Saturday, July 26, 2008

ped egg mishap

Really, it's not the Ped-Egg; it's me.
It was all my fault.

I was using my Ped-Egg yesterday to slough off some more of my oh-so-horrid heels, and I was making great progress. In fact, as I was making great progress, I thought, I need to measure the progress in tablespoons, or I need to photograph the great progress.

Anyway, my progress was too great, apparently, and now both of my heels hurt like hell. They hurt to walk on; they hurt to touch; they hurt when I put on my shoes and rode my bike today. It pretty much sucks.

That said, I will still use my Ped-Egg, but I will use it a bit more conservatively...once I heal.

Even bigger news:
Brittani turned 16 today; she finally got her permit. We've been putting off having two licensed teen drivers in our family; we simply can't afford the premiums that come along with it. Our insurance just went down after a year of insane premiums. Ugh.

She is also being a very responsible young woman and is already applying for jobs. GASP I may have an employed teenager in my home before too long!!! I am so excited, and I know she will be soooo thrilled to have her own money to do play with.

Paige, on the other hand, will be 18 in three weeks and has shown no inclination towards being employed. I don't quite know how I can describe my intense frustration at this situation with any brevity. Any person who has talked to me in the past year has heard allll about it, though.


Monday, July 21, 2008

summer feet

I love flip-flops and bare feet in summer; unfortunately, my feet don't hold up as well as they did when I was a kid. Cracked heels, thickly calloused. They feel like sandpaper, and even twice monthly pedicures do little to keep the cracking skin at bay.

I have found my solution:
The Ped-Egg.

I know you've probably seen the commercial. It's an ergonomically designed cheese grater for the feet, and it works wonders.

I got it for $9.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (that place really does have everything). I probably could have bought a cheese grater, but I don't think cheese graters are ergonomically designed for grating feet.

Go, buy won't regret it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

shan jam

Last week at the Farmer's Market I bought a half flat of the most intense strawberries; a lot of the berries ended up going bad because there just aren't enough of us here at the house right now. I decided that I needed to make jam, though, so off we went to the Farmers Market to get strawberries so I could make jam.

I've never made jam before, so hit the canning aisle at Winco and bought 12 jars/lids, pectin, a funnel and other jam making supplies (~$25).

When we go to the market today, guess what?

No more strawberries. I missed my window of opportunity.
A decision had to be made right then:
do I proceed making jam from a berry that I would prefer seeded? My options were blackberries or marionberries. I bought a full flat of marionberries ($24).

Marionberries mean seeds, though, which I didn't want in my jam. That meant I needed to buy a food mill ($30). I also needed to buy more sugar because jam-making requires a lot of sugar.

See my goodies below: (borrowed the canner fom my mom)

My mom came over and was my hand model. She has great hands.
Anyway, here is my mom grinding the washed berries in the brand spankin' new food mill.

It worked well. I had little confidence in its ability to deseed the berries, but it worked amazingly well.
You can see 5 3/4 c. of fruit in the background and 8 cups of sugar in the foreground.

We didn't know whether to count the foam as "fruit" or not, but we decided it looked more fruity than foamy to us, so fruit it was.

We put it on to cook:

Here's some free advice:
when cooking jam, it's probably best to use a spoon that does not have a metal handle. Jam cooking gets really, really, really hot. Unfortunately, the longest spoon I own thatw on't be forever dyed red is a metal handled spoon.

The jam became the most beautiful reddish purple color as it cooked. So pretty.
Pour into jars:

Lid 'em and bathe 'em:


But damn, this was good shan jam!!

All in all it cost about $80 to jar 22 8 oz jars of jam, but I have grand plans for blueberry jam, raspberry jam and I may even do some pickling of green beans. I plan to get my money's worth from my supplies.

Wayne and my friend Stacy both joked that I sound like I've aged a few or four decades. Wayne said I really sounded old when I said I wanted to give jam away as Christmas gifts, but then I reminded him that we are on a very tight holiday budget this year. Yes, I guess I am old if I am thinking about Christmas in July. Ugh.

Anyway, jam making wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. It was really fun, but it helped that my mom was here to keep me company. Solo jam cooking may not be quite as enjoyable, but I bet the reward is still just as sweet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

30 miles

I have ridden 30 miles on my bike this week. I am amazed at myself, quite honestly, though 30 miles on a bike in a week really isn't that impressive. I should do more.

It started with a bike ride last Wednesday with the MOES group that has kept me entertained and socialized this past school year; we went on the Foothills Trail with our kids, so it was a very slow ride with many stops for water and food.

It was a lot of fun, though, and I told Wayne we should go there together sometime.

So Friday we loaded up our bikes, and off we went.

We took Maya, of course, and she was such a little trooper. Her bike is too small and since it's a kid's bike, it has no gears or anything fancy to, say, help her up hills. We tackled one little hill, and she did it without stopping. She was very proud of herself--and this was around 2.75 miles into our ride. We ended up riding 6 miles with her that day.

Sunday Wayne and I went back again (sans Maya) and rode 15 miles. I was seriously ready to die at about mile 5. Wayne left me in the dust, which was good because otherwise I wouldn't have kept going. I had to catch up with the twit :-)

By 7.5 miles, which is when we turned around and headed back, I was magenta in the face (I turn red from exertion); we were stopped in front of a smoothie stand, but neither of us had any money (!!!!), so back we went the way we came. Smoothieless. Such a bummer.

Did I mention it was about 87 degrees out during this excursion?

I went fairly slowly. I was passed by old people and small children several times.

But we (I) made it back alive, and I actually enjoyed it--once it was over. I told Wayne that I was really proud of myself because I pushed through the hard parts; I'm really bad at pushing through. Usually I hit a hard part, and I say, "Okay, enough!"

Then today I met a friend there again, and we rode about 5 miles. It was easier for me today than it has been any of the other days.

How cool are we?

Wayne and I plan to go back again tomorrow for another long ride; he wants to go like 20-something miles tomorrow, but I'm afraid I just don't have the endurance (stamina?) for that.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foo Fighting

Wayne and I went to see Foo Fighters in concert at Key Arena last night; we saw them back in 2005 for their In Your Honor tour, and that was an amazing show. It was my first big arena show, and Dave and crew did not disappoint at all. We were in total nose bleed seats, and it was still the best concert. This tour is in support of their new CD Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Isn't that a great title?

Wayne is by far the bigger Foo fan; I really like them, but I don't listen to the CDs over and over again in the car and on my iPod. In fact, I thought I might have missed this concert due to a birth, but the baby was born 10 days early (EDD was 7/7). Nice. I'm so gald that I didn't have to miss the concert or the birth.

So we got the tickets the day they went on sale, and we chose "Best Available," which gave us seats directly across the arena from the stage, which didn't seem like very good seats to either of us. I told Wayne to buy tickets in what looked like the best section and we'd sell the "Best Available" tickets. Well, Wayne didn't want to do that, so we kept the tickets we were initially issued.


They were the best tickets.

There was the mainstage, which did seem far away, but we had such a great view of it. I'm getting old and greatly myopic, so I can't see much anyway unless it's in my face. There was a catwalk from the mainstage towards our part of the arena as well with a big circular thing at the end. It looked like a trampoline to me, and I had visions of Dave bouncing on it while playing his guitar. That would have been fun.

But noooo...

Instead, a stage dropped from the ceiling onto the trampoline thing and our friends Foo performed an acoustic set right in front of us. We could have spit on Dave and hit him square on the face. It was amazing. They were so close.

It was awesome because we missed their acoustic show at the Paramount when they were touring for Skin and Bones; this was up close and personal and acoustic, so it was a good substitute for that missed show (I tell myself). And Pat Smear was there. I thought I saw him earlier on the mainstage, but I may have been wrong because I didn't see him on the mainstage after the small stage acoustic set.

The girl next to me was getting some sweet pictures and video with her camera (I so should have brought my camera!!). My phone camera sucks, so I'm not going to bother posting the crappy pictures I took or the even crappier video. I'm going to check youtube later today to see if some good video gets uploaded, and then I'll embed here.

They totally topped the last show, though. And the people around us actually stood up and moved to the music. Cant wait for the next show...

Here's some video though until I find better stuff:
Start of the show:

Dave is funny:

And they did, too. They played from about 8:45-11:20. The encore was 5 songs. I don't know how they play so hard for so long for so many nights in a row. No wonder he weighs about 120lbs.

Found a video of the small stage:

and when they raised the house lights, it was way cool.

This was the end of the small stage set...Dave started there and ended back on the main. Where they rocked hard.

Hopefully more people post some good video soon.
[Edited to add some videos]