Thursday, December 31, 2009

sweetie darlings...

happy new year! i have a post in the works, kind of an end of the year recap and such, but right now i have more pressing issues at hand. a new panini press grilling delicious sandwiches, weirdo rum for piña coladas, kids and movies and microwave popcorn, and waiting up for the fiancé. kisses and party poppers will appear at midnight and this year will finally, seriously, be over. it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and in the end it was a pretty big year for me. dear 2009, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

new year's resolutions

OR: things i would like to do this year but probably won't.

  1. learn how to knit intarsia, or fair isle, or any other sort of picture/multiple color knitting. i like cables, i like lacey things, but i'm ready to learn something new. (i still detest using charts, however. i don't know if that will change this year.)
  2. learn how to make a homemade, epic, sourdough bread. seriously sour, too, not like some of the wimpy stuff you get in stores.
  3. go back to blogging more often. i've been trying to do something small every day, but i think making it an actual, "i said it out loud" sort of thing will help.
  4. get new glasses. and the pre-requisite eye exam to accompany them.
  5. the cyst/tumor/mean pea in my hand has got to go. honestly. i'll have someone help me take a photo; the thing's gotten fucking huge and now part of my hand down to my wrist likes to go numb or burn. not cool.

right now that's all i've got on my list. i know making resolutions is a bit pointless, but i find it kind of fun to actually stop for a bit and think about stuff i'd like to do. make a bit of a plan, if you will. maybe i'll make an actual pen and paper list and hang it up someplace where i have to see it on a regular basis. i really would like to get better at knitting; it's one of the things that i used this year to deal with stress/anxiety that didn't a) leave me hungover or b) involve sugar.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Caleb's hobo mittens

i made caleb a pair of basic arm warmer/fingerless gloves for xmas! just in case you'd like to make some, here is the pattern i came up with.

Hobo mitts

i used cascade 220 superwash; one skein will make a pair of these easily, with a bit left over. the stripes i made with knit picks swish dk in coal. i used size 4 double pointed needles.

to start, CO 48 stitches in your main color; 14 on needle 1, 20 on needle 2, 14 on 3. join, making sure not to twist stitches (you know that, i know).

Rows 1-9: k1, p1 ribbing.
Row 10: knit all.

First stripe is four rows:
Row 1: knit
Row 2: k 12, k2tog, k20, ssk, k 12. (46 stitches)
Row 3: knit all
Row 4: k 11, k2tog, k20, ssk, k11. (44 stitches)

Switch back to green for three rows
Row 1: knit
Row 2: k10, k2tog, k20, ssk, k10 (42 stitches)
Row 3: knit

Next black stripe, K 2 rows.

Next green stripe, K 3 rows.

Last black stripe, K 1 row.

Continue knitting with main color (green) until piece is 7 1/2 inches from cuff.

Make thumb holes! For R glove, make a 7 stitch buttonhole on the first needle, for the L glove, make it on the third needle.

Knit another 3/4 of an inch to a whole inch (depending on how long your fingers are).

Make cuff; 10 rows of k1 p1, then bind off loosely.

Weave all your ends in (if you have them), and you're done!

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry xmas kids!

we had a great day! my mom got me an awesome video camera, dave and the kids got me a new camera (!!!) and we had a fantastic day of lounging, eating, being with friends and family, with a tiny nap tucked into the middle.

all of the gifts i got were amazing, but one was so special it made me cry like a baby. to be honest, i opened it last night because i was pretty sure that would be my reaction. amidst all the packages mom sent home with us, one had a tag on it to me from dad. it was an old school navy family gram; a video that wives and families were sent when their husbands/boyfriends/sons went on cruise (this was before women were allowed on the boat!), transferred from the original vhs to dvd. it from 1986, and was different from most because that was one year the guys were on cruise through christmas, so it had a christmas theme and was a little more sappy than most. the guys all had a chance to send a little message to their people, there was a little song they made up (it was the 12 days of xmas, but altered to include the boat and their life on it), and tours of where they worked, what they were doing, etc. we didn't have a video camera growing up, and my dad was notoriously camera shy when one showed up, so to see him talking to us, young and handsome and the way i remember him, just killed me. it's an understatement to say i was so glad to just hear his voice, but then he made an inside joke just for mom and that was when i lost it. in a good way, i mean, if that's at all possible. it was amazing to see him, to hear him, to show dave and the kids the dad i remember.

so i guess you could say this holiday season has been more than a little bittersweet, but as much as i miss my dad (and honestly, i miss him a lot), when i looked around today and saw all the people that i have that i love, all the happy faces and thoughtful gifts, the delicious food and mess to be cleaned up tomorrow, it was more sweet than bitter. i hope you had a great day, got to hug your loved ones or talk to them, and go to bed tonight full of tasty treats. merry christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


the last time i went to the library, there was an elderly man in the audio book section, reading EVERY SINGLE new release out loud, out very loud, and repeatedly, into a cell phone to some one who obviously wasn't at the library. it was very distracting, very annoying, and i thought he really should have known better.

remember when libraries were quiet and fun to hang out and read in? i don't mind some chit chat or kids being kids in the kid section, but this seemed extraordinarily rude to me. if i had been doing the same thing, i'm sure he would have shook his cane at me and made a face.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

public service announcement

oh come on. how you can not give five bucks to this man? comics are awesome, box brown makes delightful comics (i am a big fan of bellen! i probably send one or two of his strips to my boy every week.), and i'm thinking maybe if we get some money from grandma or aunt sue for xmas we should send box some.

Monday, December 14, 2009

oh the weather outside is frightful

except, it's not really that bad. we got a bit of snow, it stopped and then got icy, and now we have that horrible patchy mess left behind when snow loses it's nerve. the kids had a late start in school, D is having a late start as well (still in bed!), and i'm drinking coffee and finishing up my xmas shopping. oh internets, what did we do before you? going into a store and buying things from surly cashiers seems so primitive to me now. perusing various websites with a list, snug in my slippers, is worth all the shipping and handling i might have to pay. i'm going to eat some cookies for breakfast and maybe take a bath, and start getting things wrapped up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

things i maybe should have been in another life:

  • librarian. i know it's cliche, but i honestly love my glasses and cardigan sweaters; sesible mary jane heels and hair in a bun. i also love research projects, organizing stuff that isn't my own, talking about books, learning random things, and being surrounded by people doing the same. embarassingly enough, i also enjoy working with people and helping them find what they need.
  • a baker. bakers either work early in the morning or real late at night, depending on how you look at stuff. lately i can't get enough of baking. especially ridiculous, time consuming things. the weighing of ingredients, setting everything out and getting ready, yeasty delicious smells, and making the simplest things (eggs, flour, water, butter, sugar and time) become amazing treats. the alchemy of turning flour, salt, yeast and water into a loaf of crunchy bread good for sandwiches, or smeared with butter and jam, or topped with cheese and floated in soup, simply flabbergasts me every damn time. what i think of as "real" baking, pie crusts and flaky doughs and yeast breads, used to scare the bejesus out of me, but what i've learned lately is this: even a fucked up looking loaf of bread will make a sandwich and probably taste pretty good doing it. amazing! there is also a fair amount of working alone that i dig.
  • receptionista. oh sure, i was one before, i know, but i was good at it. i have moments when i miss it, don't tell my mom.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

oh, internets

caught up on my flickr today. you know, i used to flickr all the time. i was always taking pictures and looking at other people's pictures, and seeing new things that made me excited to cook or make or draw something, but then i guess i got overwhelmed by all the stuff on there and i took a break. i logged in today and saw all manner of amazing, and was glad i took a short break because i think i can appreciate the flickr again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

teratoma thursday

embarassing fact: i have a single, solitary hair that grows out of my neck, horizontally. it looks and feels just like an eyelash. i keep it plucked, but every time i take my tweezers to it, i wonder if i'm removing the part of my embryonic twin that lives on in a random, errant eyelash.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

stop shouting!

i fell asleep on the couch last night, and woke up at about 1:30 this morning to a woman on the tv shouting. i remember waking up with a start and thinking, "ah! stop shouting at me!" and then realizing she was a televangilist and was yelling about jesus. i got up and went to bed.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


everyone is away; D at work, the kids at their grandparent's house, decorating the tree. i have the whole house to myself, and a pot of coffee and podcasts to enjoy! it's delightful. it's so rare to get an afternoon to myself; part of me feels like i should be cleaning and cooking, part of me just wants to goof around. regardless of the guilt i feel, the goofing is totally winning. i have some stuff to knit, a cat curled up in my lap, and at least a few more hours all to myself. whoo!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

things about thanksgiving that were awesome

  • when i told maggie i brought her friend M, she looked up at me and said, "oh, thank you!" after that she pretty much followed her around her all day long, being sweet.
  • my mom agreed to come to D's family thanksgiving on sunday! i was honestly not expecting that. she'll get to meet her future in-laws and i will get to prove i wasn't raised by wolves. win win!
  • the bulldog won the non-sporting group at the national dog show!
  • the kid's and D waved at santa with me at the end of the macy's parade. i know it's terribly hokey, but in my family you have to wave at santa at the end of the parade or else you can count on a horrible holiday season. we are strangely supersitious about that sort of thing.
  • the kid's watched the parade with me! they've never done that before. i'm sure parts of it they didn't dig, but they indulged me.
  • getting new books to read from mom's collection. that's one thing i love about going home, going through the book pile for new things to read.
  • AND at D's family celebration, there were EIGHT kinds of pie. eight! dear diary, i love pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

holiday highs and lows

as one can imagine, i am kind of dreading the holiday season, as well as looking forward to it. the fucked up part of all that is how literally one moment i'm excited about cooking stuff and seeing my family and having drinks and delicious nibbles, and the next i'm weeping and worried about how the hell we're going to have thanksgiving without pop. as for christmas, well, i can't even begin to consider how we're going to handle that. i figure i'll start with this holiday and then see how it goes. maybe once you get one under your belt the next is easier? maybe i'll know how much booze to stock up on (or to avoid)? perhaps santa will put some valium in my stocking? i just don't know. happy times just seem extra bittersweet now, which is the best way to explain how i'm feeling. i don't expect to make it through the next few days without some tears, but hopefully i can make it to a quiet corner or bathroom in time, and hopefully i won't bum anyone out.

the way i see it, if it all crashes and burns and i start to fail at all this holiday stuff, then i will just go all scrooge/grinch on everyone's ass and that will be it. i'm so glad pop culture has created and archtype just for me! (sarcasm, of course. a little.)

edited to add:
i called my mom tonight, and had a tiny, itsy-bitsy freak out on her. hearing that i'm not the only one feeling this way, while i knew that in the rational part of my brain, made all the difference. i'll probably still be more emotional than i'd like for the rest of the week, but i'm not nearly as anxious as i was before i called. i had some time, i did some cooking, i had a good talk with mom and my man, and i feel ready to handle the holiday. or rather, more ready. i'll still miss my pop, and have a moment or two of melancholy (or five or six) but i'm a lot less worried about ruining the holiday or freaking anyone out. this holiday will be different, of course, but i'll still be with my family and we'll still eat crazy amounts of fowl and wave at santa at the end of the macy's parade.

parent-teacher conferences;

or one reason it's awesome being a pseudo-parent
the past few weeks i've gotten to go to both kid's parent-teacher conferences. now, we all know i think the kids are smart and funny and interesting people, (and they draw great photos, they tell the best jokes, and you should see them whip up a bowl of ramen!) but going to those conferences was great because their teachers all feel the same way. i got to bask in the accolades without actually having to earn them! i know it's ridiculous, and that D did all the hard work and heavy lifting, but i can't help but feel kind of proud when someone says, "i really enjoy having him/her in class," "as you can see, their grades are excellent" or my favorite, "whatever you're doing, keep it up!" maybe next year i'll feel like i put more time into actual parenting, instead of being mainly a sideline player and cheerleader, but then again, maybe not. the kids are fine, they were doing well before i ever entered the scene, and as far as school goes, both kids appear to enjoy it and do a wonderful job making sure their stuff gets done. whatever D's doing, he should totally keep it up (and i'll still do whatever it is i'm doing, and try to be a less-than-evil stepmother). don't think that means i won't attend the conferences, though; free cookies and coffee and a chance to hear how amazing my future step-kids are is a good time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

is it just me or does the film "the blindside" look kinda, sorta, maybe a little ridiculous? affluent, white family adopts big black kid, turns him into an awesome football player, they become a "family" and learn "valuable lessons" about each other, and we're all supposed to be heart-warmed? makes me feel funny. also, i used to totally dig sandra bullock, but she married a douchebag and has made more treacle than movies lately.

this all just makes me miss marissa tomei.

strike out!

i love library thing's early reviewer program. by signing up and writing reviews of books i read, i can angle to have books sent to me by publishers, which i then read and review on the site (or anywhere else, for that matter). for the most part, i've recieved books i've enjoyed. one or two kind of missed the mark, but nothing had been terrible until i got my latest book.

damn, it's bad. like seriously, i hate picking it up, awful. some books have clumsy beginnings, or some start out a bit confusing until you get the gist of what's going on, so when i found myself not enjoying the book right away i thought i would give it some time to get better, or to redeem itself in some way. almost 100 pages in, and i still hate it. the writing is choppy and reads like an action movie on speed (always something dramatic is happening!), there hasn't been any real plot laid out except there are three characters we're supposed to care about and that the badness is out to get them. i shit you not, my friends, it is actually referred to as "the badness" or sometimes "the Badness" in the book. i know these three characters are somehow related or connected to each other, but not how. so much time has been spent on crazy action without explantion that i don't know why anything is happening, what exactly is happening, or why i should care. the action at this point is tedious and i find myself just hoping the badness swallows everyone up so i can finish and just review the damn thing.

two hundred pages left to go, and when (or if) i do finish it, i promise to let you know what the book is called, how miserable it was reading it, and why you should steer clear of it. it's so rare that i have this reaction to a book, that i just had to share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

civic pride

we all know i love my car; while i miss my old school honda civic, the rocket, all the time, my new little civic is a nice car. (before i missed the rocket i missed my dear abby.) we get along well, she doesn't use a ton of gas, she's zippy when she needs to be, and a lovely shade of deepest plum. unlike civics of old, though, she's got all sorts of niggling little things going all wrong, all at once. my weatherstripping seems to be shot and has actually developed a leak (!), and the condensation on the windows in the morning is hellish. i actually had to buy some of those humidity suckers to hang up to make it bearable! both the passenger and driver's side automatic windows are also starting to get fussy. don't try rolling your window down if it's too cold, because it won't roll back up! they've gotten stuck a few times, and i had to gently wiggle them upward with my hand while trying to flip the switch to start the motor. i'm pretty sure if not this year, then soon, i'm going to need a new timing belt. last year i bought two new tires because of the snow and because they were too worn down, but i still have two tires that also need to be replaced. the upholstery over the rear seats is beginning to pull away from the ceiling. i starting thinking today about all the things that need to be done and felt like hyperventilating. i know i just have to work on things one at a time, and in the order of most importance, but damn! i hate to say it, but i feel like hondas were built sturdier back in the day. this is the first car i've ever had that was born after the year 2000, and it has more stupid little things wrong than all my older, trashy cars. or maybe it's just different stuff and while i'm irritated now by the dampness in my car, i do remember my youth and driving around with a flashlight because my dashboard wouldn't light up or the car whose solenoid i constantly had to tap gently or else it wouldn't start. maybe i'm just too old to find potential hazards funny like i used to. either way, i'm going to need to hunt down some weatherstripping because the rainy season has begun and i'm not so sure Moldy Carpet will go well with the Peachy Peach scent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

hey, guess what?

i had a good cry and felt better.

i also drove out to the island today to sneak my mother's birthday present into her house, along with some pretty flowers, had a lunch of mussels with my man and a nice drive. mom was crazy surprised about her present being there when she got home, and sounded honestly pleased when i talked to her tonight.

that also made me feel good. i'm going to go knit and watch the history channel with D now, and eat some goldfish crackers. okay!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

maybe i'm premenstrual, maybe i'm adjusting to the fall gloom, maybe i'm just having a day, but lately i just feel so blah. sad and down around the mouth, missing my dad and the way things were before he died, wondering if i'll ever get a handle on this grief and start doing something beside stagnate ever again. i don't make anything, i could spend all day every day napping, and if it isn't salty or sweet i don't want to eat it. perhaps this irritation at the way things currently are means i'm going to shake myself out of it sooner rather than later, but honestly, right now i'm just annoyed with me and my life. i feel short tempered and then guilty about being snappish, tired and then restless. i want to go out, then i do and i hate it. i want to work when i'm at home, and when i'm at work i want to be home. i'm contrary and even i don't want to hear my bitching. i'm hoping that by just saying it out loud, writing it down, getting it out of my head might help. i know i'm wallowing in it, i know it's self-indulgent to even blog about it (but what is a blog but self-indulgence?), i just feel out of it. i really, honestly, miss my pop. i'm not trying to get sympathy, i'm not trying to milk it, it's just always there. at times more sharply than others. does it still hurt so bad because i hate crying about it and try not to? would it matter at all if i tried to cry it all out? i don't even know that's a possibility.

my relationship with my mom and sister are like entirely new creatures as well. i don't even feel like i have them to fall back on. i have this terrible feeling they don't like me any more than i do. on my birthday my sister didn't even bother calling, and my mother was annoyed with me and ended my phone call with an "okay, i'll talk to you later." never an "i love you" anymore. thanksgiving already feels like it's going to be tense and possibly unpleasant. i don't even know what they're going through, how i've offended, or if i even have; there's always the chance that our own individual griefs are just taking us in different directions. what's hard about that is i always thought i'd have them. i thought i would be able to talk to them and they would know what i was going through, i expected us to band together and face this head on together. like all things i have learned from tv, it's not what i thought it was. pop getting sick didn't mean we had deep talks about life and reconcile before he died. there were very few, if any, hallmark moments. the aftermath of his death is no different. my family isn't the same anymore. i know and understand that's normal, the rational part of my brain can do the math and see how natural this is, but it still hurts me in a way i could have never forseen.

this is all very one-sided, you know. what my mother and sister are going through are unknown to me. there's a good chance i'm so stuck in my own head, my own life, that i'm being a terrible sister and daughter. i know are there are things i could be doing to make this better, i know that not saying some of this out loud to them isn't healthy or constructive; but as much as i hurt now, i'm terrified of doing something that would permanently alter our relationship in a bad way. i don't want to risk losing them altogether, and at this point that feels like a very real possibility. it's just not a risk i'm willing to take. things aren't unbearable, things aren't great, i'm getting chubbier and sadder, but i'm not at rock bottom. for now that's going to have to cheer me up. that and andrew wk's tweets. damn, i love those things.

Monday, November 09, 2009


lately i am all about hanging out at the house. i have pretty much no stories to amuse you with, as all i do is cook and read and hang out. boring! to further my hermitude, i bought these portable mp3 speakers. it's a clever design; the speakers are set on the outside of a little hard-case, you unzip the case, plug your mp3 player in and turn it on, and you can listen to your music wherever. i use mine mainly for podcasts; i've been hooked on pseudopod for quite some time, but i've also fallen victim to the sister podcasts, escape pod and podCastle. wiretap is also a podcast on iTunes now, and we all know how much i love jonathan goldstein. in honor of fall, i'm also re-reading a whole lot of the little house books, and baking too many cookies. i try to pretend that the cookies are trial runs of things i might make for the holidays, but in reality it's just a reaction to the darkening days and rain. a house that's warm and smells of vanilla and cookie is infinitely more cheerful in the dark than one that smells like green salad. true story.

Monday, October 26, 2009

i'm a dick!

i haven't gone out of my way to talk to my sister since the whole "if my daughter isn't in your wedding you're dead to me" debacle. i haven't been a jerk when i've seen her (in fact, i think i've been quite nice!) but i don't call her and i try to just stay out of her way. my mother has noticed this, although aside from the initial "what the fuck?!" talk i had with her i haven't mentioned anything, but i think she's trying to use my birthday to make things better. she's an awesome mom, and i understand and support her, but honestly, i don't really want to play nice with my sister. she can make her deliver my birthday presents or not; i don't care. i don't much care for my birthday to begin with, not getting presents, and not getting them from my asshole sister, doesn't bother me.

it's not like i'm mad about the specifics anymore, but i feel like every time something like this happens i have to be the "good" sister, the one to smooth things over and make everything okay for everyone. i'm just kind of tired of that. she did something shitty, i told her she did something shitty, and i'm okay with us not being "besties" until she does something like (gasp!) apologize. i don't care if everyone worries if we're getting along, because honestly, when we're with mom, i can be as nice as i need to be. i love my niece, and i want to keep seeing her. family get-togethers should be fun and happy and nice for everyone involved, and i will always do my part to make sure there's no drama there. in my everyday, family life though, i'm okay with not talking to her a lot or going out of my way to hang out with my sister. she's made it clear time and time again that her priority is her, and that's fine. it just might not always be my priority.

becoming a pseudo-step-mom, losing my pop, and getting engaged this year definitely changed the way i see things. i'll always love my sister, and i'll always have a kidney for her or a shoulder to cry on, but i'm a lot less likely to be walked all over. i think that's okay. my birthday is going to be a fun, relaxed, low-key event this year; we're going to go see some dumb movie and eat egg rolls for dinner, and that sounds impossibly rad to me. if i get some presents, yay! if not, yay! if my sister wants to act like a grown-up and call me instead of sending some email, then awesome! if not, that's her thing. i'm sick of being forgiving. i'm sick of being the doormat. honestly? i think that's pretty healthy. although if you'll notice, i'm not so above all of this to not want to rant about it in public. :-) what can i say? this is all still new to me.

dinner tonight was awesome

easiest recipe for pork potstickers EVER:

2 cups ground pork (dave ground mine, it was a rough grind)
2 cups finely chopped cabbage (little pieces!)
2 green onions, also finely chopped
1 tsp minced/grated ginger (i used a piece about 3/4 of an inch long)
2 tbs soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 tsp extra dark soy (i like the mushroom one!)*
1/4 tsp white pepper (or black if that's what you have)
1 tsp sesame oil

mix it up, pack into wrappers, and steam fry them. to do that, put a skillet with a lid on over med. high heat. add a tsp or two of neutral oil to the bottom; add potstickers then about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (how much depends on how big your skillet is!), cover it and don't open until they're done, about 7-9 mins. they should be browned on the bottom and soft on top. also, your meat should be cooked through, but you already knew that. you'll have to add more oil to your pan on occasion as you cook them. this is a version of this recipe, but i add more onion and am not picky about what kind of cabbage i use. i am also not good at making the dough, and instead just buy mine. hsiao-ching chou's recipes are always steller, and while she worked for the seattle pi i'd pretty much try anything she recommended. i miss her column, it was my favorite thing about the wednesday food section.

*if you don't have this, no big deal. i buy it at the asian market, it has a deeper, more concentrated flavor than regular soy, and adds a little punch to just about anything you put regular soy in. it's too dark to use as a straight substitute for soy in most recipes, though. add a little and you can always add more, add too much and dinner is ruined.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

good morning, sunshine

sure, it's the middle of the afternoon now, but i can't help that i still feel like morning. i think it's the cup of coffee in my hand and the fact that it hasn't brightened up all day. while i love the fall, and the leaves changing color and the chill that makes a day spent inside seem totally okay, i admit i could do without it getting darker. that's what made fall in colorado so awesome; cool enough to start hibernating, but not dark and dour outside.

this head cold i caught from the kids is making me miserable. it went right into my sinuses first, causing terrible head pain, and now it's in my lungs. awesome! it burns when i breathe. it hurts when i cough. i'm giving myself shaken baby syndrome with the coughing. at the moment, my dear man is out getting some goldenseal to help with the expectoration. i'm certain that everyone wanted to hear about my mucous today, sorry! i just feel lousy, and we all know i am a whiny baby when i don't feel good.

i felt bad enough to take two days off work (!!!), meaning i'm on day four of staying at home. it's like a vacation, albeit snottier. i wish i felt better and could do something more productive than sit on the couch whining or napping. although i did finish a book, introduce the boychild to his first zombie movie, watch a goth opera with him, carve pumpkins, and make a few quiches. i guess i haven't been entirely useless.

i'm also all about putting glitter on various gourds. good times. i suppose i should go take a shower or at least brush my teeth, and pretend to be a grown-up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

adios, twinkie

it seems every time a person turns around there's some new apocalypse ready to take down humanity (like the year 2000, bird flu, solar eclipses, zombies rising), and right now people seemed freaked out by swine flu and the year 2012. granted, swine flu is about as bad as the "regular" flu, and even the mayans don't buy the year 2012 being the end of the world, but planning for disaster is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. we all know my love of sites that let you prepare for emergency by storing big barrels of raw red wheat and MRE's, and how i try to have a few cans of spam and bottles of water around just in case. with that in mind, i reveal to you the foods i will miss when society crumbles:

  • crunchy cheetos. not the puffed ones, those suck. how can two foods supposedly be from the same family and be so different? the puffy cheeto is an abomination.
  • snickers bars. i don't often eat a whole candy bar, but when i do, i like a snickers bar.
  • marzipan chocolate bars, like the ritter sport. sure, i said i don't eat a lot of candy bars, then listed two back to back. it's just thinking about snickers bars made me think of those dark chocolate squares of almondy goodness that are ritters! so sue me.
  • moons over my hammy, from denny's. anyone can put ham and scrambled egg and processed cheese on toast, sure, but no one does it like denny's.
  • slushies. specifically red ones.
  • red vines! oh my burned-out-shell-of-a-city/kingdom for a tub of red vines.
  • microwave popcorn or jiffy pop. fake butter is somehow more buttery when it's on popcorn. how does that work?
  • doritos. more artificial cheesey goodness. let's throw in frito's while we're here, specifically the chili cheese ones. they make your breath smell bad, but they are delightful.
  • pretty much any kind of chicken strip or nugget you get from a fast-food joint or grocery store. if you have to eat white meat from a chicken, it should be deep fried, crunchy on the outside and dip-able.
  • hot wings!!!! when the world runs out of frank's hot sauce, it will be a dark day for humanity.
  • ranch dressing. i'm sure you can make it yourself, but it's not the same. you know it, i know it, hidden valley makes millions based on that fact alone.

what will you miss?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

7 layer hair dip

i got a haircut this weekend. everyone at work was getting these cute little bobs, or new highlights, or bangs, and i realized the other day that my hair looked like it came out of 1975. which would be all fine and dandy if i came from 1975 too, but alas, i'm a bit younger than that. a few weeks ago, after school started, i took the girlchild to a hair place that i had a coupon for, not expecting much more than for someone to things up, but the girl who did the haircut was actually great. she gave M these adorable layers, and even when she doesn't brush it, her hair looks cute. lucky for me, that same hairdresser was in this weekend and she not only gave me some layers, but she blew it out and used a straightener on it. it's not too short, it feels all thick and bouncy, and for two days i had the hottest hair on earth. then i washed it.

it's still super cute, don't get me wrong, but at heart i am a lazy girl. i think about buying a hair straightener, i even look up inexpensive ceramic plated ones and sprays to protect my hair against the heat. this week i've been using hair product when i get out of the shower and admiring how my hair doesn't just lay there anymore, but i know soon i'll be back to only combing it once a day after my shower and pinning it back when it annoys me. this week, though, i continue to be cuter than normal, and who knows? maybe this time, i'll get serious about my hair.

(more good news: the hairdresser said she didn't see any lines from the black dye, or any root grow-out! i thought after i stopped using the black dye in may that at some point i would have to have it stripped and taken back to my natural color, but it turns out my natural color is still really close to black and i only have four or five grey hair which are easily pluckable. hooray!)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

no huffing the cat!

i don't know how cats do it, but when it's fall it's like they suck all that awesome leaves-turning-colors, crisp-air, bright-moonlit-night smell right in their fur. lulu comes in from being out at night and i just want to burrow into her neck and huff that amazing autumn smell that clings to her. i tried to get D to take a smell, "c'mon! you'll love it!" but he looked at me like maybe i was still a *tiny* bit crazy-cat-lady. he doesn't know what he's missing. cat ladies, you know what i mean.

today work was impossibly dull. i'll regret saying that out loud tomorrow, when i'm sure it will be a mad house. we watched observe and report tonight, and i have to say, it was a lot darker and less ha-ha funny than you might expect from the trailer, but i enjoyed it. it was terrible and wrong and dry and funny sometimes in that oh-my-god-people-are-really-like-that kind of way. i might have to watch it again. i made a butternut squash soup with roasted, carmelized onions, and it was really good. evidently no one was stoked about it because they all dislike squash soup, but everyone tried it and oddly enough, the all liked it too. i'm a dorky happy homemaker at times, and i admit that made me happy. i need to go hang some scrubs up so i have something to wear tomorrow to work, and i think it's time for a teeth brush and bed. damn, i'm exciting.

Monday, October 05, 2009

stare deep into my eyes

yesterday D, the girlchild and me went out to various farms around the skagit valley on the family farm tour. it was awesome. we had a bright sunny day, a few places we wanted to see, but no real agenda. the drive itself would have been worth it, but we also got to see a ton of animals, working farms, and take a hayride. i can't think of a better way to use a sunday.

mom called from the road last night and so far she's having fun. this is the first time she's made the trip on her own, and while i'm sure sometimes it gets boring to drive by yourself, she brought some books on CD and likes being able to take her time. or not, as she's mentioned frequently that she loves that the speed limit in parts of montana is 75.

i think it's time for coffee and a shower, and to try to make the house look presentable. we'll see how clean things get, though, i might wait for kids to come home and help!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

we have a reservation

my mom is on her way to the rez today. she's going to visit my aunties and my pop's cousins. about a year ago she and my dad went back together, and had a good time. i think she misses my dad enough to want to just be near his people. i wish i could have gone with her, but i just can't take two weeks off work. it would be nice to be with my pop's family, my family, to hear the stories about him and spend some time with people who loved him as much as i did. i hope mom has a good time, and calls me a lot from the road.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

blogroll, please

a short list of blogs that have been rocking my world lately:
  • a journey round my skull; billed as "unhealthy book fetishism," i can't get enough of the amazing graphic design displayed. illustrations from old books, covers, art and literature, i am smitten. it's visually appealing and stimulating, and gives me a million ideas.
  • my cardboard life; a comic i recently discovered that is sweet, silly, and lovely. i like that the author actually uses cardboard to create colin. it's brilliant.
  • craft leftovers; tiny, awesome projects that you can either make on their own, or clever uses for the little bits of yarn/fabric/stuff you have leftover from other projects. waste not, want not, and use it all up. i ordered a zine just the other day, and have been anxiously watching my mailbox for it's arrival!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


i had a moderately crappy day at work. not entirely shitty, just annoying and i had to work with someone i have never worked with before and hope to never work with again. granted, my job is not entirely essential: i am support staff, i make work pleasant for my tech, and make sure that the patients are comfortable. i clean and tidy and enter information into databases. the tech i worked with today was such a snide little bitch. she talked over me when the patients were around, she was dismissive and condescending, and she did it all with a fake plastic smile plastered to her big, dumb, face. spending the day with her gave me heartburn. a special heartburn that can only be cured with red wine.

my period might be imminent.

the kids are sickly, so they spent the day at home today. well, one of them was legitimately sick, one might have been stretching it. either way, both got lots of time on the couch, and D picked up juice and pineapples for a punch of vitamin C. they both go back to school tomorrow, although i kind of think one of them should actually stay home. we'll see how it works out in the morning.

i have discovered that i love the band mastodon. it's metal and gorgeous and i don't know what it is about the fall that makes hard rock guitars sound so great. i read about them in spin magazine, and checked them out, and they are awesomely heavy. i wish i knew more kids into metal, i think i would have discovered them sooner. hooray for heavy metal!

(i was trying to blog while watching community, and i just can't. A) it's too funny, and B) joel mcHale is too delicious to not watch. i know, i called and cancelled the cable tv, but comcast are idiots and we still have it. don't get too excited, they charge me more now for the phone since we're not "bundled" so i'm not actually getting anything over on them. except we still get to watch tv while pretending to be upset that it's still on.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

bored* to tears

a few work related anecdotes for your amusement!
  • the other day i had a gentleman come in wearing flip flops. normally this would be no big deal, as it has been unseasonably warm and flip flops make sense, however, this man had talons instead of toenails. you think i'm joking, but if i'm exaggerating, it's by a millimeter at most. his toes were adorned with the thickest, yellowest, crustiest things i've ever seen. his feet were also painfully dirty and grass-stained, and wouldn't you know it! the machine we use to power-inject contrast dye wasn't working and i had to stand near his feet to inject him by hand. i almost died. knowing they were right there, close enough to touch, freaked me out. i told my coworker that he owed me big time for that.
  • yesterday i got to hold a self-professed psychic and obsessive-compulsive's extremely sweaty hand for the duration of her scan. there were a few things about that situation that were all wrong, the first one being that this woman told us all she was psychic and the world was going to end pretty soon. honestly, i don't buy end-of-days stories from anyone who isn't walking the talk. if you seriously and earnestly believe the world is going to come to a fiery end any day now, then wouldn't you act accordingly? i want to see you building a bomb shelter, throwing wild parties, taking that trip you always wanted, or digging a hole in the backyard to lie down in and wait; if you're just talking about it while in a hospital waiting room, with your raffia purse stuffed with water bottles, romance novels and tissues on your way to the grocery store via short medical exam, i'm not going to buy what you're selling. i want to see hysteria, baby, pure unbridled freaking-the-fuck out.
  • she also didn't ask me to hold her hand, she demanded it. i'm all for giving out comfort, trust me, but when you natter on endlessly about how i don't seem calm enough for you, and start shrieking, "where's your hand?" the minute you lie down on the exam table, i won't be holding your hand with a smile. sorry. i prefer to be treated like a person, not a prop.
  • last week i had a teen boy who was almost 300 pounds come in after falling and hurting himself at football practice. this week i had another football player who was hurt after a 300 lb boy fell on him. coincidence?
  • i've seen a lot of my ex-coworkers from haggen this month as well. they all left the store as well, and guess what? not one of us will shop there. good job, haggen! way to alienate your employees so much that they quit, and then boycott your store!
  • my coworker bought me a tiny vacuum this week. i got all excited and he dryly remarked, "my wife doesn't get that excited when i buy her that sort of thing. maybe i should stop saying 'merry christmas' and 'happy birthday' when i give her home appliances." yes, maybe that's a plan.

*the "tube" in an MRI machine is known as the "bore." i prefer to call it what it is; a tube, but my bossman looks down on that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

knitting is awesome

start of mayfair blanket, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i spent most of the weekend dorking around with the kids playing video games and knitting. yesterday afternoon i felt a *teensy* guilty for all the lounging, but then i made FOUR homemade pizzas and felt like my mom-ish duties had been fulfilled. (why four? because they're small to medium sized and the boychild can eat one by himself.) i found this great pattern for a lap blanket, which is working up so prettily. i admit i'm kind of smitten with it, and want to make another for myself, either in bright blue or happy red. the one i'm working on now is a christmas present, and aside from one or two wonky spots that had to be reworked, the pattern is easy enough to follow but interesting enough not to be boring.

mom called me this weekend and asked me to come with her to pick out pop's headstone. i know it seems crazy we don't have one yet, but there it is. we got one for free from the military, but it was more of a bronze plaque to be embedded on a stone; there wasn't any room for mom's name on it, and she decided after she got it that she didn't want it. it's just not quite right. one regret my father always had was that his folks weren't able to be buried next to each other (they aren't even in the same state), and he was adamant that he and mom be together. they'll actually share a plot, since mom's plan is cremation and buying two spots is a bit ridiculous, especially given that she won't take up much space (yuk yuk). i'm glad to help, but not looking forward to it. i wish i could make this better/easier for her, and just being around doesn't feel like enough. i know it will get better, and some days are easier than others, but it's just not the same without him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pew! pew!

lately i can't get enough of video games. specifically, i've been playing a lot of on-line tetris and using the kid's DSs to play some Mario games. (which ones i'm not sure! but they certainly are fun!) i love the DS; it's small, easy to use, and you can play with a friend. i'd like to get one of my own, but the kids can't use them at school, which is when i'm at work, so it makes more sense for us all to just share. they let me, because i buy them games, and because i am so incredibly awesome. my latest purchase is ninjatown, which i've heard is a lot of fun (it just shipped out today). i'd also like to get scribblenauts, and some scrabble, but i'm curious if anyone has anything else they'd recommend. i like my games to be cute, nerdy, and not terribly shooty. i've been trying to talk my co-worker into getting one too so we can get paid to play video games all day, but while people are in the bore, he actually has to work.

we're all settling nicely into a fall routine. the other day we went over to D's parent's house; it was his mom's birthday and i had made her some currant scones. we had a super nice visit, and brought home a bucket of tiny cherry tomatoes which are honestly named "mexican midgets" because A) they're from mexico and B) they're super tiny. they're also seriously sweet and delicious. i think they sent us home with 2 lbs, and we have less than a quart left. D's dad also offered to butcher a pig for us if we wanted to do a whole-pig roast for the wedding reception. can you see why i love this family? not only does he not think it's weird to have a big, old-fashioned barbeque pig roast for a reception, but he's all about getting the pig ready for us. what a man. last week his dad also called before he went out to the county fair, to ask me what my wedding colors might be, because he was going to pick up new dahlia bulbs and wanted to make sure he got what i liked. he's sweet like his boy, which is no wonder why i want to join their family. it's touching how excited his parents are; both have already put a lot of thought into our reception, and have offered to do all sort of things to help out. it might be corny, but it makes me happy.

i also started a new yoga class. i admit that last night i did not want to go; i'd had a crazy long day at work, and all i really wanted was a grilled cheese sandwich and to plop myself down on the couch. i was glad i went, though, and feel pretty good about this class. it's terribly basic, which is just what i needed since i haven't taken a yoga class in years. the teacher is awesome and relaxed and not too hippy, and i leave the classes feeling all floaty and worked over but strong. it's amazing how what amounts to a series of stretches makes you feel so good. i picked up some yoga videos at the library as well, i may trying doing it more than once a week. we'll see! it would be nice to be in better shape, and i admit sometimes seeing all these sick folks i get more than a little nervous about my own health. i know what i see is disproportionate (not a lot of healthy people hang out at hospitals, after all) but it is eye opening. what i've learned so far; vegetables are awesome, if you think you've had a stroke, don't wait a week to go to the hospital, keep your bones in good shape, and smoking and suntanning really aren't good for you. if you want to be wrinkly and wizened and fragile in your 60's, go right ahead, but if not, take my advice!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

odds and ends and odds

i remember back in the day when i used to blog pretty much all day, every day. sure, i worked at a desk as a receptionist(a), and had more time and thought i was funnier, but sometimes i go to blog and realize it's been over a week which would have just mortified me back in the day. just saying.

work has been supremely depressing lately. lots of the C word, lots of people at the end of their lives, lots of sadness and crying and claustrophobia. there are times when i think cancer, especially, hits me hard now because of my father's passing; but i remember that even when my dad was alive, cancer patients were hard for me. not unbearable, don't mistunderstand, but it hits me in an especially tender spot. i think of the families involved, the oncology nurses, spouses and children and what they're going through. i think of the web of people involved in a single cancer case, how they're all tied together and what they might be going through. it makes me remember how it was when i went through it, how it was when dad was sick, and makes me more mindful of being kind.

there are times when i'm angry because my dad is gone and other people are recovering from cancer, or men older than my father who are far sicker come in and get better and go home. i'm not angry at them, but i feel acutely cheated. i try to remind myself that i'm being petty, which helps, but i can't help feeling like he should be here, like he shouldn't have missed my wedding or getting to know D and the kids, and also like i should be getting over this, i shouldn't hurt like this anymore and i should learn to be a grown-up without the safety net of parents. it's bad enough sometimes feeling bad, but feeling bad about feeling bad is retarded. even i know this. i definitely have days where i wish i had a mindless job, where i just went in and worked without thinking about any of this, without being reminded of it almost daily; but at the same time i like my job, and think no matter what, i'd probably be thinking about a lot of this stuff anyhow.

in lighter news, the kids are back in school! which is fantastic. we were all getting a bit sick of bumping into each other every five minutes, and as much as the kids hate to admit it, i think they were ready to see their friends and get back into some sort of routine. having them home all summer was nice, and gave me a tiny glimpse of what it might be like to be a stay-at-home mom. my kids aren't mine, and they're older, but even i can see how exhausting it could be! we also shut off the cable tv this week; our summer experiment is over, and i can honestly say that we're better off without it. with all the tv you can watch on dvd or the internet, i don't think we'll be missing out on much. sure, i'll miss coming home and watching some mindless sitcom or cartoon whenever i feel like it, but we were abusing it and not doing much else. i think we were all a lot more fun when we didn't have it, and not hearing the kids fight about who's watching what and when is a good enough reason to get rid of it. i know it sounds drastic and extreme, and i promise to never be one of those people who haughtily declares, "oh, i wouldn't know about that because we don't have tv," because you know D and i will sneak out on occasion to watch UFC fights at bars. tv is great, it's just not for us.

aside from all that, boring sad work stuff, kids in school and no more tv, there isn't much else to report. i change my mind every other day about what kind of wedding we should have, what our colors should be, and spend a lot of time trying to convince everyone that we should all wear top hats in the ceremony. one fact is certain, though, i will have a new, fancy pair of red shoes to wear. hopefully a tiny top hat as well, but that remains to be seen!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

fresh kimchi

fresh kimchi, originally uploaded by pinprick.

guess who's got some chili coated cabbage fermenting in her kitchen as we speak? that's right, ME. i didn't make it, don't get too excited; i helped D a little, but he did all the work. it's my job to take the pretty, pretty pictures and hand him knives or bowls or buckets. i'm like the production assistant on a cooking show. we used a recipe that came in his Yoga magazine; it was nice and basic, and didn't make a crazy amount. not that we can't eat gallons of it (we're fairly certain we can) but because this is a test run and if it works well, we might tweak it before we make it again (make it spicier or let it ferment longer, or shorter). initial tasting were, well, tasty, and i bet after a few days of countertop living it's going to be great. man, i love kimchi. i can't even tell you how much i love that i met a man who loves it too, and is stoked about lactic fermentation and pickling.

the kids start school today! they were both in a great mood this morning, and excited about going. i think they missed their friends, and as much as we all love each other, the house was feeling a bit small the past few weeks. i know that M isn't too excited about her teacher this year, but i met him and he was rad. he's not the "fun" one, but i told her that it's usually not the fun ones that are really awesome. i reminded her nicely this morning that it's his first day too, so maybe she could reserve judgement just a bit longer. she thought that was fair.

my sister is being terrible about the wedding and that is giving me heartburn. in a nutshell, she wants my niece in the ceremony, even though i don't want a flower girl. it's not going to be a super traditional wedding, and as much as i love my niece i have never seen a flower girl who seemed to be having fun, and wasn't all shy and freaked out. you know, except on tv. i just want my wedding to be a bit more low-key, and more about the four of us; i'm not just marrying D, and i want the kids to know how important they are. i'm sure we'll talk about this more later, but for now let me just say i feel crappy about the way things are playing out, and while i want to make my family happy, i also kind of just want to focus on making my own family. as well as making kimchi, and pickled eggs, and someday talking D into curing meats and making salamis. aw yeah, salami!

Friday, August 28, 2009

behind door three

coworker: "our nine o'clock is here."

me: "wait, we don't have a nine o'clock."

co-worker: "ding! ding! ding! you passed the test! you win a prize!"

me: "is the prize more time to read before our next patient?"

co-worker: "is there ever any other prize?"

happy friday morning

today has been a great morning. i know that's not too exciting to read, but dude, it's been awesome. D got up with me because he was having a hard time sleeping in, and he made me cheesey scrambled eggs with garlic toast. also, coffee. we got to spend some time this morning talking and looking at the girlchild's school packet while waking up, and it was just nice and quiet and such a great way to start my day. i came into work and my co-worker had gotten me a blueberry scone. i'm having a good hair day, i'm in the middle of reading a good book, and it's friday and this weekend i'm just going to bake and goof off and get kids ready for school. yay!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

PTA, represent

hey! i get to go to my first elementary school open house tonight. well, the first open house i've been to since becoming an adult. i know the girlchild isn't too stoked about her teacher this year, he has a reputation of being a bit stern and strict, but i'm trying to convince her that sometimes teachers that are tough are actually worthwhile. in any case, it will be good to put a name to a face, and maybe they'll have punch and cookies to make it all worthwhile.

speaking of cookies, i made an amazing batch last night. my oven cooperated, and i baked off a batch of browned butter sugar cookies. they were thin and crisp on the outside, slightly chewy in the center, coated in crunchy "raw" sugar and tasted like toffee. everyone liked them but the boychild, who for some crazy reason doesn't dig on caramel flavors. we're going to have to work with him on that. i'll post photos and a recipe soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

dear diary, i love my tent

it took me forever to find a decent cup of coffee this morning! i was way too lazy and lame to make a pot this morning before i left the house, and the hospital coffee is cheap but is just so bad that i can't drink it anymore. i'm fairly sure it's not made of beans, but instead from old socks. old, burnt, crusty socks. i shudder to think. coming back to work from five days off is hard, y'all. getting up early because i have to get dressed and take a shower and be civilized is not as much fun as sleeping in late, living in a tent and being slightly dirty all the time. granted, our most recent sojourn to jim creek was a short one, but we got into the swing of things by not really unpacking from our last trip out. work today is nice and quiet and a good way to ease back into things, but i'd prefer to be crashed on the couch watching tv with the kids. they got a whole summer, why can't i?!

jim creek was gorgeous! the big downside to it is you have to be military or be related to someone in the military to go, the other downside is that you aren't actually allowed anywhere in or near the creek itself (it's protected for salmon and freshwater mussels). all that water, but no wading! they have some lakes and boats you can rent for fishing, but you can't swim in them, which is also sort of lame. especially if it's hot. you'd think maybe they'd have a pool or something there as an alternative, but they don't. the campsites themselves were really nice; they had privacy hedges between sites, and the RV's were in a seperate part of the campground. i have nothing against people to camp in RV's per se, i mean, people should vacation and camp any way they like, however, when we were out at prineville we were right by two big RV's and campers who stayed up all night long watching tv and movies. their camping was noisy and bright and irritating if you were living next door in a tent. i think having campers in vans and RVs out on their own turf is just a reasonable thing, as well as polite. jim creek also had some cute as hell cabins out there, which i really wanted to stay at. my little family scoffs at the idea of this as "camping" but i don't care. living in a tiny, rustic cabin (or yurt! don't forget my favorite!) for just a few days makes me feel all laura ingalls wilder, and i love it. plus, sometimes when i camp i'm less all about hiking and hanging out outside, and more about just taking some quiet time "off" from the rest of the world. doing some thinking, reading, writing or whatever away from TVs, radios, and the rest of the world is just a nice thing to do sometimes. it's refreshing. i don't always need to be out doing stuff, especially considering i'm one of the laziest people i know. i'm all about getting my sloth on at times!
we had a great time on our both camping trips, and last night before drifting off to sleep D and i talked about how much fun we had and how excited we are to take more trips. we'd like a bigger tent so we can all sleep in there (the boychik right now prefers to sleep in the car; he gets a bit of privacy and a bit more room to stretch out), or at least have more wiggle room. we're getting better at camping all together, although on both trips we forgot stuff. once it was silverware, once it was fire, and i kept talking about yogurt and granola for breakfast and then forgot the granola! nothing huge or life-shattering has ever been left behind, though, so i think we're doing okay. i know it's late in the camping season, but the best thing about the pacific northwest is that we often get our best weather starting in september, so we probably have at least one more trip in us. i'm hoping for two, but we'll see! first we have to attack the mountain of laundry and get kids ready for school (ASB cards are $30 at the high school. can you say WTF?!). they go back in a little less than two weeks, and while it's been great having them around, i'm kind of looking forward to having my monday's back. monday was always the day i had off by myself, and i got a lot done on that day, and enjoyed a bit of quiet alone time. i'm a much nicer person and more pleasant all around when i get a bit of alone time, trust me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

vacation all i ever wanted

the past couple of weeks have been a hell of a lot of fun. we all went down to prineville to go camping, and that was awesome. the reservoir was nice and warm, perfect for swimming or going on sea-doos or boating. there were a million kids there, and despite a few reservations on the parts of M and C, a good time was had by all. all the kids got along great, we ate some great dinners, got a ridiculous amount of sun (our new skins are coming in quite nicely, bytheway), and came home tired, dirty and happy. can you ask for more out of a camping trip? i think not. i worked a few days after we got back, spent one day majorly cleaning the house, and now we're back on vacation week part two. tomorrow we got on a small overnight camping trip with D's brother and family, which should be fun.

we've been doing crazy amounts of cooking as well on our little vacation. the weather's cooled down a bit, making grilling and baking a lot less painful and stifling. the other night i made pizza dough for the first time; a process that was a lot easier than i thought it would be. the results were good too, although the next time i make it i'll add a bit more salt to the dough and let it rest a bit more before baking. it made great zucchini pizzas, which is good because as those of you with friends or family who garden know, it's totally zucchini time. we've eaten it in salads, grilled, baked, in pizzas and added to just about anything that might need a touch of green. tonight i may make some muffins or something to use up some more of it! it's a green squash invasion, to be sure. on today's agenda as well is the making of some pork sausage. while out shopping yesterday we found pork shoulder roasts for only .99 cents a pound, which my dear sweet boyfriend couldn't say no to. the look on his face was like a boy on christmas morning! we're in the middle of grinding and cooling, waiting for everything to come down again in temp so we can grind some more and add some spicy goodness. we're going to try a couple new recipes, you can be sure i'm taking pictures and notes as we go along. the waiting is the hardest part for me, i just want to get in there and make it now, but if you go too fast the meat gets too warm and the results are lame. patience is a virtue and all that jazz.

this is one reason i want to marry D; i love days where all we do is cook and goof off and make stuff. i have fun with him, i get excited about trying new recipes and trolling websites to find new ones. it's exciting to be with someone who is so passionate about food and cooking and gets swoony about cuts of meat and fresh veggies. i can't think of a better way to spend a "staycation" than in the kitchen, radio going, good smells coming from the oven and a mess being made.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


camping was gorgeous, hot, dusty and bright. i am sunburnt, filthy, and ready to spend the night in my own bed. funny how exhausting vacation can be. once i shower and put on something clean and brush the tumbleweeds out of my hair i'll have photos and stories! we had a great time, but i am happy to be home.

Friday, August 07, 2009


taking a few days off to go spend time with my favorite little family. packing tonight has been lots of fun; i think we're all getting excited about getting out of town and goofing off. our house-sitter comes over tonight, to use the wi-fi and watch endless amounts of tv. i still have boxes of stuff to get ready, lists to go over, and a bag to unpack and re-pack (as usual, i brought too much!). ooh boy, i'm ready to go!

have a great few days! hopefully i'll have loads of photos and stuff when i get home!

p.s. how coincidental is this post?

Monday, August 03, 2009

sun spots

this was a really fun, family-packed, busy-bee, sunny weekend. on saturday i took M out to D's folk's house for a big barbeque. D had to work all day, and the boy had just gotten home from his epic camping trip and opted to stay home and relax. after 12 days in the woods, no one could blame him. D's dad grilled a prime rib (!) which was seriously delicious. there were a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles, and more food than i thought was possible. we had a great time. i won't lie; going by myself to these sorts of family functions is a little nerve-wracking, but M really wanted to go and i wasn't going to keep her home because i was feeling a bit shy. whenever i actually hang out with D's family, though, i remember that they are awesome and fun and easy to get along with. i talked about gardening with D's dad, the kids with his mom, and a million other things with everyone else. later in the afternoon D was lucky enough to get out of work early and meet up with us. we've both been working a lot, at totally opposite hours, which made spending an afternoon together that much better.

the next day we ventured out to whidbey to see my mom, as well as my favorite evil niece. all four of us headed out there, and my sister's mother-in-law and ex were also there. i'm fairly sure my mother's new favorite thing in life is feeding the boychild. the joy she gets in stuffing him is contagious! maggie and M had a great time together. i love to hear maggie talk about her, she's always asking about her "friend" and wanting us to come over to her house, or to come visit us. they play well together, and both kids are patient and indulgent with her. she always takes a while to warm up to the boychild, i think because he's so tall, but by the end of the day she's always throwing herself at him and climbing him like a jungle gym. it was so nice to see my mom. it feels good to have my little family all together, and to see them all eating and laughing and enjoying each other. it's still a little bittersweet, given that the only time they ever got to meet my pop was in a costco parking lot, but i'll take it.

while we were home we found a box of photos we didn't know existed. mom and i pored through them, passing around the good ones and showing maggie endless pictures of her mom. she still gets a big kick out of seeing her mom as a baby, and we found some great old photos of pop. have i told you before how handsome he was? i might be biased, but it hasn't only been family members to point that out about him, honest! seeing photos of he and i when i was little, photos of him and mom being all young and dopey and in love, pictures of he and my sister (which look a lot like photos of him and maggie), it was great. i still spend part of my drive back from my mom's crying, but it's getting better. we talk about him easier now, and while i still miss him, i find more that i'm crying for my mom, and worrying about her. we're all going to be okay, and i'm thankful we have each other, but it is still difficult.

to end our weekend, we spent the afternoon inner-tubing down the nooksack river. when D was explaining it to me i wasn't so sure, but it was seriously relaxing to float on the river all day and come home sun-addled and hungry. we ate hot dogs and pasta salad, and now i'm doing laundry and getting ready for the week. the boys are watching a best-of UFC thing on tv, and the girlchild is watching coraline in the computer room (a.k.a. our room). we're settling in for the night, happy and sleepy and getting ready for another week. i'm certainly glad we all have mondays off together this summer. this saturday we head down to oregon for a nice, long-ish camping trip, and we're all looking forward to that too. i need to start making lists of dinners and stuff we need to pack and buy. i'll do that after i finish the laundry, know, if i don't get sidetracked by beer and ultimate, no-holds-barred, octagon cage fights.

Friday, July 31, 2009

tequila fixes everything

(comic via xkcd!)

the boy comes home today! i actually brought D's cell phone to work with me today in case he gets into town early, but i bet we won't see him until early evening. i have a million questions i want to ask him, but need to remind myself he's 15 and probably doesn't want to be poked too much. i'll ask him how it was and give him a day or so to relax and watch tv and sleep in, then i'll start with the harassment! i hope he had a good time. we're all looking forward to seeing him, even his little sister. for siblings, they get along really well, and i know she's missed having him around. it's not that she doesn't enjoy having her run of the place, but they do hang out quite a bit and i know she's been lonely.
D's been working a lot, and his schedule is pretty much the opposite of mine. on a good day i'm home at five, but he goes into work at 5:15. the past few days i haven't seen him more than half an hour here and there. it sucks, but i understand. work for him has been slow, and he's been feeling stressed out about money, so while it's busy and the tips are good he should rack up as many hours as possible. i know it's not forever, too, and honestly, because i only work four days a week i have three days that can accomodate his schedule easily. it is weird to not see him, though. especially considering we live together! he did get up this morning before me, though, and made a pot of coffee, which was sweet. we're also both trying to save a bit up before august (tomorrow, jeez!) because we're doing a lot of camping. got to sock away some money somehow!
i'm taking the kids and D to see my mom this weekend. my niece will be there, as well as my sister's mother-in-law. the past few times i've gone to the island it's been just me; it will be nice to bring everyone along this time. mom's been a bit lonely lately, which i suppose is to be expected. it still sucks, but it's probably an ordinary reaction. the kids and D love the island, and the girlchild and maggie get along really well. maggie runs all over asking where her friend is, telling her friend what to do, and hugging on M in between bossing her around. she's a sweet little dictator, even if she is a bit pushy! my mom finds nothing more satisfying than feeding the boychild; she went out and stocked up on hotdogs and chips and "real" soda for him. it's cute. i hope the weather stays nice but maybe isn't so hot-as-hades. we're doing a family day at D's folks house tomorrow, so it's going to be a weekend of grilling and eating and driving. it makes me glad i have three days off, so i can use monday to recover from all the hot dogs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


  • ordered some more new scrubs from UA. ahh, this week has been so comfy and awesome. guess what i discovered? i'm totally a solid scrub girl; no prints for me. i'm not sure why, but i am totally in love with the monochromatic look under a lab coat. i feel impossibly adult.
  • the boosh is loose in my house! folks, did you know the wait for the mighty boosh on a dvd that plays in the states is OVER?! i found out today, and am not sure how i missed it for this long. season one is in the house and we are all pleased.
  • my poor cat is totally flea-ridden and miserable. i just used some of that spot treatment on her last week, so it's too soon to re-dose her. i bought some spray that was supposed to help, but she hates it. it's entirely too hot to try to put the crack down, as well, because this is just primo flea weather. it's hard enough combatting the urge to melt into a puddle; fighting tiny, crafty, biting bugs? i am simply not up for it. this makes me a bad cat mom.
  • the boychik comes home in a few days! we all kind of miss the little jerk. (i kid! he's really tall. you know, five foot nine and a half.)
  • i discovered that these claw clips don't get pulled out by the magnet. guess who stopped brushing her hair? bonus points: named after my favorite cephalopod.
  • it's hot in my house. it's hot in your house. it's hot everywhere. people are crabby and going nuts and it's gotten so bad the heat has zapped my will to drink beer.

internet hunting

found today via boing boing (which is where i find a lot of stuff, internet gods be praised!), tor. tor is all sci-fi, all the time. they write about books and movies and games, publish stories, point you toward all sorts of sci-fi goodness. lately, as in the past few years, i've gotten back in touch with my sci-fi roots. as a kid i would read any and everything, without any self-consciousness. in college, i still read a ton, but found i hid certain things i read. sci-fi became my guilty little secret. then for a while i found myself hanging out with people who thought reading any kind of fiction was some sort of disgrace to the noble cause, and i probably read more non-fiction books then than i wanted to. i like non-fiction books, don't get me wrong, but sometimes i want to dive into a juicy story that's brand new, that isn't confined by facts. i already read a few stories on tor that were great, and i can't wait to see what else they serve up.

now that i'm "out" about my love of sci-fi, speculative and even (the teenager in me rolls her eyes) fantasy writing, i'm finding all sorts of awesome things to read, watch or listen to. i'm sure i've mentioned it before, but i LOVE pseudopod. i enjoy their sister podcast, escape pod, as well. i've been gobbling up neil gaiman books like candy, which are delightful and don't fall into any one neat category easily. the boychik has recommended dresden books enough and with such enthusiam that i just picked up the first of that from the library. (early verdict? i was totally bummed i forgot it at home today. seriously.) in keeping with the absurdist and fantastical theme i've been watching nothing but mighty boosh and spaced. i've been lamenting that i can't watch the big torchwood mini-series that's going on right now. so much to watch! so much to read!

it feels great sometimes when the internet yeilds such bounty! sure, the interwebs are mostly filled with pervs and porn and spam, but the good bits are really, seriously good. if you enjoy sci-fi at all, you should go check out tor. it's great. i'll have a review of anansi boys up soon, as well. it was a rollicking good time, and if you're even remotely interested i'd say pick it up. in a nutshell, you know. (wink)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

blue door

blue door, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i recently got my tax refund back. what i want to do with it is buy a new little camera; my trusty canon still works, but i've had it forever and it's all scratched to hell. if i got a new camera, then the kids could have my old one, making it an awesome win-win situation! alas, i won't be getting one because even with my newfound monies, i have other stuff that's more important to buy. or pay off. i did get myself an awesome pair of shoes for work; the dansko mae, which i hunted for on ebay FOREVER until i found a pair in my size and cheap. normally $125, i got my pair for $35 + shipping. whoo! they are prettier and way more comfortable than my other danskos, which pinch my heel like a sonofabitch.

i also bought some scrubs for work, which are delightful. scrubs are the best idea anyone ever had for clothing. remember how in the movies of the future, everyone was always wearing the same thing? or variations on a theme? it was as if in the future picking out what to wear had become obsolete. i for one, would like to suggest we earthlings adopt scrubs as our uniforms of the future. they are light, they are comfortable, they can be worn with a coat or sweater if you are cold, they come in a million different colors and you can throw then in the washer and drier with impunity. scrubs ARE the future, kids. how have nurses held out on us for so long? as a non-medical professional (ha!) working in a semi-medical field, i would just like to pass this information on to the rest of you. if you don't wear scrubs, you are missing out. if you can get away with wearing them, i'd like to highly recommend it. if we can't wear scrubs, let's at least all start wearing cozy jumpsuits, a la bottle rocket.

the house is quiet with only one kid at home. D and i looked at some new possible wedding venues. if you want to hear me talk about wedding stuff, you can click on "about me" and check out the afterthough blog i have listed there. if you don't want to hear about it, i totally understand. weddings are boring to everyone but the bride and groom, and even then i'd say are only really interesting to about half the folks involved. i'm all about the tv show 30 rock lately, and wish i were as cute or funny as tina fey. my sewing room is coming along nicely, and i hope you are having an awesome thursday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sleep-away camp

start of lamp sweater, originally uploaded by pinprick.

on friday afternoon we got a call saying that the camp the boychik had applied to had a cancellation, meaning they had a spot for him on the next trip. which was, of course, two days away. we were excited for him, of course; he'll get to spend almost two weeks over at ross lake, learning about conservation, being out of the house, canoeing and hopefully making friends and having fun. we were also a bit stressed out because suddenly we had to get him outfitted and ready to go in just two days. D had to work all weekend, so it ws just the boy, the girlchild and i getting stuff done. i will say i'm pretty sure i hate clothes shopping with a 15 year old boy (evidently everything is stupid and/or simply shrugged at enigmatically), but both kids were awesome, given the circumstances. it was kind of stressful, but i'm happy to report we got everything he needed, and when he left on monday he seemed pleased to be going. i hope he has a great time, and have been thinking about what he might be up to all day today. all the time on the lake kind of makes me jealous.

however! soon all four of us will get to go to a camping trip together, and that's going to be fun. D has a ton of camping supplies, so we don't need to get too much together; maybe some new camp chairs (a few of ours are getting seriously ratty) and a new swimsuit for the girl. i'm looking forward to a few days of sun and swimming and relaxing. i never go camping as much as i want to in the summer, which is a shame, but the good thing about this trip is it isn't just a weekend away, it's a good five days. getting the boy ready to go this week just made me more antsy for our big trip!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

it's my folk's anniversary today. if my father were alive, they'd have been married 33 years today!

the past week has been hard in terms of missing him. i keep having dreams about him. one was the two of us having lunch together; we had chinese food and talked about MP3 players. at one point i asked him how he was doing, and he told me he missed my mom, he didn't know what to do without her. i told her she said the same thing. i woke up glad i had seen him, missing our stupid little talks, and feeling ridiculously sad. it was just a dream, after all, but to see him like that; healthier than he had been in years, with his long hair and dark face, relaxed and easy, sad about my mom, it was a bit much. i don't think i can ever say it enough or in such a way that anyone will understand, but i miss him. i miss the sound of his voice, the smell of his cologne, the way his boots clicked on pavement and linoleum. i miss knowing he was home with mom, that i always had two parents to go home to. i feel so inadequate at being a grown-up; losing him means having to step up, having to act my age and get my shit together, and while i'm not completely failing at that, i miss the security of him. of knowing he was there to help out, a safety net if i should need one.

mom is still adjusting to her new life, trying to remember to make smaller dinners, keeping busy, working. for all of us, life without him is something we're still getting used to. we're still a bit wary to talk too much about him, but we're getting a lot better. i think we're closer now than we were, and i know for a fact we're a bit more honest. it's not an easy adjustment, by any means, but we're not the first family to go through it. in the end, i'm glad i have my mom and sister, no matter how hard this all is. i always thought i was "serious" about family, but now i think i actually know what that means. seeing her alone is just another barb, another pain. i'll call her tonight just to tell her i love her, but i suppose today won't ever be the same for her.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

so. much. room.

haven't i been a quiet little blogger lately. our roommate is officially all the way moved out, and the kids have moved their bedrooms around. the boy got the biggest room, the girl the medium, and i now have her little bedroom. we had a huge folding table in the bedroom/garage (which is where D and i have our loft bed, shelves, and the washer and drier), but i moved that into the little room. we also have our sewing machines in here, my laptop, my dresser, and baskets of yarn and crafty stuff. i ordered some oilcloth for a tablecloth, and because our walls are weird and the landlord stranger (no new holes in the wall!), i affixed some sticky hooks to the wall and strung up some picture wire so i could hang up some postcards and photos with clothespins. it's not all the way set up, but it's coming together and comfortable to hang out in. last night the boychik and i did some knitting and listening to pseudopod together in there. it was fun. once i get it all the way set up, with the table covered and some chairs in here, we can do all sorts of crafty stuff! everyone's pretty excited about that.

i got an accidental day off today. we only had one scan scheduled today and it cancelled, so i'm home goofing around. i need to go to the post office, i want to do a little cleaning and organizing, i want to work on some socks for D and i'm reading good omens (which is delightful). it's a pretty happy summer day, i'm glad for the day off. there's still a lot of work to be done in our bedroom. without the table in there it seems huge. everytime i walk in i say "we have so much room for activities in here!" just like the boys in step brothers say. it's nice to have the whole house to ourselves, and i like having a little space to work on. it feels good to have a spot to listen to the radio and knit in (or draw, or sew, or whatever).

ooh! and good news! last week i talked to the head of radiology (who is my de-facto daily boss at the hospital) and found out that i can wear scrubs to work. whoo! scrubs are like pajamas you get to wear in public. i ordered some last week with some of the xray techs, and later this week they should show up. i'm pretty stoked about wearing something so comfy and easy to take care of on a daily basis. a scrub is like the perfect uniform; they come in just enough variety and colors to make them personal, but are made out of easy-to-care for fabric, and cut in such a way that even at a girl's most bloated, she still feels awesome. i can hardly wait for them to show up. i also won a seriously cute pair of dansko's on ebay, so for the first time i'll look like the other girls at work, albeit with less medical training. hooray for scrubs!