Monday, December 31, 2007
They only publish the names of those who passed. In this case, we're talking 27,000 applicants. That's thousands, folks.
My daughter got a 90!!!
And her rank was just a bit under 3400. I'm terrible at math, but that surely puts her close to the top 10%!
Now, they take students into the police academy here every six months. There are other tests that have to be taken, which will narrow the playing field. And Katherine does have to work on her weight issues. She says this is great motivation! I can see her in the academy in about a year, maybe 2.
Oh, and for the record...the next police exam isn't until 2011!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Still, I did pick up a few things. CVS and Target are both at 75% off here. I had been collecting snowman plates, etc. for Christmas Eve. I had one serving bowl, but I bought another one for about 1.50. You can never have enough bowls. I had a surfeit of wrapping paper for several years now, also bought on clearance, but noticed this year that I've almost used up my stash. Tonight, I bought a big box of paper, ribbon, bows, etc. for less than $4. It's supposed to wrap 30 gifts, but I guess that depends.
Regarding gift wrap, try to find some that is 'non-Christmasy' to use through the year. Don't forget that red is great for Valentine's & Fourth of July and Green is perfect for St. Pat's or the background of any spring or summer-themed package.
I picked up some fabric ribbon for $3-ish. The colors are various and so are the widths, so this will go into my sewing supplies. This particular package had 5 spools. If you sew, or make hair ribbons for a little girl, it's a great buy.
I would recommend checking Target for some nice ornaments to put away for a wedding shower gift. My mother used to give sets of ornaments, and they were always appreciated. Most of us remember having 'Charlie Brown' trees as newlyweds because ornaments are expensive, and the last thing you're thinking about when first married.
I bought a set of fabric-lined, nesting baskets. They are white wicker and the fabric is red, green and white striped. I'm using them for sewing storage in my office...which I have been rearranging this week. But that's a whole 'nuther post.
Enjoy the rest of 2007! And if you figure out where it went... let me know!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
See, I really did finish it. Which is good, 'cause it's been hanging in my closet forever. Well, maybe for six months or so. As you can see, I'm wearing it with a lacy t-shirt. It is my own design from an altered pattern, as you already know. Which means I'll never make anything like it again, LOL!
When I say I altered the pattern, btw, I mean from a design standpoint, not structurally. That is very, very easy to do. Easy or not, I'm glad I'm done with it.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
BTW, I did finish the green blouse, which I wore Christmas day. I'll post about that on a future date.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Mom2fur's family made a dream come true!
They gave me an HP Pavilion Laptop Computer!!!!!! And a photoprinter to go with it!!!!!
It plays DVDs and does all kinds of cool things. So far, I'm not on the internet (so I'm doing this on my desktop), but my oldest son will help me with that later...after he finishes watching "A Christmas Story."
May all of your Christmas Days be as joyous as mine!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
This might be my Christmas Eve party dress if I can finish it in time. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it is a princess line dress. I find that silhouette very flattering. I think it is a little plain, so I have to figure out what to do with it. I actually have a burgundy-colored velveteen blazer that looks nice over it.
All I have to do is the hems, neckline and zipper. I plan to hand baste the zipper in place today. If I have time, I'll sew it in.
I'm still working on the green blouse. I have the binding pinned around the neckline, so it's just a matter of a few minutes to sew it on. That will be my Christmas Day top, which I wil wear with black pants.
I haven't worn a dress in years. I'm more of a skirt person, if I'm not wearing jeans. But this was so easy to put together. And if I don't do it up too fancy-shmancy, I can wear it to work, too. Being Sorta Frugal, if I'm going to spend money and time making something...I want to get good use out of it!
BTW...is anyone else as NOT ready for Christmas as I am?????
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.
These are my answers:
A. Some of you know this already, but I'm a published author. Back in the 80s and early 90s, I published 12 books in the horror/supernatural genre. About 4 years ago, I published 3 books for a series called "Journey to America." They are aimed at the 9-12 year old reader, and each book is about a child who immigrated here from a different country: Ireland, Poland and Cambodia. Chances are pretty good they are in your local library.
Alas, the market for historical fiction has been replaced by wizards and dragons. I'm not currently working on anything. Oh...and I'm fairly broke. Between taxes and life, I didn't make a lot of money on any of my books. It's pretty hard to be a really successful horror author in the shadow of Stephen King.
B. I have a 'thing' about Vincent D'Onofrio and am a BIG Law & Order: Criminal Intent fan.
C. I hate sports and I hated gym. Totally s*cked at it. I'm not a total klutz but I'm not the very graceful, either. (I can't skate either, Susan.) Back then, you got a grade in gym, not a pass/fail like now. I like today's system better.
D. The first time I saw my future husband (I was 15, he was 17), it was from across the street. He was mowing the lawn and all sweaty with his long hair hanging around his face. I thought, 'yuk.' The only reason my friend pointed him out was because she was hoping to date his best friend. The second time I saw him, which is when I was actually introduced to him, I thought he had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen...and I somehow knew I'd be with him. It was just a gut feeling, but boy, was I right!
E. I am a Beatles fan, Susan--but my tastes really lean towards Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. I love Broadway musicals. I've been a 'Sweeney Todd' fan for years. I can't wait to see the movie, although I doubt Johnny and Helena pull it off as well as the originals, Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury.
F. I bet you sounded darling when you sang "Oh, Holy Night," Susan. My Christmas 'stage' experience was to dress up as an elf when I was in the first grade and hand out goodies in the classroom. I don't remember it much. I just have a feeling I wasn't embarassed by the costume--like I would have been by second or third grade.
G. Even though I'll be 52 in January, I still like chocolate milk and sweet cereals. Bring on the Nesquick and Cocoa Puffs! (But my drink of choice is Folger's with French Vanilla Creamer.)
I'm supposed to tag 7 people, but I'm going to do it the way Susan did it...you wanna play, then TAG! You're IT!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Here is my tip. It's one of those, 'why didn't I do this years ago?' tips. This year, I'm keeping a Christmas Folder!
In it, I have my menus, my shopping lists, craft ideas, recipes and anything else related to Christmas. My food lists are divided into columns: 1. Recipe Name 2. What I have on hand 3. What I need to buy and 4. The status of the recipe (is the dough made? Is something already cut up and ready to cook? Or is it frozen and ready to take out Christmas Eve?)
For gifts, I keep record of what I've bought, what I have already, and what projects I'm making--with notes on what I need to finish.
Everything is in one place. I actually misplaced the darn thing a few days ago, but happily found it exactly where I'd left it--only buried under some circulars.
It's nothing but a green plastic folder left over from school supplies. I'm going to put ideas in there for next year, too. And I'll make notes as to what worked, and what didn't. All I'll have to do then is just put the folder away in one of my Christmas Boxes. (Probably with the Manger, since that's always the first decoration that comes out!)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
If I get reeeaaaalllly ambitious, I'll do a tutorial on it.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Solution to neckline problem: layering. I happen to have a lightweight, rose-colored t-shirt with a wide lace trim around the neck (also a v-neck). It goes perfectly with this.
I've been working on this off and one for ages now, and will be so happy when I finish. I altered it in both design and fit. If I use the basic pattern again, I'm going to add at least an inch around the neckline.
Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!
I mean, Eeyore's my favorite. I can be very mopey like that. Well, it does say 'even if you are a bit slow sometimes.'
My favorite "Sesame Street Character" is Mr. Snuffleupagus. You know...floppy and cuddly. Like Eeyore and Pooh Bear. That's me...floppy and cuddly. I would live in flannel pajamas, if I could.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
1.What is your favorite Christmas carol? "Oh, Holy Night."
2.What is your favorite secular Christmas song? I keep thinking of ones that really aren't secular, like "Carol of the Bells." Hmmmm...I guess ""Winter Wonderland."
3.What is your favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and White Christmas--I couldn't choose one!
4.What is your favorite Christmas memory growing up? Going to New York City with my mom. We'd hit Radio City Music Hall almost every year. Can you imagine--$5 for reserved seats, and we got a movie with the show! Oh, and every bank and department store had some kind of little show or Santa, and you always got something to bring home. And nobody made you pay a fortune for a photograph.
5.Do you shop early or are you a late shopper? Somewhat late, but it isn't my fault. My family isn't all that great about letting me know what they want. It was easier when the kids were little!
6.Is your tree real or artificial? Real
7.Do you still put tinsel on your tree? No. My mother used to lay it on our tree one strand at a time. We kids would just throw handfuls and let them fall where they may. Used to drive mom nuts.
8.Do you read the Christmas story every year on Christmas day? Only when my kids were little.
9.Would you consider yourself to be a Grinch? I'm not as generous as I'd like to be, due to lack of funds. But my heart is as big as the reformed Grinch and I do the best I can...wanna come over for hot chocolate and cookies?
10.Are you more like Scrooge or Father Christmas? When it comes to shopping malls...Scrooge. Bah, humbug to crowds! (I love shopping on line, LOL!) Otherwise, definitely Father Christmas--or can I say, "Mrs. Santa."
11.Do you make homemade gifts for friends and family? Yes. Which you'll know if you read this blog.
12.What was the worst Christmas present you ever received? I can't think of anything. If someone was nice enough to give me something, I appreciated it. Oh...I do have to mention the chestnut roaster for a fireplace that my bil gave us. Much appreciated, since I love chestnuts. Useless...since we don't have a fireplace.
13.What was your favorite Christmas present ever? I'm supposed to choose? The most recent one would be a sapphire and diamond necklace from my husband. A nice set of dishes from my kids. My Kitchenaid stand mixer. A kitten named Nutmeg (who is now a big fat cat).
As a teen...a stereo system from my dad. A heart-shaped ring with a little ruby inside from Mike.
As a little kid...a doll named Honey Claire (my name is Clare, btw) with white hair you could color with Markers.
14.On the average how many presents do you buy for each of your kids? There were more when they were little and you could find things cheap. As big kids, 3 or 4 with a few stocking stuffers.
I tag anyone who wants to play!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The lovely Becka of http://zeahrenaissance.blogspot.com/ made this swag! I bought it from her Etsy shop a while back (for a very reasonable price, I might add!) and now it decorates the top of my stair rail. It measures more than 2 feet across.
I'm hoping to do Etsy--eventually. But if you are looking to support some very nice people (many of them moms!) who make wonderful handcrafts, Etsy is the place to go. Becka's got some nice new things on her blog, so check them out! (And enjoy her blog, too!)
Friday, December 07, 2007
Hey, and don't forget to visit Shereen over at "Waiting for Him" for more Sew Crafty Friday fun!
Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Shannon over there at Rocks in My Dryer has a cool topic for this week's "Works for Me Wednesday." What do you do when you have a headache, the kids and husband are hungry, it's dinnertime--and there are 3 ingredients left in your pantry? There are quite a few fun and interesting solutions over there, so please visit!
Jarred spaghetti sauce
Yeah, this is an Italian house. And my husband makes 'from scratch' sauce that would knock your eyes out. But that's for Sunday. It simmers all day long and is generally loaded with sausage, beef, meatballs, brasciole or any combination of these. Definitely not a last-minute meal!
Another easy one:
Cut up chicken or pork--brown it first, please! Or use leftovers
Gravy a la Alton Brown*
Alton Brown makes the easiest gravy on earth. It wasn't until I saw this on "Good Eats" that I could make gravy. All you need is: 1/2 stick butter (2 oz.)--1/4 Cup flour (2 oz.)--1 can broth (about 2 cups.) See the 2-2-2 theme? Just keep that in mind if you want to double this! Melt the butter. Add the flour and stir with a whisk for 2 minutes or so to make a roux. Dump in the broth and stir until thick. Dump in the meat. Cook about a half hour, maybe less. I rely on my meat thermometer for everything.
Serve over noodles.
Both of these meals assume you either have salad or vegetables in the house!
Now...the real trick to surviving last-minute meals? Prepping ahead! If you bring home ground beef, don't put the package in the fridge. Brown it first, then bag it according to how much your family would need in a recipe. I even add my spices and label the bags (Taco Meat or Chili Meat, for example). The only time I don't brown my g.b. is if I plan to make meatballs with it. Meatballs are more of a production, since I also add freshly ground pork tenderloin to the mix. I make those when I'm ambitious.
If you bring home chicken, clean and trim it! Mike brought me home 2 nice Top Round steaks this week, and I picked up 2 more on the way home from the doctor yesterday. (Half price, btw!) One went into last night's dinner. The others I cut up for stew and chili, then put in the freezer.
Take a tip from Rachel Ray: Prep your fruits and vegetables ahead of time, too. (I don't know why, but I hate the word 'veggies.') Just don't do this with berries, since they'll get moldy.
Believe me, in this past week when I was sick, it was a blessing to take things out of the freezer and have them 85% ready to go! You don't have to prep the moment you get back from the grocery. Hey, I'm a mom--I know you're tired! Just make sure you do the meat within a day or two.
PS--we eat pizza almost every week. And there are nights that mom's line is: "if you can find it and make it yourself, you can eat it." Believe me, much as I like to cook--I don't cook every night!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Speaking of which, my mother is doing much better. I need to call her, when I can talk!
I also have 8,000,000 other things to do. This is a crummy time to get sick.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
LOL...maybe that is why we are still married after 27 years. I do my best to let him sleep at night.