Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

...and for you swappers out there, I just sent out the swapping list. If you don't receive an email with information regarding your fellow swapping friends, please let me know as soon as possible so I can remedy the problem. Yay! I'm really, really excited about this.

Drawing for pumpkin cut-out: Kidlet
Knife work: Me

Let's Do the Time Warp...again

This morning, I got to spend a little quality time at my University. I haven't walked into the history building in about...hmmm...15 years? It felt really odd, somewhat akin to walking into an elementary school and seeing all those tiny desks and chairs. Well, I wasn't that much taller today than I was 15 years ago except for the fact that I was wearing my clogs today. Anyway, you get the idea.

I went to an advisor to see how many more hoops I need to jump through to finish. Happily, fewer than previously expected (but we'll still be in the next decade before I finish). Unhappily, I have to take a science course before I go any further due to a new requirement that you finish all of your core requirements before you do any other coursework. Science courses are notorious for being loooooong classes that meet several times a week, something that does not work well for this full-time worker bee. Also, I have to go back to the University to get another piece of paper signed by the art department (and the office was closed this morning, of course) and get advised for my minor. It looks like I need only one class to finish that up, but you never know. I could walk in there and they could say, "Whoa, how old are these credits? Ummm, I don't think so, old woman. Start over!" Hey, it could happen. The history advisor did almost fall out of her chair when she figured out how long ago I began this process.

Well, it's time for me to attempt to entreat the core studies department (so many damn departments) to take pity on a poor working mama and please let me take that science class later. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Reminder

So, I got the call Friday afternoon that Kidlet was throwing up. Bye, bye weekend plans! Luckily the spewing didn't last long, but she ended up with part two of the dreaded crud. At least this time it has come with a halo instead of devil horns. She has been rather sweet, despite her snottiness.

Confined to home, I managed to do lots of homey things that were on my weekend to-do list. I finished Anna Karenina (Yay! Now on to this...), knit on project number one and am 95% finished, made the upside down pear cake as well as homemade pizza with pesto and the last of the summer tomatoes. I wish I were able to share the knitting project, but the photo will have to come after the holidays (sigh).

Despite the fact that I missed out on my movie date (sigh again), it reminded me of something that I need to think about (much) more often. When reading Thich Nact Hanh's No Death, No Fear, one of the things that stuck with me was this passage,"Our true home is in the here and the now. the past is already gone and the future is not yet here. 'I have arrived, I am home, in the here, in the now.' This is our practice."

This weekend reminded me that I need to not place so much importance on what may (or may not) come. I am home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Five Things Friday

Since it's been a while and I'm feeling listy, I present that old chestnut, "Five Things Friday".

1.. Could it be? That tot seems to be having a relapse. Watery eyes, runny nose...oh tell me it isn't so. At least her attitude was sweet and cuddly this morning.

2.. You're kidding me? Nope. I'm going to see The Darjeeling Limited tomorrow and I'm so freakin' excited I can hardly stand it.

3.. You're going to try to what? Yes, crazy as it may seem, I'm going to try to finish a knitting project of which I have only 50% knitted AND finish reading Anna Karenina this weekend. All this while I'm doing the usual life stuff too. Right. I only get a rush of ambition every couple months so I'd better take advantage.

4.. You are a sneaky one, aren't you? Going to attempt to sneak out of work early today in the hopes of getting a haircut. Definitely not to go to the yarn store. No. Really!

5.. Save some for me, will ya? Think I might make a pear gingerbread upside down cake. Made it last year to nice reviews (from my mom and grandma as this is the sort of dessert hubby will not touch, i.e. no chocolate).

Happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I can see a light...

As Kidlet's true voice emerges from its froggy depths, so does her sunny personality. Her fits of anger and lashing out are losing their intensity. When she does fall back into it, ten minutes later she'll say "Sorry about when I said that mean thing, Mama" and give me a kiss. Whew. You cannot believe how relieved I am to write that.

I've been spending some "quality" time on Ravelery. Oh goodness. It is so chock full of inspiration, I might go kookoo. I'm almost regretting that I signed up for it since the last thing I need is another online addiction. Note that I said "almost". But truly, I need to start limiting my online time. More living needs to be done in real life. F'realz.

I've been working on the "+1" portion of the photo swap. I'm pleased how things are going so far but it's time for me to start getting the photo part in order. I'm still deciding from which angle I'm going to attack it...where I'm at physically, mentally, or inspiration-wise.

And lastly...I. Can't. Wait. The Darjeeling Limited opens here this weekend!!!! Anyone want to watch a Kidlet while I go sink myself into Wes Andersonland? This will be the first time I've gone to a movie in over two years. Yeah.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ok, we're all settled...

Glad to hear that there seems to be a consensus on the swapping numbers. If I remember rightly, we're at 10 right now with just about a week left for sign-ups. We'll just be one big happy family of swappers. : )

Thanks for sharing the swapping journey with me! I've been feeling really inspired, which is what I really wanted out of this swap (well, aside from all those fun little pieces of you that you will be sending my way...).

I'm crazy-kookoo tired today so maybe tomorrow I'll get around to scribbling a real post.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I had one of those delicious dreams last night where upon waking you want to drift off again, just to see what happens next. There was a scary element to it, but not enough to be truly alarming. It was somewhat Fellini-esque with lots people in a very small house. The house was on an old highway. It was windy and the sky was full of dark, dark clouds. It was my favorite time of day, dusk. I was outside the house taking amazing photos. I love having dreams like that because when I get up, I'm automatically in a good mood (for at least a few hours).

Hope your weekend is filled with sweet dreams...

A Question for the Swappers Among Us...

I was thinking I was rather nebulous when it came to how many swap partners we would have. I bring the question to many people would you like to swap with? So far we are a small swap, only 9 of us. If we keep limit the sign ups to 10 folks, would you like to make for and swap with everyone in the group? Or would you like to see me divide it into two groups of 5? I, personally, like the idea of receiving 9 photos, but hey, that's just me! I'll be taking votes through the weekend...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

kitschy window

Here's the window above the kitchen sink. It's kind of like a bay window for knickknacks. Residing here are a flock of knives, a butterbell awaiting use and a few fish tank supplies. Kidlet's paintbrushes and a cheese grater. Several cacti, one of which stays in bloom for about a quarter of the year, without fail. An old-time cookie jar (McCoy? if I remember rightly) in black with cherry blossoms strewn across it. Tea tins full and empty. A panda snow cone maker. And one of my odder finds, two elves with open bellies for holding candles. They aren't that odd in themselves, it's just that I found the small one in New Orleans about 15 years ago and then found the larger one in a thrift store all the way across the country about 10 years later. Never seen any other examples of these guys except for these two. Long lost elf brethren, to be found and paired up in my kitchen window.

The child STILL has been home with the crud. She's got lots of energy but she is really stuffy and only occasionally has a voice. However, when she does it's often used to yell at me. I don't know what's going on lately. She and I are at total odds. If I get angry about her attitude, she laughs at me (making me seethe inside with super oooky feelings). I keep looking for reasons why. Maybe it's her new found independence discovered in school. Maybe she has just unearthed the ages old formula for making mothers grow old and grey(er) before their time. If this keeps up, my hair will be completely grey by December 12th.

Gotta tell you, I'm loving the life of "non-student". I'm done until late January and now I'm a knitting and organizing fiend. I'm whipping the house into some semblance of shape and am happily knitting on 3 projects. I'm also now 3/4 of the way through Anna Karenina and it's getting better for me. The story is now fully rolling along at page 650. I'll still be really glad to be done so that I can pick up the books that I'm so excited to read that I could burst.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

three quarters

October is 'show us your abode' month, at least for some of us. I hadn't jumped in yet but here is a start.

From this view taken from the upper corner of my kitchen, you can see about three quarters of our home. Our home is quite petite, about 925 square feet. Starting all the way up in the left hand corner, you can see the hub's and my room (also seen in greater detail here). A couple of hall closets later (please ignore the unfinished baseboards from the big Pergo madness of 5 years ago) and you are in the living/dining/kitchen/office/play area. The tv cabinet is actually open today as the kid has the croup. And let me tell you, I usually shy far away from the tv but after yesterday's extremely intense child and mother meltdowns, the tv is my very bestest friend in the world. And so is my mother, who took over watching her for this afternoon and who also gave me the very bestest pep talk in the world. Today, I still am having remnants of the anxiety attack that launched itself upon me. Ugh. But on to the house!

Beyond the tv (and if you can get past that cute Nora dog), you can see hubby's office nook and his lovely Taylor guitar hanging on the wall. He's been pretty busy (and exhausted) with teaching so he hasn't been playing as much as I'd soothes my soul to hear him play. Making your way around the room, you hit my desk and the slightly feral Kiko dog who looks very much like this dog. Barely in the photo is our little piano that we bought when I swore that I'd have enough time to learn to play it in between doing schoolwork, housework, yardwork and sleeping. I can hunt and peck a few Christmas songs. Not bad eh? Also on the edge of this photo is a painting by our kooky friend, Paul. Missing from the photo is the door, my newly cleaned and organized craft (aka crap) closet, and the fireplace (aka pellet stove). You can see the croupy tot on the couch. You can almost make out the clouds of dog hair on the rug. But you can't feel how this little house manages to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome when they enter. As much I say I want a different house, I love it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where y'at? 1 + 1 Photo Swap

When we lived in New Orleans, a very popular greeting was "Where y'at?" Translation: Where are you at?

For this photo swap, I propose the following. Show your fellow swappers "where you are at". This can be something as simple as sending a photo of where you live. Or you can take the definition further and it can be "where your head is at". The color cerulean blue is sending you into orbit right now? Snap a photo of that blue. Feeling engrossed in a particular book? Include it in a photo. It certainly doesn't need to be a new photo; it can be one from your archives, it can be a found photo...whatever works for you, works for us. There are no size restrictions. Don't feel like you have to make a museum piece. I want this to be fun and informal.

Now for the "1 + 1" part...I think it would be fun to include a little artifact of "where y'at". This is wide open. It could be a leaf you found on a walk. It could be a touristy postcard from your hometown. It could be a quote that has got you thinking lately. Or maybe an address to a website that you are really excited about at the moment.

Down to the nitty gritty. Sign up by sending me an email with your contact info (email addy and real life addy). Feel free to include your blog/flickr page if you would like to share that info. My email is asta_pup at Sign up period will end on Halloween, October 31st. I will email you with your swap partners. Send out "deadline" is Monday, November 26th. As we found with the Autumn postcard swap, I'm not always good with deadlines but I think I would be good to get them done before the craziness known as the holidaze/December/end of year madness. My guess is that this will be a fairly small swap since I think my audience is...well...small. I may be posting this on flickr too if it starts to look like I'm sending photos to myself, but we'll see.

Ready? Break!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Better late...

My postcards for the autumn swap are in the mail. Finally. I had fun with these. Hope y'all like them.

Also, a big shout out to my hometown girl, Vanessa. We got together this weekend for a verrrrrrry leisurely snack of beignets. I don't know if it's like this for all bloggy friends (since she's the only one I've actually met), but I really like how we can just sit down and talk like we've known each other a long time. It was great fun and nice to take a break on a frentic energy Sunday (how many chores can you fit into a Sunday morning?). Let's try for a quarterly get together!

One swap down, details for another to come...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I've been tagged again...crazy! Anyhoo, I really like the number 4.

Four jobs I've had in my life:
3..registrar for two art galleries washer

Four places I've been on vacation:
1..road tripping through the southwestern and eastern U.S. with my Hubby
3..roadtripping through the west with my Mom and Dad

Four of my favorite movies:
1..My Man Godfrey or The Thin Man (tied)
2..Nights of Cabiria or 8 1/2 (tied)
3..Young Frankenstein

Four places I've lived:
1..New Orleans, LA
2..Palo Alto, CA
3..Summit County, CO
4..Omaha, NE

Four of my favorite foods:
1..oysters, oysters and more oysters fresh baked bread
3..rueben sandwiches

Four places I would rather be right now:
1..Golden Gate park with Kidlet and Hubby
2..the Ruby Mountains
3..Spain home (optimally with the family, knitting, and bread in the oven)

Four people I think will respond:
Ummm, I think I will go tagless. I'm meme'd out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bookin' It

A new blogging/flickr friend tagged me for this one. I do love books. Oh yes.

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? I love to have hardbacks in my possession but in reality, paperbacks are much easier to read in bed (where I end up doing most of my reading).

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…hmmm, maybe "Subject, Title, Author". Or more likely, "Mojo's", named after this dog who ate more than his fair share of books.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…you know, this question is just too hard for me. I dog-ear corners of books to remind myself where the items of interest are but then I never go back to commit them to memory. Here's a fave bit from a post a while back that is just lovely.

4. The author (alive or diseased--umm, I really think they may have meant 'deceased' but who am I to question this) I would love to have lunch with would be …This is where interests cross. I would have to say Alice Waters. You'd be sure to have amazing food and I'd love to talk to her about her project, The Edible Schoolyard.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…maybe What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada by Walpola Rahula. I'd like to read more about Buddhism and actually have the time to really understand it.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….I have to agree with CSM, I need a bookholder for my bedtime reading so I can keep my arms under the covers so they don't get cold. And with my current read, Anna Karenina, it would come in really handy (it gets hefty).

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of….the deep dark cavernous basement of the University library. I would always find the most remote cubicle in which to hide away. Then instead of doing my schoolwork, I would just sort of wander into the stacks, looking for obscure treasures.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…Again a mix of interests, this time it's films and books. I'd want to be Nora in The Thin Man (but only if my hubby could be Nick). Or maybe Julie Child (although this is serious cheating as I never made it all the way through her biography).

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….Anna Karenina. Ha,'s only because I'm in the middle of it right now and well, I didn't realize that it was originally serialized. This means there are many loooooong sections that I've been slogging through that don't move the stories along. For my taste, it would be quite good at about 450 pages.

At the risk of inciting a riot, I could say Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading them but I'm just not swept away with the fever.

10. I hate it when a book…ends. Especially when it has become one of my favorites.

Right back at'cha... Liz! Tune in a bit later for more meme-mania.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sky of slate, bitter chill wind. Daubs of flame and gold slowly transform the summer's sea of green. Inhale deeply, the feeling is clean.

This weekend...more of the same but hopefully with some pie action. Also, I get to have my semiannual visit with Vanessa! Eat those caramel apples, folks.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I just ate the most perfect pear ever from the above tree.

More pear love.

Inspiration is hiding under each rock

Last night, Kidlet and I were sprawled out on the floor, coloring, painting and cutting (well, she was. She's obsessed with her little pink scissors). As I was painting with her very-difficult-to-get-any-color watercolors, I was suddenly inspired to use a different technique than I had first planned for my postcards.

As I lay in the bed at the crack of dawn, I visualized my final product. I think it's going to be pretty good! And even better, I think I will be able to finish them this weekend.

In other inspiration, I've been starting to check out podcasts while I do mindnumbing data entry stuff. I really like Stash and Burn. They sound like people I wouldn't mind hanging out with to have a coffee-and-a-knit. They also have very nice laughs.

Anywhere you've been going for inspiration lately?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Putting on weight for winter hibernating

Well, Vanessa definitely beat me in the pie races this weekend. No pie was made over here but much good food was consumed nevertheless. The above buttermilk biscuits were served with hubby's fluffy scrambled eggs and not my half-bad attempt at home fries on Saturday morning. I made a tomato soup with all the leftover-getting-squashy tomatoes. Served it up with grilled cheese sandwiches. The best waffles I ever made (buttermilk wheat) were enjoyed on Sunday. In further foodiness, I may try some schoolwork avoidance tonight and make pumpkin chocochip muffins (seen here).

I still haven't finished my postcards for the swap, but I'm inching along. I'm really really enjoying the ones I've received so far (thank you, lovely people). Next time I think I will design something that doesn't require so much painting (and drying and gluing and painting). I was cruising along with the Jaywalker socks and then last night...about two inches in I saw some strange yarn badness that wasn't a dropped stitch and could not be repaired. Frog, frog, frog. I guess that's the universal symbol for "get to work on the projects that need doing".

All in all, it was a mighty fine weekend where much got done, but there was still time for fun. Pumpkin patching, fall decorating, and did I mention eating? Now that I'm thinking about it, sorry this post is just like the last post, except it is in the past tense. I just need to revel in the weekend for just a little bit longer so bear with me. Thank you.