Thursday, December 22, 2011

The veleveteen woman

I have told my husband often over the years that he makes me real.

Much of my life I have felt like I would blow away, that my grasp of what it takes to exist, much less succeed was too shaky, too limited.

I wake up every day with a house and a car and a real life that never ceases to astonish me. 

Really?  He says to me, with limited patience for drama. 

I put one foot in front of the other and I fake it until, one day hopefully, I will make being feel totally normal. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Meyerlemon cupcakes VEGAN for a work holiday party.  A friend sent me a giant box of lemons and I made lemoncake. 

Vegan devil's food bunt cake for the work party too.  I have one employee that likes this cake a lot, so I try to butter him up with it at least once a year, the least I can do, for a job well done.

Yule log roll, for Mark's family Christmas party today.  I am not fancy enough to make the meringue mushrooms the way you are supposed to, I just made some out of marzipan, like a lazybone. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Saint

I had very little to do with it, but St. Lucia Day was celebrated. 
I had to be at work, so Rolf and his girlfriend did the saintly duty.  I provided the child and the tableware.
Freyja was delighted.
As far as I know there is no tradition of including poodles.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

it doesn't make it alright

Listening to this

and this

 with Miss F.  She loves to get her dance on with some social justice on the side.

Friday, December 9, 2011

More Merry Merry

a wee little scene on top of the tv stand.

 hung on the mantel with care...

There really IS no accounting for taste.

I spent a good deal of the afternoon on the sofa feeling moderately heart broken over something that I shouldn't really care about. 

Someone was critical about a project that I had worked on and felt good about.  The comment was completely subjective, completely a matter of taste, no right, no wrong, just personal opinion, but it cut me deeply and I'm not sure why. 

Surely symbolic of something bigger, but why now, why today?

The worst part was that I allowed it to get my goat and became defensive. 

I am never clever when I am defensive and I regret not having a pithier come back prepared.

My mother would say

"why on earth do you care what those people think?"

and I would say that I have no idea, but I do, at least I do in the moment.  

Having spent most of my life walking around like an open wound, you would think I'd have learned to scab over.

A few weeks ago a dear friend brought me this trophy.  

It is a bird that we are pretending is a finch and she had it engraved just for me.  

I am placing it right next to me on the sofa this evening to bolster my spirits.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St Nicholas Day


Apple cranberry tartlets with an acorn & Oak leaf motif


Gretel, aka Freyja, the child that ate the roof off the haus, requiring a tootsie roll to be inserted to hide the damage, and create a chimney. 

I got my tall skinny Noble HA!

We awoke to find treats in our shoes... or some of us did, some of us found only lint.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hanna the movie

We watched Hanna this evening and I loved it.

I am a sucker for a good spy film with a revenge angle.

I also loved, loved, loved the professional  so perhaps it is a bit of a fetish?


Freyja making the mirepoix for the stuffing

The mirepoix for the stuffing (but we call it dressing , because we don't stuff it inside anything.)

the ubiquitous relish tray

Rolf's mashed potatoes

Blast my camera, it makes photos so blurry! Mark's phone takes better photos!

Mark's new ap, that makes everyone look better than they do in real life
Freyja designed the children's table, and did a darn good job.

Lily gave us this amazing salt and pepper set- I used tiny apples for place cards

Freyja making pumpkin pie, even though "she hates it"

My beloved persimmon Fiesta-ware mug at the end of the day
Our friends brought THREE blueberry pies, and there were only ten of us!
Rolf took a photo with my camera, which makes people look worse than they do  in real life.

Someone should remove all red lipstick from my possession. I look like my father in drag, in this photo. Why on earth am I smiling?  The kitchen witch looks cuter than I do.

In the absence of a loving extended family, I cook.  Does 19 dishes indicate my state of mind?

Two very rowdy girls dismantling my living room

Mark with his mom and a vintage paper turkey, also a gift from Lily

Freyja, after getting busted for being too wild.  "Who me?  I am just an innocent waif with a poodle"
We had a sort of weird Thanksgiving.  I didn't invite anyone (other than the people that are always around for our holidays) because I was thinking of just going out to dinner.
Things have been so intensely shitty for so long around here, and Tuesday I woke up to a fairly brisk leak in the dining-room.
I called Felipe from Eagle Roofing and he came right out and fixed the problem, and informed us that the sunroom needs a new  roof.
Earlier in the month He came the school and repaired a big leak there.  He is certainly the first person I call for any roofing issues.
I had spoken to our friend M a few weeks earlier and told him that he could join us, since prior to getting married he always celebrated holidays with Rolf and me, but since had not.  At the last moment he confirmed that he would indeed come with his children and wife, so then it was set.  I had to pull myself out of the funk and make something happen.
Then Karen called and said she was sick and depressed and didn't feel like a holiday.  I told her I felt the same way and we should get together later when we were feeling better, without expectations of FUN.
Then another close friend called and said he had to do what the mom of his daughter wanted, so he could see the daughter, so the numbers were seriously dwindling.
Perhaps my idea of eating out wasn't so bad after all?  
Wednesday I cooked and cleaned like crazy, while Freyja ran around helping me and tearing things apart, alternately.  Thursday she woke up at 6:00am and Rolf and I took her to "Little T" on Division for a pretzel roll.
We cooked a little and killed time until 5:00pm, when I had to get serious about the food.  For some reason the sweet potatoes were still crunchy at 5:30, so I had to microwave them, which is not something I would normally ever do.
Everything got done, and we sat down to eat at 6:00, with my friend's wife out sick.
There were ten of us, the tiniest group I have had in 22 years.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scaring, fighting the nation Shooting, shooting their guns and ammunition

seeing photos of police macing students at UC Davis, along with the riot gear in PDX made me think of this old thing.  I love me some Joe Strummer, but who doesn't?
Let me just say that I am not anti-police, in fact I am a pretty straight arrow when it comes to following the rules, but I think we all know some change has got to come, and perhaps most of us don't want to be represented by some stinky, tofu eating slacker, but the bottom line is the country is going to shit and it does my middle aged heart good to see some young folks in the streets.  I for one will move my meager stash of dough into a community owned bank, and I will continue to shop resale and avoid purchasing shoddily made stuff from big box stores.  I will support unions, and fair wages when and how I can, and I will say so early and often. 

the anatomy of an apple pie, and decorating for fall