Friday, May 31, 2013

Did a bad, bad thing

OK not bad exactly, but silly and perhaps a little foolish.

I bought the cats a special pet bed. Actually it's a dog bed but don't tell them that. The reason it's silly and foolish is that cats sleep where they want to sleep. Forget your special bed, they like cardboard flat on the ground, a folded blanket, a piece of paper, any small, contained space -- well you get the picture.

But all three have cycled through this dog cat bed and seem to like it. I will say it's incredibly soft, and also machine washable which is a huge bonus in this house. That's partly how we control the fur, by washing and drying pretty much everything.

Don't be fooled by that open eye.
He's totally down for the count.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You say potato

Normally, I'd put a post like this on my son's food blog but he's got strict rules about including a picture of the food plated and ready to eat. We neglected to take that picture so instead, I'll just post about this recipe here.

When we were in Honolulu, we had dinner at Morimoto's (which I am only just now realizing I never wrote about). I had some salt-roasted fingerling potatoes that were incredibly tender and flavorful and had zero fat.

I love potatoes but tend to drown them in butter so I was intrigued by these salt-roasted potatoes. A quick Google search turned up several recipes so I got some boxes of kosher salt, a bag of fingerling potatoes and Tuesday evening, Kent made a batch.

He used an entire box of salt to cover the potatoes in this baking dish, and sprinkled water on top and stirred the salt until it made a gritty paste. He baked them at 400F for about 30 minutes and let them cool while I did the salmon.

I wish I'd taken a picture of him getting the potatoes out of the pan because the salt was a solid block and had picked up some of the purple color of the two purple potatoes in the mix. I'll do that next time maybe.

Our version of the potatoes were as good as those I'd had in Honolulu. We've found a lot of other salt roasting recipes so I am pretty sure we aren't done buying lots of boxes of salt. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So many bags

I have been on a sewing tear lately, but not clothing. Instead I've been making bags and most of them are gifts for others.

First up is a bag for Fiona and family. She's pregnant with their first child, a boy, so I made her a bag that can be used as a diaper bag but doesn't really look like one. Kent was invaluable in making this bag because how the pattern pieces got placed on the fabric really made everything come together well. I left that in his very capable hands. I also made some bibs, burp clothes and a terrycloth towel/blanket.

Outside fabric is all from the same piece of cloth

The green in these items does go with the green in the bag;
you just can't tell that very well from this photo

Next, I made a bag for my manager, who is leaving by the end of June (and sooner if her replacement can be found). She's been an amazing manager, the best in my entire career and I will miss her dreadfully. This picture doesn't really do the bag justice because in real life, this is probably the cutest bag I've ever made.

 And finally, I made this one just because I had enough of both materials and felt like it. The interior material is actually remnants from cloth Kent is using to make a shirt. What can I say, the man loves large, one-way plaids. While I love the look of the fabric on the inside, getting that huge one-way plaid to match about made my head explode.

The top is tucked down so you can see the lining fabric

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A new rug

We broke down and got a rug for our dining room last week. We wanted just a bit more color and texture in the room and this looks to do the trick:

Now it's clear I need to recover
or dye the seat cushions

Monday, May 27, 2013

A neat trick

If you work out and wear so-called technical gear (you know, wicking fabric that's generally entirely made made fibers but it does pull the sweat off your body), then you've probably also picked up a bit of an odor in those items of clothing. While I hardly sweat, even when I'm at my fittest, I will still get a spot directly under my arms that smells less than pleasant. Drives me crazy because other than the whiff of yuck, the clothes are fine. So what's a girl to do?

Well I don't know about you, but I consulted the internet after reading a tip from a fashion blog about using vodka to get out odors. Since I've tried vinegar in my wash and also regularly use Borax powder, I was out of options so I gave it a try.

I put a bit of vodka in a wider, flatter bowl and made sure the offending areas were covered. I didn't so much let the shirt sit as just get the rest of the laundry load ready to go, tossed in the vodka shirt and started the wash.

The verdict is in: it works. I'm so pleased because this particular shirt is one of my favorites and I've only had it a year. And apparently you can use vodka for lots of other chores as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

So much to say

Think of a blend between the Dave Mathews Band song and the Minute Waltz . . .
  • My eyes are on the (slow) mend after a full week on steroids. I was the hit of the doctor's office on Wednesday as the staff ooh'd and ahh'd over how red my inner lids and the interior corners (all four directions) were.
  • I briefly mentioned eating at the Iron Chef's restaurant in Waikiki a couple of weeks ago -- amazing food. But we just had Kent's birthday dinner at a 2013 Food  & Wine award winner's restaurant today and it was unbelievably good plus about 1/3 less in cost. We'll definitely be going back to Story.
  • I've sewn two bags in the last couple of weeks and I'm working on another one (which may be beyond my skills, we'll see). Pictures later.
  • We got a new rug for the dining room; pictures later . . . 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I only have eyes for you

Wednesday evening, my BFF and I went to a spa for her very delayed Christmas present (and yes, I realize it's May). I've been to this particular spa and esthetician before and never had any problems but this time, some product got in my eyes. The esthetician washed out my eyes very thoroughly so I thought nothing more of it.

Until Friday morning, when I woke up with my eyes swollen nearly shut. As I've learned from Dr. Google, there's a real difference between puffy and swollen eyes, and my eyes were in Swollenville, population me. I took benadryl yesterday, alternated with cold and hot compresses on my eyes and all that happened was the swelling moved further down my face and then got red areas. I told Kent if things weren't improved this morning, I'd go to a Minute Clinic.

Well they weren't improved, not one little bit. So off I went. The nurse practitioner at the Minute Clinic took one look at the insides of my lower eye lids (which are a brilliant red) and sent me off to an urgent care place. She was pretty confident I would need a steroid shot and she couldn't do that at her clinic.

So off I went again. Sure enough, I'm having a dilly of an allergic reaction. No shot (yay!) but I am taking predisone and continuing the benadryl. I'm pleased to say I've already improved although you probably couldn't tell from this picture. FYI, none of that blotchiness or swelling is normal for me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Freeze frame

All I wanted to do when I knelt down on the floor was to take a picture of Eddie, who looked particularly beautiful as he snoozed on the chair. But I had no sooner knelt down when this occurred:

I guess I really am the Pied Piper of our cats.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

He goes where he wants to go

Wally shoved some papers aside so he could curl up in the inbox. Well of course he did.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our yard

One of the things that I loved the best about our new home was the landscaping. Connie, the previous owner, had done amazing things and clearly loved her yard. Well I'm not nearly the gardener she is but I sure want to keep this yard in the best shape possible. It's like living in a park.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Damn squirrels

With apologies to my friend Donna Sue, I hate squirrels. I've hated them for years, ever since they ate all my geraniums out of the pots on my balcony in midtown Kansas City. I hated them vicariously when they chewed the wires in my son's car, causing I don't even remember how much damage -- just recall that it cost a lot.

Now they are biting through the wires for the lights on our pergola. Just look:

Click the picture so you can see ALL the dangling wires

See the three wires here??

So now I think we get serious with our squirrels. Only I don't know how to stop them from biting wires. Anyone have any good suggestions?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Of leis, rain, and the Arizona

Last Friday it was raining in Honolulu, but as I posted on Facebook, rain in Honolulu sure beat the freaky out of season snow that was going on in Kansas City.

Here's what we received as we got out of our car at our hotel:

Mine is the one on the left;
Kent's is made from kukui nuts

I'm not a juice girl, but at check in we were given some juice that was amazing. It was a mixture of pineapple, lemon juice and hibiscus flowers -- so good and refreshing that I was a pig and had two glasses. I've searched online to see if I could find the recipe, but alas I've had no luck.

Our room faced the ocean and instead of having curtains over the glass doors, the balcony had sliding louvered doors that let in the air but kept out the (very persistent) birds. We could hear the sounds of the waves so we left the glass doors open the entire time we were there. Oddly, our toilet had -- well it wasn't exactly a bidet although it operated in a similar fashion. Suffice it to say you could get a nice cleansing for light, medium or heavy situations. I didn't try it.

Saturday morning, we decided to try to see the USS Arizona. Kent had done some research and learned that the tickets generally get fully booked a good six months in advance. Well six months ago, we didn't know we wanted to go to Hawaii. But the website also said that some day of tickets would be available. So off we went and stood in line to get into the park the moment it opened. And to our utter surprise, we got tickets to the first boat ride of the day! I am so very glad we were able to see the park and the Arizona.

The rest of the day, we spent on the beach under a big sun umbrella reading and people watching. You see some amazing things at beaches, that's for sure.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wither, blister, burn and peel

I wonder what it is about vacationing in exotic or semi-exotic locations that makes people take leave of their senses. I’ve seen this happen way too many times in Hawaii (eight trips and counting) and Jamaica (three trips and longing for more): pasty white tourists who apparently forget that they live in northern latitudes and are now at 21.3114° or 18.1315° respectively. And of course they aren’t pasty white any more, they are fiery, fiery red. The kind of red that makes you wince when you see it.

No, we didn’t do this. We both wore sunblock (Kent wears 50 SPF because he’s a pallid redhead who only burns and I wear 15 SPF because I’m not) but we sure saw lots of crispy critters on the beach Saturday. The most uncomfortable burn we saw was the woman who wore a bikini only the bottom had sort of ridden up to the point that it almost looked like a thong. I think you can guess where she burned. Talk about hot cross buns.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hawai'i redux

We took another one of our quick trips away, this time to Honolulu. We had a blast, but honestly I think I could have a good time hanging out at the most podunk little strip mall as long as Kent was with me. I'll write more about it when I've slept but here's a picture from our room: