Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving recovery...

We have returned! We had a wonderful time at the farm. My sister and I with Dad's help made the Thanksgiving Day feast since Mom was recovering from surgery. We did a good job... if I do say so myself. My main responsibility were the desserts...

I can't take credit for everything in the picture. I made the pumkin pie (two of them), the pumpkin/maple cheesecake, and the meringue shells with cranberry-orange filling. The sweet potato pie and the apple pie with whole wheat crust were brought by others. There is no cheesecake left... that disappeared quickly as did the meringue shells. I didn't even get to try one; but they must have been good.

After all this eating, the three older kids (my Elsie and my sister's two) were terribly wound up and circling the walls. Our dear friend John Elwood played his dulcimer (which he built... he builds them for a living) and sang kids songs and tried to accommodate every request...

I think he played Old MacDonald about five times.

Then the kids wanted snow which there wasn't any. So we got out my mom's Think Snow button pin. It is this yellow button that says "Think Snow" and then in fine print "Help Stamp out Summer". It was given to her as a gag gift at one time. When my sister and I were little and desperately wanting snow, she would get it out and rub it to make it snow. It worked some of the time. Enough so we really believed that it worked. So we thought we would give it a try. Mom put it on with great ceremony and rubbed it a bit, until Dad cautioned that we shouldn't rub it too much. We didn't want the house buried in snow. Sure enough, the next morning we had snow!

Now the kids are thoroughly convinced that Nana can do magic. Elsie spent at least 5 hours outside. She had a near meltdown with tears when we finally convinced her to come in for lunch at 1:30pm. She had me out before breakfast building a snowman and eating snow. I think she ate breakfast in 5 minutes and headed back out. There was much sledding and building and general tromping around. It started to melt and all the snow critters started to disappear, much to the distress of the kids. But the next morning... more snow!

Now we are back home in Portland where there is no snow much to Elsie's disappointment... and we are still working on that basement and Elsie's bedroom. Here is how we left the basement bathroom last week...

... nice and red. Dave put the floor in just before we left. We love it so much that we may do the entire basement floor in some version of industrial linoleum tile.

Maybe I can start decorating for Christmas this week too.... as soon as I find my dining room.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bond is back!

I am a HUGE James Bond fan... as is most of my family (Mom is not as big a fan as the rest of us). I married a Bond addict, as did my sister. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Spike TV has a full week of Bond films- The James Bond-a-thon. Last Christmas at my parent's farm, all of us spent 5 evenings (and some afternoons) in front of the TV watching movie after movie while my brother-in-law mixed the drinks. This week is Thanksgiving and the whole family is congregating at the farm for food and James Bond. The drink this time is the Chocolate Martini. We can hardly wait!
So the spouse and I were REALLY wanting to see the new Bond film with Daniel Craig Casino Royale. My wonderfully amazing friend Lynne offered to watch both kids, so we could have a date. We just got back from watching the movie, and it is every bit as good as I had hoped! Daniel Craig is a tough Bond.... no goofy, unbelievable Roger Moore stuff. He has a rockin' bod to boot. You get to see him pretty much naked... actually totally naked from the side. He is a fine man! And Judi Dench as M again... she is so icy and tough. I would recommend it to any James Bond enthusiast. You will not be disappointed. And the stunts are more believable, not so crazy-over-the-top. The free running chase at the beginning is awesome.... I've got to come down off this high and get to bed.

Yes, I am a geek, and I'm totally fine with that.

ps- the theme song by Chris Cornell also does the film justice... in the great tradition of Bond songs like "Live and Let Die"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Things have been a little quiet on the blog....

... we've been priming and doing a little painting in the basement. The dust is still settling from the drywall. I can't believe how fine the dust is OR how many places it as covered in our house. I'm gradually working toward the front of the house cleaning. I'm about halfway there. Here are some great before pictures taken from the same angle as the in process pictures...


.... our new hall

This was during the new plumbing install for the half bath. Look at all that dirt!

This is how things were looking earlier this week...

Four coats of paint later our bathroom is a rich red. We still have more priming to do, and we need to lay the floor in the bathroom before they put the toilet in. I don't think it is going to be done by Thanksgiving... maybe by Christmas.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ahhhh!!! Uwajimaya!!!

Yesterday I took both of my lovely offspring to one of my favorite stores Uwajimaya. My reason for going was to buy a copy of the Country Craft magazine that Hillary had posted awhile ago and a bottle of fish sauce... which is necessary for most Asian cooking as well as a short list of other grocery items. The bookstore there is amazing! However, about 5 minutes into my search, Mister Ewan fired up and started fussing and then whimpering. Elsie declared over and over that she needed to buy a kids book and kept wandering off. After another 10 minutes both kids were making enough noise that I couldn't think and people were starting to give me interesting gazes. So I grabbed 4 publications that sort of had what I wanted and headed to the check out. By this time Ewan is crying. Not a soft baby cry, but a loud, robust, annoying bellow. I threw my books in the cart, put Ewan's car seat on top, and told Elsie not to touch ANYTHING and grocery shopped as fast as I could. By the time we made it to the fish sauce aisle, Ewan was a lovely shade of crimson and tears were coming out of his eyes. Most ladies were sympathetic and said that it was the man in him that didn't want to shop. Some other ladies were now glaring at me in that "you are a bad mommy" way. Elsie was now wanting anything in bright, colorful packaing which is every item in an Asian grocery store. She is a sucker for Asian packaging just like her Mom. I grabbed what I thought was fish sauce ran through the frozen food aisle and the produce section... more glaring... and then to the check out. Just as a swiped my credit card, Ewan stopped crying and looked as sweet and angelic as ever. Elsie had pulled herself together too and was not trying to grab everything in sight and instead was commenting on the nice dragon overhead. At this point, I have started to sweat and my ears are ringing. I even fed Ewan in the car before heading in... is there something wrong with my breast milk? Like it burns like battery acid instead of being filling and soothing? I wonder sometimes. When the spouse went to cook dinner last night, we discovered that I had purchased a very large bottle of oyster sauce rather than fish sauce.
Oh well... at least I bought some great magazines....

This last one is an Aranzi Aronzo book and is nothing but softies. If you have never been to their website, you will have a hard time leaving without buying anything... AND they have fabric too!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quick post...

Just a quick post this morning.... the cats (we have three of them) are not dealing well with the basement construction and strange people banging about. They are started wetting on any pile of fabric/rug/towel that is laying on the floor. So I spent yesterday washing rugs and other things, only to find more stuff to clean this morning. We have had to banish them from the upstairs until this problem passes. The arrival of the new baby could also have something to do with it too. Although the two male cats are waaaaaaay more tolerant of Mr. Ewan than they ever were of Miss Elsie. They wouldn't even be on the same floor of the house as Elsie. This time around they will be in the bed with Ewan while he's crying and screaming away. The Three Felines also left some other presents this morning in the form of cat yak and some pooty here and there. So after scrubbing the floor, throwing in a load of wash, washing one cat's hind quarters, AND cleaning litter boxes, the house is clean once again. I really hope this ends after this week. The drywall gets it's last coat of mud tomorrow and then will need a light sanding and then it's done!

On the baby side of things... here is a short list of things that I had totally forgotten about new babies...
-how many diapers they use
-how tiny their little toes are
-how they can fall asleep with total noise and chaos, yet fight sleep when it is quiet and dark
-snuggling under Mommy's chin and wrapping one arm around your neck
-how much noise they make when they sleep
-how amazing that first smile is

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The holidays have officially started!

My friend, Mo, and I have been eagerly awaiting the coming holiday season. We are both nuts about Christmas. It is our favorite holiday. She has already started with a new ornament. The tiniest, sweetest little acorn.
I'm holding off until the dust settles here. The drywallers started yesterday in the basement and were done hanging by noon. Now the house is covered in drifts of dust... sort of looks like it has snowed in here. They are supposed to mud and tape today. I'll post pictures soon.
My sister and I have been working frantically on our Mister Judy product. We have a trunk show in Boise on Saturday. The kids and I are flying over tomorrow. Fortunately my wonderful parents are coming to help manage our collective four kids, while my sister and I work the show. I still have aprons to make and need to pack.... and those drywallers still haven't showed up yet!