Saturday, March 31, 2012


I just pulled a cantaloupe off my bathroom linens shelf and put in back in the kitchen. I was trying to do laundry and it, the cantaloupe, had been there for a week and a half. I think it was time to move it.

In other news, Meg's current favorite toy is my hair curlers. Today she stacked three on her arm and said, "Look! Robot! Like in the movie!"

Song of the day

Meg just said, "Do you know the muffin man? Do you know the muffin man, guys?"

I said, "He lives on Drury Lane," and she just lit up.


Friday, March 30, 2012


Last night I broke it to Jonathan that we need to buy a house so I can paint it hot pink and turquoise. He took the news bravely.

The warm weather went away, and the cold winds blew away all the pretty tree blooms. No, seriously. We're passed daffodils into tulips and Leesburg is leafing forth bravely, and then we had some cold windy days and I swear it smelled like snow this morning. We did get a sprinkle of rain, but it's not quite freezing yet.

So I made soup. This is butter sauteed carrots, celery, and red onion with leftover black-eyed peas, parsley, and a flour and milk roux. It was pretty good, except I should have sauteed the vegetables longer up front. They were, shall we say, "crisp-tender," and I prefer my vegetables cooked to within an inch of their squishy little lives.* They look good in the bowl, though.

*Unless they're supposed to be browned and crunchy, of course.

Tonight we're excited to go see A Midsummer Night's Dream at PHC. I don't think I've gotten to see any Eden Troupe productions since Cyrano de Bergerac in fall of 2006. Yikes. Well, it was that visit that led Jonathan to start emailing and eventually marry me, so no complaints there. :-) I do not anticipate MND to be quite that earth-shaking. But I can't wait to see if they're still recycling those costumes we made for Much Ado and Macbeth. Ha.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Skirting the issue

Beautiful yellow skirt
I've been wanting a yellow skirt just about exactly like this one ever since last fall, when I pinned this outfit. (All I need is a white t-shirt and a denim jacket and my plans will be complete.) I had my eye on the fabric at Joann's for a while, and finally I bit the, um, 50%-off coupon and bought it. I used this tutorial and it worked beautifully.

The skirt looks much better on me than on that door, btw. I seriously rocked it at the playground.

Turquoise skirt parts
Flushed with success, I went to Hancock and bought another piece of fabric - a turquoise imitation linen, I believe. I picked the poly blend over the linen because it claimed to be dryer safe, which is not to be sneezed at. I brought it home, washed and dryer-dried it, and today I cut it out.


Do you like the chip clip in the background?

I started sewing it, and Lord willing tomorrow I will buy more thread and finish sewing it.

No beach for me

It's kind of an itch: the Beach Itch. It turns up pretty regularly, but it's especially bad in February and March. I NEED TO GO TO THE BEACH. Living in Richmond, it was great - we were only an hour from a reasonable facsimile of a beach and it was often pretty pleasant at odd times of the year. So Friday afternoons after Jonathan got off class, we'd leap into the car and go do our thing in Williamsburg. We blew bubbles and made grass boats and had a bucket of sand toys.

Leesburg... is less beachful. You have to go through the DC octopus even to get to the bay, and of course then further to the ocean. I mapped it and from here it's only about 4 1/3 hours to Chincoteague (traffic cooperating), which would be quite do-able for an overnight. I found one hotel deal for $65 a night this weekend. We could go! We could go!  Only we have long-standing plans this weekend, and actually for the next million or so upcoming weekends. By then it'll be into expensive tourist season. Sigh.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pony ride

The last couple of weeks have been lovely and warm, with a couple foggy days, so we've been spending a lot of time outside. This is good playground weather.

One of the nicest days was when my friend Abby asked Meg to come ride her pony Dusty. A pony ride? SIGN HER UP! Meg was excited, loved every minute, and has been asking after Dusty ever since. (Thank you again, Abby!!) We may have a budding equestrian.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My sock drawer, and other fascinating subjects

I have a lot of socks. Now that I think about it, I haven't bought them in significant quantities since, oh, 1998, and they're finally starting to wear out! I got all excited about this, because when they wear out I finally feel justified in throwing them away and clearing out the drawer. Of course, it's the useful colors that wear out first, leaving me with Ripe Persimmon, Faded Lime, and Peculiar Patriotic Pattern.

So this week I blithely wander forth to buy socks. I like the style I've mostly got, where they're made of ordinary cotton and you turn the cuff down once or twice, and you can get them in lots of colors. Used to could, at least. Lo and behold, they don't make socks like that anymore. They make thigh-high socks, knee-high socks, trouser socks for dressy, heavy hiking socks, exuberantly pattered ankle-length socks that slip down into your shoe, and "invisible" lengths that really slip down into your shoe. Also, they tend to be black, white, or neon this season.

The exception is Gold Toe brand, which carries fold-down-cuff "bermuda" socks in black, white, and possibly brown. Why call them bermudas? They'd be hideous with bermuda shorts. Whatever.

They don't really have anything better online, except on disreputable-looking websites. Apparently fashion in socks changed when I wasn't paying attention. I should have stocked up in 1998! Oh wait... I did. Drat!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cultural reasons

Meg was abusing her spoon privileges by splattering milk off her tray, so Jonathan confiscated it.

Meg: "I need a spoon! I need a spoon!"

Jonathan: "I need it for cultural reasons."

Me: ::snicker::

Meg: "I need a spoon!"

Jonathan, taking heart, and acquiring a mostly Scottish accent: "No. Today is the traditional Day of Spoon-Taking, as exemplified in the folk song "Johnny will ye no gi'e me back ma spoon," to which the traditional chorus goes, "No I willna gi'e ye back your spoon," traditionally sung from the highlands to the lowlands. And, of course: the traditional spoon dance." Which he proceeded to do, with a lot of hopping around and some spoon-waving, neener-neener style. Briefly there was an L for loser on his forehead too, but we decided that wasn't authentic.

Meg: "I need a SPOON!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

If it's broke around here we fix it... or not

My crock pot did a slidey thing out of my hands and went crash all over the kitchen floor, complete with its load of soup. Sigh. A big chunk of the stoneware smashed off. Now, this is my crock pot that had a broken lid handle last fall, and Mom helped me put a cute drawer pull on it so I could keep using it. Which I did, pretty much all the time. 

So first I mopped up the floor, and then I looked online to find replacement parts. Turns out a new stoneware is $15 and a new lid is $10. I'm sure they charge shipping as well. The whole crock pot ensemble was only $30 new!

The economics, they do not line up. While this was a wedding present and served me well, it's just not worth it to replace parts when I could equally well get a brand-new one. It's a shame. I guess I'll be watching for a sale on crock pots.

Happy Pi Day!

Today is 3/14. Appropriate ways to celebrate would include eating pie and studying Greek. Anybody got plans? :-)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Guest post

I'm honored that my sister asked me to write a guest post over at Life's Little Ironies! She wrote the sweetest introduction for it, too. Her blog is completely fabulous (well, up until my post went up), so if you're interested, head on over!

"Love is making its way back home"

"Love Is Making It's Way Back Home" from Erez Horovitz on Vimeo.

Gorgeous paper-cut video. Well worth a watch.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

It isn't snowing

This winter has been incredibly mild in Northern Virginia. Meg has her daddy's old snowsuit, and since we live across the street from a nice sledding hill, a friend lent us a sled. We almost got to use it once, but then Meg took a nap and the window of opportunity slammed shut. That sled has spent the whole time lollygagging behind the couch (except, of course, when someone pulls it out to stomp over the wireless router play Boat with). The weather held. The crocuses came up. The daffodils came up.  The tulips started opening. I predicted dire late-spring snowstorms to ruin all the fruit crops.

Then Monday, we came out of the grocery store to find.... SNOW! We went straight home and had a lovely Mary Poppins-filled indoors day while it fell.

But it melted as soon as it landed. Our sledding hill never got a whisper of white. And today it's 66 degrees out and the daffodils are as cheerful as ever. On purpose.

I'm simply not prepared for this sort of weather. Maybe it'll snow on everybody's Easter dresses.

New rug - time to redecorate around it

I'm pleased to introduce you to my new living room carpet! It was a freebie that Jenny picked up, but she ended up not needing it because it was so huge. Our husbands kindly delivered here it over the weekend.

As you can see, it's pretty huge. We previously had separate rugs for the living room and dining room halves, and I was happy with that, but I think having one rug makes the room look bigger. I also like the the way it covers up more of the underlying beige carpet. That's important.

However, if you look closely, the rug is pink and blue, and the rest of my living room is red and gold. And green. The wall art is pretty congenial, since it has blues in it, but then I looked at the striped couch, and I looked at the Persian patterned rug, and I looked at the bold-patterned chair. I don't think they like each other very much. The red couch pillows are especially not good.

Long term, I do want to reupholster the couch and chair, but no way am I doing that in a rented apartment to match a free carpet.

I already had a quilt for the coffee table, which helped. I think that if I could find pinkish-coral throw pillows, that would make the couch seem more neutral. The rug and couch at least have similarly muted palettes. I checked all the usual suspect stores for ready-made pillows, but nothing turned up. Now I'm going to shop in the cloth napkin department for good color and try to sew shams.

I take this as a challenge.