Thursday, January 31, 2008


Tonight I'm making Sallie's Tomato Bread Soup, which I haven't had in ages and which I'd nearly lost the recipe to -- it's safely printed out, now.

This time I have Italian sausage, mild stuff, so I've got that right, but it's ground not links -- easier to deal with, I figure, and the taste if not texture should be the same. We shall see. Last time I used country sausage and it was good, but I could see where the Italian was the right stuff.

Last week I made her potato soup, which I cannot find the link for (help?), so I'm glad I did write that one down. I messed with it some -- started out with a turnip, chopped pretty fine and sauteed for a while in butter, before I added the onion and garlic; I also tossed in a bunch of paprika at about this point. I don't think I did anything else very differently though I can't be sure. It was awfully, awfully good and made happy work-lunch-leftovers for a while, too.

Also last week was my first solo attempt at Swedish meatballs. Despite the addition of a couple of eggs to the meatball recipe the meatballs fell apart anyway but tasted absolutely delicious as usual. I have since heard that the recipe I have calls for cooking the meatballs too long, so I'll try it again sometime and put them in later; we'll see.

In other news, the new place is shaping up great, and I'm going into business. Well, kinda small scale, but.

Also, there's a cat in the laundry.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Pressies all sent out, with a few extras. Let me know when stuff gets there!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back into discernment...?

Seems that now that my life is settling a bit I'm starting to get those little proddings again, the ones that say 'feed my sheep' and put down your nets'. And I find myself both more and less confident in that call. More in that I'm becoming more convinced that this is what God wants for me (or wants me for?). Less confident that I'll be able to do it in any meaningful way.

Been reading a lot of frustration from postulants -- Tandaina and Mrs. M and the Feminarian -- and wondering if I have the fortitude to survive it. Now, being Independant Catholic things are a little different but it's still a lot of work and a certain amount of hoop-jumping (though I trust, dear Bishop Laura, not without reason!).

I just don't know where to go next. Reading other folks' blogs -- those who are already ordained, those heading that way, and those who aren't and don't seek to be -- has taught me a lot, but I feel it's time to take the next step, and I don't know what that is. It's easier being in such a free-form discernment process but at the same time it's harder. At times I find myself wanting a checklist, but I know it's not going to be that easy.

So: what do I do now? Got a book I should read, a podcast to listen to? Exercises physical or spiritual? Buddy, can you spare a clue?


I woke up Thursday before last with the profound feeling that I should try fasting. Now, I'll admit that part of that was likely because my stomach had been urky for several days and the thought of not making it deal with yet more food had some appeal, but I also had the sudden feeling that taking a day every week and making it a 'day apart' -- spent in prayer and contemplation and not eating -- would be a very good thing for me. Ideally it'd be Sunday, that being traditional and all, but since I work every Sunday it's not particularly likely until I get a new job. So, well, Thursday.

It didn't go so well. Partly, I think, because I had a bunch of errands to run, one of which turned into two and a haf hours of frustration; partly because I simply don't know what I'm doing. How does one do a day's fast? Eat breakfast, than nothing else until next morning? Eat dinner the night before, then nothing else until dinner that night?

I also wound up cranky and low-blood-sugared (go figure), and barely managed to avoid inflicting too much of it on poor Tim and Ray. I was cranky near them instead of at them, which is a step but still something I'd prefer to avoid. I suspect in future I'll be better staying home and not making anyone else deal with it.

Ideas? Anyone actually tried this? Am I insane?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Year in Review Meme

...courtesy of Mother Laura. Always amusing, and I don't think I did it last year.

January: Hadn't started this blog yet, but as a bonus, my first post from my long-neglected LJ: Home. A little something I wrote on the plane on the way back to PA, and some related thoughts:

February: Introduction. I am a bisexual woman with occasional delusions of maleness, in a loving relationship with a gay man, who's in a loving relationship with another man, who's really more interested in women but makes the occasional exception.

March: Tough Night. Had a tough night last night.

April: Why can't things go smooth.... Why can't things ever go smooth? One of these days I'd like to get a look at my character sheet. I suspect some poor fool somewhere took the 'Things Don't Go Smooth' complication from the Serenity RPG.

May: Extended whinging. Tonight's task? Combatting depression with jobhunting. Fair warning: this is long, whiny, and doesn't have a happy ending.

June: Friday 5 hopes, visions and dreams. Been a couple weeks since I've done the Friday's hoping things have slowed enough that I can keep up with it now. I should note that I had so much fun playing with the font colours that I almost didn't get round to doing the Friday Five itself...

July: 5 Things I Dig About Jesus. Tagged by Bishop Laura!

August: All Teeth and Toenails (Warning: Long and Ranty). a dear friend of mine says when things get tough. Hang on with what you've got left, even if all you've got to hang on with is teeth and toenails.

September: Boring Friday Posting. There's nothing to do at work today. Really, actually nothing. I have no independent tasks of my own -- I do what Stephanie and Katie tell me to do. Well, Katie isn't in, and Stephanie is working desperately on a spreadsheet and doesn't have the time/energy/attention to be able to give me a task.

October: Gnrr. Argh. Bleh.. That Crocs job? I made the mistake of gently pointing out to a coworker that the reason I'd done something wrong (for which she bitched at me quite a bit) was because she'd told me the wrong thing. And now, I am laid off. 'It's our slow season'. Um, yeah, with Christmas coming up, I believe that.

November: Samhain, All Saint's, call it what you will.... Started a fire in my fireplace. First time this season. Got it going real well. (Took a while.) Found the SCA favours I'd made for my ex years ago...which he gave back to me the last time I saw him, right before I moved out here. I could tell they weren't going to be enough on their own, so I cut off about five inches of my hair, as well. Grab ponytail, snip, right across the back. And tossed in the lot.

December: Surviving...rather long.. *crawls back online* Having been prodded pestered gently reminded that it's been a while, herewith an update. (Hi Nina! Hi Mother Laura!)

Well, that's been my year. Somewhat more exciting than I'd remembered it being, honestly, but that's the way of things. I could use some quiet for a bit, I think...

Not tagging anyone; play along if you like.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Happy birthday, Mother Laura! Also Mrs. Caine, my elementary school gifted teacher. And, err, me.

The day started off when I woke up earlier than usual from the sort of dreams I get when I've been sleeping too long -- a sign that I'm finally, finally starting to catch up on my sleep. I stumbled to the computer, reply to a number of happy-birthday livejournal posts, and the next thing I see after that is that it's Mother Laura's birthday, too. How have we known each other for so many years and not known that?

...okay, less than a year. *boggles*

Then my mother calls to wish me a happy birthday. She called from her trophy store, too, so I also got to talk to my sister, to Steve and Bruce who own the sporting goods store she shares space with, and even Bill. Bill works for Mom, is one of two people who aren't related to me who I've known since I was born, and simply asked for Mom to hold the phone up so he could yell 'happy birthday, goat face' at me across the miles. I love my family. :)

That accomplished I go to work. Fearing mightily and yet hopeful for something cool; there's a card up on the birthday board signed by all the managers but no threat of anyone singing. (I don't have perfect pitch, but I do have pretty good relative pitch plus years and years of musical experience. The sort of atonal/multitonal/pick-a-key-will-you-anyway aural splodge you get from the usual birthday seranade makes me wince at best; at times I've fled. Once or twice I've howled.) Then I did it -- mentioned it was my birthday to someone.

Amusingly enough, his name is Louis. (The ex, for those keeping track at home, is Lewis.) It's been...odd, hanging out with someone with effectively the same name. Louis is a sweetie, though, and we talk cooking a lot, hockey every once in a while (he thinks it rocks that I played ice hockey when I was a kid), and a lot of everything else. He's in his fifties and works in sporting goods in the evenings and has some other job during the day just to make ends meet and it drives me nuts that the world is set up so that people have to do that but anyway.

He went out during his own lunch break and bought me a cake. With the numbers for 36 and everything. And then waited until I was on break and picked it up off the top of the fridge and handed it to me. And sang happy birthday (in tune!). And told me if I'd just told him yesterday he'd have baked me a cake and but this is what I got so here. I blushed so hard I could feel it and gave him a huge hug. It was even a yellow cake like I like. Yeah, he got that information out of me too.

Then the smelly bastard got on the PA system and told everyone else it was my birthday, too. Then everyone else in the store gets on one at a time to wish me a happy birthday. I believe I threatened him with death for that (not over the PA, though I did get on the thing later to tell people to get back to the break room and help me with all this cake already). I alternated between wanting to sink into the floor and grinning like a fiend. Actually, I pretty much did both at once.

If I weren't already involved with two perfectly wonderful guys...I'd seriously think about it, potential name-related squick and all. Louis is a really, really nice guy.

So what with one thing and another and a lot of urging cake on people I only brought home about enough for Tim and Ray. Ray had made lovely fresh bread and Tim had made...well, let me tell you the steps:

1) Make potato leek soup.

2) Realize there's not remotely near enough potato leek soup.

3) Stomp around and mutter.

4) Chop up some onions. Onions make everything better.

5) Hmm, those sweet potatoes should get used soon...

6) Turnips!

7) Simmersimmersimmersimmer salt simmer simmer.

8) Stick blender!

I might have forgotten an ingredient or so, but it was pretty much Winter Root Vegetable Soup. And it was good and hearty and warming and filling (especially with the bread dipped into it) and when I was done dinner I pretty much just wanted to go to bed. Tim, if you like could you chime in with a more, err, recipe-like recipe?

After that Tim showed me a web site for a geek-produced rubber band gatling gun which immediately got us off into plans for a self-reloading variant. Oh, the potential for terrible, terrible fun. :)

Home now, through single-digit weather. About froze a few parts off on the way across the street. It is not warm. However, Chocolate seems to have forgotten he's almost ten again, and is having a lovely time beating hell out of a fuzzy ball, so all is well.

Home Invasion

No, not scary. Rather amusing, actually.

So yesterday it was pretty warm (in the 40s, actually!) so I had the front door open for a while. Chocolate explored outside a bit but since I'm on the second floor now he couldn't get far, and I followed him anyway; after that he wedged himself into the closet with the other two so I wasn't worried. I was working on getting all of my herb stuff organized in yet another closet when I heard a scrapey-shuffley-sniffy noise; I turn to look and what has trotted right into my new place but the most adorable Italian greyhound ever?

Okay, so I love dogs anyway.

He was all waggy and wiggly and tongue-hanging-out and hi-you're new! so I went and petted him. Trailing somewhat behind (even with those short legs they're insanely fast) was his momma, who was alternating between shouting apologies, shouting for her dog to get over here right now, and trying to tell the person she was on the phone with what was going on. By now of course I'm laughing too hard to be pretty much any help, and the dog has basically climbed me in an attempt to lick my entire face, so she pretty much had to come in and physically fetch her dog away. I told her not to worry about it; a random home invasion by a friendly dog is rarely going to bother me a whit.

Hee. Made my day. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Not Dead

Not dead.

Not only not dead; doing all right. I have my own place now, and successfully survived living with Tim and Ray without any of us killing any of the rest of us. Half of my crap is still in other people's basements, but we're slowly working on that.

Made it through Christmas at Walmart. Didn't like it any, but it didn't kill me, either.

Herewith a short accounting of ways my new place could totally suck (and doesn't).

The next door neighbor has a huge pit bull (one of my favourite breeds, and a real sweetie).

The downstairs neighbor sings loudly (and well!).

The train is really, really loud (which is comforting because over the last eighteen years, I've only spent one year living where I couldn't hear the train).

It's in the 'bad part of town' (relatively speaking, which means it's simply working-class and doesn't come with homeowner's associations).

The kitchen is tiny, smaller even that my last place (but better laid out, and the twin pantries help a lot as well).

The building has only one water heater, so every time someone flushes the toilet when I'm in the shower... (I reflexively adjust the thing, a skill I learned in college and apparently haven't forgot; also, it's about impossible to run out of hot water!).

I'm pretty pleased with the place. Still have a lot of things to move in but it's coming together. Some short notes, as I haven't the brain for anything more comprehensive:

I have most of my kitchen, at least, and have made a couple of good meals. Today I'll be making some melt-and-pour soap (I do plan soap from scratch eventually!).

This weekend will hopefully be the Day of Moving Everything Else In.

I bought a couch and brought it home on my small station wagon's roof rack, which may have been insane but worked frighteningly well.

The cats are (mostly) adjusting; I'm a bit worried about Taltos but he's coming out more as more familiar-smelling stuff arrives. Samson has been sleeping under the covers which is hysterical and very, very cute.

I discovered this morning that I can see the train as well as hear it, which is extra-specially cool.

The gifties mentioned in the last post have been assembled and will go out Any Day Now I Swear.

Someone in the complex has a big cat named Mufasa Man who has twice tried to move in with me, or at least wander in to investigate.

Sarah is a very, very goofy dog.

I have the bestest friends in the universe. And y'all are among them.

More soon!