Sunday, May 31, 2009

Things I want to do off in the Some-day…

1. Purchase a pet turtle and name her Molly
2. Write several novels, each from completely different genres
3. Tour a medieval castle
4. Learn calligraphy
5. Get a tuba and take lessons on it
6. Become adept in a few authentic foreign cuisines
7. Ride a Welsh pony
8. Begin a professional blog
9. Get some real paints and learn how to wield them
10. Knit myself some mesh opera gloves

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My First Experience as a Designer – with no money

As some of you may know, my oldest brother (Richard) recently moved to Illinois. My brother Phillip, elated to be rid of Richard’s many possessions, went crazy cleaning out their room, moved out the extra bed, and settled into life without Richard. Well, this week-end, Richard decided to come for a visit. This posed the question of, “Where is he to sleep?” It was decided that he should take over the little room in the corner of the basement. This area, formerly my brother Reuben’s, was filled with cobwebs and a small amount of miscellaneous junk.

It looked like this:

I offered to clean and design it. So what did I have to work with in this room?

A decent bed with mattress
A rusted out file cabinet
A large dresser with mismatched handles and scratches
A few boxes of junk
A giant monitor
A rather old, white cupboard in bad condition
A black wardrobe in good condition
A cracked trash can
A decent bookshelf with sliding, glass doors

And this is what the room is now:

I spread a white cloth over the bookshelf, created a wall template with colored paper squares (adhered with blue tack), and placed a simple vase of water and fresh wildflowers to the side.

A bright, comfortable chair with a throw over the side rests in one corner.

The cement floor is covered by a large rug in a neutral color.

I draped a deep green fleece throw over the rusty cupboard, and placed it to the side of the bed for use as a nightstand.

The tacky array of magnets is removed, the wardrobe cleaned, and a couple of animals comfortably situated on top.

I turned the bed all the way around, to face the opposite wall. I used some navy blue sheets, green pillowcases, and a lighthouse blanket. The vertical pictures above the headboard create a unique accent. I found the pictures in an outdated calendar, but they have a matted finish and are relatively thick. The frames are construction paper.

A bare wall is tempered by a picture of stone architecture. (Found in a calendar.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Things I've Done Recently...

Things I’ve Done Recently…Just For the Fun of it

1. Picked wildflowers and arranged them in a tiny vase
2. Given someone a Happy Valentine’s Day card randomly
3. Drawn wooly mammoths using crayons
4. Worn a shirt that I didn’t like, just to feel unfashionable
5. Watched a kid movie
6. Shot a Kimber .45
7. Blown a dandelion flower
8. Listened to music with the car windows down
9. Written a story about bowling pinsNamed a rose bush “Jasmine"

Are You Music-Obsessed?

Take this little quiz to find out. And no, it doesn’t really mean anything. I just made it up.

I. Which composer was known for paranoia?

a) Brahms
b) Ravel
c) Tchaikovsky
d) Liszt

II. How many sonatas did Beethoven write?

a) 32
b) 73
c) 41
d) 25

III. In what month was J. S. Bach born?

a) February
b) March
c) December
d) July

IV. Which composer attempted suicide?

a) Debussy
b) Grieg
c) Vivaldi
d) Schumann

V. What composer is not Russian?

a) Rebikov
b) Shostakovitch
c) Czerny
d) Rubinstein

Scroll down for answers…

Keep scrolling…

Here they are…


I. c), II. a), III. b), IV. d), V. c)

0 Correct-
You are either not a musician, or have no memory for musical trivia.

1-2 Correct-
You have a minor interest in music.

3-4 Correct-
You are a bit of a music trivia novice.

4-5 Correct-
You may be labeled as “music-obsessed.”

Yesterday I...

…made sugar cookies. Here they are:
(All photos courtesy of Bonnie)
And here’s my haphazard cooking area:

And here I am in my “Kiss the Cook” apron:

Note to photographer: is there some reason you didn’t mention the giant crease in the middle??
The recipe I used comes from a yellowed “Household Discoveries” and “Mrs. Curtis’s Cookbook” of the early 1900’s. Because it was written before the age of modern stoves, this recipe, for example, simply says to “bake quickly.” Here’s the recipe:

Sugar Cookies

2 cupfuls sugar,
1 cupful butter,
3 eggs,
3 cupfuls flour,
1 teaspoonful baking powder,
1 teaspoonful nutmeg,
½ teaspoonful cloves

Notes: we use 4 ½ cups of flour, and heap up the baking powder and the cloves.

Cream butter and sugar, beat in the whipped eggs, spices, and baking powder, add the flour gradually, working it in until the dough is stiff enough to roll. Sprinkle flour over a pastry board. Make a ball of the dough, and lay it on the board. Rub the rolling-pin with flour and roll out the dough into a sheet quarter of an inch thick. Cut in round cakes, sift granulated sugar over each, and bake quickly. (We use convect bake, 375 degrees for 10 minutes.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Christmas in May

…At least, that’s what yesterday felt like. To begin at the very beginning, I should explain about my tea bag collection.

My oldest sister, Tammy, began a tea bag collection years ago. She traded with other collectors, and acquired a rather large variety, including bags from Germany, Italy, France, Asia, Sri Lanka, Spain, England, Holland, Finland, and various countries. When she moved to Seattle not long ago, she was forced to downsize possessions. Although she hated to part with her collection, she asked me if I would be willing to claim it. She was hoping to find someone who would actually enjoy it. I was thrilled with the prospect of being given this collection. I am gradually adding to it, and the variety is incredible.

Recently, I chatted with her on the phone, and she mentioned that her friend Lin had sent some tea bags for the collection, and they should be arriving soon. Yesterday, I was shocked to receive three large packages…with not only tea bags, but also about 40 boxes of tea and many skeins of beautiful yarn, including wool varieties. (A personal favorite of mine.) For more pictures (and a different perspective), check out my sister’s post.

A close-up of my personal favorite:

To my great joy, a knitting needle case was also enclosed:

And finally, a beautiful sunset, taken recently:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Charlie Brown

Yes, I'm a fan.
My favorite character? Do you really have to ask? (Just think for a moment about who the Beethoven-obsessed kid is.)


Lucy: “Schroeder, if the time ever came that you had to choose between me and this piano, what would you do?”

Schroeder: “I’d look you right in the eye, and I’d say, ‘I’ll take the piano!’"


Lucy: “Schroeder, why is it that you like Beethoven better than you like me?”

Schroeder: “Beethoven was Beethoven and you are YOU!”

Lucy: “That doesn’t even leave room for discussion.”

Friday, May 8, 2009


Is it just me, or is being an American beginning to mean less and less?

Historical Americans:

- Industrious
- Intelligent
- Capitalists
- Independent

Americans of Today:

- Unmotivated
- Stupid
- Socialists
- Dependent on government

Colorful Photos

My photography has never been exceptional. I generally attempt certain perspective photos, most of which even I do not appreciate.

I believe I took this one while on a ladder overtop.

Here I attempt to romanticize the windows of an ordinary garage door.

Lights at an odd angle.

Dark roof against lovely summer sky.

Dry Queen Anne's Lace...

Handprints in sidewalk.

The Dilapidated Omelet: My Brunch Creation

This creation came into being when I decided to make a little brunch. It began with the thought of making some “hash browns” for myself. Somewhere along the way, I threw in some other ingredients, too. Because I did not properly measure ingredients, I doubt that this recipe could help anyone reliably recreate it, but this is the basic idea:


About ¼ of a medium sized onion, sliced
¼ or less of an orange bell pepper, diced
1 potato, diced
Fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons garlic powder (or fresh garlic, minced)
1 egg
A pinch of ginger

To garnish:
Fresh chives, sliced
Crumbled sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream (opt.)

Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a medium-large skillet. Sauté onion and bell pepper until soft. (Onion should be slightly translucent.) Add potato, frying about twenty minutes or until soft, but not mushy. Cover with black pepper and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Beat egg with a small amount of milk and a pinch of ginger. Add to potato mixture, frying just until done. (Slightly browned.) Garnish with chives and crumbled cheddar. Top with sour cream if desired.