Oct 30, 2007

Toasty palms

I'm working on a quick knit right now. Through the wonders of Ravelry, I was able to look up what other knitters are making with the same yarn that I have in my stash. I found out that many people used the Karabella Aurora to make Fetching fingerless mitts. I cast them on Saturday and found plenty of time to knit while Maggie was entertained with her dog friend, Scout. I have one down and 1/2 of the second to go. They'll be perfect to wear when I'm walking Maggie, because the free fingers allows for easy treat retrieval from my pockets. Maggie won't argue with that!

I can see clearly now...

Last winter we experienced the true meaning of "wind chill factor", meaning that the wind truly chilled our bedroom as it whipped through the closed windows and past our bed. A heated mattress pad was my best friend. Before winter hits again, we decided it was time to take the plunge and replace 9 of the original wood windows in our house. The rest were replaced by the last owner. You all heard my prior complaints about the process of window estimate shopping. After two quotes, we settled with Jack's Wholesale Windows. Our salesman was a sheister and hard to get on the phone once the deal was signed. But, the installation experience went smoothly. In four short hours the job was done, and neatly at that.

Now I know windows are a really dull subject....but please humor me! It's not every day one spends several grand on shiny new windows.

Kitchen before:

And after, now with a slider. The better to get the smell of stinky fish and or burning smoke out of your kitchen!

Bedroom closet before:

Bedroom closet after: (love the prairie style inserts...you know, because I live on a prairie)

There are more beautiful windows where these came from, but I'll spare you the details.

Oct 28, 2007


Our venture as Pee-Wee's Playhouse members was, unfortunately, cancelled this weekend due to Brian's forgetfulness. He was signed up to sing as a cantor at church Sunday morning. He has made the director reschedule on two different occasions, so he couldn't bare to cancel on her again. So, we only went to Chicago for Friday-Saturday. Although we didn't get to dress up, Maggie did. Carrie, Matt, Brian and I took Maggie and Scout to a costume contest at a Chicago dog park, Puptown. I think Maggie and I were equally overwhelmed by the amount of chaos, barking, and scent of dog poop.

As you already know, Maggie was Underdog. Scout was a very dashing Pirate. Besides his swash-buckling costume, he also had a hat and gold hoop earring. He refused to wear the eyepatch. It's probably for the best, because he would just end up walking in circles.

A few cute costume ideas included a hot dog, a picnic and tarantula. One of the most original ideas was Mrs. O'Leary and her cow - for those who know about the Chicago fire.

Sunday has been a lazy day, I'm coming down with, yet another, nasty cold. We have to carve our pumpkins tonight.

Oct 23, 2007

Grey skies are gonna clear up

Well, last week our orchard trip was rained out, but the weather was perfect today. My Junior League committee took a group of 16 kids to Orchard Hill Farm for a hay ride, pumpkin picking, petting zoo, corn maze, bonfire, donuts and cider. They rode over on the Grand Rapids Trolley, which was a treat in itself. Some of the kids had "been to an orchard before." So maybe they weren't all that impressed. But I think I saw at least one smile out of each of them.

I was grouped with three little boys, who were quite charming...well except for when one tried to shoplift a turtle puppet!

Anyway, these boys just zipped through the corn maze without any difficulty. I told them I'd go with them the second time, seeing as how they did it without getting lost. Once we got in there, they started to run and leave me in the dust. I shouted "Hey, don't leave me in here. I'll get lost." So one little boy slowed down to my side and said, "Don't worry. I'll walk with you." How precious!

Oct 21, 2007

Black Tie Optional

Saturday night we attended a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth. We are connected with GRYC through my involvement in the Grand Rapids Junior League. It was a great night for a great cause, supporting an after-school center and summer camp for the needy children of Grand Rapids. The theme was 70s disco, so some dressed the part. I, however, used my first "black tie optional" event as an excuse to buy a new dress. I got this excellent dress from Black House White Market in Lansing. I love it and can't wait for another excuse to wear it!

Here's a photo of me with my fellow Junior Leaguers (blurry, which makes me sad).

From the back

Even though I'm an adult, I still find it fun to play dress up!

Found Treasure

Brian and I scoured the resale shops of Holland this weekend in search of our Halloween costumes. We will be traveling to Chicago for Halloween to help our friends complete the cast of Pee Wee's Playhouse for their Halloween party. I will be the only girl, so I have been asked to be Miss Yvonne.

I shopped and shopped, but I did not come across any appropriate 50s style dresses. The closest I found was a $68 dress at a vintage store, which was far too expensive and too big on the top (fancy that). I don't quite sport the body that Miss Yvonne does, so I think I may have to opt out on that one and go as Penny.

But how do I make my eyes into pennies? Any suggestions? Brian is going as the King of Cartoons. The resemblance is uncanny.

At an rate, I may not have found a kick ass costume, but I found some great items in the kitchen section. I love this 70s style juice pitcher.

I also found one of these metal bowls that everyone seems to have on display in their houses nowadays...except mine was only $5. I'll either fill it with fruit, those wicker balls (Maggie would love to chew on) or YARN!

I can't wait to go back for more cheap kitchen finds! I want to find some old fashioned ceramic pie plates and a sugar/creamer next time.

Oct 20, 2007

I call it the "Puppy Diet"

Being the hypochondriac that I am, I recently was thinking I either have an overactive thyroid gland or cancer, because despite my lack of gym visits, I am losing weight. (btw, I am not writing this post in any way to brag or to annoy those who are trying to lose weight, I just have found his occurrence amusing) So anyway, I have been preplexed about my increasing need to hike up my dress pants...until this Friday. I raced home on my lunch break in order to let Maggie out for her bathroom break and walk. I was late and my morning of patients was rather hellish. I quickly nuked some leftover spaghetti and meatballs, but only had time for about 4 bites before I had to attend to Maggie again, get her crated again and head back to work.
Finally I realized I am on a puppy diet! Maggie has caused me to lose significant lunch hour time (my FAVORITE meal of the day), take 2-3 walks/day, and lose my late night snack because she will not allow me to lay back and eat ice cream on the couch without shoving her face in the bowl.

So, for those who are working hard at trying to lose weight out there, let me know. Forget all of that marathon training and South Beaching. I'll let you puppy sit any time!

Oct 16, 2007

Have Faith

Well, it turns out I have not given up on DWTS. After completing last night's episode this morning, I have to say, this is a strong cast! Now that Wayne Newton is gone, every performer is solid. I didn't flinch with anyone. Mark Cuban seems to think things through a little too much, but he's still doing a great job. Floyd may not be the best, but it's amazing how much he can look past the feminine-side of ballroom and put his heart into it. I think he was going to cry when he was in the bottom two last week! When I first saw the cast, I picked Jennie Garth as a winner. She disappointed me for a couple weeks, but now that she's worked out her nervousness, she's beautiful! It really seems like a toss up right now. Who gets your vote?

On a side note, please say a small prayer that the rain stops. I have a field trip planned for all of the GRYC kids this afternoon. We're going to a great apple orchard with a pumpkin patch, hayride and corn maze. They'll be so sad if we have to cancel :(

Oct 14, 2007


swapping my summer clothes for winter :(

a Christmas present

chicken cordon bleu

"It's Me or the Dog" on TiVo

on a walk to the lighthouse with Maggie

Oct 11, 2007

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

Nope, it's just Angie's most loved beagle dressed in a freakin' adorable Underdog costume for Halloween. She's ready for lift off!

Oct 8, 2007

Riddle me this...

We have had a leak in our bedroom for many moons now. I suppose this sort of mishaps are to be expected with an old house and all of it's "charm." The leak has grown worse over this summer to the point that one rainstorm kept me up at night to the sound of water dripping from the ceiling. Brian has been in the attic on numerous occasions. It's bone-dry, even during a storm. We brought a professional "Handyman" in, which wasn't so handy, because he couldn't figure it out. His solution was for us to spray a hose on the roof until we found the source. We did so this hot-hot Sunday. No leakage. No dripping. Not even moist. It's supposed to rain the next three days - who wants to bet the drip comes back?

Oct 7, 2007

Apples Galore

Well, last week was a hard week for me for personal reasons many of you know. But, I'm back on my A-game now...and A-game, in this case, stands for apples.
Brian and I took our annual trip to Crane's Orchard this Saturday. Somehow we ended up with about 33# of apples, including Jonagold, Gala, Mutsu?, and Empire.

(I know this photo is sideways, but since Brian updated iPhoto, I can't rotate the photos for the blog. It sucks!)

We decided to "splurge" and purchase one of those great apple peelers at Meijer, you know the kind that cores, slices and peels all at once. Boy did that make things so much easier! Within one day I had made three frozen apple crisps, three baked apple crisps, 3 frozen apple pie fillings, and one apple pie.

So, in case anyone wants to know what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas, that would be applie pie! If I had the ability to make apple sauce (or the freezer space), that would be next on my list. We still have plenty of apples left over for snacking, too.
Other than that, we took Maggie hiking at the Sanctuary Woods Preserve.

I love this hike because there is a great view of Lake Michigan/Lake Macatawa. It's cool, wooded, and either not well known, or no one wants to climb the stairs. We'll go back soon, I hope.

Maggie also made a new friend, my boss' jack russell, Rudy. They are just the right size for eachother (for now) and thankfully, wore eachother out playing.

Oct 4, 2007

Happy Birthday!

My not-so-little-anymore sister turned 23 today! Sorry I didn't get this post up earlier Meagan. She's so growns-up now. Pretty soon she'll be done with her internship and out in the real world as a "productive citizen."
Here's a pic of her opening her b-day gift from me on Sunday. (Which, btw, she did just after completing a 1/2-marathon. Congrats on that.)

No it's not a watch, it's not a hot pad....you've got it - handknit socks! Big surprise, eh? I made these with hand-dyed yarn I purchased at the Michigan Fiber Festival. When I purchased it, it sort of looked maize and blue. Meagan is way into U of M football. Too bad it's really more of an orange and blue.

Fortunately, I was more spot on with this Detroit Tigers-esque Gap sweater.

Oct 2, 2007


First of all, I have to say Happy 50th Birthday to my dad! I know he doesn't read my blog, but he ought to!

We've had some more kick ass Every Day Food meals in our Holland home.
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples and Leeks. This was my first time working with leeks. They're easy to cut. I was surprised that they tasted rather nutty, or maybe that was the fennel seeds throwing off the taste.

We started Petco Puppy Classes with Maggie last night. I tell you, it was freakin' hilarious. This was more of an informational session and not so much training. However, the instructor did a few demonstrations with Maggie. Once Maggie learned of the delicious treats that were dispensed from the instructors hands, she was so intent on her! Maggie sat with her head cocked and listened to her so well you'd think she understood English. When the instructor ignored her, she would scoot her butt two inches at a time (without leaving the sitting position) so as to get closer to her for attention. I think she did the scoot because she figured out the treats only come when you sit. I definitely have to get some of those Pupperoni treats - they were like crack to Maggie. Now to work on training...