Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Whole Lotta Give-Away

When I first discovered Lotta Jansdotter's books, I wanted to quit my job and stay home sewing and printing all day long. Okay, truthfully, I still feel that way whenever I see any of her books. That's why I can't own them. They're way too dangerous.

Luckily, Lotta's got some fantastic everyday products, like sticky notes (in my desk drawer!) and notecards. Speaking of notecards, I'm giving away a Lotta Jansdotter Notecard Book to one of you beautiful readers! Just leave a comment or email me with the name of someone who inspires you. Or something that inspires you. Or both. I'll draw a name next weekend, so enter by October 8!

And let me tell you, you will love these luscious cards. I should buy a case of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not So Early Girl

Check it out! We have something growing in our garden box... a cute little green pepper! I realize it's almost October, but I'm proud nonetheless. What's really amazing is that this pepper plant sat on our front steps all summer long (along with some tomato plants), so when we finally put it in the ground, it was spindly and dry and basically tormented-looking. So I'm amazed that it is producing anything.

The tomatoes, though, are a different story... I don't think we're going to be seeing any red this year (except for on Badger game days!). Note that the tag for the tomatoes says "Early Girl." Mmm-hmmm. Not at our house. Turns out we operate more on the "We'll put you in the ground really really late and it would be great if you could produce a few tomatoes for us" principle.

This is what the garden boxes look like. My very thorough and project-oriented husband built them. I tried to help, but truthfully I'm better at not helping.

The second garden box is doing a lot of good work holding up our canoe. Maybe next year we'll get that one planted. Any maybe next year we'll get something planted during a season that is not fall or winter.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh Happy Day

I just learned that one of my favorite books is being made into a movie!

I love everything by Judy Blume. While I was teaching in an Eskimo village in Alaska, I read every Judy Blume book I could get my hands on. And honestly I think she is the reason I got through that year.

Naturally, I can't wait to see Tiger Eyes: The Movie.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good luck with that.

On Saturday, Karl and I went camping. We stopped in my hometown to pick up some bait. I know you want to jump on this business opportunity!

By the way, I caught three fish! We threw them back. The area where we were fishing was a shoreline made up of big boulders, and Karl got one of the fish (a bluegill) off the hook and then it wriggled out of his hand and fell down between the rocks. We couldn't see it but we could hear it flopping around... gross. I'm telling myself that the fish made its way down through the boulders and into the water.

Sorry. You probably didn't want to know that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago, I was handing sunflowers to seven sweet flower girls...

and walking down the aisle in a beautiful old barn...

all the way up to the altar, where my sweetheart was waiting to become my husband.

I'm so lucky.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I just saved $150.

Monday is our second wedding anniversary, and to celebrate, we decided to go out for a really nice dinner on Sunday. I called the restaurant today to ask a couple of questions, and the woman on the phone was rude. So we're not going there! I just decided, two minutes ago, after I got off the phone with Rude Lady. Goodbye, Rudy. Hello, beloved standby.

Mmmm... I love Sala Thai. And I love not giving $150 to a rude lady. It's really too bad, because I've been to the rude lady's restaurant before, and it is fantastic. But at this moment, I'm looking for a nice mix of fantasticity and manners, and I know we can find that at Sala Thai.

Oh dear.

I recently received this dress as a gift from my mom. I loved it immediately. It fits perfectly, and it's soft and comfy and cute.

The next day, I went online to order it in another color (that's how much I loved it) and I noticed that there was a customer review. The review said that this dress would be perfect for someone in the early stages of pregnancy, or for someone who was trying to hide a few extra pounds. I laughed out loud. I'm definitely NOT in the early stages of pregnancy...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Here!!!

I didn't know this was going to happen, but a box was delivered to our house today. It had 5 copies of the book in it! I was so excited to finally see a copy, up close and personal. Yay, yay, yay!

My favorite was seeing Karl read the dedication for the first time. It's dedicated to "my project-oriented husband, Karl, and his inspiration, Bob Vila (the original do-it-yourselfer)."

You might know that our first date was to a Cuban theme party. During our we-haven't-met-yet-but-we're-going-on-a-date-next-week emails, we talked about costumes for the party. This, of course, required some research about famous people with Cuban connections. Turns out Bob Vila is Cuban American! And when I told Karl that, he emailed back, "Oh good! Now I can idolize Bob even more." Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee. What a keeper.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On My Needles

I'm suddenly crazy in love with these hats. I'm knitting one now for our nephew, Levi. He'll be the cutest pumpkin on the block!

I especially love the ribbing pattern, mimicking the lines in a real pumpkin. So adorable.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten Reasons Why...

Ten reasons why I love riding the bus to work:

1. It takes 12 minutes to walk from our house to the bus stop. That's twelve minutes of being outdoors, which is nice.

2. That's also 12 minutes of exercise, twice a day. For free.

3. During those 12 minutes, I get sneaky peeks at what happens around our neighborhood in the morning. I know who gets the paper in his skivvies, who drinks tea at the window every morning, who watches trashy morning TV shows... I feel a little bit like Harriet the Spy, and I love it!

4. It's cheap. Owning just one vehicle allows us to own our house and do other things we couldn't do if we were paying for an additional car.

5. It's relaxing. I usually read or knit, or just sit and do nothing. How often do you stop and do nothing? It's nice.

6. It's carefree. No filling the tank, changing the oil, or fixing the transmission.

7. It feels sort of European.

8. I like being able to help bus newbies figure out routes and schedules.

9. Funny (and not-so-funny) things happen, which make great stories to tell later.

10. I get to mooch rides off of a lot of friends, which gives me more time with them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ten on Ten :: September

Ready for work (it was a two-tote bag day today!) :: Passing by the construction vehicles on my way to the bus stop :: This diner shares a parking lot with the library, and it always smells so good in the morning :: Lunchtime "errand" :: One of my favorite office decorations :: Ready for an embroidery program, knitting club, and Rainbow Magic Fairies party :: Tunes for a toddler/preschool dance party on Monday (I cannot wait) :: Since when does Costco carry Hanna Andersson clothes? :: Best part of Costco :: New treat for the kitchen from Anthropologie (thanks, Mom!)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to School!

It's back to school time! I thought you might enjoy seeing my school picture from freshman year... 1991. You have no idea how long it took to create that plastered wave at the top of my head.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pet Cemetery: Tails from the Crypt

When I was just starting out as a librarian, I worked in a small primary school. I inherited the library from two women who were very careful about saving things. So careful, in fact, that the office was crammed with books, papers, puppets, files, Kik-Steps, filmstrips, costumes, and such. One of the first tasks I took on was cleaning the office. It was awesome. I came across a box of bones (clearly labeled "Bones"), a fox pelt (clearly labeled "Fox"), and a super stylish (but mysteriously unlabeled) blue cropped sweatshirt with a large sparkly gold fish on the front.

One day, I set out to clean the highest shelf in the office. This meant standing on top of a desk (which would not have been possible a few days prior, because it had been piled with boxes of typewriter ribbon and a ridiculous number of desk caledars, dating back to before I was born) to reach the shelf. While I was up there, I found a small Christmas tin. "Hmm," I thought, "I don't have a use for this, but maybe I could put it in the staff lounge and someone would take it." But since it had been in the office for so long, I thought I'd better smell inside the tin just in case it was too old and musty for staff lounge give-away purposes. As I took the lid off, I noticed that there were holes punched in it. Strange, but by that time, I had seen much stranger. I took off the lid and took a long whiff... then looked inside.

That was definitely the wrong order to do things in. Here are the steps I should have taken:

1. Carefully look at the outside of the tin.

2. If it seems logical, take the lid off and look inside. No smelling necessary.

3. If the tin is clean, put it in the staff lounge.

I did not do any of that. If I had, I would have seen that the tin was clearly labeled "Mouse." And I would have put the entire thing straight into the trash can. I would not have taken the lid off. And I would not have smelled it. And I would not have looked inside after smelling it and seen a how-many-years-old dead mouse.

True story.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

I took this picture of our house yesterday morning as I was leaving for the bus stop:

And I took this one today:

Can you believe all that wood?! That was one huge tree. It's a lot of work now, but we'll be loving all of the firewood next year.

We also had a tree taken down in the backyard. It was a walnut tree, and squirrels LOVED to drop walnuts from it onto our roof. The noise from the walnuts was unbelievably loud. I will not miss that tree. Well, the tree, maybe, but definitely not the loud walnut-dropping noises. I'm super excited because Karl is thinking about making a new kitchen counter for us out of the walnut wood. Yes, that's right, we may have to say good-bye to the orange countertop.

I didn't know this before we bought our house, but Karl has a certain hatred for small woodland critters. He hates chipmunks the most. Squirrels are a close second, with rabbits (I know! Who hates rabbits?!) not far behind. Between the trees coming down and all of the juniper bushes we recently took out, we've eliminated quite a few critter homes. I feel bad about it, but Karl seems to feel kind of triumphant. He laughs when he sees a forlorn squirrel or chipmunk in the yard looking around for a place to hide. As sorry as I am for the little furry friends, I do love seeing Karl so happy.