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December 2007 Archives

Smells Like Heaven, Tastes Like Love

December 26, 2007

Wherein Valette Talks About Neither Her Hair, Nor Her Dog.

Since all of our Christmas gifts have been distributed and shared with the internet in a neener-neener kind of way, I can finally post pictures of the vanilla that Steve and I made.

Yes, we made vanilla. From scratch.

Which sounds mystical and magical and praise-worthy, but really all we did was put a handful of vanilla beans into bottles of vodka and poke at them for a few months.

Then at the beginning of December we combined it all into one large bowl, strained it, and suctioned it into individual bottles that Steve found online.

Homemade Vanilla

Then we slipped in a full bean to make it look more authentic. We corked the bottles and Steve fiddled with the plastic sealer thingers and a cheap Walmart hairdryer to make them seal. I had no idea how much cursing that would involve.

Homemade Vanilla

Once they were all finally sealed, I "designed" labels (picked out a pretty font and a color or two) that we didn't notice printed wrong until we had three sheets of retarded labels. Sorry, family!

Homemade Vanilla

I saved three bottles for myself.

Santa Came Early

December 24, 2007

Sometimes Lacey can be so smart.

So Busted

Steve found this gift in the middle of the living room this morning with a small tear on the bottom. It had previously been under the tree and is now hidden on a shelf.

Does it smell like it should be for Lacey? Did she read the writing? Did the princess paper give it away? How did she know this one was for her?

She is currently pouting on her couch staring at the tree. She's just like a little kid, I swear.

Dealing With My Hair in List Form

December 23, 2007

Places My Hair No Longer Gets Caught Yet I Still Act Like It Will, Which Is Almost As Annoying:

  • The seatbelt holder
  • The fan that has been standing in the middle of the office filing room since June
  • The waistband of my pants
  • The back of my coat
  • The car door
  • Steve's armpit

Places My Hair Still Gets Caught And Won't Likely Stop Unless I Shave It All Off:

  • My mouth while eating
  • The bath mat
  • From the bath mat to Steve's toes
  • Lacey's digestive tract
  • In dinner

Things My Hair Does Now That It Didn't Used To Do:

  • Bounce when I walk
  • Curl all over holy cow
  • Tickle the back of my neck when in a ponytail
  • Fall in my face more
  • Dries rather quickly

Reasons I Don't Want To Admit I Sortamaybekinda Like It Shorter Despite How Wonderfully Curly It Is Now:

  • I am stubborn


December 19, 2007

Upside down hair

People, strangers, have always had an opinion on my hair. It's so beautiful I should never cut it or ruin it in any way. Or it's so long and beautiful I should donate it, why be so selfish and keep it when there are people with cancer who need wigs?

But it's always the ones with short hair that tell me that it will always grow back. The hair! It grows! And then I punch them in the face because seriously, shut up.

My hair has been an integral part of my identity forever. I've never cut it, just trims here and there.

But I've talked about cutting it. At least once a month. For the last two years, longer. Always talk.

Because I knew I would cry.


And cry I did.

The Reason Why My Dog Rocks

December 17, 2007

Steve posted a video of Lacey freaking out over air.
I can't stop watching it.

Boot Tracks

December 16, 2007

1/2 cup salted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons canola oil

Boot tracks with peppermint glaze

// Preheat a nonstick (not Belgian) waffle iron.

// Cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa powder, and oil. Beat until thoroughly combined.

// Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the preheated un-greased waffle iron. Use two spoons, don't burn yourself. Close and cook until the cookies are puffed and cooked through, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to a wire rack to cool until just warm.

// Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons water and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Drizzle over the cookies while still warm.

Personal DNA

December 15, 2007

I haven't done one of these personality tests in a while: I am a benevolent analyst.

What is your personal DNA?

O Christmas Tree

December 13, 2007

I do not understand why stores don't order enough Christmas decorations. Like, for instance, and I'm just throwing this out there, hypothetically: garland.

Not the kind of garland that is green and branchy and gets wrapped around banisters. I mean the metallic bushy rope stuff that gets draped over a tree.

I don't mean tinsel, because whoever puts tinsel on a tree one strand at a time is probably suicidal. Or will give up after the 14th strand and just chuck handfuls of the stuff at the tree, resulting in a clump top-left and a clump bottom-right.

Steve and I went into no fewer than four separate stores last night in search of this magical garland, and everyone was out. Out! No more! Not ordering any more this year!

I understand not wanting a bunch of extra stuff in stock for the end of the year, but really, it's only the middle of December. Two weeks before Christmas. And everyone is out of decorations.

How will anyone have an after-Christmas sale if all of their stuff is gone by December 10?

I did some calling around this afternoon and after talking to three different store finally found one JoAnn Fabrics that claimed to have the stuff in blue and gold.

Which was perfect since Steve thinks silver garland supports terrorists and every proper American uses gold. Obv.

We bought every bit of garland they had save for one. And I waffled about leaving that one behind. What if we need more and some old lady has already bought it? Will we have to import it from Japan? Do the Japanese like gold?

But Steve had some sense and pulled me away from carrying 60 feet of garland to the counter. Now the living room is soft and lit and pretty and smells like pine, but not actual pine because the tree is a fir.

Golden garland

Lacey and I plan on spending some quality time hiding in the blanket fort under the tree during the next few weeks, and then dragging the needles into the bed. Awesome times lie ahead.

There is Hope

December 12, 2007

The sky threw white fluffy things at us yesterday, and all of Anchorage freaked out. What is this white stuff? Why is it cold and wet? Is it safe for my car to drive over it? Should I drive crazy-fast to get over it faster? Or inch along and pretend that my car doesn't have to touch it?

We live in Alaska.
We are supposed to have snow.
All winter long.
This is not new.

I was happy to get to shovel some snow last night, and this morning it has again turned to rain.

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is a bunch of snow kthx.

Still Avoiding The Oldies Station

December 11, 2007

I am feeling the need for Christmas music this morning.
Does that mean I have the holiday spirit?

I Didn't Mean To

December 6, 2007

Done with November and my post-a-day nonsense, and then I completely disappear! You're welcome!

You've missed a great story about a screaming child in the gym locker room, my first and possibly only meeting with a personal trainer, and the trainer making me work muscles that I didn't even know I had.

No, actually, that was it. That was the story and it wasn't even all that good.

I've been swamped at work with stuff that isn't my regular work, some of it isn't even my work at all, and I haven't had the time to do my regular work or send text messages or nap on my coworker's couch. Today I didn't even have time for a proper lunch break.

There have been things and stuff and whatnot. A lot of whatnot, actually, that has left me with little time for otherstuffs.

I'm Not the Only One With A Cold In This House

December 2, 2007

A Little Mixed-Up

December 1, 2007

In the last two weeks, I have been to the office for work-type activities on only five days. Or is it four? I'll go with five because that sounds better.

So many days at home and I'm losing track of what day it currently is, or how many more days until the weekend is over. It is the weekend, yes?

To make matters worse, this morning there was a brief moment when I was sure I had lost my mind. Because wasn't Thanksgiving last week? Wasn't there already turkey and Guitar Hero and cramming small dogs into smaller obnoxious sweaters?

If so, then why would my television be showing me a "LIVE!" broadcast of Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

I had not lost my mind, neither had I gone back in time to relive the last week a la Groundhog Day, because that would suck and also it was a terrible movie. It's just that Alaska has really nothing better to air on television.

It has nothing to do with any writer's strike, but probably more to do with the lack of snow. I am convinced that we will not have snow for Christmas or the rest of the winter. I am already making plans to move to Canada for some good Canadian snow.

And the falling flakes in Chicago on Thanksgiving morning was more than enough to convince someone to air a week-old "LIVE!" broadcast. And I don't really blame them all that much.

Chicago, please. Send me some snow.

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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