lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
 I just got back from picking Shawn up from work. She only did a half day today, and wouldn't have gone in at all except for the fact that some budget or other is due. Shawn has the crud that Mason had last week. So far, knock on wood, it's passed me by.  Possibly due to my mutant healing factor.

Because it's that season, Kowalski's had corned beef on sale. There's a hunk of it in the slow cooker right now, waiting for Mason and I to get back from dropping off his PSEO application at the University this afternoon.  Next up, getting a PSEO application together for Metro State. I will be sad if Mason doesn't get accepted into the U's program, but he's going to have to get math somewhere next year so we're going to put in a couple of back-up applications. I would have driven the application to the U myself already today, but Mason is VERY insistent that he wants to come along. He's been the one driving this, so I can hardly deny him the pleasure of turning everything in. Plus, he has a couple of questions he wants to ask the admission folks, so.... Anyway, the offices are open until 4:30 pm. It should be no problem getting there before then.

I'm slowly getting back into the mood for reading actual novels. I'm about half way through a book called CONDOMNAUTS by Yoss, which, I think, was up for the Philip K. Dick. It's... arty, but I'm enjoying it, anyway. I'lll tell you all more about it, if I finish it by What Are You Reading, Wednesday.

I have a literal pile of books I want to read next, so I'm well motivated to finish it up. It's a sliver of a book. If I wasn't dyslexic and used to being a much slower reader than anyone I know, I'd feel bad about it taking me this long to get through it.

I worked on my apocalypse story again today. I've established enough that I now have to figure out how I want to end it. I'm going to have to do something about an ending in the next day or so, though, because I need to be able to hand it out at Thursday's Wyrdsmith's meeting. If I'm going to get it back in enough time to do revisions, it needs to go out at this first meeting.  It's a weird story. Very sad. Eleanor is going to hate it; she hates sad stories. Right now, despite having an official title, it's in my documents file as "Sad Apocalypse."

Speaking of finally getting back to reading and writing again, I also managed a letter yesterday. I have about four pen pal letters that I haven't replied to yet. Did I tell you guys that I FINALLY got a Japanese pen pal?  Eiko. I have been very careful so far, not to mention that I'm a giant, nerd otaku. I don't want to scare her off.

She's already been somewhere to see the cherry blossoms, so I'm looking forward to sending her pictures of the massive amounts of snow piles we have.

Okay, I'm going to get up and put the potatoes in the oven. I'm making twice-baked potatoes to go along with the corned beef.
lydamorehouse: (cap and flag)
 ... to try to write about mundane things after Inky's death, but life goes on, I suppose.  

Shawn ended up doing a ton of research into "elderly" cats and discovered that Deliah, who is 16, and Ms. Piggy, who is 18, are considered BEYOND elderly and into geriatric. You can kind of see it on Ms. Piggy, she's been cranky and stiff for some time now, but Deliah? She still acts like a kitten!

Shawn sent me a lot of the articles she'd read and it was comforting to read that we're doing everything right by our older cats. It's absolutely correct to be feeding on demand (small amounts, often,) and looking for foods high in protein and fat.  Of course, this is doing NO GOOD for our fatty orange boy, Buttercup. But at this point, I'm very much looking at our cats and saying "WHATEVER YOU WANT, MY PRECIOUS BABIES."

Today is Imbolc, but my family is going to celebrate tomorrow. Normally, in our tradition, we dedicate ourselves to work with a particular deity for a year. No one in this household has had he wherewithal to do the requisite research, so our plan is to make something yummy for breakfast (I'm thinking cinnamon buns) and spend a little time as a family planning out some of the rituals we all want to do together.  That seems 'close enough' to the spirit of the holiday for us right now.

I made some piroshki for dinner tonight at the urging of my family.  

piroshki on a plate

This is a recipe that Shawn got from her "Recipes North Dakota" FB group. Shawn has the best FB groups. She's in "Liberal Preppers," "Recipes of North Dakota," "Simple Vintage and Homemaking," "Stocking our Shelves," and "Weird Thrift Store Finds."  All my FB groups make me vaguely annoyed, and meanwhile, she's showing me pictures of strange things found at Good Will. To be fair, Shawn spends a LOT of time curating her feed. She has a modest number of friends that she follows and she is very fast with the hide, snooze, block, and unfriend buttons. Meanwhile, I friend anyone. Part of that is because: writer.  I never know who is following me because they've read my books and they just want to know what might be coming out next.

Mason had work today at KAYSC. He said they had an open discussion about various projects they're considering undertaking. It sounded very much like baby's first meeting. He came home and bonded with Shawn about various buzzwords, "fostering synergy" and such like. 

He's now playing D&D on Discord with a bunch of people he's in an amateur Overwatch league team with. I'm so glad he found his people. I have no idea who I'd be if the internet had existed when I was his age.

Otherwise, I spent part of my day going through old DW journal entries updating my tag set. It started because Shawn and I had one of those arguments couple have about the timing of various things in our collective memory. Did this thing happen first, or that other thing? Both of us were SO SURE we were right, and I knew I'd blogged about the events in question.  BUT, it took me forever to figure out how to track down the whole story because I'd been really sloppy with my tagging. So, I spent an hour or so reading through the old entries from 2011 and making the tags consistent.  

It was really funny to watch my comments numbers drop precipitously after I became a Bleach fan.

Ah, speaking of finding one's tribe, if only I'd known about Tumblr back then (or whatever other fan communities existed.)  

Otherwise, it was a quiet day. I've been a bit more spotty with my Spell-a-Day, but I did manage yesterday's. Not much to report, however, just a renewal spell/meditation. 
lydamorehouse: (Aizen)
Today was the day I'd signed up for a friend's meal train.

She was coming back home from fairly complex surgery yesterday and I'd agreed to bring "chili, and maybe bread, If I'm not too lazy." (Actually, I wrote "bead" on the form, but I meant "bread." I'm not sure how one would eat bead.) That meant that I started making bread around 8:00 am, right away when I got back from dropping everyone off. Bread is one of those things that is both time-consuming and takes no actual time. 4/5ths of the "time" bread takes, it's just sitting in a bowl doing its own thing. I put the bread in the oven at 10 am and started the chili, with the plan to drop-off precisely at noon.

The nice thing about making this particular bread (which these days is in the cookbook as "Lyda's French Bread,") is that it makes two loaves. I planned to give one to my friend and save the other for dinner tonight. I'd bought pork chops, thinking it would be a nice meat and potatoes + bread kind of meal... but that's a later story.

My friend lives in Minneapolis, so I got everything ready around 11:30 am (I'd bought flowers for her when I was at Kowalski's this morning, too,) and headed over probably a bit too early--but I'm like that. I'd much rather arrive five minutes early than five minutes late. Plus, now-a-days, I tend to get lost going into Minneapolis... which is weird, since it's the city I first moved to. But, apparently, I've been rejected by the Minneapolis fairy (and adopted by the St. Paul trolls.)

I only made one wrong turn and so drove around aimlessly, wasting time a bit before pulling up to the house.

I was really surprised to see her up and walking. Did I mention major surgery?? But, good on her. She and her wife were getting rid of some books and so I looked through those and chose a few for the little free library (Full Metal Alchemist light novels!) and myself (yaoi!). Their kitty inspected me very closely. Much sniffing. They have one cat named Uryuu, named after Bleach's Ishida Uryuu.

But, I wasn't there to have lunch WITH them, so I made my excuses and headed home.

For myself, I ate a couple of bowls to the chili before going over... so it was kind of breakfast/brunch (?) --though, ostensibly to taste test them. I'm not sure what to think of the fact that I gave myself heartburn. Mmmm.. Hopefully, my friends did not suffer the same. I'm telling myself that I got heartburn because it was the first thing I ate, and I had TWO bowls of it.

Dinner turned out to be "ah... no one really wants that" when I picked my family up, so now Shawn is in the kitchen eating bread and butter (and complaining that we don't have milk for cereal,) Mason took himself to Culver's just up the road, and I had a sausage sandwich at Caribou Coffee. I've had a little bread and cheese and butter, too, along with my tea. But, it's sort of sad "yoyo" (you're on your own) dinner. I probably should have put my foot down and declared the pork chops a "shut up and eat it" meal. But, bah. Thing is, I really like making food that people WANT to eat. Thus, when people don't want what I'm making, I don't want to make what I'm making, if that makes sense.

I'd rather save the pork chops for when everyone is in the mood for them.

In other news, last night's spell-of-the-day was the first one I've actively decided to 'unwind.'

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 16) )

lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
New Year's day is the day we take down our Christmas/Yule tree and pack away the decorations.

This year is no exception. Though we did start in on the process a little bit yesterday, since we knew any big undertaking all at once would be too much for us. Normally, I find this process a little sad and emptying, but, this time, it restored a small sense of order.

Partly because we often use our downstairs bathroom as a place to store all the boxes and bins that the Yule stuff comes out of. Normally, this is a temporary hassle that is tolerable and makes more sense than dragging everything back up to the attic, only to drag it all down and back up again in a matter of weeks. However, with the very much needed addition of an emergency downstairs litter box, it was impossible to keep the floor clean of litter bits and everything just felt chaotic any time I needed to change the box or even just didn't want to bother to go upstairs to do my own bathrooming.

The decoration bins are now staged to migrate upstairs over the next day or two and then be tucked back into their corner in the attic. The rocking chair is off the porch and back in its spot as the guest chair. It was never MEANT to only belong to guests, but... well, funny story about that:

I have a friend Theo, who, when they were buying a house for themselves, got really into the theory of interior decorating. They read a book that talked a lot about what your furniture and style choices say about you and your family's values. They took one look around our cozy little living room, the three overstuffed chairs pointed towards each other in an intimate circle, and the weird, almost out of place rocker and nodded and said, "This house is house for three."

And they are absolutely right.

We happily entertain others, but in the end of the day, this house is a house for three. Possibly three HOBBITS, given the amount of food around the house. We have little stacks of books at our feet and blankets (and snoozing cats) everywhere. The house often smells of something baking.

In fact, I took bread out of the oven only a few minutes ago. I have a French bread recipe I always make as an accompaniment to our traditional wild rice soup for New Year's day. Wild rice soup became the tradition because the recipe we have--from my late stepbrother Mark--calls for BOTH turkey and ham, and we always have leftovers of each in the freezer from the holidays.

We have a pagan ritual we do every morning of the new year, too. Last night, some time before midnight, we find a dime minted in the current year and add it to our collection of dimes that are wrapped in a gold silk square. We put this symbolic "silver and gold" outside of our house and then, in the morning, we bring it in over the threshold to symbolize the act of bringing fortune to us in the new year. This has been our good luck tradition for years (we could probably count the years, given the number of dimes. At least 20, at a guess. I can't remember if we were doing this when we lived in Uptown before we bought this house or not.)

Do you have something personal like that, something to bring you luck in the new year?

I have to say, this is the first year that I've even heard of the whole "rabbit, rabbit" thing. But, I had two FB friends discussing it this morning. Despite my surname, I'm clearly not British (or American?) enough for this whole tradition.

Quick cat update for those interested... )
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 ...I turn to baking.

Shawn really likes to have a LOT of cookies around for the holidays. Not only are they nice to trot out for our usual Thanksgiving guests, but also they are a Sustaining sort of Smackerel to get us Minnesotans through the dark months.  This weekend, we made: Snickerdoodles and Pizelles (Saturday). Nutmeg teacakes, the dough for date cookies, and "failed" pecan tassies were made on Sunday. 

Kowalski's had a whole cut-up chicken on sale, so I made a big roast with mash potatoes, gravy, and green beans. I also made my first French bread loaf of the season.

two very plump French loaves in a curved metal pan

The recipe I use technically makes four, more traditionally skinny baguettes, but I like my bread to be like me: fat and stout.  So, I have always only made two loaves from the recipe, that's why they are not especially baguette-looking. 

They sure are tasty, though.

And, ah... but the eating was gooooooood 


Oct. 17th, 2018 12:48 pm
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 My car has new tires! Hooray.

I spent a goodly portion of my morning at the Dunn Brother's across from Dave's auto waiting for Tor to put the new tires on, however. At one point, I was writing some letters to my international pen friends and I think some kind of local politician sat down in the collection of chairs beside me. I could not tell which variety he was, but there was talk of the Minnesota legislature. I should probably have known him on sight. All I can say for sure is that I could have gone into politics--I swear most of them are annoyingly loud and aggressively 'working it'? They all seem to have something akin to what I used to call my 'con persona,' where I'm _not_ exactly FAKE, but I'm so hyper-aware of my performance that it has a veneer of 'acting,' even when I'm not... though maybe, yes, if you consider improv acting, which I do.  

Anyway, I got the car fixed and Tor and I had a funny conversation about my letter writing, because I saw that my car had been wheeled into the garage and so I mistakenly thought they were almost done with it. When I realized that they weren't, I pulled out all my letter writing stuff to pass the time. We got to talking as he was printing up my bill about "kids these days" and how we both remember having to have a "letter writing class" in school, where the teacher taught us the format for personal and business letters. He was also super-irritated that kids don't learn cursive writing any more. He said that Dave's grandson (who is a bit of a fixture around the shop) told Tor that he'd learned to "text" at school, and Tor was very "WTF are my tax dollars even FOR???" 

I have no idea what the politics of the guys are at Dave's Auto. I would suspect they lean Republican and i would not be surprised at all if any of them were the kind of run-of-the-mill bigots and racists you find in rural Wisconsin/Minnesota, because their reception area is decorated with deer skulls and taxidermy and there's a sign that says "Business hours are subject to change during hunting season." A lot of hunters can be very pro-gun, which often shunts them into the Republican camp. However, In Minnesota it's not always an easy 1:1. 

Still, it was nice to bond over cursive.

In other news, I finally officially went on hiatus for Twin Cities Geeks. It's a big commitment for a volunteer gig, which maybe sounds dumb coming from me. I mean, it's not like I have any other official reviewing jobs and I kind of have all the time in the world on my hands. But, I think coupled with the fact that I'm not feeling super-passionate about any comic book titles right now...? I don't know. I'm glad I left the door open and they seemed more than happy to have me back when I'm ready, because they are a good group and I like contributing. 

I was feeling very low about that when I also got asked to be on a half-hour segment of a podcast about writing: MF Galaxy. Malcolm (Minister Faust) and I have been friends since we were both up for the Philip K. Dick way back when.  When he asked, I was just fresh off the conversation with TCG and feeling very much like a has-been. He was very lovely about the fact that the podcast is about the process / craft of writing and that I was still relevant. I'm really looking forward to chatting with him. We have a Skype call set up for next Tuesday. 

Oh, and the vegetarian chili was apparently a hit yesterday with Mason's robotic team.  They scraped the crockpot clean and specifically told Mason to tell me that it was "bomb-ass," which at first I was unclear as to whether or not that was a compliment. Mason assures me it was. I tend to trust him, if only because they dang near licked the bowl clean.

So that was a win.

I should get up and go to the grocery store and pick up stuff for dinner tonight. I'm hoping to talk Shawn into making her sloppy joes.

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 We're all sitting around at home waiting for the pizza delivery guy to show up from Davanni's.  It's a pseudo-celebration (also no one liked my dinner plans for tonight, which were going to be potato soup and popovers*) because we stopped off at the Science Museum to get Mason's paperwork done. He came home with an official KAYSC lanyard and badge. His first official day of work is Saturday. I can not WAIT to hear how it goes.

Besides that, the most interesting thing that happened today was that Naomi and I went to the Farmer's Market. We actually go fairly regularly on Tuesday mornings.  There's one in Roseville in the parking lot of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church that runs from 8 am to noon.  I try not to go overboard when I shop there, because my family is not super crazy about veggies. But, I couldn't resist the green beans, jicama (which I was meant to share with Naomi, but she forgot her half), potatoes, lettuce, and a bouquet of flowers for Shawn. I should really bring my camera next time, just because I think half of my impulse buys are based on how pretty everything looks.  Maybe if I took pictures I could resist spending money on food that only I will eat.  I think I still have leftover daikon, sweet potatoes, green onions, and a lovely giant eggplant from two weeks ago.

This was always the problem with the CSA, too.

I'll eat it all eventually, but my family will ingest very little of it, alas.

I think I'm talking about all this mundanity because I can't stand to think about the travesty of justice that is the whole nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh... especially since resistance really feels futile in this circumstance. The Republicans have stopped pretending like they care and we're in the minority.  I just don't see how this isn't going to end up as a done deal and it's making me feel helpless and soul-crushed. If anyone out there has some advice for survival techniques let me know? I was looking through volunteer opportunities thinking that maybe I might feel better if I were somehow more engaged in triage--stuff on the ground that will make real world/real life differences to people's lives. Yelling on the internet isn't cutting it for me. 

Probably we'll get through this, but I sure would like the revolution to start soon.

*I should note, this will likely be tomorrow's dinner. Everyone was just in an "tonight?" mood about it.

lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 ...if a little picky.  I would totally make them again, and I'm going to experiment with how long they could be refrigerated ahead of time. So here's Grandma Gretzky's Pierogi Recipe:


2 large potatoes
1 onion, whole
1 tsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (I used 1/2 Vermont White Cheddar, 1/2 Sartori Montamore cheddar--though I suspect any aged cheddar would work just as well.)
Ground pepper

1 cup flour
1 egg yolk
1 dash salt
1/4 cup boiling water

3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tbsp butter


For filling: Boil potatoes and whole onion until potatoes are fully cooked.  Drain potatoes, discard onion, and mash. (I did this, even though I don't entirely understand the point, since you add sautéed onions as well). Sauté the chopped onions in butter until tender, but not browned. Combine mashed potatoes, cheeses, and sautéed onion. Mix well. Allow to cool.

For pastry: combine all ingredients for pastry and mixed together until mixture forms a ball (I found I had to add a tiny bit more boiling water, which I had on hand because I used our electric tea kettle to boil the water.) Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (One presumes to activate the gluten?)

Roll dough about 3 mm thick. Cut in circles of approximately 7 cm diameter.  (I just used a pastry cutter we had around. Given that I got a few extra--this makes 24, I ended up with 30--my cutter was a bit on the small size.)

Place filling on half of the circle, fold over, and press edges together well, slightly dampening the edges with water to help seal, if necessary.

Fill large saucepan 3/4 full with water, add oil and salt for cooking, and bring to a boil.

Add pierogis and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to keep from sticking for about 5 minutes until they rise to the surface of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon. (I had no trouble with sticking and mostly ignored them while they boiled, as I dropped them in in small batches, and I was continuously making more. A trick I have learned making kniefla.)

At this point I put mine in the fridge for a couple of hours. I dried them off pretty well, let them cool at room temperature, and then put them in a wax paper lined bit of Tupperware. (Like so much Tupperware, I've since lost the cover, so I just covered it with saran wrap.)

For finishing:
Sauté in a frying pan with bits of bacon and butter until browned or crisped to your preference.

Servings: makes 24

lydamorehouse: (ichigo freaked)
 This morning I spent a fairly ridiculous amount of time preparing a side dish for dinner.

I mean... what is this, Pioneer times? Am I Amish?  No, but I swear I might as well be. Because what did I make?  Pierogis.  

Shawn found an on-line recipe from CBC Life called "Grandma Gretzky's Great Pierogis," which purport to be Wayne Gretzky's Ukrainian grandma's recipe. We'll see what they're like after I fry them up at dinner time, but, man, that filling is good!  I wouldn't dare to improve on Grandma Gretzky's recipe, but since it only called for "cheddar cheese," I decided that meant a combination of Vermont white cheddar and a moderately fancy aged cheddar that I picked up from Kowalski's fancy cheese department. (It's French, but it was six dollars a brick instead of 12.) I was right that the sharper aged stuff in moderation would really making the filling zing.

Though it may all be lost once I fry them, though. And they're tiny, so gods even know if you'll be able to taste it. 

I had a bunch of the filling leftover, however, so if the pierogi are a bust, I'm going to just pull out the mashed oniony-cheesy potatoes and serve those!

If it's yummy, I'll post the recipe.  I will note, however, that this is definitely a picky project. Not to be undertaken on a normal work night when you have to run off to your kids' recital or soccer hockey practice (see what I did there!)

I think I will be happy to have done all the boiling of the dumplings BEFORE the temperatures soar to 90 F/ 32 C. I'm actually not quite sure what I'm thinking making pierogi and pork chops on a night like tonight.  Who knows, maybe it will finally thunderstorm... *looks outside at bright hot sun* ... or not.

I guess I just wanted to say that I spent way too much time on something that's probably going to be gobbled in ten seconds.  I'm a food weirdo.  I'm not even a real foodie because all my recipes involve something someone's grandmother used to make on the regular.

lydamorehouse: (ichigo freaked)
We always say we're going to clean the house on Sunday, but inevitably we end up cooking a ton of food. Shawn woke up this morning and wanted kuchen (edits because Shawn read this and said, no, change the link to reflect North Dakota German's from Russia kuchen.)  Mason wanted to make an apple pie for his girlfriend, so we all made that together.

An apple pie, freshly baked, with cut-outs of stars in the crust

Then, just as I finished the dishes from all of those, Mason announced he wanted Scotch Eggs for breakfast... so we went to the meat market and I made those as well.

Tonight, we're going to grill out.

I kept saying to my family, "Good thing I'm trying to cut down on my cholesterol! Hand me another Scotch Egg!"  Yep. Ah, well. My only comfort is that I spent a large part of the afternoon raking up a [bleep]-ton of leaves that somehow we always have in our yard in the spring (and literally no one else ever seems to. Maybe we're the yard that everyone's blown leaves end up in.)

Yesterday, when we ALSO had plans to clean the house, we ended up estate and rummage sale-ing.  That was a lot of fun.  Shawn and I used to spend a lot of weekend mornings estate sale-ing.  We spent all of $26.00 and came home with some plates, a few odds and ends, more fabric for her rugs, and an exercise bike.  :-)

The coolest venue we stopped at was St. Clement's Church.

St. Clements Church in St. Paul

The rummage sale was in the basement, but they had their sanctuary open to the public:

interior church sanctuary

The church building is on the national historic registry. It was really very lovely. An okay sale, though my latest goal at these things is to see if anyone is giving away decent stationary.  It's not really the sort of thing you find very often, so that makes it especially fun to try to hunt for.  I did find a few cards at the church that weren't too religious, so that's a bit of a find.

How was your weekend?
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
 I'm sure my radio silence had you all worried.  My apologies. The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, I was merely entertaining The Canadian, supporting Mason through History Day competition, and seeing "Avengers: Infinity War" (part 1).

Gods, so much to recount. 

Let's do this somewhat out of order.  First of all, Mason has been working on a ten-minute documentary about the Kent State Shootings for History Day for several months now.  I linked to an "about" page regarding History Day above, but, basically, one is competing for the best project on theme. The topic is wide open. You can research anything that turns your fancy, but one of the ways that you're judged is how closely you stick to theme. This year's theme is "Conflict and Compromise."  Students also pick the format of their project out of a pool of options. Mason picked documentary, despite it being highly competitive and something he's literally NEVER done before. In the past, he's made a website, which is another option.  You can also write a research paper or write and perform some kind of performance (like a play, skit, or, one presumes, a stand-up comedy show or a speech? This is one category that seems a little baffling to me.) 

While I was out with my Canadian doing the Art Crawl (more on that in a moment), I kept getting texts that read: "Passed this round" and then finally "Made it to finals!"  

My Canadian and I hopped on the light rail and made it in time to see Mason pick up his topic award from TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) for $500.00.

mason holding his prize for history day, a topic prize for the Vietnam War for $500

Mason also got an honorable mention in his category, but didn't medal. (First and second place go to Nationals, third is an alternate, and fourth and fifth place get medals.)  

He was initially kind of bummed about this, but $500 is an unusually high amount for these awards.  In fact, it seems like, according to the website, anyway, if you GO all the way to Nationals and win second place you get the exact same prize ($500.00).  I mean, my travel bug is probably most bummed about not getting the trip to Washington, D.C., because D.C. is one of his most favorite cities in the US (so far, that he's been to.)  But, I reminded him that this was THE VERY FIRST TIME HE EVER, full stop. First time he'd scripted a documentary, first time competing at the Senior Level (which means he was up against veterans of this competition), and first time he's even used iMovie for ANYTHING.  

However, the metaphor that I used that I think really got through to him, though, was "This is Season One of the History Day anime, you can't go all the way in the first season.  No one would keep watching."

Okay, now returning to chronological order and moving forward from last Friday afternoon....

My Canadian was given a tour de force of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  The first thing we did was hit MT Noodles in Brooklyn Park with her mother in tow. The restaurant was as authentic Vietnamese as advertised... in fact, I'm fairly certain I didn't eat my food correctly.  But, it was delicious all the same. 

After dropping her mom off at the hotel, I took her to my favorite coffee shop, Claddagh, where we promptly ran into my Friday (used to be Wednesday) women writers' group.  I introduced my Canadian around and then abandoned her long enough to pick up Mason from school, Shawn from work, and to deposit them both at home. 

Then because "see the Mississippi" was on her list, we took a little walk along the river walkway in downtown St. Paul.  Because the wind was chilly we ended up at a Caribou Coffee where we chatted like dear old friends, which, we have been, ON PAPER, but I was pleased that it worked out IRL as the kids would say.  

We went to a couple of the remote venues for the St. Paul Art Crawl on Friday night, too.  We hit the Carleton Lofts and the Pottery store that was on Front Street (both of which being places I wanted to see the insides of since forever, and was glad to have an excuse.)  The pottery place is a funky little storefront:

A sheet metal bar looking building with metal sculpture of abstract designs on its exterior

Inside they had a lot of pottery for sale, of course, as well as some clay for kids to play with in the back and a potter's wheel for adults to try out. They were also serving soup in handcrafted bowls (did you buy the bowl as part of the food? I'm thinking so.) 

But, I wanted to show off more of what the crawl would be like, so we also hit the Carleton Lofts, which was more typical. There were 50+ artists of all variety (including a puppet builder--yes, the very one who built the puppet of me, and a novelist who had a sort of sad display and a desperate look in her eye.)  I ran into a woman who runs a tarot collective, who offered to let me join, and we saw the world's CREEPIEST dolls... oh, sorry, they're not creepy (or so said the artist) they're for dark side HEALING.  Yeah, no. They were CREEPY. I was, in fact, too afraid to take pictures.

That evening (with a random stop at Office Max for my panicked History Day family for printer paper), we went to hot pot at Little Szechuan. I have never done hot pot before, so I let The Canadian take the lead.  If you've never done it before, it's kind of a weird process. You get a checklist menu where you fill in what you want (and the amounts, as in half order or full,) and it's things like 'fish' and 'prawn' and 'beef' as well as a fairly wide variety of veggies. Basically, you cook each one in a broth, but they all mingle together so you kind of want them to sort of all go together?  A pot comes out with broth--ours was divided between plain and spicy and then it sits on a stovetop on your table and boils. Once it's roiling you start dropping in various things you want to eat, watch them cook, and then fish them out.  It's a lot of fun and tasty as all get out. We mostly did fish and veggies so it was quite delicious.

We had a helluva time getting the Canadian back to her hotel thanks to closings on 94 (and my fierce need to pee), we blamed it on the creepy dolls.

Mason and the rest of us were up until 3 am dealing with technical difficulties (and my perfectionist son's inability to think 'good enough'--which I guess paid off, so there's that.) 

On Saturday, I dropped Mason off at Coffman Union.  Actually, at the stairs on the River Road that lead to Coffman, because the only directions we had on the History Day packet presumed that we would be parking.  Maybe because so many of the participants can drive themselves?  Or maybe because there's just that many parents who wanted to be along for the whole day?

I collected my Canadian and we did the traditional walkabout Lowertown.  I ditched my car here at home and she and I took the light rail in to Lowertown using the Art Crawl transit pass she printed out for us.  The whole day was a whole lot of looking at odd art and checking out people's apartments/studios, because basically that's what you do. There's just a ton of people who open up their homes and set up art displays. I'd been hoping we could catch lunch at some food trucks, but we ended up at the very trendy Biergarten Germania instead for lunch.

A sample of some of the art we saw during the crawl. This one is entitled: "Super Fan," which give that I am very much a super fan of Bleach, I appreciated a great deal:

A crude painting of a superhero with a cape who has a fan--like a box fan--for a face

As I noted above, we ended up dashing to catch Mason's award ceremony, and then, because we had tickets, we BARELY made it, but arrived only a few minutes late for "Pounded in the Tingle" at Bryant/Lake Bowl in Uptown.  That was... well, let's just say there was shadow puppet sex.

We stayed late at the bar drinking (me a Coke and her a craft beer of some sort) and talking. We had some kind of debate about how money works and the social construct somewhere near midnight on the way home, so I'd say the day was a success.

I had thought she only had the two days, so we were slightly at loose ends on Sunday. My Canadian is a thrifter/antique shopper so someone ([personal profile] magenta , I think?) suggested the Minnehaha Mile and so we hit the Falls for a classic tourist destination, walked a bit of the trails, and then "thrifted" through several of the stores along the mile. I'm not a huge fan of shopping, but thrifting is really about window shopping and looking at all the weird/cool vintage stuff and I had a lot of fun. We stopped at Dumpling for a light early dinner/late lunch.

I was pretty worn out at that point and luckily the Canadian also felt the need to spent a bit more time with her mom, so we called it an early night somewhere around 5pm, which meant I could go home and see my family a bit over the weekend as well.  


And I was super-glad that a text based friends worked so very, very well live and in "meat space."

Edited to add that I will address my thoughts on "Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1)" in a separate entry.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Took Mason to robotics this morning.  Apparently, today was "bring your pet to work day" (okay, not OFFICIALLY!) and one of their teacher/coaches brought in her adorable Corgie, which prompted a number of shenanigans.  The point is, Mason had a lot of fun today, and their robot has a name, "Onyx."

I meanwhile, have been cooking and baking up a storm. I decided that what I really needed for lunch was a mess o' beans, so I made a big pot again for me to eat lunch from for the remainder of this week, into next.  Shawn made some orange, date, and pecan bread and a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I've started a loaf of bread, half of which I'm thinking of making into onion rolls.  I may post pictures of some of this extravaganza later.

I'm trying a new white bread recipe from The Gasperilla Cookbook, which Shawn found at the library friends sale.

In about an hour or so, I'll be taking Mason over for movie night at his girlfriends'.  Mostly, at her house they watch "Great British Bake-Off," and here they watch an anime called "Haikyu!" and various other movies.  Shawn and I might have a movie night of our own and watch "Dark Tower," because we still get the occasional disc from Netflix and that's what we have at home right now. But, if we're not in the mood for that, we'll see what's streaming.

Otherwise, it's been a fairly quiet Saturday. How about you?

Egg Rolls!

Jan. 28th, 2018 05:00 pm
lydamorehouse: (writer??)
 Kowalski's, our local grocery store, had some egg roll wraps.  I've seen them there before, because they're right next to the wonton wrappers which I use all the time to make fried potstickers.  I thought it might be a fun Sunday experimental lunch to try deep frying some egg rolls (bonus inaugural use of our new deep fat frier that replaced the one that conked out in the middle of buttermilk donuts a couple of weekends ago.)  

I happen to have Betty Crocker's Lee Ann Chin Chinese Cooking cookbook. Super authentic, am I right?  But, I figured Betty is about as authentic Chinese as I am, so why not.  They turned out really yummy.  Here's the recipe:

Egg Rolls

1 pound lean ground pork
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
dash of pepper
1 head of green cabbage, finely shredded.
2 bulbs garlic
1 small onion
carrots, finely shredded
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
egg roll skins
vegetable oil

optional additions:
1/4 cup shredded bamboo shoots
1/2 pound cooked and cleaned shrimp (if you use this, use 1/2 pound of the ground pork.)

Basically, you pre-cook the ingredients.  Because Betty Crocker asked me to, I boiled the cabbage for a minute.  Honestly, when I make this again, I think I will, instead, simply add salted cabbage to the garlic, onion, and carrot mixture that I sautéed.  The pork is also cooked ahead, which I found a little annoying, because I ended up adding it late and so some of the pieced stayed big and chunky.  But, basically, however you want to get it done, precook all the ingredients, add all the spices, soy sauce, and cornstarch.

Once everything is cooked, place a decent amount in each wrapper. Fold like a  burrito.  Then, while the oil heats in the deep fat frier (I set mine to 375 F), set the wrapped egg rolls in the freezer.  They can be there up to an hour.  I think mine were in the freezer no more than a half hour, while I cooked some rice as a side, as well.

Deep fry the egg rolls in batches that fit your frier--for me it was four.  

Drain. EAT. 
lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
...that I don't "binge watch"? I might have to reassess that. Shawn and I spent a good portion of yesterday watching the entire third season of "Broadchurch."  

One of the reasons we were able to watch so many hours of TV yesterday, too, was that Mason had a Robotics build from 9 am until 3 pm. 

We also finally had our anniversary Vescio's meal. This is a tradition that started when Mason was small and wasn't very good yet at going out to restaurants.  I had been sad not to be able to take Shawn out somewhere fancy. I was complaining to a friend that making something special at home would involve skills I didn't think I had, plus hours where Mason wasn't underfoot. She suggested surprising Shawn with a take-out from somewhere meaningful.  Vescio's was one of the first restaurants I remember taking Shawn during college...

Thus a tradition was born.

This year, for whatever reason, we hadn't been able to do Vescio's on our actual anniversary. When Shawn said, "We can just push it back a month or so," I figured that actually meant we'd forget about it entirely.  But, my wonderful list-making, task-setting wife actually set a reminder to pop up on Saturday, and so we actually remembered to do it.

It was delicious. I'm super-glad we remembered!

Today we finished up the last of "Broadchurch" and have been cleaning the house a little in prep for a gaming gathering.  Mason's two best friends are coming over to hang out. Should be pleasant. 

lydamorehouse: (yaoi)
 Every other weekend, Mason goes over to his girlfriend's house for dinner and a movie. (On the opposite weekend, she comes to us.)  Shawn and I decided to make a big ol' batch of chili for dinner, while Mason was away, because he's not overly fond of oniony things.  I made my French bread, which turned out amazingly crusty.  Just as I was getting ready to take Mason over, Shawn unthawed the hamburger and detected a funky odor.  Rather than risk it, I agreed to stop and get fresh meat somewhere between here and there. I was a little grouchy, because our usual grocery store, Kowalski's, was just a tiny bit out of the way.  Shawn suggested I try a mom & pop place that's right on the way to the GF's house, Widmer's Super Market.

Turns out, that Widmer's is actually FAMOUS for its butcher shop!

Since I was right there (and the prices were good), I decided to pick up the fixings for Scotch eggs.  I used to make Scotch eggs all the time when we lived over in Uptown because there was an amazing butcher just down the street, and Scotch eggs really are just giant meatballs (normally, traditionally made with very few, if any spices) so the meat really has to "be the star" as Chef Gordon Ramsay might say on one of his multitude of cooking shows.

Of course, just as I was starting THESE, I noticed we didn't have quite enough eggs... so off to the store again. (It was like that old joke about house projects: can't be done without several trips to the hardware store, only in this case, grocery store!)

Once home, I dragged out my copy of Modern Ways with Traditional Scottish Recipes by Rosalie Gow, which I bought at the MacAlister Scottish Fair and my deep fat frier.  They turned out pretty darn well. I added seasonings to the meats (turkey and pork), but I should have added a lot more, since it's the meat's show, as I said.  Still, with a little Coleman's, these were delish~

Homemade Scotch Eggs on a plate

Otherwise, today is a slow day. It's cold outside and we are all very much still in hibernation mode, even though the snow outside has melted.  So, there's been a lot of video game action and Internet reading. I think, had I not had to get dressed to go to the store, I would have stayed in my PJs today.

Basically a perfect Sunday, even with the time change.

lydamorehouse: (ichigo freaked)
Yesterday, Shawn took me out on a date.

We do this every so often, and always on a Friday, early afternoon, so that, as a bonus, Shawn gets the rest of the day off from work as a "mental health day." Win/Win, as the kids would say.

I picked Shawn up at the Minnesota Historical Society around 11:00 am and off we went to Saint Paul's West Side neighborhood, to our favorite date spot: Boca Chica Restaurant Mexicano y Catina. We got there just in time for the all-you-can-eat buffet to get started. The food was amazing as always. From there, we stopped off at a thrift store on 7th in downtown (and a bathroom break--and coffee for me--at Claddagh Coffee.)  Shawn managed to find a mixer bowl at the thrift store that we'd been looking for.  (I break things.)  

I got bored at the thrift store faster than usual. It's sort of a stereotype, I suppose, but my wife loves to shop for bargains; me, not so much. I'm usually good for an hour or two, if there are books, however.  Typically, I'm not a big non-fiction fan, but, when I go to thrift stores in particular, I love looking through the non-fiction.  People read and recycle the WEIRDEST stuff. But, for whatever reason, St. Vincent's didn't have many non-fiction books and most of them were ultra-religious. I can still enjoy the ultra-religious stuff, if it's something more than the run of the mill "Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul" type stuff. Alas, all they had fell into this category, what I would call basic Christian self-help.  Booooor-ring.  I dug a little through their stationary section, but also came up short.

Stationary is super hard to come by these days. This might be a surprise to you, but no one handwrites letters any more.  Barnes & Noble often has super-overpriced stationary sets, but there's not the variety that you once used to be able to find, and the sets are rarely more than 10 sheets.  That's, like, two letters for me. So, I'm always on the lookout for stationary at thrift stores.  You'd be surprised at the stuff I've found--though I've had FAR better luck at estate sales.  Even so, last trip to Good Will, I found two full packs of stationary for a dollar a piece.  They were weird (a jungle scene, if I remember right?), but I honestly don't care, so long as I can actually write on the stuff.  I'm actually expecting to get some stationary for my birthday--which is in two weeks!  I'll be fifty!--and if not then, for Soltice/Christmas.

But, St. Vincent's had nada, zilch, nothing.


After that, Shawn and I decided to head home, where I promptly napped.  Mason had had me up late the night before helping him format a newspaper for his English class. They're doing creative book reports and he decided to do Game of Thrones.  So, he wrote a bunch of articles, an advice column, a full page of obituaries, and even put together a crossword puzzle.  It was actually pretty neat, helped along by the fact that there's an HBO show, so he had lots of action pictures to use, like a real newspaper might have.  But, I haven't had to do layout since sometime in the 1990s and so there was a bit of a learning curve. I don't think we got to bed until nearly midnight (on a school night!)  So, I had intended just to "rest my eyes" and the next thing I knew it was 2:30 pm and time to go fetch Mason from school.

The evening was pleasant.  It started to snow on our drive home and so my entire family happily went into hibernation mode: snuggling under blankets, reading books, etc.  We ordered pizza because we TRIED to order pizza on Halloween night and discovered that, apparently that's a thing people do and we couldn't get one to save our souls.  On Halloween, we ended up driving to Cossetta's and picking up pasta, as well as pizza, for take home.  But it wasn't Maverick's, which is our new favorite pizza place since Eden Pizza closed its doors.

Shawn and I decided to make hot buttered rum, which Shawn had a recipe for.  It seemed like a good idea on a snowy night, but, ugh, no... never again. I was totally delicious, don't get me wrong, but there was something about having it right before bedtime that was a total mistake. Despite being highly alcoholic, it totally acted like caffeine for me.  I could NOT get to sleep.  Meanwhile, Shawn slept but seemed to get an insta-hangover and totally disrupted sleep patterns, too. It was weird. We vowed that if we did this again, it would be in the middle of the afternoon, NOT right before bed.

This morning, Shawn is making an apple cake. We have a ton of leftover apples we need to figure out what to do with.  At least neither of us seem to be suffering this morning from the rum.  
lydamorehouse: (??!!)
We spent a lot of time baking this weekend.  Shawn made pumpkin & cranberry muffins, some pecan pinwheels.  I made cinnamon swirl bread, pizza dough, and French bread.... Oh, and we both made a blueberry pie:

blueberry pie with a moon cut-out

The artist flair happened when I realized I'd cracked the pie crust. So, I decided to repeat the design intentionally around the crust and then add the moon cut-out. As my friend [personal profile] jiawen says it's sort of a reverse eclipse pie.

I do a lot of things like this when the politics suck. Remember how right before the election I spent days and days on lawn care? Well, it's been raining here a bunch (though nothing like Houston, HOLY SH*T) and so I couldn't get out to do any weeding or mowing or raking. Thus, much baking.  This current administration is going to make me gain five thousand pounds.

On the flip side, the house smells AMAZING. And there are a lot of leftovers.

The other thing that happen is that on Friday, a gift arrived in the mail! At CONvergence, I promised my friend in Oregon,[personal profile] offcntr ,  that I would send him a signed copy of Seanen McGuire's Rosemary and Rue.  In exchange, he offered pottery.

handmade poetry, looking down, with a falcon visible painted in the well of the bowl

This is what I got!  Lovely, isn't it? It is now displayed prominently in our dinning room next to my stamping things.  A place of honor!  If you like the look of this, you should check out the rest of Frank's wears at: !!

The other stuff that happened this weekend is that Mason went to the State Fair with his friend Rosemary.  Rosemary and her mom always run the 5K "Milk Run" at the crack of dawn (sometime after 7 am?) and Mason is their official "purse holder." In exchange, they get him a free ticket to the State Fair and they all hang out together for as long as my little extroverted introvert can take it.  Mason is extroverted enough that he likes going to things like this, but he's an introvert at heart and he leaves the party early with decreased energy, if you know what I mean. When he came home he had to hide in his room for several hours just to recharge his people-battery.  We had been hoping to hit the Munchkin Tournament  at Mischief Books & Games, but Mason just could NOT any more people.

This ended up working out just fine for me, because we had planned a big Sunday roast chicken dinner, and the timing would have been difficult if we'd run off to do the tournament.  The food was amazing. The French bread and blueberry pie, both HUGE successes.  I tried a simple roasted Brussel sprouts recipe that was... okay. Both Mason and I like Brussel sprouts, but I have been struggling to find a recipe that's tasty.  I swear I make them differently every Thanksgiving. Everything else was delicious. Shawn is only moderately fond of mashed potatoes so we ended up having hominy as our other side.  It worked pretty well, but I missed having an extra thing to slather with gravy and so had to do with extra helpings of "gravy bread."  :-)

So. Many. Extra. Pounds.

Though, if they all come from such good food, I will pat my round belly and sigh in happy contentment.  

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 Look, don't judge, okay?  Sure, it's 9 am, but I've already been up for four hours and borscht looks really good to me right now.  I'm sure there are places in the world where stew for breakfast isn't _that_weird. In Japan, I could have miso first thing in the morning and no one would blink.

When I have borscht again for lunch in another few hours? THEN you can judge me.

What can I say? I really like beets. And cabbage.  But, especially beets. Borscht is one of the few times in my life where I look at a stew and think: "Are potatoes REALY necessary???" (If you knew the depths of my love of potatoes, you'd be pretty shocked right now.) I've also accidentally made this particular borscht recipe without cabbage and I still loved it.  I don't even put beef in my recipe, so it's just kind of a giant mess of beets and spices.  

Okay, I'm judging myself: pathetic beet lover.

If you're curious, I got this recipe from the St. Paul Farmer's Market Produce Cookbook, 2005 edition. It's from Evelyn Kaiser, and it goes like this:

5 cups of water
1 1/2 cups beets, peeled and diced
1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peel and diced
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp utter
1 onion, chopped
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of green cabbage, shredded
1/2 put of tomato, chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes -or- one can of tomato sauce. Not being a huge tomato fan, I use either of these.)
1/2 cup beet, peeled and grated
1 tsp. dried dill (and a sprinkling of fresh, if available.)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
salt and pepper (I add a beef bullion or two instead of the salt, because I like the meaty undertone that gives. Plus any bullion is super salty so I can skip any of the added salt.)

The rest reads:

Bring 5 cups of water to boil ad add diced beets, potato, carrots and salt (or bullion, in my case).  Reduce heat an cook covered over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.*

In saucepan, heat butter and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add the cabbage and sauté for 3 minutes. Sir in tomatoes, grated beets, and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Add sauté mixture to boiled vegetable. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. 

*adding the potatoes at the same time as beets often ends with completely mushed potatoes. I would recommend dropping them in 10 minutes later or so, IF you want firm and not completely pulverized potatoes. I suspect this is why the recipe suggests peeling them. I'm usually throwing things into the pot that I've gotten from the farmers' market THAT DAY, so it seems silly to peel the potatoes.... until I forget i should have waited and end up with mush attached to skin. The other option is to skip them entirely, of course, though, despite all this, I rarely do that.  Probably because I feel guilty admitting that what I really want is a giant bowl of boiled beets and the potatoes makes me feel like I'm making a stew.


I have served this to others and have been met with mixed results. Beets and cabbage are definitely an acquired taste.  It's hard for me to tell if this recipe is as good as It think it is, since literally it could read: peel and dice beets, boil until tender, add salt, and I'd be like WHAT IS THIS WONDEROUS CONCOCTION??

Milage may vary.
lydamorehouse: (Renji talking smack)
 We went to Whole Foods yesterday, thinking to have a nice lunch after soap shopping. It was a disappointment.

I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but Mason had been looking forward to samosas and chicken marsala, both of which he's had before at the Whole Foods deli and really enjoyed. They didn't have any samosas and their chicken marsala was watery and the chunks of chicken were so big that they didn't absorb very much flavor.  It was kind of a bust. (My sushi was good, but...)

We did manage to find some fun soaps, however. There was even a scent called "dirty hippy." Mason was surprised when I guessed that it was basically patchouli.  He didn't buy it, but I could see he was tempted just because of the name. 

Since we were out driving around, we decided to head out to the Ramsey County Library to pick up the books that had come in for me. I requested the first four volumes of Pandora Hearts, which is an anime I started watching.  I figured I might actually be able to plow through it a little faster if I read it.  I'm not very good at binge watching, alas.  Binge reading? Yes. Watching, not so much for some reason. At any rate, I picked them all up and also found a few more on the shelves, so now I have the first seven to read.

From there, Mason talked me into stopping at Game Stop and picking up "Street Fighter" because we've been looking for a game that we can play together. I really like racing him in Mario Carts, but I think he feels bad for me because I'm SO TERRIBLE at it. He'll come in #1 and I'll be dead last. The point is, even though *I* found that fun, he really wanted something we'd be more equally matched in. "Street Fighter" totally works, because a button masher like me can totally win.  In fact, I easily won half of the time.  I think we've found our game.

Because Mason really craved samosas, we managed to talk Shawn into going out to the Indian place for dinner last night. (We like "Taste of India" in Maplewood.) Mason tried vindaloo chicken, Shawn had her usual chicken marsala, and I had curried veggies.  By chance at the restaurant, we ran into our friends Sean Murphy and Katherine Carlson who were coming back from Mankato, after having, unsuccessfully, tried to get into see the Viking's training camp.  They'd also stopped at "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" on the way back, though Katherine thought the amount of candy on display was almost "obscene." I'm not sure I disagree, but, for me, that's half of the fun of that place. (I'm guessing they managed more virtue than we did. We left with a huge bagful, which was pretty obscene all by itself, after all.)  So we kind of chatted over the booths for a while, but we'd gotten there earlier, so we left after a few minutes.  Still, it was neat to see them. It's been a while, and Sean is one of my very best friends. (I was reminded, seeing him, that we still haven't made it to "Spider-Man: Homecoming.")  

I think I fell into a food coma after that.  I read a little bit in bed, but next thing I knew it was morning.  :-)

Tonight: Twins Game! We should have good weather for it. I will take a lot of pictures.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Saint Paul did not close its schools.  So guess who was up at o'f*ck o'clock shoveling the sidewalk and unburying the car?  That's right. THIS GIRL.

I was so irritated by St. Paul that my chiropractor literally pulled me aside to talk to me about my shoulder tension.  I resisted screaming into his face, "BLAME THE ST. PAUL SCHOOL SYSTEM!" Because, okay, yeah, I'm probably unreasonably irritated about having to get up early and shovel, but what made my shoulders that high was having to drive on half-plowed street with my family in the car.  Myself, alone, maybe I wouldn't be so tense.  But, with Shawn AND Mason along?  Yeah, no, that's a lot of responsibility and I really don't want to be responsible for having killed them, a pedestrian, or another driver and/or their family.  Yeah my shoulders were up over my ears. I was lucky they weren't higher.

Now the sun has come out to mock me.

I kind of wish that the skies had dumped an extra fifteen pounds of snow on St. Paul's head so I could self-righteously shout: "HA!"

On the other hand, because I was up and about early, I stopped by Whole Foods and picked something for the crock pot for dinner tonight and made myself a very early lunch (technically brunch? Maybe breakfast with lunch-related food?)

When Shawn was recovering from gallbladder surgery, a friend of ours, George, brought over his guaranteed vegan, all-the-fiber stew, which was basically: garbanzo beans, tomato chunks, and various veggies all simmered together.  It was super simple and he kept apologizing for it not even being a particularly tasty batch, but I LOVED it and now make a version of my own on a regular basis--mostly for myself, because my family is a bunch of unrepentant carnivores.  So somewhere around ten am, I stuffed my face with bean/tomato/potato/mushroom/okra/carrot stew.

Being irritable takes a lot of fuel, apparently.  

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