7.26.2014

The Thing That Sees Me When I'm Peeing

I'm going to let all of you women-who-want-children-but-haven't-had-any in on a little secret.

Your bladder will no longer work like it does now.

As in, I used to be able to hold my pee all night long, even after drinking.

I now wake up at least twice to pee at night, I still drink a TON of water - generally my day consists of caffeine until 9 and then water, water, water, water, water, a beer or two and then that's it. I just can't hold my urine anymore. I have not had a full night's sleep in almost 3 years. Mothers sacrifice their bladders. It's just how it works.

Which brings me to this post.

A few weeks ago I was talking to our neighbor and she noticed a few headless dead animals in her yard, and the neighbor next to her did too. We've had three dead headless birds on our front sidewalk, a dead headless chipmunk on the side of our house (not killed by Rusty), and I've seen at least two dead headless rabbits in our back alley. One neighbor said it was hawks killing the small animals - the head is the best nutritious part of the animals. I guess brains taste delicious but I wouldn't know. I've never eaten brains before.

The past two weeks I've been up at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5, 5:30, etc... peeing. And I've looked up and out the skylight while peeing to see a moving object (though I was a bit blurry eye-ed with sleep), that is incredibly large, tall, with HUGE tail feathers walking up and down the same branches.

It sort of looks like an owl, but then when it turns it looks like an eagle. We do live close to Minnehaha Creek and I have seen Bald Eagles in the area several times (they are HUGE when they swoop through the air!). My problem is that I'm not a bird-watcher and I have no idea what to look for to identify owls or eagles in the middle of the night.

I"m pretty sure it's this bird-thing that's killing the small animals (which I hope it eats more chipmunks!!). But I don't know what it is! In the middle of the night I'm way too tired to even think about grabbing my camera or shining a flashlight or anything that might help me to figure out what it is.

So, to explain where I"m looking, here's a few photos. If there are any bird-watchers reading this, please, please let me know if you think you know what this is or how I can identify this bird creature!

Here's a photo - you can see the skylight and the toilet

This is my view from the toilet out the skylight

And here's a better view of where this bird thingy sits in the trees.

Anybody know what this thing might be????

7.25.2014

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I started reading Night Film by Marisha Pessl and it's pretty addicting.

It starts off a bit weird, gets a little weirder and you want to stop reading it but I've kept up with it. I have about 100 pages left and so I need some new reading material!

Night Film is about an investigative reporter investigating what else... a suicide... or is it murder??? He dives deep into the girl's history and discovers some crazy secrets - the dead girl's dad is a movie director who likes the supernatural and makes horror films, somehow black witchcraft is involved, blah, blah, blah. It's a pretty good mystery. I do recommend it so far (but again, I haven't yet finished the book!).

Now that I know I need something new to read I'm debating about going back and re-reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon OR re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse series since I only got to book 8 or 9, it's been so long that I can't remember.

From a parent's perspective, I still have to finish Clutterfree with Kids and also Mindful Parenting. I've been on a weird parenting book kick lately and an even weirder "minimalist" lifestyle bender. I LOVE the concept of being a minimalist but at this very moment, I really can't picture myself doing it. There's a ton of stuff we can get rid of but I know I'd totally fail.

Read anything good enough to recommend lately???

7.23.2014

A Little Cottage Inspiration

Loving the cottage style right now. Reminds me of summer!







The House Didn't Explode

Monday was an exciting day in the Bimmer-McTatty household.

The gas company had contractors out at our house to work on gas lines and to move our gas meter from inside the house to outside the house.

These people (yep, my irritation here is obvious) have been working on gas lines in our neighborhood for months. MONTHS. The main street into our neighborhood was closed. Our sidewalks have holes. My yard has holes. The street has holes and piles of dirt and pavement. There's even a Biffy at the end of our street.

YET MY RETAINING WALL STILL STANDS.

VICTORY.

I was really worried about it last week when a guy came around to make an appointment to move our meter. He was so nonchalant about it too.

Me: What are you doing to my house? You're not going to touch my retaining walls or plants, right?

Him: We're moving your gas meter outside. Where do you want it?

Me: I have options?

Him: Yeah, anywhere outside.

Me: Just don't touch my retaining walls or plants.

Him: Ok. We have to dig up your yard to get around the tree.

Me: Where? Will you put the dirt back in the holes? Do I have to replant the grass? You're not going to touch my retaining walls, right? I don't want to replace them.

Him: Neither do we.

Me: Ok. Just don't touch my stuff. Is my house going to explode?

Him: It shouldn't.

That wasn't very comforting. Because I watch the news... Houses have exploded from gas line maintenance not very far from our house. I didn't want to be the people whose dog flew 50 feet from the house and ended up doing a news story from the vet's office.

He then marked out two spots to dig in our front yard with spray paint and I shit my pants just a little. THEY WERE HUGE MARKINGS. From me intently watching our neighbor's yard, I knew that they would dig exactly where the paint was. And some of that paint was right next to our sidewalk. Ugh.

So Monday morning came and I grabbed a box and started to throw stuff in it just in case our house exploded. I grabbed necessities. Phone charger, crochet hooks, dog leash, a sweater, my Kindle. And put it on the back porch if I had to run for cover.

They ended up putting the meter on the front of the house - had they put it on the side they would have had to dig up our sidewalk and then they would replace that in a few WEEKS. WEEKS. So I said no to that. Plus with our luck and Minnesota winters I figured Bimmerman or I would take it out with the snowblower at some point. Then our house probably would explode.

So now I just have to wait for my plant outside to cover it up next year. The guy that came and filled in the holes was pretty awesome, they set aside my pine bark mulch and then instead of just leaving dirt they replaced the pine bark mulch on top. I'm sure I didn't have to complain about it because a previous person had already done that. SO, now I just have one random dirt patch that needs to be seeded.

Phew. Worries about exploding houses are over. Onto the next project....

7.22.2014

Tried Green Beans, Still Hate 'Em

I hate green beans. My dad grew them in his garden every year. 5, 6, 7 rows of plain green garden beans.

They were so stringy. And tough. Or squeaky. 

I hate loathe squeaky green beans. Those make me shiver.

And unfortunately today I let The Monkey in on my big secret.

There are certain green beans that I hate and when I made dinner tonight I pulled a bean out of the steamer to see if it was done, I spit it out. I had planted, on accident, the kind of beans that you need to pull the tough strings off both sides before you cook them. You know, the ones that you snap and then peel the stupid strings off of the edges? THE ONLY KIND MY DAD PLANTED.

YUCK.

They were thrown into the compost pile.

Next year I will research my beans. Because I do like green beans... but just not the ones I planted. 

I'm positive my dad is laughing in his grave right now. He actually tried dehydrating them (yes, seriously, DEHYDRATING BEANS) to see if I would like them better. No, I didn't like them better.

And at the end of the day I still had to weed those damn beans.

Lesson was learned, so I'm crossing green beans off of my to-grow list until I can search Burpee's website and find something that I might like. 

Freezer Meal Planning For 2

Ugh. After the end of a long day I really, really hate to open the fridge and think "Oh shit, I didn't defrost anything." Even with freezer meals, I still do that every once in awhile (and it's worse when Bimmer Man is home - he just says, what are you thinking for dinner? And what I want to reply is: GO LOOK IN THE FRIDGE AND MAKE DINNER WITH WHATEVER YOU FIND but then I remember that he can't cook, it really can feel like the 50's sometimes in our house... Oy).

But my other problem with freezer meals is that most recipes and items that I've found are really for families of 4+. That's not us at all. I really only cook for 1 1/2 (me and The Monkey). The other problem that I have is the crockpot - we just don't eat too many leftovers from crockpot meals other than beef stew. So when I came across this post and this post, I instantly did a fist pump and ran to Costco for chicken and pork.

Costco sells chicken in bulk (obviously) in packets of 2 boneless, skinless breasts and there are 6 packets stuck together. I bought two of those with making 12 meals total for chicken and then I bought a package of 8 boneless pork chops with plans for 4 pork meals.

So I was going to marinade 2 chicken breasts together in one freezer bag, basically halving whatever recipes I could possibly find that a 2 year old might like.

These are all recipes for defrosting from the freezer and making the meat on the stove or the grill - I make chicken funny as I've learned in the past few weeks - when I saute chicken I put the cover on the pan so it doesn't all splatter all over my kitchen. I hate cleaning. It works for me and I think it turns out juicier that way (maybe I cook it 7-9 minutes on each side). You will not find a crockpot recipe below!

I ended up making two of each from the Dump Chicken post -

Lemon Garlic
Garlic Dijon
Spicy Sweet Glaze (I omitted the "spice" keeping in mind my 2 year old)

From the Freezer Meals Prep post I also made two of each -

Greek Chicken
Sesame Chicken
Margarita Chicken
Oh So Easy Pork Chops
Marinated Pork Chops


The only recipe that my 2 year old didn't like was the Margarita Chicken. Everything else has been delicious and the leftovers were absolutely eaten the next day!

The next time I do freezer meals, I'll make only one margarita chicken and find another recipe - I don't think I'll have to do this again until August. There's enough variety here for us that I can make a meal of something beef and the next day I'll want chicken again!

7.21.2014

Bee Squad!!!

Yesterday I had the fantastic experience of going back to the University of Minnesota and taking a short class (ok, it was a Bee Safari) taught by the U of M Bee Squad.

I had no idea that there are so many different types of bees. And some look like flies with shiny green bodies. Pretty cool, right???

Here's a few photos that I took of a bumble bee.




In general I'm a little afraid of insects that can sting, so when the Bee Squad members started giving out containers for us to CATCH bees... well, let's just say that I took a few steps back and let everyone else catch the bees!

It was so interesting to look at all the different types of bees and all the flowers and weeds that they love to get pollen and nectar from. I had a blast!

The only thing that I didn't like was that it didn't seem like there was enough time to talk about the flowers and weeds that bees like. I did learn that the plants they liked last year aren't the same as this year. Part of the problem with my yard is that we have a lot of shade so it's hard to grow full sun plants. I'd love to have some echinacea but it has died and not thrived in my yard - I'm thinking it might be the soil type, I may have to take a sample and send it in to a lab to see what I need to do or what I need to add to compost to make it better.

In the photos the flower is a purple bee balm - I have hot pink bee balm but I think next year I'm going to get some purple bee balm to have some variety for bees for next year.

Overall, I had a great experience with the U of M Bee Squad and if they offer another class, I will definitely take it!

7.14.2014

Christmas in July Sale

Yes, yes please!!!

This summer I've been working on stocking up for a sale in November, but now I've realized that I think I have TOO MUCH stock if I'm going to share a table. I like being able to put everything out that I have at sales and now I have too many women's scarves, baby hats, etc...

At the sale in November I want to sell more cat beds (with a portion of those sales going to Pet Project Rescue) and have more men's items in stock. At the Winter Market there were several men that stopped by my table looking at wrist warmers (the women's wrist warmers are just a tad too small for most men), looking for warm wool hats, and plain gray or black scarves.

I have to tweak my stock a bit for this upcoming sale in November.

I need to move stock in my Etsy shop so I'm discounting prices with a special coupon code.

Everyone likes a bargain, everyone likes a coupon!

Get 30% off your purchase with this coupon code:  XMAS2014

And here's the link to my Etsy shop.

You'll find the following items in my shop (this is just a sampling...) -







7.08.2014

Makin' Cat Beds....

I'm making these cat bed thingys for charity. Well, they're for Pet Project Rescue's Kitten Shower fundraiser later this month. All of them are from my scrap yarn bag - but I'm out of chunky yarn so for the next 2 beds I'm going to have to double strand yarn and crochet like that. I can use up my scrap yarn faster and the beds can be just a little bit more stiff and the sides can be raised a little more. 

Since I don't have a cat, I've just been "winging" the pattern. Super simple evenly increasing rounds using a chunky yarn with a double crochet for 8-10 rows to make the base. Then do a row of single crochet in FRONT LOOP ONLY of RS, then go in rounds in the single crochet to make the sides. Simple, but killing my wrists because of the chunky yarn. I'll have to take a break when I'm finished with these.