Monday, October 11, 2010

No pressure.

This weekend marks a pretty momentus occasion: Josh's mom and husband are finally coming out to KC to visit.

After nearly 5 and a half years of him living in the midwest, they are coming out and spending a long weekend with us. A long weekend where they will make it into town before Josh does. A long weekend where Josh, Ruth (his mom) and I are running the KC 1/2 Marathon. A long weekend where I have to really break out my alternative housewifery type skills and show everyone how truly amazing I am.

What size am I? Size awesome.

The problem with this lies in the fact that due to recent developments at my job, I haven't been at home hardly at all in the last 45 days. So my to do list is as follows:

1. Deep clean entire house.

2. Wash the dog.

3. Plan menus.

4. Grocery shop.

5. Find my sanity.

The last of which I plan on doing with a pedicure. Oh, and somewhere in there actually believe that I will finish the half marathon without dying. Which remains to be seen. I haven't actually been training like I should. Like I said: traveling, slight job change, stress... all of this equals Abigail being incredibly lazy and/or making priorities that aren't running.

But I've decided that tonight I am attacking the menu planning. We have a few obstacles, kiddies:

1. Josh's mom's husband Hal is a vegetarian. Normally this would not be an issue, because I was nearly one myself for two years, and can really rock a good no-meat dish. But Josh can't do that. So instead I have this crazy idea of making tons of sides. Hopefully I can make it work.

2. Race Weekend = Carbs. As we all know my inner fat kid loves her some carbs. So whatever I am making Friday has to be pretty carb heavy for the race Saturday. Pasta per chance?

3. Number of meals, unsure. When people come visit I have a dilemma. I want to show them some authentic KC grub, which normally means BBQ, but also, dammit they need to eat some authentic Abby cuisine. I'm a good cook. I have all the cookbooks to prove it. (See below) So I don't know exactly in this 4 day period just how many meals I have to plan for. So let's safely assume I have three dinners, a lunch, and a brunch. The rest? We go out!

So off I go to attack the menus. Luckily I have my arsenal below: Cookbooks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day.

As most everyone I know heads off to a lake, a river, someplace other than their residence... Josh and I have opted to stay home and work on the house. With all the traveling both he and I do for our jobs, we just haven't accomplished anything in the last 6 months. So our 3 day weekend is now a 3 day "work until the house is finished" type of weekend.

And as old as it makes me sound, I'm completely stoked about it.

I'll be organizing and deep cleaning every room... but most importantly throwing things away. I hate being a packrat. I carry little to no emotional attachment to things. Comes from decades of moving every couple of years. So although my house is cozy and homey, I refuse to have it bottled up with nonsense and clutter. Maybe slight clutter, but not messy gross clutter.

Yes, there is a difference.

Josh is tackling all the outdoor projects: rain gutters, flower beds, lawn, etc. Our friend Andy (from here on out to be referred to as BearClaw) will be tackling indoor projects such as: laying down wood laminate in the downstairs bath, fixing our porch light, building bookshelves. And I'm in charge of feeding and watering them (like animals) as well as all the wifey indoor jobs. Like I said, I've bought all new kitchen organization, I'll be spring cleaning both Josh and I's closets (read: throwing crap we don't wear away), organizing all the closets, doing laundry, rearranging my bedroom, and refinishing a few pieces of furniture.

Let's talk about that for a second. Natalie and I scour garage sales, curbs, flea markets, etc., for older pieces of furniture with "good bones." Then we find a way to make them our own. Painting, changing hardware, etc. I've been doing this since college and some really amazing pieces from it. This weekend I have a chest of drawers and a bedside table to rework. Along with building a frame for my ticket collage for the mancave to make into a coffee table.

Then there is the beaver.

Josh went to Oregon State. So one of the walls in the basement is all Oregon State Beaver paraphernalia. So I promised him I would paint a giant logo from his school (a beaver head) as a piece of artwork for the wall. And that is my last project of the weekend.

Not sure what Clod will be doing. I'm guessing running around the yard chasing that disgusting old volleyball he loves and barking at the neighborhood kids walking by.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Quilt, Therefore, I am.

It amazes me that in all my years of sewing, crafting, and homemaking I never once tried quilting. I've made drapes, dresses, table runners... but never once pieced together odd yet coordinating fabrics to get that old school feel of a quilt.

Until now.

Quilting, by the way, in my family is a huge deal. There are quilts passed down for generations. I have two aunts that are quilting rockstars. And considering how much I'm into puzzles and all of that jazz quilting seems to be the crafting project that I would excel at. So I did it. And thanks to a little prodding and lots of help from Natalie, I'm now a piecing queen. As she has corrected me I haven't quite quilted yet. That happens after I piece. Gotcha. I'll learn.

This all started because I wanted to make my kitchen more homey. Earlier this year I had torn out our backsplash and painted it this awesome shade of orange called, Carrot Cake.

But the look was unfinished. I had bought some great brown drapes for the sliding doors but hadn't attacked anything else. Lacking inspiration and motivation. But yesterday inspiration hit. I wanted to insert fabric into my antique pie safe. I wanted a matching table runner/piece and do make drapes. So Nat and I headed to Joann's and found fantastic fabrics and I pieced my first project. A table square.

Of course this has inspired me to no end. The valance in the kitchen will also have a quilted look about it, and next week I'm starting an ACTUAL quilt for the spare room. Clearly this is my new crafting obsession. Look for updates on my quilt coming soon... I'm thinking red toile...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Back to Basics.


So I've been a little lax on the blogging lately. It happens. I'll bet if you read any of your favorite blogs they take hiatuses. I, however, have no excuse except that I was lazy, a little depressed, and had no motivation. But I'm back people. Back in black. Or rather my new motto, in the vein of Ina Garten: Back to Basics.

And with that, I return to The Alternative Housewife with new pictures, a new outlook, new recipes, and of course, new stories about living with Josh & Clod. We are quite the little group.

Clod, by the way, is enormous now. At 9.5 months he weighs in at roughly 45 lbs. He still makes piles of my shoes and unmentionables when I'm away from the house for extended periods. He has discovered a love of oranges and grapefruits. And most importantly, he is really taking to training. Minus the fact tha tI'm a horrible trainer and just give him treats for no reason. I also allow him on the couch (which apparently is a no-no), talk to him like he's a baby, and let him get away with murder.

I'll be a horrible mother someday (if I ever decide I'm not selfish enough to have kids, that is.)

I started a new job about a month ago and it's basically the best decision of my entire life. Hustling beer is a great gig. Plus I'm learning to cook with it. Posts to follow, I'm sure.

But for now I'll leave you with a little photo of me and Clod. I had it framed for Josh for Christmas and he is right now deciding where he wants it.

Happy 2010, my readership. Here is to more alternative housewife-ship in the future!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blueberry Buckle

For the last five days all we have done is unpack and put things away. Well I say "we" simply because those times I allow Josh to help are few and far between. Because let's face it: if he puts it away I'll probably want to rearrange it. He knows this, and therefore sticks to the mancave or boxes of random things from his house that we need to find places for. He's very kind in letting this be my project. Lord knows I need it.

So yesterday afternoon we cruise around Liberty trying to learn more about it as it will be our home for the next few years and at the grocery store are blueberries on sale for an ungodly cheap price. So instead of making chocolate chip or banana nugget cookies I opt for a Blueberry Buckle.
Buckles, if you aren't aware, are this fantastic fruity coffee cake, basically. The bottom is a sweet (but not too sweet) dense cake, and the top has fruit and a sort of brown sugar streusel. Fantastic. By the time my brother, sister-in-law, mother, and niece waltzed in around 5:30pm it was bubbling in the oven and smelling up the entire house. I rule.

Josh, however, pretty much upstaged me with the main course: Wild Alaskan Salmon poached in soy, garlic and onion, served over rice. Wow. I can't even describe how good it was. Not to mention how fun it is to see him cook in the kitchen. Martha Hitler didn't come out once in me last night, as he commanded that room almost better than I do.

So today as he heads off to Toronto for three days I've decided to have a piece of buckle for breakfast (along with my first coffee in the new house) and attack some more boxes before going to work. Clod, of course, has opted to lay around the air conditioning vent and make piles of my shoes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stress and a new backsplash.

Last night when I got off work I was completely stressed to the core. I didn't know what was going on moving-wise because Josh was doing all of it while I was at work. I didn't know where my dog was. I want this move to be over so I can stop living out of boxes. On top of all of that it is pouring down rain and I hate driving in rain because of my wreck.

But I walked in the door last night and Josh seemed to have it under control. Minus the water not being on everything was working out fine. We slept in the new house, Clod is liking his new surroundings, and Josh even promised he'd put the bed on a frame soon and let me change the backsplash in the kitchen. (Thank goodness he hates it too.)

So although I woke up again this morning stressed out, I know tonight everything else will get moved... and I can finally start the process of "living" in this new space. And that will help me breathe easier.

Not to mention my mom took me to Lowe's today to check out ideas for the new backsplash and I found exactly what I was going to do. 

Monday, July 27, 2009


Last night Josh calls me from Anchorage telling me that he'd like me to turn on the utilities to the new house today. Not a problem. Happy to do it. He gives me his social security number and this morning I start making calls. And am stopped within about 15 minutes.

Yeah, turns out they aren't real keen on letting other people use your social to start service. And since I won't turn them on in my name (is it my house? no... I'm a renter, it's in my lease) I emailed him the companies numbers so he could finish the job I started.

Not sure if he's pissed about it or not. But his name is on the house, it should probably be on all the utilities too. I can't imagine this being a problem. It takes probably 10 minutes out of his day. But I know he's busy and stressed and just fresh off the plane from 10 days in Alaska... so I have a feeling this might strike him wrong and he'll get angry.

Basically I failed at my first task as homemaker. And I work tonight so I'm going to miss the first truck load of moving in. This day is not starting out the way it should.