Friday, December 30, 2011

weeks almost over. thank goodness. slowest work week, most dragging days, i don't think five 9 hour shifts could go by slower.
dogs tried their best to cheer me up but really i just want to be home kickin it with them.
steak 'n' shake chili mac
went to the steak n shake again, got some midwest style chili mac. it was good, no skyline for sure, but it was also sitting in a pool of grease that was noodle bed deep. yikes bro.
Black rice and wheat treats for the dogs
whipped up a batch of wheat and black rice treats for the dogs. i like making things that involve cookie cutters. theres a whole second ball of dough in the fridge, needs to get baked tomorrow.

celebrated the ol' anniversary, can't believe its been five years. here's to a solid six...enjoying my new pyrex six year commemorative dish - its already full of cookies.
weekend starts tomorrow, hate to say i'm holding my breath but i am. i need some free time, not at the desk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

aieeeeeee! the frenzy known as christmas is finally over. phew. things had been stressful and both andrew and i were busy negotiating a happy balance in our own lives rather than doing any christmas shopping. i was determined to make all presents for family barring a few purchases. andrew was on the hunt for a new truck, which had to happen before saturday. i was swamped with custom projects from etsy and other folks, and was knocking those out before doing my own sewing. it basically was really down to the wire. work was crazy busy, i was drinking coffee and eating cookies all day and taking sudaphed and allergy medicine for my insane congestion and burning eyes....somehow that combo made me invincible and productive, because i managed to get everything finished.
saturday was the start of my "holiday", i woke up early and immeaditely started working on stuff. there was pasta to make, cookies to be baked, and pretzels to be dipped in chocolate.
oh wait, things actually started friday night, after work! how could i forget!
Etsy RVA!
there was an Etsy "home for the holidays" meet and greet, where the folks in NY that work at Etsy but who live here in Richmond were serving snacks and chatting to local shopowners. it was fun, lots of good friends and a few stranger faces. back to saturday. i had seen a couple mice in the house and knew i needed to get on the task of getting rid of them stat. i am not opposed to kill traps, though i will never use gluetraps.
A holiday kill
with that, i rang in the holiday with a gruesome sight.
yuck yuck, Dottie was HORRIFIED. she kept looking at it and sniffing but her little ears were down clamped tight to her head. cleaned up the mess and moved on.
started roasting TONS of garlic. like, three whole bulbs. thats how much it takes to make a half cup of mashed roasted garlic. thats an insane amount. made garlic pasta, pressed it through the extruder, and left it to dry. started baking cookies.
The telltale warning signs of a glittertastic holiday card
was interruped by dogs barking at the mailman. whats this?

you know you're getting a glitter packed present when this much glitter is present. i opened it outside, wasn't trying to make glitter pasta.
Ughhhhh thee finest glitter in all thee land
there is still glitter in the house, i'm sure it'll be there forever n ever.
roasted beets for the next batch of pasta, it made the prettiest dough maybe ever.
prettiest pasta dough ever
Roasted beet pasta, so pretty
the noodles were practically day glo magenta. so cool. can't wait to make more of those.
somehow those two batches of pasta and the mega batch of cookies took me all day in combination with the sewing i was doing. i think it was the fact that i was also wrapping gifts, sewing things, doing laundry, cleaning, and in general being so ADD that everything was happening at once.
Xmas pasta presents
at about midnight i started making spinach pasta, after the first batch of it came out kind of bunk. finished it up and had my three types of penne all ready for gifting.
i woke up early on xmas day and made all the chocolate dipped pretzels. bagged and wrapped pasta and pretzels and cookies, took all presents to my moms house. gifting and snacking ensued.
One of all of my cycling shoes
came home and dottie had gone into the cubbies in the front room and taken one of all my shoes out and put them on the couch. she even walked past andrews shoes, took mine out of the same cubbie, and didn't disturb his! you can tell who she was really mad at...
wrapped a few more presents to take to andrews parents, and let the dogs have the wrapping paper tubes
Destroy the wrapping paper tube!
probably a trick they shouldn't learn, but its hilarious to watch them launch into berzerker mode when it comes to shredding thin cardboard.
went to andrews folks house, had dinner and presents, and visited. then came home to UNWIND.
Post xmas snuggs
basically we were both fried, andrew tracked down a new truck and bought it on thursday night, didn't get home from the dealership until 1030. after a long day of work, nothing is more awesome than spending three hours negotiating loan paperwork. ugh.
with christmas finally over, i tried to simmer down. no dice. i felt the need to purge clean the house. put the dogs outside so i could mop the downstairs, and found them a little while later just going apeshit at the back gate. lo and behold, a classy neighbor had dumped a bunch of boiled bones right behind our gate in the alley. thanks, dude.
Pile of bones mysteriously behind our fence
yesterday i did laundry, mopped everything, rented a carpet cleaner and did the whole upstairs, then steam cleaned my subaru's mats and carpet and seats, reorganized my craft room with a new desk, and in general cleaned literally everything. by 8pm i couldn't move, my back was broken from carrying the carpet cleaner thing up and down stairs full of 5 gallons of solution....ouchlife.
Dog symmetry
i sat down and almost fell right asleep. andrew and i hit up a new local place called "steak and shake", which seemed like a potentially terrible bellyache. it was pretty good, definitely will go back.
and with that its the work week again! dang! i need more time off...the cookie/coffee/sudaphedrine diet was making me insane but i was so productive. ha. and somehow i managed to shed a few lbs during the course of what seemed like a horrendously gluttonous week. a true christmas miracle...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ah. This week has settled down a little bit.
Car has been running normally, maybe I didn't shut a door or something all the way and the battery drained? Tested 12.4V at the battery, jump started it and everythings been fine. Hm.
Still no word from the insurance company about Andrew's truck, though each time he's spoken to someone they've referred to it as a "total loss." Just need to get a settlement total so he can start auto shopping.
We drove the rental out to peek at tacky light houses close to us. This one was pretty awesome.

You roll up to their house, park, and tune your radio to a station that's playing a radio show on loop. The lights all go to the beat of the music. It was pretty cool.

work week is almost done, three days left.
looking forward to teaching a friend how to drive manual in her new truck.
rhodas rig
see, if i totalled a nice new auto and got a large settlement check, this is totally what i would buy. except it would be either a super sick toyota pickup, a volkswagon pickup (either the rabbit body or the bus body styles), or another old muscle car. i wish i'd ever taken pictures of my Ventura, that thing was so sweet. puke green metallic paint, lime green love.

this is the body style, but instead of metal trim down the sides it had lime green pinstriping. the backseat windows rolled down. i loved that car.

the nonsensical choice, but the AWESOME choice. i need to get over my total unswaying love of old stuff and appreciate the reliability of new autos. its just way too hard.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

last week was CRAZY!
monday the subaru's front brakes seized on river road, doing downhill.
tuesday i came across all those deer parts riding to work.
wednesday andrew rolled his truck on the interstate in a really terrible storm.
thursday egon had a seizure.
friday til now things levelled out, this morning my car wouldn't start.

i swear. whats up, some crazy moon phase, bad horoscope week or something?

the storm that made the puddle in which andrew hydroplaned has sort of ruined our backyard. temporarily. its so damn muddy.
Too much rain
the firepit (two feet deep hole, mind you) is totally full of water. andrew bailed it out only to have it re-fill that day. gross.
in lieu of outdoor activites, i finally got a pasta extruder. did a lot of looking around, review reading, and finally nailed one on craigslist for a GREAT price.
Really excited about my grown up play dough factory
Garlic pasta
first attempt was garlic pasta. you know how much garlic you have to roast to get a half cup of mashed garlic? A WHOLE LOT. like, way more than you would think. an unreasonable amount. the house sure did smell delicious though.
friendsgiving was this weekend, it was most excellent.
Christmas branch
admired mark's christmas branch.

hung out around a nice campfire while TWO turkeys deep fried
there were so many poop stories that pat left! well, he went inside anyway.
and then there was the eating. it was insane. every thanksgiving dish was present, no repeats. last year i think there were three green bean casseroles. this year it was professionally coordinated. so much good food!

we ate, and ate, and ate

until we had to all lay down. good lord.

then it was back out to the campfire to snooze

no really, we were all really full and the fire was warm, it was great.

so tired, took myself home.
came home and this guy was taking up the whole damn couch!
couch potato.
seriously, what a ridiculous dude. look at that smile!
big smile
did some sewing this weekend, knocked out a cool new project, looking forward to another weekend of crafting. this work week needs to hustle by.
made some spinach pasta last night.
fresh spinach pasta dough
i love my new pasta maker. its real exciting and stupid.

sorry for the spoiler, but my relatives are getting a lot of fresh food this christmas. i think its a better gift than a bunch of crap that noone really needs.
ugh and now to dive headfirst into the work week again.
i can only hope for moments of lolz from the dogs and good hangouts with andrew who escaped death or at least injury in his truck accident.
speaking of dog tricks, this little lady has been real into climbing lately.
is there a problem?
climbing on the cat tree thing, standing atop the trash can, who knew i had such a little billy goat?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

to quote my uncle,
"Seventy years ago an act of war caused a then 15-year old boy to join the Navy and fight for his country. He proudly served aboard the USS Nevada which was refloated and repaired after being sunk at Pearl Harbor. He saw many of the major battles of WW2, including Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf and Cherbourg. That boy grew up to become my father. Thanks for your service and for being my hero, Dad..."
My grandpa was so awesome, I wish he was still around. Really wish I'd been older and gotten to know him better, he was such a smart and interesting guy. I love looking back at the albums of photos my mom has, my grandpa so young, in his Navy getup on the ships he served on. I'll definitely never forget the good times with him.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

helluva weekend. very busy.
saturday after work i came home all fired up, hellbent to put up the christmas tree and inject some holiday spirit into my life.

made dog stockings and hung em up, busted out the big rubbermaid tub of xmas crap and went to town.

got the little aluminum tree up and in a "sort of safe, out of the way" spot. i've got all glass ornaments, mostly mercury glass, so heres to hoping the dogs don't decide to tackle it.

put up the tiny aluminum tree too. all kinds of holiday-ed out now. the house is pretty festive on the inside.
hunter p has been taking some really stellar long exposure photos lately, and it was a big inspiration for taking a house photo to send to andrews relatives with xmas cards.

my friend shane got a new fancy canon and has been playing with it every chance he gets. asked him to come by and take a couple snaps of the place. i like the photos way better than a boring old daytime straight forward shot. andrews relatives live mostly out of state and know that we bought a house, but don't know much else about it. it'll be a nice way to let them see the place, and share some stuff in the form of a holiday greeting.
took a couple super secret moped related xmas card photos, got a bunch of cards to mail out this week.
after the house became festive, it was time to tackle the most important issue, getting the RV out of the mud in the backyard where it was stuck.
Booyeah for pneumatic jacks that run off the compressor
andrew bought a super cool pnuematic jack to run off his birthday compressor and we were super pumped to test it out.
it took about ten seconds to get the winnie's back end off the ground and out of the 8" hole that it was in. AWESOME!

filled the hole in with gravel and supported the raised side with a jackstand, and hit up the other side of the Rv, did the exact same thing.

drove it out of the previously stuck spot, and started moving it to the permanent winter storage place in the yard. the ground was still super wet, so it kept getting stuck while we were parallel parking it between our shed and a maple tree.

we'd stop, dig a wheelbarrow full of gravel, fill up the hole, then keep driving.
hard work, but the end was so near!

if this gives you any idea of how many times we had to do it, you can see HOW MUCH GRAVEL is around the passenger side of the winnie. um, basically half the side yard. ugh.

needless to say, we got it where we wanted it, and jacked it up. put it partially on stands on concrete blocks. we need to get two more jack stands then we'll be totally finished. for now, it was enough of an accomplishment to get it out of the middle of the yard.
monday i HAD to finish up some sewing. knocked out a couple commissioned projects, then decided to run out and bring andrew lunch at work. took all dogs for a ride in the wagon, they love going for rides.
on river road in single lane rush hour traffic, my front brakes locked up and i drove, brakes burning, as quickly as i could to the first available side street. thought the car was going to catch on fire, so much smoke was coming off the front wheel rotors. grabbed the dogs out and stood a distance away, making sure i didn't need to call the fire department. ha. how is that funny?
had to walk all three dogs down the hill to andrews work, theres no shoulder at all, in horrible trafic. so sketchy and stressful. i guess some manual subarus have these things called hill holders, basically they assist you on hills by locking the brakes on the front when you engage the clutch. when something is out of sequence or broken, they often lock the front brakes while driving. by pumping the pedal you can free them, often temporarily. this i learned on google while i was waiting for the tow truck driver. love me some internet.
got the car towed to the shop, my mechanics are awesome and were cracking jokes with me as soon as they saw me pull up.
ran home after the shop, tried to squeeze in my last goal for the day. i wanted to fit the dogs for new jackets. since it was dark, they assumed it was dinner time and were being really dramatic about NOT wanting to get fitted.
SOMEONE didnt want to get fitted for a new jacket
this dude was throwing such a temper tantrum, he kept curling up and laying down every time i took my hands off him. shivering, like he was being tortured. what a big baby. after i got his measurements correct and cut and fit a paper pattern, i cut a really nice cashmere fleece coat for him and did a final fitting. then i fed them dinner so they would stop being dramatic.
last nights weather was so warm and lovely, i was pretty pumped on the necessity to ride my mountainbike to work today.
took northbank trail cause i had a little extra time. just at the back of hollywood cemetery, i came up a corner then uphill to find that a hunter had dumped a bunch of deer parts in bags down the hill and right beside the trail.
abandoned deer parts on northbank
super bummer, to the max.
hunters ditched deer parts on northbank trail
texted a friend that often will use previously killed animals for various things, and she was gonna go check them out. its funny to have a friend resource like that, but totally helpful. they were very fresh, not stinky at all, and pretty much bagged already. ugh.
not to end on a bummer note, but its back to the work week for me. looking forward (siiiiike) to finding out how much my car's gonna cost to fix, and REALLY looking forward to the weekend already. dag.