Monday, December 27, 2010

Prime Rib and Popovers

Are some of the simplest and yet most delicious foods in the whole entire world.

Also, MS and I have very generous families.

That is all.

How was your Christmas?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(Shh...don't tell anyone...)

But I think I'm actually ready for Christmas.

The gifts are purchased, and most are wrapped.

Those that needed to be shipped, are shipped. And most of those have arrived at their destinations.

The roasting beast for roasting has been ordered and I'll pick it up Friday and cook it and we'll eat it, yes we will.

There are still some cookies left.

I think I even have enough wrapping paper.

But I'll go tomorrow and buy more. Just in case.

I wouldn't want to jinx anything.

The cuteness! It burns!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas traditions

The Tree: this year it's the little, table-top version. We use the card table as the "trunk".
Tiny Christmas tree

The Cookies: It's a well-known fact that Santa prefers chocolate-chip.
Chocolate Chip Cookies, close up.
(photo taken with my droid under fluorescent lights, uploaded to fb, and then color-corrected in my computer.)

First Posts

A bit different from the way I've done it before, the title and first sentence of the first post of each month for 2010.

January: Sweater knitted.
Now I just need to make up the sleeve seams, block it, sew in the snaps and put on the buttons. I loved the way it turned out

February: Gryffindor scarf update.
Knitting done. Weaving in ends 3/4's done. Need to block and add fringe. Wow! I knitted a bunch in the first part of this year!

March: I would say something if I had something to say...
Will catch up here later this week. Sorry for the silence here, but I'm noisy at my other blog and on Twitter. Yeah, my posting everywhere went way down this year.

April: Things I wish I would make time in my life to do

* Hawaiian Dance lessons. I still would like to make time in my life to do this.

May: Cropped!
From this: (pic) To this: (pic) I wonder what he'll do with his hair next?

June:Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysteriously Knowledgeable 8-year-old
I would accuse him of reading ahead, but MY SON would NEVER do THAT. He's a reader, that one.

July:Briefing in brief.
We went to Vermont on Amtrak. Ah...Vermont. Ah...Amtrak.

August: Whatever you're interested in, Dick Francis has a book about it (Part 1)
Photography? REFLEX He died earlier this year. I am so glad I got to tell him several times how much I enjoyed his books.

September: View from the Waiting Room
Sitting in the waiting room at the car shop, waiting for them to change the oil, rotate the tires, and do all the stuff one likes to get done before traveling in holiday traffic 6 hours each way. He really is an amazingly patient boy

October: What we're doing around here
MM is acing tests (spelling, math, geography: all A+) and enjoying school immensely. I can't tell you how relieved I am about this.

November: Was gonna post last night for NaBloPoMo
but something came up. That was really not fun. At all.

December: A Scene From Thanksgiving
MM starts a book club: Now that was a really fun time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My son admitted I was right

Twice! In a 24 hour period!

I WIN AT PARENTING!!

YAY!

Plus, he's wearing footie pajamas. Right this very minute.

Muffin Man, with his back to the camera, wearing footie pajamas with rockets on them

Muffin Man, with his back to the camera, wearing footie pajamas with rockets on them.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

In Attendance over Thanksgiving Week

My two grandmothers.
My mom and step-dad.
Me, Mr. Spock, and Muffin Man.
My sister, her husband, my niece and nephew, and the wonderful exchange student.
My Aunt and Uncle TandemBicycle and their daughter (cousin in picture).
My Aunt and Uncle JustAFewYearsOlderThanMe and their three kids.
My Uncle SnarkySenseOfHumor, my Aunt WorksWithSpecialNeedsKids, their two daughters, their grand-daughter, their eldest daughter's boyfriend, their youngest daughter's best friend, and the best friend's daughter.
My mom's Cousin MiraculouslyGetsYarnUntangled, her stepfather, her son, his partner, and their two kids.
And a brief visit by my mom's friends, FamousActorAndSinger and CollectsQuilts, and one of their sons, PlaysBanjoAndSingsBeautifully.

My mom hemmed some pants for me. We ate 4 tons of food. Mr. Spock and I figured out my parents home theater system and wrote up a user's guide for it. I knitted on a hat which I had to rip (thus the yarn detangling), and start again (it's much better now).

In short, I can't wait until next year.

A Scene From Thanksgiving

MM starts a book club:



Left to right: that's a wonderful exchange student from Indonesia who came with my niece; my delightful cousin who shares my birthday; and Muffin Man. They are reading the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. MM finished the whole set of five books in two days.

They represent 1/10th of the crew that was at my mom & step-dad's for the holidays.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

May all who are serving today come home safe. May all those who have served find peace and love at home.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

New Car

Well, a new used car.

A very low-mileage 1998 Toyota Camry. 4 doors, I can see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals without needing to turn off the airbag. Green with beige interior.

It's nimble and just the right size for the three of us.

So.

Staples and stitches come out Tuesday.

I am really very grateful that it wasn't worse. It could have been so much worse.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Introducing Aang, the Avatar



Yes, his head is shaved. It'll grow back.

Ingredients: gold (not yellow!) sweatpants and mock turtle-neck; some orange fabric that my mom made into a poncho and sash for MM; a stick from my UncleTandemBicycle; two pieces of orange tissue wrapping and two pieces of orange art paper folded into fans; two blue cream eye pencils; and a shaved head.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Car Recommendation

I don't know if you're in the market for a mini-van, but if you are, I can heartily recommend the Kia Sedona.

I am 4'11" and can comfortably drive the Sedona. The driver's seat is adjustable to allow a person as short as I am to reach the pedals, see over the steering wheel, and still sit far enough away from the wheel to not have to shut off the airbag. My husband, at 5'10", also found it comfortable to drive.

I have been able to fit seven people in the car (6 adults and a child), and it seats 6 very comfortably.

And...

Ours was totalled.

Totalled.

And my son, who was in the car, (driver's side, middle set of seats) is totally fine. Not a scratch, not a bruise.

My only injury (aside from a couple of bruises), was from hitting my head on the place where the seatbelt attaches to the wall of the car.

We were both wearing our seatbelts, but the car did what it was supposed to do. My car is a wreck, it will be sold for scrap, but we are fine.

So. If you're in the market for a mini-van. I recommend the Kia Sedona.

And I'm glad to be able to do so.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Was gonna post last night for NaBloPoMo

but something came up. Home now and doing well. Thanking everybody for their kind words and loving thoughts. Thanking also the great EMTs and the staff at Loudoun Hospital for taking such wonderful care of me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

His feet are growing by leaps and bounds

Two sizes in less than a year. His sneakers last Spring? Size 1. His sandals this past Summer? Size 2. His new shoes and sneakers? Size 3. He grows out of his shoes so fast, he doesn't wear 'em out first. Good thing he has a friend with smaller feet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spicy ginger peanut sauce

Oh my goodness, I made my best batch EVER.

1 inch of ginger root, peeled and minced
1 whooping big scoop of creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp corn syrup
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 or 2 drops of fish sauce (I KNOW! But really! It works!)
1 shallot finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Peanut oil for the wok
Sesame oil to finish.

Mix ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, corn syrup, vinegar, and fish sauce until well blended.

In a wok or high-sided frying pan, heat the peanut oil and saute the shallots and garlic. Add the peanut butter mixture and heat briefly. Add sesame oil. Pour over noodles or chicken or veggies. You could garnish with green onions if you'd like.

So very, very, very yummerific.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We're having pizza tonight

Homemade, but not from scratch:

Large King of Pita pitas (6 ingredients, no HFCS)
Canned tomato sauce (because my homemade stuff is a bit too chunky for pizza. 7 ingredients, no HFCS)
Fresh mozzarella (5 ingredients, no HFCS)
Wegmans all-natural uncured dry Italian salami (7 ingredients, no HFCS)
Mushrooms

Yum.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What we're doing around here

MM is acing tests (spelling, math, geography: all A+) and enjoying school immensely. Once a week, he goes to a Lego builders thing after school, the rest of the week he goes straight to Posh Place.

We're all doing MadLibs (thanks, Cousin LooksLikeAndyMcDowell!), playing Connect4x4 (thanks QuiltsALot and TellsDonaldDuckStories!), and MM is playing Spoor (thanks Aunt and Uncle TandemBicycle and Cousin SameBirthdayAsMe!)

I'm volunteering in MM's class again this year to help with spelling tests on Fridays. I love it.

We spent the weekend with lots of family at Aunt and Uncle TandemBicycle's house, and had a terrific time. They gave me 8 cups worth of fresh basil to take home and now we have an ocean of pesto.

Tomorrow, Mr. Spock and I go to a shindig to celebrate the Republic of China (Taiwan). So, all in all, it's been a pretty darn good week around here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home sick

Coughing and generally feverish. MS made me some lovely soup for lunch and now I'm back in bed with my laptop.

This morning we watched two videos of MM when he was 23 months and 31 months. The difference in his looks and speech are pretty amazing. At 23 months, he is clearly still a baby. At 31 months, he's starting to look like he does now. It's amazing what 8 months will do.

In the earlier video, he can see himself on the tv while the video is being filmed, and his joy in seeing FUHDEN!! That's FUHDEN! is just the sweetest thing EVER.

So I'm just a bit weepy now, but I'm blaming it on the fever.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My blogroll and earworms

Crystal wrote this post, so now this song is in my head and will. not. leave. So I generously invite you all to hum along.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Walking, Whining, and Whiplash.

Him: "I don't want to walk to the pie store! I don't like pie! I don't want to walk! I'm exhausted. I'm tiiiired. My legs aren't up to walking that far."

Me: "Well, I like pie. The pie store is three blocks from where we are. We're walking there. And that's it."

Him: "Oh! They have CUPCAKES! And Whoopie Pies! Oh! Can I have a cupcake? Can I have a Whoopie Pie? Oh! Can I have a cupcake AND a Whoopie Pie?"

Me: "Repeat after me. Mommy, you were right and I was wrong."

Him: "Mommy, you were right and I was wrong."

Me: "Walking here was worth it."

Him: "Walking here was worth it."

Me: "Yes, you may have the two desserts."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Riding in the car this morning...

and listening to the radio, I was reminded of this post. That mopey song will make me laugh every time I hear it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

An open letter to the makers of the film "Prince Caspian"

What. Were. You. Thinking?

Most of the movie (so far) is not how it was in the book. The book is terrific! The movie....is not. What the hell did you do to Peter? What was that with the attack on the castle? Who made these decisions? And why? Why?

Sincerely,

Mystery Mommy

An open letter to the makers of the film "Prince Caspian"

What. Were. You. Thinking?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

View from the Waiting Room

Sitting in the waiting room at the car shop, waiting for them to change the oil, rotate the tires, and do all the stuff one likes to get done before traveling in holiday traffic 6 hours each way.

Sitting next to me is Muffin Man. Patiently playing his DS and twisted up like a pretzel.



We're going to the open house at his school today so he can meet his new teacher, Ms. Marvelock (not her real name), which is why I have the day off and why he's not at his daycamp (at Posh Place).

When we get the car back, we're heading back home to get his big bag o' school supplies (including green ballpoints - found at Staples, just like my friend said!)

After the open house, we're heading over to Big Box Book Store to buy presents for sundry relatives of various ages, then we'll do I don't know what, and then I'll drop MM off with his sitter so that I can attend Back-to-School Night at his school (parents only!).

So, in sum, it's a lazy, busy, errand-y, special day. And my son is flexible.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's all Dagobah all the time right now

Swamped.

Typing this from the LCDC Exec meeting. Thursday is my son's school's open house and back-to-school night. I'm going away for the weekend.

This past weekend, I did phone banking and play dates and so on and so forth.

Updates to come soon.

I hope.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thinking about my Grandpa Emeritus

He died three years ago this month (Fifth of August), and I'm missing him.

On Sunday, the pastor at our UU congregation gave a really moving address about the cathedral of the world, and life and death. It was something my grandfather would have enjoyed listening to.

Here's a post I wrote about a conversation I had with my son during one of our last visits with my grandfather.

I really wish people we love could live forever.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010

The search for a green ballpoint

If you want to buy a green ballpoint pen at Office Depot, you need to buy a pack with at least 3 other colors, none of which are black, blue, or red.

It was the one thing on the list of school supplies we didn't get.

Last year's pen (bought in a pack with purple, pink, and orange - which we use for Clue), will have to do.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Today, I'm just happy. Very happy.

Yesterday, Judge Walker Vaughn overturned Prop 8 in California. Yesterday, my Twitter feed exploded with joy, laughter, and relief.

Today, I'm sending out love to all my gay and lesbian friends and family members, and hope - such a big hope - that this verdict will be upheld by the 9th circuit and by the Supremes. And thus overturn my own state's Jim Crow amendment.

I can't wait to live in a country where any two consenting adults can marry each other.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Whatever you're interested in, Dick Francis has a book about it (Part 2)

Jewels and gadgets? Straight
Survival? Longshot and Smokescreen
Filming a movie? Wild Horses and Smokescreen
Veterinary? Comeback and Banker
Bloodstock industry? Banker
British transport rules? Driving Force and Flying Finish
Truck maintenance? Driving Force
Antiques? Bonecrack
Toy making? High Stakes
Architecture? Decider
Gold mining? Smokescreen
How to hide something? To the Hilt
Film editing? Break In
Gun manufacturing? Bolt
Cockney rhyming slang? Driving Force

Tell me what you're interested in and I'll tell you which Dick Francis to read!

Whatever you're interested in, Dick Francis has a book about it (Part 1)

Photography? REFLEX
Flying airplanes? FLYING FINISH, RAT RACE, SECOND WIND
Wine and Spirits? PROOF
Russia during the cold war? TRIAL RUN
Glass blowing? SHATTERED
Rare diseases? WHIP HAND (equine), SECOND WIND
Painting? IN THE FRAME (oils), TO THE HILT (acrylics)
British elections? 10 LB PENALTY
British taxation (as of the time it was written)? RISK
Computers (as of the time it was written)? TWICE SHY
Target shooting (Olympic caliber)? TWICE SHY
Boilers? ODDS AGAINST
Trains? THE EDGE

Friday, July 30, 2010

I get kisses again.

Seems a boy who sports purple shoes, a buzz cut, and a brand-new Cookie Monster hat (what? It's from Sesame Place!), can stand up for himself with his friends about whether or not it's cool to kiss your parents in public

Whew.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The day has come

When my son won't kiss or hug me in front of his friends.

I knew it would happen some time, but I wasn't ready for it.

Yesterday he let ME kiss HIM, but he wouldn't kiss me back. Today, nothing.

Ah well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reviews from NYC

Momoya Sushi - W. 21st Street and 7th Avenue in Chelsea. Delicious sushi. I had several of their ala carte specials. Types of fish I'd never heard of, and all just some of the best tasting food I've had...ever. MM had the salmon nigiri and the tekka maki. And made it disappear. It's very noisy, though. Not a good place for a shmooze.

Sweet Melissa on 7th Avenue, b'twn 1st and 2nd Streets in Park Slope. I had the mushroom quiche and a salad. Also iced coffee and a chocolate croissant. Very good. Nice atmosphere. Easy to talk for hours in.

Le Pain Quotidien on 19th Street near Broadway in Gramercy. Fun curried chicken sandwich. Also easy to talk in. Good for people watching.

Szechuan Delight on 7th Avenue b'twn Garfield and Carroll in Park Slope. Delicious Sub Gum pan-fried noodles. MM would have given their dumplings rave reviews if his mouth hadn't been so busy eating them.

There was lots more, but that will have to do for now.

Vacation in brief

NYC, y'all.
New yarn.
Visiting with friends.
MM saw two movies and The Lion King.
Lego Store.
Sushi.
Swimming.
Sesame Place.

Any questions?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cooked this weekend:

  • Fritatta made with eggs, cheese, potatoes, chorizo, onions, and fresh herbs from our garden (for a pot-luck barbeque)
  • Brioche (my first! From How To Cook Everything). Came out beautifully and was really very easy. It went very well with my BIL's homemade strawberry jam.
  • Pesto (from Good Food Gourmet) using sunflower seeds instead of pignolli nuts - 5 times cheaper. Came out very well, but needs more olive oil to replace the oiliness of the pignolli nuts. Sunflower seeds are much drier. I'll use 1/3 cup oil next time.
  • BLT using the first beefsteak tomato from the garden. Oh. YUM. YUM. YUM.

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Briefing in brief

We went to Vermont on Amtrak.

Have I told you how much I love Amtrak?

I do. I totally love taking the train.

We saw my nephew perform in Annie.

We saw fireworks.

We picked black raspberries, and one of us (naming no names) ate them two at a time straight from the bushes until his mouth and fingers were stained purple.

We ate really good food, and one of us (naming no names) built things out of Lego and other things out of sand.

And we brought back two jars of homemade strawberry jam made while we were there of berries picked while we were there.

Yes.

The house across the road from my sister's house is up for sale. Alas, I can't afford to buy it right now. Maybe it'll be for sale again in another 10 years.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Experiments

I baked this bread this weekend and had moderate success. However, I didn't notice until late that the first temp is in Celcius (my stupid stove is only in Farenheit), and I didn't use enough yeast.

So next time: More yeast (and maybe more proofing the yeast) and higher heat.

What I was hoping for was a crusty loaf. What I got was a slightly moist ciabatta. Not bad, just not what I was looking for. I hope that my corrections will turn this into the crusty loaf I'm looking for. But if not, ciabatta is still a good bread.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lego kit 7662 was discontinued

It was $103.00 in stores three years ago and MM has saved his money until he had enough to buy it. Now that it's discontinued, it sells for over $400 in the collectibles market.

MM is sobbing.

I feel so guilty for not having gotten it for him three years ago. I didn't know they discontinued them.

Dammit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

He got a sunburn

On his shoulders. So did all the rest of the campers. Apparently 2 extra slatherings of sunscreen yesterday weren't enough.

I think that the daycamp should have them keep their shirts on in the pool.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What he's reading on his own

He went back and read the first Encyclopedia Brown book on his own again. He's been reading the Jokelopedia. And he's working his way through the Bananagrams for Kids book (good word games there.)

On the "next up" list is a pack of books my mom sent him which includes: A Wrinkle in Time (I don't know why I don't still have my copy); Black Beauty and Black Beauty Returns; and the first two Hardy Boys books.

And now a question for you all: What age do you think it's appropriate for your kid to watch Monty Python's Holy Grail and Blazing Saddles?

Monday, June 21, 2010

We went camping.

Perfect weather. 75 and sunny. Not humid. It rained in the middle of the night. Poured, actually. We stayed snug and dry in the tent. The sun was out and the tent dried completely before we packed it up.

Hotdogs, hamburgers, s'mores for dinner.

Bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. And french-pressed coffee. We're not savages.

Farm stands, and diners, and ice cream, and inexpensive gasoline.

Badminton, and batting practice, and Rummy 500, and Labyrinth.

And the views. HOLY GUACAMOLE, the views. Turns out, the Shenandoahs have good reason to be such a big deal, who knew?

Pictures coming later. Both MS and MM took some.

I took along an appropriate book, but I didn't get much chance to read it at the campsite.

I did read some more of The Magician's Nephew to MM.

Neither book I've linked to is the edition I own.

What did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

That tells me



The image is from Pandora. It says,
Why this song?
Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features acoustic rock instrumentation, a twelve-eight time signature, repetitive melodic phrasing, extensive vamping and use of a string ensemble. [emphasis mine]
.
Well...I don't like that Pandora doesn't use a serial comma...so there!

But really, I've been listening all day while I've been working on stuff and there's only been a couple of clunkers. Pandora is way cool.

What we're reading

Bedtime reading for MM: just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Just started The Magician's Nephew.

He's got a bunch of books he's reading on his own, too (thanks Mom!!!).

He loves books.

I love that he loves books.

Friday, June 04, 2010

He Makes Decisions and Braves the Consequences: Random Bullets of Muffin Man


  • These are the sandals he picked out for the summer. "Purple is a power color!" and he faced down the one rotten kid who teased him about the color.

  • He loves his shorn head. Will probably not grow it back to the former unruly curliness. Lo, I am sad. But also happy. It's his hair, his choice.

  • He is standing up for himself to a longtime friend who is acting badly toward him. I'm sad that the friendship may end (the friend is going through rough times at home), but am so happy that MM won't stand for abuse. "I am DONE with that."

  • Only two more weeks of school for him, then he's a 3rd Grader.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

What I learned from Twitter this morning

  • An ump made a bad call and the Tigers wuz robbed.

  • A 19-year-old American was killed by Israeli soldiers on the flotilla

  • BP: shears? Are you serious

  • Toys are a reason to live

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Question for you all

When did you learn cursive writing? I remember learning it in 3rd grade. MM is learning in NOW. In 2nd grade. AND HIS WRITING IS BETTER THAN MINE.

Whoa.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I've got nothin'

So we'll play a game my friend KnewEverythingAboutFilmNoKidding made up called "Perfect Triple Feature", where you take a theme and carry it forward through three movies.


Here's one example:





Add yours in comments!

Monday, May 17, 2010

You must be dressed to play DS

Every weekday morning, if MM wakes up early, he asks if he can play his DS. And I always give him the same answer: "Get dressed first".

Seriously, why does he even ask? HE KNOWS WHAT THE ANSWER IS.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Amazon.com meme

My first order with Amazon.com was placed May 10, 1999. I ordered $102.39 worth of books and cds. Just enough to qualify for free shipping.

In the order was:
  • Field of Thirteen by Dick Francis (Hardcover)
  • Pete Seeger's Children's Concert at Town Hall
  • Steeleye Span's All Around My Hat
  • 4 non-Narnia C.S. Lewis books
  • The Kinks Lola vs. Powerman and the Money-go-Round
  • and Flower Fairies by Louisa May Alcott.

Links will be added later.

It's funny, I didn't remember that these things were in that first order. I still have them all, of course, but I didn't remember that that's when and how I got them. What I DID remember about that order was the bookmark that came with it.

It was a plain cardstock bookmark with a quote from Mark Twain. You know the one:

"Outside a dog, a book is Man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

VOTE TODAY!!!!

Virginia town elections are TODAY! TUESDAY! MAY 4! Go vote!

Leesburg: Marty Martinez.
Herndon: Cesar Del Aguila.

I'll be working the Brandon Park polls at Loudoun County HS from 4 PM till closing. See you there!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Admin stuff

I've redone my blog roll and divided it in two: people who are still posting (up at the top); and folks who have gone silent (on their blogs, though they may still be active elsewhere). If I've moved you mistakenly, please let me know!

My criteria was longer than 3 months without a posting.

Also, links on my other blog are no longer duplicated at this one. Some more links may shift over there soon.

Profgrrrrl, I couldn't get your blog to link in the blogroll. I'll work on it and make sure you're in there!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Boooooookkkkkkksssss!

Or more accurately, BOOK!

Just ordered the latest Sookie Stackhouse from Amazon. Should be here in about a week. I CAN'T WAIT.

And yes, I've watched the first season of True Blood (thanks Dear Friends who loaned it to me!), haven't yet seen the 2nd season (will request it as a present for Mother's Day).

But I've been a fan of the books now for...oh...since before I started blogging, it seems, since I can't find a post with a start date them.

Books! I love books! I love to dive into them like a porpoise, I like to burrow through them like a gopher. I love to toss them up and let them hit me on the head. BOOKS!

Friday, April 23, 2010

MS says...

There's a pot roast in the crock pot at home.

Makes it very difficult to concentrate on my work, knowing that I'm going to eat well when I get hom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seen outside Chipotle

Our local Chipotle is next to an old grave. On Thursday, my work team ate there and sitting perched on the headstone, was a crow. In the tree over the grave, another crow.

It was completely Poe-esque. With a side of Gary Larson.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Six days ago...

Was my five-year blogiversary. And I missed it.

Blogged twice since then, and didn't notice.

However, TODAY is the fifth anniversary of the first time someone linked to this blog. So HAPPY LINKIVERSARY TO ME!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend update

MS planted a garden: green beans; spinach; two kinds of tomatoes; zucchini; basil; parsley; oregano; and rosemary.
I reset the aerogarden with snowpeas and roasted a duck for dinner.
MM was a total angel and played outdoors for a good part of the day.
Now my boys are asleep and I'm headed that way myself.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Adventures in Cafeteria Food

Today the cafeteria choices were, to put it mildly, abysmal. I ended up getting a mushroom swiss burger, which the grillman made with american cheese. Despite that, the burger was pretty good, but the fries were soggy and just meh.

Contrast that with my lunch from yesterday...which was leftover homemade spicy ginger peanut chicken. Which I ate in my own kitchen. Because I work 4 miles from home. I think I need to do that more.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Things I wish I would make time in my life to do

  • Hawaiian Dance lessons. I loved doing Hawaiian Dance.
  • Pottery. There's a woman who will be giving lessons in Round Hill. I haven't done any pottery since High School and I loved it.
  • Knitting meet-ups.

Instead, I do other things:

  • LCDC stuff
  • CSB stuff
  • NARAL stuff

All of which is important, fulfilling, and fun...but I wish that I could do the other things as well and still have time to spend with MS and MM, work, eat, and sleep.

Sigh.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Observations on Cereal (while shopping at Costco)

Of these cereals, which is the least expensive?
  • Cheerios
  • Corn Flakes
  • Frosted Flakes

Of these cereals, which does NOT contain High Fructose Corn Syrup?

  • Froot Loops/Apple Jacks (combo pack)
  • Corn Flakes
  • Frosted Flakes

The answer to question one is Frosted Flakes. The answer to question two is the Froot Loops/Apple Jacks combo pack.

MS and I came up with an explanation of Why Frosted Flakes Might Be Cheaper: Inferior ingredients masked by the sweetness of HFCS.

We thought that the lack of HFCS in FL/AJ might be due to being Kosher for Passover? But all the cereals were marked with a K. And aren't the grains used in cereals trayfe for Passover anyway?

In any case, we're paying more attention to ingredients. And, where possible, we're avoiding HFCS. Which means no Corn Flakes. HFCS! IN CORN FLAKES! Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MM's hair

Is his hair. I don't get too worked up about his hair, because it's HIS hair. But...
It's kinda shaggy. He's got a permanent case of bed head.

Last night, after he got out of the shower. I asked him if I could have fun with his hair and, when he said "yes", I brushed it into a DA. For the last fifteen minutes of the day, he looked like a miniature Fonzie.

When he woke up, it was back to Harry Potter.

I gently suggested we go to get it cut. But when he said "no", I didn't push it. It's his hair.

But, lo, it is shaggy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Division of (household) labor - baking bread edition

I baked bread today - three loaves (from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook). Start-to-finish, it took about 6 hours, though only really only one hour of that was me interacting with the materials.

So, at around 0830, I mixed the ingredients for the sponge (warm water, yeast. Stir. More water. Stir. 4 cups of flour. Stir. Cover and set in a warm place for about an hour). After it was covered and set in a warm place, I tidied up a bit and Mr. Spock made breakfast (pancakes). We cleaned up the kitchen together.

That took us to 9:30, whereupon I mixed milk, "drippings" from a pot roast MS had cooked (we cooled down the gravy in a container on the back porch back when it was freezing out, pried off the layer of fat that rose to the top, and stored it separately from the gravy in the freezer), sugar, salt, and a cup of flour together. Then I added the sponge, kept mixing. Added more flour, kept mixing. Then I turned it all out onto a cutting board and pounded it with graceless abandon (my knuckles are still sore). Three minutes kneading, three minutes resting, three kneading, three resting, three kneading. Then I put the whole thing into a bowl greased with more "drippings" and covered it with a towel. And I greased the pans.

I was exhausted. I don't know how Laura did that and milked the cows and whatnot.

MS cleaned up the kitchen.

We played a game of Bananagrams, we argued over whether "zot" is a word (it's not. We checked). Ninety minutes passed. I punched down the dough, divided it in three (relatively) equal pieces, put them in the greased baking pans and set them to rise for another 2 hours.

Then I took a shower while MS made lunch. We ate, we watched a bit of TV, we played Set. I called my grandma.

I put the bread in a preheated oven and baked them for 30 minutes. Decided they could brown up a bit and gave em another 5 minutes. Then another 5. Took them out of the oven. Left them to cool.

Went to do some phone-banking for Cesar del Aguila. Ran some errands, and ate dinner out (MM loooooooves that Sushi!). And then came home to freeze two loaves and put the other one in the breadbox (well, it's a cupboard, but we call it the breadbox).

I was thinking about all this in the context of the post at Global Comment by Sarah Jaffe on "Rethinking Work: Cooking as Labor. And how I would probably NOT baked bread today if I'd been responsible for all the other cooking, or if I'd been responsible for the cleanup of the mixing bowl. How grateful I am that I have a spouse who a) likes to cook and b) doesn't wait to be asked to clean the mixing bowl.

Add to that, the context of Laura Ingalls Wilder. How grateful I am to have ingredients to hand that require very little work on my part. I did not have to grind the wheat into flour. In fact, I had white flour in great quantities. I didn't have to twist hay to make enough burnable sticks to both heat the house and bake the bread. Baking bread is a leisure activity for me, not a necessity.

All of this is bubbling in my head, while I nurse my sore knuckles.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I would say something if I had something to say...

Will catch up here later this week. Sorry for the silence here, but I'm noisy at my other blog and on Twitter.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Starting again on a sweater...this time, it's gonna be a vest

Deep V neck pullover in that lovely purple tweed. Couldn't find a cardi pattern I thought would suit both the yarn and the Rack of Doom.

I'll update here with progress, assuming I make any.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Observations

  • You'd think that cooking lentil stew and pot roast at the same time would make the house smell weird, but it didn't...the house smelled wonderful. Bacon, and onions, and garlic, and tomatoes, and a hint of beefiness. It was magnificent. We now have a ton of food in the house.
  • You'd also think that an eight-year-old child couldn't hold his own against his parents in a rousing game of Scrabble...but you'd be wrong there too. The grown-ups were not allowed to use words with less than 4 letters. MM won by one point.
  • Bananagrams! We love it. MM is great at it. He has real stick-to-itiveness and a terrific vocabulary.
  • The snow is beginning to melt. It's nice to see grass again!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweater and hat for new nephew

He shares his birthday with Muffin Man. Born the same day, eight years apart. He is sooooo small! I'd forgotten how tiny three-week-old babies are!

And here, here is the sweater and hat I knitted for him as soon as we heard that he might be coming home with my sister-in-law and her husband.



The sweater is knitted in Lamb's Pride Super Wash Galaxy. Hat is knitted in red cotton/elastic (can't find the label...oops!). Buttons are from A.C. Moore.

The whole time I was knitting on them, I was thinking, "I hope you come home with them, little boy. I hope you come home." I'm so glad he did.

Mazel tov on the arrival of the shayneh yingeleh.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sweater stalled

That Beautiful purple tweed is too slender to ever get gauge on that pattern.

The yarn I have that will achieve gauge is stiff, itchy, and in a color I'm not enamored of. Which leads me to the question: why do I have this crappy yarn in my stash?

I think I may have inherited it from someone.

Why didn't I give it away when we moved?

I didn't know it was quite that itchy.

Boy howdy.

So I have a beautiful purple tweed yarn and no pattern for it, and a beautiful pattern and no suitable yarn.

Methinks I need to make a trip to the yarn store.

Maybe I'll cast on for a vest for myself out of a black tweed silk/wool blend I found in the stash (not enough for that sweater, darn it!) if I can find a vest pattern I like.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Half Magic" by Edward Eager, a list in prose of great children's* literature available in the '50's

*Where "children's literature" means any book that will appeal to children.

And we own most of the books he's listed. "Five Little Peppers and How They Grew", "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", "The Once and Future King", the Narnia books, the E. Nesbit books...

MM is thrilled.
"Do we have that one, Mommy? What about that one? WOW! THOSE books are on MY shelf! When did you get that one for me?"

"Well, to be honest, I bought those for me, and that one was mine when I was a kid. And so was that one. And this one. And all the Narnia ones, MakesBooksForGrandkids brought back from England for me when he used to go on business trips when I was small. And Boy! I used to get in trouble at school because I would spell words the way they appear in those books, and here in the States, we spell things differently from the way they do there."

"Cool! So can we read this one next?"

"Of course!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Voldemort? That dude is going DOWN!



Demonstrating both a sartorial sense of style and an increasingly evident desire record his silliness for posterity.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The search for the perfect chocolate cake recipe

So far, we've tried:

Joy of Cooking Rombauer Special(meh)
Sky High Cakes Triple Fudge (Whoa! Chocolatey! Even though I probably overbaked it - this is definitely the front-runner)
How To Cook Everything (Are you sure you put chocolate in that?)

Up next, Sky High Cakes Devil's Food.

Any of you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe you want to share?

Also, do you have a vanilla frosting recipe you like?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

On reading "The Long Winter" during what may end up being the snowiest winter this area has ever seen

It makes me grateful for heat, and light, and grocery stores, and baking bread with yeast and white flour.

Grateful for having a full freezer, knowing that even if we run out of milk or bread or other staples during the storm, that once the storm has ended and we've dug out of our garage, we can find a store somewhere nearby that will have more milk or bread or other staples.

MM was disappointed about the postponement (again!) of his party, but cheered up over the baking of bread (Little House on the Prairie Cookbook), and cake (Joy of Cooking - I overbeat it and it came out dry and crumbly), and cookies (with M&M's, too sweet for Mr. Spock and me, but MM loves 'em). Also, Mr. Spock gave MM his first cooking lesson. He cooked, all by himself (though with supervision), perfect fluffy rice. And we spent some time outside, being shocked by the amount of snow.


So, in short, I'm feeling pretty privileged, and lucky, and grateful. We have just two more chapters to go in HP 7. I hope I can get MM to agree to let me start reading "Farmer Boy" to him.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Scarf update

All ends woven in. Trying to decide whether to add fringe first and then block or block, then fringe. What do you think?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Eight

My little man planned his last 7-year-old word and stuck with the plan. "Good-night. Love."

I can't believe he's 8. Holy guacamole!

Gryffindor scarf update

Knitting done. Weaving in ends 3/4's done. Need to block and add fringe.

Next up, possibly a hat to match. Definitely a cardi for me after that.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Attention: My Canadian Readers!

Have you had a procedure done under general anesthetic? Then you probably got a pelvic exam at the same time, even if your procedure had nothing to do with needing a pelvic exam.

Do you know what this would be called if the woman were given roofies? Rape.

First reported at The Globe and Mail, sign on to the petition against it at The Bad Mom's Club.

Meeting Haiku

Not allowed to knit
during sales meeting. Fingers
bloody by tonight

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Reading HP7 to MM

Chapter 16 is a hard one to get through. Reading about the visit to Godric's Hollow, MM said, "Take a deep breath and it'll be okay"

I did and it was.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gah.

Someone said something to me today and it hit me pretty hard. They said it in anger, and my initial reaction was to get angry and defensive. But I need to accept that my reaction is because part of what they said is true. It is.

So, I will work on that. And I will defend myself against the part that ISN'T true.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What do you think?

Should I knit this sweater in a purple tweed wool?

I really like the shape of it. Nice cropping to give the illusion of a bit more height, and the neckline is good for minimizing the EEROD.

Found today

The power cord for the keyboard (musical), some books I was missing, the coffee press, the square cake pans, and MM's digital camera (which is what started the search in the first place).

Also found today, a fact: my spicy ginger peanut sauce is EVEN BETTER over soba noodles.

The Gryffindor scarf is longer than MM as of today. Soon it will take over the world!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blogging the lost

Has anyone seen the little black zip bag full of Disney and Pixar films? We can't find it.

ETA: Mr. Spock found it! I probably looked at it 20 times!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome

I'm pleased to have new visitors to this blog. I've been blogging here for quite a while. I do have some guidelines for commenters (over there on the sidebar). Feel free to make yourself at home and take a look around.

I write mostly about knitting, and mystery books, and politics, and tell the occasional story about life at home or at work.

If you'd like, leave a comment and let me know you've visited!

Blogging for Choice

Even if no one ever again is faced with an unwanted pregnancy - and I hope we get to that day - we will still need abortion to be safe and legal.

Because there are times when a wanted pregnancy needs to be aborted. To save the life or future fertility of the mother.

So especially late-term abortion needs to be kept legal and safe. Yes, I said ESPECIALLY late-term abortion. For Cecily. And for all the other women who have lost their wanted child, but not yet lost the pregnancy...for those who have pre-eclampsia...for the myriad reasons that a pregnancy can go horribly wrong in the last few months or weeks.

Keep all abortion safe and legal.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Knitting a Gryffindor scarf

Before starting it, I hunted high and low for my size six (US) needles. I was totally sure I had at least three sets (of circulars). Where the hell were they?

So I decided to knit it on size eights (US). It's a scarf. Gauge is meaningless in a scarf. Right?

I am half-way done with the pattern on the scarf and it's almost as long as the finished length is supposed to be.

Huh.

This morning I found all three sets of my size sixes. They were in the bag I used for carrying around the sweater I just finished. I used one set to knit the sweater and the other sets as stitch-holders while knitting on the sleeves.

Yeah.

I'm not always the brightest bulb on the marquee.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Can too

Brought my lunch to work today.

In my son's Spider Man lunch bag (he's currently using a red, orange, and black swirly number from Land's End) "Hey!" he said. "You can't take that! You're a girl!"

And I said, "I can too. I love Spider Man."

And he said, "But he's for boys!"

And I said, "I can be a pretty pink princess AND like Spider Man."

The only valid reason to not bring my lunch to work in a Spider Man lunch bag is that I'm not seven. The fact that I'm not packing a salami has no bearing on the matter.

I guess I need to break out the Free to Be You and Me album again.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sweater knitted.

Now I just need to make up the sleeve seams, block it, sew in the snaps and put on the buttons.

It actually looks very nice. Very cozy. I made several rip-back-worthy errors and several I decided not to rip back for.

The biggest of that latter category is one spot on the back where I messed up the pattern on one row. Super obvious to me. No one else will ever notice.

Happy New Year to you all.