Monday, August 29, 2011

B needs a medal -- or at least a ribbon

We finally got my behemoth of a bed put together.  B did most of it by himself.  I helped when he needed it, but for the most part I was just hovering, so I went to sew curtains.  The curtains are done, I just haven't had a chance to hang them, because B isn't happy with the hardware, yet.

He got new toys to play with.

 A table saw.
And a belt sander/disc sander combo station.

Normally, I would be rather disturbed by the expenditure, because I would envision the new expensive goodies just sitting around collecting dust and never being used for anything purposeful.  But B likes working with wood, and has already used these new toys to make an entertainment center, the hardware to hang my curtains, and to make modifications to my bed.

Speaking of...

Tada!  It takes up most of the floor space in the room, but I love this bed.  My step-mom made it for me as a combination graduation/christmas present several years ago.  It's beautiful, and she worked really hard on it.  There used to be a frame canopy, and the posts were about 6 inches taller, but we got rid of that.  It would've been impossible to put together for just the two of us if we kept the canopy.

The quilt in the picture is one my Gramma made years and years ago.  Some of the fabric is so old it is literally disintegrating.  I've got to figure out a way to patch it, without tearing the whole thing apart.  Maybe Katie can help me with that when she comes to visit.  I have Gramma's old quilting frame, too.  One day I'd like to get back into quilting, but that'll have to wait till after I actually finish unpacking and getting things situated.

When I had the canopy on it, there were drapes around the bed.
I know it's hard to see in this picture, but honestly the room was so small, and the bed was so big, that I couldn't get a full view.  You can see the brown sheers hanging to the right side, though.

There were four sheer panels and two gold window scarves.  The window scarves are getting cut in half lengthwise, to give me four window scarves.  Two of the sheer panels are getting cut in half, and two are being left whole.  I have a lot of heavy wool fabric that I picked up at a closeout fabric shop several years ago.  It was $1/yd, so I got a whole lot of it figuring I'd find something to do with it.  The wool is going to become blackout/insulation shades.  It'll look a lot nicer than tin foil or styrofoam, and work similarly since wool is such a good insulator.  The sheers and window scarves were picked up at the dollar store.  So, the curtains for my bedroom and the guest bedroom aren't going to cost anything additional.  :-)

I'll post pictures of that when I get them hung.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Free Label Graphics

I found most of these at Graphics Fairy's blog, but some were from Google image searches.  All of them are free usage, as far as I am aware.

Some would need to be scaled down, others might need to be enlarged, but they're all pretty awesome :-)

There are other versions of most of these labels.  I saved the simplest ones with the least amount of color variation, because black ink is cheaper than colored ink, and I can color them myself with colored pencils if I really want to that badly.

if you do stuff, stuff gets done: Spice shelf - make do and mend project

if you do stuff, stuff gets done: Spice shelf - make do and mend project: BEFORE
My spice shelves just looked so messy to me. I had some of the Starbucks bottles left from Nina's party so I started with those. ...

Here's a link to the spice shelf remake I mentioned in the last post.

I think I am going to have to do both of these projects LOL

The Graphics Fairy - DIY: Vitamin Bottle Makeover

The Graphics Fairy - DIY: Vitamin Bottle Makeover

In a similar vein as Rhonda's spice cabinet make-over, over at When You Do Stuff, Stuff Gets Done, the Graphics Fairy has a fun DIY for your medicine cabinet.

Dish pan hands

I haven't been using my dishwasher. It runs on electricity and uses hot water, so it's something of a double dipper in the expense department. Plus, dishwasher detergent costs more than dish soap.  Yes, I will pinch a penny till it screams and cries "uncle".  But washing dishes by hand, if your water is hot enough to do the job right, leaves your hands dried out and rough after a while.  I don't mind having working hands, but I don't like it when they're cracked and/or painful.

So here are a few cheap suggestions that you may or may not have thought of in addition to lotion:  cooking oil, and shortening. 

I buy cooking oil in jugs. When I pour some, a trickle always seems to run down the sides of the jug.  Instead of leaving it there to collect dust, or swiping it off with a rag or towel, wipe it off with your finger and rub it into your hands. It's such a small amount, it won't leave any more of an oily feel than lotion, and it would've just gone to waste anyway.

Shortening is some clingy stuff. There's always extra on a spoon or spatula.  You can do the same with the shortening.  Please do this *before* the shortening has been incorporated into whatever you're cooking. You don't want food bits smeared all over your skin.

For really intense moisturizing, put some cotton gloves  (like gardening gloves), or socks, or similar on your hands afterwards.

When I was younger, I had eczema on my legs. All eczema is is very dry skin. The doctor prescribed this thick cream that looked, felt, and smelled like vegetable shortening.  It cost $100 for a jar about the size of a small can of shortening.  When I ran out, I decided if it looked like a duck, swam like a duck, and quacked like a duck, it just might be a duck. So I bought a tub of shortening to try instead of coughing up another $100 for the prescription.  Wouldn't you know, the eczema continued to improve at a faster pace than it did with the expensive prescription?  If the smell of Crisco turns you off, save the extra stuff you wipe off in a dish, and mix a little perfume or essential oil into it, and make it smell like designer body cream.  No one else will know the difference, unless you tell them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More strays?

Although, this one really isn't a stray.  She lives next door.  She's barely 21, has a 1 yr old, and is about 4 months into her second pregnancy.  Her husband is currently deployed in Iraq.  She's started hanging out at our place nearly every night.  She's a really sweet kid, lively, and full of fun.  She gives Pup a hard time, but it's good-natured.  I imagine she's pretty lonely, since all of her family is at least as far away as mine, being so young, and so much on her plate already.

It's not that I mind that she comes over a lot, because I really don't.  I know I shouldn't be a hermit, shutting myself up in my apartment, only making excursions for groceries or appointments.  That would just be a recipe for unhappiness, because I would be completely dependent on B for my social growth and interaction.  But, we are hermit-like people.  We like our silence and our solitude.  Well, not just like - we need it to stay sociable.  We get irritable if we can't have some down time alone.  I get a lot of quiet alone time, though maybe not down time, since he's gone regularly at least in the mornings.  But, our moods have been telling on us lately.  We've been shorter tempered.  I find myself getting snappish.  I've caught myself creeping in my own yard and going outside less, because I'm feeling anti-social and don't want to say something mean without thinking.  I've not been known for my tact.

How does one tell a person nicely that they need to give us some space?  With Pup, it's really easy.  I don't know, maybe it's because he's a guy, and I've always been better able to read guys and get along with them.  Maybe it's just because he's really an intelligent, understanding, good-hearted kid underneath all that silliness and sass.  If I were to say, "Hey, Pup - door."  He'd say "Ok, bye mom!  I'll see ya in a few days."  And I know for a certainty that there'd be no hurt feelings.  But, I think Fin might possibly be hurt, and that's not my goal.  And I feel strangely responsible for her.  Don't ask me why. She's a grown woman, married, about to have two kids, and she chose this lifestyle, but I think sometimes people run off with a military person without realizing how much time they're likely to spend alone.  I think that there are worse people she could latch on to, which could result in her getting into trouble one way or another.  Hanging out in my back yard talking and playing with her daughter is a hell of a lot better than clubbing, or whatever it is kids do these days.  (Geez, don't I sound old?  I'm only 31 myself... )

Suggestions?  Thoughts?  I know there's a possibility she might stumble onto this.  She's friends with me on Facebook, but I'm hoping not until I've had a chance to get some sage input from somewhere and talked to her myself.

To be fair, she hasn't been over much at all this week.  Her husband is home on R&R, so they've been spending time together and visiting. She came over once to show me a chair she refinished, which turned out really awesome.  It looks professional.  And this morning because it rained for a brief moment.  We've both been craving rain.  It hasn't rained since at least the end of June.  Not here on us, though the surrounding areas have all been getting rain off an on.  So, she knew I'd be excited, and I was!  I think a few times a week would be doable.  Because, when it rained, I actually almost sent her a text, but I wasn't sure if she was up or if her phone was on.  I know when B was on his R&R, I left mine off the whole time, except once a day I'd check my messages, then turn it right back off.  And I probably wouldn't have been very receptive to a neighbor coming over knocking on my door at 0845, either, lol.  So, I was glad when I heard her tapping on the back door.  I didn't want her to miss the rain.  I've kinda missed her a bit this week.  I've kinda missed her munchkin, too, which is totally abnormal for me.  I normally don't want kids around, but hers is adorable, minds, and is generally quiet (especially for a 1 yr old).

Maybe one of my more socially savvy friends can help me out here?  I don't know precisely how to broach the subject, or how to tactfully say that I'm a hermit crab that starts to turn into a harpy if I don't get to curl up inside my shell now and then.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Issued Kitty :-P

Li'l Bit went to the vet yesterday.  She was technically supposed to be registered within three days of bringing her on post, but it took them four days to get us an appointment.  And with only one vehicle, it took us a few days before that to get over to get the paperwork to fill out to get her the appointment in the first place.  But!  She is now registered.  She got her rabies and distemper vaccines, a fecal screening, and was microchipped.

Home Again is $17 a year ($16.99), but apparently since it's mandatory on post we don't have to pay the annual fee, just the initial cost of installation... implantation... injection?  Dear gods!  They stuck my baby with a friggin HARPOON!  It was the most monstrously massive needle I have ever seen in my LIFE!  I hurt for her, and I thought I was going to be sick watching.  I had to hold my baby down for that.  She was such a good girl.  She's always a good girl.  There was an audible *pop* when the speared her with that thing.  But now, if something happens and she gets loose, my baby will be home again in no time.

She doesn't seem to hold it against me.  She snuggled with me last night, and has been following me around this morning demanding love.  I've been telling her since yesterday what a wonderful little girl she is, and how well she behaved for the vet tech, and how much I love her.  I'm half scared to pet her down her back, though, because I don't want to accidentally hurt her.  They stuck her right between her shoulder blades.

I love this cat.  Even though I regret that it must've hurt like the devil, I'm glad she's microchipped.  I'd be awful sad and lonely if something happened to her.  She's a very good girl, and I'm proud of her.  I know if it'd been *me* they were going to stick with that thing, I'd have acted like a two year old.  *blush*

Monday, August 22, 2011


My husband is the awesomest!  Just sayin'!   Here's the pictorial progression of today's happenings.
Here's the Pup sacrificing his liver for the cause!  Go Pup! You can do it!!  Chug! Chug! Chug!  :-P

B cuts and marks, and I stay out of the way as much as possible.  I am in charge of the food, mostly.  He got hero cookies for this, in case you were wondering.

The beginning.... and it was good!

Progress and taking shape. 

Almost there!

Ta da!!!

I am so tickled with this I could squeal, but that somehow doesn't seem appropriate with the manly appearance of the shelves.  

Yep, my husband is the awesomest!  B did all the work.  I was only moral and food support.  Oh, and sweet tea.  I made two gallons of sweet tea. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011


After I finished with the pot pies, there was just a little bit of dough left over.  I hate wasting stuff.  I'll save anything.  So... what do I do with a little lump of pastry dough?

I could only think of one thing that would not require a lot of dough, tastes awesome, and wouldn't be needed or wanted in super large quantities.  Sopapillas!!

In case you aren't familiar with them (because the Pup had never had them before, so there must be more people out there who haven't), sopapillas are available at most Mexican restaurants.  They're usually made of flour tortillas fried in a lightly buttered pan until crispy, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, then drizzled with butter and honey.  I didn't have honey, but pancake syrup tastes almost as good.  They're very light and flaky, not heavy in the slightest.  As far as deserts go, they're one of the least guilty I can think of.

The ones you get at the restaurants are usually tortilla sized, but I made these silver dollar sized for ease of eating.  If you ever have tried to cut a crispy tortilla with a fork, they sometimes like to go flying off the plate.  These were basically bite sized.  The one browning in the skillet above was one of the larger ones.  I made three about the diameter of my hand, and the rest were small.

There's really not nearly as much sugar on there as there appears to be.  Since I was layering them in the plate, instead of sprinkling both sides, I let the top layer pick up some sugar and cinnamon from the pastries beneath.  

Drizzle with melted butter and honey, or in this case pancake syrup, and YUM!!