Archive

Hey there, so glad you popped by! I've moved to a new address, however, and you can find my new blog at: The Weaver's Apprentice as of Monday, January 26, 2015. I hope you'll come visit me there! See you soon! XOXO

Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Night Beef Stew

The wind is howling and gusting about. It's 25 degrees according to the weather website, but with the wind it feels like 12 degrees. BRRRRRRRRR... @_@

Tonight is the gallery walk, followed by a visit to Barnes & Noble. Britt and I like to go to Barnes & Noble to peruse the books and magazines... and we occasionally even buy something. When don't buy something, we sit in the cafe and sip tea or a Starbucks Refresher (which we somehow started calling Refreshenators... I have no idea...) and page through magazines we want to read but don't want to own or nursing books that are too big or too expensive (or both) for us to get. And I read cookbooks and make lists on my iPod of all the cookbooks I simply must have or I shall die.

But back to the stew.

Days like today make me want to curl up in fluffy pj pants and a hoodie and cook tasty things in large stock pots on the stove for hours on end. And bake bread while I'm at it. Mmmmmmmmm...

So tonight I'll be making Sunday Night Stew, with a big "THANK YOU" to Ree over at The Pioneer Woman who posted her recipe. I'm not going to make the mashed potatoes that she has in the recipe because I'm the only one who will eat them (the texture makes Britt gag...) and I so do NOT need to eat a whole bunch of mashed potatoes all to myself. No matter how much I may want to...

However! The next time I do make mashed potatoes for a family dinner with her folks, I am so making them the way she suggests. She puts cream cheese in her potatoes... AND butter. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

But since she insists that this stew can only be made on Sunday if you are going to call it "Sunday Night Stew", I'm making Friday Night Stew because it's freaking cold today and I don't want to wait until Sunday. So. Anyways.

I've got the stew meat thawing in the fridge, and I'll be heading to the store as soon as I'm done typing this to get some turnips and beef stock. And I need more coffee creamer... we're almost out, and then what would I do? It would be terrible...

I have absolutely no plans for this weekend, and I'm thrilled. Britt has to work tomorrow, so I might do some baking. I had wanted to make banketstaaf (everyone I know calls it just "Banket") with my mom and sister when I went for a visit back in November, but as per usual, we had more things we needed/wanted to do than time to do them. Next time I suppose.

But I do want to learn to make this and make it well, so I can make a bunch for the holidays for family (both biological and chosen). ^-^

And since I'll have my kitchen to myself (mostly... if you don't count the cats...) tomorrow, it might be the perfect time to play with my almond  paste and see what I can come up with. =D

Are there any foods that you love to make for the holidays/just because? Do you have old family recipes that are dear to you? I love stuff like this, so let me know! ^-^

XOXO

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Today has been one of those days where nothing is going as planned. I thought I had until today to pay my rent, but apparently it was yesterday. You'd think that after living here for almost three years I’d know this by now... but apparently not. So one late fee later, at least my rent is paid.

I also forgot to pull out what I was going to make for dinner. More precisely, I still haven't quite gotten the hang of getting stuff into the crock pot before I head to work in the morning, or better yet before I go to bed at night, so that it'll be ready to go when I need it. This whole cooking dinner on days I get off at 1730 (instead of starting my work day about that time) is still taking some getting used to. I’ve been at it for exactly a month now, and it is getting easier... but I’m terribly glad it's only temporary and that I can go back to my usual “Creature of the Night” status as soon as my coworker gets back from maternity leave.

So for dinner tonight I looked in my freezer and around my kitchen for something that would be quick to make... and found the sack of potatoes and some frozen links of turkey sausage. So I opened up Google and typed in, “Recipes sausage potatoes” and got a nifty recipe for sausage potato bake. I even had all the ingredients and didn't have to resort to substitution... for once. Lolz...

So my sausage & potato bake is in the oven. And I just realized I forgot to put the timer on. Sigh.

I’m going to guess that it took me about 15 minutes to grab my laptop, pour myself a big glass of wine and type what I’ve got so far... so 20 more minutes until dinner.

I still haven't managed to figure out how to work time for the things I need/want to do into my new schedule. It seems like I come home, cook dinner, clean/do dishes and maybe shower, and then it's time for me to go to bed so I can be at work at 0700. I feel pretty sure that there are at least 30 minutes in there somewhere that I can devote to myself, I just can't seem to find them at the moment.

The past few days have been COLD. At least for Bellingham. Today the thermometer at the bank read 27 degrees... add to that the crazy wind and it is so, so cold... colder than usual for this time of year. It makes me wonder if all the people that have been predicting “The Worst Winter We've Had In Years” might actually be right this winter. I mean, if they say it every year, they'll eventually be right, right? Sure.

Anywhom... if you're interested at all in what I’m baking for dinner, I found the recipe here, and they, I do believe, got it from here. For some reason, mine isn't quite as pretty as their pictures... o_O

I’m off to drink more wine and maybe play with some of my art supplies. I hope everyone is staying warm!!!


XOXO

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Morning Mumblings

It's chilly and rainy this morning. I’m not fully convinced I really want to be up and out of bed yet, but in an effort to sleep only what I need to and not waste so much time in bed, I am indeed up.

Work has been so stressful lately that I haven't been coping very well with anything outside of work. I’m trying to make sure I have time for myself, for my home, for my wife (we got hitched, but that's another post. With pics.)... I’ve done some cooking and baking the past few days, and that has helped me feel more grounded. I made a big-ass pot of chicken soup, and for all the ills eating it might cure, just making it made me feel better. ^_^

I’ve delved back into the book I picked up months ago and then put down, Mrs. B's Guide to HouseholdWitchery by Kris Bradley.

I love reading about how people add a bit of magic to things required to care for your home. I find it super interesting. ^_^

We went to Britt's parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, and I indulged in my love for really bad 80's/90's action movies after we'd eaten. I rarely watch TV shows or movies, but I felt like my brain needed a day to just check out. And so I did. Demolition Man, Robocop, Predator and Action Jackson (which I’d never seen before). Britt's dad and I share a love for bad movies and even worse sci-fi, so we happily vegged out on the couch.

One of the really nice things about my temporary schedule at work is that I get the weekends off, along with either Thursday or Friday. Working ten hour days staring/glaring at my computer isn't always fabulous, but I’m so busy trying to keep up with shit that the time flies by.

So today, being my last day off of this weekend, I’m going to be canning the apple pie filling I made and possibly making some onion marmalade... if I can find enough screw bands for my canning jars... a number of which seem to have wandered off... o.O

I’d also like to do some knitting today, since I’m hoping to get the scarves I’m making for my folks done in time for the holidays... but if they're late, oh well. I had to unravel about a foot of scarf that I’d knitted for my mom's because I somehow managed to not only add stitches, but to flip my knitting so the knits and purls were off. And I had no idea what row I was on. Oh well. I think the needle gauge that I was using was too big anyways, and my mom is a super petite person, so the scarf at the width it was originally would have been like a short wrap... lolz... so it's probably good that I had to rip it out, since now I can use a smaller needle gauge.

Anyways... I’ve gotten that pesky “I haven't blogged in eons and don't know what to say” post out of my way. Yet again. And I’m sure this one won't be the last. ^_^

I’ve got a post I’d like to make that will be showing up sometime in the future. No promises on when... lolz... Like I said earlier, Britt & I got married. Nothing big/fancy, just signed the legal paperwork. But there' some fun pics with the awesome folks who came with us that I’d like to share.

I’m off now to drink my coffee so I can function and then do some housework and canning. I hope this first day of December finds you well, and I’ll hopefully be able to find some time to reconnect with all the lovelies I’ve fallen out of contact with online. Have a fabulous Sunday! ^___^


XOXO

Monday, October 21, 2013

So Good, So Dark

I am in love with the dark. I love the way it wraps around me as I walk by the sea at night, the way the cold night air kisses my cheeks through the open window while I lie in bed.

I don't ever remember being scared of the dark, but maybe I was once. I do remember thinking, sometime, I don't remember when, that I had nothing to fear from the darkness. That I was just as much her child as I was of the light, maybe even more-so.

I'm still a night owl, my brain, my spark, my energy, my creativity coming to life as dusk settles & bursting forth once the sun has taken his bed for the night.

The moon rises cold & beautiful into the sky & I can feel her tug on me.

As I walk the boardwalk along the bay, the inky water sings softly to me, whispers seductively to me, chants incessantly to me to come roll with her waves. These invitations I let swirl about me, ever unanswered, for if I did I would become an inseparable part of those dark depths, for the tides here are too snarly, too tricksy to be trusted.

But as much as I love the dark for all this, and more too, there is one thing that the dark gives me that lighter, brighter things never can: the feeling of safety and healing.

I've been sick again this past weekend. When I finally got home Friday afternoon, I threw my bag toward my desk, stripped off my clothes & fled to my cool, dark bedroom to huddle beneath my blankets & try to sleep the headache away.

When I'm ill, I crave the dark. I hide in my room, with it's thick, dark red curtains that blot out all light, until the sun goes down. Only then do I venture out to any other part of my apartment.

When I get really bad headaches, or even if I'm just feeling sick & achy, nothing is more soothing to me than to curl up in my bed, in the dark, with the window cracked so the wind can slip through and give me tiny sips of the Autumn air.

When the light stabs at my eyes, when my skin hurts to be touched, when my sinuses are stuffed full of sawdust and molasses, soaking in a tub of hot water with some peppermint or lavender oil & the bathroom lights off soothes me so that I can sleep through the worst of it.

So the darkness is my cloak, a favorite hug; a healer of headaches and the medium on which my muses ride.

Our lives begin in the warm, safe darkness of our mothers & end in the rich, comforting darkness of Mother Earth. Sometimes in between those two places I think we need to rest a bit in the darkness to grow and heal and renew, so that we have the strength to continue on through both the darkness & the light.

Don't forget to visit Magaly & all the other participants!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Live Wild


Veronica Varlow is one woman I admire so very much. She is cute, quirky, smart, talented and funny. She's as comfortable in sequins as she is in the gutter.

She inspires me with almost every blog post she writes. One of the things she inspires me to do most is to not let my fears control my life. 

Caution can be good, thinking things through can also be good, but when I let my brain "What if" myself to death, it's too much of a good thing. 

I also find Veronica inspiring because she's doing what she loves to do, and is able to make a living doing it. Proof that if I work hard enough, I can potentially do the same. ^-^

One of her biggest dreams is to make a movie with her hubby, the incredibly talented photographer, Burke Heffner.

This October, they're doing a Kickstarter to make that movie dream come true. And I am excited. =D

Bank heists, true love, get away cars, a cross country road trip... fabulousness all the way. ^-^

Wanna see the teaser trailer they made a while back? Of course you do. So here it is:




Soooooo...

Do what you love, love what you do, take chances, live life NOW.

I'm trying to do this every day. I'm making an effort to make a tiny bit of adventure, take a chance, do something fun, something daring, something silly, something magical, something terrifying, something scandalous, something sweet, something new, or just something every day.

Even if this is sometimes just getting out of bed, slapping on some eyeliner/warpaint & facing my day head on... it's better than staying hidden beneath my covers. ^-^

So do something today. Do something that will be a good story to tell later. Do  something that you'll want to tell your grandkids (or someone else's) about.

Do something that you'll want to remember tomorrow, in a year and ten years from now.

XOXO

Friday, September 13, 2013

A copy of a copy of a copy... or not.

I got myself a second job... which is why I've been even more scarce than usual around here. o_O

I now also work at the little cafe/gift shop at our local airport. It's called Halibut Henry's... although we don't sell any halibut, and neither the owner or any of my coworkers are named Henry.

Go figure.

 At any rate... I usually only work one of my jobs a day, but occasionally I'll work both. More rarely, I'll end up working both several days in a row, and then I'll start to feel like the insomniac narrator in Fight Club.

Unfortunately, I have yet to wake up with Brad Pitt in the room next to me... but I digress.

Needless to say, I have rather limited free time as of late. This kind of sucks, but at the same time, I am more inspired to use the time I do have to do the things I really want to do, rather than just loaf about the house or sleep.

When I do work both jobs for a few days in a row though, I have a constant stream of sleep deprivation/insomnia quotes (also from Fight Club) running amok in my poor little brain. Once I get to the point where I feel like I'm neither really asleep or awake, but somewhere swirling in between, I occasionally have moments of startling clarity.

In some of these moments, I've grasped onto that clarity the both hands and run with it.

I've written down the things I'd like to do, to be, to accomplish. Usually I'll sit and day dream, but I never write anything down. It's like if I write it down, it's suddenly real and I've admitted to myself something I really, truly want.

I'm terrified of really, truly wanting anything, because if I don't want it, then I can't be disappointed if I don't make it happen. I am safe from letting myself down. Again.

However.

Since I don't want my life to be just a copy of a copy of a copy, I am working on really taking a look at what's important to me, what matters, what I'll actually have regrets about if I don't do it.

That's partly why I'm working two jobs. I really want to move out of Bellingham. It's a nice enough town, but I've lived here for 13 years. That is way too long in one place for me. My wanderlust has been kicked high gear the past few years, and I want outta here. As soon as possible.

I'm pretty convinced that if we sold our car & bought an RV that we'd be set for life... we'd be able to travel & take our home with us. That is my dream come true, but probably not going to happen for a while. ^-^

So for now, we're working hard and saving our pennies so that we can move. It's not going to be October 1st, like we'd planned... but it will happen. Sooner rather than later.

Until then, I'll keep working and occasionally sleeping and doing fun stuff anywhere in between that I can fit it.

Maybe one of these days I'll actually be brave enough to share with y'all guys some of the things I want to be and do... but I'm not quite there yet. Being open and honest with myself is difficult enough at the moment. Baby steps... ^_~

Well I guess I can share one goal I have... I'd like to blog once a week, and then take a bit of time each week to catch up with all the wonderful people I've lost touch with. I miss you guys. Really, truly. So that's what I'm working on at the moment... so hopefully I'll come stalk your blogs soon.

My plan for today, however, is to sleep once I'm done at the hospital tonight. I get off at 0130 (tomorrow morning, technically...), and will have been up since 0230 this morning. I did get a nap in from 1300-1430 this afternoon, and I am ingesting copious amounts of caffeine, so I'm pretty sure I won't be found drooling onto my keyboard...

Anywhom. I love & adore & miss you all. I will come pester you soon...

Oh. And it's almost Fall. Are you as excited as I am? I already have a few wee pumpkins on the plant stand by my front door... I simply cannot wait. I am bursting with excitement. =D

XOXO



Friday, August 16, 2013

Empowerment from where I least expected it...

Two weeks ago I did the most amazing and incredibly crazy thing I have ever done in my entire 28 years.

For Christmas, Britt signed me up for the Pacific Northwest Spartan Sprint. And even though I had every intention of training hard & getting fit, I didn't. But come race day, I still went. I still followed through, even though I had desperately wracked my brains for a way out.

It was a 3.5 mile course with 18 obstacles. I climbed over four foot high walls. I boosted people, and then got boosted myself, over five foot high walls, a six foot high wall and an inverted wall (it leans toward you and you have to climb up & over. Yeesh.)

Crawling, crawling, crawling...

I climbed up, over and down a twenty foot high cargo net. I crawled through more barbed wire covered mud and water than I thought possible. I carried a big ass log while pulling a concrete block on a chain. I carried a 40 pound sandbag up and down a hill, and a sixty pound concrete block around.

I also did 90 burpees, since I can't climb a rope to save my life (I gave it a good try though), I wasn't able to get my spear to stick in the hay bales I had to throw it at, and I fell off the transverse wall (my belly got in my way... lolz...)

I worked as a team with several other racers to crawl up an insanely steep quarter mile hill of hard-packed mud, once again beneath a web of barbed wire.

Clawing my way up that hill, helping others up and allowing myself to be helped when I needed it helped me crawl up out of the funk I've been in for the past few months.

More crawling... I wore through the knees of my pants. And the knees of my knees... 

The last obstacle was to crawl up yet another muddy hill, beneath yet more barbed wire, slide down the other side into a pit of waist high water, swim under a wall and then crawl up a "slippery wall", using knotted ropes. After that, we got to run through some "Gladiators" (who reminded me of muscle-y boffers...) and then the finish line.


It took me four hours and 18 minutes to finish. But I finished. And I did everything. I didn't quit.

The Spartan racing motto is, "Sign up. Show up. Never give up."

And no matter what got thrown my way that day, I didn't give up. I have never been so proud of myself for anything. Ever.

Finished!!!

Since I ran through that finish line, I've felt like I can do anything. I have never felt so proud of myself before. I have lots of Self love, but I've never before felt such a sense of pride in myself. I feel pretty fucking amazing. ^-^

And even though all those endorphins have worn off, and I'm back to my everyday life, I have a new sense of depth that I feel within myself.

Running (okay, walking) that race was the best thing I could have done right now. I feel like everything is within my grasp, all I have to do is keep going. Keep trying. Never stop, never give up.

I still struggle a little bit with feeling like my life is on the verge of flying apart, but I'm now pretty sure that whatever does happen, I'll be able to cope and able to get through it and out the other side to something better.

After I'd hosed off & changed. I am fucking invincible. 


Aroo!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday

 Lately, when I feel suddenly prompted to do something, go somewhere, etc. I always manage to find a reason to talk myself out of it. I don't know why. Usually it's something like, “I have house cleaning to do,” or, “I have to sleep before work,” or, “I really shouldn't waste gas by driving to (insert desired destination here).”

Today my wanderlust wanted/demanded to go to the beach, and for once, I listened.

Wheel gulls, spin & glide...

This morning I was feeling really down. After dropping Britt off at work, as I was driving home, dreading getting there, I suddenly thought, “I'd like to go to the beach.”


And so I went.


Rain boots... not just for rain.

Fortunately, I’d pulled on my (technically rain) boots before I left the house, so I was well prepared to go mucking about on the rocky, sea weedy beach.

  
We have anti-sand beaches...

There's a beach we stumbled across a few months ago while on a lunch break. It's down by the cold storage warehouses and near the train tracks.




It's not the most visually stunning beach I could have gone to, but it's still pretty and unexplored (to me), so I drove down, past the docks, past the cold storage, past the train tracks and parked my car.

I got out, rolled up my pant legs and headed out onto the rocks. I tried searching for baby crabs underneath some rocks, but I only found one... I guess all the babies from Spring probably aren't so tiny anymore... ^-^




I walked and walked, stopping to watch the seagulls glide on the wind. There was no one there but me & the gulls, and an occasional crow. It was blissful, and just what I needed.

The wind was blowing like mad, churning up waves on the bay. The water was brown and cloudy, instead of it's usual greenish-blue, due to all the sand and silt getting stirred up. 


One of the islands.

 As I walked, I thought I started to recognize where I was heading, and indeed, it was the beach Britt and I had found to have the most sea glass yet. My new beach connected to a previously explored beach, and suddenly the coast line seemed much smaller... lolz...


Cool pile of driftwood.

Regardless, it's one of the best places Britt and I have found to hunt for sea glass... one of our favorite pastimes. We can stare at the ground, searching for bits of glass, for hours.

I didn't find a lot of glass today, but I found some cool pieces. ^-^ 


Bottom of a brown bottle & piece of blue ceramic.



When I was thinking about where I wanted to go for today's post, none of my previous ideas for places to visit seemed like the place to go... I just wanted to stay at the beach all day. The beaches as familiar to me as an old friend.


I have a strange fondness for barnacles, after studying them for a science project in middle school...

And I realized that my wanderlust won't be satiated only by far away and exotic locations. Sometimes it needs what's right in my back yard. It exists as part of my spirit, and sometimes that same spirit just needs to be soothed by wind and sand and waves.

So that's my lesson for the day; sometimes the break I feel like I need from life, the vacation I so desperately long for, can be gotten by going to the places I've begun to take for granted. And also that I should not take these places for granted. So in the next few weeks, I’m going to make a point to visit the beaches I love best, the giant rocks I love to sit on and let the wind and waves wear away my stress, like they do the giant rocks. 


Happy Annalee.

 Where are the places you love best? The places that refuel your spirit and help you feel like you can take on the world again? Tell me, tell me, because I would love to know. ^-^




From a rocky beach in Washington,

XOXO



PS... Sorry the pics are so tiny! I guess my iPod takes wee pics... lolz. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday

Welcome to the first installment of my new weekly blog series, Wanderlust Wednesdays! Yes, I know it's technically Thursday now, but since I haven't been to bed yet, it's still my Wednesday. ^-^




Since I currently don't have the means to do most of the traveling that I dream of doing, I'll take my weekly jaunts here for my enjoyment and yours too I hope. ^-^





Today's trip is a super special one. We're headed to an old mining town in the Colorado Rockies...




Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA.



This former gold mining camp is located on the southwest slope of Pikes Peak. After gold was discovered there in the 1890's, the population jumped from a few hundred to around ten thousand in only three years.(1)





Since the early 1990's however, gambling has been the main tourist draw instead of mining.

There are still quite a few historic buildings standing, although most of them were rebuilt after the 1896 fire that wiped out all but about ten structures. The fire started in a brothel and since most of the buildings at the time were constructed of wood, the fire spread rapidly. Several buildings were blown up in an attempt to halt the blaze. (2)

On the bright side, when they rebuilt the town, they decided to use bricks instead of wood.

The original Palace Hotel...


And the Palace Hotel as it was rebuilt after the 1896 fires, and how it looks today.



I've heard several stories from my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, whatever, as to how Cripple Creek got it's name. The first story I remember hearing was about how a prospector was leading his mule across the creek, when it stumbled, fell and was lame in one leg from then on.

Another story is that cattle ranchers used to lead their herds across the creek & enough cattle stumbled, fell and were crippled that the name just stuck.

The third story is by far the most involved... A man was herding cattle with a ranch hand, when they got into an argument & one of them shot the other with his pistol. When one of the cows heard the shot, they bolted across the creek, stumbled, fell and was crippled.

I'm sure there's at least several other stories as to how the town got its name, and I'm also relatively certain that they'll each involve some animal stumbling along the creek. Yeesh.

While I love the town itself, the real reason Cripple Creek is so special to me is that it's where my Bumpa and Nana (my dad's parents) had their cabin. ^-^

We would leave Denver and drive up to the cabin on occasion when we lived in Colorado. Once you leave the paved roads, the mountain roads all look something like this...


Winding, narrow, no shoulder, and with a totally gorgeous view. The crushed rock that lines the road is reddish-orange, and if you walk along the road and look down, you'll see tiny flakes of gold mixed in with the rocks and dirt. It's beyond beautiful. 


Once you got up the mountain a ways, you'd drive past the cabin that had caught fire and burned, destroying all the antiques it had been filled with. A few more twists and turns, and you'd turn right and drive down the steep driveway to the cabin. Once you pulled in to where you'd park your car, if you looked to the left, there was a hill covered in pine trees. If you looked to the right, there were two incredibly tall pines with a bar between them and a tire swing hanging from the bar. Straight ahead was the cabin, light yellow with brown trim. Up the three steps to the front porch & in through the front door. The kitchen was immediately to your left, and a small dining table and chairs to your right. next to the kitchen were the two bedrooms, and straight ahead was the bathroom (with its awesome claw footed tub) and the living room, which of course had a fire place. In between the dining area and the living room there was a door, which opened onto the enclosed porch.

Now the cabin was built on a hill, so the majority of the house was one story, but the enclosed porch was a story above the ground. On this porch were three twin beds and the most wonderful porch swing you could imagine. I spent a lot of time in that swing... ^-^

We could sit out there and watch the dear come and lick the salt licks my Nana left out for them.

As kids, we'd range all over the property, pretending to be miners or explorers or pioneers or who knows what. We'd hunt for gold and look for animal tracks.

At the cabin is where I learned to shoot a BB gun.

One time, my dad and I went for a long walk over the mountainside. We were going down a "short cut" he knew of, when suddenly he stopped on the insanely steep hill we were on & pointed up into a huge pine tree. Up in the tree was the biggest porcupine I have ever seen. We made a wide path around that tree, but it was still one of the coolest things I've seen.

Another time, while my dad was away somewhere, my mom took me, my brother and my sister up for a few nights. When we got there, she realized the power had been turned off, so all of the food in the freezer was rotten. She dumped it in the big trash can on the porch, and then heaved the outdoor umbrella stand for the picnic table umbrella onto the lid to keep the raccoons out. A few hours after she'd put us all to bed, she heard a huge crash from the front porch. She was terrified, because that umbrella stand had been so heavy, she'd almost not been able to lift it, and she couldn't think of what might have knocked it over. She peered through the blinds and saw a huge grizzly bear. She wedged a chair under the front door because the lock had broken and made it so the door didn't shut properly. She then went and closed the door to our bedroom and put the mattress from the other bedroom's bed in front of it. Then she turned out all the lights & watched the bear through the window, praying that it wouldn't lean against the front door & end up in the cabin with us.

Well, that bear was happier than could be with what was in the trash can. It came and went three times, each time taking some more food with it. That bear ate pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and several fish. And it also tracked garbage about two miles across the mountain, which my mom ventured out the next day to clean up.

My siblings and I slept through the whole thing, and I remember being miffed my mom hadn't woken me up to see the bear. I was still too little to fully understand why she'd been so scared, but I also remember feeling sorry that she'd been so scared and all by herself all night. ^-^

She called my Bumpa up to fix the lock the next day... lolz...

Both my Bumpa and Nana have since passed away, and since none of the family members who actually live in Colorado wanted to keep up the cabin, they sold it. The day it sold, my heart shattered. I have never wished so much to have been able to buy something as I wished I could have bought the cabin. My mom felt the same way. She cried and cried, as it was quite probably her favorite place on earth.

Even though I'll probably never be able to go back and physically visit, I can walk the cabin in my mind and still feel the icy linoleum floors in the early morning light. I can still smell the smells that made up the cabin, and still feel myself swinging back and forth on the tire swing. I can hear the porch swing's chains creaking as I sit on the swing, cup of hot chocolate in hand.

This is also my safe place that I started journeying from in SouLodge. It was kind of funny to me, when I was trying to envision a place to start out from, a place where I felt safe and at home, that a cabin I haven't set foot in in almost two decades would come to me as that place. But it is indeed my safe place, and I'll never forget the little gambling town of Cripple Creek.




But more importantly, I can go visit my beloved cabin anytime I wish... all I have to do is close my eyes.


Happy trails!

XOXO

Sunday, June 23, 2013

*Insert Title Here*

So I've been having a rather difficult time as of late when it comes to blogging. I'll start a post, then hit "Save" and then never publish it. It's like my brain is like, "Here! Post THIS!" And then is like, "Wait, what was I doing?"

Totally annoying.

I was wondering to myself today (and lots of days other than today too...) what exactly my issue is. I love blogging. I love the connections I've made, friendships that have formed, and all the other fun stuff that's happened because I started blogging.

It struck me today that part of my "problem" is that I've been doing a lot of self maintenance. A lot of soul searching. A lot of reforming myself, my ideas, my beliefs about myself, etc. I've been very introspective so far this year, even more-so than I usually am.

Since January I've been working with Pixie Campbell and all the wonderfully awesome women who are also participating in SouLodge. I'd started back in January a post about Wild women, Wise women and how things kind of smacked me in the face & then fell into place... but never finished writing it, let alone posted it.

Sometimes it feels like my thoughts are the oak leaves the Sibyl writes on, but when I try to gather them up, they blow away in the breeze, get jumbled & mixed up, and I can't sort them out again. So I leave them in a heap, a pile in the corner of my mind, and hope that maybe I'll get them straightened out someday.

Since maybe May, Britt & I have been doing a lot of talking about, reading about, etc. body image. Self love, fat acceptance, Health at Every Size, and all sorts of things that fall in with those.

The Militant Baker has been a favorite blog for a while, and now her skyrocket to the forefront of public awareness has launched a national attention shift to size, weight, self love, self acceptance...

Speaking of the utter fabulousness that IS Jes of TMB, take a few moments to read the article I've linked to below. No matter your size, weight or level of self love, read it. And love your amazing self some more. ^-^

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls... So I Will.

Okay. Awesome, right? Yep.

So perhaps it's been my hang up on writing... I don't really know.

I do know that I'd like to get back on my own little blogging wagon, simply because it makes ME happy. And that's why I started this whole shebang to begin with. ^-^

So yeah... that's kind of where I'm currently at. Slightly absent minded & obsessed with loving myself and everyone else exactly as they are, because we're all fucking gorgeous.

Hope to see you soon... XOXO

Friday, June 07, 2013

The much anticipated asparagus cake!

I meant to get this post out a while ago... but, um, yeah... I never seemed to be able to find the time. Until now, at 2:56 in the morning, as I begin. There's lots & lots of pictures for this post, so I'm sorry if it takes a bit to load... ^_~

First off, I'm a huge admirer of Rosie who writes & shares her amazing concoctions over at Sweetapolita.

She makes some of the most amazing cakes, cookies... and any and everything sweet & sugary that you could imagine. And she has tons of recipes & snazzy tutorials. If you've never been over there for a visit, I highly recommend stopping over to say hi. ^-^

One of her most amazing (and in my humble opinion, insane) confections is her asparagus cake... and HERE's the tutorial on how to make one of your very own, should you feel so inclined. Or possessed... probably by some kind of strange spirit... but I digress...


Alrighty, folks... that's the first little 'ol spear I made. ^-^

But why would I want to make a cake that looks like asparagus, you ask? Well, I shall tell you...

Britt's birthday was back at the beginning of May, well, I suppose it's really closer to the middle, but whatever...

And I had been bugging her for a month or two about what kind of cake she wanted. She didn't know. So during one of my perusals of Rosie's blog, I ran across her amazing asparagus cake. Yes, all eight layers of a full sized, 8-inch cake. The woman is mad, I tell you, but in a good way.


And I fell completely in love. And instantly knew what cake I was going to make Britt, who harbors a vast love for asparagus. I'm pretty sure it's her favorite veggie... ^-^
So we bought some white fondant from the craft/hobbie supply store & set to work dyeing it green. Thank the gods for latex gloves...


I'd never actually used fondant before this cake, but I'd heard many a horror story... lolz... but it seemed to pretty much do what I wanted it to, so I was pleasantly surprised. ^-^
My only concern was as to how I was going to shade the little things... since Rosie had suggested using petal dust, and I couldn't find any. Then I remembered to check Michael's, and was rewarded with every color of petal dust I could ever want. But I was good & only bought purple & brown. ^-^


Each of the "leaves" are made by making tiny snips with embroidery scissors in the fondant... which is a time consuming task. But I had a blast, snipping away while Britt rolled out, measured & cut the fondant into the sizes I needed. 


I did the shading with the dust via paint brush. It took me seven hours to shade them all. I shaded them all in one go, taking a brief break after about three hours to go buy a soda. ^-^

I think there were like 26 or so full spears, and about four or five times as many tips.


Crumb-coating the cake... I got two awesome little 4-inch spring form pans that I used to make two little cakes. I then cut those two cakes in half so that we'd have a four layer cake.


The full spears went around the outside of the cake, while the tips went on top. 


And there we go! A nice little bunch of asparagus that even the most vegetable-hating child would love to eat. ^-^


I had waaaaaaaaaaay too much fun making this cake... ^-^


Here's a close-up of the spear tips... 


Cake time! =D
We'd waited for a day and a half for the fondant to dry before we could bake the cake... but it was so worth it. ^-^ 


Britt wanted a purple, vanilla flavored cake, so that's exactly what she got. ^-^
Besides, everything tastes better when it's a fun color. 



And here ends my asparagus cake tale... Needless to say, the fondant is not delicious (at least not the store bought kind), so the spears themselves didn't get eaten. As I handed Britt her piece of cake, she wanted to know what to do with the spears... and her eyes bugged out of her head when I told her to toss them in the trash. She was like, "Oh my god. You just spent like three days making these, and now you want me to just throw them away?!?!?"

And yes, we did throw them away, because really, what would I otherwise do with them? o_O

Anywhom... I had such a good time baking this cake, and everything went well from start to finish. The next round of goodies I'm going to be baking is for my friend Jae's baby shower... So depending on what exactly I decide to make, perhaps I'll have something else fascinating to show all y'all. ^-^

I hope you're having a lovely week so far, and if it's your Friday, yay! If it's not your Friday, then you and I can pout together... it's not my Friday either. ^-^

XOXO

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Mad Tea Party 2013!!!

Ah, my darlings!!!

The announcement has been made!

We are going to party like no other on July 13, 2013...

...For the 6th Annual Mad Tea Party, hosted by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist! 

(Feel free to join me in my mad happy dance)

Head over to her place to sign up and snag yourself a snazzy banner like the one below... and a button too. ^-^



And then throw a party & come join in the merriment on the 13th of July. See you there!

XOXO

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mid-morning Quickie

Good morning!

I've been sick as a dog for the past few days, but I'm finally better. Yay!

Nothing like stomach flu for a few days, depriving me of my coffee to make me even more grateful than usual for it this morning. ^-^



Me, with big ass jar of iced coffee. This is what a happy Annalee looks like... ^_~



So... on the To Do list today are some house cleaning things (as always... for some strange reason, my house is not self-cleaning... imagine that?)

Also, I've designated Wednesdays as "Kitty Maintenance Day". They get brushed throughout the week, but Wednesdays they get a super thorough brushing & their nails clipped if needed & a bath if needed. Yeah, unlike my house, my cats are self-cleaning, but sometimes they need a little help when they get into something... like the cupboards... and tear open the bag of coconut sugar... ahem.

Now for the super fun stuff. ^___^

I'm working on Britt's (belated because I was sick) Birthday cake. I was perusing Sweetapolita's blog when I found a picture of a fondant asparagus cake... and knew I had to make it for Britt... she's mad for asparagus. So I spent about three hours the other night making fondant asparagus... and I anticipate I'll spend about half as much time making the 50 to 60 tips I need to top the cake. So yes... I am making asparagus cake. Here's what they look like so far...



 I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to shade them, since I lack petal dust... and no stores around here sell it. We shall see... And I suppose the finished cake will get its own post. ^-^ So keep an eye out for that in the next few days.

Alrighty... my laundry is ready to be flipped & the rest of my To Do list is patiently waiting for me to hit the "Publish" button so I can attend to them...

I hope you're having a fabulous Wednesday and I hope your weather is nice enough to go play outside in. I'll be out on my porch later this afternoon transplanting the last few plants & then fussing & rearranging potted plants until everything is just right...

XOXO

Friday, May 03, 2013

Happy Friday, and a post of random thoughts.

Today, my mind is a bit of a jumble. ^-^

I've got all sorts of things running amok up here... Plants to transplant outside... baby shower invites to make... a coffee meeting this afternoon with my friend (the one who's having the baby) to get her invite list... and all the usual things that need to be attended to... mostly my dishes. ^-^

But even the fact that I have a mountain of dishes to do isn't bugging me today... I have all day to do all the things I need to... and then some.

As far as getting things done, I absolutely LOVE being able to pay my bills online. It's fabulous. For a long time I resisted, because I'm just a wee tiny bit paranoid of sending my financial info out into the aether... but I finally caved, and it's just nifty. Besides... I figure that since I don't have millions to steal, if someone wants to clear out my account, they'll get a few measly hundred bucks and that's it. So, um, yeah...

Also, being able to pay online saves me mucho dollars in both postage and gas. So it's a win.

Something else that's been knocking about in my head lately is this here little 'ol blog. I miss blogging like I used to... which now days means at all. But I feel like I've got blogger's block... o_O
I feel like I absolutely have nothing to write about... even though I'm writing for me. I can't even count the number of times in the past month or so that I've opened up a blank post to start typing and then nothing... nada. Zip, zero, zilch. No way, no how is my brain going to work with me here. And all I can think is, "What the fuck?" o_O

So I'm kicking around the idea of maybe doing a specific type of post on a specific day of the week... lots of lovely bloggers, whose blogs I love & adore, do this, and it seems to work pretty well for them... so I figure I might give it a go...

And now for something completely different. ^_~

Britt & I have been getting a lot, and I mean a lot, of flack from people about moving. And most of it comes our way in nasty little side-swipey comments like, "Are you guys actually still planning on moving?" or, "My god, it's been so long, I thought you would have just given up on the idea."

Um, well, no we haven't, and fuck you too.

Perhaps they're irritated with us because we've chosen NOT to give up on what we want, even though we've had set backs & it's taking us longer to get where we want to go? Who knows. I do know, however, that my stash of "Polite" on this topic is running low... and at the bottom of that barrel is a whole lot of Snark and Sarcasm, just waiting to come out & play.

Well then... I'm off to get my not so tiny little plant starts into their pots. ^_____^

I hope you're having a fabulous Friday, and if you have the weekend off, YAY! If not, I send you my condolences and will offer to drink a margarita or something in your name. ^-^

Have a good day, and hopefully your weather allows for playing outside. Unless you live in the Midwest... Then I will pity you (and the rest of my family), who got a shit ton of snow the other day. Boo!

XOXO

Monday, April 15, 2013

Restless

Tonight I am filled with a great restlessness...



A great need

An immense longing and desire

To just pack up and leave.





To take my sweetie and my cats,

A few necessities and just GO.

I have no idea where.

Anywhere but here, I guess.



I've been living in Whatcom County for twelve years. TWELVE.

I've never lived anywhere this long before...

I'm feeling stagnant. Smothered. Stuck.



I've got another year until I can apply to schools again... and then still no guarantee that I'll be accepted (I didn't get in this year...)

We're still planning to move to Portland this Fall. But our last day here just can't come soon enough.








I am consumed with my wanderlust...



Britt feels it too.

 Mine stems from never staying in one place very long (until now...)

Hers from never having been anywhere but here.



Two totally opposite causes...

...with the same exact effect.



An unquenchable wanderlust.