Oh, Make Me Over…

I’m all I wanna be.

Super duper vanity post. But, as my life has slowed down to a normal pace, I have nothing on my hooks, sewing machine or in the oven. I’ve been reading, ok? Stephen King. I get lost in books sometimes. Oh, trust me, there is a To Do List. I have another baby blanket, paid in full. I have the fringe on that infamous poncho. Oh, I did send my baby fishies home with my mother in law. Not sure if they made more or not. I would wager that, as Giorgio Tsoukalos would say “The answer is YES!” They are quite the breeders.

Anyway, back to me being vain and what not…I got my hair cut…

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always with the stink face…

I just…needed a hair cut, man. I am totally not kidding. The last time I got a hair cut, it was one of those cheap and quick ones. The girl did do a good job, but my hair is just, not anyone’s friend. I got a really awful cut like a year ago (hint, WAY TOO MANY LAYERS!!) and my hair just hasn’t been manageable since. I’ve been putting band aids on it, but seriously, this person cut a layer that is, now at least a year later, only three inches long. So…that means it was like an inch long. I’m not kidding. It was soooooo bad. And there were a LOT of layers. So it was constantly getting tangled. Ugh! So I went to a real salon. God help me, the woman was like “whoa, who in the actual cut your hair like that?” I just, had no comment. I asked her to take off as many of the layers as possible. So that’s where we are. Ugh, I’m not super pleased. I mean, yes, it’s not constantly tangled, but man, it’s short for me. She couldn’t get that stupid 3″ layer, so I’m going back in 6 weeks, maybe we can get it out then. So stupid. Don’t let children cut your hair. This is what I get since my hair cutting friend left me for Chicago. She cut my hair perfect. All I had to do was buy her dinner. Oh and, one final note: “JUST BECAUSE I DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN MY HAIR DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HAIR, THANK YOU.” I was bleach blonde for a bit back in the day. I know how hair works. I think I annoyed her with my whole no poo thing. She talked to me like I was born in the back of a greasy spoon. But oh well, as long as she gets the damn layers out and I can go back to growing my hair.

Ok, so good stuff! I’m down 13#! Whoot whoot! And my muscles are coming back! I was so depressed after my knee problem (ahem, NO THANKS OBAMACARE.) I just stopped going to the gym and lost my lady guns. I look, like, 1000000xs more like myself.

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just, don’t ask about my #selfies. long story, inside joke. involved teasing one of my friends who brained herself with a wine bottle.

This is right when I gained a bunch of weight:

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#ancientaliensshirt from, like, my first post?

I’m pretty happy about that! I knew as soon as I got running again, things would get better. At the time, I was just like FORGET THIS.  You can’t run 20 miles a week and then just stop and expect nothing to happen. Onward and downward? I’ve got about another 20# to lose and I’ll be back to my old self again. Anyway, I’m going to go read my book. Tomorrow, crochet. Ta ta!

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In The Wiz

Finally I have recovered from vacation, being immediately thrown back into work, 500 loads of laundry and whatever other fires I have been trying to put out! I need a vacation after my vacation!

We went to Oxford, Wisconsin which is the absolute middle of no where. The entire town consists of a hardware store and a dollar store. Unfortunately, I don’t think the economy has been kind to them. You’ve heard of food deserts, right? Imagine your closest grocery store (and frankly, I didn’t see any other on the way there or around) is a freaking dollar store. That’s just what I observed and I hope I’m wrong, but man, it looked bleak. We brought food supplies from home and headed to a campground several miles from the whole 607 people that live in Oxford.

I immediately put on my vacation game face.

wpid-20140522_132837.jpgI knew we were out of Illinois when I stopped feeling a constant tug on my wallet.

It took about 4 hours to get there and the camp is just beautiful. Huge oak trees, a beautiful lake. It’s a bit crowded, I will say, there are a lot of people who leave their RVs there and use them as vacation homes. You don’t have to go far, however, to find yourself in the middle of nowhere.

Step one was to set up the RV, which the future in-laws loaned to us. Nothing too difficult.

uncle eddie sums it up.

wpid-20140522_175154.jpgTHAT THERE’S AN RV

wpid-20140522_174958.jpga wee kitchen and bed.

wpid-20140522_175006.jpgit even has a shower…for storage…who has time to shower on vacation?!?

And then it was a whole weekend of sleeping, fishing, eating, drinking and having a great time! We actually met a professional bass fisherman, which was pretty amazing. I didn’t know that could be a profession! He was full of great information and I managed to learn something!

Onto our wee little boat!

wpid-20140526_172449.jpgit’s name is the CIA Waterboarding…too much? too soon?

The boat was phenomenal. Light weight, comfortable to sit in, great to fish in. It was definitely a good investment. There are some lakes around where we live that we can use it on as well.

wpid-20140525_095826.jpgPUT YOUR FISHING GAME FACE ON!

wpid-20140525_095722.jpgomg, trees

wpid-20140523_140549.jpgthere’s also a little swimming area

wpid-20140523_140545.jpgi miss it already!

wpid-20140525_095802.jpgstunning!

I did not bring my phone on the boat so I don’t have a ton of pictures of the fish I managed to reel in. It’s pretty exciting to be reeling them in and then there’s the hustle and bustle to either get them in the live well or get them back in the water. Warning: We did eat a few. They were very tasty and mercifully dispatched. I even learned how to do it. I figured it was a good skill to have and it’s not very hard to do. I caught a couple bass, bluegills and sunfish. I did fish on the pier a bit, so I got pictures of them.

wpid-resizedimage_1401236691182.jpgi was pretty excited

wpid-resizedimage_1401236626763.jpgthis is a bass, i’m even wearing the bass hat our friend gave me! and of course the ancient aliens shirt. also, a picture of my future dude i’ll be married to in less than a month’s thumb. Also, please note that I can wear a hat properly.

I took some more scenery shots,

wpid-20140523_140554.jpgdown by the lake

wpid-20140526_145249.jpgview outside our window on the one day it stormed

wpid-20140526_200831.jpgwhere the poop goes out of the RV

wpid-20140526_165335.jpgblack squirrel

wpid-20140526_200621.jpgin my natural habitat.

wpid-20140526_172412.jpgmy fishing gear

wpid-20140526_155318.jpgwe made friends?

wpid-20140523_142139.jpgrocks, why wouldn’t i take pictures of rocks?

All in all, we had an absolutely amazing time! I miss it already, back to work, back to the grind and back to wedding stuff! It’s less than a month away! God help me! I can’t wait til it’s over! 😀

I’m Back!

I’m back! Glad to see you all kept busy! I’ll be chatting soon, but I desperately need a shower and to not move for like, the rest of the day…

However! Real quick, five days of no showering and the joy of no poo:

wpid-20140527_143031.jpgI kept it in braids and under a hat most of the time. Also, I think I need a tag for “wearing ancient aliens shirt” because I swear I am always wearing it when I take pictures

wpid-20140527_143121.jpgboom!

Oh the joys of no poo! My hair looks just fine!

Anyway, I’ll be back when I have showered and recovered a bit. See you all soon!

I WENT OUTSIDE AND FOUND GREEN STUFF. AND SNOW. AND MADE A SUET HOLDER. BADLY.

Hello Everyone!

It’s been forever! Sorry about that, I have been trying to keep up with you all, but seriously, last week was tough. Long shifts, extra days, drinking excessively, wedding planning, the works!

I recently found a small family-owned grocery store* that is a hair farther away than THE BIG FLOPPY BOX STORE I normally go to. The prices are a hair higher too, but I am trying to “put my money where my mouth is” a little more and the store is absolutely awesome! They have a delightful produce section, a bunch of frozen fruit (more variety and cheaper!), a bakery (eh, I probably make better bread!) an olive bar and a ton of just fun, interesting stuff. It’s actually fun to go there! Which is nice, because I hate shopping. But this place is more…welcoming? Homey? Comfortable? No giant lights and coupons being thrown at me?** I don’t know how to say it. I’ve decided to eat more raw lately, so that means stocking up on nuts, fruits and vegetables and they have a wonderful selection! I did get a salmon filet, as my fiance is out with the boys bowling tonight, so it’s Tuesday Tub, Wine and Fish. Not necessarily in that order.

*if you click the link, read their web address. ROTFLMAO.

**I HATE excessive coupons, because if you’re product isn’t at a fair price point and you won’t stand behind it, go away. I get it, if it’s a new product or a sale, but constant coupons make me not want to shop at stores. Besides, they are mostly for crap I don’t want anyway.

More on putting my money where my mouth is, King Arthur Flour sent me a catalog, which is apparently dangerous! I literally want everything! I did splurge a while ago and buy 50# of flour from their website, so I am assuming that is why they were so kind to send me one. I’ve decided, since the mom and pop place does not sell King Arthur, to buy exclusively from their website. This may seem a little silly, but I am trying hard to avoid THE BIG FLOPPY BOX STORE. They seem to have their heart in the right place and they are employee owned.

I did start a new tunic top, I made it quite a bit smaller than the other one because frankly, I am freaking short. And I do not have the, uh, bust to fill it out as written.

wpid-20140302_145038.jpgthe last one had what i fondly refer to as “armpit pockets”*** because the bust was too big. it happens so often i have a name for it.

***when i can freely see where the bottom of the sleeve hole is hanging uselessly away from my body and looks like a giant pocket

wpid-20140302_155403.jpgi am super proud of this pretty straight top stitching.

I am working hard to make straighter stitches. I have found the best way is to line up (ok, this is a DUH for anyone who has sewn, but indulge me!) the fabric with the throat plate lines and watch those lines, not the needle, not the foot, not the fabric, not the dog. Slow and steady, eyes on the throat plate. I also added plants to my sewing area:

wpid-20140302_143450.jpgwith plants! duh! and a festive mug! I love festive mugs about as much as plants.

wpid-20140304_151422.jpgstring of pearls, weird yellow spotted plant and rhipsalis cassutha

The string of pearls has had better days. I put it in a TERRIBLE spot when I first got it and didn’t realize until it was really not doing well that it wasn’t getting enough sun. He’s better, but he’s not the happiest of campers. I’ve got a house full of complainers. The aloe vera APPARENTLY is also dissatisfied with too much sun. She started turning brown, like they do when they are sun burnt. Either that or she’s got too much water, which I SINCERELY doubt, because I haven’t watered her in months. I think it’s because of the change in the angle of the sun during the day. So I just backed her off the bay window a bit. Ugh, bunch of complainers. I’m not sure if the plants will stay there when the tree that is currently bare outside grows leaves, but we’ll see. Frankly, I can’t wait to stick the hardier, less complainer ones out on the three seasons porch. They love it.

Ok, so anyway, what was I originally supposed to yell about? Oh yeah, my badly made suet holder. So I can’t find the metal one (SQUIRRELS!!!! JERKS!!!) so I rigged up one out of crochet and put it closer to the window. The squirrels don’t come that close, well except Bertha, who is actually kind of tame. She’s okay, because she amuses me with her begging and paw waving when I am out feeding the birds. We also have Humphrey and Henry, our resident chipmunks who I haven’t seen yet. They’ll be around.

wpid-20140304_141338.jpgi have way too much sage green yarn.

wpid-20140304_142358.jpgjust wow. get people on the phone. it’s fancy!

I literally made this while standing at the counter mumbling curses at squirrels.

LET’S GO OUTSIDE!

wpid-20140304_142651.jpgpoop. i found poop.

wpid-20140304_142620.jpg2 of our neighborhood murder of crows. they’ve only stopped by the feeder to poke at the suet once or twice.

wpid-20140304_142825.jpgour sad garden. p.s. my seedlings are all complainers too. i had to move them to get them warmer and NOW they’re like oh, i guess i’ll live and stuff. a house full of teenagers or something, i swear.

wpid-20140304_142955.jpgWHAT THE HELL IS THAT???????? WHY IS THE GROUND TURNING GREEN?????

OMG MAYBE WINTER IS GOING TO END EVENTUALLY!!!

Let’s celebrate with some Roy Orbison. I like him more than Elvis. I mean, I like Elvis, duh, but man, Roy is pretty awesome. Try not to chair dance. I dare you. I turn this up so loud, it’s stupid.

Liebster Award!

WHAAAAAT! I GOT AN AWARD!!

wpid-20140219_175638.jpgthis is an accurate representation of the face I made when I found out

20140213-192946HOW FABULOUS!!

greenandthrifty gave me a Liebster Award! First off, HUGE THANKS and I am so happy! Go check out greenandthrifty, right now. We’ll wait.

There are rules to this prestigious award, they are as follows:

(1) Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog (check! thank you again, greenandthrify!)

(2) You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you. (okie dokie!)

(3) Nominate 10 of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination. (easy as pie!)

(4) Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer. (compelling!!)

My 10 Questions as Provided:

1. Talk about your favorite piece of clothing – what it is and why its your favorite.

My favorite piece of clothing is kind of variable, but right now it is totally my Ancient Aliens shirt.20140106_145403[1]clearly it was ALIENS!

I love that show. Not that I believe one stinking word of it, but I am addicted. It’s either the funniest thing ever or the saddest, I haven’t decided.

2. If your life had a theme, what would it be?

Please envision me trying to get in and out of a child sized car.

3. What one talent makes you unique?

I can’t really think of one talent in particular, but I try to be funny. Oh, I am really good at eating peanut butter.

4. Why do you blog?

I enjoy reading blogs a whole big bunch and sometimes I feel like they take themselves too seriously, so I decided to strike out on my own. I was and am still on a certain social media under a fake name and found myself to be surprisingly popular, so I thought I could bring my sense of humor over to the blog world. I am not going to ever connect the two, sorry! Separate worlds!

5. What 3 people would you like to have dinner with (alive only)?

Betsey Johnson, Bear Grylls and Giorgio Tsoukalos. Can you imagine that party? Ridiculous!

6. What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Rocky Horror Picture Show. I am one of those people…

7. What’s your favorite quote?

“You say you can’t stand her,
The bastard’s a girl.”

From Sylvia Plath’s Lesbos

I’m not of that persuasion, but I love that poem and that quote.

8. What’s your favorite joke?

Um, well, it involves Helen Keller and her ability to drive, but it’s a bad joke so in better taste:

How do you make a kleenex dance?

Put a little boogie in it!

*drops mike, walks off stage, gets tomatoes throw at head, falls down stairs, weeps uncontrollably*

9. How do you deal with change, big or small?

I like change. I kind of thrive on it. If I get too complacent, I get bored. I like a challenge.

10. Are you a pessimist, why or why not?

Sort of, sort of not. I guess they best way I illustrate it is “the glass of water is neither half full or half empty but there is a raging hole in the bottom and a refill jug to the side.” I plan for the worst and shoot for the best. I’ve been through enough that nothing really gets under my skin.

AND NOW THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR,

MY 10 BLOGS!!

Blankets For Linus, because of the beautiful blankets and good cause!

Willow’s Corner, always interesting insight into a variety of subjects!

My Pretty Blue House, always clever and interesting!

Tatie’s World, beautiful crochet, seriously. And always a pleasant read!

Sewing Empire, beautiful stuff, seriously, stunning!

MollyBean, I am a sucker for crochet, beautiful pictures and chickens! Jealous!!

Yeah, I like it too, probably the Octochicken.

A bookworm’s life, beautiful pictures and interesting thoughts! A good quick read.

thriftyisthenewrich, who doesn’t love thrifty adventures? I certainly do!

luda melin, quilts and embroidery! Fun stuff!

YEAH! YOU’VE WON! THANKS FOR WRITING WONDERFUL STUFF!

AND I’VE GOT SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU!

1. Who do you know personally that inspires you the most and why?

2. What is your next goal or project?

3. What have you always wanted to do?

4. What is your guilty pleasure song?

5. What’s your favorite animal?

6. Where and what is your favorite place?

7. What song do I need to listen to, right now?

8. What is your favorite meal that you cook?

9. Tell me a fun fact about yourself!

10. Post a picture of something that is important to you or something you care about.

Goodbye Athena 2000.

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I’m listening to a sad song today:

ohhhhhhh say goodbye

ohhhhhhhhh say goodbye

Unfortunately, Athena 2000, my late grandmother June’s sewing machine had to be retired. May she rest in piece in the basement. I collected her manuals, tools and accessories and wrapped them up neatly in a box labeled June Dorothy Glaser’s Athena 2000. I’m a sucker for nostalgia. In my grandmother’s honor I left notes for whomever would reopen the box, including dates and reasons.

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   do it for the best

wpid-20140112_181420.jpgin grandma’s craft room

wpid-20140112_194348.jpgfirst brought home

wpid-FB_IMG_13895793210931458.jpgso excited that she lit up for me

wpid-20140112_201448.jpgshe still turned on and tried to sew

wpid-20140112_191805.jpgher cabinet

wpid-20140112_200753.jpgher pedal, of course grandma labeled it with the company name

wpid-20140113_090315.jpgher manuals

wpid-20140113_090523.jpgher bill of sale, December 20, 1976

wpid-20140112_202154.jpgoh, say goodbye

wpid-20140112_194437.jpgi’m sorry 😦

The repair shop informed me that her SPACE AGE TECHNOLOGY

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-01-17-10.57.00.jpg.jpgas seen here

was no longer in production and was dreadfully out of date. It would take piles of money to maybe get her up and running and I would be forever in troubles. Oh, I tried. I fiddled and fussed and stomped and begged for her to work. But alas, may she rest in piece. Her cabinet will stay in my craft room and hold my new sewing machine, Rachel

wpid-20140117_145837.jpgrachel? we go from greek goddesses to the chick from friends. ‘MERICA

whom my fiance has promised to make a label that says June Dorothy so she can be renamed.

I forgot to tell you that you’re just not good

I forgot to tell you that you’re just not good

not good

do it for the rest

do it for the best

do it for the rest

do it for the the best

I forgot to tell you that you’re just not good

You’re not good

She forgot

She forgot

Ciabatta Bread (on a busy day!)

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Yesterday I made ciabatta and I apologize for not posting it. While it was going through it’s stages, I was fiddling with the Athena 2000 and after about 3 hours into fiddling:

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GUYS I MADE A KNOT WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

wpid-20140117_100815.jpg wpid-20140117_094917.jpg wpid-20140117_094801.jpg wpid-20140117_094717.jpgwpid-20140117_094658.jpg “throw your arms in the air like you just wanna drop kick a machine!”

I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to take her into the shop, the closest one being 30 miles away. So I got a bit sidetracked and I will post about that later. Onto the ciabatta!

wpid-20140117_080111.jpgcoffee. step one is always make coffee. all my blogs should start with “today i arose from mine bed and went forth and made coffee” -sayeth brittany

First thing I had to do was pull the poolish I had made the day before which you can read about here out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for an hour.

wpid-20140117_072852.jpgit looks like the moon but it is not made of cheese

Then I assembled together the final ingredients.

wpid-20140117_080518.jpgthe actual step after this was “drink coffee”

Let me assure you, dear friends, this was a heck of a time to mix. I had to add more water than I thought, which I DESPISE doing. I always try to add less flour in the beginning because it is so much easier to add flour than water. I blame it on the fact that we are under an arctic chill here in Illinois and the house makes the desert seem humid. It’s so bad, I have to water some houseplants twice a week.

20140106_145403[1]sure, that seems like a reasonable excuse. clearly, it was ALIENS!

Anyway, I had to fight with that dough to get the right consistency and it was not exactly my favorite thing ever. But eventually, it started to behave.

wpid-20140117_084341.jpgthis is a sticky ball. stop giggling. this is serious.

wpid-20140117_092006.jpgstretching and folding

wpid-20140117_103629.jpg an hour later we’re bursting at the seams. yeast cells are such little piggies

wpid-20140117_103951.jpglook at that bubble. that is a delicious bubble.

wpid-20140117_104046.jpgsetting up a couche, or as i like to call it, a towel that is bunched up so the dough doesn’t stick

Right about

HERE

is when I finally called around about the sewing machine. Being that the place closed early and was forty minutes away, I decided to rush things a wee tiny bit. I originally was going to use my peel, like I’m fancy or something, and bake them two at a time directly on the stone. To save time, I put all four on sheet pans and just rotated them for baking.

wpid-20140117_114321.jpglooking good, kiddies!

wpid-20140117_122421.jpgand….delicious! can you see the hole? that was where the thermometer went.

The bread turned out very tasty, but still not as hole-y as I would like. The crust was beautiful. I mean, spot on A+ crust. But…oh, the crumb. It was good, but just not quite there.  Again, I am blaming the low hydration. Something I am going to have to play with. I might try again Monday…

Have a wonderful day, everyone!! 😀

P.S. this is what the inside looks like:

wpid-20140118_123422.jpgnot holey enough!!! needs more holes!!

IT LIVES!

Meet my grandmother’s Singer Athena 2000:

20140112_191805[1]

first brought into the house.

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wpid-20140112_194348.jpgall pictures must include a greyhound

She is a beauty, isn’t she? I intended to bring her home with me a long time ago, as my grandmother, June, passed 6 years ago and my brother has been living in her house, but as I have only moved out of my apartment into my home with my fiance for a only a few years, this was the first opportunity to bring her home.

Of course, I discovered the original bill of sale, December 20th, 1976:

wpid-20140113_090523.jpg

Complete with her immaculate cursive handwriting at the bottom, in case she needed to remember the exact name of the machine.

And, surely, Grandma June kept the manual!:

wpid-20140113_090315.jpgThree cocktails later:

wpid-20140112_194437.jpgagain, there’s a greyhound. also, i’m wearing my ancient aliens shirt. duh.

Finally got brave enough to turn it on. Plug it in, flip the power switch, and…

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it’s got a little light blub. oh, and we found at least 15 extra bulbs. ya know, just in case. i don’t even want to tell you how many sewing needles we found…

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it even does…puppy stitches…so, puppies…

IT LIVES!! IT SEWS!!!!

So this morning I get to clean her up (sans cocktail) and get it somewhat positioned in the room. I can’t wait to take it for it’s first spin, but there’s a lot of noodling around I need to do first. For now, she’s all tidied up at put away:

wpid-20140113_093044.jpgyes…sleep while you can…