Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smart Phones are Wasted on the Stupid

I haven't been blogging this week, due to the upcoming Harvest Party that my girls will be throwing this weekend. All they have to do is sit back and wait for the fun to arrive; meanwhile, I'm scrubbing and crafting and decorating and baking . . . yeah, yeah. BOO HOO, Kim.

My husband surprised me with a new iPhone, so I thought I'd get all techno-savvy on his heinie by snapping a photo of the twins in face paint and e-mailing the picture directly to him. Aren't I the whiz? One, I never did get a picture. Two, the phone somehow recorded video footage, which is impossible since everyone knows a cell phone is not a video camera.






Dinner last night: spinach and 3-cheese ravioli, salad





Monday, October 25, 2010

Washington's Version of Moose

Looks like Alaska is not the only state that suffers from skinny-legged twig eaters running through the flower beds.

Fortunately for me, moose are not as sproingy as deer. Sproingy? Moose don't spring out of the hotel bushes like a jackrabbit on crack and send my heart into arrythmia, is what I'm trying to say.



Dinner last night: chicken pot pie, green salad, strawberry shortcake








Friday, October 22, 2010

Limbo

Autumn has passed. The glorious leaves of gold and red and purple have fallen to the ground, where they lay brittle and brown.

The overcast sky hangs grim and grey over skeletal trees,
providing the perfect setting for Halloween.


Alaska sits and waits for snow.



Dinner last night: roasted chicken, garlic bread, potato salad

Exactly two years ago:



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cruel Shoes

I thought I'd act like a lady and wear some pretty shoes to the wedding that we attended last weekend. The only problem is my current collection of shoes cannot be classified as "pretty." Comfortable? You bet. Functional? Absolutely. Croc-like in a lovely shade of blue? Oh, yeah.

I went shopping and found appropriate footwear for the special event. They complemented the gray pants I planned on wearing and they matched my handbag. Score!




I wore Pretty Shoes to the wedding and reception, and . . .

Holy Blister, did those slingbacks kill my feet. I will spare you a picture of my wound in its full glory (big as a dime, bright orange, and full of fluid), but . . .

 . . . here is the aftermath 5 days later.

I would really like to know if designer shoes are more comfortable than the cheapos I wear. I mean, do $650 Christian Louboutins feel better on the foot than, say, a $25 pair of heels from Famous Footwear? 'Cause, I'm telling you right now, if expensive pumps are easier somehow to walk around in, I'll gladly sell off my husband's John Deere tractor and use the money to buy myself some fancy shoes that won't give me blisters.


Dinner last night: pot roast and veggies

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:







Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

There are 2 types of children in this world: those who spend their time at a wedding reception cavorting and frolicking with their cousins, and those who park themselves at the cake table.



We're not leaving until we get our hands on those kissing dolls
and then consume the entire cake by ourselves.



Dinner last night: barbecue short ribs, mashed potatoes


Exactly one year ago:



Monday, October 18, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend

We returned home last night after attending an out-of-town wedding. The ceremony was so beautiful, and from the moment the piano began to play, the poor mom started losing it. There she sat in the pew, hands clenched, weepy-eyed and breathing with difficulty as she watched her daughter walk down the aisle. No, I'm not referring to the mother of the bride. I'm talking about the sweaty, nervous mother of the . . .


flower girls.


Dinner last night: small bag of pretzels on the plane



Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Five: Angela

Welcome to Friday's Five, my regular feature that asks a fabulous follower 5 random questions.


I'm visiting today with Angela, also known as Cambridge Lady, who blogs at Just Waffling . . . I stumbled across her site just as she was posting pictures from her holiday in Australia. I lucked out with this fab blogger because not only does she take an awesome vacation, but she lives in England! If you're like me and enjoy traveling vicariously, you'll love Cambridge Lady's commentary and photographs of flowers, animal life (yay for hedgehogs!), and gorgeous architecture. Angela also runs a weekly Mystery Picture Competition and puts up interesting videos that often reflect a British perspective and/or humor.

1. How old are your children and what do they say they want to be when they grow up? I have a son aged 13 and a daughter aged 10. They are very different characters. My son is somewhat academic and, much to my amazement and joy, loves a lot of the subjects that fascinated me at school—history, geography and maths. He is a whiz with computers and, although he hasn’t expressed any particular career ambitions, I can see him doing something that combines IT and multimedia with his academic interests. My daughter is very creative and has the most incredible imagination. She loves and is talented in acting, singing, dancing, and drawing and says she would like to be either a book illustrator, an actress, or a model (hope she leans more towards the first two choices!!).

2. You've spent some time in the U.S. Where did you live and how was your experience? We lived in the suburban area just to the west of Portland, Oregon. It was an “easy” international move in the sense that we kept a similar standard of living and we spoke the language. The bureaucracy was extraordinary though! I loved the people we met—Americans truly are a very friendly and generous people who will go out of their way to help you. You all seem to have so much energy too. There were loads of stay-at-home Mums where we lived who got really involved with the school and community and they made it very easy for me and my kids to feel at home.
     I loved the natural environment in and around Portland (coast and mountains, bliss!!) and a lot of the flora and fauna were new and very beautiful. I liked the summers in Portland—wall to wall sunshine for 3 or 4 months—but the rain the rest of the year was a bit much!! I did get very homesick—I was surprised how much I missed the UK (silly things like food, the BBC, the daft humour) and also being so close to mainland Europe. I found the suburbs a very depressing environment—endless characterless retail and restaurants, with no sense of being anywhere in particular. Everyone drove everywhere and I love to walk and use public transport. Now I am home I take great joy in walking to the park or the town centre, sitting in a café by the river and just being amongst old buildings and fabulous architecture. We have the big box retail and shopping malls but I’m happy to avoid them!
     I also felt very isolated from the rest of the world. It’s probably not apparent to Americans who have never left the USA but everything is so US-centric (TV, news, magazines, etc. . . . ) In school the kids only learnt about US history, US geography and US scientific achievement. It was like the rest of the world didn’t exist at times. It was a great experience, one I might consider repeating when my children have finished their education, but it has made me appreciate what “home” actually means to me and I now know the UK is where I feel happiest—before there was always the possibility that the grass was greener somewhere else.

3. As someone who has never traveled to your country, but desperately wants to some day, what 3 places should I see if I ever get the chance to visit? I think a lot of people, understandably, look at the physical size of the country and think they can “do England” in a few days. I have lived here most of my 44 years, travelled a lot, and yet there are so many places I would still like to visit. Every village, town, and city has its own character and history, and the countryside, whilst not on the scale seen in the USA, is very varied and beautiful. Three places? Impossible to narrow it down but I’ll try . . . 
     I’ll assume you would automatically go to London – it’s an amazing city and you must go but it’s not the real England. I would probably choose North Yorkshire – wild countryside and coastline, little villages and towns full of character, and of course York with its Viking and Roman history and Minster. Secondly you have to travel around the coastline of the West Country (Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall) with its mix of isolated coves and traditional seaside resorts, great walking routes, and opportunities for fossil hunting. There are loads of pubs and restaurants in which to enjoy the local seafood, cream teas, and English ales. Lastly, well you’ve got to come and see me in Cambridge! The city is full of great architecture, museums, and culture and the University is something special. The history of the surrounding area is very interesting as well.

4. I love the English turns of phrases you use in your writing. For those of us Americans who can't get breakfast foods out of our minds, can you explain how you came up with your blog's title? Well, waffling in British English just means talking a lot, often about nothing in particular. Actually I had no idea this word wasn’t used in the USA. We seem to have a lot of vocabulary that hasn’t travelled to the USA. I started my blog as somewhere to put my photos from Australia—not all my family and friends were on Facebook—and thought I might occasionally write a bit on the blog but didn’t want to have a theme or limit myself to just one aspect of life. So I can, and do, use my blog to waffle about everything and anything. I’m not sure how many people have found my blog because of a love of all things patisserie but the search term “Belgian waffle with cream” has brought one hungry soul to my writings in the past couple of weeks!! They must have been a little disappointed!

5. What did you have for dinner last night? Duck and beef wraps/fajitas with sweetcorn followed by apricot and peach crumble with custard.

Thanks, Angela! You can bet your bippy that if I ever make it over there, I'll be showing up in Cambridge . . . asking for some of that apricot and peach crumble! Until then, everyone grab a candy bar and meet back here next Friday for a chat with another great blogger.





Previously on Friday's Five . . .

Friday's Five: Katherine (The Katherine Wheel)                      Friday's Five: Joey (Big Teeth & Clouds)
Friday's Five: Karen (A Peek at Karen's World)                         Friday's Five: Karen (Karen's Journal) 
Friday's Five: Quadmama (Buried in Laundry)                          Friday's Five: Stephanie (Steph in the City)                   
Friday's Five: Michelle (Table for Nine)                                    Friday's Five: Dawn (Bee and Rose)                                
Friday's Five: Francesca (Three Bay B Chicks)                           Friday's Five: Michelle (Scribbit)
Friday's Five: Dianna (The Kennedy Adventures!)                    Friday's Five: Jen (Li'l Man's World)
Friday's Five: TwinMama (Bringing Up Twins)                           Friday's Five: Michele (The Stefo Crew)
Friday's Five: Geri (saddlepotatoes)                                         Friday's Five: Lana (The Kids Did What?!)
Friday's Five: Lisa (Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy)                            Friday's Five: Helene (I'm Living Proof that God has a Sense of Humor)

Exactly two years ago:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boys and Their Toys

As children, my sister and I spent many hours trailing after my dad while he walked the docks in the harbor, looking at boats and talking to his fishing buddies.

Now I sit in the car and read
while my husband visits the motorcycle shop and talks bikes.



Dinner last night: chicken enchilada soup, cornbread

Exactly two years ago:





Monday, October 11, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog, Interrupted

October has arrived, which means I've been hauling out my orange plastic totes full of Harvest-themed doodads and trying to clean and decorate the house for fall. This process is more complicated than it sounds, due to a couple of 4-year-old girls who like to "help" their mother.

To whom it may concern:
pumpkins are not toys.

This week also officially marks the October Changing of the Plates in my kitchen.

 Good-bye, summer dishes with flowers on them . . . 


Hello, winter dishes with ack! moose on them.

I've spent much of the week on the computer; unfortunately, it hasn't involved posting. I've been selecting photographs, enlarging them, and sending them off to be printed.

I bought a bunch of 12x18 frames that were on sale last month, wondering at the time why such perfectly good frames were so cheap. Then I discovered this week that nobody around here sells pre-cut matting to fit a 12x18 frame. Who knew it wasn't a standard size? Me, that's who. So I've had fun using my x-acto knife to cut out my own mats. And by "fun," I mean "a good old-fashioned crying jag." Thank goodness for grosgain ribbon . . . I placed it around the pictures to accent the colors and add a touch of charm. How dare you suggest I did it to hide my horrid matting skillz.

I've also started painting our home office nook, which required pulling out the computer desk in the corner. The twins, of course, promptly raced over and dove into the mass of cables and blinking lights. They must have disassembled a hard drive or detached an important cord, because the Internet was knocked out for an entire day, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I fretted and fumed about how we're going to have to call a highly-trained specialist with fancy computer tools to restore the delicate balance between fiber optic wires and, um, nanomolecules or something. My husband arrived home from work, walked over to the mess, took one look, and switched on the power strip. Internet restored.

But can he make a chocolate cake from scratch?



Dinner last night: salmon patties with creamed peas

Exactly one year ago:




Monday, October 4, 2010

A Leaf or Two-Thousand

We seem to be in the middle of fall, a term which I believe comes from "the falling of leaves."

Leaves fall from the trees . . . 


upon the lawn . . . 


then blow onto the driveway . . . 


and cover the deck.

I have decided that pumpkin-carving parties are passè. Instead, I shall throw a leaf party. Next weekend. Bring your own rake.



Dinner last night: Chinese buffet






Friday, October 1, 2010

Chef Boyardee Reporting for Duty

I'm guest posting today over at Sweet Jeanette, a charming blog that focuses on crafts and food, with a weekly feature called Freezer Foods Friday. Don't fall off your chair, but the queen o' pizza I am actually writing about batch cooking for the freezer. I've dusted off a post from last year's experience with Once-a-Month Cooking and am sharing it with an audience that I'm sure will appreciate my advice on how to ignore one's children and then suffer through fallen arches while standing on one's feet all day, madly preparing 30 meals at once.

On another topic altogether, it's October. ALREADY! How did that happen?



Dinner last night: spaghetti with meat sauce

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago: