Saturday, December 6, 2008

Music We Like: Barenaked Ladies Snack Time

I had no idea that the boys had come out with a new CD. I was killing some time in the library while waiting for K-'s preschool to be over and I spied the new Barenaked Ladies CD. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to put the You Tube thingy in here, so I'll link it for you. I'm still new at this and trying!

It's a kid CD! Pollywog in a Bog is my favorite! K- loves all the songs, but she's been talking about one with popcorn. I haven't figured it out yet, as I've been busy having things break, leak or otherwise funk out at our house. (The latest is the humidifier that leaked in K-'s room, through the rug, through the sub floor and into the basement. We had to pull 1/2 of her room apart, flip the armoire/dresser on it's side so that it can dry from the bottom and UGH! All of this at 11 PM at night AFTER we came back from Hubs' Christmas Party.) So, I've been listening to the CD with her, but my full attention hasn't been on it. She does like 7-8-9, though.

I'm tired. I've just noticed one more that I need to watch. Good night!

If you need to find me . . .

I'll be down by the creek beating our clothes against a rock. Why? Because my washer took a big ole fat giant dump. It died. We knew that she was making a very loud noise that was only getting louder. We could only figure that it was the bearing. What is sad is that it is 9 years old. I don't think that is old for a washer.

I asked Mom if I can come and flip some clothes into their washer tomorrow. She said it is fine. We'll borrow my dad's dolly and haul the washer carcass to the road. Thank goodness that I haven't called for the big haul pick-up yet. See, I told y'all that there would be more to come. The neighbors are really going to think we're moving out now.

Don't worry. We'll just be replacing it with a general top-load washer. I've heard too many stories of stinking front loaders (literally smelling bad) and I just don't have that kind of money to lay out for a purchase right now.

Ugh. Off to the appliance store we go.

Such a hard worker, he is!

Hubs has had this week off. He found out that he had vacation time that was to the point of use it or lose it. He opted to use it. Look what he did:

Looking beyond our family of lit deer, there it is-- our tree lawn. My neighbor thought that I kicked Hubs out. His wife informed him that she was certain that I hadn't, that we were probably doing what they needed to be doing. Hubs decided to free the basement from 9 years of stackage from living here. Boy, we look so trashy right now. But hold on! I'm sure that there will be more.

I'm sorry-- you've seen the couch? Yes, well that fine piece of furniture was a reject from a rental property. It came with a baby black widow nestled into it. It took Hubs 3 days and an awful allergy attack, but he freed the couch from both the baby black widow and all of the funk that it beheld. My in-law's were mortified. They wanted us to buy a new couch. I could see why. This one was major ugly. It is brown plaid. We were engaged. I was still in college. Hubs was working for a plastics manufacturer while doing an internship at the National Park for a whopping 50 cents an hour. The couch was free and let's face it, it was all we could afford! That would be why I have kept a couch cover on it all of these years. But look! Almost 12 years later, it has a replacement!

Yes, it is a weird angle, but the lighting at night was kind of weird. We love it! It goes well with my Kilz Casual Colors of Papaya Smoothie (A12) and Sweet Potato (A10). No kidding, those are our wall and woodwork colors. I know that you are admiring the 1976 chocolate brown carpeting. One day we'll replace it, but for now we just keep it cleaned. Honestly, for carpet that old, the stuff has held up amazingly well.

But as with every Bailey's Leaf family story, there is always a glitch. The new car in the spring came with pock marks on the hood from rocks. The couch? Well, it came with this:

Can you say ouch? Well, the fabric is guaranteed for 10 years and even without, a technician is coming out on December 19 to see what they need to do. Personally, I see a new couch in our future. The delivery guy was mortified, but we weren't angry with him at all. Stuff happens and with us, it never surprises us. They'll fix it.

In the meantime, enjoy my new couch. Feel free to take a seat. Kick back and relax. Just know that I'll be having my friend recover those pillows as soon as this couch biff is fixed. They did come with that fabric that doesn't match anything in my livingroom. There were no other choices! So, be gentle with the pillows. We'll invite you back over to roughhouse with them later when they are in a more Papaya Smoothie friendly fabric.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pudding Skin Singles, Anyone?

So Mark and I thought the same thing when this arrived in the mail. Pudding Skin Singles. You see, apparently I ordered this sample and forgot about it. When it arrived, I about died laughing. No offense to the Jello folks, but perhaps they should have brushed up on their Seinfeldism's before they created this. Here is part of the script, but I linked it so that you could read the whole thing if you wanted. It's not a script for the kids to read. My edited version is fine for family reading, though.

The Blood
Transcribed by: Juha Auvinen
Episode #904 Originally Aired: October 16, 1997

Jerry: Maybe instead of trying to satisfy two of your needs, how about satisfying one of somebody else's?
George: Hey, speaking of which, I found a great way to separate the skin from the top of the pudding without leaving any around the edges; Exacto knife.
Jerry: I told you George, no more pudding. I'm starting a purification program. Keep all that kind of food away from me.
George: Well, I guess these would be out of the question. [pulls out two pudding skins in plastic bags.]
Jerry: What - - is that?
George: Pudding skin singles.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Allergy Mom, A BIG Birthday and the Milk Challenge

Janeen over at Our Story is my husband's cousin (and a good friend to me!) Her little man has multiple life threatening food allergies. Tomorrow is the day that they have decided to do a milk challenge. This will be happening under the watchful eyes of the doctor, while in the doctor's office for 4 extremely long hours. She's asking for prayer. I would love it if Little Man could drink milk, as this would open up so many more cooking options. However, what my prayer is that he is kept safe. If he can't have milk, life will certainly continue. We just want this challenge to go well and not have any reaction. Please consider passing on some mama love to Janeen as she prepares for a long day tomorrow.

Edited to add: HOORAY!

Friendship Bread: Safe Stuff or Ick?

Friendship Bread starter is sitting out on the community counter at work. Apparently, some of my 50 some permanent and seasonal co-workers have adopted this fermented baggie of goo as a project. I couldn't help but thinking aloud with a co-worker-- is this stuff safe? I have refrigeration and food keeping issues, so something hanging out on the counter for God knows how long being squished, smooshed, added to and divided a million times over frankly just flat out grosses me out. Completely. So I told her that I would go digging. I was curious. She was, too. So I found this article. It seemed to take me where I needed to go with the Friendship Bread thing.

I should also add that I don't have a friendly relationship with Friendship Bread Starter. As a kid, someone shared some starter with us. We followed the directions. What followed? A colony of ants. We were invaded. Needless to say, my memories are not so sweet.

So, what is your take on Friendship Bread/Starter? Are you pro or con? Do you find the idea as gross as I do?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


My nephew, Billy but affectionately called Noggin, is home. He was able to come home today at around 4 PM. Thank you again for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Gift Wrapping Tips

It's that time of year that I thought a few gift wrap tips might help a few folks out in the blogosphere. I work at an art gallery where we gift wrap items for free. I have to tell you that I can basically wrap just about anything given the right amount of tissue, a bag and a little ribbon. Let me share the way with you. But first, please excuse my blurry pictures. Demo-ing and photographing at the same time is not easy stuff, even though the Pioneer Woman makes it look easy-peasy all the time.

Let us start with a simple nest. The nest requires no bubble wrap and no box. This is how we wrap most of our beautifully handcrafted American art at the gallery that I work at. We use white tissue. For today, I'll be using newsprint.

Our subject: A gift of canned Spiced Applesauce (Yes, I made it.)

Lay out a double layer of newsprint, then wad up some paper for your nest.
Place the item to wrap in the middle of the nest.
Place a wadded nest of paper on top of the item being wrapped.
Now, take the tail of your bottom sheet and bring it up to the nest.
Wrap the sides of the nest.

Roll the nest over and tape down the top. Voila! Feel for any hard spots. If you have any, repeat the nest process overtop of the already wrapped nest until all edges are soft. Feel free to skip a box. You don't need one! Just wrap with paper.

Look! Now I'll show you how to tie a ribbon on a box so that you have a flat bottom. I learned this at the other gallery that I worked at. (They went out of business.) You know how sometimes you have flat boxes that wonk on the bottom? This will fix it.

Lay your ribbon over the top of your box. Make sure that you leave yourself a nice, long tail to work with.

Once you've wrapped the ribbon around the underside of the box, give it a little twist as you turn the corner.

When you tighten the ribbon up, you can see the twist a little better.

Once you've wrapped your ribbon on the underside of the box again, take your ribbon and cross over the twist that you made previously.

Cut the ribbon away from your spool now and feed your crossed-over-the-twist piece under the twist now.

Now your ribbon should be ready for you to tighten up. Pull the two ends and tie yourself a bow.

All done! Now see, that wasn't so bad! You did a great job! Give yourself a pat on the back!

Flat wrap AKA Traditional wrap

Getting a good flat wrap is easy, you just need to make certain that you trim enough off the edges. Don't think that if you have extra wrap on the ends that you can just tuck it in. It doesn't work. It just makes the end of your box look like the Christmas t-shirt display at Old Navy-- rumpled, crumpled and plowed through. You have scissors. Allow them to be your friend. Trim off the excess and go from there.

Tissue wrap

This is what we do at work. All you have to do is to set your item on two sheets of complimenting tissues. Make certain that the tissue paper is at an angle to you, so that you can pull up the tail, tuck in from the left, roll back over from the right (see the nesting photo #6 up above. Leave your top sticking up in this case) and give the middle a good securing with tape. Drop into a gift bag or cellophane bag. Use several colors of curling ribbon to tie the top. For an extra touch, cut two 4" pieces of wide ribbon (wired works fine), set them down in the middle of the curling ribbons in the shape of an X and tie them on. Voila! Gift wrapped and in no time.

Some things that I try to keep on hand:
1. Roll gift wrap for a variety of occasions. I can find it on sale/clearance often enough.
2. Neutral holiday tissue.
3. Cellophane floral bags in a few different sizes. People have told my mom that you can wrap anything in those things and it looks 10x more expensive. I'm not looking for she-she expense here, I'm just looking to get it wrapped nicely.
4. Curling ribbon in at least a few colors.
5. Tape. A basic, but we all run out. I prefer a tape dispenser, but mine has grown feet. I'm stuck with traditional tape on a roll. I'm very sad about it, too.
6. Cellophane basket bags. You know, they are handy when you have them and a bummer when you don't.
7. A few different sizes of boxes for gifts.
8. Printed cupcake liners for decorating the top of a jar of canned goodies. Remove the band from the jar, place a flattened cupcake liner down on the lid and place the band back on. Look! All decorated. Cheaper and easier than fabric.

Any gift wrapping issues that you need my help on? Let me know! You lurkers out there (there has to be about 90 of you on WFMW every week) are more than welcome to leave your questions, too! I promise, I may nibble but never bite! :)

Happy wrapping!

Next week: Christmas cookie recipes that work for me. I promise, they are easy and tasty!

A Prayer Request

My 6 year old nephew is in the local Children's Hospital with Viral Pneumonia. His blood oxygen is not doing so great and he is just a mess. His name is Billy. If you could belt out a prayer for him, I would appreciate it. So would my brother and his family.


Edited to add on Tuesday night: The Lord hears prayers! You are such wonderful prayer warriors! The news this morning wasn't good. But, he has begun to stablilize. He is still not out of the woods by any means, but he is doing a little better. Keep up the praying! I'll keep the updates coming. Just link back to this post.

Edited to add on Wednesday morning: My nephew continues to do better. His fever finally spiked for the last time at 9 PM last night. He was taken off oxygen at about 2 AM. If he is able to keep a doctor requested amount of food down, he will be able to come home today.

It seems as though my sister-in-law, his mother, is suffering from the same virus and she is not so well. They do have her on an antibiotic, but my brother said that he wouldn't be surprised if she ends up in the hospital.

They do know that what my nephew has is viral. At this point, they are questioning whether it was specifically Viral Pneumonia, but he is responding to their treatment. I will continue to update. Thank you again for all of your prayers. My heart is more thankful than I can express.

Tales from the Trenches

Today's tale is one from the other side of the counter. On Saturday evening I ran into Marc's, one of our local discounter shopping places, and picked up the few holiday necessary items we needed. I was literally two steps from being in line (it could have been classified as in line) and an older lady who was not at all in line and was talking with friends scowled at me, stepped in front of me and made it known that she had decided that she was next. As if that wasn't disturbing enough, her friend decided to slow motion run me over with her cart to continue to claim the place in line that I was nearly in. I said nothing. I decided to move down to another line. I didn't want to continue to be scowled at.

I chose another line. One lady was nearly finished cashing out. The next woman in line, just ahead of me of me, had a cart load. I had a few things in my hands. I didn't even have a basket. Now if it were me, I would have let the customer with the few things in their hands go ahead of me. My sister and I did that on Black Friday and it seemed only fair. Um, no. She saw what 6 tiny items I had and ignored me. Granted, I wasn't mad at her by any stretch. I was behind her and it wasn't like she ran me over or anything. I just let people in that situation go ahead of me all the time. I was hoping for the same unwritten courtesy.

Marc's often has great prices, but much patience is needed in cashing out. They hand key everything (though now I think that they are just beginning to scan) and they will only have two cash out's open when 15 are there. You can never just run in and out. If you are lucky enough to find what you need, you get stumped at the cash out every time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Humble Q-Tip

I love Q-Tips. There is a reason that I purchase only Q-Tips. I do find an enormous difference between fakes and the real thing. Q-Tips have never let me down until now.

The following is what I wrote to the Q-Tip people:

I have found that my latest batch of Q Tips have left me battling to get the cotton back out of my ear. The cotton is letting loose from the stick and is wanting to unwind in my ear. I keep poking myself in the ear with the stick and happy that the cotton came out, so that I didn't have to go in after it with other means. I was discussing this very problem with a friend who said that she was experiencing the same issue.

For the record, I only purchase Q Tips. I purchase Q Tips because they have had notoriously nice thick cotton ends, good for a variety of uses but WOULD not let loose of their cotton.
Your current manufacturing has slipped below your typical standards.

I am sad. I don't like dirty ears.

Stay tuned as I'm sure that this is a cliff hanger, keeping all of you on the edge of your seat. I've had this in draft, hoping from a response from the Q-Tip people and have heard NOTHING. Caution be used or you may be digging a wad of cotton out of your ear with tweezers. Just think of how much fun the kids would think that was!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Vicks Cough Remedy

So K- has been hacking, mostly in the middle of the night. I decided to give the ole internet Vicks Vaporub on the feet thing a try. Vicks on feet confused K-.

"Mom, what are you doing?"

"I'm putting Vicks on your feet. They say it is supposed to help your cough."

"Mom? My feet aren't coughing."

Edited to add: No, as I suspected, it didn't work. So I now officially can tell the people who keep sending me the e-mail that it's a bunch of bologna. Wasn't it nice of me to guinea pig my daughter for the health of the internet? :)