Thursday, July 13, 2006

Random thoughts.

-I'm going to do a rain dance--the sky is getting gray and I SO don't want to have to water my garden tonight!

-Once again, I'm down to the wire and wondering what projects to create for my home class tomorrow morning.

-I'm tired of having to think about what to make for supper.

-The crape myrtles are blooming and they are just gorgeous. I can see a white one and a purple one from my window, and there are hot pink ones out on the street, too.

-I want fall to come but I'm afraid of trying on my jeans and having none of them fit.

-I wish the summer Olympics were this year so there'd be something fun to watch on TV.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My ribbon rack.

The blog challenge at Two Peas today is to share a scrapping organization tip, and I've been wanting to share this great ribbon rack for months, so here's my chance.

Todd made this for me for Christmas. It hangs on the back of my scraproom door and I can thread all my ribbon spools on the dowels. Long unspooled bits of ribbon get wound onto empty paper towel rolls and threaded on, too.

This is such a convenience, I can't even tell you! Isn't Todd a sweetie?

I swept and mopped the kitchen and foyer floors, ran the dishwasher, emptied the dish drainer, washed some pots and pans, and tidied up. I still need to weed the front flower beds, but it is so hot and humid outside, and I can't make myself get up early enough to go out when it's bearable. I'm not sure it's ever bearable out there at this point, honestly.

Gardening seems like such a great idea in April...then you get into July and August, and it doesn't seem worth it to have to be out there in the heat, trying to keep your precious plants alive, while trying to eradicate the weeds which seem to have NO problem springing up, no matter how dry and fiery it gets outside. URGH.

In other news, I came across the August/Spetember Paper Crafts the other day, which has a "Project Fiskars" insert inside with some of my work from February...a frame, a school set, and a party set. Now I just need my paycheck for that...!

I found the Autumn Leaves "Freestyle" book finally, at my LSS. Better late than never, I guess. It's so far removed from my style, and yet I'm hoping to find some inspiration in some small ways. Now thatI have my housework mostly done, and my scraproom tidied up, I think I'll scrap a few pics this afternoon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pasta salad.

Today's blog challenge at Two Peas is to post a favorite BBQ/grilling recipe. One of my favorite things to make with grilled meat is a pasta salad. I came up with my own mixture, trying to emulate an antipasto type of thing.

You need:
one 16-oz box of your favorite pasta (I like rotini/corkscrews, and I used some wheat ones last time that held up really well and tasted great)
a 1/4-lb chunk of salami, cubed
a 1/4-lb chunk of provolone cheese, cubed
a few grilled red peppers (either homemade or from a jar)
a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
a handful each of chickpeas and kidney beans (can be omitted if you're cooking for a bean-hater like my DH)
half a chopped green pepper for crunch and color
a pint or so of grape tomatoes, cut in half
a bottle of "Just 2 Good" Italian dressing from Wishbone

Boil and drain the pasta, chop up all the goodies, throw 'em together in a big bowl, and squeeze as much dressing over it as you want. Start with less, then add more if it needs it. Last time, I used most of a bottle, which surprised me. Throw it in the fridge and let it sit for a couple hours before dinner. This is a super make-ahead side dish, perfect with grilled chicken and grilled sweet corn.

Pirates: crusty.

We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest tonight, and my primary thoughts about this flick were:

Crusty. And gooey.

I mean, look at this:

And this:

I wish I could find a picture of Will Turner's dad--he was crusty in the extreme. And gooey.

Everybody in this film was crusty, gooey, and/or in extreme need of dental treatment. And a hot soapy bath. Only the lovers, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, looked semi-clean and non-nauseating.

Yeah, it was sorta fun, and yeah--even dirty, skeezy-toothed, eye-linered and fey, Johnny Depp is hot. Good swordfights and a few scenes that made my mouth drop open wondering how--even with stunt doubles and models--exactly how did they film that?

But mostly...just crusty. And gooey. Can't wait for number three--maybe it will inspire me to vomit right in the aisle! Good times.

Monday, July 10, 2006

And a few more pics.

I feel terrible that I didn't take any pictures of my side of the pictures of my treasure hunt with Tanner and Kylie, no pictures of our picnic at my folks' that night. In my defense, I was exhausted that day!

All I got was a few pictures from Kylie's very first t-ball practice the night before we left for home. She's the girl in green, and her dad, my BIL Ky, is the coach. These kids could NOT have been any cuter!

When I first started scrapping, I was too much of a photog. A million pictures of every little thing--too many. Now I've gone too far in the other direction--I never have a camera handy when I need it, and I never seem to get pictures of the things I wish I had afterwards. There are so many people I left out of the photo record this visit! And when you only make it home a couple times a year, it feels so much more important to get everything on film. Or on memory card, to be more up-to-date.

I think that's partly why I stopped trying--it all felt so important, I started getting tired of feeling like I needed to have a camera attached to my face all day long. I'm wondering if I need to make a list of the pictures I definitely want during a trip, so I can at least get those, and not feel so bad about missing so much.

More vacation pics.

I seem to only be able to put a few pictures in a post now. Delightful!

Here's a few more pics, me with Miss G:

Todd's dad sailing his boat:

Todd driving the pontoon boat on a gorgeous chilly lake evening:

Me enjoying the sunset boat ride. It's been two years since I've been to the lake in the summer, and I forgot how wonderful it smells and how beautiful it is. It's honestly one of my favorite places on earth. So many happy memories there.

Back home again.

Got home Saturday from a week in Ohio over the Fourth of July. It was so nice in Ohio, I didn't want to come home. It was humid the first few days, but after a day of rain--on the Fourth--it got wonderfully cool. Still sunny, but a cool breeze--I mean, it was really heaven.

I had planned to spend most of the beginning of the week at the lake where Todd's folks live, getting more time in with my SILs and nieces and nephew. But my parents ended up having a few days free, and I spent quite a bit of time with them. It might sound silly for a 35-year-old woman to say, but I quite liked having some "mom and dad" time--having them all to myself. It happens very seldom, and it was really nice! I also had breakfast with a couple of my aunts, my sister and my cousin Janine, did a little shopping with my aunt Carol, and had a treasure hunt with Tanner and Kylie.

It's always hard when we're at home--no matter who I'm spending time with, I feel bad that I'm not spending it with someone else. Even with a week's time, there still wasn't enough time to see everyone I wanted, and to do everything I'd planned.

But it was still great. I hadn't realized how much I miss cornfields, and barns, and gently rolling hills. I honestly wished I didn't have to come back to Newport News.

Some pics:

Angelo, Evelyn and Gianna on my FIL's pontoon boat. I can't believe how big they all look!

Gianna and Angelo playing with balloons inside. The Fourth was so rainy, we had to do a few indoor things with the kids. The balloons kept them busy and happy for a good 45 minutes. Here's Todd showing them how to draw a face on a balloon. Then they deflated it and watched it get tiny!