30 September 2011

Cedar Sachets (Made from Neckties!)

And now for something completely different...

I don't remember how this idea occurred to me, but I'm really excited about it.  It's unique and fun and manly, which is important.  It's so tough to shop for guys!

Cedar sachets!  Sachet is a really girly word, isn't it?  Well I don't know what else to call these, because they're stuffed with something that smells good, and their job is to sit in your closet or dresser and smell good (and discourage the moths). 

But the cool thing about these is that they have a tie label on the back, for hanging.  Which is not ribbon.  Because that would be girly.  Yep.

They're made out of old neckties, which I have a ridiculously extensive collection of.  I find them at thrift stores and garage sales.  Norman takes the ones he likes, but he's picky, so I still have a lot for crafting.  You know I use them to make Christmas stockings and zipper pouches.  And now, cedar sachets, too!  

So I've got airplane sachets, runner sachets, baseball sachets, stripy sachets, wasp sachets, paisley sachets, etc, etc.  So fun!

Anyway... Ta da!  Go check them out at my Etsy shop, and remember that Christmas is around the corner, and that you have brothers, fathers, grandpas, bosses....

27 September 2011

The Epic Move, Part 6: San Francisco to Home!

 Last day!  (Or, I suppose, the first day, depending on your point of view... So deep.)  It's only 5-6 hours from the San Francisco area to Arcata, which is why we felt completely comfortable taking some time out of our day to drive through a tree.

No really.  The trees are so big and so old that you can carve a hole the size of a car out of the middle of one, and it will still be alive

 [But it'll cost ya.]

We saw a lot of motorcyclists on the 101.  I don't understand.  It looks like a really uncomfortable way to travel.

 We rolled down the windows and touch the tree as we drove through.

  [Our turn!]

Then this, because it was World Breastfeeding Week. 

[So giant!]

Then this guy looked like he was going to hitch a ride.  But then he left.

[Norman loves dragonflies.]

Then we kept driving.  We finally arrive in our new town.

[The University]

We got into our new house (with a carfull of stuff).

Lucy made her own fun.
[That's a bowl, a fork, and some spaghetti. Can't you tell?]

A couple days later I finally had some pans unpacked and had taken a trip to the grocery store, so we had our first home-cooked meal (despite tablelessness).

[Real spaghetti!]

And now we're here.

23 September 2011

Bread Loaf Pan Kludge -- Results!

Yesterday I showed you the not-enough-bread-loaf-pans solution, pre-baking.  Wellll.....

Here is the loaf of bread from the one normal loaf pan:

 [Mmm... Loafy...]

And here are the other three loaves:

They're shaped exactly like loaves of bread!  Hooray!  But as you may or may not be able to see, the sides were not so much actually done.  Still doughy, in fact.  (On all of them, even the one in its own pan.)

So I separated them and put them back in the oven.  They seem to have turned out fine (although we haven't actually sliced into one of these loaves yet). 

The lesson for next time is to bake the kludgy ones just long enough for them to set, then separate the pans.  I think that will help them cook a lot more evenly.  Recommended!

22 September 2011

Bread Loaf Pan Kludge

("Kludge" being defined by urbandictionary.com as "a quick, messy but functional fix or workaround to a problem.")

I'm trying this tip from The Tightwad Gazette for when you don't own enough loaf pans.  Come back tomorrow to see how this works out...

(Bread recipe here. More time consuming than bread machine bread, but very tasty, and all whole wheat!)

20 September 2011

The Epic Move, Part 5: Bakersfield to San Francisco

Goodness!  I hope none of you were holding your breath to find out how the move ended up!  I'm back a mere 3 weeks later to let you know about my favorite day of the trip.  The day we wound up in San Francisco.  I didn't realize until the day of that I was so excited to see it. 

Back story: The Christmas break of my senior year of college I started (and finished) all 58 episodes of the TV show The Monkees.  I don't know what possessed me, but once I started I couldn't stop.  Being, as it is, set in the mid-1960s and staring a group of 4 young men with no adult interference, it showcases quite a bit of the 1960s hippie counterculture (especially as the show progresses).  I was fascinated.  And then when school started back up, I had to pick a topic for my senior thesis for my linguistics degree.  After tossing around several ideas, I landed on the topic of 1960s American slang.  It was way too much fun to write, research included watching the Woodstock documentary, and I got an A.  Win!  (Final title: "Rappin' to the Fuzz: A Look at the Slang of 1960s Counterculture". Thanks, Arlo!)

But along the way -- reading, thinking, watching more Monkees -- all the changing I had been doing while I was in college seemed to come to a head.  Hippies, according to High School Me, were just a bunch of lazy, drugged-up, over-sexed reprobates who needed to grow up and get right with God.  A different picture emerged when I actually looked into it.  It starts back in the 1940s and 50s, and good heavens, if I had lived through the 50s and early 60s, I'd be fed up too.  These poor kids -- they knew something had to change, and in some sense, it didn't matter what it was.  They just couldn't keep doing things the way their parents were doing them.  (And now, as I've made it through two seasons of Mad Men, I'm appreciative of their efforts all over again!)  I feel for them.  They're not really my people, but I get it. 

Which brings us to San Francisco.  The Summer of Love.  Haight-Ashbury.  A pilgrimage 9 years in the making for me.  Overly dramatic?  Yes.  And exciting.  I also knew that the vibe in San Francisco should be similar to that thing I loved about Boulder, CO, and the thing I've come to love about our new town in Humboldt County.  "Everyone's different, man. Do your thing."  After a lifetime in Oklahoma, I need some of that.  (Especially since, as it turns out, my thing is not everyone else's thing.)

First up, we visited the most amazing playground -- the Koret Children's Quarter in Golden Gate Park.  I don't think I've ever seen children so free.  The only rule is that adults aren't allowed without a kid.  There's a giant spider-webby thing and a little pond and sand and a giant cement slide built into the side of a hill that you have to go down on a piece of cardboard.  It's beautiful.

Then we walked down Haight Street and saw this:
Crochet bomb!
Then we found what we came for:

Then we bought over-priced but super-tasty salads at Whole Foods:

Then we started driving to find the Golden Gate Bridge.

[My new favorite photo of me.]

[And the fog behaved perfectly for us and everything.]

I loved it.  We're going back in a couple weeks to see Hugh Laurie sing some blues songs (!!!! -- oh there will be a post. Holy crap I'm so excited.), and we hope to go back again for a proper vacation before the next 10 months are gone.