lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Mason and I went back to kuk sool after a couple week's absence.  We had a great time, but my calves, of all things, are sore this morning.  I suspect that it has to do with being out of practice of standing in a stance.  Also we did kicks... who knows.  All I know is that the more I go, the better I feel.  So it's good to be back at it again.

I'm tired today because I spent last night hanging out with a friend.  We met up at Izzy's icecream parlor last night after martial arts, and, by chance, we also ran into some friends from Crossroads and their kids, Ava and Gavin.  To people who say St. Paul is a dead town after 5:00 pm, I call bull.  That place was HOPPING, and there was a whole sidwalk culture happening up and down that entire block, thanks to everyone hanging around outside, eating icecream.  In fact, it was so noisy, my friend and I had to retire back home so we could hear each other talk. 

Mason got to stay up late, since Shawn is away on a business trip.  That meant I was in charge of bedtime, and, since I wanted to stay up and chat myself, Mason got to stay up too.  He built himself a fort on the front porch and read, while the grown-ups talked in the living room.

It was actually pretty awesome.

But I'm paying for it a little today.  I have things to do, but all I really want to do is nap and possibly do a bit of writing.  I do, at least, have a loaf of zucchini bread in the oven.  I was thinking, given how many zucchini I STILL have in the fridge, we may have to sign up for the kuk sool barbeque just so I can drop off several loaves and flee.  :-)

Otherwise, I'm going to turn into that weird neighbor who leaves zucchini at people's front doors.

Xombi Love

Aug. 15th, 2011 02:24 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Several months ago as I was returning home from picking up our CSA box, I noticed a curious sign that seemed to proclaim that section of LaFond Avenue in St. Paul a "post-apocalyptic green zone." So, Mason and I decided to go back an pose. Of course, were this a real emergency, no zombies would be allowed inside the zombie apocalypse green zone...

lydamorehouse: (Default)
I haven’t talked much this year about our CSA. Last year was the first time we tried Driftless Organics and I was an instant convert. In fact, I loved it so much that instead of the half share we bought last year, this year we went with full.

And then the rains came. According to the weekly newsletter, it’s been as wet in south central Wisconsin as it has been here.

Thus, we haven’t gotten a lot of produce to write home about, honestly. We’ve gotten some pretty good sweet corn, a few awe inspiring tomatoes (especially considering I never used to eat tomatoes at all, much less sliced raw), kale, collard greens, a sad little eggplant that I cherished as I ate, and a lot of the same: broccoli, carrots, zucchini and cucumbers. I’ve been finding new and unusual ways to use the stuff we see a ton of, but, well, by this time last year we’d tried a whole bunch of veggies I'd never even heard of and I was never bored by anything. Now I think I’ll puke if I see another cucumber (and I LOVE cucumbers.)

But the one thing that we’ve been really enjoying is that for some reason, our farmers are having a bumper crop of basil. Basil has showed up as a “bonus item” (washed, but unbagged and separate from the box but there for the taking at the pick-up point) at least three times so far. Shawn found a recipe for freezer pesto and has been making up batch after batch to store in the freezer. I teased her last night that if the apocalypse comes, we’re set on pesto. We may die from lack of clean water or proper sewage, but damn, we’ll have some fine pesto to eat!

If it stays cool, I’ll have to bake up some of my famous French bread. Some years ago (erm, maybe more like a decade or more,) I perfected a recipe I found in, of all places, the Taste section of the Star Tribune. I even bought the curved, elongated baking pans for the bread, so that it doesn’t flatten out. It’s become one of those things that I can mostly count on when planning a meal. (I say mostly because you know bread, sometimes cool/humid weather affects it differently.)

Anyway, our house STILL smells of fresh cut basil and garlic. It’s lovely.

The other thing we got this year that I took full advantage of was the tomatillos. I followed the directions sent along with the CSA newsletter and made a really lovely salsa verde. I roasted the tomatillos along with jalapenos and garlic and an onion in the oven at high temps. The result was a salsa with a lot of heat and the hint of a smoky-flavor. If I do say so myself, it’s really, really good.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with all the greens they keep sending!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
So I've got about 15 days to write 30,000 words. That is, if I want to have a completed draft by the end of the month so I can give it to my beta readers to review in enough time for me to make whatever changes they suggest before polishing it up and sending it to my editor on July 15.

That probably sounds like a complaint, but it isn't really. I'm in full-on panic-mode, no doubt. But I was just sitting upstairs on my sunporch listening to the rain outside the open window and watching Ms. Ball chase her tail, and I was thinking, "I have an awesome life."

The rain has been constant, and it looks like it'll be with us until sometime after Thursday. This is another thing I've been trying not to complain about. The rain is _so_ much easier to write to, than heat. I can't really take super-hot days, especially since we haven't put in our one window air-conditioner yet. So I'll put up with drizzle if it saves me from sweating.

We had a pretty low-key weekend. It rained. I spent much of the day writing Saturday, and Sunday we ended up cleaning up the basement because one of our cats decided to start peeing outside of the box. He didn't hit anything critical (luckily all my important papers are already up on bookshelves or in my file cabniet,) but he did ruin a rug and stink up some empty cardboard boxes. Shawn dumped and filled garbage bags while I mopped (our front section where this happened has nice tile.) It actually lookes really awesome now. We could have company over. In fact, because Mason has been hiding down there anyway, we set up a little reading nook for him in the corner with a comfy chair and his own book carrol (one of the spinny kinds).

The next big room to tackle in the house will be my office/the craftroom.

Mason has started dance classes, so I won't be picking him up until 5:00. Of all the after school activities Crossroads offered this one seemed the most like something Mason would enjoy. I'll be curious what he as to say about them tonight.

Our CSA started last week. We got a ton of spinach, arugula, potatoes, radishes, kohlrabi and the like. Most of it is already gone, honestly. I made a pot roast in our new slow cooker on Saturday that wiped out the potatoes and green garlic (though we still have the blue potatoes to use up), and we've been eating salads with every meal. Turns out I'm kind of a fan of raw kohlrabi, so that's been disappearing quickly too. I'm sure we'll be ready for our next box on Thursday.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print for now. I should get back to work at any rate.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Or, at least, Tate looks like an Idiot on Twitter. I swear, I figure out how to post and then I end up somehow sending things out in duplicate, all with misspelled words (yes, I know, I'm terrible here too, but I already say I'm an idiot in the title of this LJ.)

So, how are you?

We had a lovely weekend, partially due to our good friends the Murphys ([livejournal.com profile] seanmmurphy, who took Mason to the Minnesota State Fair yesterday so we didn't have to. Yes, I'm one of those crumugeons who hates the State Fair. Let me explain. I grew up on county fairs. You know, the kinds that roll into a large park and set up a midway on grass and briefly transform the ordinary into something magical. Yes, the south side of LaCrosse had permanent buildings and such for Oktoberfest, but I perferred the northside's Copeland Park. And I'm the same way with the State Fair. I like all the things about the State Fair: the bad food, the people watching, the weird seed art, 4-H buildings, and jam and pie contests, etc. But, I can't take the paved streets reflecting heat, the zillions (hardly an exaggeration) of bodies all crowded together, the noise, and the smells (and I don't mean of the weird food, but the humanity.) If I took Mason, all he'd hear is the complaining. Luckily, the solution was to let Sean and his wife, Katherine, take the little guy for the time of his life. And they did. He ate all sorts of things on a stick. He got to go on the "kidway" (the carnival rides for the smaller ones) and do and enjoy all the things with people who *love* the fair.

Meanwhile, Shawn and I got to have a long, slow Sunday morning, the likes of which we haven't had since Mason was born. We read the newspaper, I drank coffee and we munched on Cinnamon rolls courtesy of Breadsmiths. Then we went to an estate sale and picked up a number of useless, cheap curios... because we could. We wandered, meandered, and generally lazed through the morning. It was quite lovely.

Mason was quite pooped after the fair and spent the afternoon reading (his version of a nap), while Shawn and I made fresh salsa from the tomatoes from our CSA share. Mom, if you're reading this: I ate tomatoes. Raw. And liked it. Try not to faint.

Our salsa is good, but not quite the recipie we were shooting for. We're going to have to keep experimenting until we get the amount of spices that make that "taste" we want. But it was fun to have tried it, and, as I said, it's certainly a good first attempt.

In the evening, we grilled out, despite the chilly weather. Can I confess something? For me, this has been one of the best summers on record temperature wise. I love the cooler weather. I'm sorry for YOUR tomatoes and basil and all the plants that love heat, but, man, it's been great sleeping weather.

Speaking of which, I had the strangest dream last night. And another one where I actually remember dreaming in color. Predomenant color? PINK. Anyway, the dream involved a house in... Africa? Asia? Where we had to close a lot of gates to keep all wild animals off the property (weird mix: coyotes, mountain lions, and...er, monkeys,) and then once inside the estate, I was showing off my collection of masks to my guests. I got the sense that I was a thief of some kind, perhaps this house didn't REALLY belong to me, but many of the masks I had stolen from museums. In particular, under the floorboards, I had two ancient Egyptian "death masks" like the famous one of King Tut, only these belonged to some queen and her consort. I kept telling everyone, "for godssake, don't put them ON!" And, of course, someone did... and the mummies came to life and then it devolved into your standard nightmare, although as I told Shawn this morning, what was weird about it was that even in the dream I got the sense that if I just got out of the way, the mummies wouldn't hurt me. They had their own agenda. But whenever the queen used her magic something pink would appear.

Strange. And left me with those random images floating through my head this morning. Do you have dreams that do that?

Anyway, Mason is ready to do something. I should go!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
It's been a busy week, which explains my absence from the Interwebs you kids hang out on. It's also been kind of strange, but I'll explain.

First of all, may I have a moment of silence while I speak the benediction? "Gucci, Gucci, Garnet. You were a good series."

Yes, Garnet Lacey is no more. The book I finished this year, HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD, will be coming out in May of '10 as scheduled. However, my editor turned down the proposals my agent and I sent for books 6, 7 and 8. As far as I know, all the previous books are still in print. I haven't heard that they're going to be remaindered right away or anything.

Yesterday was my day of mourning. I wailed and gnashed teeth. But it was a rather less dramatic affair than you might imagine because I *am* still contracted for three books in the new young adult series. And, as I told Shawn, we're not really _out_ anything, since, most years, I only write one book a year anyway. More to the point, Penguin was actually quite gracious. They told my agent that they're interested in possibly seeing a new series by my psuedonym. So it's not like they said, "And don't let the door hit you on the way out." In fact, quite the opposite. It's hard to be too depressed when this really does feel like an opportunity to propose something fun and fresh. My editor would like to see contemporary urban fantasy, but that's a mighty wide pool. I'm kind of excited to start pondering ideas. I think I've mentioned this before, but I actually really, really LOVE writing proposals. Most people dread the synopsis, but I rather embrace it. It's a funny thing.

And today Mason and I off to Hidden Falls with a friend from Crossroads. He and I have been neglecting our big explores, so I'm glad we have the excuse of company to get off our quickly expanding back sides. It's funny how easy it is to get wrapped up in doing stuff around the house even when the temperatures are so gorgeous. It doesn't help that a new Netflix "Loony Tunes" volume arrived, and Mason has been watching it on a steady loop since the little red envelope appeared yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, I was also mourning the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy. Foolishly, I made an off-hand comment about Senator Kennedy and health care reform in my status bar on Facebook yesterday that exploded in a huge (for me) aguement among all my liberal friends and my one crazy Republican friend that I only friended because he was the game master of the AD&D game where I first met Shawn. Without him, there would be no Shawn and Lyda. Too bad he's on the wrong side about the public option in the health care reform debate.

I gave up on the book by Mike Resnick that I took out of the library. It was the third in the series and it didn't quite grab me, alas. I've learned that, with my mild dyslexia, if a book doesn't drag me into it instantly I usually can't sustain the energy it takes for me to finish a book. Unless I'm on vacation or other mitigating factors (like it's the last "new" book in the house, etc.) I like the idea of the series, though, and might see if the library has the first one. I remember enjoying other things that Resnick has written, and I'm still craving more, more, more in the reading department.

Tonight we pick up our next CSA box and it looks like another good one. There will be more corn and... (drum roll, please)... WATERMELON. I'm really excited. Plus, Shawn and I bought into a sunflower oil share and another bottle may be waiting for us! Yippee!

It's also Wyrdsmiths tonight and I can't wait! For various reasons (mostly trips up to the cabin), I've missed a couple of months worth of meetings. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again and get back to the habit of critique and production.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Mason and I will probably be hitting HalfPrice Books again today, since he's officially off from school now and I have in my possession three $3.00 off coupons. I'm going to be combing the bins for more JMS Spideys, believe you me!

But in other news, we picked up our CSA box yesterday evening, and I have to tell you it's like vegetible Christmas/Hannukha/Kwanzaa whenever we get one of those! This morning, even though it's not yet 10:00 am, my mind is already swimming with thoughts of lunch... should I try the roasted cauliflower recipie in the newsletter? The Ovens of Brittany cream of brocolli soup??? Find something involving Swiss chard?? The mind boggles.

I was smart last night, too. I knew that we'd be out kind of late picking up the box, so I planned ahead and whipped up some pizza dough to sit in the fridge so we wouldn't have to think about what's for dinner. By chance, the Driftless Organics newsletter suggested trying chopped up arugala as a pizza topper (post cooking). So I did! It was surprisingly awesome.

My copies of the German contract for Tate's novels arrived yesterday. I signed them this morning and FedEXed them off to Switzerland this morning (yeah, I know Switzerland isn't Germany, but apparently my agent's sub-agents for Germany are actually in Switzerland.) Now I just have to get to the post office at some point to send off other various bits that have collected over the week that need sending.

Mason and I were hoping to start our adventuring today. His big plan for summer vacation is to go on a series of adventure hikes around the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, he started getting some sniffles on Thursday, and has a full-blown cold today. I have done the bad parenting thing and given him a roll of toliet paper and plunked him down in front of the TV (at least he sits still there!) I'm sure I can coax him out to HPB to spend his coupons, but I'm not in a huge hurry. What are the chances someone's dumped more JMS so soon anyway?

I had a good writing day yesterday. As you know, Bob, I've been struggling a bit with restarting Tate's young adult project because I was feeling, well, whiney. I'm over it. I got a strong 2,000 words in yesterday and was so excited by them that I did that annoying writerly thing wherein I called my partner up on the phone and read them to her! And then, still not statisfied, I ended up putting in a call to my editor and telling her she was right and I was wrong (something a writer should tell their editor every now and again, IMHO.) And that I was excited about the new start. I'd had to leave a message, and she called me back as I was picking Mason up from his last day. We chatted about a bunch of things, and I realized that I am very fortunate in that I actually really LIKE my editor as a person. That's kind of cool, honestly.

Our big plans for this weekend? Nothing! And you know what? I'm really, really looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing for once.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
The Driftless Organics people just sent along a list of most-likely candidates for our next CSA box:

Basil - will be separate from the box and will be at your site in a big box: take what you like (within reason) for making pesto or whatever... YUM!
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Cippolini Onion
Cucumbers
Collard Greens (they're good, trust me)
Fresh Dill
Fresh Garlic
GreenTop Mixed Beets
Green Beans (lots!)
Pickling cucumbers
Red Cabbage
Red Romaine Lettuce
Yellow Summer Squash

Okay, only one thing I don't know what it is... cippolini onion. Still, it's an onion, how hard can it be to use? And, what the hey! There's a lot more comin' this time. I'm going to have really chow down this next two weeks.

This week we were a little less dilligent with all the produce. I ended up having to compost some cilantro (well, my family and I actually loath it. It tastes like soap to me.) The chard and broad-leaf parsley wilted before I found a use for them, and the last bits of the remaining brocolli head is kind of turning yellow at the tips. There is still a bit of yellow squash in the fridge too, which will probably not get used before more arrives. However, the strawberries lasted less than an hour, and I actually had to buy more romaine lettuce from the store (not as crispy, alas.) There are still a few garlic scapes in their glass, but they still see quite fresh and usable. So not too bad, all and all.

Also, I did finally eat the fennel blub and all as part of dinner last night (Shawn tried it too! Mason, not so much.) "Cooking Light" had a good, easy recipie that included sausage, fennel and onions which I adapted for what I had on hand (no "ziti" in the house, so we just had it over egg noodles.)

Boy, am I glad we're not getting a full share. I'd be looking into canning right about now, otherwise, I think.

Also, just read about this. I didn't know Charles N. Brown very well at all, outside of his editorials which I always read diligently. We passed each other numerous times at WorldCons and the like, hardly saying more than, "hi." I'm still very surprised and shocked at the news of his passing. I'm sure he'll be missed. LOCUS Magazine has been pivotal to my life (and success, I think,) as a professional writer, and I always recommend subcription to my students. I'm glad to hear that LOCUS will continue without him. His friends and family will be in my thoughts.

(I'd say "gucci, gucci" but I don't want to offend anyone.)

Now I'm headed back to "work" after a great weekend up at our friends' cabin (sans friends, strangely enough.) Mason and I spent much time floating in innertubes in the lake, and on Sunday morning in the light rain, we had an awesome kiyak trip around the entire shore of Crooked Lake (yes, my arms are sore, why do you ask?) Mason, I think, would really love a canoe trip sometime. He just lay back on my lap and closed his eyes, listening to the sound of the paddle in the water and feeling the boat glide along the surface. We were eyed by a great blue heron, several nervous duck, a seagull, sandpipers chipping and dashing along the shoreline, and a noisy flock of Canada geese.

It was lovely. It's hard to be back. And I'm belatedly dealing with a very intense critique session from the Wyrdsmiths on my newest young-adult project. Now, suddenly, there's a talking cat. I haven't decided if that's a good thing or not.
lydamorehouse: (shark)
Yes, this is a fish blog. Feel free to skip or squee as your preference.

First of all, everybody is fine. In fact, I've been having some fun with our CSA produce and the goldfish. I've always heard that goldfish like peas, but frozen peas are hard on their stomachs unless you defrost them (because why? Because goldfish will attempt to eat anything dropped into the tank IMMEDIATELY). So, usually it's too putzy for me to bother with. Ah, but I have fresh, organic peas from the CSA box. Now, I should say, mostly *I* have been gobbling them up, but I decided to see if Joe and Fergus liked the tiny, not-normally-worth-the-effort to shuck peas. Boy howdie, did they!

Now a few peas at lunch time has become our new game. Joe, in particular, loves them. I can feed him four or five under-sized ones, or one or two chopped up normal-size ones.

Also, thanks to a surprise royality check for Tall, Dark & Dead, I'm starting up the new upstairs tank. My plan is, for once, not to impulse buy everything. I did sort of impluse buy the tank already: it's hexagon shaped and five gallons. Less wide, but taller than the previous upstairs tank. But I'm going to try something I've always wanted to do... aquascape, which is to say a heavily planted tank. I've always admired, but never been able to pull off, those densely planted tanks you see at the good commerical shops. My dream is to have a kind of jungle of plants and then add a school of tiny little guys (more neon? Something similar like white mountain minnow?) who can dart about playfully among the folliage.

But I'm not going to even THINK too much about fish yet (except to when I start planting, so that I can have plants that might, say, like hard/soft water, whatever goes with the fish. Though I might actually try doing plants I like FIRST and finding fish that fit.)

I'm actually hoping to establish the tank for MONTHS before I add a single fish.

My first purchase after the tank is going to be "eco-complete" (name brand) substrate that's supposed to be ideal for heavily planted tanks.

I'm off to go research some aquatic plants now. Wheee!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm not usually the sort try "healthy" recipies from magazines (if I'm going to use a magazine recipie it will be from the decidedly butter-and-Bourbon variety of "Southern Living.") Especially if they involve a food processor. BUT, I just happened to have all the ingredients for "Women's Health"'s Zucchini and Dill Soup on hand, and I thought, what the hey, it'll used up the CSA zucchini I have left.

One word: yum!

For lunch I had this and several slices of my not-so purple potato bread.



ZUCCHINI AND DILL SOUP

Grate a couple of zucchinis (I used what I had on hand, 3/4th a good sized zucchini). Cook a chopped onion in butter until softened, then add the zucchini and stir until softened (5 minutes or so). Add vegetable or chicken stock (I had some homemade chicken stock in the fridge. I put in just enough to cover the zucchini-onion mixture) and bring to a boil; simmer for about 5 minutes, then puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper (I recommend lots of pepper for a good kick) and lots of fresh, chopped dill (I used almost five, thick sprigs).



Last night's Gaylaxian's meeting was great. I met some new people, hung out with old friends, and mostly talked about home owning, movies, and how much the publishing industry sucks. Strangely, I was invited back for September, when they're going to read APOCALYPSE ARRAY.

But talking about the series again energized me to get to work on the prequel and I wrote almost a thousand words forward last night. Yipee. There's hope for this thing yet.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Yesterday the mail carrier delivered Mason's Marvel Adventures All-Ages SPIDER-MAN #52, "No Substitutes" (Mark Sumerak).

As usual, I brought it to school and Mason devoured it in the back seat. The nice thing about this routine? On the days I bring comics, Shawn and I can have a mostly-interruption free conversation about her day. Mostly because Mason will still sometimes blurt out with, "Shhhh, I'm trying to read!"

I ended up reading the issue myself, and I want to make one comment about it. First of all, I love the all-ages titles, and I'm only bummed that they stopped producing Fantastic Four All-Ages, because those were Mason's favorites. My theory? FF is too science fiction, even for comic books. I mean, they go into space on a regular basis. I'm not sure a lot of kids these days find that plausible... I mean, unlike, say radioactive spiders giving you super powers.

Anyway, in Spider-Man all ages, Peter is still a high school teen at Mid-town High or wherever. In this issue, he's leaving the public library and, thanks to his Spidey-senses, stumbles across a secret cabal of villains (psuedo-"Hydra" types). Anyway, he accidentally leaves his biology report on at the scene of the crime after beating up the baddies, and picks up their top secret plans (conveniently in a similar manila file folder) instead. The next day, Peter is mortified to discover he doesn't have his homework. But thinks it's going to be okay when there's a substitute teacher, Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman to those in the know.) No, she comes down hard on him and puts him in detention, which Spidey is kind of grateful for because he's realized that maybe the bad guys might now know his secret identity thanks to his mix-up.

Little does he know that Spider-Woman has his biology report which she found at the scene, and she thinks he's an agent of not-Hydra. At any rate, adventures ensue and, of course, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman end up defeating the evil not-Hydra's plans to blow up Times Square.

The best part of this issue, however, is that the author, Sumerak, finally punches through one of those superhero tropes I hate. The trope (or maybe it's better defined as a crutch) is that people can spend all day with the alter ego of the superhero, talking to him/her, and somehow not recognize their mannerisms and/or voice behind the mask ten minutes later when the hero comes to their rescue. I roll with that because it's so common that I tell myself that the Marvel Universe is populated with people who either chose to ignore the obvious (in the case of Aunt May and MJ "denial isn't just a river in Egypt") or are merely, in the words of my favorite Lois & Clark episode, "galatically stupid."

In this issue, however, at the end when Spidey says he has to leave before the not-S.H.I.E.L.D agents arrive to debrief the heroes to protect his secret identity, Spider-Woman lets him ago with a "you've helped tremendously--" (then, after he's swung a good distance away she says in smaller letters, thus quieter,) "Mr. Parker."

And he never notices. I think it would have been even more awesome if she had just said "Thanks, Mr. Parker," and for him to go, "You're welcome" and zip away, and never notice that he'd answered to his real name, because don't you always figure that might happen some day? (And actually Bendis plays with that in the New Avengers when Daredevil accidentally calls Spider-Man "Peter" in front of Captain America and then stops and says, "Uh, you know Spider-Man is Peter Parker, right?")

I love stuff like that.

In other news, I made purple potato bread with the left-over purple mashed potatoes from Sunday's dinner. (We got blue/purple potatoes in the CSA box.) My biggest disappointment? The bread isn't pinker. It's very subtlety pinkish... at one point the dough was very lavender and I had high hopes that it would bake into a lovely, soft purple. Nah. I'm so bummed. You really can't tell I used purple potatoes at all.

We still have a lot left from the box. I have 3/4s of a zucchini, about the same amount of yellow squash, most of a bag of pea pods, a few more potatoes, a tiny shred of the romaine lettuce and the fennel. It will be gone in time for the next box, which isn't until NEXT Thursday anyway.

I've been neglectful about my BroadUniverse membership and just got kicked off the listserv (without the "e"!) I filled out a renewal form, but am waiting to send it in with the next batch of bills. As long as I'm back in business by Gaylaxicon, I should be okay since I'm hoping to take part in the BU rapid-fire reading there. Which I can't do, if I'm not a member.

Speaking of Gaylaxicon, as I mentioned I stopped by their booth at Pride and ran into Don Kaiser who told me that the Gaylaxian reading group was going to be reading and discussing MESSIAH NODE tonight at 7:00 pm at Turtle Bread (4762 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis). I talked to Shawn, and I'm going to go. I'm not sure I remember MESSIAH NODE, but it might serve as inspiration for the prequel, as this is the most Mouse heavy book I wrote.

Anyway, somehow I ended up writing a small novel again. Wow, I must entertain myself.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Driftless Organics rules.

First, I'm incredibly happy that we decided to do the half-share, although given the quality and variety of things we're getting, we might consider upping to full next year. I just finished the last of the spinach from our first box. A few days ago the potatoes were starting to look ready to sprout, so I quick made up a big pot of mashed potatoes for dinner and then made the rest into kattofel knepfla (potato dumplings, a traditional German dish.) The recipie is a bit nit-picky, but the results are worth it. Especially fried in bacon fat. Yum.

The only item I have left is one green garlic bulb. I had a bit of trouble knowing how to use the green garlic. We make tons of recipies with garlic, but the green garlic isn't quite the same as traditional so... but I did manage to use it mostly up.

But, check this. Get a load of what we're getting next (with any luck. They can't 100% promise):

All Red Potatoes
Broccoli
Chard
Cilantro
Fennel (only one bulb - sorry...)
Garlic Scapes
Green Zucchini
Parsley
Snap Peas
Snow Peas
Strawberries
Yellow Summer Squash

No one in my family is particularly fond of cilantro or fennel (I know, we're complete rubes, with unsophisticated taste,) but strawberries!!??? Whoot! Holy happy eating, Batman!

Like, this is all real food. No bok choy! (No offense, Ger... but I STILL don't quite know what to do with it.)

In other news, Shawn got "Outlander" from Netflix over the weekend. It stars the guy who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's Aramaic film, and can best be described as "Vikings versus space aliens." Shawn read a rave review on Boing-Boing or Gizmoto or one of those cool geek sites, but I have to say it was surprisingly entertaining. Next up? A Norwegian film (in Norwegian) with zombie Nazis. Whoot!

When I have more time I may write a review of "Outlander." The squish morality in it is kind of fascinating.

Also, Mason is home for the week. No, he's not sick again, this is just one of those random weeks off at the year-round school has. Of course, Mason and I planned to go hiking and swimming and it must be sixty degrees outside! (15 C to our internatoinal friends.) It's light jacket weather! Very strange for nearly the first week in July. July is traditionally one of the hotest months. Mason was born in July, on a day in the 90s (32 C.)

I stopped by Pride for a few minutes on Saturday (the not-as-incredibly perfect weather day), and wandered around a bit. Honestly, normally I skip Pride. Shawn hates crowds to the point where she faints if it gets too busy, and Mason isn't really quite old enough to care terribly much (plus there are still the ocassional "Oh My!" bits out there, which I think he could probably wait to see.) I went because True Colors (formerly Amazon bookstore) asked me to stop by and sign stock, which I did. I like them, so even though I had to park a million miles away and hoof it in, I did.

This weekend I'll be at CONvergence. We were going to go to our friends' cabin, but with the convention it's a bit too much driving for me. I'm bummed because Siren supposedly has some awesome small town 4th celebrations, although I'd miss most of them anyway thanks to the convention. Anyway, when I remember I'll hop over to their site and grab my schedule. It's nothing spectacular, but if you're there and want to find me that's where I'll be.

Otherwise, I'm sort of feeling down. The cold gray weather? Or the fact that, out of the blue (not precipitated by a fight) Mason casually said, "You know what I've been thinking? I like Mama better." Okay, I know he's just a five year old, and he doesn't mean it to hurt me, but WTF? And then he says, "Hey, let's go to the park! You can chase me!" and wonders why I look at him like he's a space alien (and not the fun kind that Vikings hunt.) I did explain to him that even if you feel a certain way, you don't always have to tell people. Especially if you think what you have to say might hurr their feelings. This never occurred to him. (However, this isn't the first time he's told me he prefers his mama.)

Anyway, I'm off to the park! To chase Mason! Whoot.
lydamorehouse: (shark)
...You were a good fish (although very beleaguered.)

It is my sad duty to inform you all that Typhoid Mary, our one remaining tetra in the five gallon tank who bravely survived (for several weeks) the attack of the moldy, zombie horde, died yesterday of an unknown cause. She will be missed by family and friends. She leaves behind no next of kin (see zombie horde of the molding eyeball fame....eeeewww). A "seaside" memorial service was held. Mason Rounds officiating.

Gucci, gucci, you were a good fish.

After a short period of mourning (seriously, I only just turned off the heater), I plan to break down the five gallon tank and throw it out. Given that it started life as a hospital tank, and then housed several very strange and tenacious illnesses, I think there is no amount of bleach in the world that can rescue this tank. On a more positive note, Shawn says that when more writing money arrives I can get a new tank... which does get me kind of excited. I've long wanted to try a biotrope (?) tank... you know, the kind that has an environment exactly like the Amazon river basin or some such. It's probably too complicated for me, but I have a book that tells me how to do it. Fear me! Fish nerd armed with book!

In other news, I broke down and bought a vegetable today. I know! Look, all that's left of the CSA box is some spinach, arugala and potatos. Whole Foods had corn on sale. Yes, it came from Georgia or some other far off place, but it looked so... yummy. I only bought two ears, though, since Shawn is off on her business trip to Washington, D.C.

Okay, I'm sweating now. Time to retreat into the air-conditioned bedroom.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Right now I'm suffering from a bad sun burn. On Saturday, the family and I went up to Siren, Wisconsin to hang out for the day at our friends' cabin. We had originally planned to go for the whole weekend, but Shawn is off for a business trip to D.C. and didn't want the hassle of packing/unpacking/repacking. (Travel generally makes Shawn nervous. VERY nervous.) So our compromise (I really, really wanted to go) was that we'd head up just for the day. No packing invovled. Of course, Shawn still managed to pack several bags, but, for her, it was pretty restrained, only the swim bag and a change of clothes... oh, and the "bathroom bag" just in case.

Mason and I had a great time kiyaking back and forth across the lake: we did it twice, actually. There's a public beach almost directly across from their cabin, so we kiyaked over so Mason could play on the playground equipment and, weirdly, on the beach. I kept saying to him: "You know, we have private beach just over there." But my little Leo is very social and he really just liked being in the water with other happy, screaming kids... even though they were strangers.

We didn't do anything official for Summer Soltace, although I think getting sun burned is a fine tradition on a solar holiday.

We came back to discover that one of the filters on the tank in the thirty gallon tank quit working. Luckily, I have a smaller back-up filter that continued humming along, so I just left it until this morning when I ungummed the works and got it going again. We have a lot of java moss in that tank and the filter sucks it up on a regular basis... well, enough had gotten wound around the spinner/motor that it completely stopped turning. Anyway, the point is it's going again and I think the fish are MUCH happier. They're goldfish, after all, and they produce copious amounts of waste.

In other news, Mason has some serious garden magic. I told you we started a patch of a "Victory Garden" rather late in the season a week or so ago? Well, everything has come up, even the corn. The amazing this is that I did almost nothing to prepare the soil. I just turned over sod and left it for a couple of days. I didn't even really remove or break up much of the sod. Any seed that Mason touched has totally sprouted. To the point that I'm going to have to thin the rows already if we want anything to actually mature. He's got carrrots, radishes, peas, corn, sunflowers, and watermelon all growing like weeds. In my garden? Real weeds and not much else.

My mother is a good gardener, and I'm beginning to believe the green thumb must skip a generation.

Our CSA box is almost depleted thanks to Shawn's desire to have my "faux restaurant-style salad" for dinner last night. I make it a kind of big meal by adding a grilled bit of chicken (usually cajun spiced) on top, along with a sliced hard-boiled egg. But we snarfed up most of the head of buttercrunch lettuce, some of the green (actually purple) onions, spinach and arugala. All our radishes are eaten, as is the kohlrabi.

We still have a ton of potatoes, though, and one head of brocoli (which I think I may cook up for lunch.) But this is just right for us. Not a lot of waste, and we won't be getting another box for another whole week. (I was REALLY worried about getting more than we could handle, so this is wonderful.)

After lunch here, I'm off to write in the one air-conditioned room in the house. This year, Shawn and I decided (ahead of time, for once!) to put the air-conditioner into our bedroom. Unlike Mason's room, where it has been in the past, it's actually big enough to sleep three in an emergency. Plus, there's a good outlet in there so I can write. If only the big computer with internet connection fit in that room too!

Hope you're all well, and happy New Moon.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
We got our first box of CSA veggies yesterday, and I just ate half a kohlrabi. They are AWESOME raw. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dddragonlady for the encouragement to try it raw with a little salt. At the risk of a vegetable version of "it tastes like chicken," kohlrabi in my personal opinion tastes very much like a raddish. It has a very peppery bite, a watery crunch, and just hint of its cabbage family origins. The only good advice I read before chopping it up was to remove its skin/casing. It's not easy to figure out where the edge/rind/casing ends, but if you eat it raw the casing-bits are really tough and hard to chew (I accidentally missed a little, so I now have personal experience with that.) I just sliced mine in half and pared the tough outside off with a sharp knife. I also saved the greens because they're edible and can be prepared ala mustard greens and other Southern delights.

Also, I am extremely pleased which our choice of Driftless Organics. We get a box that was intended for a "couple" and which comes only every other week. I think the amount of veggies we got is very manageable on that schedule. The other nice thing is that Driftless washes and bags a lot of the various greens and whatnot. Our spinich and arugala came in lovely little baggies all ready to just pull out and toss on a salad. The head of buttercrunch lettuce needed a bit of washing, particularly at the crown where dirt settled, but I always wash salad stuff anyway. The potaotes also came in a small bag, and look lovely. The two head of brocolli is just about one more than I normally would buy for a two week grocery run, but Mason actually adores brocolli cooked and raw, so I suspect we'll be able to eat that up in no time.

I did make a culinary mistake last night, as I did not properly identify the green garlic, which I mistook for green onion. Thus our chicken/cheese flautas were a bit on the garlicky side, but actually still pretty tolerable. Now that I've conquered kohlrabi, I'm going to have to do a bit of research into how to use green garlic, which obviously I can't even pick out of a veggie line-up, as it were. I think I was thrown because the farmers list of possilbe box contents included both green garlic and green onions (which in our case are actually purple), and I think that threw me. I thought the purple things must be the garlics and the white bulby ones the onions. Nope. Other way round!

But there was only a single, solitary kohlrabi, which is now already half eaten... so I doubt I will need any elaborate recipies to get rid of it. And, like I said, the fact that everything came in such managable sizes and containers, I'm right pleased.

I really need to get writing now, though, as I allowed myself to be distracted this morning by a bit of astrology. I signed up for an on-line study group for astrology, and the instructor posted everyone's charts. I totally had to go find out what kind of weirdos I was sharing the class with! (Actually, they're not all that, but I am the only Scorpio and probably the only one with that kind of I-could-totally-dominate-you-while-stabbing-you-in-the-back attitude. They're probably all at home looking at my chart thinking: eek!)

Anyway, we almost had to cancel plans to head up to our friends' cabin in Wisconsin because Shawn has an unexpected business trip to D.C. on Tuesday, but we're hoping to get up there for a day-trip at least. I'm going to bring my laptop (and my astrology books! and maybe some kohlrabi!!)

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