Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chips and Dip

It's really tough to find snack food for Nathan.  Really tough.  Usually there's way too much sodium and/or potassium.  

Rebekah and I were at Costco earlier this week and ran across Ocean Spray Cranberry Fiesta Salsa.  It isn't something that I would normally be drawn to, but hey, at this point, anything is worth a try.  

We'll be buying him more.

It tastes fairly similar to the mango salsa that Costco also carries...without nearly as much sodium or potassium, so that's a win in my book.  We just needed something for him to eat with it - because, hey, chips are salty.  

Unless you wander over to the health food isle in Fred Meyer...wherein we found some chips(Xochitl brand) with ZERO salt.  They're not bad...nothing a little salt wouldn't fix.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Who" Has Time for Crafts?

Evidently I do.

I needed to figure out a way to make charms for a bracelet that we gave to our former YW secretary.  She left to go on a mission this week, and before she left we presented her with a nearly empty charm bracelet.  It had one lone charm on it.  We plan to send her a charm every month that she's gone...so they needed to be cheap and flat-ish.  Thank you Pinterest for solving my dilemma. Quite a while ago I had pinned a charm bracelet with Shrinky Dink charms.

I don't think I've ever actually bought Shrinky Dinks before.  My poor children led a deprived childhood.  I found these at Michael's and used some coupons...before coupon a 6 pack of white ink-jet compatible sheets was about $14.  Lucky me, I had a 50% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.
I screen captured a bunch of quotes, then lightened the pictures.

Most of them turned out fine - there are a couple that are hard to read - but considering this was my first attempt, I feel pretty good about it.

My second set...time for a little Doctor Who.

This time I added a design on the back.  I typed out the name of the recipient in Simple Gallifreyan.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Days

This has been a pretty great week here at Casa de West. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Best day...Alex coming home!
Birthday bonfire.
Steve eating...
Alex eating...
Rebekah eating...
How stinkin' cute is this cake!?!
Me approved.
Happy days.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Curtains for My Sitting Room

One of the nice things about Ogre's Relish is the amount of window acreage.  There are 7 windows in it. Seven.  They let in lots of light. Yay! You can enjoy the scenery of the great outdoors from pretty much anywhere in it. Yay!


They also are all pretty much at eye level for anyone walking past, so privacy could be a bit of an issue.  Especially at night.

Remember when I said that there are 7 windows.  Yeah.  That's seven windows in need of window coverings.

Yesterday I went to all three fabric stores in town, in search of curtain fabric.  I came home without any.  I had a couple of samples, but I wasn't in love with either of them - especially when it looked like it was going to run me at least $50.  That's more money than I really want to spend on curtains. So today I headed out again.

My plan was simple, check out Walmart...our little town (as of today) has 3 Walmarts.  Three.  Okay, technically at least one of them isn't in "town", but it's less than 5 miles from my house.


I ended up buying 2 60x102 tablecloths.  That makes nearly 6 yards of wide fabric - for a grand total of...drumroll...$28.  I'll even have some left over to make a tablecloth.

The only curtain rod that was still up was the long one in front - so I put two sets of curtains there for show.  I plan on making a different set for the front wherein the plaid matches in the middle.  These two sets will go on a couple of the side windows.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nothing Ventured...

I have to say, I wouldn't make a great photo journalist.  Being on hand to take pictures of EVERY step in a project - hoping for some great ones.

Frankly, sitting around taking pictures every few minutes isn't very appealing to me.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday working only a few feet away from Steve.  He was in Ogre's Relish, I was just outside...weeding.  Much was accomplished by both of us.

Steve's new favorite tool.
One ceiling panel was removed (water damage).
This is the corner that had the most water damage/dry rot. We've been lucky to have had a couple of days with a lot of rain - it really helped us see where water was coming in. The next job will be to remove the damaged boards and replace them.
We've already purchased the new boards, insulation and paneling.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Artistically, Elder West

To Whom it May Concern.
Planner covers are kind of a thing in this mission. Usually people opt for destroying Ensigns in order to decorate their planners. That's what I usually do as well. However, for some reason I have developed some sort of reputation among my comrades as an artist. Thus, I have been commissioned by them to produce some fabulous artwork for their planners (during lunchtime hours and such).
I made this one back in May for Elder Rae-Bayer. He said something like "I want you to draw me a picture of me flying on my green dinosaur plushie preaching the gospel to women."
Title: "Hark All Ye Nations"

After I made this one I decided that I should buy some color pencils instead of using my scripture marking crayons.
I made this one for Elder Larsen. The left side is self explanatory. The other side I sketched up while waiting for a missionary in a dentist's office.
Title: "Elder Wayne"

This was for Elder Lambourne. He gave me complete creative control, and this is what he got. If you overthink about the picture, you might realize that this picture is actually a subtle jab towards the false doctrine of creatio ex nihlo.
Title: "The Lambirth" (duh)

This was for Elder Jenson. He and I were talking one time about how there isn't a lot of hardcore LDS artwork, and then I shared with him an idea I had for something based off of Moroni chapter 9. He was like "That sounds sweet. You should do it." So I did.
Title: "The Tower of Sherrizah"
And this one I have in my pocket this very moment. I made it back in May a couple weeks after Elder Rae-Bayer's planner, which is why the girl looks kind of similar ("Recycle, re-palette, and... done!"). I kind of regret making her a redhead though, since there's a redheaded sister in our zone. She might take it the wrong way if she sees it.
Title: "Tree of Life" 

That's all folks!
Elder West

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Cart Before the Horse

Sure, we brought home our baby last week (and by baby, I mean Ogre's Relish). I found a smokin' deal on craigslist and we managed to snag it.  Problem? We did not have a vehicle to tow it yet.

Luckily, Steve knows a guy...a guy with a big stinky Bronco (possibly from the late 70's), that he was willing to loan us.

We knew we needed to hurry up and get our own towing vehicle...so we have spent more hours than I care to count in researching, calling, emailing, visiting dealerships (new and used), test driving (lather rinse repeat), to try and find something that would meet our needs without costing an arm and a leg.

Drum roll please...

2006 GMC Sierra

And now Steve becomes "The Guy With a Truck".

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Carpe Carpet

The decor of Ogre's Relish is very 70's at the moment.  And I don't mean that in a good way.  We have no plans of doing a restoration...Our plan is to make this baby awesome. In a good way.

Let the games begin.
These little beauties are not destined to be returned to the walls. Not on my watch.

Steve and Danny (with a bit of help from your truly) began Phase I of our trailer renovation.  As with any remodeling project, first you have to start with a clean(ish) slate.
Trailer? What trailer? 
Here's a "before" of the lovely curtains (and some butterflies).
All curtains are gone!
Before picture showing the not-so-lovely pink carpet.  And more butterflies.
The stinky pink carpet is now a thing of the past.  Sadly, the awesome lino is not in awesome shape. New flooring is definitely in order.

Friday, August 30, 2013

How ghetto are we?

It is a fact, universally acknowledged that:
  • "rush hour(s)" traffic through Seattle is always bad.
  • "rush hour(s)" traffic through Tacoma is always bad.
  • there is inevitably an accident between Tacoma and Olympia when you least want to be slowed down by one.  Or two.
  • pre-Labor Day traffic on I-5 is always horrendous.  Without exception.
That said, I'm pretty excited about how our trip yesterday went.  A special thank you to Steve who actually did all the driving and then went out after midnight to take pictures. 

Special. Thanks.

According to the title, we now are the proud owners of a 1971 Aristocrat Lo-Liner. That's according to the title.  It looks a lot like some 1970 Lo-Liners that I have found on the internet. The ad for it on craigslist was brief:

"1971 Aristocrat. 
Decent shape."

Before you get all judge-y...it is in "decent shape"...for a 1971 trailer that is selling for $750.

I'm sure our neighbors will be excited to wake up to this!

Let's start a "Need to Do" list, shall we?
1. Wiring
2. Replace broken window (that's the one with duct tape over it)
See #1. (wiring)
That orange "light" on top is actually a house window across the street.  Weird.
The wire gracefully draped across the side is obviously for the tail lights. Obviously.
What you can't see is that it has the original hubcaps with the word "Aristocrat" embossed on it.  It actually has two of them.
What's behind Door #2?  The door on the right (with the mirror) lead to the bathroom...which has a working toilet and shower.  
3. Rip up nasty pink(!) carpeting.
4. Remove old curtains.
5. Toss out foam cushions.
Are you as excited as I am about the avocado appliances?  I sort of don't hate them.  We'll see if I can talk Steve around.  If not...
6. Paint appliances.
This is the dinette area.  I plan on making this a fixed bed...
...after removing curtains and cushions (see #4 and #5)
There's actually quite a bit more that we may or may not take on - depending on whether we decide to keep this trailer:
  1. New flooring.
  2. Tear out vanity (that's the little sink under the back window.
  3. Take out furnace (it's below the refrigerator), and move fridge down to floor level...which would mean also putting in a new counter top.
  4. New back splash.
  5. Do something about/to the ugly paneling.
  6. New exterior paint.
  7. etc, etc, etc...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Henry and Grass and Waffles

I was actually trying to get a good picture that included Henry and my newly painted bench.
Henry was not interested in the bench. At all.

He was interested in grass.

And then along came Waffles (that's what we call the neighborhood cat).

Waffles is a friendly cat, and not averse to a little flirting.

Waffles rubbing his (or maybe her?) head on Henry's hand.

Goodbye, Waffles.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hola, Elder

It's been a while since I've posted one of Alex's letters. Here's an excerpt from his latest, plus a video clip that was sent to me from a ward member earlier in the week. Don't skip the last paragraph...it's vintage Alex.

Dear Family,
The video that that guy sent you (or at least mom) was of me eating balut, a Philipino delicacy. Basically, it's a duck fetus hardboiled for an hour. It tastes better than it sounds (though that might not be saying much). I hear that in the Philipines they have ones that are almost born, though in America (fortunately) you can only really get ones that are 1 to 3 days old.
The Mother's Day call will have to be after church for us. We get home from church around 1 o'clock, so that's when the call will happen....
...The other person we found was a really nice former investigator, B******. He's receptive, but not to the point of wanting to get baptized. Pressure from his family might have something to do with it. Regardless, that shouldn't be nothing that good fellowship can't fix (And I beheld a triple negative arise from the sea, yea, even one with three crowns and ten thorns, each having names of bad grammar and confusion, yea, even the name of satin and its rouge angles).
so yeah...
Elder West

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Taking it to 11.


I got a call yesterday - someone asking me to sub in Primary.

I think I've got the 5 year olds.  The lesson is about the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Made these mini "comforters" from scraps of fabric - then I added a  little pocket to them.

Question: What should I put in the pockets?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Double Glazed Lemon Snaps

Notice the classy hem on the tablecloth? No?  Then you're just not looking hard enough.
The fiasco of the lemon meringues left me with a bit of a hole in the menu.  Lucky for me I live in the golden age of technology. And by that, I mean Pinterest.

I found a lovely recipe for glazed lemon cookies that didn't require me to make a trip to the store.  I followed the recipe pretty closely except that I reduced the salt to 1/4 teaspoon (didn't miss the other 1/4 teaspoon).

When it came to glazing the cookies, I simply dipped them in the glaze and then placed them on a wire rack.  I ended up with twice as much glaze as I needed - so instead of throwing it away, I dropped an extra dollop on top of each cookie.  The extra glaze made these cookies extra amazing.
Extra glaze = extra yum.