Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You didn't think it would be something else....


That's probably what you think when you think about catching swine flu. Today the doctor told me I had this. Although, I know it will soon be over, due to my Husband's waining interest in being a waitress, maid, masseuse, and cook. He's done a great job and like all great wives I've kept a tally in my head of everything he did. This way when he gets sick I know exactly how much I'm in for. That's how it works around here. Because Rowan is now also sick and scheduled to see the doctor tomorrow. And a person can only deal with so much hacking, coughing, neediness, and medicine before they lose their mind and say "can't it wait I'm trying to watch Seinfeld!"


When I went to see the doctor I was apparently so hideous and grotesque they made me wear this mask. There were children in the room after all. I must have looked like a zombie bag lady because I wore a long brown skirt, a questionably ironed shirt, flip flops (pretty painted toes), and my big Mom purse. I added this mask and my own personal box of Puff's to carry with me. Now you get the picture?

I really didn't want to wear the mask at the grocery store because people stare, but I had to get some hey-it's-really-obvious-I'm-sick food. I got Sprite, crackers, soup, bananas, bread, Tylenol, and a big bottle of Jack Daniels. kidding

I didn't want to wear my mask because of this one lecherous species in the grocery store which we'll call The College Student. I used to be one. But now I'm not. But I'm surrounded by them when I go in this store. All the customers and all the workers are College Students. I'm wondering, "how much beer can these people drink? And it's not even good beer."

So in my evil way I could have turned and coughed all over that yappity chick's Box-O-Wine and ruined her upcoming weekend. But I didn't. So now I get to be The Matyr of the Day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

Originally I wanted to write something for my friend who is sick. I got busy and didn't make it back and now I am sick, too. I wanted to do a self-interview which I have seen on another blog and is fun to read. I will play the part of interviewer and interviewee...

I: I hear you are sick. What do you think you have?

J: I know it's not the flu because I'm in denial. It hurts all over and I have suspicions that I may have been beaten with a stick while I was sleeping.

I: What's the highest fever you have had?

J: 102.7. And I felt like I was starting to have halucinations.

I: Why are you up right now?

J: I slept all day on and off and now I'm awake. I'm beginning to feel sleepy again.

I: Is Jace a good nurse?

J: Yes, he got me almost everything I wanted. He also spent some time talking with me. But I remember him giving me a funny look and saying, "ok, I'm just going to go out here." Something about mixing up the words Tylenol and ice cream.

I: Do you think you'll be sick long?

J: I hope not but it needs to be longer than my friend. I'm playing an "I'm sicker than you" game with her. My next statement will be something like, "I used to be this sick and have to walk 15 miles in the snow through lava."

I: What are your favorite items when you're sick?

J: I have to have either tomato soup or spaghetti-o's with meatballs. I also have to have a thermometer. I'm kind of obsessive about checking my temperature.

I: Do you do anything weird when you're sick?

J: I dress funny. I have my bathrobe on backwards like a Snuggie. I also have a "sick nightgown." I've had it for about a 100 years and I only wear it when I'm sick. It looks like an old cotton granny gown.

This is about all I can muster up for a post today. I just wanted to let you know where I had been. If I don't feel better soon I will have to get some leeches and do blood-letting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I couldn't think up anything more clever for a title. Today is a rainy stay indoors kind of day. A cool front is blowing in and making me say, "This is why I'm not worried about a drought." I took a pic yesterday of the November Watermelon. (that's it's nickname) It has a total of 4 watermelons but looks like 1 for sure and 2 smaller maybe's. It's a happy plant with all the rain.

I took a picture of some bananas...hmm..oh yes, to show what I do with bananas when they start to turn (towards the trash can if I don't stop Jace). I put them in a ziploc and throw them in the freezer. Later we use them in smoothies and use the banana peels on ant bites. Pictures never really do justice to what you're seeing. This...mulch is easily the size of my car. It's fresh from a tree chipper/shredder(?) from a company named Asplundh. This name always makes me laugh and I don't know why. Just sounds funny. Say I'm easily amused.

O.k. so you know the shopping thing...Well, this is a freakin stellar deal I got yesterday. I paid $5.75. There are 21 bottles of polish (18 were free) and 8 jars of peanut butter! Muahahaha! You'd think we were going to go hibernate at a spa for the winter. I'm typing with some sort of frosty pink on my nails right now. And don't wag your finger at me "you don't need all that polish." Well, meany pants I sent some with Jace to his work to give away. And then some will go to the women's shelter. (women's shelters are a Julie Endorsed charity) But the peanut butter stays here. Rowan lives here so we need peanut butter.

I've been digging around some old boxes since we've lived here almost 2 years and still have yet to unpack everything. I found this sign and hung it up today. Jace says, "You should label rooms you don't go in much so you don't forget what they're for." Hardy har har Mr. Funny. I'm going to go put a label on the toilet brush for him since he's probably forgotten what that's for! Hmmpphh!

Recently I have been thinking of ways to reuse things partly because it's the green thing to do but also to see if I can cut down on the amount of trash we're sending out. So my idea for this was to cut it in half length wise and use it for a seedling tray. I also talked to Jace about starting a compost which he thinks is a good idea, what with all the gardening. However, he threw away the first contribution, coffee grounds, this morning. This idea may take a little while to catch on. I still need to research a little. I remember my Dad had one when I was growing up but I didn't pay much attention to it. I just thought it was the gross place in the backyard where Dad threw rotten tomatos. And I'm not sure if this is a great idea for out in the country with deer and...dinosaurs... I don't want to attract too much interesting wildlife.

This is the half final result. I used a pot maker from Craftiness (which she "claims" is not for sale). It makes little seedling pots out of newspaper so they are degradable. My little tray fits 12 perfectly. If I'm not overwatering then I shouldn't have any problems with the tray getting soaked.

The rest of my day today I'm going to sort through junk mail, drink hot chocolate, and put together a decorating idea binder. It's actually starting as a binder for cooking/decorating. I do this because it's fall and my instincts make me nest or "cozy" up the house and look for yummy soup recipes. In the spring I will say, "why do I have so much crap everywhere? It's all going! Garage sale!"

So I'm wishing you all a happy day and I hope you find something to laugh about.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sleepy Sundays

Some days there's only a few little things to write about. It's now considered "Fall." Even though the temperature is still pretty warm we find that we act like it's cooler. Maybe it's just for the want of change. I wonder if people in tropical climates have some sort of inner clock of seasons? For a nice smell of fall I like this Lumberjack soap made by Fleegal Farms. It's an all natural soap made in Austin. It's scented with fir, cedar, cinnamon, anise and sweet birch oils. The ingredients are distilled water, saponified oils of olive, palm kernel, palm , essential oils, and botanical and natural pigments. It smells like the forest!

I was on my way home from the store when I saw a yard sale sign. This is great news because it's the middle of the day and the Cowboys are playing today. This means people aren't out and about. The reason I like going to yard sales is you get to use your imagination. You can see things for what they are...or what they could be. Today's find was an 'i don't know.' Meaning the price was right, I like the color, and could become a variety of things. Would it hold buttons or paperclips? Maybe a candle holder? Soap dish, jewelry, cotton balls, etc, etc. Finally, it became a modest single serving soup bowl. Or in this case chili bowl. This is what I mean by sometimes things become something different or they are what they are. This is a great bowl because I love the color. It's small so I'm not pigging out. And I read the bottom and it's made in China. Who can't love that!

Here is the result. A nice non-pigging out bowl of chili for a great "fall" day.

And finally...for something fun to watch. Tune in to The Guild. It's about the adventures of a group of socially inept online gamers. The episodes are really short, like 4 minutes. Hope you like it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do-Gooder Day...

I have to give a little background so this post will sound very exciting. I visited a woman with cancer and her husband left her because he is a lousy jerk !@##$$%%^^&&*!! Since I do all this strategic (crazy) shopping we have lots to give. So I took her 5 bags of groceries. And now my 7 boxes of waffles will fit in the freezer.

My second stop was this place --->>> The San Marcos Animal Shelter Adoption Center. Fun place to hang around and see puppies and kitties. I had 5 bags of dog food to give them. But that is because my dog is a snob and wouldn't eat this food that his master had so lovingly hunted and killed at Target. Bad dog! People who work in shelters always have a pensive worried look when you first walk in. Their faces really brighten up when you give them free stuff. Animal shelters are a Julie Endorsed shelter. This means the food/money/time you give is probably not fattening up someone else's pocket.

So now that I did allll these good deeds it's time to go shopping! Mon Ami! What is this? It's a penny from God. When I got out of my car there it was just waiting for me. Let's not talk about how it's probably covered with Swine Flu.

This is one of a few great finds today. 26 Ghirardeli chocolate bars ooh la la. They're the big ones, too. Found them clearanced priced for .65ea. AND I had a store coupon for $1 off 2. Which came to a whopping cost of .15ea. And I'm going to share them with my friends. It's all those waffles! I don'have room. At Target I found some stickers and notebooks for 75% off. I did a great deal on some Kid Essential drinks (?). I think these are like 'old geezer Boost' but for kids. It's priced like 8.99. I got 2. I had a $2Target Q, a $5 Q, and Buy One Get One Q. So instead of paying 17.98 I paid $1.99. Hence, the whole story at the top of the post.

And finally since my day was sooo good and God loves me, He gave me this last awesome pic. I was throwing some fish sticks in the oven for a snack and turned around and Bam! Is this not the most perfect/funny picture? I told Best Friend (fish's name), "your days are numbered. see what happened to all your friends?" Oh I just laughed and laughed. is good..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shopping Day!!!

Well, Rowan has done a remarkable recovery. This morning she was playing but still saying, "oh I'm sick. la lalalalala la" So I did what any good parent who wants their child to go to school does...I bribed her. Yep, "if you go to school I'll get you a Dora doll." Worked like a charm. And it's not like they are going to make her do manual labor, it's preschool. So if she felt sick I would go get her. I did feel she was getting out of her routine and it really was the best thing for her. She did make it through the day and came bounding off the bus and she got her Dora doll.

While Rowan was at school doing trigonometry I got to go shopping! For those of you who know me this is a big production. Studying sales and gathering coupons. This is a picture of the view from my cart/tank when I first start. I need a drink and a snack because I'm going to be there awhile. Jace has learned to not ask too many
questions about it. It's not good for his sanity. There's not much to say when I bring home 8 boxes of waffles. Or 21 cans of Pringles. Just go with the flow. I did manage to score a Ni Hao Kai-Lan hot food thermos for half price which made me dance a little. Now I can send Rowan with hot food for lunch on cold days. Another big score was a suit I got for Jace for $21. You read that right..$21 buckaroos. Since he wears suits twice a week this is a great find.

My next stop was second hand shopping. I think I did pretty good today. Got a glass platter, a red Cold Water Creek skirt, new snow mittens, some Easy Spirit cold weather dress shoes, and a wire basket with bees on both sides.

I got the bee basket to use outside as a planter. It has a fine wire mesh that keeps the dirt in. Thought it would add some "character."

Jace says we are getting some mulch next week. Somehow he has finagled a whole truck load of mulch for free, but we have to take the whole truck load. We have plenty of land but it makes me wonder how big the truck is. There might be some extra mulch up for grabs. I'll let ya know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Uninvited Swamp/Snot Monster

This is the most fitting title I could think of. I try to think of something catchy that someone else will look and say, "wow, maybe she got a picture of Bigfoot in her backyard. I better go look." And like all embellished titles it's not nearly what you expected.

Rowan was/is sick. This started...ohh..Sunday evening with coughing. Turned into low grade fever and coughing on Monday. She was supposed to have conscious sedation at the dentist's, who of course refused to do anything since she was sick. This was just great for my husband who had kept her awake into the wee hours because they told him to.

When I came home Monday evening it was a full blown snot fest. She also had the pitiful cracking voice. When I walked in I heard a weak little sound saying, "hi, Blob." This means Hi Mom in stuffed up nose speak.

When Rowan is sick it takes on Dickens' proportion. Kind of like having a Tiny Tim with his little crutch. This is because although she is only 3 she is a great actress. She can even put her hand on her forhead and "swoon."

All of that to say I was supposed to be working on a gazillion other things. Instead, I think I learned the whole theme song for Ni Hao Kai-Lan. I can now cross that off my things-to-accomplish-in-life list. I also worked on my coupons and battle plan for the sales this week.

This evening, after being on a solid diet of Tylenol, Motrin, oatmeal, Zyrtec, and green beans with ketchup, Rowan seems to be coming round and it looks like she will pull through this plague.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and I can get some things done. Otherwise I will be learning another theme song. Or God forbid...I will have to organize something.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Are LAZY...That's right. You heard me. No matter what your job is you aren't working nearly as hard as Dick Proenneke worked.

If you watched the video (I know it's long) then you know I'm right. This guy went into the wilds of Alaska at the age of 51 planning to stay for a year. He ended up staying 30, 3-0, thirty years people. At 51 we'll be looking at our 401k's worrying if we have enough. This guy was off starting a new life.

The reason he stayed for 30 years is because they finally had to come and drag him off, otherwise he would have stayed longer. He's not the only guy who did this to himself either. When we visited Yosemite there was the story of the guy who was the caretaker of the Giant Sequoias. He went out there because his doctor told him he had like 6 months to live. Twenty-five years later he quit giving tours.

This got me thinking. There is obviously some "fountain of youth" mystery going on in the western/northwestern United States. There's one catch: you have to become a forest hermit. This is not as easy as it sounds. Seems that there is a lot of planning involved. I found this site interesting. But mostly you don't want to end up like Alexander Supertramp. Into the Wild is a good movie to watch, too.

So if you are someone who likes to plan for the Apocalypse or becoming a hermit, then you should get ahold of Alone in the Wilderness or watch all the clips. It's a great How-To-Survive video and will make you feel lousy for ever wanting to take naps.

Tomorrow I will go off to work with renewed zeal and will think twice before whining! <--Big Fat Lie!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hole in the Wall...

Today was not going according to plan. Lightning and thunder all night. I thought "well, once Rowan is off to school then I'll go back to bed.." (That's right kids, while you're at school we're sleeping in)

Then...Jace walks in the door. He's supposed to be working all day. Oh God, did he lose his job? No, his computer has a virus and must be taken to the main office. "Julie, don't you want to go with me???" Oh, all right.

Leaving the house I remember is having 90% off today! How can I get a gift certificate that we can use. Think, think, think. Wonder Twin powers activate. Form of cell phone texting. Jace suggests we go to the library and use their computer and print one out there. I'm texting people asking what restaurants are close by. Go through the whole process and get the gift certificate won't print at the library. Why? Because they must have some sort of web of security on their computers so you don't do anything shady, like print out certificates to restaurants. Drat!

I'm still thinking. Just invite someone to lunch and see if they'll print it for me. We'll treat them to lunch and we'll only pay $1 for the certificate. It sounds so perfect if only it will work! Arrggh... Apparently it takes a little while to process the order and we will have to wait. Deflate balloon here.

Well, we couldn't find the restaurant anyway, so we end up here. This is La Casita at 1519 W. Anderson Ln. in Austin, Tx. I had no idea I would be doing a restaurant review today. So here's the pic of the interior. Flourescent orange, blue, and yellow. Comfy seats. Big t.v. playing Spanish club music videos. Requisite neon beer sign. Artwork of Japanese houses, African woman, and Spanish church all hung right next to each other.

This is the "view" from our table. They are really looking out for our safety. You can buy a car for under $3000 across the street "cash." And next door is a Persian rug store.

If you haven't spent your life trying out different TexMex restaurants you might think this is a disaster. But if you have spent your life trying them, then you know this is like the Perfect Storm. All these elements have to come together to create the ever ellusive eatery known as "The Hole In The Wall" restaurant.

You've had these conversations before. "Where did you eat? Oh just some little hole in the wall." "It's just some hole in the wall but they have the best food." And by best food, you mean cholesterol. Your food comes on a plate the size of a hub cap and is nothing but grease, cheese and refried beans.

The food was great. The waitresses were very nice. The bill was typical. And I would eat there again.

Eventually we did find the restaurant we were looking for in the first place, but by then we were talking about how it was nap time and we really should get some sleep before Rowan got home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Best Friend"... This is our newest pet. Jace, thank you IMPULSE SHOPPER, bought this for Rowan. And you know how responsible, not, 3 yr olds are. This is a poor Beta fish that will be sacrificed in some horrible way I'm sure. She has said this is a 'girl' fish and has named it 'Best Friend.' We have encouraged her not to be like Darla from Finding Nemo. I really don't have a lot of hope for this fish. I'll let you know when the funeral is.

This was our big adventure for today. We went to The Natural Gardener in Austin. It's cool that they have all these red wagons to use. I really like how Rowan looks like a little old lady with her purse.

This was my favorite sign. We didn't end up with a puppy or a psychotic kid on espresso.

I bought a salvia plant. I found this large group of salvia at my public library. This is what it should look like in my yard but I only bought one so it won't...Let's see, what else did we buy?? Oh yeah, 3 plumbago, 2 lavender, 2 rosemary, and 1 purple grass thing. We did learn a lot. We'll have a plan for some flower beds. We'll need more plants but I think we'll have to wait for most until next spring. I'd like to try the drip irrigation. Most of all we need to get dirt and decomposing granite. I could also use a gardener because this is hard work!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Jace has figured out that if he says something funny and clever it will probably end up here. It can get quite comical with him "performing" to see if something catches my interest. A little flattering.

Last year we went to the Celtic Festival and had a great time. We were torn between the Celtic Festival and Wurst Fest. We had been to Wurst Fest so we decided to try the Celtic Festival. We had such a good time that we probably won't go to Wurst Fest again. Wurst Fest has an incredibly large number of German people drinking beer, as opposed to an incredibly large number of people of Celtic descent drinking beer. The Wurst Fest has many booths of German food like turkey legs, funnel cakes, and candy apples. The Celtic Festival has many original Celtic foods like turkey legs, funnel cakes, and candy apples. Actually I tried Kettle Corn and it was like eating a box of cereal. It was so YUMMY! I can't wait to go back and get some more. Jace says, "well, kettle corn was a natural staple of the Viking and they used candy apples to sharpen there swords on." (<--funny comment mentioned earlier) The Wurst Fest has great music usually to the beat and sound of "oompa oompa oompa." The Celtic Festival...well, what can I say. I'm a huge fan of Celtic music and Irish, Scottish, etceteraish music. Learning opportunities at Wurst Fest include drinking beer, drinking beer, and drinking beer oompa oompa oompa. At the Celtic Festival they have people walking around in period costumes, like Roman and Gaelic culture. I'm of Germanic descent and learned that Germania was the most feared by Romans because of the people's terrifying nature (is that where I get my temper?) There is also craft/tool making, celtic dancing lessons, battle reenactments, and did I mention Kettle Corn!!! Lastly, they had a very nice number of booths to shop for souvenirs and it pretty much fit into Celtic culture of some sort. (i.e. no ninja swords or pinatas)

So if you get a chance to make a festival this fall, try the Celtic Festival. I'll be there! (I'll be the one with the HUGE bag of Kettle Corn!!!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Great Makeover...This is part of my living room. I've kept it very neutral and haven't had much color because I can't seem to commit to paying a lot of money for patterned curtains and throw pillows that I might not like after one season.

I was looking through the latest issue of All You magazine and fell in love with this room. How can I get this look without shelling out the bucks. One suggested curtain cost $35/panel. This is what I'm talking about. I'm not going to pay $70 for floral curtains and then be sick of them in the spring. And throw pillows are going to run me at least $20 apiece. What to do?

Then this crazy idea dawned on me! I went around the house and found some unused throw pillows that don't match anything in the house. Because this is what happens when you buy throw pillows and then change your style.

I bought 5 yards of fabric. 2 yards were broad cloth (really cheap). Spent $15.58 for all.

I had 2 yards of this material and cut it straight down the middle. I hung on the curtain rod and measured how far down I wanted it to go. My curtains hang down behind the couch and the layout of furniture isn't going to change. I didn't want to waste material that wasn't even going to be seen.

The left over fabric I used to cover the first throw pillow. I didn't quite have enough of one piece and didn't want to cut into the other leftover piece so I used the dark green broad cloth to make a small filler strip which is on the back of the pillow.

I pinned the curtain panels then pinned the throw pillow cover.

For the last two pillows I was going to use the striped material on the front and the broadcloth for the back, thus saving on striped material. I measured length and width of both pillows. I've done this before with pillows and cushions and learned to increase the measurement by 2 inches and the pillow will fit in very easily. I cut out the striped and broadcloth pieces for both pillows and pinned together.

Now everything is cut, pinned, and labeled (so I don't forget what is what). It's only been an hour of time gone by. I only sewed straight stitches on everything.

I finished the curtains and simply pinned over the top of the existing curtains. We don't move the curtains so I'm not worried about the pins coming out. I really like these panels because it creates the effect without being overwhelming. Plus it's removable so when I change my mind... What do you think?

Here's the first throw pillow. On this one I made a simple pillow case and can tuck the ends or pin. The ends are long enough if I wanted to sew it in and close it up. But I have future plans for this cover.

I finished the other two pillows the same way. I like the contrasting patterns but it still fits my organizational (OCD) style. It was getting tricky at this point because you can see the top of a little blonde head in the bottom of the pic.

And here is the final result. It comes complete with Rowan in her newest bathing suit. She has already managed to make herself at home and move all the pillows out of their perfect spots.

I kept the cutting of the material to a minimum because I wanted to keep it in large pieces. Look to see a mixed-pattern dress for Rowan later! Very..Sound of Music and Scarlet O'Hara, eh?

Cash 4 Clunkers!

This is what struck my mind as we were clearing the area of the yard we're working on and getting ALL of Bean's toys out of the way. We call it Bean's Used Car Lot. Does she use any of these? Not really. I can definitely see a couple going into the yard sale we want to have in the fall.

We are still working on the backyard and will be for all of eternity. This may sound like an exageration but until we move it will be a never ending project. This is the latest plant I put in. I was really just showing the shade effect from the rocks. This will end up being more of a 'peek-a-boo' garden. I'd like to get it more towards English garden, but one thing at a time, right?

This is the finished product for yesterday. I had just finished laying the pavers by the bar-b-que and sat down when Jace came outside, pretending not to see the pavers, and said, "now my next job is to get the bar-b-que moved to the other side." Ensuing delerious laughter. He's decided the wall needs to be built at least 18 inches in height. So more rock hunting! But probably not till next week.

This is what the paver pathway is looking like so far. I'm thinking we will fill in with decomposing granite. And one paver I will flip because I just don't like it. C'est la vie! It's a perfectionists life.

I am so excited about doing this project! I'm giving my living room a new look for $15. How fun is that?! It's also the subject of my next blog...See you then!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Not So Secret Garden
Quite a few pictures on this one. We are starting to work on my part of the garden since nothing is happening with the Garden of Angst. My part of the garden consists of me telling Jace, "move that there, no put it back." In the first pic he had pulled out a rock giving me an instant hole to put one of my new plants.
This is Stonehenge with a druid in a purple swimsuit. We're making a rough outline of a raised bed for flowers/vegetables/dead body. Not sure what yet.

This is the plant that went into the insta-hole. This is an Autumn Angel which is an Encore Azalea. The tag that came on the plant has a lady saying, "The best azalea I've ever planted."-Emily Ann. So you know if Emily Ann (who?) says it then it must be true. I'm not the best selector of plants. I figure if the store sells it then it must be good for this area of the country. Not always so. I've had some luck with yellow bells, plumbago and bouganvillea. This is the first azalea and it has lived overnight so it might have a sporting chance.

Uh oh! There's one of those precious rocks that we have to get out of the ground. You never know how big these will be. Used the wench and truck to pull it out. The rock was a couple hundred pounds.

I used the rock in the top left corner of the raised bed. Has a nice flat sitting surface, too. And we also had to fill the hole back in.

This is what I have finished today. I really like this because it creates a little alcove for putting a couple of plants.

And this is the end result. I planted an alyssum and some other ground cover thing (I'm great with plant names). There's also a solar light nestled in. The neat thing about this spot is that the rocks are tall enough to create shade with the angle of the sun. I'm hoping these will do ok.