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Archive for 2006


Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Merry Belated Christmas! Normal is slowly coming back to Casa de Zombie. My folks headed back home to Walnut Creek the Day After and I headed into a funk. Not even the Macy*s ad cheered me up. Five days of eating, lounging, laughing and then be thrust back into to-do’s and must-do’s (aka adulthood)… bummer. What’s a girl to do… go shopping! Oh no, not clothes… not shoes… but cheese! We took a trip to The World’s Largest Costco (Hillsboro, OR) and I loaded up on cheese, cheese, & cheese and we topped it off with a trip to Red Robin (mmmmm… Bonzai Burgers and endless fries!).

So much to blog about, so many photos to take and show… but that’s going to have to wait. I miss my daily bloggy visits, but I see it just around the corner (ahem… when DS goes back to school and DH goes back to work!).

Happy New Year my bloggy friends!

UPDATE: A (swiped) sample of my new door, just for you PKM! Please don’t be pea green with envy, as my door is going to be black (BTW… I recolored the photo pea green just for you PKM)! In the glass part it’s the black do-hickey thingamagig stuff… made too look like wrought iron. It was love at first sight.

No crowds in Costco either! It was spooky. Was there an evacuation notice we didn’t know about??? The only crowd at Costco was at the snack bar… which was a major bummer because I wanted a Twisted Churro (double the price, double the calories, double the Churrolishousness!)

Little Mid-Century on the Prairie

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

By now I’m sure this is old news, but since I’m newly energized with electricity… I’m a little late. Ok, so we had this huge storm. I mean a HUGE storm. In other places they’re called hurricanes, each assigned with cute little names, everyone evacuates and Anderson Cooper is on the next flight in. Here in Astoria we wheel in our rubbish cans, put on a pot of coffee and hold on (we had reported gusts of over 100 mph).

I took it upon myself to name this storm “Nellie Olson”. A pesky little twit she was, and she brought us back to Walnut Grove times. Some here are still living in Walnut Grove… STILL with no electricity! I have fantasized about living like Laura Ingalls Wilder, a simple time with a simple life… living off the land and lunch in little buckets.

Our night in the storm changed all that. Our house was filled with candles (thank you IKEA), the fireplace roaring (thank you WIND for finding your way down our chimney), and hot coffee provided by DH who boiled water on the campstove outside (thank you FRENCH PRESS). We played checkers, watched trees sway, I did some redwork (thank you HILLARY LANG!) by lantern light (so very Ma Ingalls, though I’m guessing hers was not a Hello Kitty lantern). We watched my newly cleaned windows get pelted with pine needles and branches praying they didn’t break. Dinner was an epicurean delight of hot dogs roasted in the fireplace. No news and no tv… but I did have one tower on my crackberry and I was able to go to kgw.com to get a little news. Note to self… keep crackberry fully charged before next storm. Like Ma reading us a story before the fire, we listened to DH’s scanner and could hear all that was going on in the county. Stormotainment. I never could have imagined how many wonderful people were out there making it safer and better for us out there! Thank you to all of you!

At around 1 am things start to settle down and things eventually become quiet. Really quiet. WOW… our lives are so filled with noise, that once you’re without power… it’s so quiet! We had DS sleep in our room, away from the trees on his side of the house. We all tucked in for the night (a cold night at that) and I slept better then I have in years! Ahh… so quiet!

Time to wake up to our morning alarm clocks… the sounds of chain saws. Up the street, down the street. Here a chain saw, there a chain saw… everywhere a chain saw. This is the point where DH is envious and I can smell a trip to Lowes in the air. I thought we had it bad… downed and damaged fencing, a snapped tree (a big one) and my glass patio table that went airborne onto the lawn (which yes… we did vacuum!). No more photos of my coffee on the table for PKM. For me the mess was the worst. Cleaning the sidewalk, the yard, blah, blah, blah. Cleaning is so not my gig. And then I found out about my neighbor Wende and her mess… first I saw it IRL and then on her blog. I’m not feeling a bit sorry for myself… only gratefulness. The storm also brought out us neighbors. Hot coffee and cigarettes served up fresh in my driveway as we planned a pot luck with our thawing food (thank you again FRENCH PRESS and campstove). The power did go back on before our big feast, so no Little House on the Prairie style cooking… but it was a blast.

Long story short… we’re still cleaning up and getting the fencing back up. DH got to go on his fantasy Lowes shopping extravaganza and got his new chain saw. Can you smell the testosterone? The fencing was a sting on the wallet… but soooo nothing compared to what others have to deal with. After cutting the snapped tree, DS discovered we had a great view from atop the tree and snapped this photo of Astoria at dusk. I really like this photo even though it’s hard to see. And that my friends… was our night with Nellie Olson.

Cute coasters to make

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

holiday coasters

I was visiting Allsorts and she has THE cutest coaster pattern. If the coasters aren’t cute enough… her pattern is even cuter! I decided to try the coaster as a circle.

Multi Denominational Winter Greetings!

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

What should have taken me a day… took me a week. I love to decorate for the holidays… I just hate doing it. I’ve been hesitent to post these photos as they make my home look crappy and cluttered. But hmmm… what IF my home really IS crappy and cluttered… and I just now noticed it! Oh well… I guess you’ll have to stop on by for a Kaluha & coffee visit and see for yourself!

For starters… this is our tree. A real tree! We have an artificial one, but this year it’s staying in the attic. My DH got this as a gift from a very nice Oregonian who gives trees each year to service folks (police, fire, military, etc)… his way of saying Thank You. I do not know this man’s name (not for a lack of trying) and wish I could thank him for his kindness. If you know who this is… please shoot me a comment! Anyhoo… At our house there is no particular religion, we just kind of celebrate everything that suits our fancy (within reason of couse!). We’ve always had a Star of David on top of our tree, and I’m not alone… check out PAMKITTYMORNING’s tree! See… we really are twins separated at birth!

So here’s a shot of what looks like Clutter Central. This photo is especially poignant for me as I’ve not seen this table since the day after Thanksgiving when I stared stacking all my Christmas stuff on top of it. Last night my table reappeared! I guess this means I have to cook dinner again.

Our little buffet counter is somewhat clutter free too. This is where cell phones, laptops, cameras and everything else that needs charging lands. It’s where one of the few available electrical outlets is in this old house.

Tahdahhhh… I finished my Allsorts inspired Christmas pouches. “Pouches” still isn’t doin’ it for me… and “envelopes” sounds so office cubicle… must think of another word. Any ideas? Anyhoo… Wende had a great idea about doing it red, so I made the 25th in red. I like it! Thanks Wende! So the question is… what to put in them. Since DS is 15, little stickers or candy just won’t do. I’m putting one dollar bills in them and a $20 on the 25th. Oh I’ll have some fun too… some days DS will get a quarter to keep him humble. Bad mom, bad mom. I thought it would be fun to do little homemade coupons too.

My kitchen window. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to photograph this! I have more rooms, really. My swag looks so nice lit up and it has this nice glow. A flash photo makes it too bright… and no flash makes it look dark and dreary as like if we lived in, umm, Oregon! Notice the Star of David??? DS2 made that when we lived in Hawaii. And what does a kid in Hawaii make a Star of David from??? Chopsticks of course! I have another photo of my popsicle stick SoD that my DS1 made a couple of decades ago… just like the one PKM’s daughter Frankie made… but Blogger is being a [insert your own colorful word here] and won’t let me upload it. DS1’s Star of David is not neon like Frankie’s because Al Gore hadn’t evented it yet when DS1 made his.

Oh… and remember when I said there was no religion in our house? I lied. I faithfully attend my Swedish House of Worship, especially on the two holiest days of the year in July and December. Merry It Only Happens Twice a Year Sale!

Stalker Alert!

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Am I a stalker if I visit someone’s blog day after day, waking up each morning and wondering what new delights await me there? Ok, maybe not a stalker… but a fan for sure! I’m a huge fan of Jenny/Allsorts and her current delightful yummy is her little advent pouches (envelopes). So I took a little stab at it myself. So far I’m up to day 4. How many more to go??? Are these just not too cute! OMG, I think I have a blog-crush on Allsorts.

Christmas Meme

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I would love to read your Christmas Meme and hope you will leave a comment with your blog’s meme link. Also take a look at PAMKITTYMORNING’s… it’s a riot!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee, hands down #1 24/7/365. I do love equally egg nog, chai, hot cocoa, hot apple cider and that hot German wine my mom makes. I’m not picky… just don’t take my coffee away.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I don’t know what’s been up with Santa these last few years. He puts the wrapped gifts under the tree, but he’s just not as neat and tidy as he was in years past (I think he’s been having trouble bending, arthritis I’m sure). Santa does however have great taste in wrapping paper and it always seems to match my decor! I’m hoping this year he uses that nice red & aqua stipe wrap from Target.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White! Or as the box says… “clear”. I like simple white lights that looks like little winter fairies sneezed and got fairy snot all over. I’m so not into the icecycle lights, unless it’s on a roof with a nice steep roof line and every inch of the roofline is adorned. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a Christmas Light Cop and issuing tickets to bad taste violators.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I hang an X-Rated DVD. I kid. We keep those in The Special Drawer. Ok, I kid, I kid. Or am I? Anyhoo… I don’t hang Mistletoe because I’ve always heard how poisiness it is. I don’t know if that’s true… but I avoid it because of the dogs.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I try for after Thanksgiving, but that NEVER happens. I have a hard time putting away my Autumn-ween stuff. Usually about 3 weeks before Christmas and down the day after New Years. My Christmas dec is a pretty big deal, so it takes awhile. I love it… but I have to dedicate an entire day to it.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Roasted duck, especially the crispy skin seconds it comes out of the oven. My mom and I both love this. My mom always made roasted duck, and as soon as I was on my own… I carried the tradition on.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
A Christmas in Acapulco and I was so worried Santa would not know where I was or how to find me. I left him a note back at home and of course he found me and I was so thrilled!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
When I noticed Santa’s handwriting was just like my mom’s and he used the same wrapping paper as her. A lesson I learned when it came to my own kids gifts from Santa.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We were always allowed to open one, and my mom would pick it for us. Now as an adult, my parents give me “pre-Christmas” gifts (which doesn’t necessarily fall on any certain day). Unwrapped, just goodies to celebrate the season. My kids get to open one on Christmas Eve… which of course I pick out!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
It’s very German. Lots of red and white and straw. It could look Swedish too I guess. It’s how I do the entire house.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Oh gawd… the S Word. I told myself I was not going to mention snow again for a while… but of course… I love it!

12. Can you ice skate?
@#$!%!… I have trouble putting shoes on let alone skates! So, no.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The favorite gift was the one DH and I gave one year. We knew of a family in Guam who lost everything in a typhoon (Paka) and anonymously (with the help of an ombudsman) we sent them a tree, the trimmings and a few gifts. DH and I decided not to give each other gifts so we could focu$ on that family. We did it anonymously because we wanted the family to know it was from the heart and for no other reason.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Family, friends, festivities and the focus on doing kind things for others.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Hmmm… not that into sweets. I would say Baked Brie with brown sugar and pecans.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Lounging all day with my family. One big relaxing pajamapalooza with lots of food, football and basketball (the latter two on the TV of course).

17. What tops your tree?
A Star of David made out of straw. Seriously.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Giving! Totally! I wish I could be Oprah Claus!!!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Let is Snow (Dean Martin), Blue Christmas (Elvis). I love Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and all my Hawaiian Christmas CD’s.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Just not into them. I do like the way they look though! One thing I loved as a kid was those Life Saver books. No candy canes in my childhood, we always had REAL gummi bears from Germany and to this day I still stuff them in our stockings.

WARNING! Dogs & Snow

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Consider yourself warned. If you don’t want to see photos of my dogs in the snow… skip this post! Dogs + Snow = 250 (photos). I’ve spared you of the entire collection from this morning’s winter wonderland at Casa de Pajama… so here’s about a dozen.

It goes without saying that schools are closed today for our first official Snow Day of the season (yesterday was a Snow Delay Day… 2 hr. late start). This is our 8th year here, and this by far is the most snow I’ve ever seen in Astoria. Astoria looks like a post card! Did you happen to catch the Seahawks/Green Bay Packers game last night… in the snow? It looked more like Green Bay then it did Seattle. I would guess the snow that fell in (into? on?) Qwest Field was nothing compared to Astoria’s snow last night! It was even prettier before the !@#$% snow plows came!

Paula has a photo of one of my favorite houses in Astoria… so worth a look-see!

Click on the photos and enjoy!

My new favorite photo of Liberty (aka Libby).

My new favorite photo of Madison.

My view from my kitchen window. This is my idea of entertainment while washing dishes!

My patio table just BEGS to be dressed and photographed by Alicia P!

Now at lunch time!

A little lunch time romp in the snow.

Which way to the fluffiest snow?

Snowball and Omlet take a peek at the snow outside and determine it’s best to stay in the coop.

Too cold for the Chickadees too! I just love how the snow is draped on my birdhouse roof and the tree is flocked by Mother Nature.

Madison is 3½… but she’ll forever be a puppy.

My words bring devastation… “Time to come in”!

Inspiration in a Cupboard

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Red/Aqua swapI was reading on PAMKITTYMORNING where Pam got her inspiration on a project, and I thought I’d do the same here! When I made the little house quilt for my Aqua/Red Swap partner, I looked no further then my medicine cabinet where I KNEW the most perfect red/aqua combo lived!

Not as exciting as Pam’s Rice Krispie Treats… but it’s all about the packaging. So much goes into package design and color… it’s a shame to let all the talent and inspiration get hidden away in our pantries and cupboards. Next time you’re perusing the aisles of your grocery store… your next quit inspiration may just be waiting for you on the shelf (and no doubt it will be on the hardest to reach shelf!).

Too bad I used the wrong setting on the camera… the quilt looks so dark and dingy next to the Aquafresh (it’s a bright Kona Snow actually).

So… How’s the weather?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

After seven years of living up here, it never stops amazing me how big the weather is up here on the Oregon (and SW Wash.) coast. Wind, wind, wind… rain, rain, rain… more wind… more rain! Today I caught a quick glimpse of that shinny stuff… oh what’s it called… I just can’t think of the word… OH YES… it’s called SUNSHINE! It lasted a glorious 5 minutes. If it rains any more, I’m sure Anderson Cooper will be here at any moment!

What started off as exciting wind, turned to a giant salad shooter of leaves. I feel like I’ve been living inside of a Cuisinart the last few days. It sure is pretty and a lot easier then shoveling snow (so I’m told). It looks like New Year’s Day morning in Hawai’i, just that it’s green, yellow and brown… instead of red.
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In Minnesota they scrape snow and ice of the cars… here it’s leaves. This is DS2 de-leaving my car.
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In Minnesota they use snowplows to clear the roads of snow and ice… here they use snowplows to clear the roads of sand, logs and rocks. Thank you WSDOT for clearing US 101 for us!
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DS took these photos on the 101 just before the tunnel heading into Chinook, WA. It was so cool at the time… until what is now photo #3 gave us a good soaking.
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Just above the tunnel sits Fort Columbia. I know very little about Fort Columbia except that it’s beautiful and worth taking a drive through it if you’re ever traveling on the 101 on the Long Beach Peninsula (and maybe even have a picnic there). Fort Columbia is about 10-15 minutes and across the river from Astoria. I love how this photo turned out… so very Goonie-ish.
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Crayon Jack

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Just in time for Halloween… err… more like Halloween 2007! I’ve gotten emails asking me how I did the coloring on the tea towels I made for Miss Dew (who knew there’d be that must interest! WOW!). Anyhoo… I made a little pumpkin with instructions. Nuttin’ fancy, but perfect for playing with and trying something new. For your own Crayon Jack, click here.

Crayon Jack

I had a fun conversation with Linda over at Craft Apple about looking at people’s photos and spotting things. From one of her photos, I thought her walls were painted the exact same of pink (Behr’s French White) as my office/sewing room, but she said her walls were white (DARN… I thought we were going to have some kind of cosmic painted sisterhood). Anyhoo… If you click on the image to see the larger one, that’s right… I keep my candy corn in an Easter Bunny glass jar. It’s how I live.

My good friend Robin from Kelso, WA is now hooked on coloring! Here is her CJ, PLUS she had to do more and made the cutest snowman! All images are clickable to see a larger image.

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

This blog's content, photos and original graphics/artwork are copyrighted. Please do not use, copy, reproduce or distribute. All projects are strictly for personal/non-commercial use only. © 2006-2016

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