Friday, November 21, 2014

Sing one

One of my childhood Christmas favorites brought to you by Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra. The vocalist's name is Judy Valentine, a stage name if I ever heard one. I do love her funny chirpy voice. Wikipedia tells all. She was Bozo's sidekick and worked with Carol Spinney and is still with us. Bless you, Judy.


I include Wednesday's notes to appreciate the sheer power of the tedium. Early to bed, crankiness and a trip to the pharmacy. What's next, tax returns? (No, Nod does those.)

Watched an episode of Buffy last night with the girls. (Season 1, cheerleading try outs) It has a very Twilight Zone ending. Kat just watched the entire last season of How I Met Your Mother and it's fun to see the young Allison H after that. Season 1 of Buffy seems pretty cartoony. Waiting for the compelling part.

Having trouble staying on task at work. Also questioning how much I want to be associated with our department. The team's fine, it's the department that's crazy. Not many jobs advertised right now, guess that's something to look at in the new year. I don't feel like I need to storm out. But I do want to know what's available.

Chicken and dumplings last night. Turned out great even with a sad lack of onions. (How could I run out of onions?!) I even fried a couple of dumplings by themselves for the vegetarian. She was appropriately thankful. I cook good. I've linked that recipe before. It's the butter roux and the butter in the dumplings that makes the deliciousness, of course.

Quite a book cover on Elizabeth Bear's latest. I like her very much and expect good things. I admire the image she got for this one.

Dog not showing other symptoms, less of what had me concerned, seems happy enough. Still keeping an eye on her.

Waiting to pick up prescription refill at the pharmacy is not my favorite way to spend time. Seems like someone is always having to negotiate a tricky piece of personal information (change of address, new credit card, doctor's office instructions different than person expected). Sometimes it's the people in front of me, sometimes it's me. Only burnt up 7 or 8 minutes of my life there last night.

Nod made a small fire in the fireplace. It was pretty but I have ceased to enjoy a fire in the fireplace when the outside temp is less than 30F. I can almost see the furnace-heated air going up the chimney. The embers are very pretty but then you have to wait for it all to go cold before you shut the damper. I am a terrible horrible spoilsport.

I took my spoilsport self to bed at 8:30pm last night because I kept falling asleep over my book. Remembered that I had been up at 5:30 but still it seemed excessive. Even though I was on the next-to-last chapter of my cheesy Turkish mystery I had to turn the light out just past 9pm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


New word of the day: trabeculae. This is the branching web of bone tissue that has spaces in it. (I heard the doctor saying something like "tribeca" so I knew I had something to look up later.) The oral surgeon took another xray of Kat's mouth. It did not show an empty space but plenty of trabeculae which is very good news. This means that probably the dark spot which showed up in the dentist's xray was an image error rather than a cyst or other unauthorized lack of bone. The new image will be sent off to an oral pathologist for evaluation to be quite sure. I'm cautiously pleased.

The big cold hammer has gone back to the Arctic Circle and we just have the regular cold now. I walked the dog last night and was pleased with myself. One happy dog and only minor face numbness resulted. The poor beastly beast has started squatting frequently and I'm afraid it means she has a bladder infection. I'm going to watch her for another day before letting the vet know we're ready to drop off another bag of money at their office.

Millions was charming, I made the kids watch with me. The appearances of St. Joseph were my favorite: 1) subbing in for the absent Damian in the school nativity play and 2) leading the donkey (with halo!) away at the end. We went to see Big Hero 6 and had a good time. It's all sort of melted away from my memory now except for the beauty of Baymax. Hairy baby! Next family film: Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pickled pumpkin

Not really but I do have an awful lot of pumpkin after baking the ten pounder Nod bought for us. I put four two-cup bags in the freezer and still have a large container to use. Smitten Deb has come through for me lately. I made pickled cabbage salad over the weekend. Kat and I enjoyed it mightily and I bought celery seed for the next round. (I feared that I might be unfit for company after all that raw cabbage but it didn't produce that effect.) The pumpkin muffins were as good as I hoped. We've almost finished the first dozen and I will bake another doz as soon as I get some more cupcake papers. Alterations: I made them with the cup and 1/3 of pumpkin, added a little molasses and forgot to put the cinnamon sugar on top. I don't think they need a sugar topping. Very little oil and no butter, this is a good way for us to eat our pumpkin. At least until some pie happens.

Early winter cold has me feeling persecuted the last few nights. At least I have company. We are supposed to get to mid 30s F this afternoon and that sounds like a wonderful place. Last night Nod asked me whether I wanted to walk the dog or go to the grocery store (temps in the teens). I said neither. He walked the dog and got ready to go to the store. But I felt bad about his sacrifice so suggested we all go. Out in the black and the bitter cold. Many groceries were purchased. Matches eluded us. I 'looked exhausted' according to trusted sources. But I stayed up til ten getting the last of the pumpkin into the freezer. Our heated mattress pad is my best friend in these conditions. I don't keep it on all night but switch it on twenty minutes before I get into bed -- bliss! I feel guilty because the kids don't have one.

Re-read an old R.A. McAvoy favorite:  Damiano. The creased paperback shown in that goodreads link looks like mine. Good for winter nights. Not sure if I'm going to do the whole trilogy. Right now reading a Turkish trans mystery novel. It's fun and very not serious.


Forgot to report on our pre-snow trash pick up on Saturday. It wasn't as cold as expected, no wind and only a few flakes dancing around. On the riverside, Kat alerted us to a bald eagle circling. It touched the water and Kat could see it got a fish. Only a few minutes later we saw a doe swimming across the river (probably to escape all these noisy people in her woods). Quite worthwhile.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chug chug chug

Thank you, brave little November bloggers. I am afraid I foresee a bleak December if everyone gets good and tired of writing after this month. I haven't tried to post every day but I expect to rack up more entries than last month.

I found a pigeon feather on the way to the office this morning. I know where some of the feathers are that I had hung from our ceiling in the old house. And I have a stick! I may even find the energy to be crafty with thread and glue. I was thinking about embroidering some felt snowflakes for Christmas cards and then reality knocked softly on the top of my skull. Well, come on, reality, it's not impossible.

I have a pumpkin to bake. That's do able. Then I'll have pumpkin to make baked goods out of. I was asked to woman the church kitchen last night while my kid was at choir practice. They needed someone to let folks in who were dropping off food for a lunch/sale. In return I got to inhale the happy smell of dozens of pies. It was just me to start so I found a terrible cookbook to read from the church library. The author was a lovely woman, a Navy wife and church organizer. Her recipes were cream of xxx soup heavy, used the word "oriental" unironically and were uncertain about vegetarianism. I was happy to look at it and happy to put it back on the shelf without copying out any recipes.

We're due for snow tomorrow and I am feeling excited. I wish it wasn't starting the morning that we're going to pick up trash by the river. But them's the breaks. Kat's volunteering requirement at school drives us ever onwards. I don't mind because I like that kind of thing. At least I talked her out of the Humane Society. Am unwilling to weep or adopt more pets while volunteering.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dearest Noodle

Shaking dice, chewing words in the middle

Marvelous. Mumble pie.
Nictating membrane.
(Buff) Orpingtons. Olly olly incomefree!
Papal nuncio. Propitiate.
Palace intrigue.
Quaking quack.
Rumble ramble rambunctious.

In the Fahrenheit teens this morning and I did not succeed in getting outside with dog. She seemed okay with periodic backyard visits instead.

Youngest is home from school today. Last night's parent teacher conference was a lovefest. Our Bun is a balm to her teachers as well as to her parents. Her math scores are even higher than her brainy sister's. Which still surprises me. Quiet sneaky mouse. When she was first evaluated for the gifted program (this decade's term is "enrichment") the test giver though Bun was marking answers at random because she was going so fast. But they were all correct. Effortless is the word that occurs. I know that she has things that don't come as easily and that she will need to work on. But hooray for all the school skills!

Making some efforts at my least favorite work bits. Our student worker who I supervise fell asleep and was snoring at his desk yesterday. Clearly I'm neither employing nor supervising adequately. I'm relieved when he's not here. Making myself work is hard enough, making someone else work seems a lot to ask.

Pumpkin muffins are calling me. Made tomato sauce last night that turned out very tasty. Kat ate a surprising amount of noodles. Including the ones I left on the table to come back for later. Clearly I need to re-think noodle security measures around the 7th grader.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fife and Drum

Was told we have to take Kat with us to the consult with the oral surgeon. He wants to do an exam and maybe take more xrays. I broke the news to her last night. She's not pleased but no tears so we will carry on.

Went to a university wind ensemble concert last night. Kat's band director got free tickets for her kids and families which was a treat. I was confused because I thought it was band but it was the wind ensemble and then I heard it featured the Star Wars music but also a fife and drum corps? Turns out the answer was yes, all of the above! We got a sneak peek at the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps at intermission.They were in town to play at half time for the basketball game on Veteran's Day. The fifes were a bit ear splitting but I loved it all. The four buglers were particularly wonderful. My answer to: brass voluntary? is always: yes! The wind ensemble performance was better than I expected. I learned that I like Hindemith (this one I think) and the piece Sanctuary by Ticheli, yum. The Vision Macabres did not amuse me and the Star Wars suite was taken too fast I thought but was fun to hear again. The girls were pretty sleepy but I had a great time and would drag them along again.

There was a cruelly under-employed harpist at the front of the stage. I yearned to be a harpist for a while. But now I am happy that I don't have that large piece of furniture looming in a corner of the living room. A banjo is much easier to hide in the closet. (Instead of skeletons I will collect neglected musical instruments in my closet.)

Bun will be asked to choose a band or orchestra instrument this spring. It'll be a pot shot because we didn't get her to the 'try out all the instruments' event last summer. (We made her come to Greece with us instead.) She will need to just pick one this spring, then she can go to the try-out this summer and switch if needed at the start of school. Her first two ideas: piccolo or trombone. Laughing now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Voted all dems. To my surprise Nod reports he did the same with only two exceptions. Then I woke up this morning to hear that everything went to the Republicans. It makes me feel like a weirdo that my choice seemed very clear and yet goes against the majority. But eh, it's the rest of KS vs hippie Lawrence, a well established pattern. Sorry to hear that our county didn't turn out in great numbers. Even for the local candidate for governor. We obviously need a hemp initiative to get the hippies to the polls.

Super Sad True Love Story grabs me and then it doesn't. Hints of voyeur and pity. Probably will finish. Loved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. A book-lover's book. Meta in a good way. 

Panoramic dental xrays for oldest child revealed a cyst above an upper canine. It's not pushing on the tooth but they referred us to an oral surgeon for removal. Under general anesthetic. Imagine me not stampeding toward that option. I got my chompers cleaned up yesterday and it reminded me that I do need to call and get a consultation booked. Want to find out why they want to do surgery rather than wait a year and see what happens. If it is just because surgeons need to fill their calendars then we'd rather not. Am going to have crown replaced. Feel good about stalling and think I am ready to get it done now. But ugh.

Unlike a star parent I allowed Kat to do her homework in front of Ocean's 12 last night. She earned it for baking banana cake which I then frosted with orange juice frosting, mmm. The kids and I didn't quite finish the movie, decided we like the soundtrack a lot. It's stylish and amusing even if it doesn't make much sense. The "Julia Roberts" interlude got under my skin a bit. Hoping that's done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bag of grab

Someone ought to invent a recipe called Huevos Umbertos.

I am enamored of this astrology post. Quite a writer. I nod along with all the Taurean descriptions (pleasure, slowness) until we get to the lovely well-furnished home. That brings me back to earth with a bump and I remember that really I am only a part-time sensualist spending the rest of my time making sure that the minimum gets done. Who doesn't believe at all in astrology. But anything can provide a framework for good writing. The advice re: boundary settings hits me in all the right places too.

Going to the dentist today to have the tea haze scritched off my teeth. Then I'm going to vote. Nod said this morning that he doesn't have any problem with a requirement to show photo ID to vote. He thinks that if we have to show ID to get in to see our elected representative it's not a hardship to have to show it to vote. I replied that I could see his point but I kind of hate Kris Kobach anyway. There's a person whose actions indicate that he needs a lot of attention and it's perfectly fine with him if that ends up being negative attention.

Babysat for the four boys next door last night. Their toddler is sweet and easy as pie. Changing one poopy diaper made me feel like I'd done my yoeman's duty. Other than that it was all smooth sailing. Our kids all get along and Chutes and Ladders was surprisingly popular.

I put on a turtleneck sweater this morning for the first time this season. When I saw how it gently pushes up my extra chins I laughed. It's also a little short and I decided I'm going to get rid of it. Life's too short to spend all day trying to suck my neck in. I'm probably lighter in weight than the last time I put it on but it appears that gravity has been at work when I wasn't looking. Harrumph! I say.