Thursday, March 31, 2011

Orange Boy

My little boy loves loves loves oranges..."Life is good with oranges....."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I do declare...

that Folsom has the prettiest little library...My son and I visited the Folsom library today, while waiting for my daughter (she is taking the STAR test for the next few days, an hour each day). I brought our dogs, so we didn't go inside. Instead, we walked around the grounds, admiring the pretty trees, grassy area, and gazebo. We saw the Folsom Valley Railway train pass by - which pleased my son, who waved and yelled "Hi!" to the conductor. Aside from this, The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is its next door neighbor. During our stroll on that side of the park, we heard the peafowl crow and saw the ranch animals. We "visited" with one of the llamas - do you see it behind the fence?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crafty is as Crafty does



I found this great web page today on how to sand a table. Now, I know that are a lot out there, but for some reason, this one popped up for me today when I typed in "sanding a table". Check it out


As far as not thrift store shopping for Lent, I try hard...I really do. In fact, I force myself to go into them and NOT buy anything that I "want". For instance, the last couple things that I bought there were shoes for my son ($.99 - and they fit him perfectly) and egg beaters (for a project that my daughter and her friends are doing in a few weeks). I see all sorts of REALLY COOL things that I "want" and I don't buy them. However, the hospice thrift store that I frequent had all of their furniture on sale, for 50% off. Seriously. So I wound up paying $2.50 for a side table that I am going to sand and restain. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

I also visited Sherwin Williams today to grab more paint cards. I've decided, after talking to friends, that I am going to spend a little more to get better quality paint. My husband, God love him, said, "Didn't we already choose colors for the wall?" He is so patient with my obsessions...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Joyful

The sun was out today. Need I say more?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lumpia

Today, my daughter helped me make lumpia, a traditional Filipino dish. I will happily share my recipe here...However, please note that I use standard Filipino measurements, which is to say, the ingredient proportions are never the same. A pinch of this, a handful of that, cook just until it "looks like this". I usually make up my own with what I like and/or what I have on hand. Shrimp lumpia is a favorite in my house. However, I have a few pounds of pork for other recipes that I will be making this week. Consequently, I am using pork for this batch of Lumpia.

Here goes:

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds of ground pork (more or less, to preference)
half head of medium cabbage (more or less, to preference)
1/2 bag or 1 cup of shredded or matchstick carrots (more or less, to preference)
2 packages of egg roll wrappers, or lumpia wrappers
1 cup of canola oil, for frying

Optional ingredients: minced garlic, soy sauce, onions, red cabbage (for color), cooked shrimp, ground or shredded beef or chicken

Directions:

1) Chop one half head of a medium sized cabbage. This should make about 3 cups of chopped cabbage. Set aside.

2) Brown pork in skillet. Drain excess fat. Add the cabbage and the shredded or matchstick carrots to skillet and heat until the cabbage and carrots are soft (but not mushy). Place mixture in a big bowl and place on work table. 3) Fill a small bowl with water to help close the wrappers.
4) Place a wrapper onto a plate, arranged like a diamond.

Place about 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture into the center. Dip your fingers in your water bowl, and smooth water onto the sides and top of your wrapper.


5) Fold up the bottom. 6) Fold in the sides, so it looks like an envelope. 7) Then roll the lumpia up, towards the top of the wrapper. This picture shows the top folded down, just like an envelope. However, if you roll them, as written in my instructions, they will look like rolls. 8) Place the rolls on a plate. I used a baking dish because the sides help keep all of the rolls I made from falling off.


9) Pour oil into a small skillet and heat to 350 degrees (I used a thermometer). Fry each side of each lumpia for about a minute - each side should be a golden brown.


10) Place cooked lumpia on top of paper towels to soak up excess oil. I used a plate today, but I think using cookie racks would have done a swell job.


11) Hide some for yourself, or they will be all gone before your last batch is cooked.

12) Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Silver Lining

This may seem like an ominous picture to some. To me, it is a sign of something else.

The rain continued this morning, through early afternoon. I was hoping that it would stop in time for me to take the dogs out, before I had to go food shopping. No such luck. After another cold and windy stroll around the block with the dogs, I geared myself up for the grocery store. In my haste, I left my umbrella at home. Also, I did not have the hood attached to my jacket. Ugh. I waited for a parking space close to the front of the store, and I ran in.

I took my time shopping, not in any hurry to get back out into the cold, wet weather. Imagine my happiness when I realized that the rain had ceased and the sun was peeking out of the clouds.

I took this picture as soon as I finished loading my car. To me, it represents a silver lining.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Name Tags

My darling daughter made nametags today. This tickled her little brother, who proudly wore his name tag on his pajamas (as well as a name tag taped to his hand that labeled him a "bad good guy"). When asked what this meant, he shrugged his little shoulders and said, "I don't know"...
This is my daughter's tag...funny, I don't remember naming her that...
This one, placed happily on my husband sweatshirt by his little girl, made me laugh. If you know my husband, or have a husband like him, or know someone like him, or ARE someone like him, you probably know why...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just Blue

Here is a picture of my Monkey socks OTN (on the needles). I don't have any more exciting pictures for today, I am afraid. This Winterish Early Spring we are having so far is getting to me...the dogs too. I took them for their afternoon walk earlier and poor Lucy was just trudging along, unhappy in her little pink and yellow raincoat (I guess I could have taken a picture of this, but I forgot - boo for me).

I can't wait until next week, when the weatherman promises the sun will come out again. I do hope Mr. Weatherman is right...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Nice Day

It's a rare time when, intentionally, I don't bring my knitting to an outing. Today was one of those times. Because of the storm systems that keep hitting our area, my kids and I suffer from cabin fever. Today, finally, the sun was shining and we could not wait to play outside.

It was so awesome to see fluffy, non-threatening clouds...Here, my daughter, is trying to get up onto a tire swing. She is not playing around - this thing was HIGH...My son enjoys swinging. However it takes him a few minutes to get used to the rhythm. After a few minutes, he was asking to "go faster Mom!" which means that he wants me to push him harder so that he can go higher (but not that high)...Now, I am home relaxing after a much-needed day outside. Here is a picture of my Monkey socks. I am done with the most boring part of the pattern and just started the lace pattern. See what I mean about them being fraternal? I am pretty sure that the lace pattern will get lost with these colors, but I do not care. I'll just keep calling them my Funky Monkey Socks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Of Gifts

My daughter gave me this flower today. It is now sitting in a bowl of water on top of my kitchen table. I am looking forward to more flowers in the house.
I am almost done with the least fun part of Monkey - the cuffs. I forgot to twist the knit stitches; I think I may have done it on purpose subconsciously. I hate doing twisted rib...
My son asked if the socks were for him...I said, "No, but as soon as I am done, I will knit you a pair. " He's only 3 but he sure knows how to ask for great gifts...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jamaican Funky Monkey

I cast on for another pair of Monkey. I love this pattern. It will be my second pair and it will be for me. I am still working on my Pinwheel Sweater, but I am taking a short break from it, because, frankly, the bunched up stitches are annoying and I am BORED.
I will be using Creatively Dyed superwash sock yarn in the color Jamaica. I purchased it 2 years ago at Stitches. The colorwork in the skein is really interesting - mostly blues splashed with oranges, yellows, and reds. I split the skein into 2 cakes, so that I can knit both socks at one time. Already, I can tell that they will be more fraternal than identical because one of the cakes is darker than the other.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Child's Work

Yeah, I know, I'm a day late with my Leprechaun Art Activity. In my defense, we were out all day yesterday, with my daughter's 3 workshops, other schoolwork, park, and dinner, I just didn't think to find a fun activity until this morning.

Anyhow, when I was a young girl, my favorite days of the week during the school year were Fridays - Art Day. Out came the scissors. glue, construction paper, and coloring tools (markers, colored pencils, and crayons). My teacher for that year would give my classmates and I instructions on how to make Stained Glass Butterflies, Wishing Wells from clothespins and baby bottles, and Construction Paper Baskets. Some of my favorite projects used brad fasteners, which allowed the attached parts to move. Out of all the Fridays, the ones during or before holidays were the best. We always had a party, which meant popcorn and candy and soda - what more could a school girl want before a school vacation?

Today, which happened to be a Friday, my children colored, cut out, and put together a Leprechaun.





I'm trying my best to cut on the lines!
"I did it!" Who says leprechauns have to be green?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Of Eating Samples

If your kids are anything like mine, they love to eat samples from the grocery store or wholesale warehouses like Costco. There is something about those itty bitty pieces of meat on a toothpick and little pouches of apple chips that make kids feel like they are eating at a carnival. Throw in free samples of fruit soda or chocolate soy milk and my kids are in heaven. In fact, for the longest time, the only reason my daughter would join me on my shopping excursions would be for the free yummy goodies.

I think I stumbled onto something this evening when my daughter pricked a piece of her dinner onto a toothpick. She said, "Mom, look samples!" Her little brother gaped at her, asked for a toothpick of his own and proceeded to eat his dinner - with the toothpick. "Look!" he said, "Samples!"

Hmmm, I need to find ways to add more "Samples" into our meals...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wishful Thinking?

Well, not really...I just think it is interesting that the flowers on my next door neighbor's tree bloom white at the same time that nearby Lake Tahoe is expecting up to 20 inches of snow. When I looked outside my window this morning, it almost looked like it snowed last night.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Of Jelly Bellies and Uncle Mark

Field trip today to the Jelly Belly Factory!


Oooooh, big jelly belly portrait....I had no idea that Jelly Bellies were a big part of Ronald Reagan's presidency. Did you know that Jelly Belly beans were served on Air Force One and a special holder was designed for the plane so the jar would not spill during turbulence? I think I need one of those for my car...

"We miss Uncle Mark!!"


Stylin' for the Factory Tour

"That motorcycle is too big!"

Silly Giggles at Jack in the Box
My little brother, not so little anymore.