Friday, December 28, 2007

Crippy Crafts and Holiday Greetings

Sorry for the extended holiday silence. I've been working on Crippy Craft gifties, with which I'm a good two weeks behind. I'll show more of these when they're all done:
and just enjoying the views of the holidays.:
I love the warm glow of the tree. It's so blasted hard to get a good photo of it, though.

I hope you're all having a lovely holiday season!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photos of the Week

I forget that people subscribe to the RSS feed are unaware of the new "Photo Selection of the Week". I shall remedy that today. Hey, you, it's posted! Click here for this week's retro inspired fat chick selection.

Heavy Rain

  I've been a fan of Barry Kite's Aberrant Art ( for years...probably at least 10. I came across his booth at Minneapolis's Uptown Art fair at least that many years ago.

His work combines two of my sincerest loves -- classic art and humor. Juxtaposed together into some witty or social commentaries, the pieces will either offend you or make you quietly giggle. I choose the latter.

Each time I look at his site's catalog, I see something new. This piece, "Unexpected Downpour", caught my eye during my most recent visit. He has several works which have fat chicks in 'em, so check it out!

Some of my all-time favorites are based upon Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte". One of my first purchases was "Sunday Afternoon, Wrong Island". I still love it.

Funny, fun stuff.
Just found another of Kite's works that is fat friendly to me! "The Spring Line" with the Venus of Willendorf figures on the catwalk. Good stuff, Maynard! :-)Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's that time of year again...

...The time when eating outdoors becomes a bit chillier. ;-)

It was sooo, sooo pretty to see the blanket upon the yard and the clumps in the trees. Thick, heavy new fallen snow has such a beautiful glow.

If you've gotten some snow in the past week, I hope you're enjoying it! I know I am!
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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ohhhh, the memories...

I was wandering through the Fatshionista Flickr photo pool (link)and came across this skirt. It's made by Revamped Fashion (link). I looove the idea of reusing / repurposing old textiles, and Revamped Fashion does some fun plus size looks (Etsy link) -- gotta love the TMNT skirt. :-)

But, to get back to the memory at hand -- the skirt above brought back a floooood of childhood bedroom memories for me. Picture the print on the flounce as wallpaper. Yup, that's what I lived in for 13+ years. It was also the sheets on my bed. The patchwork portion of the skirt was my comforter. I lived a Holly Hobbie life! There, I admitted it.

I have grown to expect to see crud at antique stores from my childhood. After my most recent trip to Minnie, I even think that with two years and an unlimited budget, I could recreate my entire childhood home just by shopping at antique stores up there. That actually would be a hoot, wouldn't it?

It's just funny seeing things from the past pop-up in unexpected places. Who knew that my old bedsheets could turn up as hipster fashion?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Homemade Gift Idea

A co-worker of mine came up with a brilliant, thoughtful gift idea for a friend and also a relative -- home cooked meals. She's going to make a selection of frozen family size meals with little cards that have super simple accompaniment recipes. What a great gift idea for someone who doesn't know how to cook or just never has time. Save them from yet another boring fast food meal! Or several! It's an awesome way to buck the corporate machine yet again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Hab a Code

The purely sucky part of the holidays -- getting together with sickly relatives and friends, and taking a bit of phlegm/goo/bug/spit home with you. Yeah, no bueno. I started the cold on Saturday and it's just progressed ever so nicely to today where now I'm just a jiggling pile of goo. I know that it will be over soon, and I really was due. Ivan had two colds this year that I was able to avoid, so yeah, it was time.

The Crippy Craft item shown above was done by my step-daughter. I thought it was clever and cute, and oh so fall-ish! Here's what you'll need -- 1 fake leaf, a wooden heart, an orange pipecleaner, a walnut (unshelled), a filbert (I think that's what it is), a triangle of orange felt, a throat wattle made of red felt and two beady eyes, hot glue. Assemble these to look like a turkey. Voila! Crippy Crafts at their best!
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up

I hosted Thanksgiving this year and, for the most part, everything turned out great! I borrowed the oven next door to get it all cooked, but aside from a few over cooked bottoms the dual oven trick worked out pretty well.
To recap the full menu:
  • 17 lb Turkey (I made an additional breast, too, 'cuz most everyone enjoys white meat 'round here.) Simple seasonings like onion and sage.
  • Stuffing -- made from dried out bread, onions, celery, broth and a boatload of poultry seasoning.
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy -- Ivan made this -- he's a whiz at gravy!
  • Carrots
  • Spinach and Cheese Puff -- recipe here at Martha Stewart. The Gruyere cheese was a bit tricky to find and quite expensive. I think that substituting Swiss would work out quite well.
  • Corn Casserole -- Recipe Here at My first introduction to this was with my boss's creation at a work potluck several years ago. Soooo easy and sooo good!
  • Sweet Potatoes (someone brought these, so I didn't haffta cook 'em!
  • Cranberry Apple Jell-o Salad. Recipe here. at I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, too.
  • Pumpkin Pie -- followed the recipe on the Libby's can, but as my mum always did -- double all of the spices to get a better flavor. Yum!
  • French Silk Pie -- Never made this before, but it turned out to be a hit. I used this recipe, also from Martha Stewart. Very similar to the French Silk pie I loved as a kid. Now that I know what's actually in the pie, I passed on seconds!
  • Cranberries with Ginger -- I can't find the recipe I used. Basically, one bag of cranberries, a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of water, one tablespoon of grated fresh ginger.-- Very good. The fresh ginger is strong, but it's a good match for the cranberries.
  • Fresh Cranberry Sauce -- easy and it doesn't have the can-rings on it. Just follow the recipe on the back of the cranberries.
  • Candied Almonds - Can't find this recipe either. Basically -- egg whites, cinnamon, sugar, almonds, salt. Bake until crispy.
  • We also had a banana cream pie, and a pecan pie that were brought to the table by family and friends.
  • Finally, a selection of pickles and olives at each table. I didn't make those, either. :-)
Even after having 13 people over, we have LOTS of leftovers. If you're looking for a good meal, c'mon over!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Day After Thanksgiving is....

I'll admit, I'm awfully tempted to pick up an HDTV tomorrow, but NO, I will not. Not because says so, but because, seriously, nothing irritates me more than the day-after-Christmas advertising.
"Hurry in, don't be the loser who ends up paying .50 more for this piece of crap." or
"Get what Janie really wants -- this toaster oven! It will make her love you more than evaaaah."

Oh, I should also add that day-after-Christmas shoppers irritate the hell out of me, too. The all too common "me-me-me" attitude of pushy customers trying to get the bargains. Is the .50 savings worth that sh*tty behavior? Then, after elbowing each other, we need to stand politely in exceedingly long lines at the checkout? WHY??

So, yeah, tomorrow, if you can avoid it at all, DO NOT GO SHOPPING. STOP ~BUYING~ THE BUY-THIS-NOW-OR-LOSE-OUT approach to gift giving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rambutan - Scary Fruit

When in doubt, buy the scary fruit, just to try it. It can't be poisonous, right? I mean, they wouldn't sell it if it was, right? Well, you know, aside from all of those recent food recalls, I mean. So, there, next to the mini pineapples (gotta love those! They're soooo cute!) was a bunch of furry "Rambutan" fruit. $5.99/lb. Kinda pricey as far as fruit goes, but hey, you only live once. Oh, and c'mon, they're SMMMMMAAAALL. I bought five of 'em and it probably only weighed 1/4 lb. A cheap food risk!

I get home, look up how to eat 'em online and am a wee bit scared of the white egg-like center. Quite freakish, really. If I were to imagine a fruit from another planet which would harbor little creatures, this would be it. (I must remember it for Halloween next year!) The texture of the "egg" inside was a bit like...hmmm...a hard boiled egg...or maybe an overly Jello'd Jell-o jiggler. The flavor wasn't intense at all. Very sweet, but no ZIIING. Let's say if I'm stranded on a Malaysian isle, I could eat these to survive. Otherwise, hmmm, I'll pass.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

I feel...

I feel as if this site: may come in handy when there's a huge national disaster (or a national election, but really, what's the difference?) that causes every one to pause and blog. Right now it's just pretty amazing. Hey, but that's just how I feel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He's a Cheater!

So, I'm scoping out today's mail offerings and what do I see? My new Bust Magazine. Awesome! Oh, look, it's got Beth Ditto on the cover. But wait...who is she holding?! That's's Kipper, my dead (or so I thought!) cat. Caught red-pawed kissing another fat girl. You can see the expression in his eyes. He just KNEW I'd see this. There he is with his new claws -- implants don't you know?! That little cheat!

I've rarely seen any cats that have looked exactly like Kipper. There are lots of Russian Blue's around, but few seem to have that Mountain Dew eye color.

Well, at least the little guy has moved up in the world. Rock on, Kipper!
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Sea Monkeys or Artemia Salina

I remember looking to the back pages of the comic books to see the advertisement for Sea Monkeys. The ads basically promised you supremacy over the sea monkey kingdom, but not only would you be their keeper, but they would, in turn, be your friend. And, they'd don gorgeous jewels or bows upon their crowns and show you the beauty of life.

Unfortunately, when it arrived, the sea monkey kit never really fully captured my dream. There were no jeweled crowns or even bows atop each creature, and they never survived to live past their lice-like existance. Worst of all, they never tried to befriend me.

A wee bit disappointed, true, but that didn't really kill the dream. I still have it. I see the kits for sea monkeys and the dream lives. The hours of day dreaming about the little lives that were coming in the mail still keep a smile upon my face. If I had known then what this meant -- "Caricatures shown not intended to depict Artemia Salina" -- my dream bubble may have burst prior to the actual "monkeys" arriving.

Ah, good memories. The photo above shows the Sea Monkey dolls. No water added! Here's the ad that deceived me so:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Bug's Milestone


100,000 miles! 8 years and only 100K on my wee Beetle. Not too shabby. The little guy has had quite a break in use since I've been working from home the past few years. Maybe that's why it's been treating me so well?

So, happy milestone, dear bug. Thanks for not leaving me on a deserted road late at night the past 100,000 miles. I sincerely appreciate it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fat Woman Goes Around the World

This is just one example of a fellow fat chick taking the world on with a healthy dose of self-esteem: Where is Geri is a blog written by a woman I've known off and on at fat friendly events in Minneapolis. When I was at Kim's wedding last month, Geri told me of her plans to go on a grand adventure around the world. She found the timing, finances and ~everything~ had aligned to make it possible to follow this dream. I'm so overwhelmingly happy (and jealous, in a good way) that she's doing this. I should mention, too, that she's doing it alone. All around the world, alone. I believe she said she was going to catch up with a few familiars in various countries, but by and large, she'll be on her own. Just freakin' impressive!! Anyway, she's going to blog her journey at her site. I hope that you all stop in and read about her year-long adventure. Isn't it just awesome?!!? Go Geri!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Your GIRTH does not equate to your self WORTH

I feel main purpose of the "size" or "fat" acceptance movement should be trying to assist fat people to see that their self-worth is completely independent of their girth. We can't change a fat person's family, friends, coworkers, or the general public through laws or mandates. Nor can we directly change how others may feel about our fat visage. We CAN, however, make them see that self-worth confidence is not shaken by the potential spewed negativity. In the end, that unshakeable confidence WILL change the way we are treated. No one messes with a force that will not be moved.

So, with that, I came up with this simple slogan. Girth ≠ Worth. (I tried Girth != Worth and Girth <> Worth, too, but I feared only programmers would understand.) Slapped it up in one of my shops at Cafepress. ( I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, one or two may end up on chests around the world as an aid to another soul who needs to see it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 you need this?

Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinkin' that if you need to have a machine this large (Black & Decker / Lids Off ) on your counter top just to remove jar lids, it maybe time for you to switch to pop-top cans or plastic options. Stop the insanity of the one-purpose, money and time wasting appliances. You know that if you buy this, you'll use it two times and then store it in the cupboard, promptly forget about it, try to sell it at a garage sale, then donate it to Goodwill or the DI within 5 years. After it doesn't sell there, where will it end up? In a freakin' landfill. So, just say no.

For those of you who are in the physical condition where it's impossible to open jars, ok, go ahead, you can get one. The rest of you? When you want to open a difficultly sealed jar, invert it, and squarely pound the lid three times on the counter top. Works like a charm, everytime.
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Fat Positive Site -

A hearty recommendation for another fat girl photo site: The Adiposivity Project ( Beautiful photos with a healthy dose of sexy attitude. Be sure to check 'em out!
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Horsing Around

  I took this picture the other day while at the step-son-in-law's mom's house. (I should have just said, "a friend's" house...let's keep it nice and generic, shall we? How lame does it look to have a double possession of thrice removal? So, yeah. It just seemed like a stark reminder that childhood does end, it gets overgrown and forgotten in a far away field. Then again, maybe it's a reminder that the wilds of childhood spirit lives! Eh, maybe it's just open to interpretation of mood.
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Humble Pie

While I can't find any assurance of the origins of this quote, it has been ascribed to Jonas Salk, "If all the insects on earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on earth would disappear. If all humans disappeared, within 50 years all species would flourish as never before."

There appears to be no purpose, as far as Earth's ecology goes, to our existance on the planet. Nothing else relies upon us to survive. Basically, we do nothing to aid in the Earth's survival. Whether or not you believe in the theory that global warming is exclusively man's doing, you cannot deny that we are doing more harm than good to the planet's natural existance. Maybe some would see this as a clear example of man's supremacy, but I think that probably originates from a false pride in superiority. In reality, we're all just blight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Old Halloween Decos

My sister found these online after I asked her a question about the Halloween decorations we used to have up as a kid.
The first...a true testament to how decorations today pale in the scary factor. You can't find evil like this anymore unless you make it yourself.

This is the face that only a mother could love.

I don't think this was ever my favorite, but the image is burned in my brain. When my sister sent me the link to it, it was unmistakably THE scary witch I remembered.  It's a fun combination of a classic devil face with a crazy, hell raised witch.
According to the site (click here for more), it originates in the 40s. Well, in the 70s she was still lookin' good and still freakishly scary.

The next two I remember distinctly, too. They were funny, hipster, 70's jointed beings. A little bit scary (well, in the case of the witch), but by and large just goofy.

We often hung them on the front of our garage with the arms pointing the way to the front of the house. There was always a giant skeleton out there to help guide the trick-or-treaters.



Sunday, October 21, 2007

Invites of Halloween Past

As mentioned in the post below, here are invites from the past few years. I'm especially fond of the 2003 pop-up invite. It's still, by far, my favorite. I always browse online for Halloween inspiration, so I'm hoping maybe, just maybe, this may inspire someone else. Gotta give back, ya know!





I don't have a "final" copy of last year's invite, so I recreated it with the beta copy in addition, I pasted in a graphic that initially was placed on the inside door. Pretty close to how it actually looked, methinks.
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Feelin' Spooky

Here's the cover to my annual Halloween Party invite. I tried to go with a creepier, spoookier feel than previous years. For instance, last year's was constructed of construction paper, velum and a sweet lookin' Frankenstein holding a bowl of candy. Dang...I should show some previous year's invites on here. Sometimes they turn out pretty cool...sometimes lame. Each year it's a little bit different depending upon my mood and the amount of time I have available. This year, not so much time, but plenty of creep running through my veins.

The photos used to make this composite include a VERY spooky abandoned house from central Minnesota. The others were from (click here to see my stock portfolio there, and to sign up!) The majority of the layered photos were the freebie photos that they give away each week to members...if you were a member, you could get freebies too! Don't ya love the sweet peer-pressure soft-sell?? I use istock for work all the time. Cheap prices and a usually a myriad of choices for each project. They aren't very profitable for people who sell photos on there -- typically you get only 20 cents for each 640x280 size photo you sell, but it does add up. I've made 220 bucks over the last two years and really haven't uploaded anything new in a year or yeah, definitely meager passive income. But, ehy, the majority of our pix are just from traveling around taking snapshots... I'm sure those who use models, studio space, and whatnot are earning quite a bit more.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Things I Learned on My Autumnal Vacation

The first thing? Photo booths at wedding receptions are AWESOME. At Kim & Chester's wedding (Congrats by the way!!), they had the booth by, a parcel of silly props, and several hours of booth availability to take fun shots. It was a great diversion for guests and it kept wee ones very busy. Not only that, but the typical party favor of a few Hershey's kisses on a stick is now a very personalized remembrance photo(s) instantly printed out for guests who participate. OH and another brilliant idea? The bride did a "dollar photo session" -- similar to the "dollar dance" where you get one-on-one attention with the bride/groom on the dance floor -- only with this, you pay (ahem...DONATE) to get a photo taken with the bride. FUN stuff! For their money, the bride and groom also get a CD with all of the photos taken at their reception ...and all of the photos are also availble online for all of the guests to see, too. I really can't recommend this idea enough.

Next item -- Minnesota can be WARM in October. I was thinking it would be oh, I dunno, 60ish for highs. Au contraire. 80s! So, there I sat with a huge suitcase full of cool weather clothing and only one short sleeve shirt. Yeah, poor planning on my part.

Next item -- Working in the matter how hard I try...ends up being a LONNNNNG week with very long hours. I worked for half of my time in Minnesota and I was ever so grateful that I planned a week off after HELL week which was filled with training, meetings and many more meetings.

Next item -- Attending a meeting in person became very important due to the unique announcement that started it off. If I had been on the phone listening in, I'm quite sure I would have been saying, "What? What did she say? I really misheard something. Please tell me what she really said..." I know some people from work read this, so I won't be divulging the particular surprise publicly. Trust me when I say it's an amazingly unique announcement. I really feel a lot of sympathy for the couple involved as it's a very complex situation. I hope all turns out well for them.

Next item -- My coffee obsession had me traveling all over small northern and central Minnesota towns in search of a good mocha..."Is there a Starbucks here? A Caribou? A Dunn Brothers? Anyone??" Sadly, in towns under 15,000, trustworthy coffee chains are VERY hard to find.

What was NOT hard to find -- BIG stuff ( Which reminds me I really need to update that site! I've got several entries from the summer contest, several from Kimmy and now several happen-upons from my autumnal tour of small town Minnesota. I "captured" a fish, Robin Hood, a bowling muffler mand as Paul Bunyan and his trusty Babe with bowling pins in its mouth, a deer and a sea serpent --- all without even trying to find 'em. I did see a giant hot dog on a roof, too, but it was raining and we were cranky. That will need to be "captured" another time.

Finally, my hubby can be pretty brave. While traveling into a small town, we noticed that a house was just starting to catch fire and that no one was stopping to even investigate the situation. He turned the car around and parked out front. At this point, he jumped out of the car and was going to make sure no one was stuck inside. I told him to NOT open the front door as that's where most of the smoke was coming out. By the time he got to the front of the house, a cop car pulled up...and immediately following him...a distressed homeowner. She had just gone into town a scant few minutes before this. She shouted out that no one was inside except for her cat. So, Ivan came back to the car unscathed and we watched the firetrucks pull up. It took them quite a while to even get water to the hoses, and by that time, it was looking REALLY bad for the house. The photo shown here is my hubby to the right and the homeowner getting consoled by the police prior to the firetrucks arriving.

Creepy yet Fun...perfect for Halloween

  I found this article browsing around online today. The look on the pumpkin is especially creepy, but hey, so is the chick's painted on eyebrows. It's a cool idea, too. I remember having molds for cucumbers years ago, but never had one big enough to mold a pumpkin. How festive!
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Photos of the Week

Since I'll be gone for a few weeks, I've added three Photos of the Week today to keep ya'll busy. Have a good time! Vavavoom!

Picasa & Flooring

I know I haven't given the "flooring update" as promised below. So, yeah, here it is...the finished flooring and the new rug which I adore from Lowes. The new floor, while gorgeous when clean, quickly gets dusty. I'm not sure if it's the dusty world of Utah that is to blame or if it's the boiling water canners billowing water deposits in the air. More than likely, it's a combination of factors. In any event, the Pergo flooring is gawwwwjusss.

And Picasa -- Google's image manager. VERY sweet program. Easy photo manipulations and collages, publishing to blogs, email, tracking and management, etc. Just a brilliant program. Go here to try it out: It's the best freebie program I've tried in years.
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It's Getting Chilly

  Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I've been busy with so much -- lots of canning (it's that time of year, but luckily that time of year shall soon pass!), my sister being in town (little road trips and whatnot!), preparing for a two week trip to Minnesota, longer work hours for an impending deadline, etc. So, sorry to neglect you, dear readers.

This photo is right outside of Bryce Canyon in Panguitch, Utah. The farmer must not have known of the impending freeze. In any event it made for lots of purty icy photos. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Two hours later when we passed the field again -- no ice -- no sprinkers -- and no icy beauty.
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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Winds Were A-Blowin'...

Just a quick embarassing story for ya'll:

Yesterday we were out on a wee little ghost town and rock hounding expedition with a friend of my hubby's. Every so often when you're ~out there~ you need to...ahem...use "the facilities". A true call of nature, ya dig? My usual way to accomplish this task when an hour's drive from anywhere with a porcelain god, is to open the side doors of the Jeep to block the view from at least two angles, wait until no one is behind me and then drop the undies and crouch down to pee. A fine and dandy way to accomplish the task at hand...usually.

Yesterday's wind was fierce. I opened the front door and it blew back toward me. Fine, I opened it all the way and figured when I was crouched down, I'd hold the door open. I had to do without the passenger door. Fine. Not many peering eyes around least none that I noticed. I let go of the door to drop the undies and a HUGE gust blew...the door slammed shut and caught the majority of my skirt, too. There I am, undies at my knees, my skirt stuck in the door and up around my bum. I try to open the door. No go. I pull harder. No go. Great. Now what? I check the lock. Nope, not locked. I pull harder. No go. At this point I'm fearing that we will need to abandon the skirt in the door when we leave. Ok, I call to Ivan who was quite a distance away.
"Come here!"
He's looking at me through the glass. I'm trying to signal over the top of the Jeep. He gave me a puzzled look and then came over. He's no slouch when it comes to using muscle power, but he had to YANK a couple of times to get it to come loose. Freedom!

Just a crazy situation. I'm so happy to be free!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cutest little guy (girl?) evah!

  How cute is this new resident at our place?? Not sure if it's male or female yet, but it's darn cute no matter the sex. We weren't 100% sure that the llama mama was pregnant -- you really can't tell. No baby bump. Nuttin'! From what I've heard the only way you can tell if a llama is pregnant is that the breeding male won't mount a pregnant female. Since I'm not out in the field with 'em all day long, I had no idea! So, yeah, cute, cute, cute.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

A Skull A Day

No, it's not about horror stories from Iraq, but with a little bit of autumnal (read the start of Halloween-season) chill in the air this morning, I did hit upon a fun, albeit ghoulish site:

Monday, August 20, 2007


Maybe it's just me, but I saw a commercial for "Aciphex"...or maybe I should say I heard a commercial for Ass-Effects. Or was it Ass-FX? I thought it would be a great name for an anti-gas treatment. Turns out it's an anti-heartburn medicine. Do you think the marketing department at Eisai and Ortho-McNeil even considered the sound of the name? They really should have. It's funny, though, when you actuall SEE the name, the ~ass~ is less evident. It's completely just an aural reaction. I wonder if they'll do radio ads and if they do, do you think the ultra-conservative FCC will react harshly?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Money, Money, Money

Do you ever see the stories in the newspaper about billions of "unclaimed" dollars that the government, banks or other entities are holding for people who have gone missing? I check nearly every year and what do ya know? This year, I've got some cash coming to me! Go here if you want to find out if you're due some moola: The money I'll be getting is from a class-action suit with Microsoft settled in 2003, I believe. I didn't get my check 'cuz I moved from my old address and changed my name. It's not a lot of money, but hey, it'll buy a dinner out on the town. Wahooo!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Busy, busy!

So much going on, so little time to blog.

I've been canning up a storm of goodness -- primiarly apricot and plum. The raspberry onslaught is just beginning. So far I've made apricot jams and butters; canned whole apricots; dried about 7 batches of dehydrated apricots and froze a bunch, too. Then there's the plum jam and plum conserve. The latter is usually super yummy. I couldn't find my original Ball Canning book recipe, but I think this one ought to be just as yummy -- It's primarily plums, oranges, walnuts and sugar. It's a very holiday-y taste.

We've been working at re-doing are front room/entry. It's been covered by ugly wallpaper for 80+ years. Way past time for a facelift! We peeled a good four layers off the wall and three off the ceiling. I've never, ever sweated enough to drip off the tip of my nose....well, until it was 100 degrees outside and I was steamin' my butt off. A good pore cleansing, to be sure. Here's the mid-strip look:

And finally, the post-paint look. We haven't installed the flooring yet nor completely refurbed the woodwork. All in good time! The green is called "Feldspar" It's basically a light Mountain Dew tone. It really makes the woodwork POP from the walls. I picked out the color and loved it, but when I started painting I was a bit....ummm..scared. Now that it's up, I'm diggin' it!

After the wood flooring is laid down, I plan on getting this rug (linky) 'cuz it's funky and even maybe a wee bit arts & crafts like the house. When the room is completely put back together, I'll post more pix.

Finally, we've got a wedding going on this Friday. Ivan's youngest daughter is getting married. Much to-do over this to-do. Luckily, I'm a relatively minor player although I think we're paying for the reception. Ahhh the beauty of a traditional "father of the bride pays for the reception" gig. The truly lucky portion -- it's a super low-key barbeque. Not by our design, but rather the bride's. Gotta love a girl with simple tastes! :-)

Oh, I almost forgot about my weather report. I'm sure most of you heard about the huge fires in Utah. While we've recently gotten rain and have broken our several week stretch of 100 degree weather, I was able to view a sweet fire right near downtown Salt Lake City. Got some cute photos of firemen, I did. Oooh, yes, I did. Ya gotta love the fireman's stance on the left. It was hot, hot and hot in many ways, that day. :-)