Home In Disarray

March 29, 2013

Total pancake fail!

Total pancake fail!
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AHHHHH.  So Craig and I have been trying to eat healthier, and as such, have been trying to cut grains and flours out of our diet as much as possible.  Craig’s favorite breakfast is pancakes, which has proven to be a little difficult given the dietary goals we’ve had.  I found a recipe that uses nothing but oats (ground up in a blender) as the thickener which works well most of the time (but not always…).  I was thrilled to find a recipe on pinterest a few weeks ago calling for 3 ingredients.  1 banana, 1 egg, a few blueberries.

Turns out pancakes without flour don’t hold together so well.  Craig claims that the flavor was actually quite good, so we may experiment with a little bit of oatmeal flour added in to see if it helps with rigidity.  As is, totally useless. Since it was such a total disaster, I emailed the photo to www.craftfail.com, and managed to get a post on the blog!
3 ingredient pancake fail
Posted in: Cooking, Food, Misc
March 29, 2013

Creepy animal yard art

Creepy animal yard art
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I went back to Olympia to visit with my mom and cousin last weekend while my mom’s still in town.  Kari (my cousin) recently moved into the house she grew up in and has been working to restore her mom’s gardens to their former glory after renters neglected them.  In doing so, she has unearthed some pretty creepy garden animals.  And I freaking LOVE each and every one of them.  As such, I figured I’d share the photos I snapped with my cell phone of them.

Creepy piglet yard art

Yard art deer fawn

Yard art bear

Mossy Garden Gnome

Posted in: Garden, Landscaping
March 27, 2013

A quick way to tell if you live with a man

A quick way to tell if you live with a man
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You’ve ever gone to the bathroom to find this:

costco pack of toilet paper

In the same bathroom as this:

empty toilet paper roll

Posted in: Misc
March 25, 2013

Spring gardening is finally underway!

Spring gardening is finally underway!
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Holy cow guys – I cannot describe to you just how pleased I am to have the garden growing.  I had some great photos of all the strange stuff I buried under the soil in the raised beds to help make up some bulk, but when I went to pull all the photos from the SD card, Craig had accidentally deleted them.  So blame him for not being able to see photos of my christmas tree and untreated 2x4s that came out of our walls being buried.  Bah Humbug!

Spring Gardening in raised beds

I made the trellis out of scrap 2x4s we had laying around.  I’m really not sure what they’re from, but they’ve been sitting in the garage for well over a year.  One of them was used as a fence when we built the marble coffee table.  Anyway, the 2x4s got lag bolted to the beds and then I screwed in little eye hooks and ran string through them to make a criss-cross shape.  This was experimental when I initially tried it in 2009 and it proved to be such a great plan.  It’s easily removable (in case something gets so skanky and tangled in the trellis that you just want to cut it out and compost everything), but it’s also sturdy and only takes a few minutes to restring.  Additionally, any type of layout you want can be used.  Last year in my tomato bed, I just ran 3 vertical strings and wrapped my indeterminate tomato varieties around them as they grew.

Spring Gardening in raised beds Spring Gardening in raised beds

diy string trellis

Yesterday I got a ton of seeds in the ground.  In this particular bed, the layout is
Peas
Carrots
Carrots
Lettuce
Lettuce
Red Kale
Blue Dwarf Kale

Bush Zucchini will be going in in a few weeks, and when we get that planted, I’m also putting in some vining heirloom summer squash thing that I’m gonna try to grow up the trellis with the peas.

Spring Gardening in raised beds
Spring Gardening in raised beds

A few years ago I used tunnel covers for the first time.  It’s basically just PVC pipes that I jam in the soil (and use the sides of the bed to hold them in place) and then drape sheet plastic over and use plastic springy clip things to hold it on.  I’m comfortable planting things out weeks earlier than I normally would because the plastic helps warm the soil up during the day and retain heat at night.

Spring Gardening in raised beds

A few other things that got planted yesterday in other beds were:
Golden Beets
Red Beets
Spinach
Lettuce
Garlic
Blue Potatoes
Shallots

Spring Gardening in raised beds

We took down a bunch of branches from our madrona tree.  When we moved in, this madrona had been so trained and trimmed and hacked down that it appeared to be a rhodendron.  But with peely bark and no flowers.  Whoever had been maintaining the yard didn’t want it to be an actual tree.  Which was sad, because madronas are gorgeous trees when allowed to grow.  So since we moved in, I’ve been slowly taking out the bottom branches and encouraging it to grow upward.  It’s put on probably 5-10 feet over the last few years, and Craig finally got irritated with how low the branches were hanging over the raised beds, so he went at it with the loppers and limbed it up.

Spring Gardening in raised beds
Spring Gardening in raised beds

And I am aware that I have junk and weeds all over my yard.  We are in desperate need of mulch and a thorough cleanup.

Spring Gardening in raised beds

This long skinny bed isn’t vegetables or even edibles.  It contains dahlias, hops, wisteria, honeysuckle, and tends to re-seed itself in nasturtiums each year.  It’s one of my favorite beds.

Spring Gardening in raised beds
March 13, 2013

Chicken liver knish

Chicken liver knish
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So…. I have this great coworker, her name is Ivana.  She’s a great cook, and also Jewish.  That matters, but we’ll get there in a moment.  We were talking about the flavor of liver some weeks back, as I had never had it.  It seems to be a pretty polarizing flavor, you either love it or hate it, and nobody has been able to effectively describe just what it tastes like while simultaneously having more than one person agree with them.  We surveyed people and everything.  Anyway, since I have thus far avoided knowingly coming into contact with liver, Ivana declared that I really needed to try it, if for nothing else than to have tried it.  With trepidation I agreed.

homemade chicken liver knish

Ivana is my coworker who gave us a jar full of beautiful pickled beets and quail eggs for Christmas (she’s not particularly strict on the whole “not practicing christian holidays” thing).  Anyway, every now and again, she’s brought in other tasty Jewish cuisine.  She gave me some matzah ball soup, and a couple days later, came to work with knish.  The fillings she chose were cheese, and…. you guessed it, CHOPPED LIVER!  So, I tried it. I have to tell you… it was not that bad.  That’s not to say it was great.  I probably wouldn’t go out and order liver, but anything cooked with onions and chicken fat and wrapped in puff pastry can’t be that bad!  So there.  That’s my review of chicken liver knish.  I’ll rate it 2/5.

Posted in: Food
March 7, 2013

To do list for the next week or so

To do list for the next week or so
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Well, I posted my overall to-do list for the house earlier this week.  Here’s my list for the next several days.  They’re things that I think I can probably complete as long as I get to work!

Add more velcro to rug – I’ll have my sewing machine out for the blanket anyway, so this should be quick and easy instead of time consuming.

Stain hutch corner – This’ll only take a few more coats.  Easy peasy

Sew microsuede blanket – I got like 5 yards of microsuede on clearance a few months back.  Since it’s not fluffy, I think it’ll be the ideal dog-hair repelling blanket material.  The plan is just to fold it in half and add a layer of quilt batting in the middle.  Then maybe stitch an argyle type diamond pattern for the quilting.  I’m still not sure on this one.  I’m imagining it’ll only take a couple hours, which means it’ll probably be an all-weekend project.

Cat Scratcher? – Perry keeps eating the cardboard containers that the cardboard cat scratchers come in.  I think I’ll cover one in fabric to see if that helps.  Who knows.

Hang pendants – This shouldn’t take that long, but it’ll be a man project.  Electricity terrifies me.

Finish painting island – I STILL haven’t done this.  It needs another good sanding in some spots, and one more coat.  I am monumentally lazy.

Order doors & drawer fronts – This will take some effective measuring and math.  I will need to consult with Craig, and possibly my father in law to ensure I’m not making any errors.

Hang bookshelves and landing strip shelf – I am excited about this.  A good place to store my cookbooks!  

Finish building 2nd layer of raised beds

Posted in: Decorating, DIY, House, Projects
March 6, 2013

Coftea

Coftea
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My husband, Craig, the Master Chef has created a new recipe.  Here is the transcript:

Craig: I just want to say goodbye and i love you in case i die doing what i am about to do.
Laurel: What are you about to do?  And I love you too.
Craig: I have a brilliant idea. I am taking coffee, and putting a teabag in it. It’ll be coffeetea.
Laurel: Coftea? Sounds interesting.  I hope you the best.
Craig: At first it tastes like tea, and then some bizarre rancid coffee. 

Laurel: Hmmm… I think I’ll stick with normal coffee then.
Craig: Actually… after drinking more of it the bad taste kind of fades away and it tastes like something betwixt coffee and tea!
Laurel: Are you going to post about it on [random forum he’s on]?
Craig: No, this is our secret. You should go try it.

Laurel: When someone else gets here I will. You should do a guest post on my blog about it.
Craig: It would probably not be very exciting.
Laurel: I am pretty excited just hearing about it.  You just generated content.  Take a photo of your coffee and I’ll post it.

So… Without further adieu…. the result of arduous testing…. The recipe you’ve all been waiting for!

Recipe: 1 cup shitty office coffee
1 teabag.
Put coffee in cup and add teabag.  

coffee tea mixture

Nothing but the best for my blog readers.

Update!  Craig tried 2 tea bags in  his coffee this morning and reported feeling “sick” afterwards.  Be warned.

Posted in: Food