Illinois Hates Me, So I’m Off to See The Wiz, The Wonderful Wiz of Wisconsin.

I woke up this morning to a delight:

wpid-20140516_061529.jpgi had to go out and gather the appropriate amount of WTFs

wpid-20140516_061510.jpgit was a lot. like, more than a bushel basket.

It snowed. Are you kidding me? Snowing, in mid-May. Is this a terrible joke? We just planted the herb bed and had a few little seedlings start up and we planted our garden after a terrible time getting the seedlings to grow which was DUE to the extreme wind/cold/snow/clouds that are relentless. We’ve literally had 3 nice days this year. Three. Otherwise, wind/snow/clouds/rain/cold and that’s it. I almost tore my hair out.

It has since stopped snowing, so I hope my baby plants will survive. Pretty much all I can do. I was going to tarp them, but by the time I found the tarp and some sticks the snow had died down a bit and the coffee to bulls**t ratio had to be evened out. And then I discovered my french press was cracked! Today is going great! Unable to cope, I dumped the grounds in the kettle and have been straining them. It worked, a little watery, but any port in a storm at this point.

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me get that out.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be going on vacation next week to the literal middle of nowhere. No cellphone reception. Thank God. I am not sure how many posts I am going to be able to sneak in between then and now because I am literally working til the day we leave. So, we’ll see. I want to make some bread for the trip and get some ideas of what to cook for dinners other than hot dogs and brats. Because, ugh. All with chips, I’m sure. For the record, I don’t like chips. Home made chips, sure, but store bought tastes like chemicals and tears. To me anyway. I leave next Thursday to go fishing in the Wiz (I fondly refer to Wisconsin as the Wiz. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll understand) and we are taking the in-laws RV and they are taking my terrible stinky pets. I’m sure the pets will suffer with treats being thrown at them constantly and a disgusting amount of cuddles. My brother claims that you’re not truly camping if you use a RV and I reply that I am old and fat and do not care. Also, he hasn’t been camping in years, so whateva.

The trip is usually a boys only trip, sponsored in part by that guy who I suppose I’ll be married to next month‘s place of employment but every since I strolled in, I’ve been invited. I make sure to bring my hair dryer, tons of nail polish and makeup and complain constantly about bugs, fishing and how bored I am.*

*all of that was clearly a lie

IT’S A WHOLE LONG WEEKEND OF FISHING, CATCHING A BUZZ, GOING OUT ON BOATS, COOKING OUT, GETTING MUDDY, NOT SHOWERING, SLEEPING IN, NO CELL PHONES AND PEEING IN THE WOODS*!!!!!

*RV

How is that not awesome? I have a great time every year and finally I learned how to fish, which was something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, but nobody bothered to teach me because I was a girl. Or that’s what I am going with. Sure, I would help when the adults fished, bait their hooks, take off the fish. But no one ever taught me how to do it myself, with my own tackle box and pole. I don’t know, maybe they thought I wasn’t serious.  So now I know how! At least enough to get by and I always manage to catch a buzz. We usually catch and release and eat a few of them. Can’t. Freakin. Wait.

Like I said, hopefully I’ll have a few posts between now and Thursday, but if not, I’ll be back at it when I get home Tuesday! I’m sure I’ll have a million pictures for you guys.

That’s all I really have for today, I’ve got to get more of my wedding dress done while the dude is away so I’m off to the sweatshop!

Things I’ve Been Up To

Well, I haven’t been just dodging lemons and weeping into pints of Ben and Jerry’s while watching reruns of Ancient Aliens.

I have been drinking a lot of gin. But who doesn’t like gin?

Also, I convinced the fiance to buy a Jeep after A LOT OF USELESS STUPID THINGS happened to his Trailblazer. Here’s a pro tip we both learned: Don’t buy a freaking Trailblazer unless you want a paper weight that you pour money into. Anyway, now we have red and green Jeeps. We’re Christmas Jeeps! We’re sooooo cute, you’ll just throw up in your mouth.

Also I’ve discovered I should just drive 30 miles to The Awesome Mechanics* and avoid any other freaking mechanic unless they hand out lube at the door. I asked them to give me new wipers. Oh, they apparently did not. I discovered this in a rain storm when something resembling a black spaghetti noodle flung itself from my wiper and rendered the whole ensemble useless. Upon examination, it appears they glued new strips to my old wipers. Obviously, that went well.

*click that link and look at Mike’s face. OMG how can you not trust him? The half-grin amused “I guess I have to have my picture taken” picture. They are absolutely amazing, great work and excellent customer service!

I’ve been out and about, too:

wpid-20140419_072037.jpgbrave grape hyacinth

wpid-20140419_072009.jpgthe trees are waking up!

wpid-20140419_065955.jpgfound the local sewage treatment plant

wpid-20140419_064356.jpgtook a few lovely bike rides

wpid-20140419_064620.jpgat 6 am because i am clearly insane.

wpid-20140419_064602.jpgbut the light is the best at sunrise

wpid-20140419_064244.jpgit’s my favorite time of the day

wpid-20140411_092822.jpgsome flowers popped up before it snowed AGAIN.

wpid-20140411_092800.jpga bunch of happy

wpid-20140406_184136.jpgone of my succulents flowered, i wasn’t even aware they flower

wpid-20140415_131132.jpgthe dog said “f this s” to the snow

wpid-20140419_115314.jpgi bought some sewing patterns

I spent a lovely Easter with my family and friends at the Ancestral Blessings. 

Which was a riot. This time I didn’t end up muddy or with various pine cones in my Jeep.

wpid-20140420_170707.jpgit’s stupid beautiful out there.

wpid-20140420_165256.jpgno fish awake yet

wpid-20140420_165248.jpghere fishy, fishy!

wpid-20140420_164552.jpgcan’t wait til the grass grows up again

wpid-2014-04-21-10.46.33.jpg.jpegLet’s finish this on a high note, a stupid selfie with my cousin and fiance cropped out, I am not going to post pictures of other people without express consent. But we had an absolute blast!

It’s Like Riding a Bike, Literally!

This morning I woke up:

wpid-20140311_112637.jpgOMG YOU KNOW WHAT I REALLY NEED RIGHT THIS INSTANT RIGHT NOW?!?!?!?!

and decided I needed a bicycle. Like now. Ok, the weather has finally been getting nice, so that might have been what put the bug up my butt about it. I went to the local bike store, talked to the guy about what I needed, something to tool around town in, nothing fancy.

He brought me out a beautiful black bike. I tried it out, liked it a bunch and then he brought me out a HIDEOUS yellow flowery bike. I then punched him. No, not really. I humored him and threatened to coat it in black matte spray paint. He brought back out the black one. Thank you. Did you know they don’t come with kick stands? I didn’t. Ok, fine. I got a kick stand. And a lock, obviously. About another $40 bucks. Let’s just say I blew my budget. Not out of the water toward the moon, but it made landfall. But, this is why I never buy things frivolously, because, dammit, I want a bike, I want it now and I want to spend good money on it. If I don’t buy silly things, like bottled water or knicknacks or really anything I don’t NEED, I can buy things I really, really want when I want them. Behold!

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-03-11-10.45.27.jpg.jpgpictured: the bike! and my jeep in the background.

Our first trip I wanted to tool around a bit, but I did need to go to the grocery store and it really wasn’t that far from “tooling around a bit” in terms of distance. So I went to the grocery store. Aside from a minor bump in the snow, I survived just fine, thank you! I do remember how to ride a bike! Honestly, I haven’t ridden one in easily 7 years. Probably 8, and that was only for a minute. The last time I had a bike was when I was a teenager. I just realized that this is the first GIRL bike I’ve ever had. My last one was a boy bike. As you can see, I can swing my full skirts over the bike and protect my modesty. Because that’s a thing. Or was, whatever. I’ve crunched my pelvis before on a bike, so I don’t mind the space.

We (the bike and I) made it to the store! Look at us all fancy and environmentally friendly!

wpid-20140311_110823.jpggreen, as long as I didn’t fart

Anyway, I really had fun and plan to take it out again this afternoon. I do have to do something around the house before I can go outside and play!

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.

Wedding Planning

Ok, so I PROMISE this isn’t a wedding blog. But I was thinking about it and I decided I should at least make one post about the plan for the whole affair and one post after the affair so you all can see how it turned out. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I am pretty nosy. That’s why I read blogs. I like hearing about what you all are up to!

Secondly, sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been working during the day and that keeps me, um, uncrafty. I am by far and away more of a morning person and in the evening all I want to do is be a bum.

So about that wedding! June 28th is the big day!

wpid-20140218_102534.jpgok, I am in the backyard. it’s cold, i’m going inside. you’ve gotta use your imaginations today, guys.

Well, firstly, it’s going to be in our backyard. Which is currently covered in snow, otherwise I would have provided some helpful photos. The “theme” if you will indulge me, is back yard all American picnic. With that in mind I have made a few rules:

1. Casual dress. Well, no jeans.

2. No matchy-matchy bridesmaids dresses. Buy a dress that can be worn again. I don’t even care what color. The one thing I don’t like about weddings is how everyone looks like they are in a costume. Sure, dressing up is fun, I rather like it too, but I don’t want it for my wedding.

3. World’s Shortest Ceremony. I should just make that an acronym. WSC. Ya got 5 minutes to hitch it.

4. Copious amounts of booze. Duuuuuuuuh!

5. Have fun!

With all that in mind, I have rented a large tent, two portapotties and a pig roast crew. We will also buy booze in bulk and hire somebody to bar tend. The side dishes will be home made, just salads and picnic fair. And bread. Loads of bread. My maid of honor is cranking out crochet washcloths and we are going to make soap to give out as gifts. Finally! We haven’t made soap in forever. It’s so much better than store bought soap. When we do finally get around to that, I will make a big post all about it.

Let’s see, what else? For dessert we are having cookies and ice cream because I don’t like cake. Also, I can make cookies, I have never really made cake. My maid of honor is flying in a week early (she lives in Florida, lucky!) and she’s going to help with all of that.

Fairly soon here I am going to start making my dress. It is going to be crochet and then lined in violet fabric. At least that’s where I am at now. I have a pattern for the skirt and I am probably going to just wing it for the top, I just want a halter, nothing crazy. I might not even wear shoes. I don’t know yet! I might not even wear makeup. I don’t really wear it normally, so why would I? I suppose I should leave that decision for later!

Nope, not getting my nails done. Not ever. My grandma blessed me with beautiful nails. If there is one part of me that is vain, it’s my nails. I’ve got awesome nails. Not getting my hair done, I’ll probably just put it in a half pony or a simple updo. Ugh, that’s one thing I really can’t stand. Crazy updos. They just don’t look good to me. I mean, to  each there own, I am not here to say anything about anyone, but I would never. It’s not my style.

My brother is a musical genius. For real, no joke. The kid is a master. So he’s going to write music and play for us. Like classical piano, not rock band soft pop or something. Funny aside, we were once at a wedding where they had only a CD player for music. Which is fine, whatever, but there was a piano. So my brother heads over to the piano and starts playing “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns and Roses, only here’s the kicker, he played in the style of swing, so it sounded more like jazz. Hilarious. Little old ladies were coming up and telling him how beautiful he was playing. He did the same thing with “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, which was also HILARIOUS. He does have a YouTube channel, by the way, it’s BassPlayer60134, but just to warn you, he’s not a great singer. He can hit the notes, just doesn’t have the voice. Also he’s a dork. But he’s my big brother. This is one of my favorites of his songs. Lolz, I promise.

So that’s about it. I mean I am not spending weeks crafting table arrangements, I am just going to plant a bunch of flowers into clay pots. That way they can also be taken home. I refuse to buy cut flowers. Do I need a bouquet? I can carry a pot of marigolds, right? Ha! Wouldn’t that be a riot? I would die laughing. We’ll see what I come up with. I’ll probably get more ideas as we get closer, but honestly, I feel no need to go nuts about it. I am not bridezilla. I just want a nice party.

wpid-20140205_093134.jpgthis is my bridezilla face…right…?

That’s pretty much it. If you think of anything I am missing, please leave a comment! I’ve never done this before! Also, I did another experiment with Francine that I will post about in a few! Ta-ta for now!

Results from Francine a l’Ancienne!

Finally Francine got to work for me!

wpid-20140218_095833.jpgi’m awake!

If you recall yesterday morning we were here:

wpid-20140217_072927.jpg

WIP

So I was pretty thrilled that we got Francine a l’Ancienne to wake up. Next time, I will probably feed her and leave her out overnight before I mix up another batch.

wpid-20140218_100040.jpghappy mess

wpid-20140218_100443.jpgnot my prettiest work, but this dough is wet.

wpid-20140218_100739.jpgit’s okay, i’ll eat the ugly pieces.

wpid-20140218_110444.jpgbaked up, my new gigantic cooling rack.

wpid-20140218_111102.jpgholy moly!

Well, I definitely scored on the crumb! I gave it a taste test and unfortunately, we do need some improvements. Too much whole wheat made the bread a little more bitter than I would like. It will be great with soup or to scoop up sauces in, but it could be better. I had planned on using more bread flour in my ratio (I think I ended up with 70% whole wheat and 30% bread flour) but the dough firmed up before I got to the ratio I was planning on, which was six cups of flour, not four and a half or so. So lesson learned for next time, however I don’t think there’s going to be a problem getting this bread eaten!

While Francine was baking I went out and fed the wild birds and scooped a poop zone aka turdundra for the greyhound. I don’t know about you, but I would not like to poop up to my elbows in snow. I took a few snaps so you could see how snowy it is here!

wpid-20140218_102455.jpgdoesn’t do it justice

wpid-20140218_102642.jpgsad flamingo

wpid-20140218_102600.jpgi almost had to borrow some huskies to get over to the tree

wpid-20140218_102631.jpglast years hops

It needs to warm up here before I go crazy!!!

Italian Bread: IS THIS A BREAD SWEATSHOP???

wpid-20140118_135802.jpg

My fiance is in the process of moving out of his music studio and moving it into the basement until he finds another place due to flooding.

In January.

In the midwest.

Go figure.

It’s Illinois, what do you expect? We still hold onto Pluto being a planet.

wpid-20140105_104724.jpgone of two flamingos for the ark

Anyway, his band friends are coming over for dinner after moving. We decided that feeding them might be nice. I suggested lasagna, which my fiance makes from scratch and is excellent. He agreed. We then decided a salad and why the heck not, garlic bread! So, it’s a bread sweatshop up in here. I swear, I normally don’t bake this much. Usually it’s about once a week. So, here is the Italian Bread, from biga to end.

wpid-20140118_084420.jpgwpid-20140118_085558.jpgwpid-20140118_085756.jpgwpid-20140118_085837.jpgwpid-20140118_090002.jpgwpid-20140118_091220.jpgwpid-20140118_092040.jpgwpid-20140118_114436.jpgwpid-20140118_115514.jpgwpid-20140118_130254.jpgwpid-20140118_134117.jpgsorry i’ve run dry of stupid jokes, wait, there’s two loaves, is one male and one female? call noah. this is the worst joke ever. #yolo #punchesself

Hope you guys all enjoy and have a productive and wonderful day!!! 😀