Monday, September 24, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness, September 23

Emma is hosting another Commitment to Loveliness!

Here is my list of goals for the week:

1. Figure out a way to cover the shelves in my closet. I'm thinking floral fabric. Check with Mom for scraps.
2. Try a new bread recipe.
3. Date my May/June pictures and put them into albums!
4. Try to find an inexpensive throw rug for Baby's room, finish hanging pictures, etc. in the baby's room and move him back in!
5. Work on seasonal decorations.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Free Trial at Netflix

We received four cards for "Friends and Family" to try a free month of Netflix. Most of my friends and family already subscribe to this or Blockbuster, so I thought that if any of my readers would like to try a free month, email me (address is in my sidebar) and I'll send you the code and instructions.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Who Am I?

I'm not a big listener or fan of contemporary Christian music, but when I saw this video on someone's blog (I think it was Perri), I was moved. I heard the song again today on the radio, and I searched out the video to share. I dare you to watch it without a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A New Day

Thank you Kat and Mimi for the kind words and hugs! Instead of retreating into the fort with cookies I made supper. Banging around the kitchen always makes me feel better and it's so productive!

I did eat my cookies later when my Sidekick was asleep. S'mores cookie, milk, and Ballet Shoes makes for a very pleasant late night!

I couldn't sleep anyway until DH returned safe and sound from his trip. He finally arrived at the stroke of midnight! Whew! I dislike being in this house alone late at night-- or all night! I still don't know all the house's sounds and settles, and I have way too vivid an imagination! Wednesday night I had a dream that we were being encircled by wolves and I was trapped on my bed and couldn't get to DS! Needless to say, after that I slept next to him. Now I understand why my mom often let us sleep in her room when my dad traveled!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Did you ever have one of those days where you just want to sit in the corner eating peanut butter cookies until you burst?

Yeah, it's one of those days.

I'll be in the corner if anyone needs me. Or hiding in the fort.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hot Soup...

...on a rainy, dreary Sunday!

The Renovation-- Update!

The "Before" pictures are here.

Here is Sidekick's bedroom almost done! DH spent all day Saturday and all afternoon today working on the floor. The paint color looks more "pinkish" than it really is (Fortune Cookie).

What a difference!

We still need to add Quarter Round Moulding along the closet wall, and something like this for closet organization.

I'll keep posting pictures as we finish up. I'm so excited to finally put up the Wall Words he received for his birthday!

The Nice Matters Award

Emma has nominated me for a Nice Matters Award! What an honor, thank you!

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. "

Here are a few people I think are deserving of such an honor:

Kat: Kat and I have known each other for eight years now and have recently been experiencing a "friendassance" (as Phoebe says). We have so much in common and she is an inspiration to me. I'm so glad we've been spending time getting caught up. No more falling out of touch!

KitKat: I really admire this lady because of her uncompromising but graceful defense of Catholicism among very difficult people. I am also wildly impressed by her garden, and she has motivated me to really commit next spring and summer to my veggies!

Margaret: I don't know Margaret very well (yet!), but she is a lady in every sense of the word and I love reading her blog. If you haven't, come join her study group on Mulieris Dignitatem.

Perri and Andi: I started reading Perri's blog almost two years ago! I cannot remember how I came across it, but it's a daily read for me now. Her daughter Andi blogs too, and they are two of the funniest and kind gals I've ever "met." Andi's daughter Sophie makes numerous appearances on both their blogs, and that makes their blogs even more fun! Ladies, may I blogroll you? I can't believe I haven't already!

I have too many people to list for this award: Mimi, Mrs. Brigham, White Daisy, Chrissy, Erika you are all nice people and wonderful friends!

Crystal Clear Ice Cubes

If you really want crystal clear ice cubes, boil the water first and let it cool before freezing.

I've never heard this before! It isn't a practical tip for daily use (especially if you go through ice cubes like we do!), but for entertaining this would be fun and add a little "something extra," don't you think?

I saw this in our local, weekly paper tucked among some ads at the bottom of the page!

I found this video looking for an image of clear ice. The maker advises two additional tips for achieving crystal clear ice (ignore the spelling and grammar errors). Very interesting!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Madeleine L’Engle, Children’s Writer, Is Dead

Read the article from the New York Times.

Although I'm not actually a big fan, and there are many of her books I haven't read, I will say this lady was quite the author!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Feeding a Flock of Hummingbirds

This summer has been filled with new experiences for me...being dive-bombed by hummingbirds is not one I expected. Yet, it has happened several times. Those birds are greedy.

I didn't set out to be the "hot spot" in the neighborhood for hummingbirds. Here's the scoop: When we moved into this house in darkest winter (the end of March), the previous owners had left most of their outdoor adornments in place. This included windchimes, a decorative sleigh, Christmas lights, and a hummingbird feeder. One spring day I was cleaning up and organizing outside and I put the feeder in the garage since I didn't have any nectar. Within five minutes (and I'm not exaggerating), I had birds humming around looking for the feeder. Evidently, I had some repeat customers from last summer's all-you-can-eat bird buffet. What could I do? The poor things knew this was their "spot." I hied myself to the computer and thanks for the wonder of Google, had a recipe to make hummingbird nectar in a flash. It is surprisingly simple.

I make small batches at a time, but the recipe I found makes four cups a time. The important thing to remember is that the nectar calls for a 4:1 ratio of water to sugar. Here is my 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.

The nectar doesn't take long to cook, just long enough for the sugar to completely dissolve.

Don't forget to stir constantly! If you look closely in this shot (staged), you can see the water bubbling and starting to boil. Almost done!

Once the sugar is dissolved, I pour it back into my measuring cup and put in the refrigerator to cool. (The nectar looks yellow because it's sitting in front of pineapple. As a note, I read that it isn't necessary to dye the nectar as long as your feeder is red (plus food coloring isn't good for the birds).

While the nectar is cooling, I wash the feeder. Once it's a good temperature (not too cold), into the feeder it goes. Hanging the feeder outside is the risky part. I always look around to make sure no militant birds are lying in wait and slip it over the hook as fast as I can!

Before long, your hummingbird friends will be there, eager for a snack!

Earlier in the season, we had at 3 or 4 adult birds who were constantly feeding. We figured they must have been feeding babies too. I was refilling the feeder every two-three days, but now I'm down to once a week.

We can see our feeder from the kitchen table, and the antics of the birds provided much entertainment for us during supper. Dinner and a show!

Kitchen Improvements

When we went to the State Fair on Friday, I found a few vintage advertising tins to add to the decor in our kitchen.

The smaller tins in this picture my mom and I found at JoAnn Fabric years ago, but she never used them so she gave them to me. They look nice next to the larger one from the fair, don't they?

DH and I found this print of Jean-Francois Millet's "Angelus" at a local Catholic shop that is closing. What I would like to do is frame the words for the prayer above or below the print.

It's amazing how much more homey and "put together" the kitchen looks with these few additions! Before now, we only had this hanging on the door of the coat closet. We bought this at the fair two years ago and brought it from our old house where it was hanging on the back of the front door.

The Pratt Family Singers

Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett are longtime friends and during their performance at Carnegie Hall in the early 1960s, they did a parody of the Von Trapp Family Singers. It should be noted this was before Julie starred in The Sound of Music. These ladies are both stellar apart, and together, they are just too funny and so talented!

A funny piece of trivia: at the end when Carol clocks Julie in the stomach, you can see her stop and ask if Julie's okay. Just before the show, Julie found out she was expecting, and they decided not to do the hit, but Carol forgot once she was caught up in the performance!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Look-alike Meter

Before and After-- AFTER!

For reference, the "Before" pictures can be seen here.