Life, Left Over

Archive for the ‘Bloggy’ Category

Hi everyone! I’m still struggling with an abysmally old laptop (we did get our w2 today, so the tax return should be forthcoming, and the computer repairs or new computer soon after). I just felt like checking in around here. Not that it seems like anybody has missed me.

My main purpose in writing this is to talk about the changes that I’ve been mulling over. The time off has given me time to think about my blogging, my crafting, my etsy-ing, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And changes are coming.

First and foremost, I think I should warn you that this particular blog will be going away. I feel the need for a name-change. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it happens. I might re-name my Textbook Leftovers site as well. I agonized over that name for months before launching, but I fear that I’m unhappy with it. Anybody have any good ideas for a new name? I’m open to suggestions.

I’m also going to be making changes over at Etsy. When my current listings expire (only a few weeks to go), I’ll not be renewing them. Some of them will indeed make a return, but a lot of them won’t. I am going to strike out anew with a fresh direction. More nerdy, more functional. I’m still hammering out my “mission statement,” but I want my shop to reflect my desire for my own life to reflect my sense of fun and enjoyment even in the mundane things. I’m also working on several new branches of craftiness, and the shop will probably reflect that.

As far as the content of my blogging, I’ll still be sticking to a schedule, but it’ll probably change a bit. I really enjoy the Web roundup, although I might move it to Sundays or Saturdays (or maybe even Friday) – Wednesday is just an awkward day in terms of the flow of the internet. Secondly, I may end up cutting the strict conformity to “food this day” and “this this day” – or I may not. We’ll see. I’d like to spend more time sharing my thoughts and ideas, and I really want to build a discussion with my readers. For the love of Gandalf, please ENGAGE. I come to the internet to CONNECT and that’s what I want out of my blog. I want to post things and then talk about it! God I love to talk. Talk to me! πŸ˜€

I want to point out that I have been back on Google Reader, devouring my feeds, and that includes sharing things on Google Plus. So please, if you’re interested, go hunt me down and add me. I try to share crafty things that catch my eye, various news or entertainment articles that interest me. I do occasionally post politically-related things, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Let’s talk, let’s discuss. Let’s agree or disagree, just let’s do it kindly. πŸ˜€ This link should get you to my G+ profile. If not, let me know.

Okay, let’s see, I’ve talked about the name-change, the Etsy changes, the blog schedule, G+… What else did I want to say…

I think that’s it! πŸ˜€ Thanks for listening, and I hope to hear from you soon. πŸ™‚


So. The Halloween Party. First off, I’ll tell you that everything turned out great and we had a lot of fun. πŸ™‚ Now, for the whole story. I’m just scattering the pictures among the story. They’re not in any particular order. πŸ™‚

Part of our outdoor setup. If you look closely, you’ll see one of the pumpkins is “The Black Cat” and the other is “The House of Usher” (before its fall, I suppose).

Friday was spent getting as many things ready as possible. The cupcakes and breadsticks and deviled eggs needed to be made the day of, but frosting and pesto and the like can all be made in advance. I don’t remember now what it even was, but something was going very very wrong, and I was frustrated as hell by the time Jonathan got home. I do remember that someone was being a jackass and trying to keep them all late, but someone else told that person to STFU and let the guys go home. Jonathan was too late to change into his costume, and I was too frustrated to bother, so Missy was the only one who went to the MWR party at Remington Park in costume.

I am so proud of this thing, there are no words.

It was a ton of fun, that party. It was cold as hell, but we got there as early as we could and the sun wasn’t completely down yet. We went on a “scary” hayride and then went through a Haunted Trail. Our daughter has no concept of being afraid of things, for real. No fear at all. We got some candies, played some games, ate cookies and hot chocolate, and made it home before too late. We all had fun, and both of us adults were in MUCH better moods.

Click this link to read the rest – there is SO MUCH more. Read the rest of this entry »

I finished my Nevermore banner! I’m planning a big picture post for this week’s Bonus Thursday, so make sure you come back!
We cleaned out a bunch of stuff from our garage. Lots of clothes and stuff that didn’t sell at the garage sale is now at the Watertown Urban Mission. πŸ˜€ Clean garage, yay!

I’ve got a lot to do this week, so I’m gonna make a list!
– make practice run of breadsticks (early in week)
– make “pie cookies” to go with the cider (probably make dough around Wednesday, bake on Friday or Saturday)
– make practice run of caramel for caramel apples
– make bow tie for husband
– hem my tunic
– paint my weaponry
– paint kid’s overalls for costume
– prepare husband’s wig
– make breadsticks (friday or saturday)
– make caramel (saturday)
– carve pumpkins (friday night)
– CLEAN (all week, forever)
– arrange dining room
– make deviled eggs (boil earlier in week, finish on Saturday)
– make vampire cupcakes (friday or saturday)
– make cider (saturday morning so it’s warm by evening)
– decorate outside (it’s been raining so it better stop soon!)
– make a “pendulum” – maybe
– decorate the house – spiderwebs on the bookshelves, blood in the shower, etc

…I’m sure I’m forgetting things. 😦

I’ve been sooooo swamped lately. Preparing for Halloween mostly. Hubcap has been going to ranges a lot, and that messes up the household a lot. A few days ago, I described it as “trying to sail in choppy water” and I really like that description. In and out, back and forth… Ugh.

Here’s what I’m going to be working on this weekend.
– Finish tunic (for my costume – I’m really happy with how it’s going so far)
– Make Silly Bear’s costume
– Finish rounding up the stuff for costumes (a few shirts, parts for the Sonic Screwdriver)
– Finish painting the glass decor items for the party (most of them just need a second coat or a touch up)
– Make the rest of the cardboard decor items (finish cask, make outdoor sign, make pendulum, etc)
– Read Book 2 (or more) of The Odyssey
– Make (or buy if all else fails) invitations for the party
– Decide on a menu (and begin collecting ingredients)
– Do a Tutorial Tuesday (I’m thinking of doing some chainmaille)
– Make a giant spider and a pinata out of papier machΓ©
– don’t you hate when you make a list of all the things you have to do and you feel like you’re forgetting something important…

There’s a Halloween event at a store nearby that I want to go to on Saturday. We need to do a bit of grocery shopping. The dining room, backyard, and garage all need some serious cleaning.

On the bright side, I’ve made some really awesome things in the last week or so. I’m planning to do a nice big photo shoot when everything is done, so be on the lookout!

I’ve been simultaneously lazy and busy lately. I made several new items for my Etsy shop over the last few weeks, and had yet to post them. UNTIL NOW. (dun dun dun!)

Click here to go to my NEW ITEMS section!
I’ve got a set of four reusable bags (like Ziploc, but you don’t have to buy them every other week), a quilted book protector (for the book you’re carrying in your purse), a quilted pouch (originally for my daughter’s grapes when we go out, but useful for just about anything), and two pair of maille earrings.
There’s a maille choker in the works that coordinates with the earrings. I really need to finish it, since it is vampire-themed.
I had a lot of items expire over the last couple weeks. I feel slightly sad, but not too much. I’ve learned a lot about what I enjoy about crafting. I’ve learned some new techniques, and I feel like I grew a lot. I renewed some of the items that expired, but not all of them. The best part about my process is that I like all the things I’ve made – so if it doesn’t sell I can always keep it and be happy. πŸ™‚

I’ve also been making scarves. Specifically, I’ve made two Doctor Who scarves for my husband and myself. I love them. πŸ™‚ I might begin making and selling scarves on Etsy. Can never have too many scarves.
I need to get my rear in gear and get on our Halloween costumes. He is going as the Eleventh Doctor and I will be going as the lovely Professor River Song. We bought nearly everything we needed at thrift stores in town (including a nearly-perfect tweed jacket!). We’ve just got to get a shirt for each of us, lol. (Our daughter is going as one of the Backyardigans.) I’ve got a tunic to make for myself, though, as well as some overalls to paint for my daughter, and a flashlight to remodel into a Sonic Screwdriver. It’s gonna be awesome.

In other news, I made Challah and Honey-Apple Cupcakes last week. We’re not Jewish, but I was inspired by all the Rosh Hashanah posts around the blogosphere. I’m trying very hard to straighten my head out and get back into blogging like I always intended. I am hoping to start a sort of schedule like so many others follow. Maybe a Tutorial Tuesday (that one is nearly ubiquitous, isn’t it?) and a Cooking Thursday.
If I’m really successful, I’ll even finally go back to Textbook Leftovers and start with my review of The Odyssey. I don’t particularly want to read it, but I obviously should, since it’s been SO influential. And I don’t want to skip entries in the Anthology. So… be looking for that.

On the writing front, I should warn everyone within shouting distance that I’m planning to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. Last year was the first year I fully participated, and I finished with nearly a week to spare. I’m hoping to go back and read that novel again before November rolls around. I thought I had decided what I wanted to write about this year, but now I’m not so sure.


Wow, I forgot how good it feels to blog. Now I remember how I was so prolific back in college.


Posted on: July 31, 2011

So hubby is gonna be out of town for a while. I’m kinda glad and kinda sad. Mostly meh. It’s a small amount of time compared to what we’ve already done.
Anyway, that’s not the point. I want to talk about our new Plans.
We’re both fatties. No need to get technical. We’re fatties. And well, I’m unhappy (and unhealthy), and his job depends on him not being too much of a fatty. Sooooooo

We’re on a “diet.” By which we mean, we’re making a few changes. We’re eating rice more. Lots more. Brown rice, to be specific, which is hella filling, hella cheap, hella good for us, and hella easy. (Wish that Sams carried it in 50-lb bags, though.) Doesn’t even need to be drained like noodles do. Only downside is that it takes longer to cook than noodles. We thought about whole wheat noodles, but frankly they’re gross, and not really as good for you as they pretend to be. We’re also cutting back on potatoes. Not cutting them out entirely because we love potatoes, but just kicking it down a notch. We’re not completely abandoning noodles either. The idea is to make it better without actually denying ourselves the things we like. That way we don’t feel like the diet is depriving us of anything, and we stick to it. Gradually, we can make more changes.

One thing that might be hard is that we’re cutting back on meat. We’re not going veggie and probably never will. But meat is expensive. So –Β  much much less beef. And probably more chicken. Chicken is hormone free and much cheaper than beef. It can also be prepared to be quite good for you, and can be infused with many different flavors. I have plans to try out some new flavors that we haven’t tried. We rarely eat pork anyway, so that will probably stay at about the same rate – a pork chop a month or so.
Fish is a complicated issue. I do not like much fish. But fish is good for us! I can tolerate fish sticks, lol, which has to be better than nothing. I’m going to look at different options for dipping said fish sticks than tartar sauce. Maybe I’ll get brave and we’ll have some tilapia filets or something.
To replace our beef, I bought a lot of dried beans today to try out. Hopefully we’ll find some we like and be successful with them. πŸ™‚ We already know we like kidney beans and black beans. I also got something called cranberry beans, and some lentils.

We have, hitherto, been a little lax on our veggie eating. We’d have full intention of making a veggie to go with dinner, but then dinner finishes cooking faster than expected, or Silly Bear requires attention, and no veggie lands on the table. We are making a serious, concerted effort to avoid this happening, and so far have succeeded. We buy our frozen veggies at Sams. Our nearby Sams is mostly intended for restauranteurs, so the food is of great quality. Best green beans I’ve ever had.

Our grocering today went well. We had to go to Sams, where we get crackers, frozen vegetables, and an assortment of other things as needed. Very cost-effective. We spent a total of $100 there, including renewing our membership for $40, and are all set for that store for a while. πŸ™‚ Score. We spent about 60$ at Walmart, and now all we have to buy is bread, IQF chicken, relish, and cat food – all of which we plan to get at the commissary tomorrow. So, awesome. πŸ™‚ We saved a lot on meat (since we aren’t buying any but the chicken), and spent a bit more on a green dishwashing soap (Mrs Meyers – I’ve been planning to get it for months and we finally ran out of dish soap lol) and some veggies that we might have had to skip otherwise.

We’ve actually really been enjoying having rice so often. It serves as a nutty, rich backdrop to the main course. It complements everything and allows the flavors of the other dish (chicken generally) to shine.

It kinda sucks that Hubby is going to be gone for so long, though. Hard to keep on with our experiments without him. Oh well. I’m planning to have lots and lots of rice and veggies for dinner. I find myself with more free time when he’s gone, so things should go smoothly.
Hopefully when he gets back from {location}, he and I will both be skinnier. I’ve never known him to get fat on Army food. πŸ˜‰

I recently received an order for a set of 3 banners for someone’s grandkids. They are going to be an xmas present, so they obviously don’t need to be completed until November at the earliest.
Some might think it’s odd that, seeing as it’s July, I have started on them already (and made some decent progress), since it’s so long until they’ll be purchased and paid for.

But see, I know myself. First of all, I do my best work in the first flush of a project. I do best when it’s still new and exciting. But I burn out. I live my life in phases – indulging deeply in something until I get bored of it. I do this with everything – like I said a few days ago, I read voraciously for a few days, and then move on to gaming for a while, then something else, and something else, and yet again something else.
So I need to make sure to plan for the fact that I’ll work like a demon on them for a while, and then lay them aside for days, weeks, maybe even months. Might even go through more than one cycle of this. I’ll get distracted and want to work on a different project. I’ll get to the part when I sew the pennants onto the binding and not want to start it because it’s kindof a pain (not really now that I’m good at it, actually).
So even though I could be reasonably said to be about 25% finished with the banner order, I haven’t touched them (except to move them into my project box while cleaning) in days and probably, if I’m honest, won’t work on them again for at least a week (probably longer).
Especially since I started work on a scholarly essay last night (at 0230), have an order of wire coming in in a few days (and the opportunity to make more rings), an almost-completed maille project, an interior decorating project coming up (will need to paint, stage, and photograph), my husband is out of the state for military training for a month (so I’ll be solo parenting for a while – relieves some stress and causes other stress, lol), I’ve got a mountain of books out from the library, I still want to get back to work on Textbook Leftovers, I’ve got the itch to play some video games, my DVR is full, and I have a few new types of projects that I want to try!

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