At Mom's

Dec. 24th, 2011 03:16 pm
margotvankapelle: (xmastree)
Boe, Maggie, and I are all at Mom's.  Boe and I have both come down with some sort of upper respiratory infection -- this is just indicative of how my holidays have gone lately.  :-/

Anyhoo, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
margotvankapelle: (holdingroses)
Saturday was a little rough for me emotionally.  I had to get a refund on Boe's layaway gifts because we just can't afford them.  Unfortunately, one is only able to get a refund on one's layaway at the store at which one put the item aside for layaway.  So I had to get a refund at "my" store where they know me.  It was embarrassing on quite a few levels.  And then to boot, because I wasn't able to put much money on the layaway in the first place and because there is a $10 fee to cancel the layaway, I only got $10.25 back.   I came home feeling an awful lot like George Bailey about midway through It's a Wonderful Life.  That kicked-dog feeling. 

Sunday was a little better.  On a suggestion from a gardener on my f-list, I read up on lasagna gardening.  Well, yesterday I dragged Boe out of the house and back to my store, where we got a car-trunk-full of cardboard boxes and expired newspapers.  Today I am making a run to Starbucks and asking for their spent coffee grounds to spread on my garden-to-be.  We have fall's leaves on top of the cardboard  on a 15' x 20' area up against our backyard's levee wall; this will eventually be our garden.  Last year the weeds and random-seeded plants grew out of control, and our dickbag neighbors called neighborhood code enforcement as their first line of action instead of coming over and talking to us.  We got it mowed down, well, kind of, but we'd rather not deal with those neighbors again.  So the garden will help with that.  Sure, it might not be the prettiest thing ever, but it's something the city can't ding us for, it will be a food source for us, and frankly, I plan to can our extras in my spare time this summer in order to give some away as Christmas gifts.  I have sweet corn, popcorn, tomatoes, hot peppers, watermelon, and cucumbers planned; if I have room I'd like to add some sunflowers and some lavender (sunflowers for the birdies, lavender for me).  I might need to make an additional plot for those.  I can get compost for free through Allen County Solid Waste Management (fees only apply to folks dropping off compostable materials).

My aunt has repeatedly told me that I can have as many lilac starts as I want, and Bitz has offered me her volunteer roses of sharon.  I figure if we plant alternating lilacs and roses of sharon in the direction of the dickbag neighbors, it will grow to become a living hedge.  Between the free composting materials, free plant starts, seeds I already have on hand, and stuff acquired through Freecycle and Craigslist, this year's landscaping should run me less than $20 total.

Dang.  If this turns out to be a success, once we're financially stable we might need to purchase a pickup truck, lol.

Busy day

Dec. 14th, 2011 12:15 pm
margotvankapelle: (xmastree)
Today I have a doctor's appointment (plus vaccinations, oh I can hardly wait! /sarcasm), more of the spiced pecans and almonds to do up, and napkins to make so that Boe can ship my sister's family Christmas presents tomorrow.  Then at 7 tonight, Boe and I are going to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a free chamber-orchestra Christmas concert.  I'm petty stoked about that, as I rarely get to hear live classical and/or Christmas music these days.

Harrumph.

Dec. 9th, 2011 11:14 pm
margotvankapelle: (marie antoinette grumpy)
I managed to burn the first batch of almonds.  Dammit.  They are stuck to the pan with concrete-like overcarmelized glaze.  This is gonna be a hoot to try to clean this pan. :-/

However, the second batch turned out okay.  Not as good as the pecans, but okay.  So it's salvageable.
margotvankapelle: (cake)
...so today Boe and I cleaned the downstairs of the house and got started on the gifties we're giving each family for my mom's extended familial Christmas party tomorrow.  I tweaked the pecans recipe by increasing the white sugar to 3/4 cup and added 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  I also doubled the cinnamon.

Good God these are amazing.

I can hardly wait to see how the almonds turn out!  <3 <3 <3
margotvankapelle: (housekeeper from hell)
I'm doing a test run for the Christmas pecans I'm making for this weekend.  Recipe is here; I added a splash of vanilla extract, a 1/2 tsp of cardamom, a tiny pinch of galingale, a mere dusting of nutmeg (my mom's not real fond of nutmeg or cloves; naturally, I like both), and subbed brown sugar for white.

The house smells AMAZING. 

ETA:  The cardamom overtook the cinnamon just a hair, and they weren't quite as sweet as I'd like.  Hm, I think I'm going to add a 1/4 cup of white sugar to bring the total sugar to 3/4 cup, knock the cardamom down to 1/4 tsp, and try it a bit differently tomorrow.  They are tasty though; Boe will like them because they aren't quite so sweet as the ones I remember from various festivals in the region.  Hm, I wonder if adding a little bit of honey might do the trick instead of the 1/4 cup white sugar...thoughts?

Ouch.

Dec. 6th, 2011 12:50 am
margotvankapelle: (ooooooo)
I think I've been knitting just a little too much; my right forearm feels like it's on fire and my hands are cramping.  Time to put the kniting away for the evening, I think.

I have 10 dishcloths done in taupe and cream cotton twist, 4 in "Buttercream", and I have just started in on the planned knitted wool hot pads.  The wool yarn I'm using is Lion Brand Fisherman's Yarn in natural cream color.  I plan to make the future hot pads dishtowel-sized before felting in order to avoid itty-bitty useless things once felted.
margotvankapelle: (housekeeper from hell)
Been knitting like a fiend, and I have 16 washcloths done up.  Time to move on to the hot pads -- first I ahve to nit them, then I get to felt them!  Woohoo!
margotvankapelle: (SEWALLTHETHINGS! by tonyadmay)
Here's the game plan for Christmas On The Cheap(tm):

Each of the families (Dad and Bitz, Mom, Melanie et al., and Brett et al.) is going to get a little basket of household goodies, consisting of:

1. Set of 6 napkins, folded and displayed with...
2. Wire-wrapped and beaded napkin rings
3.  Set of 4 knitted cotton dishcloths
4.  Set of 3 knitted and felted woolen hot pads/trivets
5.  Packages of German roasted pecans and almonds
6.  Homemade dog biscuits for the families with dogs
7.  Catnip-filled fleece toys for the families with cats

The whole shebang should cost me less than $50.  For 4 families, that's pretty damned good. 

I also have a scarf knitted in seed stitch for Mom (her favorite stitch), a pair of really cute earrings for Lennie (the super awesome niece of amazingness), a cross-stitch of a cat that looks just like her cat Mittens for Lennie, and a pair of earrings for Melanie.

I was able to score Melanie's earrings for free through Swagbucks , the yarn for Mom's scarf was a gift, and I can use my employee discount for everything else except for the wool yarn I need for the hot pads. That I'll have to get from Michael's or Joann's, although Michael's will be easier for me as far as convenience goes. 

Our girl Melmel (who just got her first tattoo this week!) is getting a new phone, courtesy of a contract extension that we'll be signing.  I'm also going to go through my collection of romance novels and send some to her, as she has recently become a fan and by God I am glad she's getting over her Twilight obsession.

And now for the only Christmas splurge this year -- I have a Garmin GPS on layaway for Boe...shhhhh, don't tell him!
margotvankapelle: (ooooooo)

I was feeling kinda down about being totally broke, so I went online a couple of nights ago and ordered us new phones from Verizon...my choice was the LG Cosmo Touch, which were offered on Verizon's website for free.  Yay!  It's a really nice phone with everything that I wanted on it, but since it's not a smartphone, it doesn't require the 30-bucks-a-month data package.  I'm pretty pleased with it.  Boe was totally surprised, too!

As soon as I finish Bluetoothing my pictures from my old phone (LG ENV2, if anyone cares) to the new one, I'm going to bed.  Tomorrow, er, today is the first day of six in a row to work.

In other news, I've signed up at a couple of paid/reward points sites.  One is Inbox Dollars, and one is Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is the reward point one, and I'd like to earn enough points to get gift cards for family for Christmas.  Then I don't have to stress so hard at the end of the year to stretch our meager budget for presents.  Shoot, if I earn enough points (I'm already at 447 for 1 week of messing around), I might just "buy" myself an Amazon.com gift card and purchase gifts that way.
margotvankapelle: (knitting)
Thursday was my last free day until at least Tuesday the 29th. I got precisely nothing done. Friday, on the other hand, was dedicated to helping cubsfan57 pack her and her husband Brian-sans-LJ's house for their move on Tuesday. Friday night we all went out to Mad Anthony's brewpub, where I discovered that there is, in fact, a beer out there that I will happily drink...their Raspberry Wheat Ale. Quite tasty! They spent the night with us Friday night.

Saturday, I got up rather early to head out on the road to Mom's house in Columbus, OH. The drive was lovely, and spending time with Mom is always nice. I did a metric buttload of cooking and made sure Mom wound up at least half of the stuff I cooked. Mom is not precisely a gourmand, to put it delicately. She will usually make herself a casserole and then eat from that for a solid week. Same with coffee...she'll make herself a single 12-cup pot on Monday, then drink from that every morning for a week. Yeah. So I wanted to make sure she had quite a few meals to provide some variety, because otherwise she will not do it for herself.

I spent a lot of time knitting and the rest of the time I spent making gifts for the Mom's family Christmas party...Mom's family Christmas party usually includes bingo, and I've been making beaded necklaces and bracelets as prizes. I'll also get some knitted washcloths and that sort of thing made for it too. I might not have much cash, but I'm decent with my hands, so my contribution will have more time spent than money.

The drive back this afternoon was pretty good. I'm glad to be home. Gotta go, Boe's mauling me...
margotvankapelle: (kitten)
 Boe and I are having a lovely, if quiet, Christmas at my mother's house in Columbus, OH.  Gifts were small but heartfelt, Maggie is with us, and Mom has wifi.  Life is good.

I hope everyone on my f-list is enjoying a wonderful holiday season.

Our New Year's Eve plans are as follows:  We're going to J.K. O'Donnell's with whichever friends are able and willing to go (looking at you, [livejournal.com profile] cubsfan57 ) to enjoy ourselves.  And on New Year's Day, well, I'm scheduled to work 10 AM to 7, so chances are pretty good I'll be drinking lots of Gatorade at work that day...

Love you all.

Quiet.

Nov. 30th, 2010 05:06 pm
margotvankapelle: (corsetscissors)
Been trudging through life.  We're broke as hell, still, but I only have 2 more weeks of classes and that will be done for the semester.  Boe's getting his substitute's license back up to scratch so we have money coming in as soon as Christmas break is over and while he puts applications in with any educational facilities for which he qualifies.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving, and spent the rest of the long weekend cleaning out the Tornado Room and working on projects.  I am 3/4 done with Mom's Christmas gift, done with my Adrian gift exchange person's present, 1/2 done with a gift for a close cousin, and have not yet started my niece's Christmas gift (but hers can wait til I have most of the others out of the way).

Still here, still breathing.  Just doing what I can to deal, you know?

So.

Oct. 5th, 2010 02:36 pm
margotvankapelle: (SEWALLTHETHINGS! by tonyadmay)
Algebra test is done, I think I passed, but not with very high marks. I think I figured out why I dislike algebra so very very much.

I'm a language person, as anyone who knows me for longer than 30 seconds could tell you. I know mathematics is just another foreign language, but it's one that doesn't seem to have any cognates in English -- different "alphabet", different rules for language and grammar, different internal logic and structure. There's nothing familiar that I can point to like I can with, say, a French/English cognate, and say, "There! I *know* this, because it's the same/similar to something that I already know" and use that cognate to kind of guide me along the edges of unknown information. The language of mathematics is one that I don't know, can't translate, and not knowing something and *realizing* that I don't know it makes me feel exceedingly stupid. I despise feeling stupid. As I was told once by someone I looked up to, "If you're not pretty, you'll have to get by on smarts." That's been pretty well internalized for quite some time now, as I don't feel pretty and never have (don't worry about complimenting, I wasn't fishing). So feeling stupid completely invalidates me, Krista, the one who has built most of her self-esteem on brains and the ability to use the aforementioned brains constructively.

So that's why I hate algebra.

In other news, I have begun the necessary prep work for creating Christmas presents. I got some super-seekrit measurements for some super-seekrit projects, purchased some necessary items for more presents, and have otherwise been a busy little reenactor-type.

And I'm hungry, so I am thinking that it might be a good idea to actually *eat* something instead of just getting a cup of coffee to supplement other other cup of coffee (aka breakfast) I had earlier.

Hackhack

Sep. 30th, 2010 12:11 pm
margotvankapelle: (tea)
Oh look, it's my yearly bout of bronchitis!

Oh well, at least I'm not running a fever this year, and I'm almost over it already.

In other news, I have an announcement for all y'all: Any Christmas presents that come from me are going to be handmade. If you don't like handmade stuff, tough. (My sister's broke, I'm broke, and my brother's trying to pay down debt like crazy -- we all thought, "Hey, handmade gifts in the family gift exchange would be cheap and creative!" Well, the parentals (Dad and Bitz) shot that idea down...I guess they want us all to spend money that none of us has. :-/ Hence my announcement -- I've already decided that too bad, so sad, everyone's getting handmade items this year and anyone who has an issue with that can go jumping into a shark tank wearing Lady GaGa's meat dress. So there.)
margotvankapelle: (girlwithstars)
We spent the day yesterday with my family. It was actually fairly low-key for my stepmom (who normally worships at the Shrine of Saint Martha Stewart) and therefore it was pretty low-key for everyone.

Today we're going to go see The Tale of Despereaux with Elena. Miss Len was very excited to spend time with her Aunt Krista and Uncle Boe. She really wants to meet Frank, Odin, and Fagan and see my house.

Brett and Faye are planning a January 1, 2010 wedding, so things are getting exciting on that front as well. They're so cute together it almost hurts.

The boys enjoyed their Christmas shrimp, and Maggie had some roast beef -- both gifts from the family. :-)
margotvankapelle: (kittysurprise)
I am at work, on my lunch break.

At 7, I get off of work, go home, walk Maggie, wake Boe up, and unwrap gifties.

By 10 Am, I will be in bed. At 7 PM I'll get up and spend some time with Boe until I go to work again at 10.

I hate this job.

In other news, here's what I got Boe for Christmas:
A bottle of Driven cologne
The Kung-Fu Panda 2 DVD set
A pocket watch
A fleece blanket I made myself
A hoodie with The Punisher logo all over it
and a bike.

It doesn't look like much, but they're all things I know he'll love. I try to make him at least 1 gift at Christmas, and I try to give him one *big* item and several smaller ones. And although he and I agreed that we're not getting each other clothing for Christmas, the Punisher hoodie is something he's petted every time we go to WalMart lately, so this'll be something he forgives me for. :-)

Maggie is getting bacon treats and a new rope bone, and the boys are getting toy mice and some catnip, in addition to an extra can of gooshyfood.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Stay safe and sane throughout the festivities!
margotvankapelle: (kittysurprise)
I got up at 3 this morning and wrapped Boe's gifts. They look lovely under our tree.

Maggie went to the groomer's yesterday and smells like sugar cookies instead of wet dog. It's a nice change of pace. She's asleep right next to me now.

Boe very kindly cleaned the kitchen and living room yesterday while I slept. It looks awfully nice. He's also been doing laundry.

So that's the latest and greatest from our place this Christmas Eve.
margotvankapelle: (kittysurprise)
I have not been able to have any sort of Christmas spirit this season.

Meh.

Finally!

Dec. 13th, 2008 10:03 am
margotvankapelle: (kittysurprise)
We just put the tree up -- we're using non-glass ornaments this year because we don't know how Maggie will react to a tree in the house.

Later today Boe and I are going to my Mom's family's Christmas party. It should go well. I still need to pick up gifts for the Christmas exchange at Mom's next week.

Tomorrow is the Adrian Christmas event. Boe and I will be working on presents later today before seeing Mom.

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