Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Letter to the Construction Crew

Dear Road Construction Workers,

It is only Day 2 of your project, and I already have a couple questions for you.

1. Must you park at the end of the driveway and tell jokes and bellylaugh at 6:45 in the morning?!?! I'm glad that you are so happy to be at work, but could you please keep it down to a giggle for a little while.

2. Is it absolutely necessary to use the jackhammer at 7:23 a.m.?!?! My gosh that thing is loud!

I understand that you have a job to do so I don't mind you working. I'm already awake at those times anyway. But I really don't like loud noises until after about 8:00 a.m. and even that's pushing it, so could you please do your "quiet" activities until that time. I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you!


The wonderful neighbor living at the construction site.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Under Construction

This morning at 6:54 a.m. these signs where put up closing our road. And let me tell you, they were not quiet putting up those signs. Good thing I was already awake.

The road to our humble abode is under construction (until further notice or the rains come pouring down or they actually finish whatever it is they are doing out there.......). We now have to take a detour to get in and out of our home. Luckily, there is another paved road close by so with a few extra turns we can get here without having to go 4-wheelin'. Many places around here only have one way in and one way out.

I'm not for sure and for certain what the project is, but I've heard a rumor that they are putting in a traffic signal because of the new fire station they are building across the highway. Whatever they are doing, they sure are noisy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to School

Today's the big day. DD starts high school!

Here she is. All ready to go.

But, I think she probably feels more like this.

Even though she's homeschooled, it's still a big deal. She's going to be doing a different program this year, and I'm no longer her "official, credentialed" teacher. She now has to answer to someone else besides me. And, "gasp", she's going to have to put her name on EVERY PAPER! That's something she hasn't done in two years. She's starting off the school year with a full schedule: Algebra 1, English 9, Cultures and Geography, Biology 1, Spanish 1, Art, PE, 7 Habits of Effectiveness, and Clarinet. She's going to be one BUSY gal!

And, I start back to work today. I will be in training sessions via the computer all week from 8:30 - 5:00 every day. I know there are changes that have been in the works over the summer so it will be interesting to see what my job will entail this year. I am almost certain that I will no longer have to travel to other areas to meet with my students. The other teacher that lived in town here moved away, and I'm supposed to be getting all of her students. It will be so nice to not have to spend so much time driving. No more singing, "On the road again....."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wardrobe Refashion

I've taken the pledge. The 2 month Wardrobe Refashion pledge that is.

What is "Wardrobe Refashion"?

Wardrobe Refashion was started by Nichola Prested after deciding to quit buying new manufactured clothing in a bid to do her part for the planet, save money and improve her sewing skills.

Those who take the pledge promise to not purchase new, manufactured clothing for the period of 2, 4, 6 months OR LIFE. They pledge to refashion, renovate, and recycle preloved items with their own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium or make their own from scratch.

Since I'm already doing this anyway because of my current financial situation due to the California budget crisis, I figured I'd take it one step further and take the pledge for 2 months to start. I can't afford to buy anything new anyway.

This round of the Wardrobe Refashion doesn't officially begin until September 1st, but I've already got my first project completed (I hope that's OK).

Remember my Thrifty Thursday post about the old white sheets? Click HERE.

You know I have zero money right now so when DD announced to me that she only had one shirt that still fit, I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do.

One white sheet, a little scrap fabric, a pattern from my collection, a few hours on the sewing machine and this is what we came up with.

I had to adapt the pattern a bit because the front was TOO low for Miss Modesty (aka DD) so I added the additional pink fabric at the top. I think it actually makes this top better by matching the band and ties. Oh, and I didn't have the right width elastic so I took apart a fitted sheet and used the elastic from that. Talk about a recycled and refashioned project!

DD loves it! I love it! It looks SO cute on her! I'd say this pattern is a keeper for us. It's adaptable with different types of sleeves from sleeveless to long sleeve and we can always do different lengths as well.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"I Can't Believe It!" Day

Today is a day full of "I Can't Believe It" moments.

Moment #1 - I can't believe it.....Today is the last day of my summer break already. I start back to work on Monday. (Need the money, but don't need the work - I'm sure you can relate. OR If you can't relate, at least you know what I mean, right?)

Moment #2 - I can't believe it....In addition to losing 10 weeks of income due to the state budget crisis, I'm now not getting my child support either. It seems that although the money very well may be sitting there in the state's account, the workers at Child Support Services were forced to take mandatory unpaid days off (furloughs) as well......SO, they are way behind on processing all the disbursements of payments. Now, while the state is making interest on all that money waiting to be sent to the proper accounts, lots of custodial parents and their children are going without. Thank you very much State of California!

Moment #3 - I can't believe it.....My bed, my actual bed, is pictured on The Nester's blog. What you don't know who The Nester is? She's only one of the most famous of all bloggers in blogland. She has a fabulous blog in which she tells all about how she turns her family's houses into homes. Yes, I did say houses. Not because she is super wealthy and has a residence in every state, but because she moves. She moves A LOT. So, she has wonderful ideas on how to spruce up a home, a rental home at that, which you may or may not know that you cannot do any permanent changes to for fear of the dreaded landlord having a fit. Anyway, MY bed is pictured on her blog. Wanna see it? Click here.

Well, it's not actually MY bed, the one that I lay my pretty head down in each night, but it is EXACTLY like my bed. I can't wait to see what she has planned for it in her new bedroom (they recently moved again). I'm sure I'll get some inspiration (aka ideas to steal).

Moment #4 - I can't believe it! My DD, My baby girl, My Buggerboo, is starting high school on Monday. How did that happen? She's only in 3rd grade and still wears cute little Gymboree clothes!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thrifty Thursday and A Quote

A drawer of old white sheets:

An empty tin:


A clock:

What do all of these things have in common? Absolutely nothing. EXCEPT that they are all in the process of being "refashioned". We have three projects going on right now. Each of which started as one of the above pictured items.

Stay tuned to see what they each become as we continue in our thrifty ways.


And, only because I read this today, and it's too good to pass up, here is the

"Quote for the Day"

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the
morning the devil shudders and says "Oh shoot, she's awake!" ~Unknown~

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Library Shelf: Didn't My Skin Used to Fit?

I'm not actually finished with this book yet, only half way through, but I just had to share something.

This book is a total spoof on life after forty, and it is HILARIOUS! Why? Because I can relate to it, if not from personal experience, then from the experience of those around me.

For instance, Chapter 16 is titled "Thanks for the Memory....Loss". The first paragraph on page 70 reads:

"What I don't get is why our memory has to go on the blink at a time when we're given so much to remember. Our doctors tell us to take three of one pill four times a day, four of another pill three times a day and one of yet another every ten hours for twelve days. How are we supposed to remember all that?......"

Well, I think Dear Ole Dad (DOD) has that one all figured out. Just look at this:

Yep, you're seeing it right. He's got alarm clocks lined up, set at different times throughout the day, with the pills he is supposed to take at said times on top of the appropriate alarm clock. Weird or Genius? Hmmmmmmmm..........

When I took this picture, I though weird, but it seems that Ms. Martha Bolton has been contemplating this very thing and put it in her book. LOL

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Cookie Mix

Did you know there is more than one Cookie Monster? Yes, the other one lives here in this very house. Maybe you have one too! And, those store bought cookies can get expensive (plus they're really not nearly as good as homemade anyway).

I like to have this cookie mix on hand to whip up a batch of cookies in a matter of minutes. While cookies aren't exactly the best thing for you, by making them yourself you not only save tons of money, but you can customize them with more wholesome ingredients (if you're so inclined).

Here is my recipe for a basic cookie mix. Then, you can make just a couple of additions to have 5 different varieties of scrumptious yummies. (HINT: We think the sugar cookies are the BEST!)


3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening, preferably butter flavored Crisco

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut shortening with a pastry blender until mix resembles course meal.
Store in container with tight-fitting lid, even a ziploc bag will work. Makes about 8 cups.

HINT: I usually double or triple this recipe to have a lot on hand in my pantry.


2 cups Basic Cookie Mix
1 egg unbeaten
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla extract

Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 12 - 15 minutes.

HINT: We haven't tried this yet, but they might be even better with some peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips and nuts.


2 cups Basic Cookie Mix
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine mix, egg, milk and extract. Add chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto a well-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.


2 cups Basic Cookie Mix
1 egg, unbeaten
1 Tbs dark molasses
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Because of the molasses, these cookies tend to stick, so make certain cookie sheet is very well greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.


2 cups of Basic Cookie Mix
1/2 cup uncooked, old fashioned or quick rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (optional - We don't like raisins so we leave them out - Unless we are making a batch to take to DMother.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - We love nuts so we put them in.)
1 egg, unbeaten
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Bake on well-greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.


2 cups Basic Cookie Mix
1 egg, unbeaten
1 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate dough until well chilled, at least 1 hour. Then, using your hands, roll dough into small balls (if it gets too sticky, lightly spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray or rub them with canola oil). Drop the dough balls into a small bowl with sugar, turning to coat. Place on a well greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.


~ These cookie recipes are supposed to make about 40 cookies. However, it truly all depends on the size you make them of course.

~ I have found with my current oven that 12 - 15 minutes is WAY TOO LONG. Check your cookies as they bake. We like ours soft so about 9 - 10 minutes seems to be about right.

~ The baked cookies freeze wonderfully. Make up a double or triple batch and keep them in your freezer for quick treats.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (With a PS)

P.S. Wordless Wednesday is interrupted with a few words to explain the current purpose of my Wordless Wednesday posts. All Wordless Wednesday pictures are taken by yours truly. I am attempting to improve my photography skills and this gives me a place to see my progress as well as inspiration to keep practicing.

Today's photos were taken traveling on the road from "the city" headed back towards home. No! I wasn't taking pictures as I was driving down the road at blazing speeds. I was stopped at road construction and decided to make good use of the time so I rolled down the window and started clicking away with the camera. (Aren't you relieved to hear that?)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beans and Rice Time

Well, we knew it was coming sometime this summer with my losing 6 weeks of income in addition to the usual 4 weeks during summer. (Yes, for you math gurus, that's a total of 10 weeks with no pay.) Today was the day - beans and rice time.

This afternoon DD cooked up a big pot of beans (from scratch). I'm talking a BIG POT! Look at this thing. It's 10 1/2 inches tall. This is like they use in the army. She's serious about her beans!

Please excuse the beans on the stove top. She's also a very messy cook.

Her beans cooked for 2 1/2 hours until they were just to her liking. Then, it was time for her to mash them up and add the spices. While she was doing that, I made a very simple Spanish rice (though I didn't use nearly as big a pot as she did).

DD put rice in the bottom of her bowl, then a few HEAPING spoonfuls of beans (more like a shovelful), and topped it off with cheese. She was very proud of her masterpiece and she named it "Bean Surprise" (the surprise being the rice underneath).

I don't really care for beans that much. Well, actually, let's just say NOT AT ALL! So, I had a bowl of rice. And, just to make DS happy that I didn't have a meal of only starch/carb, I added a bit of shredded cheese (protein) to the top as well.

It's not that there is anything wrong with beans and rice. DD loves beans, and I love rice. It's just a family joke that it's come to this. (Hey, at least we still have toilet paper - 2 fulls rolls and 2 half rolls at this point in time.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I've Been Slimed

DD and I just went down to the garage to put some things away. After the snake experience from earlier this year, we always make a thorough look-through before entering. Upon opening the door, DD spotted a little frog.

She decided that she wanted to catch the thing (I often wonder about that girl). In it's attempt to get away from the giant trying to trap it, the creature jumped right on my foot and scared the bejeebers out of me. I let out a scream (good thing the neighbors are away on a camping trip). DD thought is was hilarious. I thought it was horrifying! I've been SLIMED! EEEEWWWWW!!!!!