Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Accomplished

Originally uploaded by apkoski.
Well, we did it.
Packages unwrapped, bird cooked, fireplace utilized, traditional holiday movies viewed, stocking chocolates tasted before breakfast, kitties hiding in boxes and piles of paper eating plastic & ribbon, stack of Christmas cards for former residents of 2 years ago stacked neatly by the front door, and a bunch of new loot to try on, read, play, drink/eat, admire, test out, and generally put to good use. Check!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good Day Sunshine

Backyard series #4
Originally uploaded by apkoski.

Doo-doo-dooo, dooo, do-doooo.
Doo-doo-doo, doo, dooooooo-dooooo.
La-da-dooooo, doooo, dooo, da-da.
Happy birth-day to me!

Thank you everyone for remembering my less-than-graceful entrance into my mid-thirties (31) during such a busy, stressful, and wonderful time of year. This morning I am longingly admiring my nice collection of gifts (wrapped in non-Christmas paper, to boot!), but have been fairly warned of the consequences of getting busted napping amongst a pile of torn paper and ribbon bits, wearing a chocolate schmear chin. Can't wait 'till this evening!

Thank you Paul, for making me feel so very special on my birthday, a day that you have successfully excavated out from within the Christmas vortex.
Love you,

Thursday, December 14, 2006

8 Things

1. Take that, USPS! I endured the line out the door to mail all 21 pounds of packaged gifts under the stupid Parcel Post deadline (12/13), uninsured b/c I'm cheap. Has anyone really won?

2. What does your t-shirt say?

3. More consumerism. That Blog I posted about Super Girl -- yes, she's still super -- I faltered on my own "thoughtful gift" rule. If you say that something would sure be a nice gift for someone, let's face it, that someone is yourself! I'll shamefully admit in hindsight that I would love to receive any item found here at Mighty Goods. Pitiful.

4. Upon self-assessment, it turns out I've got a little Vata imbalance. Luckily, my holiday eating behavior has been accommodating the Ayruveda recommendations, which include the avoidance of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red meat, and saffron; and the inclusion of all dairy, oils and fats, oats, the 'holiday spices' (cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, etc), natural sweeteners, oranges, and squash, to name a few.

5. Check out "important stuff." Creative & inspiring.

6. Paul is Super too! An hour ago he finished brewing a yummy looking porter in the cold with a cold. "It better be good," he said. That was after he made 2 loaves of Puula (another 5-hr. affair).

7. The Dr. Seuss tree lives on! This year I finally made a tree skirt this year that would accommodate a tree with a 24 x 18" 'stand.' On it hangs all the little homemade crafty ornaments that we, our nieces, nephews, and grandparents have made. No lights yet, but there's still time. The 'trees' you see are (1) this year's, (2) 2002 with Gatsby, & (3) 2004 @ night.

8. Um... time to make my new favorite treat!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Look What you Made me Do!

Well now I've done it. I opened up the Ghirardelli chocolate chips bag without a baking plan. It had something to do with that apron & recipe challenge I did last month. Yesterday, the lot was published, and boy were there some yummy holiday treats in there. I especially liked the leftover Thanksgiving pie and the spice cookie recipes. I entered my Grandpa Patterson's Million Dollar Fudge. Mmmmm-mm! I wonder if it should be renamed "Billion Dollar Fudge," with inflation and all.
Oh, by the way, I made that apron out of a flour sack towel, and that's only half of it (the towel). So, I have a whole other apron, ready to be worn. And I can't get my hubby to wear it. Anyone... anyone?

$1,000,000 Fudge

  • 4-1/2 C. Sugar
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/8 Pound Butter
  • 1-3/4 C. Miniature Marshmallows
  • 1 lb. Chocolate Stars
  • 12 oz. Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C. Chopped Nuts
  • 1 T. Vanilla
Combine sugar, milk, & butter in a big heavy pan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from fire & add remaining ingredients and stir only until all are melted. Pour into a buttered 9X13 pan and allow to cool at room temp. (about 2 hours) before cutting. Store cut pieces in refrigerator.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Super Girl alert

I heard an interesting article on NPR this morning about unique web shopping experiences that I had to share (plus I'm supposed to be studying, so...)! The woman, Margaret Mason, has a Blog called Mighty Goods, and she's found the neatest stuff! Mostly it's small-biz. artist and crafter goods, but lot of other fun items as well. She suggests and links to some of my haunts:
On top of that, Margaret has a book about Blogging that looks pretty interesting, and a personal Blog. I hope this lady feels special, getting dedicated a whole post and everything. My mind was in the right place @ the right time, I think. That reminds me, I need to re-up with NPR.
Okay, it's Final's week. Gotta go.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Flip the Calendars

Hooray, it's December 1st! We can now officially start celebrating the holidays. Paul begrudges pre-Thanksgiving holiday ads and sales, and gets really frustrated at the pre-Halloween ads (though I think they got the point this year - didn't see any). I'm up there with him, although I still get started the weekend after Thanksgiving, for practical purposes. It's now December, and the holiday decor is sparse. Though I'm happy with what's up so far. A tree would be nice, but we're not holding our breath. I've been wondering (since Halloween) where a tree would go in this place. All the little niches & corners seem too little or too close to the fireplace. Anyway, I'm rambling -- because I'm excited!
This year has been a busy one and an idle one at once. Busy-ness seemed to come in chunks, followed by enough 'routine' to cause stir-craziness and the confidence to do 5 things at once. I'm so lucky to have my own studio (that sounds professional, huh? Really it's just a guest bedroom with turquoise carpet), where those 5 partially-completed projects can sit and wrinkle under the next half-completed project. I'm not sure if that phenomenon is a product of my personality (nervous-busy-toe-tappin'-smiley-yet calm), or the craft. Ask any sewer or crafter how many unfinished projects they have, and I'll bet you find some goodies. Proof of that is the hand-me-downs I recently got from my Grandma V, of a project she was working on in the early '80s (I recognize the fabric from a bonnet/dress I had). She had cut little flower, circle, and squares out of a bunch of different patterns (maybe my cousins would recognize them), so I don't know what it all would have become.
This year was also filled with busy times with house guests. We're so lucky to have so many travel-agreeable friends and family and a place to stick 'em at night! We loved making the dinner menus for those weeks, but had a harder time picking restaurants and activities -- too many! We were relieved when people arrived with a little 'to do' list. Whew.

Let's see, here's our 2006 guest list...
January: My Dad, Step-mom, & Bro Luke visited. We went to the beach, out to eat, & had general fun.
April: Friends Dan & Dominic came up from Mississippi to explore. Those boys can hike!
April: Paul's Dad & Grandma visited from STL and Paradise (CA) on my wisdom tooth weekend. Thanks again for letting me have Bread Pudding for dinner!
June: My Mom & Step-dad visited for the hottest week of the summer. We escaped to the Mtn., the AC, and the coast when we couldn't stand it anymore.
June: Friends Chris & Kelly from MS visited while touring the Greater NW. They sure showed us the town & wine country, being fmr. residents of Portland.
July: Friends Bobbie and Jay from MS visited with ulterior motives: Oregon Brew Festival. We had a great time at the special tasting night and the fest days.
August: Paul's Mom & Sis Marci visited from San Diego for his birthday weekend. We had a really full house for one night when Paul's Uncle Tom, wife Tije, and dog (something mythological) stopped by. That was a fun weekend!

Did I forget anybody? Thank you all for visiting us! I guess it's our turn now. :)
BTW, I wanted to add a photo tag to all each visitor, but I don't have (many) pictures of everybody's visit, specifically Chris & Kelly, and Paul's birthday weekend (Marci?).