the season

It has been a very odd season this year.  Usually, I am very traditional when it comes Christmas.  Part of that is my Mom and my Grandmother.  Christmas had things we always did.  As I have gotten older and moved away, I made a lot of my own.  Cookies for everyone.  Lights.

This season has been about bringing family back home.  But it does mean that I have been doing lots of cleaning and organizing.  Not a lot of my normal traditions.  All the cookies got done and the boxes sent out. But the rest of everything, not really.  

I did find time for friends.  And more cookies!  Friends are very important.  There has not been a lot of time for creativity.  My hands have been pretty done so it has been time for simple things.  Bread is rising.  Pasta is resting.  Family is home.  Just one small step at a time.

I just need some sleep!  Still losing that competition.  


I built a bed that has storage!

What can I say but I am very proud of myself.  I built a bed.  A storage bed at that.  Now, I am going to give credit to Ana White

I used her plans up to a point.   They were very straightforward.  I was going to put a different headboard and footboard on this base of the Hadley bed because I wanted the storage but liked those pieces on another of her plans better.  But I was putting this bed within the above loft space.  There was not room for a headboard and footboard!  How disappointing.

Since I was doing this by myself, I had to do some jury rigging to be another pair of hands.  All other hands I would have asked were driving.  The Tall Short Person is here.  I would say moved in but not unpacked.

I was left with most of the lumber precut.  The thought was that if the lumber was precut, I would able to have an easier time with the time constraints I was under.  Not that I cannot run a saw mind you because I ended up having to make more cuts.  The cut list was a bit off and I also cut all the backing for storage out of some quarter inch plywood I had had for another project.  That plywood was well repurposed here because I really did not need all those boxes.

It was then just a matter of me putting everything together.  I used both nails and wood glue while I listened to the last three months of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me pod casts that I have missed.  They made me laugh which was a good thing.  

It just took time and patience.  I wore myself out two days running.  Make myself sick worn out but I have not really mentioned that to my here family.  They do not really read the blog so it will not be noticed.  My away family does read the blog so all of you shush!  I got the job done.

I did run out of 2 inch finishing nails before the bed was all put together.  I had a box of 1 1/2 inch finishing nails.  I used to use these nails all the time when I was small.  I do not remember them being this fragile to a hammer.  I must have bent six.  And my hammer's handle was split so I could not really get the leverage to pull them out.  I had use a hacksaw.  It was a bummer.

Once it was done, I covered it with a colored poly.  If I had more time, even though some of the trim had been purchased primed, I would have sanded much more.  The time constraint got in the way.  The poly dried in time for me to put the mattress and linens on the bed before my Beloved and the Tall Short Person walked through the door from their cross country drive from Oregon.  That was the goal and I made it.

I would do this again.  I will probably never buy another bed frame.  To move this one, may take a chainsaw to cut it out of this space but I know how to run one of those as well.  I have an old box that my Dad built before I was born.  I wanted a dollhouse so bad for my doll Sara when I was small I drew on the insides to make it one.  It may become a step.  I have no problems getting out of this bed but I do feel a step would make it easier getting in.  For Koda Bear too.

The next build is a co-sleeper or cradle for when Ziggy Monster is here in about a month.  I had a friend as if I sleep.  I starting to wonder.


it has been started!

At Thanksgiving, I made everyone stop at Tolt Yarn in Carnation, WA.  The Tall Short Person saw a picture of the Emma Shrug created by Carrie Bostwick Hoge and liked it.  I had her go pick out some soft yarn, because what the shrug was knitted in was not soft, and I started it.

I have to admit I am going more for feel then actual recreation.  The yarns are so different.  Knitting and crochet are so different.  This is all I can do.  I may end up making two more for another Faeire and an Alien in my life.  The Alien's may be made out of yarn that I spin.  The other Faeire may actually have the same yarn as this one.

After tomorrow morning, I will have solitude for an indeterminate amount of time.  I would have much more solitude if the library delivered.  If the library delivered, I might actually do grocery delivery as well.  Especially this time of year.  Crazies.  Lost.  And one of the library systems is have a five day weekend.  I will be dramatic and put my head to my forehead.  Catastrophe.

I am going to try very hard not to over fill the days but that might be difficult.  I have much I need to do and much I wish to do.  The list is getting longer!  Yes, I am keeping a list for what needs doing so I do not forget something.  Or ask a question.  Currently, one thing off the list is a wonder!


chocolate chip cookies with butter

My cookies and scones are baked.  The packages are mailed.  I am truly at a mndset of I got this step done today.  I am not going to get everything done for Christmas.  I am probably not going to get everything done for the Tall Short Person and Koda Bear moving in before they get here. 

As long as everyone has a place to sleep, I think we can go forward.  My Beloved purchased the wood to build the bed yesterday.  I am going to put an email together for hm shortly with the cut lengths.  That way the pieces may be cut before he leaves to drive the Tall Short Person back.  I will not have to go looking for a saw then.  I will just need the screw gun and a hammer.  I also will need to decide what color this bed should be.  I did not even think I would need to decide that.

I have had a friend ask if I sleep.  I also had a friend ask if the corporation I am working at has swallowed me.  I am not getting as much sleep as I would like because sleep is a competitive sport and I am losing.  I added the corporate contract gig but did not remove anything that I had started after the last time I left.  I never feel like there are enough hours in the day for what I wish to do.  I really feel like there are not enough hours now.  But it is still one task at a time.  

I chose not to stop doing anything that I enjoy or makes me happy.  And after the first of the year, I get to learn more building.  A truck cabin is going to be built on the back of my truck for mobile sharpening.  I am hoping that just maybe it could be flexible enough with a good deep clean, that I could use it for camping as well.  That shoulder style camping where a place out of the wind and rain is a good thing.

Now, cookies.  My Dad always like his chocolate chip cookies made with vegetable shortening because it makes them soft.  Me, I like butter because shortening!  The flavor is just better.  After the success with the molasses cookies I decided to give it a try.  He may say these are not right but they are awfully good.

chocolate chip cookies with butter

Note:  The starting point of these cookies were Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies.  My favorite.

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon water

2 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda (I may be decreasing this measure as I use this recipe)

1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Cream the butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and water together in a medium bowl  until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs.  Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix in the chocolate chips.  I like chocolate chip cookies that are not too chippy so I usually go with a smaller portion of chips.

Onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silpat, drop spoonfuls of dough.  Or you can make them into one inch balls if you wish a more uniform shape.  

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden but use your own taste for how gooey you wish them.

They turned out well.  I probably will tweak because that is what I do but maybe not too much.


molasses crinkles with butter

It has been a crazy couple weeks.  I tried to add the office job in to the rest of my life.  Which means that I have not been here as much as I try to do.  I had a friend who asked if the corporation swallowed me.  It does feel like that a bit.  There seems to be a lot of loneliness there.  And social skill need work.  There are graceful ways to end conversations.  

Koda Bear is coming back so the house is being rearranged.  Which actually stresses me out.  I would rather sell or throw out then rearrange.  But that is not going to happen currently.  Though I did realize my fiber addiction might be a bit out of control.

Last Christmas, I was not pleased with all the cookies I made.  Mostly it was do to with the butter.  It just works differently.  I played with the cookies a bit this year because I wanted the cookies to be puffier.  Not thin sugar circles.  Though the sugar circles are lovely to eat.  Just not puffy.

I figured out both the molasses and chocolate chip cookies.  I need to write down the recipes here.

molasses crinkles with butter

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cloves

3 1/2 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Mix in the eggs and molasses.  Sift in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and flour if you wish.  Mix.  If you have time, refrigerate over night.  Then, do not turn on the oven.

When you are ready to bake, cover baking sheets with parchment or silicon mat.  Roll the dough into balls that are about an inch across.  Dredge in sugar.  Place a bit two inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set.

Puffy, not spread, cookies.  Yum!  Very good with tea.