Month: November 2006 (Page 1 of 2)

Going home for Thanksgiving

I really love Thanksgiving. I love that my family converges, all sleeping in until 10, eating cheese by 10:30. This holiday we left Molly home in Lakewood instead of driving her to GJ.

Good thing, because she would have been totally upstaged by Roman.

My favorite part of the trip was shooting off rockets after dinner. But eating peppermint ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry while playing a family game comes in a close second place.

Mom loaded up her three kids plenty of leftovers. I made a turkey casserole tonight (Swiss cheese, canned cream soup, egg noodles, and frozen peas and carrots) (oh the humanity! I can’t believe I sunk to such conveniences!! But I had to go grocery shopping in addition to dance class tonight, and really didn’t have time to make a roux and chop and blanch veggies myself) (ugh, leotards look the worst when you’re working off holiday feasts).

Molly is quite a fan of turkey, even when coated in Swiss cheese (and no, I only give her plain turkey snitches. I know cheese could make her puke or die or something).

I have a problem.

I’m absolutely addicted to the salsa from a certain Mexican restaurant in Centennial. It’s a nondescript strip mall family restaurant. But one day last summer Julia brought us some take-out salsa and it was HEAVEN. I CRAVE this stuff. It comes in a pint sized Styrofoam cup for $5. I eat half of it in one sitting. I fantasize about taking it in my purse to 3 Margaritas, where they serve the best hot, salty, slightly oily thin tortilla chips. (Sadly, the makers of the mighty salsa proved very poor in their chip department)

I had Ben pick up salsa for me twice in the last two weeks. This is a very bad habit to start. By itself, the salsa isn’t a bad thing. Fresh and natural veggies are good. But I eat it with fried chips, and those calories add up fast. Not to mention it’s kind of pricey. Actually, I could eat this stuff on cardboard. Or Styrofoam – hey, I might try that! Sounds like a good way to get every last drop.

22 days later

Want to see what pumpkin rind looks like after hiding for 22 days in the base of your fingernail?

Gross! I’m scared the nail is going to get caught on something and tear off from the side. I guess I should start wearing a bandage again.

Quail Street House Tour

Despite beta blogger not working with picasa, and not finding this out until after I switched, and then finding out you cannot switch back, I have spent the past hour acquiring and uploading pictures to satisfy your curiosity. Click on any picture to see it full sized.

Master Bedroom

Obviously unfinished. I have purchased (“Enchanting” and “Feldspar”) paint but haven’t had the time or gumption to slap it on yet. That’s my closet on the right.

My dresser on the left, Ben’s on the right, and his closet in the picture on the right.

Master Bath

Square-shaped, wallpapered (ugh) and no storage space. We fixed that as much as possible with cabinets. There are two doors to the bath – one from the hall and one from the second bedroom (not the master). Behind the hall door is a mirrored medicine cabinet, opposite of the sink mirror. It’s nice for checking the back of your hairdo or looking at yourself to infinity. (Also note in the right hand picture the holes left in the wall from a former towel rack. We were unsuccessful at mounting anything there, because the drywall is paper thin.)

Spare Bedroom

This is sort of my room, I guess. My sewing and crafts are in here, and my new vanity, where I get ready each day.

It’s been relegated to a junk room for now. I’d like to do something really funky with it eventually. There’s also a walk-in closet, but it’s completely disorganized with fabric in piles on the floor and half finished craft projects strewn about, so you don’t get a picture.

Upper Hall and Stairs

This is Molly’s main base. From here we can topple toys at maximum chasing velocity.

Main Floor – Living and Dining Room

You can see our new couch, and Molly’s new favorite resting place. I recently pinned up the curtains (picture on right side). Do you like that better than full length (picture on left)? It shows more dark blue, which I like. The floor doesn’t feel so sloppy either. But once I cut I can’t go back. This weekend I painted the desk to match “chester” the bureau I repainted last year.

I also got a cheap bookshelf from Target to house my cookbooks. Sorry about all that clutter, I haven’t reorganized since finished the desk.


I still have a couple shelves, knickknacks, and pictures to hang on the walls, so this room is not done, but it’s a heck of a lot closer to feeling complete.


I painted this wall yellow, in addition to the green above the kitchen cart I’ve already posted. I need more artwork for this area. On the right are the curtains I sewed.

Action shot (applesauce from last weekend)

Main Floor Half Bath

Sorry, bad lighting made this picture yellow. It’s really just plain white. We added the oval mirror to this bare room, but otherwise all the decor is temporary. I think someday I’ll do some rich oranges and yellows, like the box of guest soaps on top of the toilet. For now I just had to put something on the walls so it doesn’t feel like a plain white box.

second set of stairs . . .


Our entertainment room: it’s FREEZING, but fun. I have some Star Wars fabric to make curtains or pillow covers out of, but otherwise this room is done. The den is divided into two sections, TV side and reading side.

Our old couches are down here with a plethora of pillows and blankets (Ben is demonstrating his frequent practice of stealing all the pillows.

This is where I’ve banished the ugly orange chair. All along the walls are video game characters, arranged chronologically. Here’s a close-up. I’m on the search for nice labels for their name and year, something small with a metal frame, like on the end of photo storage boxes. Let me know if you come across something suitable.

Laundry Room

Finally, the laundry room, with cat litter and excess storage. Nothing really to point out except that I hope to have this more organized one day and please, marvel at how spacious it is! It’s the same size as my kitchen. We have a second washer in there now (see previous post about my plumbing), hopefully it will be removed in December.

That’s it! As you can see, I have a long way to go. It’s a lot of work but I love it, and all three of us adore our new home.

Hot Eats

Blogger is acting funny, so this is in no particular order.

Split pea soup – Italian style. First you saute diced portabello mushroom in a little olive oil. Remove the mushroom and saute onion, carrots, and celery. Add bay leaf and the split peas and cook for not 20 minutes (according to the package) or 1 hour (according to Bittman) but THREE HOURS. GAh. Why do legumes hate me???
Sorry. At the end of cooking stir in parsley, parmesan cheese, and the reserved mushrooms. Delicious.

Hot wings and crudites with blue cheese dip. Mmmmm.

I made applesauce (below) and then used it in this applesauce spice cake. With cardamom and honey, this cake turned out spicy and moist.

Sour Cherry Pie with cherries from Iowa – extra sour.

Lamb stew with leaks, carrots, and parsnips.

Applesauce from scratch.

One Great Weekend

I had a perfect weekend:

Friday morning – sleep till 10, then 30 minutes of running, shower.
Friday day – straighten up spare bedroom, temporarily decorate lower bath, sweep, mop, dishes, laundry, make applesauce.
Friday night – CPK pizza, excellent movie (see previous post), chat with friends over tea and a vanilla steamer in Belmar, watch Battlestar Galactica, play Scrabble until 1 am

Saturday morning – sleep until 9:30, play tennis, get dressed, leftover pizza lunch.
Saturday day – visit whole foods for bulk spices, eat yummy samples, get smelly blue cheese, buy Guitar Hero II for Ben (but then play just as much as him).
Saturday night – shop at Mod Livin (if anyone needs present ideas for me, ANYTHING from this store will do [such as this, this, or this])**, dinner at Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant, browse the new Tattered Cover, another excellent movie, Marie Antoinette.

Sunday morning – snow, church.
Sunday day – grilled cheddar sandwiches with pea soup for lunch, bake applesauce spice cake.
Sunday night – make lasagne, crudites with blue cheese dip, friends come over for Scrabble and Fox Sunday comedies.

Who could ask for anything more?

**Mod Livin’ seems very expensive by looking at their website, and it is, because you are paying for designer goods. But the store was also filled with vintage items, clothing, and more affordable misc. items for the home.

Little did he know

I sincerely recommend you see Stranger Than Fiction.

This was a great comedy. The jokes were clever, and at times subtle, and never pointed out. I hate when comedies make a point of every joke and/or laughable scene. My favorite example of this is the dinner Harold eats at Dave’s home. Look at their plates. Not once do the characters glance at the food in a pointed fashion. Love it. Speaking of characters, fantastic cast – all around. Emma Thompson was engaging, kooky, and a little scary all at once. Brian says he heard she was channeling Peter O’Toole for the role. Whatever she did, it worked. Will Ferrell was delicate and honest. For once you didn’t feel like you were watching “Will Ferrell.” The supporting cast were just as delightful, including Tony Hale and the Sonic commercial guys . Towards the end of the movie you start to think that there’s no way this can end in a satisfactory way. But then it does. The graphics, cinematography, story, everything about this movie was lovely and fun.

Sealed and Healed

I bet you’re dying for an update on my pumpkin incident, right? Right? No? Well too bad, because I’m at work trying to gather ppt slides into a final report. That means they have to be converted to Word files, and despite Microsoft’s insistence that their programs work together seamlessly, the auto-conversion creates HUGE (like, 150 MB) word files. My computer processor maxes out whe I try to reformat these great honkers. I’ve frozen the program three times in the two hours I’ve been at it. Saving the documents take several minutes to process. Thus, I have time to blish some blurry camera phone photos of my finger.

Surprisingly, it has pretty much healed from the intrusion. I had several days of pussiness, tenderness, and swelling. But now it’s only mildly swollen and virtually painless, even if I bump it. I can type, hold a pencil, and shampoo my hair with ease.

In other news House is back on Fox after the baseball hiatus. Yea! Between House, South Park, Battlestar, and another show I’m too embarassed to mention, Fall TV has been good.

I think my file saved, so I better get back to it.


The Rancher and the Wili

Saul Tigh (and if you don’t know who that is, start watching Battlestar Galactica)

The 60s skater and Emilio Estevez from Young Guns

Neil Diamond Phillips

Creepy and Big Wig

A full length shot of my fire hazard of a costume

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