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Archive for September, 2010

Ramblings

I know I’ve really been absent a lot the last couple of months.  I’m making a goal to post every day in October.

I got a letter yesterday from my favourite GypsyGrrl, and I happen to know another one is coming from Jehara. I’m excited.  As wonderful as texting and email and im’s are–and don’t get me wrong; I know they’re wonderful–they can’t replace the pleasure of getting a letter from a friend in the mail.  So yay to letters! If you want to correspond with me by mail instead of email, shoot me an email (sorry) with your address, and I’ll send you a really-o truly-o letter.

If any of you have been wondering about my writing job I got, you might want to visit my new site, Legacy Stories by Faith.  I’m writing a couple’s memoirs, and I’ve really been enjoying it.  It’s been interesting to delve so deeply into their lives, and listen to their stories, and then try to figure out how best to write it that will do justice to their stories and their personalities. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to do more of these, so if you know someone who’s been thinking of writing their memoirs, please send them my way.

Work’s crazy, as always. It’s simultaneously gotten much more difficult yet much more tedious, which means my mind’s usually gone by the time I blow out of there at 4 p.m. every weekday.  I’m definitely looking forward to writing all weekend.

I had a great time in Salt Lake City. I found a great bookstore, The Golden Bough, and got an inspiring calendar to hang on the wall in my home office. I got to spend much too short a time with S & J (my stepbrother) and their kids, and unfortunately was unable to get to see B (my stepsister) & S and their kids. And Wendy was lovely and picked me up for breakfast before taking me to the airport on Monday morning.  We feasted at Market Street, and I now have a new must-eat-at place in Salt Lake City.  I had the vegetarian omelet with the richest hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted, nice crisp hash browns, and a sweet blueberry muffin.  Mmmmm.  I also got to eat at Spaghetti Factory (love the mizithra cheese with the spaghetti) and Dee’s (hot chocolate, grilled cheese, fries & fry sauce that I didn’t have to mix up myself).  And of course I got to spend hours and hours with my clients, listening to them talk about their lives while my little tape recorder whirred away.

I think Izzybella and I are going to figure out a way to get up there for a purely pleasure trip in the spring.  It will include our favourite dining spots and our favourite people. J and S kindly invited us to stay with them, so we’re looking forward to that.

Okay, gotta go. It’s been real.

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That’s my Hunger Games name. What’s yours?

If you don’t have one yet, go to Forever YA and get yours. Be sure to come back and tell me what it is, and tell me how much you adore Peeta.

Wow–just as I typed that, the orcs bellowed so loudly that my speakers started quaking and the antenna fell off along with a few papers I had on top of the speakers.  I’m watching Fellowship of the Rings, and that big ugly troll dude is after Frodo and no one knows that Frodo’s wearing a shirt of mithril chain mail underneath his travel-stained hobbit shirt so they think Frodo’s dying.  Guess I’d better publish this post and pick the papers off the floor and enjoy the sight of Samwise Gamgee attacking big ugly troll dude. Well, really th ey’re all attacking big ugly troll dude, but Legolas manages to finish him off.  Mmmmm. Legolas. (Okay, I really have a thing for Faramir, but he’s not in this movie, so I’ll enjoy what eye candy I can.) (And my apologies if I spelled any of the names incorrectly, but it’s been a while since I read the books, and while I am listening to them on CD in my car, the narrator doesn’t feel it necessary to spell the names for me.)

On review: I find the name Ginless amusing.  I am actually ginless, so I guess that works out just fine.  And the description of the swill that whatsisface drinks doesn’t make me feel any more inclined to be swillful. So it’s all good.

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Faith’s Pumpkin Soup

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper if you feel like it
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 can pureed sweet potatoes (no sugar or anything added)
  • 1 can butternut squash
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (I used water & vegan cubes, but it’s your call)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy ceam
  • chopped apple
  1. Melt the butter in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spices and stir for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, and vegetable broth.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  3. You can either transfer the soup, in batches, to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, or you can just pull out the onions and toss them.  They’ve given their flavour to the soup, and it’s a lot less hassle then the whole blending thing.  Whichever you do, you want the soup to be back in your saucepan all nice and smooth.
  4. With the heat turned to low, add the brown sugar and mix well. Then slowly add the milk, while stirring, to get everything nice and blendy.  Add cream.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  If it’s a little spicy for you, you can add some more cream to cool things down.  You may want to add some salt.
  5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with something interesting.  I went for chopped apples; you may want to try pepitas or something. Be creative and enjoy it.

Serves 8.

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Bleargh

I hate housework. I think I may have mentioned that a time or two here.  Possibly. But the fact that I hate housework means that my house can get kinda gross. Not Hoarders gross, thank heavens, so it could be a WHOLE lot worse. But still, a modicum of housework is necessary whether I like it or not.

And the grossness means that Joe can get really cranky when he gets home from trips. I mean, think about it–he’s living in nice hotels with someone who comes in and tidies up after you, makes the bed, cleans the toilets and hangs fresh towels. And then he comes home to a grossish house. While I hate that he gets cranky, I do sort of get it.

So this week I made a deal with him. I listed (in advance, so I was prepared) the very small amount of housework I’m willing to do and how often I’m willing to do it. Two things get done every day, there are a couple of weekly items, and a couple of monthly items. Not much. Not enough that the grossness is forever gone and that I will be spending hours a week at housework, but enough that it will maintain a minimum standard of living. And in exchange he can’t get mad at me about the house.   He agreed.  So this week I made my bed every morning, and washed dishes every day. And he didn’t get mad.

One of my weekly chores is 2 hours of decluttering. I’ve been dreading it, not because I hate getting rid of stuff. I actually kind of enjoy it, and we’ve decided to have a yard sale and get rid of a bunch of junk and hopefully make some money that will go towards new living room furniture.  That means, of course, that things are going to seem worse for a while, because I’ll be decluttering from one area and piling things in boxes that we’ll have to stick somewhere until we have this mythical yard sale, but that’s okay.

Here’s the thing, though. As I’ve been doing the bare minimum to which I agreed, I’ve started doing a little more. Like he’s going to be really happy when he gets home from Cleveland and sees the kitchen. And I’ll admit it makes me happier to see order emerging from chaos.

Ideally I want to pay someone to come and clean house, but Joe insists and I reluctantly agreed that we pay off the credit cards and then get a new kitchen floor and new kitchen cabinets and replace the air conditioner and furnace before we start paying someone to clean.  I’ll admit that I would dearly love all these things to happen, from the credit cards being paid off all the way down to the new floor. So I’m not complaining.

And in the meantime, even doing the bare minimum has things looking better, and if I keep doing a little bit more, it’ll be better yet.

Of course, if anyone wants to either front us the money to pay the credit cards and replace the kitchen floor and cabinets and the central air unit and the furnace, I’d never say no. Or else a DNA alteration that turns me into someone who loves to clean. And while you’re at it, how about someone who doesn’t like chocolate and loves exercise?

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Farewell, Chase

Chase is gone. He passed away yesterday afternoon.

I’m going to miss you. Holy flying monkeys on a basketball to Mars!!

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