Monday, February 28, 2011

Pirose - review

I like reviewing books and educational materials, because reading and teaching are important to me, but every now and then I get to review a product just for fun, and just for me! The Pirose scarf falls in that category. (Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Reno Rose for this review.)

When I saw how many different ways there were to wear this scarf, I knew I wanted to try it. It also comes in a wide variety of fabric prints (as well as solid black, white, or brown). I didn't have a choice of which one I was sent. I received the one in the picture, and I love it! I really does go with quite a few things in my wardrobe.

I have enjoyed wearing it this winter scrunched up and looped around my neck for warmth. In the summer, I'll enjoy it as a light-weight shawl. It came with a little drawstring bag for storage to make it handy to keep in my totebag. In Idaho, even summer evenings can be cool, so it would be nice to have something like this handy. One thing I especially like about it is how it could add modesty worn over a sleeveless top or dress. It's just really a nice accessory. I wouldn't mind having a few more of them.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

After I posted about the nice pickup topper we got a couple of weeks ago, I tried driving with the thing on. It was dark and rainy the first time, and with droplets of water on the back window I couldn't see to back up. Driving the truck without the topper makes me nervous enough, because it just feels so big to me, so it really scared me to not be able to see what was behind me. I decided it would probably be okay in the daylight, though, especially if it wasn't raining. Well... not so much if the roads are muddy... and the next day I had to drive on muddy roads which obliterated the back window even worse.

I asked Lyle if it would be possible to leave the topper off except for trips when we needed the cargo space. The only problem with that suggestion was where to store the topper. We supposedly have a "two-car" garage, but that just means that there's room to walk beside the truck when it's parked in there. I can't imagine how you could ever get two real vehicles in at once, but in any case, we have shelves along one wall and a workbench along the other, so not a lot of room for extra storage.

Lyle suggested we could hang the topper from the rafters. I laughed at him. But turns out-- he was serious! He researched how to do it (online, of course), went to Lowe's for a few things, then spent last Saturday "putzing" in the garage again... and voila!
I'm just so impressed with how clever he is!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not Complainin'

It's a blizzardy morning in my neighborhood today. The view out my kitchen window is rather bleak. It's cold and blustery. We haven't really had much snow to speak of since Christmas time, and the ground has been mostly bare for at least a month, so I had hoped perhaps we would get an early spring. I should have known better.

But I won't complain.

The girls and I have been reading The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy, and she talks about learning to not complain. So instead of whining about a late-season blizzard, I will be grateful that we have enjoyed a relatively mild winter and spring really is right around the corner.

I also won't complain about having a cold, even though it's my second one this winter. Instead, I'll be grateful that it is just a cold, and that in general, I enjoy good health.

I won't complain about not having time to blog as much as I would like, realizing that the other things that have priority right now won't last forever. Especially homeschooling my children. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to sit down with them every day for learning and conversation.

I do have some catch-up posts lined up for this weekend, so hopefully I'll be back soon! In the meantime, what are you not complaining about today?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Might be spicy!

People are funny sometimes. Not that they mean to be. They just are.

I picked up a bag of the new "Artisan" chips from Tostitos at the grocery store earlier this week. Black bean and garlic flavored, as I recall.

As I was checking out, the cashier commented on them. "Have you had these before? They look good!"

I admitted I had not had them before, but I thought they looked good as well.

She said, "I've been meaning to get some, but by the time I get off work I forget about them. But they sure look good! Does that 'artisan' mean they're spicy?"

After gulping back a chuckle, as politely as I could I said, "Um, well, actually, I think that means they are hand-made or something like that."

"Oh," she said. "Well, they sure look good!"

But who knows? Maybe "artisan" is a new spice I hadn't heard of before!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Busy Hands

I have this need to have something for my hands to do any time I'm "just sitting"... whether it's visiting with my husband, or watching a movie with him, or riding along in the car. Here some projects I currently have going...
I'm making slow progress on the curtain I'm crocheting for my bedroom. I changed patterns from the one I originally had picked out. This one is worked up in squares (like a bedspread or tablecloth pattern) but I think the "blocky" pattern will coordinate nicely with my Irish Chain quilt/bedspread.
I also have a pair of socks going. I really enjoy knitting socks, especially since I discovered the two-at-a-time method on a circular needle.
The above project may not look like much, but I am very pleased with my efforts. I have been attempting to catch on to the knack of tatting for a very long time. When I finally figured out the "trick" it was just so time-consuming and fiddly that I wasn't sure I wanted to pursue it any further... but I love the way it looks, and I like how portable it is. This little strip of lace isn't very consistent or smooth, but... yay! I'm learning! Also, I'm getting faster with practice, which makes me happy.

In case you think I never finish anything, just because I have 3 projects going at once... nope. That's just the way I work. I like having variety to swap off with. I do finish (most) projects I start.  Some just take longer than others.
This is a pair of sweet little baby booties I finished as a gift a couple weeks ago.

What are you working on these days?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Funny Valentine

Lyle and I have never been inclined to let the calendar dictate when we express our love to each other. Sometimes we do observe holidays. Other times we just let them slip quietly by.

Finances are tight this year, and our work schedules are pretty full right now, so we didn't make any special plans or exchange gifts for Valentines. Lyle needed to work yesterday evening and Laura had a babysitting job. Becky and I went to the print shop to hang out with Lyle and pitch in where we could. We finished the job about 8:30 so I suggested we could "celebrate" Valentines by getting an ice cream treat at Sonic.

Wouldn't you know it? Sonic was closed by the time we got there. (What's up with it closing before 9:00 p.m.? No idea!) We quickly formulated Plan B and stopped at Wal-Mart to get some ice cream to take home.

As we passed the greeting card aisle we talked about how we hadn't bought cards for each other.

"Hey! I know! We could pick out cards and then just pass them to each other to read!" I suggested.

I stood in front of the "Cards for Husband" section and Lyle began perusing cards from the "Cards for Wife" section. They were, of course, right next to each other. First we picked out sweetly sentimental cards.

After two or three of those, my oh-so-romantic man said, "Okay. That's about all I can stand of that mush!"

"But they're sweet!" I protested. (He has actually been known to buy me mushy cards before. He just won't admit it.) I think he just didn't want to be that sappy in public. Because, you know, Wal-Mart is a happenin' place at 9:00 on Valentine's night!

So we switched to funny cards. We stood there for five minutes or so, passing cards back and forth, and cracking up laughing. Then we decided we better go home before the ice cream melted.

Being married to the love of my life makes every day Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

My family collects favorite television series on DVD. This way we can watch them whenever we like and not have to worry about commercials. Plus, some of the old shows are just better than what's available nowadays. I know, that's just my opinion... but I'm entitled to it, right?

About 3-and-a-half years ago I joined Swap-a-DVD (a sister site to Paperback Swap) and immediately began to build my wish list with series we were interested in collecting. At the top of my list was the Road to Avonlea series, based on L.M. Montgomery's Chronicles of Avonlea. This series is kind of expensive to buy. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's Canadian?

Anyway, I was a "beta" member of Swap-a-DVD and happened to be the first person to request this series, so I have been at the top of the waiting list all this time. I was beginning to give up on ever getting these DVDs, but a couple of weeks ago I got a notification that two seasons were available. I had a few credits in reserve so I immediately ordered them. I was very excited when the first one came!

A few days later I got an email that two more seasons were now available. This time I had to transfer a few credits from Paperback Swap (I'm glad they have that option!) and then I ended up buying the last few credits I needed. Turns out they were all listed by the same guy. As he was getting ready to mail them he noticed that he had never mailed the second one, so he emailed me to apologize for the delay and let me know that he would be mailing the rest. I wrote back to thank him and told him how excited I was to receive this series after all this time.
Today the rest of the seasons came. Included in the package was a copy of the third Anne of Green Gables movie-- which I didn't already own! The guy who mailed them included a note saying that since I enjoyed the series so much he was just sending it as a bonus... and for me to just do something nice for someone else sometime. Wasn't that just so thoughtful? I can do that!

I can't wait to watch this series again. It's been enough years that mostly I just remember the characters and locale, and not much about the plot. I know my girls will enjoy them, too!

If you're an Anne of Green Gables fan, you'll probably enjoy this special "Anne and Gilbert Valentine Video" I came across, too:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Man and His Truck

It's a nice sunny day (for mid-February) and I heard Lyle putzing around out in the garage, so I decided to go out and snap a few pictures of whatever he was doing.
He grinned at me. "Are you going to blog about me again?" he said.

"Why, I hadn't thought about it. I guess I could. I haven't blogged in about 10 days. I really need to blog about something!"

"Yeah. I noticed," he said.

Laura piped up. "Yeah, Mom. Your book reviews have been sitting there long enough! We want a real blog post!"

"Your fans are clamoring for more," Lyle smirked.

Well... what I really had gone out to take pictures of was our "new" pickup topper. I hadn't decided whether it was blog-worthy or not... but since my family fans hinted asked for a blog post... here's the scoop!
See the silver Dodge Ram in pulling our travel-trailer in the picture on my blog header? We traded that truck in on a Toyota Tundra last summer. It was a "down-sizing" decision based on economical reasons, but in many ways we have enjoyed the smaller truck. (Lyle says I need to re-design the blog header with the Tundra in it, but I need to get a good picture of it pulling the trailer before I can.)

The Tundra came with a flat bed cover, but with homeschool convention season just around the corner we really needed more cargo room for all the supplies I take for my Sonlight Curriculum booth. Lyle has been watching Craig's List for an affordable pick-up topper that would fit. He finally located one yesterday in Lewiston (2 hours away). He called the guy to get the dimensions and they decided it would probably fit, so we headed down there yesterday afternoon. Obviously, it wasn't designed for this truck... and it's silver (not "Salsa Red" like the truck) but it meets our needs. I told him it was better to be silver than the wrong color of red or some other contrasting color like blue or green! He agreed with that.

With it being winter it had been awhile since our family had been on a day trip, so we all enjoyed the ride... and as always, Lyle enjoyed the drive.

And now we're all set to head to Loveland, Colorado in 2 1/2 weeks!