Saturday, February 18, 2006

Weekend Plans

Today hubby and I are headed over to Miss Mary's house. She has some stuff in her basement that needs repairing so hubby is taking care of that for her while I help her organize her make-up studio.

While she and I work, we'll also be brainstorming. I hope she has chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. I think better with all those pseudo-endorphins racing thru my bloodstream.

Tomorrow, my plan is to try my hand at making Limoncello. If you're thinking "wha...???" Limoncello is a lovely lemon liqueur. Usually made in Italy around the Amalfi Coast and Liguria.

It's really quite simple to make--in theory. Just use grain alcohol like Everclear or even a decent vodka and drop the peel of a dozen or so lemons in it. Put the bottle away for about 6 weeks, then combine with a simple syrup. Let it sit for a few more weeks, strain and there you have it.

I first tried this yummy-delicioso treat while on our cruise last month. It was hideously expensive--a thimblefull for about $4.00. My logic is that if I can make some that's anywhere near as good as what I tasted, it will make very nice Christmas presents this year and won't cost me an arm and a leg.

I'll keep you posted.

Lastly...I have a sort of poll question. Please post a comment with your response:

If you don't live alone and you have other adults living in the same household, do you think it only courteous to let the other members of the household know when you've returned home so as not to scare the crap out of them by appearing unexpectedly?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Resistance is Futile

I had my first lesson in HTML yesterday and my head is still spinning. I AM NOT A TECHIE! I am doing this under duress only because I need to know how to do a few things here and on my website just in case my webmistress is unavailable. Nevertheless, it sucks. It sucks pondwater through a leaky straw.

I'd rather knit thigh-high stockings in laceweight yarn with 5 size 00 double point needles--with intarsia.

I whinged to my son-in-law and he laughed at me. Said it was "easy as pie".

"And when was the last time you made a pie?" I countered.

His AIM screen was blank for a long, long time. Finally...."Ummmm...."

I thought so.

Talking of knitting... I am on a quest for some silk yarn. I have a project to make for a VIP. And it has to be perfect. Silk would be the best option since I'm going to dye it. I'm thinking varigated shades of pink ranging from baby pink all the way down to deepest rose.

The Wednesday night Stitching for Sanity crew suggested a half-clap (short for clapotis). Which is a type of scarf or wrap that's knit on the bias with a deliberate dropped stitch built into the motif.

This idea has merit because the recipient probably doesn't have anything like it in her wardrobe and I have some funky handspun, that after it was dyed up looked like scrambled eggs with ketchup, that I can practice on.

The injured skillets from yesterday seem to be salvagable. I spent a while on the 12", heating and greasing, then I used it to fry onions, mushrooms and potatoes for supper.

I also very nicely pointed out to the perp that we just don't do things like that to cast iron. Not one whisper, not one syllable of apology escaped past said perps lips. Sometimes have to wonder if violence IS the answer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All With The Best of Intentions

Sometimes people have the best intentions to give you "help", but the results are more work for you.

Such is the case of the iron skillets.

Several months back, I stopped at the Lodge Cast Iron Store in South Pittsburg, TN. and bought an 8" skillet and a 12" skillet, brought them home and have spent weeks lovingly "seasoning" them. Each time I used them, I'd wash them without soap, dry them over a hot flame to sanitize them and wipe them down with oil, then let them cool down.

Yesterday, a member of the household who shall remain nameless, (but you who know me KNOW who I'm referring to) decided to "help" with kitchen duties by filling and running the dishwasher, then cooking dinner.

I went down to the kitchen this morning to make coffee for the am writing session. My favorite cup is my Borders Cafe' insulated commuter cup with lid. It was in the dishwasher. I opened the door and peered inside.

There were my once beautiful, black, shiny cast iron skillets, now rusted and gray. I didn't know whether to scream, faint or throw up.

I bent at the waist, took several long, deep breaths--in thru the nose, out thru the mouth-- and when the darkness had faded from around my peripheral vision, I removed the injured skillets from the dishwasher and plunked them on the stove.

My first instinct was to grab the filleting knife so handy in the block near my left hand, run upstairs and gut the perpetrator.

But, a cup of decaf calmed me down--somewhat--and a chat with an online buddy who is also a longtime user of fine cast ironware, convinced me that this was not an act of vandalism, but one of "helpfulness". "An A for effort and an F for Stupid" is what she said...

then recommended a bath of lard or bacon drippings and an all day low temp roast in the oven. For the skillets--not the perpetrator.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Big Boom

Every once in a while we just need a good scare. I think it revs up the heart and makes the blood flow better, don't you?

I was sitting here working on chapter two of Opus #1 rewrites and having random AIM chat sessions with online buddies when I heard this tremendous explosion. I mean, this was LOUD. The One O'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle had nothing on this.

Simultaneously my computer monitor went blank. After I no longer heard my heart beating like a rabbit's in my ears, I noticed that the room had gotten vewy vewy quiet.

Power outage....loud boom...hmmm...blown transformer. Joy. I could probably look forward to huddling in the rocking chair wrapped in a blanket, sipping my tepid coffee and reading for the next, oh, six hours.

I called our local Electric Membership company and reported it and amazingly, within half an hour, a technician showed up. It took him all of two seconds to fix the problem, which turned out to be a blown fuse. Kudos to them for promptness!

Now, my question: Why can't the great, all-powerful THEY invent a fuse that blows quietly? Or is it planned that way so as to a)alert the neighborhood that in a nanosecond the power will go off? or b)scare the ever-lovin' poo out of anyone who happens to be at home?

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and for all you women with men who tell you they "don't need a special day to tell you they love you", Bullsnot! It's just an excuse for them to be cheap and not make an effort to give you something nice on a day when every other woman with a significant other is getting something nice.

Miss Mary doesn't have an S.O. She ditched her not-so-significant other a few years back after he'd proven one too many times he was about as loving as a cockleburr. So, I've planned a little something for her.

Hubby and I are going to the movies. Either The Matador or Nanny McPhee. Then it's home for...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let It Snow--Please!

There's just something fundamentally wrong with it being this cold, with snow "flurries" and still not having anything to show for it.

For the last twenty-four hours it's been bitterly cold, windy and little bits of white stuff have fallen from the sky, only to melt instantly.

This afternoon, hubby and I went out for a cheapo lunch (Wendy's Super Value Menu) and a walk at a local mall. I dressed in many I looked like one of the South Park characters. And I was still frassing COLD. I don't know about anyone else, but I have a difficult time even putting together a coherent thought when I'm that cold.

I wouldn't mind all this winter weather so much if it would actually snow and we'd have a nice winter wonderland to look at for a day or so. But nothing, zip, nada. Just the bleak grayness that is the deep south in winter. Even the birds are dull. Except the cardinals. They're a very pretty red.

Yesterday was the monthly Georgia Romance Writers meeting. I got there a little late because, as usual, I was running around like a decapitated chicken trying to do twenty things at once. At least I got there. The speaker was Anna DeStefano one of our members who spoke on improvization and creativity. I came home and finished fleshing out the prologue to Opus #5 and began work on Chaper One.

After I stop procrastinating, I'm going to get back to work... gee, I wonder what the origins of the word procrastination are? I think I'll check Google....