Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rainy Days

'April showers brings May flowers' has new meaning to me. Well not new meaning, but it actually means something now.

I grew up in Arizona and the changing of seasons didn't necessarily mean springtime showers and cool spring days. It meant it was changing from cold and windy to warm and windy, which would eventually be replaced by HOT and windy.

Living in Utah for 8 years made me realize there are actually 4 seasons in a year, just as I'd been taught in preschool and kindergarten.

But moving to Kansas has helped me realize I knew nothing about the seasons.

Spring actually occurs in the months of March through May; Summer occurs in the months of June through August; Fall occurs from September through November; and Winter graces us from December through February. It all makes sense now!

I only bring this up because of the non-stop showers we've had this week. Last week I was dying of heat and humidity, almost even enough to turn on the air conditioning. I trudged through with ceiling fans and an oscillating fan, which I'm glad I did. Immediately the weather turned cool again, the blue in the sky was replaced with a smoky gray, and we had rain.

Lots of rain. Off and on since Saturday {or was it Sunday?} and I am at a loss as to what to keep busy after work. Not that I spent all my afternoons outside anyways, but I'm getting stir crazy, people! I've bored of the internet {that's almost sacreligious to say} and I don't want to do any crafts {don't act shocked}. I want to plant the freaking tomato plant and strawberry plants we bought on Saturday, for the love.

I attempted planting last night after the rain seemed to let up for a few hours, but the soil is like clay. Clay we call dirt. It sticks on the end of the shovel after I scoop it out of the ground. It collects like cookie dough on a beater {and oddly has the same consistency}. If I wait until the ground dries enough to plant, I'll miss the prime time for planting. Would mixing in potting soil make a difference? I'm tempted to try.

What does everyone do after a week of rain?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Since we moved here to Kansas and we have chosen to be more wise in our monthly expenditures, our cable subscription has suffered. And by suffered I mean it's non-existent.

What was previously included in our HOA fees and taken for granted is sorely missed - at least by one member of the Alexander household.

So what do we do? We rely on the good old interwebbing of networked television shows and some not-so-up-and-up sources to catch the various series we now plan our evenings around. Yes, that's not even a lie.

Tonight was Chuck. And How I Met Your Mother, shortly followed by The Big Bang Theory.

We act slave to our internet. First thing in the morning I wake up, pee, brush my teeth and log in to my computer. Okay, I have a good reason, though. I work remotely and I really HAVE to do that.

But seriously, what did we do as a society before the internet?

Probably watched more TV and went outside more.

There's not really a point to this post from here. It went in a completely different direction than when I started it and what I intended it for. So I'll cut back to my original thought and leave it be.

I'm using to watch another Masterpiece Classic. Little Dorrit. I'm really liking it. 5 parts, tonight is the 5th. All 5 are posted and up for a limited time. I'm guessing the first will be taken down shortly...very shortly. It's a great story, def. not a waste of time.

Even if you don't actually watch it, but simply listen, it's a whole heckuva lot faster than reading Dickens.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

West Provo Story

in my google reader there are often recommended blogs and on nights such as tonight, when i've been home sick all day and am bored of what i've been doing for the last 3 hours, i check them out.

This was linked in one of the blogs. It's 16 minutes long. It's really clever. Ryan and I most liked the homage to cult classics spanning 3 or 4 generations, particularly, Twilight.

Get some popcorn.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Humdrums...but it's Friday

This week-end I seem to be in a funk. After work I don't want to do anything.

On Wednesday at 9pm Ryan and I had been sitting around for at least 2 hours. Finally I said something about going to the gym. So 30 min later we left. It felt good to work out. I didn't do any cardio but I lifted and now, 2 days later, my arms are quite sore. It feels good.

We worked out last night and I actually pushed myself - I worked up such a great sweat. So did Ryan. Each of us needed a shower after we got home - I hate nighttime showers. But then this morning I realized I was missing my iPod...which I already blogged about here. Piss and vinegar.

I'm hoping this weekend I'll be in better spirits. My house is a wreck. Absolute wreck. The carpets were cleaned {my sweet sweet husband did all of it!} last weekend and we stacked all of the chairs on top of the table, every piece of this or that on the floor is wedged between the chairs and the front entry is now {temporary} home to things that were under the couches or next to them. They've been like this for a week now. We've eaten dinners on the couch 3 times instead of biting the bullet and putting things back together. pah-the-tíque.

Cleaner carpets, a newly purchased baby gate to prevent the dog from creating more carpet-cleaning weekends, and warm Springy weather should be enough, right?

Let's hope so. Although now it's somewhat too warm. We refuse to turn on our A/C this early and have a fan going in whichever room we currently reside in. A little cooler would be perfection.

A bright note: I finally have my white milk glass cake stand! Thank you to an old Martha by Mail on eBay.

And, since my original type-age which I started about 12 hours ago, we went to dinner and ran to the store and I came home with some strawberry plants and a tomato plant and cage. Tomorrow morning is going to be busy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Have 30 Minutes?

Quick and easy, this took me about 30 minutes from idea to finish {plus 5min to find my camera to get a picture}.
The largest amount of time was spent picking out fabric.

I don't have a step-by-step in pictures, but here's how you do it.

Put-Put Truck Onesie
What you need:
Onesie {this one is 6-9 months} - the larger they are the easier they are to sew on.
Two scraps of fabric at least 5"x5"
Fusible Web
Pair of scissors
Cutting tools - self-healing mat and rolling cutter thing
Coordinating thread & bobbin
2 matching black buttons {or another color of your choosing}
Iron & ironing board
Cut the body of the truck trailer. Mine is 4"x3" approximately. Next, cut the front of the truck. I wanted mine extra easy to sew on so I made the trailer fit on top of the truck of the same shape. You can make yours whatever shape you'd like. Curvy would be really cute, too.

Iron the fusible web onto the wrong side of the trailer fabric. Let cool and peel off the paper. Iron with web side down onto the truck. Then iron the truck onto fusible web and let cool. Peel off the back of the paper, position on the onesie {or t-shirt for that matter} and press. Be careful not to scorch the onesie - I've done it twice.

For good measure I flip the onesie over and iron it from the back side as well.

Now, off to the machine!

You can choose which you'd like to sew first, but I started with the trailer. Sew a quick box around the perimeter, making sure to secure your stitches. I added a line down at the bottom for an extra decorative touch...well, and because I used the selvedge for that piece to represent the metal band around the bottom of trailers.

Then sew around the perimeter of your truck.

Almost done! Now you just need to add buttons for wheels and you're good to go.

As always, it's best to wash and dry both your onesie and fabric before you start. This will ensure minimal shrinking in further washings.

Would it be helpful to have pictures? If enough people ask, I'd be happy to take some along the way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Season Opening

Lawrence Yardsales

James and Rinda

My brother-in-law is marrying beautiful Rinda Romney soon! A quick look at my MILs facebook page and I am LOVING their engagement pictures. I wish Ryan and I had taken the time to have proper engagement pictures; instead we had to do a quickie in the parking lot of Riverwoods with my sister Kayleigh at the camera - simply so we could include pictures for our announcements.

There are too many pictures for me just to post 2 or 3. Their photographer is Jill can find more of her awesomeness here.

These are perfect for James and Rinda. James marches dances to the beat of his own drum and is probably one of the funniest people I know. Congrats you two.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WIP Quilt

This is my first real quilt. I've made others, before, if you recall, but nothing that really took too much precision.

It's taking a hell of a long time and I have one square that was sewn in the wrong direction {it's not too hard to find if you look at the big picture} so that needs to be fixed.

I'm thinking I'll add some printed fabric on the side to make it wider. As it is, I think it's a little too rectangularly and not enough squarey.

How should I quilt it...Should I send it to someone to do a long arm quilting or should I stitch each square on my own?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not Bad

Angel Food Cake, THIS caramel recipe, and banana slices.


It's not bad for you because it has bananas.

It's just not.

Old Things {explained}

My parents' business used to be located in an old powerhouse and when we were young we'd go exploring in the dark and dingy (and ridiculously scary to a 10 yr old) rooms and walkways that were no longer in use or closed off. It might be one of the reasons I like old things now. The city decided to turn the building into a visitor's center and is now known as the Powerhouse Visitor's Center. I used to find the old pieces of ledger paper from the book keepers and the cast off ceramic power cones (I have no idea what they're really called) outside under the huge power towers that were no longer in use.

{picture via}

{this is how it currently looks after it's been renovated as a visitor's center - oddly, I've never been inside}

There were stairs up to a second floor in the warehouse that we used to be careful climbing - they were VERY rickety. Once on the second floor, though, you could walk a few steps and on the right there was a HUGE open room with wood floorboards and tall tall windows. Many of the floorboards shifted when you stepped on them and a few of the panes in the windows were broken out. Everything was covered in at least 15 years of dust.

{picture via}
In another area there was a back hallway. It reminded me of the Tar Pit from The Land Before Time (they were in the building for the first movie, long before the 7th). On one side of the 'walkway' there was a pool. But the 'pool' was filled with gunk. I don't know if it was actually tar or if it was just disgustingly muddy/sooty/think-of-something-dirty water, but we could poke sticks in it and they'd stand up. That kind of dirt. I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I think on the other side of that same area was another pool. I can't remember what was in it, though.

One of the funniest things I remember from being down at the 'shop' was the pigeon issue. There were SO many pigeons in the rafters. No wonder it was so scary! My mom and dad and their yard manager would sometimes shoot bb guns toward the ceiling to get the pigeons to fly out of there.

That building {from my memories of it back them} would have made one AWESOME renovated house. Sure, tens of thousands of dollars and tons of work - to fill in the Tar Pit - would be necessary, but remembering the huge second floor room and the old original creaky floor...I love that stuff. It has history.
It probably founded my love of old.

*I read up on it a little and it was built in 1907. Once the Hoover Dam was finished in the late 1930s it was no longer necessary to run the Kingman Powerhouse, although for a few years after it was kept going as a substation. Soon the technology of power passed by the power station capabilities, thus rendering it more costly to run. So from the 1950s until the 1990s it was leased to various people and businesses. A group of concerned citizens spearheaded the renovations into what is now a visitor's center and Route 66 museum. Interesting, no?

Monday, April 13, 2009

When your body wants sleep

You sleep.

Today I started my work day in the normal fashion - up at 8am, working by 8:05am, etc.

I took a break and grabbed a shower around 9:30/10ish and then went and laid down with Ryan around 11, just for a quick snuggle.

My body apparently didn't want a quick snuggle. The next thing I knew, it was 1pm, Ryan was asking if I was okay {I was feeling crappy} and got ready for the class he teaches at 3. He told me to wake up enough to call into work, which I did, but I don't know if my message was coherent enough for one of the managers to understand.

You'll never guess what time it was when I finally woke up again.

Okay, some of you might.

It was 6:30pm.

I slept ALL day. Now it's 9:30pm and I'm surprisingly more tired than I should be. I could totally go to bed in a couple of hours....but Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory just hit and well...I like those shows so I'm off to download and watch them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

A time of renewal and rebirth, I thought it fitting that it's raining today.

Here's the little plot where I'm going to start my garden.

And the extent of decor in my house for the season.

We're heading to dinner with the Andersons and Barkers - here's my and Ryan's contributions - oh, and bread. But that's still cooling.

We're gonna be late! no time to put the pictures in order!

Hope everyone's remembering this special holiday and setting aside egg hunts, jelly beans and bunnies for a few minutes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lawrence Deal {that you can get, too!}

I stopped by a yard sale by my house this morning {532 Brentwood} and was really surprised at how much new stock they were getting rid of.

They used to own a catering company and closed it down and are liquidating their supplies. I got this awesome silverware for less than $20.

only 25¢ each - so I got 72 pieces - almost enough for 12 settings.

I only tell you this because they had lots of it left when I was there and they'll be open tomorrow again from 8am-12pm. So if you need some high quality flatware, don't miss out!

To see how good of a deal this is, I found some of the same stuff online. Sweet-a deal, huh?

OH, and they had another pattern you could choose from - see it here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A New Treasure {which will be kept for a future nursery}

This is one of my favorite yard sale finds. A little 1920s craftsman home had a tiny sale in their yard and the painting was leaning against a tree.
{this is one of my favorite parts}
At first glance I didn't think much of it. But then I looked at it closer and it reminded me of a Madeline book. Very french children's story of yesteryear.

The frame it's in is terribly plain, definitely not suitable for such a cute painting.
{i love the look on the lion's face}
I paid hardly anything for it, but I wonder what Kit in 1953 was thinking when he painted it and how long it took for him to get the frog in the perfect jump.

Thank you, Kit from 1953. It's great.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Tutorials List

This might be more for me than for you, but I figured some of my fellow crafties would enjoy a list of the tutorials I have bookmarked in the last little while.

Fabric Baby Blocks
Lemonhead Spring Wreath
Simple Table Runner
Dresden Petal Handbag
Felt Cupcake
Fabric Bunting
Baby Shoes
Log Cabin Pillow
AB Nigella Quilt
Buttercup Bag
Valentine Chair Backer
Diaper Changing Pad
Paper Silhouettes
Baby Kimono
Lemon Curd
Homemade Chalk
AB Hourglass Pillow
Paper Pinwheels

I'll try to do this every month or so as I find awesome new tutorials from other generous bloggers.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hasta, Hermanos

I've been avoiding starting this post for a couple of reasons: the first being that I'm kind of lazy and the second being that whenever I think about my brothers and the decisions they've had to make and the crap they've had to overcome to get to be where they are, my eyes well up with tears and my heart is full of pride. Not that I intend to use cliches when describing my feelings , but I really have no better way to describe it.

Last weekend I flew down to Las Vegas and was picked up by my sisters and my Uncle Brian to make the rest of the journey to Kingman. (Note: at this point it was 1am for me and I'd been awake since 6:30am)

I got to bed at 4. Yes, I'm kind of stupid. But I loved staying up for that hour or so with my sisters and catching up just briefly.

Good times were had - fast forward to Sunday. Both Ken and Stuart gave great talks in Church; Ken about...about...well crap, I was just thinking about it and now I can't remember (sometimes I honestly think I'm losing my mind. Tonight Ryan and I were having dinner and I was trying to use one of the phrases: "off the radar" or "off the grid" and I couldn't think of the word GRID. GRID, people! What is wrong with me?!).

Either way, both my brothers gave great talks. The YM/YW got up and sang a medley (As Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth - yes, you know the one. That one.) and it was stupid. Not bad, no, it was great, actually. But stupid because after they were done a good majority of us on the row were bawling and it was ruining makeup. I didn't take waterproof with me, sheesh! Think about that next time, you YM/YW, before you go on singing and making people cry.

Afterward we took some great pictures that I won't post because I can see just how much more I need to work out, and then we headed to Hillary and Jeremiah's house to have lunch and get ready for the open house later that night.

Look at all the delicious food! MMMmmm...oh yes, this is why my working out isn't...uh...working out. My family is talented. And we're all such great cooks! Thanks, mom! She taught us well (for all you non-cookers/bakers out there, all it takes is a good recipe and knowing where you can take creative license and where you need to follow the recipe. I'll call that practice. It takes practice.)

The rest of the weekend was spent entertaining the kids or vice versa. My nieces and nephew are QUITE the entertainers, didn't you know. Jack kept walking around saying, "it's MY money and I need it NOW!" and Callie danced a little ditty and Aunt Chelsea taught her the song and dance about meeting a senorita at the Kentucky Fair and how to shake it (baby) shake it. Like I said, entertaining.

And sweet little Ellie. That girl could charm the pants off of anyone with her giggle. She's all smiles and those big blue bright eyes. I wish I lived closer. Then it would almost be like I had a baby. Ellie took an hour or two to warm up to me, but when she did, we were like mashed potatoes and gravy. I love that little girl.

Okay, back to the non-mushy stuff.
This post is already really long, so we'll just finish off by bringing it up to present. The baby of the family is also the tallest of the lot. And I'd have to say, quite a handsome devil, or as Ryan says, Classically Handsome. He came to visit with us on Thursday and left yesterday. I felt terrible that I couldn't just take days off work and hang out with him and we could go on adventures, but alas, when we had time to go out {Saturday} the sky opened up and rain poured down all day - and then turned into ice at night. Sunday was gorgeous. The gorgeous it should have been for Saturday. Church was Fast & Testimony meeting and I so wanted to get up and be a good example for him, but I thought about it and what I wanted to say, and I teared up. And that was just in my seat. I'm not one to get up and mumble incoherently in Sacrament Meeting about how proud I am of him, when it would probably have been at a decibel only the neighborhood dogs could hear {c'mon, we all know people who do that!}.

Ha! You believed me when I said non-mushy stuff, right? Hahaha.

He and Thunder became fast friends. Thunder would follow him around and snuggle up next to Stu. I especially liked hearing him play the guitar. It made me wish I'd followed up my lessons with actual practice. For heaven's sake - I took a class for it, after all.

When it was time to hug him good-bye at the airport I held back tears, even though they tried more than once to force their way out.
I'm so proud of you, little brother. Do good.

This rings so true to me right now.

I hope it helps someone else out there.

"My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."
--President Thomas S. Monson

So say we all, say we all.

This isn't the intended update, but...

It's funny.