Friday, October 30, 2009

Random Review Friday - Great Holiday Baking Book

         Crinkle-Faced Ginger Monsters

While we were snowed in yesterday we tried a new cookie recipe.  I am SO happy I found my Great Holiday Baking Book, which had been missing since last December!  This cookbook goes by season or holiday starting with St. Patrick's Day in March and continues through Passover, Easter, Mother's Day, and so on, ending with President's Day in February.  There are recipes from many cultures including Irish, Jewish, Mexican, Christian, and eastern European.  Some holidays have only a few recipes from one culture, like St. Joseph's Day which is an Italian holiday.  Others like Christmas, celebrated by many cultures, have many different recipes.  And how many holiday cookbooks have recipes for April Fool's Day?  Although this book covers baking, there's more than just sweets; there are also traditional baked goods like rolls and breads.  Everything I've made from here has been a hit, and I love the history on the recipes and holidays.  We've made chocolate chip scones, pumpkin-pecan waffles, and several cookies and cakes.  I don't know where I got this book, perhaps as a gift as a young bride, or perhaps I bought it years ago.  What I do know is I like it so much, I was going to buy it again if I didn't find it before Christmas!    

The Crinkle-Faced Ginger Monsters were quick and easy to make, I'll definitely be making them again this year! 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

and More Snow...

I'm just stopping in here to give you a weather update!  So far this storm, (since Tuesday night) we've gotten 21" at our house.  My dad says he's cleared just over two feet from his driveway this morning, in the mountains.  My husband and I were discussing last night how the "official" Denver weather is measured at Denver International Airport, which is nowhere near Denver, and would only be in the Denver city limits as a technicality, if that.  It's several miles from the city, and over 30 miles from our house.  With the huge difference in terrain over 30 miles in our state, that also creates a huge difference in weather!  Currently the airport is reporting 10". 

Well anyway, we're all safe in our little home, with a garage full of firewood, and lots of projects to do.  We didn't get to the castle yesterday, maybe today.  I would like to post pictures of the snow, but without getting out in it, it is really hard to get a picture with any scale!  I hope you are all keeping warm and busy, wherever you are!    

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snow Pictures

Ducks on the creek, me in the snow and my own WARM wool hat.

Tree in my in-laws' front yard.

Zoom, melting the snow at Grandma's house. 


Grandpa's fish pond

Watering can!

Snow Day

Thank you for all your helpful replies earlier this week.  I am happy to report we do not have bugs of any sort.  We ended up taking Zoom to the doctor and she said it is hives or a rash.  Although, why he has hives, we have yet to find out.  She said the number one reason for red bumps is strep so he was tested for strep and found negative.  He is now on Benedryl, which will hopefully do the trick.  As the doctor said, as long as we can get rid of it, that's what matters. 

Today is a snow day!  It started snowing late last night, continued through the night, and we are expecting more.  Personally, I'm glad to have the day with everyone at home feeling extra-lucky to be home instead of school, but it seems kind of silly to have a snow day when we only have a couple of blocks to school.  I guess the teachers have to drive farther.  We got a call at 5:30 a.m. that school was cancelled.  I understand some people are already on their way out to work at that hour, but really?  I think the majority of us could have waited one more hour to get the call.  I was dreaming and luckily Monk had already told me who the killer was, but when the phone started ringing I was saying, "I didn't set the alarm for this!"  (I'm glad I didn't dream about zombies, as we watched 28 Days Later last night. If you like zombies, it's a good movie.)  I struggled back to reality by the fourth ring to get the call.  When I came back to bed I said, "That's the worst wake-up I've had in a long time."  BFJ replied, "I could just give you a good shove out of bed later."  Then we were giggling and I'm glad the kids didn't wake up at that hour!  Of course, they did get up at 6:45.  Of course.   

Considering they have a free schedule for the day, the kids are playing together pretty well.  Thank goodness; if I have to intervene, they are all going out in the snow.  BFJ is working on some Halloween papier mache, and I am going to work on some costume bits, myself.  I also am hoping to get some work done on my Halloween quilt.  Today would be a good day to have that to snuggle up with, wouldn't it? 

Monday, October 26, 2009


Let me just start off by saying I know this is kind of creepy, but we don't know what else to try!  I'm hoping that someone out there will have a good suggestion. 

Our oldest kid wakes up every day with a new bite; you know, like bed bugs.  They look like mosquito bites, or possibly spider bites, a small red bump.  He usually has one or two new ones a day, as many as eight, but they are spread out all over his body, not in one spot. 

We have washed and changed his sheets and everything on his bed, more than once, covered his mattress in plastic, etc. Finally, we took his whole room apart, washed the sheets, all the stuffed animals, took everything out from under his bed, off the shelves, vacuumed, removed anything suspicious (he has a rock collection and a bottle cap collection).  While we were dismantling his room, he slept in his brothers' room for two nights, and did not get any bites, so therefore, we deduce it is in his room.  We have never seen any bed bugs, spiders, anything that would bite him.  We looked up bites on the internet and found scabies, with numerous pictures; this is not what he has.  We have given him a mattress that was in the other boys' room.  This morning, he had a new bite on the back of his leg.  

No one else in the house gets bitten.  We have shampooed the carpets, we have thoroughly checked behind the furniture, under the furniture...  We do have pets; the cats sleep under his bed sometimes, but they sleep ON the beds of everyone else, including ours.  The dog doesn't really go in his room.  Does anyone have a suggestion??  Next call is to the pediatrician but you know, they have very limited hours and with H1N1 floating around, it's hard to get ahold of someone if you don't have the flu!  The only thing we have not tried is something chemical, like a bug bomb.  I guess we are down to this.  If anyone has a suggestion, we'd so appreciate it! 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Magic Hour

I have been busy working on Christmas projects but I'll save details on that for later, so as not to miss out on the fun of Halloween.  (Matt and Jen, tune in next week!) 

Today was the first day in a long time for which we had no plans of any sort, and last night BFJ and I stayed up late and watched State of Play.  That was a much better movie than we were expecting.  At one point, we paused for a bathroom / snack break, and both commented on the constant tension.  So Mom, not one for you!  

This morning, we slept in.  Or tried to.  I do not understand how my kids can get up at 6:30 on Saturdays only.  BFJ spent the day doing yard work, including cleaning up all the leaves.  As soon as he was done and coming in for dinner, we had a huge gust that swept through the neighborhood, scattering leaves all over our yard!  What I "accomplished" today was minimal, but I did get some laundry done, and nothing was rushed. 

This evening, we enjoyed watching HGTV's Halloween Block Party.  What I like about Halloween is how (most) people are willing to suspend their low expectations for a day.  Suddenly I can be anything I want, and when I tell people at the office, at the store, what I am, they nod because of course I am.  They admire(?) me because I'm not too grown up to have some childish fun.  And just maybe, there is a little bit of something magical in the air.  Friday night, we'll be watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!  Now, it is at long last pumpkin carving time.  We told our children we would get that done today, and Speed has been asking, "How many hours are left in the day?" lest we forget.  I helped cut the top off of his pumpkin tonight and was smacked up side the face with the nostalgia of all my childhood years, that distinct smell of pumpkins which means one thing: jack-o-lanterns.  We are not all carving pumpkins now, though; one of us is blogging, and our little one conked right out on the couch before the magic hour arrived.  I was informed by Zoom this evening that he is old enough to do his by himself. 

In the coming week, we are planning to squeeze in some family time to make a haunted castle, a la Ann Wood.  If it turns out well, we'll post a picture! 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I've taken more than 600 pictures for Bijou Basin this weekend!  I hope you can humor me, I just had to share a few more. 

Of course the minute I typed that it hadn't yet snowed (Thursday), and hit "post," it started to snow!  If you click on my snowy geraniums above, you can see the beautiful little snowflakes.  Thursday was cold and snowy; thankfully, Friday was mild and sunny for Photo Shoot Day.  Yesterday, we woke up to 20 degree weather and more snow falling, (brrrr!!) and cancelled our family trip to Miller Farm.  Everyone had been looking forward to it, but it just didn't seem fair to make the boys trudge through the mud in the cold, just so Mommy could have more squash.  Today, was cloudy and cool, but not nearly as frigid as yesterday.  My brother and his family came over for dinner and we enjoyed watching the Broncos continue to astound football fans everywhere.  (The use of the term "dinner" confuses the little ones in our household.  Do you say dinner?)  Our five (collectively) boys enjoyed taking turns Photoshopping their faces.  I tell you, I've never had such eager cooperation for portraits - gotta remember that at Christmas time! 

I finished my FLS-intermission knitting project.  It turned out so cute, I can't wait to show you!  I have just about crossed off every official date or project I had on my calendar, for the year, and this week the Bruise and I are volunteering in the Art Room at school.  I've also got a handful of Christmas projects to work on, including painting, sewing, knitting, embroidery.  Hurray!   

I've gotten a portion of my stuff put back in the room that was lately occupied by Sisterpants, and we are expecting our first houseguests tonight: Nana and Grandpa.  This evening, we are anticipating another post-season win by the Rockies.  Even though I haven't kept up with them as much this year I'm glad they're still truckin' along.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This is Not Your Grandmother's Knitting

Yesterday, I had a photo shoot for the fun people at Bijou Basin Ranch, including yarn, garments, and some haute couture pieces.  It was so much fun!  The models were great, the pieces were beautifully made, and it all came together.  This yak yarn is so nice to knit with, soft and warm.     

This is my sister-in-law.  Isn't she a great model? 

I left the shoot a few skeins of Tibetan Dream richer, and I know just what I'm going to do with it: when I get time for knitting for myself, I'm going to make some knee-highs. Perfect under some cute boots!

Isn't this a cute sweater?  I'm not saying this yarn is awesome because they're paying me - I don't get paid for my comments - but really, the yarn is just so nice to knit with!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I couldn't think of a nicer title.  October is such a nice month, isn't it?  We haven't gotten snow yet, but things are getting cozy; there's the anticipation of the holidays and most of all, sweaters.  I love sweaters.  I can't wait to make myself a really awesome sweater.  I'm not saying that will happen anytime soon.  But let's just go ahead and start with that.  I am making the February Lady Sweater, as previously stated, and I will show you my progress here... 

Bad as this picture is, I think the sweater looks nice.  In the picture.  I am not really sure it is going to fit like I pictured in my mind, I think it might be really loose.  So do I finish it and call it my first sweater, or do I care that it fits and I'll want to wear it forever?  I don't know.  I definitely would prefer for the garter stitch to end higher up than what I did, and I think the sleeves are going to be huge, so this tells me I could have ended that section a few inches sooner.  Live and learn.  I am torn, so moving on to the third option: put it down and start something new!  The something new is almost done, though, so I am going to have to decide.

With all the big events of the last few weeks, and the flu floating around our house, I feel a bit discombobulated.  However, I think I'm over the worst of the flu, and with the steady drizzle outside, it feels like a good day to get some things in order.  I did get the living room decorated for October, complete with spiderwebs all over the fireplace, and a sign on the door that says, Enter if you dare!  Now that my sister has moved out, it is time to move all my sewing, knitting, art, back into my room.  And I have something new to put in there, as well.  You might remember we had some unexpected house guests last year.  Cousin Debra called to tell me her mom, Aunt Ruthie, had passed away and did I want my great-grandmother's sewing machine?  Of course I do!  I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity.  It still works, too!  Again, not the best picture, but I could not move this thing outside to get better light.  It's so heavy; I can carry my modern machine with one hand!  If you click on the picture, you can see a little more detail.   

I mentioned my mother-in-law won some alpaca yarn at the fairgrounds recently.  She has become vert interested in the alpacas, and I have gone to a couple of open houses with her in the past week.  I have learned more about spinning, roving, plying, and so on.  Wouldn't that be great to have my own connections to some great yarn?  She asked if I'm interested in spinning.  I am interested; we'll have to see where this goes.

I went to the first book club meeting and found that, while we were reading half the book, most people went ahead and finished it!!  I had not.  We are meeting again at the "end" of this book, and switching to meeting once a month.  I am only now past halfway, but enjoying the book.  It's definitely not what I expected! 

I hope you are all staying nice and warm.  It's cold here today; it's supposed to be warm tomorrow, cold on Saturday.  Ah, Colorado!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sisterpants' Wedding

As you can see, my sister was a happy and beautiful bride.  We've had a fun and full weekend.  One of her girlfriends took pictures of the event, and they did bridal portraits on Friday.  Luckily I was there to get a few of my own shots! 

Despite the fact that we've already had snow in Colorado recently, it was a bright and sunny day for the wedding, and everything went well, include the ring burier. 

Here she is with the little bag I made for her.  The handkerchief in her left hand was her Something Old.  It was one of my grandmother's, and was a souvenir from a trip she took to Niagara Falls as a young bride.
So here's the little bag.  I made my own pattern because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.  This is my first ever zipper!  I used some tips from Erin's zipper tutorial.  I think it all came out pretty well.  (That's my own wedding dress in the background below.)   
After all the excitement of the summer and past few weeks, it is time to get the house back in order and ready for the holidays.  And also, I am apparently going to enjoy the flu next :(

Friday, October 2, 2009

We temporarily interrupt this blog to wish Sisterpants a very happy Ever After.