Tuesday, August 23, 2011


That's how many days we've had 100+ temps here. Today's going to be the 69th, tying us with the previous record of oh god I don't care about historical tidbits. I don't care how many records we're breaking and while I do care about climate change intellectually, right now all I can think about is the minor miracle that is lying on the tile floor in my drawers.

Seriously, this floor was the best decision we ever could have made.

I've actually hit the point where I'm happy about hurricane season. Which makes me feel like a terrible person because hurricanes aren't exactly a good time, but if a hurricane is what breaks this heat wave I'm seriously considering getting its name tattooed on my butt.

As a result of living on the surface of Mercury, I've given up on dressing myself. Being a hermit has the advantage of allowing me to lie on the floor in my underpants most of the time but I do still occasionally have to leave the house. While I'm sure most of us would prefer to go out as close to nekkid as possible (shoes would be the obvious requirement) it's still one of those frowned upon behaviors.

I hit upon a solution pretty early on in this summer of death - cotton dresses. The breezier the better. I had to expend just enough effort to pull something overly head, it was as cool as I could get and I would look like I still kind of tried.

Unfortunately, pretty much every single store I tried had other ideas. Oh, there were so called summer sun dresses a plenty, but every damn one of them had some sort of polyester lining. And it seemed the cuter the dress the cheaper and nastier feeling the lining.

I gave in and bought one that had said polyester lining and felt like I was walking around wrapped in a garbage bag. At least I was going to a movie where the air conditioner was guaranteed to be set to morgue.

I briefly gave up my quest for perfect cotton sacks and set to suffer through doing laundry every day so that I could recycle my limited ohgodhot wardrobe as much as possible.

Then it dawned on me. I ostensibly knew how to use a sewing machine and I still had a drawer full of patterns bought throughout the years every time I decided no really, this time I'm making myself some cute clothes.

So I shamelessly stole Maters machine after she kindly gave me a box full of fabric from a friend cleaning out her stash and attempted this sewing business.

Figuring I needed to get my sewing legs back under me, since I hadn't touched the machine since making last year's Halloween costume I went with the tried and true project of sew some rectangles together, pop in an elastic and voila skirt!

And while it did take me 45 minutes just to thread the damn machine I did end up with a skirt. So, yay.

Cotton sacks here I come!

Found a simple shift dress pattern went to town and produced a dress from start to finish that, while not exactly the best example of a dress, is comfortable and breathable and I made it my damn self.

I figure that as long as I'm ok with the wonky seams here and one strap being wider than the other, I might as well make a more complicated imperfect dress.

So I can learn things. Or something.

Hopefully I can continue to increase my collection of cotton sacks and continue to avoid being arrested for public nekkidness until fall gets here. Which it had damn well better soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hatch Chile Season -

- An Almost Wordless Parable

Moral: Chiles Are Wily, Knives Are Sharp, Capsaicin Is A Wee Bastard.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I think my house is still peeved about me not taking better care of it and doing things like painting it terrible colors. And now that I'm trying to catch up on housework its striking back.

Why is it that the things that best kill mildew are also the best at killing brain cells? I mean, it says right on the bottle that it's for cleaning showers yet goes on to say 'use in a well ventilated area'. And maybe I'm missing out on a whole realm of experience but I don't think I've met a shower yet that could fairly be called 'well ventilated'.

I like to think that I lost my grasp of arithmetic for a worthwhile cause though. It seems as though the tide of war is finally turning in my favor. I can safely shower without just averting my eyes and pretending that the grout wasn't actually developing rudimentary eyestalks and ogling my sudsy butt.

I know I can't be alone in this, but I seem to be a real winner when it comes to realizing that something is a terrible idea and is bound to end badly but then going on to do it anyway.

The step stool ended up mysteriously broken when we were painting and still hasn't been replaced. So when it came time to clean off the light fixture above the dining room table I figured I could probably get the job done by standing on a chair on tip toe and just leaning brazenly across the table.

Clearly there was nothing that could possibly go wrong here.

I have to admit, damaging my vestigial muscles was probably the least hurtful way this could have ended. While I would like nothing more than to give the finger to the dishes and curl up with a steady stream of gin and tonics for the rest of the summer, at least I didn't completely bust my face open pirouetting dramatically off the chair and onto the table.

Not that I almost did that. No, no, it was fiiiine.

A laundry basket will do just a good a job holding my clothes as the dressers, right? I don't even want to contemplate how folding laundry is going to injure me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm a firm believer in tasty outweighing pretty. I mean, I love looking at pretty food as much as the next person, but when it comes to things I make myself I've pretty much given up on any attempt to make it photogenic.

Especially if it means cutting off the top of cakes.

Yes, layered round cakes can be absolutely gorgeous, but if I'm making a cake just because then what do I care if it's lumpy? I know there's no reason why I couldn't just eat the cut off tops but really. Why go through the extra step just for looks if it's just going be me, a plate and Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix instant? Possibly skipping the plate and just using a fork. Not that I would ever. By which I mean almost always.

Besides, if you put the two tops together in the layer sandwich you can fill the gap with more frosting and hello. That's practically an instant party.

Here it is crumb coated and fridged. Hideous, I know.

I will say, unless you're a frosting addict like the Boyfriend and me, it's worth taking your time to make your crumb coat as presentable as possible because the majority of you frosting will be going in the gap to maintain structural integrity.

Yes, I really did just say that. My frosting game is SERIOUS.

Zip top bag filled with the rest of your frosting. The gateway to deliciousness and non falling apart cake.

Piped into the hollow between layers.

Like a giant whoopee pie of awesome. The giant hump in the middle is where I spackled together a crack that happened taking the cake out of the pan. If only all spackling was so tasty.

So, yes. Totally fug. But it tastes like the greatest possible outcome of combining cake and snickerdoodle cookies, because I'm a great believer in adding cinnamon to everything.

Basic box cake mix (the bakery witch Betty Crocker has been doing this a lot longer than I have), except I subbed a stick of melted butter for the vegetable oil and a cup of milk for the water. Because dairy fat is always superior. Also added about a teaspoon of vanilla and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

For the frosting cream a stick of room temperature butter with a teaspoon of vanilla, a teaspoon of cinnamon and three tablespoons of cream on low speed. Sift in 3 cups of confectioners sugar slowly, still on low, and allow to mix once all has been added about a minute before cranking it up to medium. Once it's light and airy your good. Keep the cream on hand to add extra if it's looking dry.

Stupid simple but man. I know what I'm having for dinner.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Achievement Unlocked

I've never been a big video game person, I can't really sit for hours at a time playing, not even when I was a kid and anyone who was anyone had Nintendo related repetitive stress injuries. Mostly because I'm not very good at them and am easily frustrated.

Though when I broke my arm in third grade I did spend enough time with Super Mario World that I got a really heinous blister from my cast rubbing the join between my thumb and hand. Totally worth it though.

The big exception was The Legend of Zelda and related games. And it wasn't just me, my dad and sister would stay up to the crack of dawn chasing down Triforce pieces and trying to defeat Ganon. I distinctly remember because not hanging out with people in college because I needed to go home and play Wind Waker. Priorities. Clearly I was super cool.

I bring this up because I seem to have imprinted on the sound effects of the game.

Mater bought some dish towel embroidery kits and, despite a long history of not really jumping on board the embroidery band wagon I decided to give one a go. See, I like the look of embroidery, and I know I've made half hearted attempts to learn before but never really made it very far for no real reason. Besides laziness, obviously.

Since the pattern was mostly satin stitch - the one thing I sorta know how to do- I went ahead a stitched away, thinking I'd ignore the rest of the directions and just satin it up. Except then I didn't. Looking at the not terribly detailed stitch guide that came with the kit I had a sort of a-ha moment and the next thing I knew I'd done a lazy daisy.

And I swear to jeebus, I heard this in my head:

I managed the stem stitch next and while neither are very impressive for their breed, it's more than just constant satin stitch.

And now I have an embroidered dish towel.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Heaps of Kittens

Adoptions have been slow all summer, what with there being more available kittens than available homes. It happens and is something I ought to be used to by now, but damn does it make my life hard sometimes.

Like Sally. She's a very sweet, but very plain jane black cat. Her siblings were adopted soon after they were old enough, benefiting from irresistible kitten cuteness, but poor Sally didn't have the same luck. And now she's getting older and has to compete with other kittens still at the height of adorableness.

Though she has her moments.

But it isn't all bad news on the kitten front. As a group we've had four adoptions since Saturday, getting us closer to a manageable number of cats. Here's hoping we can get a few more so that we might be able to start taking in new ones.

Two of those four adoptions are our fosters Anna and Thomas. I can't say I'm terribly surprised - it's a little disturbing how cute they are.

I know (since I'm the one that took the photo) that she's yawning, but I always think I caught her mid cackle whenever I see it.

Sometimes we get kittens that just pose. Maybe he's part super model. The Monkey was kind enough to lend her bright pink knee as a prop.

Speaking of The Monkey, I let her name these two. Thomas as in Thomas the tank engine, and Anna (maybe it's Annie) is another one of the characters. Unfortunately, maybe because I let her name them, she's become more attached to these two than any of the previous fosters.

I told her today that Anna would be going to her new home on Tuesday and she sighed an announced that she would miss her. I just found out that Thomas is being delivered Wednesday, so there's another little surprise for tomorrow.

Hopefully, learning just what exactly auntie resa's job entails won't traumatize her too much. Though I did find this little scene when I came back from refilling my coffee:

At least it looks like Sally will be hanging around so she won't be immediately kittenless.