27 November 2009

Thanksgiving at My House

I kind of fell into my first time hosting Thanksgiving. We were going to go to family in Tulsa, but that sort of fell apart. When I found out that my friend would be in town, and that she had invited a few student friends over to her (tiny, table-less) place, I said, "Hey, we should do it here!"

I was very excited. I like using my good china for special occasions.

I like having an excuse to cook fancy things like turkey and gravy.

[You remember how I explained that turkey is easy-peasy? Gravy is equally so. Take your pan drippings. Get one of these. Pour the pan drippings minus the fat into a saucepan. Heat. Whisk in cornstarch. Whisk vigorously, or it will be lumpy like mine. But who really cares if it's lumpy when it's so darn tasty?]

I thought I had been giblet gypped. I found the turkey neck in the cavity, but no giblet bag. Booo. Upon carving the turkey, I found the giblet bag hidden under the neck fat. Grr. Today I am thankful that the turkey processing company packages their giblets in paper bags, instead of plastic.

I like hosting. I'm an introvert, which means I like people, but... easy. They make me tired sometimes. When I'm hosting, if I get people-tired, I can just clean up.

I made coffee to go with the pie. I made decaf and didn't tell anyone. This is my confession. But really, shouldn't decaf be the default? Like brownies with no nuts? People who eat brownies with nuts can just as easily eat them without, but not so in the converse.

We (no, I was cleaning) They played a Jenga-type game, Catchphrase, and the Story Game, which is quite entertaining.

Babby was quite the charmer. Once she woke up from her nap, she ate turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a little cranberry with us, while smiling and waving at everyone. She is seven months old today. Wow.

The running gag of the day:

That's right, they threw it on the ground.

24 November 2009

Home Show recap

The home show was a success!

Sadly, I cannot prove it. Remember last year, when I forgot to take photos? Yeah. It's like deja vu. Except instead of being four months pregnant, I was recovering from the flu. And our car broke down on Thursday. (It got a new radiator on Friday.) I was lucky to show up at all, frankly.

But it went great! Carilyn got a bunch of truffle orders, and I sold a bunch of crafts. Hey! That's what we were going for! Hooray!

I'm so mad at myself for not taking photos.

Here, have a cute baby:

20 November 2009

Standard Home Show, with a Twist!

As many of you know, I put on a yearly open house around the holidays to showcase my wares and kinda throw a little party. It's fun! This year's happens to be -- tomorrow!

This year, though, holds in store a special treat. I'm teaming up with my friend, fellow linguist and fellow entrepreneur, Miss Carilyn. She makes the most amazing and gorgeous chocolate truffles ever. She'll be providing truffle samples and taking orders. These truffles are just so pretty -- they'd make an awesome Christmas gift for just about anyone (especially yourself!).

And as always, my handmade goodies will be on display and for sale. My goods are moderately priced (if I do say so myself), and a cute, unique, handmade item also makes a fabulous Christmas present. Some truffles, some crafts -- you've got Christmas under control.

The great thing about the open house is that you can ask us anything! If you're wondering why Carilyn's truffles are so ridiculously tasty, or where I get the vintage fabric I make things out of, the open house is the perfect place to get these things off your chest and learn something new.

*Truffles for eating
*Crafts for buying
*Questions for asking
*Brunchy refreshments!
*Door prize!
*and You (and your friends)

So if you're in the area, but you have yet to receive an invitation, let me know (phile_1013 [at] hotmail.com). See you there!

[See how pretty these truffles are? Carilyn's are prettier.]

17 November 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods...

My grandmother (maternal) has decided to downsize her household and move to a retirement community. This is great for her -- she'll be closer to old friends and some family, and she'll have the support she needs as she gets older (she's 81). It is also great for me -- she'll be about 45 minutes closer, which will make quite the difference as it is now my goal to visit her every season until our little family moves away in about 20 months. But it also means that she is liquidating 80 years of awesomeness!

We visited her last Saturday, and she was in a very generous mood. Here are the highlights of my early inheritance.

Cute hankies which were hers when she was young.


(Those two are for chopping.)

(This one is for not chopping. It's currently on the bed in Babby's room.)

::sigh:: I love this. Love it. I'm really into crewel embroidery. (This is not ancestral, but I just don't care.)

This is ancestral. It was my mom's dad's mom's. So cute! And the mushroom salt and pepper shakers are just here to irk my mom. ;-)

We also came home with 7 metal folding chairs, a glass punch bowl with 11 cups and a glass ladle, a ton of lawn and garden tools, a jar of buttons, and several Christmas decorations, which will be fodder for a later post.

We are also attempting to devise a way to bring home some larger furniture. If you are in the area and have a car with a hitch, or an extended cab pickup that we can borrow for a day, we would be forever grateful.

13 November 2009

Custom Order

I (finally?) finished a custom order of six Jewelry Scrolls. Wow. It took me less than a month, so I'm not sure what I'm complaining about, but it seemed like it took forever. I just can't get as much done these days.

Don't worry, Self, you're doing plenty.


This one is my favorite. My customer's daughter suggested the combination. Niiiice.

If you want one of these (and honestly, I'm not sure why you wouldn't), let me know. I'll be taking more orders after December 25. :-)

10 November 2009

Garbatrage, October 2009, Week 5

Warning: This is about to be the most boring blog post ever. However, if you're the type who must finish things ("Shave and a hair cut..."), then I suppose you'll want to know what happened on the last week of garbatrage.

Well here's the deal -- Norman, Oklahoma, is a horrible place to live sometimes. Like the times when the city police issue what can only be consider an edict, mandating that trick-or-treating occur on Friday, October 30th, because -- wait for it -- there's a football game on Saturday and there'll be too much traffic. It's a freaking holiday! Football should have to move for it.

Consequently, on Friday evening, the decent neighborhoods were overrun by small children in unimaginative costumes and vehicles driven by overprotective but uninvolved parents. Curb shopping is a little hard when you can't see the curb for the minivans.

Blah. OK, the loot:

1.) A giant stack of odd spiritual and astrology books.
2.) A box of toy bits, including a Superman action figure with cape, and a handful of Duplos. (Who the heck throws away Duplos?)
3.) Some random ephemera, including blank Denny's letterhead! (I know -- the oddest things amuse me.)

No commodes, no unicorn paintings, no arcade game cabinets. And again I say, Blah. Boy did we ever go out with a whimper.

*Two bits!

06 November 2009

Shout Out

This is hereby a shout out to the Norman Public Library and its children's department. I was there the other day and saw this sign posted in several places:

Awesome. (Yes, this is the same symbol I have up on my front door.)

I am, by this point, quite proficient at "whipping it out" really fast and while showing very little skin. However, if I had not seen this sign, I probably would have found a nice patch of floor in a back corner and gotten down to business. But this sign gave the push I needed to plop myself down in one of the infinitely more comfy glider rockers near where the toys are. Ahhhh... Much better.

So, I realize that the sign doesn't actually mean too much. The staff would be unlikely to hassle me anyway (and if they did I could inform them of my rights according to Oklahoma state law with the piece of paper I keep in my wallet). And the attitudes of the other patrons are not magically changed by the posting of that sign.

But it does make a difference. It set me at ease, gave me the extra push I needed to nurse in front of a group of strangers (and their children!), which will help normalize the practice of nursing in public. Which is what I'm going for. I'd love for those signs and that symbol to be superfluous.

03 November 2009

Garbatrage, October 2009, Week 4

Well, my friends, the pickin's have been slim. I'm trying to remember what we picked up during week 4. Oh yes, a bunch of stuff for our future garage sale. A set of dishes, some books, and some other stuff.

Of particular note, a set of flatware (Oneida!), which God gave us for our small group. You see, our church small group has a weekly pot luck dinner along with our meetings. We decided this year to stop using disposable dinnerware. I bought some plastic plates and bowls and sewed up some cloth napkins. We have been just washing the plastic forks and spoons, but that wasn't going to fly for very long. Now we have real stuff! (I've been in charge of this because the group is meeting at our house at the moment, but when/if it moves, all the dinnerware will go to the new meeting place.) It looks kinda like this. Just standard silverware.

Also, 12 cement paving stones for edging the garden patch that I'm trying to dig in my backyard. (I was sidelined by my sissiness and a blister on my hand.)

That night (the 4th Friday night) was particularly hard. Babby was not happy -- she cried a lot, and that made things very tense. But we did manage to have some fun:

This painting was facing the other way when I got to it. Upon inspecting the pile, I decided that this was something that really needed to be visible. I turned it around and snapped this photo.

This is the same pile later that night.

That's right -- someone took the painting. Good thing I turned it around!



(So few commodes, compared to past months. I don't know what's up.)