Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm Still Around, I Promise

I haven't been writing much, or even creating much, lately. But I promise I am still here and plugging along through life. While my sleeping patterns have been sucking as of late, I'm doing alright.

My husband and I are getting ready to come home for about a week and half, so that we can scatter my mom's remains. My husband is in the military and he wasn't allowed to come home before she passed away. She made us promise we'd wait for her final wishes until we could all be together.

I'm not looking forward to this trip at all. I'm pretty sure that's why my sleep has been all kinds of fucked up lately. I find myself thinking at random times about the last time I saw her alive: she was sitting in her leather recliner in the living room in front of the bay window. I'm pretty sure the recliner is still in the same spot, probably with the blanket I made her, draped over it's back. I wonder how hard it will be to see that recliner, empty like that. The thought of it is gut wrenching and I start getting teary, and a little frantic.

We bought a trailer to bring some of Mom's things home with us. I want her blanket back.

On a better note, the new job is going pretty good. I'm still liking the work and the people, so that's always a plus. :)

And just a quick review of some iron on appliques I recently bought at AC Moore: I picked up some appliques from Horizon Group USA. Don't bother buying these. They suck. They don't stick very well and I'll have to stitch them down in order to get them to stay. You should only have to heat them for 10-15 seconds from the front, and 20-25 seconds from the back, with your iron. Try about three times that amount. I picked up some to cover a few weird stains on a shirt that I love, and I bought more just for fun. While this project should already be done and finished, I have to do some sewing tonight before I can put them away.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dreamed a Recipe Last Night

I don't know where my head was last night when I went to bed, but I dreamed a recipe last night, as if I were testing it. In the dream, I was thinking about starting a hot dog cart (WHAT?) and I had a group of people over last night to try out a new hot dog recipe before I added it to the menu.

Here's that recipe. I'd actually like to make this one of these days.

  • Package of quality beef hot dogs
  • Package of large sub buns (not regular hot dog buns--they won't be large enough)
  • Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ (you can use the prepackaged kind from the grocery store if you don't have access to it straight out of the smoker)
  • Macaroni and cheese (the homemade kind, not the boxed kind, and it needs to be cheesy and moist)
  • Cole slaw (optional)
Prepare the mac and cheese, and make sure the BBQ meat is hot. If you're smoking your own pork, then throw some hot dogs in the smoker too, until they're done. If you're using already prepared BBQ meat, then prepare the hot dogs separately. Don't boil them (you don't want the dogs to be wet in the buns). Take the time to throw them on a grill and get some char on them. Toast the buns.

Once the bun is toasted to your liking, line one side of it with the pulled pork BBQ and macaroni and cheese on the other side. Drop the hot dog into the middle of the bun. You could top it with some cole slaw if you wanted, or just have it on the side.

In the dream, I don't remember how this was received by the people I had helping me test it. It does sound like a weird combination of food, but it's more like an entire meal in one bun and so that's why I really would like to make this in real life. I peeked around the internet a little bit this morning and found some variations of this recipe, so although I don't know where it came from, I know I didn't read it somewhere else.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Is Your Brain on Knitting and My Life As a Jedi

I read this interesting article on CNN: This is your brain on knitting.

"Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging...The evidence to support this concept is overwhelming. Studies have found intellectually stimulating activities, such as learning a new language, can help prevent cerebral atrophy and significantly delay dementia. And a recently published clinical trial shows cognitive training can improve reasoning skills and the brain's processing speed for up to 10 years after said training has been completed."

Personally, I'm having a hard time getting any projects of any kind done around here. I've got a lot of stuff halfway done around here, but that's about the extent of it. I am re-working a blanket I made for my husband about 10 years ago that was falling apart, I'm scanning old family photos, and I've got to finish my new Jedi communicator and repair a spot on my Jedi robe.

Michelle the Cook is coming over on Saturday to take photos of me in the completed costume so I can apply finally to the Rebel Legion. I did finally manage to come up with my Jedi bio though.

Ami-Lyn Kel was born 39 years before the Battle of Yavin (or, a few years after Anakin Skywalker was born), on Mandalore, the fifth planet in the Mandalore system of the Outer Rim Territories, but she is not a Mandalorian. She was born to human parents, who agreed with the nomadic nature of the Mandalorians. But because the Mandalorians were frequently allied with the Sith, the family didn't feel entirely safe and they left Mandalore a few years after Ami-Lyn's birth.

They moved to Coruscant, where Master Yoda discovered the Force was strong in Ami-Lyn, as well as her parents. Because of their age, they were too old for training in the ways of the Jedi. However, her parents brought 5 year-old Ami-Lyn to the Jedi Temple for training, where she stayed, for 15 years, until shortly before Order 66 was delivered. She was Jedi Master Shaak Ti's Padawan. Ami-Lyn's parents had foreseen a great disturbance in the Force and felt their daughter's life was in great danger on that planet. They removed her from the Temple beforehand and the family barely made it off the planet alive.

To save their daughter from Order 66 and from the Great Jedi Purge that followed, the family moved to the planet Drall, where they settled in one of its forests, near the Boiling Sea. Ami-Lyn considers Drall her home world, but travels through the Corellian System as a Jedi peacekeeper. She has not yet become a Jedi Master.

Ami-Lyn was able to complete the Jedi trials; however, since all of the Jedis had either been murdered or scattered throughout the galaxy, she had to complete her training on her own.
· the Trial of Skill: light saber battle against Asajj Ventress
· the Trial of Courage: battle during Order 66 when the family was trying to leave Corsucant, when surrounded by Clone Troopers
· the Trial of the Flesh: loss and not knowing what became of her Master, Shaak Ti, after Order 66 was enacted
· the Trial of Spirit: having a vision of submitting to the Dark Side in order to regain the lost Jedi's that were killed during Order 66
· the Trial of Insight or Knowledge: done periodically throughout her training at the Temple.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Been Hanging On To This

I've had this on my computer since right before Christmas. It came from Carolyn Hax's column that I was reading in the Washington Post. That woman's bald head and glasses reminded me of my mom.

Happy birthday, Mom. I miss you.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Comic Blast From the Past

I've been scanning a bunch of old photographs lately, and as I was saving them to our hard drive, I came across a folder called, "Comic Reviews." I had forgotten about that folder.

For a little while in 2001, I was reviewing various Spider-Man comic books for Spider-Man Crawlspace. At the time, I either went by my true name or Spider-Woman online. It was kind of like what I'm doing at Geek Crafts: I just wanted to write and this was another way to do it. I guess I still feel like if I'm posting on someone else's site, then my writing has more importance or depth or whatever, than if I'm just posting on my own site.

Anyway, it was kind of fun to run across these. I didn't PDF them at the time, probably because I didn't have that ability, so they were saved as image captures turned JPGs.

If you're interested in reading them, right click on the images and click, "Open in new tab." They will be large enough to read there.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spicy Chickpea Chicken

Tonight, I had Nicole the Knitter and Michelle the Cook over for supper. I decided to throw a few things into the crock pot and see how it came out. Amazingly, I got lots of compliments! I call this Spicy Chickpea Chicken, and it was made based on the contents of my cabinets and freezer.

--Assorted boneless chicken cutlets (the Perdue package I made had five small cutlets in it)
--1 jar (12 oz) of Herdez Tomatillo Verde Cooking Sauce
--1 can of chickpeas, drained
--Powdered garlic

Combine all the ingredients into the crock pot and allow it to cook on low for 5-7 hours. Serve with whatever you like as a side dish (I made steamed edamame). It's got a nice, slow spicy kick to it.

Sometimes, Things Just Work

I've had a good day today.

Yesterday was my last day at the HVAC place. The owner did find a new office manage and I was able to get her trained, which even with three days of training, I feel like I was able to give her more than I got myself. I laid awake last night, wondering if I'd made a huge mistake by quitting a job, when I didn't have a full time job to go immediately to. With only being able to get one day a week at the arts and crafts store, even with my husband's blessing to quit and save my sanity, I wasn't sure this was a good idea. Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes.

I got up this morning, nervous still. I was trying to be positive, because I had two interviews scheduled for today. One was in the morning with a non-profit, and the other was in the afternoon with a staffing company that's hiring for some other business.

The morning interview was at 9 AM, and it's for another office manager position. I was there for about 50 minutes, and they told me they were only doing 3 interviews total. After I'd been home for about an hour, my phone rang. It was the non-profit calling me back already with an offer to start on Monday. They are even letting me take time off in April to go back home for my mom's service (she had wanted us to wait until we could be all together, be feeling better about things, and do it in the spring when the weather would be nicer).

At my age (I'm 39 going on 7), I've finally realized I can have my dream jobs but they probably won't come through for me. I have to be realistic and get what I can and make the best of it. And t be happy to have it. Someone is always going to have it way worse than I am, and to someone out there, I live in the lap of luxury.

They liked me after only 50 minutes and a resume. And because they want me to start on Monday, it's like a birthday gift from my mom. Her birthday was St. Patrick's Day. Why do I feel like she's looking out for me?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Another Verification That Maybe I'm Doing Something Right

Sometimes when I'm writing here, I want to look back at a previous post to reference it. Depending on how old it is, Blogspot can't always find it through the search option. So I'll go search for it in Yahoo with a couple of keywords.

I was doing that a few days ago (I forget what I was looking for), and stumbled across this, a pin on Pinterest of my Easter Bunny basket pattern from 2011. That was, once again, a nice surprise.

And I'm working on another yarn bomb for the area out here, so I decided to check Yahoo to see if there are any known (good, popular, whatever) spots out here for yarn bombing, like if anyone else had left some. I didn't find any info on that (a friend recommended the statues at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens), but I did find this on Pinterest: a photo of one of the mermaids at the Mary D. Prelow Public Library that I bombed. Unfortunately, the original yanbombing.com site is long gone.