Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Orange curd

I made orange curd tonight! This recipe is a little fussier than my mother-in-law's recipe for lemon curd, but it's very nice. I was surprised it called for a little lemon juice (for zing) and half a stick of butter (for... butteriness?). I think the real genius step is to reduce the orange juice before starting so it's more concentrated.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Best answer EVER

Ring, ring! Meg gave me her cell phone to answer.
"Who is it?" I asked.
"Jesus," she says matter-of-factly. So I talk to Jesus on Meg's phone.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

So she likes gifs and Youtube

This is the funniest thing Meg's seen in... maybe forever.

Just now she was fiddling around behind my chair. I said, "Do I want to know what you're doing back there?"

She answered, "Hiding!"

Not knit till now

There are tons of cute knitted projects around that I really, really want to try. There are ginormous knit blankets, cable-knit sweaters, and patterns of all varieties. Joann's even had a pattern card for fair-isle socks (!) in the yarn aisle. That's like, like, putting recipes in the meat row. I've done some crocheted projects this winter, but it's not the same, and I don't think I can get the look I'm going for with a crochet stitch.

I do not have knitting needles, never having knit, and I'm not going to rush out and buy a pair just like that. So my question to the all-knowing internet today was, "Can I knit using chopsticks as knitting needles?" The internet said yes, with reservations. I have moved one step towards a larger universe.

(P.S. Jonathan and I are re-watching Empire Strikes Back. Those movies are just full of quotes. It's as bad as Shakespeare.)


The winter cold is striking again. Not outside... more through the nose. I am intentionally doing nothing useful today, beyond eating and dire necessities. It's kind of hard not to feel guilty about it, because dag-nab-it, if you're a housewife you've GOT to be busy or you fail at life (apparently?), but I call my Kleenex pile to witness: I HAVE A COLD. I think it's okay.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We've had an adventuresome day. By noon, I'd sewn a skirt,* checked out a historical mill in Aldie, driven to Middleburg for the first time, locked my keys in the car, had a nice policeman come get my keys out of the car, visited a new library, discovered a town I'd never even heard of before, verified that Business 7 through Purcellville really does turn into Dry Mill Road in Leesburg, and heard from my mom that a friend of a friend who'd been kidnapped in Africa had just been rescued by Navy Seals! PRAISE GOD! Obviously, my day was not as adventurous as hers.

...I like Middleburg. It's very old-school and full of cute shops, apparently cute restaurants, and horses. But Meg's favorite movie right now is Ratatouille, and all her board books are full of the Eiffel Tower, and one of my pinterest friends is putting together a Paris board. I need to go to Paris now, please.

*Simplest skirt ever. I cut off an old shrunken sweater of Jonathan's, sewed one-seam pocket around the top, and threaded elastic through. Took 20 minutes, mostly threading elastic.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dinogad's Smock

Heavenfield linked me to this rather neat piece of historical detective work. "Dinogad's Smock" is an old Welsh lullaby that got incorporated into the Y Gododdin, and linguists dated the lullaby to the 500s AD.

The poem specifies Dinogad's father went fishing in "Rhaeadr Derwennydd," or the Derwent Waterfall. There are several Derwents on the Isles, but only one with a waterfall. There's also a "Hog's Earth" woods nearby suitable for bringing back "a roe-buck, a boar, a stag," and a Castle Crag just uphill from the falls with a post-Roman settlement of suitable age. Bing!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My new friend

Meet my new friend.
This is a bust of Otto von Bismarck back when he was, um, something before he was made a prince in 1871. We got it at a white elephant exchange last night from a guy who got it from a history professor who'd had it for years, who'd gotten it from somebody who'd had it for many years before that. There's speculation the bust is actually from before 1871, since it's not of Bismarck with his later title.

Or history professors just like "snapshot" busts.

Either way, I needed Bismarck. I've been kind of wanting a bust for a while, and I took a fancy to him and his peeling gold paint. And his mustache. At first we couldn't read his label properly and thought he was a Nazi friend of Himmler's, and I liked him then. I mean, I could always paint him and give him silly hats. But after the gentleman who brought the bust explained he was Bismarck, I was really glad I'd stolen him from Nathan Curby. Would you believe, no one tried to steal the bust away from me? Bismarck is awesome. It's not like he was a singing Justin Bieber toothbrush (true story).

Since my camera charger is still MIA, you get this photo courtesy of my cell phone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New projects!

Since Meg is urgently in need of bigger clothes, and I've been on a sewing kick lately, I had a good excuse to go buy fabric today. :-) I got an orange butterfly print, yellow polka dots, giant brown and white polka dots, and some multicolored stripes. I want to make a couple skirts and maybe a sundress or two, that she can wear with leggings and onesies now and as a single layer when it gets warmer. The fabric's in the washer right now. I'm pretty excited.

I haven't quite managed to post about my previous projects because my camera is totally out of juice and I have to track down the power cord, the camera, and connect them. This may take a while. But I've made a purple skirt for myself, lace-trimmed legwarmers for under boots, and a cardboard shelf for Meg's stuffed animals. It's very temporary, which is Totally Good Enough.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Some people tend to get all twitchy when pictures hang crooked. For me, it's when bloggers use the wrong homonym. That tells me they don't understand what they're writing. Which is bad. This is especially distressing in metaphors like

"guild the lily" (should be GILD the lily, as in put gold on it, not put it into committees)


"give it free reign" (which at least makes sense, kind of, but it's actually REIN. Like, horses. Horses have reins, not kingdoms).

I also saw someone write "walla" for "voila." Today. Twitch, twitch.

Those are true stories from this week, but I didn't link them to protect the guilty. Thank you. You may now return to your previously scheduled life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

She grew again

You'd think by now I'd be used to it, but not really. Willy or nilly, Meg just outgrew pretty much all her 18 month clothes AND her current size shoes. She's got quite a bit in the next size, but not everything. Time to go shopping for jeans and dress shoes! I think there were some leopard flats at Target... :-)

The up side is, I went through all her stuff this morning and picked out a bunch to give away. Some I want to keep for a potential future baby, but not everything. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Hello from chilly Virginia! It's 33 degrees and blowing like it means it. Everybody dashed into church this morning and stuck around afterward. There was a new-pastor luncheon party, which helped the sticking-around process. It was cold in that parking lot.

For my big experiment last night, I tried sleeping in curlers. I don't think I have the technique quite right, because they all slipped and I woke up with curlers dangling around my shoulders. But my hair did have nice oomph this morning, if not the perfect waves I'd been hoping for. I curled the roots and tips with a hot iron this morning and called it good.

Also, I had that new-old teal pencil skirt to wear. It's lined wool, and I matched it with leggings, two pairs of socks, tall boots, long sleeves, and a chunky gray sweater. Did I mention it was cold? But I'm grateful it's January. Nobody looks at you funny for wearing a hundred layers this month.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It must be January. I organized Jonathan's sock drawer because mine already was. Whatever would he do without me?


I went thrifting last week and found some rather nice treasures. The first was this pretty dark teal skirt. It comes across as a midi pencil skirt.

After I chose it, then I discovered it was Pendleton. Score!

The other was a little plaid kilt. I think it was homemade, actually, but good material and construction. But it looks adorable with boots and my new coral cardigan.

It was a rather unfortunate midi length, so I chopped off a few inches and hemstitched it. I left enough material to lengthen it later if I get the hankering.

I also found a set of cobalt drinking glasses like I've been hunting for since last January. I thought about it overnight, and when I went back for them, they were still there. It was clearly meant to be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho

It's off to work he goes! ::insert whistling::

It's true! God sent Jonathan a job, and he started today. He's working for a small firm here in town (hurray for both of those) and will be doing estate administration - so wills, taxes on estates, and that sort of thing. We already knew and liked one of the firm's partners from church, so that is particularly cool.

Everyone who prayed for us, and I know there are a lot of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. :-)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Nice rice

I don't buy huge bags of rice just because it's cheapest (though that's awesome), nor because I have a deep preference for Sona Masoori varietals.

No... it's because the imported bags are so cool. Is that Hindi??

I tell you a mystery

Today was Meg's long-standing two-year-old appointment with her new pediatrician. I found the paperwork the new office had sent me, filled it out, filled out (and got Jonathan to fax) the records request for her old pediatrician which I meant to do in December but lost the paper, and called both her old pediatrician and new to make sure everybody knew where records were being faxed.

I got directions and the address, and made it home from grocery shopping to leave on time, and we found the place with no problem. We were ON TIME. This is news, y'all.

Only the receptionist had no record of our appointment. Or of Meg. Or of the doctor's name in my calendar. And the paperwork I'd filled out had been discontinued two months ago.


I should have suspected something was wrong when I didn't get a reminder call, but some offices don't give them.

Double-checked my calendar and my notebook. The doctor's name I wrote down was actually a different pediatrician who had also been recommended by friends. All I can figure is I got mixed up somewhere, because I made a lot of doctor and dentist appointments the day I set it up. But what I want to know is, if the appointment was actually for Other Doctor, how on earth did I get blank paperwork from the office at this address?

Since this office had also been recommended by friends, I set up a new appointment for Friday. The poor records lady confided to me she had a migraine. Meg and I had the good end of the deal, because we went home by way of the toy store train set and then it started snowing.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Black and white and covered all over

My poor armchair really did need reupholstering. I wasn't just making it up about needing a staple gun. This is the chair a neighbor in Richmond was throwing away and I rescued. It's turned out to be the most amazing, comfortable, sturdy recliner, and I love it. I painted it black and got Ikea fabric to re-cover the seat and lower back cushion, and it's looked pretty good ever since.

Unfortunately, the upholstery tacks worked great on the seat cushion but not so much on the upper part. The hardwood of the frame is so tough and so awkward to get at, I couldn't really hammer the tacks in, so the fabric was dangling by one corner for a while. Not attractive. Then it spent a while longer as in a rumpled pile in the back of the seat. Er.

Yesterday I gave up on perfect and used safety pins. They aren't particularly obvious unless you're look for them, and they hold the fabric in place beautifully. Nice chair.

And so it begins

I'll try and keep this tasteful.


Meg picked out her own seat. (They don't make Cars merchandise in girl colors. Go figure.) The deal is, she sits on it, we go through the routine, and then she gets an M&M, because I am all about bribery and corruption in its proper place. It's a big hit. She'll come up to me and actually ask to go potty.

Once we get this under control, we'll upgrade the prize for going potty successfully.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A birthday

Yesterday was J. R. R. Tolkien's 120th birthday. I'm a little behind, but then I frequently forget my living friends' birthdays too.

To the Professor.

Staple gun

I fixed Jonathan with a steely eye. "Staple gun. I need one. Because then I can reupholster things, and won't have to buy new ones."

He nodded gravely. "Logic. I understand this."

We both returned to our computers.


In other news, this is my 1000th post. Only took me seven years. The number of perfection, y'all.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Clovis, NM, behind Taco Box

Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

The new MI movie is quite good. I could see Brad Bird's fingerprints all over it, which we liked. V-Dawg also has a good review up.

Jonathan was impressed that Tom Cruise actually had some facial expressions. I was impressed that the hero was allowed to make mistakes in his daredeviling: he would swing through the air and smash into the edge of whatever he was aiming for, and his partners would have to grab him and haul him inside. Also unusual, for an action movie, was that fights actually wore the combatants down. You could watch the injuries adding up and the combatants getting tired. All in all, well done.

It was also very clean, aside, of course, for all the action violence. The requisite seduction scene was discreetly handled and ended... not to spoil it, but not in a classic seduction. The language was also very clean, unless you speak Russian.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Please don't be my valentine

So... we haven't quite cleaned up the glitter from New Years and already stores and Pinterest are full of Valentine's Day decorations/recipes/junk. NO! Not yet!! Stop stop stop!

Apparently January and Groundhog's Day are insufficiently riveting. Sheesh.

We took down most, but not all, Christmas decorations and Meg's birthday streamers here at Nana's. Popping the balloons was very therapeutic. We haven't made it home yet to undecorate there. I'm looking forward to some nice post-Christmas housecleaning, reorganizing, calm, and hopefully a little snow. I have a closet that's much too full (Meg's), a closet that's nearly empty in parts, a whole raft of clothes I want to sew, and decorations that are not where they belong, which is in bins.

Valentine's Day is simply not allowed yet.


I have a new resolution: to wrote 212 blog posts in 2012. That's just under 18 posts a month or a little more than 4 a week. Most of them will be short, no doubt, but I'd like to try because you faithful readers have put up with quite a lot from me. Also the numbers have a nice symmetry about them. I'm excited!