Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Doug made this for Kate. Isn't it cute?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Soup of the Evening

Friday night we had a ward activity (at church) with a soup dinner. Lots of different kinds of yummy soups. (I had two helpings of Sarah's borscht. I don't think I've ever had borscht before.) One person there had brought a muffin tin to eat out of, and put a different scoop into each space. I thought that was a clever idea and definitely easier than trying to juggle multiple bowls at the serving table. I'll have to remember that next time.

Our contribution was black bean chicken chili. Here's the recipe!

Black bean chicken chili

1 can (12 oz) black beans
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1–2 chicken breasts (depending on size)
1 cup frozen corn (we use Trader Joe's fire roasted corn)
3(ish) cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds (or to taste)
1 tsp coriander (ditto)
1/8 tsp cayenne
lemon pepper
2 Tb olive oil

Cut chicken into bite size pieces (dice). Grate garlic.
Heat oil in soup/sauce pan on medium heat. Add dry spices (not salt or pepper), stir fry for 10 seconds or so, until they brown. Add garlic, stir fry for 30 seconds or so until it starts to brown.
Add chicken; cook until chicken is opaque.
Add beans, tomatoes, corn. Add about 2 cups of water (add more water if needed until desired consistency is reached). Stir, cook until water is reduced a little, spices are mixed, and chicken and corn are done.
Add salt and lemon pepper to taste.

The fire-roasted tomatoes and corn really add a lot of flavor. The tomatoes we use are from Hunt's. This time Doug used dried beans and cooked them in the crock pot with some mojito marinade. We usually just use canned beans with nothing added.

We like to stretch our soup with basmati rice. Yum!

It dawned on me that of the five recipes that I have posted thus far, three of them are soup. Yep, we like soup.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

What I'm currently working on:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Husband Tag

I've seen this husband tag meme going around recently. I've been tagged by Bronwyn, so here goes!

What is his name? Douglas Martinous Jole. Martinous is a family name.
How long have you been married? Just over twelve years. (How time flies!)
How long did you date? Let's see... started dating right before Christmas, engaged in April, married in September.
How old is he? He's 43. Six years older than me.
Who eats more sweets? Ha. That would be him, since I can't eat sugar. If the question was just "Who eats more" that would probably be me. Even when I'm not pregnant.
Who said I love you first? He did.
Who is taller? We're very close to the same height. I think I'm actually a teeny bit taller, if we're both in bare feet.
Who can sing better? We both enjoy singing (I sing alto, he sings tenor, unless he's got a cold) but he's definitely better at sight reading than I am. And he has this knack for instantly grasping the structure of a song and will often make up his own voice accompaniment for a song he's never heard before.
Who does the laundry? Me, almost always.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do. Though when we were in Korea I slept on the left side. I think it was just the setup of the room.
Who mows the lawn? We don't have a lawn, but I imagine he would probably do it.
Who cooks dinner? Depending on his schedule, Doug does sometimes do a lot of the cooking. I tend to make the same things all the time, and he gets more creative.
Who pays the bills? I do.
Who drives? Any time we're going somewhere all together, he always drives. If we're on a long trip we'll take turns, but he still ends up driving the most.
Who is more stubborn? I don't know if I could really describe either of us as stubborn. We're both pretty laid back.
Who kissed who first? He started it. ;)
Who asked who out first? We had some friends in common at BYU, then ended up in the same ward and then got called to team-teach Gospel Doctrine together. He asked me out first (I think the first time he made me dinner, and then after that we went to a concert at the University of Utah that his band's vocalist was performing in).
Who proposed? He did. And then after we got the ring he proposed to me in Welsh. (I think he just wanted to hear what it would sound like.)
Who has more siblings? There are six kids in Doug's family and five in mine.
Who wears the pants? Again, we're both pretty laid back. Doug generally defers to me in matters of scheduling and food.

I'll tag Julie K and Mimi.

Basement by Sharpie

I thought this was amazingly cool: Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie. I especially like the wall clock, and the dimensional pieces like the bench and fireplace.

(The site has been up and down--hopefully you can get the link to work!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Picture Taking 101: watch the background

Bronwyn called a couple of days ago and asked if I could come and give the Young Women some photo-taking tips for their Tuesday night activity. General point-and-shoot tips, like move in closer, get down on your subject's level, use available light as much as possible, and that old chestnut, "Watch the background!" Here's a scanned photo that I dug up for the occasion:

I was the one who took the photo, and did not notice that bush at all. Doug thought it was hilarious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For a certain value of normal

Doug started teaching again yesterday. Yay! The fair job is over (that was an interesting experience all around) so we'll be getting back on something like a normal schedule. Though "normal" for us changes every three months.

Yesterday we were going to go out to lunch and go to the park--got all set and in the car, and then Doug noticed that the battery light was on. After testing the battery he figured it was probably the alternator, so we went to a local place and got that tested--yep, bad alternator--got a new one, went home to install it (and I started making lunch, after explaining to Kate that we would have to go to the park later). Then in a sudden quirk of fate, Doug's wrench extensions fell off his wrench (as he was trying to make the job easier by removing an engine hoist bracket) and down under the air intakes (which form an arch over the cylinder head). I tried extracting them with some wooden chopsticks, but couldn't get any kind of grip. We called Scott and Tom and they came over with a magnetic grabber-thing. Wrench extensions extracted, repairs continued for a couple of hours.

We ended up going out to dinner, and, since it was too dark to go to the park, took Kate to a bookstore for a while. We'll probably do the park today.

Doug says he wants one of those magnetic grabber-things for Christmas.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lo, I am publishéd.

I have a layout (the Korean food one from this post) in the Oct/Nov 2008 issue of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. I didn't realize it was out until Heather T. mentioned it, and then my complimentary copy came in the mail a few days later.

I had quite a few (paper) layouts published, way back when (some are posted here), and was even a winner in Creating Keepsakes' Hall of Fame contest in 2002. (This was before they changed the rules. I don't know if I would even enter these days. Talk about complicated.) But it's been a few years since I've submitted anything. This is my first digital layout, and also the first layout with Kate in it that I've had published, so that's kind of fun.

I got the whole page to myself! They spelled my name wrong once and right once. Heh.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What all the best-dressed cameras are wearing

I won a drawing on Cotton Candy by Natalie, and got this cool camera strap. I picked this one for the fun color. (I'd just better not wear it with any brightly patterned shirts, huh?) I got it put on my camera today. I think it'll be comfortable for wearing around the zoo or wherever.

Kate has been very interested in cameras lately. She likes playing with the one on Doug's PDA, and today I let her take some pictures with mine. It's a little tricky because I can't really let her hold it by herself, but I can hang onto the strap from above.

Here's what Kate thought was picture-worthy today:

neighbor's truck




neighbor's flowers

She was very pleased with her pictures. I guess we'll have to get Kate her own camera soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Four sheets to the wind

It seems like every week I get a couple of hits from ask.com, from people searching "How many sheets of paper can I send with one stamp?" But instead of taking them to the relevant post, it just links to the main page of my blog, which is no help, and then I feel bad for mentioning it. I believe the answer is four. You can send four sheets of paper on one stamp. I hope that helps!

Speaking of which, sitemeter, which I'd been using for a good long time, just changed their platform so now you can't see referring URLs on the free account, to see where people are coming from. So I've switched to statcounter. So far I think I like it. (Except that sometimes I'd rather not know where people are coming from, but oh well.) Edit: Apparently sitemeter got a bunch of complaints and switched back!

I figured out what was wrong with our CD burner (nothing, as it turned out) so I'm back to archiving. I am soooo behind.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Would you like fries with that?"

Kate has learned the word "rampage." It's so funny to hear her talking about her rampaging dinosaurs. And today when she was trying to push a toy shopping cart into the living room, she wailed, "I can't do it! There's too many obstacles!"

Doug's been working out at the fair for a week now, with one more to go. We've been used to him being around a lot (especially this summer) so it's been a big adjustment to have him gone so much. He'll be teaching four classes this quarter, which is a pretty big load, but even then he probably won't be gone this much. It's tough when Kate wants to play tag or something equally strenuous and I'm feeling particularly pregnant and tired. She did get me running around outside for a while today (and said, "You're running, Mama! You're running!" in a tone of great astonishment).

Doug is working at a place called Butch's, which specializes in something called the "World Famous" Cascade Burger. Who decided it was world famous, I don't know. I'd never heard of it before. They had him doing just French fries for the first two days, and then they put him on the grill as well. Scott was out there yesterday and I asked him if he could get a picture for me. (I wanted one of him actually working, but I neglected to specify.)

The fair ends on the 21st and classes start on the 22nd. Good timing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

12 years

Yesterday was our twelfth anniversary. Doug was gone all day (twelve hours--keeping with the theme, I guess) and Kate and I stayed home and got on each other's nerves. We grabbed a neighbor to take pictures for us today, before church (stake conference).

My sunburn has toned down a bit. I'm still kind of blotchy.


Barb and Kyle called and sang "Happy Anniversary to you" (cute). Doug's mom sent us this lovely card. She always makes cards for birthdays and holidays.

Here's to many more years!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fair Fun

Yesterday we went to the Puyallup fair with Scott. Doug is actually working at the fair this year. We weren't sure what his schedule was going to be, but it turned out he didn't have to start till 4:00 yesterday, so we all went together in the morning, and then came home without Doug. (Admission is free if you get in before noon on the first day--yay!)

We took the bus to avoid parking hassles. The bus was so full that we had to stand (all the way to Puyallup. I was having Korea flashbacks) but there was a nice lady who let Kate sit on her lap.

We took a quick spin through the art hall (paintings and drawings and stuff) first, before Kate got too impatient. There's some amazing stuff there. I keep meaning to enter something--maybe one of these years I'll get myself in gear and actually do it.

Kate remembered the "big swing" from last year and was very excited about doing that again. Last year we went on it with her, but this time they weren't allowing adults, so she rode with another little girl.

Kate enjoys a hot dog. (Fair food!)

Doug and Kate went on this little tiger roller coaster (twice). Kate loved it. When they got off she said, "That was fun! It was so bumpy!"

(Here Doug's holding his hand against the side of the car to keep Kate from bonking her head.)

Baby piggies! Awwwww!

Here's a Guernsey cow for my dad. (He grew up on a Guernsey farm in Illinois.) Mooooo!

That morning at the bus stop, Kate was pretending to be a frog, so Scott bought her this toy frog. (Her lips are slightly blue from a slushie. Kate's, I mean, not the frog's.)

Eye rub! Big day. Kate did a lot of walking. I had to stand again on the bus on the way home, but Scott got a seat (we figured he might qualify as elderly or handicapped, or possibly both) so he held Kate on his lap. She conked out on his shoulder and slept all the way home.

Doug's working again today. They've got him cooking French fries. Kate keeps asking where he is.

I got sunburned. Ow.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Foam Critters

The jointed paper animals have evolved into jointed foam animals. It was completely Doug's fault--he's the one who came home from Artco with a bunch of foam sheets.

Kate loves animal toys but she particularly likes the kind that she can manipulate and move around in some way. She'll get an idea for something she wants and then talk one of us into making it for her. We're on our second box of brads now.

After watching Flushed Away we had an invasion of slugs. There are three or four more of these around here somewhere.

Farewell, movie trailer voiceover guy.

Here's a neat video about Don LaFontaine, who passed away on Monday. We will miss his voice.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Taken today, just before my battery went dead. (I had an extra charged battery, I just didn't take it outside with me.)

Kate said she wanted to go outside and catch the leaves falling from the trees, and she wanted me to take her picture. (We'd been looking at these pictures from last year recently). I told her I didn't think there were any leaves falling from the trees yet, but she refused to believe me without investigating for herself. But it's a rare occurrence that Kate actually wants me to take her picture, so I got the camera and we went outside. We went to the corner where last year's pictures were taken, and sure enough, didn't see any leaves falling, but we did find some fun maple seed helicopters, so we played with those for a while.

She does look rather grown-up here. But you wouldn't believe some of the fussing and screaming we got to hear today.

Monday, September 01, 2008


I've been having fun looking for people I know on Facebook. Yesterday I tracked down a bunch of people that we knew in Newfoundland, including some that I'd been looking for for ages. That's so cool. Got to chat with an old friend. (Hi Patricia!)

This morning Kate was sitting on the couch playing and singing to herself. I wasn't really paying attention till I suddenly realized that she was singing the Barra MacNeils' "By the banks of the roses, my love and I sat down, and I took out my fiddle to play my love a tune..." I pointed it out to Doug ("Did you hear what she's singing?") and he was much astonished. We didn't even know she knew that song. I don't think we'd been listening to it recently. So then, of course, we had to put it on and sing along together. Good times.

Rolling up the Wheel of Time

For any fans, check out Peter's report on the "Rolling up the Wheel of Time" panel at Worldcon.