Sunday, November 29, 2009

Here I am, posting another video link...

I love this SNL sketch. It's especially relevant during the Christmas shopping season.

I other news, I've started a new knitting projects, the Ganomy Hat by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Unfortunately, I think it's a tad small for me. I'm going to keep going with it, though. If I cannot block it out to be comfortable, I'll put it on the mitten tree at church. It's a win-win situation that involves no frogging, right?

Thursday, November 05, 2009


That's how I'd spell it. It could be pompatus or pompitous, but regardless of the spelling, I love this song. And peaches.

Speaking of peaches, I love this song, too, as do the kids.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Busy day

Wednesdays are truly hump days for me. This is how today went. It's like this most every Wednesday:

Get up, shower, get kids to school, go to knitting group at Mika's where I drink three cups of coffee, eat a cinnamon roll, and revive the long-suffering entrelac blanket-to-be. Leave the knitters to go pick up first kidlet from school, go home, help clean up the big box of Legos that fell the across dining room floor, eat lunch, empty dishwasher, fix broken Batman toy, grab kidlet and laptop and walk the four blocks to the office to pay some bills. After a couple of hours of work, pause to go pick up second kidlet from school, go back to office and finish the bill-paying, gather up both kids and walk home.

Take a deep breath. *whew*

Kick off my shoes, start a new load of laundry, pull giant load of brand-spanking-new kitchen towels out of the dryer, fold stuff, realize that choir practice is in 20 minutes. Put shoes back on, jog off to church for an hour of high-velocity singing (seriously- this director practices a dozen songs in under an hour. You can work up a sweat just being there).

Here's where I get a break. Church hosts a "Cook's Night Out" on the first Wednesday of each month. That means that after choir practice, I just wandered over the the parish hall to join my family for a dinner that Mr Deplume and I neither thought up nor cooked. And it was good.

And now we're home. Kids are in pajamas, homework is done, TV is on, and a bottle of Newcastle sits next to me, helping me celebrate another day of life.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Squash is good, most squash recipes not so much

I grew squash in my garden this summer. I planted too many plants (as usual) and ended up swimming in summer squash, cucumbers and acorn squash. I managed to eat or share all the cucumbers, almost did the same with the summer squash (a few ended up in the composter, poor things). Luckily, acorn squash are a little less picky about time, so the last 5 of them have been waiting patiently for me. Then to top it all off, someone gave me an organic butternut squash last week. They've been sitting on my kitchen table, taking up a bunch of room and mocking me, telling me that I'd have to cook them with brown sugar and butter like everyone else does.

But I'm not one to be bossed around by cucurbits, and I have searched high and low for squash recipes that don't taste like pumpkin pie or that Thanksgiving yam stuff with the marshmallows on top. A while back I stuffed an acorn squash with black beans and ground beef and garlic and cumin and chili powder, topped with cheddar cheese. It was good. Too bad I didn't write down what I did.

This week, determined to use that butternut squash, I found a recipe for Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash that sounded worth a try. I didn't have parsley so I substituted basil and rosemary, and had to use half acorn squash, but overall it turned out really good. Note: acorn squash takes longer to cook than butternut, so nuke the acorn a bit first unless you want acorn lumps in a sea of butternut puree.

Best part about the recipe is that Nigel refused to try it. How is that good, you ask? It means that I get leftovers.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I have a problem

It's November in Illinois, and I hate shoes.

As many of you know, I started running in the spring of this year. I did a sorta "couch-to-5K" method and ran that 5 kilometer race on July 4. I ran it in 36 minutes and change, and was not dead last. Apparently, not very many people actually train those 12 weeks and actually run a 5K on the first try, so I'm proud of my accomplishment.

But it all came at a price: shin splints. I iced them, I stretched my calves, I reduced mileage, but every time I ran, I had pain. I had lumpy hurty shins and nothing seemed to help. So I googled for three straight weeks and ended up looking at the testimonials of barefoot runners for whom doffing the shoes was the magic cure-all for running injuries.

Now me, being a pretty moderate sort of person, thought "ehhh, that's kinda weird and radical." But the more hippy-dippy, trust-in-nature side of me won out, and I gave it a shot. On August 10 I took off my shoes and ran a 1/4 mile around the high school track in my socks after my normal shin-paining run. It felt good enough to try again.

In pretty short order, I just stopped wearing shoes for running altogether, and aside from some achilles issues (fairly typical "Too Much Too Soon" injury after having spent years in shoes with elevated heels), I'm making progress.

But now it's getting cold. Over the last weeks, I started looking for some minimalist shoes to keep my tootsies warm this winter, thinking myself not tough enough for winter temperatures. But after trying on countless non-normal running shoes, I cannot find any that don't feel like foot coffins (as some of my favorite barefooters like to call them).

For now, as long as I run when it's sunny and dry out, I can count on warmish streets, even when the air temperature is undesirable. But be on the lookout here, dear readers, for makeshift running "shoes" that will let my feet feel free yet protected from the chilly monsters. I have years of crafting knowledge and the whole Internet at my disposal. It promises to be a ton of jury-rigged fun!

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Not much to write today, but I'm trying to post here even when there's nothing earth-shattering to report. So I'll share my kids' Halloween costumes.

Nora is Pippi Longstocking, with the dress "made" by me. I put the quotation marks in there, because it is actually a t-shirt top sewn up to be narrower in the bodice, then attached parts of two other t-shirts for the skirt. No real measuring, no sleeves to set in. Best part is that she asked if I could make her a couple of other dresses like that, but matching. That's the kind of clothes sewing I can really get behind-- straight lines only.

Nige is Bumblebee, the Transformer (his cousin was Optimus Prime. Two good guys ready to defeat any evildoers we might encounter on the walk around town). The only thing homemade on this costume is the binding around the neck, which is the handiwork of Grandma Karen. The material of the costume is a knit, and started to run at the neck when stretched. Thanks to her for a suit that can proudly be worn throughout the winter. (He loves all his superhero costumes and can regularly be seen around town fighting crime.)

I wore my old-timey dress to school on Friday for the kids' Halloween parties. It was fun. Six yards of fabric and a zillion hours of hand-stitching the skirt, and I've worn it twice. I'm going to be 19th-century Midwestern lady for all the foreseeable costume ocasions. (No new picture of it, sorry)