Thursday, April 30, 2009

I was compelled to buy these purses

You all probably know (hopefully!?) that I have an Etsy shop for my Pass It On Plates. Did you know I have a second shop? I craft when I'm trying to figure something out and all this extra crafting has to go somewhere, so I sell it under the name Compelled at Etsy.

The money earned through Compelled is used for my own shopping. Here's my first ever Etsy order:

They haven't arrived yet, but they should be here soon. They're made by SweetDandies up in Washington state.

I have been needing something like these for a long long time. Silly me was only looking in local stores, when finally I smacked myself on the forehead and yelled "Etsy!!"

Yeah, I did that literally. I was in the grocery store at the time and got lots of funny looks. Rachel was mortified.

Anyway, I think they'll be perfect to hold two kinds of receipts: personal shopping and business shopping. Otherwise it's too hard to keep them separate in my purse.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pam's books

Pam's other books, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

After last Thursday's post, you now know that we have a HUGE amount of books (and there are about 10 more boxes of books still in storage) are some of my books. Yeah, I'm a dork. I have similar books on my bedside table.

Pam's Books, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Here are move of my books. In college, I was a Graphic Design major and now am studying Marketing, so that's where a lot of my interest lies.

Ok, so I also have some Sue Grafton (I love Kinsey Milhone!), Janet Evanovich, Lillian Jackson Braun (is Qwill a Youper - from Michigan's U.P? I always wonder if that's where Pickax is.) Of course, Harry Potter is there somewhere. Rachel is trying to get me to read Twilight, but I know I won't be able to put it down and I just don't have 24 hours to sit and read the book straight through right now. I do that with every Harry Potter book that comes out and although I love the book, it kills any chance that I'll get anything done.

Maybe if I ever schedule foot surgery... Nah I'm kidding. But with every Harry Potter book I started Friday night and finished up Saturday evening. Straight through without sleeping.

I'm nuts, I know.

What book have you been putting off - because you know you won't be able to put it down once you start?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Books, books, and more books...

The living room bookcase is now in the garage - aka The Pass It On Plates Studio. No, we don't park in the garage of the new place; it's just the studio/office. And what better place for our ten foot wide by six feet tall bookcase stuffed with books?

Yes, you read that right. We have a lot of books. While I have a ton of tapes, CDs, and downloaded MP3s, The Chef is Deaf and he buys books. Most of these are his, and about a third are cookbooks. (Since he's a Chef, several are professional books.) The rest of the books range from theology & Bibles, (yes plural - I think he has over a dozen different versions), Chess, politics, horror, classics (Thoreau, Shakespeare, Poe,) history & anthropology, finance, gardening & herbs...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Computer Paper Organization

Computer paper organization, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Pam is a little anal retentive when it comes to being organized. Of course, you'd never know it if you walked through our living room at this moment. Keep in mind, she lives with the Tornado Twins.

That's kind of why, when we moved into the condo, she took over the one car finished garage with her PIOP Studio. It's her "Girl Cave" and she doesn't have to deal with anyone else's messes in there but her own. Which she promptly cleans up.

Most of the time.

Sort of.

When the weather is warm enough to go out there in the first place.

Ok, so here's what she does with all our various computer papers. Miss Anal Retentive organizes them by type, then puts them in a labeled magazine holder.

Stationery is obvious, but Biz Cards & Project Papers are biz cards, of course, and CD Labeling papers, Post Cards, Half Fold Greeting Cards, etc.

Labels are pretty much anything adhesive.

Even The Chef (the elder Tornado Twin) grudgingly appreciates the organization and can find what he's looking for within seconds. Success!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Three Caesars

Here are three Caesars at Beverly Beach yesterday. We had a great time - I'll show you the rest of the pictures later.

I just had to share this one picture. It's the Three Caesars: In the flesh, his shadow, and his reflection.

How cool.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I don't send Thank You notes anymore...

I send Thank You plates.
With cookies.

Sometimes I feel guilty doing this because I get a Thank You note back for my Thank You plate.

It's a Catch-22.

Mobile blogging!

I just registered my phone and now can blog on the run. If something irresistably exciting happens, that is...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where you live as a TV show title

On a road trip from Minneapolis to Florida, a long time ago, we drove through Normal, IL. We giggled at that name and wondered about the people there. Now, many years later, a very crazy (in a good way) friend of mine lives there. When I asked once, if she lives in the center of town, she said she lives at the edge of Normal.

I replied, Uh huh...
Jennifer: Teetering On The Edge Of Normal

That got me to thinking.... which is Pam-talk for "Brace yourself, here it comes!"

How fun would it be to use where you live as the title to your life story as a TV show?

Mine would be:

Pam Hawk: Busy Intersection, Yield Maybe
Pam Hawk: White-Knuckled Left Turns

If you're a Salem reader and are familiar with our jagged city boundary lines and annexed neighborhoods and the yellow posts along the side of the road, you'll get this next one:

Pam Hawk: Ent Salem, Lv Salem, Ent Salem, Lv Salem


Pam Hawk: Possibly in Salem. Or not.

All of this could be summed up, perhaps as

Pam Hawk: Urban Country. Watch the road.

While pondering this, I got a text message from The Chef. It said:

hey, just let u know that i use internet via my cell phone. all apt bldgs, condos, small mall, and the bar lost their electric power. i checked around. stop lights are out and nice ornament on road--someone have car accident, well hope someone have a good insurance. just hangout here in unlit home and waiting for high power to bestow the electricity to us. talk to u ltr.

I decided that a tv show title for him could be:
Chef Red Hawk: Road Ornaments and Darkness
The Hawks: Never A Dull Moment

What would a TV show about your life be if you used where you live as part of the title?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Interesting newspaper categories...

But wait - there's more. Turns out it's a single news article (an obituary) from November 2008. (Note Google's date of Apr 7, 2009...)

But wait - there's even more. The obit is for a 46 year old football coach who had a heart attack and died right after a game. In the comments below the article, one reader states:

Ok, while I am making fun of newspapers, I'm not making fun of football players... it's just that this one made me giggle.

PS: I just found the news article I was looking for, regarding a bad storm in the area. The headline reads:

Storm reeks havoc across Lee County

What'd it do - hit the city sewage plant?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A List for the Ikea Junkie

I love Ikea.
Every chance I get, I make the hour-long drive up to PDX (that's Portland... Oregon) to go there and drool over their rooms and misc must-haves...
...then I hate to leave and return to my home which does not look anything like their rooms filled with misc must-haves.

And I plan my visit around lunch so I can have meatballs in their cafeteria.
Of course.

My friend Marcy put it best when we went together to the Portland Oregon Ikea soon after it opened:
"It's like the Mothership has landed."

Even her 13 (or 14?) year old son and my daughter had fun poking around the rooms and snickering at the funky textiles.

Are you an Ikea junkie, too?
Check out these links:

Have you even been to an Ikea? If you have, you know they give all their merchandise weird names. Johanna, my Swedish friend who is actually from Sweden, said the names don't actually mean anything; they're just random names.

Nonetheless, I did once read that Norwegians once got miffed when they realized that the higher-end merchandise was named after Swedish places and the budget, lower-end items were named after Norwegian places.

No surprise there. For me, anyway. Literally about a hundred years ago my grandfather's parents, who were Swedish immigrants, would check up on my Norwegian grandmother to make sure she was keeping the house clean enough for their son.

Because she was a lowly Norwegian.

Ah, times have changed. A little...
And sorry, Gram, I still love Ikea.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Super Family Fun Day

We took a big Super Family Fun Day trip to Lincoln City, Oregon back in January. I thought I had already posted this but whoops! Guess not.

Here's how we spent our day...
Of course, it started with Rachel's hair ritual. She has ultra curly hair.

Wow, that's quite a 'do.
Her mohawk is growing out. We discovered this interesting fact while getting ready for Super Family Fun Day.

We're finally on the road and Rachel is shooting stuff out the window from her backseat. Our destination today: Lincoln City, Oregon. Our goals: run around on the beach with the dog, then find a new place to have supper. It's Super Family Fun Day!

"Poop Farm"I'm announcing that we're approaching the Poop Farm. Everybody hold your breath; Frank you keep that window closed of I'll duct tape you to the roof of the car for the rest of the ride.

Anyone who grew up in dairy farm country knows the smell of slurry. This is slurry at it's best. And yes of course they spread the liquid slurry on the fields in the summertime when traffic to the coast is at its peak. Everyone here is familiar with the poop farm on Hwy 22 just east of Rickreall.

No, seriously, it's a poop farm. They make dairy waste based fertilizer. It sure smells like it, too. You can't see much in the picture but the cement barrier in the road doesn't prevent you from enjoying the experience.

As they say, "You can't miss it."

Call me silly but I love this partI always get excited about going to the coast when we reach that first section of road where the uphill lane splits and all the slow cars move to the right... so I can keep cruise control set at 59 as I zoom upward.

Ever watch Ax Men on the History Channel?

Here's one of the locations where the lumber is handled after they get it off the mountain. It's blurry because congestion in this area is bad and this stretch of road is notorious for fatal car accidents, so Rachel shot this from the back seat while I just kept driving 50mph.

If you haven't seen the tv show, check it out. It's really interesting to see what these guys have to go through.

The Van Duzer CorridorHeading up the last few hundred feet to Murphy's Pass (the mountain pass).

Gloomy and rainy. Typical Oregon winter weather. Are we crazy to be heading to the beach today?
Nah. It's a beautiful day...

Oh yeah, and parts of the road are washing awayThe sign behind us said "Right lane closed. Rough road."

No kidding. I think I'll hug the yellow line because the dropoff to the right is at least 100 feet through big trees and brush.

Wait - where's the yellow line? I'll have to just try to keep to the right of this car coming up the mountain.

Ahhh, at last we're here at the beach.

Arriving to this point might be the most exciting part of any trip to the coast. I get so excited when I open the car door to hear the roar of the waves and smell the salty brine of the ocean. In the summer I usually roll down the car windows as we pull into town, to try to get the salt air into the car as early as possible.

Logs can kill.
(And these two are plotting something.)
Seriously. There are signs around town (esp in the summer) that warn tourists that logs can kill. They have killed before and they'll kill again. They're a rogue group of murderers, roaming the beaches, and rolling with the tide.

These two look suspicious to me. I don't trust them.

This beach Rocks!Winter storms clean all the sand off the beach, leaving behind nothing but rocks. The sand comes back in time for summer hole-digging, castle building, and running with kites.

What is it about me and rocks? When we moved from our first house to the next one, I insisted we move some specific rocks from the front garden to the new place. Now, several home later, I still have a collection of rocks on my windowsill. I don't know what my fascination is... I just really like rocks.

WARNING: bad pun ahead

Metamorphic Rock (Granite) - Sedimentary Rock (Sandstone)

Igneous Rock (Lava) - Religious Rock (It's holey)

Great day for beachcombing

The fun isn't just in finding agates, driftwood, cool fossils, and shells. It's also fun to find weird rocks.

Rachel & Caesar at the mouth of the D River
The D River is the shortest river in the world. It runs from Devil's Lake to the Pacific Ocean in Lincoln City. You can walk across it but it's really cold in the winter. The river cuts deep grooves in the sand - perfect for dunking an unsuspecting dog as he chases seagulls across the river.

We He discovered this by accident.

Mussel shellOne of the least interesting finds on the beach today...

Miss Goofiness's New NecklaceMiss Rachel was feeling crafty the other day. Her style is punk / grunge / alternative trendsetting. You've seen her red shoes and skinny pants in the other photos...
Say no more.

Our first agate!The purple caught my eye. We've never found an agate on the beach before. I can't decide if we should polish it in a rock tumbler or keep it raw.

Maybe it's not an agate.
Maybe it's a tiny spaceship from the movie Star Wars.

Rock shapes are as intriguing to us as cloud shapes are to other people... It was just a lot of fun to walk and pick on the beach.

An ancient fish?
This is just too cool.

(Here I am, trying to be all 'edjumacashional' in the video - for G-ma and G-pa to see - and Rachel makes the coolest discovery yet.)

BTW, if you're looking for gift ideas...

Before heading home, we stopped at a family style restaurant for supper.
Frank's telling a joke here. Unfortunately, nobody remembers what it was.

The only pen in Pam's purse lights upWe went out to eat, so of course we played Hangman. The only pen I have in my purse is the kind that lights up.

Yeah, I'm kind of a weirdo.

Even signing a restaurant check is fun...
The button at the end turns on the light. To get the ink nib out, you need to twist the tip. Rachel and I snickered as Frank struggled to get the pen to write.

Rachel's studying percentages in math, so we told her to figure the 15% tip on our bill.

Waitstaff out there will be pleased to know that she has also been taught that when calculating tips you start at 15% and round up to a nice number, at least to the next 50c mark.

Driving home, Rachel shot this picture of ... um...gas station/casino/grocery store/coffee drive-thru signs...

Hmm, looks like a comet aiming for a herd of glow-in-the-dark seahorses.

Thanks for joining us on our Super Family Fun Day!
We'll have to go on another one together soon.

PS: We actually took a LOT more pictures than this. To see the rest of them, along with commentary, you can visit our flickr Super Family Fun Day slide show for to see the rest. On that page, hover your mouse in the upper right and click Show Info for all the commentary.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Crafty Tutorial: Cord Keepers

Here's a cheap-easy-fast project!

This is another craft project that gets the creative juices going before tackling bigger projects. Plus, it uses up fabric scraps too small for most projects but too nice to throw out.

I may have a cluttered home, but I'm kind of anal retentive about keeping things organized... as much as possible, anyway. These cord keeper tubes are here and there in nearly every room because it keeps electrical cords neat and compact. There's one on the cord for my kitchen hand mixer, electric frying pan, curling iron, hair dryer, flat iron, spare extension cords, heating pad, glue gun (shown here), the iron in the laundry room, etc etc. I hate pulling out something with a cord and having the cord all twisted and tangled around other stuff. That drives me nuts.

Here's how to make your own:

-Protect your work surface because this project is messy and gluey. A still-folded paper grocery bag works fine.
-Start with a cardboard tube. Toilet paper tubes work great because of the length, but you can use wrapping paper tubes or paper towel tubes, too.
-Grab the white glue and a plastic spoon.
-You'll need an 8"x8" square of fabric (no linen because it dries too scratchy)
-Get a piece of waxed paper ready

1. Lay out the fabric on a protected surface, right side down.
2. Slather with white glue and spread it out to all edges with the plastic spoon.
3. Lay the tube at one end of the fabric and roll up.
4. Tuck the fabric into the ends of the tube. The wet fabric will fight you. Fight back with the spoon. Be patient.
5. Smooth out the fabric and rub in any areas that are still heavily glued.
6. Stand up the wet gluey tube on the waxed paper and let dry overnight.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vat is zee Chateau Bianca?

Chateau Bianca vinyards & winery

One time, a few years ago, we were on our way home from a trip to the coast, and Rachel had to go to the bathroom. There were no towns, waysides, or gas stations between the little voice in the back seat saying, "I have to go potty" until we reach home, about half hour later, so we looked for a place to stop.

This winery is the only place along the way that I knew of. Since they have a public shop, I figured I could talk them into letting us use their facilities. The public shop is in a white house on the property, which is more visible when heading downhill. (This picture was shot while driving uphill.)

The trouble wasn't getting permission to use the bathroom; it was explaining to my sister, who was driving, where to go. Coming from the coast, this winery is around a big curve after a long steep decline down the mountain. You need to start slowing down way before you see the winery or you'll miss it.

My sister probably won't think this is funny, but since she studied French in High School this story always makes me giggle. I told her we can stop at a winery called Chateau Bianca.

She wasn't familiar with it and asked, "What am I looking for?"

I replied,
"Chateau Bianca is a white house."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Red Poppy

I'm extremely thrifty when it comes to decorating, and most of my projects can be made with cash found in the sofa. And laundry machine... And car cup holder...

When we remodeled our first house, about 8 years ago, I needed some red art for the bathroom, and I needed it quick. It also had to be ultra cheap. (It's not hard to make some pretty darn good looking art for a pretty darn low price.)

Enter clip art.
Yes, this red poppy is clip art.

I printed it out, framed it in a collection of mats that fit in a silver frame I had in the attic, and put it up on the wall. Perfect.

It hung on the wall in our next bathroom, in the office of the next house after that, in the bathroom of the tiny apartment we recently moved out of, and now it hangs in my studio, waiting for its next incarnation. The red poppy is still up on the wall, but I'm thinking of digging through my clip art for another image.

In the picture above, design-wise, it helps bring the red color around the room. You can't see it, but there is a red geometric shower curtain on the opposite wall. We also have red bath towels on a shelf opposite the mirror.

Mood-wise, it makes people happy to see this bold but simple statement every time they wash their hands or brush their teeth.

And it only cost about $3.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This would make a good doorstop

The bathroom where we keep the cat box has a funky door. It's hung weird and it swings shut without any effort.

One late afternoon Rachel was the first person home and she couldn't find the cats. A search of the house revealed they had accidentally "locked" themselves in the bathroom. To while away the time (who knows how long) they chewed up and unrolled a roll of toilet paper, pulled all the towels off the towel bars, deposited a variety of gritty substances (???) across the bathroom counter, examined the soap dish in the tub, and dissected the bathroom trash. They also became very familiar with hopping across the toilet seat to get to the sink and counter. Thank God we always keep the toilet seat down, right? If not, the mess could have been much worse.

When I got home later that evening, I went up to the bathroom to examine the remains of their fun afternoon. While up there, I availed myself of the facilities. The second I stood up - and before I could flush - Violet jumped up on the toilet seat (lid still up), slipped and fell into the bowl, then darted onto the counter and tried to exit the bathroom.

You have never seen a bottomless person (I didn't have a chance to pull my pants up before this happened!) take such a quick nanosecond to reach out and grab a startled wet cat, slam the bathroom door shut, and shove the squirming cat into the sink, all the while yelling, "Oh. My. God! You have got to be kidding me!"

Within 15 minutes, the cat had her nice bath, the bathroom was disinfected, and contact paper was immediately placed sticky side up on all forbidden surfaces.

Good kitty.

And so that's why this is a good doorstop. To prevent the cats from being forced to practice other neat tricks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A little renovation...

As you can see, the blog is kind of a mess today. I'm giving it a face lift but have to go do other things for the rest of the day.

If things are out of order or duplicate or otherwise in a state of confusion, sorry. I'll try to get the remodel completed over the next few days.

Meanwhile, I highly recommend that you check out one of both of the following blogs:

Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities
, especially these two recent posts:

Stuff White People Like
(Pam's disclaimer: Don't be offended by this blog. It's parody; kind of like Norwegians telling Sven and Ole jokes...)

Both of these blogs make me laugh so hard my face hurts, tears stream down my cheeks and I nearly pee my pants.

I'd like to share that experience with you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Washington Roadtrip 2008

I'm moving some stuff around and wanted to get this slideshow off the blog footer.

We're thinking about what roadtrip we want to take next, so stay tuned for another adventure!