Want. Over a matronly high collared long sleeved dress.
Want. To knit.
Want. Hanging in my living room.
My cat to let me do this. Not going to happen.
Want. Over a matronly high collared long sleeved dress.
Want. To knit.
Want. Hanging in my living room.
My cat to let me do this. Not going to happen.
The short version: I boiled the wheat, and reserved it in a separate bowl. I cooked up all the left over dried beans I had....limas, kidney beans, and pintos, about 2 cups dry. Cook them as you normally would, but use lots of water to make the broth. Add extra veggie or chicken broth if desiered. I cut up onions, carrots, garlic, celery, tomatoes, yellow squash, and sauteed them, then put them in the beans. I added lots of grated parmesan, and about a tablespoon of soy sauce and worcestershire sauce. Mix in the wheat at the end, & serve.
Adam insists on meat with everything, so I crumbled some sausage into his. Violet and I ate the vegetarian version. It already has tons of protein with the beans.
And for dessert, Pumpkin Pound Cake. (I took some to Violet's school, and this was the label.) I added extra walnuts and mixed up a simple drizzling sauce of caramel sauce mixed with chocolate syrup.
P.S. I love it when I pull into my driveway and Clyde jumps onto the hood of my vehicle. It's nice to sit for a while and watch him taking a cat bath with the woods in the background. I think it's so peaceful to see cats bathing themselves.
It's our 7th anniversary. I love you, Adam!
That sums Adam up pretty well. He is dependable and kind and considerate and always doing things to make my life nicer without expecting applause in return. Applause anyway, my love. Big, loud thunderous rounds of applause!
Is that photo any better? They're of a super soft, translucent fabric. I used this tutorial from Jenny at Anything Pretty. (By the way, what an awesome tutorial, Jenny! It was concise, well-photographed, and I will be back for more!) I made it take about 3 times as long since I used fabric that needed hemming. I used the overcast function on my new machine. I like how it gave the edge a slight scalloped look. However, if you use knit fabric, you don't have to do any hemming----just gather the ruffle, sew it down, and you're done.
Here are some stunning fall foliage clips accompanied by Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1. Satie's music is so haunting yet tranquil. Perfect for autumn. If you can't view it above, click here to see it on YouTube. I hope you're all taking a hike through the woods, drinking cider, and getting out your sweaters!
Did you know a satellite is going to start breaking up and dropping out of the sky today? Seriously. NASA says, "It will fall anywhere from Canada to far South America. The poles are the only places not in danger of being hit. The public shouldn't worry, though--no one has ever been hit by space debris."
Yeah, NASA-that's because they're DEAD. They've been decomposing out in the woods for years and their family thinks they just never came back from their hunting trip. "Guess he ran off with his secretary," thinks Wife.
Do you remember when Columbia tragically crashed in 2003? I was working at an art gallery at the time and chunks of the shuttle landed all over the property of one of our artists. He wasn't hit, but there were bits of debris all over his land by his studio. That's scary.
NASA says there is only a 1 in 3,200 chance a human will be hit by falling satellite parts. They're really playing up the sky-watching factor. "Anyone who is outside and witnesses the re-entry will be in for a treat." Yeah, a bolt through your eye would be a real treat, Mr. NASA.
Some pieces will be as large as 300 pounds with sharp edges. That would be like having John Goodman fall out of the sky and land on you. But imagine he's made of metal. I'd say let's all stay inside Thursday, but I doubt something like that would be deterred by a roof, don't you? Craziness.
My Grandpa would have been 92 years old today. His birthday was September 20, 1919. He died 10 years ago in December.
This was my Dia de los Muertos altar from several years ago. I always leave him a cup of black coffee. He and my grandmother probably drank a gallon of coffee per day. Each. At the time, he was the only person close to me I'd ever lost. Sadly, my altar grows to include more people every year. I wish he had been able to meet my husband. And he would have adored Violet!
That's the back of the photo. 1/31/20....boy that was a while back, huh? I love seeing handwriting of my relatives, especially those I never met. I like being able to touch the very thing they were touching such a long time ago. Is it just me, or does everyone's handwriting from 1920-1945 look about the same? It does in my family, anyway. I wonder if it had to do with everyone taking penmanship from the same teacher?
He was his mother's youngest child, and pretty obvious favorite. When he was a baby, he accidentally drank a bunch of gasoline and nearly died. (Childcare standards in the 1920s were a bit more lax, wouldn't you say?) He was pretty fussed over by his mother after that.
Grandpa was my favorite! It's such a comfort to have at least one person in your family who thinks you're great and loves you unconditionally. He was my 'special person', and I think I was his. As long as I can remember, I would squeeze in beside him in his easy chair. Every visit, every holiday, every chance I could, I squished myself into the side of his chair. We'd watch tv, talk, eat snacks...it didn't matter what we did, as long as we were together.
My family is small, and I only have 2 cousins on that side. My twin cousins, Scott and Joey, are 2 years younger than me. I think I drove everyone crazy following them around with a camera. I'm glad I have photos from these random, non-eventful days in our lives, though. Everyone has photos of their graduation, birthday party, and Christmas, but I want a picture of a random Tuesday in March.
My grandfather was a jack of all trades, but a lot of men from that generation were. People didn't always have 'careers' like they do today. He grew up during the depression, and agricultural life necessitates having a lot of tricks up your sleeve. He did everything from being a Sea Bee in the Navy to a master framer (of art) to farming to oil field work to running a golf course.
Since the time I was born, he and my grandmother owned a little gas station and grocery store in a tiny place called Pioneer, Texas. The photos above aren't it, but they remind me of it. They had a big Texaco sign in front. It was a simple little store that catered to the booming oil fields and the people that brought to town. My grandmother made deli sandwiches and they had a covered picnic area and a tire swing for kids where people would eat. That's a very poor part of Texas, and many of their customers had a charge account and they would pay when they could.
They had a huge scary deli slicer for meats and cheeses that made me nervous.
Pioneer was booming when all the oil people moved in to drill, but it's a ghost town now.
They had a big metal Coca Cola cooler like this. When the old men would come in and 'shoot the breeze', I liked hearing the sound of their bottle caps fall down that hole as they drank coke after coke. In Texas, we call all soda-type beverages 'Coke'. If you're drinking 7-Up, it's a coke.
Their heavy cash register was gorgeous. It was ornate and made this magical ringing sound when it opened. My aunt has it now. It's so pretty! Grandpa would let me sit on his stool and pay me a nickel for every minute I could go without talking. I never made very much money.
He had a walnut tree, too. A squirrel moved in and started eating up all the nuts and he set a trap for it. He was so tenderhearted he'd just go out and scold the squirrel. Grandpa would shake the cage a little and tell it to stop eating his nuts, and he meant it. Then he'd let it out. He wouldn't even take it out of the yard.
I remember how he pretended it pained him so to get a kiss from Granny. Grandpa was such a joker. He said something like, "Aw, yuck. I'd better go on and get out of here." In one of my favorite photos of them, they are on a bridge that overlooks a waterfall, and Grandpa is dragging Granny around the waist and pretending to try to throw her over the side.
They were Frankie and Johnny. Isn't that cute? He was John Oliver, and she is Sarah Frances, but everyone calls her Frankie. I'm feeling so sad that my grandmother isn't doing very well. She's been in a nursing home for about half a year, due to worsening dementia. It's odd to think that I may have had my last conversation with her where she knew who I was. I'm glad she got to meet Violet while she still knew it was her great-granddaughter.
They had a simple country house where we always met for holidays. It may look like a humble little kitchen, but many of my favorite memories revolve around being at this table. Or underneath it. My Uncle Bobby is in the white shirt, and he died last year. In such a small family, it's really sad when it gets so much smaller.
I sure miss that guy. I would love to be able to bake him a big cake and ply him with cup after cup of coffee today. Instead, I'll try to honor his life by remembering all the things I loved about him and keeping those alive.
Do you guys like the Pantone color release? I think it's fun...it's like paint chips for clothes. I'm not a slave to fashion, but I like seeing all the colors in one block.
I like to add these trendy seasonal colors in the form of accessories---scarves, jewelry, shoes. I put together some choices ranging from cheapo to $$$. Just so you know, these are my own personal choices-nothing is sponsored.
I've had some companies contact me about putting up advertisements and endorsements, but I don't think I want to do that. How do you reader-people feel about it? It would be nice to make some extra money, but that isn't really why I blog. I don't like seeing ads and pop-ups. However, with other people's sites, if the ads are relevant to the blog, maybe I simply don't notice them. Anyway---I think I'd rather keep this blog ad-free.
This is a quick and cheap way to add some of these colors to your fall---$16.50 hair ties that double as bracelets from Mane Message on Etsy.
Bamboo selection via Bubby and Bean. Love it all! Holga cameras warm my heart, and the trees are gorgeous. I have a pair of shoes almost exactly like that, too!
Emberglow dress from Lanvin's fall show. It's out there, but I like it. She looks like a ginormous flower, and I even like the huge necklace and massive hair. Seriously, though--where would you wear it? My life is lacking in "big dress" opportunities these days. This isn't a going-to-the-market kind of style.
Honeysuckle hued lipstick and Opi nail polish courtesy of the Garden Explorer. This is a great shade to explore in makeup, from lips to nails to eyeshadow to blush.
Phlox scarf from Flytrap.
Cedar flattering wrap dress from Banana Republic.
Deep teal bling...any big chunky piece will do. This one is from Fantasy Jewelry Box.
Coffee liquer fashion choices from Pigments and Palettes. That dress is sweet, but you might need to be a beanpole to look good in it. She has interesting makeup tutorials. They're a little over the top for everyday wear, but she's doing a series using the Pantone colors. She'll use, say SEVEN colors in one look. Gads!
Nougat romantic dress by Daisy. Isn't this sweet? (The color's not quite nougat, but it would be great in that shade.) I bet this would look good on a lot of different body types, too. That is, if you buy a looser fit rather than body-hugging.
Quarry hued dress, called Hickory Dickory Frock, from Mod Cloth.
So there you go....some Pantone fashion ideas. Do you have any Pantone inspired things in your closet? Send me a photo and I'll post them!
I had an idea to make a scrumptious autumny coffee, but it tasted like CRAP. I was thinking of a foofy Starbucksian drink that combined
(Photo from Turkish Grants-their curdles looked even grosser than mine.)
Unfortunately, it turned into a yucky curdled mess. I mixed:
The cider curdled the cream. Curdled drinks are really disgusting. To me, anyway. Any ideas what to use for an apple flavor that isn't too acidic? I was going to top it with whipped cream and drizzle it with caramel.
I want this drink! Doesn't it sound good? At least in theory?
There is a little boy named Brighton in Violet's mother's day out class that is so cute I want to bite his cheek. He's the friendliest guy, and runs to Violet every morning to give her a hug. Like, will sometimes fall down on his rush to greet her. How can that not warm your heart?
Some people say they've had their day, but I think The White Stripes are solid, time-tested rock and roll. Or, rather--Jack White is a genius. Stripped down acoustically or revved up and plugged in, their songs are good. They frequently fit my mood whether it's raucous or calm. This video pretty much sums up how I feel about Meg. Guess I'll just keep lying here and collecting my paycheck, sweetie.
I really like his work with Loretta Lynn, too. He's an all-around flexible kind of musician, while always keeping his personal stamp on things. And he's pretty dang cute, too. In a pallid rocker/Edward Scissorhands sort of way.
(Bonus points---cat in Halloween colors. Copyright 'animal rummy' if you can't tell.)
He's pretty great with the Raconteurs, too. If you're not familiar with them, here's a great tune called Carolina Drama. The fuzzy haired seventies porn-looking guy (Brendan Benson) cracks me up with his sheriff's badge on his guitar strap.
Look----Violet 'helped' me clean the mirror again. She thinks smearing a paper towel over the mirror is so much fun she keeps doing over and over. With spit, water from the dog bowl, milk, whatever. That mirror stays clean for about 5 seconds a day.
She's looking in the mirror. Look at her tiny Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz witch doll. She has one of Little Red Riding Hood, too. I wonder if they make more from a fairy tale series. I'll have to look.
Another costume change to the Tinkerbell dress. She's putting flowers on Donald Duck's back to make him a 'duck butterfly'. Ah, the mind of a 2 1/2 year old.......butterflies, ducks, fairies, pee pee, goldfish crackers, and puppies. Simple, but very busy and deep thoughts in their own way because they're so immediate and raw. Do any of you remember thinking of those sorts of terms? I don't think most of us can recall thoughts that far back. I have some very early memories, but they're more like photographs of events, not day-today recollections.
That's all for today. Remember, you guys said I wasn't posting too many Violet photos. In case you're thinking too many baby photos. Not that you were, but just in case.
Are any of you fans of Tula Jeng over at Whorange? I sure am. She susses out the most interesting stuff. If you need a weekly shot of visual bam, then go visit.
She also recently worked in the art department for Soderbergh's movie Contagion. How fun would it be to research contagion visuals from the 1950s to present day? Maybe it's not every body's bag, but I live visual histories.
I found her last year while trying to explore the bazillion options for candy and caramel apples. Aren't these wicked? As in "evil witch in Snow White" wicked, not that hipster kind. You make candy apples as usual, but put lots of black food coloring in the coating. Plunk in sticks (one of my personal favorite touches, since I have sticks aplenty) and you're done. They almost look like patent leather, don't they? So shiny!
Aren't these cute circus necklaces from Anthropologie? They're only $38, but I would want all of them. My inner 4 year old can't have just one. So that would be.....$152.00. Plus tax. And shipping.I decided to make them instead. And I wanted them all on one necklace, like a circus parade.
Why is it so hard to take a photo of yourself in the mirror?
I bought a cheapo pack of plastic animals and gussied them up with bits and bobs, then attached them to a thrift store necklace. The giraffe was too large compared to the other animals, so I substituted a lion instead. I cut bits of fabric for their saddles, then glued on rickrack and other spare jewelry parts to try to make them look like the originals.
*homemade spaetzle topped with mushroom gravy
*cabbage and onions
*homemade rye bread
I used this tutorial (it has great photos) from the Step by Step Cook. She uses a crazy industrial sized spaetzle press, but you can follow all her instructions up until that point and substitute a colander. I actually quit using the big colander and switched to a smaller grater, using a giant spoon to smoosh the batter through the largest holes.
I ended up with the smaller curds, not the long noodle-type spaetzle. Be forewarned---the texture has a fine graininess to it. They're not smooth like egg noodles you'd buy at the store. They were really tasty, but a huge pain to make. Messy, too. It will be a while before I make them again.
Given my recent posts on taxidermy, I was tickled to open my October issue of Martha Stewart Living. They have an entire article sharing Martha's collection of mounted animals.
I thought I'd focus on some vaguely Halloween-ish public art.
People must have been in awe of this floating stage on Lake Constance in Bregenz created for The Maked Ball, by Verdi. This impressive set design is the brain child of artistic director David Poutney. I'm always impressed with the Bregenz floating set. What a breathtaking backdrop. It must create a host of technical problems working over the water like that, though. Just think about all the electrical dangers, for instance.
The Shining Cuckoo Clock- Every hour, Jack Nicholson's face pops up to the hole in the door and yells, "Here's Johnny!" followed by the scream of Shelly Duvall. You're a genius, Chris Dimino.
Wendy Klemperer makes spooky outdoor installations, like "Falling Horse".
Here are some photos that share the extent of the drought we're experiencing in Texas.
It is hitting farmers and ranchers especially hard. It is scary to see everything around us drying up, shriveling, dying, or burning.
Here are underfed cattle that are being brought to market. Many ranchers are having to sell off (and slaughter) their entire herds because they can't afford to feed them. Many who can afford to keep them can't find hay to buy. We raise hay, and we will probably not be able to make even one cutting this year.
I have never lived through a drought like this before. It's really humbling to think how dependent we are on water.
Since Halloween is practically here, I think it's time I get back to some spooky posts, don't you?
You simply MUST visit Sabrina Brewer's Custom Creature Taxidermy Arts. Let me preface this post by saying loudly and clearly, "These animals are roadkill and donated, deceased livestock. No animals were harmed, or will ever be, in the making of Ms. Brewer's work." There. Now don't write me complaining, please.
Although many people would be horrified by the Frankensteinian patchwork she creates, Brewer points out the parallels in earlier cultures. "...these practices flourished during the Victorian age in the form of mourning jewelry (accessories incorporating hair and teeth of deceased loved ones) and this type of veneration still exists in contemporary society, a well known example being the preserved remains of saints on display in Catholic Churches around the world. Point being, reverence is relative."
Brewer's work runs the gamut of traditional taxidermy, but I'm most impressed with her fantasy creatures. The oddities she stitches up are fascinating.
This one is titled "Mother's Little Helper". Oh, someone please help this little friend find his way to my house! Did I ever share with you dear readers that I have a collection of monkeys, with an emphasis on monkeys with red fezzes? I didn't? I wonder why ever not.
She has jewelry, too!
She's also quite lovely, don't you think? I want to visit her house. Oooooh.....I do believe I'd be asking to use the restroom then peeking into that medicine cabinet! What in the world would she use as a toilet paper dispenser? She might have a vampire squirrel tampon dispensary. Too bad, Sabrina---I thought of it first!!!!
It's a decanter! Oh, how I'd love to see the face of a guest when you offer them whiskey, then pull the head off a squirrel with that 'schnoook!' popping cork sound. This could only be better if his little paws worked as tongs for an accompanying ice bucket. Oh! Oh! Or if his little paws could claw up a nice pile of parmesan. Better yet.....use a shabby, moth-eaten rat to chew off a hunk, then grind it in his teeth over your pasta.
Another thing I might not have told you about is the Victorian-ish cabinet of curiosities I've been planning for years. I've been saving up my 'ookie things in jars', and buying up little glass display cases. I can't wait until I can set up all my glories in the Halloween room in the studio.
Why, WHY am I not a taxidermist? Probably because I am fairly repulsed by smells, and the stench of death never gets much sweeter. That, and I'm afraid of getting, say....rotten cat disease or shriveled mouse fungus. Still, if I could stifle my olfactory system and fear of contagion, I think the whole wide wonderful world of taxidermy might keep me busy for years.
Does anyone else think this is ridiculous and adorable?
It's a fence window for pets from a company called Pet Peek. You install them at the height of your pet's head.
Dogbrella? That schnauzer looks demonic. Or stuffed. Something about those beady little eyes is not quite right. The owner is probably terrifed to displease it. Hence the dogbrella. I'm guessing the human doesn't have an umbrella.