1. (I’ve set the timer for 20 minutes. These will be, in reality, quick takes.)
2. It’s good to be back! My blogging vacation couldn’t have come any sooner and couldn’t have been planned for a better time. We had been spending too much time at my new favorite office…
…and not enough time with the Famn Damily.
(Don’t worry, he’s drinking milk. Only so much McDonald’s food one can stomach for the price of free wifi and a surrogate babysitter.)
3. And, just to prove that we spent Quality Time™ together, I took pictures of something I normally do, do, do not do:
I don’t bake cookies. Invariably they come out flat, overdone, and stuck to the cookie sheet. But my mother-in-law’s claim that the secret ingredient to all good baking is love has been proven true. We made these for fun and to spend time together, and they were the very best cookies I’ve ever made.
It also helps to follow the recipe exactly. Just saying.
4. (See, Grandma? We made cookies. For the cookie jar you mailed, all the way from Oregon. Aren’t you impressed?)
5. My sister-in-law decided to make an impromptu visit this past weekend to Casa Northern Ortiz:
We did the Holland, Michigan tour – downtown, farmer’s market, Windmill Island, and, best of all, the VanRaalte Farm – best, because they have trails cut through a little woods with a little stream. I miss hiking.
6. Want to see Ben’s Halloween costume?
You know you do:
It’s a toddler’s stocking hat. Put that with some brown clothing, little face paint, and voila! Brown Bear.
Yes, I’m that lazy parent. But you have to admit, it’s better than going as Mark Sanchez for the second year in a row. Have you seen the Jets play this year?
7. (My timer just went off. Need to wrap this up.) I also spent this week working on giving my friend Colleen’s blog a face-lift. So fun to do!
Everything looks great except for a few Blogger-related glitches, including one that keeps changing the font face of the text of her posts. Poor Colleen couldn’t figure out why it was doing it, and neither can I. It’s fixable with a few extra steps each time she posts, and, well, that’s annoying for her, and annoying for me, the graphic designer extraordinaire, who’s inordinately attached to her creations looking. perfect. all. the. time. Dang Blogger.
(In fact, her blog has a few strange quirks – the “comments” button won’t show up on the posts of her home page, even though I’ve set it to do so – this isn’t about the idiot sitting at the keyboard, I know what you’re thinking – and an old automatic template won’t go away, even though we’ve sent it packing. Dang Blogger.)
On the plus side, my quest to make her a nice banner paid off in my discovering Xara Xtreme, an Open Source program that’s similar to Adobe Illustrator, but, being Open Source, free. I have no idea if one can use it with Microsoft (I’m running Ubuntu), but those of you who love graphic design but have zero desire to pay Adobe prices, it’d be worth checking out.
And, speaking of graphic design, don’t be surprised if my own blog goes through several changes in the near future. This is sort-of a placeholder. I also reinstalled WP yesterday and need to finish adding my plugins, changing the widgets. etc. etc. etc. I also need to fix the links on my Favorite Posts page to match the ones here. Plenty to do, plenty to do.
Time to stop. My babysitter will be here in 45 minutes. Have a great Friday and a blessed weekend!
p.s. I love my new Keen boots. Don’t you?