Saturday, August 28, 2010

Under Construction

In case you think I'm gone forever, I thought I'd explain that I am really just on a passive strike until my hubbs gives me a fresh new look here at Shansland. I may not hold out that long though because I'm in the mood to write slightly longer updates than my facebook statuses allow. And since I announced I'll be away indefinitely, I've sufficiently taunted myself into wanting to blog. I may end up slapping a little powder on the more hagardly parts of this old place here and forging on unchanged. We shall see. We shall see.

Until then, you can find me on facebook looking into lifes deeper issues in forty-six characters or less. I'm not sure who I'm fooling with this as we know I pretty much just ooze aspartame damaged brain juice no matter what the length of the page. But it sounds good nonetheless!

Bye for now,

(Hope the hammering sounds don't get too loud for you over here.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Smelly souvenirs

HELLO fellow bloggists! I have a lot of nerve calling myself a bloggist when I barely check in here these days. But I like to feel included so there it is.

I'm far too behind to update anyone on my goings on, but Jamey is home from a three day trip to Kansas City with his job and I wanted to show you what he made while he was there.

He attended a workshop and a seminar or two given by some well known designers. One of the speakers was a favorite of his, Tim Biskup. Jamey has been a fan of his for a while and took a small book of TB's designs to have him sign. Needless to say he LOVED the talk and the autograph complete with drawing Biskup added to Jamey's book!

Another designer he met gave a workshop where they made these beautiful flowers.

Matthew Sporzynski is a paper artist who's work regularly appears in Real Simple magazine. You should scroll through some of his stuff on that last link if you have time. He can make ANYTHING out of paper!! Jamey said his huge personality alone was worth experiencing-pure entertainment.
This project came from an ad prop he produced for a perfume made from whatever flower this is (I'm sorry I don't do thorough journalism). Jamey forgot what it is called. Geranium maybe?
Anyway, Mathew S. allowed each flower made in the workshop to be squirted with this $600 essence of flower of some sort perfume. It smells very real!

And then they made little window boxes to keep them in.
He brought it home to me as a gift! Isn't that C-U-T-E?

And a MUCH nicer treat than the souvenir he took for himself from the trip which was a mixed media display of hurl-your-guts-'till-your-ribs-hurt food poisoning.
Not cool, Mongolian Barbeque!
"Welcome home Sweetheart! Hey, why so green?"
"Oh, you know, art workshops...yurp".
"Riiight." :~{

So hubby is back and feeling better and we are off to a great summer. Hope yours is full of creativity and you blog about all your adventures! I'll be checking in on you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

If you give a Shan a toilet...*

(this toilet knows what it's capable of)

She's gonna want a new floor(without duct tape on it) to seal it to.

If you let her pick out a new bathroom floor..
She's gonna want the claw footed tub painted a fresh new color.

If you are already removing the tub for flooring..
She's gonna want you to go ahead and take the cabinet with the mauve countertop out too.

Since you are changing the color scheme this much already...
She's gonna want to paint the whole room.

While shopping for a tiny patch of flooring and new paint, Shan's gonna see the carpet samples....
Then, she's going to want to use your tax refund to get new carpet in all the rooms upstairs.

But, while cleaning the dingy base boards...
She's gonna want to paint the trim in each room.

Painting the trim is going to be so easy without worrying about making a mess on the old floors...
She's gonna decide at least one more room needs painting.

With all the room rearranging, painting, and garage sale gathering and sloughing going on...
you'll somehow end up with another set of bunk beds. (???)

So alas, what is the lesson we all learn at one point or another in our lives...
Replacing a toilet can be QUITE an ordeal!

A guilty Grinch grin is forming across my face as we speak.

Kinda reminds me of the time I needed a new oven...

* This, of course, is a play on the well known Children's book 'If you give a mouse a cookie..'

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Yesterday we received a paper invitation, printed and folded into quarters home-made-card style. It said:
Dear Parents,

You and your family are invited to attend the awards night for the youth's writing contest given by the [Our town] Writers. Your child, or children, will receive a certificate along with the prize money.

"Your child, or children, will receive a certificate along with the prize money"? What? One or BOTH of my children will receive THE prize money? I'm confused.

Why can't I understand the writing of the Writers Club?

So that happened yesterday. And tonight, the kids and I went to the Senior Citizens Activity Center as requested on the invite, instead of going to see Jamey play music in Fayetteville as we'd planned.

It's a good thing we did too because my boy won FIRST PLACE in the Prose category with his story 'The Golden Manatee'. This was a contest he entered totally on his own volition from a flyer he saw at school! Isn't that neato? He had to write a short story beginning with the sentence "The door was closed."

What fun for him to be rewarded for something he really enjoys doing!

It's so thrilling and strange to see your children grow up into their own- bageck- (sorry-losing my cool a little bit there) independent selves. He's such a wonderful newly twelve year old and we do love him so...and not just for his prize money.

Have a terrific Easter weekend all!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slap those thighs

Not a morning person? Then you are sure to have kids who are.

Who needs coffee really. Oh

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simple Cooking Failures(episode two)

It's time for the second installment (second verse-lamer than the first) of a little segment I call Simple Cooking Failures. It lacks spunk and luster due to the particular circumstance of the failure itself, but I'll share it with you anyway.

Here's the birthday cake completed to the best of my ability at 4:00 in the morning. Good thing Ratchet is so easy to please. He knows my heart(and hopefully not my hair) is in it.

Funny, I thought that yellow brick was a sickening flesh color last night. This is a nice surprise. Ahh, but I got it done-and plenty early it turns out.

The party is now set for Friday (three days away) due to three sickly cousins that couldn't come today. Wah-wah. It just wouldn't be the same without them.

NOW, I'm feeling like a genius for using Crisco in my "buttercream frosting". What foresight-what planning! I wrapped it up tight and it may taste even more authentically LEGOlicious(like plastic) by Friday. I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Sleeplessness makes me so sunny. Now if I could just get this fluffy cloud feeling off of my face I could truly shine.

Night nighZZZZZ....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cat tells

The other day I went outside and came upon a cat,
who sat upon my lap.
Then another happened along,
and it soon became a throng....

(My back fence this very morning)

Ok, so I'm back to the blog after a brief hiatus. I told the facebookers a couple days ago that I had rushed inside and jotted down some things I've been pondering about cats (Yes, I DO realize that sends up a freak flag with a paw on it, but I'm ok with that.) And, since that brought out a few of my fellow cat loving freaks friends, as well as a few that just enjoy a side show- I figured I'd share.

It wasn't really a list of questions to be answered by other cat "enthusiasts" (That sounds better right?), but more a batch of thoughts pertaining to cats that might be better expressed in the Jeff Foxworthy way. So here were my passing cat fancies:

You might be a Catlady if.... seriously ponder purchasing a 3ft. tall rod iron cat shaped plant holder from a store called "Oops!"- though it is quite clear you are not a "plant person".

... you coax a cat you've never seen before over to you, then let it lay on your lap for thirty minutes while it kneads it's claws into your wrist. look deep into previously mentioned cat's eyes as it adores you, and wonder if it could possibly be an angel sent in this form with a special message just for you. Then you wait a moment for it.

...on your wedding day your friends and family all make a pact to not tell you about the incident involving the cat in the parking lot of the church. yell out "Kittee!!" into the darkness only to realize you may have been talking to a decorative rock in someone's yard. have a "great idea" of what to stencil on your cork board, but are reminded with a sigh from your husband that this particular room already has at least thirteen other pictures of cats in it.

...once upon a time you looked in the mirror and regularly saw a resemblance between you and your cat Tigger.

...your current pets also remind you of him.
And finally, you might be a Catlady if you can come up with such a list about YOURSELF!

Have a purrfectly splended weekend! Meow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just Illin' and cold chillin'

First signs of life: Day two-the orneriness returns.

And story time humour for couch bound youth:

And finally, when your sick you can sleep most anywhere.

Be warm and well fellow bloggers!

(Facebookers click on 'View original post' for videos)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lava: It's not just for video games

Here's a little experiment for the scientifically minded folks in the audience (read: grandparents and cousins). Ratchet had a much anticipated school project due to erupt this week, so of course we took some snaps and did a little trial run before hand to get a feel for the explosive power we were working with.

Here is the volcano in it's dormant state. The natives are busily going about their lives completely unaware of what's brewing at the base of this beast.

Here's Ratchet proudly standing behind his volatile creation.
And here's our practice run the evening before the natural disaster was to take place.

Speaking of natural disasters, you'll catch a glimpse of our torn up kitchen in the middle of its makeover. It's not an attractive sight right now but I am using my swanky new stove and microwave-which helps keep me chipper sans countertops. OH, and please turn the sound down if my constant noise gets bothersome during the pre-eruption. I am annoying! Here's what happened to his actual volcano at school on Thursday. Yay for extra credit!

(p.s. Any young kids (or middle aged men) who want to make your own version: We forgot to mention that we also added a couple squirts of dish soap to create a foamy effect ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did I forget to share my meat cake with you?

Shame on me and my big fake fingernails!

One of the fun things that happened (and I documented) during the hoobity whatie part of the holidays was Santa's (and Trisha's) Magical X-mas party. Oh yes, it was DElightfully tacky. I'm suddenly feeling likewise myself just now posting about last year's fun here on this mid January day in 2 ot 10. BUT, still I want to share these olden times with family and friends who might have missed out, and of course future me who won't remember any of it very very soon.

I made a progressive photo log of the "Christmas cake with a smack of ham" that I contributed to the party. I thought it would be kind of fun to see it come about in pictures.

  • FIRST, I lined the tree shaped cake pan with crustless flattened white bread. (I seem to have forgotten this photo so I'll leave a space and you can mentally squish and press the bread to your liking.)

  • Next I smeared 4 cans of deviled ham(a little gelatinous for my taste) evenly on the bread and up the sides.

  • Then I lovingly placed olive loaf slices atop the canned ham continuing on in the tree shape.
  • Next I topped the compressed lunchmeat with a sizable bowl of homemade chicken salad. This part I would happily eat.

  • Once I got that smeared around, I smashed another layer of white bread on top like so...

  • With much anticipation, I then turned that sucker of a sammy right over onto a foil lined tray. It was nothing short of albino splendor. See if you agree.

  • Once that was all done, I "iced" the colourless conifer with cream cheese and "trimmed" it with celery and festive radish ornaments(that hubby styled whimsically with a knife).

  • And BOOM goes the dynamite! All it needed now was generic Ruffles and a Twilight plate!
Here it is joining T's corndog casserole, the classic Ants on a log and Dorothy's clear jello among other tastefully tacky treats.

So there you have it!

I hope you plan on making a holiday meat cake at your next gathering! It's just as easy as putting on pantyhose if you have the right shape to smash it into! I also have a Big Bird and Bugs Bunny shaped cake pans (funny what you find when you uproot your cabinets) just begging to ham it up for your guests!

Enjoy! You know we did! Thanks for all the fun Trishie!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just like a home schooling mom without all the kids to teach!

I'm becoming so natural from the neck down I can hardly recognize myself! I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent and am now clearly unstoppable. Just point me to the patch of land you want vegetated this Spring. I'm a true pioneer. I've made soap with these hands! Is there anything coming in between me and a complete organic vegetable garden now?!

Oh yeah, all that wormy dirt touching work and such.

Ok. Coming down from my high now. Maybe my first batch of detergent doesn't make me entirely hearty and self sufficient but it was a super cool feeling while it lasted. And I do love my new detergent recipe! My gal pal Tab gave me a jar of this laundry soap at Christmastime and I just fell so in love with its crisp fresh scent and washing power, I had to find the goods to make it myself.

All that's needed is:
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda(no picnic to find, btw.)
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap-grated (So awesome but equally hard to pin down in your everyday store.)
essential oil (optional ingredient: I used Lavender this time to see what happens.)

It is supposed to weigh in at just a fraction of the cost of store bought brands and you can sass it up anyway you like with essential oils (though while making it I found it to smell great as is.)

It is Michelle Duggar's(mother of 19 and local celeb.) recipe that Tab shared with me. I made four batches tonight which totals around 160 loads. I should be set for a while!

And now I've got plenty of time to sing this:

I'm easily impressed with myself it's true. This will no doubt keep my negative self talk at bay until well into next week!

Look out world! I'm every woman.