Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Summer is winding down

Summer is winding down
Today I knew it was so as soon as I finished getting dressed.
During the past several months I have peeked outside my bedroom window every morning, just to see how light it was outside. It makes me happy when its sunny for my drive to work. I hate leaving the house in the morning before the sun comes up and its what I dread most about fall and winter. And it’s dark for my drive home, which makes me feel like I’ve missed the entire day. For a few treasured months in the summer I get to hear the birds chirp and see the sun shine when I walk outside to get in my car.
But this morning…no birds, no sun and I grabbed a sweater out of the coat closet as I walked out the door. The first part of my drive today involved using the cars headlights.
I know my days are numbered. Summer is winding down.

There are other changes as well besides the obvious ones that come with the kids going back to school. The fair ( http://www.thefair.com/ ) starts soon. Usually this is the last hurrah of the summer and I always hope the good weather holds out long enough to allow us a few trips to it without having to dodge the raindrops.
Yesterday as I was turning on the sprinkler in the backyard I noticed a little peanut hidden there by a squirrel...he's getting ready for fall too!

In Seattle we have mostly perfect 70-80 degree summers. It’s warm, but not hot.
Most homes don’t have air conditioning here so some days it stays way to warm for my taste at night. It makes it so hard to sleep. We do have our occasional heat wave, which lasts a few days with temps in the 90’s and sometimes over 100… but thankfully they’re few and far between.
One of the benefits of fall coming is that I much prefer fall for sleeping…. its not cold, but its cool enough to snuggle under the blankets at night. Another part of fall that I love is that I feel like cooking again. Summer cooking is as simple as possible. The first few cool days of fall makes me want to bake bread and make a big pot of soup or chili.
So while I’m sad that summer is winding down and I’m really going to miss the sun as I walk out the door (and when I walk back in the door at night too!) I look forward to fall, pushing me to cook and to get some really good sleep. I’m so thankful that we live in an part of the country where we have all the beautiful seasons, but none of them are extreme.

and final news for today.......................................I got my camera!
Canon Digital Rebel XT. About 10 times I tried to back out of getting one but Paul was insistant that he wanted me to pick out a camera... so now I really am a happy girl. Now Im off to go figure it out:-)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Scrapblock

No, not scrapbook, Scrap-block.
Cuz thats what I did.
Last night I could hardly wait to get in my scrap room and work on a layout for a contest I want to submit to.
I have the picture I really want to use for this; I have the papers picked out for it that I think will be perfect…so what happened?
creative scrap – block.
I sat down at my scrap table and… did nothing.
Well not exactly.
I did something.
I did cut up some of the paper I want to use for it. Now I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to go with this layout so hopefully I didn’t cut up too much of this paper.
I did flip through some idea books. Nothing sparked for me.
I did go on line to look through my book of scraps to see if I could get creative juices flowing…Blah.
So tonight I'm hoping to be inspired…I better be cuz its due tomorrow.

Camera update
Yesterday I swayed from what I thought was a decision for the Nikon D70 made just two days before, back to considering the Digital Rebel XT again.
Part of that was because I've read so many positive things about the Digital Rebel that it made me feel a lot better about the lens. Thanks for all your comments and assurances left here.
Then today I see this…The Digital Rebel Xti is coming! Soon!
http://www.dpreview.com

Now I’m unsure again…should I wait for it?
I didn’t look for a price yet but I’m sure its more…
I donno…again.My patience for making this decision is wearing thin, Paul’s is running even more thin since I keep changing my mind. .

Monday, August 21, 2006

Camera questions

I feel like my brain has turned to mush...
I'm thinking of making the leap from my trusty little Canon A80 (which I don't even know how to work on Manual settings) to the big scary world of a Digital SLR...
So for days now I've read and read and researched and re-read suff that sounds like a foreign language to me...
Different lenses????? whoa
Scary stuff in my opinion...I don't really know what they all do.
I really wanted the Canon 20d, but I think thats out of the question at this time...so
I've narrowed it down to two cameras so please leave me your thoughts.
The two cameras Im considering are the Canon digital rebel and a Nikon D70.
Both are really great cameras.
Just buying the camera and one lens will max our budget right now so I only intend on getting just the one lens.
I read lots of reviews and I bounced back and forth,
back and forth...
back and forth...
and this last review I read is making me lean toward the Nikon.
Tell me if you agree.
Although the Canon is higher pixels (8.0) and really rated as a better camera than the Nikon (with just over 6. pixels), the Nikon package comes with a better lens giving you better quality pictures than the Canon....unless you invest in a better lens for the Canon.
If you invest in better lenses (like doubling the price of the camera body) the Canon is a far better camera and would blow the Nikon away in picture quality.
But I dont want to spend that kind of money right now to buy the Canon body and the better lens and if I did, I'd go with the Canon 20d.
And I think I like the way the Nikon feels in my hands.
So, should I just go with the Nikon, which really is an awesome camera and Im sure I'd be totally happy with this camera, or go with the Canon package and worry about getting a better lens someday in the future?
Im thinking Nikon. I think I'll be totally happy with that camera.
Anyway, here's a few more of my pictures from our trip to the ocean taken with my trusty little Canon A80.
Can you believe this ladies front yard?
And that cedar shake building...its her little business. I think she sells kites and sand buckets/shovels and stuff like that for the beach.
But holy cow! its in her front yard.
Im standing at the side of the yard near the house, looking across the yard.
Thats how far she has to go to work...in between customers she works in her flower garden Her flowers were just beautiful.



Sunday, August 20, 2006

some beach pictures

We're home!
Its good to be here.
Although we had lots of fun, Im always so happy to be home. Im such a home-body.
love my house,
love sleeping in my bed,
love being around all my own comforts....which of course includes my scrap stuff!


Here's a few pics from the beach...

I tried taking a few shots against this big white wall....trying to be a little artsy I guess.

I took a lot of pictures of cool doors, old bikes, beach chairs, stuff like that.... Pauls a really good sport about letting me take his picture, but he'll only pose just so many times then he's done.

I'll share more pictures later.
laundry to do now
did I mention how good it is to be home?
It is.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Its Friday and...


the bananas are still green!! They look almost exactly like they did last Sunday when we bought them. Cant believe how well these green bags work at keeping produce fresh. If you didn't see my previous post, check it out and get yourself some of these bags!
In other news we're getting ready to leave for vacation.
Heading down the coast to Oregon. Looking so forward to it.
Paul and I really need a get away. We'll be gone from Sunday to Thursday.
I picked a bunch of Lilies from my yard last week. Pretty huh?
except after about 30 minutes in the house they were banned to the backyard again...these things smell so strong that I couldn't STAND them in the house a minute longer. But, since they'd already been picked, I put them on the deck so I could at least enjoy them through the window...I think they're okay in small amounts, maybe one or two in a vase full of other flowers. But a whole vase full....overpowering.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

getting your Fruits and vegies in??

...before you have to throw them away?
I throw away about half of the produce I buy.
I buy it with the best intentions of eating it all before it goes bad but week after week I clean out the vegetable drawers and toss the old before going to the store to buy new.
With only two of us in the house its hard to eat it all in a few days and with both of us working there’s no way I’m going to shop twice a week so I can buy in smaller quantities.
But, I think I just may have found something to make those fruits and vegies last about twice as long as they did.
I’m not one to fall for gimmicks. I don’t watch infomercials. I don’t watch qvc, home shopping network or any tv sales cannel. I have hardly ever ordered anything online (except scrapbook supplies) but Im here to tell you about something that will change the way you buy fruits and vegies...green bags........
Item Number K5519 Debbie Meyer's EvertFresh Green Bags (TM) Set of 50

http://www.qvc.com

I cant seem to make it link properly so if you just put K5519 in the search field it will take you to the right page
Truely, I swear to you they really work.
My Mom buys anything and everything off of TV.
She's a sucker for all those home shopping channels.
She loves that brown truck to show up at her doorstep every week with a new surprise.
Well, she ordered these a few weeks back.
When she was raving about them I just nodded my head and agreed with her, knowing this was just the latest gimmick she’d fallen for.
But then she sent me home with a few of them.
Holy Cow...do they work? Yes they do!!!
Paul buys a bunch of green bananas every weekend and sits them in the fruit bowl.
He likes them when their a little green still.
He takes one banana to work with him every morning.
By Wednesday those bananas are fully yellow.
By Thursday they're showing brown spots.
By Friday they're overly ripe.
By Sat. I throw them away and on Sunday we buy a new bunch.
So, then come the green bags.
I put a bunch of green Bananas in on of these bags, turned it closed and folded under the edge....no twist ties should be used with these bags.
By Wednesday, those bananas are still green.
By Friday the Bananas are still mostly green...
Paul was able to eat them all while they were all perfectly still on the green side.

I’ve put my lettuce in one, my zucchini in one….all still perfect.
Mom says you can wash them and re-use them over and over.
Only $19. for like 50 of them which is seriously all you should ever need.
Sounds like a sales pitch doesnt it?
It slices it dices, it keeps your vegies farm fresh!
Yes it does! :-)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

scrappin

I've been scrapping a lot lately, but I've been too lazy to post anything.
Since I don't have a lot to blog about right now, it seems like a good time to post layouts

Heres one I did about a month ago using some scenic route, Mustard Moon and SEI paper

And this one I just did a few weeks ago using more Scenic Route. I'm so into bright colors lately so that could be a reason Scenic Route has been on almost every single layout I've done these days

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

For Maria :-)

Okay this is for my friend Maria http://justmeagain.typepad.com who's been brave enough to test out some of my recipes on her family.
She was such a trooper the other day and made the ginger pear upside down cake, read about her experience in her blog.
So to redeem her in the eyes of her family, I promised I would post a recipe that would be a lot less stressful while still impressing her family.
Maria, this is sure to be a hit and I PROMISE, its as easy as can be!!!

Dump Cake
Makes 12 to 16 servings.

A mix of pineapple, sweet cherries and crunchy pecan can be yours by simply “dump” them in the pan and bake.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients
1 - can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice, undrained
1 - can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 - package classic yellow cake mix
1 - cup pecans or walnuts, chopped - optional
1/2 - cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into thin slices

Directions
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13x9-inch pan.

Dump pineapple with juice into pan. Spread evenly.
Dump in the whole can of pie filling.
Sprinkle the dry cake mix right out of the box evenly over cherry layer.
Sprinkle pecans over cake mix.
Dot with butter.

Bake for 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

subsitutions
Subsitutions are endless...If you want to try something different, substitute canned apple or peach pie filling for the cherry pie filling and substitute spice cake mix for the yellow cake mix. Still use the crushed pineapple. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the cake mix before adding the butter.

I’ve seen recipes but haven't tried useing cherries and a devils food cake mix – sprinkle some chocolate chips over the cherry mixture before topping with the devils food cake mix- for black forest dump cake.

Use pecans, walnuts, almonds or none if you prefer. Use coconut in place of or along with the nuts…go crazy.
You really can’t go wrong. Use whatever kind you have on hand.