Friday, January 22, 2010

I can't figure out how to ensmallen this comic, but click on it to go to the original.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I prefer amnesia, thanks.

Okay, does anyone out there remember seeing this before?

Tonight my dear Poppy was googling for something or other and stumbled over this video. I remember the song, of course, but I'm completely stunned by the video. At first I thought it was a spoof, but then... it wasn't.

The mind reels. It boggles, actually.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Green Monday

When we moved last year, I found this little seed-starter set that I'd picked up somewhere along the line and lost in the depths of the basement. So this year, being much more settled in every which way than this time last year, I kept track of where it was, and this morning I hauled it upstairs and started a lettuce garden. 12 of Romaine, 12 of Prizehead, and in a couple weeks I'll seed again. I'm looking forward to the leaves of my labour. The lettuce in the shops is yuck, and expensive.

Chive and Patch went hunting for containers in the auction mart, and came back with some suitable for re-starting chive-clumps in the house. Somehow there's a lot of dirt between the back door and the south-facing bedrooms in the basement. I'm not asking, just listening for the sound of the vaccuum.

Today was supposed to be Meatless Monday, and so far it has been, but it won't keep on that way. Because I had the beans already soaked and ready to go yesterday, we had Meatless Sunday instead. The main Dish O' The Day was a sort of brown-rice-and-navy-beans casserole, with bits of apple, pecans, butter, poultry seasoning. Chive loved it. I... ate it. It was okay. I'm not used to the texture of the beans, and to me they're just mush. They don't taste bad, they just feel like paste, and it's not my favourite food-feeling, to say the least. I think I would have preferred it without them, but the point is to eat rice and beans for the complete protein. I'll keep trying, and eventually I imagine I'll accustom myself to it.

I was thinking about their mushiness, and how I could incorporate that into things that are supposed to be mushy/creamy. Things like a cream soup, say Zumma Borscht, Mennonite potato soup. Or like the cream-cheese-salmon dip I make to serve with rice crackers. I'll bet some pureed navy beans would practically disappear in something like that.

But for now? For now I need to crack the books. My next school weekend is breathing down my neck, and it's still 2 weeks away!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day Pass

Because it made me LAUGH!

I wonder how his "back" is following treatment?

There's a reason why legitimate massage therapists continue to look for a new job title!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm In The Navy Now

Ah, send me out for a ladies night on the town and you never know what I'll come home with...

On the left, we have a cheese-grater. Or, it once was a cheese grater. After seventy years of continual service, first by my grandmother, and then by me through the first 14 years of my marriage, it no longer shreds anything but my fingers.

(Why is that? How is it that I could barely grate cheese with it, but it was eager to take chunks of flesh out of my hands? I would have thought my finger-flesh would offer more resistance than cheddar. Huh.)

On the right, my New Improved Cheese Grater, loosely modelled on the Eiffel tower, and guaranteed to turn anything I make with it into haute cuisine. My friend and I went searching for dried beans the other night, in the bowels of a fancy-schmancy kitchen goods shop.When I left, my paper bag (paper!) held zer black beans, zer white beans, and zer Parisian grateur du fromage. So much for frugality.

However, I won't bludgeon myself too severely for the purchase of one cheese-grater per lifetime, especially as it'll reduce the amount of meat-products in our diet.

(Ick. Sorry.)

The Ancient of Days? I didn't quite know what to do with it. It was rustier than the old motor home parked behind our pole-barn, but I still felt frivolous and foolish letting go of such a "good" utensil. Finally I dropped it into the recycle bin and didn't look back. Lot's wife I am not. I wonder what its next incarnation will be?

So about the beans. I'm going to have a stab at Meatless Mondays. I'm not dabbling my toes in the River of Vegetarianism. I'm just a little uncomfortable with how hidebound our diet is in this house, and moving away from meat-potatoes-vegetable will make me work outside my normal parameters. I'm definitely not adventurous about food. Partly it's upbringing, partly (largely) it's paranoia about hidden glutens and things that might make my small intestine writhe, and partly it's pickiness.

Hard to know where the pickiness ends and the healthy wariness begins. I've always had a built-in aversion to tomatoes and peppers. Turns out that according to my health-profile from a Chinese medicine point of view, tomatoes and peppers, as well as citrus (which I've CRAVED all my life), are all discouraged for my constitution. Too stimulating, too hard to digest.

I wonder about that, too, and how to juggle my body's needs with the realities of what grows in this area. But that's just part of the ongoing internal dialogue.

So, zer navy beans, they're soaking and anxiously anticipating what exciting thing I'm going to do to them tomorrow in our next exciting episode of culinary experimentalism!

No meat....


(Pull yourself together woman! This is a public post!)

Pardon. Don't know what came over me.

I meant to say, what an amazing opportunity!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I've been meeeeeemed! Feel free to use it if ya wanna.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
7 a.m.

2. How do you like your steak?
Medium Large.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Golden Compass.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
I don't watch TV, and if it intrudes on me, I'm embarrassed.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Norfolk Island.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Toast, peanut butter, banana.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Er? Make it bland. I have no spirit of adventure about food.

8. Where do you like to dine?
At the table. While seated.

10. Favorite dressing?

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?

12. What are your favorite clothes?
Old squishies.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
Mmmmm.... the ocean.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
Depends on whose cup.

15. Where would you want to retire?

16. Favorite time of day?

17. Where were you born?

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Dishwashing. I could watch people wash dishes for HOURS.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
All of the people I'm not tagging!

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
I try not to have superfluous expectations.

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
Myself. I never know what I'm going to say next!

22. Bird watcher?
Only if they make themselves obvious. I try not to invade their privacy, and expect the same courtesy in return.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning. Used to be a night owl, but I got over the insomnia.

24. Do you have any pets?
5 outdoor cats, soon to be 3.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
I passed my mid-term!

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
Writer, archeologist. All sorts of things.

27. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I can't remember!

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
Definitely cat.

29. Are you married?

30. Always wear your seat belt?

31. Been in a car accident?
Only little un's, thank goodness, and just a few.

32. Any pet peeves?
Noisy neighbours and their misbegotten noisy dogs.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?
Ham and pineapple.

34. Favorite Flower?

35. Favorite ice cream?

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Homeschool connection.

39. Which stores would you choose to max out your credit card?
Bookstore maybe? This question makes me nervous. I'm not a spender.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
The question ought to be, have I done anything planned lately?

41. Like your job?
Loooooove my work.

42. Broccoli?
I suppose.

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Not a vacation person, y'know? I wouldn't mind travelling somewhere to take a course.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
I don't remember the last time I went out for dinner!

45. What are you listening to right now?
My son reading random words from the dictionary.

46. What is your favorite color? For what?

47. How many tattoos do you have?
None. Not my thing.

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?
Haven't decided. Quite possibly none!

49. What time did you finish this quiz?
9:17 pm

50. Coffee Drinker?
Nope. I really like smelling it though. I guess you could say I snort coffee.

Happy Birthday, You Know Who!

X-rated (sorta)

I was looking at these two this morning, Rags and Marmalade, and it occurred to me that I've never known either a male calico or a female ginger-cat. Now, I'm already aware of the calico genetics, so it's very unlikely that I ever will meet a male of the patchy persuasion. But orange kitties? No girls?

So I went looking for the scoop. Here you go. They exist, but they're not very common. 3:1 ratio of orange males to orange females. It's all in the X-chromosomes.

They're five months now. We found a home on a farm for these two as the Anti-Mouse Brigade, and they'll be setting off for that in the next week or two. Two others, Bleach and Badger, went to live the soft life as indoor kitties with another family in town, who were finding mice indoors.

That leaves Maggie, my black and white tuxedo cat, and the only one who purrs when we pick her up, purrs and wants to kiss and cuddle. She's staying. So we'll have a mere three cats patrolling our premises. Seems like so few after seven!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Study Avoidance Measures

I think I've figured out why I'm not studying. I'm BORED AS HELL. When the interval between class sessions is five weeks, that's two weeks too long. I've lost all my momentum by the end of the third week.

So this morning, in lieu of doing anything towards improving my mid-term marks when I take the exam tomorrow, I've

Done laundry
Made a huge vat of spaghetti sauce
Made a batch of chocolate muffins for my classmates
Made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the short set
Planned next week's city trip
Talked to the cats
Written two blog posts
Hosted several internal conversations with the school staff about next semester
Caught up with a friend on the phone.

Leave me to my own devices long enough and I'll probably start cutting out a quilt. Just anything instead of cracking those books!

Oh, the humanity!


Oh right, the teapot. The new teapot. The teapot that pours into the cup, rather than flooding the countertop. FINALLY. The Chinese Tea Gods have smiled on me, and blessed me. I've been waiting for this teapot a long, long time.


Photo credit: mconnors from

Fundament - the buttocks, the anus.

Right. There you go.

And I'm not just talking about the right-wing evangelical variety, either. This morning what's really got me going is a list-serve that I subscribe to, of North American (mostly) acupuncturists (mostly), who've gone off on a spiritual tangent.

As a bit of background, there's an acupuncture treatment protocol in Chinese medicine to address "possession". It's great. Really, I mean that. It's a great treatment to yank a person out of the mire and get their feet back on whatever path they were meant to be on. It's used for treating addictions, but it's also good for those times when a person gets so emotionally stuck on one track that they don't have the flexibility to react in anything but one way. It's effective on at least the physical and emotional levels, and I think, from my own experience, that it's effective spiritually too. And by spiritually, I have no idea what I mean. The inexplicable, immeasurable. That.

But in this online discussion about addictions/obsessions/possessions, there's cropping up this fundamentalist undertone. "The spirit of this herb IS this" or "Wholeness IS that" or "Healthy spirituality IS thus". Lots of ersatz Buddhism, paganism, Sufiism being slung around, mostly by people not raised in those traditions, and mostly slung at their clients' viewpoints.


I stay in tune with this list-serve because I want to know what they're saying. When it's more focused on actual treatment, there's often a lot of valuable information. I've never participated. I just want to keep an ear cocked to the craziness, because it's better to know than not to know. This particular group bears watching.

And you know, it's not that I think spiritual seeking is craziness. Definitely not. And I don't think that you can't legitimately move away from whatever you were raised with and have legitimate spiritual growth. But growth would be the operative word. Maturity. Humility.

The longer I live, the more I think that "I don't really know for sure, but this seems to work most of the time" is the best answer for most questions. And usually the most truthful one.

Scientific fundamentalism, educational fundamentalism, religious fundamentalism... it's all from the fundament.

Thus, compost. Praise be. It'll grow punkins after all. Eventually.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blessed Be the Bread

I know, I know, I'm always posting about the bread.

But this bread is different.

This bread was, yes, made by human hands, but they weren't my hands. I wasn't in the kitchen. I didn't even peek at the process. Not a sideways glance. And yet, here's the bread!

My son made this loaf all by himself. From beginning to end. A Lone Wolf Loaf.


And then as vampire-prevention, he blessed it. I don't ask. He says he's an atheist. I guess some atheists enjoy thwarting vampires, no matter which camp they have to ally with.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010



I went looking for something in my linen closet today

and I found

the set of eight fabric coasters and

a matching fabric container

that I'd made as a Christmas gift

for a friend

and given to her

when she came to visit the other day.


I guess they weren't wanted.

Now I have coasters.

I've been saying I should make some for myself.

I guess I did.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Last day of the Christmas holiday, and we finally got the Christmas presents finished. The hand-finishing on the binding, the last cookies baked and tinned, and a batch of wine bottled and labeled for the giving.


And next week.... midterms.

Saints preserve me!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Little Things

We live an unfinished life.

And by that, I don't mean that we're not dead yet, though that's certainly true, and there is much unfinished business, and many songs unsung, etc. etc. I'm talking about my closets.

We have many closets. Storage is a big issue, and in this house I wanted lots of room for dry goods, like rice and sugar and toilet paper and such. So Himself made much of the available nooks and crannies while he was planning the renovation, and built in a pantry and a broom closet, and a cold room, and thus we have a lot of room for storage.

We have a lot of room designated for storage. What we do not have is shelves in that designated roomage. You know what a closet with no shelves is? Floor space behind doors. An appendix for hairball capture.

So for Christmas, not needing anything or having much desire for frivolities (except for uninterrupted time alone to study, which is too much to ask, apparently), I begged for shelves in the bedroom closets. Trim I can manage without, but falling over packing boxes filled with everyday-used items was wearing me a little thin.

Yesterday, blessed yesterday, the last day of the last year, the last coat of pain went on and I HAVE CLOSET SHELVES in the bedrooms!!!

Added bonus - Since Chive had all the needful equipment out and about, I casually mentioned that knobs on the doors would be nice too, rather than scooping down to open them by the underside.


Rather than swooning with delight, which would be dramatic but impractical, I went on a cooking spree this morning and made a GF pie (first ever!), pumpkin pudding, and a apple/almond/chicken broth rice casserole to take to a party this afternoon, where I can gloat about my shelves and knobs.

This apple just looked so cool after I'd diced it up that I had to take a picture, for our mutual gratuitous viewing pleasure.

Anyway, time to gather up the foodments, take the bread out of its private oven, and be on our way!

Shelves! Knobs! Hallelujah!