felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
The turkey soup I made on Monday from the stock (frozen!) from last Thanksgiving is even better today... Mmm... leftover turkey soup.
felis_lupus: (Kirara Smush)

Best Seat in the House
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Photo by Max.
It's shaping up to be a pretty great weekend...

Thursday evening I spent taking photos of the latest Vivid Motion dance production, Sleeping Beauty. Very cute show. I still don't quite get modern dance, but taking photos gives me something to do, and I enjoy it, and I've enjoyed the last couple performances. Photos came out really well too, for the most part! (take 900+, 3 or 4 of them have got to be good...)

Yesterday was a lovely day, boss-free at work, spent it doing designs by the nice, wide open, breezy screen patio door. Max came and picked me up at 5:30, and we headed to meet [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel in Yarmouth for the Clam Festival, and the real reason we were heading to Yarmouth, CARBON LEAF! Free concert, awesome music, I am so there!

We arrived in time to catch the tail end of the parade, which brought me right back to highschool... I was armed with my trusty camera this time, though, instead of a piccolo. Wandered down to the food tents, spent OHGOD on a pint of fried clams and a cup of chowder, and headed for the stage.

We started underneath the big tent, at the back, but moved to the outside, much nearer the stage. That was a good move. It was an absolutely perfect night, and we moved to park ourselves under a big crabapple tree... which just happened to me to look like a perfect place to sit. Up in the tree. Lifetime Bucket List Thingy: Go to an outdoor concert and sit in a tree: Done.

So. Awesome. I had the best seat in the house. The guys are so good live. They play their music like it's supposed to be played, with a little extra because it's live, but not messing with it just because they can. The songs sound like they're supposed to, but better! 2 hours went by so fast. Only disappointment was no "Gray Sky Eyes" or "Lake of Silver Bells", but I suppose they can't play everything...

Photos are here, more on the rest of the weekend tomorrow, when I can think again.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
So... two years ago, I bought an Attar of Roses scented geranium from a wonderful gentleman at the Windham Farmer's Market. It has a beautiful rosy scent, lovely soft fuzzy leaves, and if I ever get it in enough sunlight for long enough, will have tiny little lavender flowers. That bit hasn't happened yet, but I've managed not to kill it with not enough light or ignorance of water in the last two winters, so that's something...

It continues to put out lots and lots of foliage, though a bit leggy. Nice big leaves, though, on the end of long petioles that tend to get tangled in each other. So decided yesterday to do some pruning and repot the poor thing. I have a lovely pink pot that was going to be home to my 'Pink Princess' philodendron, but she is currently in rehab... having some difficulties with the whole 'growing' thing... need roots for that... yeah. So I chopped 3/4 of the geranium back, back to strong stems that are showing plenty of new buds and growth, repotted it into the new, larger pink pot, and pondered on what to do with this mass of green that smelled so lovely.

Remembering things that Mark said when I bought the plant, I went to the internet... Attar of Rose geraniums are lovely to use in cooking. I baked a rose-flavored cake. It is amazing. Take leaves, lay them on the bottom of a greased and floured cake pan, and pour over them your favorite white cake recipe. I used the boxed mix. The oils and scents and flavor of the geranium leaves infuse into the cake, making it light and flowery and springy and delicious. Can't reliably find if the leaves are actually edible or not, so I peeled them off the cake just in case...

The rest of the leaves were added to a pot of water and simmered for about an hour on the stove, making rosewater. Not sure how that's turned out yet, and not sure how I'm going to store it yet, but there it is in a bowl in my fridge...

And spring is truly here. The snow is nearly gone (though quite a difference from last year... last year, the forsythia was blooming, and we'd been a month without snow...), and maybe I can even rake all the leaves away some night after work. I am ready to start ripping things out of the garden again! Death to the wintercreeper and sumac and mostly dead azalea!
felis_lupus: (Lancelot)
Y hullo thar, 2011. Seems you and I are getting along OK so far... (2010 and I were pretty OK too. Don't mean to disparage something so soon departed... I'll do a 'year end recap sometime. Maybe. #1 Awesome thing: Our House. All of it. Even the bad parts. Because they're still the House.)

Party hopped last night, first to Portland, then to Saco. Rang in the New Year at the emptying of the Hourglass with Max, [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel, [livejournal.com profile] evensongs_fall, [livejournal.com profile] pet_spider, and Megan. And GrayC and Hoodlum. Delightful. Delightful sleep came soon after. So glad we are so close now.

Breakfast (lunch... brunch... at noon) for 11 this morning. Crepes. Bacon. Sausage. Hashbrowns cooked in the bacon leavings. Wonderful. Max, Mickel, Ninian, Alec, Veronica, Twig, Nate, Megan, Murin, Alianor, and Me.

Lazy afternoon. Rose Parade (recorded) on HGTV. Doctor Who marathon on BBC America. Naps. Running the kitties up and down the hallway with the laser pointer. Lovely dinner. More Doctor Who, and an early night for some.

Now, sleep for me. Tomorrow is [livejournal.com profile] ninian_vesalius's birthday. We are hosting a Movie Marathon. Breakfast is at 9. Pancakes with the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Going to be a good day.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
- My cats really are perfect gentlemen... they (usually) wait for permission before jumping into a lap, don't play in the garbage, don't beg at the table, don't eat my plants (though Galahad will go after fallen leaves on occasion...). Now if we can just get him to stop his newest trick (horking on cue in the hallway if he thinks he's not getting enough attention RightThisMinute), everything will be good.

- Miso soup mix is amazing. Little packet of powder, funny little white things, and little specks of green. Add boiling water, and I get delicious broth, with big beany-things, and big pieces of seaweed floating in it! Hooray!

- Disappointed that Tazo Tea no longer appears to make 'Om'. Delicious. Green tea, little bit fruity... 'Zen' just isn't the same... I only have a few teabags left.

- Also, cannot seem to find International Coffees 'Mayan Chocolate' drink mix in the local grocery... will try some other stores this week. May have to order online, thank goodness for Amazon and free shipping.

- Recipe for delicious dinner. Take: 1 crockpot. Add: enough potatoes (cut or whole, depending on size of pot, and number of eaters) to cover the bottom, and 1 duck (stuffed with as many apples and onions as you can cram in). Surround duck with more apples and onions, if there's room, and some garlic. Put lid on, set to 'low'. Cook for at least 8 hours. Come home, roast some asparagus, have some friends over, and eat a delicious meal. Then make soup out of the carcass, save some delicious delicious duck fat for roasting potatoes later, and sigh, contented.

- Slowly but surely, the house is getting Christmassed. Candle lights in the windows, little lights on Sam the tangerine tree (our Christmas tree. It's apparently tradition now. And I'm good with it. No needles to deal with!), the skirt went around the pot this afternoon... ornaments will get put up on Monday. Still need to find an outdoor extension cord and figure out if my other sets of lights are outdoor or not so I can decorate the little trees along the driveway. Holding off (mostly), even though I've got permission this year, till after [livejournal.com profile] kurlon's birthday, because I can... I'm strong... the Christmas music has come out, though. I couldn't wait any longer for Mannheim Steamroller or TransSiberian Orchestra (who, I note, is not coming anywhere NEAR Maine this year... Boston's too far for a weeknight, and Rhode Island not so much fun either. BAH.).

- Tonight is both the first and last chance to see the Geminid meteor shower... supposed to be cloudy/rainy/snowy for the next several days, so this evening promises to involve a hot tub and some snacks and delicious beverages.

- Winter is coming too, in fits and starts. No accumulation yet, but we awoke this morning to snow-covered ground. Gone now, since it warmed up to 40 degrees this afternoon, but more is coming...

- And I am upset with this USPS. Specifically, our mail carrier. Who did not even make an attempt to venture past the top of the street this morning to deliver the long-awaited package containing the top to my soon-to-be-created Wardian Case. Simply left a 'attempted to deliver' note in the mailbox, and moved on. This ticks me off. We know for a fact that no attempt was made, thanks to the light coating of snow on the road, beautifully smooth and unmarred by any sort of tire tracks, save for right by the mailbox. I will have words (polite ones, not getting upset and cranky at the poor postal worker behind the counter who had nothing to do with the delivery...) when I go in to get the package. Mail carrier needs to do his/her job, thank you very much. I am far more irritated than I possibly should be by this, but what if the package had contained something *important*?? Now I can't pick it up till Friday, thanks to needing to sign for it... BAH, I say.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)

Aurelia's ride
Photo by Prof. Maximilian Artemis Gunn
Originally uploaded by gshower7
I'll start at the end... or at least with yesterday.

A Steampunk Sojourn )

Thanksgiving was just simply amazing. Thanksgiving! )

Post-Thanksgiving Leftover Foods )

Today, Josh is out riding around a state park somewhere. I need to go grocery shopping and try to get myself back into the mindset of going back to work tomorrow... bah... 5 days off has been absolutely wonderful. The house is pretty clean, too, even after having dozens of people traipsing through. Maybe we need to have big parties more often... ;) First, though, waffles. Chez Freegate. Is to be delightful.

Such a wonderful day. So happy to have been able to share it with so many close friends and family. Give me a bit, and maybe we'll do it again sometime... :)

Survived

Nov. 25th, 2010 11:41 pm
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
20 people. 2 turkeys. 1 ham. Leftovers. WONDERFUL.

Sleep now.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)


WINDY day before Thanksgiving. J and I have the day off. And tomorrow. When 21 people come and invade our house. It will be Wonderful. We shall feast! Fortunately also have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off, to recover from said feast and probably re-clean the house.

Today will be cleaning the house, prepping foods for tomorrow, making that final shopping run, and finishing up N's shirt (finally) so he has something proper to wear this weekend. Baking buns, cutting up the butternut squash, and finding all the necessary dishes are major projects. Potatoes will go on the stove tomorrow. Two turkeys, a spiral ham, and all sorts of squash and potato and veggie dishes and pies are coming with people tomorrow.

In other news, Max and Mickel accompanied me to my 3rd straight fencing weekend (wheeeee made of AWESOME) at Duello. So much fun! Fenced for several hours straight! Saw lots of people! Ate delicious food. Didn't take a single photo (left that to Mickel...). And I did well enough in the tourney and got to be a bishop in a live (pseudo-)chess game! What a hoot... Max found a fantastic little restaurant for post-event dinner too, and Wyatt joined the three of us for an exceedingly enjoyable meal.

Weekend away from fencing this week. I think I need the break. Though I've got plenty of processing to do, and perhaps some strength-building exercises... I realize now just how heavy my swords are, after playing with one that weighed practically nothing last night at practice. Wyatt and his son came up to play, and try to fix a few dumb things I do. The Stuff mentioned a few weeks ago that I needed to think about and chew on is that Wyatt has offered to teach me, and perhaps take me on as his cadet. Which would be really cool, I think, and I think I could learn a lot from him, and maybe even start winning more bouts than I stupidly lose like I do now... Just need to get the teleporter working properly, so the travel time is cut down a bit... But we're going to try the long-distance training thing for now, before jumping into anything more formal. Try to make it to events where we can work together in between all the other stuff, maybe make it up and down to practices (winter is going to make that fun and interesting, no doubt). I hope it will work. I think it will.
felis_lupus: (Default)

Twins!
Originally uploaded by gshower7
A successful evening at the Tyger and Bucket Tavern.

Excellent food (Roast beef, spiced squash, savory toasted cheese, vegetable soup, and apple tarts) provided by Gryff and co, games, carousing, music, games, and fantastic drink with friends, followed up by a delightful fire. Max ran the Tyger and Demitasse, providing delicious coffee and drinking chocolate post-revel, around the fire, accompanied by more song and socialness. A fine day.

I. Love. This. Bar.

And Mickel and I totally planned our outfits together... :)
felis_lupus: (Default)
Less grumpy now, at least about one thing. [livejournal.com profile] kurlon, with the help of Max and moral support of [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel, was able to straighten my bent handlebar. I got ma wheels back. Again. I will successfully negotiate the way to the town office tomorrow to register both car and bike, to Portland and my doctor's appointment (checkup, nothing out of the ordinary), then to work, then to fencing. Max was kind enough to grab my gear for me tonight, so I may enjoy both hobbies in the same day.

Embarrassing, a bit, after all the "eeee getting my bike Saturday!!" that I did last week at work, to show up in the car this morning, and have to explain why. Bah. Another good reason not to screw up again. ;)

Dinner this evening was bacon wrapped chicken, filled with ham and swiss, with sautéed zucchini and mushrooms. Delicious. Haven't made that in quite a while.

Furnace/hot water is also working again. Replaced the controller on top, replaced the filters, which apparently were so gunked up they didn't look anything like filters anymore. The guy also had to chip out chunks of ick from the pipes. Amazing what not cleaning a system for seven years will do. Or not. It should run better now. The remainder of the cleaning is happening tomorrow morning. And we have nice full oil tanks, for a pretty low price.

Ranting about work follows... )
felis_lupus: (Default)

Summer Berries
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Note this. August 23, 2010. Turned the heat on in the car on the way to work. I wore a sweatshirt all day. Was almost cold. At least it's finally raining. The trees are changing already; the usual red maples turning across the street from the nursery are right on time, but I pass a sugar maple on the way to work that has dropped over half of its leaves. So. Dry. Garden is suffering.

Onto happier things, though! Wonderful weekend! Puttering around town on Saturday, got word on the Suzuki. She's been declared totaled, but the value was nearly twice what we expected, and the buyback is less than half (and we ARE buying her back), leaving a thousand dollars or so to fix her, put a downpayment on something else, pay the credit card off, whatever. All that aside, I am definitely buying a shiny shiny red bike. Once we get the loan stuff figured out. Hopefully by the end of the week. I want to ride before it gets too cold, again!

[livejournal.com profile] kr4sh and [livejournal.com profile] mylisant got married on Saturday afternoon. Pictures soon, once I get a chance to go through them all. It was beautiful. Victorian (Steampunk) themed, outdoors, in their lovely backyard. Surrounded by friends and family, and a confetti cannon. Awesome. :)

After the festivities, Max and [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel and I headed to Portland for the first ever Music and Arts Festival, and CARBON LEAF, live in concert! I had no idea where to go, other than 'it's on Free Street!' We found them. In a parking lot. The nice people at the door took our tickets, and through the gates we went. We were not disappointed. They are wonderful. Max said 'OK, you can pick the music from now on'. I think I did good. :) I know I did. They even played another 20 minutes or so past 11, when they were supposed to have been done. Made me very very happy. Can't wait for their new album.

Made breakfast (pancakes, bacon, delicious French Breakfast Puffs) for M&M&J and me on Sunday morning. Was delightful. I got to use the pretty pretty Butterfly Meadow dishes that I've been collecting here and there (need to pick up the teapot/cups one of these days) (Hooray for Marshall's and TJ Maxx that have them on super-duper sale!). Was wonderful, again.

A good weekend, semi-relaxing, they're just never long enough, though.

Happiness

Jun. 25th, 2010 11:16 pm
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
I am full of delicious Greek food and pastry, and I got to ride to work on the most beautiful day of the week, and home under a nearly-full moon. Life is good.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
After temps in the 60s and hitting 70 all week, it's actually spring today. Happy Equinox! And happy Anniversary to Max and [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel! Strangest. Winter. Ever. Never worn short sleeves outside while it was still winter and enjoyed it.

The four of us got together here last night, for the first "entertaining" meal of many at our wonderful home. Thanks to the weather, I was craving BBQ chicken, and [livejournal.com profile] kurlon did not disappoint with our wee little grill. The kitties were even mildly social, which was nice.

I got to sleep past 6:30 this morning. That was wonderful in itself. Woke up to sunshine, blue sky, and just a few white puffy clouds. I can see trees through the skylight in the upstairs where my computer is currently set up. I want to turn the area up here into the book room; we've got the space. Can't decide if I want to keep the computer up here or not; If I set my little tiny speakers up a bit, music will fill the whole house from here. The acoustics are wonderful.

On the docket today: Laundry, and raking!! SO EXCITED to find out what I've got in the yard/pseudo-gardens here. Then perhaps over to Freegate for fencing and/or archery and/or socialness. Hot tub would be nice, I think, after all the work.

Tomorrow, depending on what the weather does, I want to paint things. This upstairs nook is going to be light blue when I'm done. May keep the white trim, I may not. The bottoms of the walls themselves do need trim, but I'll get as close as I can to the carpeting without also turning it a lovely light blue... We found the living room paint downstairs in the basement, if it mixes up well, I will fix all the gazillion nail holes in the walls there, and do some touch-ups. And if I'm playing with spackle, I may as well try to repair the kitchen wall where the dog chewed it, and think about paint for there too. I've got the color picked out, just need to decide to do it.

Might even get photos up this weekend. Who knows. :)
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
Thanksgiving was a success. The turkey was thawed when I woke up yesterday morning, cooked up beautifully. Food was eaten. Family was visited with, Beatles were Rocked to. I will never make butternut squash any other way than roasted with a maple syrup glaze ever again. Mmmm... (take 1 med butternut squash, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 C maple syrup, a bit of salt & pepper. Toss. Spread on foil-lined baking sheet. Cook at 400F for 35-40 min. Eat. NOM.)

The turkey carcass is now in a nice water bath, bubbling on the stove, turning into lovely stock so I can make soup later. I dread the thought of making the trek to the bank, but Black Friday in Windham shouldn't be too scary. Everybody will be at the mall. Then Naptime.

Camille & Astrid's Great Adventure begins at 4:30 this afternoon, when I leave to go pick her up, then we driiiiiiive to Nova Scotia. Only 9 hours, 11 minutes. Plus gas stops. We are quite possibly insane. Is it worth it, for a 1-day event? I hope so... I think it will be fun. :) Will get to see Isobel & Guthfrith, who I haven't seen since Pennsic last year, and Isobel is going to help me out with some super-spiffy new garb plans... could possibly even be ready for Winter Feast/12th night, but definitely Birka. That's the plan, anyway. Also hoping the rain we're getting at the moment stays rain. Do not want to drive in snow/ice/ick, not just yet.
felis_lupus: (Default)
That is still spinning!

100 minutes war was awesome and fun, and the guys were great to travel with (entertaining, at least), and we're all gonna go back and kick butt at K&Q Rapier in February in the same area. Woo! Took some photos, was too busy fencing and having fun to do much more. I got to show off a bit with Christovau in front of Her Highness and Her Majesty (using cloak! wheeee fun!), the capture-the-flag scenarios were fun and silly, and we dragooned Lucien and Morty into the Guard for court when it seemed there weren't going to be enough of us... the Royalty was well defended for that court, let's just say that... Photos soonish, now that I have my computer monitor at home back.

Slept till noon on Sunday. Wonderful. Puttered, relaxed... I'm apparently working on repotting all of my plants... I didn't plan to, but that's what is happening, bit by bit. They need it. Wrong time of year, technically, but they need it. Finally have some nice looking and happy philodendron again. And there are THREE flower buds on my mini amaryllis that I just picked up this year... so cool.

Got together with Max & [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel last night for dinner, we were in the area. Max makes a darn fine corned beef. Delicious, with strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert (from the store... but tasty).

Have tomorrow off, yay! Going to clean the apartment and prepare it for family invasion on Thursday. The turkey is thawing, slowly, in the fridge... There will be lots of tasty foods, perhaps even some Rawking Owt. We'll just have to see.
felis_lupus: (Cat Fencer)
I hope it's on the horizon, because I feel pretty not-excited right now... transcribing 30 pages of leagal-ese because the original computer file has been lost/destroyed/misplaced/whatever is not really my idea of a good time... but I'm indoors, out of the cold wind. But still bouncy and semi-wired... meep!

And tonight, I have a visitor from a foreign land coming to visit, there will be delicious pot roast, apple pie, potentially hot tub, and then tomorrow we will head north and go fencing all day long! Hooray!

There is another very exciting thing possibly happening, that I don't want to jinx by talking about it too much, and we'll know more in a few days... some people can probably guess. :)
felis_lupus: (Default)
http://stilltasty.com/

Site that gives guidelines for how long food stays good. Handy, even though I don't leave pizza out overnight.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Purple Haze Carrots
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Fresh from the garden, beautiful (except for that one on the right...) purple carrots! Delicious! Nutritious! Purple!

'Purple Haze' is the variety. I didn't expect the deep color to go so far into the root itself. The purple ones that came out of the 'carnival' blend packet are skin-only. Johnny's has a variety that is called 'Deep Purple', where nearly the entirety of the edible part is supposed to turn purple. I must obtain them... their seed crop keeps failing, though... perhaps not the most stable of cultivars. 'Purple Rain' is another possibility for more purple-ness...

Very happy with the carrots, in general, this year. These were just weird. They have purple juice from the outer part, which I'm sure would stain white linens and such, but they make a darned interesting stir-fry.

I also read recently, and rejoiced in reading, that the horrific Late Blight that wiped out most of the tomato/potato/other nightshade family crops in this area will not overwinter. The freezing temps that we get up here will kill the spores that are in the soil, so our tomatoes should be safe next summer. Yay! Exception to this would be potatoes... if there are any infected tubers still in the ground, they need to be dug up and destroyed, or buried at least two feet deep... Take heed, save your gardens! Still essential to clean clean clean this fall, too.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)

10-06 Garden
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Took out the tomatoes, at least, today. They're done. Have been for a while now, but I haven't been here to take care of it, and there's always that last little bit of hope that they'll still do something, because they're still green... nope. Done now.

Pulled the basil and parsley that had gone by, cut back the chives, chopped the seedheads off the garlic chives so maybe I won't have gazililons of them next year, chopped the lemon balm and the rest of the potted herbs, and pulled up 95% of the mint that was planted between the box and the apartment... I may have a problem next year... I found a mint runner growing up inside the box when I pulled out the Tomaccio... oh no. Hopefully I can keep up on it, and will have something besides a box of mint next year. Eep! I think I may be able to find and dig it out when I turn the soil over after it's completely emptied.

For the moment, though, I still have peas and lettuce and carrots that are perfectly happy! Delicious delicious peas... Picked 8 pods, a total of 12 'Pineapple' tomatoes at various times, a handful of an old variety of mint, one carrot, and one little round lemon cucumber.

Perks

Aug. 13th, 2009 06:06 pm
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)

Maine Crab
Originally uploaded by gshower7
So... a week or so ago, Bill from the Fisherman's Net (a local seafood place, my boss has a trade setup going with them - mulch for lobsters. He's a great guy, Bill.) comes in, picks some mulch, as usual. I mention, sortof offhand, that I've lived in Maine for 9 years now, on and off, and have never actually had real Maine crab. Did they have any up the road there? No, he says, but he could get me some, next week, have his son give me a call when they're in. Cool, I say. 2 or 3 would be just great!!

Fast forward to today. 4:30 in the afternoon, I'm on the phone with one of our sales reps, when I hear a shout HELLO!. I nearly jump out of my skin, turn around, and see Bill, carrying a green, 5-gallon bucket, from which he takes a SHOPPING BAG FULL OF CRABS. EEEEE!!! ...and oh my, that's a lot more than 2 or 3...

Phone call was ended rather quickly; Tom understood. I ran upstairs and grabbed a plastic pot saucer, since the bag was going to drip everywhere, and suddenly there was crab all over the counter. They're quick little buggers... one of them especially was bound and determined to be anywhere but the saucer ohgodohgodohgod, but he was corralled. Managed not to get my fingers pinched, either. All told, 14 crab. No charge. Awesome. They are cooling in my kitchen now, steamed and boiled to perfection (I hope), awaiting the claw crackers. Om. Nom. NOM.

And Bill is the spitting image of Barry Gibb, which I find rather amusing...

EDIT: heaven... I'm in heaven...

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felis_lupus: (Default)
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