Monday, July 27, 2009

Favorite Kid Photo - MckLinky Blog Hop


Chick-a-Dee and her kitty all dressed up in matching dresses.


MckLinky Blog Hop

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another New Skirt!


OK - I have to share another new skirt! I made it from a pattern purchased from http://olabelhe.blogspot.com/. She has some awesome patterns and is a very talented seamstress!

Again, this one is for sale, if anyone is interested. It is a size 3.




This one is NOT for sale. I found this at a thrift store. Dress, shoes, necklace and belt for $12.99! I had to take the bodice in at each side because when I put it on, I created a show for everyone through the armholes! Unlike a bloggy friend who went to church with her dress around her waist with just her bra for a top!!!!! Can you imagine??? Of course I won't mention any names! http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2009/07/true-story-tuesday-mothers-day-2009.html


MissE hard at work with her garage sale finds.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Dance

happy dance Pictures, Images and Photos

Yup - it is the happy dance for a good reason. We have our LID!!!!! For those of you who are not familiar with adoption pregnancy acronyms - that means Log In Date! Our paperwork was all sent to Ch*na on 6/25/09 and we just found out today that it was officially recognized by them on 7/13/09!

Now the waiting. Waiting. More waiting. Then still more. Our agency predicts a 3-4 month wait for our LOC (Letter of Seeking Confirmation). After that it is generally about 2 months till we can actually go to our daughter. I just read about another family who received their LOC in 6 weeks, so it is possible to be faster. Just not very likely :-(

Tag YOU"RE It!!!!!

I've been tagged, but this could be really hysterical if you play along with me... Please do not let me down. I beg you. Okay, I really don't beg you because that would be the worst kind of pathetic, but I beseech you. Do it because you love me... or kind of like me... or just mildly tolerate me;

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence
* Post that sentence as your comment.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST book! *And now pass it on to the readers of your blog, because you've been tagged...

Mine is: "But do not capitalize these derivations if they are used as integral elements of compound words having their own distinct meanings:"

Yup, my trusty dictionary. Close by for scrabble games and the dinner table where a word frequently comes up that just begs to be formally defined!

What's YOURS?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing!

William James

Blog Hop - Favorite Recipe

Emeril's Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles


Note: When selecting cucumbers for pickling, there are a few things to remember. For crisp pickles, choose ripe, pickling cucumbers, which tend to be longer and smoother. Ripe pickling cucumbers are darker green, firm, and not "bloated". They should have plenty of spiny bumps on the outer surface. Overripe cucumbers make mushy pickles. They tend to have yellow or white streaks or spots and their surfaces are smoother. Choose pickles that have not been coated in wax as the pickling brine cannot penetrate through the wax. The fresher the cumbers, the crisper the pickles will be. For best results, try picking your own cucumbers from a local farm or farmers' market.

3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups sliced onions
1/2 cup pickling salt
6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 whole cloves
10 Tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
24 dried cayenne peppers

Place cucumber, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickles mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2 inch of the top. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dry place. Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

Trust me, you won't be able to wait 2 weeks - and yes, they are just as yummy right away!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Smores'n'More

OK - THIS is how the skirt from a couple of posts ago was supposed to turn out! Quite a bit fuller than the first one, heh? This is a back view.
And from the front. The tie is actually made so that it can be tied in the front or the back.
This is a size 4 and for sale!

We found out that our new fireplace really shouldn't sit on the wood deck. We had to keep spraying water under it! We will move it to the cement courtyard today!

Grandma, Chicka and IBoy roasting "mellows".


Everybody enjoying the smores!


I think, though, no one enjoyed them more hands on than Chicka!

Swimming in China





Rubber ring to rubber ring: Swimmers still manage to smile despite being crammed into a swimming pool in Nanjing, China, as a heatwave sweeps across the country.

WOW!!!!! These pictures make me VERY appreciative of my little slice of the river next to our home!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Time Fun

Confession time. Remember how I altered the 5 mintues a day bread dough recipe to be healthier? Well, ahem, if you are looking for retaining wall bricks, here is your opportunity. The bread didn't rise at all, and hubby thought that I should bake some more of them so he could use them outside. Real funny.
That dough did, however, work well for another batch of naan. These weren't as light a fluffy as the first ones, but they tasted good! I made a vegetable curry and rice to go with them. It worked really well for a hot night's dinner.

In the Pacific NW - there is usually not a very long window of really good summer weather. A couple of them, spaced out over the summer with colder, wet weather between the hot weather. Actually, that is the best of both worlds for us - nice and hot, then a reprieve - time enough to look forward to the next heat! Right now we are in a heat and lovin' it. After living 17 years in CA, I forgot that summers can actually be enjoyable! Sorry for the analogy, but I always dreaded summer coming in CA. Kind of like going into labor - you know it is coming, you know it is going to hurt and you know that there is nothing that you can do about it. At least with labor, you have prize at the end of it!


Big brothers are pretty awesome!

This river is a 5 minute drive from our house. Yes, we are lucky!

The fav spot. Not mine!

IBoy and a bud showing off.

We went to the big city - Vancouver - they had a city sanctioned "cruise the gut" night. The city sure didn't sanction them when we were in high school! Chicka couldn't stop admiring the "purkle" car. The owners happened to see her and invited her t0 sit in it. Then they showed her how to honk the horn. Great. See woody in the background to the right? Now THAT is my style of car!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy To Bee

UPDATE: I have to let you know that I placed my order with HappytoBee.com on Friday and received my order on Monday! The shirts that I ordered are perfect and high quality! Way to go!

I have found an AWESOME company to work with who just happens to have great products and tremendous customer service!



Welcome to the Happy To Bee ~ Our multicultural KIDS have unique personalities that celebrate the wonderful people & special occasions in your life. Our line of products includes personalized shirts for New Baby, Big Brother, Big Sister, Middle Brother, Middle Sister, World's Greatest, etc. Personalized shirt designs are also available for BIRTHDAYS, ADOPTION, celebrating BIRTH COUNTRIES, and JUST BECAUSE you love your family and friends. Other items that we carry (and can be personalized) include tote bags, thank you notes, adoption cards, note cards, invitations, address labels and more.

Each of our unique products are designed to bring joy to you and your loved ones. Please contact us if you need additional information or have any questions about our products.


This is the logo that they have created for me - Chick-a-Dee chose the colors! Pink and purkle!

The company owners are themselves a multicultural and adoptive family who have the privilege of parenting 15 children! They have graciously offered to donate a percentage from each sale generated from our blog to our fundraising efforts to bring our Zabi-Chu home to us! When you place your order, please be sure to mention that you found them through my blog, otherwise, they will never know to transfer their donation to us!

Please take a moment of your precious time to visit their website - they have something for everyone there!


I don't know how to make the link "clickable", so either copy and paste the link below, or you can click on their logo on the sidebar.

http://www.happytobee.com/default.asp

Thursday, July 16, 2009

For Sale

Is anyone interested in some gently used girls clothes? Take, for instance, this?


It is a size 3T, but runs small - more like a 2T. Just Friends is the label. Not for sale is the T-shirt under it, the bloomers OR the sweetie! You can't quite see in the photo, but the shoulders have a tie on them and it is a double skirt - the top skirt is split down the front to show the underskirt, which is a complimenting fabric.

Is $10 including shipping a fair price?

The first person to leave a comment is who it will go to!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Switching Places

Since Grandma has been temporarily staying with us, she has been using the master suite for her room. It is the only bedroom on the main floor. At first we were bunking with IBoy - he has a futon under his loft bed, but we chose to put some foam mattresses and sleeping bags in a separate alove of his room. Sleeping on the floor kind of got old after a couple of nights. So we moved. To the guest room up a separate set of stairs from the main upper level.

Hmmmmm. We are actually kind of liking it up there! We are even considering switching it to our permanent room! The one thing that I don't particularly like about this house layout is that our bedroom is right off of the front door. You walk in the front door and you can choose to go through the double glass doors on the left to the living room, go up the stairs to the kids bedrooms and bathroom, down the hall to the kitchen/den/laundry or an immediate right into the master bedroom. If you are on the front deck, you look right into our room. We are thinking of turning our bedroom into a guest room/play room/family room and moving into the guest room, which is kind of set up as my sewing room now.

There is a deck through the sliding french doors.
Yup - this BIG bed is where hubby, Chicka and I all sleep. Add insult to injury? It is an inflatable bed! I think if we switch, buying a real bed will be the top priority!
It has a 2 burner/sink/refrigerator unit. The bathroom is behind that wall - no tub, just a shower. The small window that you see is on the landing - you turn left to go down the stairs to the utility portion of the house.

If we do the switch, I will need to get busy on the decorating scheme - any ideas????

Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread and a trip to the zoo!

Grandma allowed us to rent her a wheelchair so that Chicka could ride on her lap. Only because Chicka wanted it - not because we would still be sitting at the entrance to the zoo today if we hadn't! We also forgot her sunhat, so she was decked out in hubby's cap. Hmmm it looks about as good on her as it does on him! hint, hint!

The day started out well enough.

We had from back left to right - hubby, IBoy, Grandma (99 years old!), my Dad, MissE and Chick-a-Dee. Grandma and Chicka really wanted to ride the train. We grumbled the whole train ride, as the only animals we saw were the back end of one tiger, about 3 seconds of an elephant and an ant crawling on hubby's arm.

In retrospect - the train ride was the best part of the day! A rare glimpse of the camera bearer (me!).

Chicka did have fun sitting in the eagle's nest.

I didn't dare remove the camera from the case after this point. We made the unfortunate decision to visit the zoo on $2 Tuesday. BAD idea. We live in the country for a reason. The reason? We must have a huge personal space need, because none of us do well in crowds. Did I mention that the zoo was CROWDED????? People shovin', people pushin', people screamin', people, people, people! It was hot (something none of us enjoy also - picky folks, aren't we?). The zoo was under construction and was thus NOT very wheelchair/stroller friendly. I think the next time we get a hair brained idea to visit the zoo, we will gladly pay full price. On a weekday. During school hours.

IBoy said that he doesn't want to even go as far as our little town for a long time! Our town consists of no traffic lights, one country post office, one church, one cafe, one volunteer fire station, one market/gas station/movie rental, one school campus (preschool - high school 300 students in all)! Enough said :-)


Five minutes a day for fresh baked bread?????? No kidding! You make up a "wet" batch of it and then throw it in the cooler. Whenever you want to make "bread" you scoop some out and in 5 minutes (or less!) you have bread rising ready to be baked!

You let it rise in a big bowl - this one obviously is NOT big enough!

Although the recipe calls for white flour - I couldn't bring myself to go all white. I added about a third of whole wheat to the ratio. It turned out great! We made 2 loaves of bread, 12 dinner rolls, 4 huge naan (if you've never had naan - try it - it is the bomb!). I whipped up a fresh raspberry, lemon juice and powdered sugar drizzle to put on top of the buttered naan for breakfast. Sure fire hit in this house!

I just made up a new batch today and figured (here we go, for those of you who know me - I can never leave a set of directions as they are - I ALWAYS have to tweak it to my whim!) that since the whole wheat worked fine last time, I would mix it up a little more to my liking! Of the 13 cups of called for flour, I did 8 white, 3 whole wheat, 1 flax seed meal and 1 bulgar. We'll see if it works as well!

I sprinkled some herbs and garlic powder on the tops before they rose. Yummy!

Here is where I got the information for the bread. Please give it a try and let me know how it works for you! This link was posted on a list that I belong to - Hillbilly Housewives! I love the name!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/print-article.aspx?id=142688

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ooops!

Well, I was hit by another sewing bug. I didn't have the time to run to the fabric store, so I scrambled and found something that matched. I didn't have any elastic. Not to worry - I had some unused plastic pants in the Goodwill bag - cut the elastic from them!


Remember the saying; measure twice, cut once? Huh. Guess I forgot. I got the skirt all sewn up and ready to try on.


Oops - I only cut one skirt body when I was supposed to cut two! Duh! Of course, I don't have enough matching fabric to fix it. Of course. Oh well - now that I know the pattern, I can whip another one out lickity split. I'll just try to remember to cut out two skirt bodies!

This and That

Nothing spectacular has been happening around here. Our schedules have been a little different with 99 year old Grandma temporarily staying with us. Sorry if it is a boring post!

Grandma kind of likes watching the graphics twirling on the computer while classical music plays!

Grandma gets her hair done - I think that Chicka was pretty interested in the rollers!

Grandma gets the vegetables ready for dinner.

Chicka gets the table set.

I thought that I would get a hat crocheted today. Hmmmm - is this how you do it Mom???? Thanks, Chicka!


I don't know if you will be able to hear Grandma above the darned dog, but she got SUCH a charge out of Soni trying to get the fireworks! She thought that I was taking a picture of the fireworks, but we were all enjoying watching how much fun SHE was having!

video

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great Signboard!



I borrowed this photo, but it is the same sign that I saw while driving today and couldn't stop to get a picture of it! Awesome!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Re-Sewing

OK - get real. Enough is enough - I think I need a life! I found this large woman's sweatshirt at a garage sale recently. I loved the color, but it was WAY to big for me. I decided that since Chick-a-Dee has outgrown nearly all of her winter clothes, maybe I could refashion this sweatshirt into sweat pants and sweat shirt for her to use for camping over the summer.

I really wanted to start on a new skirt, but that would mean having to drive an hour to town, shop and then drive back again. Nah - too lazy for that. I would have to put shoes on, for goodness sakes!

Start with one .50 cent sweatshirt.

Cut pants from the sleeves.

Use some of the old finished edge for the new waistband - it already has a casing!

Add a little embellishment and we are done!