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"How I Live" Archive

That sweet lil’ Doe

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

The little pic tease’s goodie came. OH MY! That sweet little Doe… look what she sent! An effing adorable little Cath Kidston mushroom pin cushion that I JUST LOVE (I’ve had a thing for mushrooms and Heinzelmännchen since I was a little kid!). And the best part is Doe’s little tag hung on it. And if that wasn’t enough… Doe also sent some killer CK stationary - which I can’t bear to use and will keep it by my computer, staged, so I can pretend it’s something I use on a daily basis in my little realm of unreality. And no, that is not a flash. It’s not lighting. That my friends is s-u-n-s-h-i-n-e!

So here’s where my little Doe-shroon is now sitting. On my shelf-o-joy right by my beaver (crap… you know THAT’S gonna get me a ton of spam) that Laurie sent me and my little aqua/red birdie in a mailbox that Pam sent me. Click here if you want to see the goodie love close-up.

Panning out… my shelf-o-joy is right above my “ironing center”. I really was hesitant about taking a shot of my messy studio. But WTF… it’s how I live. One day I plan to clean my mess and take some nice shots and use it for posterity - like looking at a skinny pic of me to motivate me to kick the Best Foods habit. And one day I may even straighten up my cupboards and show what cotton treasures are hidden behind Door Number One, Door Number Two, Door Number Three… AFTER I tackle my closet that’s still in boxes and bags from my move last summer. Hidden somewhere in that closet are other mailbox love treasures I have not yet shown (and need to COME OUT). I also need to get them out to show what beautiful people are in my life and what beautiful things they’ve done for me! I’m such a scheißekopf of a friend!
My "ironing center"

Summer Lovin’

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I’m always either incredibly early, or always annoyingly late. I’d like to believe it’s the former - though I know there’d be a long line around the block to dispute that (and my family’s at the head of the line). So anyhoo… what would summer be without a good “beach book”. I usually like to read intense novels by authors like Patricia Cornwell or Dean R. Koontz, but lately I’ve been in the mood for something light, something fun, something with no murder or cops who chain smoke or scary people in the dark of night. I’ve had very little time this summer to read, and I wanted something I could pick up a week later and not have to back read 4 pages so I could remember what was going on.

So there I was in Costco in the book aisle. I noticed 3 fellow shoppers had picked up a certain book - from what was now a short stack (the sign of a best seller… New York Times, New York Schmimes - the Costco book aisle is where it’s at!). I’m not one to march to the same drum… but I was somewhat curious intrigued about this book! So I pick it up, glance at the back cover, and think - what the heck, and toss the book like a Frisbee into my cart - and on to the rest of my shopping. I love learning about what fellow bloggers are reading… a much bigger indicator I might like something someone I cyber-know likes… but those three other Costco shoppers can’t be wrong, right?

Mistake #1. I picked up the book to read a few pages before I had finished unpacking my Costco booty. Oh I’ll just read a few pages.

Mistake #2. Reading, reading… OH CRAP… it’s a freaking romance novel! Nothing against romance novels, but I think the last time I read one was over a quarter of a century ago - and it involved a rogue pirate and his throbbing manhood & a heaving bosomed damsel stow-away (granny porn).

Mistake #3. Assuming it was going to suck now that I knew what kind of novel this was.

Correction #1. I kept reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. HOLY CRAP… I LOVE this book! So now I’m addicted. I’ve taken this book where ever I go. Seriously… where ever I go! So many rich characters and every chapter leaves you hanging and thirsting for more! Kind of like Desperate Housewives… not the same story of course… but that same kind of guilty pleasure. I can’t leave the house without my coffee… and now I can’t leave the house without my book as well.

The book is Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber. As it turns out… it’s the first “Dakota” book in a trilogy. OMG, now I have to get my hands on the rest of the series!!! Come to find out, there’s another series she’s written called the “Cedar Cove Series” (aka “the address books“). I’ve scoured Amazon and local booksellers and I managed to acquire the entire series (which takes place just a bit up north in Kitsap County, WA). With the Dakota Born book finished (sadly) last night, I was now able to dive into the first of the Cedar Cove series - 16 Lighthouse Road. Delicious.

I haven’t been this excited about a book/series since I was a kid and devoured the sweet word nectar of the Nancy Drew series. And thanks to this author, my garage continues to look like this! My tip of the day: If you’re moving into a new house, IGNORE these books! So anyhoo… what are you reading???

Ok, these tennies have nothing to do with this post, but how effing cute are they! Serious cute. So cute, I was blinded by the hefty price tag. So what do I do… buy them, feel guilty about the price, decide to take em back for a refund, snap a photo, and then blog about them. Very satisfying, I must say. It’s almost like I’m wearing them, but not. The annoying sales girl at Adidas (who couldn’t pronounce Deutschland to save her life, even though she was selling a German product) went on and on about how this was a Reggie Bush signature sneaker. WhatTF? Um… THIS is a tennie to go with a cute aqua dress and vintage apron, while I place a fresh baked cherry pie in the window to cool. Reggie Bush. What-ever.

Edited in for all those that have asked who Reggie Bush is: Reggie Bush was USC’s football darling. He’s now with the NFL and I have no clue (or care) what team he is on. As for the shoes being “Reggie Bush’s”… hardly! And the chatty/pushy/know-it-all clerk even tried to tell me that red and white were USC’s colors. I just let it go (even though I wanted to tell her that I was from California and that I KNOW what USC’s colors are)…. but I thought it’d be more fun to let her continue to make a fool of herself… and then blog about her. Moooo ahhh haaa haaa!

St. Joe-Joe a Go-Go

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I told myself, “Self… not one more post about moving, selling my house or setting up my new house. None of it”. Of course, being the self that I am - I don’t listen. Ever. Okay, okay… this is actually crafty. Sort of.

I first heard about St. Joseph from Kathleen, how burring a St. Joseph statue upside-down in your front yard will help you sell your house. It worked for Kathleen, who passed her St. Joe on to Paula… and he worked his charm on Paula too (and you should see her adorable new house!). WOW. I’m so totally sold! Now, I am not a religious person… though I’m very spiritual. I don’t subscribe to any organized religion, but I do like aspects from all kinds of different religions. I guess I’m a Smorgisbordian. And if I ever had my own commune, we’d live in a little village like in the movie The Village, and we’d all dress in Little House on the Prairie dresses - but with big clunky Doc Martin boots, and bake bread & pies, and do crafts, and play quarters, and have TIVO…

So first order of business was to get my hands on a St. Joseph statue. Paula offered to pass her St. Joe on to me, but I didn’t want to jinx things for her by digging him up too early. Not easy to find a St. Joe on the OR or WA coast, lemme tell you! So I decided to make my own. I did a lot of research on the internet and just kind of winged it from a bucket-load of images I found. And not only did I find images, I read a lot of interesting stories of Joseph that warmed my heart.

And since I was at with St. Joe… I also said a prayer to St. Anthony. Oh yeah… St. Anthony has always come through for me! “Dear St. Anthony, something’s lost and must be found… please find us a buyer soon”. Well… Not that I’m not grateful, but I realized I had to be uber specific with St. Anthony - as the very next day our new neighbors were eyeing our travel trailer and we told them we’re selling it… and they bought it! So now my prayer to St. Anthony is more specific!

So back to St. Joseph. I read from various blogs/websites that St. Joseph needed to be buried upside down so that he is uncomfortable, thus working all the harder to get you that buyer. And when the sale of the house is complete, the St. Joseph should be displayed in a place of honor in your new home. So I made him, and that evening after dinner I had planned to bury him. Just before heading out, our realtor called to let us know a couple looked at our house and was so interested - they came back for a second look. This told me to bury St. Joe fast! Surely they would make an offer after St. Joe was tucked snugly into the ground. The following day - still no word. It was nagging at me the whole negative reinforcement aspect of putting St. Joe upside down, and had considered digging him up. I was at the old house on the hill watering the yard in deep thought about my little Joe-Joe upside down and suffocating in his baggie… when SWOOSH… I slipped and fell and landed on my bum - upside down and in the mud. Stuff me in a Zip-Loc and call me St. Joe!

As fast as I could hose myself off… up came St. Joseph from out of the ground. So now my little Joe-Joe is dug up and home with me and in a place of honor (my sewing room of course!). I may not get that sale as fast as I had hoped… but I believe the sale I will get will be worth the wait!  And that second-look couple… the wifey wanted to buy it, the hubby said it was “too big” (to which I’m guessing their current abode must certainly be a cave).

If you want your own St. Joe a Go-Go… feel free to D/L my PDF pattern.

Edited in: I see I’m not the only one… check out Be*mused’s post about St. Joe! And CNN as well!

Thank you, Danke, Merci, Grazie, Gracias, Obrigado…

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Thank you is just not a hearty enough word I can find to say thank you for all the nice emails and comments sent to me regarding my move and my blog-sabbatical, but I’ll try… THANK YOU! A rare and quick minute of actually sitting on my sofa in my living room and taking in the beauty of my favorite view (and Yorkie’s new favorite nap spot), I was overcome with that wonderful blog-sensation… “I need to blog this”.

Being so busy with the move - setting up the new house and dressing up the old house for the sale, I feel like I’ve been away from Blogland for years. Like each day in Blogland is like a year in blog-years. My bloglines is showing over 3800 new posts for me to read! STOP! FREEZE! Please stop your bloglife and gently walk away from your computers until I get back. How am I ever going to catch up with everyone? Oh I miss you all so much!

We’re doing this move all on our own (no packers and movers like in years past). Our new house is just 4 miles from the old house… but it might as well be 400 miles with all the trips back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I keep telling myself it’s worth it (even with two mortgages at the moment), and every time I step in my new house it’s like a shot of joy and it IS worth it! Or when I leave the old house’s one car driveway to my 14 car drive way (yes… I counted). No… not a big fancy house… it’s how it is out here in the country! We’ve actually gone to a smaller house by 400 SF, but it’s all one glorious level. No stairs. If I were so inclined, I could skateboard through my entire house.

So on to the important stuff in the new house… my sewing room! For now I’ll show my room naked - bare bones and pantyless. I’ve gone full circle… from butter yellow, to pink to aqua and I’m back to butter yellow. My new sewing room is just a hair bigger then my old one and I’ve decided to downsize on my wall cabinets to make it feel more open. Oh yes… that comes with a price! I’ve had to purge some of my fabric. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I just told myself, ” would I buy this fabric today?”. If the answer was “no”… off to the donation box it went! I’ll be sorting my magazine stash next… but that’s for another day. One stash I won’t part with is my Mary E collection (I have every copy ever published), my quilting magazines and my Ikea catalogs. Missing is my 2007 issue which is in the living room dogeared and the 2008 which I will acquire when hit the new Portland Ikea (lusting).

And speaking of boxes. We didn’t have a lot of boxes, so I used the Ikea “shopping bags” that you get for like 75 cents. I had about a dozen of them and BOY DID THEY WORK WELL! You can get GOBS of stuff in em, and yet they are still manageable to carry. Easy in, easy out. And if moving/selling/setting up/patching/painting wasn’t enough… I had two quilts to finish and send to Quilts & More. I kid you not, when the putty or paint was drying… I stopped to bind my “Blossom” quilt. Back and forth - paint brush/needle, putty/needle, paint brush/needle. It’s a miracle I didn’t get paint on putty on the quilt!

In non-moving news… I got to meet Angelina (who I love and adore IRL even more then I loved her in bloglife) and her wonderful friend Lisa (my chickies new mommy), and had a visit from my dear friend Cindy on her whirlwind trip to the PNW (oh I wish we had had more time together!!!). I could write for hours about Angelina, but if you read her post about our visit and double what she says about me… that’s how I feel about her! Sigh… If only she would move to the coast! Hey Angelina… I know a great house you could buy in Astoria! ;-) And speaking of moving… special hugs to my moving comrades Paula and Angela who are living a parallel life with me at the moment. Hugs, Mortrin and Vicodin to you both!

Thank you all again for you wonderful emails and comments. Though it’s been rare for me to get online these days, I do so love and appreciate you all and every single note is a byte of happiness for me. Thank you and I wish I could respond to you all!  Please know that even though you may not hear back from me… I appreciate you all so much!!!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

A view from a future hot tub off the MB???  Hmmmm....What was supposed to be a summer filled with camping, and gardening, a trip to Victoria, BC (one of my fave places on the planet)… is now a summer of painting, packing and chaos. We bought a new house and are selling our current one (oh the stress of it all). It seems like so many of my bloggy pals are moving too… must be some kind of bloggy moving virus goin’ around.

We’re not moving far… just six or so minutes from our current home. We’re trading in the city life at Case de Zombie for country life (as you can see from the photo of our new backyard). From a house of stairs to a one level rancher (our reason for the move). Life at El Ranchero de Zombie will be grand… but for now it’s a circus. I hope to be able to blog and to visit your blogs at some point in the next month, but I’ll have limited Internet/email/blog time as the paint cans & brushes, the moving boxes, and the to-do list all scream my name.

I hope you all have a great summer and I hope to see you all again soon!!! Don’t forget me, k. And for you friends who are moving as well… there’s a bottle of rum with all our names on it and I’m ready to hit it with you all and celebrate!

Hearts & Crafts,
Monica (and Mimi too) :)

Willow Nest

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

What started out with a little field trip by Pam and Elizabeth, turned into a big field trip for my friend Robin and me. Robin and I both read Pam’s and E’s post about their antiquing adventure in Alameda, and Robin and I both clickie clicked on the link to Willow Nest on E’s post.

I looked, sigh, how pretty, must be in the Bay Area. But sharp eyed Robin noticed Willow Nest is in OUR backyard. Well… backyard for me is 2 hours inland… works for me! So off Robin and I go to the Willow Nest Flea Market!

Lot’s of great vendors and the setting was magical. Dreamy pink and white joy on a sunny day in beautiful Skamania Co., Washington. And at some point in Robin’s and my dreamy adventure was lunch and a quilt shop too.

All the vendors were so friendly and so happy to allow me to take photos and blog about them.

Even the “snack shack” was a thing of beauty. Pure pink and white joy. Who knew a tub of Costco sized Red Vines could look so pretty!

Pimp My Shopping-cart. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah.

And if the Willow Nest Flea Market was not enough… just over yonder a bit was an iris farm.

I’ll post my booty on another day.  But for now if you want to see all the photos, I have a flickr set here.  Pam and Elizabeth… your adventures really paid off for Robin and me.  Thank you!

His & Hers

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

His & Hers… or what’s better known at our house - what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine. Ok, not really. But since I’m the Director of Operations (aka Hazel) I get to call it all mine. Right? Right!

Because everything at our house is a constant WIP, DH decided to start a new WIP. He and I are really not so different. He has his tools, I have mine. He has his fibre, I have mine. He has his stash, I have mine. He has his WIP’s, I have mine. I have my WIP’s shoved gently stored in a cupboard and out of sight… he has his WIP’s for all to see (read: me).

Last weekend was another busy day in the yard on the landscaping WIP (still a WIP btw), and DH starts digging a notch into the hillside off the back deck. DH got the bee up his butt to start his fantasy outdoor kitchen. Being that it was our 17th anniversary and I was feeling a bit lightheaded (apparently), I whispered those five little words every man fantasizes hearing his wife say… “Want to go to Lowe’s?”.

My suggestion was to go the following morning, but the sparkle in DH’s eyes told me otherwise. I guess it’s like The Little Blue Pill…. once you take it you have to use it right away. So we dropped everything and headed to Lowe’s. Friday night, 8pm and an hour’s drive to Lowe’s. SURE… why not! And to top it off… dinner at 11pm at Jack in the Box (and my JITB two taco fix). Happy Anniversary darling! DH did his thing - he calls it loading the truck.  DS and I do our thing - we call it an opportunity to goof off. In my case it’s a blogotunity, in DS’s case it’s a myspaceotunity. The apple does not fall far from the tree!

Spring is in the air…

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Things are really hopping at my house, and it’s really cutting into my blog-time! Ok, it’s all good, but my bloglines is lit up like a Festivas Tree and I’m itching to catch up with everyone’s blogs! DS has taken it upon himself to re-landscape our back yard, which is no easy task since we live on a hillside. DH and I have jumped on the band-waggon (though I’m working in a not so treacherous area of the yard, ie., with the potted plants and keeping the work crew happy with pancakes and pizza). Outside and in the sunshine non-rainy weather we’ve been having… make for glorious family time! My bloggy fun time and quilting/sewing have been neglected, as well as cooking, cleaning and the laundry (the latter not too unusual). And speaking of neglected… I’m learning fast I need to keep a closer eye on PA Bob and Mimi!

And NOW I KNOW why PA Bob has that grin on his face!

Mimi takes a vacation - Home

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Home at last

Few words. Much Joy. Nap time now. Sew time later.

Fabric Folding - The Stashformation

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

On my fabric folding quest, the quest to be organized… all it was was a plan. A plan for some day. My first step was to get all my fabric out of their Rubbermaid prisons and into my cupboards. Well that was easy cheezy (sans now I have to put all those Rubbermaid’s into the attic). So here you have it. Cupboard #1. The proverbial “BEFORE” shot. It’s been this way for well over a week. I could use the excuse I’ve been bit by a nasty flu bug, and, well, you know… it’s just an excuse. I figured hey, it’s behind closed doors so it must be nice and neat.

All that changed after Autum showed me what she’s done! Right there in my email were two of the most amazing BEFORE and AFTER photos of Autum’s glorious fabric stash transformation - a stashformation! Thinking our email chat was going to be about the weather and Lost… WOWIE ZOWIE she lit my fire! One cupboard. I’ll start with one cupboard! So here it is, my first cupboard! I want to get more shelves, but for now my colors will have to stack as they are.

I have to say, this was fun. Not so much the process, but knowing the end result was going to be magical. That’s really dorky (I’m borrowing that from Autum too), but it really is an amazing result. I know because my little girl power group of friends (MoKaCoCo as we call ourselves… Me, Karen, Connie “blop” & Cortne’) recently spent a few fun filled days refolding my friend Karen’s fabric (who I learned this folding method from) in her new studio. I wish I could show off some photos, but Karen’s studio is going to be featured in a mag so it’s all hush-hush for now and I could be thrown in the slammer if I did. You’ll just have to take my word for it that you’ll be in a When Harry Met Sally moment when you see it!

By looking at the first two photos, it looks like there’s the same amount of fabric. Oh not so mon ami! Hidden in all those piles was not just yardage… but fat quarters too! Lots and lots of fat quarters! Anything over ⅓ yard got folded with the 6½” ruler, anything below that - fat quarters and large scraps got folded with the 3½” ruler and put into one of the floor cupboards (that supports my work table).

A game of hide and seek, and I was “it”… all the little teenie tiny scraps got tagged and corralled into a little basket. Too precious and too usable to chuck - but too small to organize. So in a basket they went. I still can’t believe I found all these little gems hiding in my stash.

This is just one cupboard, and I have like five or six more cupboards to go. I feel like I’m on my way to my own little cotton bliss. Just looking at my neat fabric feels like that feeling you get when you walk into a Crate & Barrel or the Container Store - everything is just so tidy, colorful and pretty that it screams HAPPY. To have that feeling with my own stash is really something. If you’re reading this and think I’m Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs… well, you’re actually kinda right. BUT… if you give this a try, I promise you will love it. Come. Come and drink the fabric folding Kool-Aid. Start with say 10 pieces of fabric. Just ten. You’ll get to piece ten and you’ll say to yourself, “just a few more”. And so on, and so on, and so on…

Big gooey non-contagious-flu-bug-free smack of a kiss to Autum!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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