Monday, December 31, 2007

Liel's new hat

I saw this super cute hat pattern on Ravelry today and I immediately decided to make it for Liel. I searched around for yarn leftovers and found some bulky charcoal gray Wool-ease and Peace Fleece in Baghdad Blue, Kamchatka Sea Moss, and Latvian Lavender. All held together got me the gauge for the pattern, so I set off knitting. In about 40 minutes I had the hat done (I still need to braid some proper ties for it, though)! And holy crap, it's so cute! Liel looks adorable and pixieish in it, and even though I'd probably feel goofy as hell in one, I kinda want to make one for me, too.

My last knitting project of 2007. Happy New Year, everyone!!!

And Cheese!

I recently read Barbara Kinsolver's new book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's a great book, well written, interesting and funny. At one point in the book she talks about making mozzarella at home, and it sounded so fun and easy...I just had to try it. I haven't been able to just yet, as I lack a couple of important ingredients, but I just ordered supplies to make mozzarella, cream cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese from New England Cheesemaking Supply. It was tempting to order for all sorts of other cultured dairy products, but I managed to restrain myself for the time being. If my foray into soft cheese goes well, however, there might be no stopping me!

So now I eagerly await the postman with my starter cultures and cheesecloth. I'm trying to decide how long it might take...they mail things within 2 business days but sadly tomorrow isn't a business day! Which would mean it should be in the mail by Thursday. They aren't too far away from me, I might be able to have it by Saturday....hope, hope, hope!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Little goose (+rogue)

Zion has really been enjoying pretending to be a little goose lately. Nearly every morning he turns my comforter into a nest to keep him dry during frequent rain storms. At bedtime tonight I gave Zion a little back scratching. After a couple minutes I stopped, told him I loved him and gave him a kiss.

"Honk", said Zion, sleeply. "Honk, I sighed".

(Also, I finished the hood on Rogue. Hooray! Now I need to start the sleeves...)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

More fermenting

Back when I got on the "ferment cool things in your own kitchen" kick I was pretty excited to try making root beer at home. So I ordered up several kinds of roots used in root beer, and in the time that elapsed between ordering and their arrival I was consumed with other projects, as is often the case. So the poor roots sat all unloved in a corner of my kitchen.

Finally last week I started making a ginger bug, which is basically a fermented ginger mixture that's the starter for the root beer (because traditional root beers were beers, mildly alcoholic). Shortly after it starting actively fermenting I accidentally killed it by leaving it on my very hot oven. Whoops. But I started again and today I decided it was bubbly enough to use. So I made a tea of various dried, chopped roots (sassparilla, ginger, burdock, and a tiny bit of licorice). When it had cooled a bit I strained it and added honey (about 1 cup to my 1/2 gallon of tea). Then I added my ginger ferment, and the whole thing is sitting on my counter now. Allegedly by tomorrow it will have started to ferment and bubble, and then I'll transfer it to sealed containers to carbonate.

It tasted pretty alright as I was mixing honey in, so here's hoping it'll taste alright when it's done!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rogue update

At this point I'd say I've put about 25 hours into Rogue. I am not a fast cabler. The hood on this thing is going to take me about 10 hours. For the hood. I've done 50 rows on it so far, and have 32 left to go. As I was knitting on it yesterday I timed myself and it takes me about 8 minutes per row. Good thing it's so beautiful, or I'd probably be in despair. Here's a picture of the hood so far:

Ooooo. Ahhhh.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beautiful Butterfly

I just put Liel down for her nap. As I lifted her into her crib I swung her a bit and said, "You're flyyying!!"

Liel giggled with delight and squealed, "I a turkey!"

Warms a mother's heart, that does :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Food freaks

Everyone has weird food habits, right? I mean, my friend Becka eats all her bread and salad dry- no butter, mustard, dressing, nothing. That's pretty weird.

One of my own food weirdnesses is mayonnaise. I know plenty of people who hate it, but I adore it (and Veganaise, which I feel is just as tasty). Everyone in my family natal family loves it, too, and we grew up eating on all manner of vegetable and meat. Broccoli? Dipped in mayo. Crab? Dipped in mayo. Artichokes? In mayo. Sliced tomatoes? With mayonnaise, of course! Any kind of meat is fair game as far as I'm concerned and I've never had a bad combination. My brother and I drew the line at peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches when we were kids, but they used to be a favorite of our dad's. My mom used to make a carrot salad that was essentially grated carrots with raisins and mayonnaise. When my mom was growing up my grandmother would serve her half an avocado with the pit removed and hole filled in with mayonnaise.

In grad school I had a friend who enjoyed snacking on bananas with mayonnaise and peanuts. Yesterday I glanced into the kitchen at my brother's house and saw our friend Jay eating a pickle with...mayonnaise. I was intrigued. I love pickles and of course I love mayo. He assured me that it was delicious both plain and as a sandwich. I haven't tried it yet, but I shall, and soon.

Tonight I'm in a mayonnaise kinda mood. But what shall I use as my vehicle? Both oven fries and potato salad are up for consideration, and in the end it probably doesn't even matter. As long as it's cloaked in smoothcreamyfattysalty mayonnaise goodness I'll probably be happy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wisdom of children

Zion likes to roll around in the clean laundry when I dump it out onto my bed to fold. It drives me crazy, and he knows he's not allowed to do it. But he almost always tries. Today he was really testing my patience and thrashing and jumping and generally getting in my way, so I asked him to get off the bed. He didn't. So I shouted at him to get off the bed. He didn't, he just blew raspberries. So I really shouted and told him to get off the bed and into his room. He went, crying. I felt awful. 10 seconds later I heard him playing happily in there. Still, his recovery didn't change my bad behavior, so I finished folding his clothes and went in to talk.

We went over what he had done to end up in his room (jumping in the laundry, not listening) and then I told him that even though he was misbehaving I shouldn't have shouted at him like that and I was sorry. Zion looked at me severely.

"Yes, mama", he said. "What you should have done is said (insert very calm preschooler voice): Please get off the bed and go to your room. That's what you should have done. You say, Please get off the bed and go to your room, you do not start shouting like a jackass! Because we are nice people in this family and we do not shout and scream, unless someone is playing with a toy that you do not want them to have."

As his little speech progressed I resorted to snorting and hiding my face to keep from laughing. Luckily Zion didn't seem to notice, possessed as he was by the spirit of righteousness. When he was finished I agreed, and reminded him that even when someone has a toy we would rather she didn't play with we still shouldn't shout, but should use calm words instead.

Still, it's nice to know that he's listening, even if his application of the rule is rather lopsided, right?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

If wishes were horses

Then I'd have a big ass herd of horses. And I could sell most of them and use the cash for the upkeep of the horses I kept. I'd want one for me and one for each kid. I don't think Robert would be into having a horse, but we could pick one for him, sell it, and let him buy a really fancy robot.

Here are some of my off the cuff wishes this morning:
-I wish I were a Japanese pop star. I like cute things, and being an American pop star would come with entirely too much loss of personal space.
-I wish I had enough land to grow all the food I want to grow, and house the animals I'd like to have (see above re: horses. And also chickens. And turkeys).
-I wish, that out of our combined 3 sets of parents and 4 sets of siblings more than one set lived within 100 miles of us.
-I wish someone would come and clean my house. Really clean it.
-I wish I could get a decent burrito within my county. Srsly. Is that too much to ask, New York??

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just when I thought I'd heard it all...

Students are amazing. Teach college for a few years (I suppose the same is true at other ages, but I just don't have any personal experience with them) and you'll hear an amazing litany of excuses, thoughtless answers and ridiculous expectations. A college I taught at a few years ago actually had a case of plagiarism that was ultimately traced back to the student's father. Who had written his kid's paper for him/her. Only he hadn't so much written it as plagiarized it. The student had no idea that his/her father had cheated- but I suppose if you are willing to cheat by having your parent do you work for you, and your parent is willing to help you cheat in this way, it should come as no surprise that your parent might cheat in other ways, too.

After that I thought I'd be pretty hard to shock. But as it turns out I'm always wanting to believe the best of people. Good ol' Sherman Day Thacher. I really do believe in the words of the Banquet Song, and not just for myself: I still somehow believe that everyone values and strives for those things (for you non-Thacherites, the part of the Banquet Song I'm referring to goes, "May honor and kindess and fairness and truth/Be ours till life's struggle is through/May the stamp of the School be the stamp of our lives/Whose honesty carries us on/To do the best work in the world that we can/Till the best we can do is all done"). I think I'm going to keep believing it, too, because dammit, people should! Honesty and kindness and hard work are things the world could use a lot more of.

Today I got an email from a student unhappy with his/her grade in my class. S/he said that s/he knew that s/he hadn't really put much effort into my class, but his/her GPA was too low, and was there anything s/he could do to improve his/her grade?

I almost. fucking. choked. Or cried. Or something. The series of selfish and idiotic expectations here is just dazzling. 1. Why on earth would you think you deserved a higher grade when you admitted up front that you didn't really try? 2. Why on earth would you think that your grade could be changed after the semester was over? And, you know, all work turned in and evaluated? 3. Why on earth would you think that you, and you alone of all your classmates, deserved a chance to do extra credit work? 4. Why, on G-d's green earth, would you think that you deserved anything but what you got when you didn't put much effort in??

Please. Teach your children, your students, your friends, yourself, anyone: Anything worth having is worth working hard for.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Speaking of raw milk

I called a farm near here that sells it to see about getting in on the raw milk action. Really just for the cheese making- neither Robert nor I are milk drinkers, and the kids aren't either (at least not of the cow variety). The Real Milk website instructed me to call and leave a message with my name and address and the farmer would mail me a calender and price list. So that's what I did, and I gotta tell you, it felt a little speakeasy-ish and clandestinely hip (I can't believe I just wrote that about something involving milk, but it's true!). Now I'm eagerly anticipating my mailing. Guess I didn't know price lists could be so exciting, either!

Also, Pete likes the knickers, so they are off in the mail. When I talked to him tonight I asked how he was and he said, "Better, now that a pink knitted thong is on its way to me!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Second time is even better

I think it's time I cleared up some of the confusion around my knitted thong.

1. it's not made of wool, people.
2. it's not itchy
3. it's machine washable! like real people knickers!
4. it's comfortable
5. it's dead sexy

Today I told Pete about it, and asked him if he'd like me to knit one for his girl. Finally, someone else's enthusiasm about the knitted thong matched mine! He said, yes, please, so I started knitting right then, and finished tonight while we watched The Bourne Ultimatum. For the curious, this one is made of a cotton blend, and I think it's even nicer than the first one.

See where a little enthusiasm about my knitting projects can get you? (Back in the day Pete was also the lucky recipient of a duct tape wallet I made. But it wasn't plain duct tape, oh no! It had a lovely print of the New Kids on the Block "Hangin' Tough" album cover. Good times.)

Hand made gifts

A couple nights ago I was talking to my brother on the phone. He was walking home from the Co-op at 7pm because one of their gift items had failed to produce delicious results, and he had been sent out to buy more ingredients so that he could go home and cook, hopefully finishing everything in time to package it up and mail it out the next morning. He commented that making gifts each year is exhausting, and I agreed. It is time consuming and tiring, and has potential risks (as his situation illustrates nicely). Sometimes, we both said, we thought it might be nice to just buy gifts and be done with it.

But we don't. Every year we plan hand made gifts and race around frantically trying to complete them because we love and value hand made. And since gifts are meant to show our love, this is the best way we know to convey our love to our family and friends: making it ourselves.

Last year Robert's sister Anne sent us a holiday box full of homemade peanut brittle and marshmallows. I couldn't try the peanut brittle (peanuts and Liel nursing and all) but the marshmallows were excellent. This year she sent us almond brittle. I'll be honest- I wasn't too broken up about not getting to eat the peanut brittle last year, cause in my experience brittles aren't usually very good. They tend to be both overly hard and entirely too eager to glue my jaws together. But Anne's homemade almond brittle has me singing an entirely different tune. I love this stuff. It's light and crisp and not over sweet or sticky in the least. Anne, more next year, please!

And today we got a box from my aunt and uncle and cousin Max. Max made beef jerky and it is delicious!! I had to put it away lest we consume it all as we sat around the box. I don't imagine many 14 year olds send out hand made gifts, and especially not ones that are this delicious. Max and Anne's gifts have completely restored my handmade gift mojo- I have such a kick ass family!!

Here's Liel, my little meat hound, snarfing the jerky Max made.


I've decided that I want to learn to make cheese. I hear it's pretty easy, and fun, and I like making shit! So there you go, it's perfect for me. I'm gonna order some supplies from here in the next month or so. First I want to looking into my options for local, small farm, grass fed, raw cow's milk. You can make cheese out of any milk except ultra pasteurized (this process denatures the proteins in the milk, thus disabling the cheese making process. Plus ultra pasteurization is really just a tool designed to allow milk to to be transported over greater distances. Is that something you actually *want*? Less fresh milk that's been denatured so it won't rot before it gets to you? Not to mention the fact that the further food travels to get to us the more polluting fossil fuels it uses. Yuck.), but raw milk is more delicious and more healthful, as long as you have a nice clean source for it (in other words: factory farms = teh bad for milk. Bad for cows, bad for milk, bad for you, bad for the earth).

How freakin' cool am I going to be when I'm making cheddar and mozzerella in my own kitchen?? So cool!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Last night when I announced that I was going to make a pear-gingerbread-upside down cake Robert was unusually enthusiastic. Unusually because, you see, my husband does not like gingerbread (or potatoes. Have I mentioned this? I mean, seriously, who doesn't like potatoes??). Being the optimistic girl that I am, however, I assumed that he'd finally come to his senses about gingerbread, at least, and cheerfully set about making the cake.

Only after I'd cooked and served this rather large pastry did he notice it was, you know, gingerbread. His lukewarmness returned. This morning he told he he'd eaten some of it for breakfast (we had next to no food in the house), and that it had been disappointing. Or unsatisfying. I can't remember which, because frankly when he starts spouting nonsense about kick-ass delicious food I kind of get this fuzzy noise interference thing going. No doubt it's my brain saying something like "lalala I can't hear you!!"

The upshot of all this is that I now have a 10" gingerbread-pear-upside down cake to eat on my own. Did I mention that it has a stick and a half of butter in it? Yeah. Good thing I've got me some good genes, cause it really is a very delicious cake (and ugly. Very ugly. I totally screwed up the upside-downing processes, so no pictures for you!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'll take that as a compliment

Tonight I put Zion's dinner down in front of him and went back into the kitchen to get Liel's.

"Mommy?", Zion called.


"Mommy, I do not want you to get cooked.", he said.

"Oh. Well, that's nice, cause I don't particularly want to be cooked."

"Yeah. Because you cook such delicious dinners!", he replied enthusiastically.

Such a sweet talker, that one!


So, last night at about 930pm I found myself wanting to knit some lingerie. Really, really wanting to. The trouble with this desire was that I didn't have any yarn that one might normally knit lingerie with, either in terms of the thickness of the yarn (mine was all too thick) or the content (ie, I didn't have any cotton!). I had a cool pattern to use, and no materials. Woe was I.

Still, I am not easily deterred when I want something. After careful consideration of my available yarn I decided to give it a whirl using an off-white acrylic yarn. At least it can be machine washed, right?

This afternoon I finished my first knitted thong, and it's even pretty comfortable. Behold!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Overheard at my house

Tonight, Robert was bringing his mom up to speed on the joys of Facebook- namely, Scrabulous (in short, you can play Scrabble online with far flung friends). Then he bewailed his current losing streak, and Kevin's recent string of bingos. Here's the half of the conversation that I overheard:

"You’re not supposed to root against your own child, you know", Robert said. "... Yeah.... You’re not supposed to relish his pain like this, either. You’re supposed to say, “Oh, what can I do to help you feel better??”

Target sighted

Mr. Faux called today. I thought it was odd, since we'd just spoken on Saturday, and sure enough he called with news...he and Kaori are engaged! We're quite pleased- Kaori is smart, funny, and not intimidated by Mr. Faux. Plus she's lots of fun and immediately joined in our Oscar betting and trash talking the very first night we met her. She even called him Mr. Faux, after we explained the amusing genesis of that name (in short: he made his students call him that when he was a TA because he felt that his age deserved that kind of respect. And he may be right! But his logic was this: when he was in high school, they didn't even have ATMs. These upstart college kids couldn't possibly understand life at that time, nor had they in any way earned the right to use his first name, since he had, more or less, been alive since the time of the dinosaurs as far as he and they were both concerned).

I had another amusing story to tell about Mr. Faux's call, but I'm afraid I've forgotten it. Forgetting doesn't make for very good blog posts. Or stories.

In other news, 1/2 my final exams are graded!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

For Sure

...I think.

My Peace Fleece came today!!!! I just love those guys. Ordered Friday night, in my hot little hands Wednesday morning. And in a recycled shipping box, no less. Rock on, Peace Fleece!

Anyway, I thought I knew what I was going to knit with what I bought this time around, but I don't. Or didn't. Yeah. Cause I just spent all of nap time staring at patterns and thinking and thinking and now I may have arrived at a decision. I think I'm going to knit Rogue, but as a cardigan. You can see an example of this (in Peace Fleece, too!) here. Only I hope I don't need 7 skeins, cause I bought 6! 6 skeins of a lovely limey green.

Now I just need to ball my yarn, and wouldn't you know it, my yarn baller is at work, giving exams and attending meetings. Humph.

I is lazy

So today, I'm using fewer words. Rika sent me this video, and I was skeptical. But check it out, it'll make you smile and maybe even laugh, if you're lucky and laugh easily :) How's that for a ringing endorsement?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Sometimes, kids ask tough questions.

Tonight the four of us sat down to dinner accompanied by the sweet croonings of Mickey Avalon. As the last song came on Zion sat up a little straighter and listened with interest. Uh-oh, I thought. This could get sticky. The song, you see, is called "My Dick" and that's pretty much exactly what it's about.

"What's the song called, Daddy?", Zion asked, nodding his head to the beat appreciatively.

Robert and I looked at each other across the table. Glad I'm not the one on the spot, I thought, trying not to laugh and wondering what Robert would say.

Robert hesitated. "This is a Mickey Avalon song", he said. Zion returned to his cauliflower.

We looked at each other across the table again. "I assume you were imagining him at preschool, too?" Robert asked, smirking.

I got me a quick thinking husband. But then again, they don't hand out PhD's to chimps, you know.


Must be the holiday spirit hitting me at last ;) BUT! This morning Ysette sent me a link to this store, selling all kinds of silly/naughty/cool religious tschlock. I am sooo lusting after the Seven Deadly Sins Wristbands! (Lusting, get it? Oh man, I slay me....) What an awesome way to tell the world which particularly sinful mood I'm experiencing that day!

Santa, I know I'm a Jew and I don't believe in you and all, but if you find room in your imaginary sack of treats for the seven deadly sins wristbands for me, that'd be pretty cool.

Worth a shot, right? And hey, they're cheaper than diamonds!


Remember how I mentioned, in my 7 weird things about me, how much I love socks? Yeah. So when my mom said she wanted to get me just a few more little Hanukkah gifts, I immediately told her how much I'd like some more socks. The cold weather seems to bring out the sock hoarder in me- what can I say? Mom agreed, and off I went to Sock Dreams with her money burning a hole in my pocket.
The girls on had, as usual, given some very useful comments and reviews. This time I paid particular attention to the love that Sock It To Me socks were getting and I came away with:
-Diamond ribbed knee highs in navy,
-Sock it to me 2 color stripes in green and white,
-Sock it to me argyle knee highs in khaki/olive/brown
-M Squareds in bubblegum (these were not knee highs, more like mid calf, so I'm kinda bummed about that)
And, since even a sock lover sometimes needs to shake things up a bit, I also got:
-arm warmers in olive marl, and
-leg warmers! in charcoal.

Now who's smokin' hot?? Only thing is, I need more short(er) skirts now, to show off my awesome leg wear. I'm thinking about knitting some skirts, so stay tuned...

Monday, December 10, 2007

More knitting fun

I have been in a knitting frenzy here folks, not kidding! Somehow, starting in July wasn't early enough, and STILL some family members aren't getting knit stuff (I'm sorry!). Lesson learned- can't knit for everyone at the same time. Just. Can't.

I made this for my grandmother, though. Her request, and the design is my own. I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out! Now I'm just *fingers crossed* that she likes it and it's what she had in mind.

The sixth crazy night

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Holidays

It's a youtube fest! Check out the goodies I have for you in my bag...

Goody Two Shoes! Mmmm, nothing says smokin' sex machine like a guy in a midriff baring top and eye makeup, right?

And look here! Music video history, kids. 1973 and shit. The story of the video doesn't make sense, and I always thought the song was called "Red Hot Love", but the car. Oh, the car is teh awesome. If I ever saw a car like that in real life I'd probably wet myself. Especially if Adam Ant were driving it. Heheh. Anyway, Radar Love!

Speaking of the height of cool (and really, when aren't we??), let's journey to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where dwellest the coolest of the cool, for the Hipster Olympics.

I've been to that park. Accidentally. I was 8 months pregnant with Liel, and I was meeting some friends in Williamsburg. It was October, and still pretty hot in NYC. I had Zion, 20 months and 28 lbs on my back in a mei tai. I took a wrong turn when I got out of the subway station, and what should have been a 5 minute walk ended up taking me the better part of 30 minutes. I walked all the way to Greenpoint before reaching the brilliant conclusion that this couldn't possibly be the right way. Yep.

Overheard at my house

"Oh dear! How do I make it stop?"

"What's that little cursor thing?"

"I'm not sure, but I know that if it touches you, you die".

"The wikipedia article says that there's an easter egg on this game! Oh. It's the game programmer's initials. Oh my G-d, that's the lamest thing I've ever heard."

Yep, Kenny and Robert were playing with our old skool Atari game today...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rabbit Food

Liel has always been a big meat eater, as I'm sure I've mentioned. Her daddy delights in imagining her 16 year old self impressing boys on dates by consuming a plate of sausage.

Today she and I were playing when Robert walked in eating a turkey sandwich. Always quick to notice food, especially if it involves meat, Liel hopped up and hurried over to him. "May I have some of dat, Dada?", she asked, coyly batting her eyelashes.

"Sure hon", Robert replied, holding out the sandwich to her.

Liel peered at the sandwich critically, noticed the spinach in it and crinkled her nose in disgust. "No Dada", she said, pushing it away. "Don't want leaves!"

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I think there's a lot to be said for hibernating. Consider my day so far, for example: Woke up while it was still dark to get ready for work. The rest of my family was sleeping in their snug beds. I could feel the chill from the windows.

Drove to work uneventfully. Parked. Got out of car, slipped. Because you see, the parking spots were de-iced, but not the lot itself. Walked carefully to the stairs leading to the Quad, swearing quietly the whole way. Stairs were de-iced. But the Quad? Not. Not at all. So slipped and cursed my way to my classroom.

Classes were OK, so fast forward to getting home. As Robert is walking out the door Zion is shouting at Liel about the blocks and Liel is purposely antagonizing Zion by playing/hovering near where he doesn't want her to go. We work that out. I go pee. Liel says she wants to pee, but declines to actually sit on the toilet. Back out the living room. I move a pillow on the couch to sit down, and dislodge a bowl someone (Robert) left on the arm, sending to crashing to the floor, where it breaks. I pick up the pieces and move them to the kitchen counter to see if I can super glue them back together. First two go, no problem. Then the super glue container sticks to my fingers when I attempt to let go and glue the next piece on. I manage to fling it off just as Liel says "Uh oh...oh no!" and I look down to see a lake of pee forming around her ankles. So I clean Liel and the kitchen floor, and return to gluing the bowl back together. Forgetting about the leaking tube I glue my fingers to the super glue container again. This time it was harder to get off and my fingers sting. Get the fourth piece glued on and discover that too much of enamel inside the bowl has chipped off for it to be usable. Sadly give up on beloved bowl, and attempt to get super glue off of fingers. Nail polish remover smells bad and isn't really working so I give up on that, too, and am typing with icky thick swaths of dried super glue on my fingers. It doesn't seem to want to peel off, either.

AND it's cold. Clearly hibernating is the only way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Foodie Nightmare

Sometime I worry about things that are far, far out in the future and/or unlikely to ever happen (I hope!). My current biggest yarn fear, for instance, is that my beloved Peace Fleece will stop making their fabulous yarns some day, and then what will I do?? (Thanks to Michelle in the Peace Fleece Lover's group over on Ravelry for planting this fear in my mind!)

My foodie fears are very similar to my yarn fears with two glaring exceptions: 1. They are much more likely to come true, given how often I seem to move, and 2. I can more easily do something about them by learning to cook various dishes all by ownself. Still, for some reason I don't tend to learn to cook my favorite foods from hometowns past. Some of them I just can't replicate for reasons of equipment or atmosphere. But I don't have those excuses for all of them!

So today I am taking the bull by the horns (it's a metaphor for the way I live my life, see? But it also really happened. Small bulls, I grant you, but bulls nonetheless. I'll try to find the pics to post later.) and trying my hand at ropa vieja. It's a preemptive strike, since the Puerto Rican joint down the road makes excellent ropa vieja. But. They only serve it on Mondays and Thursdays and I can't tell you how many Wednesdays and Fridays I've found myself craving it. I looked at some recipes and found I have most of what is required (I'll be using fire roasted red and yellow peppers instead of fresh, but otherwise we're golden), so I have a pot simmering on the stove right now. It smells pretty good, so hopefully when I go to sleep tonight it'll be with visions of ropa vieja fairies dancing in my head. Will keep you posted...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I'm really, really trying to get my holiday knitting done. And then today I had to tink back 3 rows on my grandmother's capelet. ARGH! It took me several hours to work up to actually knitting back, and now I'm waiting to work up to re-knitting. I seem to be a bit easily discouraged right now!

In other news, the first night of Hanukkah was tonight! Zion was super excited about it and has been eagerly anticipating it for days. This is the first year he's cared, and it's really cute and fun :) From the moment I got up today he was talking about needing to clean the melted wax off of our menorahs, "because we do not want dirty menorahs for Hanukkah!" So true, so true.

This afternoon he and I made latkes while Robert and Liel ran some errands downtown. When they came home we lit the menorah, had some latkes (and gelt- oh how the children wanted that chocolate!) and opened a gift. It was very pleasant. I think that Saturday will be our best Hanukkah day, just because Uncle Kenn and Aunt Giselle will be here, thus making the holiday what holidays are really all about.

They're about knitting, right?

Monday, December 3, 2007


I am sad and stressed. But tomorrow will be better, right? Or at least one of these days...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Joe-Joe's: Better than Thin Mints

This post goes out to all y'all that love Thin Mints and have a Trader Joe's near you (or have a good friend with a Trader Joe's nearby!).

Every year during the holidays Trader Joe's sells Candy Cane Joe-Joe's (Joe-Joe's are Trader Joe's version of Oreos)- two chocolate cookies smooshed around candy-cane studded creme. This year, I bought my first box.

Not to sound like a paid advertisement or anything (oh, how I wish I were!), but these suckers ROCK. They're like Thin Mints, but without the nasty partially hydrogenated oils, AKA trans fats. We all know how evil those are. *shudder* Oh, and you know what else? They're less expensive than Thin Mints, too (approx $2.50/box vs approx $4/box)! So, buy buy buy buy buy! I mean, c'mon, they're practically health food!

Snowy Day

Today we were planning to go to Upper Manhattan and meet Ysette, Brian, Abby, and Kevin at Dinosaur BBQ. Abs and Kevin are in just for the weekend for a wedding, and since they insist on living in California we don't get to see them much.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning it was snowing! Not a lot of snow- just an inch, inch and a half. But my poor, Californian brain instantly went, "Oh crap. How are we going to see everyone? We can't drive in the snow!" Luckily Robert, despite being a Texan, is a very good winter driver (he learned to drive in Chicagoland, you see), so it all worked out. Of course, Brian wanted Ysette to call and see if we'd be able to make it in the snow. Nice that I'm not the only one with no confidence in my ability to get around in inclimate weather! ;)

We had a lovely lunch (sorry, no pics, we left the camera in the car!), and Abby even wore her riding boots, going strong at 17 years old. Dinosaur BBQ isn't the best BBQ ever or anything like that, but it's perfectly decent, especially for NYC. The braggart in me also wants to point out that we put Brian and Ysette's meat eating skills to shame today (whether or not this is actually something of which to be proud remains to be seen, I suppose). The kids were great, too, even though it was nap time when we were there. Robert and Kevin got to geek out with the Scrabble talk in person (they play daily on Facebook), Ysette and I got to admire Abby's engagement ring (square cut natural yellow diamond bezel set in yellow gold- very unique and beautiful) and a good time was had by all.

It wasn't snowing anymore by the time we were driving home, but of course the roads were still wet and slushy and salty and our windshield was quickly coated in grime. As it steadily worsened over several minutes and Robert made no movement towards the windshield wipers I finally asked if he was going to clean it off? "Nah", he replied, shrugging. "I can see."

"You have windshield wipers, you know", I helpfully pointed out.

"Fine", he sighed, and turned them on. They smeared salt and grimy water all over the windshield. Unperturbed, Robert drove on.

"You know", I began, when it became apparent that he wasn't going to do anything else, "there's wiper fluid, too."

"Eh. It's just water on there...I wiped it off."

"Water and salt. The wiper fluid would help".

"It's fine", he assured me.

"You can do it with the little button right there", I said, gesturing. "It's not like I'm suggesting you stop the car and get out or something!"

Robert sighed. "Alright", he said. And he used the wipers and the fluid and behold! A normal person could see out of our windshield again.

Just as I was typing this Robert said, "What are you doing?"


"Oh. About lunch?"

"Yes. And the windshield."

"I see. Did you notice that I did it several more times after that, all by myself? I'm such a good husband", he said.

"I noticed", I assured him. And I had.