Sunday, May 30, 2010

Update on Tablecloth

So, it's been slow going. But, it should be done... eventually? :-P I've been waiting for Mister to bring his camera home from work so I could take pics, but he told me this morning that I can use his phone to do that. So crappy phone pics it is!

Here's the work the I have completed. I have 5 medalions, and need 15 all total.

Here is a close-up on the pineapple motif.

Here's is the center/circle-thing that I'm currently working on.

And this is what it'll look like when it grows up!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Well, I actually bit the bullet and posted on CL for a Foraging Mentor. I kept looking at everyone's posts about "yay the ramps/dandelions/fill-in-the-blank-with-spring-"weed"-of-your-choice are up, and we're eating them and they're delicious!" and thinking "man, if only I knew how to do that..."

It is POSTED! Hopefully someone knowledgeable will respond and be like "Why yes I am wise in the ways of foraging and would love to teach you the mystical paths upon which to walk". Because they will surely talk like that. Yup.

Also, I should think about and blog the preparations I would like to accomplish in Shiny New Apartment With New Roommates Who Aren't Doomers. [Clearly, I'm in a silly mood tonight.]

Will update as the situation changes.

Cars and such

So Mister's car is dying a long, slow, miserable, expensive death. It's a '96 Saab 900, manual. Even though it's hard for me to believe, 1996 is FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. Holy cow. That was when I started listening to the radio for myself... it's only a couple years ago, right?

Back to the point: Mister has been talking and talking and talking and dreaming and wondering and looking and inquiring about cars. About what he wants in a car. What he needs in a car. What make of car. What model of car. Whether to buck up and buy new or buy used. Many, many, many questions taunt his brain on a daily basis. He's pretty much got it decided on a Volvo C30 (and I could type that without looking up the model -- THAT'S how much he's talking about it!), but because he's really picky, there are no gently used models that have the features that he wants.

So he crunches numbers, and crunches numbers, and does some more. Is it really that close in price to buy new than to buy one year used? He's convinced that it is, and that this is really really upsetting news. He doesn't want to have to buy a new car, nor does he want a new car to be the best option. EVERY ONE knows what a bad deal buying a brand new car from a dealer is; yet it's looking to be an ok deal?

I've been avoiding the numbers, because I am not feeling nostalgic for math class at all. I'm happy to have him run the numbers himself, and tell me his discoveries. Of course, this means he has to tell me every time he rediscovers the same answer... :-P


Have I mentioned that he's particular? Luckily, I'm used to this. I at first was putting my two bits in about gas mileage and such things, but his POV was: if I'm going to care about that, I'd go buy a Prius or something that's hybrid, rather than picking apart the cars I'm interested with THEIR gas mileages. Now if it came in diesel...

I just can't get past the fact that he wants to spend how much on a car? He CAN spend how much? Computer Programmers make much better pay than Ice Cream Store Managers, that's sure as shooting.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recipes to Try

So I discovered a new cooking blog (via Tasty Kitchen) and I LOOOOOOOOVE some of her stuff. This is the stuff that I really really want to try at some point.

Beer Cheese Soup
Leek and Potato Gratin
Cheesy Rice from Beer Cheese Soup
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
French Toast Bake
Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing Chicken Casserole

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And More Pretty Cakes!

I finally closed the tab so's that I won't see any more cakes. But here's what I saved...

Pretty Pirate cake
Treasure Map cake
White fondant wedding cake
Gorgeous, non-fondant wedding cake
Crazy difficult wedding cake involving royal icing
Adorable, orange and white, "crocheted" cake
Also crazy difficult wedding cake with hanging icing
Adorable, ghost couple wedding cake
Purple Divorce cake
Yellow with white flowers wedding cake
White with pink flowers wedding cake
Adorable little critter from Mapleleaf or some such
Anthropomorphic cupcake
Hello Kitty fondant cake
Steampunk butterfly cake
Two layer steampunk cake
Steampunk sea critter
Steampunk wedding cake
Three layer steampunk cake
Adorable orange and white cake
Gorgeous chocolate cake
Beautiful, modern two layer cake
Simple, modern fondant birthday cake
White on white, three layer wedding cake
Four layer, purple and black cake


A Little Craziness

So everyone is running around like crazy with gardens, and I still haven't been able to put mine in! I hope that I'll be able to get a decent harvest, and I should be able to put it all in next week.

On a brighter note, I might be convincing Mister that little dairy goats are just what he wants. I can understand the not wanting chickens (they are ridiculously noisy and stupid), but I think a goat would be more manageable. I could be completely off my rocker, but I've got a few years to finish up this convincing -- I've got time, and no need to rush it.

So, I am very tired, weary, hot and sticky (in more than one way!). I manage an ice cream store these days, and let's just say that it's the busy season. I'm working up to 6 days a week, and putting in a lot of hours. Granted, I'm making bank tip-wise, but I'm working for it. I was the only one on tonight (due to a coworker covering a shift at another store), and if I had 5 mins combined down time, that's a lot. I had a steady stream of customers -- and what's more, I got called in an hour early 'cause the day girl was swamped and in need of a supply run! So, all in all, 7.5 hours worked on a "5 hour" shift.

Mister and I have changed banks now; we are no longer at Bank of America (evil empire incarnate). We are working with a credit union: USAlliance. The only thing that I care about bank-wise is that I be able to instantly transfer money between Mister and myself, and USAlliance can do that. Mister is more picky, but they cover all of his wants/needs as well. One of the nice things about this place is that they have a minimum balance of only $5 per account. And that opening a savings account is the default. I'm looking forward to saving money in a savings account again. :-D I'll probably be going over my finances to squirrel away money (so that I don't spend it mostly!). ... Looking forward to this actually.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

^ love it!

Tea Time!

After I move into my new place, I have great plans for a tea party. As much as I have male friends who would probably enjoy this, I think I'll leave it to just girls for now. I know I want to invite R, M, K, T... do I not have other friends? [EDIT: I also wanted to invite J 5/28/10]

K is going to bring her lovely 8-piece tea set, and I'll obviously be supplying food and drink. One of the things that I will make is my new Chai Toast. It's very similar to Cinnamon Toast, but better. I took inspiration from this way to make Cinnamon Toast, wherein one makes a Cinnamon/Sugar/Butter spread, and puts covered slices of bread under the broiler to make nummy.

When I wanted to make this Cinnamon Toast, I was out of Cinnamon. (I know, I know, who runs out of Cinnamon and wants Cinnamon Toast?) So upon the recommendation of Mister, I made Chai Toast -- using freshly ground nutmeg, cloves, allspice and a dash of vanilla. When I make it for the tea party, I will use Cinnamon, as it's a crime not to.

But what else to have? I would like it to be a fully well-balanced snack table. My Chai Toast will cover the spot I would normally have toast and spread. Perhaps little puff pastries in both sweet and savory?

... So upon doing a google search, I came upon this site. This is why I love the internet. I go "what do I need?" and it will tell me!

So depending upon how much work I want to put into this, I could have:
-- quiche (I have a really yummy recipe for spinach and cheese quiche)
-- fried pierogies (which I haven't made in years...)
-- fruit tarts
-- cake/petit fours
-- fresh fruit/veggies
-- eggs (hardboiled and sliced perhaps? tea eggs? Colored eggs who have been cracked and color the whites?)
-- savory and sweet puff pastries
-- Chai Toast

I could sit here and brainstorm all day (and then be craving my teatime!) but I'll leave it as is.

This will be happening at some point in June, and it will be A Grand Time For All! :-P

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So I'm currently involved in the nuts and bolts part of moving -- figuring out what's staying, what's leaving with me, what's trash, and getting it all boxed up. For once, I'd like to have an easy move that doesn't involve packing the day of and during.

I got a whole ton of packing done on Tuesday with a friend, and I think with one more day like that I'll be completely packed. The problem is finding people to help me pack -- so many of my friends do not feel comfortable in that house, that it makes it difficult to get assistance. Why don't I just do it myself? Several reasons, not in the least being that -I- don't feel comfortable in that house! Also, without someone to help me focus and keep me on task, as well as provide mental distraction I peter out and get no where. Just one of those things it's good to know about yourself.

My new apartment has a cat and a dog -- for which I'm very excited about. Leaving Erik the Red at Zu'ul is extremely saddening. If I didn't think it would be worse for him, I'd take him anyways.

But, looking forward to moving, bitchiness of packing and all. Will be leaving in a new square to explore, and still fairly close to F (officially, I'm going to start calling him "Mister" on here -- less confusing than his Bond-esque name).

I guess this post was going to be an explaination as to why I'm not posting as often these days -- but then it turned out fairly big anyways!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More On CSAs

So when I kept pushing F about CSAs, he retorted that he was "already intending on using Boston Organics" and that I clearly knew this.


So I look into Boston Organics, and although I'm not crazy about some of their stuff, they seem decent enough. They have too much of a focus on "wide variety from far away" instead of "local, in-season" than I would like... But, we work with what we got. And if that's what F is willing to pay for, that's what I'm willing to work with. Baby steps. Now if he could just get around to ordering the damn service...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CSAs and Food Coops

Apparently F's manager was discussing with him about how he works with a vegetable coop, and is working to find a meat coop. In this discussion not only did F decide that that sounded like a good idea, but was convinced to read Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen. Go figure -- I've been trying to get him to read that for months I feel.

Yet, F works last minute -- you can count on it. For instance, F still considers that we're going to SF at the end of June. As we haven't made any plans, I've kinda assumed that we weren't. So rather than have the discussion of 'well I thought...' when it came up today, I merely replied "well, we will be there if we ever buy tickets".

So, although I hate being a nag, I keep pushing for him to pick a CSA or coop and put money down. The sooner down, the sooner veggies, and the more likely that there will be spaces left! It's really not a hard decision -- you go "hmm, what has yummy looking produce that I will eat and is a decent price? THIS ONE". At least, that is all that I care that he puts into it. I already weeded through quite a few CSAs to get down to three -- the coops he's on his own for. But, he refuses to think about it. This will leave us with NO CSA or coop if he does it right!

Why don't I make the decision you may say? Easy: I'm not going to be the one paying for it, as I don't make enough atm to pay rent (got to talk to my manager about that...).

I just wish that I could hit him over the head and go NOW DO IT NOW. But, that never works. He tries my patience many many times, but I do know to expect it. It's not like this is a surprise at all.

... I want veggies...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A few things to keep track of

As I will not be living in the city and trying to be sustainable here, I'd like to keep track of Melinda at One Green Generation's post on Urban Living. It seems like simple stuff, but always important to remember!

Coco Knits has quite a few interesting projects that I'd like to investigate: Knitted Plastic Bag Tote, Knitted Scrap Bathmat (really want to make that!), and a Rag Doily Rug that looks nice. I love the recycled content aspect, as well as the highly usable nature of these projects.

Also, I finally got my yarn in for the projects I mentioned last week. So the pattern I'm using for Sharon's tablecloth center is this Pineapple Runner with this Pineapple Edging along the edge of the fabric part.

I will be starting that today, and I hope it works out!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dum de dum...

It's interesting having a few days of a water crisis. Even those who are fine, go crazy. (Case in point -- there is stored water at Zu'ul, and my housemate was STILL going ZOMG BOIL WATER NAO!) I know that a bit of preparation can go a long way... but I know that the majority of people who were buying water bottles by the case, will never store water. Apparently, what most people bitched about the most? The local coffee shop was closed. POOR BABY. Learn to make a pot of coffee -- it's not hard. I think I learned that at around age 4: we had made too many bad cups of coffee for mother's day.

But, crisis averted and everything's all hunky dory.

Which leaves me with a fantastic find. The local coffee shop couldn't sell their normal complement of coffee and pastries -- so had a bakery sale. I got a pre-sliced loaf of local, organic country white -- $2. I will be making toast and toast and toast. All kinds of toast! Cinnamon toast, toast with jam and tea, french toast (if I convince F to buy eggs...), the sky's the limit! And when the loaf is hard and dry, I'll make bread crumbs, and bread pudding (savory or sweet), or Ribollita soup.

So as I'm sitting here in F's apartment, I realize that lunch time came and went -- and that I hadn't eaten. I'd had half of a protein bar for breakfast, an orange for snack, and was hungry again. So, as I'd recently bought fresh ravioli (ricotta and pea), and a lemon/parm cream sauce, I figured I'd make that again. But, upon peeking into the fridge, I saw half a carton of tomato soup, and the last chicken breast from my TJ's shopping trip last Tuesday. So change of plan!

After a fruitless search for the garlic bulb (where the hell did cleaning lady hide it? And the scrubby brush!), I heated olive oil, added 2 frozen cubes of crushed garlic* and pan fried pieces of chicken. When the chicken was cooked fully, I threw in green bean pieces** (bought at the same time as the pasta), and let that cook a bit. When the green beans were appropriately crunchy yet cooked, I threw in the tomato soup, and a few dollops of the cream sauce.

I served it with a couple slices of bread, and will cook the rest as a casserole with some pasta for dinner tonight.

* I used to use this for cooking a lot, as I thought it was highly convenient. However, I find using regular garlic to not be a chore! I peel a clove, crush it with the side of my knife (basically, just put weight on it until it gives), and quickly chop. Works like a charm!

** Easiest way to use any kind of fresh long bean: snap both ends off, and snap into what ever size piece you'd like to cook with. Usually 2 or 3 pieces per bean. I use my fingernails to snap them, and it's never been an issue.