Monday, May 20, 2013

Phoning in the weekend, May 20

Happy Monday, everyone!

It wasn't really the weekend, but last week I went to a conference in Traverse City. It was totally awesome and my brain is full to bursting with library ideas and enthusiasm. My stomach was full to bursting with delicious food (Traverse City, I love you so hard.) I knit the whole way there and a little bit on the way home. And a little bit while I was there. That bulldog is Hilda, a cutie cute English bulldog who hangs out in an awesome store called The Red Ostrich. You should probably go visit her. When I got home, my Aunt surprised me with the yellow tote bag and I hunkered down and did some research and writing on my Grandpa's memoirs. My cousin had a graduation party on Sunday and so we feasted on Lebanese food. Yummmmm..... My grandpa stood by the food line helping (bossing) people with the food. Look at that smile: food, family, and being in charge, all the things he loves! not so different from my grandfather, I've discovered.

Not pictured: hanging out with Evelyn for a bit. Whenever I come over she "makes coffee" for me in her play kitchen which shows that she is as thoughtful and hospitable as she is observant because I usually have a travel mug of coffee with me when she sees me. She tried coffee once (her grandmother gave it to her, not me) and stuck her tongue out for a solid minute saying, "Aaaaaggggggguuuuuuhhhhhheeeee." It's an acquired taste, kiddo.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pinterest Wednesday- Book Declutter

So remember that time I wrote about 100 ways to improve your life in 60 days? Well, I've been working at it in fits and starts. Not everyday, but as I pointed out at the time, I'm the boss. So ha! Take that, The Man! Or whatever.

Anyway, as a move toward greater organization, I decided to rearrange my books. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should tell you this was not a calmly planned initiative. No. Rather it was late on a Friday night and I was bored and sick of sitting down and realized one of my Sherlock Holmes books had been laying horizontally across the top of the other mysteries for far too long and I had an OCD freakout.

So I pulled all my books off the shelves and sorted them into piles. This is toward the beginning or end of the freak out, this is hardly any of the books I have. I've always loved to read and always collected books. I have many, many books. And I love organizing them. There's a reason I work in a library, is what I'm saying. I also love talking to people who love books about how they organize the books in their home. I don't know if I've ever heard two people describe it the same and I love that. It's all about being able to find the books when you want to, there's no right answer. Mine are organized first by genre: poetry, anthropology, art history, crafts, cookbooks, general science, mystery, science fiction/fantasy, women's studies, essays, etc. Then by author's last name and then by title. I have 5 book shelves and I arrange the genres in different areas for different reasons. The cookbooks are on the shelf between the kitchen and the living room, as are the craft books.

But I digress. Basically, you organize your books how you are comfortable organizing them. I have my way, you have yours. No judging.

One advantage to organizing your books late at night is you find books like this and laugh like a loon for far too long because you are tired and wish you hadn't started this big project, but you can't very well stop.

I got everything reorganized and back on the shelf and I even had a small pile of books I was willing to give away. I piled up the books I haven't read and put them by my bed. Then I turned around a saw this:

Ah, that small stack of books that I forgot about that would necessitate massive shifting to put them where they were supposed to go. Isn't that always the way with projects? Why didn't I turn around 20 minutes earlier?! At this point it was about 3 am so I went to bed anyway. Actually I think that stack of books is still sitting on top of a bookshelf.

Oh well, I can't be perfect because then there would be nothing to reorganize!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Phoning in the weekend

 I call this the two headed catnap monster and it was judging me for doing anything with my weekend besides sleeping.

 I realized late in the day on Saturday that I had been walking around with a small double pointed knitting needle sticking out of my hood. That's what you get for leaving the house in a hurry after a marathon of knitting without checking the mirror. (I can't be the only person who stores the extra knitting needle in her hair, can I?)

 On Sunday I took Sgt. Pepper for a run. He peed on everything, chased a rabbit, splashed through puddles and was in doggie heaven.

After my run I was stretching and Evelyn stretched with me. Then there was an interlude of trying to climb on me and sit on my head.
 This is Evelyn asking me, "What are you doing, Auntie Sam?" approximately 12,546 times in a row. No answer would appease, but she did think "climbing trees" and "answering Evie's questions" were pretty funny.

Alden? He's over it. I think he might be too serious for this family he was born into. I did get him to laugh by making a sound that can only be described as "whale-monkey."

Not pictured: not getting to go to Lansing and visit Liz because my car is dying a slow and painful death, good times with old friends, my furnace breaking on a weekend when the temperature dipped below 30 again, and the rain/hail/wind weirdo weather.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! You can thank Liz for this video as the story time at her library was Sunshine and Rainbows and that made me think of this. PLUS Liz and I are going shopping for our 8th Friendaversary tomorrow and we always sing along (quietly and to ourselves, we don't put on a whole routine or anything) to the songs while we shop in thrift stores because the songs are usually awesome oldies and we are awesome (ish) singers. The reaction from the employees and the other shoppers are actually sort of like the people on the bus: some think it's fun and some stare at us like we're weirdos (to be fair, we are). For the record we don't harass anyone the way Leslie harasses Mr. Blue Turtleneck Brown Jacket. Hands to yourself, Leslie!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinterest Wednesday- Laundry Detergent

A while ago, my cousin Natalie and I decided to try our hand at making our own laundry soap. We came across this recipe:

It looked fairly doable and we were in the mood for a project. I cleaned the kitchen and then took a picture of it because my kitchen is never this clean except for right before a project:

Notice the cat tail by the garbage can? Constant cat photobombing could be the title of my memoirs.
And then we were off to Meijer. We found everything we needed for the laundry soap itself in the laundry aisle (imagine that!) and then found containers in the...container aisle? Wherever all the Rubbermaid stuff is.

The first step is to grate the Fels Naptha. The original pinner made some joke about its looking like cheese but not to eat it. It really, really looks like cheese. At this point, I discovered that the smell of Fals Naptha is one of my favorite smells. Saying Fels Naptha is also a pretty good time.
Say it with me now: Fels Naptha (it's not cheese).

After you grate it, you dissolve it into some water on the stove top (for the exact recipe, please click on the first picture) and then add your Borax and Washing Soda. Eventually you pour it into a bucket. A single batch looks a little something like this:

There's more stirring and a lot more water pouring. Note to self: buy a bigger liquid measuring cup. Measuring out one gallon plus six cups of water with a one cup measure is no fun at all.

And here was our finished product! We split one batch between the two of us. I have since used mine up (it took about six weeks of doing laundry everyday) and made another full batch just for me. This is a great recipe. It's super cheap (I think we figured out we spent $8 on our ingredients and from them you can get 3 full batches. After that, you'll need another bar of fels naptha, but that was $1. The washing soda and borax will last for many, many, many batches.) and super, super easy. It's not even that time consuming (especially if you have a larger cup measure than a dinky one cup, I'd imagine). We did not add any essential oils for scent, I've always used unscented laundry soap, but you easily could. I'm still experimenting a bit with how much to use, but a quarter cup usually does well for normal to small loads and for bigger loads I add another quarter cup.

Overall, I am a huge fan of this and intend to keep making and using it!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Phoning in the Weekend, Monday, May 6th

 My amazing and awesome friend Derek brought me this mini-lego librarian lady on Friday! She's so tiny and cute! She lives in my office now, shushing me.

This weekend, Locust Street Crafts rode again for our first craft sale of the season! You'll be able to read all about it here later this week and I've saved most of the pictures for that post.

I try to model my headbands at each sale and I found a new way to tie it that I was particularly pleased with. It was one of those ideas that was either going to be totally stupid and not work at all or work really well. I do not  have fashion instincts to know until I see it. Much like how I have no spacial relations instinct and often end up pouring things into containers much too big or much too small. And by much like that I mean not like that at all.

Sunday was a lazy day. I rode the high of craft sale bliss and worked on a few crafts and ideas for the future. Henry sat in this box and stared at me.

Not pictured: Erica and I getting all goofy from being in the car too long, the hugest margarita ever that I did not manage to finish, the first summer shandy of the year, the episodes of Game of Thones season two that I watched, my awesome run (in the sun! I sweated! I was not cold!), or the cuddle-fest I had with Derek and Jenelle's dog Loki.