Friday, January 15, 2010

Let It Snow, Baby

Portland hasn't gotten any good, sticky, staying snow yet this year. Boo! Last year in early December, we had the most splendid snowstorm that the news referred to as "The Arctic Blast". Portland has no way of dealing with snow--- no salt, gravel, sand, or effective snowplows-- so the entire city completely shuts down. Darin, Rowena, and I had a wonderful week of baking, starlit walks in the empty roads, no work obligations, hot chocolate and cider, and togetherness. Oh, how I wish the snow-angels would pay us a visit this year!

To tide me over, I browsed through some of last year's snowy photos:

Our beautiful 1978 Civic, Doris:

Rowena in awe of the patio

I love my long puffy coat- it's like wearing a cute sleeping bag.

I have some jalapeƱo chicken sausages
and hot cider waiting to be devoured.
Cold-weather delicious food is always on the menu for me,
no matter what the temperature.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Learn the Hard Way

The last day of Christmas came and went, and our dead Christmas tree needed to be disposed of.

"I'm going to burn it!" I said. Darin mildly protested, and I got my way. I put it on the patio and tentatively put a match to a middle branch. "I really shouldn't do this," I thought, but my hand didn't obey. As a result, the tree burst into flames. I panic.

In true Louise-luck-fashion, the doorbell rang when the fire reached its peak. Why, hello! Enter Karen and her husband, two clients of Darin's here to drop off their virus-ridden computer. So utterly embarrassing.

Fifteen minutes later, a fireman knocked at our back door. I ran past Darin so I could take the blame for the fire. After apologizing profusely, "Mr. Fireman" (which I so stupidly called him) kindly told me that backyard fires are illegal but he would not fine me. He even waved goodbye enthusiastically to the very interested Rowena before he and his two friends took their leave.

The best part? For your viewing pleasure, we got the burning on tape. You can hear poor Rowena's protests, my panicky I-shouldn't-have-done-thats, Darin's stern you-shouldn't-have-done-thats, Karen's hilarious reaction, and there's even a ball of fire headed towards the house combined with a bleeped-out curse word from Darin! Enjoy.

Disclaimer form Darin: He wanted to delete the sound from the video because of his harsh demeanor, but rest-assured that he was very supportive after the firemen left, comforting me each time I frantically ran to the window in fear of more authorities (which was every ten minutes or so).

Friday, January 08, 2010

Straighten Up

We recently had a Pizza & Game night with our Portland pals Patty and Keenan. It was great to catch up after the crazy holiday season. And what better way to celebrate than with experimenting with my hair straightener?

Patty's beautiful curls before:

And the after. Rowena (who was too excited to sleep just yet)
was very content to cuddle with "Pappy".

Isn't this a gorgeous picture? Sheesh.

To no one's surprise, Keenan wanted to get into the action, too.
Just look at those shiny tendrils!

The unfortunate result:

Keenan is such a good sport! He even wore one of Roey's little pink clips to keep his bangs back during Whoonu.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Good Intentions

So, I almost wrote a great blog for today. I had a fancy article planned regarding how to turn a spring nightgown into a winter dress. Unfortunately, none of the pictures turned out and Rowena kept running in front of the camera. (How does one take pictures of oneself in the mirror, anyway?) I'll have to have Darin take some pictures later. After a month of crunches.

Random food note-- We had meatloaf last night. I make it with steel-cut oats as the binder, and it works out so much better than the regular stuff! I discovered it accidentally a while back when we didn't have any quick oats on hand.

'Til next time!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Disturbing Behavior

My brother David (who gets home from Iraq today for a 2-week visit- YAY) gave me a candle tin a few years ago. Inside this tin was not a candle, nor anything scented or soothing. Nestled inside was a dirty doll head with matted hair and freakish blue eyes. I have always kept this trinket for sentimental reasons and it's just so funny to see people's perplexed reactions when they open it.

Darin took some interesting pictures of Doll Head today with Rowena's assistance. I just had to share them.

"Can I have a hug?"

This last one is very dark and blurry,
which makes it all the more creepy.

Well, have a weirdly wonderful day!
We are having some friends over for dinner and an "Inglourious Basterds" viewing.
See you soon!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Brownie Sunday

I had all these nuts and cocoa powder in the pantry that I had to use up, so I whipped up a batch of my favorite brownies. This recipe is so easy and non-chaotic that you'll never resort to boxed brownies again.*

I actually ground up the hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews in my not-so-Magic Bullet and it made this crumbly sort of butter. I simply sprinkled the concoction on top of the batter after I pried it from Darin's grasp. The brownies aren't done yet, but the house smells so good right now-- chocolate and nuts swirled with the omnipresent spice candle.

* Disclaimer-- My sisters Lili and Faith do not like this recipe. For unknown reasons, it did not turn out well for them. I think that they must have been distracted when baking, because I am a lesser cook and have made these brownies successfully several times.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

Hullo, copious amounts of devoted readers! Much love to you and your families on this first day of the year and (for you Cathaholics) happy Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God!

Here are some resolutions of mine to help get you started:

1) Schedule a time to exercise each day instead of my usual randomness.

2) Eat less sugar. I am not currently pregnant and have not been for almost 2 years-- so quit it, you!

3) Learn to not buy things just because they are on sale. 'Basically free' is not free.

4) Burn more incense.

5) Sew, sew, sew! Force mom to sew something with me.

6) Write a letter a week. (A real live paper letter! That one puts in the mailbox! With a stamp and everything! Gee whiz!)

7) Be more loving.

8) Have a baby.

9) Keep the house clean and beautiful.

10) Buy red boots. (I need them. I really do.)

11) Store up treasures in heaven! Pray more.

12) Read good books and watch good movies. (This is slight cheating, because I do this anyway. I am currently reading Chesterton's Father Brown mysteries and am going to start watching Rope in a moment.)

Good luck with your resolutions! May you keep them and avoid breaking their little nagging hearts.