Saturday, January 29, 2005

Is That a Banana in Your Pocket?

What will they think of next? My friend and I were perusing the Not Martha site when we read about the Banana Bunker. Now, honestly, we could not help sniggering a bit - OK a lot - about this product. I mean LOOK at it! We even felt compelled to email it all the way downstairs to John, who was using the computer in his basement lair. He had pretty much the same impression we did. It's obviously a product that is intended to look very innocent - in case, say, your bags are being searched at the airport. No longer do you need to fear embarrassment at what might be pulled from your bag. "That? Oh, that!" *light laugh and toss of head* "That is simply my ribbed banana protector." At which point you open it and pull the banana from within with a flourish.

Perhaps you could even purchase it with an upgrade! "Why is there a battery pack attached? Ah, well, you see it's refrigerated! Yes, yes indeedy it is." Mmmmm hmmm!

Now, if you go to that Not Martha site (I'm going to make you go there if you want to see the other one because she has a great site) there's also a link to the Banana Guard I'm not sure I should share my thoughts on this G-spot other banana protector, so I will let you form your own opinions.

In other breaking news, it's cold here!!!! Yeeesh! It's not as cold as Wisconsin was, but it's cold enough. No, it's too cold. The kids are getting cabin fever. We took them all to sparring today, and even after an hour of lighting up their partners, they were all nimbly-bimbly when we were leaving the do-jang.

In light of the weather, I guess I need to get back into the sewing swing and make those Sew Baby slippers. Look for an S&S soon.

After that flop of a baby gown, I made myself some lounge pants. Suffice it to say that they had problems of their own. Sigh. I'm not feeling very sewing-savvy right now. I used something kinda veloury and forgot about nap when cutting, so the nap on the front goes one way, and the nap on the back goes the other. Wah! I decided on a whim to lettuce the bottom edges, and they have a fun flare-y look and feel. They're pretty comfy, but I feel like a dork about that nap issue.

I'm definitely in my "Blue Period" in scrapbooking. Out of the 5 layouts in my book, 3 are blue. Well, they're winter pics, and that's about all that seemed to work. I need to pull diff pics I guess...

On a totally unrelated note, I can no longer type the word "the." Instead, it always, ALWAYS comes out "teh." I hate that. I'm not sure what to do. Maybe I'll abbreviate it to just "t." Maybe I could start a new trend in blogging, or even REAL writing. "T quick brown fox jumped over t lazy dog." Hmm... I could be onto something. Think of all the ink and paper we'd save just by omitting the "h" and "e" in every "the" in a book. "Save a tree, use a "t!"" Yep, that could be my slogan. Or maybe "Get the he out of the." Remember, you saw it here, first!

Now it's late, and I need to get the he out of here. :o)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bloggity Blog

Well, not a whole heck of a lot is going on right now. I'm back to writing again, as planned. I have something almost revised that I wanted to get out by Friday, but may slip 'til Saturday. (children's picture book)

We had class and sparring today. That's always a blast! :o) I kicked my 1st poor sparring partner in the face, though. Yikes. I didn't mean to - I was just going for the head. John says my kick was right on, but he turned into it. Ouch. I felt my heel contact bone (spinning hook kick and it hit him in the cheekbone) and then he was just standing there all dazed for a while. Oops! :o( But he gave me a nice head shot, too (good thing we wear headgear!) so hopefully he feels better about that. :o)

I finally finished and mailed both calendars on Tuesday! WOO HOO!! So I made my first scrapbook page (2 pg spread) for MYSELF after that, and then I finally got to sew again.

I made a baby gown for a friend today - well I meant it to be for a friend - and it came out all wonky. I used a lap shoulder shirt pattern and just lengthened it for a gown.

As you can see, the neckline is all rippled. The instructions said to turn under and stitch, but that made it all wavy. Even washing and drying on hot didn't help. On top of it all, I serged on the elastic, and it gathered the bottom of the gown, but it was too weak to gather it once I'd turned it under for a finished edge, so I had to pick that out again. Shoulda made a casing. I guess it will be a dolly gown. :oP Some of the sewing mamas said to try clear elastic, so I'll have to find some of that.

I scored at the resale shop for Fishy today! Neat stuff I couldn't have made myself for the prices! I always love a good bargain! Sluggie got new tennies, too, for $6.50. That girl's feet are growing like crazy. Zoiks! Maybe it's just that she likes shoes so much she *thinks* she needs new ones. The girl does like her shoes... But I saw her pass up a pair of cute shoes that she liked today because they were too small, even though they were a size larger than her current ones! I think she may outgrow the Mollusc soon!

Mollusc went to the orthodontist and I was shocked yet again that they didn't recommend doing anything. (Have YOU ever known an ortho to pass up recommending any kind of treatment? That's like a shrink saying "OK, you're done. All Better. Bye-bye!") So she doesn't have to go back till next October, and both visits have been free. I'm a teensy little bit worried about that in the back of my mind. Wouldn't you be?

I still need to sew. Obviously the wonky baby gown would not satisfy my creative urges, and I need to make some kind of baby present, if I can just figure out what...

Prawn and her friend (the Master's daughter) did great at TKD today and both got stars on their foreheads (a big deal, believe me!) After that, they proceeded to decorate the dojang with bandaids and salve during the homeschool class. We all realised they had been WAAAAY too quiet. Little stinkers!

Still doing Flylady. Not sure if I'm doing it right... But I'm decluttering more and took in a load to the resale shop today. More goes on Mon if I'm on the ball. I also really need to post some of my goodies on eBay as SOAA auctions. I have a lovely purple cape, a fairy skirt, etc. that need to go.

I'm currently coveting a new camera. Turns out my old one is broken and that's why it's been giving me fits. What I really want is a Powershot Pro1. My uncle (a photographer) recommended it and I apparently have his and my dad's bloodsince I just LOVE to take pics, and am dying for an awesome camera with a superb lens like my old film camera, but digital. I also want a guitar. Must be entering the "creative" phase of my life... In the meantime, I need to get my current camera fixed, at least.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Hallelujah! One Calendar is DONE!!

Yay and hooray! I finally finished that October page and did December's. One calendar down and one to go.

I'm dragging myself back onto the Flylady wagon. Someone told me about using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on my porcelain sink and I am THRILLED with the results! I always have a hard time making it past the FlyBaby stage. I don't understand what she means by things like "make sure you have your weekly vacumming done" since I don't already have my own schedule. I do it on Mondays and when it looks like it needs it. I guess I need to pore over the site more and figure all that out.

It's really wonderful to have a washing machine again. Really! I sat for a while today, just watching it go 'round and 'round and marveling at the miracle of modern technology. If it weren't for washers and dryers, I'd spend the better part of my week scrubbing the family's clothes. Yikes!

My fabric stash is calling to me. I'm not sure which pieces of fabric are actually making all the noise, since I won't open the drawers until my calendars are done. Well, not completely true. I did open one today to put away a piece of glittery pink rib knit I had to wash after my kids managed to slime it with something. At that point, a tan, striped knit with foxes and backpacks tried to convince me to make pants for Gogo, but I was firm, even though it begged and pleaded. It even tried to guilt me into sewing it up, because the grey striped pants I made him last year are now about 3" too short. But I was resolute in my steadfastness (or maybe steadfast in my resoluteness) and pointed out that he can wear jeans for a few more days if neccessary. Still, I can hear the fabric calling out in muffled voices. It's worse at night when the house is (more or less) quiet.

I'm going to have to try the washcloth idea one of the moms at The Swap told me about. You fold a washcloth in half, sew up the sides, turn it right side out and put 2 or 3 snaps across the top. Soap scraplets get slipped inside and are easy to use up!

Tomorrow is Monday already. We're doing Around the World in 180 days and the kids wanted to start with Australia. We've been enjoying it so far. I have some books and movies on order at the library that look good. Maybe I can review them when we're done with them. I'm not actually sure how I ended up with the program. It came with a botany book I'd ordered, and it was listed on the order form. Suffice it to say that it's better not to order things late at night - especially when you've just gotten your internet back after a dry spell. But we're enjoying it, and learning, too, so maybe I should actually go on a late night ordering binge and see what else arrives on our doorstep. :o)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

P.G. Wodehouse was a comic genius :o)

Holy cow, could that man write!! Douglas Adams wasn't kidding when he said that Wodehouse was "the greatest comic writer of all time." I lie in bed reading those books and just cracking up. Jeeves and Wooster books are my faves so far. And I can SO see the influence in Douglas Adams's writing. Sigh. :o) There's just nothing quite like the pleasure of having a good book waiting for you, is there?

Now, for those awaiting the latest with bated breath, I shall press on lest I disappoint...

We went sledding at Kensington park again today. We bought our 3rd annual membership sticker for the park. It doesn't seem like we've been here that long. Sledding was a blast, though I'll prolly have bruises on my bum all over again. I'm eyeing up that extra piece of chair cushion foam in my sewing room pretty seriously now. I know it would fit in my sled. :0P

So my friend and I are scrapping calendars (yes, STILL!) for our moms and MILs. I thought October was in the bag, but I got socked over the melon with a bad case of the dreaded Scrapper's Block. Argh! It's just not coming together the way I wanted it to. Cute pics, but too much white space (wall backround in the pics and if I silhouette the pics they're gonna look dorky.) I think I'm going to just emboss a bunch of pumpkins and fill in the spaces. I dunno. She and I are both down to about a page a day, and unless you're an addict or somthing that is not a Good Thing. I wonder if there ARE addicts. I wonder if there's some kind of Betty Ford Clinic for scrapaholics. "Hi, I'm Betsy and I'm a scrapaholic. My last layout was 2 weeks, 2 days and 4 hours ago, and I didn't see my family for 3 days. The kids ate fruit snacks and dirt, and I actually gave the baby a box of matches to play with. He set the curtains on fire, which was not cool, but I threw them in the swimming pool, and I did get some great pictures for a House Fire layout."

My friend and I went to the scrapbook store yesterday (no matter HOW MUCH stuff you have, you always need "something else" when you have a specific project!) and we walked in with our herd of 5 kids, collectively. The lady at the register said, "Wow! That's a lot of kids! Are they all yours?" Nope. We just thought we'd borrow a bunch of kids on a school day and take them to the scrapbook store to hinder us while we shop. :oP I almost told her it was a homeschool field trip day, but I wasn't sure how that would go over, so I refrained. The kids were really good though (of course they were! They got to watch Star Wars while we shopped. I have turned them ALL into Star Wars Geeks - even the one that's not mine! :o) ) and while I was rounding up the kids and my friend was checking out, the lady told her "the kids were really good - very quiet! To tell the truth, we were all a little afraid when you all came in." Bwa ha ha ha!!!

After shelling out all my food money for supplies (what problem? ;-) OK it wasn't really quite that bad) we went swimming at the pool at my friend's apartment. Wow. It must have been too long since we last went. Prawn (age 3) started the Series of Weird Questions and Comments by asking if we were going to wear our clothes for swimming. Nope, we're going to wear swimming suits. OK. A while later she wanted to know if we'd be wearing our coats. Nope, just our swimming suits, babe. OK, she was good with that, but what about our boots? Did we plan to wear our boots for swimming? Uh, no. We don't need to wear our boots for swiming. Then, when we got to the pool it was Gogo's turn. (he's 5) We were all ready to jump in and he kinda pulled me aside and informed me "I'm not wearing any underwear." snickersnort! I told him that was just fine, he wasn't supposed to. And that's when I really knew we had to get out to the pool more!

In spite of being fish out of water for so very long, we all had a great time, and my friend got some really good pictures at the pool. I'm pretty sure we can crop out the charred curtains in the background.


It's late enough that it's the 8th now. Happy Birthday, Daddy. I miss you! Hope you're jammin' with Bach and Mozart. :o)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kaboom=the sound of your body hitting the floor when you pass out from the stench!

Here's a warning to all you people who might have been thinking about trying KABOOM cleaner. DON'T!!! Here's what I had to say about it in my epinions review:

How can I accurately relay my feelings of revulsion here? I thought this was supposed to be some kind of miracle cleaner. I finally broke down and bought some at Costco - 2 packaged together. First, I read the warnings. There are a LOT. Basically, it says everything short of "do not actually use this product." I don't know how I didn't see all that before. Maybe because those folks had cleverly packaged it so the warning labels faced each other and the bottles were then conveniently shrink-wrapped together. In spite of all the warnings, and against my better judgment, I figured I'd at least try the stuff - hey, if it's this caustic, it must be effective, right? Well good luck spraying the stuff. When I tried to squirt the stuff in my sink, it gouted out of the nozzle and flowed down my hand. A pitiful "after-spit" did barely spritzle my sink. I was then over come by a completely NAUSEATING MILDEW SMELL! Holy Cow! My first thought was that the kitchen towel I'd used to try to tighten the spray head (a pitiful and failed attempt to reduce flowage and enhance spritzle-age) must have really needed a wash. Even the bottle and the sink smelled like mildew. I have a very strong stomach, but I actually gagged. I let the sink sit while I dealt with the towel and then scrubbed out my sink. The result was no better than with plain old water. I was afraid to use any more spray just then, because I had a sneaking suspicion that the smell was actually from the "Kaboom".

Since this was a 2 pack, I figured I'd give it a fair shot by using the 2nd bottle in my bathroom. I sprayed the sink (this nozzle did actually work) and sure enough - KABOOM! - the stench of mildew once again filled my nostrils. BE WARNED! When the manufacturer labeled this stuff as having a "New Fresh Scent," they apparently neglected to point out that it's a "New Fresh MILDEW scent!"
KABOOM! There goes 6 bucks.

Monday, January 03, 2005

In Which All My Appliances Begin to Break

You know how bad things always come in threes? :-/

First it was the fridge. The door FELL OFF! Do not ever buy a Kenmore Elite refrigerator - I don't care WHAT Consumer Reports says! The fridge costs about $1000. The door costs over $800. I wonder how much the freezer door costs? Considering the main door price, I'm thinking $200 would not be out of the question. So why don't they advertise it as "buy these doors and get the fridge for free?" OK so the door fell off during the summer. John flipped it and rehung it so we'd get by until the service call. Thank GOODNESS it was still under warranty. They shipped a new door, which was beaten up, and then another new door, which the service guy hung for us. Now, a few mos later the part where the door mounts is cracked again. I'm so glad we were on the ball enough to do the extended warranty. But I don't get it. The kids don't hang on the door or push on it, or overextend it, so why is this happening? I guess cuz it's a piece of crap.

Next, enter the oven, stage left. It doesn't light. You turn it on, and the smell of natural gas fills the room, but no light. Fortunately, I discovered that this can be solved by beating the crap out of the oven. Care to guess how I came to that conclusion?

And, finally, the washer, not to be outdone, commited suicide. Now really, I ask you, isn't that a rather desperate plea for attention? Maybe a bit over the top? I certainly think so. John has fixed it twice before, but this was some electrical problem. So out comes Mr. Repairman and guess what? Because John has fixed it before (saving us a considerable amount of $) with parts that SEARS sent us, the Sears guy is "not allowed to touch it." OK, there is NO warranty to be voided here, so WHAT'S THE DEAL?!? Double sigh. For a family of 6, going washerless for the better part of a week is a Big Deal. Our options were 1) call someone else to fix it and possibly pay hundreds with no guarantee it gets fixed, 2)buy parts and start replacing via guesswork as to what could be wrong (with no guarantee it gets fixed) , and 3) buy a new washer. We went with 3. We are now destitute. On the lighter side, the one we wanted was on sale, had an additional rebate, and was bought before Jan 9th when the appliance prices will go up $50-$100 each due to rising steel prices. So we've got that going for us. I'm trying to focus on the positive things...

So today I asked Mollusc if she had clean undies for tomorrow. (New Washer Day!!) She said that she'd taken out today's, and, surprisingly, there was an unexpected, clean pair underneath for tomorrow. In her words, "it was kind of like Hannukah." Yep, it was The Miracle of the Clean Undies. ;o)

In Other Breaking News, John and I tested for (and received) our brown belts a few weekends ago. Woo hoo! We have been getting to do more free sparring on sparring night, too. Hooray! My jump-roping regimen is up to 3.5 mins, 30 sec or so break and 1.5 more mins. (still sounds kinda wussy, huh?) It has made a huge difference in my sparring stamina.

We went sledding at Kensington on Wednesday and had a blast! I still have a bruise on my bum. Which reminds me of a spectacular sparring bruise I got a few weeks ago. I'm not sure whether my "cup" saved me from a painful death, or actually caused the bruise. At any rate, it was a magnificent bruise, and I couldn't even show it to anyone, except for John. Wah!

I did sew a fair amount for Christmas - lots of lounge pants & fleece socks. Now I'm so busy scrapping calendars (yes, I know it's January!) for my mom and MIL, as well as revising stories, that I'm not sewing much. After my calendars are done I'll be able to sew more again. Yay! I'm also on a fabric fast, except for my gift card for JoAnn's (oh joyous JA's!)

I'm contemplating whether or not to invent New Year's resolutions to post. Maybe not. Then I'd be accountable. We wouldn't want that. ;o)

Hey, did I mention that our popcorn popper died, too?