Saturday, November 15, 2014

Art and Socializing

Honor’s school held a social event tonight that involved learning to paint and hanging out with other members of her Middle School. We had to brave freezing temps to get out there, but it was worth it. We had a fun time and both painted a nice picture of a crab. I chose to do a background with newspapers showing Maryland and DC scenery, Honor chose animals, nature and culture.

In the beginning, we had a blank canvas…

Next we created our backgrounds… (mine then Honor’s)


It took several hours… with breaks and pizza… and finally, we were done. For a couple of wannabe artists whose main experience with crabs is in crab cake or crab rangoon form, I think we did alright!

Honor’s crab…


and mine.


What a fun evening!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Craft Room

I have too much craft stuff. I admit it. I like arts and crafts. I like yarn, cross stitch, weaving, embroidery, sewing, carving, painting, drawing, sewing, etc. Some of these hobbies I’m pretty good at, some I am just learning. It doesn’t matter, I like them, and in our new home, I have a place for them!
This is what I did today. I started with this room filled high with boxes… some things had been in long term storage (spinning wheels and sewing desk) and some things (finally) arrived from Kuwait.

And by this evening, I have a craft room!


It still needs a bit of sorting and organizing, the sewing desk needs loading up, the drawers need filling, the bins need to be opened and sorted, the books need a better book shelf, and the little cabinet (bottom photo, left) is where I keep all the school and office supplies too and that needs straightening… but I now have a room for all of my toys and well-lit space to work with them!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween, and Pumpkin Seeds

Hope everyone has had a Happy Halloween! Here are some photos of the kids in their costumes this year.  Both dressed up for school. We were too disorganized to arrange a party or find a trick or treat location, so we decided to celebrate at home this year.  I’ve roasted piles and piles of pumpkin seeds (see below for recipe) and we have a pumpkin pie for dessert later too.

Halloween morning…







For the pumpkin seeds, I decided to try something a little different this time. I tend to always overcook them, so last night, I washed the seeds and set them out to soak in plain water over night. I rinsed them this afternoon, and then boiled them in salty water for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F

I divided our seeds into 3 bowls. I added about 2-3 tbs of olive oil to each bowl and stirred it in. Into the first bowl, I added about 1-2 tbs of salt and stirred it in.


The second batch had ‘sweet’ spices: sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, anise20141031_172905

The 3rd batch was to be ‘spicy bbq’. I added 2-3 tsp of honey bbq sauce, some carne asada spice mix, chili pepper and paprika.


I cooked each for about 10 minutes, stirred them, and then put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remember, I soaked these all night and they were coated in oil, so they had a lot of moisture. If I hadn’t soaked them, 20 minutes at 400F probably would have burned them! The shells came out soft but ‘done’. They don’t crack well… but I just eat them shell and all anyway, so I’m happy with the result. 

Here are the salty ones. They came out perfectly.


The sweet ones were a bit of a sticky mess, but very tasty.


The BBQ burnt just slightly, otherwise they are great too. Mmmm!


Happy Halloween!!