Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Big Floor Reveal

As I mentioned here, we recently decided to replace the linoleum from 1977 with tile from 2014.  Who am I kidding.  I'm sure this tile is not from 2014, but it's not as old as the linoleum.

I've had this debate for almost 2 decades and I've weighed the pros and cons of tile a million times.  I finally had had enough and asked k-ster if he thought he'd have time to do it over April vacation and when he said yes, I hopped right on it.

In case you didn't read my last post, the recap is that I tried going to a tile specialty store and immediately ran away and when to  The Home Depot because they had fewer choices and no one who would be breathing down my next as I made my decision.  I don't like too many choices when trying to pick out anything, but when I saw the vast assortment at the tile store, I completely lost my mind and had to go away.  Far away.

The Home Depot had exactly what I wanted.  They had samples of the tiles and their grout and when I found two I liked, I was able to by just one tile of each to bring them home and try them out.

We both liked the one we ended up with, pretty much right away.  It's a lot warmer looking than the other.

And now, for the big reveal:

It has a pattern, but not too much of a specific pattern, so they could be randomly placed.  I like the way he staggered the tiles.  I hadn't even thought of that!

I was so excited when k-ster starting putting in the grout because I forgot that it was brown!  We picked the corresponding grout that they used in the sample, but I left thinking it was grey.  I was fine with that, but when I saw it was brown, I was even more thrilled.

This is how the tile gets cut.  It wasn't the warmest weather when it came time for cutting, and you have to use water for the tile saw to keep the blade cool.  He wasn't too thrilled with the cold hands!  And, you have to keep running in and out to cut them and place them!

I decided we should get a new trash can with the new floor.  This one is rectangular inside of the round one we had, and I think it will keep the bag placed better.  It also had a slow release cover and a neat feature that will let you keep the top propped up if you need to leave it open.

He hasn't sealed the grout yet and the quarter round still need to be installed along the edge, but we're back in business.  I really didn't like being without a kitchen, especially because something about washing dishes in the bathroom sink really grosses me out.

The color really brightens up the room and makes it look slightly bigger.

For now, I'm sweeping it almost every night.  I might even see about getting the swiffer that is motorized.  My vacuum just seems like it will be deadly on that floor.

Linking here:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

One Trick Pony

While the new floor was being installed, I was supposed to be minding my business, so I got busy with a new plan for a quilt.

My friend's 4 year old has a "real" bed now, so his baby blanket that I made isn't going to cut it.  I mentioned that I'd make him a new quilt for his birthday, which is in August.  Somehow, April became August, and we went last week just to look at material.

An hour later and this was what I had in my hands.

So much for just looking.

He loves anything to do with cars, but the selection at Joann Fabrics wasn't great.  There were a few fabrics with little cartoony cars and trucks and there were some with construction equipment, but none really tickled either of our fancies.

Plus, she's thinking a few years ahead, and babyish cars won't really work for a 7 or 8 year old.

He does love Cars, the movie, so we found a Cars fabric.  I told her I could cut each car out and feature them in a block and make it like that.

I sounded just like I knew what I was talking about.

I had absolutely no idea what it was going to look like.  And most definitely, I had no idea how much fabric I needed.  I love to just wing it when buying fabric, don't you?

I mostly didn't know how much fabric I needed because there was a breakdown in communication.  That's the second one this week!

When my friend said that his crib would become a toddler bed and then could become a full size bed, I always thought she meant full size, as in a real bed, not a toddler bed.  And I assumed it meant it would fit a twin size mattress.  I've thought this since the day she first told me that.

So I thought we were buying fabric to make a quilt that would fit a twin.

It turns out, that full size means a full size mattress, as in not a twin, but a full.  We spent like 30 minutes of research online trying to determine the semantics of that phrase.

So, we had already bought fabric, which in my head would fit a twin, but it really needed to fit a full.

Good to know, since I had no idea how big a twin is anyway, so I really did no math when ordering the girl to cut fabric.  I shouted out random yardages and away we went.

When I knew I had to make it fit a full, and we had actually found measurements, it still really meant nothing to me.  Someone will be very impressed to know that I did do some scant math wherein I imagined how much material I could use for borders on a square, and then I predicted how many squares I would need.

And I got to work.

These were the first two I did and I was wildly in love with my master plan.  I thought that the black would do a nice job showing off each car, and then the color around it would pull the color of the car back out. I'm pretty sure that's scientific quilting theory, right there.

I also wished I could just do the entire quilt in this mint green because I loved it so much.

But, I followed my friend's wishes and away I went.

The squares came together so simply, I was sure there was going to be a major tragedy.  Like I hadn't made enough or there wasn't going to be enough  material to finish them if I needed more, or I had done too many of one color and not enough of another, or I didn't put the right colors around the right cars.

Or that an old cat might end up in the middle of the whole thing and refuse to move.

I had a little trouble trying to decide the best layout.  I went with 4 blocks across and 6 blocks down.  There are 6 different cars and I used 4 colors.

Rocket science, I tell you.

I knew I'd have to add a few borders around the whole thing to make it wide enough to hang over the edge, but I didn't want to make more squares because it would have thrown off the balance of everything.  Plus, I wasn't sure I had enough Cars material to make more squares and use the rest for borders like I had planned.

See, I do have plans, they just aren't well thought through and I can't visualize the math to be sure I get it right.

Once I sewed it all together and liked what I saw, I debated the borders and did a border of black, one of Cars and one of yellow, since there wasn't much of the yellow in the quilt and I had enough to use it for the edge.  I did wider borders on the sides and narrower borders on the top and bottom so that I didn't get too long.

And then came the fun part of trying to choose a back.

Wait, no, the fun part was the math to figure out how much I'd need for the back.  And I did it just right, with help from my mother who thought I could get less than I needed.

And she was right.  I forget that you can evenly divide yards and have great results.

I needed 5.5 yards but the store didn't have enough of any of the fabrics I used, so I had to go with the blue and the green for the back.  I wasn't thrilled about two colors on the back, but plenty of people piece their backs, so I know it's not weird.

And then, the very most fun of all.

Since I've mastered the wavy line quilting maneuver on my machine, I decided to try it with this quilt.  I knew that I'd have to do it somewhere other than my sewing room because it's so big.  I had a really hard time wrestling that pink and denim quilt through the machine and that wasn't quite as big.

I had to either rearrange my sewing room or go to my parents' house where there are big tables in the cellar.  It was definitely worth taking the time to carry my sewing machine and supplies next door, instead of starting over with the arrangement in my sewing room.

As I had done with the other two wavy line quilts, I simply laid out the back and smoothed it a little.  Then I put the batting on top.  And then I laid the quilt top on.

And I didn't even iron it!

I smoothed and smoothed and fiddled a little bit.  And then, I did my infamous winging.  I just rolled it up and started sweating.

I was worried that the thread was going to break a lot, like it had during the denim quilt and a little bit in the pinwheel quilt. Part of the reason I went to my parents' cellar was because I think the lack of space in my sewing room is what added to the thread breaking a lot.  I think there was a lot of drag and weight because it had nowhere to move.

I did vertical stripes because I knew the rolls would be thinner than if I did lines horizontally.  That meant it was more to throw over my shoulder and contort my body around, but it seemed like a smoother process.

And surprisingly, it was.  It didn't take me anywhere near as long as I expected it would.  And I didn't have thread break once!  I did have a major bobbin catastrophe that I still haven't figured out.  It seems like the machine wound a bobbin incorrectly which seems impossible, but that's the only answer that makes sense.

It was halfway through the process and I was sure the whole project was over.  Changing to a different bobbin solved everything, though!

I will totally do this again.  No matter how big the quilt is, I think this will work as long as there is enough space for the quilt to move. This is my one quilting trick that I can actually pull off.

It does, however, require that I stand every strangely and doing a big project could cause total joint issues because of the weird position, but it is totally worth it.

Now it's "resting" while I determine what I will do for the binding, so you can't see the finished product yet.

Soon, very soon!

**Here's the link to the final product.

Linking here:

Friday, April 25, 2014

There's A Circus In My House

When you live in an old house, you're always dreaming about what you can do to modernize it.

When you aren't royalty, those dreams never come to fruition because you can't afford to tear down the house and start over with a totally modern abode.

So, you make do.  You change a carpet here, paint a room there, and wonder how you ever lived with it before you made such a change.

As I've mention in past posts, my mother grew up in this same house where I live now.  When we moved in in the late 70s, my father made a couple of major changes and some cosmetic changes too.

When my parents built a house next door in the early 90s, my father again made a few changes to this house, mostly paint and carpet and they rented it.

When I came home from college, the woman who lived here soon moved out and I moved in.  The kitchen and bathrooms had nothing but new paint.  The living room had a new carpet.  And that was that.

The fabulous linoleum you see here has been in this house since the late 1970s.  It was all the rage back then.  I've seen it, and variations of it, in many cottages where I live.  They actually still make a linoleum like this.  I've seen it in stores!

Since the day I moved in here, k-ster and I have debated what to do with this floor.  I've had people come and measure and give estimates for linoleum.  I've been excited about fake tiles and brought home samples to try.  I've thought about real tile and quickly dismissed it.

When the linoleum people have looked, they've all told me that there would need to be a seam in the same location:  right in the main pathway.  It's a ridiculous place and I just didn't want to go through the effort and money, only to have it peel up in the high traffic area in short time.

The fake tiles, the kind that you click together like Pergo, just didn't seem like a good fit because I worry about water seeping underneath.  When I've chatted with people about it, they always act like no one ever spills anything in the kitchen, so it's a non-event.

K-ster accuses me of "splashing like an otter" when I get near a sink in a kitchen or bathroom, so this snap together flooring wasn't for me.

Plus, the last place I talked to said something so absurd, I couldn't even give them another moment of my time.  They said that in Europe, people use this snap together  flooring all time because "when they move, they just pick up the floor and take it with them."

Now, I know people who live in Europe.  I've been there a few times.  I have a brain.  There is absolutely no way that is a true statement.  They do, indeed, often take appliances with them when they move and that is standard knowledge.  But they do not take their floors with them.

Mainly because what are the chances your kitchen will have the same layout in your new place? 

K-ster enjoys putting in tile.  He's really good at making the pieces fit together and he does absolute magic when it comes to cutting special corners or shapes.  Look at what he did with our patio, as proof.

I do not understand how he can see a curve and make it work on the stone, cut it and make it fit.  He does the same things with tile.

But, tile can be cold.  Things usually smash to pieces on it and sometimes, you can break the tile itself.  And, with an old house, the floors are pretty saggy and flexible and that's not great for grout staying intact.

I don't have the best track record with glasses and dishes surviving a fall from the sink, so tile is just deadly.

So, we go through a phase of wanting something new for the floor and then I get fed up and we stop thinking about it.  This has gone on for YEARS.

And every time I washed that floor, I'd fume about how it is so old and cracked and probably leaching poisonous chemicals out every day.

I'm not sure what got me going this time, but I finally decided tile was the best solution.  K-ster would put it in, so I don't have to pay anyone labor.  April vacation was coming, so going without a kitchen would be feasible that week.  K-ster wasn't especially busy with work yet, so he'd have time.

And, best of all, today's grout has a little bit of latex in it, so it can flex without crumbling and cracking and ruining the whole floor.  Just what we need for this old house.

I went through the hassle of picking out tile.  For some, this is like the most fun you could ever have.  I am not one who likes too many choices.  I get overwhelmed very easily.  I'm not a decorator, so trying to coordinate things is lost on me.  Plus, I don't like super matchy-matchy rooms.   I don't know what I would ever do if we built a brand new house and I had to pick out every single thing.

Seriously.  Most people fantasize about that.  I tremble at the thought.

I'd rather live in a tent.

I tried a special tile place and didn't want to deal with the one on one attention and 50,000 questions, so I high-tailed it out of there before anyone could help me.

I just went to The Home Depot, where there were far fewer choices to have to go through, and k-ster could go in and pick out what he needed to get the job done, without someone hovering over his shoulder.

I decided that the best thing for our current driveway situation (stone dust that constantly tracks into the house) would be something that had a kind of print or marbleized pattern so a fleck of dirt would't be a staggering blemish to the eyeballs.

They had about 4 choices of beige, so I went with one I liked.  K-ster agreed it's fine.

And they are rectangular, not square.  You can get a sneak peek on instagram, I'm frenchymms.

All fairy tales must come with a tumultuous twist, so here's what happened.

Because I love to save money, I ordered everything through The Home Depot online because I went through and got a great percentage back.  Even with the cost of shipping the tile (everything else was free shipping), it was cheaper and easier than going to the store and carrying out 17 boxes of tiles.  Plus, they didn't have that color in my local store, so it would have meant 2 hours of driving to haul 17 boxes of tiles out to my car.

We got everything in late March/early April.

I didn't have school on Good Friday, so my fantasy was that on Thursday afternoon, we'd move the kitchen into the living room, k-ster would begin the 3 day project on Friday and by Monday, we'd be ready to move everything back into the new and improved kitchen.

For a couple of weeks, I asked k-ster where we thought the refrigerator would go.  That was the most important thing because, while I can go without the stove and dishwasher, I can't really go without the refrigerator, so the door would have to be able to open in its new space.

And for a few weeks, we theorized but never actually measured or fully thought through this whole endeavor. 

I suggested that if things were going to come out of the kitchen into the living room, the living room would have to be rearranged to accommodate everything.  I didn't want a repeat of the living room becoming the laundry room episode of 2009 (that was P.B, pre-blog, but let's just say that walking into the house and falling over the washer and dryer, while k-ster rebuilt the laundry room because of the washing machine maintenance guy's extreme error with a water sprayer, was great fun for any guests we had.)

I wanted it all well mapped out so everything had a place and we could still evacuate in case of a fire, without having to leap over large appliances, etc.

The best laid plans do not happen around here.

Suddenly, k-ster became very busy with work.  I drove to test out saddles on the Thursday afternoon.  Easter kind of got in the way, plus k-ster had (seriously, I encouraged it because they didn't go all season) to go to a Bruins game and April vacation was well underway with nary a piece of the kitchen moved into the living room.

I tried to pin k-ster down so I'd know exactly when I should have the kitchen ready to be moved.

And we had a little communication issue.

I thought he said he might start it Wednesday afternoon, after he came back from a boat  he was working on.

I thought I had all day to clean up, and that it was a maybe anyway.  I needed to empty the refrigerator and put all of the frozen stuff in the freezer out in the garage (down the driveway, not just in the next room).  I needed to move everything that I could move alone.   I needed to wash what was in the dishwasher so I could empty it before he moved it.

So, I:

1. skyped with my niece
2. read the newspaper
3. got started on uploading information for my goals for school,which are due soon.

I thought I had all day.  And then some.

And k-ster walked in to find me in pajamas, with the kitchen like this.

Sadly, the kitchen didn't look like this just because we were going to put down tile.  It's often in a state of chaos until I pick it all up and then after a few days, we are right back to where we started.  K-ster is not the kind of guy that orders me around when it comes to cleaning and doing household chores.  As you've probably gathered through my many blog posts.

But when he walked in and the kitchen looked as it did when he left, and I was at the computer, he lost his mind a little bit.

After making it clear that when he got back from buying screws, the kitchen better be ready for moving,  he left and I got to work.

I learned that it actually takes one hour for the dishwasher to run its cycle, which is also the amount of time it takes me to:
1. empty the refrigerator and put all of the frozen stuff out in the garage
2. move everything that I could move by myself
3. completely clean and rearrange the living room to the best of my abilities
4. make sure all of the dishes in the sink are also cleaned and ready to go in the cabinets.

When he came back, everything was ready to move, so the living room now looks like this.

Because even though I ran around like a maniac, you can only arrange the furniture so many ways before you're stuck with a plan and have to live with it.

And nothing could go outside because it rained during this whole process.

At least if people come visit, there are plenty of clear paths.

And we only have 2 more days before the grout is finished and everything can move back to where it belongs.

And I can loll about on the new tile that is clean and free of debris.

Until someone takes a step inside on a muddy day and I rue the day I ever thought tile was a great idea.

Linking here: 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hamming It Up

I'm a big fan of pea soup.  For a long time, I would buy the Manischewitz package that has the peas measured out and a little packet of spices at the end.

Then, k-ster told me he doesn't like soup, so I stopped making it.

The last few times we've had a ham dinner at my parents', my sister has taken the hambone and made a soup.  Then she gives me some and I'm a happy camper for a few lunches.

I'm not sure what she uses for a recipe, but it's pretty good.

Much to her dismay, the last batch tasted florally, like the dishwasher soap or something, and I couldn't eat it.  She had stored it in something plastic that even when I washed it in my not floral soap, smelled florally.

And if there's anything I can't stand, it's the smell of fake flowers.

So, when we had a ham for Easter, I took the hambone and decided to make my own soup.  This rekindled the great floral soap taste debate.  She says she doesn't use a floral soap so it's impossible.

In any case, I got the hambone and made my soup.

But I can't stand the smell of the crockpot cooking all day (too much food smell infused in every.single.item in the house) so I put it out on the patio.

Absolutely perfect.  I didn't have to smell it cooking all day.  It cooked until the ham fell off the bone and the bones practically disintegrated.

And I portioned it out for myself and smiled a happy smile.

I found it to be pretty salty  because of the seasoning packet..  And it didn't make as many portions as I wanted.  Next time, I will just buy split peas and add my own spices.

Now, as for the packet.  I'm not sure why I ever bought this particular packet for pea soup.  It's nowhere near the soups aisle in my grocery store.  It's with all of the Jewish foods in another aisle.

And as we discussed at Easter, who eats pea soup without ham?  And ham isn't kosher, so adding it completely dekosherizes the soup.  So why does Manischewitz make it?

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sticky Situation

When my family gave me the breadmaker a couple of years ago, I became the roll supplier for any big dinner we have.  They are so ridiculously easy to make with the bread machine.  The hardest part is doing the math to figure out when I have to get the dough started so they can be baked and warm when it's time to actually eat.

I usually make this recipe, but for this Easter dinner,  I wanted to use what I often use for bread from the cookbook that came with the machine.

It wasn't until I was rolling the dough into small rolls that I realized why I don't usually use this recipe for dinner rolls.  My sister doesn't eat dairy and these have butter.  The other recipe that I usually use doesn't, so they work perfectly.

Sadly, she didn't get to have rolls for Easter dinner!

The usual recipe suggests putting a honey/butter drizzle on the top.  I don't usually put the butter because of my sister, but I do put the honey.

I figured I could drizzle some honey on these and they would be similar.

I waited until after they were baked and then, while they were still warm, I put the honey and the heat melted it quite nicely.

It made for sticky rolls though.  Everyone had to wash their hands, which they don't usually do when I make the others.   Maybe I used too much?

I just love my bread machine!  

Linking here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pinwheel, Pinwheel, Spinning Around

Well, this has been a ridiculous 2 weeks on the tech front.  I disappeared because I was contemplating and then making this quilt.

And, it was a nice weekend, so I ended up using all of my time for things other than writing on my blog.

Then I got the quilt finished and took pictures with my ipad.

And the pictures got stuck on my ipad and I couldn't get them to email to me, no matter what I did.

And then I remembered that my password changed and I didn't change it in the settings on the ipad.  Once I did that, all was well.  But, it took 2 days of frustration and thoughts of taking pictures of the pictures on my ipad to get them, before I remembered my password had changed!


Anyway, I have never made pinwheel squares before, but I saw it in a book and thought I might like to try it.

I had the teal print that I had found on the remnant rack ages ago and I thought a nice fuschia would be really neat with it since there was a fuschia running through the print.  There's also teal, light pink and some bizarre green/yellow color.

I knew the quilt would go to a baby girl, so I wanted to go with pinks instead of teals.

Since I had such success with my marble bag and denim quilt, I thought I'd use the same wave stitch to quilt this one.

I even got to use the funky arm on my walking foot, like I mentioned here. It made for very well spaced quilting waves.

Just like in my denim quilt, I did not baste it, I did not pin it.  I just laid it on the table, rolled it up and hoped for the best.  This was much smaller than the denim quilt, so it was far easier to manipulate through the machine.

I had some thread breaking issues but I changed the needle and widened the stitch a little and it mostly stopped.  There were two more thread breakages after that, but otherwise it went just as I wanted it to.

I bound it with the same print material that is part of the pinwheel pattern.  I didn't really have enough, so I had to really make a small binding, which wasn't really what I wanted to do.  When there is such contrast as in this quilt, I like to make sure the binding pulls it all back together.

Here's one more view of the top.
I'm really happy with the way the waves look.  I always tied my quilts, but I don't like the very homemade look that they give.  Plus, I recently had to mend a quilt I gave my friend's baby 4 years that I had tied.  The batting had just about dissolved because I left too much space between the ties, so I decided that from now on I have to either tie a million ties, or make peace with my sewing machine and make it quilt.

So far, I'm loving the wavy line look and it might be my signature quilting look!

Linking up here: 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Years Later And I Don't Know Any Better

It's been almost 2 years (two years???) since I wrote this, but I'm very busy making a quilt and my blogging skills are lacking, so I'm reposting.  This is one of my favorite posts because it is just so ridiculous.

And now, I do know what a latte is, but I still go to Starbucks at my local grocery store and order mediums or smalls because I don't believe in their measuring system.

And I never hesitate to add my own sugar now that I know better!

I'll be back this week with pictures of the quilt.  It's like a cotton candy factory exploded  in my sewing room...


This post is so ludicrous, I feel like I just have to share it here and here   and here and  here and here

Hop on over there, after you read this, and see what else people have to share!

Alas, the ipad is back in my mother's hands and out of mine and I am not too sad.  My father is a little surprised that I don't love the ipad because he loves all that is Apple.

Ahhh, spacing.  See that?  There's a space between the last little paragraph and this one.  On the ipad, I can't make spaces appear in blogger, so it really puts a cramp in my blogging style.  And, don't tell k-ster, but since 99.5% of my time spent at a computer is related to blogging, I don't need any more cramps in my style than I already have.

Ahh, space again.

Anyspace, back to my post.

I spent the first 4 days of my school vacation at my sister a-ster's house.  It's nice to go there and not really have plans.  L-ster is almost a year old and is very busy standing and crawling.   She's still taking 2 naps a day, so we didn't make too many plans to do stuff.  And I was fine with that.  Plus it was 85 degrees one day and that was way too hot too soon for me, so I was fine to just loll about on the blanket in the back yard while supervising l-ster in a heat induced coma.

The last day I was there, we went to the zoo.  I get a kick out of the zoo, especially because it's free, so there's no pressure to be there for any length of time.  We were there for a couple of hours and then on the way out, we thought it would be nice to get a coffee from Starbucks.

When I'm on vacation, summer vacation or one during the year, I tend to drink iced coffee in the afternoon.  Around here, my choices are limited, so it's either my house special thanks to the Keurig, or Dunkin Donuts.

I am not familiar with the workings of Starbucks.  In fact, the only Starbucks I have been in was in Paris in February and it was remarkably incident free, as I expected this would be.

A-ster sat outside with l-ster and I went in to get her a soy latte and a drink for myself.  I intended to get an iced coffee, but when I walked in the door, I remembered that I once had a Starbucks Frappucino in a bottle (from the grocery store, those nasty things you can buy) that later was possibly the cause of the only food poisoning I've ever experienced.  I have a thing about food that might have been involved in making me sick, so I immediately was not interested in a cold coffee beverage from Starbucks.

I should have left at that point.

Instead, I thought I'd have a hot coffee.  With cream and sugar.  While I make my coffee at home black for the most part, I do like actual cream and sugar in mine when I'm buying it.

So, I walked up to the counter and ordered a tall soy latte with no incident.  I thought that would be the tricky order.  And then I tried to order myself some coffee.

If they just had normal sizes (small, medium, large, this would be a lot easier).

Me:  And a regular tall latte for me, you know, with cream and sugar.

Barista:  Umm, you mean you want syrup?

Me:  Syrup?  No, I want cream and sugar.

Barista:  Do you mean like packets of sugar?

Me:  Oh, do I do it?  Do I have to put the sugar in myself?  Is that what you mean?  (I could hear myself getting more shrill with each question and looking around frantically, like I had missed the do it yourself station)

Barista:  Um, well, um, like packets?  Do you want packets of sugar?  Or syrup?

Again, I should have taken the soy latte and left at that point.  I briefly scanned the room again to see if I was missing the little station where maybe I do my own cream and sugar, but I was blinded by the "packets or syrup" thing, so I didn't see anything.

Me:  Ok, I don't want any of your stinkin' syrups, no flavors, just cream and sugar.  Now, do I have to do it or do you?

Barista:  (very patiently explaining) We have syrups, is that what you mean?  Like our classic syrup?  That doesn't have any flavoring.

Me:  Classic?  What is it?

Barista:  It's like liquid sugar.

Me:  Ok, fine.  Liquid sugar and cream.  In my latte.

So, she writes something on a cup for me, writes the S for soy latte on a cup and then puts the cups to the side.  For the imaginary person next to her to deal with them I guess, because she turned and helped the next customer while I stood there like a fool.

No one came to get the cups and actually make coffee.

The next customer just got an unsweetened iced coffee and left in like 2 seconds.  Like I should have.

Then it was just me again.  With my outrageous order of cream and sugar.  That the Barista should get for me.

Since the imaginary coffee pourer/latte  maker didn't appear, now the girl had to deal with me.  So she made the soy latte, no problem.

Then it was time for mine.  My "cream and sugar" with the liquid sugar syrup.  And the cream that was going into a latte?  I was only thinking that it should not take like 20 minutes when I am only one of 2 customers in the store.  And that I really should have ordered a cold coffee because this hot one will take forever to cool.

So, she starts pumping the liquid sugar and I hear it sputtering like it's the end of the bottle, so now she has to get another one.  Now the imaginary person DOES appear and she says something about "this lady wants classic syrup" and then I didn't hear the rest but I am sure it involved them rolling around on the floor in hysterics out back.

Classic syrup appeared but the bottle was too full, so she had to pour some down the drain.  WHAT????  She manages to reassemble the pump and squirts in some more and then the fun begins.  Now she has to add cream to my latte.  I guess.  Because I heard her frothing something.  And then she was kind of bumping around looking for a spoon to hold back the froth and then she did some more finagling back there.

Finally, she handed me the soy latte and then stumbled over what she was going to call mine.  And she added that she didn't know if it was sweet enough, but if I needed more liquid sugar, to let her know.  I heard like 5 pumps go into that cup, so I was sure it would be sweet enough.  Especially since it's liquid sugar and it's likely hundreds of times sweeter than any packet could ever be.

What a great disappointment it turned out to be!  Mostly milk!  In a latte.  Go figure~!

As I was explaining my annoyance at all that went on and how it took so looooong, a-ster was dying laughing that I asked the girl to do cream and sugar for me.

That's not how it's done at Starbucks and she should know, because she lived on the west coast for a decade.  She played out for me what the conversation was probably like between the Baristas when I left--- remember the one who made me put cream and sugar in it for her????  What a princess!

And it was only then, as I said the word latte out loud that I realized I should not have asked for cream in my latte.

In my confusion, in the world where tall is small and vente doesn't mean #20, I was thinking latte just meant coffee.  I forgot about the milk part of the latte.  I was so confused by all of the lingo.

And I'm usually so good with languages.

I should have ordered a drip coffee, a-ster now tells me.

And I should have just gone to Dunkin Donuts.

And just so we're clear that I am not alone in my Starbucks nightmare, look at what I found on another site!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Way Too Cool

I don't know how it gets to be the middle of the week and I haven't posted since Saturday.  I guess I have nothing wild to tell you about!

I do, however, need to have you go vote again for my sister.  She's still in the running over at Project Run and Play.  She did a really, really cool thing with designing fabric for a skirt and as soon as I can figure out what she did, I might do the same thing as a piece of artwork.

Go check out her blog for the nitty, gritty details and then go vote for her so we can all vote once more when the finals come out next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tales of A Fourth Grade Something

Do you remember the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?  I think it was Judy Blume, but I'm too lazy to go look it up.  I think that was one of the few titles of hers that I didn't read.  I really liked her books but something about that title turned me off.

Or maybe I read it and forgot about it.  I read books like it was my job before I was in high school, so I have no idea what I read and what I saw on shelves over and over again but didn't bother to read.

Then I got to high school where I was forced to read books I did not enjoy and I put reading on hold for a while.  I thought I couldn't read two books at once and keep track.

I knew nothing about multitasking in high school.

Today, I read a bunch of books at once, a few magazines at the same time and I have a book on tape I'm always ready to listen to on my ipod.

It's no wonder I have no idea what's going on.

But, today's post isn't about books.

It's about 4th grade girl shenanigans.

Do you picture leprechauns when you hear the word shenanigans?  I think the leprechaun should be the shenanigan mascot because I can't hear one without seeing the other.

So, I do a thing called Walking Club one day a week, last period of the day.  I was sort of swindled into doing it, but it's fun and I get to walk and overhear hysterical conversations.  If they had realized all they had to say was walk and eavesdrop, they could have had me doing this from day one.

Anylistening, we have a HUGE group of kids, so they keep enlisting adults to help supervise so it's more like a 20 to 1 ratio instead of 150 to 1 or whatever it was at the beginning.  We go out to the track and the rules are simple:

Walk or run.
Be respectful of which lanes are for running.
Keep your hands to yourself.

And for the most part, they are really good about that.  The best part is that they are free to run or walk without having to stay with a teacher and we can see everyone at once because we are all out on the track.  I wander around, sometimes with kids, sometimes alone, and I come upon great conversations.

Mostly between boys, about Minecraft or some other video game.

And I still laugh when I see kids talking and then, out of nowhere, they go running off like it's the most important race of their lives, mid sentence.

This week, I was treated to a walk with two girls who did.not.stop.talking the entire 40 minutes.  And, unlike most kids, when I walked away to deal with someone, they actually found me again and still.kept.talking.

Their stories were pretty entertaining and ran the gamut.  They clearly had diarrhea of the mouth.

So, they told me of their new plan.

"Mademoiselle Sparkling," one of them said, grinning wildly "we have a new thing we do.  We PAY boys to chase us at recess!"

"You pay them?  With what?"

"Money.  75 cents."

"Oh girls, are you sure that's the best use of your money?  Why do you have to pay them to chase you?  You're going to have boys chasing you all your life.  Why don't you just chase each other and save your 75 cents?"

"Well, we like them to chase us."

"Well, I think you will probably end up in trouble for that, so you probably shouldn't pay people to chase you."

"Ok, that's probably a good idea."

Minutes went by, a hundred stories were told and then they got to the bottom of their plan.

"And see," said the leader of the pair, "when we want them to stop chasing us, we know what to do.  We have this Purell that smells like flowers and they are afraid of it, so we just take it out and they stop!"

"Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm...................wait, so you pay them 75 cents and then when they do what you want, you scare them away?"


Glowing.  They were simply glowing with the perfection in their master plan.

"Girls, I think that might be illegal.  It's like you're luring them into a trap, isn't it?"

"Well..... kind of...."

"Yeah, I actually think that's illegal.  I think you could really get into trouble for that!"

"Ok, well, we haven't actually started paying them yet.  It's something we just thought up."

"I'm going to suggest that you stay away from that plan."

"Ok, we won't do it then.  So you wanna hear about my mother's bird that does this crazy dance in the washing machine?  Like this?  Wanna hear it???? Wanna?  Huh?"

"Oh gee, look at the time girls.  Buses are here, gotta go.  BYE!"

These girls......

Linking here:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's That Time Again

It's time to go visit Project Run and Play to vote for my sister's creation before Thursday night.  Her's is Call Ajaire:  Cape Cod Casual.

I absolutely love this one and I think you will too!