I hope never to have to burry a child, go on unemployment, foreclose on a house, sign divorce papers, etc. Well, thinking about this is making me sad, so I'm going to keep this very short.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 5

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

I have several big goals in life. 1) Get a master's degree 2) Have 2 children 3) Become the COO of an environmental non-profit organization. Nothing huge, you know. It's kind of strange how goals change over the course of your life. When I was young, I decided I never wanted to have kids, or I'd adopt them. Now I really want to have my own. And as I see more and more of my peers having kids and even now some people who are younger than I am, I look at what they have and I really want some of my own. But at the same time I know it'll be a big responsibility. As to the master's degree, I'm ready to start applying to schools, but first I need to decide what I want to go back to school for. And that's not proving quite as easy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 4

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

Ok, so maybe I'll play catch up after all. In part because I actually have someone I need to forgive. Well, more of an entity really. I have to forgive BP, Transocean, and Halliburton for the oil spill. I don't care whose fault it ultimately was, I don't care why they were drilling out so far without proper measures. All I care about was that it happened and that it is still happening. I don't know if I will be able to forgive them any time soon, but I hope that someday I will be able to tell my grandchildren about the oil spill without sounding completely bitter about the companies that messed up the planet I was trying to save. Our planet, as in, everyone's. And maybe someday I'll be able to forgive the US Government and BP for being more concerned about the politics of all of this, that they seem to be debating what to do more than actually doing anything. Or turning down foreign aid, because clearly the most powerful nation in the world can't admit it might need help once in a while. Maybe someday I'll be able to forgive, but I'll never forget, and I won't be able forgive for a long time. I know it. Sorry about how political this is, but it's something I've needed to get off my chest for some time now.

30 Days of Truth- Day 3

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Yes, I'm a day behind. But I refuse to rush and I plan to finish this at my own pace, tyvm.

So, something I have to forgive myself for is for my car accident in Oct. of 2008. No one was hurt, except my poor car, but I keep replaying it over and over in my head. Playing the "What If" game with myself, which doesn't make it any better. I think about it every time I get in the car, every time my husband steps on the brakes a bit too forcefully, and every time I actually dare to get behind the wheel. Fear and anger are a way of losing your independence just as surely as being without transportation entirely. For almost a year, I refused to get behind the wheel at all, except if we were already on the highway. City driving still holds terror for me and it wasn't even a bad accident. I just happened to hydroplane into a Hummer... the Hummer won. The most I will drive in the city by myself even now, is to the grocery store three blocks over. And only when absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Table Numbers

I was really proud of the way my table numbers came out.

Materials and Supplies:
4x5 canvas board (or anything else in the size you want the table numbers- cardboard would probably work)
Number templates to use as stencils
Paper of a neutral shade to be the base
Exacto Knife and mat
Hot glue gun
Paper Cutter (helpful but not necessary)
Paper glue

1) Cut the neutral base paper to the size necessary to cover your base front and back. In my case, I had 20 numbers, so I cut 40 4x5 pieces. Hot glue the paper to both sides of your base.
2) Print out your number stencils and cut them out (I used Microsoft Publisher to set a size for the numbers, used one of the standard bubble fonts, and then printed out four to a page). Rough cut anything with double digits, because you'll want to use the spacing as a guide when cutting the numbers out of the pictures.
3) Cut the pictures you want to use to the right size, you need as many pictures as you have numbers (in my case I had 20 pictures, which I cut down to the 4x5 size).
4) Place the number stencil on top of the picture and use the exacto knife to cut out the number. Make sure you hold down the stencil firmly, so it does not move while you are cutting. Also be careful not to cut your fingers.
5) Use the original picture as a guide to center the number on the base, but only glue down the number you cut out.
6) Then turn the base over and glue down the original picture. If you have a center filler, like on a 6 or 8, use the original number stencil to figure out where to place them.
7) Rinse and repeat until you are done. For double digits, place the rough cut stencil on the picture and cut through both the stencil and the picture, making sure not to move the number while cutting.

30 Days of Truth- Day 2

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

I love my laugh. It's loud, it's unapologetic, and I exercise it frequently. In fact, I can find the funny in almost every situation. Just a little fun story from last night... DH comes home and brings with him a double deli of cashews. He was apparently supposed to throw them out, because they're no longer serving the dish it went with and since he loves cashews he decided to take them home and eat them instead. So he has the double deli of cashews sitting next to him on the table, and he has another double deli of cherry juice (it's a chef thing, apparently they don't believe in drinking out of glasses) sitting next to it.

While playing on his computer he randomly reaches out and dunks his hand in his juice, pulls his hand out again and looks perplexed. I think it took a second for the message to reach his brain that he'd reached into the wrong deli. By the time it hit him, and he reached into the correct container with a sheepish look on his face, I had already burst out laughing. My laughing got him laughing and I laughed for a good ten minutes. Every time he'd stop laughing, he'd hear me laughing and start laughing again.

I love my laugh. It makes me happy and I like to think it makes other people happy too.


I had the more or less brilliant idea to buy 33 yards of 60" burlap fabric online as table runners. It's sustainable, it's cheap, and it fits our woodsy/green wedding theme. However, when it arrived, it looked like a roll of carpet, and not very good carpet at that. Now, I had bought 100 yards each of several different colors of ribbon. I didn't realize at the time quite how much ribbon that is, but now I was definitely glad I had it. My idea to dress up the burlap was this: first I cut the fabric in half so I had two 30" pieces instead of one 60" piece. All 33 yards of it... let's just say my back was not happy by the time I was done. 

Then I cut about 45 foot pieces. I ended up with 4 45 foot pieces and 2 shorter pieces of around 16-18 feet. Then I took the ribbon, and sewed it to one side, while simultaneously folding under the rough edge. Luckily this did not have to be perfect or even terribly precise, nor did I bother to double fold for a proper hem. On the other side, which had a factory weave edge, I didn't bother folding the edge under and just sewed the ribbon to it. All in all, it took me several hours and 132 yards of ribbon. I ended up using both of the shades of green ribbon I had to edge it. When I was finally done, it actually looked pretty decent. However, I had burlap fuzzies and fibers all over my living room floor.

Sock Gauntlets

I recently wore out a pair of white socks. Now, this is not in fact a rare occurrance, but usually I just throw them out. However, this time I had a bit of an epiphany. What if, instead of consigning them to the garbage, I repurposed them. And thus was born my newest little project: sock gauntlets.
Materials and Supplies:
1 pair of socks (preferably ones with worn out heels and long top part)
Rotary Cutter and Mat helpful but not necessary

1) Using a rotary cutter or fabric scissors, cut the bottom off the socks along the edge of the band.
2) Place the band on your hand and determine where your thumb should be and use some way to mark the space between the thumb and index finger.
3) Sew together the front and back part between the thumb and index finger so that there is a space for the thumb and a wider space for the other four fingers.
4) Ornament as desired. I simply sewed some embroidery floss around the edge and made a quick bow.

Quick, easy, and helpful especially for those people who benefit from warm wrists.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update Soon

I spent the long weekend making things for the wedding. I will post pictures once I get home tonight. The things I've been working on include:

-Fabric leaves for the boutonnieres: Idea found here.
-Burlap table runners
-Civil Ceremony scrapbook to display at the reception
-Table numbers: my own idea and it turned out splendidly
-Photo albums for both sets of parents
-Finished the remaining pomander balls.

DIY things left to do:
-Finish scrapbook and albums for parents
-Card box
-Paint wings of butterflies and sew to dress
-Finish fabric leaves

There are plenty of other things left to do, but I think that's it for actual DIY besides things we have to do the day before (the flowers for one).

30 Days of Truth- Day 1

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

I hate how cranky I get when I have to do chores. This is one of those classic, like mother-like daughter moments, where DH probably thinks to himself, "why did I do it? Why did I marry her? I know what her mother is like..."

Case in point, yesterday DH and I had the day off together, which for us means chore day. We actually didn't have much to do, since we'd done laundry the previous week, he'd gone grocery shopping the day before, etc. But we had a whole week's worth of dishes in the kitchen (we don't have a dishwasher, and we take turns washing and drying). It was his turn to wash, which usually means a reprieve from my crankiness. But not so yesterday. The sheer thought of the dishes, just waiting for me, put me on edge. Then 5, 6, 7 pm rolled around and DH was in the bedroom napping, instead of washing the dishes so we could finish and sit back and relax. So I start getting cranky. It finally got to the point where I marched into the bedroom and woke him up. Now he's angry at me for waking him up to do dishes, and I'm angry that I had to get him up in the first place. We sniped at each other for a good half an hour, before we finally relaxed enough to apologize to each other and by then we were almost done.

It took my father pointing it out and having my own household (albeit small in comparison) to figure out why my mom started yelling and making everyone else miserable while she was doing chores. And I hate it, in part because it makes me afraid for who I'll become as I mature and in part because I'm not usually a cranky person.

30 Days of Truth

I found this here and thought it sounded pretty cool.

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

For the next 30 days I will post my response to the above prompts.