Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Toaster Oven Baking FAIL!!

I recently bought the cutest, most reasonably priced toaster oven, which I've loved using just because some things taste better when not soggy. 

It heats up quickly, and has cooked lots & lots of lunches & reheats over the past few weeks, so when I ran out of room on my large cookie sheet going into my full-size oven, I thought I'd try popping them into the mini oven.

It was a burnt FAIL, and I'm not sure why? Anybody out there that can enlighten me? I set it at the temperature and for the time indicated, and yet these sugar cookies don't look anything like my large oven beauties. Hmm...  should've taken a this one versus those, but I didn't. 

Suffice it to say these are chunky & burnt, and the others are flatter, paler & taste good!

p.s. ~Getting more snow here in Lancaster, PA!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pen with Paper versus Computer

Do you have a preference?

When you write, if you write, do you prefer using pen with paper or the computer? 

Not long ago if you'd asked me this, I wouldn't have hesitated to respond with an answer of "pen with paper". I've always like the act of putting ink onto paper. And I've enjoyed many afternoons rereading journal entries from years gone by.

But nowadays I'm so used to doing so much on the computer, typing is faster & less painful on the hands & wrists for me. I think I've come to appreciate the quickness with which I can get words written out on the computer. 

But it's just not the same as paging through a journal. It's not the same as seeing all those dented, written upon pages, and holding them, to really KNOW I've written them. 

Oh yes, I know, I can visually SEE I've written (typed) something on the computer for years afterward, too, however, I hate the act of scrolling through various pages. My eyes hate when I scroll for them. And then my eyes send their complaint to my brain = headache.

Currently I vacillate between an online journal, my paper journal shown above, and my blog, which is still typing online but in a different place. I'm getting annoyed with myself with having so many different areas of journalling going on. If I want to look back for something that I wrote about, I'm never sure with which source to begin.

So for now I'm going to keep going back & forth until I at least fill this butterfly notebook. Because I'm anal-retentive & I cannot leave it half blank & fully commit somewhere else :-)

Take care...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Does anyone else feel a little deflated energetically after the hub-bub of the holidays? I know it's my norm, and so I've grown to embrace this slow-down period. Combine my lethargy with the recent snow & ice coating the neighborhood roads, and I've had some nice excuses to stay put in my warm, cozy home!

I've enjoyed movie marathons with my two teenage girls, cross-stitching by the fire, a few unexpected mornings I was able to lay in bed longer than usual (LOVE my electric blanket in our bedroom with no heat vents!!), with the only drawback being that walking Smokey the spastic lab has taken a slightly treacherous feeling as I skirt around and/or over ice & snow patches.

My hubby has been able to take some days off with us too. But he's also begun redoing our bathroom. Remember we live in a 200+ year old house, that has some interesting quirks. Our bathroom is a large quirk. It used to be a small bedroom, but it makes a good size bathroom. I thought I'd post this "mostly before" pictures.....

He's actually started painting already. This is from the doorway looking into the bathroom. To the right behind the brown dresser in the ugly vanity, of which I now realize I didn't get a proper pic. 

Past the draped clothes rack & around the corner lie the toilet & shower (you'll have to excuse the dirty laundry piles- they've been shoved here & there to allow room to move while also painting, etc...

Below are the closet/laundry doors as seen from the vanity area...

Will share more pictures of the ugly vanity & updates as prettier things begin to happen!

Last but not least is a small project I tackled, that I've been wanting to try since about November. It's a Snap Happy Snap Bag by Stitchin' Sisters. There are 3 sizes on this pattern, this being the mid-sized bag. Perhaps you've heard of Snap Bags? There's literally a metal tape measure within the top casings to make it snap closed after it's been opened. It's the coolest thing!! So fast & east to make & cute to boot! 

Good night everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Belated Happy New Year!

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. In fact, I can't remember the last time I made one. Some time back --like a decade or more ago-- I became so very ambivalent about them. I suppose it has something to do with the quickness with which my life seems to change. Just when I think I've accepted what my life *is* at the moment, it changes.

And I quite believe this is how it is for lots of moms out there, because so much of *us* is wrapped up in *them*. That's not a bad thing in many ways, I suppose, since by pouring our hearts & souls into little bodies of reckless energy whom we hope will then turn into adults filled with caring hearts & souls, we are fulfilled. 

But I digress.... the new year has begun. I'll not sugar coat it & say "the holidays were nice, went too fast & let's all look forward to the new  year". How 'bout I just admit there's a big part of me that's just glad the holidays are over?? Holidays are hard enough in a whirlwind kind of way for all Moms trying to orchestrate the perfect season for making holiday memories.

But I do believe holidays are harder for those of us grieving. There's an extra "load" we carry upon our shoulders. We miss so much what we can't celebrate with those who have left this earth. I know in my heart where Montie is, and I trust he's in a better place for him, but I miss him. 
All the time.

In any spare moments in those weeks leading up to Christmas I kept busy sewing. Now you & I know there aren't many down times in those weeks, but I wanted, or needed, to keep exhaustingly busy. Being busy keeps me from wallowing. And so I sewed up a bunch of gifts.

This first set is for a very special family way out in Australia! I met such a supportive mom on the The National Marfan forum who also has a son with Marfan Syndrome, and our boys look so much alike! She also has two daughters & all the kids' names start with M -- just like us! 

Buzz Lightyear/Toy Story quilt...

.... with dragonflies quilted in to mimic those on the printed blue squares!

The next set of pictures show a set of place mats I made for my mom for Christmas. She requested royal blue be included, but I had free-reign on the patterns! These were so much fun to make...

That's all for now! We're expecting snow today, but only 2-4", which is really just enough to be annoying!!