omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Sunday lunch: beet and goat cheese arugula salad
Sunday: chicken drumsticks, rice, and farm share veggies
Monday: eggplant bolognese
Tuesday: ham steaks, colcannon, steamed carrots
Wednesday: minestrone soup
Thursday: - game -
Friday: - up to [livejournal.com profile] salvbard and [livejournal.com profile] jasra
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

At the bus stop this morning there was a little girl who was delighting in the fact that she could both see her reflection in the glass bus stop wall as well as see through it. She told her mom "I am in the trash!" with great delight and a touch of the enticingly forbidden. I was really impressed by her mom too, encouraging her to think but not pushing in a direction: parental love and support at its most unassuming.

They got on the bus with me, the same bus I take all the time. There the little girl shyly greeted a man in a suit and tie whom she didn't know. He later joined in on the discussion she and her mom were having about possibly getting a treat at Dunkin Donuts before school (preschool from her age). Then a hardworn middle aged woman joined in with just a few words.

The little girl waved to everyone (both involved in the conversation and not) when it was time for her and her mom to go, and she received many waves in return.

It would be fair to think that this all by itself was magic enough, and you would not be wrong. But then something even more magical happened: all those closed adults on their morning commute who had opened just a little for a sparkling little girl, they stayed open.

They discussed the best local bakeries and pastry shops. They compared notes on different aspects of their lives, and it gained momentum. Several more adults joined in the conversation, including the bus driver. And as we arrived at our destination I heard an exchange of names between some unlikely pairs. "Hi Daryl, it was very nice to meet you."

All these adults rediscovering themselves and sharing despite the superficial differences of background, appearance, and affluence and finding a way to break out of their insulative commute bubbles in order to do so: magic indeed.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

Clearly this post isn't late, it is just part of a greater plan to extend an extended birthday even further.

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] jasra!

I hope the coming year allows for contentment. (It is not overrated!) May your work logistics work out in a way you are happier with, such that you get to spend more time with the community you had been developing there. And may those you work with both professionally and on a volunteer basis appreciated the time and skills you regularly bring to bear to help them. I wish for you constructive criticism, cooperative working, and a free flow of the information you need when you optimally need it.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

Life has been full of pre-semester insanity, but fortunately I know that [livejournal.com profile] ifuonlyknew has become an inspiration of "start where you are, try to let go of your fear of your imperfections, and just do what you can." I am not only speaking of her pursuing dance, although it is perhaps the most obvious. This year has been full of these demonstrations from her personal to her professional life. And the thing that makes it that much more impressive is that it *hasn't* been easy. She has worked damn hard at this lesson, and I have nothing but pride in her successes, which have already taken her so far.

Happy belated birthday ifuonlyknew!

I wish a year of enough laughter to remind you how sweet life is, enough tears to wash away the hurts, and just enough outlets for your self-expression that you feel inspired by them rather than overwhelmed. May you have the satisfaction with your career that you desire, and may your home be a place that is a refuge and comfort to you when you need it.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

By the time all is said and done, the Chiquita will have managed to go back-to-school shopping four times for this year. Crazy!

The first trip was arguably the least productive (supplies-wise at least) yet the most important. She went with some friends from the MoS summer photography class. Since this summer we have been developing her ability to get around on public transportation by herself, this was a huge independence milestone. The girls got there by themselves, got lunch, did some shopping and then each went home to their respective locations within the timeframe they had let their parental units know about. She came back glowing and self-confident.

The second trip was with me on Friday. This was sort of back-to-school shopping for both of us, as I am starting a more management-type position with the undergraduates and needed more professional stuff. I had front loaded my work-week, so I was able to take a half day with her. She delighted in the idea of lunch out in the city and shopping. We had lunch in Chinatown and then walked over to Downtown Crossing.

I teased her that she had run through all of my shopping energy after the first store, in which she made us do 3 separate trips each to the dressing rooms. She scoffed and suggested espresso. We managed to get through a couple more stores and to collect a good set of staple items each, and then we split up for different directions on the subway. It still seems a little odd that I can do that!

Saturday [livejournal.com profile] jasra took her out for what Chiquita described as "girl time." In addition to shopping, they got their nails done, which she delighted in showing me. She was also quite pleased with her shopping finds, including (not to be discussed with boys clearly) undergarments. She was very pleased with this since her last trip was to be with her dad, and she was not going to go with him for that under any circumstances. In fact she may have done a horrified gasp and overly loud whispered warning when bras were even mentioned when her dad was in the house (not even the room).

So as mentioned, the final trip is going to be with her dad early this week. Between him having some weird ideas* about getting clothes for her and her self-consciousness, she will likely get most office supplies and maybe a few shirts and pairs of pants.

Fortunately she is quite happy with all the shopping opportunities. I am just grateful to have them spread around. I am not into the shopping thing. [livejournal.com profile] jasra may be a saint to have managed four hours.

*Last year he decided that she had to get pants that were a several sizes too big so that she would grow into them. This is not a terrible idea at first, but at this point she is just about my height and unlike when she was in child sizes, the number value doesn't really tell you much about length. So despite her trying to explain to him, he bought her several pairs of pants she still can't wear. And given she may be just about done with growing, will be unlikely to be able to wear unless she suddenly gains a bunch of weight and hems them (where it is necessary and possible).

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omly: peacock tail feather (squash)
Sunday lunch: Hummus en Fuego, Balsamic Bruschetta
*made ahead for lunches: quinoa w/ kale
Monday: Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Tuesday: Carrot Almond Salad (with green beans instead of asparagus), Lemony Chickpea Stirfry
Wednesday: cherry tomato couscous
Thursday: game night!
Friday: Spring Pasta with summer vegetables instead :)
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

Last weekend [livejournal.com profile] jasra came over to help [livejournal.com profile] salvbard and I tackle the jungle that had taken over during Pennsic. Not only did we get a ton of weeding done in the raised beds and front yard, but we also pruned back some of the larger perennials and herbs that were taking over. Score for [livejournal.com profile] jasra's coworkers!

Besides yard clean up, we also did some improvements for the front yard that I have been wanting for a while. We added some late blooming flowers since I didn't have many: black-eyed susans, coneflower, Russian sage, and yellow poppies. In addition to the welcome color, I am really glad to have reestablished some nectar-flow.

The final major accomplishment was finally putting down a slate path between the beds. Hopefully this will help clean up the look of it some and minimize the amount of weeding needed to keep it passable. For added bonus it completes the last part of the property boundary walk I have been working on at the suggestion of [livejournal.com profile] catya.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

Last week Chiquita had a week long set of photography classes at the Museum of Science. She actually has been fairly interested in photography for a number of years, and I have fond recollections of [livejournal.com profile] salvbard and she sitting side by side, focused.

The beginning of the week did not get great reviews, which was a bit harder for me as I was still at Pennsic. She didn't like the icebreaker games, and felt like they didn't get through much material. I clearly have no idea who [livejournal.com profile] majes was referring to that he felt she sounded like with her cries of "this feels like a waste of my time" as one of the worst judgements she could make of it.

She dismisses their attempts at drawing in the ideas of subatomic particles as explanation of what the light was doing. ("Well photons are the basis of the light you you for photography" I tried. "But I don't need to know about protons or neutrons. You need light for photography, that is all I need to know!")

They made pin hole cameras though, which she thought was pretty cool. And apparently she was fairly taken with an explanation of why a tree was like a pin hole camera, which she seemed to think was quite clever.

By the second day though she had made firmer friendships with the likely candidates I had heard about the day before. She made plans to hang out with her new friends outside of photography class and carried them out with our awareness. I was actually quite pleased by how good she was about keeping me in the loop about her plans and whereabouts so that I didn't worry.

There was good discussion about composition and the mathematical ratios that strike the eye as pleasing. I heard a lot of "did you know..." on the subjects of the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequences.

And the thing that I thought she would be interested in most was a big hit: the dark room. She may have already made some declarative statements on what she thought parts of the basement should be repurposed for. She also has some slightly untrue ideas about what we have at work for materials. But she will figure it out.

I had been wondering if she might have been happier in a more art centric program, but the whole experience seems to have gone over well in the end. I think we will likely be looking for another photography class for next year (possibly elsewhere just for variety).

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

omly: silhouette of a person doing yoga (yoga)

Saturday, still on EST, I woke a little before dawn. I didn't mind though, as I got to sit on the deck in the night cooled air and watch the sun rise between the trees and over the mountain.

After that I did my yoga while the house was still quiet. Fortunately I received some kitty assistance though. I am not sure how I might have managed on my own.

Eventually people started to stir, and soon I was helping with fruit salad, while sausage and French toast were in progress. Breakfast out on the deck was lovely, and soon we were packing up.

We spent the day with my cousin and her partner. They already had plans to go tubing at Clear Creek Whitewater Park, which we were invited along to.

It is a shortish ~1.5 mile stretch that was taking about 25 minutes to either float down or walk back up.

It had a really good mix of fun rapids and deeper lazy parts, where you could just lay back and enjoy the sounds of the river, the view of the mountains, and the aerial dance if sparrows and dragonflies over the water. Depending on how you steered you could get more of one or the other.

After our first trip down , we came across a groom's party doing wedding photos. This led to a really funny set of shots for which we volunteered our tubes, and they laughed and gamely mixed brightly colored river tubes with formal suits.

There were a ton of people there, unsurprising given the mid to high 90s temperatures. And they had a huge range of floats. We saw just one inflatable dingy (with oars), tons of both thick black tubes and thinner but funky colored ones like ours. We only saw one inflatable pirate ship, but it was awesome. There were several really funny groups on inflatable mattresses. The two on a twin mattress almost made sense, but the 4 early 20-somethings on a queen mattress was just crazy.

We picnicked in Lions Park in Golden, before hoping back in. And after some more water time, we went to go get icecream at Golden Sweets. Then we headed back to the house for pizza and guesstures. Much hilarity ensued, and I finished knitting another ball of yarn into my Clapotis.

As mentioned for Day 1 my plan was sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen. Knowing I am probe to sunburn and that we were significantly higher with less atmospheric protection, this was a huge priority for me. Since I was reapplying every 40 minutes to an hour, I managed to mostly avoid redness other than the tops of my feet that were in the water, as my sunscreen was water-resistant rather than water-proof. Everyone else came away with too much sun though. Poor [livejournal.com profile] salvbard got his first serious sunburn in approximately 20 years. Fortunately we got him some aloe which helped some.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

So as of today it has been a year since I started gaming within [livejournal.com profile] majes's world of Krayzen. For the most part we have managed to have a weekly game, with relatively few exceptions. And I have sort of come to love the energy of spirit of Chloe and her compatriots, especially when they manage to surprise me which is more often than you would think.

Especially fantastic in all of this was the wiki [livejournal.com profile] jasra keeps running and refining. It has been an invaluable reference, and I often experience a bit of befuddlement that they would let me help work on it too. It has been fantastic to get to play with worlds and flesh out the connective bits between the rich material in there.

A completely unexpected plus to regularly playing in this world is the fabulous discussion of mechanics and hearing the storytelling by [livejournal.com profile] majes about various parts of history of the world while we hike or travel. He really is gifted, and I am always ready to relax back into his storytelling, with the occassional question or heated discussion thrown in.

So happy birthday Chloe, and thank you to the awesome group that I have played with this year! I feel really lucky that you all took me in, especially since it has been many many years since I have done a table top campaign.

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omly: peacock tail feather (squash)
This week in our farm share we had gotten:
2 bunches arugula
2 bunches pea tendrils
2 bunches chard
2 heads romaine lettuce
2 bunches turnips
2 bunches cilantro
2 bunches baby bok choy
2 bunches carrots

I had a fabulous, but crazy full weekend. (More on that later.) As a result I did not do any meal planning for the week. Fortunately we are back into farm share season! I was totally able to put together dinner without having done any grocery shopping.

8-9 oz dried linguine
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
0.5 tsp hot red pepper flakes
6-7 small carrots, sliced
4-5 heads of baby bok choy, stems separated from leaves and both chopped into bite sized pieces
4 brown mushrooms
1 red bell pepper + 0.5 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 cup broth
2 tbsp soy sauce

Boil noodles until barely tender. Drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat a wok or very large heavy skillet over highest flame. Add oils, swirl the pan to coat the bottom, and add the ginger, garlic and hot pepper flakes. (Keep your face away from the steam. It is spicy!) Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the carrots, mushrooms and bok choy stems. Let cook for 1-2 minutes then add the bell pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, greens and soy sauce, cover the wok, and let steam until everything is tender (~5 minutes more). Divide the noodles among 4 soup bowls. Portion the bok choy mixture over the noodles.
omly: peacock tail feather (squash)
Monday Tea Time: Lemon Balm Tea Cake (recipe below)
Monday BBQ: beer bratwurst, swordfish steak, grilled marinated vegetables, grilled balsamic asparagus, and honey balsamic bean salad
Tuesday: los restos
Wednesday: chickpea curry
Thursday: cream of tuna
Friday: JoCo concert! no idea what is going on!


In case you too have a lemon balm plant trying to take over the world, this is something we are trying with it:
Lemon Balm Tea Cake recipe (with optional lemon glaze) )
omly: peacock tail feather (squash)
Sunday: keilbasa, salad, sauteed spinach, and pasta with butter and sage sauce
Monday: sockeye salmon, steamed broccoli, roasted acorn squash with tomato sauce and goat cheese
Tuesday: (game night) chicken curry and rice
Wednesday: chili (I will likely be out, but it makes excellent leftovers and can be prepped ahead)
Thursday: red lentil soup
Friday: Grueyere sausage, spinach salad, and sweet potato

So I have both a sage plant and a lemon balm plant that are looking to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! Well or at least the raised bed they are in. Anyone have tasty suggestions of what to use them for/with? And/or would anyone like to take some off my hands?
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
We had this week off from our weekly gaming group. I actually was a little bit glad because there was a major plot event that I needed a little extra time to process how to respond to. Apparently my subconscious is ready to jump back into it though, since I had a dream following my character this week. Miss you Chloe!

(By the way, if you are interested in reading about the exploits of Chloe Blue/my game notes you need to opt-in here.)

Since I last posted about gaming in general [livejournal.com profile] dirac has joined us, and I have had a lot of fun interacting with his character, whom we have nicknamed Bubbles not-so-behind his back. (His character's race has a tendency towards very long many syllable names for his age group. You may have seen him referred to as "our Orem guard friend".) I am really glad to have the opportunity to get to hang out with him regularly, as that level of regular time would sadly be really hard for me to arrange for otherwise. Yay game!
omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)
I took the opportunity of the beautiful day and the fact that I work from home on Tuesdays to take one of my stretch breaks outside in the yard.

Grabbing the pruning shears on my way out, I finally got around to pruning the roses in the yard. I had been waiting until full winter to prune them, as I really wanted to do some heavy pruning while they were dormant. The winter was so mild though, that I never really got the chance. All of them had significant growth. In many cases buds had already given way to young leaves.

I have 3 different types of roses in the yard. The front yard has some that came with the house. They seem to bloom on new growth and get very leggy. Last year I did not prune these remotely hard enough. I did spring prune them last year, but this year I did so a bit more aggressively. I would still really like to try winter pruning with these though.

There are also roses in the altar garden. This is a small compact rose. I am not sure what I want to do with this one, other than I trimmed it back to keep it from overgrowing the altar garden completely. I probably should consider pruning this one more, but I just don't really know what I want to do with it or even if I am going to leave it in the altar garden.

The third kind of roses are a climbing variety. It blooms on old growth, so I wanted to minimize the amount of pruning on these. The more canes I leave from next year the more area might potentially have blossoms. They have not been in place long enough to have to have become terribly large, so mostly I was pruning for shape. I removed canes that pointed directly away from the trellis they are growing on and thus directly into the yard. The canes do have some rigidity to them, but they get a lot of growth per year and so I only wanted canes that it looked like I could provide some support for.

I really like learning more about gardening, but roses are something that I don't historically have a lot of experience with. I don't suppose there is anyone out there on my friend list that happens to have a fair amount of experience with?
omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)
So a question that has been percolating around in my brain is "do you think of yourself as an artist?" It is sort of a funny question for me, because for a long time I would have said no. There are a whole lot of creative and artistic people in my family in all different media, many of which do what they do professionally. I didn't feel like what I did could make me be an artist compared to many who I know. Plus, having so many awesomely talented people around me my whole life made me feel like it was normal. That isn't being artistic necessarily, it is just part of being a human being!

I would love to know your answer. Do you think of yourself as an artist? Why? And because I am nosy, I would love to know what media are inspiring you recently if you care to share.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

I wonder if this year is actully harder on the birds due to its mildness. I suspect that fewer people might be feeding them than usual.

We have had very frequent visitations by the local cardinal pair. Normally they are not as inclined to fuss with the sunflower seed feeder as they are a tiny bit large to fly up perfectly comfortably. This might also be a function of a local set of trees that was cut down this year that had a set of bluejay and catbird pairs though. They might just be being harrassed less for being in the area.

I also spotted the woodpecker stealing black sunflower seeds, which normally he would not be terribly interested in. They are a good oily seed though so if food was scarce I can see that as being the best of his options. I should go put out some suet, although given the rate the seed is going I suspect it will disappear nearly instantly once the starlings notice it. Fortunately they have a hard time at our sunflower seed feeder, but no such luck with the suet.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

Friday I had to go into the office for a while although it was my day off (more on that later), but after that I met up with [livejournal.com profile] chaiya. We hadn't been able to catch up in a while, and planning and making Shabbat dinner was a good excuse. It is funny how easily I was able to slip right back into the rules of the kitchen.

Dinner was very tasty. [livejournal.com profile] crazybone, [livejournal.com profile] hakamadare, and A all helped too. We made a poached salmon with a creamed leek sauce, pureed pasnips, sauteed spinach, mixed diced root vegetables and lava cakes. The last was accomplished pretty much entirely single-handedly by [livejournal.com profile] hakamadare, although the icecream was chosen and dished out mostly by Chiquita.

Saturday was the Arisia debrief. I still need to finish my written report, but I had the rough numbers crunched in time. Many thanks to everyone who contributed time and energy to making Arisia programming so successful this year!

Afterwards [livejournal.com profile] majes and I were able to slip away for some time together. I was fairly fried, but he was amazing and held up the logistics while I babbled at him. We had tasty Afghanistani food, wandered home, and still went hiking in the morning (though for a short hike given other time pressures).

Sunday [livejournal.com profile] salvbard, Chiquita and I were priveleged to have brunch with [livejournal.com profile] jasra, her parents and [livejournal.com profile] majes. S&S does a great brunch, and the company was lovely. Then it was home for a nap, watching the birds at the feeders, and making dinner with [livejournal.com profile] salvbard.

Yay great weekend. Apparently I was really focused on the food and company :)

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