Monday, July 28, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins Meme

Found this on Pam's blog and not only did it look interesting, but I had nothing else to write about today.


1. Who did you last get angry with?
- My husband for not packing his lunch this morning. And it was more of a mental tiff than anger.

2. What is your weapon of choice?
- Evil looks and nasty words.

3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
- Hell, I have thrown objects at my husband!

4. How about of the same sex?
- That would be harder unless we are talking about my sisters.

5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
- Andrew - and it was a silly thing, too. He misheard what I asked him and threw a fit while I looked at him cock-eyed until he stopped and I repeated my request more clearly.

6. What is your pet peeve?
- People who don't do their share of the work but expect all the glory.

7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?
- Yes, very much so. Although, like Pam I have learned to let go a lot more as I have become older..


1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you don’t?
- Exercise

2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up?
- Well, taken the odd jet-lag scenario out of the equation, I would say 10-ish. And that was in university.

4. What is the last lame excuse you made?
- That my house was messy because Andrew was working late. My bum should not be glued to the sofa after dinner.

5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?
- Yes - multiple times, even.

6. When was the last time you got in a good workout?
- Yesterday, actually. I went out with the pruning clippers in the backyard yesterday morning and was dripping sweat and was sore by the time I was done.

7. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today?
- None. I actually like getting up in the morning.


1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?
- A simple one - vanilla steamers. But if I can get it in Chinatown, iced bubble coffee.

2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat??
- Dark...yum :)

3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting/outing/event?
- Oh, it was in university. Let's leave it at that. I seem to remember lying on the triangle in the middle of UVic with Tara and two boys who both liked *her*.

4. Have you ever used a professional diet company?
- Weight Watchers.

5. Do you have an issue with your weight?
- Always have.

6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy?
- Salty and crunchy gets me every time. As much as I like to bake, sweets don't grab me.

7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought “lunch”?
- No - but Andrew and I used to walk by this huge duck in Boulder and I thought that would make a great meal.


1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family)?
- Let's see, I have belonged to 3 or 4 gyms as an adult, so the number must be in the hundreds by now.

2. How many people have seen YOU naked (not counting physicians/family)?
- See above.

3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of the opposite gender during a normal conversation?
- ;)

4. Have you ever kissed two people in one night?
- This is beginning to sound like a purity test. Let's just say I haven't kissed two people in one night intentionally.

5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice?
- The smile (especially nice teeth). I have to say, my husband has great calves.

6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?
- I don't think so.


1. How many credit cards do you own?
- 2

2. What’s your guilty pleasure store?
- Any bookstore.

3. Would you rather be rich, or famous?
- Rich - because then I could just sit and knit or read all day.

4. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks?
- I don't think so - I require stimulation at work.

5. Have you ever stolen anything?
- I remember accidentally shoplifting a little statue as a child from KMart and my mother yelled my ears off. I was only about 6 or 7. I think I was holding onto it and put it in my pocket so I could look at something else.

6. How many MP3s are on your hard drive?
- I couldn't find out how to look (we recently changed music subscription services) but we have 175 of our own albums on our computer.


1. What’s one thing you have done that you’re most proud of?
- Willow.

2. What one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of?
- Graduating from university? I'm not sure. Mom, Dad? Chime in.

3. What things would you like to accomplish in your life?
- Learn to drive on the freeway without panic

4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?
- Yes - it really burns me up.

5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors?
- Yes.

6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score?
- No.

7. What did you do today that you’re proud of?
- Only drank one cup of coffee and drank more water.


1. What item (or person) of your friends would you most want to have for your own?
- On my frizzy hair days I absolutely covet Cindy's straight dark hair.

2. Who would you want to go on “Trading Spaces” with?
- Just Carrie. She would make my house look nice and would be adamant about throwing away the crap.

3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?
- A single person doesn't come to mind. There are lots of things I am envious of - how much some of my friends get to travel, the fact that some people can eat themselves silly and not show anything for it. I take that back - I would like to be Jennifer Weiner for a day. Write books in coffee shops in Philly - I wouldn't mind that.

4. Have you ever been cheated on?
- I don't think so.

5. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own?
- My weight aside, almost every day of my like I have wished I was taller. When you are 4'11, the world is just not designed for your comfort.

6. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself?
- Grace. I am a big klutz and kind of ungainly.


Okay, if you take this up make sure to let me know so I can see your responses.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


She doesn't look square, does she?


According to her pediatrician's office she is. Willow, like Chunky had her physical on Friday and she is 44 inches tall and weighs 44 pounds. A little shorter than Chunky, but he does have a half a year or so on her. In any case, it is an improvement of 6 inches and 4 pounds over last year.

I wish I could grow 6 inches by next year. Oh, I probably could - but I want to grow up, not out!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank You From Willow

thank you for the comments

my cat loves them, too

thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Six Years Ago Tonight

Someone up above smiled on me and gave us Willow.

We had her birthday party with her friends on Saturday, and here is a picture of her and her friend Maeve (on the left). As you can see, we had the party in a bowling alley and had lots of crazy fun. Crazy was not optional - ten 6-and-7 year olds will do that to you!

We had her family party at lunch today, and here she is opening up her present from me and Andrew. I had asked her what she wanted a few months back and she had wistfully sighed, "Cowgirl boots." Until then she had been wearing her red snow boots as a substitute (and ironically, the only time she really got use of the snow boots due to our incredibly mild winter).

Strike a pose! The boots are a bit big - I bought size 13.5 and she wears 12 right now - I wanted to give her time to grow into them rather than not have them fit next week.

We went out for dinner later this evening and look at the cool balloon creatures the girls had made for them! Willow's one is the mermaid - and let me tell you, until the guy twisted the last two pieces together, we had no earthly clue what he was concocting! The girls here are Joy and Grace, Willow's cousins by Andrew's sister, Erica.

Want to make a newly six year old happy? Leave her a happy birthday message in the comments!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WiP It Wednesday: Look What I Grew!

And it's almost ready. We're supposed to have very warm temperatures the next few days - so maybe by this weekend I will have my own homegrown tomato! (And for reference, it isn't a cherry tomato - rather an Early Girl about the size of an apple).

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The culprit:


"I don't know what you are nattering about."

The crime:

"Oh, that."

"You need a new bag. This one is apparently structurally deficient."

Friday, July 11, 2008

First Vegetable of the Season!

From my garden, that is (we have had vegetables from my in-laws' gardens for a few months now). Check out this eggplant!

It's a Japanese eggplant, so it is supposed to be long and skinny like that. The flesh is firmer (come on, someone jump in with a joke!) and less likely to get seedy. Now, I have to tell you - I planted the eggplant for one reason and one reason only...

Mabo Nasu! (Okay, I have no clue what Mabo means - Asami? But nasu is the Japanese word for eggplant.)

I first found this stuff when I was in Japan and it quickly became one of my favourite foods. And I am lucky enough to have a few good Korean grocery stores nearby that keep a decent selection of Japanese foods as well. You will notice on the box it says minced pork - I go with ground beef instead. I know the picture on the box has peas and carrots as well as the eggplant - but I put garlic and zucchini in with mine. Saute the vegetables in a little oil until soft, add the beef, cook until not pink, add the sauce, and simmer for a while. Start cooking the rice, add some unsalted roasted cashews to the eggplant mix, and serve when the rice is ready.

Then feast.

It is so yummy! The eggplant and zucchini make it go a long way - there are 4 portions in it and I only used half pound of ground beef. Of course, Willow eats all the cashews first and then starts on everything else. If you can find this in your local Asian market, buy it and try it out - it's easy and tasty.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Book Report: Blood Noir

I wanted to like Blood Noir. I had given her last three books (between this series and the Meredith Gentry series) fair-to-middling reviews and honestly thought Ms. Hamilton was challenging herself with the Anita Blake of old.

Not so.

The first four chapters were basically an argument on who got to have sex with Anita and in what positions. The whole books spanned about five days, two of which were mystical black-outs during which Anita and her partners couldn't remember who did what to whom but they were all pretty sore. And then there was the requisite Richard gets really angry scene because Anita won't have him and him alone.

The thing is, the story wasn't without merit. Jason's father, with whom Jason has a rocky relationship, is dying of cancer and so Jason and Anita travel back to his hometown to see him. They run smack dab into familial obligations, mistaken identities, and some amusing anecdotes of what Jason was like in high school. And then there is the fact that half the town looks just like Jason, a genetic legacy from a religious wingnut relative who apparently did a lot more than preaching to the town. All of these things could have been built into a much stronger storyline - but they aren't and the interesting bits all sort of fizzle out.

Oh well. Add it to the total of books I have read in 2008 (it's #55, by the way). I remember back when Andrew and I were living in Boulder and I first heard about these books. I was still waiting for my social security card to come so I could actually work in this country. I had found out about the series and ordered the first 5 or so books from Amazon and read them in quick succession and then clamoured for more - even buying them in hardcover when they started to come out that way. When this year is over and I can actually start re-reading books again, I think I am going to pull my old, early Anita Blake books off the shelf and enjoy them again and hope for a resurrection.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

WiP It Wednesday: The Tragic Edition

People warned me when I took the project on. They said the size was not what it seemed - just make the larger size and trust them.


But I have small feet! It may be the only part of me that is small. Every other sock I have knit for myself has been either a ladies' small or ladies medium - so when I saw that the Jaywalker sock (Ravelry link) came in two sizes, I automatically cast on for the smaller size.

I finished my first sock late Saturday night, and to my utter dismay, it doesn't fit. I couldn't even get the blasted thing over my heel. I know I have wider than normal feet - but I only wear a size 6.5/7. I'm crushed. I loved this skein of Ellen's Half-Pint Farm sock yarn since I bought it at my first MDSW and had planned Jaywalkers for them right from the beginning.


I did cast on for the second one right away - someone with smaller and narrower feet than me is going to get some very pretty socks when I finish the second one.

And I printed off the new pattern with the larger sizes and I will knitting the pattern again with a different yarn. Sigh...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Meme

I'm feeling really lazy and I want to get back to reading Blood Noir, so I pilfered this meme from Monday's a Bitch:

1. What's your main means of transportation?

1998 white Sable station wagon. I really like driving my car.

2. What was your first car?

1990 white Sable station wagon. See a theme here?

3. How old were you when you got your driver's license?

For those of you who don't know me in person, this may surprise you. I was 26 when I first got my driver's license. I went from living in a town (at 16) where I didn't need a driver's license to living in a university town where I didn't need a driver's license to living in Japan where there was no way on earth I could get a driver's license. It was only when we returned to North America and were living in Colorado that I needed to get it because everything was so far away. And yes, I took driver's ed with a bunch of high school kids.

4. How many times did it take you to pass the test?

Once ;) And I had zero demerits! I'm a quick learner - even if I didn't start driving regularly until we moved to Delaware. I think my FIL was a bit disgusted with the fact that Andrew drove me everywhere and he made me drive with him until I was comfortable with it. He later said I was the best student of all the kids he taught to drive (Andrew and his three siblings).

5. Do you name your cars?

I never have, but Willow calls our car 'Rosie.'

Saturday, July 05, 2008

That Niggling Thing

You that feeling when you get something in your head and you just can't shake the idea? Last week I was looking at some of Woolgirl's recent posts, I came across this ode to peanut butter cups. About half way down there is a picture of peanut butter cup rice crispy treats - and I was a goner.

I emailed her and asked her if she had a recipe - but she didn't. I emailed her page to my friends and asked how they thought it was made, and the consensus was that it was just two layers of rice crispy treats with peanut butter cups in the middle. Willow and I went to Target, found some discounted Batman peanut butter cups (Andrew said he was unsure why they were discounted when the movie hasn't even come out yet but I am not going to quibble on $1.40 for a bag of peanut butter cups) - and here you go:

Admittedly not nearly as pretty as the ones on Woolgirl's blog, but I am sure just as yummy.

The funny thing is it has been forever since I had made any sort of rice crispy treat - I had forgotten how insidiously sticky the cooling marshmallows can be... so there was a stream of expletives that came out with the making of this treat. I don't know if it is good or bad thing that Willow took it all in stride...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I'm not bitter - I'm wishing all of my American friends a happy Independence Day! It's not my favourite American holiday (oh, Thanksgiving - be still my heart!), but I love any reason that gives me a paid three day weekend in July.

Here is a mosaic of four things I love about my adopted country:

My creation

1. January 30, 2006, 2. The Majestic Space..............., 3. Wall of Yarn, 4. 1793 hdr

1. Barbeque. Holy Cow - who knew it wasn't just Kraft sauce you slathered on a burger just before you eat it?! Cornbread is pretty good, too - I don't think I ever had that before moving to the US.

2. The Smithsonian Museum. And one of these days I will even be able to get to it. Courtesy of my FIL, I have a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine and I drool over it every month. The sheer fact that only something like 5% of the museum's collection is ever on display and it is free to all boggles my mind.

3. Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Yes, I know other such events exist around the country (and in Canada, too) - but I love this one. It has become an event I attend every year with my friends and we have so much fun. (And that is one of Cristi's photos, by chance!)

4. Dewey Beach. We try to get down here a few times a year in the off-season and it is so relaxing and fun. Andrew and I have other reasons for liking it here as well ;)


My garden is coming along nicely - here are some pics of my veggies.

Early Girl tomatoes. (The tomatoes you can see behind them are yellow pear tomatoes.)

Lemon squash:

Japanese eggplant:

I have already started to compile a list of how I want to improve upon my garden next year. I want to build raised beds, elongate the area I have already dug up, and incorporate hanging baskets for cherry tomatoes. I also want to plant eight ball zucchini and golden beets next year.


I haven't shown much of my knitting lately - I haven't been doing too much of it due to the heat. I did manage to finish this baby hat I started sometime last year. The yarn is some superwash merino I had dyed with my crockpot and is very soft. The pattern is from a very old Patons pamphlet. The button was leftover from a cardigan I knit for Willow last year.


Oh - one last thing. Andrew asked me to buy him some beer for the holiday since he was working late last night. Look what I bought:

Subversive, yes. Bitter, no.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thursday Book Report: Fearless Fourteen

Holy underwhelmed, Batman.

I always look forward to reading the next installment in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum comic mystery stories. I know they are fluff, but they are good for a hysterical giggle in the middle of the night. They are even better as audio books - I will listen to them at work and people come around the corner and look in my cube because they think I am having some sort of fit.

So what happened?

Even before I had a chance to pick up Fearless Fourteen, the fourteenth book in the Stephanie Plum series (not including the novellas), suspicious things were going on. I had seen a story on Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books about negative reviews for this book disappearing from both Amazon and BN. I was still willing to give the book the benefit of the doubt because I had enjoyed other books in the series, as silly as they can be.

And as I mentioned above, I was underwhelmed.

My first disappointment was that this is a Morelli book. I'm not a Morelli girl - give me Ranger any day of the week. The book story starts off well - Ranger drafts Stephanie to be a babysitter/bodyguard for an aging, lurid, drunk of a Dolly Parton-esque has-been performer (with all apologies to Dolly Parton!). I had visions in my head of Brenda (the singer) and Grandma Mazur doing a 'Thelma and Louise' kind of trip. Well, that didn't happen.

There were other interesting story off-shoots - Morelli potentially being the father of a teenager, Lula and Tank being engaged, Grandma Mazur going goth-chick - but the whole thing fell apart about a third into the book. At that point to me it seemed like Evanovich was taking every counter-intuitive step possible with her characters and story. What happened with the Brenda tangent - that could have played out longer and with more laughs (how often do you get to see Ranger be sexually harassed?). Grandma Mazur, normally a pip of a comedienne, was regulated to the sidelines and was talked about in passing rather than being an active character. And Stephanie herself - there were 2 - 3 scenes where all she did was go home to be alone and to feed her pet.

In the end, I was disappointed. I laughed at parts, but it was nothing close to my reaction to previous books. When the book was over it left me wishing it was something more like a 'choose your own adventure' book so the characters could have done themselves and the story justice.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day, Dammit!

Canada Day

1. Central Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Canada --Base for my Sea Otter Story, 2. Moraine Lake - Banff National Park - Alberta - Canada, 3. O Canada, 4. Sunset over clouds on Mt. Seymour BC Canada, 5. Horseshoe Bay Ferry - Vancouver - BC - Canada - July 2006, 6. Butchart Gardens - near Victoria - BC - Canada - July 2006, 7. Inukshuk Rankin Inlet Nunavut Canada, 8. I "heart" Canada, 9. Totems - Comox Valley, British Columbia - Canada


This is the part I hate about being an ex-pat. No one thinks you are allowed national pride of your own. I'm being over-run by red, white, and blue everywhere I go and not one person who I said, "Happy Canada Day" to today responded in kind.

Happy Canada Day!