Monday, July 30, 2007

One of life's great questions

Is it just me, or does adding a polyester lining to a linen skirt totally defeat the purpose?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Potter Puppet Pals

Now, you may or may not be a Harry Potter fan, but this is just plain fun! (I'm not too fond of the last 30 seconds or so, but the first minute and a half is hysterical.)

Pause my Sonific SongSpot before watching...

Watch out, you might yourself bouncing along and humming this all day. (Or all weekend, if you're me...)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Melted Ice Cream Cake

This is a great recipe I found in Mary Hunt's "Everyday Cheapskate" column. It's a great way to make use of the little bits of ice cream that gets forgotten in the freezer or melts on the way home from the store. (Don't know how often that happens, though!)
If you're like me and buy cake mix on special to keep on hand for occasional use, this is a great recipe and so much fun!
Melted Ice Cream Cake
1 package plain white cake mix (I've used yellow and chocolate as well)
2 cups melted ice cream your choice of flavor
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and move rack to the middle.
Lightly grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour (important!!).
Place the cake mix, melted ice cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Increase the mixer to medium and beat two minutes longer, scraping the sides as necessary until the batter is thick and well-blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake until it springs back lightly with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 38-42 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack in the pan for twenty minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove. Complete cooling on a rack for 30 minutes more.
Finish with a light dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite icing.
You can use any variety of cake mix with any combination of ice cream on hand. Pudding mixes, extra moist, etc. all work just as well. If your ice cream happens to have chunks of cookie dough, chocolate, peanut putter, pralines, nuts, etc. in it your cake will be filled with all that yummy goodness just as the ice cream was.
This week I tried with recipe with leftover lime sherbet from DS's birthday punch and it worked just as well, although the cake was a little green! The cake is a little stickier and the pan needs to be thoroughly greased and floured, but it's very tasty!
For more Frugal Friday ideas, visit Biblical Womanhood.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Line Drying

Around the time we moved into this house, in my continuing quest for simplicity and frugalness (is that a word?) and war against the dust mites, I began a commitment to line drying our laundry. In reading several housekeeping books and blogs, I'd learned that to kill dust mites you must wash your linens in water over 140 degrees. In a house with a young child, it's just not a wise to have such hot water, so I began to look for other alternatives (such as washing in pure soap products to kill them. I read about the sun's germ-killing ability, though, and because I'm always looking for ways to cut down our expenses, I jumped on the idea of completely air drying linens, clothes, and diapers. This isn't too tough in the summer; who can complain about the amazing and unique fresh-air smell of clothes dried outside? It became clear, though, that in wet and cold Upstate NY, I would need a good system to be able to air dry all year-round.
It's been rainy all week, so you can really get an idea of my system in action:

This drying rack is as tall as I am and is Amish-made. It was an anniversary gift from my parents. I LOVE it! On nice days, I put in out on the deck in the sun.

These "hanging dryers" used to be very easy to find. I remember my mom having several that she used to dry socks and underwear when I was a kid. We had a terrible time finding them today, though. My dad picked these up on clearance at Ikea while traveling. He bought them out!

My secret weapon. About a month ago, my amazing husband created an inside clothesline for me in our laundry room/pantry. It's wonderful!

My outside clothesline. You can see my bag of clothespins there too! We need to move this. We "installed" it before the leaves were on the tress in what we thought was a sunny spot. Turns out, however, it's shady except for about two hours in late afternoon. Oops!

I recently upgraded by $10 small drying rack to a metal one that I hope will last a little longer! I didn't get a picture of it "at work" this week. I keep this one in the bedroom.

Now it does take a little longer for things to dry, especially on days when I have to keep everything inside, but never more than 24 hours, in my experience. I do plan to hang outdoors even in the cold weather, since my big rack can be moved in and out so easily. Our front porch is very sheltered from the weather, so I'll be able to "air" items all winter too! One trick for damp days, is to give items a head start in the dryer for ten minutes or so. My mom does this, and I'll do it on rainy days (like today!) with things like the diaper inserts since they take FOREVER to dry.

Air drying is great for the summer, especially for those who run air conditioners. It will help to "balance out" your use a little bit.

When I used my dryer, I always dried on low heat to reduce my energy consumption. If you must use the dryer, try a lower setting to lower your electric bill and reduce your "carbon footprint."

In one month of nearly zero dryer use...drumroll...our electric bill was reduced $30! In places where electricity is more expensive, I've heard of reductions of $100. Even if you reduce your dryer use by half, think of what you'll save!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, visit Biblical Womanhood.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A First

Yesterday, for the first time, DH and I left DS in the capable hands of my mother and sister, and went to a movie! This was the first time we successfully left him to do something together. We tried to attend a Christmas concert in early December, but the baby was so upset we had to come home at intermission! Since then, I've only been away from him for short spurts, and DH and I haven't attempted to go out again.

After hemming and hawing, though, we took the plunge and went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I could barely enjoy the film because I was so nervous. It's such a long movie and the closest theater is about thirty minutes away, so if there was a problem it would have taken us a while to get home. I kept my hand on my cell phone (switched to vibrate) through the entire movie. Happily, though, they had a great time! Grandma and Auntie Whit took DS out to lunch (more for them than him, obviously!), played the piano, and went outside.

In fact, they were having so much fun, DS didn't take his afternoon nap, and around 5:30, in the middle of supper...

The head bobbed, the eyes closed, the teething cracker went unnoticed. Cruel parents that we are, we of course whipped out the cameras and I called my sister to let her know. Don't worry! He kept jerking back awake, and after a minute we rescued him and cleaned him up. Needless to say, we had an early bedtime last night!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Places to Perch

I've added several new blogs to my "Places to Perch" list this week. Be sure to check them out!

Image source:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

True Love

Thanks to my sister for reminding me about this:


After almost four months, we have a molar! As I've mentioned before, DS had eight teeth by the time he was 8 1/2 months old, but since then we've been at a standstill. Monday night, I finally could feel one of his top molars poking through!

In other news, vacuuming? No problem, Mama, I can help you with that!

Please excuse the poor lighting, etc. I didn't want to take the time to fuss with the camera. I was afraid he'd lose interest in the vacuum and focus on me and the camera instead!


While enjoying a snack of chocolate Teddy Grahams and peanut butter:

Me: Would you have married me if I was allergic to peanut butter?
DH (without hesitating): No!

Short pause while enjoying more chocolate and peanut butter goodness.

DH: Would you have married me?
Me (derisive snort): NO!

Ah, peanut butter. The glue holding our marriage together!*

*Note to those without a sense of humor: obviously this is not really the case. We do take our peanut butter seriously, though.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Five Things I Love about Jesus

Mayogi tagged me for this Meme.

Here are the Rules:

  • Those tagged will share 5 things they "dig" about Jesus.
  • Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
  • Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here with their name so that others can read them.

I'm not crazy about the name of the tag (I "dig" Jesus), so I'm going to say five things I love about Jesus. This was really hard because I can think of so many things, but here's what came to mind first.

5 Things I Love about Jesus:

  • Enduring death on the Cross to redeem mankind.
  • The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
  • His Church.
  • He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
  • Though we may turn our backs on Him, He never turns His back on us and will always welcome us home again.

I tag: Emma (when she's done moving!), Chrissy, KitKat, Erika S., and Mimi.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I've had a few new visitors to Zuzu's Perch this week, and I just wanted to say "thank you" for stopping by AND leaving comments! I've been peeking at your blogs too!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mama took me to the zoo!

We took the birthday boy to the zoo on Friday. We had a lot of fun!
We saw the lions very close up! I confess, I didn't feel completely safe!

Penguins stole the show, though! All he wanted to go was join them and swim!

The Fennec foxes were also fun to watch and so cute, we just had to bring one home. (In stuffed animal form, of course! Apparently, however, they are the only breed of fox that can be relatively "domesticated.")

The Big Day

Friday was the big day! Our baby turned one!

Here are a few things you may or may not know about the Little Guy:

  1. His favorite songs are "Hernando's Hideaway," "Istanbul Not Constantinople" and "My Hand on My Head" (from Wee Sing Silly Songs).
  2. He has loved water from the day he was born.
  3. He has eight teeth. They all came in before he was nine months old. Since then, nada.
  4. It looks like he's going to have my "dishwater blond" hair despite his Italian heritage.
  5. He loves the cats, and loves to pounce on Nunzio and hug him.
  6. His first food was avocado.
  7. He wasn't impressed.
  8. He was born on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
  9. Neither Peter nor Paul are part of his name.
  10. He loves music and already has pretty good hand position on the piano and organ.
  11. He prefers the outdoors to being inside (who wouldn't?).
  12. He loves to go for walks; he and I have gone on daily morning walks since he was 1 1/2 weeks old.