…the adventure continues

Books and Brick decorating

When I find something on FB I want to preserve on Pinterest…it’s hard. They don’t play well together. So I’m parking it here.

brickbooks

Fun stuff. I have visions for the back yard and I think I could include this easily enough. It includes a major remodel of the old shed plus some recycled windows to make a greenhouse bump-out and cordwood walls. And then I’m entertaining myself watching this one.

Creatives and Body of Work

Putting this here to remind myself to keep creating. It’s going to take a while, but it will take even longer if I don’t keep plugging away. And I want to create awesome things – don’t we all? I want to achieve awesome things. I want to bring awesome great things to the world. This is Ira Glass from This American Life. Do you listen to this show? I’m listening to the Google interview while typing this, and I think I’m going to find time to listen to the entire piece – it’s after midnight, the homework is in for last week and I’m going to sleep before I start up next week’s work.

Although I’m behind on my Lynda video-lectures. Oops. I’ve been watching ZNation while working on the art and website classes. Choices!

Days when I can’t find my way out of a closet…

zombie phone map

It seems I wander around Rochester without a clue of where I actually am at. Heh. At least I’m having a great time!!

Seriously, I’m directionally-challenged. When I’m shelving and now that I’m more familiar with the stacks, I can fairly quickly find where the book by the prolific author goes. But can I remember which side of the door are the reserve holds that start with ‘P’? No way.

We shelve the DVDs and music CD reserves behind the circulation desk at Rochester Public Library. And the shelves are broken up by a door….the ‘P’ section is to the left…or it is on the right? Or are my coworkers messing with me? (faint chance of that, actually. Good people.)(except maybe now, they also have a sense of humor!)

All this is why I am very grateful for maps on phones. It means I can find things, especially great big museums smack down in neighborhoods I’ve never been in before, and restaurants I’ve not ever been to before. I do think it awesome that my new phone also tells me how many minutes I’m away from work, and it tells me this at moments sure to induce panic, such as at 9:05 on a morning I’ve slept in a bit. Love, love, love the maps.

However….

What’s going to happen if all this technology comes crashing down on our heads? Using my favorite example of why we need to embrace readiness – The Zombie Apocalypse – how do I find my way to safety behind The Granite Walls of the St. Cloud Prison if I haven’t got a clue? (I know…I gotta get through the hordes there in the Twin Cities first) It’s somewhere up there to the northwest. And I *think* it’s up I90…but once I hit St. Cloud area, not any idea where to go. Maybe I’ll be able to find a local map in a local Kwik Trip where I’ll be wanting to stock up on jerky and candy anyway. I’m also assuming that I’ve not only survived, but survived sans car because the people fleeing the Hordes will be parked all over the roads and I’ll have had to abandon my car somewhere on Hwy 52.

Maybe I’ll just stay home. Our friend-circle plan for survival does include me sticking around, catching up with everyone and either bunkering here at my place, or appropriating a train after raiding Fleet Farm. But how will I know which is game on? It’s likely that the phones will be almost useless as everyone with one will be trying to call other people and the lines will be overloaded. Plus infrastructures like phone service quickly crumble in the movies… got to suppose I’ll have the same problem, but I don’t think breaking into a convenience store is going to solve this. We should just make better plans, huh?

Time for me to get up from this chair and do something useful. Thanks for reading my meanderings!

Treating myself better than ever before

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My personal New Years Resolutions boil down to one simple statement: To treat myself better than ever before. To care that I’m happy, and to honor those things that make me happy. Such as spending time with friends and eating good food, both of which happened today.

Liz Coltom of Gecko Glass Creations and I met at The Thirsty Belgian, a restaurant and bar that has opened up on the south side of Rochester. OK….they opened up six months ago, but I rarely get down to that side of Rochester these days. She had a panini-style sandwich and I had the lovely goat cheese and beet salad you see above. I also had one of these! Just a hint of red coloring from the cherry juice and a touch of honey to cut the tart.

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We had a slow meal together, chatting about things we have been doing, catching up. The waiter was awesome – I kept asking questions, such as why they had naan bread in a Belgian restaurant. Turns out they like naan bread and wanted to offer customers something a bit different for their pizza and appetizers. Their pizzas come loaded with wonderful fresh vegetables and sauces, and a variety of flavor combinations. I really wanted to have a sandwich, a pear and gouda with bacon sandwich, but selected to share a naan-with -cheese appetizer with Liz instead, and then also add in desert.

And wow, did I enjoy sharing the two small cupcakes we got! I’d not hear of Jem’s Confections either – they are a shop from Eyota. One cupcake was Belgian chocolate, of course. The other was a spice cake with a yummy white chocolate spice candied icing. Both Liz and I want to go back and bring friends with us. Soon!

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It’s been a rough year. Not to go into a lot of yammering on about problems and fears, but just confirming that I do have problems and fears. heh. Don’t we all? Knowing that, I also confirm that I want to be kinder to myself and take care of what I can now, so I’m stronger to take care of the rest in the future. Plus whatever else comes down the river at me! I’m worth the pleasure of good company, good food, and anticipating experiencing that good happy time again. And I will.

White Christmas!

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My graham cracker house, shortly after being made. Got it home successfully and now it’s surrounded by presents, on our tree-table. The ground around it is white with green showing through – pretty much what I had outside when I got up.  I went over to Rachel and Danielle’s house yesterday and we all made holiday candy houses. They aren’t gingerbread houses, not a bite of gingerbread in them! (I seem to be turning into a pedant) I had a great time and we may just decide to make this a regular activity.

The secret was to actually use the right type of icing. Royal icing sets up fast and doesn’t drip all over the place and I’d not ever tried it before. I wish I had – I’d have done this ages ago with my own children. You can use egg whites or buy meringue powder to make the icing. We had a couple of icing syringes, too, which really made things easier. Buy some cheap ones; if you decide to NOT clean them up, who cares? I did wash mine for next time. I’m thinking trees covered with bird seed  and yarn for this spring?

Anyway,  you can do this too – go find some children, google or library some directions, pull out those graham crackers from last summer and play.

 

 

 

Yorkshire Pudding

yorkshire pudding

I’m testing a gluten-free yorkshire pudding recipe at the moment, so forgive me if I keep running in there to peek. Thinking about how to add something extra to a meat-and-potatoes meal for Christmas, and thinking that maybe some traditional English dishes might be nice. I’m not sure I care about what sort of vegetables would have been served – probably carrots, peas, potatoes, that sort of thing. Looking at menu cards from Victorian era, I’ve confirmed that each course had a meat mentioned but rarely do they talk about the side dishes, only that there would have been 3-4 with each course.

Dishes still need to be done, running the trash containers out, and finally the last of the presents needs to be wrapped. A busy evening yet, so I think I’ll find a cup of coffee and doctor it with coffee liquor and cream. Van and I both went to the liquor store today; he seems to have bought a case of wine. I replenished the hard stuff while they have sales on all our favorites.

Puddings are done.

Sadly, I’m not crazy about the puddings. I’m sure it was the oil – I’d used canola oil because that’s what I had on hand. The batter absorbs a lot of it. I wonder what fat would be best – maybe lard? The pan is heated at 425 degrees with the oil in the pan, so the batter starts baking as soon as it’s ladled in. Also I must have beaten too much air into them- they were light and didn’t collapse like the ones in the picture above. And really no flavor – no salt or other flavorings, only egg, milk and flour. Since they are meant to be served as a bread with plenty of gravy to stretch out a beef meal, especially leftover meats, I suppose that’s OK…but I don’t think I want to serve these.

If I had any real flour in the house, I’d try again with lard…if I had any of *that*. It would be a different type of bread, wouldn’t it?

Ah well. Time to get cracking around here! Starting by throwing out the rest of those pudding-muffins….

 

Learning

A pirate boardgame

I could continue re-watching seasons 7 through whatever of Doctor Who. Or continuing to keep up with stalking British mystery series. With a new project on the loom, I could do that. Or I could watch Lynda.com videos about graphic design, web design, and marketing plans. Useful stuff. Or I could sit here all day, reading FaceBook, and gleam a bit of knowledge from in between the Buzzfeed posts and cat videos.

Or I could get out of this chair and create things, learning while I do so. It’s the holiday break! So in between working for HomeGrown Web Services and in between holiday activities, I’ll get active. I know that going to work at the Rochester Public Library was very good for me physically – I’m on my feet for longer periods of time, I’m moving more and feeling better. I’m going to work on doing that here at home, and making a game out of it, too. A game with yarn and shuttle, or one with cat and string, or with cleaning rag and Pinesol, even.

Besides, it will give me things to blog about! I’m already behind a post, after claiming two days ago I was going to blog every day on the break. I tried. I started this post yesterday….does that count? No?

Here is my excuse. I fell into a new book series. Craig Johnson’s Longmire series is awesome. The second book kept me up until 2 am, finishing it. The characters are even more interesting in these books than they are in the television series which you can go watch on Netflix. Who now is set to continue the series within their own production studios and I’m so very happy about that. All hail Netflix! Anyway, I’ll check later to see if I can download the audiobooks as a reward for actually carrying through with this plan.

So, I’m up, I’m caffeinated and have written a bit. Ta-ta for now and I’ll see you later today.

 

 

School is out! On to writing…

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I’ve had a busy semester of artwork, which frequently seemed like I was coloring between the lines on the computer, rather than creating true art. I did have moments where things came together and I felt like art was happening, though. Similar experience to when I’m writing. So until January 12, when school takes up again, I’m going to post something on this website every day.

Any one post might not be brilliant. It’s the repetition, the experience here on this website. My other two websites also need more content, I know.

I’m also going to get my picture files cleaned up and organized, to whatever point 30 minutes a day leads me to an organized set of files. That was about all I could stand here this morning before the urge to do something else became overwhelming. Boring task. I’m adding tags and other metadata to the ones I’m keeping, hoping to speed up posts like this one by having pictures from my own files to use.

But for now, I’m going to go find some clothes and then warp a loom. I’m going to get warpy in my own special way!

 

Pinterest, I’m in you.

Wow, that’s confusing.

I’ve got a new Pinterest profile and I intend to use the darn thing to find and share interesting fiber-related websites. And I’m thinking I should find and follow some of my favorite people but wow! that was hard.

Or maybe I’m just tired. Or it is the episode of Castle I’m trying to follow? Or maybe it was just overly confusing over there on Pinterest. Anyway, my new profile is http://www.pinterest.com/RochesterFiber/ and if I’ve followed you before, I want to follow you again. And maybe I should have been following you all along. Especially if you like fiber in any way at all.*

On other fiber-related news, I’ve learned you can use a drop spindle as a supported spindle if your spindle falls within certain parameters. Well-balanced is important, and the pointy-bottom, low whorl types work best. I’ve been working through my drop spindles, testing, as I have borrowed a supported spindle and it worked FANTASTICALLY but is now full. I want to fill another one and then ply the two together…but only have one supported spindle. So I found a drop spindle of similar weight and am making it work, and am not sure what will happen when that one is full but I bet I can find yet another drop spindle that works just fine. For this project.

But I really want to see if I can get this type of spindle made. Lovely, isn’t it?  Phoenix Moon can do the woodworking, and Gecko Glass Creations can do the lampwork whorl, and Fanny’s Your Aunt, I’m spinning with beautiful things.

I have a meeting at 7 am tomorrow and I plan to take my work with me. The spinning, not the library work or the homework or the website work, lol. Which will make me pretty unique, I’m thinking. A first, maybe, at the Rochester Open Coffee Club?

Well, bedtime! Night!

 

 

*This is a good portion of the people I stalk on FaceBook. But really? No idea. Maybe 10%? I may have to do a survey at some point and crunch the numbers.

Best Use of Library Card Ever!

Or at least for today…I read a lot and the books are great. However, this is really cool. Tampa Bay has expanded to new services for today’s patrons. Check out all the things offered on the third floor of the John F Germany Public Library. They have just opened a 10,000 square foot space called the Hive, which contains multiple makerspace functions  – everything from an art studio through to 3D printers to a robotics lab. Managed by librarians.