Thursday, January 31, 2008

Short Cuts

Not much blogworthy material lately, but I wanted to quickly thank the inventor of the Self-Cleaning Oven for making life so much easier. (Take that, Easy-Off!). I hope with all my heart that that person, whoever she is, is in a room somewhere hard at work on self-cleaning toasters, and self-cleaning toilets, and self-cleaning blinds/windows.

I found this recipe and I am going to make it. Just because. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Last night, Alton Brown showed me how to make home-made corn dogs. I think I'll have to try that, too. Maybe this weekend.

And finally, yesterday I made the easiest dinner ever, using a recipe my mom got at work: Stick a pork loin in your crock pot. Pour a can of root beer and one cup of your favorite BBQ sauce in the pot. Cook it all day. Then, discard the liquid, shred the pork with a fork, and serve it with more of your favorite BBQ sauce. Mmmmm-mmm.

I reckon I should thank the inventor of the crock-pot too.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Someone's in the Kitchen with Mommy

Yesterday I let the Peanut help me make popovers. We donned our aprons and got to work so we could have them ready for our playdate with Julie and Gracie. Daphne did a great job pouring and stirring. She was very serious about the whole thing. She's been watching a lot of Emeril lately. I think she is going to grow up to be either a musician or a chef. Whatever she is, I have no doubt she will be the boss of people.

The popovers were delicious, and we had a great time playing with Gracie.
Today, we celebrated my dad's birthday, so she has had a cinnamon roll, a cupcake, and some ice cream, and only a 20 minute nap in the car. We are in for a delightful afternoon. It's always fun when Daphne's all sugared up and over-tired. I better go see if Kev needs help.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Dream Yeller

My morning started with this dream:

I was at the hospital, and I had a new baby girl. Everyone was so happy! A sister for Daphne! Yay! Madonna was there...she was the nurse. So after the new baby was born, they wheeled me off to recovery, and when I came back, I learned that Kev and Madonna had decided to surprise me and they named the baby "Suki Robert."

Suki Robert!?!


Kooky Suki.

Oh, I was so mad. There was lots and lots of subsequent screaming and yelling. Then I woke up and I was all tense.

I'm always yelling at people in my dreams. Ask Kev. I never yell at people in real life. Maybe I should start. Then maybe I'd have more nice relaxing dreams about baby ducks or being at sea or eating cheese grits.

Anyway, then, I got up and took a freezing cold shower. We just got a brand new water heater about two weeks ago, but I guess it is no match for a 34 degree morning. Maybe I should call up the water heater guy and yell at him.

Yeah, right. Maybe in my dreams.

Thursday, January 24, 2008




A Song for Grandpa

I think she needs a candelabra.

Happy birthday, Dad. Thanks for all your help, and for the picture and the book. We are waiting for the sequel.


T, K, and D.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Lotta Frittatas

Breakfast for dinner is always a treat for me, and this is what I made last night: Individual Muffin Frittatas, recipe from the Dallas Morning News.

The basic recipe:

1 English Muffin
8 eggs, beaten
2 T milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 4 (4-inch) ramekins* **
Use a food processor to make the English muffin into crumbs
Beat together the eggs, milk, cheese, and bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper or whatever you want, and divide evenly in ramekins.

Here is the good part: throw in whatever else you want. I used some ham and sauteed mushrooms. You could use sausage, bacon, onions, peppers, spinach, a different kind of cheese, whatever. And if someone in your family doesn't like something, you can leave it out!

Bake about 30 minutes...they will puff up a little and look like the picture.

Very tasty.

* Really butter up those ramekins. My frittatas stuck and it was kind of a mess. I guess you could use Pam. Pam sorta freaks me out though.

** Kev wanted to name our kid Ramekin if it was a boy.

Unrelated to frittatas: Today, after a long winter break, the new sememster of Daphne's music class begins. I can't wait. We've missed it.

Friday, January 18, 2008


So, I used to have this friend who got into Buddhism for awhile, and was telling me about the concept of samsara*, which he interpreted as basically dealing with one's problems, or trying to find happiness, by doing unproductive things that have absolutely nothing to do with the problem and are pretty much a waste of time, like shopping, eating chocolate, doing unnecessary craft projects, etc. Anthropologie should re-name itself Samsara, because it is a whole shop full of wonderful things that no-one really needs, but that make you feel happy, albeit superficial, for a while. And I LOVE it. Pictured are some of my samsara from Anthropologie. No one NEEDS any of those things, but look how pretty it all is! The cool bowls were a gift from Kev, and the owl S&P shakers were from my parents. The owl candle holder I got today, as well as the orange chicken egg cups, and the bird stamps (below) that I have wanted for a long time. I think sometimes it's OK to need things you don't really need, as long as you don't go overboard. Tomorrow, I shall have my hard-boiled egg in style.

*I don't think this interpretation is quite right, by the way, but oh well.

Retail Therapy

Today I am going to the mall to spend my Anthropologie gift cards. I have 45 free dollars to spend there. When I get home, I will show you what I bought.

I think we will get some ice cream too.
The first thing Daphne did this morning was to dump out all the pretend food we keep in those little wooden crates (see photo). Then she put the crates on her feet and said "I am ice skay-din'."
I have no idea where she could have possibly learned about ice skating unless she remembers it from Charlie Brown's Christmas. It has to be from TV, because there's certainly no real ice skating around here.
What a funny little kid.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Daisies sit still for pictures. Toddlers do not.

Well, It's Wednesday

Here's the thing: No amount of apple pancakes and orange daisies can make your troubles disappear. But this little face ALMOST can...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keep on the Sunny Side

Today, since we are on winter break from Daphne's music class, I had a couple of kids from the class (and their mommies) over for a small playdate. I decided to try a new recipe for a German Apple Pancake I found here so that I could use my cool apple peeler/corer/slicer. It turned out pretty good, although I didn't get quite the puffing action I was hoping for. That might be because my oven light only works when it wants to, which was not today, so I had to keep opening the oven door, which probably caused the pancake to deflate.

Here it is, right out of the oven.

Then, I flipped it onto a plate and sprinkled it with some powdered sugar. Not quite as good as apple pie, but very fast and easy to make.

This morning, I had to go get apples at the grocery store, so I picked up some orange gerbera daisies. I am going to go sit in my chair and knit now, or maybe read (What is the What) while the Peanut is napping. I feel something resembling happy for the first time in several days.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Shrinky Dinky Doo

One strategy I like to use when I am feeling troubled about the uncertainty of my future, is to completely avoid thinking about it by distracting myself with a Super Fun Timewaster, and what could possibly fit that category better than doing Shrinky Dinks? Did you know that you can now get Shrinky Dink sheets that you can run through your inkjet printer? Imagine the possibilities! You can now turn pretty much any image you want into a miniature piece of hard plastic. Yesterday, I Shrinky-Dinked this LRHS logo. As you can see, I put a hole in it, so it can be a keychain or pendant or Christmas ornament for next year or countless other things.

I have also been teaching myself to crochet flowers. I didn't make the hat, but I did make the Sock-Monkey inspired flower pin that I stuck on the side of it.

And I made these owl magnets for one of the craft swaps on Flickr.

So, during the day, I don't have a lot of time to worry.

Speaking of owls, this morning at 5:00 we heard Octavio's return! I went outside but couldn't find him. I know he was really close by though. You might be wondering what I was doing up at 5:00 am, and I'll tell you it was the same thing I was doing at 4:00, 3:00, 2:00, and 1:00: trying desperately to go to sleep. Daphne woke up crying at 12:30, just needing to be flipped around, so I flipped her around and then I couldn't go back to sleep. All night long. It was truly horrible. I finally dozed a little between 5:30 and 6:30, and then it was time to get up. It's a good thing I didn't have anything to do today. I did get to take about an hour-long nap during Daphne's naptime, in spite of the fact that the very minute I got into bed, the lawnmen at the house next door fired up their mowers. When will someone invent a lawn-mower silencer? Talk about your million-dollar ideas! Anyway, I still feel a little like a Zombie, but the nap helped some.

On a happier note, Mockingbird and Vine delivered its second order to the swanky children's shop, KidBiz. We found out that all but two of the hair clips in the first order sold! That means that somewhere out there, there are 13 children that I don't know, wearing my little creations on their heads. Pretty cool.

And below is the sketch of the Peanut that my dad gave us for Christmas. That and the little book he wrote are way better than anything he could have picked out at a store. Sorry about the glare in the photo. If I could get everyone to go for it, which I know I can't, I'd say we should go completely Handmade Only for Christmas next year. I wonder what LarryFeathers would make me...

On that note, I think I'll move on to the next distraction.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hard Times in Big D

So, one minute, you're sitting there basking in the post-Christmas glow, knitting a sock monkey scarf, and putting Vicks Vaporub on your feet, and the next minute, you're shocked back into reality by the dropping of this bomb: due to circumstances beyond our control, Kev only has four weeks left at his current job.


So, now what?

Over the next few weeks, tough decisions will have to be made. I don't like tough decisions. I don't even like easy decisions. I struggle with what to have for lunch every day!

So, I am trying to stay positive and look at this as an OPPORTUNITY, but I'll tell you honestly, our house has been the House of Blues for the last few days. Thank God for Daphne, who keeps us entertained constantly. Keep a good thought for us, and I will keep you posted as things progress.

And in case you've been wondering, the Vicks thing helped a little, but not a lot. Other people still swear by it though, so next time I'll try using some Vicks from THIS century.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I have a bad cough. A really bad bad annoying and painful yucky cough. I have recently heard of a crazy home remedy for coughing: put Vicks Vap-o-rub on the bottoms of your feet and then put on socks and then you won't cough in the night. I know people who have tried this and they said it works. So, tonight, I am going to grease up the ol' hooves and give it try*. I shall be reporting back on my very scientific findings. All this I do for you, the two readers of this blog, in the name of public service.

*I think we only have Children's Vicks, so results could be affected.


Field Notes:

3:40 PM - Scoured medicine cabinet for adult Vicks. Found some. Noted expiration date of 1999. Took a whiff. Still smelled pretty strong, so decided to give it a try.

3:45 PM - Applied expired adult Vicks Vaporub to bottoms of feet, covered with socks, and changed into old slippers to as not to Vicksify new slippers.

3:50 PM - Found and read this.

3:52 PM - Coughed once. Not nearly as harshly as before.

Note: I think this remedy is primarily for nighttime coughing, but what the heck. I'm not going anywhere this afternoon. More findings as they come...

4:45 PM - So far, this is not really working. Still coughing quite a bit.

Possible reasons:

  • Expired Vaporub
  • Did not apply enough Vaporub
  • This only works at night when one is under the covers
  • This is a bogus remedy

So, tonight I will put on some more, and see what happens. Dang, I really hope it works.

7:45 PM - applied Baby Vaporub to the Peanut's feet. Will apply more to mine at bedtime and update with results in the morning.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Who Cooks for You?

So, we haven't heard from Octavio the Eastern Screech Owl since a couple of nights after we saw him in our oak tree. I suppose when the weather turned cold, he left for warmer parts. However, to ring in the new year properly, tonight we heard this sound outside our window. If you don't know, it is the easily identifiable "who cooks for you" call of the Barred Owl!

I go 39 years with no owls, and I'll be danged if I don't hear two different ones in less than two months time. This one we only heard once, so he may have been doing a quick fly-by rather than staying around a while like Octavio. But if I hear him again, the search is on for a second sighting. I'm naming this one Bender the Barred Owl, because we were watching Futurama when we heard him.


A Very Special Shout Out

Congratulations to Gye Greene and family on the birth of twin boys. Yay!

Jingle All the Way - Hey!

I left the room for a minute, and came back to find this happening. Our little Schroeder.

She put the hat on herself. It's very Van Morrison.


A delicious warm and frothy treat on this cold winter morning. Thank you, Secret Santa.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Twenty Aught Eight

Note the Hotdog
Originally uploaded by Tara H.

Big giant deep heavy sigh. Of what? Maybe a mixture of relief and nostalgic melancholy. The Christmas season is over. It flew by yet seemed to last forever. How does that happen?

Our Christmas officially started way last Sunday, the way all Christmases should probably start: with church and cheese grits. We have taken the Peanut to our local church exactly twice. Both times, she lasted about 10 minutes (until the milk was gone). Fortunately, St. Thomas has several rows in the back of the church reserved for crying babies and loud toddlers who say things like "Mo' snacky-snack PEESE!" at quiet moments, for the congregation to be amused or irritated by, depending. We spent most of the time taking turns taking Daphne into the vestibule, where it is sort of more OK to be loud and whiney. Anyway, after church, we went to the Dream Cafe, which has Mickey Mouse pancakes for little girls who at least tried to be good at church, and cheese grits for their harried mommies, and this made everything better. If you have never had cheese grits, you should really try them. They are especially good with some black pepper, and some little pieces of bacon on top.

We decided to try to spread Christmas (the gift part) over multiple days rather than give the Peanut everything at once. This turned out to be a smart move. That day, we gave her her new Ladybug tent from Kev's sister's family. It has a tunnel. Needless to say, all the excitement of crawling in and out of the tent/tunnel for an hour wore her out, and she took a good long nap while Kev and I opened our gifts to each other. Kev is a very good gift picker-outer. This year as usual, he got me lots of very cool gifts, and topped it off with a bike, which I was not expecting at all. It is the best bike ever. (You can see pictures of it (and the rest of Christmas) here if you want). He also got us tickets to Van Morrison, which I will get to later.

Christmas Eve, we went to my parents' house. We had a great dinner and opened more gifts. Daphne got a kitchen from Grandma and Grandpa and a little real-looking piano from Uncle Jeff (which is sure to work its way into the PPHPHB if we ever record again). I got two of my favorite gifts from my dad this year. One was a framed pencil drawing he did of Daphne, and the other was his autobiography which he typed up and made into a book. He said he did it because he doesn't know much about his grandparents, and wants Daphne to know about him. I knew my dad could draw, but I had no idea he was a good writer. The book is full of funny stories about when he was a kid. It's almost like reading the Christmas Story. Daphne is going to love it. Now we just need my mom to write one.

Christmas Day was spent at our house. For the first time ever. There are lots of flickr pictures of Daphne getting her gifts. She got many nice things this year. In addition to the tent and the kitchen and the piano, she got a nice table and chairs from Kev's parents, and some giant foam blocks to climb on from Mommy and Daddy, and a whole bunch of other stuff. What she liked the most, though, was a plastic hotdog that Santa put in her stocking from the $1.00 aisle at Target (seen in the picture at the top of this post). She carried that hotdog around for two days, and it is in about 80% of our Christmas pictures. My mom and dad came over for breakfast and hung out for a little while. It was a very nice Christmas.

The day after Christmas is Kev's birthday. This year, for Kev's birthday, we went to the playground at the Galleria so Daphne could play. Probably not everyone's choice of the best place to turn __ (I won't tell you but it's the same age as me). Then we went to the Irish pub for dinner. Daphne insisted on bringing the hotdog. Kev got to have steak, so his birthday was a little bit about him.

I don't remember what we did Friday.

Saturday Daphne got sick. She went to spend the night with my mom and dad so Kev and I could go to dinner and Van Morrison, so I didn't know how sick she was until the next morning. (Dinner and Van Morrison were GREAT by the way). I had a little brunch planned for Sunday morning with a couple of friends, which was really nice, but I was worried about Daphne the whole time, and had to cut the morning short to take her to the doctor. Daphne is not a very good patient. She cries and cries. I guess she thinks she is going to get a shot. She hates the doctor. So after a big production with lots of tears, we found out she has croup. None of us has had much sleep since then. Thankfully, she is much better today, and was able to get a good nap. Anyway, for New Year's Eve, Kev and I took care of a very sad and sick little Peanut, and then watched Ratatouille on our new surprise TV (thanks Mimi and Papa!) , and today, New Year's Day, we didn't leave the house. Kev made chicken soup, and we had countless tea parties with Daphne, and that's how the year has started for us.

Tomorrow, Kev goes back to work. In my car. Because his car is in the shop. Ironically, on the way to meet him at the shop to pick him up after he dropped off his car, I was rear-ended in the Subaru, and then the guy just took off. Turkey! No injury or major damage, just a scratched bumper and a very annoying noise caused by the tailpipe which got knocked out of place somehow. So when Kev gets his car out of the shop, I guess mine will have to go in for a day or two. Anyway, it will be weird to not have Kev around the house tomorrow. It was nice having him home.

So, there you go. Another Christmas with its highs and lows. Mostly highs. Thanks to everyone for all the great gifts. I now have lots of books to read and projects to make and gift cards to spend etc. I am looking forward to this year and to getting back to normal. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!