Thursday, December 26, 2013

how to create the perfect holiday stocking

so as you may or may not know, we're celebrating our holidays a little late this year.  not till the 28th.  right now we get away with just not doing anything on the 25th, but in later years we're going to use the "Santa asked for volunteers to celebrate later so that he can get to more people in one night".  that means that i'm just now getting around to getting the stockings finished.

but they are AWESOME.

so here is how you create absolutely perfect holiday stockings:

step one :
              have access to an amazing embroidery machine....  or my mother. seriously, she has the most outstanding skills in the embroidery department.  she does it all, tshirts, blankets, polo shirts, even patches.  she has mad skillz.

step two:
              take down the hideous curtains in the man cave, do not let your husband know what you're doing with them, just mysteriously walk out of the room.  put up new curtains.

step three:
              get embroidery files that perfectly encapsulate the inner Santa of each member of your household.  for this, i went to UrbanThreads and downloaded their Santa Surprise design pack and a freebie that they offered a few weeks ago.  (honestly, if you like embroidery even a little, check their website every week, they have amazing freebies ALL THE TIME)  have your (my) mother embroider the files onto the horrible curtains.

Astro Santa for Bam

Pirate Santa for Hubby

Sparkly Japanamation Santa riding a Unicorn for Dallas

Skellinton Santa for me

 Shameless obsequious picture of my sewing area.  or as i like to call it "the dark corner of the basement"

step four:
                  cut the freshly embroidered files into a vaguely stocking like shape

step five:

                 sew them together, adding the almost obsessive amount of vintage lace and trims i have stashed away instead of fur (actually, the boys have a really neat vintage fur ribbon....  1960's).  don't forget to add a loop.

all four together

piratical goodness

 super cute vintage tatted lace.  

i'm not sure why mine is sideways, but it seems par for the course.

step six:
               fill with Terry's Chocolate Oranges, walnuts, bits of candy, and trinkets.

i'm pretty proud of the stockings.  i meant to make them last year, but never got around to it.  i can't wait to see the kids' faces on our Christmas morning when they see them.  


Saturday, December 21, 2013

no more new years resolutions

i make them every year.  i never keep them more than a couple of months.  no one does really.  i mean, how many times have you looked into the windows of a gym on january 15th and seen it packed, just to do the same thing on march 15th to see it empty?  resolutions don't last.  you can resolve to do whatever you like, but that doesn't mean you have the willpower to stick it out.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  i know i don't have the willpower most of the time.  seriously, the only resolution I've ever stuck with is to be amazing.  and lets face it, that one isn't hard to keep.

so this year (and I'm thinking of making it a tradition), instead of a list of resolutions, I'm making a list of knitting.  I'm blogging it here so i can keep you all posted (i know how you worry), and this way i can also look back and see what projects i have yet to do. so here is my list of new year knitting along with links, but no pictures, because I'm lazy and about to go have our christmas with the hubbs family.

     most can be found on ravelry, and some i got in the Jane Austen Knits i just picked up

Sweet Home Socks
Bandanna cowl
Lady Violet's Dinner Gauntlets
Most Sensible Bonnet
Love - Loyalty Pin Ball
Northanger Pelisse
Dumbledore's Smoking Hat
the Griffendor Cami

Monday, December 9, 2013

How to survive the Holidays if you aren't Christian

the holidays are a special time.  filled with home, and family, and hearth.  snow blanketing the land, the twinkle of lights on the tree.  the joy.  the carols.  but when you're a Pagan, the holidays can be a minefield.  here is a little list that might make it easier to navigate.

1.  don't get your panties in a bunch.  yes, early Christians moved the birth of Jesus to coincide with the winter solstice in order to make conversion to Christianity easier.  you aren't going to win friends and influence people by rubbing it in their face every time someone says 'Merry Christmas'.  chillax.

2.  be nice.  if you know someone is Christian, tell them Merry Christmas.  if you know someone is Jewish, say "Happy Hanukkah".  being polite isn't going to kill you.

3.  call it Yule if you want to.  or call it Christmas.  in our house we use the terms interchangeably.  no one really cares what you call it.

4.  it's OK to get frustrated.  yes, people will ask you why you celebrate if you aren't Christian.  they may even be rude about it.  that's their drama, not yours, and it says more about who THEY are than who they think you are.  at worst, you've just dealt with a douche bag, at best you've made somebody think.

5.  find something to LOVE about the holidays.  for me, it's Santa.  there are so many Odin references that i can't not love it.  for you, maybe it's the cookies, the carols, the snow, the rum, whatever.

6.  remember that believing in something other than a "mainstream" religion makes people afraid.  they begin to question their own beliefs, and that's uncomfortable for them.  be kind.

7.  know when to walk away.  there are a couple of people i just steer clear of the entire month of December.  it's not worth the digs, snide comments, and "jokes".

8.  know when to stand up.  if someone is truly harassing you because of your religion, remember that it is your Constitutionally protected right to Freedom of Religion.  you have every right to believe what ever you believe.  sometimes you need to stand and say enough.

9.  above all else, be true to yourself.  if you're not a "Christmas-y" person, don't even try.  if you want to run through town screaming "SANTA!!!!", go for it.  make it yours.

happy holidays everybody

Saturday, December 7, 2013

rome wasn't built in a day

i have a plan.  a very specific 1-2 year plan on a complete health overhaul.  the ultimate plan is to go gluten free, dairy free, organic, grass fed animals, real fat, real food, and daily yoga (and hopefully get my yoga teacher certification too).  and this plan isn't just for me, but for my family too.  it' going to take a couple of years to get everything done.  this is something i want to really excel at, so small changes.  take today for example, instead of getting the microwave breaded chicken nuggets at the store, i got a bag of frozen chicken breasts.  i baked them and gave them to Bam for lunch.  yes, he fussed a bit (he doesn't like new food), but he still ate them.  and i can feel better about giving it to him.  admittedly, it was commercial chicken, and i'm not really happy about that, but it's a small step.  

the path is forged with small steps.  

for starters, i'm slowly ditching processed food.  the chicken nugget for chicken breast is the first step.  today was cooking day, so i made a big ole pot of potato soup, and i'll take those to work for the next week.  BOOM, instant fast food, and it's saving me money since i don't have to buy my lunch every day.  

once the processed food addiction is kicked, i'm going to phase out dairy.  now, i love cheese, so this is going to be particularly difficult.  i love cheese.  cheese and sour cream.  and yogurt.  if i could fry a mix of cheese and sour cream and yogurt i would live on that for the rest of my life.  which admittedly wouldn't be long.  

after that is the gluten.  i love bread almost as much as i love cheese, and there is gluten in almost  EVERYTHING, so i'm really not looking forward to this.  i know this has to be done.  we as humans weren't meant to eat wheat or drink cow milk, and we haven't evolved enough to digest it properly.  so they gotsta go.  

daily yoga is just something that i want.  i feel more centered when i practice every day.  my body feels like my own.  my muscles respond so much better when they are regularly stretched.  so keeping a daily practice is a no-brainer.  and if i'm going to be perfectly honest, i've made a commitment to myself and to Odin.  i vowed that someday (i left it open ended so there wasn't a time frame attached) i would be able to get into crow pose.  crow pose scares me.  scares the life out of me.  and i will keep at it until i get it.  i have to.  vows are important.  this isn't something that i can walk away from.  

four small steps.  it doesn't seem so unobtainable when i see it written down.  but i know it's huge.  huge.  this is my life huge.  i can do it.  

i think i can i think i can i think i can 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cooking is Magic

i love fall because it puts me in a cooking mood.  admittedly, i've been cooking a lot more now that i've (tried) to commit myself to eating as little processed food as i can.  seriously, it's hard yo.  try to ingest less toxins, and you end up having to make everything from scratch because you can't be sure that what you're eating is really food.  and with the cooler weather, soups are big for me.  i love soups.  i'm going to share a recipe for one of my favorite soups.  and most of the ingredients have magical benefits as well.  so not only are you getting the amazing real food benefits but you get magical benefits too.  

Onion Protection Soup

you need:

6 tbl butter
4-6 large white onion (protection)
3 tbl brown sugar
2 tbl flour (prosperity)
4 c beef stock
salt (protection)
fresh ground pepper (grounding)
1/4 c rum
1c grated mozzarella or provolone cheese

melt the butter in a large sauce pan, add the chopped onion and sugar, cook over medium heat until the onions are caramelized.  remove from heat and the flour and slowly add the beef stock, stirring the entire time.  bring to a boil, add salt, pepper, and rum.  simmer for 20min, then ladle into bowls, top with cheese.

serve with home made croutons drizzled with butter when ever you feel you need a little more protection.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

maybe this IS a midlife crisis.

seriously, i turn 39 and suddenly i'm falling apart.  questioning my place in the universe, re thinking patterns that have been two decades in the making, you know, like ya do.  it's not that i'm unhappy with my life, i love my life.  it's just that i know that there could be something else i'm doing.  it's not a feeling of being stuck, but of being....  un stretched.

you know that feeling in yoga after your first mountain pose, that awesome powerful stretch?  i feel like THAT feeling is missing, you know?  that feeling your body has after a challenge.  that.  and it's not like i have a lot of extra time to stretch those muscles (except for literal), so really it leaves one feeling impotent to change anything.  but it doesn't stop the feeling of WANTING the change.  for example, here is a small sampling of the things that have crossed my mind to learn/do/attempt at change just this week alone:

start yoga teacher training
begin an herbalist course
Italian cooking course
start a website selling aprons in geeky fabrics
winning the lottery
learn nailbinding
creating an art instillation project that is all copies of well known paintings but knitted.
yoga flash mob

but now, looking at the list, maybe it's not just the change that i crave, it's the learning.  except for lottery winner and yoga flash mob, that's pretty much all the list is...  learning something.  maybe it's not my life i need to stretch, but my brain.

something to think about at least.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


it's en vogue right now on facebook to list something each day that you are grateful for.  while i'm not going to go that far, i will list just some of the things that i'm really truely grateful for here.

i'm grateful for my children.  they are smart, and beautiful, and amazing and bring me happiness every single day of my life, even if i don't see them every day.

i'm grateful for my husband.  it's no exaggeration to say that he saved me.  i honestly would not be where i am, in any way shape or form without him in my life.

i'm grateful for my parents.  they are the most wonderful and giving people i've ever known in my life, and every charitable bone i have in my body comes from them.

i'm grateful for my family, both blood and extended.  they are my tribe and that is no small thing.

i'm grateful for my faith.  it gives me a sense of peace in a very turbulent world.

i'm grateful for my health.  when it boils right down to it, i own absolutely nothing else in this world but this body, and i'm happy that it is in (mostly) working order.

while we're at it, i'm grateful for my herbalist.  as much governmental weirdness as is surrounding the healthcare industry, i'm thankful that i have a way to take care of myself.

i'm grateful for yoga.  it allows me some time for myself.

i'm grateful for wool socks.  yes, this sounds flippant, but it really isnt.  and if you don't understand that, you've never had a pair of hand knit wool socks, and i'm so very sorry.

i'm grateful for my abilities.  they are many and enjoyable.

i'm grateful that i live in a place where i can find fresh real food when i need to.  a lot of people cant.

so obviously, i'm grateful for a great many things.  what are you grateful, really grateful, for?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

i miss my bestie

my best friend only comes into town, if im lucky, once a year or so.  we text message each other, and keep up in each others lives, but given my hate for talking on the phone, that's about all we can do.  but she's coming into town this time for the Solstice for almost a week.  i'm so excited i almost squeed myself.

she is amazing and beautiful.  inside and out.  i've known her for well over half my life at this point, and she knows everything about me, at least everything worth knowing.  we lead very different lives.  where i settled down, she is truly a Rom spirit, driven by wanderlust.  i don't envy her though, her path is different than mine.  both beautiful, just different paths.  i will love every minute she is here, and miss her terribly when she is gone.  but i wouldn't change either of our lives even a moment.  we are the way we are for a reason.  its our wyrd.

so i guess, Andromeda, this is my round about way of saying......  i made you yoga socks for christmas, and now i can give them to you in person.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

not my usual warm and fuzzy, i'm ok if you skip this one.

i need to stop punishing myself.  i am not now, nor will i ever be a 90lb model.  and honestly, nor do i want to.  speaking simply from an aesthetic perspective, it's gross.  speaking from a health perspective it's a death sentence.  i'm a full grown woman, with hips and curves.  my body has carried me almost 40 years.  it has been my only constant friend, and only sometimes enemy.  it has felt love and ecstasy, born children, attempted to feed them, and only in that has it ever truly been a disappointment.  but being the size that i am isn't healthy either.  neither extreme is good.  and i'll be the first to admit.  i love food.  food is awesome.  especially bread.  home made bread is the bomb diggidy.  i have two loaves cooling on the oven right now, and i can say with almost 100% certainty that if left to my own devices, i will eat an entire loaf.  especially since i made sage rosemary butter.  but i digress.  and it's not like i don't like myself.  i love me.  i'm amazing.  lack of ego is not an issue here.  i'll be the first to admit, i'm narcissistic.  but common, you've met me, wouldn't you be narcissistic if you were me??  honestly.

but even i get all bogged down with the images of fitness.  the six pack abs, the mountain biceps.  the things that i will NEVER have time to obtain.  there just aren't enough hours in the day to do it.  i am a wife, a mother, a human worker.  i cook and clean and work and am present with my children and husband.  to do any more is....  unobtainable.  because i cannot and will not NOT cook and clean and work and i will ABSOLUTLY NOT EVER NOT be present with my husband and children.  they are more important to me than...  well, me.  as amazing as i am, they are more amazing to me.  but the images don't stop.  every magazine, every television show, every billboard....  images that the food company, the fitness industry, the clothing industry want to remind me that i'm not enough.  i'm not thin enough.  my hair isn't bouncy enough.  my skin isn't clear enough.  i am not enough.  



it only works if i let it.  this constant shrapnel of messages telling me how much i suck, only works when i allow it to.  "no one can make you feel bad without your consent" - Eleanor Roosevelt.  i like that quote.  because it reminds me that i have the power to decide to let someone else hurt me.  or not.  and i'm choosing not.  i can't stop the images from being out there.  but i can stop me reacting to them by feeling bad.  i choose to not feel bad.  and i know it's not going to be a switch i flip and suddenly they don't bother me anymore.  they will.  they probably always will.  but i just have to keep reminding myself that i am enough.  i am mother enough, and wife enough, and ME enough.  i am enough.


so i'll end this post, i'm going to unroll my yoga mat, and just be


Monday, November 4, 2013

holiday retro

i've said it before and i'll say it again.  the day after halloween is my favorite shopping day of the year.  and for good reason.  most of the decorations are half off, so it's easy and cheap to get yourself the hook up for next year.  i'll admit that my home decor takes a not so subtle nod to the macabre.

and then you find gems like this :
this is (sideways and i can't figure out how to flip it) this years cotton table cloth in the halloween section of Target.  100% cotton, and oh so amazballs.  the original price was $14.99, and i picked it up for just $7.50.  and it's a huge piece of fabric.  i forget the actual dimensions, but big.  it IS a table cloth after all.  and if you've ever been fabric shopping you know that any good measure of fabric is going to cost a butt ton more than $7.50, especially quirky fabric like this.  

so i picked it up.  before the car even got out of the Target parking lot, i'd sent a missive to my Heather who is my go-to gal pal in the fabric/clothing design department.  (everyone should have a Heather, they're great, i have a couple of Heather's)  i automatically envisioned a skirt out of the fabric, i just wasn't sure what kind.  Between Heather and myself, we decided on a pencil skirt.

now, i've never made a pencil skirt before, and Heather was there for me again.  she pointed me here, to an amazing tutorial on drafting a pencil skirt pattern.  once the pattern was made, it was super simple to stitch it together.  

pencil skirt pattern

i honestly couldn't be more pleased with the results.  the skirt has a kicky retro flair, i added a ruffled kick pleat in the back, and i can see me wearing it even though i'm not a skirty kind of gal.  i think i'll even pick up another table cloth if there are any left.  

the completed skirt looks amazing,  now i just need somewhere to wear it.  

the kick pleat gives it a little tail.  

here's a better picture of the ruffles.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

fighting the good fight

i have amazing hair.  it's long, it's silky, there are beautiful waves and curls.  it's glorious.  amazing.  breathtaking.

maybe one day a year.

every other day my head is covered in a mop of frizz.  i've tried the expensive cleansing conditioners, i've tried no-poo, i've tried prayer.  nothing works.  i've done hours of research and short of a pony tail, there isn't much else i can do.  right now my hair routine is usually shampooing every other day, and conditioning and apple cider vinegar rinse every day.  i've been reading lately about how the ph of carbonated water is different, and that is a fix for the frizz.

well, i have a soda stream......

and if i need to rinse with ACV anyway, why not add the ACV to the soda stream water.....


so i decided to give it a try.  here is a before picture.  (i sent it to my friend Andi in response to her uber cute selfie on instagram.  yes i'm an adult, shut up)

pretty flat and frizzed

here is after the soda stream water with ACV

yes, it's a little hard to see, but i no longer have a shoulder length halo.

so while the battle is in no way over, i have another weapon in my possession.  someday i'll have movie star hair without having to use a buttload of goop.  i will.  *sob* I WILL!!! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

the end of an era

as i write this, i'm still in a little bit of a shock.  no, shock isn't the right word.  awe, perhaps.  awe, excitement, mourning, happiness, sadness, trepidation, even perhaps reservation.  this truly is the end of an era for me.  the closing of one door and the opening of something completely different.  a new beginning.  or at least another landmark on my path.

broomstick is no longer.

yes, you read that right.  my car.  my lovie.  my beautiful and majestic hhr, broomstick, is no longer mine.  oh, the car is still here, don't you worry about that.  but she isn't mine anymore.  from now on hubby has, with my blessing, reclaimed her for her original purpose as the EctoHHR.  that's what she was purchased for in the first place, and i'm happy to see her live up to her full potential.

i really am happy.  i am.  i will get to drive raven from now on.  she gets better gas mileage, has more air bags than is good for my piece of mind, and is a much smaller car, which i prefer.  of course she will have to be renamed, either Hugin or Munin of course, i just haven't decided which one she is yet.

but of course i'm also a little bit sad.  broomstick was the last thing i was holding onto on my "witchy" persona.  my path has been more Norse of late, and it's one that i'm so much more comfortable with.  but i've always been "the witchy one".  always.  (there was even a sign at work where the brooms were kept that said 'Heather Tomasello parking only', put up by one of my friends).  broomstick was my last hold onto that piece of me.  and yes, that piece really didn't fit, and i just kind of carried it around like extra baggage, it was a piece none the less.  and that's hard to give up sometimes.  it's fitting, i suppose, that today is my last day with her.  this is a day of endings.  a day where we look to the past.  tomorrow starts a new chapter, and i will clean her out for the last time.

and i will look forward.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

nom nom nom

i love snacks.  wait, i know you're shocked.  i did not get this dynamite figure by eating nothing but kale.  though i DO love my kale.  no, i'm a snacky kind of gal.  not sweets, mind you.  no, i love savory snacks.  give me chips and salsa, and i've got myself a meal.  if it involves sour cream, its for me.

but my one true snacking love is pumpkin seeds.  i will eat a bag of pumpkin seeds for lunch.  i love them to death (in that someday they may actually kill me).   they are now and will always be my go to snack.  if i'm wishy washy about what i want to snack, i will always grab the pumpkin seeds because they will almost always never dissappoint. but i've never been good at making them.

until today.

i made the most amazingly wonderful pumpkin seeds.  they are amazing.  and easy to do.

you'll need:

2 pie pumpkins
slap ya mamma cajun seasoning or cajun seasoning of your choice

start the night before and de-seed your pumpkins.  i made pumpkin pie with the meat.  rinse the seeds to get all the goop off.  put the seeds in a container and add a butt ton of salt and cover with water.  basically you're making a brine and letting them sit overnight.  you might have to swish the container a few times to make sure that all the salt dissolves.  or add less salt.  up to you.  i'm flexible.

the next day preheat your oven to 250,  drain your seeds and put them on a baking sheet. then sprinkle with the cajun seasoning.  pop in the oven and let sit for a couple of hours.  you're going to go low and slow with these.  check every half hour or so, and take a spatula and move the seeds around.  you don't want any seeds to stick to the baking sheet and burn.  when the seeds are done to your liking, take the sheet out of the oven and let cool.

let the snacking begin!

Monday, October 28, 2013

i'm just not that into me

i'm not a girly girl.  i'm not.  i don't use makeup.  i don't wear dresses except to weddings and funerals when no other option presents itself.  i don't like glitter, foofery, or smelly crap.   basically, if kim karkrapsian has ever worn or endorsed it, it's not for me.

but i try.

or at least i did.  up until the last 10 years or so, i wore the goop on my face.  i had heels.  i even regularly wore skirts, and not just to work.  i suppose it was kind of like armor.  something to protect me so that nothing could really touch me.  kind of depressing, isn't it?


but ear rings stuck around.  i even had cartilage piercings in my ears.  i kept them in right up until just after Bubby was born.  i took them out when i had to get a mammogram  though i can't remember if it was required or not.  they never got put back in.  i've tried in the last three years to put them back in a couple of times.  my  ears get itchy, the sites get infected, and the puncture turns gross and black.  and it doesn't matter what kind of ear rings i wear.  apparently hypoallergenic means "dipped in battery acid" as far as my chemical make up is concerned.  so i'm done with them.  i can live a whole and complete life without wearing them.  i'm still a productive member of society.

i just think it would be a very unwise decision to get my nose pierced.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mawage is wat bwings us togaver today

Seven years today.  How the time flies.   Seven years anymore seems like an accomplishment.   And in seven years, ive never been happier.  Weve had ups and downs, but thats just life. He's my best friend.   Always will be.  I honestly wouldn't be the awesomely wonderful person that I am today if it weren't for him.  

So yes, seven years ago today:
We 'assembled'
I began my zombie apocalypse survival team. 
Took the first step into a larger world.
Aimed to misbehave.
Said "I love you" & "I know"
Replied "As you wish".
Yelled "We got one!"
Went far over the Misty Mountains
Kept up with the Jones Boys
And shouted 'Fus Ro Dah!'

(Bonus points if you can name em all)

Friday, October 25, 2013

my secret(creepy) jedi powers

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  - Hamlet (1.5.166-7)

science can't explain everything.  the world is too complex.we're not meant to know everything.  that being said, i don't think it's a suprise that i believe in all the woo-woo stuff, in past lives, in telepathy, even telekinesis.  i know people with amazing talents.  i've had the di'ja'vu feeling.  i've had the moments when i'm missing my bestie, and she calls or sends me a text message.

i've seen and heard things even in my own house that i cannot explain.  doors opening, footsteps, even someone calling my name once.  im what some people call an empath, able to feel peoples emotions and sometimes even the presence of someone that has passed on. awesome for a party trick, completely sucky when you're alone in a house and you start to hear and feel people walking around.  even Bubby has seen his grandmother standing behind Hubby and i.  so really, i'm at home with the supernatural.  i think when we try to explain things, we loose the magic that the universe has for us.  there is so much beauty in the world, pinning it down and making it ordinary just seems... cruel.  why is it we can't just accept the world, as strange and terrible and beautiful as it is?

so as the world "dies" this halloween, lets all just take a moment to appreciate that the bump in the night, might not be the cat, that the strange niggeling feeling is something real, and that the voice you heard calling your name, might not be from a flesh and blood person after all.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm really not that interesting

Im running out of things to blog about.  Seriously.   Ive spent the last two minutes staring at a blank screen.  Really, the hot button issue of the day has been thst I dont like the replacement of the oldest daughter on Last Man Standing. 

Yeah, im boring

Monday, October 21, 2013

Its my birthday

And im spending time with my boys.  So ill make this a short one.  Thank you all for the birthday wishes.  I love you all. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The first step is a doozy

Im standing on a cliff.   Thats what it feels like anyway.   About to step away from what I know and dive into the abyss.   All change feels like that though,  right? 

I not making Star Wars costumes any more.  There,  I finally sait it. With a few notable exceptions of family and the friends I consider family, im done.   While its too early to say whats replacing it, its going to take uo all the time and energy and money thst SW costuming has previously been taking up. 

This is truly unknown territory for me.  Ive always done Star Wars costumes.   Always.  I still have sketches for hundreds of different jedi robes going from Old Republic to Empire.  I have swatches of fabric in silk, wool, and linen.  While they will still serve me well, I will always remember the costumes they were originally for.  Kind of bittersweet really. 

I know, KNOW, that this new direction is where I need to go.  More "me".  But that doesn't mean that it's not frightening.  And honestly,  I'll announce details when I can.  Just understand that I'll be a little scattered for a while.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another short post

Bam fell asleep early, so im spending my last hour watching Vikings.  And the only thing that im going to say at the moment is...

There is no way that mans eyes are that blue. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Art for art sake

Im blessed to have some amazing artists in my life. Dani at Heartroot Studio, Deina at Gentile Soul Arts, Jeremy Miller, Heaher Ray among others. Each and every one of them is someone I look up to and am inspired by.   My daughter is very talented and I can see her becoming an amazing cartoonist someday. I draw and paint myself, though I dont count myself in their category.

I love Van Goth, of course (oh vinny you magnificent bastard). And Cibot. Truth be told 'Fallen Angels' is in my openion one of the most beautiful paintings of all time. I think Cibot has been shafted in the fame department.   I am thankful that I live in Omaha, and I can visit whenever I like.   I could sit and stare at it for hours.  And have.

But my all time favorite artist? Well, that would be Shag .  Witty, wild, and so deliciously pop.   I love his brash takes on consumerism and his satire and his retro flair.  Basically everything I hate about hipsters, I love about his art.   (And yes, I understand that in a lot of ways , im a hipster too.  Shut up) 

If you've never checked out his art, please do.  One in particular,  'Wives with Knives', is one of his that I absolutely love.   And hay, even if you dont like his stuff or any of the other artists stuff ive mentioned, you checked out a new artist.  Go you.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No real blog post today

Yesterday's 12 hour shift really took it out of me. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Open letter to Robert Downey Jr

Dear Mr Downey,

     Let me start the letter by saying that I have no illusions that you will ever read this.  Not that I believe that you are too self important,  but lets face it, my blog gets normal web traffic of MAYBE 20 hits a day, im not holding out too much hope that youre one of the 20.  But who knows, maybe youre a big fan of kale baised recipes, or video games.

I love your work.  Soap Dish?  One of my all time favorite comedies.   Wierd Science?  Loved every second of it.  Pretty sure  i remember you in other movies, but there just not coming to me at the moment.  But thats not what I want to talk about today. 

I'd like to thank you Mr Downey, for Iron Man. 

My children both love super heros.  Batman and Avengers in particular.   My sons great super love is Iron Man.  He has the mask and the chest piece toys.  He 'flys' around the house using his hands as his flight boosters.  He has asked, at one point or another, for every incarnation of the Iron Man suit for conventions and Halloween.  Im trying to learn how to mold plastic to make his dream a reality but I dont think he'll be happy until Jarvis talks to him. 

I am thankful every day that he loves Iron Man so much.

You see, ive seen whats been passed off as entertainment.   While I don't have cable at home,  I do have  access to it at work.  I've seen the "reality" shows.  I've seen the absolute crap that is being passed off and sold to us.  It's killing us.  I work at my counties 911 center, and while were not a huge metropolis,  we are pretty big.  So as you can imagine,  we hear some of the best, and some of the absolute worst,  most horrific things that humanity has to offer.   Im not going to get into what the worst calls are, and thank you for not asking.  But suffice to say that the television shows that we've been given are having an effect on society.  People believe that they are special and deserving of wealth, power, and attention that they have done nothing to earn.  I understand that it's a bit simplistic to blame television, and I know its just one of the factors in an even larger problem (I also blame the McDonald's coffee lady),  I could go on (and on and on) but this isnt the venue.

And the there is Iron Man.  

In the character that you, Stan Lee,  and John Faverau have created there is a man who works on his own merits.   Yes, the million dollar company that Tony Stark inherited from his father helped, but for the most part Iron Man is a product of his own intellect and initiative.   For good or bad, what Tony Stark accomplishes is because he works at it.  He has a goal, he thinks, he works, and he strives.  Yes, he has the occasional set back and panic attack, but he moves on his own power, not because he is entitled,  but because he has earned it.  He can look upon his accomplishments with pride because he knows their worth, and sometimes even their terrible cost.

My son, Mr Downey, looks up to you.  To Iron Man.   He admires the thinker, the man in a suit that does the right thing.  A man, who by his own actions alone, has made the world a better place. So thank you.  Thank you for giving people someone to look up to.  Thank you for creating a character the little boys and girls, at their impressionable ages, can emulate  and be proud of.   Thank you for giving us hope.  Because the world is in short supply of that right now. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

October storms

Its raining.  And thundering.   It was drizzling all day.  Its finally October.   Pretty much every day before this was September deux.  I really wish I had a working fire place.   Days like today were made for fires.  And blankets.   I even made banana bread.  Im thinking of making chili tomorrow.  I just want to cuddle under blankies. 

Preferably with a glass of wine. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I can feel it coming

It started with a sniffle.

Then a cough.

And now a sneeze.

Im gettig a cold.  I hate being sick.  With a passion.   But thankfully I make a kick ass chicken soup.   Filled with antioxidants and good old fashioned nutrients,  this soup kicks a cold in the .... you get the idea.  Here's the recipe:

You need

A whole chicken
Organic carrots
Organic celery
Cajun spice
Egg noodles

Roadt the chicken and debone.  Make broth from the skin and bones and strain.  Chop up the carrots, celery,  and kale, add it to the broth as well as the herbs and spices.  Bring to a boil and add the noodles.  Turn down to a simmer and serve.

Yes, I know I didn't give measurements.   I dont measure.  Gust play wih the formula until you have something you love. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You spin me right round baby

Because I don't know how to have idle hands, I've started spinning wool.  I have a drop spindle, bottom whorl.  Ask me what that meant two months ago and I would have no idea.  You get a whole new vocabulary.

Its very medatitive.   You can sit and spin (he he he) and let your mind go.  Find a zen within the wool and the wood.  I didnt think id like it as much as I do, it was just something new to try, a new skill to learn because I collect skills like Hubby collects Star Wars action figures.  Which is a lot.  I already know how to knit so spinning seemed to be a natural leap.  And I found that I love it.

And it is a labor of love.  Spinning your own yarn isnt cheap.   A ball of roving is at it's cheapest about $3.  It takes two balls to fo the spindle in the picture.  So you can see its not a lot.  And it takes about 2 hours.  It would be way cheaper to just run to wally and grab some yarn if I just wanted to knit.  Like I said, labor of love. 

Id like eventually to get a spinning wheel,  but those bad boys are freakin expensive.  And to be honest,  ive got other big purchases on my mind.   Like another fur rug.  Or a million yards linen. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

If I had a million dollars

I went to Junkstock today with my friend Jodi.   I dont get to hang out with her as much as I want to because of kids, and jobs/school, and LIFE.   But I had an amazing time.   It was so good to catch up. 

And of course to browse through the junk.

I love antiquing and thrifting, and Junkstock was the perfect place.   You just never know what absolutely cute thing you didnt know you couldn't live without.   There were trinkets and jewelry and furniture...... oh the furniture.   Cane chairs painted pink and upholstered in brocade.   Turquoise dressers with chevrons painted in the drawers. 

If I had an absolutely disposable income I would have furnished my entire house there.  I fell in love with old windows made into a miniature green house.   With huge picture frames with chicken wire insides to hang treasures.   With Gothic wrought iron fences.  Because every home needs Gothic wrought iron fences. 

What I ended up coming home with was three owl jars and a yard art raven which has already taken up residence in the wine barrel of mint in my front porch.  My budget was $23 and admission was $5. 

Jodi are going to try to make it an every year thing, so I have a while to save up for our next trip.

I do love my little owls. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Pixilated Boyfriend

I think it comes as no surprise that I love video games.   It is a deep, and multi facited love.  Personally I prefer the epic quests to the first person shooters (bad Halo constant-regen-with-my-back-turned-to-my-husbands-character-and-he shoots-me-in-the-head experience.   Seriously,  it happened like 8 times in a row.  What the hell?) Video games help me to relax from a stressful day,  help me to still my brain when I'm working on a problem, and allow me to have a little 'quiet time' when there is nothing else that needs to be accomplished. Ive talked before about my 'I think im really a dwarf in the inside' mentality.  There's just something very zen about swinging a couple of axes florentine and decapitating bad guys.  Le sigh.

Then, of course,  there is Alistair.

Oh Alistair.   Your bumbling shyness, your commitment to fight the good fight, and your voice, oh dear sweet baby Thor, your voice.  Ive loved Steve Valentine's voice since Judging Amy (the only thing I really liked about the show).  Theres something almost magical about the tone and cadence.   His voice is masculine and lyrical,  flirting with high british while never fully committed.  While I think Mr. Valentine is himself a fine looking man, there is just... something.... about him as Alistair.   Its like everything in the universe just came together and formed the perfect gift.  Hubby calls him my pixilated boyfriend.  He's on my 'list of acceptable cheats'.  While hubbys list is brimmimg with actresses, mine is filled almost entirely with fictional persons, Alistair being at the top.

so.. yeah, Alistair is nice.

Alistir is the main companion character in DragonAge Origins, and it is my favorite game.  Ive played each origin story multiple times.   Im currently re playing the Dwarf Commoner Warrior (my favorite) for the umpteenth time.  The next DragonAge comes out soonish, and I want to set up the world exactly the way I want it.  After the first game, Origins, you have the option to import your world from one game to the next, causing the decisions you make in Origins can have an effect on the play in Awakenings, which influences DA2, which in turn (I hope) will influence DA3.  So I want the world to be EXACTLY what I want.  And I have a confession.

I have never finished a game where Alistar has lived.

Oh I've finished the game at least 20 times.  Each time I just cant bring myself to let Morrigan have her way, and each damn time Alistar has to go all gentlemanly and sacrifices himself.   Thats just how sweet and wonderful Alistar is.  Dammit.   But this time will be different.  I will make the tough choice, I'll be the one to die.  Its not like I'll be out anything,  you cant (sadly) import your actual character into the next game, just the choices you made.  I may die, but Alistair will live on. 

Alistair will live on.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My now.

Cant talk.  Killing dark spawn.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Magic Bullet Peanut Butter

i have a friend on Facebook, Nydia.  she lives in Brazil, and is cool and amazing.  she posted recently that she made her own peanut butter.  i knew that the process was "out there" (aka somewhere on the internet), but i'd never tried it, nor did i know anyone that had ever done it.  Nydia RAVED about her peanut butter.

i was of course intrigued.

i looked around at different sites for instructions, and found them pretty universal.  get roasted peanuts, put in food processor, eat.  i, however, in a fit of lack-of-counter-space pique, had thrown out my food processor (that only worked sometimes anyway) out the door.

i did have a magic bullet, however.

i got it when Bam was still a baby to make his baby food.  it graduated into smoothies and the occasional salsa/sauce.  i also use it to make hummus.

so i tried it with the magic bullet, and it's is so simple it will amaze you.  PLUS, Nydia was right.  it is the most amazing peanut butter you'll ever try.  i will NEVER (with the exception of apocalyptic situations when there is no access to either roasted peanuts OR electricity) eat jar peanut butter again.  no, i'm not being uppity.  it's just a fact.  yes, it's that good.

first start out with peanuts and the small magic bullet dome

grind up the peanuts.  first stage is the "beachy sand" stage.  

it will start to clump up

keep grinding till you get a, well, peanut butter like consistency.  trust me, it's worth the wait.  

and now enjoy!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Autumn is here

Its chilly today.  Super chilly.  So much so that im achey.  Im currently on the couch covered in blankets and my cat Hex.  so I didnt get a blog done for today.  Heres a photo of Hex.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Black bean soup

there is an AMAZBALLS recipe for black bean soup on the Kitchen Witch's website here.  i've made it before, and i'm damn sure going to make it again.  it's amazing.  with the weather turning colder, i made it today, and just ate some.  im in hevan.  go to the Kitchen Witch's website and get the recipe.  here is how i made it almost step by step:

here the bacon is cooking down.  i also put in the onion, and added a bunch of  carrots as well, i just love the taste of cooked carrots, and add them when ever i can. 

the salsa i am adding is home made, and not "watery" enough, so i'm adding 4 more tomatoes that i pulled from my garden today

4 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed. 

i used beef stock rather than veg broth.  i think it gives it a heartier flavor.

here's the salsa.  it's very jalapeno heavy, and i added kale to the salsa.  cause. i love kale.  i love kale.  love.  loooooooove

here is everything in the pot.  doesn't look that appetizing, but once it's boiled and blended....  it's amazing

blended and yogurt added (didn't have sour cream), served with tortilla chips.  

like i said, amazeballs.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Frigga blanket

Today was cleaning day.  First the dining room, cleaned and the floor polished.  Then the living room.  All furniture moved and the floor cleaned and polished.   I got this amazing stuff at Lowes called Bona.  Im not getting paid to say this, but if you're in the market for floor cleaning supplies,  check them out.  Non toxic, biodegradable,  and they really work.  Again,  im not paid, I just love their stuff.  I got the low gloss this time, and im thinking high gloss when we polish again. 

I posted a picture on instagram of the floor mid-polish, and that sparked a conversation with my friend Kate about the amount of ass-kickery Frigga does in the house cleaning department.   We started talking about honoring her, and, well, Frigga in general.  While this tweetversation was happening, I was putting furniture back in its rightful place, and also getting out and airing the blankets for the season (we tend to keep he heat low and bundle/cuddle up during the winter) which got me thinking.   I have an overwhelming need for a Frigga blanket.

So I made one.

One of the many and massive benefits of ownig an embroidery machine is thst you want something.... you can do it.  This awesome company Urban Threads (again, im not getting paid) that has amazing embroidery files.   I forget what this file is called,  but she certainly fit the bill.   So I made this blanket.   Im thinking of putting some like it up at my etsy shop. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Short post today

Ive been in sewing overload.  Doing star wars costumes and getting stuff together to sell for a gameing convention.  So jo time to prepare a post today.   Ill make up for it tomorrow

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Heathen Heart

"Odin loves me, this I know, cause the Hamaval tells me so"

"I know you think that he doesnt care, or that hes not listening, but he really is.  So lets keep the Thor in Thorsday"

Just a few of the things ive recently posted on Face book.  So if this next admission comes as a shock... well, we' ll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Im a Heathen.  I worship many gods, not just one.   Odin and Frigga are the gods I most often associate with.  Im also fond of Thor and Tyr. Hel has her good points. Unlike most Heathens, im ambivalent on tbe Loki situation.   I can take him or leave him.  Apparently in Heahen society your stance on Loki is a pretty big  deal.  Me? Meh. (Dont get me wrong, Tom Hiddleston arrives on my doorstep, and well have this conversation again)

Does that mean im very different from a Christian?  No, not treally.  it means I'm basically a good person.  I don't kill people, im relatively honest (with the exception of my calorie counter),  and a pretty damn upstanding member of society.   The difference is that Christians are commanded to be that way. 

For me, its a choice.

I am making a moral choice to be "good" without fear of damnation.  When I die my soul will go to whatever realm that, by my actions,  I have earned.   But in none of them,  am I 'dammed'.  Valhalla is, of course, the goal, but its kinda like a fancy New York night club.... you have to be special to get an invite.  

Now, dont think for even a  second that I think that makes Heathenry is "better" than Christianity.   Its not.  Most Christians CHOOSE to follow their commandments. Not all Heathens follow the Nine Noble Virtues.  And to be honest, there are lot of Heathens who are just plain assholes.   (And im not even going to get into the whole racism bullshit, just know that THAT is NOT part of my path)   Heathenry is just is what works for me.  What im comfortable with.   it speaks to me.  Benevolent Father, Loving Mother.  Kick-assery.  My wyrd in my own hands, no one but Me making my choices for me. 

And it is just like it sounds.... frightening and exhilarating at the same time.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

i'm just having a big ole rage quit day

i'm having a bad day.

usually the first day of october makes me happy, but today it's been nothing but rage fail.  government shut down, bad day at work, cranky kids.  pretty much everything is getting to me today.  so i'm just going to write this here little post for the first day of NaBloWriMo and call it good.

maybe tomorrow i won't want to flip a table

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ren Fest - photo heavy. really heavy

I love going to KC Ren Fest.  we go every year.  it's amazing.  we have such a good time.

here are a couple pictures from this year so far.

mad jack and pumpkin seeds

aunt jo

shy bam and mommy

mad jack getting ready to attack

mad jack and barbossa

the first mermaid

second mermaid

third mermaid in water

Knottical Vessels.  pirate central.  where we all hang out when we're there

camera shy Jenna is camera shy

Barbossa and 10

Barbossa and 10, again.

Bam took this picture.  

also took this picture of daddy

hanging out

jumping around

it was highland games weekend.  yummy.


more Knottical Vessles

the Horn Guy

awesome little scottsman

Bam and Lois

ice cream cookie

is a little messy

but delish.

Lizzard and Lois

Lois and Daddy


best.  onesie.  ever

bam started joining random groups of people to chat

playing with new friends

more friends

so cute

"mommy, i'm happy"

he kept trying to "work" at Uncle Wildman's shop

these guys were so awesome with Bam.  

they were amazing

even sword fought

all his new friends

Capt'n Jack Marrow

Mad Jack and Capt'n Jack

filled with attitude ;)

Uncle Wildman

the Jester

the monster cannibal spider

the other monster spider.  i thought it was going to kill me

Uncle Jeremy and Mad Jack

shy Jenna is still shy

fire dancers

really awesome fire dancing

the amazing Goldtooth pottery, giving Bam a tattoo

Pirate Phil


"back stage" with some of the actors

my feet by the end of the day.  i think i need a pedicure.

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