Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tart and sweet

I made some rhubarb sauce almost a year ago today, and apparently I forgot about it because I found several jars in the cabinet. Oops! I'm in use-it-up mode now. I'm not entirely sure what one does with rhubarb sauce. The recipe recommends serving it over pound cake, so there you go--Elliot and I made the pound cake from Martha Stewart's Cakes and we're having it for dessert tonight. It's a happy little loaf, as Lucy Ricardo might say, and big, so we should be able to get through at least a couple jars of rhubarb sauce. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

32 in Chicago

This weekend we stayed with our friends Emily (whom I've known for 25 years now!) and Brian in Chicago to celebrate my birthday. Yay!

Em and Brian live 4 floors from the top of this building. The view? Oh, just downtown to the west and Soldier Field and Lake Michigan to the south. No biggie! (Holy crap!)

First order of business? Birthday cupcakes, then a walk to 12th Street Beach. The wind was whipping and the water was ice-cold. Elliot loved every bit of it.

That night we enjoyed dinner surrounded by the city lights (holy crap, what a view) and I got to video chat with one of my favorite people, Scott (whom I've known for 19 years now), in Australia! Yay!

The next morning we walked to Millennium Park so Elliot could see the bean--er, Cloud Gate. He sprinted ahead, all the energy in the world. Emily was a trooper and ran with him as the rest of us meandered along.

A quarter mile into the trip Elliot was exhausted and informed me that, because his legs were sore, I had to carry him the rest of the way. I'm still hurting.

Finally, we made it to the bean! Elliot wanted to crack it open so he could see all the beans inside. :)

My friends are pretty swell. Thank you, Em and Brian, for making Elliot's first trip to the city--and my birthday--so awesome!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A case for shades

A while ago I noticed that my sunglasses are getting scratched up because I throw everything in one bag with no compartments. Keys do bad things to lenses! I saw a pattern for a sunglasses case in Sewing for All Seasons, which I got for Christmas, and thought hey, good idea! It'll save my glasses from getting more banged up. The case is made with fabrics (Happy Camper by American Jane) and batting from my stash. Free is nice. :)

PS: Notice that lovely green grass? Spring!


I turned in my enormous job a week ago--yay!--and immediately launched Operation Get Shit Done. Six weeks off between jobs. My to-do list is long. No time to lollygag.

First on the list: Fix up the bathroom. My cat, bless her little heart, decided to use my bathroom as a litterbox and ruined the baseboards and electric heater. Plus, the people who lived here before us smoked and the tar had streaked up the walls and ceiling. It just felt disgusting in there.

The walls and ceiling are now painted. I was set on a yellow green, not a blue green, but picking a yellow green is hard because if you go too yellow it looks sickly. After comparing a couple dozen paint strips in different light conditions I picked Grassy Field by Valspar--a very pale green with yellow undertones. Nailed it! Just the green I wanted. It has a very 60s grandma feel to it, in a good way. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


A quick trip outside to check out the newly blooming daffodils turned into 2 1/2 hours in the blazing sunshine. It's 60 degrees! We watered our new plantings (everything in the early veggie garden is sprouted now--yay!), ate a picnic snack on my favorite blanket, and flung off our coats and shoes. Aaahhh, to feel the air on my toes! It's days like this that I feel really, really spoiled by working at home.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Felted eggs

Felted eggs! Left with lots of roving after my original plans for it didn't work out, I searched for ideas for using it up and found this video tutorial for wet felting eggs. The process works really well, but it's time consuming and very fiddly. The felt gets lumpy and develops cracks easily, so you have to go slow and handle them with kid gloves. I made an egg here and there when I had time over the past two weeks, and now I used up all the roving. Lovely, colorful eggs! Just in time for Easter.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blackberries and rhubarb

Every year I wish I could pick certain things in my yard, mostly rhubarb and blackberries. So today, on this warm dry day in the middle of a cold rainy week, I planted some rhubarb and blackberries. :) Two rhubarb plants went into a new bed on a sunny side of the shed, and three blackberry bushes went on the south side of the house, which used to be a weed hole before we nicely cleaned it up last year.

In a few years we'll have enough for pie! Or jam! Or syrups! My goal of creating a little orchard in my yard is coming along nicely. Now if I could only locate a dwarf peach tree....