Friday, October 17, 2014

Bad Computers and Good Food

So my computer seems to be cooperating this morning.  For now.  It wasn't feeling quite so generous last night.  So I'm hoping to have my thoughts come together quickly and type as fast as I can while it's in a good mood.

I do seem to be narrowing the problem down though.  The software/malware/virus issues seem to be resolved.  Connection to the internet still remains a problem.  When I'm hard-wired into our network, life is good.  When I go wireless, all hell breaks loose.  Hubby thinks it may be my wireless card.  So it's a lot of using his cable in his office to quickly do pressing things (because my battery won't hold a charge for long.)  Then unplugging and working, like now, offline, with dumb little messages popping up telling me my post isn't saving.  Duh!  So, I'll draft and then go plug in for photos and posting and unplug.

The day seems to be screaming "GO SCRAP!" wouldn't you say?  Maybe I'm meant to read all day, or at least until it's time to deal with picking kids up and dinner.  

I haven't mentioned it, I don't think, but hubby has been dealing with some health issues for a few months now.  Long, long, story short, he's on a ton of meds and restricting his intake of gluten.  I can't tell you how fun this has been.  Luckily, I'm fairly initiated in the gluten-free world as his brother has Celiac's disease, so I'm used to reading labels and knowing where gluten might be hiding.  Still, it's one thing to cook for his brother for a couple days a couple times a year and cooking like that every day.  Hubby is better with no gluten, but it's still too early to tell exactly how sensitive he will be once we get to a "clear space" for more than a couple days.

This is another place where not having my computer is bugging the crap out of me.  I'm wanting to find gluten free substitutes for some everyday things, like flour or  various mixes.  Something that Pinterest would be immensely helpful with, had I the ability to get on the internet.

I wasn't able to post last week.  I had menu planned two weeks ago from Pinterest; this week was all Taste of Home.  I had to drop one recipe because I couldn't think of a way to make it work for hubby.  I did find a flour substitute at the store, a cup-for-cup one, which is awesome, but I'd like to see if there's a mix I can make at home.  Otherwise I spent a lot of time Googling, on my phone, "Is (fill in the blank) gluten free?" or wandering the grocery aisles looking for a gluten free version of this or that for cooking.

I made this Festive Pork Roast last Friday and I only needed to find gluten-free soy.  It was very good.   A good day for the comfort of a moist roast.

I paired the Roast with this Bacon & Corn Casserole.  I halved the recipe, which still made more than enough for eight people.  It wasn't quite as creamy as I expected.  I didn't put the Cheddar Crackers on top, which may have had something to do with the creaminess, or lack of it.  (I have since found a gluten free cracker, though.)  It also didn't cook by itself at the temp required in the recipe.  Because of the length of its cooking time, it went in with the roast, so that, too, may have had something to do with the creaminess.  Those are reasons enough to give it another go, because it was a good, comforting side.

For dessert I made these Oreo Cookies & Cream cookies (one of the last things hubby ate before getting on the gluten-free wagon.)  Hubby deemed them one of the best cookies he's ever had, so they'll definitely be something I'll need to work up GF.

There's a High School football game tonight with a cross town rival (my Alma Mater.)  The weekend, if the weather holds, will involve more fence prep, both here and at my in-law's (who live just down the street) - insert the smiling, uber excited faces of my kids.  The 15 y.o. wants to hit the local Fright Fest Saturday night.  The next episode of the Walking Dead will be on (holy crap, did you see last week's?!)  I will be digging through boxes of cables, that seem to reproduce in this house like rabbits, looking for one I can keep attached to my computer.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Stash Busters Challenge #4

I think it might be time to switch things up.  Expand my horizons, as they say.  It might be time to try to pry my fingers free of the remote, which always seems to find its way to Outlander On-Demand.  I may also need to attempt to put down pace myself (aka not read every free moment I have) on book two in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber.

Obsessed fans, like myself, may question my line of thinking.  "What?" I can hear them shriek in shock and dismay, "Are you nuts?  No Jamie?  No Claire?  No kilts? No Jamie!"  I'm not washing my hands. . .believe me.  But this is the last creative thing I did, and that was several weeks ago.  And figuring out ways I might convince my husband (of German descent no-less) to wear a kilt, isn't quite the creative outlet I'm speaking though it may be.

This is Challenge #4 from the Big Picture Super Stash Buster class.  The challenge was all about color.  Specifically using your favorite colors or colors you keep wanting to try.  I love fall and fall colors, so I reached for this American Crafts Pumpkin Patch line that was found in a past Bigger kit, Fall of 2012 to be precise.  

Naturally, the challenge came with a sketch.  Naturally it was a one pager, so in this case I just mirrored it for the second page.  I used photos from this layout HERE, but these pages are going in this son's book.  He's seven in these photos; he's 14 now.  Dang.

I am going to get myself to my work table today to finish the the pages that are laid out.  But first I'm just gonna read this chapter really quick.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Are

Last week I said that the week following Homecoming was equally full, but nothing would be worth taking a photo of.  And here we are and the week was indeed full, and I was right; there wasn't a thing worth pulling my phone out for.  Even my snap-happy daughter had little to share.

I do have this.  This one lonely little photo.

And I didn't even take it, my daughter did.  She and her brothers were out prepping the yard to do some fence painting over the next couple weekends (which I guess I could have captured their so-happy-to-be-doing-yard-work-faces) - we're hoping to beat the snow - and they were pulling back rock to get at the bottom rail of the fence.  She discovered a ton of worms in their happy place.  She called over the 6 y.o., who took a break from wrangling Rolly-Polies, to check out the worms.  She pointed out how big some were.  He refused to touch the big ones, stating that he only liked the small ones because they were less squishy.

Looking at this, I find it interesting that I can use one photo and tell the story here, on the blog, but had I been holding this photo while sitting at my work table, I'd have drawn a complete blank and passed it over.  Interesting.

This is reason enough to head back to Project Life® - short stories and a place to put them.

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Know What's Not Fun?

You know what's fun?  Watching Outlander the series (any of the episodes) for the umpteenth time.  I mean, hello!  Sigh.  Staying up until 1:30 (when you have to get up at 6:00) to finish Outlander the book.  Putting the first stitch in a cross-stitch piece.  Walking in the autumn leaves, hearing them crunch under foot.  Taking time to play with paper and glue.  Watching leaves blow out of the trees and tumble down the street.  Listening to two of your boys play together.  Finally clearing a horizontal space.  Those are fun.

You know what's not fun?  Having to reset a password to your merchant account (because your digital note with the password on it, went down in flames with your computer) and have the reset go to an email that no longer exists.  Now what?  Know what else isn't fun?  Having your computer decide it no longer wants to go out on the internet.  Having your computer stomp its foot and decide, forget the internet, it no longer wants to be a computer anymore.  Having all this happen just before billing is just icing on the cake.  

I don't know what mid-life crisis my computer seems to be having, but it's making my life not so much fun.  Does it not realize I needed to update photos on the website or I look like a total slacker?   That I needed to updated accounts prior to billing?  Answer emails?  Print shipping labels?  Blog posts?  My computer just sits with its black face, staring off to some cyber-world.  I can hear it laughing.  I can't tell you how many times I thought I'd go do x,y,z and couldn't because my computer was having a hissy fit.  Order my daughter's Senior Photos order. . .nope.  Check the date on a newsletter. . .nope-ity-nope.  Search Pinterest for gluten-free recipes. . .nope-ity, nope-ity, no.

It's been a fun couple of weeks around here as it is, and this is, well, it's a First World Problem.  It is.  I know it is.  I know in the grand scheme of things it's nothing.  Seriously, nothing.  But today, right now, it is very annoying and I don't need it.

There's a reason I'm a paper girl.  To prove it, I might just go start Dragonfly in Amber (book two in the Outlander series.)  A real book, no electronics necessary.   Maybe take a quick walk to hear leaves crunch under my feet.  Or maybe I'll just go make a page.  Well, as long as I don't need to print my photos from my stupid, silent, defiant computer anyway.

Happy Tuesday,  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Super Stash Buster Challenge #3 Bonus

It has suddenly become the long, dry spell.  That's an oxymoron.  Long, dry spells don't suddenly happen.

I did my 30 Creative Days challenge, and I must say I did pretty good.  I created in a crafty manner almost every day, anywhere from 15 minutes to maybe an hour.  I started the slide into the do-nothings near the end of September and let's just say it's a long slide.

During my productivity moments I completed another cross-stitched ornament, started and nearly completed another.  I sorted through photos.  I created a few layouts.  I knitted.  I created with kids.  I was on a roll. . .and then I wasn't.

While on my roll, I did this layout, Challenge #3's Bonus from the Super Stash Buster class at Big Picture.

The challenge was about altering something, like chipboard or wood pieces, paint something, mist something; simply change something.  Well, on the day I did this layout I wasn't feeling like doing that much work.  I'm not much of an alter-it-to-work kind of crafter anyway.  I've misted a background on a card, I've painted chipboard, so I can.  I just don't, usually.

The sketch that came with the challenge was cute, but one-page.  The photos on the sketch were smaller and there were more "things" hanging from the line.  I couldn't get my photos cropped down, so I went bigger and two pages.  I used the Apron Strings June '14 Bigger kit, the Basic Grey line.   If the photos look similar to a previous layout, they are.  Same trip, different album.

I like it.  It feels a bit empty on the right side, along the top.  I, maybe, should have extended those top strips at least part way onto the right side page.  Oh, well.  It's done and I rarely go back to a page once I've deemed it complete.  Scrap and learn, right?

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

We Are

It was quite a full calendar last week. . .seems to be this week, too.   Though this week is probably not as photo-worthy as last.

  • We are super giddy.
  • We are Seniors who wear designer togas?
  • We are team Jaguar Powder Puff
  • We are rockin' the 80's workout gear (mine is on the far right)
  • We are Mustang Strong
  • We are celebrating the Homecoming win
  • We are too sassy for our own good
  • We are the girls (mine is fourth from the right)
  • We are leadin' the ladies
  • We are photo bombing, which is easy when you've long been surpassed by your brother in height
  • We are proud
  • We are celebrating another academic letter holder
Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Homecoming and Boys

So when I said I saw a light schedule in my weekend on Friday, I was clearly not considering the Homecoming Dance and my role in said dance.

My daughter had purchased her dress a couple weeks ago.  She'd scheduled her haircut even longer ago, and managed to get a bit more time added to her appointment so they could style her hair for the night.  In short, my daughter had her plans in and under control.  Silly me, to think that my son was good to go.  He's a boy.  He has several nice shirts and coordinating ties.  He's got pants, that I even asked if they still fit (the boy grew an inch in a couple weeks.)  He wasn't letting me know his shoes were small, so I guess they work.  Boys repeat their "outfits" all the time.  His hair looked style-able and again he hadn't said anything to the contrary.  Apparently, I could not have been more wrong.

He needed a new shirt.  Which meant a new tie.  His hair was too long for him.  Ah-huh.  And this was determined at noon on the day of the dance.  Yeah.

I felt less blind-sided when I, towing my son, walked into the men's department at Kohl's and saw no less than six other parents following their wandering, somewhat bewildered looking sons.  Some, like mine, just looking for a new shirt and spinning the tie racks.  Others who were trying to match their date's attire.  The "Homecoming?" look passed between several of us.  I heard one mother on the other side of the shirt bin say, "Just take a picture of this shirt and text it to her and have her see if it matches.  I think we have different definitions of that color."  I saw one unlucky parent watching their son trying on suits - I believe, actually, she had two sons in various states of trying on clothing pieces.  

In the end, they both cleaned up nicely.  Everything fit.  Hair was good.  Neither of the kids had dates, but they both had their groups.  The no-date was a little bittersweet for me with my daughter.  I know she enjoys her school "family" but I know, being her final Homecoming in High School, it would have been sweeter to have someone special with her.

Happy Tuesday,