I Still Have the Chills

This is a long post. But, you need to know this information. Bear with me and please, read on.

Dave and I are house sitting. In the wilderness. It’s a beautiful home nestled in the woods – absolutely amazing place. We’ve stayed there many times since Dave and the owner have worked together quite a bit since we moved to Nashville, and he trusts us to take care of his horses, his dog, Puzzles, and property. We love to stay out there.

Here’s where it gets interesting. And let me also warn you that the Tuesday story is a bit yucky, and you may want to skip it if you’re not really into yucky.

Monday: first day we were out there. We were so tired Monday night that we instantly went to bed when we got there and luckily I hadn’t remembered THIS whole thing about the last time we stayed.

Tuesday: we noticed a smell right away that was, to put it delicately, naaahas-tay. It smelled like rotting fish, a smell we know well having grown up by a lake. We discovered what appeared to be a fully digested dead animal that had been “pooed” out by Puzzles in the shower. Dave and I were understanding and compassionate towards Puzzles and actually not angry, because as I put it Tuesday night, “Poor Puzzles. That really looked like emergency poo.” And who can blame a dog for emergency poo?

Wednesday: so so tired. I decided to take a much needed nap after work. I curled up in bed and heard Puzzles playing upstairs. I had never seen Puzzles go upstairs before, so I thought it was pretty unusual, but not a big deal, so I fell right to sleep. Wednesday night Dave and I were talking in the living room and I was telling him about Puzzles playing upstairs and we looked over the stairs and noticed that the BEDROOM DOOR WAS CLOSED! Puzzles can.not. open doors, or even shut them… she can’t do that. Whatever was up there 1. got in somehow, through a hole in the house? That’s still there? For other animals to climb into? 2. Either figured its way back out of the house or 3. IS STILL UP THERE. 4. I’m still creeped out.

So, I was already a bit on edge Wednesday night and then we heard more Puzzles activity just next to my side of the bed in the master bedroom. “Weird,” I said, “I didn’t even hear Puzzles come back in here.” DUHM DUHM DUUUUHMM. We turned on the light, and sweet little fuzzy Puzzles was nowhere to be seen. So… what the heck was that noise? And what the heck were those subsequent noises in the wall, the closet, and the ceiling?

Thursday: oh man. Thursday. Dave and I were discussing the strange noises (read I was freaking out and Dave was doing his best to calm me down) and I decided to investigate. Keep in mind, I’m not the investigatory type. I like to keep myself away far from whatever it is I don’t know about. I would like to continue to be, at all times, left in the dark, singing my rainbows and sprinkles tunes and whistling sparkles.

Speaking of dark – earlier that night, Dave thought it would be really fun to sneak up on me in the dark kitchen at 9:30 at night. It wasn’t really fun. I was a mess after that. And back to “after that…”

There I went to break out of my comfort zone and check things out for myself. I opened the closet door. Mistake number one. I found a giant, hairy, scare-the-hoo-haw-out-of-me, monster. It was all squatty in the back corner of the closet, waiting to jump out at me and drag my terrified body up into the wall forever and keep me as a slave. Turns out, it was a 3 feet tall spool of white and gray wool that had not been spun yet. Mistake number two: who the heck keeps a spool of unspun wool in their closet?! I climbed back into bed and pretended that the last three days had not happened.

Today: Dave’s parents are coming to visit us this weekend. I think I’ll let them stay in the master bedroom.


Accomplishment Feels Good

Craftacular was a smashing success! I didn’t take many pictures at all. Two of the women there are professional photographers and while I love them dearly, they intimidate the heck out of me when it comes to my completely lacking photo skills. I met some really great people, had some really great food, and finished so many projects. Not quite the 15 – 20 I had in mind, but still… lots of things. Although I have to bug Mr. Hagen to take some more pictures of the other things I completed, I did snap a few pictures while I was there.

I finished: 8 paintings, 1 headband, 2 sewing projects, and 2 journals. As I said the other day, “take that old, never-finish-a-darn-thing Steph.”

These paintings will go up on the wall someday. As in… the day I finish the 9 pillow covers I want to sew, clean my house, and make the felt chandelier I’ve been dreaming up for a few months.

I have a disease in which every sewing project I attempt causes me to think terrible, terrible things about fabric and thread and needles, and everything I touch turns into a puddle of disaster and sadness. That being said, this apron I made turned out pretty well. I made a dishrag that matches and hooks on two little loops by that ruffly pocket you see, which I admit, did make me think some pretty awful things about jersey knit.

Craftacular Craftacular

Friday I’m leaving town for, what will most likely be, the most fun any group of people has ever had ever. I mean… I don’t want to exaggerate or get my hopes up or anything, but seriously. Most fun ever.

Two good friends and I are heading out East somewhere (I don’t know where exactly… good thing I’m not driving) to meet up with another three girls and we’re going to craft ALL WEEKEND. I currently have a list of 15 – 20 items that I want to make. And most of them are sewing… since, you know, sewing is my arch nemesis I thought, ‘oh this will be fun. 13 sewing projects in three days.’ But I’ve been told that the moral support will help me complete these sewing projects.

Fingers tightly crossed.


My super cute friend, Angie, is about to have a baby girl. Angie’s got awesome style, so of course when she had a baby shower recently, it had to have awesome style to match. A couple of girls threw the. cutest. baby shower. ever. Here are a few pictures from the party.

Madeline Rose is what they’re going to name the cutey when she gets here. Isn’t that name perfect? And isn’t that banner perfect?

The girls who decorated for the shower had a paper doll “theme” and it was adorable! Little vintage paper dolls all over the house.

One of the things we did at the party was decorate onesies. They were all so cute. I think I found my life’s true calling. Do you think onesie doodling could be a professional career? I sure hope so.

Being in my mid-twenties and not having something to fill decorated onesies with is hard sometimes… ok. all the time. All the time it’s hard to not have a sweet cooing baby all bundled up in my arms. But don’t tell that to my friends that DO have babies, because they won’t believe you. They’re all like “diapers and crying and disobediance and no sleep and…” something else I can’t remember….

Maybe a Little Surprise

I’ve got something brewing for which I’m currently over the moon. OVER THE MOON I tell you. You’ll probably not think it’s as cool as I do – but I’m hoping.

In a week or so (hopefully) it will be done enough to release? unveil? whatever… in a week or so I want to tell you what the surprise is. In the meantime, things may be a little light around here.

Snow Day Salsa

Mr. Hagen is addicted to salsa. Salsa before bed, salsa with every meal, salsa, salsa, salsa. I can enjoy a good salsa, too – but I’m a little picky.
Picky eaters find their way in life. Whether by refusing to attend dinner parties, or learning to cook things their own way, they clear a path for themselves. Since I cannot say no to a party, I made salsa!
On top of that, we had 4 or 5 inches of snow and ice here, and all I had in the house was a pile of oranges and LOTS of canned goods. This recipe uses almost only canned goods and dried spices. Perfect for snow days when you can’t make a dash to the store.
Here’s the recipe:
2 tsp of minced garlic
1 jalepeno diced
I sauteed those on the stove for just a bit until I could really smell it – plus, I’ve had a cold for like, 8 months now, I think – so my smelling isn’t at the top of its game.
2 7oz cans of Salsa Verde
1 7oz can of chopped green chiles
1 13oz can of tomato puree
1 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
about 1/8 cup of dried cilantro
1 tsp each of cumin, onion powder, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of Chipotle powder

I let all the ingredients simmer on the stove for about an hour, let them cool, and then poured it into some cute Ball Jars and stuck it in the fridge. Which of course was the first thing Dave grabbed when he came home from work. His opinion – “Mmm. Good salsa, buddy.”