28 September, 2010

tasty tuesday: the generosity of others

Today! Today I woke up later than intended (10!) and then only because my boys had drawn swirls on the wood floors with what looked like black sharpie. yay! Once I went after it with a rag and rubbing alcohol (usually my go-to with marker damage) I discovered it was actually black crayon. and lime-green crayon. oh, and some hot pink crayon to accent the baseboards. I haven't dealt with the orange crayon on the closet door or the brown crayon on the playroom wall. yet.
Thanks to the late start Mom and I kept trying to figure out our plans, which were to include IKEA, Pacifica, lunch, and loading my minivan with some furniture. See, my parents have been up in Pacifica, renting a room from my aunt, to be closer to my Dad's office. Now that he's transferring to DC they are packing up the room in Pacifica and moving everything down here, so it's easier to sort through and pare down. We decided that the simplest plan was Ikea-lunch-Pacifica-load-dinner-home, so that's what we did.
I love Ikea fries. That is all.
Once we got to Pacifica I took my Mom to Safeway, and she bought supplies for dinner; she and Dad made us rice, garbanzos, salmon, and a big salad. It was delicious!
Then I drove home, with a car full of stuff, the end.

That's all I've got for today! Tomorrow I'm planning to submit my final exam. I'm hoping it cools down. That would be really helpful, for things like thinking and breathing. :) Portland, I am so looking forward to your rain!


27 September, 2010

material monday: moving on

Ok!Well all these holidays took me by surprise, and we are having a great time (Simchat Torah next! yay!), I'm just about done with my first herbalist course (just need to sit the final exam!) and we are already on to the next big project: moving! which means: decluttering!

The four of us are moving to: Portland! We are going house-hunting in a little over a week (!!!) so we've started the pre-approval process for a loan, all that fun stuff. In addition, my Dad accepted a position in DC, so he and Mom are moving too! Not only that, they are moving at the end of October, so it is crunch time on the paring down and making plans, and it has been nuts!

We are planning a yard sale for this coming week, so this week the plan is to pull everything out, evaluate, and get a big sale together. In addition to sorting through our stuff, 30 years of my parent's stuff, and 25 years of my Grandmother's stuff, there's another problem: we are dealing with the heat wave that's been smothering California, and this house does not have air conditioning. Our normal trick of closing the windows in the morning and turning on the fans is only lasting to about 1pm, and then it's too hot to do anything beyond sit until around 8 pm, when it is finally cool enough to open the windows again.

Also my card reader is on the fritz, so until I can get that sorted out no new pics. :(
So, full steam ahead!


13 September, 2010

brief hiatus

I just found out I have 7 more days to complete my herbalism course, so that is my entire focus right now. I'll be back the 22nd!

06 September, 2010

material monday: hats!

Asher is 3!!! Amazing! 3 years ago, wow, we were in such a different place,physically, mentally, but one thing has never changed, we fell in love with that kid the moment he looked at us, and we've been smitten ever since. His birthday party was great; he had a blast playing with his friend, and our steam trip excursion up at Roaring Camp was so much fun. Milt decided that if we win the lottery, it doesn't matter where we are living, we're going back there for his 4th birthday and renting the private car. ;)

His little upsherin was small and sweet; it went really well. Everyone took turns cutting his hair, and I saved one curl for the scrapbook. His hair was wild afterward, but one night of sleeping and it looks really cute! We gave him a set of books; a children's siddur, machzor and tehillim from Mesorah publishing, as well as his tzitzit (which he can't wear yet; soon!) and some really cute HATS!

The hats I got at Target; they were cute and fit pretty well, but were, as Kat put it, very 'scene'. As in, skulls. I personally feel skulls are a little inappropriate for a 3-year-old, so I changed them! I forgot to take a before picture, and target does not sell them online, so the after picture will just have to do!
The cap was the easiest, as there were no skulls involved, just a 'gritty' 'urban' applique. Asher picked out a tree iron-on, so that was an easy little change. The grey fedora had a white skull at the base of the star, so I sharpied over the skull and ironed on a fun 'E' Milt helped me pick out. The black fedora took the longest; the original band was a skull print, so I ripped that off (it was glued on) and found a fun abstract type guitar fabric, and used it to sew on a new band. I love easy refashions; I especially like shopping Halloween clearance (you can get onesies 2 for $1!!) and then 'de-halloween'-ing them. Asher loves his new hats and I love that he looks cute and smart but still like a little kid, rather than a 'tough boy' or a product advertisement. :)

While we were at JoAnne's I happened to spot this awesome little book of iron-ons! I got the tree for the hat from this book, and used a whole sheet of butterflies on a stained shirt of mine; I'm going to see how well they do in the wash, but they are really, really fun. I have a lot of plans for this little book! Most of them involve covering up stains :)


02 September, 2010

thoughtful thursday: line drying

One way I try to save the planet (and cut down on costs) is to line dry our laundry. There are definite pros and cons to this, and all sorts of excuses for not doing it. However, I do 13 loads of laundry a week (2 loads 6 days a week, plus 1 load of linens) minimum, so that is a lot of drying that needs to happen, and thus a lot of opportunity to do this the best way.

pro: it's free! yay!

pro: it doesn't use up resources! by line drying I am not only not using up energy resources directly, but also indirectly by preventing wear and tear on the dryer, which would have to be replaced eventually. (yay! more money-saving!)

con: somewhat weather-dependent. now, I do hope to eventually have an indoor or covered clothesline, but for now it is out in the open so we need sunny weather in order to dry. Also, I then make excuses for not going outside to hang clothes, as in the summer "it's too hoooooot." In the winter, "it's too cooooold". Basically, I need to stop whining.

pro: free bleaching! Line-drying gets our cloth diapers nice and white again.

con: free bleaching! Anything dried in the sun will get sun-bleached. Until I have a covered clothesline to mitigate this I hang our clothes and anything else I don't want faded inside-out. So, yes, they still get faded, but on the inside.

con: line-dried laundry is really stiff.Not the t-shirts or other knit fabrics, but cotton sheets are somewhat stiff, and those jeans? well, they soften up eventually with wearing. give it an hour or two.

pro: line-dried laundry smells amazing. seriously, so nice. If laundry is still stinky after drying outside, I would definitely get that washing machine looked at.

Now I need to put away all that line-dried laundry, and get to bed!


01 September, 2010

working wednesday: surprise house makeover part 2

Well, I am done! mostly. What all did I do? I painted the dining room, living room and kitchen walls beige (two different beiges, actually, as I found a can of paint that was almost the same color as the one I bought, which was good because then I had just enough paint), tiled and boxed the hearth, painted the brick fireplace surround, constructed and painted a mantle to go over the brick 'mantel', and patched and painted the wall above the fireplace. Originally I was going to leave that wall burgundy, to make my mom happy, but there was a big crack in the drywall from the house settling (earthquake country! yay!) and since I had to patch it I had to repaint it anyhow, so I went with grey. Thing is,we didn't have any grey left, so I mixed some green and purple paint with some white primer and made my own grey,which I actually really love. I don't really like the beige and grey together, but it is growing on me, and I am thinking of doing some grey walls in our own house now, instead of all white.

(grey? gray? I think I like grey just because gray looks like Gary to me. hmmm. I know it's supposed to be a regional dialect thing, but since I don't have one dialect I just go with whatever seems right.)

Anyhow, for the fireplace, I used firring strips to create a 'box' on top of the brick, screwed that into the walls, and then I attached the front decorating strip and the mantle top to that. I used liquid nails to attach more wood boards to cover the brick underneath. It's sturdy and looks fantastic (and I say this only because everyone who has seen it says so, and also because I am proud of myself.) I covered the bricks with white primer, then painted over that and the mantel with high-gloss white, for ease of cleaning.

Now then, it isn't quite done. almost! almost.