The GLRP, and other topics

Posted by on June 16, 2008 in cook, other things | 16 comments

The next step in The Great Living Room Project ™ is underway, although
there were a few hiccups. Speaking of hiccups, Winston gets them all
the time. Should I be worried about this? They only last for a minute
or so, but I’ve never known a dog to have the hiccups so often.

back to the GLRP. I started on some curtains. I’ve had this green
fabric for quite a long time, and I wanted to pair it with some nice,
light, white to keep things bright and sunny. I picked up a pair of
sheers from Ikea for $9.99, thinking they would work well and be
economical to boot. I also originally thought that they would be cute
with long, skinny tied tabs and then I realized that for three windows,
with two panels each, I’d be making skinny ties for the rest of the
year. So, I made one curtain, minus ties, and my economical solution
was economical for a reason. The fabric from the Ikea curtains was too
light, and the grain was way off, so it was a big pain to cut out and
then it didn’t hang right. Back to the drawing board. I have some
natural linen, which I will be using to slip-cover the wing chair, so I
decided to try that. Unfortunately, it was slightly narrower than my
green fabric, of which I was using a full width for each panel, so I
had to piece it together, and I didn’t even have to sew it to the green
before realizing that it was way too heavy and where I had to seam it was just way too stiff. So, on to the next option.
I had a couple pieces of a nice linen-cotton blend. Again, I had to
piece it, but it’s light enough that it doesn’t affect the drape of the
fabric at all, and it’s heavy enough that it works well with the green.
So, I think we have a winner. Two panels are done, except for the
hemming, and the rest are all cut out, so I may try to get one done
each evening.


So, yeah, it’s quite green. I don’t care though, I like it. It’s a
Susan Sargent fabric, from the same line as the fabric on my sofa, so
it works. I’m violating my self-imposed blog rule of no photography of
wrinkled items, but I still have to take them down for hemming, so I’ll
press them all nicely then, and with the morning sun coming through, it’s too dark to see the wrinkles anyway. Eventually I also want to make white canvas
Roman shades for each window. I also need to figure out something for
the window on the front door. Probably something plain and white. I sure wish I could remember where I put my switch plate cover thingie. I’m sure it’s somewhere very safe.

I don’t know if any bird experts read my blog, but we have a bit of
an infestation of these little birds. They’ve built little mud nests
under the eaves of our shed, which isn’t a huge deal, but there seem to
be way more birds than nests. There are about 5 or 6 nests, with more underway:


We’ve also found three of them dead in
various places, and it doesn’t seem to be the work of the dogs. Bear
has caught a few little critters in his day, and he enjoys playing with
the corpses and then swallowing them whole (gross, I know, but he’s a
bird dog and an excellent rat catcher, so what can you do?), and we’ve
found the little bodies, completely undisturbed in the middle of the
driveway, where he surely would have found them. I don’t mind a nest or
two, but it’s getting a little creepy how many there are, just flying
around. I’m wondering if I should knock their nests down, so they’ll go
find somewhere else to live. We were thinking that maybe they used to
live in the tree that was cut down last fall. But there are lots of
other trees where we live, so it’s not like our shed is the only
option. Does anyone know what they are? I’m just not sure what, if
anything, we should do. I tried to get a picture of them all flying around when I get close to the shed, which is not easy, but here are a few of them:


They don’t look so creepy there, but trust me, it’s kind of creepy.

Okay, next topic. I did a little cooking this weekend, and have
perfected a wasabi cream sauce, which is so tasty over seared tuna.
Actually, perfected is perhaps a little too grand of a term, I just
took a little sour cream and added some stuff, mixed, tasted, adjusted,
and tasted again. Anyway, if you like sushi, you might enjoy this:

Seared Tuna Steaks with Wasabi Cream Sauce

2 4-5 ounce Tuna Steaks, very fresh!
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 t. wasabi paste (you could probably use wasabi powder as well)
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
1-2 t. soy sauce

Make the wasabi cream: mix together the sour cream, wasabi, lemon
juice and soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce or wasabi if
necessary. Add a teaspoon or two of water and stir. It should be just a
little runny.

Season the tuna steaks with a little salt and a lot of freshly
ground pepper. Sear for a minute or two on each side. They should be
quite pink in the middle still, although not cold. Slice and drizzle
with Wasabi Cream sauce to serve. If you’re squeamish about rare fish,
or you question the freshness of the fish, it would probably still be
quite delicious if you cook the fish through.

We had this last night with some steamed sugar snap peas and this cold noodle salad from hello yarn and it was all so very delicious.


  1. Those look like the nests of swallows…

  2. Yeah, I agree with Taryn, they look like some sort of swallow nest – maybe barn swallows? I guess if you were going to knock the nests down you’d want to do it asap before they lay eggs. I quite like swallows but then I’ve never had them build nests on my house like gigantic insects ๐Ÿ˜› I’m sure it’s more picturesque if they do it on a barn where you don’t live. They do keep the flying insects down though, on the bright side.

  3. Those curtains are amazing! I love how they glow with the sunlight! Um, and ok, random dead bird thing? Very creepy. I would be creeped-out non stop if I were you. Call someone quick!

  4. Very pretty curtains!!
    The nests look like barn swallow nests to me. We have one on our front porch in the corner. They were there last year and they came back again this year. They haven’t made the nest bigger but I guess it’s common for them to have kind of a “colony” which is what it looks like you’ve got going. They are supposed to eat a ton of flying insects (that’s all they eat) so I was glad to have them. : )I have no idea why there would be dead ones.

  5. So creepy. I couldn’t help but replay a scene or two of Hitchcock’s The Birds in my mind. I wonder if the little dead birds is somehow connected to Edwin’s mysterious disappearance. Man, if I was a bird on your property, I’d be shaking in my feathers.
    P.S. The curtains are very cute.:-)

  6. I love your green curtains. Looks so fresh ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I would not worry about the hiccups. My dog gets them, especially when he gobbles food, treats or water.
    Some information found from some research that says about the same thing. Source is good.
    dog hiccups
    Any canine owner will probably at some stage have heard dog hiccups. It is quite common, particularly puppies, for dog hiccups to occur, they get them just like people. A spasm in the diaphragm pulls air abruptly into the lungs. The sudden rush of air can move the vocal cords creating the familiar sound. Dog hiccups can come in rapid succession or have long delays in between. They can last for a few minutes or even longer. In general, dog hiccups are minor and usually go away on their own.
    The hiccups can be caused by what your dog ate or drank, some minor stomach disorder or stress. If your dog hiccups all day, then it would be wise to contact the local veterinarian. Dog hiccups can be exhausting for the animal and, in rare cases, could be a symptom of a more serious disorder. It has been suggested that hiccups in dogs – and humans for that matter – represent a primitive reflex similar to that of the opening and closing of gills in some lower vertebrate animals.
    | what causes hiccups | cure for hiccups | baby hiccups | longest attack of hiccups | triggers hiccups | problem breathing hiccups | hiccups as a result of anaesthesia | severe hiccups while eating | dog hiccups |
    Like your light holders now that they are on the wall. Changes the look from the close up when you were first deciding. Than, I did not like them as well…and when given the choice voted you the third option…which was given me and no reflection on you!
    I admire your work in pictures, writings and creativity.

  8. I really like the curtains – The white top, with a large panel on bottom looks great.
    Sorry to hear about the birds’ unwelcome visit – I think anyone who has seen ‘The birds’ knows that birds can be creepy, too.

  9. 1. love the curtains-so fresh and vibrant
    2. swallows
    3. I bet those swallows would be good in a wasabi cream sauce, and that would cure Winston’s hiccups.
    4. seriously, unless there is some kind of large plate glass windows that these birds are flying into and dying…it’d be a good idea to report. Sometimes there’s infectious diseases that are carried bird to bird and wildlife officials want to know.
    If you have an audobon society near you, that’s a place to start, or just plain old animal control or in dire needs, your vet could probably point you in the right direction!

  10. I forgot to add, have you seen any of the movie trailers for the love guru? everything he says he puts “air quotes” around then says ™ hilarious. When I read your blog, I was rolling. If you haven’t, you can see them on youtube. I love stupid movies, I don’t have a crazy friend who will go with me to this one!
    In your picture, the front bird is decieving, looks like a pigeon. The rest are DEFINITELY swallows.

  11. I believe they are a type of swallow. Those are excellent birds to have around. They eat insects, are wonderful to watch in the air, and they’re very friendly around humans (they won’t attack you like a blackbird). If you are finding dead, adult birds, maybe someone in your neighborhood is using insecticides? Do report it as Nicole suggested. That is very odd and could be of concern. Try your Department of Natural Resources.

  12. The birds are Cliff Swallows – the same kind that return to San Juan Capistrano every March 19.When it gets cooler in the fall, they will go away, but they will most likely return next Spring. They live in colonies, so you will have lots of them around for awhile. I suggest you wait until they leave and then take their nests down. You might as well put a bird feeder out for them, because they will most likely be around for awhile.

  13. Swallows like to mob predators and that is likely what they consider you (They won’t attack you though, just swoop.) I think if you have that much wet mud around, then you probably have mosquitoes, and swallows eat flying insects, so you might want to keep them around this year, but as soon as they leave, knock down their nests. BTW their babies are adorable.

  14. Quintessential stream of consciousness. Period.

  15. Great curtains. They turned out so well.

  16. Those birds are definitely a bit freaky – especially the nests, what is up with them? They look like they belong to hornets!
    Your curtains are super wicked too – I wish I had your talent!

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