Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Could Fix A Toilet Like Me?

It's official. I live in a house of horrors.

Or at least a house full of stuff that breaks.
All the damn time...

Earlier this week, the big freezer in the basement died.

This was particularly tragic, because it gave no warning, and because I am a freezing fanatic. I buy things on sale, and freeze them. I frequently cook in big batches,and freeze for another day. Sigh.

Monday morning, I discovered that it was dead. About the only good thing in the situation was that I discovered it before the garbage men arrived, so that I was able to hustle and make a gajillion trips to the trash cans and throw out all the now-thawed foods before they came and did the weekly pickup.
Plus, I probably got some good exercise hauling multiple heavy trash bags out to the curb. (I'm trying to accentuate the positive...)

Ironically enough, I didn't blog about it at the time because I figure you all must be tired of reading about how this died, or how this exploded, or how that got a big hole it in, etc.

However, the breaking stuff has reached the breaking point. It refuses to be ignored. So - to appease the universe, let me share the other stuff that has broken in the last 48 hours.

Item #2*: The Toilet. Decided to stop working this morning. That's a bad thing in a one bathroom house. So - that had to be dealt with ASAP.

Kind of funny story there... remember a while back when Kelli had a shower faucet that needed replacing? She recounted a funny tale of donning a nice pair of jeans and some lip gloss and setting off for Home Depot. (this post can be read here .)

Kelli - You're. A. Genius!

Now, to clarify, I didn't dress up just to go to Home Depot. My morning started off with a meeting with some neighborhood ladies.

Now - I don't want to make it seem like I live in Coto or anything, but the women around here tend to be far better with the whole maintenance thing than I am. So I made a bit of an effort. I washed and dried my hair (instead of bundling it up in a wet knot at the back of my head...) I put on some mascara. I found a sweater with nice v-neck and very little cat fur, and put on the jeans that make my butt look good.
Well, as good as my butt ever looks...

So - this is how I was dressed when I went to Home Depot after the meeting. NEVER have I gotten such attentive service. Think I'm kidding? I had not one, not two, but three plumbing employees helping me. Although, no matter how good you may think your butt looks, let me tell you that's it's difficult to feel all cute whilst talking about plumbing problems.
Just saying...

The Tools of My New Trade
Originally uploaded by lla.

I am now the proud owner of both a shiny new plunger and a toilet auger. I know, glamorous life I lead, right??? Anyhow - without getting too graphic, I plunged and augered and all is right with the world. Right?

Well, for about 2 seconds. I had literally just done the "test flush" to make sure that all is good when I hear a big "uh-oh! MOMMY!" from the other room. Which brings me to...

Item #3: My favorite leather footstool. The one that Schecky likes too?

The one that we have to always remind him that "you can't tip that up like that and sit on it, Kiddo! You're too big and it's going to break."

Yeah, called that one right - he snapped the leg right off of it. (and it's not going back on as the frame is cracked too...)

Well, crud.

But still, I am not going to let this get me down - because you know what? There are some pretty fun things that happened today**. In fact, I'm going to take a break, and sit down and blog about the fun stuff...

Oh. Wait.

No, I'm not.

Item #4: Blogger has decided that I am a spam-robot, and has locked my blog. Wha???? A spam-robot? I think I am deeply offended on some level.

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog***. Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

You won't be able to publish posts to your blog until one of our humans reviews it and verifies that it is not a spam blog. Please fill out the form below to get a review. We'll take a look at your blog and unlock it in less than a business day.

Well, that does it.

Obviously, some sort of offering must be made to the "angry, breaking stuff" gods. How about a blog post - that documents all the very hard work these angry gods have done? Perhaps one that maybe no one will ever see???

Spam-bot? Seriously?

Updated to add: Irrelevant, repetitive and nonsensical text aside, Blogger has obviously decided that I am not a spam-bot. So thanks for that....

*Number 2! Hee!

**Which now, I will report upon at another time. This post is all about appeasing the "I'm angry and I'm breaking stuff" gods. Don't want to mix up the good and the frustrating stuff...

***The spam-blog definition states that spam-blogs "can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text..." Holy crap. Maybe I am one after all....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

When Cute + Crazy Delicious = Dinner

I seem to have "Fresh, Hot, Small, Square"* on the brain these days.

Which is funny - because, in spite of me claiming to be such a good Southern girl, I have eaten at a Krystal exactly once in my life.
It was in 1991, in Valdosta, Georgia. I was not impressed - which made me a little sad.
I wanted to like it...

I've also only ever eaten at a White Castle once in my life, too. It was later in the 90's, in Indiana. I was on my way home from GeekyMom's wedding, and to be honest all I really remember about WC was getting to try Big Red.
What can I say, I am a sucker for regional soft drinks.

But that's a topic for another day.
I'm digressing, and what I wanted to talk about was dinner...

I was having a dilemma. I was in the mood to cook. I was in the mood to eat. So what was the problem? I was also in one of those annoying moods where absolutely everything sounded gross. I couldn't think of one. single. thing. that sounded good to eat.

I looked through my compilation of our family's favorite recipes.

I trolled through my big folder of recipes I've collected with the intention of "trying someday."

I browsed,, and any other recipe site I've ever bookmarked in my life.
Nil. Nada. No help.

I was just about to give up and ask Bubba if we could go out to dinner (except I couldn't think of a single place that I wanted to go...) when I started reading something interesting at Never Trust a Skinny Chef.

William (the owner of NTaSC) had written a post on what he called "Lite Castle Burgers." And it was a really beautifully written post, too. His glowing description of the marriage of meat and bun, onion and cheese was the first thing that piqued my interest all day. He made it sound good... (and keep in mind, that was no easy feat, given my "everything is yukky" frame of mind!)

So mini-burger it was.

Cute + Crazy Delicious = Dinner

Boy, oh boy - am I grateful to William for introducing me this recipe - it is fabulous! It got three thumbs up from our household. This one's going to be a keeper around here...

I did a few things slightly differently** than he did - I rolled the meat out very thinly between wax paper sheets, sprinkled it with the Montreal Steak Seasoning, and then folded the meat in half so the seasoning got sandwiched in the middle.
Then I rerolled the meat to thin it out a bit again, and cut it into 12 squares. Mainly because I had 12 of the King's Hawaiian dinner rolls (they come 12 to a package) and I like things to come out evenly. I'm all OCD that way...

In addition to the King's Hawaiian rolls, I used Kraft Singles Sharp Cheddar, and sauteed up some Vidalia onion - then I layered it all together with just a smear of mayonnaise. It really was a fantastic mingling of flavors.

I served the cute little mini-burgers with some baked French Fries (gotta to love the Ore-Idas, and if they're good enough for Rachael Ray, they're good enough for me!) and some fruit (you know, so it'd be healthy...)

Fresh, Hot, Small, Square

Schecky and Bubba have both taken the leftover burgers to school/work for lunch, and even leftover, they still get a good review!

*See "Valentine's Recap"

**So - if you're counting WW points, my total would be different than his...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

An Atlanta Weekend in Pictures....

I hope you enjoy...

(if you'd like more information about a picture, you can click on it.
Or visit Flickr to see the whole set at your leisure.)

And - to completely change the subject - thank you to everyone who offered up an opinion and/or a suggestion yesterday - I really appreciate it...

Have you ever just w-a-a-a-a-y over-thought things, until you got all muddled up and then couldn't think clearly? That's exactly what I had done. I couldn't tell if I was accomplishing what I set out to accomplish, or what. You've made me feel much more confident that I am on the right track now.
Irish Hiking Scarf it is!
(and - Hurray! - 'cause they're fun to knit!)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Opinion Requested, Please!

I really hate to sound all wishy-washy and indecisive.
However, I find myself in a very wishy-washy and indecisive place right now, and I was hoping that you all could help a girlfriend out...

I've been wanting to splurge a little and make something kind of luxurious. So yesterday I picked up this absolutely lovely yarn (at Knitch, naturally!)

It feels like a dream - and it's actually quite dreamy to knit with. And so very, very very soft...
(So much so that I would love to make a sleeping bag out of it and snuggle up in it and just cocoon... )

But since that seems hardly practical, I thought I'd start small - with a scarf.

And what I want to do is something simple, something classic.
Kind of timeless and rich looking.

So I decided to go with a simple cable. That's classic, right? Timeless...

But - is it also boring? A bit staid perhaps???

I keep going back and forth - and this is where I call upon your help.
Feel free to be brutally honest* - classic or boring? Is this rich and luxurious-looking? Or rather pedestrian and I can do better?

I've not invested too much time in this so far, so I can frog it if need be. It will, however, take a chunk of time to complete - and I don't want to invest the time if I'm headed down the wrong path...

I've been eyeing a few other ideas - like the Broken Leaves, and the Spiral (which I know is not really "classic" in the traditional sense of the word, but I think it might be quite cool!) Even the Knitty patterns "Branching Out" and "Wavy" are catching my eye.

Thank you so much - I appreciate your opinions!

*But not brutal! My fragile ego is still smarting from being called a spoiled brat a few posts back. :)

But I still love you, Capello...

Friday, February 23, 2007

WIP Friday - 23 February

OK - technically, these two little girls are finished, but since they are what I have been working on, I thought I'd put them up here for WIP Friday...

These were made for a brand new baby up in Chicago (C) and her big sister (J). It's hard to tell from the way that I shot this photo, but the J bear is a little bit bigger than C.
J is three, and I thought that it must be hard to stand by and watch while the baby gets all kinds of goodies. So - she gets a bear of her own.

And just in case you were wondering, I don't have that many fabulous knitting books (or a fabulous green bookcase, either.) I took the girls with me to my favorite yarn store, Knitch. Which is where the yarn for them came from. (So it was like visiting their birthplace! Hee!) (I swear, I'm such a geek...)
I do not have adequate words to describe how fab the store is, or how lovely the people there are - but the fact that they let me come in and pose some toys, and then let me hang out there and knit for a pleasant hour or so? Well, that should say it all right there. I do so love that store...

In somewhat related news - I realized that BabyHenry's birthday was yesterday...

Many of you may not know BabyHenry - but really, he's kind of the one who was the impetus for Bad Fortune Cookie. I'm not sure if he should be thanked, or cursed for that...
At any rate, he will always hold a soft spot in my heart.

Happy Birthday, BabyHenry...

Happy Birthday, BabyHenry...*

*I can't decide why BabyHenry looks so uncomfortable in this photo. Maybe because the girls are so much younger than he? Or maybe he's feeling self-conscious about his limbless state....

Good Morning!

When I woke up this morning, I was greeted with a sky full of pink stripes. Not a bad way to start a morning, I must say.

The robins are out in full force (although, none of them wanted to get their picture taken. Silly birds!) and it's going to be 65° today.
Could this mean spring is getting underway???
Do I dare to hope???

Hard to believe less than a week ago, we were playing in the snow...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Snowy, Snowy Day...

We headed up to Tennessee this weekend - another one of those whirlwind trips, made even more so by the fact that we squeezed in visits with not only my parents, but my in-laws in Knoxville as well.

Although we've been heading up to Tennessee a lot lately, we're still enjoying our time visiting there. Particularly this trip, which had an added extra bonus - SNOW!

Schecky has only ever seen "real" snow one other time - interestingly enough also at my parent's house - but he was too small really remember it. We saw fake snow in December, of last year, which was fun, but not exactly the same thing. It was wonderful to get to see him enjoy himself.

And - for all my whining about how I hate being cold, I had forgotten just how much fun snow can be....

Here are some of the highlights...

We'd been driving in the snow for over an hour, so Schecky was ready for us to get to our destination. Immediately upon pulling into the driveway of my parent's house, he flew out the door to play in the snow. Only to discover that snow is much colder than he thought! After a few minutes, he was ready to go inside - get warmed up, bundled up, and then try for another round...

And More Snowball Flinging...

Once dressed more appropriately, it did not take Scheck long to discover the joy of the snowball. I have an incredible number of pictures very similar to this - with him getting ready to pelt me. You can see more of these pictures at Flickr...
And there are some more random snowy pictures there as well...

Snow Angel

Sheck also made snow angels. He gravely announced to me that it was better to make them lying on your back, because when you lay on your stomach, you got snow up your nose. This was wisdom he attained the hard way...

Snow Creature

And did I mention the "creature making?" He created a whole slew of these little snow creatures all over the back patio. It was very reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes, and the whole "Snowman Hall of Horrors*" that Calvin would construct.
Sadly, it was getting dark by that time, so the only picture I have that even halfway turned out was this picture of this lone little guy...It's difficult to tell, but he has no limbs, yet he does have a long twig tail.

After the Snow...

Here, for no other reason than it makes me smile, is a picture of the house in which I grew up. This was taken the next morning, when the snow was done, and the sky was simply beautiful...

We're home now - and the weather guy is promising me temps in the sixties before the end of the week. Bring it on. I'm ready. I got to play in the snow, now I'm ready for the sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

*This is kind of cool - just type "snowman" into the query box, and it'll find a whole bunch of the gruesome snowmen strips for you!

Friday, February 16, 2007

WIP Friday - 16 February

I am doll eyes
Doll mouth, doll legs...*

WIP Friday - 16 February

Haven't done as much knitting this week as I would have liked. Some weeks are just like that, I guess.

These are the extremities for the little bears that I need to make for the December newborns. Don't they look all grisly** when they're reduced to just parts???

*I want to be the girl with the most cake...


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Recap...

I may have to rethink my whole "eschewing Valentine's Day" position. I made a bigger deal out of the holiday I typically do, and I have to admit that it was kind of fun...

Valentine's Day Card

I had fun making Valentine's Cards - I took a whole passel of those hearts that I couldn't stop knitting and felted 'em right up. Quite gratifying...

I can't decide quite what I think of this - Schecky took a shoe box into school last week, to decorate for use as a Valentine's mail box. This is what he brought home last night:

Should I Be Concerned About This????

My son.

The "LUV DOG"?

I'm not really going to sweat this one. I'm telling myself that it's because there was a dog on the box (and aren't I the generous mommy, to let him have the shoe box from my way cute RocketDogs?) and not that he's got a street name and a rep for cruising the ladies of the ATL...

(I am going to keep my eye on this though... Sigh. That boy of mine can be a carnival ride. Maybe it would be easier if he were a "sit around and drink some tea kind of guy...")

And, even though I yelled at Bubba that if he came home with any overpriced, schmaltzy Valentine's crap I would kick his ass (because I'm just all romantic that way) he came home with a present anyway.

And a little part of me was cross that he bastardized my holiday - my simple, pure, not-giving-into-commercialism holiday.

But Bubba doesn't fight fair. He preyed on my love of the small and the square and brought home this:

Happy, Happy...

Now I ask you, how am I supposed to stay mad at that? I mean, not only is it small and square, but it's PINK, too.

Plus, I'm more than half in love with it already. I named it "Fresh, Hot, Small, Square"* and I can tell we're going to be friends...

*Seriously, this is not quite as dorky as it sounds. You have to give them some sort of a name to register them and set them up with iTunes...


It's still pretty dorky, isn't it?

Monday, February 12, 2007

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da... Part Deux

Looks like the reunion tour did get announced after all!

What's that?

They're not coming anywhere near here???

You're kidding me, right?


Oh well, looks like they'll be performing the weekend of my birthday.

Hmmmm - do you think that's too big of a gift to ask for?
After all, I will be turning 39.
Getting to see The Police might take some of the "Sting" out of that milestone birthday...
(oh no, I didn't just make that terrible pun...)

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da...

So - how happy did seeing The Police on the Grammy awards last night make me?*

So Very, Very Happy!

I have long been a fan - one of the great regrets of my life was that I was not allowed to drive down to Knoxville in 1983 to catch the Synchronicity Tour.
(She had much cooler parents, and got to go. I love her, but am still quite envious of this...)

I couldn't tell you anything else about the Grammys - I only watched the opening.
I figured that if anything earth-shattering happened I could read all about it this morning, and probably catch it on YouTube...
But I did watch "Roxanne" about 6 times last night...

Aside from wallowing in 80's nostalgia, it's going to be a little quiet around here. Oddly enough, the bears that I need for all the December newborns are not knitting themselves, if you can imagine that?

So, I'm off to knit like the wind, Bullseye!

*Please announce a reunion tour today...
please announce a reunion tour today...
please announce a reunion tour today...

Friday, February 09, 2007

WIP Friday - 9 February

I am typically not much of a Valentine's Day kind of girl*. So I am not sure where I got this bee in my bonnet all of a sudden to start dinking around with heart shapes. And to start doing it at the last moment...

I'm not sure what, if anything will become of these, but I've had fun playing around with them this week...

Other little nibbly random bits to share....

  • Thank you all for all the "feel better" wishes. I am starting to feel vaguely human again. I give a large part of the credit to Autum.
    Please pardon the crassness of what I am about to say, but it appears to be the truth: I think she literally scared the snot out of me.

    She told me the horrible story about how sinus infections can get into your brain and do scary, terrible things. YIKES! (and it's totally true - I Googled it! Admittedly, it's rare, but it can happen... Who knew???)
    Anyhow - she scared me enough that I resolved to call the doctor if it wasn't immediately better. And I woke up the next morning greatly improved. I work well under pressure....

    It's nice to be able to touch the left side of my face without screaming, and to be able to chew again...

  • Panda Update - well, I've not had any more luck with a sweater for her. And I suspect that my new found interest in hearts is a nice procrastination technique so I can delay tiny-sweater-making even further.

    In the meantime, I am warming to the way that she looks with only her scarf.... I do have one last sweater making attempt up my sleeve - but if that goes the way of all the previous attempts - I may just sew on her limbs and call it a day. The scarf is kind of cute...

  • Laundry Update: I finally got around to trying the vinegar instead of fabric softener trick... I think that I am a fan.

    The novelty of fabric softener has not yet worn off - I do love the way that it makes everything smell. But, I've not wanted to use it on the towels, since I've heard that it messes up the absorbency. So, I've been using a quarter cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser when I wash towels.

    The towels do seem to come out nice and fluffy, and with no vinegar smell. (Although, there is a slight smell of vinegar in the washer after running one of these loads. It's very faint, though, and disappears after I run the next load...)

    I've heard that it's good to put vinegar into the dispenser periodically, so as to clean out any fabric softener buildup. I'll definitely continue to use vinegar with the towels - and as my love affair with fabric softener exits the honeymoon stage, I could see me doing this for all the laundry.

Look at me - dispensing homemaking tips??? I feel so Martha. Or Heloise. Or something...

Have a lovely weekend, all!

*You can read my thoughts about the holiday here. They've not changed since last year....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hello... My Name Is Crazy

I'm trying to stop whining about how cold I am all the time. I know that other people have it far, far colder.
(Like poor Jen and MéLisa! I shivered just reading these...)

And I'm tired of griping about this horribleness that has settled into my sinuses, and shows no sign of going anywhere. I'm not the only girl with the plague, I know that.
(although, it's really difficult to stick to my "quit whining" resolution when the horribleness has settled right on top of my gums, and is giving me a toothache of epic proportions...)

And I've not really talked about how sick the little Scheckster has been lately. There are a lot of sick lil 'uns about, so it's not really worthy of reporting. He headed back to school today, box of Kleenex in this little backpack... He looked kind of small, and definitely snuffly.

However, all these things - even if I'm not really talking about them - have melded together with the bazillionth overcast day in a row and are responsible for a little touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder.


I'm trying to beat it.

I'm in a weird sort of way today. More so than usual, even.

This has been building for a bit.
Seems like I've got all these things that I want/need to do, and I keep adding to the list - without ever getting anything knocked off. And, combined with all the stuff from the blathering above - I just find myself slightly off kilter. Not myself.

This morning, for example, I decided to stop and get breakfast out.
(Nothing like self medicating with carbs in the form of a delicious bagel...)

When the bagel guy asked for my name, I replied with a straight face "Buffy".

I have no idea where that came from. I'm not really the "give a fake name" type.
I must be delirious....

Back at home, I decided that today called for Pretty in Pink - the soundtrack has been playing all morning. I'm enjoying it, but it's not having the desired effect, somehow. Which is unusual, it's typically a sure-fire cure-all...

I keep eyeing the tiara - maybe that will restore order to the universe??? But I don't want...

Wait - stop the presses. As I was typing, I was interrupted by the doorbell. (sigh.)

The mailman. (hmmm.)

With a package. (hmmmm?)

For me. (yipee!)

OK - I'm not quite sure where I was going with the above train of thought, I'm sure it was just going to be documenting more weirdness. Let's interrupt that, because this is totally better...

Valentine's Pouch

How timely was this??? A fantastically thoughtful and adorable pouch from Beki! And she threw in some conversation hearts, too! This may just be what the doctor would have ordered...

I'm smiling.

Beki, thank you so much for the much appreciated lift today. I hope you get some idea of how much joy this brought me...
(and I suspect that all the other readers of BFC are thanking you, too.
Because whereas you didn't make the weirdness stop; you got me to stop writing about it!)


Monday, February 05, 2007

What? This Does't Say "Football" To You???

I read this article in the paper yesterday which reported on the record number of vegetables that are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.

So - this was my contribution to the festivities of the day:

Carrot Cake Cupcake

Because nothing celebrates the rough & tumble, and oh-so-very masculine nature of "America's Pastime" like a heavily iced cupcake, am I right????

NOTE: I must confess, in the interest of full disclosure, that I have not yet watched the SuperBowl (although I have it on TiVo, and do plan to go back and watch the commercials, and the Prince halftime spectacular....)

No, I was too tired after watching all three hours of the Puppy Bowl.

Admit it. With that sentence, I just lost any semblance of "street cred" that I had going for me - didn't I?

Friday, February 02, 2007

WIP Friday - 2 February

It doesn't seem like there has been a whole lot of "Work In Progress" this week.

Unless you count trying to break the world record for "Most Kleenexes Used In the Shortest Period of Time" as a WIP.
Which I don't.

Since last week, I have frogged* the sweater that was pictured, as well as two more.
I've toyed around with the idea of pullovers, cardigans, a felted cardigan to emulate the look of a boiled wool jacket, and come all the way back around to pullover.

I'm feeling strangely "Thomas Edison" about all this - I may not yet know how to knit the sweater that I want.

But I now know six ways in which not to do it.

Just so you don't think that all I did this week was sniffle and frog - let me proclaim that I did actually make something this week:

one. very. small. blue. felted. bead.

Isn't it cute?
(Seriously - tell me it's cute - it's the only tangible thing I've accomplished this week!
I mean, aside from the sniffling and frogging....)

*It just occurred to me that not everyone may be familiar with this "knitting" term. It's simply the unknitting of - or in my case the complete unraveling of - your work.
I'd heard this term for years, but never gave much thought to it. But then I learned that it's called "frogging" because what you have to do: Just "rip it! rip it!"

Knitters are a funny bunch....