Search This Blog

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: Texture

Another week, another challenge from I Heart Faces. This week was that texture had to be somehow incorporated into the photograph. Here is my take on it.

Pretty sure that I love this picture (can I say that?). Look at that darling little face! And those chub cheeks. Anyway, this past week has been an experiment in texture for me. I am fairly pleased with how this turned out. It takes some finagling to get texture looking a-o-k, but I like it. I plan on experimenting more. And taking pictures with texturizing in mind.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Ah... the problem for many people: The Job Hunt.
I am totally discouraged after today. I searched and searched and searched for jobs. Many looked interesting. Many would I have applied for but for the small fact that I am not qualified. For anything. Other than nannying. Well at least according to everyone who is hiring/writing the descriptions of jobs and requirements. 3-5 years minimum experience. The age old problem of: how do you get that experience when you need experience to get a job? And the kicker is: I know that I could do a phenomenal job at almost any of the jobs posted.

So instead, I took the afternoon off (well from like 4:00 on) to putz around with photoshop and textures and brushes. Brushes? I haven't figured that out AT ALL. I know a cheat-y way of putting texture in.

My little kitties have been meowing today a lot. Last night I discovered Fjord had EATEN tin foil. From the cream cheese wrapper. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to know how I found this out. Let's just say it had to do with the fact that he also had eaten some of my hair from the shower (which I swear I clean out after every shower). He seems fine today. Such an odd little cat.

Pool table is ordered and will be here tomorrow. Set up/installation is on Tuesday. Then I can become the pool shark and make money that way. Or something like that. Until then, I'm praying that God will direct me. And I'm waiting to hear back from a temp agency.


Oh yeah. And I'm listening to Celine Dion.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: Family

This week's challenge on I♥Faces is "Family." It took me a bit of perusing to find this shot which is from right before Christmas. The ladies of my family have a tradition of baking Christmas cookies. This year, my dad (aka Grandpa Bill) came to watch the grandkids (when they weren't busy 'helping' cook and decorate). 
Grandpa with two of his grandkids.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Princess Ballerina

I love hanging out with my niece. I think every year she is so wonderfully and fun and possibly couldn't get any more fun or adorable. But she does. Tell me this isn't the sweetest little princess ballerina face you ever did see?

I didn't think you could tell me otherwise. Oh. And please note that the tutu (that you really can't see) and leotard she is wearing was made by yours truly for her for last Christmas. Also please note that the tutu used to be really puffy and has been loved into smushed-ness.
We danced to princess music (Every Girl Can Be A Princess) and played with play-doh. It was really nice to spend some time just with her because her brothers and mommy were sleeping. We had a great time. I really wish I could have convinced her to since some opera. I was warbling with the best of them as I attempted to imitate (halfheartedly) Andrea Bocelli singing in Italian(?). C. merely thought I was crazy and was laughing at me as I held my stomach and belted out some syllabic mess, since I'm not fluent in Italian. She then told me to be quieter so I didn't wake anyone up. I think that was her way of tactfully telling me to be quiet and go back to stamping play-doh shapes that she described as "snazzy." Guess I can't win it all.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Capture: Winter

I feel like this a lot of winter: stuck inside, wanting to go out, but everything has a bluish tint to it. And it is cold. This is Sylvia, the cat of the family I have been babysitting for.

Want to be a part of You Capture? Go to this wonderful blog to read more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creamy Rice Pudding

The first weekend of 2010, S. and I spent time "Up North" at a ski retreat for the high school team he helps coach. I would like to say that I skied wonderfully well and enjoyed myself thoroughly, however I didn't ski. Not for a lack of preparation, but for a lack of cooperation on the part of the weather. The warmest it was that weekend (without windchill) was a whopping -28 degrees. I refuse to ski in such inhumane conditions. This didn't stop the team, however, and they still needed to be fed. Enter: Operation Feed Ski Team. I assisted my dear MIL and two other mothers of skiers with meal preparation for upwards of forty people. Yes, forty. Having never cooked for a huge crowd, we had some issues with quantity. Enter: three packed-to-the-gills-with-leftover-rice gallon ziploc bags. My MIL was going to throw them away. I thought it was wasteful, so I quickly volunteered to take home the leftovers. The only question once I got them to my house was: What the heck do I do with three gallons of cooked rice? I froze some of it, we have been eating asian and tex-mex, but I decided to venture into the world of rice pudding. Very exotic world out there. It seems the recipes for rice pudding involve nothing more than the daring flavors of plump raisins and vanilla. Mexican vanilla if you are feeling really adventurous. Not wanting to be all "Plane Jane" with my rice pudding, I decided to hop into exotic rice pudding:

Coconut Almond Rice Pudding.
Adapted from here.
         1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
         4 cups milk
         2/3 cup white sugar
         1/2 teaspoon salt
         2 egg, beaten
         1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
         2 tablespoons butter
         3/4 teaspoon almond extract*

1. In a medium saucepan, combine Rice, 3 c. Milk, sugar and salt. (Note it is only 3 c. not all 4).
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thick and creamy, 15-20 minutes. (Easiest way to tell if it is "thick and creamy" is if the rice mixture begins to have little "glurping" bubbles).
3. Stir in remaining 1 c. milk, beat eggs, and coconut flakes. 
4. Cook mixture 2 minutes more, stirring constantly (to prevent the eggs for curdling/cooking like a scrambled egg).
5. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and almond extract.
6. Serve warm topped with shredded coconut. Mmmmmm.

*Make sure to use the almond extract sparingly - my almond extract decided to pour out rapidly, thus ensuring a very almond-y flavor.

 Mom can I have some?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today I babysat for my husband's first cousins once removed. I got some pretty cute pictures of the little girl, L. My favorite from today is:

Tomorrow I will post about the most amazing rice pudding ever. And I don't even like rice pudding. Mmmmmm. Bedtime now.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


So apparently the problem with the Taurus was quite simple. Idiotic but simple. It took our wonderful mechanic two days to figure it out, but by golly he did! Some moron wonderfully skilled person (I won't name company names) who changed my oil about a month ago decided it would be a great idea to fill my car up with water instead of anti-freeze. Let me say that again: Instead of anti-freeze my car was filled with water. Panic of having a totaled car has now passed. Oh, and for those of you complaining/grumbling/cursing the wretchedly cold winters here in this great state... thanks to the sub-zero temperatures my engine didn't explode/burn out/die while I was driving it to the mechanics. Had it been even five degrees warmer, it would have died on me. And then this would be a R.I.P. Taurus post. But it isn't. Instead, it is dedicated to the wonderfully skilled mechanic who realized that an unflavored slushie was making its way through my engine. Thanks, K! You rock.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jobs and Cats and Cars. Did I mention typhoid? Oh My!

So remember that job I briefly mentioned on here? Yeah, didn't materialize into anything other than the most standardized of all standardizations of form rejection letters. I was apparently the second choice candidate, which I think makes it even worse. What did the guy they hired have over me? Certainly not the 'ins' with the company. My father-in-law is their longest tenured sales rep (and quite successful if I may add). I really wish people could get past the "I-had-an-internship-for-writing-but-really-the-only-thin-my-resume-tells-you-is-that-I-can-raise-children" part of my resume. And I forgot to mention the "I-have-a-stereotypical-liberal-arts-degree-that-taught-me-how-to-think-but-you-can't-get-past-where-it-says-english-writing-major-because-it-doesn't-say-business-despite-the-fact-that-all-the-skills-you-need-for-a-job-you-learn-on-site-so-really-college-degrees-are-meaningless-unless-you-are-in-medicine-and-then-you-learned-it-on-site-during-your-practicum." Not that I'm bitter about being smart and unemployed. So I'm back on the hunt.

Cats are really entertaining little creatures. Since I am at home most of the time (see previous paragraph for explanation of why I now call my job title as "homemaker" on a product warranty card) I have really gotten to know my little kitties better. Dagny is so full of mischief and playful. Always willing to snuggle. Loud purr and cute trill noises after being left by herself. Fjord? Different story there. Affectionate and snuggly(after we were gone this past weekend skiing up north in -30* with the ski team S. coaches). Favorite place is perched in the front window watching the world and snowflakes and cars drift by. Can often be found where he isn't supposed to be (read: counters) licking the pan I haven't gotten around to washing (which was only from lunch, less than an hour ago... I'm not a slob. My house is immaculate because I am a homemaker!... ) He really likes macaroni and cheese. Or ham. Or rice. Or onions (despite toxicity to cats). Or bread. Or ______. He eats anything and everything. Then he gets sick. Not that he would ever have any access to food snivels because my house is immaculate.

So our 2000 Ford Taurus has been acting up for a month or two. It has no heat. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Which makes for some long cold drives. Especially the whole -20* thing. Without windchill. And then you have to scrape ice off of the inside of the windshield. While you are driving. Needless to say, this has made transportation difficult. It got sent to the mechanic yesterday and I am awaiting the "your car will cost five million dollars to repair" phone call. Oh did I mention the part about the engine temperature gauge constantly fluctuating and the permanently residing the the "your engine is dangerously hot" area of the temperature range? Yeah. It tries to tell me that it is really hot. But I know better. And so do my purple/red chapped hands that feel colder than dry ice and Oksana Bauel (Blades of Glory? Eh? Eh?).

We are renting out our basement to one of our friends. J. is going to China in a few weeks and has thus been taking the live typhoid vaccine. He has gotten quite ill with this vaccine, so pray that his body will fight off the infection and he won't be any worse for the wear. He has one more pill left to take (tomorrow night). So here's to hoping that his stomach will stop cramping tremendously.