Saturday, March 27, 2010

here we go again...

We are moving next week.

Yup. We have decided that the early retirement/ski bum lifestyle is not for us.
Actually, we were just starting to get hungry.
So it's time to say goodbye to our little yellow house.

I'm going to miss this little nook. I'd never had a nook before. And I loved it. It was cozy.

Goodbye giant window. The plants will really miss your photo-synthesizing generosity.

And the fireplace. Even though we never actually used you, just knowing you were there made me warm inside.

Little bud. I will miss seeing you turn into a pretty daffodil. Goodbye.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a story about cake

Once upon a time we were going to have dinner with the neighbors. I was in charge of bringing the dessert, and I knew just the perfect little number. I had swiped the recipe from one of my mother-in-law's magazines not too long ago, and had just been dying to make it.
Emphasis on dying.
I am not big on having reasons to do things. Or bake things. If I want a cookie for breakfast, well, I have one. Same goes with any type of food at any time. Ask Evan. He just loves it.
But this cake.
It felt like it needed a special occasion. So I gathered all the ingredients, bought some cream, checked the level of my deep dark cocoa powder (just enough!) and waited for Sunday to come. Long (and actually rather boring) story short, the dinner plans were canceled. And because I am not the type of girl who lets a pint of heavy cream go to waste, I made the cake anyway. It was just the way I was brought up.

And the cake? Oh my. Picture: dark chocolate truffle meets the best cake you've ever had. And then times that by 867 and it ends up equaling this exact cake. Seriously.

But be warned: It is very addicting. Evan was out doing some manly-man errands and I was left all alone. With the cake. Every time I would pass the kitchen, I would sliver off a tiny bite. It was just the way I was raised.
Well, I noticed that my tiny slivers were equaling a rather large portion. And so I did the most responsible thing I could think of. I texted Evan.
Me: When are you going to be home? I can't stop eating cake.
His response: I'm on my way. Save some cake for me, fatty! (we'll talk about my personal image issues later)
And with a mouth full of cake, I replied back: I'm not a fatty! You da fatty!
And then he came home. And he saw the truth. Almost gone.
It's that good.

You want the recipe? Here ya go. Just be careful.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

home again

What a great week in the desert! I brought ya'll back a little video of quick sand in action (I know, I know, you're welcome). I think quick sand is my favorite thing. If you watch carefully, you can see the sand sort of get watery after I throw the rock in, and then it smooths itself right out again. Freaky.

For a more comprehensive look at our adventure, visit Evan's gallery.
Okay. Now to the laundry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

34 cranes

I am an anxiety folder. It's like being an anxiety eater, except that I fold things. I guess I also eat things...soooo...maybe I'm both? Anyway. We went on a loooooong road trip this week to try to find a place to live (more on that at a later date), and since I am approximately 3 years old when it comes to riding in the car, I have to bring activities. Otherwise I get fussy. Usually the activity of choice is folding cranes. I am fast. Really fast.

I quickly filled up the dashboard of our car with cranes. We got some looks. But hey, we're used to that. So I kept on folding. And folding.

At one point, when the dash was pretty full, Evan did a big turn, and the cranes went flying onto our laps. He yelled out "bird migration!" and it was funny.

This was our migration through the state of Idaho.

On our way, Evan dared me to secretly leave behind a crane in each house that we looked at. I accepted the dare. I am not scared of the leave-behind. I am actually quite famous for leaving little families of cranes on the bench at church.

But, I totally forgot about the cranes once we got to our hotel, and the dare. So it didn't happen. Bummer.

And now I have 34 cranes. So, if anyone has an ideas for them, or wants them, you just let me know. I can arrange a crane adoption if needs be.

Friday, March 5, 2010

King me!

Evan and I aren't really big "gamers". We like playing games...we just don't really have any. And usually we aren't that mad about it. But sometimes when we are in a situation where there isn't really that much else to do (i.e. car camping when it gets dark at 5 pm, backpacking when we are done eating dinner and all set up by 6 pm, and there are no books to read, or maps to study...), a game would be nice.

Last Spring before a romp in the Desert, I thought ahead and bought a deck of cards. It turned out that between the two of us, we knew exactly 2.5 card games (Speed, War, and some of the rules to Speed2), and they got old kind of fast. So in preparation for another trip, I wanted to bring along something else besides a deck of cards. Checkers? I was pretty sure we knew how to play those.

I made a tiny quilt consisting of linen scraps cut into 1.5" squares. 64 of them, to be precise.

I confiscated a mini Altoids tin. Filled it with buttons. 12 of each color. I am teal, Evan is green. Obviously.

And to make it "travel friendly", you can fold it up like a sleeping bag,

And then roll it with the tin of buttons snug inside,

And now we are ready to rock. Checkers. Heck yes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hello Pumpkin!

MMMMmmmmmmm... look at this cookie. I think I will take a bite.

Wait. Ah. Ah.



Please excuse me! This is so embarrassing. I meant to tell you about these delicious cookies. They are pumpkin. And chocolate. Of course.

I really love pumpkin things. Most especially in autumn. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin-shaped candy. But it seems like, come Christmas, with it's dazzling candy canes, sugar cookies and wassail, I plum forget about pumpkin. Ya know? Well I'm bringing pumpkin back into our lives this winter season. With these cookies. Also, next time you see Evan, would you thank him for the flattering photos up above? Skiing makes me feel pretty.

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookies:

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 15 0z. can pumpkin puree (or 1 3/4 c. of the real stuff)
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together all dry ingredients.
Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and pumpkin puree. Mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips with a spoon (or if your feeling daring, use the mixer).
Drop dough onto cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and edges are golden.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How's it reading?

It has been a good winter. There have been lots of books. Some have been thrifted, others gifted, and some borrowed. Have I mentioned I like to read? Okay. Love to read?

I love it so much, in fact, that I make things for my books. I had some leftover scraps of felt from Reece's pillow, and they were quite handy for the making of bookmarks. I simply cut out different shapes and embroidered them on. They were so simple that I felt silly just explaining that. A bookmark made of felt is nothing new. Just new to me.

Some of my favorites of the winter:

*My Life in France by: Julia Child (I love you Julia! You are so great)

*Goose Girl by: Shannon Hale (this was actually a re-read. I first read it when I worked at a health food store that hardly ever got business. I would sit in the bag dispenser at the cash register and read it. The herb man always called me 'goose girl' after that. His name was Craig.)

*Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by: Dai Sijie and Ina Rilke (I really do love a good book about books)

* The Help by: Kathryn Stockett (alright. So I am not actually finished with this one yet. My mom lent it to me two days ago and I am halfway there. But. I like it a lot. Thanks mom.)

*Tisha: the story of a young teacher in the Alaska Wilderness by: Robert Specht and Anne Purdy (it's true. And so crazy interesting. Thanks Colette.)

What have you been reading?

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