Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy, Sneezy, Giggly and Sticky

My children are using the Xyron machine (sticker maker) to adhere "H"s to each other's foreheads.

Only the true geeks will appreciate the significance of this. ^_^

I have a real post coming. Honest.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Creative Streak

No, sorry, no streakers or other nudes here. Just this stuff:

I made sleeping bags for Prawn and her friend's Groovy Girls.

Then I turned these

into these. I wasn't thrilled with the pattern, because the seam allowance got in the way of the buttonholes that hold the elastic in the top of the shoe. I improvised and did the stitching lower down in order to avoid the buttonholes, and did a fancy scallop stitch just for fun. Of course, because I was dorky enough to use fabric with lines on it, everything looks a little wonky. :-P I used this pattern, but found these instructions a little more helpful. Next time I'll try the pattern from the second site. It looks like the buttonhole markings are in a better spot.

Then I made some sherpa and flannel washies to go with them.

Round about the same time, MuNKi was making this fabbo beef stew and bread.

And for Tori, the Webkinz Recipe Books I scrapped for Prawn's B-day. Clio the Kitty is here for size comparison. Of course, this only helps if you know how big a Webkinz is. >^_^<
The original album I had for stove recipes wouldn't fit them, so I had to redo the cover pic for the new, more expandable album. I stuck the other label inside the front cover. ^_^

And I loaded the album from back to front, so I ended up with a blank front page. Of course that was all wrong, so I hastily threw this together.

Random spread #1 (they're alphabetical, but what I'm gonna do when I add the new ones as they crack them makes me cringe to consider.)

Random spread #2

Blender recipes!

I just did random spreads because there are way too many to show.

And some from the sandwich book. . .

That is probably more than enough. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Candy

I have stuff to post, but I'm too worn out. I did class tonight in case I don't get to tomorrow (Prawn was sick last night, but unless she spikes another fever tonight, I think she's going to be fine for me to go tomorrow) and I just finished my review for a Beowulf audio CD as well as a last-minute order for MuNKi. So it's eye and ear candy for you all (provided you like these actors and actresses and Nickleback. . .)

How many of these flicks can you name without looking at the info? I got all but 4 or 5, but I think some of those are from the same films. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Captain Chaos

Wow. I've been sewing lately (!) and tonight I was trolling blogs for fun baby gift ideas. You would not believe how many beautiful crafty-type blogs are out there. Or maybe you would. They all have these gorgeous pictures of their amazing creations (with all those yummy, pricey fabrics I've seen online but always considered to be a "you can look but not touch" item), and everything is clean and orderly. There are great tutorials, and I found some really inspiring stuff. I also thought, "Wow! I should declutter my life, declutter my blog, get everything in order and live like that, with fresh huckleberries and organic milk and crocheted antimacassars (OK I didn't really think that part right there) and beeswax candles and stuff."

But you know what? That's just not me. I'm not an orderly person. My mind is always whirling, my house is never, EVER perfect (and sometimes it's a LOOOOOONG way from even decent), I usually have too many irons in the fire, and I'm running on a budget with no room for organic milk or designer fabrics. (Or else I just blow it all on books.) I do have a weakness for beeswax, though. ;-)

The more I think about it, the more like my dad I realise I am. He always had tons of ideas and projects and some of them never came to fruition, but he was always enthusiastic about all of them. And you know what else? I'm OK with that.

So, no, I'm not going to be decluttering my blog, or very likely my life, even though I really do admire - and yes envy - those women who can. And I'm still going to post like a chicken with ADHD, because that's who I am. So there.

In that vein, I shall switch tracks completely and post pics of our Dec 1st adventure which I mentioned, and then never came back to. ^_^

So there was this lovely little celebration in our town. I don't know what it was called, but they had reindeer for the kids to check out and Santa, and caroling, and carriage rides, and once it got dark there was a parade. I took the kids after sparring and lunch and we found the line for the carriage rides close to quitting time. So close, in fact, that I was pretty sure we'd be the last ones, if indeed we made it at all. Sure enough, we didn't make the last ride, but were given the option of riding the carriage to where the horse trailer was parked if we didn't mind walking back. The woman driving the carriage jokingly added something about helping them push the carriage into the trailer after they got the horse taken care of, and when we got there, I saw that she really didn't have any help. It was just her and a 15 or 16 year old girl, neither very big, a horse, and a heavy carriage that needed to be pushed up a ramp. So we offered to really help, and I'm so glad we did. :) I almost hate to say it for fear of changing our luck, but somehow we always fall into awesome situations like this where we get to really talk to the people handling the animals at the bird shows (all by ourselves after everyone else is gone), or help pack the hot air balloon that landed down the street back into its basket, or brush the horse, and push the carriage into the trailer.

Chaotic or not, life is good. :)

Festive Scarf Horse

Tess and her 2 people and (heavy) carriage

Sluggie does not impress Tess

Tess makes an impression on Mollusc

Brushing Tess -- shortly before she swung her back end around and knocked all the kids over like dominoes! ^_^

Friday, December 14, 2007

That Takes the Cake

At this time, six years ago, our newest kitten was attacking the midwife's foot, and I was somewhere between the fireplace and the Christmas tree, just 18 minutes away from giving birth to The Prawn. I'm feeling much more comfortable right now!

Since then, the kitten has gone through a devastating illness and been given up for dead, only to turn around and become Mr. Fat and Sassy whom everyone adores (though his now-black hair went all salt-and-pepper for a few months) and The Prawn has grown from an 8 lb 8 oz black-haired kicking machine to a 42 pound blonde kicking machine whom everyone adores. :-)

I'd stick around and post all kinds of sappy stuff, but I have rather a terrible track record with cakes. They fall. Whoever heard of cakes that fall? That was the stuff of our childhoods (mine anyway)- "Stop jumping in the kitchen; you'll make the cake fall." Modern cakes don't fall, do they? Mine never used to. But somewhere along the way I must have angered the God of Rising Baked Goods, because I can no longer bake a cake that doesn't fall. I thought of making a sacrifice to the Kitchen God. I mean, maybe he's making the cake fall so he can have it, and I just need to fill him up first. I don't know what he likes, though, so I'd better get baking and just let him have the first cake. And maybe the second. . .

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Deep Thoughts

So I'm at the library, making judicious use of my enforced computer/writing time by checking my Scrabulous games, putting books on hold and blogging. Just now, I tried to put an audio recording of The Wee Free Men on hold, but the system didn't allow it. (Some libraries are selfish bastards and won't share with ours.) The computer popped up a screen informing me "Hold Not Allowed" and presented me with only one option: the OK button. But it is most definitely Not OK that they are a collection of selfish bastards who won't share with me when I Really, Really Want to hear this book. Honestly, what am I supposed to do? Push the OK button, even though it's Not OK? Throw a screaming hissy on the library floor? Navigate away and blog about it?

Also, when a math problem works out to something like "7= (-156)" isn't that technically a paradox? And aren't paradoxes rather earth-shattering events? They were in every Dr. Who episode I every saw. Imagine my surprise to find us all still here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

For Your Eyes Only

I think this will be the last year I'll be able to make something for The Prawn in plain view without arousing her suspicions. It probably helps that she's used to seeing me make a mess with scrappy stuff on the table. It also helps that there has been such an incredible scrappy mess on the table that she probably can't even see what I'm up to. :) I think I've finished the recipe books. All that remains is to load the recipe pages into the little albums. Yes albums, plural, because there are an ungodly number of them and I had to break them down into Stove Recipes, Blender Recipes, and Sandwich Maker Recipes. This will mean nothing to those of you whose households are not graced by the presence of fuzzy little Webkinz, but they will mean the world to Prawn. I hope. :)

So now, in my weird and strangely pleasure-delaying ways, I have put the very last disk of Going Postal on pause, stepped away from the final stage of the project, and sat down with my computer to blog. The kids are in the basement with a friend, playing some strange and exciting Pirate Ship game they've invented. I know there are swashes being buckled, because I saw an armory load of wooden swords and shields getting dragged down there. Hopefully there won't be any severed limbs to deal with. The crew ate lemons just before going to sea, so at least scurvy isn't going to be a concern.

I could take this opportunity to make some secret things with lovely secret fabric I bought the other day, but I fear that the crew will likely pop upsatirs to dry land at the most Inopportune Moments, and unlike The Prawn, the others suffer from Insatiable Curiosity whenever I'm sewing. So it will have to be a matter of Secret Midnight Sewing, I think. In the meantime I'll make more Christmas gift bags. I seem to have given away rather a lot of them, and I'd rather be flayed and hung from the yard arm than resort to paper.

We've started reading Swallows and Amazons again, which I don't think Fishy and Prawnie remember much at all. The Bigs are enjoying it more than ever, as am I. I think the combo of S&A and watching Pirates III is what spawned this latest seafaring game. If you haven't read it, all I can say is that this is a series I wish every child could read. One of my Desert Island picks for sure. (you know - if you were stranded on a desert island and could only take X books - perish the thought!)

Enough pleasure-delaying for now. I'm off to see what finally becomes of Mr. Moist Lipwig.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Monday nights I teach a kid class that just happens to have a high number of attending parents (as opposed to drop-offs), and they just happen to be nearly all dads, who just happen to all have shaven heads or super short hair. It really is a lovely view from where I stand.

Now that I've admitted that, I'll cross my fingers and hope that none of them stumble across my blog. Or else that they don't mind finding out how much I enjoy perving at them. ^_^

I have nothing further to say, being in my happy place and all. So you get Widdlyweep, one of my all-time favourite Eddie Izzard bits. I say bit, but it's just over 9 minutes. Kudos to those of you brave enough to click. For my ADHD readers, my sincere condolences. The only one I can find starts out with dull-ish sound, but it gets better. And how cool is it that it starts and ends with Danger Mouse music?? ^_^

Friday, December 07, 2007


Since Tuesday's post I have:

~ Been informed by
MuNKi that there is a pole-dancing class starting at the gym where he and another TKD friend lift weights. (And OMG, BG and I are getting mileage off the pole-dancing jokes, LOL!)

~ Taken a spinning back kick to the chin (thank goodness for my mouthguard, or I'd be concussed.)

~ Taken a spinning back kick (I think, or maybe a spinning outside kick -- it's all a blur) to the nose (I need to work on this whole getting back farther thing, LOL) but I DID land a gorgeous counterkick a half second later. Only then did I feel that I'd been hit in the nose (pretty lightly.)

~ Been scrapping like crazy trying to finish a Webkinz cookbook for Prawnie's 6th birthday (1 week from today! OMG!!)

~ Watched Casino Royale again and marveled at how delicious Daniel Craig still is

~ Made a ton of cookies

~ Finished listening to Deception Point by Dan Brown (very good) and started listening to Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (OMG freaking hilarious!) I do this while scrapping -- multi-tasking. Hooray! Mollusc is developing quite an appreciation for Mr. Pratchett, too. :)

~ Finished re-reading The Subtle Knife and started re-reading The Amber Spyglass (the 2nd and 3rd books in the Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman)

~ Laughed a lot

~ Battled a zit trying to grow in my eyebrow

~ Dug wood splinters out of my thumb

~ Tried to determine whether those are really shiny blonde hairs or *gasp* grey ones (I swear they change in the light.)

~ Gotten my glasses fixed so that I no longer have red marks on my nose and headaches. (No, not red marks on my headaches. . .)

~ Done the opposite of coming from behind in yet another Scrabulous game (Simon/Winters is deadly, let me tell you.)

~Decided that my mundane list of stuffity stuff is probably already too long. ^_^

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pictures of You

Perfect, considering I was just going through pics yesterday and still have a sore shoulder from so doing. (Better not to ask, probably, as it's a boring explanation involving desk, mouse and chair placement.)

I just heard this for the first time today, which means that Egan will likely inform me that it's been playing for at least 3 years.

But there's also this, so you can pick your poison:

Saturday, December 01, 2007


The wind is howling 'round the corners of the house tonight, trying to sneak in all the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, it's pretty good at blowing right through the window by the couch where I'm sitting right now. Urf.

We had quite the adventure today. I think all the pics are slurped into the computer now, so hopefully tomorrow I will relate all. Very cool. :)

I have no trouble believing recent reports that average temps have been falling since 1998, as it's bloody cold out. But it's a nice way to welcome in December.

PS: if we're playing Scrabble, it's your move. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

'Tis the Season. . .

. . .for 6,000 catalogues to arrive daily. Scary. I think my mailbox is part TARDIS.

Speaking of TARDIS and words that sound like that, what's wrong with this picture?

I guess that's their way of making sure they never have to send anything out. Ever. I don't know why I bother teaching the kids proper English. It's not like anyone else out there is going to care by they time they're employable. Or even know what proper English is. (No, that's not a proper sentence. But you can do that on blogs. For emphasis. Like that. Also in books. Like the one I'm listening to now. By Dan Brown. Which has quite a bit of improper grammar. But. In dialogue. So maybe it's. Forgivable. Even though the people speaking are supposed to be. Really smart. Whoa. This is turning out like the opposite of a James Joyce piece. ^_^)

BG and I did have plenty of fun on Wednesday, much of it spent laughing ourselves silly over Eddie Izzard bits on YouTube. I want to share the love. And this one seems particularly appropriate considering that A) BG and I were also laughing over a woman my SIL knew who asked her "what language they speak in England" and B) how much I could have used the Scrabble word Eddie mentions in the game I'm just finishing losing. ^_^

And finally, Autumn Zephyr had this on her blog a few days ago. Fun! Funny, too, LOL!


This is what homeschooling moms develop when they look at too many books online and try to decide what to buy and then what combination of sellers will give the best value. :-P

I'm having a lot of parent-teacher conferences with myself tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wednesday Eve Again

Holy Wednesday approacheth! Huzzah! I think BG and I get to play together tomorrow, which is always fun as long as we don't get arrested.

Today I sewed patches on for a lot of the day, but I'm making $$, and I also used the time to listen to Deception Point by Dan Brown, which I got on CD at Borders for $5.99. It's getting very intriguing. :) I also made cookies that are freaking delicious!! I'll try not to be such a lazy ass and perhaps post the recipe tomorrow. It involves chocolate chips and espresso powder. What's not to like?

A friend of mine gave me his new Thos Covenant book to read today, which is awesome, cuz at the price it's selling for, no way was I going to buy it. He got it from a friend as a thank you for some very Samaritan stuff he did. :) Then I found out that another person we know has read them. I'm up to 3 real live people I know who have read those books. And my friend knows 2 others. So that may about cover everyone who's ever heard of them. Wait. I think Trundling Grunt may have read them, too. Our general consensus, though, is that Donaldson DID use a thesaurus for many of his word choices. Especially since he uses some of them improperly. Fortunately, in the 20 years between the last trilogy and this, he seems to have lost most of his thesaurus. Not that I mind learning new words or anything, but it gets old looking stuff up every few pages only to find out that the author didn't even use it properly.

I've been thinking lately about how a lot of the new music I like has rather banal lyrics (though every now and then Nickleback comes out with something clever -- OK well at least once) and then I realised that's because EVERYTHING has lame lyrics compared to Peter Gabriel and Sting. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons more. What to you listen to that really makes you go "Hey! That was brainy!"??

Sunday, November 25, 2007

And Now It's Sunday

Kind of.

This is what happens when I open my laptop to write. I mess around on my blog and Facebook, and wait for someone to plonk me in Gmail. Oy.

Speaking of Facebook, I suppose one of these years I ought to change my avatar. I keep getting friends requests from boyz (yeah, young) that I know are based solely on my avi. Sad part is that while I'm shaking my head I can't help but smile a little, too. ^_^

And now for something Completely Different:

Snowflakes!! Devour them!!

Is it possible to choke on a snowflake?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Already?!?

I find many things running through my head just now, though none of them really make sense or will be of interest to anyone. But it's my blog, so I shall spew it anyway.

Thanks to magnetic poetry words (but not Magnetic Poetry™ words) and a sleepover friend, we have a new definition of the word "rainbow" at our house. The sentence posted was "When my foot runs on soft jam I rainbow" I bet you can guess what rainbow means. It's much akin to having a Technicolour Yawn, 'yoffing' or 'shouting soup.'

I went shopping with Fishy just a little yesterday. I was mainly after wee trees for the kids' rooms. Somehow I ended up with a cool little kitty hideway and some other stuff, too. The lines weren't major, even though there were few checkers. Today, however, I went to Joann's to get thread for my recently booming TKD patch-sewing-on and pants-hemming biz (which still feels like highway robbery, though I'm not complaining) and ended up putting it back and leaving empty-handed because the line was so looooooong. Fortunately the trip was still successful in the Christmas and birthday present realm because we hit Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, which has no end of cool stuff.

I might have more to say, but I can hear Christmas Vacation starting without me, so I'm off.

Later, Dudes!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Today I learned that it takes about 2 Nickelback albums to scrub my kitchen floor on my hands and knees. Don't worry, I'm not crazy enough to do it on my hands and knees more than about twice a year. The floor I mean.

It takes significantly fewer songs to clean out the icky leftovers from the fridge, but the volume must be turned up at least twice as high. If the volume is loud enough, it will interfere with your sense of smell. Try it. But when you're done, don't be surprised to find that at least 2 of your kids have pulled the cushions off the couch and constructed an obstacle course involving running 'round the living room, bouncing off the cushions and twirling through the air, landing (hopefully on their feet) and skirling (yes, I do mean skirling) off through the office, only to reappear for another lap. Nickleback does that to me kids.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (aka Turkey Day) here in the States. Even though it might seem like Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the same day since the Beginning of Time (Existential-americanically speaking) it wasn't until 1941 that our current date was set in stone ink. I find that kind of shocking.

I'm not a big fan of turkey (the meat, not the country,) nor are the kids, so MuNKi is is making something much more delicious tomorrow. And I, of course, will be constructing Potato Thing.

And now, for those of you who embrace the 2nd Amendment (the right to arm bears ;-) ) to its fullest, a recipe or 2:

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Very Dirk Gently Sort of Life

I don't mean that I bill people for trips to Jamaica when I'm supposed to be looking for their cats, or that I routinely find disembodied heads slowly revolving on turntables. I just mean that my life is always filled with odd little coincidences that are all interrelated.

And now, some completely unrelated random moments:

My children want to write a fan letter to Sean Bean that says "Dear Mr. Bean (even at this they cackle wildly),

Please have lots of children and name them Green, String, Kidney, Wax, Scarlet Runner, and Garbanzo."

This slays them.

They can't decide whether it's funnier to refer to him as Shon Bon or Seen Been.

* * *

I love the film Tomb Raider and am embarrassed to admit it.

* * *

I wrote a scene in my novel only to find that I had already written the exact same scene about 40 pages back and somehow forgotten about it. At least I'm consistent.

* * *

My slimy politician's name has been changed to Leon Sphecter.

* * *

Did you know that there was a Battle of Sphacteria? I bet they could have ended it with a huge antibiotic suppository.

* * *

The Island of Lesbos is said to be covered with over 11 million olive trees. That seems like a lot of trees to me.

I can never hear of the Isle of Lesbos without thinking of Jeff.

* * *

Mollusc has had a major motion picture character named after her.

* * *

Did I post this already?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I did something really stupid. The "L" key on my keyboard stopped working (unless I really banged it) so I pulled it off today. You'd think that after repairing multi-billion-dollar jets for 7 years, I'd be able to get my "L" key back on, wouldn't you?

Think again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sink, Dollar, Sink!

So was it bad of me to root for the dollar to sink so that my payment from Xcite books in British pounds would be worth more? ^_^

The new book of short stories (including mine) is out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Life is Full

as is my memory card. . . almost.

"Now you don't have to be a Caesar to concord the digital world while feeling safe and proud." It's about time! ^_^

Why does Boba Fett sleep so soundly?

Because Shaak Ti always checks under his bed for monsters!

I made an art quilt!

Trillian isn't overly impressed by it.



"Nom, nom, nom!"

Stopping to smell the horses. . .

Horses like artsy fences. Who knew?

Who comes to drink?

. . .and take a look around.

"Do you know who I am?"

"I could kill you with a thought."

In a Faerie Ring