Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Apologies

My apologies for the lack of posts lately. Life has been crazy. Things seem to be returning to normal and I have tons of posts in my head waiting to make it into this blog!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Post-Valentine Project for Kids

Do you have kids who come home from school with bags full of Valentines that they don't want to part with? Here a tip that allows the kids to keep the cards in a way that's practical:

Place the cards in between sheets of contact paper or laminate them in a rectangular shape. The cards will be visible on both sides of the paper and your child will have a new place mat! Use them for eating or coloring and preserve memories at the same time.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Natural Sleep Help

I often have trouble sleeping - my body gets tired but my mind won't shut off. Here are a couple things I use to help me fall asleep:
  • I take a hot shower before getting into bed.
  • I use lavender aromatherapy oil.
  • I drink chamomile tea.
  • I listen to calming music.
  • I meditate.
I'm always looking for new suggestions. Counting sheep just doesn't do it for me. Someone suggested I try visualizing mowing the lawn. I tried. I failed. The next day I couldn't get the image of the lawnmower mowing in a square out of my head. What helps you sleep?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cat Duster

Cats are so handy sometimes!

Brogan was extremely hyper today and batted several toy mice under the stove. He frantically tried to get them back and went so far as to cram himself behind the stove. This is an extremely tight space that I usually have trouble cleaning. He came out with one toy mouse, several clumps of cat hair, and a nice layer of dust!

I love those automated dusters...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Smoked Dinner

Do you ever write a word and stare at it, contemplating how it looks? "Smoked" is messing with my mind.

Anyhow, today was my mother-in-law's birthday. I spent a good chunk of time preparing for her to come over. Her gift was wrapped, the cake was made, dinner was cooking and the table was set. Then the smoke alarm went off. At first I panicked about the biscuits in the oven burning. When I checked the biscuits were fine, but one had slid to the end of the cookie sheet and, not being fully cooked yet, was dripping onto the bottom of the oven. It took about a minute for the house to fill with smoke. Our smoke alarms are the fancy-shmancy kind that are all connected so they were all going off at once. I turned off the oven and my husband was frantically fanning the smoke alarm, but to no avail. The noise continued. We turned on all the fans in the house, turned off the heat, and opened the door. (Side note - I was worried that the sound of the smoke alarm with the door open would bring neighbors running, but in our keep-to-ourselves woods not a soul came to check out the loud, annoying noise. Good to feel safe in case of actual emergency...) Eventually the alarms stopped. The house was suddenly quiet, cold, smelly, and full of smoke. And my mother-in-law was due to arrive in 15 minutes. For her birthday. I lit some incense (yeah, that'll hide the smell) and set a pot of water boiling to re-humidify the air. I added some spices to the water which, believe it or not, really helped! Overall, not my best evening.

A few things turned out okay. My mother-in-law was running late and the smoke was gone by the time she arrived. Dinner turned out fine and didn't even taste like smoke. We had great conversation and everyone enjoyed the cake.

I think my cats are still hiding.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snood Update

I forgot to post an update on my knit snood. It actually turned out pretty well. It keeps my ears much warmer than a hat and I like how it looks. I adapted it somewhat and added a button in front. Rather than designate a specific buttonhole I can slip the button anywhere - the stitches are large enough. This way I can keep it from falling down in back. Hmm...what should my next project be?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Neighborly Vent

We have a neighbor who seems quite nice. We exchange greetings occasionally, but he generally keeps to himself. Lately he's developed the interesting habit of snow blowing at night. Apparently prime snow blowing time is between midnight and 3 AM. It drives me crazy! Now, I don't know if he has a job with strange hours or if he enjoys being out at night, but I don't know what to do. We don't talk a lot and I don't want to be the rude neighbor complaining about his snow blowing. It's not keeping me from falling asleep, but it does make it harder to do so. I guess I shouldn't make it into an issue. Snow blowing is only necessary after snow falls, so it's not like this is a year-round hobby. I just hope he doesn't mow the lawn during the same hours...