Monday, January 31, 2011

Week, the fifth

The exposé prompt for this week is the converse of last week: "A picture of your night". The smarty pants response would have been to put up a rectangle of darkness. It wouldn't ring true, though. So here is a typical Nitrocat night:


Friday, January 28, 2011


Since I've been home for over a week now, isn't it about time I posted some of my pics? Yep, that's what I thought.
Aside from camera troubles frustrating enough to make me want to chuck it in the nearest fountain, I came home with some decent amateur photos. Enjoy.

A few thoughts about the trip:
  • New Orleans has some beautiful things in it, and it is true that you could happily eat your way from one end of it to th'other, but it takes some purposeful obliviousness to navigate it without permanently scaring your innocence. That or buckets of Wassa's Eye Bleach.
  • When the threat is real, I am indeed afraid of snakes.
  • Live Oaks are just about the coolest thing ever.
  • Friends you've never met before can turn out to be just as amazing as you hoped they'd be.
  • So can their kids.
  • Pralines. Yum.
  • Worshiping with others "of like faith and practice" is awe inspiring no matter where it takes place.
  • I want to go back.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week, the fourth

The prompt for week four of the exposé is to post "a picture of your day". Deceptively simple in it's challenge, you could take this as meaning any typical day in the life of you, or this specific day. Since today was a fairly typical day, I could get away with doing both. But that doesn't make it easier. How does one portray an entire day and all of it's myriad choices and activities in a single shot? I'm afraid my attempts are rather blasé. I'll probably come up with a smashing idea when I'm supposed to be sleeping tonight.

The walk through:
  • My day starts around 6 ish, sans alarm, when the overactive brain slams into high gear; leaving the body to catch up when it can. Hence the coffee.
  • Until around 7:30, the brain is on it's own, and it works on fielding email, snail mail, bills, and sundry paperwork until my body joins it and the children, who are now up, for breakfast.
  • Bunnies and schoolwork take up a good portion of the day, and whether I like it or not, the laundry is ever present in the background.
  • The brain hits a wall around 3 and nothing gets done at all for awhile, while my body walks around in circles like a zombie until it's time to make supper. (I have already pointed out to the brain that if it would let us sleep a little longer in the morning, or not keep us up all night, this would not happen. It won't listen though.)
  • After supper, there's more bunny chores, and last minute housework stuff to do until I fall down in front of a movie--with or without handwork.
What you cannot see in the picture (but it's there, I assure you), is the 9 phone calls that I dealt with, the 16 times that I let the dog out and in, the stolen moments reading until the girls hunted me down, the sandwiches made, the cat hair vacuumed, the drop offs at piano lessons, the gas pumped, and the 37 minutes wasted checking prices on flights to anywhere warmer than here.

What did your day hold?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week, the third

This week's challenge is sort of a no-brainer, and if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you can probably guess what my photo will be. The prompt was: A picture of the cast from one of your favorite shows or movies.

See how easy that is?

David Tennant is, by far, my favorite incarnation of Doctor Who. And of course, Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, is his best traveling companion.

Let me tell you something about my view of actors and actresses (since this is supposed to be an exposé, after all). While some people get completely caught up in every sordid detail of an actor's private life, I do not. I enjoy them in certain roles, but don't pursue it much farther. I couldn't even tell you if David Tennant is married or not. I like him in his role as Doctor Who, but I don't know much else about him. It is rare that I ever watch or like all of the roles one person will play in their career. I find that if you dig (usually not too far) into the reality behind a character, you are likely to be very disappointed.
So, while I've made a play at David Tennant being my "heartthrob", it's just an act. The truth is, I love the fictional idea of a save-the-world-time-traveler, regardless of who plays the part.

Above is the inside of my Trading Card to End All Trading Cards.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week, the second

Since I'm a little behind on K's photo challenge, I'm going to have to try to post several this week. This probably won't be the last time I have to play catch up.

The challenge for the second week was to post: A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.

 It might sound like a sappy greeting card, but my Mom is my best friend. Really.
After being away at college, I lived at home for a year so that I could pay off my student loans quickly. I knew it was time to move out when there started to be a little friction between us. It was nothing serious--just two women with different opinions in the same house stuff--but I wanted to protect our relationship.
Over the years since, through good and bad, Mom remains my closest friend. I can talk to her about anything, and we enjoy one another's company. I look just like her too, don't ya think? I am grateful to God for a Mom that I want to spend time with. I know not everyone has a good relationship with their parents.

This photo was taken on our recent tour of the barn quilts in Kankakee County. One of Mom's sisters, my Aunt Jamie, was with us. The photo was graciously taken by the farmer who owns this lovely farm, Mr. Schwark.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New You

I have to confess that I am a little jealous of our snake.
What? That's not exactly what you were expecting to read when you came over here?
It's true. I envy our snake.
Not because he gets to stuff himself till he's fit to burst with no apparent consequences; or because he gets to sleep 99.999% of the time in a climate controlled, safe, quiet spot.
No, I'm jealous because of this:
Every month of so, Kernel sheds his skin in one complete piece, essentially emerging as a brand new snake. His colors become brighter and more iridescent, and he fairly glows.

Humans exfoliate, or shed dead skin in flakes. We even pay good money for products and services to aid us in the process in an vain attempt at maintaining our youthful appearances. Not snakes. They tie themselves in knots and turn inside out in a process called ecdysis; making a fresh start in one glorious motion every time.

Think there's a metaphor in there somewhere?
Wish you could try it?
Yeah, me too.

I Corinthians 15:53-54

Monday, January 10, 2011


So sorry to disappoint those of you who were wishing I'd be arrested for bad puns. I'm a little late posting some of the hand made Christmas presents from this year.
From the time that my Grandmother became sick in earnest back in October, through her passing and the services that followed, and beyond to the frenzy of the holidays that came so soon after, I tatted. I have spoken of the liturgy of this type of handwork in the past. It kept me sane once again.

For M--a collar with beads. This was the first collar that I worked on. I used a crochet cotton and quickly learned that I wasn't really fond of how it worked up. It was difficult to get a good tension on it. Consequently, the lace is uneven and stretchy. Eh. She likes it, however.
For J--a collar made with some of the wonderful thread hand dyed by YarnPlayer from Etsy. I think I've mentioned her thread in the past. I love how beautifully it works up and how consistently rich the colors are.
For DH's Grandmother--Another thread from YarnPlayer. A lot of hours waiting for the girls at swimming lessons.

I think I'd like to work on something other than shirts for a while now.

Friday, January 7, 2011


So, a friend has thrown down the gauntlet, so to speak, and issued a weekly challenge of a very personal nature. I'm not sure if I will participate every week, especially since photography is not my "thing", but I'll give it my best shot. You will probably regret it before I do.

Week, the first: A picture of yourself with 15 facts about yourself.

  1. I don't like having my picture taken. Genetics and some physical challenges notwithstanding, I could stand to lose some weight. Photos are a constant reminder. However, I do like this picture. It was taken by our church secretary at an outdoor service. I'm sitting in the sunshine, under my favorite hat, with my two favorite children. DH is standing in the back. What could be better?
  2. My Statement of Faith can be summed up in the sentence: Whatever makes God the biggest is what I believe to be true about Him. On the surface, it sounds simplistic, but trust me, it's not. (This really should be #1, but it doesn't have a picture to go with it.)
  3. With me, it's all about the next experience. What can I learn, see, do next? It's a little like ADHD in slow motion. While it's good to keep stretching yourself, it can also be expensive.
  4. My brain has an aversion to sleep. This might have something to do with #3.
  5. "Balance" is a theme that seems to come up over and over again in my life. This also might have something to do with #3.
  6. During the college years, I spent a summer in the jungle of Venezuela. This altered my perception of reality permanently. You should try it sometime.
  7. My first child was born 16 weeks premature. This also altered my perception of reality permanently. It's not an experience that I would recommend...unless you are prepared to have your perception of Grace altered permanently.
  8. I would happily pass over dessert for a good piece of cheese and some crusty bread.
  9. We use the words "stuff", "thingy", and "goo" entirely too much in this household.
  10. I like being contrary. Oh, you already knew that? But did you know that it's not because I really am contrary? I like to push people (including myself) into being more than just mindless sheep. Question the status quo.
  11. I couldn't care less about politics. My hope is in a government that doesn't need my participation.
  12. Don't pollute my coffee or chocolate.
  13. I like my music loud, energetic, and theologically deep. Is that too much to ask? Often.
  14. I am responsible for clipping 420 finger and toenails.
  15. I think I was born in the wrong century.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tagliatelle with Walnut Pesto

The list for today included installing the new webcam, vacuuming, and paying bills. Instead, I'm prepping to make fresh pasta for the first time and playing with the new "convertible carry-on" that arrived yesterday. M also wants me to attach the tatted collar that I made for her new sweater. The webcam might still happen, but the vacuuming? I'm thinkin' not.

DH bought one of Lidia Bastianich's cookbooks for me for Christmas. We have been watching her show, Lidia's Italy, on PBS for months, and she never fails to make our mouths water. Unlike the super models pretending to cook on those other shows, Lidia is a real Italian (with a real Italian shape) making real Italian food. Since making pasta was on my "To Learn" list anyway, I thought her book would be a good place to start. I might have to get a little inventive with some of the ingredients. They just don't sell Grana Padano in Newark. I wonder why?

You can find the recipe for Walnut Pesto Here.

I have several observations about hand made pasta:
  • It is amazing. This recipe was easy to follow and delicious. There is no going back for us now.
  • I am convinced that no one who eats much pasta would ever be overweight if they always rolled the dough by hand. What a workout! A pasta machine might just have to go on my purchase list. It will probably turn out to be a mistake, however. For now, I'll just roll.
  • Fresh pasta has always been one of those "dare I even try?" things. It turned out to be far easier than I imagined.
  • According to M, it was "the best meal I've had all week!" Of course, she's comparing it to frozen pot pies and boxed mac n cheese.
  • It pays to try new things. I fully expected the rest of the family to push the walnut pesto pasta around their plates suspiciously before rejecting it outright. Surprise, surprise.
So what's next?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

12 Things

Do you know what happens when you put a Slacker Extraordinaire in a room with New Years Resolutions?
Absolutely nothing. They just sit there and stare at each other awkwardly until Resolutions makes an excuse about refilling his drink and leaves. Rejection is easier to overcome than Inertia.

What follows is not a list of resolutions so much, as it is a list of things that I would like to do--most of which I will probably not get around to this year.
  • Learn to Tat with a Shuttle. I have already conquered needle tatting, and suspect that I will always prefer that method. However, shuttle tatting would come in handy when using more than one color of thread, or traveling on planes where they frown on the possession of sharp, poky objects.
  • Learn to Play the Spoons. Maybe it's my Mississippi roots coming out, but I've wanted to do this for a long time. It's probably delusional to think that it will raise my coolness level in anyone's eyes, however. If nothing else, it will allow me to embarrass the snot out of my girls later when they start bringing teenage boys over.
  • Learn to Wield a Staff. Stop laughing. I'm not talking about an avatar in an RPG. I hike. My dog is a chicken. I already carry a hiking pole. I might as well learn how to defend myself with it. Besides, it gives me an excuse to use the word "wield".
  • Learn to Make Homemade Pasta. Because I don't already have enough weight to lose.
  • Carry Less Baggage. In a non-metaphoric way, I really want to learn how to travel light. I have a number of trips coming up this year, and I'd like to be as "low maintenance" as possible. For others, yes, but mostly for myself. Slackers don't wheel 97 pounds of luggage...anywhere. (Remind me to tell you about bringing Geodes home from California.)
  • Hone my Googling skills. Yes, "hone" and "googling" are fun words to use, but what I really want is to find cool websites before any of my friends.
  • Find my Daughter's Floor. She learned to crawl. She learned to walk. She learned to read. She learned to craft. End of story.
  • Hike the length of the Hennepin Canal Trail. Preferably without locking myself out of the car this time. Day hiking only. Sorry, GT. I'd pretend that this has nothing to do with the 50+ boxes planted by Shorty, Pitties, and Hart x6, but y'all would know I was lying.
  • Come up with Four More Things. Twelve just sounded like a nice number, but my Slacker side is getting woozy just reading this list. Since I don't think the last items should be catching up on episodes of Doctor Who and Fringe, I'll come back later.