Archive for July, 2010

Monday, July 26th, 2010

So big

Max is almost 10 months. It’s amazing how fast it goes.


He doesn’t much like having his picture taken. Perhaps it’s because the camera blocks his view of me, something he’s trying to rectify in the next two photos.



Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


Abby’s bird, as I mentioned before, is named Pretzel. He’s a big dork. We’ve had him for a month now and he’s shown zero improvement in settling down and being a good pet for Abby. I’ve had a number of birds since I was young (a couple parakeets, a lovebird, a green cheek conure, and I nursed a surly, sick double yellow headed amazon back to health for a pet store once who didn’t like to be held before I got to him).

I thought I was rather proficient at hand training. So I called the pet store and voiced my frustration, hoping for some words of wisdom and she unexpectedly offered to take him back.

Abby’s not ready for that yet, so I asked for help instead. The lady said to take him out and hold him against my chest, talking softly and that it was way too early to expect him to sit on our finger out in the open without trying to fly away. It could take several weeks of this before he’ll calm down.

Well, the other birds I’ve had got over it soon enough, but I’m willing to try. He does seem to like being caved in like that. He relaxes a bit.


Dumb bird.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010


Our jam session Monday afternoon was great! It was only the bass player that ended up coming, but that was perfect because we were so productive! I’d brought music for 7 original songs (the songs that we’ll record acoustic, since I haven’t yet figured out how to play electric guitar with any grace whatsoever) and we plowed through them in my brother’s living room. I played and sang my songs, he picked out a bass part, I gave input as far as “I like the activity in the beginning of the chorus, but I want it more simple at the very end.”

“No, more simple than that.”

“That’s good.”

“How ’bout at the beginning of this song, instead of coming in full throttle, you take just a little bit of time to work up to it? Maybe half of the first chord progression.”

“I love the resolution you added there.”

“That walkdown before the vocals came back in was great!”

Hee hee.

It was so much fun. He was great to work with and the addition of bass to my songs really spices things up.

I’m so excited!

So the next step is finding time to go to my brother’s house by myself and lay down a solid guitar track so the bass player can do his part. Then when I meet with the drummer and lead guitarist, we’ll be working with the recording so I can focus more on what I want them to do instead of worrying about my playing.

I put heavier strings on my guitar Monday night to try to fill the sound out in the recording a little better. Which makes it more difficult to play. Something I really don’t need. And we’re still trying to figure out how to best mic the guitar for a balanced, full sound.

Messing with mic placement and configuration took all of our recording time on Saturday, so I’m going to try to get a couple songs laid down on Friday.

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Well, that was fun.

It’s 12:48 am, Friday morning. But really, I still consider it to be Thursday night.

Since the weather started warming up, we’ve had a fan going in our bedroom at night. For whatever reason, it wasn’t on tonight. I was a little warm, but not warm enough to get out of bed and turn it on. I kept hearing noises.

A slow drip in the bathroom.

Abby’s bird, Pretzel, for whatever reason was making a ruckus. Not much, but more than a bird should at night. (Though, I’ve noticed for quite awhile that he seems sleepier in the daytime than a non-nocturnal bird should be. I think he’s up to something).

But there was more. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. I started to wonder if I’d just gotten so used to the fan being on, I’d forgotten how my house sounds at night. But then I heard something a bit more distinct so I got out of bed and stood in the black hallway for a few minutes, perfectly still, listening.

I heard a soft rustling. It made me think of the hamsters. I went in Veronica’s room to check on Buddy, her golden hamster only to find that he wasn’t in his playground. I checked his cage, and the door was open, as it had been for days ’cause he’s been living in the playground full time. (The hamster playgrounds are large, clear Rubbermaid bins with lots of space and toys. Because they’re so tall, we leave the lids off).

Then I noticed that his playground had been pushed a bit into her closet, and some of the sleeves of her long sleeved shirts were hanging over the bin. And one of them had been pulled half off the hanger and was hanging rather low.


So I started rummaging. This is somewhat unfortunate for Veronica, because I now know that while she is really good at cleaning up her room quickly without complaint, she stashes stuff everywhere. In every corner. Behind every piece of furniture. Around the entire perimeter of her “clean” room. There are clothes, papers, rocks, bags, hangers, knicknacks and the like absolutely everywhere. I started to doubt I was going to ever find the little guy. I left her room and looked around the living room, kitchen, dining room, etc. No luck. I searched what I could of her room (full of a zillion hiding places) again.

I prayed.

Then I decided to try listening again. And I heard something small in the hallway. A scratching noise on the stairs. I turned the flashlight that direction and there he was. Trying to climb back up the stairs (and failing quite spectacularly).

Amazingly, he didn’t even move as I made my way down to him and scooped him up. I actually kissed the little rodent because aside from the inevitable freak out of dear dad in the morning, and the fact that I wouldn’t have got a wink of sleep all night, Veronica would be heartbroken if Buddy was gone.

But he’s not. And everyone will be overjoyed in the morning, being lucky enough to have missed out on the heart attack the night before.

How nice for them.

In other news, tomorrow I’m meeting with my brother to try to record a couple of my songs. He set up a meeting for Monday with a bass player, lead guitarist, and possibly a drummer so they can get a feel for me and my music and I can tell them what I want them to do with my songs.

That’s both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I’ve never jammed with anybody. Ever. I totally choke under pressure. This is going to be humiliating. But, it could also be great, and a lot of fun. I’m guessing it’ll be all of the above.

All through this music venture, I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone, and this is the next step I suppose. And I really want to record a CD, for which I need a bass player, lead guitarist, and drums. And a cello player, actually.

Now that I’ve found the rodent and know what was making the soft little noises that were keeping me up, and have decompressed about the whole thing, I might be able to go to sleep.

At 1:30 am.

Quite possibly right before Max wakes up for his first feeding.

I’m gonna be tired.


Thanks, Buddy.

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

“Are you a fan of delicious flavor?”


We recently started watching Psych. It’s incredibly funny. Nate bought the first 3 seasons on DVD for $8 each at Half Price Books and while it started out as a late-night-after-the-kids-are-asleep-watching-the-laptop-in-bed activity, the kids are totally in on it now, and they love it.

We laugh.


Anyway, the title of this post is a quote from Psych. However, the reason I chose that particular quote is because we have made the discovery of a lifetime.

Or, of the summer at least.

Homemade malt ice cream.

After several holidays of Nate suggesting he buy me an ice cream maker, (to which I repeatedly declined), I caught on and bought him one for Father’s Day. Ours is red.

He’s made strawberry ice cream. He’s made mango peach ice cream. And last night, we made malt ice cream.

Pure heaven. It was pretty darned good last night, but I’ve never tasted anything as delicious as the flavor explosion of homemade malt ice cream the day after.

Because I love you, I’m going to share this very simple recipe that my delightful husband came up with all on his own. (I honestly haven’t Googled malt ice cream yet. Maybe this is something incredibly common that everyone but us knew about. If it is, well, then there’s just that much more joy in the world).

So, here it is. Enjoy, and then tell me how much you love it.

With a hand mixer, mix together-

-1 cup whole milk
-1/2 cup sugar
-4 Tbsp Ovaltine (the chocolate MALT kind)
-1 tsp vanilla

then add

-2 cups heavy whipping cream
-4 (more) Tbsp Ovaltine

and mix ’til well blended (a minute or so) before pouring into your ice cream maker. (Follow maker instructions. We store our clean bowl in the freezer so it’s ready to go when the desire strikes).

In the last 5 minutes of churning, add a very large handful of Whoppers, chopped. And as I mentioned earlier, if you can, freeze it overnight and eat it the next day. It’s kind of like soft serve right out of the ice cream maker, but fully frozen the texture is fantastic.


Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Max is 9 months old now. And he’s still not really eating solids. Not because he can’t, but because we’re both content nursing him full time. He’s nice and plump. Seems perfectly healthy. And it’s significantly less mess.

But, Nate bought a box of Cheerios last week, so I pulled a booster out of the garage, washed it up, and put it on a barstool yesterday.




And since they were Honey Nut Cheerios, both boy and freshly washed chair were sticky in no time. I’m not sure how long before he’s eating solids in earnest, (he’s not a fan of the spoon) but I sense it’s coming. And it’s kind of sad. Max may well be my last baby. Nursing him is such a sweet time. I make goo-goo eyes at him. He smiles and sticks his fingers in my mouth.

It’s just sweet.

Nate and I are feeling sick again. I’m not sure if it’s something new, or if it’s the sneaky second leg of the last bug. It feels more like the end of an illness, but we had a couple good days before it hit. Either way, it sucks.

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Watermelons and stuff

Last year, Nate and the girls carved watermelons and put fireworks in them on the 4th of July. It was so fun, they did it again this year.



Clark helped carve the blue one, which was somewhat terrifying for me.

I picked up the shawl I started earlier in the year and did a few rows Saturday and Sunday.


Those 4 rows of holes towards the bottom are my own addition. I liked them in the top so much, I wanted more in the shawl than what was written in the pattern.

This yarn is my first handspun laceweight from a couple years ago. It’s camel down and tussah silk. Undyed. My original plan was to knit it then dye it, but I love the way it’s looking knit up so I’m going to leave it natural.

The problem is, I weighed my remaining yarn, knit a complete fan repeat, then weighed my yarn again. I need more. Like, lots more for what I have in mind for this shawl, (which is completely departing from the pattern). I originally spun 4 ounces, and I’m thinking I’ll need at least 8 more ounces. Maybe 12+. Which is a lot of spinning. However, I think it could be fun to buy the fiber and work on spinning and knitting simultaneously. We’ll see how it goes. After our lovely stint with the plumbers on Saturday, it’ll be awhile before I’m ordering anything.

For the border, I want to overdye some yarn. Dark red, possibly. Nate suggested purple. I might do both. Don’t know yet. But a splash of bold color along the bottom will be gorgeous. The selvege edge is rough and unsightly. The pattern says something like, “if the edge is rough, you may want to pick up stitches and knit a few rows.”

(I didn’t look it up, that’s just from memory). But the edge is really ugly, so I was thinking about spinning some 100% camel down for that part. That’ll be the edge of the shawl that rests against my neck, and a wee bit of 100% baby camel there sounds delicious. Fortunately, I already have that fiber, which is good because it is more expensive now than it was a couple of years ago.

I can’t help but look at this shawl and think it’d be lovely as a dainty cardigan.

Monday, July 5th, 2010

A riddle for you

What do you call 2 plumbers that come to your house at 11am on Saturday, and don’t leave ’til 5:30pm that evening?

Answer- really, really, really expensive.


Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Oh, yay! We’re SICK!

Isn’t that just the best way to start off summer vacation? And while it isn’t the worst bug ever, it sure is catchy. I think Clark is the only one not affected. Headaches, sore throat, congestion, some coughing towards the end, grouchiness…

Well, maybe the grouchiness is just a side effect of all the other stuff.

My eyeballs hurt.

Wannanother good book recommendation? I spent all of Wednesday reading this, followed by this.

Abby came home the last day of school with a copy of The Hunger Games. Nate had heard good things, so he read it, loved it, and ran out to buy the second book, which he also read. He told me enough about the story to get me interested, (that’s really saying something, as I’m not a reader) and I casually picked it up out of mild curiosity to read a specific part a few chapters in that he’d told me about. I couldn’t put it down. At all. And immediately reached for the second when I finished the first.

The third isn’t out yet, of course.

Now, when Nate wants to read, (which is always, but his opportunity to read is significantly less than that), he tunes out the world and the rest of us carry on without him. When the kids want to read, they disappear into a hole somewhere, and life moves on around them. When mom wants to read, well, civilization crumbles and it’s full on Lord of the Flies.

So I guess it’s a good thing I don’t particularly like to read.

Miraculously, our family survived my being sucked into these books. They are quite gripping. I recommend them.

That’s all. I’m helping Veronica make indian food out of a children’s cookbook (marinated curry chicken and naan) tonight. And then I’m going to bed.

I hope.

Oh please.