Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Our pumpkins
Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
Yup, we actually did it. We managed to carve the pumpkin last night . Kidlet would have nothing to do with the pumpkin guts so I gave her a Sharpie and let her go to town with the little pumpkin. When I was done with the big knife (no blood was shed), I dropped the candle in the big pumpkin and...squeals of delight! Nothing can be better than showing a little kid something for the first time and hearing the glee in their voices and seeing the magic in their eyes.

There was some coaxing this morning to get her in their witch costume. It's a kind of cobbled together affair--a red fairy dress she got for Christmas last year, new, shiny purple witch hat, striped tights, red mary janes. Knowing how she is with costumey stuff (wear for 3 minutes, rip it off NOW!), I figured I didn't want to spend too much effort or cash. But she was happily swapping her witch hat for her buddy's bee antennae at daycare today so all is well.

Now on to the REAL holidays that I dig! Thanksgiving! My birthday! Christmas! New Year's! Anniversary! Woo hoo! Let the fun begin...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Heeeyyy Good Lookin'...

Whatcha got cookin'?

This weekend was all about the stove. Wish it was a lovely, old timey gas stove but it's a crummy electric stove with three tiny burners and one large infurno burner. I made a pancake breakfast (I don't call myself 'pancakemama' for nothing) for the in-laws. I made an amazing brown beer rye bread. I cooked up a gigantic batch of veggie chili. I just got an email from my co-worker saying he brought back a box of apples from the apple orchards which means more pie making is in my future. A BOX of apples. Oh dear. I guess I will be getting a work out on the 'attempting to make good pie dough' task on my life list. I hardly did any homework. I guess all the homey cooking was a reaction to my technological nightmare of a work week I experienced last week.

I didn't get that many good photos this weekend. I'll do the upload later from home for the ones I like.

We didn't carve our pumpkin yet. I'm hoping I can get out of work early enough to do it today. What a slacker Mom I am. Sheesh. My mom would have had me in a little smock, spooning out pumpkin guts on the kitchen floor about 1.5 weeks ago.

This week had better be all about homework for school (and pie, I guess). I'm so close to finishing this class. Almost there...almost there... then it'll be knitty mania for about 3 months before I start, yes, another freakin' class. All in my quest to "Find a profession that makes me say "Ahhh...now this is it"" from life list task number 3.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Five Words

1--BUSY. I think this word could count for about 3 words this week. Ok, maybe that would be cheating a little, but, dang! I've been busy! This week ended up being a non-self-imposed bloggy break. Work has been making me uberstressed. At my job, the big wigs were in town and my usual support system has been out of the office all week (but, mercifully, in email contact). The kidlet has already been on an end-of-daylight-savings schedule the past few weeks. She won't go to sleep until 10-10:30 most nights. Which leaves me about a half hour to get us ready for the next day AND do my homework, before crawling exhausted into bed. At least the work thing will mellow out for about a month and then it will madness again. By then, I should be done with the class and kidlet will be sleeping the moment I lay her down at night. Right? Right? Anyone?

2--CREATIVE. I've been feeling the bug lately but sadly there hasn't been any time to actually do anything about it. Ever since I saw this from Nessie Noodle on Flickr, I've been thinking about printing up my own little version of fortunes to leave out and about. I've got the idea to draw up various animals in fancy clothes (suits, hats, fluffy collars, etc.) and print up fun fortunes, things to do, lucky colors and numbers on the reverse. I think I would actually print these up so I could leave them en masse. My hand drawn cards are still fun to do but I have a hard time leaving them--maybe because I only get a few done a week? Do I get attached to the images? Who knows. I've been wanting to knit but have resigned myself to making knitting the carrot on the end of the "finish your class" pole. I just don't have enough time to make it work right now. I really want to start doing more photos too. Pick up a duaflex for images like this and an old Polaroid...I can dream, eh?

3--MUSIC. I go through phases where all I listen to is NPR and assorted public radio stations via itunes radio. Then I burn out. I brush the dust off the ipod, charge it up and voila! Wow! I forgot I have music I like! It's fun to run the shuffle function. I had Captain Beefheart followed by Prince's "Lady Cabdriver" followed by Wilco. What radio station can do that for me? Stuff I haven't listened to in years pops up and I become nostalgic. The Police. Squeeze. The The. But the song I really wanted to write about today comes from the kidlet. We recently purchased "Muppet Show: Music Mayhem & More - 25th Anniversary Collection" because it's the only one we could find with music from The Muppet Movie. Every morning on our way to work (and daycare), kidlet requests "DOCTOR TEETH! DOCTOR TEETH!" which means she wants to hear "Can You Picture That?" She yells "Ohhh yeah! Whooo!" right along with Dr. Teeth. We both sing at the top of our lungs, totally out of tune but joyous. But the lyrics to this song are awesome. Here are a few selections...

Everybody's lover, everybody's brother, I wanna be your lifetime friend. Crazy as a rocket, nothin in my pocket, I keep it at the rainbow's end.I never think of money, I think of milk 'n honey, grinnin like a cheshire cat. I focus on the pleasure, somethin' I can treasure, can you picture that? Can you picture that?


Lost my heart in Texas, Northern lights affect us, I keep it underneath my hat, Aurora Borealis, shinin down on Dallas! Can you picture that? Can you picture that?

Kid's music? Ha! I think this has a little something for everyone.

4--Positivity. I finished, after savoring for a couple months, Thich Nhat Hanh's "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy & Liberation". There were so many ideas that need to soak in. I'm going to have to read it a dozen more times to even start to touch on these teachings. Anyway, the primary thing that I'm holding from this right now is how we all have seeds planted within us, both positive and negative. We need to water and care for the positive seeds and not to cultivate hate and negative emotions. I've got my watering can and hoe out.

5--Weekend. Oh my. Thank goodness you've arrived and I'm still in one piece. This weekend holds pumpkin carving and pancake Sunday. Mmm...probably some wine. I'd like to bake some bread too. Hopefully there will be a whole lot of homework and photo taking. Here's a photo from last night's bed jumping...well, maybe not. Blogger doesn't seem to be playing nice today. Maybe later.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Look what the cat dragged in...

I cannot resist the lure of your lovely images and silken words, oh Bloggy Pals. About all I didn't do during this little bloggy break was write. Although I can't even say that, as I was writing posts in my head all the time. I still spent time Flickring and reading all my fave blogs. Last Thursday was the only day I didn't touch the internet. It was rather refreshing but I was REALLY excited on Friday because I got to read two, TWO!, days of updates from my regular reads. I'm still not really sure what the heck I'm doing writing a blog but I guess I'll ride this wave until it is fun no longer.

What did I do while I was away aside from feeding my addiction to reading blogs and Flickr? Got my car fixed. Had to start over on the secret holiday knitting project about 5 times. Schoolwork. Housework. Cut all my hair off and it's not getting particularly good reviews. Oi! What is it about long(er) hair that stimulates other people's attachment to it? I wasn't particularly attatched to my (skinny, straggley) shoulder-length hair aside from the novelty factor that it was the longest I had had it in about 15 years. "Oh...you. cut. your. hair. Ummm, it's...nice?" has been the reaction at work today. I now have a very 20s stylee chin-length bob. I think it's cute. So there! Aren't my detractors lucky that I didn't do my fave Jean Seberg cut that I had when I was pregnant? Funny stuff (to me, anyway). Hmmm, that Jean Seberg 'do is starting to look might good again.

My first blogging day back and I rant about hair. Hold tight, my friends. I'll dish out some better stuff soon. Here's a pic of me and the kidlet walking in the desert to get us off this hairy post.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Five Words...brought to you by the letter B

1--Baking. Banana Bread with chocolate chips.

2--Bought. Couldn't resist. 2.5--Bad, Ani, Bad.

3--Backyard. We've just entered the time of year where the backyard starts to fall apart. I really need to get out there and work at creating some 'fall and winter interest' that doesn't consist of dried up leaves, overgrown roses and strewn-about toy gardening tools. Yes, I know the photo isn't in line but it does some bizarre stuff when I format it to be in the middle. Askew, we shall remain.

4--Book--Cannot wait for this to arrive in my mailbox. My love for everything Moomin continues...

5--Break. I think I need to force myself to take a bloggy break and refocus. My words aren't coming out the way I want. In my hurry to post, I'm not taking the time to do it properly and weigh all my thoughts before spewing them all over the internet. Hopefully we'll all come back to a better, stronger, faster (wait, I thought I was writing too fast) blog soon. Time to listen to the fall grasses rustle in the wind and to figure out what the heck it is that I'm doing with this blog business anyway.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday's Blogging Sense of Purpose--gone!

Now that I don't have the CSA wrap-up to discuss on Wednesdays, I'm at a loss this week. I do have some ideas for future Wednesdays but it requires I actually get some scribbling and scanning done. Stay tuned.

Wish I could talk about my knitting but as I've entered secret holiday knitting mode, not much can be discussed. About all I can say is Rowan's Kidsilk Haze is a slippery little devil on my rosewood needles. Definitely not used to knitting this sort of thing. I have been coveting some sock yarns here and here. I can't wait to try socks again! I have worn the pair I made since I grouched about them, and they were really comfy. I felt little rays of pride emanating from my feet. Ummm, at least I hope that's what was emanating from my feet and not some odor.

Feel like I snotted out some brain power with the evil sickness last week. I feel so scattered and am having a hard time concentrating on anything. This, combined with hormonal angst, is making for a potent case of the blahs. I hope that I feel a little more together and positive soon.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I ain't all doom and gloom...

csa pumpkins
Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
We hit the pumpkin patch this weekend (although this photo is of CSA pumpkins from last week's veggie box run). Kidlet took her first spin on a pony and she cried and cried when it was over. "Where's my pony?" is a now a common question. It was fun and now the house looks very fall-like with our display of pumpkins and bizarre squashes (and cobwebs, those, however, were unintentional).

Tonight! BBQ Shrimp Po'Boys! Last week's episode of The Office! Snugglin'! Maybe even starting a new knitting project! Yippee!

The Dark Place

The world is a super creepy place; I just usually choose to whistle past that graveyard. I was doing the morning blog rundown and the first blog I hit, A Bird in the Hand, talked about her sister shutting down her extremely popular blog (littlebirds) due to some bad attention focused on her children. This issue has been one that I've considered quite a bit. How much of my life to share? Considering kidlet is a gigantic chunk of that life, how much of that do I dare reveal? Why do I feel compelled to share in the first place?

I started this blog as a place to meet new folks and share feelings that don't normally come out in regular conversation with the folks I already know. I've been having a lot of fun with it lately. However, in the past month or so, I've had a lot more traffic which is exhilarating to see. Fun!!! More folks are interested in my little corner of the world! But it's also a little nervewracking--what? these people actually want to know what I'm doing? I've been pretty stingy with the photos I post of the kidlet but I think I may just cut them out entirely now. I'll still talk about her, but it's going to be guarded. The blog shut down married with the recent terrifying school shootings in the news makes me so sad that I can barely even stand to think about it. I know these two things are entirely different in scale but it comes from the same dark place. My chest tightens, and I'll just keep whistling.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Five Words (Cards)

I've been leaving little cards that I doodle about town. It's fun. I have to be sneaky. I don't want someone thinking I'm shoplifiting as I dig into my bag and attempt to look nonchalant. I always hope someone who 'gets it' finds them, not someone who says "what the F^&* is this thing I have to clean up and throw away?" So for five words today, we've got five cards that soon will be dispersed...

I like this image. I did another one that said "Simplify" that was nice too. I really need to keep this one in my head though. I think I'm about to jump on the hormone rollercoaster and during this time I tend to make overblown statements like "Ruby has not had anything to eat in WEEKS. Please eat!!!" or "The house is so filthy and ramshackle that the only thing holding it together is the web of dog hair on the floor." Deep breaths...in and out.

Hey, punkin'! This one is going to the pumpkin patch this weekend.

Ol' moony. I wish I could try to draw an old timey letterpress style-y moon like you would find on an old postcard from the 1910s but alas, I'm merely a scribbler. And may the moon and stars smile upon you this weekend.


This one is going atop the pears at the supermarket this weekend. Get it? (elbow to the ribs) Prickly PEAR...cactuses! Anyone? Anyone? Ok, I adore bad puns.


I love this image and probably won't give it away. Greedy me. Stars, sparkly snow, wooly hat, dreams. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

CSA Season Wrap-Up

(Mosaic created with fd's Flickr Toys)

Here we are, the end of the growing season. I wish I could say I had used everything I received from the nice veggie box people but it is hard to come up with yummy recipes that don't take a lot of prep and/or cooking time with veggies you are either not real familiar with or aren't wild for (bitter stir fry greens, just for the record, I am not fond of you). If I didn't have a 9 - 5 job, I think I could have done a better job of utilizing my produce.

It was fun going to get our veggies at the vaguely commune-ish place on the river, Ruby singing songs and yelling her 'VEGGIE BOX' rallying cry. I love a surprise so I always liked peeking in the bag to see what the week's warmth had brought from the soil. I loved the smell of strawberries, then raspberries, wafting through the car on the hot summer evenings as I drove home.

I wish I had done a more careful job of taking my photos but again, difficult to do when you barrel into the house and the dogs are tap dancing and howling for dinner and the kidlet is yelling to watch a few cartoons with a bowl of carrots and cheese while I attempt to figure out what I can throw together for dinner in the next 12.5 minutes. Ahhh...evenings at home, but I digress.

Next year I won't be going the CSA route. I think Ruby will be tolerant enough to wander the farmer's market, where many of these farmers sell their produce. I'd rather pick out what I want and not be stuck with things I don't usually use like bitter stir fry greens. I like adventure in my cooking but I just don't have the time at this point in time. It wasn't the money saving option I had hoped for either. I still spent almost as much as usual at the store, and if you add in the veggie box subscription, it was even more costly. Nevertheless, it was extremely important for me to give my support to these hard-working local farmers who grow organic produce during their first CSA growing season. Three cheers for the veggie box and we'll be seeing you at the farmer's market next year...

CSA October 3

Originally uploaded by Pancakemama.
The last veggie box of the season. Pie pumpkins {heart}, a winter squash, peppers, tomatoes and an assortment of potatoes. Look for a follow-up post shortly with the end of season wrap-up.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Sock Disaster of '06 or Learning to Let Go a Little

I seamed the toe of the final sock last night. I put them on and...hmmm, kinda itchy. A little baggy about the ankle (but they do stay up). Wait, what's this? Ugh! Mysterious dropped stitches. So the socks I've spent a bundle of time and money on are, well, less than stellar. They make my feet look even more gigantic than they already are. Oh well. I'm still going to wear them with a certain amount of pride when it gets chilly here in the next couple days. I was really disappointed at first but then, hey, it's the first pair. I've learned a lot. And I'm totally excited about making a whole sock wardrobe. However, it may take me a lifetime: 1 pair of socks per year at the current rate.

Now I'm about to embark on some other new knitty techniques that, of course, I've never tried before, and of course again, they are for Christmas presents. Brilliant! It's like my Mama always said, when she was a young new bride and it was her turn to do a family holiday meal, she'd be sure to make items she never made before with a multitude of complicated steps. Hopefully my gift recipients will be able to let go a little too and enjoy the effort.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Deep and Low

...that's my voice right now, deep and low. A little Garbo without the enchanting accent and after a bender of whisky and cigarettes. This weekend was filled with snot. And daggers shoved down our throats and noses. Not literally, but it sure felt like it.

But there an upside to being too sick think smarty scholastic thoughts...I FINISHED THE SOCKS! Ok, they are 99% done because I have to weave in the yarn ends. I just couldn't do it last night. AND I actually got to watch (part of) a movie while I was knitting! Geez! I have to get sick to have a real life. It's awful though, the whole time I was feeling really crappy, I'd sit, staring at the blinds thinking, "dang, those are really filthy. I must get up to clean those." And then looking past the filthy blinds out the window I'd think, "I'd better get out there right now and start trimming the bushes. This absolutely cannot wait another minute." And then I'd get up, fall into an abyss of snot, and then realize I couldn't do anything. I'm like a perpetual-motion machine, I cannot sit still. And despite this fact, I feel I get nothing done except my homework which I guess really does take up every extraneous minute I have. Ugh, it all spirals back to school, doesn't it?

At least my nose cleared up just enough to smell the rain last night. I'm loving the fallish weather we are going to be getting the next few days. Woo hoo!