Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lucky Me

These kids are so cute and they were so much fun to photograph! Here is just a sample of how it turned out.


Some of you may know this awesome family but we're not naming names. They asked to be anonymous. So, shhhhh....

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do you want to touch my hair?

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, then you know Kat's hair has ALWAYS been an issue.

 Kat at 26 months. This is pretty much how her hair looked 98% of the time.

March 2008. Still a stinkin' rat's nest.

June 2008. Wouldn't let me brush it but happily let me take a picture of her back.

April 2009. Still a fuckin' mess.

October 2009. She's the only kid in her class that is growing dreadlocks.

March 2010. Mess.

January 2011. Still a mess. Dance class did not entice her to brush her hair.

I used to lie to her just to brush her hair:

and when that didn't work. I just confessed to being jealous of other moms.

I think you get the point, right?

By June 2011, the situation had grown so serious that we had no choice but to take her to the salon for an emergency haircut. The only possible way it would happen was if I let her have pink streaks in her hair. 

I thought about it for 1.4 seconds and agreed.

Yes, you can have pink streaks if you let us cut your hair.

This was the result. The knot in the back of her hair was so bad, we had to do the super groovy cut I had once in my 20's.

Now, she takes care of her hair. She is absolutely obsessive about her hair. For Christmas last year she wanted a hair brush that she had seen on a TV commercial. 

Let me repeat that:

A hairbrush for Christmas.

I frequently hear: 

"Feel how soft my hair is!"

"Do you want to brush my hair?"

"Can you please put my hair in braids?"

"Do you wanna see a YouTube video of how to do this cool hair style?"

So all you moms out there that used to give me the dirty looks because I'd have a happy rat's nest skipping along side of me...I win.

While you spent hours brushing hair (I did, too, but not nearly as much as you) and fighting off slaps and drying tears, I knew one of these days she would start to brush her hair. 

And she did; it only took 8 years.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Does this remind you of something?

I know it can't be just me.

I don't know why she was in such a bad mood. Maybe she was somehow intercepting Trent's brooding pre-teen feelings. He was camping this weekend and couldn't come to the pumpkin farm.

Oh, I know what it is!!

This picture reminds me of a Halloween several years ago....

Don't the two pictures look similar? It was from October 30, 2009. 

Maybe she's just not a Halloween girl? I don't know. I tried taking the matter into my own hands. 

I thought maybe if I was a zombie and tried eating her, it would make her feel a little more peppy. All I did was scare some little kid who tried coming to her rescue. You can see him entering the frame on the far left.

Maybe she was just in a bad mood.

She is excited about being Katniss for Halloween...

Really, she is. I guess you can't quite tell from the picture, but believe me she is.

Maybe she is just turning 10 and starting that brooding pre-teen crap. Yeah, I'm going with that. She's been a brooding pre-teen since October 30, 2009.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So what the heck do you eat?

I get asked this question frequently. I don't like to talk about my eating choices but when I'm in a situation and it comes up and I tell them I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs people are always mildly curious.

What DO you eat?

Well, we eat lots of stuff. It's not Oreos or french fries like some may think but instead, it's a lot of new flavorful stuff. Oh, we do eat our share of beans, lentils and quinoa here but my pantry is now stocked with spices I never ever used before like Cardamom and Tumeric. Among the new spices, I have bottles of Tahini, Molasses and a container of Nutritional Yeast. 

Instead of cow milk, I drink almond milk. Instead of butter, we use margarine (yes, chemicals) or a nutritional yeast mix. 

Erik says that he enjoys the meals because they're very flavorful and new. I guess we had been eating chicken breast for so long that we forgot what other stuff tasted like.

My favorite new cookbook is Forks Over Knives. We've tried so many different dishes and I have to say that all of them have been delicious.

I'm going to include one of my favorite recipes below. I've been asked for the recipe and I've also been asked, "what do you do with nutritional yeast?". So, here's your answer:

No-Cheese Sauce

Makes about 2.5 cups.

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped.
3 T cashews, toasted (throw them on a baking sheet, put in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes)
1 T tahini
1 c nutritional yeast

Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order given (which I never do) and puree until smooth and creamy. All up to 1/2 cup water if necessary.

I use a hand blender and it works fine.

"Cheesy" Potato Soup

1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 c vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped (I don't peel)
2 yellow squash, chopped (this is my addition. The original recipe doesn't call for it)
1 batch "No-Cheese" sauce (from above)
Salt and pepper to taste
Green onions to sprinkle on later
2 T chopped parsley to sprinkle on later
Fresh nutmeg (this is my addition, too)

Saute the onions in a large sauce pan for 10 minutes or so. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep onions from sticking. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add vegetable stock, bay leaf and potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the squash. Reduce the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes or so until potatoes are tender. 

Use an hand blender to whip it all up. I like to leave chunks. That sounds weird, huh? 

"I like to leave chunks"

Well, anyway. Add the No-Cheese sauce and warm it all up low heat. Serve garnished with the green onions, parsley and freshly grated nutmeg.

Ok, so there it is. It's not all my recipe. I add a few things and if you've read my other recipes, you know I don't really measure. I just add what I feel like.

and because there is no picture of the soup, I'm going to add a picture below of something. I haven't decided yet but you are important.

Here's Kat, Trent, Erik and Sheila (the dog across the street) playing some baseball in the neighbor's driveway.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I can't be the only one

living in this world with this mess on their bathroom counter, right?

Somewhere there has to be another home with Fiestaware bowls filled with water and Orbeez.

They've been there for 4 days now. When do they explode? or dissipate?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Deck

I'm still doing pages from our Cruise in 2009. 

Here's a picture of Katrina on the deck of our ship as we were leaving the Cayman Islands. She was actually posing, not deliberately looking away from the camera.

It was such an incredible trip and the memories will be cherished for the rest of my life. Traveling like this was something I thought I would never be able to do in my lifetime.

Papers are Carta Bella. There is also an old Hambly overlay. I used gesso and a Dove Blender for the pink around the edges. The photo wheel is a Tim Holtz die that I was able to use in my Cuttlebug.

Thanks for looking! :)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

It's like being at the deli, but it moves

Last weekend we hit the road and traveled to the other side of town to attend the Reptile Show.

I've never been to one so I was excited for our new adventure.

After we paid the entrance fee, we immediately hit the floor. Hundreds of small, colorful, plastic containers lined the aisles.

These containers were filled with tiny little snakes. At first I felt bad for them. They've been in this tiny container for two days. I was assured that the snakes were fine and that they use much less oxygen than we use.

Some of the snakes were PISSED. I watched one snake for a few minutes as he tried desperately to lift the top off. I don't remember what kind of snake he was but I remember he was venomous. I was hoping he wouldn't succeed in escaping.

After watching for awhile, we moved on and I took several pictures. The results are below:

If there was ever a snake that needed a bow on her head, it would be this beautiful princess. She was sooooo pretty. Maybe a rhinestone or two PLUS a bow.

I thought this one was pretty, too. Especially pretty that he sits on black beans. I saw other snakes on a bed of lentils. Yum! I love lentils.

I took a picture of this one just because I couldn't believe the price. Sheesh!

This guy's exhibit was pretty cool. The bugs were beautiful and I suddenly wondered why I didn't own any taxidermied insects. This is something I now want to have. I want the box above. The insects are all from Arizona. (Is "taxidermied" even a word? My spell check doesn't like it. I don't know how else to describe the insects)

I was shocked to know that Arizona has one of those crazy beetles like the one pictured in the middle. It's called Dynastes Granti. They live at around elevation 5000 feet and come out around monsoon season. This particular beetle was found outside a gas station.

That is my hand holding a Whip Tail Scorpion. I gave Erik the camera with a wide angle lens but he didn't capture my body attached to my arm. Erik probably knew, after years of training, not to capture my body on camera. 

You will just have to trust me that it's my hand. Sorry.

Ooooo, a scary rattle attached to something venomous.

This Cobra was far away behind a yellow caution sign, but you can tell he's pissed about something. But, he/she is sooo pretty!

I think this is a Nile Crocodile. Look at his eyes. Maybe that's why the Cobra was pissed. The crocodile and the snake were right across from each other giving each the evil eye.

 I don't remember what this is but I guess I was going for the really shallow depth of field look.

The claw of doom!

Later I petted these cute little guys. Hissing cockroaches.

That's it! Have a great day.

Oh, and NO, we didn't come home with anything.

Friday, October 04, 2013

It's like Legos but worse

Since I've given up meat and most animal products, I've been stocking the pantry with a variety of nuts.

The rest of the family has been eating them, too. The kids love the pistachios and eat them constantly.

The problem is that my floor now has the occasional pistachio shell littered on it. The other problem is that my tile floor is a similar shade to the pistachio shell.

When the kids were little, I'd step on a Lego barefoot. That was painful. During the day, it was easy to avoid the Legos because they're brightly colored. The only time I'd step on one is at night.

The kids don't play with Legos as much but they do eat lots of pistachios. Now I step barefooted on pistachio shells.


The shells are too hard for the dogs to pick up at eat, too.

I think the grocery store bags we re-use as trash liners have small holes in the bottom where the shells can leak out onto the floor. The dogs pick them up and try to eat them but can't so they drop them all over the house and wait for me to step on them.

Or, maybe it's just the kids dropping them because they're lazy and they like to hear me scream in pain.

My mother found this macrame skeleton at a yard sale. It's the coolest thing I've ever laid eyes on.

The skeleton doesn't have anything to do with pistachios. It's important to have pictures on your blog, remember?

And besides, my mom asked me for a picture of it.

Have a great day.

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