Thursday, November 30, 2006


Random internet spotting: 50 weird uses for vinegar

My favorites from the list:

9. Keep chickens from pecking each other. Put a little in their drinking water.

Dem dang ol chickens. I ask you- what in the world does vinegar do that calms chickens to a mild, pacifist way of life? Do the Amish drink vinegar?

20. Feel good. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, with a bit of honey added for flavor, will take the edge off your appetite and give you an overall healthy feeling.

Your face may pucker up so tight that you cannot even see out of your eyes, but boy will you feel gooood.

38. Get rid of cooking smells. Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.

No longer will my house smell like garlic and herbs and other foods (that some would say are delicious), instead it will be filled with the delectable aroma of cooking vinegar. My husband has made sushi in our house, and I can certainly vouch for the fact that heated vinegar is not a pleasant smell.

45. Take grease off suede. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over grease spot.

The next time you go to the diner in your blue suede shoes and accidentally drop your 50-cent patty melt, remember- a little vinegar will do the trick.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

giving thanks

What a lovely holiday, Thanksgiving. We really enjoyed the day, as we were able to be with both of our families, and the whole day went very well. It was only made better when we decorated our Christmas tree on Friday night while we watched Family Man on TV. It's times like these that remind me how enchanted I was growing up with the thought of having my own family and starting our own holiday traditions. The romanticism that inevitably comes with this time of year always warms me right up. And to top it off, Mike bought me It's a Wonderful Life on DVD- does it get any better?
We're quickly approaching our trip to Europe, and it typically becomes a topic for discussion at dinner. We're both maddeningly excited for it, and thinking about everything we'll see makes me crazy with anticipation! I hope that everyone else had a great Thanksgiving and was able to take a rest from everyday concerns. Best wishes for the holiday season.

Friday, November 17, 2006

may i introduce you to the bookworm

In exactly two weeks from now, I will be almost finished with the Holiday Market (at which I am selling things of the crochet persuasion). Any free time that I've had in the last three months, I have tried to fill with some crochet project. I think every time our neighbor comes upstairs to visit, I am glued to the couch, surrounded by yarn and scissors and a pattern, practically making my eyes cross while staring at whatever I happen to be making. I hope she doesn't think I'm crazy. I decided last year around this time (when we were getting ready for the market over at the Union) that I wanted to make a bunch of stuff over the year and sell it this time around. And after finishing a blanket that took forever back in the early fall, I began to panic that I didn't have enough to sell, and I have been a machine ever since.

A few other aspects of my life have been somewhat neglected. Mike is even sad sometimes when I can't just sit and enjoy a movie, I have to have a light on and a project in hand. I do of course have to keep up with homework and house stuff, but some of my hobbies besides crochet (which has lately become a chore) have been completely overlooked, namely reading. I have not read one flipping book in months, and I am saddened by this.

I walked by someone the other day near my office who was sitting in a chair in the hallway, casually reading a novel, and my heart had pangs at the thought of being able to just sit and read. I am starting to twitch when I imagine picking up some fiction and just getting lost in it. I almost considered starting something now, but I told myself that I just need to crochet a little more, and then I'm home-free. But my mind whirls with the possibilities for what I might read first. I do have a bunch of non-fiction choices on my list, but I think those will be postponed until I can get a story-fix first. I know I will be starting the Harry Potter series in the next few months so I will be ready for number 7 on 7/7/07 (yes, let me just write that down with the pen that is in my pocket protector, because I am a NERD and I don't care), but in the meantime I have a few other options in mind. I haven't read any Jonathan Safran Foer yet, and I definitely intend to. I also want to read Anna Karenina and the Marcel Proust series, because they are both ones that I never finished, but they will be bigger projects at a later time. Goodness, my mind is reeling with the enchantment of a good book. Can you tell I am a little excited?

I'm also planning to bring something that will work well in conjunction with a trip to Europe, but I haven't decided what that will be yet. I considered Les Miserables, because it is the most beautiful piece of literature ever conceived by man, and what better time to read it than when you're in Europe?? But I think it might be a little much. I also think that I am wrong to assume that I will have much time to read on the plane. I am going to have to get some sleep in that time, or else I knowI will be a zombie when we get to London. Plus, I have all of the glorious in-flight movies to consider, too. As excited as I am to try and sell my crochet, it is becoming ever more obvious to me that it will be nice when I can do something else with my time.

Any book recommendations? Any overseas flight advice?

Monday, November 13, 2006

les reves

I ate a lot of food in Casper this past weekend. It was all absolutely delicious. My body punished me by waking me up at 5 this morning to barf my guts out. Lovely, huh. No more delicious food for me. And no work today, either. So a little while ago I sat on the couch and watched the only thing worth watching on the network stations in the middle of the day. Martha Stewart. Note, her competition was the news (which was scratchy and hard to hear), some educational children's show on PBS (mildly tempting), or a soap opera (I'd rather stare at the ceiling and hum to myself). The show was okay I guess. She did make a trip to Paris- where she used to be a model, which seemed a little strange to me. I mean, when she showed up on some agency's doorstep at the age of 19, didn't they say "Mais non! Tu es Martha Stewart! You make ze cookies, and ze holiday doilies!" I guess Martha Stewart wasn't such a "buzz" name back in the 60's.

But she toured a few "ateliers" in the beautiful city of Paris, which are the shops where seamstresses work on the elegant and extravagant pieces of clothing that are worn in the haute couture fashion shows of Le France. And I wondered to myself if I could ever enjoy/find my way into such a job. Mike and I love to throw around the idea of living abroad, and one option is France, where he could teach at the Orthodox institute there. I always characterize our future children as products of whatever place we may end up- in England, they will be pushed in a pram, and they will call me "mummy". In France, they would say "mais oui" a lot, and would prance around town in little jumpers, much like the title character of the Eloise books. But I truly love to wonder what such a life would be like, and imagining myself as a trendy seamstress, putting my work into gorgeous gowns made by top designers, is certainly a fantastic dream. My love for crochet and for trying different creations (even though my products now are FAR from those designs seen on the runways- I don't think they wear many wool hats with stripes in them) makes that dream a little closer to possible. I hope I never give up on dreams.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

glory to the newborn King

For about 3 hours this morning, I had "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" merrily playing over and over like a broken record in my head. The most wonderful time being the one where snow falls, and sleighbells ring (are ya listenin?), and Folgers still plays the commercial where the little girl discovers that her older brother Peter is home for the holidays, and they open the can of coffee and give it a marvelous sniff, and the whole family wakes up to the aroma of delicious brewing java. God, I love that commercial.

I've already got the bug. My biological clock must have aligned itself with that of the retailers, because I was ready for Christmas at about 10 p.m. on Halloween night. I have the insatiable urge to watch movies like Muppet's Christmas Carol and the Grinch, and cozy up to some hot chocolate (with peppermint schnapps, perhaps). I am desperately trying to hold out until a more reasonable time to break out the Sinata Christmas carols, but I am barely hanging on. Actually, the Nativity fast begins next Wednesday, so we may be putting up our Christmas tree quite soon. Glorious Christmas tree!

But I have to admit that most of my inclinations right now have to do with the typical, Americana version of Christmas, and unfortunately not the actual "reason for the season". This needs to change quickly, because I know that by about Dec 20th, I will be ready to tell Rudolph where he can stick his bright red nose.

Monday, November 06, 2006

brown bagging it

Work is slow enough today that I can take my lunch break, and print out a few online crossword puzzles to amuse myself for an hour. Nothing could make me happier right now, except maybe my couch, a blanket, and the movie Babe. For some odd reason I really enjoy a talking pig and his talking animal friends- especially the singing mice.

I think I'll go eat my lunch and do my crossword puzzle, but first I just have to make some small comments about the news of the weekend.

Ted Haggard- what a sad turn of events, for so many reasons. Is it possible to remain humble and true to yourself when you have thousands of followers and a fairly strong tie to the White House and politics in general? There has to be a better way to deal with these kinds of issues- they are rampant in the churches- pornography, secret homosexual lives, etc. Sexuality in general seems to be a massive problem. And it's not a bad thing in its essence. I wish I knew what had to be done, or how we could approach this without the stigma. I know that there are some Orthodox writings on all of this, and I intend to seek them out. Mr. Haggard started a church that was fairly instrumental in my becoming a Christian, and regardless how little of a connection that I have to it now, I am sad for this church. This is not the first spiritual leader I have seen experiencing such a downfall, and the last one was much closer to me. It's hard, but really not surprising in some ways.

Saddam Hussein- yeah, he's done some pretty crappy stuff. And I'm not one to try and compare numbers when it comes to death tolls, but there are some much bigger fish that we could be putting our money and energy into. Some of those bigger fish get our money and energy in the form of support, and that's no good.

Enough of this, time to work on something that I can solve.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

eventful tuesday

I can't even believe this...guess how many trick-or-treaters we had last night? ZERO. That's right, not even one. I bought a giant bag of Smarties, and they are still sitting in our house. Unopened. I was depressed. And to top it off, when we got home from dinner out our pumpkins, our beautiful, smelly pumpkins, were smashed. Right in front of our front door. Like someone stood 2 inches away from the entrance to our home and dashed all of our Halloween dreams, while we were gone and unable to protect our pumpkins, like impotent and unsuspecting pumpkin owners, leaving our little creations to fend for themselves.

I'm being dramatic. But I really was devastated to not see one single little costumed child come to our door for our free candy. And I completely expected the pumpkins to be smashed, but it didn't lessen my heartbreak one ounce.

Aside from these atrocities, our night was great actually. I did get to see a few kids in their costumes at the student union, where they put on a big event every year. (I think this is why we had no trick-or-treaters at our house, and I think the other reason is because it is a college town where many students will use any excuse to drink, and are probably out at the bars or going to each other's houses, and driving, and making neighborhoods generally a little unsafe.) And we went out for Taco Tuesday at the local Mexican restaurant. Then I bought a cheap bottle of vanilla-flavored vodka to put in Coke, because I am a girl and I like girly drinks. Then we rented The Crow, and although I fell asleep halfway through, it was a good choice for Halloween night.

And now I am eating leftover Halloween sweet-tarts, and they taste like chewable vitamins.