Friday, April 30, 2010

May Day Baskets, just like I remember

Tulip-shaped May Day baskets.  I have been looking on-line, just to see if there are any instructions.  I know I remember how to do them, but how can there not be any instructions or even a picture of this type?  All I find are fancy Martha Stewart types with paper or tissue flowers (what? no candy?)  The construction paper tulip-shape were so traditional when I was little.  How could they have been forgotten already? is my duty and responsibility to put up the instructions for making these tulip-shaped May Day baskets.

Step 1: Using construction paper, fold one corner over so the edge touches the opposite edge making a triangle.  Cut off the strip left at the bottom and save for the handle.  Unfold.  You now have a square.

Step 2: Fold the square in half one direction, then in half the other direction.  You should have two lines making a cross in the middle.

Step 3: Fold one long edge up to the middle crease.  Do this on every edge.  When you are done, you should have a grid of creases making 16 small squares total.

Step 4: Take the scissors and cut each crease in the middle of each edge, only to the first fold.  You should make four cuts.

Step 5: The tricky part to describe.  Pull up one square on the side of the cut and overlap it on the square next to it, making them sit as a diamond shape.  Glue, tape, or staple as you go.  Follow around the basket until all ends are overlapped.  See below.

Step 6: Cut the left over paper in half or thirds or whatever.  You can put both together to make a really long handle, or just use one for a short one.  You should probably use staples to make sure they stay on if you're going to hang them on a door handle.

Ta da!

Pooh Bear and Cowie approve.

Step 7: Fill with candy or flowers or both.  (It was candy when I was a kid)  Take them to an unsuspecting friend's house early in the morning.  Ring the doorbell and run and hide, while still watching to see what they think when they find your basket.  If they find you and catch you, they are supposed to kiss you.

Happy May Day, everyone!

Special thanks to Willa for helping me make the trial one and being the craft model as we took pictures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm not Tweeting and I'm not going Commercial (never say never)

Actually, I'm not.  Not yet.  I can't see why anyone would be interested in me to advertise from my blog.  I have, what, 28 followers?  Yeah, not a capitalistic powerhouse.

The tweeting, on the other hand, well, it still makes me wonder.  Mr. Wild and I were discussing a scenerio in which my work could tweet what we were doing up to the minute.  Then we started laughing about it.  Actually, it could work and build a following, but I would first require a smartphone, so that I could tweet on the go.  I think that's the key to tweeting, being on a cell phone more often than a computer.  But hey, I just entered the 21st century by convincing said hubby we could use a laptop.  Actually, it has been quite handy.  But, no smartphone yet.  I actually use my cell phone for, gasp, calls!

Though, geeky me, I can't wait for the Star Trek-type equipment, the iPad-like thin panels of interactive portable interface, for doing my work.  You know, as I go around the starship checking up on supplies and malfunctioning equipment.  Maybe a boring job, but the holodeck is totally worth it. 

Ha, ha! Those of you that know my work know why this is funny.  Well, if you read my profile, it is funny.  I work in a museum.  Why the heck would I need up-to-date tools?  What if it was a Star Trek museum?

Oh, I think I'm on to something for my next career move.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I want it all?

Have to get in the groove again, with this blogging thingy.  Half the fun of posting is the comments, but if you've been missing from the internets (well the blog portion of it), then no one comes by to check in on you anymore.

Ah, fickle bloggers, how soon we forget.

Entirely my fault, letting work get in the way.  I really shouldn't do that, should I?  Nor should I let my on-the-side writing, attending children's games, carting them to practice and lessons, making and having dinner together as a family, getting kids into bed, or ready for school, or some time with hubby (yes, you can use your imagination [and yes, I just went there]) get in the way of blogging, right? Oh, nor the occasional book reading for book club, attending said book club or any other female gatherings I can squeeze into my life.


Nah, I didn't think so.  I think I have my priorities straight.

So, is the definition of a woman who has it all one who is a blogging, Facebooking, working mommy, who manages to attend all functions of her children, squeeze time in for hubby and deal with the domestic duties?

Pshaw.  I'm pulling your leg.  That's just my life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random Tuesday with Thoughts on the side


Positive is a state of mind, don't you think?  Monday I decided to enjoy the sunshine, try to stay focused and try not to let the stupid stuff at work get to me.  Guess what?  It worked.  I was in a good mood that night.  Mr. Wild got the marinated chicken and veg on the skewers before I got home, got it on the grill.  I made the rice and peanut sauce and the daughter sat the table.  I had a little Alice White Lexia wine, a sweeter type, but went well with the chicken.

I picked out Alice White merely because of the name.  The Alice White name, not the Lexia.

There's a pinot noir out there I really like.  I had it once, like 18 months ago (maybe two years), at a girlfriend's house.  I always forget the name and I always ask her again.  I think it's Clois du Bois pinot noir and I think I haven't bought it for my own self consumption because it's over $10 a bottle, at least where I looked.  Yup, I admit, I buy cheap wine.  But you can find ones that are drinkable, right now, and refreshing, even under $10.  My sister had a nice red when I was visiting.  It was smooth and drinkable, but $20 a bottle, so I don't think I'll be buying that brand anytime soon.  I should buy the Clois du Bois for my birthday.  Just because.  And hey, 39 only happens, what, like 20 times in a lifetime.

My writing mojo, where is it?  I think it got sucked away with the stuff that is called my job.  The work can be strenuous on the mind and body, but the environment also makes it worse.  Nuff said.

Glee.  I have to admit, I actually like this show.  I DO NOT take it seriously.  And that's the way to watch it.  I don't care about the plot lines.  I just want to see how they mash up popular songs or interpret tried and true show choir tunes.  Yes, I've been known to hum and sing along.  And dreaming of my high school and college days (yes, I was musically geeky for that long) in a show choir.  Of course, this was the big hair days.  I tried for big hair.

That's 1991 people and fuzzy enough you can't see who is who.  Fair enough!  I will say, I did not achieve big hair, and may I remind  you that even short haired people could achieve big hair.  Actually, I'm looking at the outfits, and there have been worse.  These aren't so bad.

I'm still on the lookout for high fructose corn syrup.  To add more challenge to my shopping (because, you know, my life isn't busy and complicated enough), I'm trying to think about Jamie Oliver and avoiding processed foods.  I suppose, though, the 20 Lean Cuisines I bought for my and Mr. Wild's lunches is a bad example.  But, I am stopping to think about the premade stuff.  I am swearing off Hamburger Helper, though it really helped us through a jam here and there.

But, I'm working for my kids being healthy in their choices.  School lunches here are not my kind of idea of the best stuff.  And I really hate that there are milk flavor choices.  My daughter always picks chocolate and even when we discuss better choices, she still picks chocolate.  Let's have plain milk, please.  And let's work on those menus and try to get rid of all those fried/breaded/frozen foods.  Sign the Food Revolution petition and you can catch up on the ABC series on-line, too.

Ok, enough randoms for today.  Click the button above and check out more randomness with Keely.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Organicize me

After spending time with my sister and seeing how much organic stuff she was buying got me thinking.  She could buy it easily in the grocery store.  I did know it was more money, but after seeing a news piece on a study about high fructose corn syrup(courtesy of a FB friend), I had really gotten into examining my ingredients more for the high fructose stuff.  Started finding it in things I didn't want to find it in.  Spending this spring break with my sister, I read her organic labels and find that all the time the high fructose stuff is not in the organic things.

So tonight I put my sleuthing cap on and went to start looking for stuff without high fructose corn syrup and organic labels in my town.  My son, who can't say the words together ("they're like a tongue twister"), asks me why I didn't want it in our food.  I told him the gist of the study: that rats were given the same amount of calories and one set of rats had a drink with regular sugar in it and the other had high fructose corn syrup and though they had the same amount of calories, the high fructose group gained more weight (this was something I suspected, but never really though about it until seeing a study prove it brought it to my attention that I needed to get us off the stuff).  He got it and said "ohhhh" and turned and started digging through the yogurts to see what didn't have it.  I, myself, am not going to go overboard and ban sugar all together, but I think we can cut out the high fructose.  Most yogurts do have high fructose corn syrup.  I started to realize organic OR natural labels usually meant regular (or organic) sugar on the back and we could buy some things at a reasonable, though slightly higher price.  HFCS is cheap sweetener, I will have to pay more for real sugar.

I don't think I'm going as far as buying organic fruits and veg or organic milk.  I think that's just going to put a strain on the food budget.  As it is, I have signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), which I know will be local produce once it starts producing.  I may not buy organic mac and cheese.  I keep thinking, "well, it's still processed," but maybe for in a pinch I could have some on the shelf.  I probably will buy the store brand organic ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup), and support the products that have more natural, simple ingredients in my processed foods.  One bonus find today: Simply Go-Gurt.  All natural ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup!  Score!  Dannimals Crush Cups also are made with sugar.  Now I know all these are made with sugar and I should probably get my kids to eat the stuff without sugar, but I say baby steps.  All in good time.

I've also been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which started on TV at the same time I saw the article on the high fructose stuff.  So I'm all for this food revolution (except I am sucking because we had Papa Murphy's pizza last night and Subway tonight, I promise, I'm getting better), and I'm wishing Jamie would come to our town and fix our school kids' lunch programs.  That needs major help!  We need to stop breading all our meats and look for lean cuts.  I also caught another FB friend who mentioned Clean Eating, something along the same lines as Jamie is promoting, cook from simple ingredients from scratch.  Another trick I've tried is instead of having my husband pick up pre-formed frozen beef patties, I'm buying fresh ground beef, make my own forms of patties and freeze them myself for use later.  There's all sorts of ways I can get into this and it's only the beginning.

We're starting our own food revolution at home.  My hope is that my kids will enjoy the fresh veg we get over the summer and start to get a taste for the good stuff and perhaps we'll transform all our own eating habits.  This is even an off-shoot from me making my own cakes and frosting from scratch to avoid mixes and transfats in pre-made frostings.  OK, so 3 sticks of butter in frosting may not be the best for you, but cakes should be for special occasions when it is shared by many people, so we don't all over-indulge.  I fear I have become a crazy woman, but it is to create better eating habits in my husband and children, so we can all live longer and healthy lives.  To me it's about getting back to the basics.  I suppose maybe next you'll find me on a small hobby farm growing my own food, including meat. Ha! Just kidding.  That won't happen anytime soon.