Friday, February 15, 2008

I see love in your future...

I made these cute little felt fortune cookies for Valentine's Day. I tried another version that was more involved with sewing, but I didn't have time to put them together, so this is a simple pattern courtesy of Martha. I think they'd be cute for other holidays in other colors too!

I was a bit vexed by Valentine's Day this year. I signed up to bring cookies to Seth's daycare Valentine's party. He doesn't usually attend on Thursdays, but we went together for the afternoon. I was so excited to make homemade sugar cookies that I only make at Valentine's Day! This year I thought to use my little heart cookie cutter so little hands would easily grasp little cookies, and I made them like Oreos with pink icing sandwiched between 2 little hearts so the icing wouldn't get everywhere.

Oh goody! I'm so excited! So I get there, and unbeknownst to me, the kiddos aren't allowed to have homemade treats! Apparently, this is common knowledge to everyone who has kids in school. My excitement turned to disappointment. Where is the logic in feeding the kids sodium-, fat-, and preservative-filled, store-bought crackers and cookies (you know those super-soft, shortening-laden sugar cookies with the frosting that coats the roof of your mouth) rather than my lovingly-made, home-baked goodness??!! I suppose on some small level, part of me can see the reason for the policy around food safety, and at least I was able to share my goodies with the staff. I have to remind myself, too, that these little ones are between 1 and 2 years old...they can't tell the difference between a goldfish cracker and a Cheezit! At any rate, Seth had a good time with his friends at "school."

Lastly, we found a cute little Valentine bear for Seth on our front porch yesterday morning, no doubt courtesy of his surrogate "Renton Grandparents." Seth likes to cuddle with people but not so much with stuffed animals, a blankie, or the like. However, I saw him this morning giving loves to his new little friend. After I snapped this photo, he promptly proceeded to poke Mr. Bear in the eyes before tossing him aside and heading for the kitchen utensil drawer. He's all boy!

February is Quilting Month!

One of my very favorite sites Sew, Mama, Sew! has deemed February Quilting Month. I visit the site every day and check the blog for new posts about the quilt of the day, history lessons and techniques. I was inspired to complete my oldest UFO (Un-Finished Object), and here it is!

I don't even remember what the pattern is called...I started it way back when Mom had the quilt shop. Of course, I see all the little imperfections, but overall I'm happy with it, and it sure feels good to finish it! I love working on new & challenging projects, but I've promised myself that I will finish my basket of UFOs before I start anything new!

Orton Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Friday, February 1, 2008

True Color

You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

So I partially agree with this ultra-scientific analysis :-). I don't think I'm always "ruled more by your head than your heart" since I tend to lean more sentimental sometimes. Maybe that's what "wistful melancholy" means, although I would have perhaps chosen different words since generally I'm a happy, content person. I do love the color brown, though, since it's in my autumn palette. Scrabble, anyone?

What color are you?

Hinckley Tribute courtesy of BYU

Here is a link to a collection of photos remembering President Gordon B. Hinckley and his experiences with BYU over the years. Make sure the sound is turned on so that you can hear his words that are a narrative to the images of our beloved prophet.

Hearing him say, "Do not settle for mediocrity. You can do better than for the sunlight, and be happy" helps me want to "do a little better."

Missing Douglas...

...missing our Douglas-fir, that is. On mornings that Seth and I are home, we always look out the front window and wave to Matt as he is driving away to work, and the other day I was thinking how much I miss our huge, friendly Douglas-fir tree that blew down in the Great Wind Storm of 2006. The night of December 14th, the wind howled with such force that I thought the roof would lift right off the house. The next morning we looked outside to see the aftermath in the neighborhood and saw all 40 feet of our tree lying down right across our lawn and across the driveway. Our gentle giant had uprooted after putting up a fight against the winds.

With so many other homes in the area with trees crashing down on their houses, we were extremely blessed and fortunate that the closest it came to our house was tearing the Christmas lights down from the rain gutters. We (and by "we" I mean Matt and some guys driving around the neighborhood with chainsaws offering to chop wood for $50) spent most of the day whittling away at the branches so we could at least get out of the house. We had lots of lovely fresh swags for Christmas that year!
Ironically, little 2 1/2 month-old Seth slept the best that night than he ever had since being born!

I ran across a book at the library called Tree: A Life Story that details the life of a Douglas-fir, beginning with what happens during a forest fire through its life as a seedling until it matures, dies and becomes a "nurse log" for other vegetation. I learned a few lesser-known facts about our majestic friend.
  • A Douglas-fir is, in fact, not a fir, nor a spruce or a pine. Thus, the hyphenated name. Its scientific name means "false hemlock." The tree's discoverer called it "by far the most majestic spruce I ever beheld in any forest, and one of the largest and longest lived of the giants that flourish throughout the main pine belt."

  • The sun delivers energy to the earth at 215,000,000,000,000,000 calories per second. Most of that falls on desert sands, mountain slopes, the polar ice caps, or our skin. Only 1 percent is used by plants and trees to keep them alive.

Anyway, read the book if you would like to know more, but truthfully by the middle of the book I was skimming through it. Someone with a botanist's vocabulary and passion for all things vegetation would probably get more out of it.

So, we need to plant something in "Ol' Doug's" place. What do you suggest? We already have 3 maples and a cherry tree in the front yard, so preferably a tree that doesn't add to our Autumn leaf-raking marathon. It will be Seth's tree, so we can watch them grow together! From this recent photo, it seems that Seth would like an orange tree, but unfortunately in our climate that's not a viable option.