Friday, June 29, 2007



I've spent 3 hours total trying to figure out today's SUDOKU in the paper and I am about to erase it and start again for the 10th time. I need to clean the kitchen and get ready for bed, but I can't resist....ugh, I have no self control.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An old picture of Henry and I that I just found

Typical Henry, he is more interested in what my fingers are doing then looking at the camera.

In the works

So, I'm feel really stagnate lately. Not that I don't have a lot going on, or that I am even really staying still, we just bought our first house and moved, I am in school, I have a one year old so I never really get to slow down...I think it mostly stems around my job. Ugh, my job. I wish that I could find a job that combines making money and doing something creative. Although, lately I don't really feel like I am doing much to nurture my creative spirit. I feel very disconnected with that part of me. Like an old friend that you have lost contact with and keep asking everyone you know how to get a hold of her and searching for her on the Internet and you hear little snippets about her but no one really knows how you can get in touch. The only way I know that get back in touch with that part of me is to just jump right in, despite my insecurities. So, I am working on a few projects and one that I am super duper excited about is a painting for the outside of our house. When Wade graduated he was cleaning out his studio at KU and found all of these old canvases and masonite boards that people were just throwing out which is so silly because you just paint that sucker white and you have a brand new canvas. So, he picked up this enormous masonite board that has ledges on the back and is ready to be hung up, except that the painting on it looks like a smeared dinosaur turd. So, we are going to paint over it together and then hang it up outside our side door. It is the door that most people come in and out of at our house because we are on the corner so to get into our front door you have to walk all the way around the house and go through the gate. I can't wait to put that one up. The other one I am excited about is putting doors on our laundry room. Right now when you walk in our side door you are pretty much in our laundry room. I want to make some sliding door to go in front of the washer and dryer out of paper and wood frames, sort of like those Asian paper screens. I would love to do a screen print on the paper so that right when you walk it you see these lovely doors like look like art. Then there is the dining room chairs and table. My littlest sister, who happens to be very hip is going to help me pick out some fabric this weekend for those chairs and then I just need to set up my sewing machine and I'm in business. I also want to do something interesting with our house numbers but I don't really have any ideas for that yet.
So, I guess we'll see how I feel when I come out on the other side of this. If after all these projects I still feel stagnate then I suppose I will need to do some real work to figure out how to overcome this. Thanks for listening. What do you do to stay in touch with your creative side?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer reading

What are you folks reading right now? I just finished Devil in the White City. It chronicles the building of the World's Fair in Chicago and a sneaky serial killer that lived in Chicago during that time. It was great, but I also have a special place in my heart for Chicago so that could be part of it.
I need to buy a new book, I think. I want to get the Anne Lamott book about her life with her son which I think I'll pop over to Amazon for right now (shopping while bored is a serious problem for me) but I need other suggestions. Post them or email me if you don't have a blog. That means you Tracy, Heather and Sarah! ;)

Sounds from over the cubical wall

I just realized that a new episode of Top Chef is on tonight. It is the only television show I can stand these days. I got so excited that I snorted. I am sure everyone in the room heard it, it's like a frickin library in here.

Goodish day

So I am super bored at my job right now. Not because I don't have work to do, quite the opposite actually we are approaching our second quarter billing so I really should be get caught up on everything to prepare for it, but I can't seem to get focused. So, I changed my template on my blog a little, added a few photos and did some surfing.

But, despite my boredom I am not having a bad day. My stomach is feeling pretty normal (I had a stomach flu all weekend) and I had a salad for lunch so I don't have that awful post-lunch stuffed feeling. And I am up to my ears in great things to listen to. I am always a little behind the times when it comes to technology. I discovered the joy of blogs just a few months ago and now I have 20 blogs in my favorites that I have to check every day. Well, just recently I discovered the joy of podcasting. Over the past few weeks I have listened to super funny podcasts, political podcasts, crafting podcasts, music podcasts and NPR podcasts and it has been great. Today I discovered a podcast for vegan cooking. The woman does more than just giving you cooking ideas she also talks about some of the struggles with being vegetarian in our society and gives a supportive and inspiring nudge to keep you on track. I know that sounds kind of strange but people can be real a-holes about vegetarianism. My little sister became vegetarian in 9th grade and the kids really picked on her for it. And adults do the same thing, like my not eating meat is a personal attack on them. Anyway, it was great. I listened to her podcasts all day today. My husband also made me a mixed cd that I have been enjoying. He is so good at finding great new music. He keeps throwing the idea around of doing a music podcast and I am all for that. But he also has a full-time job, side design work that he is doing, is the music editor for the Lawrencian, plays his own music, has a rambunctious one year old to keep up with and I require a little attention now and then, so he is a busy guy.

On another note. I mentioned in an earlier post that I painted the dining room table. So, I did a 5th coat last night and started looking at the chairs. They are nasty! Ugly wood, ugly upholstery, ugly wicker cut out....ugly everything. I am committed to making them as cute as their newly painted table they go with. So I tackled painting just one of them white last night. I need to do another 50 coats to hide the monstrosity of ugliness but I also took off the seat and am going to go this weekend to find some fabric. Because they have that nasty wicker cut out on the back I think I am probably going to have to slipcover the top of it, which will be an adventure since I have never reupholstered or slipcovered anything. I think I can figure it out though. I would love to find a fabric like this one:
because for some reason I have been super into yellow lately. Which is weird because I am usually all about orange. I think that chair is responsible. It is just yummy. I just want to curl up in it on a stormy day with some tea and a good book. Anyway....I'll post some pictures of the before and after chair project. Hopefully the "after" will be an improvement.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing Themselves"

-Leo Tolstoy

Monday, June 25, 2007

Okay, so I am midway though this weeks This American Life and I have to talk about it. It's about the 3 kinds of deception-basically some people are born to deceive, some achieve deception, and some have deception thrust upon them. The last story, that I haven't gotten to yet is David Sedaris whom I LOVE so I had to get over the second story to be able to move on to his story. The second story, the one I have to get over, is about a Harvard educated black man (a lawyer) who wants to have the experience of being part of a private club. Under most circumstances you would think that he would have the money and the credentials to be part of the club but this club really only accepts white people (although they will not openly admit it). So, to see what it is all about he applies to be a waiter. After 3 phone interviews they hire him as a waiter but once he arrives and they realize he is black they move to him a bus boy. The hard part for me to listen to was, well the whole thing, but the worst part was how condescending the members were to him and how openly they would make racial comments right in his face and then snap at him to come over and refill their luke warm coffee. In the end he quit, of course, and I wish he would sue the pants off of them but I think since it is a private club he really can't do that. Larry (the bus boy/lawyer) told Ira (the host) that he didn't think that the people making all those awful comments, including use of the N word--which is totally disgusting and, for me, a deal breaker--when I hear someone say that word or if I know that they associate with someone that uses that word they immediately loose my respect. But that is a whole different I was saying, those people making those comments did not think that they were racist. How ignorant is that? I mean you have to be super ignorant to make those comments in the first place, I don't care how much money you have, but then to claim you're not racist! It's insane. And I got the impression that there are a lot of clubs out there like this one which totally shocked me. I had no idea.
This weekend we had a run in with a woman who would probably claim to not be racist but we certainly thought she was. Here's the scenario. Wade, Henry and I are out at breakfast eating on the patio. A couple comes and wants to sit outside so rather than waiting inside where everyone else waits they stand over us and comment on our moves--"Oh, this table here just got their ticket, they'll be leaving soon" "Well, they are just sitting there drinking their coffee, they should have given up their table by now..." It was funny because there were 4 tables on the patio and we all sat there probably longer than we normally would have because these people were being so rude. In the end Henry got antsy so we had to leave. They took our seats before we walked away from the table. I'm not kidding, the guy sat down while I was cleaning Henry's face and he started wiping off our crumbs with our used napkins with a totally disgusted look on his face. The woman, middle aged, Tammy Fae makeup, perfume so strong you could smell it over the bacon said to me "Oh what a cute child. Look at that curly blond hair!" I started to say thanks but she kept going "BLOND hair! So cute. Is he your son then?" And she glanced at Wade. I said "Yes, he is our son" and walked away thinking--she was standing over us for a half hour, she heard us say Mama and Papa at least a dozen times. She had to have heard Henry call Wade Papa several times...give me a break. Now that dumb-ass lady probably wouldn't have considered herself a racist but you know there are the folks at the all white club using the N word who are unarguably racist and then there are those people who are just painfully aware of the race of other people and in my book they are racist too. That lady really got to me. And as the day went on and I continued to stew over it I got to thinking, what on earth made her think that it was any of her business anyway! I didn't ask her if that was her husband, or if she sued the salon that stuck those enormous pieces of plastic on her finger nails. And so I decided that I am going to come up with a canned response for those comments (we get them all the time). Either something like No he's not my son but don't tell anyone or He is actually a love child from a secret affair with your husband or that is none of your fucking business.

So, there you go....I got it of my chest. Now I can have some good laughs with Mr. Sedaris. Oh, and if you haven't listened to TAL for this week the link is in my Daily Dose column below...check it out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Be sure to bring your toothbrush

I made a super rich cake for my Dad this father's day and had some left over so I sent it with my husband to work. A coworker asked for the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy.

German chocolate cake mix
1 cup of mini chocolate chips
1/2 jar of caramel topping
1/2 jar of fudge topping
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package of crushed chocolate covered toffee chips
Whipped topping

Make cake as directed on box but add chocolate chips. After the cake has cooled poke holes in it with a large fork or the handle of a small fork. Pour the milk, caramel and fudge topping on top of the cake, waiting in between to allow the topping to soak into the cake. Sprinkle half of the toffee chips on top. Frost the cake with whipped topping and sprinkle on the rest of the toffee.

I have made this as a two layer round (9x9) cake and as a flat (9x13) cake and I think it actually works best as a one layer cake. Stacking it up is tasty because you get to put some of the goodies in the middle but when you poke the cake and pour in all the goodies it gets pretty crumbly so leaving it in the 9x13 pan helps it stay together. Also, the last time I made this I didn't add the sweetened condensed milk and it didn't seem to make a difference. So I would say you can omit that step (and those calories....but with this cake I would suggest not counting the calories).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It's after midnight and I just threw a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in the oven. I must be stressed....I'm stress-baking. It's genetic. My Mom is the queen of stress-baking. I am fortunate that I don't have the gene for depression-baking (although I do have the depression-eating gene, which is actually much worse).

*Update: 12:32 am. The muffins are burnt. I hate new ovens. This has not been a successful stress-bake.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Neighbor update

It appears that peep show provided by our neighbor to the south doesn't stop with the wife. Late yesterday morning the husband came out in his knickers to clean the car. He remembered to bring the Windex, or whatever spray he was using, and a cloth but apparently for got to throw on some shorts. If the fact that he was in his skivvies in public at 10 am wasn't enough to draw a bit of attention, he sealed the deal by blasting R&B music from his car.

Our neighbors to the east still haven't talked to us but I did spot him doing a photo shoot of his boat on Sunday. And, he gave his son the day off, with it being Father's Day and all. So, now this is day 2 of not mowing and that grass is really growing....slackers!

Monday Mosaic

Two of the pictures are from my friend Tracy's recent visit to France. I'm so jealous.
Two of them are from my Aunt Sherry's blog, she takes amazing photos of flowers. I love the photo she took of the magnolia blossom. It looks edible.
One is Wade's feet, from one of his art pieces and one is my top 10 favorite photos of Henry as a baby. One is part of a painting I started years ago. The others I just found poking around online or took myself.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Going mosaic crazy...wondering if I can mosaic every picture I have taken of Henry

Won't ya be my neighbor

So, I am getting to know our neighbors and little and finding that home ownership is more than just the occasional panic attack about the air conditioner breaking.

So far our neighbors to the west have been pretty friendly. The woman is really chatty with Wade and he is cracking me up. He'll go outside to mow and then come back in and say, "So Janet, three houses down, no kids, never been married. She takes care of her lawn like nobody's business." Can you imagine, Wade filling me in on the neighborhood gossip??'s hysterical. I am not as chummy with our neighbor because I get a different vibe from her then Wade does. The first time I met her she was with her husband and I could totally tell he was not thrilled about his new neighbors. Maybe it was the ugly van in our driveway, maybe it was the fact that Wade loaded into our house enough band equipment to amp up the half time show at the Superbowl or maybe it was the interracial thing (I hate to go there but of course, I always do) but I could tell he wasn't sure about us. What the hell man? We are super cool neighbors. At my last apartment we basically fed two of our upstairs neighbors dinner every other night. We always had leftovers and they were just single folks and I know how much it sucks to try to cook for one person, so we would just throw a Tupperware dish their way in the evening. Whatevs....I'm not stressing over it. Oh, and I am pretty sure they are religious, which now-a-days automatically puts a bad taste in my mouth. The other day she told me "During the last tornado we were scared as all get out (huh?) and then I found out it wasn't even a tornado, just a microburst. I asked my husband "What the H E double hockey sticks?"" How can I possibly be expected to be neighborly with someone that won't use the word hell? My priest in grade school used the word hell...give me a break! Besides, cussing is mandatory for all my friends. I have a one F-bomb a week minimum. (Plus I'm pretty sure I saw a Bush sticker (sickos) on their SUV (double sickos). )

Our neighbor to the north, super nice, keeps to himself, came over and introduced himself.

Our neighbor to the east hasn't said a word to us. This is what I have gathered so far--drives a truck with a decal of a smiley face flipping you off, makes his slightly overweight 10 year old son mow his lawn everyday, goes out on his fishing boat or stays in his garage most of the time, watches us through his lace living room curtains, doesn't realize that he is back-lit by his kitchen window so we can see him watching us through his living room curtains, not smart (that last one is really more of a judgement call than an observation).

Our neighbors to the south are a biracial couple (yay!). The Dad is obsessed with his lawn and when we mowed our lawn which happens to be 90% weeds he went around with the Round Up immediately after we went inside. Seriously, what is it with middle aged men and their lawns? It's insane. The wife apparently thinks that she has a quiet voice and that no one is up before 9 am because she likes to walk back and forth on her driveway in the mornings and gossip about her friends and family in her skimpy nightgowns. Last Tuesday I swear I saw a nipple as I watched her through my lace curtains...just kidding, I don't own lace curtains (but I can see through my cotton ones quite nicely).

Oh, and on a different note, my friends Tracy assures me that my attraction to the royals is perfectly normal and not creepy at all. Of course I am pretty sure he has deflowered most of the young men in Korea so I am not sure if his opinion can be trusted.

**By the way, I don't actually say "whatevs" in real life. I just read it on one of my favorite blogs and thought it was funny so I use it here. I thought I better mention that, my husband was concerned when he read it. And I really don't dislike all religious people, just the judgemental pushy ones that come to my door when I am having dinner and ask if I go to church.


Could they be any cuter? Seriously! And those accents....yummy!

I don't mean to be one of those gross people that pines over the the 40 year old men that were counting down Mary Kate and Ashley's 18th birthday...but they are in their twenties and so am I so that doesn't seem too creepy...right? me creepy, I don't care. They make me giggle.... :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Random thoughts

There are some days that I very heavily feel the burden of having so many options. I am not ungrateful or unaware of the number of people who have very few options, but just occasionally feel bogged down by all that is available to me. I am simultaneously empathetic, grateful and overwhelmed.

I hate comments and jokes about gay people. Get over it.

I think I might start sending letters and packages to my sisters and friends that live far away once a month. I have three sisters I could send packages to, one mother-in-law that would enjoy receiving a package, a friend in Korea and a friend in Florida who would both love receiving packages. So that’s 6 people and I could send one a month, so two packages for each person a year. I think I am going to start picking up little goodies for these people. Maybe I’ll start sending the crafts I make also. How fun!

I am almost 30 years old.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cute or obnoxious?

I have a thing for interesting door or cabinet knobs, especially old glass ones. One of these days I would like to replace all the knobs in our house but if I am going to do that I should probably replace all the doors too, that's a project for another time... Anyway, so one of our first home remodels is going to be our kitchen. We can't afford to do anything major, like new cabinets, so I think we are going to paint the old ones white and distress them a little. So, I was planning on just doing plain old nickel knobs but then this afternoon I thought-- why do just plain old anything? It's my house!--So I went on a search for cute knobs and found more choices than I bargained for. I have whittled it down to one style that I like, now I just need to pick the color. I have always been drawn to limey-yellowy chartreuse which many people find obnoxious but I love. Probably because it is the color of my birthstone, peridot. I also really like the teal color and thought that the peach matched nicely. SO, the question is-white cabinets with different colored knobs or is that too much and I should pick one and run with it OR bail on the whole thing that go back to nickel basics?

Speaking of lime-green deliciousness, look at this gorgeous chandelier that I found on my new favorite blog? I am thinking of copying her idea for my dining room. SO CUTE!

Never very good at saving

Is $20.00 too much to pay for measuring spoons? What about if you have perfectly good ones at home?
What about $18.00 for a dishtowel?

Oh well, I can't help myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I have been really hitting the world of blogging pretty hard this past week. I know, I know, I am about 2 years behind, blogs are probably on the way out now but man, I am sure enjoying my time here. I actually feel little schizophrenic about the whole thing. First I am inspired by the number of people doing creative things with their lives-well established or just getting their feet wet. It is really important for me to see that those people are out there. And to know that I am not the only one that will buy stacks of paper just because they like the color or the feel of it. Or mountains of ribbon or fabric only to lay on a table and look at. I thought I was weird to have taken photographs of stacks of fabric at the fabric store for no reason other than I liked the look of it. Was I living under a rock? Apparently! My problem is I listened to my Dad when he said “Art school? Photography class? Paper Source again? Knitting? Guess you better get used to asking “Would you like fries with that?”” It stings to admit it but I completely fell for it and moved in a totally different direction with my life (and look where it got me, in a cubical surrounded by people that make me batty 95% of the time). The hurdle for me now is to turn back on the creative faucet that I shut off 10 years ago in pursuit of more lucrative ventures (like um….working in accounting office….ew). But I have gotten off track-the other part of my schizophrenia, the slightly jealous, self-doubting and inadequate feelings that come up when I read what these other people are doing. It’s there, for sure, but I am trying to ignore it. I figure if I could ignore my creative side for 10 years I can find a way to ignore the self-doubting side as well. I am hopeful that all these creative people out there will keep up there blogs for a little while longer to continue to provide inspiration and build confidence for us behind-the-times-self-doubters. And, kudos to you on being true to yourself and taking risks. It isn’t an easy thing to do but in the end it is a truly admirable endeavor.

Monday mosaic

a day late.
I love making mosaics. I found this idea on a blog I just recently discovered and decided to do the same thing. These are pictures I took or found on the web this week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's offical

We aren't offically moved in until we put up our card wall. Now it feels like home.

We painted my hubby's office a lovely sunshine yellow this afternoon. It's bright and cheery and exactly the color of scrambled eggs.

Exciting Saturday Night

I painted our dining room table white last night. It's like a brand new piece of furniture.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Back in the saddle

The thrill of yard sale shopping....I love it! As my hubby says, "you just can beat the deals you get at yard sales." My favorite part is finding things that you could never find in a store and then paying hardly any money for them. I have been on yard sale hiatus after a disappointing shopping experience last summer. We drove past this yard sale with a gorgeous chest of drawers and when Wade spotted it we turned back around immediately. We ran out of our car and got there just in time to hear the old man in front of us say "Here's fifty bucks for the dresser. I think it is from the blah blah blah period. Probably worth $700." OUCH! This morning we found a few goodies at the yard sale for a frame shop. They had tons of frames for $5-10 plus a line up of old wood chairs in need of a little TLC. I found this curved arm and back oak chair that I will use at my new desk. I wanted to buy more chairs, I have been throwing around the idea of getting all different chairs to go around our dining room table. I thought that would be kind of interesting and funky. The problem is that I am sure I would want to paint them and these wood chairs were really too nice to paint. So the search for sturdy dining room chairs that I can paint and not feel bad about it continues...if you know if any that need a new home, ring me up.

We were also able to feed my husbands addiction for shelving. Face it honey, your obsessed with shelves. I think one of these days, when we are able to have our dream house, my husband will have a room of just shelves. Like a library but with shelving for books, cd's, and canvases, plus cubbies for art supplies, music supplies and nick-knacks of all sizes.

Friday, June 8, 2007

I wanted to get my sister something really unique for her birthday this year and I found this website ( with these bags. They are made out of overstock or misprint candy packaging and they are FANTASTIC. I ordered one for her and one for me, which I got today, and I think I might order one for my other sisters as well. They also plant a tree with every order.

This one is made out of the tabs from cans. Not so much my style but a really neat idea.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

What do you think of the bowls in this kitchen? My first thought is LOVE IT. But then I think of the dust and, well, do I really want 50 bowls? But it is cute. I even like the pink table.

Is it healthy? Probably not. But I love everything Brad and Angelina. It's like my dream life, having and adopting babies all over the world, traveling and speaking out for a good cause, with all the money I could ever want...seriously? It's not fair. These are a few pictures of them I found on my computer this afternoon.

Where have I been, you ask? Well, moving and other drama has taken me away from the computer for a few weeks. Plus, I was beginning to wonder if I could write a post that wasn't super grumpy complaniness. I have a long one sitting here right now, waiting for me to push "Publish" but I don't know if I will. It's a funny thing, you start a blog to talk about things that are on your mind and then you tell people about it and then you have to start watching what you say. I stumbled onto a blog the other day that was one of three for this girl and this particular one was a no-apologies-I-am-going-to-complain-maybe-offend kind of blog set up just for that reason. She had a disclaimer, I am going to write how I feel, uncensored, you have been warned. I wondered, should I do one of those, but I can hardly handle the two blogs I do already.

I am a bit of a grump today. Just feeling really taken advantage of. I have a lot of people in my life right now who very rarely show any concern or interest in my endeavours but expect me to listen to their lives, stories, thoughts, concerns, interruptions, self-doubts...I feel exhausted. So maybe I will post that complaining blog and you can read it if you want, if not then whatever....I won't know any better.

On a more positive note though, I am getting excited about painting our house. We are painting the door orange this weekend.

One of my blog friends posted these a while back and I am going to make some this weekend. They are pushpins for the bulletin board that I really could care less if I "need" or not, I am going to get...if only for the pins. Look at the sublime cuteness...