SAJ 2016 Calendar rough draft is here!

SAJ-2016-Calendar-2I finally finished the SAJ 2016 Calendar! You know the drill: click, print, edit and get back to me on all the errors I may have made via email or in the comments. It’s free for now but once I’ve fixed all the typos I’ll put it in my shop for a couple of bucks. I didn’t put all the holidays in this year. I just couldn’t figure out which ones to include and not include so discuss and let me know what you miss.

It’s in my shop here!

Lucy the cat approves.


I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t love August but that was a super busy month with all the moving and dramatic heat-waving…so that’s how it goes. And I left out the llama banner in favor of the black turkey illustrations from my Where’s My Snood game. It seemed more Novemberish. One of these years I need to break down and make a real calendar with full-size illustrations and sell it for $20. Maybe next year.

In other news:

Maybe you noticed from my instagram feed that Payam is putting up a shed in the backyard for all his woodworking hobbies. I’m very excited about it because it will mean two things: first it will be a special place for him AND secondly (and most exciting for me) all of his many tools will go in one place and I get to use the space that he is no longer using for CRAFTING! Woot!!

All the cupboards in the garage that have been blocked by saws and air compressors and work benches filled with sockets and wrenches and miscellaneous stuff will be gone! We will have to have a grand reorganizing party when he is done and I’m pumped. Yes, I’m weird. I like organizing.

I’m super happy for Payam because he loves working with his hands and he doesn’t really get to do that with his day job. This is going to be a special place for him to make really cool stuff.  One of these days I need to write a post about all the things he has built around the house.

PayamsShed-2I remember when I was living in the sticks there was a time when I thought it would be the most fantastic thing to build a tree in my living room for Bug’s fairy party. I know now that that is a really stupid idea but I remember sitting there in the living room trying to figure out how I could install a giant branch that would attach to the ceiling with brackets and I gave up because it was too hard. I remember clearly thinking that if I ever dated again I would have to date someone who was handy. It was just a daydream back then but my wishes came true!! And the most wonderful thing about Payam is that he wouldn’t even try to talk me out of a giant tree in the living room. He’d totally be down with it.

Fire Magic


The other night the kids talked us into having a s’mores outside. This is actually a really good idea because we are the outside fire experts. We have not one, but three barbecues.  One is a classic gas-operated grill, another is an Weber that Payam has rigged into a standing fire pit and the third is this pot-bellied chiminea thing that we found discarded on the side of the road.

I know! What can I say, we like outside fires. It doesn’t get cold enough here very often for us to enjoy them but when it does we really, really do. Don’t worry though, all fires are well contained and not dangerous.

When Payam and I were first dating I kinda fell in love with him while sitting outside by his many fires, drinking wine and talking late into the night. It’s a sentimental thing for us now.


I’m not as big a fan of actual s’mores as I am to fires outside but it was fun thing for the kids. S’mores are just too super sweet for me even with dark chocolate. And what is the deal with graham crackers and chocolate and roasted marshmallows? The marshmallows never quite melt the chocolate enough and then it all crunches into a gooey mess in your hands. But I keep trying because they sound really good and fires outside are just so, sentimental!

We set up a little table with a bowl of marshmallows, some sprinkles, chocolate and graham crackers of course and some carmel dolce de leche I had sitting around from that brownie bar post I wrote a while back. I also had some pretzels on hand that I crunched up in a small bowl. They were my favorite. I love sweet and salty mixed up.

After the kids had their fill they ran off to play (Minecraft) and Payam and I stayed out to enjoy the fire a bit longer.


It was so nice, I even brought out my big camera and tried to capture some fire art.


It’s hard to capture but I think you get the idea.

It’s been really really nice to have some cold weather for a change. It almost feels like we’re having a real winter!