Sunday, September 23, 2012

Halfway House

I feel it important you all know that as I begin writing this blog post, the lyrics "Ooooh, we're halfway there, oh OH living on a prayer!" are blasting in my head. That's what I get for trying to tell you the story about my weekend and how I only got halfway along on everything I started.

I think the problem is the dogs. Yes, we should certainly blame it on the dogs.
For one whole fun-filled week, we are watching Camper's friend, Carl Barks (yes, that is his full name.) Camper and Carl spend most of their time chewing on each other's teeth. It makes a horrible clanking sound, but they seem to find it fun. These two have gotten into more trouble together in one week than Camper has ever gotten into on his own. The first night we had Carl, he pooped on the floor. So naturally Camper did, too. I think it was a solidarity thing. They have broken out of their barricades, slept on our heads, chased squirrels to an inch of their lives, whined, cried, been tied up together outside of the fabric shop like a two-headed monster, and together, they managed to get an avocado off of the kitchen counter and eat the entire ripe contents by the time we got home. An hour later, I got off the phone with animal poison control (who informed me they would be a little sick but just fine). Thanks a lot, internet, for telling me they might DIE.

So I was a little off my game.
There were these sunflower seeds that I roasted. Do you know what a pain in the ass it is to roast your own sunflower seeds? Well let me tell you! After you cut the head off the sunflower, you have to go through and extract each individual seed with your fingertips. After a thorough cleaning (and an inspection for worms--GROSS), you then soak the seeds in salt water for 24 hours, then roast them for 30 minutes or so at 350. When they came out of the oven, I put them into a cute little bowl and saucer I made in pottery class. Guess what? MOST of the sunflower pods didn't even have seeds. We were just sitting there, chewing on these salty little shells, and every now and then you'd find a thin little sliver of sunflower seed goodness. I kept thinking, this would be the perfect diet food! You do all that work and get like 5 calories, but the salt makes you feel like you ate something.

Seriously, why do people do this?
Next up were two botched dress upgrades. The first was an attempt to dye a cute little white dress I bought at a thrift store. I was thinking indigo ombre. Doesn't that sound fabulous? All in all, it was a $14, one-hour-long failed experiment, so not a big deal. But let me just give you this word of advice: You absolutely cannot dye synthetic fibers with RIT dye. The box tells you that, and you may be tempted to not believe the box. But seriously, the box means it. So this little polyester Grecian goddess number? Yeah, it turned a color I'm going to call "silvery cream." It's fine. It's whatever. It is NOT ombre. And it is certainly not indigo. I would show you a photo of the "after," but it's, um, sort of the same.
Next up, I decided to do a little surgery on a vintage dress I bought online. The dress is so cute, but the sleeves were hideous and made me look boxy and frump-a-dump, so I decided to do a little hem at the shoulder and lop them off. The first sleeve went off just fine. The second, I don't know what happened. I think an evil spirit lives in the bobbin of my sewing machine. When I got around the entire armhole, I looked on the underside of the fabric to see the most hideous knot nest looping its wicked way all around the inside of the sleeve. It was so nasty looking that I just set the dress down and backed away slowly. In fact, we might just pretend that never happened.

There was, however, one bright shimmering project that went beyond the halfway point today--I potted this succulent. I had intended this pot and saucer to be a little planter, but the holes in the pot had partially filled with glaze (see: amateur potter). So after we threw out the stupid sunflower seeds, Robb drilled holes in the bottom of the pot through the glaze and I popped this little succulent in place. It took about three minutes, but it was deeply satisfying. With the help of Bon Jovi, I lived on the prayer that I would finish a single project this weekend, and my prayers were answered.


  1. yay for getting one thing done!

  2. Liana! Tomorrow I will share with you my two failed weekend projects!

    Also, this entire post is HAHAHAHAHA I LOVE IT. (And I'm so glad Camper and Carl Barks are OK!)

  3. Dervla, that succulent was a miracle!

    Erin, please please tell me about your failed projects. You know I love the failures. Maybe even better than the successes! Man, I wish this site were interactive so people could post photos in the comments. Sharing is caring!

    1. In the interest of interactivity...

      Failure 1: Fruit leather! I had such great plans for this. I found a simple recipe for homemade fruit leather that involved cutting up and boiling fruit until it's soft, then mashing it, then pouring it onto a cookie sheet and letting it cool, then cutting it into strips and rolling it up in wax paper (fruit rollups!). I thought it'd be fun to make it for Sydney's birthday party, only instead of rolling it up I'd use a cookie cutter and create edible stickers for the little kids. Neat, right? Well, three days later, I have a cookie sheet full of VERY WET, thick, mashed up fruit in my refrigerator. I have no clue where I went wrong with this.

      Failure 2: So thankfully I'd planned to bring something other than fruit leather to Sydney's birthday party, and I decided to make cookies instead. Healthy-ish cookies! For toddlers! I planned to bake carrot cookies and apple cookies. But it was only after finishing both batters that it occurred to me that they were, no joking, the exact same cookie, only one with apples and one with carrots. So I basically made about 2 billion of the same cookie. Oh, and the apple cookies turned out overly soft and kind of underdone and weird. (This story isn't a failure, exactly -- it's just totally not a success.)

    2. Ew...these projects do not sound delicious at all! Did the kids eat the cookies? Or were they on to your trickery much like we were on to mom's carob chips?

      The failed fruit leather reminds me a little bit of the beet cake I tried to make for Robb once on Valentine's Day as a "healthy red velvet". I baked that mofo for about four hours and it was still wet as a puddle. A big, red puddle. It was like a crime scene.

    3. Liana, you are so right: the failures are THE BEST. I'd forgotten all about your love-beet cake disaster.

      The cookies actually tasted just fine. They were basically oatmeal cookies with a little fruit/veggie kick, and the carrot version turned out nice and crispy with pretty orange bits in it. The apple cookies were sloppy, though. I mostly thought it was hilarious that I managed to make two big batches of cookies without realizing they were the exact same cookie. Because I'm dumb.