Monday, July 31, 2006

Back to the Beach

back to the beach
Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Ok, so we didn't go to the mountain beach after all. The desert's siren song just keeps pulling us back to Pyramid. As you can see it was sunny. The water, the sky and Ruby's swimsuit were all blue. It's funny, looking at this photo, Ruby could be 8 years old. Wild. I'm trying to mindful of all these little moments we share together as a little family so I will be able remind myself of them when Ruby turns 14 and hates me (as teens are wont to do, sigh).

Felt a little under the weather this weekend so I didn't get as much of the creative stuff done as I had wished. I'm finding the majority of the t-shirts I've been getting for free from work are too small (we make clothing for the petite, apparently) so they'll fit my friend perfectly but not amazonian me. I started cutting one of my stencils and realized (duh) that I was cutting out my whole shape, making for uber-difficult stenciling. And my utility knife was really wobbly too. Did a little knitting though and more dreaming of new projects. I decided I need to start collecting Viewmaster reels. I also decided need to make Viewmaster reels that document stories made from as-yet-unmade dioramas and stuffed animals. Ok, the second of the Viewmaster dreams will need to occur in about 12 years, when a certain kid hates me and doesn't want all my time.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ruby, Weekend and Other Goodness

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Here we are, the weekend again. And boy am I glad. I've had a serious case of crankiness (ahem, pms) and am hoping that it is on the wane. A good weekend should chase those hormones away, right?

This weekend we are talking about going to our other local lake, in the mountains this time. I also hope to do some crafty goodness. I've started designing the stencils for my t-shirt projects. I'm hoping that my Dick Blick (that name cracks me up) order shows up since its got my stencil paint (and moleskeins!). I've finally finished fixing all the screw-ups on the interminable sock. Still school-working but am getting a lot done so I might be done in October instead of November (huge horray!).

Our photo today is Ruby's lone seed that flowered. And her cute little hands grabbing at it.

Happy weekend, all. Hopefully I will be able to scan some of my stencil images this weekend for posting.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CSA July 25

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
This week was better. Corn(!), basil, a few baby carrots, green onions (and one smooshed baby purple one that I lost and then accidentally found it by stepping on it), slicing and pickling cukes, zukes, mixed greens, and an assortment of beets. And get more stir fry greens! Yay! I tried to use them, honest, I did. But they were just too tough and bitter.

Ruby and I had corn last night (the Hubby was working) and it was so lovely. Maybe I'll post the picture of it . I seriously gasped with happiness after I took the corn off the grill and peeled back the husk. The kernels were varying shades of yellow and cream. And it was mighty tasty too.

Mama's tomatoes are coming on and they are the BEST. I had one at dinner last night for tom/mozz salad and one today at lunch on a bagel.

'Nuff food talkies. I'll post about other stuff later.

A Match Made in Heaven

I saw this and just about fell out. Scroll down and you'll see what I mean. Moomin + Stop Motion Film = Pure Bliss

(link via Loobylu)

I wonder if they are available anywhere. Probably not, or probably in Japan and they are $250 a piece. A'hunting I will go...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Happy Sigh

(Photo removed by me--cute kid on beach)

What a nice weekend. I did just about everything that I set out to do, excepting pancakes and a coffee shop trip (oh yeah, and painting the bathroom). As you can see, we made it to a lake. My favorite lake in the world as a matter of fact--Pyramid Lake. It is amazing for a couple reasons: it's a lake in the middle of the desert and is also a remainder of the inland sea that once covered the western US. It's a most spiritual place. Ruby took to it happily. She has been out before as a baby, but this was the first time in the water. We had so much fun. She laughed heartily when she saw hubby swimming about--she thought that was just about the neatest thing ever. Ahhh, Lake, how I have missed you. We need to get out more.

I am currently doing a little homework avoidance, but I did get some done this weekend. I hung out with my Mama and had fun (as always) and saw hubby's fam too. We saw friends and ate a stack of Tuna Melts and drank wine. I did a little crafty browsing at the local shops but didn't find what I wanted (EXCEPT FOR THE MATERIALS FOR YET ANOTHER SNEAKY PROJECT--TEEHEE!). I will go hit online-shopping-land for the shirt paint and fabrics for totes sometime this week.

I love the satisfaction of having the happy blend of getting stuff done with a bundle of fun. Hope y'all had a nice one too. Now if it would just cool off from these inferno-like conditions we are experiencing (or if we get an air conditioner or swamp cooler), then I will be completely happy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Rainbow's End?

Nora is in pretty good shape. She had a second minor surgery and we're waiting for the results of that but it feels pretty good. She's her happy tappy self. Ruby has been taking quite a shine to Nora. She's been using the strap from the kooky no-bite collar that Nora is forced to wear as a leash. "C'mon Nori, you want to wook at Cwissmas?" has been a common query. Translation: "Come along, Nora. Would you care to look at my Christmas Tree I have decorated?"

Ruby was 'helping me' take this picture of Nora. So I can blame any blurriness on Ruby, right?

Photos of the Christmas Tree will have to wait as last night's crazy weather knocked down Ruby's decorations.

T-shirt Bonanza

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Sometimes it's good to be a worker bee. They had these blank tees that work was giving away due to minor imperfections. I think they will be perfect for practicing freezer paper stencils and t-shirt reconstruction. Sure, I don't know how to sew but that hasn't stopped me from diving in before! Ok, maybe I'll check out some of the tutorials that have been flying around the 'net.

Yesterday, work was giving away 1" webbing rolls--perfect for handles for tote bags. So now I think I'll be trying my hand at making some tote bags. Go back to paragraph one: I don't know how to sew. But I feel confident I can handle a small tote or two. Now if I can find the time, I'll be rockin'.

Ahhh...the weekend. If I can find enough time to do groceries, spend some quality time with my Mama (hugs!), get working on more homework, finish painting the bathroom, perhaps hang with friends, go have coffee, make pancakes (I am pancakemama, after all), maybe go to a cool lake, knit, work on designs for stencils, shop for'll be a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

CSA July 18

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Well, this week was a little less than stellar. The exciting stuff were the fluffy bunch of basil, a couple of cukes and three wee baby carrots. The never-ending stir fry green mix (why couldn't it be never ending berries or peaches?), a ton of romaine and a few zukes rounded out the bag. Ruby is playing egg inspector. Only one didn't pass due to droppage.

Doggie stress is on a roller coaster right now. We heard Miss Nora has grade 2 cancer which really means it's anyone's guess. They got all the cancer off her leg but we need to be extremely vigilant to make sure no other lumpy bits show up. That's where the roller coaster comes in. I have seen a little mole on her other side in the past and now they are talking surgery again today. It's so small that we couldn't even really find it last night except for the hair pattern is funky there. It seems like too much to put a dog through surgery again just one week after being put out for a big surgery. How much is too much? She's just a little dog. So it is all up in the air. Climbing that first roller coaster hill, so slowly, click-click-click...almost at the top...holding our breath...what will we do with our tap dancer dog?

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Ani Update

Yikes, I just realized how long it's been since I posted. Wish I could say it's because we've been having so much dang fun, but alas, not so.

The Good--Eating the last of the Ikeda's pie, getting work done on my paper for school, having laughs with Ruby as we make a 'tent' out of a futon, enjoying the sounds of hubby's new guitar, checking out the new fish we got for Ruby's tank.

The Bad--Not finishing the paper for school, me only being able to sleep 4 hours last night for some unknown reason, the hot house not cooling down at night.

The Ugly--Awaiting Nora's cancer test results, Ruby getting sick.

Poor Nora dog, Nora requested I assist her with restarting her blog and then our high spirits were dashed with a diagnosis of cancer on a lump on her leg. Nora's been really good about her little surgery that took the lumpiness off her leg. We are hoping/wishing/praying that all the cancer was removed and we are done. Maybe when we are passed the funky post-surgery collar stage we'll get back to work on Nora's blog.

I am so happy my paper is finally coming together and I am almost done with it. I REALLY wanted to finish it this weekend so I could start my next trial, the test. I haven't had to take a test or write a paper in oh, let's see, 14 years? It's miserable trying to get back into the swing of it. This class keeps me from doing all the nifty fun craft stuff I want to do because pretty much every spare evening is spent either worrying about the class or working on the class. It really makes me want to drop out of school but I spent so much money on this stupid class and it's already taken me 5 months to get this's hard to not continue. At least I'm at the half way point. Oi.

On the crafty front, I'm still working on the interminable socks. Not to say I don't like working on them, especially since I'm almost at the fun heel part, but I just wish I had more time to get them out of the 'work in progress' stage and into the 'finished object' stage. I've been doodling for my petit guerilla art project. I've been making little cards and leaving them for folks to find. I did a few 'test' cards for loved ones and it was well-received so the general public will be getting them next. I would still like to make garden cards--cards to leave in mailboxes for folks who have really great gardens--but I haven't got very far with it. I also want to start sewing quilts, working on a sock bunny, make freezer paper stencils for t-shirts/skirts, making stuffed animals, more knitty projects...ok, you get the picture.

Other than all of that, I've been a huge flickr junkie lately. I had a dream the other night (the night I DID sleep) where I was just riffling through more and more photos on my lappy. Here's a few of the latest faves:

tree sweater

Back to work. Yup, for real. I'm the only worker bee at work today so I'd better get to it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Ruby's looking out the window of our hoighty toighty hotel room. Yes, that's Hotel with an H, no motel for us this go round. We even had room service and it was quite yummy. Living the high life, I could get used to it. Ahh...

The hotel was by the capital building (as you can see in the picture) which is surrounded by a park. It was a nice place to stroll through. People walking their dogs after work, business folks taking a short cut through, and us, admiring the GIGANTIC palm trees. They were as tall as our 8th floor room--you almost fell over backwards trying to see the top.

Ruby was a dream to travel with--easy going and happy. Only a couple of times was there the request "go home? Kikonora?" I like how every time she talks about home, she automatically names the dogs, as a unit.

The zoo, while not a bust (the red panda was so dang cute), wasn't as fun as Fairytale Town. Here we are enjoying "The Cheese Stands Alone"--although as you can see the Little Cheese is accompanied by the Big Cheese. I loved this place almost as much as Ruby. Hubby was lucky enough to have come as a kid but this was my first time, since I didn't do my little kid time in the area. It was kitschy in a old-timey Disney way and really charming. I think we'll have to come back again, maybe in the fall.

And lastly, we have the 'dirty soldier', as Ruby likes to call him. He's actually a trash can, but rootin' tootin' cute. I can't wait for our next trip. Maybe Portland? Wow, I'm really dreaming big now.

CSA July 11

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Oh my, the carrots are sweet sweet sweet! I cut them up for a gazpacho tonight. Also threw in the lil' cukes and some radishes. Other goodies received: baby beets with greens, stir fry mix (I gotta start thinking of a good use for this), mixed greens, snap peas (YUM), eggs and assorted squash.

So far the CSA hasn't been the big money saver I thought it might be since I still have to supplement our weekly haul with grocery store goods. On the other hand, it has been good for the sort of farmer's market produce I may have augmented our groceries with. Not all the stuff I like (ie. stir fry mix--bitter!) and I'm wishing for more fruit but I really can't complain. Most of the 'feel good' aspect is in the fact that I am supporting local farmers in their endeavor to buck the factory farm system. Cheers!

Hope I didn't alienate anyone in that last post. Hubby said it may have been a little off-putting when I was thinking of it as more of a 'how do I get more time into my life since the panic attack thing is getting out of hand'. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers and a big hug to you if I did! I actually went back and reread it and as it didn't read how I felt, I did a little editing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


So, taking the past week off due to sickness and taking a wee vacation has made me question this blogging thing. I spend so much time reading blogs, discovering blogs, commenting on blogs, planning new blogs...maybe I should rethink how much time I am spending on this. I will keep this blog for another month, see if it is doing its task of inspiring me or if it's just dragging me down into its bloggy boggy quagmire.

What did I expect to get out of blogging? I'm not really sure. I guess I felt like I wanted to join the club but once I did, I looked around the room and saw I was still the geeky wallflower. It has inspired me to think about creativity in my daily life but I may be able to get that without exposing my raggedy innards to the cyberworld and just enjoy everyone else's innards.

Anyway, we had a great trip minus the low-blood-sugar-near-miss-car-crash-panicky-overheated bit at the beginning. Ruby is a super traveling companion (as is my very sweet hubby). We are now looking forward to venturing out into the world more often. Photos at 11.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

CSA July 5

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
I had to peel myself from the couch to go pick up Veggie Box this week (more on that later) but it was definitely a good haul. Lots of zukes and squash, radishes, basil, pickling cukes, lots of peaches and snap peas. Eggs (you can see the blue one in the batch). Not pictured: Stir Fry Greens and Romaine.

Because I am planning the long-awaited, haven't-been-out-of-town-in-three-years, bursting-at-the-seams overnight trip...I got sick. It's a wacky virus but I think I am finally out of the woods. Ahh, the fever rollercoaster I have been on, the stress I have put on the Hubby with my crazed hypochondria...all no good. Hopefully we will be all in fairly good shape to get outta the biggest lil' city tomorrow. Although Hubby is now starting to feel run down. Wish us luck.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Excitement is Building...

We are going on a trip. Sure, it's only an overnighter down to Sacramento to go to the zoo, but dang! It's the first time we've left town in about 3 years! Yes, this could be very interesting. Ruby has never slept away from home. We'll be messing with her nap schedule. But the animals! Eating out! Fairytale Town! I can't freaking wait. Listmaking must commence.

I have to make the hotel reservation today--I've been hemming 'n hawing over which fancypants hotel we are going to. I've been reading all the reviews and there are always 95% awesome reviews and then the horror story review that makes you want to do a 180 and run away screaming. Dried feces on the sheets? Come on! You can't be serious. But I am afraid. The last trip we took was back to our former hometown, New Orleans. We had the hotel room from hell so I know can happen to me too (sans poop on the sheets).

This wasn't a Motel 6 where your expectations are naturally lowered. It was a real Hotel in the Quarter. I got the package deal off Expedia and it all seemed good. We get there, check in...and our room is on a hallway that is right between the bar and the elevator. Just beyond the elevator is the bathroom to the bar. As it was Saint Patty's day, there were drunks parading up and down the hallway all night long, hitting the alarm in the get the picture. We requested a different room early in the evening but with it being Saint Patty's, they were totally booked. It got marginally better as the week went on, but it was never great. The fact of being back 'home' did make up for a lot of the room's shortcomings. Sadly, I'll probably never get 'back home' again. It's a different city entirely, as they've chased off about 60% of the population. I hope to take Ruby there someday but it won't be the same place. But they do have a kickin' aquarium and zoo--hopefully that won't change too.