Sunday, April 29, 2012

The mystery balloon and a decision

I work with Freya and we get a very small, yet very satisfying amount of joy from parking next to each other in the mornings (at least I do). One afternoon Freya pulled up next to my car and snapped this picture.

Apparently the Honda has been having some adventures while I'm in my office slaving away. The balloon was gone when I got to my car after work. The jig is up though, Honda. I'm on to your games.

Speaking of my office, it is awesome. I moved into an office with a window and a real desk about two months ago. I still haven't hung anything great on the walls. The very same Freya took an awesome picture of the Renegade statue a few weeks ago, and I'm thinking of getting it printed at Kinko's and putting it up. But I can't decide between black & white or color. What do you think?

P.S. This weekend was FSU's Spring graduation. Three ceremonies. It was intense. I'm so glad it's over. Now to process 6000 degree clearances in the next three weeks...

P.S.S. It was also finals week for Cory. We didn't see each other much this week. And we saw even less of the kitchen counters.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scenes from an Elephant Themed Baby Shower

Joanna is having a little boy in a few weeks, so we had a little second baby shower/sprinkle last weekend. The baby's room is elephant themed, and elephants are adorable, so we ran with it. 

If I ever do an elephant themed shower again, I'd totally have peanuts everywhere and maybe even little elephant ears for dessert. Apparently I have a lot more spare time in my imagination.

There is the cute Mama to be! Seriously Joanna, I love that dress. 

I loved Mad Libs when I was a kid. Joanna loves it too. Mad-libs was an easy/low-key shower game and turns out, I still think its hilarious. "It was the end of her pregnancy and Joanna was feeling like a __________. " What will fill in the blank?? It could be anything! It's crazy!

We had jars labeled with the types of words we needed, and guests could slip in their suggestions during the first hour. After the eating/chatting was done we read the story, and drew out words as needed to fill in the blanks. I found most of the text on another blog, and tweaked it a little for our shower....but now I can't find the original source. I'll keep looking though.

Eyeball? Bathroom?! I don't care who you are. That junk is funny.

This is the text we used (guests never saw it before it was read):

The Birth of Baby Cole
Toward the end of her pregnancy, Joanna was feeling like a(an) [ animal ]. Finally, on the [number] month, she felt a sudden painful contraction in her [ body part ]. Of course, the first thing she did was go to the [ location ] and [ verb ] to keep her mind off of the discomfort. When the contractions became more frequent, Danny suggested that she [ verb ], till she knew for sure if she was in labor.

She felt it was time to go to the [ location ] and give birth to her [ adjective ] baby but they called the [ occupation ] to be sure. Within [ number ] minutes of hanging up the phone, she was to the point where she could not even [ verb ] during a contraction. When Danny walked into the [ location ] and saw her on her hands and knees [ verb- ‘ing’ ], he said “we are going NOW!” and quickly packed up the [ vehicle ] and they were on their way.

They rushed to the [ location ], where they were met by the [ occupation ]. Meanwhile, their family and friends arrived in their [ vehicle ] and gathered in the waiting room. Danny tried to help by [ verb-ing] as Joanna [ verb -ed ]. This went on for [ number ] hours. Finally, the doctor decided to try [ verb-ing]. With an [ animal ] like roar, Joanna gave birth to their beautiful baby boy. He was perfect, with a [ adjective ] [ body part ], and [ number ] fingers and toes. He weighed [ number ] pounds and [ number ] ounces and measured [ number] inches in length. All the people in the waiting room agreed that he had Joanna’s [ body part ] and Danny’s [ body part ].

Words needed: Animal, Number, Body Part, Location, Verb, Adjective, Occupation, Vehicle

Usually clip art has all the cute things I need, but they were seriously lacking on the cute elephant department. And all the cute elephants I found online were not for public use. 

Since I didn't really feel like buying any of the party packages with elephant images on Etsy, I ghetto rigged this little guy in PowerPoint. He's gray shapes layered on top of each other until it resembled an elephant, then I saved the slide as an image. That's how we do. 

I'm pretty proud of him, and you can have him for free. You're welcome.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Food storage=socially acceptable hoarding?

 We made a yummy tomato-pineapple relish at canning class this week. (Let me know if you want a copy of our recipes/canning instructions.) It makes me feel so self-reliant when we do stuff like that. Then I’m filled with all kinds of crazy urges to grind wheat, and make my own bread and go pick fresh vegetables and store them. And the little teeny canning jars we used are so stinkin' cute. 

Plus it was so fun to be with my ladies from church. Over the years I’ve learned that I don’t make friends very easily. I don’t make enemies very easily either for that matter, which is nice. Its not so much a matter of being anti-social—I’m definitely not—its just so hard to push past that initial awkwardness (and I am so very awkward.) of making conversation and getting to know someone, down to the really good part of friendship where you can share real feelings and thoughts and the truth about how often you bathe. I wish I could just jump right into the really good part, and skip my self-conscious standoffish resistance. But I can’t.

So for those of you who have pushed passed this stage with me…I love you so much. You make me so very happy. For those of you who are still working on this stage with me…keep trying. I will too. It gets better. I look forward to our friendship in the years to come.

Anyway, I was still riding the wave of self reliance this Sunday and put in an order for 10 cans from the storehouse. Food storage! I’m basking in the Mormon-ness.

And I planted carrot and pea seeds in our window boxes. This may be an exercise in futility. I don’t have a very good track record with plants. Those poor plants. I replaced my dead tulips next to the kitchen sink with some succulents. They’ve got to stand a better chance. So far I have left them completely alone, and they seem to be fine. These are my kind of plants. Little Gnomey came to live with them inside. Say “Hi”, Gnomey!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Things I have found out the hard way

Cory doesn't care for:
  • Tomatoes
  • Condiments as a whole
  • Especially ketchup
  • Historical Fiction
  • Planes.
  • And Road Trips.
  • Travel in general.
  • The combination of mint and chocolate
  • When someone who shall remain unnamed stacks boxes too large to fit into the garbage can on top of the garbage can making it impossible to easily put garbage in the can so then they have to balance any new garbage on top of the box on top of the can. Someone who shall remain unnamed refers to this as the the Escape to Mount Garbage in their head and will never take it out because that is the one household chore they abhor.
  • Chunks of strawberry in his strawberry ice cream.
  • Chunks of anything in general. Really.
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Sunny side up eggs
  • Eggs cooked any other way besides "scrambled".
  • Fancy toilet paper. Fancy=charmin.
  • Chicken Salad.
  • Injustice. 
  • Hair Conditioning. He's strictly a shampoo and rinse kind of guy. 
I started writing this list for a reason...I just know it. I feel like I was really headed towards a point or something. But then I forgot why, and I thought it was funny so I kept going. I don't know if you'll find it particularly useful/entertaining, but oh well. Maybe you have a weird aversion to these perfectly normal things too. Then you can Cory can bond the next time you see each other.   Also, I feel it will be useful for future reference. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easters Weekend 2012

Lara needed a place to host her sister's bridal shower in Marinanna, FL. My parents happen to own  an awesome party house in Marianna, FL. The shower theme was "Mid-Western". My parents happen to be from the Mid-West and own all kind of mid-western memorabilia. The date was set for April 7th. My parents were actually going to be in town on April 7th. Basically this shower just fell into place, and it was awesome.

So, about this Mid-Western theme. It could easily have been renamed "put random junk you find lyin' around inside the house outside on the porch", but...that's not nearly as cute. And we like cute.

It was a couples shower, so that means boys were invited. I think we went all out trying to impress the boys with how amazing wedding showers can be. And I think we succeeded.We served meat on wooden tables, ya'll. No tablecloth. Yea. It was pretty crazy.

Lara's boyfriend Joseph came in while we were putting the invitations together. He took one look and suggested that we burn the edges for more texture/awesomeness. And then. THEN. He proceeded to sit down and burn the edges of 40 small squares of paper for us. Good ideas AND follow through!? What a hunk. He kept coming up with good ideas too. Just dropping them in all casual like. It ain't no thing.

Yes. My parents just had an old cowhide rug lying around. And yes, we did eat that cow. It was delicious.

Instead of games, we just set up a little photobooth area. Which was pretty entertaining. I think every person who picked up the gun pretended to commit suicide with it in at least one picture...maybe the party wasn't as fun as we thought? Anyway..

Actually, my Dad never pretended to commit suicide with the toy gun. He just pointed it directly at me in every shot. Especially when I told him to give me a silly face. So.

Regardless of the suicide/murder miming, it was fun. FUN.

The next day we went to church for Easters, and then the wily bunnies hid our eggs for us. And man. They were fightin' dirty this year. Alliances were forged. Plots were thickened. We tried to corner my mom alone for hints (she folds under pressure) but my dad kept her close. When he would catch her giving us pointed looks in helpful directions he would say "Ruth! You know they all have to give up before they get hints."

 This year we found all but three out of forty five before we admitted defeat. The great riddler himself wasn't quite sure where the very last egg was, so he locked us in my room while he found it, and then gave us a riddle to find it on our own.

There's nothing quite like Easters, is there?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

WeightWatchers update and a new obsession

I mentioned last week that I joined Weight Watchers Online. So far I really like it! Except for the occasional urge to destroy an entire bag of mini kit kat bars its going great. It's my cross to bear.

Its helped really evaluate something before  I eat it. Which is good for me. I'm really into bored/emotional eating, turns out. It's an outlet. Now that  I'm shutting that outlet down, what will my new outlet be? Only time will tell. 

Actually now that I think about it, I've been struck with powerful urges to buy all the things recently. ALL THE THINGS. So, I guess that answers that.  Why can't I gravitate towards compulsive exercise as an outlet?? I'm trying.

In related news, I have a pretty big order from Down East Basics that should be coming in this week. I'm excited. Fashion Show!

I was going to write a really intense bare-all post about weight, choices, and self confidence, but then I decided to see what all this fuss about "Doctor Who" is about. hours later here we are. Half way through season one. Bed time. No blog post in sight. Whoopsie. Looks like introspection will have to wait. 

But in the meantime here are some pretty food pictures. Recipes to follow. Maybe. 
Chicken Taco Night. Load up on the bell peppers (cooked in water, not oil--zero points!) and you're full for hours, for free! Ah fiber. You're so good.
Oven roasted brusselsprouts. With garlic and balsamic vinegar. Also zero points. And super filling!
Tomatoes with basil leaves and balsamic. guessed points! And, I grew that basil on our porch. Do I get bonus points for that? Well. No. I don't. But it still makes me feel fancy.

Steamed squash. Zero points...again! I'm really into the zero points things...

Carrot and Squash Cake/Bread. I wish it was zero points. 
So, about that Carrot and Squash Cake/Bread. I'd needed something sweet. I needed it. So I decided to test my theory that cake mixes are magical genetically altered things that will never ever fail. So I dumped 2 cups of pureed squash and carrots in with a yellow cake mix. Put that into two loaf pans and cooked. And it made cake/bread! I don't know what kind of dark magic is going on in there, but it is intense. And delicious. And one whole loaf is only 24 points! 

Okay, 24 points is a lot for one person. In two days. So, I decided to give away the second loaf. Bye bye dark magic.

Well...thats all for now. Maybe I can squeeze in another Dr. Who episode before bed...who needs sleep anyway?