Month: November 2006

  • Sigh. I'm a NaNo NoNo.

    Just ran out of steam, between trying to get packages off to Iraq, Japan and, er, parts unnamed (you never know who is reading this!), preparing for the ferocious winter storm (look!  ice pellets!), and so on.

    Plus, I became discouraged at the slow pace of the NaNo...I mean, they're still standing in the stupid cobbler's shop talking to Jasper!  If I'd been within an ames' ace of actually completely the story, not just hitting 50K words, I'd possibly have been able to keep up the 4-6K per day word count needed to finish, but I wasn't within spitting distance of the end.

    However, I plan upon continuing to write on it.

    Wanna see how it turns out.  Mercy knows *I* don't know! 

    My deep appreciation for everyone who encouraged me this past month.  Y'all are the best! 

  • This morning it was wet and cold, but that was pretty much it so I went ahead and took Dmitry to school.  A short while later I headed for PepBoys, seeking to replace a splitting windshield wiper blade (when it's raining is the only time I notice it, so it's been like this for a few months now) in anticipation of worsening weather. 

    Fat lot of good that did me!  Got the new blade alright (the store was out of the replacement blades so I had to buy the whole thing), but then it turned out the windshield wiper blade was frozen, so it wouldn't release to allow the old one to be removed.  Have to wait for it to thaw out. 

    Driving back down Camp Bowie I noticed some kids dressed in the Eagle Academy manner waiting by a bus stop, so wondered....hmmm....  e-headscratch  Decided to pull into the school's parking lot and just check, and was glad I did, as yup...they were closing the school and were certainly pleased to see me, since they'd been trying my home number and Dmitry couldn't remember my cell phone number.  e-rolleyes2

    It's lightly snowing now, which can barely be seen when looking at the street in the photo below:

    Nov06 037
    Nov06 039

    Not exactly a winter wonderland as seen from my front porch, eh?  It's in the 20's though so it's cold enough, that's for sure.

    I'm hoping Don is sensible and leaves work earlier than he normally does.  e-hairout

  • Yeah, yeah, I'm writing on my NaNo!

    But today's been taken up with other things for the most part, including picking up Meredith and Margaret at BSF so Elaine could attend her group's fellowship today.  First stop was Chik-Fil-A for lunch, where the cameraphone came out, and along with it the silly-billies:



    And this one is being posted to the blogosphere because, doggone it, Marebear needs to learn when Aunt Anne says something, she means it.  I warned me a stinker-binker one more time and this photo will be posted for the world to see.  She did, so I did. 


    Let it be a lesson, Marebear.  Do not trifle with Auntie Anne. 

    Afterwards Meredith went to museum school, so Margaret came back home with me, much enjoying laying on the sofa with a throw and watching Ice Age: the Meltdown until it was time to collect Cousin Dmitry from school, then be delivered home. 

    While at a grocery store today, this juxtaposition of magazines caught my eye:


    Mercy Maud, what is it with Rachel Ray all of a sudden?  I swear I cannot escape the creature.  Shades of that annoying Christmas song, "She's everywhere! She's everywhere!"  Then I get my Allrecipes' Daily Dish email, and to what do my wondering eyes appear but this:

    It's the Official Rachel Ray Food Processor, priced at $99. 

    It's starting to get scary, folks.  happy_face_scared_ty_clr

    BTW, talk about your blue northers!  The temperature here has dropped thirty degrees in the past hour, from low 70's to low 40's.  Theoretically there's a possibility of freezing precipitation tomorrow, which has Dmitry all a-twitter.  He would dearly love for school to be cancelled. 

    Alright, back to Topaz, Garnet, and Jasper....

  • And STILL they're at home!

    Chapter Thirteen

    I might hit 50K, but it's a sure bet the novel won't be completed at that point.  Heck, the princesses haven't even gone anywhere yet!

  • I'm truly curious....why would anyone want to live where there's a homeowners' association?  To be fair, I daresay it's possible there are some that manage to keep from becoming mini-reincarnations of Tito's Yugoslavia, and it's those types of associations that make the news, but how do you know what kind you've got till you actually move in, and if it's a good one, that it'll stay that way?

    From (where else?) comes this story of a homeowners' association president run mad:  Peace on earth? Not in our subdivision!

    The above admittedly-hokey "wreath" is what got the president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association undies in a bundie. 

    A homeowners' association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to
    fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a
    peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of


    The association in this 200-home subdivision 270 miles southwest of
    Denver has sent a letter to her saying that residents were offended by
    the sign and the board "will not allow signs, flags etc. that can be
    considered divisive."

    The subdivision's rules say no signs,
    billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the
    architectural control committee.

    Kearns ordered the committee to
    require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after
    concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn't say

    Kearns fired all five committee members.

    Don't you love it?  He fired the committee members because they didn't agree with him.

    Tito's spirit lives on in Loma Linda, t'would appear. 

  • Thanks to Linda for the heads-up!

    Folks, toasters and coffee makers aren't the half of it.

    Even the venerable retailer, Neiman-Marcus, has hopped on the Hello Kitty bandwagon, and being N-M, they've done it with style and verve.

    Not as much sense as God gave a kitten, mind, but and verve.  Check out this Hello Kitty action:


    Yes, it's a pavé diamond watch, which can be yours for $3,550 (plus tax, depending upon where you live, and appropriate shipping and handling, no doubt).

    For those who are traditionalists and are thinking "But Hello Kitty stuff is supposed to be pink!  That's not pink!", N-M has you covered:


    There!  See the perky pink strap?  What more could a Hello Kitty aficianado want for $1,995?

    Perhaps you're thinking that's still fairly pricey and you've got enough watches as it is.  Has N-M missed the boat?

    Certainly not.  Why, being born in June, N-M saw me coming a mile away, commissioning a Gemini pendant featuring twin Hello Kitties:


    It could be mine for a mere $980! 

    Actually, if Don were to lose his mind and spend that kind of money on my Christmas gift, I'd better get a laptop or sparkling pair of diamond earrings, not a Hello Kitty pendant.  Still, the palm has to go to whoever thought this was a good idea:


    $4,250.  And it doesn't even tell time. 

  • Still plugging away....

    Chapter Twelve

    Tell you what, though...still having 16,000 words to go (Oy VEY!), I simply do not have time to try to dot every t and cross every i when it comes to plot and the like.  If I find I'm hung, I'll just write what I want to have happen only I can't think how to get from A to B, then carry on.  Do not point out this doesn't hang with that, or something or other doesn't make sense because of what was written back in Chapter Four, etc.

    I don't care.

    The 30th is Thursday, so all I care about is getting words on the monitor.  e-browlift

    Just so we're all clear on this as we head into the final stretch.  e-batting

  • Stupid Cook Tricks.

    Unfortunately, the Stupid Cook in question is me.

    This afternoon I decide some peanut butter cookies would no doubt be a spur to literary creativity... peanut butter packing a protein punch, after all got out my Betty Crocker cookbook and set about making some.

    These are cookies I've made times out of mind, so one would think I couldn't possibly screw them up, right?  Wrong.

    Oh, they're edible.  Put some strawberry jam on them and they're not bad at all, actually, though not good enough to wean me away from the correct recipe.

    There I was, you see, periodically glancing at the ingredient list and measuring stuff then dumping it in the Kitchen Aid. I was perplexed when it called for one cup of white sugar, instead of a mixture of white and brown sugar, however.  I could have sworn peanut butter cookies had some brown sugar in them.  e-headscratch  Even went to the pantry to get it out, as I frequently sub brown sugar for part of the white sugar called for in recipes simply because I'm powerful fond of it, but decided to make the recipe as it stands.

    The cookie dough is completed and I'm noticing it doesn't look as dark as it normally does, when for some reason I look again at the page in the cookbook and the ingredient list and finally wonder..."Hey.  Where's the peanut butter?"

    Ah.  Well, that would be found in the ingredient list for the cookie recipe on the right side of the page, where I'd begun, but after having gotten the butter and peanut butter mixing, I accidently switched to the cookie recipe on the left side of the page, which was for snickerdoodles.  Basically I'd managed to make a hybrid cookie.  What's truly idiotic is that fairly early on I'd noticed the lack of peanut butter in the mixing instructions, but by jingo, I didn't let that concern me! Heavens to Betsy, no.  Just figured it was an amusing typo on the part of the cookbook editors, the silly billies.  e-rolleyes2

    Rolled them in turbinado sugar instead of ordinary granulated, hoping that'd make up a little for the lack of brown sugar, but while I like the crunch, that's about all it does for them.  And the second baking sheet of them?  I neglected to make the criss-cross pattern with a fork, so they're kind of puffy looking.

    For any youngish cooks reading this, this will either make you feel better ("Oh good, I'm not the only one does dumb stuff...even the geezerette does sometimes") or make you feel worse ("You mean it doesn't get better???").  e-ghost

  • Hello Kitty WHAT?

    I don't even want to think about who would outfit their kitchen in a Hello Kitty motif, but since I saw these at Target, it's to be assumed someone believes there's a market:

    I think this one is my jingo, don't you know coffee just tastes perkier when made in and poured from a Hello Kitty coffee maker?


    3225811_640 get yourself off to a perkified start to your day, you can't beat Hello Kitty Koffee and a couple of slices of Hello Kitty toast.

    Heaven knows it'd get me out of there fast as the, um, cat can lick its whiskers.

    So to speak.