Thursday, February 17, 2005

Grandma's peace quilt

The spring before we left for Japan, my fourth grade students each took a letter of the alphabet and composed a slogan for a peace quilt. My Grandma lovingly sewed it all together for me and it now hangs proud in my classroom. My current students LOVE this quilt and constantly whine about not getting to make one too. Everybody else gets to do the "cool" stuff. Here are a few of my favorite squares.

George Bush could sure use a little of this advice.

This one is just a life lesson... Who is Hatrid?

I want this to be part of the new advertising campaign for the Minnesota Zoo.

Linka doolies

With a big and huge thanks to Shad, there is now an updated links page. There are a few I'd like to add, especially you ugly juice...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

feelin' good

Wow, it has been one of those BUSY weekends. Zander and Boo! are crashed out, lying diagnally across our bed. Both drooling. I on the other hand, had an after-dinner-coffee and am wired. Tonight my familia came over for a pot-luck feast. I made my first turkey with only a few calls to my mom for help. Lid on or off, the instructions say shallow roasting pan, mine is deep, is it alright? All went well except for the reaching down into the slushy carcass. I was so grossed out. I missed the bag of goodies, so those got baked inside. It turned out pretty good, but I attribute that to my not-so-secret-ingredient that goes into every single thing that I make... Tobasco.

Before dinner Mom and Mike helped me go and pick up our new treadmill with their truck. I've been waiting and waiting for my order to come in, and it has finally arrived. We even set up the TV downstairs so I can watch painfully stupid sitcoms while I'm in slugging away in pain on the machine.
Speaking of machines, Anna has lent me one of her sewing machines! She even trained me in on it. First her husband put this site together for me, and now she's letting me use something that she loves. I owe them BIG. Actually, Anna is the one that always gives me the bug to get sewing. Now, everything is all set up and ready to go, but I haven't had a spare second to get started on any projects. I think the day AFTER Valentine's might be the best time to start, and my start will be pillows for the family room. Simple, pretty ones that I can slip on and off of the existing ugly ones, and throw into the washer every coupla years.

mosaic land

Geez, I'm loving mosaics these days. This shot is from our last night of mosaic class last Thursday. The teachers' studio is amazing. All of their plates are sorted by color first and then by type of design. I've been scrounging around thrift stores lately, but have found the best and cheapest stuff at Family Dollar. I just found two mugs for a dollar with conversation hearts printed all over them. This week I'd like to get started on an outdoor plaque for our house number. I'll be using a metal tray for the base, but haven't decided on colors yet.

Monday, February 07, 2005


You know when you're broke, how everything looks so freaking fantastic that you can barely stand it??? That is where I am right this instant. I'm drooling over this woman's work. Check out her website here.

Around 8AM on Sunday morning, I decided that I was going to start taking all of my arts-n-crafts supplies out of their boxes and off the floor, and start puttin' them on the shelf. I was just going to work on it for a half an hour or so, but as I unwrapped each little pinking shear/paper crimper/glass cutter, I got more and more excited. When I finally looked up at the clock it was after 11AM, and I was supposed to be in St. Paul watching the Winter Carnival Half Marathon. The sewing machine in the picture is one that my Mom got me for free on her mail route. It is in total need of some work, but I'm trying to hold off because Zander's parents are giving me a really nice machine for my birthday. I've got the fever, and also some really nice fabric, so I think I'm going to price out some tune-ups. My little studio is a work in progress, but I like where it is going.

I promise I'm not going to go gooo-gooo and post about Boo! every damn time I update. However, while we were downstairs workin' on some projects, Boo! jumped right up on Zander's shoulder and stayed there. He stayed there when Zander went upstairs to get some Necco Wafers (disgusting), he stayed on while Zander washed out his ink brushes, but he seemed to like to sit and watch him draw most of all. He did jump down when I started vacuuming.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Barb Cannon Works Wonders with Local Woman's Hair

Alright, alright, I might have over-dramatized my hair situation at Becca and Joe's wedding. Barb Cannon, Zander's cousin, got some great shots of the weekend, and I really like this one. Too bad Zander is cut off, we're always searching for good ones of the two of us. Notice: CLEAVAGE IS COVERED!

spring fever

With all of these 50 degree days around here lately, I've definitely got spring fever! Sure, my backyard is still a swampy-snowy-melty-mess. But nonetheless, I'm dreaming about what it'll be in just a few short months... Friends over every night, sipping cool cocktails WITH plastic animals dangling off the side of the glass. We'll be seated at the most comfortable and sturdy picnic table EVER and we'll be engrossed in the most perfect type of conversation that only happens when you're in the right backyard setting. We'll hardly even notice when Mike and Rhonda slip away, over to the swing set, to gaze up at the stars and into each other's eyes, and then come right back.
TO DO...
Reinforce and then paint our picnic table and benches. (I picked them up from a garage sale for 5 Bucks because they are somewhat unstable and the paint is peeling.) It would also be great to drill a hole in the middle of the table and attach an umbrella. In fact, if we can't have the picnic table with the umbrella, the table is going on the side of the road with a free sign.
Next, the swing set... When we first moved in, I thought that I'd have that swing set disassembled by the very next day, along with the sand box nestled right next to it. Yes, they are both still there. The sand box will be gone as soon as the ground thaws, but the swing set will stay... with a porch swing replacing the kiddy swings.
I'd also like to buy some concrete stepping stones from Home Depot and mosaic the tops of them. Emily and I have been taking a mosaic class through Minneapolis Community Ed. I've decided that I love mosaicing! I especially love the thrill of searching for interesting plates for cheap at the thrift stores. (I know, I know, just another excuse to rifle through other people's junk) I'm also enjoying smashing these plates. My kitty, however, does not enjoy it when I smash plates. Anyway, last week I found a stack of plates with strawberries all over them, and when the sales woman went to wrap them up, I told her, "Oh no, don't worry, I'm just going to smash them into at least one hundred little pieces." She looked a little shocked, and I liked it. I'm hooked on that shock factor alone. Right now I'm working on a brightly colored pot that'll sit outside and hold something cute like; fade-resistant-no-watering-needed-plastic-begonias. (Somewhere, right now, my Mom has probably just gotten an intense headache)

Friday, February 04, 2005

This is my life...

Every week each kindergarten class comes to art once, and today was their art day. We've been making clay projects lately and I thought it would be good for them to see the kiln. Here's how it went.
ME: Who would like to go on a quick field trip today?
THEM: Me, me, me, oh-yeah, me, field trips are awesome...
ME: Who would like to go down to see the kiln? You know that's where I bake your clay projects.
THEM: AAHHHHHHH!!! Me, me, oh-yeah, me, can we? can we? please, oh-yeah...
ME: Alright, but if we're going to walk down there, we all have to be as quiet as...
THEM: BUNNIES!!! (They all start hopping like bunnies on speed)
ME: No not bunnies. How about let's be as quiet as...
THEM: MICE!!! meep, squeek, sniff-sniff, squeek...SQUEEEEEEK!!! This is going to be awesome.
ME: No, not mice. How about quiet like cottonballs?
THEM: silence
ME: See, cottonballs are very quiet and they keep their cheeks puffed out like this...
THEM: Yeah, oh-yeah, cottonballs are awesome, this is going to be so fun!!!
ME: Ok, no more talking. Us cottonballs are going to go visit the kiln.
THEM: (puffed out cheeks) mmmm-hmmm

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Forge the Gorge

This is a message from my sweet friend Rebecca. I'm going to be printing the darling t-shirts with my little Gocco, AND I'll definitely be forging the gorge on April 3rd. If you're in Minneapolis please come!!! All the money will definitely be going to a good cause.
"Get ready for a 5K run/walk to raise money for MS research...mark your
calendars now for Sunday, April 3rd, 10:00am
Last year I rode nearly 500 kilometers in 6 days through the French
Alps and raised nearly $10,000 for MS research. I am doing it again this
year! To raise money for the MS Global 2005 bike ride I will be holding
the following running event. "Forge the Gorge" Run/Walk. Registration is
$25.00. You will receive a t-shirt, a delicious post-run pancake
breakfast, and the chance to take in the natural beauty of early spring
as you run or walk alongside the only true gorge on the entire length of
the Mississippi River!"

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


This week I got out all the old cookbooks and found this recipe. I hadn't made it before and was a bit of a skeptic (too many weird spices), but it was absolutely delicious. I'm sure it could easily be tweaked to be vegetarian.

2 tsp of olive oil
boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp caraway seeds (had to go buy these)
2 large cloves of garlic
2 TBL hot curry powder
1/2 tsp of ground cardamom (had to go buy this)
6 cups of chicken broth
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed (recipe calls for white potatoes, but I think these taste better)
1 thawed pkg of frozen spinach
1 cup of chopped tomatoes, including the juice
salt and pepper

Just sautee the chicken, onions and garlic with all of the spices and then stir in the broth and potatoes. Cook all of this until the potatoes are tender and then dump in the spinach and tomatoes.

By the way, this recipe came from Skinny Soups. I LOVE this cookbook. I can throw together most things, but usually when I try this throw method with soups, they end up tasting like crap.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I know, I know... I'm REALLY overdue for an update. I'll try and make this one worth all the frustration of checking up every few days, only to see nothing new and fresh. I'm not sure where to start, so I'll go with the obvious. Thank you all for your love and support and TLC and encouragement and advice and soft shoulders. Thanks especially for not letting the big M be a taboo topic. It is such a relief when people just say what's on their minds instead of tip-toeing around feeling awkward. The miscarriage caused us a lot of pain. Yes. Now I'm thinking of it as a painful not-so-distant memory, but not a painful present. Ahhh healing.

This little guy is Boo! He's around 9 months old, but could be up to a year. No one really knows because he was a stray that the friendly firefighters of Andover found wandering around their station. We picked him up at the Humane Society on Sunday. He is adorable in all ways except the annoying habit of trying to suckle all of my sweaters. I wish I could say that he just is a licker, but it is a true lick, suck. I'm wondering if my sweaters continue to not produce milk, if he'll just stop this sick habit on his own?

Last weekend we were out of town for Becca and Joe's wedding. It was so nice to bask in the warmth of Denver! Yeah, that sounds weird, but it was almost 70 degrees there, and fa-reezing here. The wedding was truly gorgeous. They seem to be the most ORGANIZED and PHOTOGENIC couple that could have ever possibly walked the earth. The whole weekend was perfect... Except my hair and cleavage drama. I blame my hair on a hairdresser that should have called in sick. I believe she was a perverse woman whose intent was to make me also look sick, or at the very least like Mary Ingalls. My hair was slicked half-back. So far, no problema. However, the back was styled into a wealth of cascading curls that ultimately formed a bow. I might have been happier if it had at least formed a wedding bell. As for the cleavage side of the story... Not much of a story. I, goddess of the bargain, got a GREAT deal on a dress that opened to my belly button. I thought a brooch would solve the problem. Pictures of the event prove that the brooch didn't do diddly. I'm not quite ready to share my boob shots yet.

calling all readers

Book club is at my house next month and I suggested this one. Anyone read it? Anyone want to lend me their copy?