Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Craft of the Week

I am thinking I should do a craft of the week project. This week I should be working on Heather's pillows for her new old chair, but instead I am tempted to recreate this...Hooray! The girls are crawling.Couldn't you just scrunch these two up and love 'em till the cows come home?!?!?!?!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Couponing 101

Last night the big guy and I went on a date. We debated the merits of movies, mallwalking or just going home and vegging. But I had a plan. We were going to play the coupon game!

I had read a couple of couponing blogs with tips on saving a ton of money at Target, so off we went.

I got a great big jar of Pace Picante Sauce...for free!

Oh, and 2 cans of Campbells Cream of Chicken soup.

It took us 1 1/2 hours of wandering around Target to size up the bargains and save over $18. And for the most part, it was all stuff we needed or would use in the near future. Except maybe the Cheetos. We didn't really need those.

By the end, Larry was tired of playing and asked me if Target sold chairs. At first I thought he was hit by the decorating bug, then realized he was just looking for a place to sit down.

I then dragged him across the street to WalMart. We saved another $8 plus there.

When you factor in how much dinner cost at the 99, I think the date cost us about $2o. Not bad! Somehow, I can't picture us adopting this as our Friday night ritual.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


You know I am prone to addictions...

like this

and now I have discovered this...

Oh how I love these Expedit shelves from IKEA!

I don't have any, but I can picture them in Katie's living room, or Heathers Dining Room, or my office/creative space...you know, the imaginary office/creative space I have yet to put together...

I love love love them.

Friday, March 20, 2009


This one is for you, Bethie...

Monday, March 16, 2009

French Baguettes

This is a really quick bread - 1 hour tops. It is great with any meal and also makes awesome French Toast. It is even better made in a baguette pan - but I don't have one. Oh well.

1 1/2 cups warm water (total amount you will use) ***Think of body temperature of 98.6 - you want your water to feel warmer than your body temp, but not HOT - you want it to be 105 - 115 degrees.
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast (that is 2 packets)
2 tsp. sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (or whatever flour is in your cupboard!)
2 tsp. salt
Melted butter for brushing on loaves if you wish.

In a small bowl (I use the 1 cup liquid measure) combine 1/2 cup warm water, the yeast, and 1 tsp. of the sugar. Stir just to combine and cover with a plate sitting on top of your bowl or cup. Let the mixture stand about 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy duty mixer or food processor, blend the flour, salt, the remaining 1 tsp. of sugar, and the yeast mixture. Gradually add water, up to the remaining 1 cup, and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that is not too sticky to handle. (If the dough ends up too sticky, add a little more flour.) Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cut the dough in half and shape the halves into baguettes. Grease a baguette pan (or cookie sheet) and place the loaves in the pan. Score the loaves down the middle (make a shallow cut), cover with a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place about 30 minnutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes or until they have a hollow sound when tapped with a knife. If desired, brush the tops of the loaves with butter halfway through baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when they have finished baking.

I went to an enrichment activity in in Kamas Utah where Liz Edmunds did a baking demonstration. You can get her book on Amazon or in any bookstore. I have made many of her recipes and loved them all, including the above recipe for the baguettes. Her son served a mission here in New England back in the early 90's!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mrs. Hughes

Heather is Amazing

Don't you wanna go here?

****I've been told I should edit this post to indicate that Heather is the creator ~ along with the Amazing Art Teacher at The Colby School ~ of this fun exciting new summer camp. Also - the following paragraph is the description that is cut off in the info below it. Hope that makes this clear as mud.****
None of those wimpy popsicle arts & crafts projects and dodgeball games here. Guided by our Art and P.E. teachers, at Camp Colby Extreme kids will explore their wild side. For students entering 5th - 8th grade.
(Some of the above is hidden below so I thought you would want to read the whole thing. Who wouldn't?)

Camp Colby Extreme
None of those wimpy popsicle arts & crafts projects and dodgeball games here. Guided by our Art and P.E. teachers, at Camp Colby Extreme kids will explore their wild side. For students entering 5th - 8th grade.
Camp Colby Extreme Summer Programs 2009
To register, please come by The Colby School or call (435) 655-3966
Camp Colby Extreme
Starting weeks of June 15th, 22th, 29th
July 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
( no camp July 24th)
Cost per week

students entering 5th - 8th grade.


8:30 am — 4:00 pm
7 one week sessions
(Camp Colby will be closed July 24th)

Each day kids will divide their time between intense art and amazing activities.

Week 1 Sports on Wheels & Urban Art Week 4 Rock Climbing & Ceramic Art
Week 2 Creative Dance & Glass Art Week 5 Water Sports & Watercolor Art
Week 3 Olympic Sports & Action Art Week 6 Hiking/backpacking & Art Inspired by Nature
Week 7 Extreme Adventures & Abstract/Pop Art

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cold is a relative thing...

Did I mention we had a little snowstorm yesterday that dumped another 9 inches, and now it is cold....

A little something to lighten the mood around here, and then I am headed to bed...


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Maine plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Maine sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Maine drive with the windows down..

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Maine throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Maine have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above Zero
People in Miami all die.
Mainers close the windows.

Texans fly away to Mexico .
People in Maine get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Maine are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Maine let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Mainers get upset because they can't start the Snow-mobile.

40 below zero :
ALL atomic motion stops .
People in Maine start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Maine public schools will open 2 hours late

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breaking News

Late night Wal*mart shopper narrowly misses crossfire as two opposing gangs shoot it out in Rochester NH....

Ok that isn't exactly how it went down.

As I told the story to Katie:

I was shopping in Wal*mart, you know, just picking up a few groceries. I NEVER shop in Wal*mart for groceries, but thought I might save a little money on the basics I needed - mustard, brown sugar, chocolate chips (see previous post regarding oatmeal choc chip cookies), oh yes and olive oil. I had seen a sign when entering the store announcing a baby sale so I made my way to the infant department to scout a few bargains for the grandkids.

Did I mention that as I entered the store there were several Wal*mart associates searching fruitlessly for the source of a burning smell near the entrance? Having learned a thing or two from my friend Mma Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, I immediately identified the odor as burned bagels from Dunkin Donuts and referred the associates to the in-store Dunkin Donuts. They assured me it was not that, but later sought me out to let me know that I was indeed correct, it was BURNED BAGELS in Dunkin Donuts. Chalk one up to Precious.

After selecting my groceries and making my way to the baby sale (I didn't see any babies for sale) I heard an argument and shouting ensued at the front of the store. It was quite loud as I was way in the back, but I heard shouting, angry shouting, and lots of cursing - then I heard the distinctive sound of POP, and I knew, that was a gunshot. I could see the front of the store from where I stood and could see what looked to be young men running back and forth and it was craziness up front. Now when I heard the gunshot, I thought to myself, What would Precious do? Then I thought to heck with Precious, I am hiding. I apparently was the only one in the store that thought hiding was necessary, as associates were leisurely putting away stock and joking with each other as they pushed merchandise around on their annoying stock carts. Ever notice how those things are always blocking the aisle? Anyway...

I realized that if the running maniac with the gun (maybe he hated Wal*mart shoppers and was out to get us all?) had chosen to run into the store as opposed to out of the store, he was probably headed straight for the baby section where I would be cornered. (Everyone who knows the baby section in Wal*mart USA knows it always has a corner, where you can easily be cornered and unable to get out. Must be to contain the runaway toddler while mom shops) But I digress.

As I skulk my way out of the corner and to the electronics section, I see REALLY STUPID SHOPPERS heading to the front to figure out what the commotion was. Or to buy a candy bar, who knows. I also hear a frantic announcement over the loudspeaker from the front: Security! We have an emergency! Call 911! (Duh!) Then suddenly some IMPORTANT LOOKING Wal*mart associates go running for the front, and from my hideout I can see there are several other associates running to the registers with concerned looks. I decide electronics is the perfect place to hide and chat it up with the electronics clerk, who is clueless. He tells me he has no walkie talkie, but if we can find someone important enough have one...

A couple of stock clerks walk by and say they think it was just a couple of kids with pop guns. That shows what ASSUME gets you.

I continue to skulk in the back of the store, and finally decide that since everyone else is so nonchalant about the whole thing, then maybe the coast is clear and I can go pay for my olive oil. I make my way cautiously to the front, and scan the checkout section for bodies and blood. None of either. I know my source of information will be the mousy clerk quivering in her shoes, manning her post obediently checking out the ever important Wal*mart CUSTOMER.

When it is my turn, I ask the clerk what happened. She says she doesn't really know, because when the GUN WAS FIRED she ran and hid. My kind of girl. the poor thing, she left Massachusetts to get away from this kind of thing, came up here to quiet NH where this doesn't happen, and all she wants to do is go home and hug her hubby and hold her baby. I really felt sorry for her. She was so relieved when they announced "Attention Wal*mart Customers. Please bring your final selections to the register as Wal*mart will be closing immediately" Yeah, like half an hour after the shooting! Brilliant. Now, putting my detective skills to good use I notice the "front end manager" acting all important and loudly announcing to any and all that are in earshot, that "IF THE PRESS CALLS, TELL THEM WE HAVE HAD A MINOR INCIDENT AND ARE CLOSING THE STORE IMMEDIATELY". I take note of the nerved up front end clerks, and the poor people looking dazed over at the customer service counter. And remember those poor clerks looking for the source of the burned smell? Hey, my guess is they almost got run over by the runaway shooter as he exited the store. I wanted to hug the one lady she looked so shook, but she assured me she was OK, shook but ok. Can you say exit greeter, loving her retirement? I bet she filled her drawers.

By this point, the police are putting up police tape and Wal*mart is offering escorts to customers when walking out to the car. I was more than happy to be escorted by my very young high school stock boy who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag, but he was very sweet and did put my groceries in the car for me. I was safe because my car was parked right beside the four police cruisers with light on. And everyone thought they were there for the Dunkin
Donuts. Ha, I knew differently.

(See my car was parked right behind this cruiser)

I got on the phone to let my family know I was safe, and headed for home. At home, I tuned in to WMUR where they reported a shooting in the Wal*mart Area, and I knew it was the duty of Precious to notify them it was IN Wal*mart. I contacted WMUR, and lo and behold, next thing I know...

Jean Mackin, TV News Anchor, is sitting in my family room! She is really young, and really pretty, and it is true what they say that the camera puts on 10 pounds, cause she is tiny. Now it is true I am putting this all out there on the blogosphere for the shooter to come find me, but I wouldn't let Jean Mackin interview me on camera cause what if the shooter comes looking for me? (OK and maybe cause of that whole the camera puts on 10 lbs thing)

Now before she came, they called and said they wanted to interview me, and I protested LOUDLY, informing them I was in my PJ's, but they wanted to come. I asked if I had to get dressed and they said...well...we are coming over... yeah, I got dressed. Oh yeah and I made Larry get up and clean out the cat box. HA HA.

So, Jean asked me a bunch of questions, and seemed genuinely concerned for my safety, and introduced my audio interview as "an anonymous Wal*mart Shopper". So there you have it. My 5 minutes of fame, all on Daybreak, news at 5 am. Tune in to WMUR and you might hear my voice!

By the way, Jean (I call her Jean, you know) told me that there were two groups of young men arguing, and TWO GUNS were pulled. One was fired. The victim ran from the store and jumped in a waiting car with someone else and sped off. The police caught them a couple of miles down the road and took the victim to the hospital to be treated.

Here is the story tonight on WMUR:

17-Year-Old Shot In Rochester; Wal-Mart Closed

2 Guns Brandished, 1 Shot Fired, Police Say

And Precious concurs.

It has been one crazy week, and it is only Tuesday.

Have a nice trip, see you next fall!

Side note before I begin: I am currently in the middle of Alexander McCall Smith's series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" with the main character being Mma. Precious Ramotswe, the owner of the detective agency. Precious is a lot like me, including being a "traditional built" woman.

Now for the trip...

I made the most amazing oatmeal chocolate chip walnut coconut cookies Sunday afternoon (hence I am a "traditional built" woman) and delivered three fresh cookies to my sweet hubby who had gotten out of his sick bed to enter some family history into the computer (upstairs). He was indeed grateful, being a traditional built man.

Oh, another side note: the light bulb in the downstairs hall is out. Gotta replace that. (Done now)

On the way back down the stairs, in the semi darkness, I don't notice the black shoes I had previously placed there to take upstairs on the next trip...

I step on the black shoe, that now slides out from under my foot and heads down the stairs. Only my foot is attached in some strange way to the shoe, and heads down the stairs with it. With me following. In a rapid uncomfortable unnatural way.

No worries. I am under control. I can stop this rapid descent. After all, I am on the fifth step, and if I go down I will be dead at the bottom. So I do all in my power to regain my footing, and I am successful...for another step or two.

Then momentum and my traditional build take over, and I am going down, down, down. My life flashes before my eyes. I realize this isn't good. My feet are now useless appendages, and they are in no way attached to the stairs. Nothing is. I am in flight.

The scream alerts hubby who yells "are you all right?" (most frantically) and then rushes to the stairs.

By this time I have hit, all of me, and I am sprawled in the downstairs hall on the floor. No attempts to pick myself up, but I am pretty sure nothing is broken. Except I can't really breathe.

Then I look up. And frantic hubby of traditional build is headed down the stairs. And...

remember that black shoe?

He hits the shoe, and again, my life flashes before my eyes. Because if MY fall doesn't kill me, surely when he lands on top of me, it's over.

With the grace and agility of a ballerina/hockey player, he successfully regains his footing, and spares me a trip to the ER...or the morgue.

That was a close call.