Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

Here's a true, heart-warming story featuring my Uncle Buddy and Grandpa:

A War Story.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Warm the heart.

Take a quick break, and give a little...
It's just a click.

Tiny Prints' charity page.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Etsy has this rockin' feature where users can create there own lists of favorites. They're all compiled and displayed in the Treasury. But right now, a new Treasury is in the works...Treasury West. The limited spots go like crazy, but I was able to grab one and create my own list. I chose all items that reminded me of happy childhood times. You gotta see it!

Childhood Memories

And some of my things were chosen for other treasuries...
like "Curtsy" in
Maize and Blue

and "Ghost Disco" in
That's the way...uh huh uh huh...

So much fun! Thanks

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jet Lag

Within the past 9 weeks, I've been on 14 flights.

Good grief!

But I'm home now.

Thanks for waiting.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jet setting

Hey ya kiddies.
I'm going out of town for a bit, which means no new posts or
photos until I get home.


But if you need cheering up, why not buy yourself
something pretty?

Shameless, I know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Totally beyond awkward, but still smile inducing:

Getting hit on by an old Russian cab driver while with your husband.


My Etsy shop got noticed. How exciting!
See-A-Penny was featured in the Daily Ditties section of
Wickedly Chic today.


Monday, September 10, 2007

For Fun

Here's a few sites to check out when you don't have anything to do...or when you have so much to do you can't do anything but put it all off:

Collage Machine

Walk Score


Jackson Pollock

Mr. Picassohead

Sketch Swap

Have fun!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The town's not *that* small. C'mon.

Joe and I are at Subway, getting the fixin's put onto our sandwiches.

Sub Dude: Are you guys new to Kodiak?

Joe and I do a 'what the hell?' glace to each other.

Me: Um, no. We're not.

Dude: Oh, well, you don't look familiar. I thought maybe you were new to the island.

Me: Nooo.

As we sit down, I ask Joe, "what do we look like, rubes or something?"

Friday, August 31, 2007


Joe and I took the dogs for a walk yesterday. We went on our usual route...a trail that winds around the woods just off base. Lately we've seen a lot of foxes around - more than we've ever seen since moving up here. But we've never been close to any...they're always running across the road, or jumping into the brush yards and yards away.

That was until yesterday. We're walking, la la la. I hear some type of growling and rustling up ahead. I'm kinda anxious...after all, Kodiak is bear country (even though we've yet to see one). As we pass by an off-shoot of the trail, a fox jumps out not more than 6-10 feet away, and starts growling and yipping at us. Joe and I freeze for a second, the dogs start going crazy, and the fox advances on us. It didn't run away. It came after us! Aren't they supposed to run away? Aren't smaller animals supposed to be intimidated by larger creatures?

I swear it's eyes were red, too.
It was a crazy fox.

We high tailed it out of there.
Figures we'd end up being mauled by a fox instead of a bear.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Recipe Bonus

These aren't so much recipes, as little tricks or suggestions that I couldn't keep to myself.

Add at least two teaspoons of almond extract to your next batch of brownies or chocolate cake. Holy crap.

Try a grilled pineapple, ham, and cheese sandwich. Mmm.

Buy a bottle of dried parsley flakes, and put them in and on everything you make. Soup, chicken, canned vegetables, garlic bread, gravy. Makes things seems a little more homemade.


{I'd love to know some of your favorite tricks of the trade, if you have any you wanna share!}

This would be so funny if only you watched Rome on HBO, knew our dogs, and heard Joe's voice for King

Joe and I were making dinner in the kitchen. King's under foot, waiting around for some scraps, but Joe tells him to leave.
As King slinks out, Joe says in his King voice: "Joseph of the McCollums, I call for justice!"

It had me laughing all night.

Seriously, go watch Rome, already.

Framed Art

I meant to post these pictures for a while now, mostly for Mom, who keeps asking.

Here's the newest artwork to make it onto our walls. It only took over a year to get the prints out of the closet and into the frame shop...

Apparently, I'm not so good at getting things done fast, huh?

This print is from Sheri...when she and Dawn were visiting...and we went on a shopping spree in town. We each got similar works from the same artist - Sheri's was puffins, and Dawn's a polar bear. It's hanging at the top of the stairs.

These prints are in the bedroom, framed and matted the same. I think they're gorgeous in a group. As soon as I saw these prints in the store, I fell in love with them. Byron Birdsall is a simply amazing artist.

Double matted, with a copper-ish frame, in the living room, also by Birdsall. And possibly my favorite thing. Ever.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's not Labor Day yet

Joe: "Who wears a white sweater to go fishing, anyway?"


I bought a bike this past week. This was a big step for me. I haven't been on a bike since I was ten. There was a horrible accident...which resulted in a complete and total fear of riding.


But Joe got one last month. He was pestering me to get one too, so we could start up our own gang.
I had to. To start the McCollum Bike Gang.

Totally justifiable.

PS. We're still thinking of a suitable gang name. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Not-So-Weekly Recipe

Totally lacking in the recipe department. I know, I know. It's been the same ole' same ole' around here lately. Plus, not many grocery store trips. So the cupboards are bare.

However, these are an amazingly great treat. Even when you're low on supplies.

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup peanut butter (I personally have to have crunchy. Have to have.)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
dash of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract


1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Double recipe if desired. (It'll only make around a dozen...depending on the size of the cookies)
2. Spoon out teaspoon sized dollops of dough onto cookie sheet. Press tops down with sugar-coated fork.
3. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes, or until bottoms turn brown.
4. Let sit on pan for a few minutes, then move to cooling rack.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

The McCances in Alaska

Mom, Dad, and Kaity came up to visit Joe and me. (A quick aside to my brother, Bryan - Dude. I miss you. Come on up.) And of course the weather was gorgeous. Not as insanely nice as when Dawn and Sher were here...but it was definitely not rainy. Well, there was that one day. One out of 9 isn't bad.

Of course there was lots of sightseeing, lots of souvenir buying, and lots of video games. I think Kaity's going to either be an amazingly awesome driver, or crash right out of the gate. Thanks to Burnout 3, the rockin'est game ever.

We fished and saw salmon and trout jump out of the water, but we didn't catch anything. Didn't matter though, since we were able to pick up packaged halibut, salmon, and ginormous crab legs. And shrimp. What can I say...Kodiak's a seafood heaven. Take that Maryland!

Mom was so afraid of running into a bear while we were outside on a trail or in the woods. But the only bear we saw were the stuffed ones. Eh.

She did really like the trees, though. One of the first things she said after arriving was, "I've never seen so many Christmas trees in one place!"

We all learned what to do when someone does come across a bear. You're not supposed to run away. You should identify yourself and speak in your normal voice. Kaity related it in the best way though, while also making fun of me for my desire to hug a big bear: "Hi, my name is Kelly. What's your name...? 'ROAR!'" (Ok, totally funnier in person.)

That picture makes up for it.

Dad even made his goal to stay up to see it get dark.

See, this trip was a win win for everyone! Thanks so much you guys for visiting. Love you all!

{More pictures here, and my favorite shot here}

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My family arrives today.
Pictures and funny stories to ensue next week.

Friday, July 06, 2007

So now everyone will know what to get everyone else...

No more guessing. Even though it can be fun. Sometimes...if you like getting stuff you never wanted. Ever.

My Registry

mine. I just started; believe me, it'll get bigger.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Laugh it up

I sooo wanna take Megan Mooney out for dinner and cheap drinks one night.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I ♥ers U Dawn and Sheri

It's been a week since Sheri and Dawn left. A week. Crazy. It's gone by really really fast. Probably because all the fishing Joe and I have been doing. Thanks, Sher.

But oh, what a trip. I'm beyond words to say how happy I was to have them stay here.

Dawn arrived first, on June 12th. There were plane issues, and she had to take a later flight. And since apparently our phone likes to hop of its hook and not make that horrible screeching sound to let us know, we weren't aware of the change of schedule. It's amazingly disappointing to go to the airport, watch the whole plane disembark, see all the luggage ride around several times on the carousel, and wonder if you missed them some how in the itty bitty Kodiak airport. But it all got worked out, and Dawn arrived. We all then went for McDonald's milkshakes. That's how we roll. Sheri swore us to sit on our hands and not do anything until she arrived...the weather was so nice though, we had to get out. But of course we did all the same things over when Sher got in on the 15th. Freakin' early in the morning, too. Her luggage was a little late in coming. However, that was worked out before noon. So come visit and everything you have will eventually make it here! Promise!

I took them around town, site seeing...which was mostly into little shops where we all spent a lot of money. We bought each other things though, so it's ok. There was the base tour, the cook outs, new inside jokes, late sunsets but early nights, watching the dogs, beach walks, that rainbow at 11:30 pm, magical coffee, tea, and smoothies, driving the length of the paved road system, far away wildlife, weird tan lines, old memories, Propel, and fishing.

There' many...words.

Sheri's only requirement, or one of her only requirements, was to go fishing while in Alaska. Joe got us all geared up and we went out. Three different times. The first was more or less for practicing. And for feeding mosquitoes. The second time out we ended up at the American River, in a wonderfully open mosquito free clearing. After a couple hours, Dawn caught a fish. A steelhead trout. Totally exciting. Then awhile after that, I caught one. It makes the hours in the drizzling rain worth it when you can catch a fish. Although, I do have to say I don't think I would have been able to bring it to the bank if it wasn't for Sheri. She all but dove head first into the water to pull it out. No more catches that day. The next day we all went back out, to the same spot. Dawn had sat down to read (after all, she caught her fish), Joe and I were still hooking up our fishing poles, and Sheri caught a trout her first cast. It was insane. Sheri yelled out, "I caught a fish! I'm not kidding!!" She was grinning ear to ear. I think Sher would've liked to land a huge salmon, but the trout were very good.

And there was the hike up Old Woman. I think it was the hottest and sunniest day ever. It maybe got up to 80*. At the top were the spectacular views, and a snow bank. Where else can you get snow, outdoors, in the summer? Of course we had an impromptu snowball fight. Naturally.

All I wanna know now girls, is when are you coming back?

{More photos here.}

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


No posts lately...friends are coming for a visit (Dawn and ROCK!)...which means cleaning time. It's amazing the level of filth you get used to day to day...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Prat Humor Equality, NOW!

Rad Girls? Has anyone seen this show? I've known about it for a while now, just through their ads on Fuse. I didn't think twice about it...just some 'girls behaving badly' type of deal.

Well, ohmygod it's horrible.

Joe summed it up by saying, "How can we be subversive without being entertaining?"

While Jackass isn't my cup of tea, there was a lot of it that was funny. Ok, maybe not a lot, but it was still humorous. But Rad Girls take the cake.

Perhaps it was just the one episode, but I have a feeling it's all like that.

I can't exactly put my finger on it, because most of what they were showing has already been done...pube hair humor, sliding down stairs (they were wearing helmets and had mats at the bottom - Jackass would so not approve, ladies), and pants peeing.
What it is, is that guys have done all this before. And everyone laughs. So if a girl does it, it'd be just as funny, right?

I don't know.

I do know though, that there aren't as many female comedians as their male counterparts. Why? Can men only do slapstick, and be universally appealing? Is it a clear cut gender issue? Cultural definitions and restraints? Anyone have any ideas?

Ohh man.

Tina Fey, where are you? Sarah Silverman, pleaseplease teach a class.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

I was watching Rambo III last night.
Don't judge me.

Joe was having a mini-movie marathon of action flicks, because he sat through Vanity Fair the other day.

There was one scene where Rambo puts gun powder on a wound and ignites it to close it up. This apparently reminded Joe of something...

Joe: "Didn't you ever break open a blackcat to get the powder out, to light it?"

Me: "No. I was a girl. Remember? I played with Barbies."

Joe: "But G.I. Joe had to introduce Barbie to explosives at some point. Like, 'Look Barbie {explosion sound effects} AHH AH! My hand! Noo!'"

Me: "My Barbie never would've dated a deformed G.I. Joe."

Joe: "You mean, she wouldn't have married G.I. Joe if his face was melted off?"

Me: "Nope!"

I'm featured

Go find me


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Not-So-Weekly Recipe

Here's one of my favorite meals...

Chicken Pot Pie


1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can mixed vegetables (pick out all the lima beans, because really...who likes lima beans?)
1 can diced potatoes
2 -3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 egg


1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Dump vegetables, potatoes, and soup (no water), into a 9" pie plate...or other similar sized pan. Mix in chicken. Stir until everything is coated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together Bisquick, milk, and egg. Pour batter on top of chicken/vegie mix in the pie plate. The batter will stay on top, baking up into a biscut-like crust.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. I find that putting a sheet of tin foil on the rack under the pie plate saves a lot of clean up hassle in case the pot pie boils over. The crust should turn golden brown, and the inside boils up a little.

Total comfort food that's easy to make.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We're really not as far apart in age as this makes us seem:

Joe and I saw Bobby last night, and as we're watching the credits go by, Joe says, "That was Harry Belafonte!"

Me: "Uh, who?"

Joe: "Harry Belafonte?! The old guy? He was a singer..."

Me: "Ohh-kaay."

A few more names roll by.

Joe: "Who's Joshua Jackson?"

Me, with a big smile: "Pacey from Dawson's Creek!"

Monday, May 21, 2007

True Alaskans

For the past few days, the weather here has been amazingly gorgeous. Joe and I were able to cook out, work in the yard, get sunburned, take the dogs on long walks, and I even wore flip flops to dinner on Saturday.

It never got above 50 degrees.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

No. No! Noooo! Yes!

Oh NBC. How I love thee. Well, ok. Mostly just your Thursday nights. But still. You're seriously gonna make Lipstick Jungle into a series? Have you read the book? Sure it's by Candace Bushnell...and you're wishing and hoping you'll get the next Sex and the City. But you won't. I promise you. I wanted to slap each and every one of the characters in that book. Ugh. It made me that angry. And you're making a show out of it. You should probably rethink that move before the fall schedule starts. more Donald Trump? That just might even the score.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My productive husband

So the other morning, I'm at the base exchange, and see these cute little bird knicknacks. I had to get a few, because they're so tiny and cute. I mean, really. C'mon.

When Joe comes home from lunch, I show him my newest purchases.
He says this one looks like it's sitting on an eye.

And of course now that's all I can see when I look at it.

It doesn't end there, though.


After Joe gets home from work that afternoon, I notice a little something extra on the shelf.

It's Tweetor. Joe took the time to go to the Exchange, buy another bird, paint in an eye, and add blood stains under its beak. Oh, and make up a whole story to go along with it.

"He needs girl birds in metal bikinis surrounding him."

Ah...that's my Joe.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I was chosen for my first ever Treasury list on Etsy. Look, see (it's the light bulb photo...)

All thanks to Suuushi, who's from Fairbanks, Alaska. The list features all Alaskan artists. I'm in good company, right?

Friday, May 04, 2007



It's fun. Give it a try.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I cannot even begin to tell you how much I like the goat in the new Aflac commercials. The duck is still annoying as hell...but that goat! Oooh.
My favorite commercial so far -ever- is the one for Mastercard with the elephant and the sick care taker. How sweet is that one?
I have a thing for commercials (and advertising in general). If I don't like the ad, I will go out of my way to not buy the product. Picky much? Probably. Maybe though it's the artist side of me. Or maybe it's the part that likes to make snap judgements.


You may continue

My flowers are blooming in the garden!
...very excited.

Just had to pass that along.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not-So-Weekly Recipe

I love carrot cake. Like, lovelove. I found a recipe online for a low-fat version, and modified it a little more. Here it is. Trust me, you'll lovelove it too.

Carrot Cake


4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I like to use a little extra)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or pumpkin pie spice...)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups finely grated carrots


1. Preheat oven to 350*. Coat baking pans with cooking spray. Whip egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until stiff. Set aside.
2. Cream sugar, apple sauce, syrup, and can of pineapple in a large mixing bowl. Beat in egg yolks and egg substitute. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to mixing bowl, and beat on low speed until blended. Fold in egg whites. Stir in grated carrots and spoon mixture into prepared pan(s).
3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

A side note about the frosting: I've tried twice to make cream cheese frosting, and neither time it came out right. Save the hassle and buy it already made. After grating all those carrots, you'll thank yourself for at least one short cut!

The picture is a mini-cake. To make, do cupcakes. Cut off tops of cupcakes, and icing like normal. cake. Totally cute, right?


Friday, April 27, 2007

You know it's true

Happy Arbor Day!

...Earth Day's ugly little sister.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So I'm reading this news story. Joe looks over my shoulder and says, "Yeah, I was reading that earlier, but didn't want to say anything to you, because I knew you'd get upset."

Me: "Um, yeeeeah." I went off, spouting different points from the article.

Joe: "That was all in the past. It was the 1940s. 'You've come a long way, baby!'"

Me, after a pause: "Did you just try to give me a motivational phrase from a cigarette company ad?"

Joe: "Uhh. Yes."

Earth II: The Return of Water, or the Earthening!

Have you seen this?
I love finding out about new planets. It's the future!

Scientists find most Earthlike planet yet

Sunday, April 22, 2007

You never know, do you?

The other day, Joe and I headed into town for a few supplies. And by town, I mean Wal-Mart...because that's pretty much all there is. It was a nasty, gray, rainy day. We drive by an old man walking with crutches. Joe turns to me, and asks if I mind if we give the guy a ride.
"Um, really?" I ask, with flashes of mass murders going through my head.
"He's an old guy...with the rain," he says.
I pause, again, and shrug. "If you want."
So we turn around, I roll down my window when we get close, and say: Excuse me, sir, would you like a ride?
He stops, looks at us and says, "Not unless you're going to Hell."

Seriously. He said that.

My eyes go huge, and I silently shake my head. Totally surprised. This dude looks like a slimmer Santa Claus, a nice old man.

"No? Well then..." and he walks off. I turn to Joe, and we just look at each other for a second.
Then Joe says, "Did he just say that...? What in the world did that mean?"
As we drive off, all I can say is "there are lots of strange people in the world."

Later, as we're walking out of Wal-Mart, we see the guy checking out at a register.
Going to Hell, huh? Well, I guess it was close enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It was bound to happen sometime...

Joe yelled at kids to get off our lawn.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Serious Oops

This past Monday afternoon, Joe and I took our dogs for a walk. King did the doo, and I scooped it up to take it to the trash. Right in front of the dumpster, I slipped on a patch of ice that was hiding under a layer of snow (because, hey, even though it's technically spring and all, we like our winter weather). I went down hard. Hard hard. It looked something like this:

Yes, chic sunglasses and all.

I have extreme swelling and the thigh-sized bruise befitting a X-games athlete. Ugh. How uncool am I?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sad and disheartening

...shoveling snow on the first day of spring.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Not-So-Weekly Recipe

Breakfast food rocks. Here's a recipe I came up with on the fly the other morning...

Banana Pecan Pancakes


1 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 or 3 ripe bananas
a handful or two of chopped pecans


Mash bananas into a large mixing bowl. Add egg, sugar, and vanilla. Stir well. Slowly pour in Bisquick mix while adding milk. Should make a thin batter. (Add more milk if necessary.) Mix in nuts. Cook on a pre-heated skillet. I always burn the second batch of pancakes - so keep an eye on the temperature...unless you're an adept cook. These pancakes turn out so light and fluffy. And of course delicious.


Friday, March 02, 2007

I did say I'd never leave the couch...

The Agency on VH1 makes my soul bleed.

Sarah Silverman is my new hero.

I cannot express how disappointed I was with Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. The idea of the show is brilliant - but how it was made is awful. Now, Deal or No Deal is a game show I can still get behind. Pure dumb luck, not purely dumb contestents. Ugh.

I love anything that has to do with fashion police. I want Robert Verdi to be my best friend to take me shopping and constantly tell me how fabulous I am.

And Spike...chicks in bikinis burping? Seriously? Then I want Lifetime to start showing buff dudes in speedos doing long division.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Holy Crap

Our cable company just added new channels to the lineup.
We now have E!, the Style Network, and Bravo.

I'm never leaving the couch.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

who-oo loves ya, baby?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fantasy is always better than Reality

It has recently come to my attention that I am a book devourer. Or a bookoholic. Or maybe a freak who just reads too fast.

Whatever one works.

But I have to tell you about my latest series, that you must read. Today. Right Now. It's called the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. There's over 20 books in it, and they're all so wickedly funny that I can't get enough. Even if you're not into the whole fantasy genre, you might get a kick out of them.

Besides, who doesn't like a fun story about magic and adventure?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not-So-Weekly Recipe

The best cookie ever. Hands down.
Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda (I used baking powder, and I don't think it made a difference)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups softened butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. package Reese's Peanut Butter Chips

1. Heat oven to 350*
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt - beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes. Don't over bake! Cool slightly on pan, then move to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes close to 5 dozen cookies.

I usually half the recipe, so there's not that many sitting around teasing me with their deliciousness. And ohmygoodness how heavenly would they be if you used tons of chocolate chips instead of the peanut butter ones? Insane. But seriously, you must try these. (The recipe is on the back of the Reese's chips bag.)


Monday, January 22, 2007


So there's this horrible Office Depot commerical on tv now...the one with the Thing-like hand popping up out of a box that people carry around with them. It's uber creepy. But it did give Joe and me a fun conversation:

Joe: What exactly does the Office Depot hand do?

Me: It's the hand that pushes the Staples' easy button.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Check out Demetri Martin.
He's one of my favorite comics.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Wurf it"

I call to check in with my family...they were all in different stages of sickness when I left for home.
I get Kait on the line, and she's sniffling. She tells me she got what I had - a nasty head cold.

Me: I'm so sorry I got you sick!

Kaity: It's ok. It was worth it.

Aww. I tear up a little. I have the bestest sister in the world.