Friday, January 29, 2010

Kids Can Do This: Lace Up Cards


Ernie has never been interested in this before, but when she saw me hand sewing on a lazy Sunday morning* she begged to sew too. I traced cookie cutters onto a piece of cardboard, hole-punched around the edges, and gave her a big piece of yarn tied to a bead (so as to not pull through) on one end and taped on the other.

These stay in our church "quiet bag" for during services, but now that I know she's into hand sewing, I want to make lots more cards! She's not terribly interested in what she's sewing, so it would be fun to just find nice pictures to laminate and punch holes around. The pictures could also be mod-podged onto chip board or something sturdy.




*When your kids get up around 6, church starts at 12:15, and you try to encourage quiet Sunday activities...yeah, it's long and lazy. And very, very nice.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Napkins in the Mail










More napkins- I love this print! These are just a simple quilting cotton, with a rolled hem edge- they're off to my sweet sister-in-law and her kitchen. Happy Birthday, Jamie!


Oh, and these little beauties made their way into the package, too...because they managed to jump ship and were NOT in the Christmas package. Phooey. J, I hope you can find a lovely place to wear these!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm in big trouble

Fred Meyer (a local we-carry-clothes-milk-bikes-and-gardening-supplies-and-we-have-a-huge-bulk-section-too kind of store) had their yearly "40% off" coupon for gardening seeds.  I got in all kinds of trouble with this last year (that's how I ended up with "yard long" beans that produced one, eighteen-inch bean a week, and how I got so many durn tomatillos!)

I was only going to get tomato, marigold, and basil seeds.  Just normal things that we eat all the time, and things I didn't have seeds for yet.


Please add these to my list for this Spring:
Early Wonder Beets
Olympia Spinach
Giant Musselburg Leeks (already missed the boat on these, but I'm going to try anyway)
Genovese Basil (see! I can stick to a list!)
Cilantro
Royal Burgundy Beans
Roma Tomato
Sweet 100 Tomato
Yellow Pear Tomato
Early Girl Tomato
Carpet of Snow Alyssum (white)
Starfire Signet Mix
Royal Carpet Alyssum (purple)
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
Lemon Queen Sunflower

Oh, and I found an extra stash of seeds in my cupboard I didn't get in the ground last fall, so add kale, broccoli, mustard spinach, and peas.  Plus the nasturtium seeds in my freezer.

And please know that I am going to give a lot of the veggie seeds to my mom to start in her greenhouse, and she doesn't do things by half: SHE WILL PLANT THE ENTIRE PACKET.  Bless her heart (although she might not bless mine when she sees what I've done!)

So, if you live in the area, prepare yourself.  If you thought the Great Seedling Giveaway of 2009 was a big deal, wait till you see what happens this year with FOUR kinds of tomatoes, plus basil, leeks, and whatever else we have more than we can possibly fit.

And if I misled you last week, I am sorry.  This is what my deck looks like right now:


The green onions I planted last year have survived multiple harvests, but as you can see...not what it was last July.  But I have high hopes for this summer!

Yours in wishful thinking-
Myrnie

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Geekery: Sharing Anything on the Web, in Google Reader

If you use Google Reader to see your blog feeds (and I love my reader- I subscribe to 307 blogs!) then do you know you can "follow" people and see things they share?  It's true.  My sister and I love to send ideas back and forth to each other this way- "Did you see what Jenny did?"  "My hips are growing just looking at that!"  "Quick- make me this and put it in the mail."

Sometimes I see ideas that aren't in my blog feed- maybe it's a newspaper article, or maybe it's a recipe I plan on making that night that I want my hubby to see (I share with him, too.)

So, if you have Google Reader, do this:
Under "Your Stuff" click on "Shared Items."  It has an orange icon next to it.

Now look up in the top right corner- see the "Note In Reader" button?  Click on it, and drag it up to your tool bar.  (I use Google Chrome as my internet explorer, but it should work in any explorer widget toolbar.)

Now on any web page, click and share!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Summertime, from Porgy and Bess

Trying out a few different songs for an upcoming audition to be in a local church talent show.

What do you think?  Too short?  Would you like it better with accompaniment?

I've always loved this song- "One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing, spread your wings and take to the sky.  But till that mornin', there's a nothin' can harm you, so hush little baby, don't you cry."  I love to sing it to my babies when they're just newborn.  I don't know why, but newborns seem to need old southern spirituals- Wade in the Water, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Amazing Grace.  Nice swoopy, heart felt songs.  Then the babies get older and they need jazzy 40's and 50's tunes.  Bop Shoo Bop and all that.  Things to kick and dance to.

Enjoy the song!


Summertime from Myrnie Twin on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Tofu, carrot, onion, cellophane noodle stir fry with garlic, ginger, and Yoshida sauce


Monday:grilled cheese sandwiches, leftover apple sauce.

Tuesday:Vegetarian Black Bean Chipotle chili, rice.  A favorite, and a crockpot recipe.

Wednesday:Vegetarian Black Bean Chipotle chili-cornbread bake.  I'll make cornbread batter and spoon it over the top and stick the whole thing in the oven.  Do you think it will fake the toddler into eating it two days in a row?  Oh, and braised kale (This kale is DELICIOUS- the red pepper makes it a bit spicy, which I love, and the vinegar at the end is amazing.  A must try, if you think you don't like kale.)

Thursday: Tatties n Neeps, biscuits, apple slices.  (Mama Papaya and Aunt LoLo...this day is for you guys!)

Friday: Tortilla Espanola - a potato fritatta of sorts.  I'll have to borrow my parents' cast-iron skillet for this one.  It will make good use of our really great yukon potatoes- they're local, and amazingly sweet.  Who knew I could find local potatoes at the grocery store??

Saturday: Pasta with Braised Kale, with goat cheese or parmesan.  Depends on how I'm feeling that night.  Another solid kale dish.

Baking for the week:
Three batches Wheat Bread (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, OR triple on Monday and freeze dough loaves)
Acorn squash muffins (for snacks) This is Aunt LoLo's favorite Jamie recipe for Butternut Squash muffins...but I have an acorn squash.  We'll muddle through somehow, and the kids will think they're cupcakes.  Well, they kind of are!
Biscuits-  I found out that if I cut out all my biscuits, and freeze the ones we won't eat that night, I can take them from freezer to oven beautifully- they only cook for an extra few minutes.  This will be a HUGE time saver!  It will also save us from eating an entire batch of biscuits for dinner/breakfast.  Urp.


Things I need to use:
Potatoes
Onions
acorn squash
kale
turnips
eggs
tofu
goat cheese
parmesan cheese
apples
Chipotle peppers
oranges
mandarin oranges

Hmm, not bad planning!  Should be a tasty week.  Oh, and SO many of these recipes are on our cooking site/repository, The Chow Review.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Work like it all depends on you, but pray like it all depends on God.

-Myrnie

Hometown Seeds

I was recently approached by Hometown Seeds about their new website- they sell non-GMO flowers, herbs, vegetables, and what they call "Survival Seeds."  In fact, they offered to send me a free "survival seeds" packet (a $35 value) if I posted a link to their survival seeds page.  Ordinarily I wouldn't have responded, BUT they also gave me a coupon code for you guys...I felt bad leaving you out of that loop :)

So, I'll tell you guys all about the survival seeds when they come (it's going to be a vacuum-sealed mylar bag, with enough seeds to plant 3/4 acre and a freezer life of 10 years.  The thought is to be able to grow enough food for my family in event of an emergency.)

They have this to say about GMO seeds:
"Seeds are the core of our business and vital to life on our planet. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. We pledge that we will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds. We are not confident in the safety of GMO seeds and therefore will not sell them to our valued customers. We believe they are being released for public use prematurely. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds."

Go check out Home Town Seeds- they have good prices, and a great selection of veggies and flowers from what I see, and reasonable shipping.  There aren't a lot of varieties of each vegetable, but there is a good total selection of the garden workhorse plants (artichoke, asparagus, tomato, kale, etc.)

Use the coupon code "thanks" to get 10% off your total order, until February 28th.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The 2010 Garden Plan

It's time for gardening!  Why yes, it IS January.  Apparently, cold-hardy truly  means cold hardy!  At time of writing, peas have been planted.  Kale, beets, spinach, and green onions are all on the bench to go in next time I step outside.  I've (unwittingly) already missed the window of opportunity for leeks and onions.



Our final frost day is April 1st- after that, melons, squash, beans, etc. are all cleared for planting.  Nothing like planting the garden to make us feel a little better about the last days of winter!



Here's the lineup for this year:
green arrow pea 
tom thumb pea 
golden zucchini 
ground cherry 
table queen squash 
blacktail mountain watermelon 
early silverline melon 
rainbow chard 
calypso bean 
royalty purple pod bean 
red potatoes 
genovese basil
mint
lemon balm
beets
carrots
nasturtium
marigold
small roma-type tomato


And if you're seeing my ground cherry intentions and laughing...my friend pulled these seeds from her own plants. She promises they're the real deal. (Yes, last year I planted ground cherries. 23 of them. And they were all tomatillos. My family loved the salsa they all got for Christmas. So did the friends. And most of my congregation.)





Most of my seeds are ready to go, thanks to my ground-cherry-promising friend, Mama Papaya- she pulled all kinds of goodies from her garden and sent me home with an armful of bagged seeds. (Everything with a fancy name up top came from her garden, which in turn came from Seed Savers.) Lovely, lovely lady. I just hope I don't kill them all.


Have you started your plans for the 2010 garden? Is it in the ground? In your head? Just a pipe dream?


And listen, if you're wanting to start gardening but really don't have space or time, here are a few things to throw on the back porch.


  • Potatoes in a garbage can. I've done this twice now, it's magic every time to dump out my can and find real food in that dirt.  (You can purchase ORGANIC potatoes at the grocery store to use as seed- conventional potatoes are normally sprayed so they don't sprout. That's no good for gardening, is it?) I recently read of someone doing potatoes in burlap sacks. That's wonderful!!
  • A big fat pot of basil. Start seeds indoors (my mom starts mine, and uses big 20 ounce cups so she doesn't have to transplant until planting time.) When they're nice and big, about 5 inches, put about 8 in a great big pot, like the size a tree comes in from the nursery. (Last year Trader Joes had nice big basil plants for a good price, if you want to just buy starts.) Trim them right when you harvest, and you'll have fresh basil all summer long!


  • If you have an isolated patch of dirt, tap a friend for some mint- just dig up a chunk in the spring and plonk it in the ground. You'll have more mint than you know what to do with. (I haven't had good luck with this in pots, but others have.)
  • If you buy green onions at the store and just use the green part, put the white bit with roots into a glass of water- it will keep growing! If you like, you can plonk it in the ground when the roots have grown out a bit. Green onions are amazingly cold hardy.


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For more winter home ideas, check out Melissa's Carnival at The Inspired Room!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things to Make for Valentines Day

Stuck on what to do for Valentine's day?  Here are a few ideas from the archives!


If your sweetie likes chocolate, you can't go wrong with this gift- it's a box made of chocolate bars.  In the past I've filled it with hershey kisses, but maybe that's just chocolate overkill?  Is that possible?  (Not for my hubby it isn't!)


If you want to  make a simple little gift for a girl in your life, how about sparkly earrings?  If you plan on giving a corsage or boutteneire, how about a pretty beaded pin to go along?






For decorating, how about a fun felt garland to make with your kids?  Felt is nice and sticky, so you just need to go in and out with a needle- great for starting sewers!






I've updated the tutorial side bar- check it out for lots of fun things to make!

What do you do for Valentine's Day?  Cards?  Small gifts?  Goodies?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Teeny Tiny Napkins for Teeny Tiny Faces



I picked up a stack of cloth napkins at the thrift store last summer to replace our paper ones, and they're great. The kids love them, they're durable, they wash well...but there's only 8, and always seem to be in the laundry hamper instead of the kitchen! We needed more...and we needed lots.

I picked up a piece of home-decor weight cotton fabric a while back during a fabric sale at Joann's, and stuck it away until a project came along. All the home-dec fabrics have big warnings "DO NOT WASH ME!" Obviously, I felt a twinge of guilt when I got home as I threw my piece of fabric in the washing machine and shut the door. (I'm a rule keeper.)

Yeah, nothing happened except that all the industrial-strength starch washed out, it shrank a little, and...it now seems to be absorbant. None of these are good news for your furniture, but GREAT news for your kitchen!

The edges are just serged with a rolled hem edge, and these tiny wipes are a great size for the kids. As my mom and dad pointed out (while laughing and trying on for size) these are NOT lap-sized napkins. They're not even really adult-sized napkins. But for wiping off crumby faces and fingers, and little drips of milk, these are a great size for the kids to work with. They're about 8 inches square.
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunday Thoughts: I Know That My Redeemer Lives




Looking through the archives, I found this song I recorded early last year, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives."


He does. And I do.


Happy Sunday, everyone!


-Myrnie

Friday, January 15, 2010

Baby Legs



Baby legs are good enough to eat (and I do- believe me, I do!) but they're extra cute in these leg warmers from the indomitable Aunt LoLo. She makes them out of women's trouser socks- LoLo, I thought you had a tutorial, but I couldn't find it!

If anyone is sewing along at home, you basically cut the foot off the sock above the ankle, then cut the toe and ankle off the foot part to make it into a tube. Fold the tube together and attach as the bottom cuff, and you have adorable baby leg warmers!

(Did that make any sense? In theory it makes sense to me, but I always sew linings and cuffs backwards. Which is why LoLo excels at these baby leg warmers and I've never even attempted them! I'll bet if you ask nice, she'll put a pair in her shop *grin*)

Mimi adores skirts (her gargantuan cloth diapers make pants seem so restricting) and leg warmers are great for keeping her warm, but her feet uncovered so she doesn't slip on our hardwood floors. Plus, the legwarmers are great for our frequent diaper changes, and tights are always so tight over the diapers (plus, they don't breathe well...) Thanks Aunt LoLo, we LOOOOVE our leg warmers!! (In fact, Ernie was so smitten that she wore a pair to bed, over her jammies.)

It feels like this space has been so quiet lately. I've recorded a few new songs for you guys- one is being mixed down by my fantastic husband (we pulled out all the fun stuff- microphones, mixers, cords, stands....it was a riot!) but since I did vocals and accompaniment, the tracks aren't mushed together yet. He's mushing :) I can't wait for you guys to hear it! The second song I recorded needs to be re-done: higher notes, sung while playing piano, don't record well. At all :) I have another picked out to record, but sent the book to my mom for the weekend- it's a great compilation of old spirituals and folk tunes, set to real accompaniment, not just chords and melody like most publishers push out. I can't wait to get it on tape for you guys! There's one more piano/vocal song I have picked out, but it needs a little more work since I just found it yesterday. Then there's a show tune I'm just dying to record, even if it's a cappella (I don't have the piano music, but it's so fanastic it doesn't need accompaniment right? Isn't that what we all tell ourselves when we're belting something out in the shower?)

So, lots going on in the background, but not a lot showing up here!

At the rate I'm snapping pictures of all our Christmas goodies, I could be blogging about the holidays for months!
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Swap goodies from Little Jenny Wren


My swap package from Little Jenny Wren arrived today- I was so excited! She's such a sweetheart- her first package was lost in the post, and she quickly sent another.

She stitched up a beautiful little stocking, stuffed with two tiny bunny pins (don't those look like Golden Books bunnies? The ones that painted Easter eggs?) and a cross-stitched Santa ornament. I love the ornament- she fused it to a cotton backing and then stitched around the edges. I'm such an admirer of her dolls- she does amazing handwork.

Thanks for a great swap, Jenny!
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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Gift from my Talented Sister


I received this beautiful tablerunner from my fabulous and talented (and too-far-away) sister, Aunt LoLo for Christmas. Isn't it great? She got busy this last Christmas season and churned out about 6 of these suckers for (uber lucky) gals in the family. I love the colors, and how soothing it looks with the pine table and chairs. (The platter was a birthday gift from my aunt- she's an interior decorator, and doesn't she have fabulous taste??) I love how these two gifts coordinate, and I can see them and think about families who love us.


I especially love the free-motion quilting. It's so LoLo- she could sew a straight line, but why would she want to do that?


I also love how hardworking this is- it's a durable and machine-washable table runner, that can easily stand in as a huge hot pad for a row of hot dishes at dinner time. Brilliant!
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Home: Curtains


We put curtains up in Mimi's room- I love them!

Here's what I love:

1) Clip on rings, so I didn't need to sew tabs or a rod pocket.
2) Cheery blue and pink, that brightens up the room and tones down the "baby" factor of the pale walls.
3) Thick "blackout" backing that keeps heat in at night.
4) Magic fabric dimensions: I bought two yards of blackout fabric and two yards of blue. Obviously, the blue is shorter than the blackout fabric. Magically, I had a scrap of pink that coordinated and was EXACTLY the missing length.

Mimi's room is hands down the coldest room in the house at night- I put a little space heater in there for her, and it ran every hour or so. With this curtain panel, it maybe runs once or twice at night! We bought a curtain rod, but it turned out to be too short so we'll use the tension rod for now. She's not as light-sensitive as Ernie during her naptimes, so that gap at the top doesn't bother her one bit.

Another reason I love the clip on curtain rings is that I can change out her curtains whenever I like- an old quilt, a pretty tablecloth, or another curtain panel. Anything the right size is fair game. For napping kids I like one-panel curtains like this, so there isn't a gap in the middle. The blackout fabric is pretty stiff, so they don't meld together in the middle like most two-panel curtains would.

We've been putting up curtains all over the house, but this one is hands-down my favorite!

For more tips on your winter home, visit Melissa's site and check out her great tips, and the other festival participants!
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Circle of Friends


We had way too much fun making Christmas dolls this year- they're positively addicting.

I free-handed the pattern, but based it on the general shape of the famous Black Apple dolls at Martha Stewart. The hair was my own design for each doll, to match the little girl who would receive it. I tried to match skin color too, but had a limited selection here. My own daughters fairly glow in the dark, which is pretty true to life though, now that I think about it.

The general pattern for these beauties can be found here.

If you're going to make some, the best tip I can give you: Draw or print your pattern piece, and trace exactly as it is onto the backside of your fabric with disappearing ink.  Cut roughly around your shape, and stitch on the line.  Even up the seam allowance after you've sewn.  There!  Now you have dolls and not blobs (or am I the only one who is rotten at tracing a pattern and sewing a 1/4 inch away???)

When designing your hair, the hair piece of felt should be the same size as the face piece of cloth.  Start out by tracing the face piece onto your pattern paper, then change the shape to be the hairstyle you want.  Sew the felt onto the face cloth, and then carefully snip away the excess at the hairline before you attach the front of the face to the front of the body.  Obviously, if you make the hair bigger than the original head, cut the the head pieces larger to accommodate the extra hair bits, then trim it up after you sew.  Unless you're a whiz on that sewing machine, the hair will be mostly free-form when you sew so don't even try to shape the head pieces before you sew the hair on!

I used similar-colored cloth for the back of the head- it seemed sturdier than the craft felt I was using for the hair.

The faces are painted on, and heat set with an iron.


Here we have Ernie and Mimi.


Halligator and MP.


The the unstoppable BBJ.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

The CSA experiment



Last year we started an experiment: I signed us up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share from a local farm.  We wanted to 1) support local agriculture 2) eat organic produce 3) try new fruits and vegetables.

Every other week, I drove downtown and picked up our box.  The quality of the farm-grown produce was amazing.  Comparing it to grocery-store produce was like...comparing a tin whistle to a flute, or a Palmer's chocolate easter bunny to a Lindt truffle.  The convenience was outstanding, too.  Our CSA is different than a lot of others- they have drop off points all over the area, so I just had to make the 10 minute drive.

It was easy having someone else make the choices, too.  When faced with all the variety at a farmers' market or grocery store, it's too easy to stick to the classics.  But when handed 3 pounds of a new vegetable, it's time to look for new recipes!  We found out we don't like kale all that much, but bok choy is alway delicious.  We like our chard harvested young, and leeks are as amazing as everyone says.



I noticed our CSA brought in outside produce.  If they could find a reliable, organic source, they'd throw it in the box.  I wanted local, so I normally logged onto the website and substituted with something from the farm.  Now that we're deep in Winter, the only local offerings are things in storage: apples, potatoes, onions, squash, parsnips, carrots.   I log on and say no to the oranges, the persimmons, the lettuce.

 Another reason we chose this farm was that we could order on a week by week basis, rather than pay a large sum up front and receive a box each week for a set number of weeks.  There was also no requirement to go work on the farm.

I've cancelled this week's box: we have more than enough squash, potatoes, onions, apples, and parsnips.  I think our time with the farm is ending, as I simply can't justify the cost right now based on the amount of food in the winter box.  I'm planning next year's garden (more on that later) and we'll start visiting the farmers' market again in the spring.

Based on what we wanted from this experiment, it was a raging success.  We bought local, we bought organic, we tried lots of new things.  The boxes were expensive, but much cheaper than prepared foods or meats: our total grocery bill went down.  But, time to move on, I think!

What about you?  Have you thought about a CSA?  Do you belong to one?  Did you know what it was before this post?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

This is a favorite verse of scripture for me- it kind of sums up everything.

Jacob 6:12 "O be wise; what can I say more?"

We know the rules of the game.  We know what is required of us.  

All that's left is to roll up our sleeves, remember what we've been taught, and go to work.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

There are a few projects to tell you about, that just need photos.  (Oops, mailed one of them without snapping any photos!)   So let's talk about 2009.  Amazing year.

1)  My oldest daughter started talking.  At age 3 1/2 she had about 10 English words, and 20 other nonsense/signing words.  The downside of this is she is going through the NO stage of the terrible twos, the I DON'T WANT TO stage of the threes and the WHY stage of the fours...all at the same time.  No, no.  Don't envy me.  Please.
2)  About 9 months after she started talking, Ernie learned to read.  Sakes alive, the girl can read!


3)  Wonder Daddy passed his final CPA test.  For the first time since I've known him, he ISN'T studying at night.  Can't tell you the difference it's made in our home to have a daddy that isn't always off-limits to the kids.


4)  Went hog-wild on an "I can make that" bender.  Bread, cookies, snacks, cleaning supplies, toys, clothes...apparently I'm enough of a recluse to prefer making to shopping.


5)  Completed another year of almost all handmade gifts.  Again, with the no-shopping thing.





6)  Got better at canning.  Lots  better.  (plum jam, tomatillo salsa, peaches, peach honey, apple butter, marmalade, applesauce, apple chunks, fig preserves, figs in syrup, figs in water, blueberry jam... and all but the peaches and citrus were home-grown by me or family!  Hello free!)


7)  Went from 159 pounds to 139 pounds.  I love nursing.  I love cooking my own food.  I love fishing "these are never going to fit again" clothes out of the scrap pile and finding out they're too big.  I love the lovely ladies who joined my sister and I in our weekly weigh-ins in the weight-loss challenge this year.  I love being able to run without being weary.



From I Wonder Woman







From I Wonder Woman


8)  Started cloth diapering the baby.  Love love love the cloth diapers.



9)  After a long and dark winter, kicked the baby blues.  Remind me to never have another Fall baby, so long as we live in dark and dreary sun-free-in-the-winter climes.

10)  Called to serve in our local Spanish branch of the church.  Desperately praying to remember what I learned in high school.

11)  A mildly productive garden.  For me, that's a raging success.  Three tomatoes!  60 pounds of tomatillos! Plums from the tree before the squirrels ate them all!  Plus raspberries, blackberries, mint, lemon balm, basil, and 4 twenty-inch-long beans.  I won't mention the (many many many) crops that completely failed.  This is a new year, and we're only looking at successes!

Thank you thank you all for being here.  For being so supportive.  For being so generous in your own bloggy homes.  I'm looking forward to another great year!

And, after nearly two years of this bloggy business I've learned something: There are about 15 of you here to see ME...and hundreds of other visitors looking for tutorials.  Instructions.  Tips.  (And inexplicably, information on Amanda Barnes Smith.  Truly.  One of my top search results right now, right after Rolo Treats.)  And if there's something I love, it's telling people what to do.  So, look for more tutorials, instructions, and tips in 2010!  Oh, and look for more music.  Hopefully lots more music.