Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Everybody needs a hobby...

I'm a firm believer in hobbies. 
I have a zillion of them. 
I tend to spend blocks of time dedicated to one hobby, then move onto the next, circling around. (probably more like cycling around.) 
I love reading (it's been awhile, but watch out when i find the right book again), baking, walking, painting furniture, junking, pennywool, making cards-just to name a few. There are winter/fall hobbies and some that are better for summer time. 

The Mister doesn't have that many hobbies. He  tolerates the mess mine makes. (Please reference the messed up garage and cabinet full of wool). His hobbies are pulling weeds from the yard and building stuff with leftover fence and boards from pallets he rescued from work. His latest hobby: collecting free bricks from Craigslist. He has a grand plan for the backyard. Moving all the bricks is like an exercise class. Instead of Crossfit-it's Ann's Gardening Fitness. I could charge folks to weed the yard, remove a tree stump (test of power) and move bricks (strength and agility). tonight we traveled to Chesterfield. Where we hit the motherload of bricks. (I thought we did well in Bellleville earlier this summer). I'm pretty sure there is enough for the path around the house as well as the bbq grill/pizza oven. We might even have enough to brick the shed he's also working on. 

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep the booth filled with junk, and make it look interesting to folks. It's not like pin interest, but we have a limited amount of space and vignettes are not always the best use of space. WE're doing okay. Though it takes more time (and space) than i realized. 

I"m painting a shelf for the dining room (for my green glass) and a couple of smaller pieces for the booth. We sell the darnedest things in there. including the corner shelf that i didn't really want anymore, until i moved it from the corner to the outside wall of the booth, next to a bookshelf. It worked. and held way more stuff there than it did back in the corner. And we keep selling the decorative plate hangers. i don't know why. they're cheap to buy anyway, but folks want mine. which aren't even marked cheap because i didn't really want to sell them. lol .

I've been playing with sauces. Wing sauces and bbq sauce. and rubs. now that has been fun. Next on my agenda: no=knead brioche bread. I will post when i try that. It's a 24 hour process. 

and we have a new kitten. Rasputin. Aka "Raspy">
Black cats don't photograph well...he really is cute. 



The Mister's first shot at a hobby.


Neat trick-from an auction. evidently the soda 2 liter holders are easy to get come by.
They fit cans of quart paint.
Also, I bought a couple of jars from the dollar store to mix chalk paint.
they fit perfectly too. I absolutely love this.
if you paint furniture, you need one of these.

Early version of the booth. but now it's fuller than this.
the white shelf on the corner sold. again, i don't know why. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Auction Day!

We moved the booth from Farmington to the General Grant's Antique Mall.
rent is 2x as expensive, but for the first month we've cleared more than we ever did in Farmington.
Actually, items that I wondered why they didn't sell in Farmington have been jumping off the shelf.
now we're at the point that we need to keep adding stuff to the booth.

Enter the auction.
My mom and I have been going to this estate sale auction in Bonne Terre for years.
We've had some really good times at the auction.
(our favorite times have been buying random boxes of junk for a couple of bucks, and taking it home to see what it was that we bought. Kind of like that storage locker show. only smaller.)
Now the auction sells the boxes in larger lots. We don't need a pallet of  boxes. (one day we will get one.)
but we like furniture.
and my mom is obsessed with buying the collectible plates.
Sure, the booth as sold a few of them (turns out that we have priced them super low).
at the auction there is always collectible plates.

Always.

She's gotten some good deals.
and it hearkens back to days of the random boxes of junk.
because we usually don't know what plates she bought until we get them home and go through them.
she had a pretty good score a few months ago (pre-wedding) for $20. (and they had awesome plate holders/frames that sell for $20 each without the plates).

Today the auction was much smaller in wares, but larger in the number of bidders.
stuff was going high.
like, Goodwill high.
And this one lady was driving her particularly crazy driving up the prices of items.
My mom said to me, "i'm going up to $50 for the plates. I don't want her to have them."
I knew by the look in her eyes that she meant it.

The plates came up for auction. The Mister and I stood in the back, watching my mom and this lady bid against one another. The price went higher and higher. The Auctioneer said "Do I have $25" whilst pointing to my mom. standing strong, with determination and a nod, my my mom affirmed the bid. Everybody knew that she meant business. It went higher and higher.She did not back down or hesitate.

she bid $45, like it was the first bid ($5, btw), the lady finally gave up. She wasn't paying $50.
It was an epic victory.
She packed up the stuff whilst i went to the building with the auctioneer.
(The Mister also helped pack it all up).
My mom came out and whispered to me, "we quit counting at 29 plates!"
She was excited.

I'm home now, for a few hours.
she just called with the plate breakdown.
Complete set of Gone with the Wind collectors set.
Norman Rockwell.
Winter scenes.

I googled Gone with the Wind collectors and Normal Rockwell.
the Gone with the Wind look to be $60 for the set (maybe a little higher. Depends).
Norman Rockwell-there are some pricier plates.

I on the other hand, got a cast iron muffin pan for $5.
A meat grinder.
Some milk glass door knobs.
and a couple of wood chairs that i'm going to paint. (the one was super comfy.)

no, the auction wasn't as good as normal, but it was fun.
and a totally lovely day.
nothing like some good ole bonding with the mom.

So if you are interested in collectible plates, let me know.
i can hook you up.
 Pre-painted desk

 Booth. With now painted desk and chair added. 

The roses are blooming! The roses are blooming! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A former bride...

It's over.
The Wedding.
Or, as I've been referring to it "the social event of the season".
It was a whirlwind.
boy am i glad that's over.
it was a good time.
who would have thought that I was the marrying kind?
I don't feel any different. not about him. not about life.
now the Muscle is "The Mister".
He's been my mister for a while.
just not recognized by the State of Missouri.
Now he is.

My advice to any future/planning bride-to-be-types out there-
watch out for Pininterest.
because the pictures and the ideas don't tell you --

  • all the time and effort and planning you put into the table decorations for your "picnic" wedding won't matter if it's a windy day. they will blow off the table. 
    • I have a stack of 42 handmade wool hearts. What to do with them now. The flowers in the silver teapot containers did look lovely. sitting on the ground next to the table so that they don't blow over.
    • PS-most all the other decorations get "scratched" because they won't stand up to the wind either. Good thing the park is pretty. 
  • Telling your aunt that you "trust her to pin interest up the food table" will probably not work out. Though she usually does a fantastic job at catering job, the mere mention of pininterest will make her eye twitch.
    • she did alot for the wedding. and i'm eternally grateful. I think she freaked out a little bit. I really wasn't that picky. I mean it. Really. Everyone was afraid to make decisions. I'm still not sure what happened. but it worked out. It just means that we have photos of food being served from disposable aluminum containers. They are pininterest worthy pics though.
  • It really isn't a good idea for your brother to have knee surgery the day before the wedding. Even if it's just being "scoped." 
    • He skipped out before my mom could communicate with the photographer that she wanted pics with my brother, his son, and my dad. I wouldn't really care, because i didn't want to do the photo thing anyway (we are not a photogenic people), but my mother insisted. She's the one who is unhappy that they didn't get the photos. I think they turned out lovely, considering the material.  They made cutting a Costco cake look Pininerest worthy! 
  • I highly recommend flower girls instead of bridesmaids. 
    • much less drama. 
    • but be wary of your mother insisting that they carry bells, just like the woman from California told her about on the quilting cruise that she took 6 weeks before the wedding. She says that she will procure the bells. Though, you, as the bride have doubts about the intelligence of giving bells to a group of kids on your special day to hold whilst you promise your love and fidelity to the man with whom you've been living in sin  for, let's say, "a period of time greater than 6 months",  but you relent.  The day of, as you gather the flower girls, you realize that the bells your mother brought included jingle bells and cow bells, not the bells she showed you that she was going to order off the internet. [needless to say, I scratched the bells idea, grabbing some roses out of the floral arrangements for the girls to carry]. It worked out fine. and it still makes me chuckle.]
  • The Margaritas, which you carefully researched a bulk recipe that stays true to what a margarita is supposed to be, and also planned a few mixers to jazz it up a bit, under the banner "Margarita Bar"...
    • The first batch is wicked strong, because a real margarita is really all about the tequila. 2 parts tequila, 1 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice. I hit the jackpot when Costco started carrying reposado tequila. Or so i thought. I'm not a tequila fan, and i'm really not a fan of the reposado kind. but the bridesmaid assured me that it was "smooth stuff." The first batch was sucked down in no time, making the margarita fans fairly drunk. the second batch was a little weaker, slowing the crowd down, and the third batch was "eh..." or so i hear. I never really finished a drink. i kept losing my cup. 
    • The maid of honor forgot that i put the stuff for the margarita bar in her truck. I kept lookign for the mixers, but couldn't find them. 2 weeks later she tells me that they are in the back of her vehicle. so much for the margarita bar. But honestly, after the first batch of margarita, screw the mixers! 
    • Later, I went to talk to the aforementioned maid of honor (and gather, perhaps for a picture),  was completely wasted. I was like, "Are you wasted?" Who knew that it was possible to slur giggling. Did I mention that she was "in charge" of maintaining the Margarita Bar? It made me happy that she had a good time. It's hard when your best friend gets married, and you are not. If I wasn't the bride in this show, I would have been slurring giggles right along with her. 
      • PS-She "slept" in the back of the car on the way to the "evening supper" in Festus. She looked so innocent snoring next to the Mister's sister, who was also sleeping pretty hard. 
That's my wedding observations. They are funny to me. It's not a complaint or anything that I regret. Sure, there are things I would do a little differently, but in the end, we got it done. and that's all that matters. 

Now we get back to real life. The part that drew us together in the first place. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the great doily roundup

Less than 2 weeks.
damn.
It goes by fast. I keep getting asked, "are you getting nervous?"
i was like "no."
and then wondering why people keep asking me about being nervous.
Then I realized that I have less than 2 weeks to get it all together.
Champagne. bought. (sparkling wine. good enough).
rings. check.
dress. check. though shoes are an issue. the dress is short, so you can see them. they need to be comfortable. yet not look grannyish.

the house is not ready to receive company. the dining room paint job needs to be completed.
how do you clean house when you have boxes of stuff for the great event?
Green glass that needs to be cleaned and taken to the reception area?
silver teapots and pitchers that need to be cleaned and ready to recieve flowers to go to the park?
and all the other stuff that one accumulates in a "do it your self wedding"?
oh yeah, and in the middle of the mess I've been doing the great doily round-up of 2014.
I have several really nice hand crocheted table clothes.
I don't want to risk something bad happening to them.
stains and the like.

What's been on my radar:
Banshee. That guy is hot. and smart. the show is produced by Alan Ball. Could be better (it's no six feet under), but there is lots of sex. and fighting. but sex. amish sex.




Monday, March 3, 2014

snow day and macrame. a study.


I just cleaned a large chunk of garlic out of my engagement ring.
whoops.

I took today as a snow day.
even though the roads were navigable.
all that talk of terrible conditions, I pretty much talked myself into a snowday.
What do people do on a snow day? they cook!

yesterday was pizza day.

I made an attempt at pan pizza. 
I should have turned the oven up for a little bit crispier crust. 
Crust: water (1.5 c), salt, yeast,  bread flour (3 cups)
Threw in to the mixer, kneaded for 6 minutes, then made into a ball, coated with spray and plastic,
then sat in fridge for 8 hours. 
though the recipe really said overnight.
evidently pizza crust dough does it's best work when it's wet and sits for several hours in the fridge. 

The sauce turned out pretty good too, but i really winged it.
onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste, large can of whole tomatoes, and sugar. cooked, then used the hand blender.
added a dash of sherry wine (schnucks brand) and butter and hand grated Parmesan cheese. it simmered for several hours. 



Today, I tackled a rump roast. I cut off the fat first, and then thought that the roast might need it, so i tied it back on. See below. It's kinda like macrame. I won't qualify for america's best homecook. 
I inserted some garlic, stuck it in the oven, at 375 for 45 minutes, then turned it down to 250 until it's done. 
hopefully this one won't turn out dry. I want leftover roast beef sandwiches. 




Crispy. a Snow Day. 

You can't see the bald spot on his belly.
I think it's from laying on the heat vent. 
i think it's singeing the hair off.
the Muscle thinks he has a weird disease. 


There are 2 lamps because i'm moving some stuff around to finish painting the dining room before
 "THE WEDDING"
Invites are out. 
Shit is getting real.
i might have said that before.
tonight is a bookclub shower.
and i've been eating like i don't have a wedding in 6 weeks.
I"m a stress eater.
i love cheetos and oreos. 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Concert Tip

Never sit next to the couple who look  like they are trying to emulate the characters in Portlandia at a Pageant. 
They usually have a pizza from Pi (either they are actively eating it, or it is leftover from their pre-show nosh.)
and at least one of them is drinking wine from a plastic cup. 

They will be obnoxious the whole show. He will be the guy who tries to yell witticisms at the performer on stage, most of which don't make sense, and aren't really that witty and she will talk over the performer for most of the show. 

Even though before the show she tries to befriend you as a fellow fan. 
She's such a fan that she's 'not familiar" with the opening act. 
You know. Teddy Thompson. Richard Thompson's son. and they've done several projects together.

In general, be wary of anyone who orders wine at the Pageant. 
Nothing good will come of it. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Life Lesson...

Be wary of going to the gym for a weights class after eating 4 Fiber One 90 calorie coffee cakes.

you are welcome.