I discovered we have a White Lilac Bush right outside my office window!
You can see part of it in the background of this picture.
Lilacs are my absolute favorite.
When we moved in last year, there were no blooms and we just figured it was just a bush. I'm not very good at identifying plant things, and I even suggested that we chop it down because it looked a little raggedy. I'm so glad we didn't! A few days ago, I looked up from my computer and noticed white blooms all over the bush. I pulled back the curtains and squealed with delight! Lilacs! We have lilacs! The smell when I open my window is mahvelous! What a treat!
Excuse me for using too many exclamation points. I got excited all over again.
Here's a sneak-peek at the ripple I'm working on.
Same pattern as the last.
(See prior posts for link to pattern or go to my Ravery Page. The link is in my sidebar.)
The trees came down yesterday...
The two pics above are before they got started.
What's going on out there?
Who's making all that noise?
I felt myself feeling kinda sad for those trees. They've been there forever. The house was built in 1918, and I would imagine they're somewhere around the same age. But they've become a hazard and needed to go. I'm sorry, trees.
We may have a deck built over there in part of that area, but part of that space is reserved for a new master bath addition some day.
I talked to the deck guy I was originally talking to about building our decks and covers. He apologized profusely for not getting back to me sooner, but he's been dealing with the death of his father. The deck will likely not be built until way into the summer or even fall, but we're on the list. I've since called four other contractors, but not a single one returned my call. He said that everybody that does that kind of thing around here is already booked up with jobs through the summer. There are just not that many good contractors to go around way up here in the NE corner of Washington, i.e. nearly-Canada, i.e. no-man's land, i.e. the boonies, i.e. bumf*ck. (I hate people that use "i.e." when they speak, don't you? It's a terrible habit that I hear a lot in my work along with many others.) So anyway, we're adjusting our expectations and we'll wait.
I used the instructions on the back that calls for 3 whole eggs instead of just egg whites. I debated making a layer cake or a 9" x 13". I wanted to keep it simple, so I chose a 9 x 13 pan, but it would work with a layer cake too.
The praline icing is what did it for me. It's FANTASTIC! You could put this icing on a dog turd and it would be good. (Disclaimer: Not really on the dog turd thing. If you make it that way, don't come cryin to me when it doesn't taste right!)
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup milk (can use cream, whole, light, or skim -- it doesn't matter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar
Finely-chopped pecans (I used about 1/2 cup)
Make the cake and let it cool completely on a rack (about an hour).
Place the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan on medium-low heat, then add the brown sugar and milk and let it come to a boil, stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Add the hot mixture to your powdered sugar and mix with your electric mixer until well-combined and smooth. Add a Tbsp of milk if mixture is too thick.
Working quickly so the icing doesn't harden, ice your cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Let cool at room temperature before serving. Store covered at room temperature.
This is a Frozen Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell.
Very refreshing and not too sweet at all.
We stopped in here to see if they could test some soil from our garden area.
The soil around here was toxic years ago after some Canadian company dumped a bunch of crap in the Columbia River. They were heavily fined and were heavily fine again recently for the same thing. Bastards! Why would anyone dump toxic waste into the Columbia River? Why? WHY? The soil was contaminated for a long while, but was given the all-clear not too long away. So we figured better safe than sorry even though we're pretty sure the soil in the existing garden space was hauled in from somewhere else or bought in bags. Anyway, the USDA referred us to the feed store. You take your soil samples there, and they send it off for testing.
Isn't this a pretty blanket?
The pattern is in this book.
I started another afghan yesterday in the same ripple pattern I just used. I'm about 10 rows in. Not sure if I'm loving the colors I chose yet. I'll give you a sneak-peek when I get a little further in.
We're having a heck of a time trying to get someone here to build our deck. The guy I was originally talking to keeps cancelling and delaying his appointments with me, and now he's ignoring my phone calls. Who does that? You'd think people around here that provide services like that would be scrambling to get work. It's just like the guy who eventually built our fence. Delay, cancel, delay, call and make up lies, delay some more, lie some more, don't return phone calls. ARGH! It's maddening. I don't know if we'll ever get our covered deck at this rate. There just aren't that many providers to choose from around here in the boonies. If there were, I'd tell that guy to kiss my big-fat white ass. But I guess I have to be nice. I hate it when that happens. LOL.
Selfies with Sammi...
I was watching TV from my bed, no make-up, in my jammies, and trying to get a cute picture with her. We had a hard time, as you can see. The lights behind me were too bright.
Okay, that's all.
Oh, wait...THANK YOU for all of your messages! I've missed all of you. I just need to toughen up and ignore the jealous, rude, crazy nut-jobs that say terrible things and write mean blog posts about me (and even link to me when they do it). BITCH. Hurt my feelings...never again! Eat shit and die. (But don't eat shit with that praline frosting on it because it might be good!)
Oh my goodness...I never thought I'd crochet an afghan again! I thought my desire and love of crochet had left me for good. But no! That Houndstooth Scarf I made stirred up my passion to crochet again, and off I went. (I named this afghan Naked and Afraid because I binge-watched that show while crocheting most of it. Ha.)
This afghan has been on my "to-do" list for two years. I bought the pattern, and then I saw Kathy862's color scheme on Ravelry and I knew I had to make this afghan some day. I thought the color scheme was so beautiful. I contacted Kathy to make sure she didn't mind that I totally copied her colors, and she said it was fine and she didn't mind at all. Thank you, Kathy, for your inspiration.
I wish the colors showed up as bright as they actually are.
I'll get better ones when I'm finished with it.
Books I'm Reading Now:
It's good, but I'm only a couple of chapters into it.
I'll let you know later if it's a page-turner, can't-put-it-down book.
If you read the reviews, it is.
I hope so.
The other book I just got in the mail yesterday...
I know! I'm OCD on the Golden Girls.
I haven't started this one yet, but it should be fun.
Lots of pictures and behind-the-scenes stuff.
I now have made and hung three hangy-down thing-a-ma-jigs.
All of our seeds have sprouted.
Cauliflower, Red & Green Bell Pepper, Jalapenos, and Tomatoes
My PB&J sandwich while fishing.
Still lots of that going on.
I'm waiting for the deck builder to call me today and come by to give us an estimate. I wish he'd hurry up! I want my porch!
And the guy is coming this week to remove those two big-ass trees too. I'll be glad when that's over. If they do screw up and a tree smashes into my house, I hope it falls directly on the kitchen! Free, brand-new kitchen, anyone? Yes, please! Ha-ha-ha. But I really hope it all goes well. It would be a pain in the ass to have a hole and tree in the house. As old as this house is, the whole damn thing would probably crumble. We do have insurance though...hmm...
I keep being startled awake at night by a loud banging noise. I must be dreaming it because the dogs don't react at all, and they ALWAYS react to noises. The first night it was a loud "BAM!" noise that sounded like it came from upstairs or the roof. Ken checked the roof and upstairs the next day, but there was nothing that could have caused it. Then the night before last it was a loud "BAM!" like someone slammed the bathroom door. Again, nothing from the dogs and nothing found that could have made that noise. I don't know why I would be dreaming such a thing...it's never happened before.
It reminds me of when I was 18 and had just moved into an apartment. I was startled awake at exactly 3:00 a.m. by the sound of gunshots and my neighbors being murdered. The first shot that killed the husband in bed is what woke me up. Then I heard a girl screaming saying, "No! No! No!" and the sound of her running on the metal outside stairs. Then "BAM, BAM, BAM!" ... the sound of her being shot dead at the bottom of the stairs. It was awful and I was so scared until they caught the guy a few days later. Actually, he killed himself after he was surrounded by police in a hotel room in Arkansas.
Oh jeez. I haven't thought of that in years. That was a random and horrible story, huh?
Anyways, I'm a little rattled now that I've been awakened twice by the banging noise. I've had dreams before where a few days later the exact thing I dreamed about actually happened. They are always very short little snippets of dreams -- never long at all, like just a few seconds. They're more like a visions than dreams, but I'm asleep. So I'm really wondering and a little anxious about the tree thing, but it doesn't sound like a tree falling in my dreams. It's just one loud bang that wakes me up.
Sorry. I just started rambling and typing my thoughts. How's about a cute picture then so I don't leave you being a downer...
This is just a quickie. I wanted to get a couple of pictures documented here...
See the two BIG trees there very close to the house?
We're having them removed next week. They are old and one branch already broke off in some high wind and crashed down on our roof. I hope they know what they're doing and don't smash our entire house taking them down. That would SUCK. And it's costing an arm and a leg too. I'd rather that than be peacefully sleeping some night and wake up with a big tree in the house though. Or never wake up at all because it smashed me. It would piss me off to die that way. That would be so me to walk up to the gates to heaven all pissed off about the way I died. "Peter, WTF?" Hahaha!
On a side note, can you believe how green the grass is? It's so weird that it never did turn brown under all the snow. In Texas our grass would go dormant for months and be brown, brown, brown, and look dead, dead, dead in the winter.
We also have a guy coming out to day that's going to build our decks and covers. I hope he can do it soon. I'm so excited about having a porch again. I miss that.