Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Month Gone

Happy Halloween, Internet.

Tomorrow - photos of the kiddos.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Conversations with the Husband

Me: "Did you help the kids with their waffles?"

Him: "Yes. Did you know that there was a piece of cheese bread in the back of the toaster oven?"

Me: "Nope."

Inside my head: Note to self - you really must have a coffee before using the kitchen appliances.

Favorite Foto Friday

(late, I know)
This was the sun last week. With all of the fires, the sun was red. The moon looked dirty. It was a pretty surreal week. We stayed inside, huddled together in the family room, all of our activities cancelled.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knit Bit: Beret

Well, kids, this is one of the fastest knits ever. I call it Raspberry Beret (of course - what else?) and I used one strand of blue and one strand of purple held together.
It matches the fingerless gloves I made in the spring.Both were knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, available on-line from The beret is from a pattern in a book and the gloves are from a pattern on-line.

In other knitting news, I found a pattern for that bamboo yarn - it's a Diamond Shawl.

It turns out to be a great deal on that yarn, because it will take me pretty much forever to finish knitting it. (The diamond shawl pattern is free on-line from

Three Things Thursday

Fun internet links day!

(1) It's Pumpkin Muffin time! I'm still getting comments on this post - two years later! There is even a recipe for the Big Can (if you can't find the small can of cooked pumpkin). I'd love ideas for another varation. Thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

(2) The biggest yarn stash that I've ever seen - go see it here. Seriously. Is that amazing or awful? You be the judge.

(3) Evidence that you should NOT self-diagnose with the internet. A few weeks ago I was waking up in the middle of the night with eye pain. It felt just like I had an eyelash in my eye. I wasn't too concerned because I had just been to the eye doctor last month, but stupidly I did a little search and came across this article. I got a bit concerned, but my level-headed husband told me to NOT self-diagnose with the internet, to use the eyedrops that the eye doctor recommended, and see what happens. Guess what happened? My eye doesn't hurt anymore. (The good eyedrops? Systane. Excellent drops.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

Upon waking, with a smile on his face:

Samuel: "I'm so happy. I had seven dreams - in three of them I had cake!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The car lives! Turns out the battery was going out, but we checked the water (low), turned off the interior light (BOY!!!), and charged her up. Good to go. (I'm watching it closely, parental types, because I know the time is short on this one.) Got a flu shot today. Had lunch with the hubby. The pumpkins are starting to turn orange (just in time) and I have an hour of freedom before I go pick up the girl. Coming soon - new knitting stuff to show you.

Monday, October 22, 2007


My car wouldn't start this morning. Usually I'd embrace such a day, so I'm trying to by doing some laundry, catching up on email, made the boy and me some eggs for breakfast, and I'm going to do a little knitting and a little cooking. I don't know what's up with me, though, because all I can do is think about things I think I "need" to do, but really don't need to do them at all. I actually don't "need" to go anywhere with a car (the store is within walking distance!) until Wednesday. I think I needed today. My mind is having trouble slowing down.

And the wind! Yesterday the wind was CRAZY, blowing all kinds of problems around southern california. We walked the girl to school on a carpet of evergreen and leaves. It was surreal.

I'm completely smitten with Ravelry. I'm switching my blogging time to Ravelry time, so the posting may be choppy. Also, the holidays. Boy, this time of year just rushes past me. Even when I try and do some things to slow it down, it still goes so fast.

The boy and I are off to the grocery for supplies for dinner. I thought I'd celebrate the non-working car by making some homemade bread. This one. Yum.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Go check your bookshelf!

Hey - did you know that this book is worth this much? I had no idea. If you come across one at a yard sale or at your mom's house, hold on to it! (Or sell it - but get your money's worth!)

Conversations with Sally

(While filling out some personal information in a calendar)
Sally: "What's my blood type?"
Me: "I don't know. It's probably O or B."
Sally: "Oh. I thought it was 'Warm'."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Left or Right?

For many years now, I have considered myself to be an INTJ left-brained smarty pants. (Painful, but true.) But twice in the past two weeks I have tested to be right-brained. The first time was when my friend, Mary-LUE, asked me to fold my hands and look at which thumb was on top. It was my left, meaning that I am right-brained. No, I thought. I put my right thumb on top, and it just felt wrong. Clearly, I am left thumb on top, meaning right-brained.

Today I get this in my email. At first, no matter what I do, I can only see her turn clockwise. Meaning right-brained. After concentrating very hard, I saw her turn counterclockwise, too, but each time I walk away and come back, she's clockwise.

What if all this time I was wrong? What if I wanted to be left-brained, so I outsmarted the tests, but all the while, I'm really right-brained?

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Doesn't this change everything?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Quoteable Samuel

While camping, we went on a walk through an area that has poison oak. We gave the kids a strong warning about this, which kind of got through.

Samuel: "Don't touch those bushes with the greeen on it. They're bad. They'll give you ashes."

Check this out!

Hey internet - got a gift for you. Go see this website. (Especially you, Sherry. And if you are still lurking around, Karleen, you too.) This is the new website of my college friend - one who was in my wedding, for all the family reading this, you may remember her. Anyway, she's got a book coming out next year and I'm so proud of her! New mommies, this link is for you too :)


So, as you already know, I finished knitting my first pair of socks. I'll knit another pair, but the one thing that bothers me about sock knitting is the double pointed needles. Not that they are pokey - that bothers the husband, not me - but that the stitches could fall off the ends. I found these fun needle holders and set out to make my own. Behold - the sock needle holders:
Fun, easy, cheap, and very useful. (OK, so useful to me - maybe not for everyone out there.) Thanks, Robyn!

And just for Julia, because I know you'll laugh, I found the AntiCraft.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conversations With The Kids

(This conversation won't make much sense to you if you haven't seen the movie, Night at the Museum. The kids are referring to a scene from that movie.)

While in the car -

Me: "Samuel, you can't have a t.v. in your room, but I'll tell you what. Daddy and I will think about getting you your own clock with a cd player in it, like Sally's, for your room. How about that?"
Samuel: "Ok!"
Sally: "Yeah, but I need a new one because mine keeps, you know, skipping on the cd's."
Stuart: "It does what?"
Me: "It skips sometimes, but that's because she plays it too loud." (pause, with no reply from the girl) "That, and their cd's are scratched up because they keep manhandling them."
Sally: "Manhandling!" (laughs) " 'I don't like to be manhandled!' "
Samuel: " 'It makes me feel small.' "
(everyone laughs)
Me: (to Stuart) "I love our kids."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

Our pumpkins - I'm really hoping they will start to turn orange before the end of the month! We have about five or six of them on the vines now, and we also have beans!

Our little garden has been so much fun for the kids and we are all excited for next year and have big plans for the planting (less cucumbers, bigger tomatoes, some squash). Samuel and I will be making two more planter boxes, too. (Yes, put that on my very long, never-ending to do list.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Three Things Thursday

(1) Target has this cereal called Blueberry Granola with Flax (Archer Farms brand) and it is the best. It has these blueberries that I think are freeze-dried, but they have a crunchy texture that is a little like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. I am eating it with vanilla yogurt for breakfast.

(2) My Ravelry invitation arrived on Sunday, but I didn't find it until Monday night. It is the coolest thing. It's an on-line knitting and crocheting community and you can keep track of what you knit, what you knit it with, and who else knit that pattern and what yarn they used, or if you like a yarn, you can check out all the stuff people knit with it. It's super fun for me. Oh, and it automatically links to Blogger and Flikr and merges stuff for you. (Ok, so I could go on and on, but I'll stop now.)

(3) I am in the middle of the latest Jasper Fforde book, First Among Sequels. As always, it is so clever that I am delighted by something every few pages.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Conversations With The Kids

The Scene: Walking to school this morning, the boy is in the stroller.

Me: "Samuel, don't pick your nose."
Sally: (looks down to check it out) "Ew. Caterpillar number two."
Me: "What???"
Sally: "Caterpillar poop. It looks like caterpillar poop."
Me: (laughs)
Sally: (laughs) "I've seen it! It looks like little yellow balls! I saw caterpillar poop last year!"
Me: "So you're saying Samuel's boogers look like caterpillar poop."
Sally: "Yeah."
(we both laugh and laugh)
Sally: "It's funny 'cause it's true."

Monday, October 08, 2007


I should have known I was in for an interesting day when I found a dead mouse in the pool last Thursday. It was a long day - a long story - one in which I look like a scared little girl or, even worse, the beginnings of a crazy person. You know, the crazy lady with crooked lipstick because she's so nervous and has the shakes all the time, the lady who puts out some birdseed for the birds and then stands at her kitchen window to watch the birds, only the mice come and then she gets out her handgun and lets off a few rounds . . . . so, long story short, the mice are gone. I found the one in the pool already dead, and I accidentally killed another one (he got wet from the hose and couldn't dry in time to run away, so he laid down and died), and then I euthanized two baby ones (they were abandoned and would have died anyway, so don't look at me like that). In my defense, I didn't shoot anything. (I don't even own a gun.)

Today, we are doing homework and playing Monopoly (10 minutes each until the homework is gone) and Sally is currently beating me. She's wicked good at Monopoly. I'm helping with homework, cleaning the kitchen, starting dinner, and writing this. Multitasking I am good at - staying calm in the face of mice, not so much.

And the highlight of my inbox today: my Ravelry invitation arrived. If I get a nice bout of insomnia, I'll be online.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another Fun Time Waster

This is the coolest thing! Check it out:

I am fully excited that this website (that I know nothing about) thinks I look like Carol Burnett! Oh Mary-LUE, you find the BEST stuff ever!

Three Things Thursday

(1) Private Practice is becoming my new favorite show.

(2) I still love music by Rick Springfield.

(3) I made cookies yesterday with the kids. Every time I make cookies, I call my mom. Making cookies and my mom will always go together in my mind. (They are Monster Cookies - if you are in the area, you should really stop by after school. Monster Cookies are made with oats and peanut butter and chocolate chips and m&ms (no flour). We made these with Halloween m&m's.)

For Alison: This is the recipe I use for Monster Cookies, but I use 3 cups of peanut butter and one cup of chocolate chips and one cup of m&ms. Also, I don't mix in the m&ms but put them on top right before baking. It makes the cookies prettier. I also make half a batch, as it makes A LOT of cookies. If you have the freezer space and the time to bake them all, they do freeze great and my mom and dad like to eat them right out of the freezer.

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Hey Mom - guess what my phone number's gonna be when I get big?"

Me: "Um, I don't know. What?"

Samuel: "9-1-1"

Me: (laughing) "You can't have that one! That's for an emergency!"

Samuel: "But I've already memorized it."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Knit Bit: Socks!

Well, I finally finished knitting my first pair of socks. Just under a year, too (actually, nine months. Hmmm. Don't read too much into that one.)
For the knitters, the yarn is Lion Magic Stripes “Purple” (a discontinued color) and I used US 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles. The pattern is straight out of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules! I got the gague right so took off following her numbers and it worked great. Look here - I was even able to match the stripe pattern pretty well!
So, I'm glad they are done. I have another sock pattern that I am thinking about knitting, but I am not smitten with sock knitting. (Good thing, as I understand it can be very addicting) And, in other knitting news, I am only 2,567 people away from my Ravelry invitation. (And, in case you were wondering, 14,014 people are in line after me.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Works Every Time

I don't know which ad genius thought of the McDonalds Monopoly promotion, or who decided to make it an annual thing, but I am helpless against it. (And I only need to find Ventor Avenue and I win $25,000!)

Stupid fast food gimmick. I fall for it every time.

Conversations with Samuel

Thanks to guest blogger Auntie Stephanie for this one!

After a walk where we checked out the fountain and the hummingbirds, I was pushing Samuel back to the house when he pointed to the bushes:

Samuel: Dose are blueberries.
Me: What's that?
Samuel: Dose are blueberries, but they're bad.
Me: Why are they bad?
Samuel: Cus if you eat them, they will make you sick.
Me: Ahhh yes, those are bad blueberries.

(After turning the corner and pushing the stroller up the driveway, Samuel points at my car)

Samuel: You're car is dirty. It's bad like the blueberries.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Family Camp

This past weekend we went camping. It was really really fun. We went to Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, and it was a really nice campground within walking distance to the beach. At low tide, there were tidepools with hermit crabs and starfish and all sorts of things that Sally found fascinating. We got a chance to talk to people who we just saw on Sunday mornings, and that is always lots of fun. At night, we sat around the campfire, eating smores and signing praise songs and talking and laughing. I can't post most of my pictures, because they have lots of kids from church in them and I don't know how people feel about their kids' photos posted on the internet (I guess I live on the edge) but here are some favorites of my kids:

Camp Cooking

We took a camp stove and a cast iron dutch oven camping. That is about the best combo ever. (And a kettle for hot water - got to have coffee & hot chocolate in the morning.) I came up with this recipe for chicken tacos, and it tasted so good that I thought I'd share.

Chicken Tacos

2-3 cans cooked chicken
1-2 packets taco seasoning
1 can tomatoes (I used plain diced)
1 can beans
1 can corn

Put some oil in your pan and heat it up. Add the chicken and any spices you have and cook, chopping up the chicken. Add all the other cans of stuff and let it simmer for 20-40 minutes. Serve with tortillas and shredded cheese and anything else you have around. Also great as a topping for nachos. I wish I had some leftover rice to add to the mix - it would have been so good. Pack some ziplock bags for any leftovers!