Entries Tagged 'Otter Necessities' ↓

Oops, Fell Off Again

Yes, I kinda fell off the internet again.

Robin is still wandering the country in training. I hear from him, usually a short Facebook post, about once per week. He’s on trainer #4, and I’m hoping will be done soon. He’s spent a couple weeks waiting for trainers, but at least he’s been being paid for the waiting.

Two weeks ago Ron started orientation with Schneider, half of last week was kinda flail-ish with getting his truck and getting it fixed and cleaned, so today starts his first real week. He left stupid early this morning, and will be back Saturday, so home Saturday night through Sunday night. So far he’s happy with Schneider, and his shoulder is enjoying not dealing with tarps.

The dogs are Not Pleased with being crated all day. Once we settle into a more predictable pay schedule and pay off some bills that have accumulated, I’m hoping I can get a daily service to come and let them out around the middle of the day.

Thanksgiving with the extended family-by-choice was fun. 8 of us total, which meant we all had “real” plates and flatware, and the house was pretty much full.

Last weekend we bought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree – Peanuts brand and everything. We were at Ace Hardware, and saw a pre-lighted 18” tree, and we considered it. I wandered through the aisle of holiday stuff and found the Charlie Brown tree and snagged it. It’s a proper straggly thing, crossed-boards base, one red ornament, and a “Linus blanket”. It’s sitting on top of the living room water bottle (to be fairly safe from toppling by playing dogs), and Christmas presents are being piled on/around the “Christmas Chair” nearby.

Natter about craft shows at the local high schools can be found on the Otter blog.

Yesterday we went to the storage locker for a couple Otter-ish things, and cotton duck from my fabric stash. In the afternoon we made an apron for Ron from said duck. It’s fairly long, and the bottom turns up and is attached at the sides, and the edge stiffened with some leather, so it forms a big pocket to catch chips when he’s woodcarving.

I also shopped the stash for upholstery fabric, and made new slipcovers for the bolsters that live on/around the couch. They’re 2-3 couches old, and an icky faded blue that do not match the blue couch we have now. Once I had the covers done (which didn’t even take too long), we decided to pull the old dead foam out of the bolsters, and re-stuffed them with fiberfill from Sweet Potato, Ron’s co-driver bear, who has developed holes in multiple seams. So now we have a pair of cylindrical bolsters that look nice and are actually useful again.

The Water Resources Christmas luncheon and staff meeting is on Thursday, so last week I made myself a new shirt and vest. Both had some issues, but were solved. I just need to put a hook and eye on the neckline opening of the shirt. I should consider ironing it, too, but I don’t know if I’ll get that far.

More Bullet-Points

  • Since I’ve been more than a bit remiss in posting . . .
  • Robin passed the difficult 2/3 of his CDL test two weeks ago. I supplied fundage for couple more hours of driving practice, and this morning he re-took the road driving portion and passed. Yay!
  • MuseCon is dead. I have feelings about this. They’re complicated.
  • There are still brush piles in the backyard, but the still-growing stuff (some of which is grass, most of which is . . . not) has been trimmed to a reasonable level. I think I’m just going to buy a fire ring after all.
  • Still playing both versions of “My Singing Monsters” despite getting repeatedly annoyed at the sequel. Ron suggests the annoyances are what keeps me coming back. He might be right.
  • Done some Otter Necessities stuff. More about that in the usual place.
  • After thrashing herself out of her enclosure and falling to the floor while attacking her food two weeks in a row, I have successfully learned how to feed Aurora the corn snake without so much excitement. She still gets excited and thrashes around, but I open the door enough to admit the rat and tongs, so she doesn’t have space to fall out. This is particularly silly as she doesn’t get live food.
  • Robin took the air conditioners out of the windows a couple weeks ago. There were many, many shield/stink bugs.
  • Robin and I investigated the new (as in moved) Schaumburg Dick Blick store. I had a not-too-large fail, and also got Robin some additional sketching supplies to take with him during training.
  • Ron has started woodcarving, as he needed a truck-friendly hobby for his downtime. Chainmail is too itty-bitty if when rings are dropped.
  • I now have a set of tube watercolor paints, some test bits of basswood, and two dwarf/gnome-ish figures to paint.
  • I left my iPod in a skirt pocket and it went through the wash. RIP iPod. And Apple has discontinued the Nano, now all they have is the phone-size Touch with a bunch of features I don’t want/need.
  • OTOH, I’ve determined that I can use my iPad to play music from my portable hard drive through my portable speaker, which accomplishes what I used my iPod for, without stuffing the memory on my phone or iPad with music. I found Ron’s old iPod and Xap found a cable for it, and then Robin handed me his green iPod Nano, which he doesn’t use any more. So, options, I has them!
  • I downloaded recent-ish purchases from iTunes to the desktop computer, and keep forgetting to update the music on my hard drive, and/or replace some of the music Robin likes on the green iPod with what I like. D’oh!
  • My new-ish co-worker is loud, and I don’t always want to have my door closed, which only does so much good anyway unless I shut it tight.
  • At least I promptly quashed the use of speakerphone in his open cubicle. Speakerphones are only for use in conference rooms or offices with DOORS, which should be SHUT when using speakerphone, dammit.
  • Last Tuesday morning at oh-dark-thirty Gimli insisted that he really needed out. He caught a rabbit. There’s a reason I keep my wellies in the dining room. He was reasonably good about giving it up, both the initial confiscation and after we played tug with it.
  • I got back to bed about 4 am. Then I had to try to settle a wound-up Tommy, who had missed most of the excitement by being on his cable and/or in the house.
  • I kinda slept in. Then I gave up and stayed home.
  • Since Robin was home and mostly-unoccupied last weekend, the weather wasn’t stupid hot, and it was a bonus long weekend for me, we made pasties.
  • Lots and lots of pasties. 90 of them. The freezer is not quite full.
  • This weekend I made something like onion soup with lots of meat and Italian-ish seasoning, put it over French rolls in foil loaf pans, topped with provolone cheese, then froze it, so Ron and Robin have very wet Italian-ish beef sandwiches to take with them on the road. I was restrained and the batch was only a six-count.
  • We also made a usual stupid-big batch of chicken macaroni salad.
  • This morning Ron left with pasties, chicken macaroni salad, and I’m assuming at least one beef sandwich brick, in addition to the usual supply of canned or otherwise shelf-stable food.
  • I think Robin has decided to go to work for Werner. No schedule for training, etc. yet.

Bullet-Points, we got Bullet-Points

  • The brush piles did not get ground up this weekend, for boring reasons.
  • I did get cleaning done in the dining room, and Robin worked on the spare bedroom, since we weren’t out dealing with brush.
  • We found floors!
  • I got pictures of Buford the very shy snake with his enclosure door open. He did not approve.
  • Baljeet the snake seems to have resumed eating after the trauma of mites and mite treatment.
  • Caudimordax was pretty good about getting a snake sauna and having stuck shed removed from his head.
  • Tommy earned himself the name “Mousebreath”.
  • Kajura the snake was fed on Thursday, as the mouse they were supposed to get on Tuesday “mysteriously” disappeared.
  • Pumpkin pie spice mix is appropriate any time of year, and yummy, on baked apples.
  • Baked apples would have been even better with Granny Smiths than Honeycrisps, and could have used a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Another round of baked apples, happened, because a bag of small back-yard-tree sweet apples of unknown type appeared at work. Cut in chunks, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, butter, baked, then topped with salted caramel coconut milk ice-not-cream was yummy.
  • Chicken fricassee-like stew made with coconut milk instead of cow milk is pretty good.
  • Not sure the little new potatoes in it are usual, but I put them in anyway, and don’t regret it.
  • Leftover Minimalist Potato Salad is pretty good for breakfast.
  • I need to pick up more eggs, potatoes, and mayo next time I get groceries.
  • Lummy the tortoise doesn’t care if other tortoises think prickly pear cactus is wonderful, he wants his greens, dammit.
  • I prefer the original “My Singing Monsters” to the “Dawn of Fire” sequel.
  • I blame Robin for Singing Monsters infesting my iWhatsit.
  • I need more keys to buy more Dibblers!

Mid-August Already?

Last week was reasonably quiet. Or maybe not, re-reading? Are schools really re-opening this week and next? I’m not complaining about not having really high temperatures, but I’m having trouble grokking that we’re already halfway through August.

Ron went back on the road Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon/evening I went to the yard twice – on the way home to retrieve food Ron thought he left in the SUV but actually left in the pantry, and with Robin after he got home from gaming to fetch home the SUV, since the Kia was acting up. That was repaired and Robin picked it up today (John & Scott’s was busy last week), so we met at the yard tonight to drop the SUV off and proceeded to get dinner on the way home.

Thursday afternoon I went to the doctor for a UTI. At least the antibiotics kick in quickly.

Saturday I did mostly Otter Necessities stuff (natter over on the Otter blog), with breaks to hunt for an un-eaten mouse, and check snake water bowls while I was hunting. Scatha has taken over hiding un-eaten mice from Tanis, apparently. Earlier in the day Ron had obtained pasties and crossed the Mackinac bridge at about 20 mph (truck speed limit) in very nice weather. That knowledge did not help the mouse hunt. I eventually consoled myself with sorbet, fetched by Robin.

Yesterday I did some Otter stuff, and more general housekeeping. I got groceries, changed water in the aquaria, continued the battle against snake mites in Baljeet’s tub (cautiously optimistic that we’re winning), worked on doll clothes, folded laundry, did dishes, and made skirt steak and dressing for dinner with Robin’s help. And did not vacuum the living room and front entry, which in no way look like the cleaning fairies just came Tuesday. Part of the Otter stuff meant straightening up in the dining room and front entry (including throwing some stuff away), which led to tracking shredded aspen around from the front entry. And there was also a lint explosion from a load of white towels/rags.

Saturday Gimli was very worried, as moving Otter stuff around looked too much like getting ready for MuseCon for his comfort. He was better yesterday, I think because things were getting more put away.

MuseCon Report

Looks like I last posted on Tuesday of last week.

I’d been on the MuseCon Board for about two years. If you recall a previous post, we had an un-planned ConCom meeting back on July 1 to deal with some bumps in the road. Over the last couple months I’d come to the decision that it was about time for me to be done, with changes at home and whatnot. More than once Ron convinced me that I should stick out the last bit of my term, until elections in September.

On Wednesday, dealing with things directly or indirectly related to said bumps in the road made it clear that my I’d developed too many differences of opinion to other board members to make my continued tenure useful. So I resigned. And if you see my Facebook posts, completely ran out of fucks.

Anyway, Thursday I finished up MuseCon signage and sent it to be printed, finished up Otter Necessities stuff, getting all the merchandise I planned to take into the Point of Sale (PoS) inventory and tagged (except I couldn’t find my tiny safety pins to tag doll clothes, so the tags were just tucked inside kosode).

Friday morning Robin helped me stuff the dogs into a truck, I dropped them off of the vet’s for boarding, stopped at JoAnn to get a dress form-shaped pincushion to display doll clothes on, forgot little safety pins, stopped at Kinko’s for signage, Then to the hotel. By then I was slightly less devoid of fucks. I got signage either put up or distributed, talked to some people, ordered dinner, and was very happy to see Ron when he finally arrived – he went from Iron Mountain to L’Anse where he swapped trailers, stopped at a drop yard south of Milwaukee to swap trailers, then home, without running out of 11 hours of drive-time in 14 hours of on-duty time.

Saturday Ron and Robin both helped me set up two tables and a triangle of gridwall in the vendor’s room, and I theoretically supervised the room. Since there were 5 vendors in total, it wasn’t a very hard job. Sales weren’t bad, but I’m not used to doing such a small event any more (I think attendance was in the 200-225 neighborhood).

Yesterday we packed up, checked out, Ron and I headed toward home had breakfast, did some grocery shopping, picked up the dogs, were glad to see Robin eventually get home, started dehydrating vegetables, and marinated skirt steak for jerky. Dogs were very happy to see us, and we were very happy to see them.

Today we did even less: Dehydrated the jerky, ran to JoAnn to pick up an American Girl doll clone I’d ordered on-line for store pickup, and Robin and I took stuff back to the storage locker.

I’ve reserved space for Otter at the Fremd HS holiday craft fair at the beginning of December, and will probably also get space at the Palatine HS version the Saturday before Windycon. Fremd is the other HS in Palatine, and both are one-day events. I plan on taking no more than I can cope with myself – purses, satchels, buckled belts, doll clothes, books, and maybe potion bottles.

MuseCon Prep

I last posted the week before last, after being released from the hospital after having my gall bladder evicted. Ron went back on duty Friday morning, but I had Robin so I wasn’t too worried, as I said previously.

Robin took care of me and the dogs. I spent most of that weekend on a binge of cutting out doll kosode, then doing all the machine sewing on them, then starting on the hand-sewing. IIRC I cut out 22, which is 11 coordinating sets. That’s a lot of doll clothes. OTOH, cutting out and sewing primarily involved sitting on by backside on the couch with a table in front of me to work on. And not, it seems, having to think too much, since I never got around to starting on MuseCon signage, which would have required more application of thinky bits.

I also stayed home Monday and Tuesday of last week, and went to work Wednesday through Friday. In hindsight, I should have just stayed home all week.

This immediately-past weekend I mostly did MuseCon prep. Saturday morning Robin and I went to the lockup to fetch home the coolers, bus bins, etc. we loan to Con Suite; gridwall hardware and shelves for the Salon; and and the bin of lace-knitting patters, alpaca yarn, and knitting needles for me to try to sell in the Emporium. After a stop at the grocery store on the way home, we went spelunking in the trailer for leatherworking kits, tools, and hardware to put up for sale. Robin did the work, I poked through Max, the Grinch, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 and decided what Robin was to schlep.

Then I proceeded inside to work on MuseCon signage. While I was sorting through images, Robin brought the pile of stuff that had landed in the kitchen for MuseCon to a slightly less chaotic pile of stuff in front of the back door. And I worked on bringing some more order to the pile later in the day. And around dinner time, a bowl of stir-fry appeared by my side while I was working on signage! Neat!

Yesterday I did more work on signage, plus more attempts at bringing order to the merchandise I’ll have for sale. Since I lost, essentially, two weeks to my gall bladder, getting ready for MuseCon is a rather daunting task. The stringy stuff had been removed from the Point of Sale (PoS) application inventory, and I have a pile of other merchandise – hardware, books I’ve bound, and doll clothes – that need tags and entering into the PoS app. In the past, I figured costs and prices, and typed descriptions or dictated them to Ron, who entered the data into spreadsheets, and then did some kind of voodoo to get it into the PoS app, and some other voodoo to print stickers to put on price tags.

Unfortunately, Ron won’t be home until Friday evening. When I was talking to Ron on the phone, he confirmed my suspicion that trying to talk me through both kinds of voodoo was probably going to be a lot more frustrating and less efficient than just typing the inventory into the PoS app and hand-writing tags, if not entirely unsuccessful.

Fortunately, the stringy bits are already tagged, so the main job there was data-entry. So far I’ve gotten the stringy bits and books entered, books tagged, and have made progress on number-crunching on the hardware. I’ve also been getting things packed up better. And tonight, while looking for the blank tags, I found the conchos and concho display, and extracted them, and the tags, from the dining room.

Fortunately, I realized today that I’m taking Thursday off, in addition to Friday and next Monday. Which gives me some more time to get things done. Or flail. Whatever.

Friday Again

Ok, this is real-Friday not virtual Friday.

Been a busy evening. Stopped at Ace on the way home for a dimmer switch, then through the Wendy’s drive-through for dinner. Got home, let the dogs loose, ate my dinner, then fed the dogs. Then I changed one of the bulbs in the outside fixture,  which meant standing on a step-stool which was at the edge of the porch by the steps. Fun if you’re a klutz and know it, but accomplished.

Did dishes and made dinner for tomorrow (pork pot roast). Put the dimmer on the new snake cage heat lamp. Handled all four of my snakes, plus Haku. Took pictures of the baby snakes in a light bulb box, and posted them to ball-pythons.net.

Packed up an Etsy order. Posted a short event report to the Otter Necessities blog. Ordered more padded envelopes and shipping labels. And now I’m blogging here. And about to go sit in the tub, since this is actually one of the last things I’m writing.  🙂

The gaming convention last weekend was slow. It wasn’t a loss, but it was duulllll.

On Saturday afternoon at the convention I was taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi (College of DuPage student center), and looked for Vietnamese Blue Beauty (VBB) rat snake breeders. I found one person who didn’t seem to be breeding VBBs, but looked like might be able to point me to someone who would.  Then I found another breeder, who is breeding VBBs.

And is not far away. Indiana, IIRC. Zerkle Reptile Co. – very minimal webpage, but pictures, etc. on facebook.

And will be at the reptile show this weekend.

And is bringing VBBs.

E-mails passed back and forth. A deposit has been put down for a baby VBB.

I have purchased tickets on-line for the show.

The plan is to be there as close to opening tomorrow as possible, and proceed straight to their booth.

After that, we’ll do the rest of the show.  🙂

Anyway, rolling back to last weekend, I then started poking around on-line looking at/for cages. Reptile Rapture had one the next size up from Smaug’s original, which is/was housing Yingarna, at a decent price. I took Monday off as a recovery day, so the plan was to get my nails done when the nail place opened at 9, then to head Madison-ward and be at the store close to opening time at noon.


First, I napped until 8:30 (I can’t really say I slept in, since I woke up when Ron got up, when Robin came in to get his clean laundry that was actually in the dryer, and when the dogs barked at him leaving for work), and then didn’t get moving quickly, so I didn’t get to the nail place until almost 10, and they were busy, so it was past 11 when I got out.

Then there were more plan-changes, in the form of Ron going too, and meeting at Xap’s, but Xap not able to go because annoying utility screw-ups.

Shopping was accomplished. We got a cage, some decor and bedding, and admired snakes, but did NOT bring any new critters home.

Back to Xap’s to pick up our other vehicle, and then a stop for gas, and I thought I was headed home.

Except I ended up stopping at the library to reserve meeting rooms for MuseCon.

And then a stop to pick up dinner (which Robin ordered while I was at the library), while Ron went to a meeting.

IIRC instead of getting home in the early afternoon, it was more like 7:00-7:30.

Tuesday Ron set up the new cage, and we transferred Yin over to it. Both cages are 24″ tall, the older one is 18″ x 18″, the new one is 18″ x 24″. Last night we got some artificial viney things, and tonight I stopped at Ace for a dimmer cord/switch, since the heat lamp was making the new cage warmer than the VBB will need.  Here’s the new cages, and a closer view of Yingarna (click to embiggen):

Arboreal_Cages Yingarna_Perching

She’s not easy to get pictures of. She’s still flighty and nippy, and her ledge is slightly above my eye level. I’ll have to have Ron take some pictures while I’m holding her.

On the other hand, here’s Wonambi climbing a spray bottle last week – get up onto the sloped shoulder, constrict to get to the ridge, and then stretch up to the top.

Climb_1 Climb_2 Climb_3 Climb_4 Climb_5

Taking pictures of Wonambi can sometimes be challenging, because she wants to investigate the camera/phone/tablet.  And she moves deceptively quickly.

Wonambi is definitely my favorite of my snakes. Even though she’s little, she’s brave and curious, but a little bit calmer than Scatha – I think it’s a python thing. Scatha and Wonambi also move differently, but I’m not sure how to describe the difference. I’m really hoping Yin settles down and is as nice as Wonambi – Bredlis (Yin is a Morelia Bredli) are supposed to have a good temperament, similar to the spotted pythons. At the moment I do not trust Yin near my face, whereas I get nose boops from Wonambi pretty much every time I have her out (because she wants to climb up on top of my head and hide in my hair).


MuseCon Report

Interesting, my last blog post is dated for last Saturday, but it refers to last Friday as “this morning”. 

Anyway, for MuseCon, last Thursday night we stayed at home, and Friday morning we took the dogs to the vet’s, because many good reasons, then went to the hotel. Robin left for the hotel about the same time Ron and I left the house with the dogs, so that he could go help at Dave’s storage locker and do all his Logistics things.

MuseCon was busy. Ops took over hanging all signage, so I sorted signs and left them to it. I was in charge of Stanford/the Workshop Room/Blinkie Room (however you want to think of it). Friday that consisted primarily on making sure that everybody was on the same page for how the room would be set up (blinkies and other soldering things on the south half, everything else on the north half). Most of the Open Builds had moved to the Muse Salon in Marlborough, so Stanford proceeded relatively smoothly, biggest thing was getting hotel engineering to crank up the A/C, because if the room was too warm with <6 people in it for setup on Friday, it was going to be WAY TOO HOT once it got busy.  

I spent more time in the Salon (vs. Stanford) than I probably should have. I left my knitting at home, other than the turkish braid demo stuff, but I brought some doll clothing materials and tools and worked on kosode. Karen and I discussed ideas for the Salon and Stanford for next year, and have some ideas, considering above re: most Open Builds already having moved to the Salon. 

Saturday afternoon we reprised the Letterpress Printing Overview, and Saturday night we reprised Dramatic Readings of Music. This time for dramatic readings the chairs were all in a big circle (I think a leftover from a previous session), which was a good arrangement. Sunday morning we did Braided Snake Wristbands (3-strand mystery braid) for/in the kids programming room.

I took my Inuk and my classical guitar to MuseCon, and Saturday evening before dramatic readings I took them down to the Salon, where Andrea played them through an amplifier with distortion and feedback. Both sounded good, but the classical guitar played that way just sounded so wroooong to me. Andrea fell in love with the Inuk. 

Sunday night we went to the hotel restaurant/steakhouse, had sticker shock at the steak prices, and decided to just get soup, salad, and share a twice-baked potato, which was enormous. Then we went to the Necro-Muse music circle, where I flailed away through most of my classical-ish repertoire (mostly shorter bits out of my method book), Ron tried a couple banjo things, and Cathy McManamon made my Inuk sound very nice indeed. 

We stayed at the hotel Sunday night, and went to breakfast with Ron’s parents on Monday morning. Ron’s sister Alisa had also come to MuseCon, but she left Sunday afternoon. I think they all had a good time.

After breakfast we finished packing, hooked up the trailer, and headed home, where we dropped off the trailer, unloaded the truck, and then went out to pick up the dogs. Gimli was a very very tired puppy, he pretty much spent Monday asleep. Ron and I, and I assume Robin, also took naps. Nobody wanted to cook, so both lunch and dinner were invoked. 

Little Caesar’s called after Ron and the dogs and I had gone to bed, somebody up the food chain had scheduled Robin to open Tuesday morning. And close Wednesday night (at least it wasn’t a clopening). When he’d last checked his schedule, he didn’t have to work until Thursday. He was Not Amused. I can’t say I blame him.

Wednesday morning I had a definitely upset tummy, and stayed home, pretty sure combination of sinus/allergy issues and being tired from MuseCon. At one point Robin came downstairs and told me if I was going to nap I should go up and flop in bed. Grumble grumble grumble acting all adult who does this smart-alek kid think he is anyway? Which I did not do, but I did flop on the couch instead of sitting up. And in the afternoon I tried not to nap again. 

Last night Ron and Robin took blinkie stuff and Mr. Slushie back to D’s. Our stuff is still scattered around the house, and needs to go back to storage. Otter Necessities has an event (Lake Count-I-Con) in two weeks, so a trip to storage will happen some time between now and then to take coolers, etc. back and pick up Otter’s stuff that was stashed for MuseCon.
And that pretty much brings us up to today. Except for snake-natter, which will be its own post. 

Another Bullet-Point Update

I really don’t mean to keep forgetting to blog, but here we go again.  Since the last post, on January 22nd:

  • I have obtained a backpack for future short trips.  The next expected one is the floodplain managers’ conference in March, which will be two nights, in Bloomington, to which I am taking Amtrak again.
  • MuseCon grid build on the 24th was not going to happen, so I stayed home and worked on things for Military History Fest. Also did not attend the follow-up on the 8th.
  • Military History Fest was the 30th through the 1st, at Pheasant Run. Yes, the weekend of the big snowstorm. In 20/20 hindsight we should have packed up Saturday night, and taken the trailer, etc. home then. But we didn’t, see the Otter Blog if you want more natter about that.
  • Biffed a curb Sunday morning of that weekend with the Kia on the way to Pheasant Run, couple days later noticed a shimmy in the steering wheel and slight pull to the left.
  • Spent the 7th baking for the Capricon Cafe. IIRC it was 3 ginormous (4x) batches of bacon-cheddar scones, and 2 ginormous batches of Heath Bar scones.
  • For future reference, that’s the basic King Arthur Flour scone recipe, using sour cream for the dairy, and 1/2 of a big GFS bag of Heath Bar chips – 5-6 cups. Bake the at the same temp as the bacon-cheddar scones, for 25 minutes (5 less than bacon-cheddar). Total: 5-6 dozen scones
  • Heath Bar scones are really really good.
  • Robin made a triple batch of banana bread (5 loaves).
  • That took 5 pounds of margarine, a stupid-size tub of sour cream, and about 4 dozen eggs, about half of a 25-pound bag of pastry flour, a big bag of bacon pieces, most of a bag of shredded cheese,  and a big hand of bananas.
  • On Sunday we moved Elrond’s crate to the living room, since he’d stopped coming upstairs, and was getting more and more fussy if he couldn’t sit on the couch.
  • He only had to be shown where his crate was once, and remembered.
  • He still prefers the couch, but now has somewhere to go when he can’t have it.
  • Wednesday I dropped the Kia off at John & Scott’s (see above).
  • One rim bent, front tires worn to wear bars, one rear tire suffering belt slippage, so since they can’t match the other rear tire, that’s 4 new tires and a new rim. I’d probably have had them replace the 4th tire anyway.
  • Also need to replace (front) ball joint, and yes, need an alignment job.
  • And the oil change I requested.
  • They won’t get the rim until Monday, which is OK, since I have Monday off.
  • Ouch. I was pretty much expecting to need new front tires, but was hoping for just those, alignment, and an oil change. I expect the bill to be $850-ish.
  • Because of a scheduling issue on the part of the hotel, I helped set up the Cafe Thursday, since I had the day off.
  • Because of time off issues as a result of the ‘flu in December, I’m not taking any time off for Cap.
  • Last time we boarded Elrond, the dropping-off process was stressful, so not taking time off means the dogs can stay at home with me.
  • The scones, both flavors, seem to have survived freezing and subsequent thawing fine.
  • I had to work yesterday.
  • Today and tomorrow I’m working on the program book for the floodplain managers’ conference.
  • Last night I got an e-mail that I’m taking to mean that the conference chair had gone into labor. This was not unexpected, and AFAIK not an emergency. Hopefully labor is done and baby and mother are happy and healthy.
  • Will be taking a break tomorrow to pick up Ron, since I took the truck after helping with Cafe setup, and Robin will be going with Dave to help unload all the A/V equipment into Dave’s locker, which Ron would rather skip.
  • On the way home Thursday I stopped at Fresh Fields, at the corner of Dundee and Milwaukee.
  • I was expecting a Whole Paycheck-style store.
  • Nope, more like Eurofresh on steroids.
  • Escaped with just pork for stir-fry, polish sausage, and thin-sliced short ribs.
  • Made rice pilaf with the pork (because there were no reasonably-sized packages of chicken thighs) Thursday night.
  • Had the polish sausage last night, and some of the leftovers diced up in an omelet this morning (2 really big sausages – about 4 average-sized sausage equivalent).
  • Short ribs are marinating, to be something like Korean-style. Which I’ve never had, thus “something like”.
  • This morning Duckon announced on Facebook that there will be no Duckon this year, but working on 2016.
  • I have my doubts they will pull off a convention in 2016, but I wish them luck. Really. I’m sad/sorry that Duck has been having problems.
  • The dogs have taken control of the couch, and are sound asleep. Unless/until I move toward the kitchen, of course.
  • And now, I think it’s time to get back to the program book.


Odds and Ends

I think we’ve pretty much completed the dinnerware/flatware replacement. The flatware I’d ordered from Replacements, Ltd. finally arrived on Friday, after several days of teasing me via tracking. It’s flatware that matches the other stuff, except for being unused and therefore more shiny. Not much else to say.

The new platters arrived a day or so before the flatware, passing it in the various shipping processes. The dark brown has a matte finish, but the pale blue is glossy, even though they’re from the same line. Odd. But shape-wise they work with the Roscoe stuff.

Previously I’d mentioned that we’d gotten a 9″ white “Every” bowl for Elrond, and I was considering getting some more to replace our large Corelle bowls, since it goes fairly well with the Roscoe. There is a set of 5 bowls in the Roscoe line, which look really spiffy nested, as they’re shades of grey, but the three smallest sizes would be less than useful for serving, and they’re all deep. So yesterday we got the white Every bowls, we did go ahead and get 4. We also also got 4 more large dinner plates (rounding that out to 8, like the salad and dessert plates), and a slotted spoon, which I’d forgotten to do in the day of annoyance in trying to get serving flatware.

To keep Elrond’s bowl identifiable, Ron colored the bottom ring of the foot black with a permanent marker. Since that portion is un-glazed, it should hold fairly well, and is easy enough to re-color occasionally.

I took Friday off to use some comp time before losing it.

Friday morning I attacked a piece of brisket. The previous half of it was good as pot roast, but a little too dry/hard to swallow. I started to chop it up to cook all day in tomato sauce and chili powder (which I figured would reduce it to reasonable tenderness), then got lazy and tried throwing it in the food processor. The results were a not-unreasonable alternative to ground beef. I made half into chili, and saved the other half to use yesterday.

Yesterday I made mole casserole with it, which I usually make with chicken, but beef was pronounced quite acceptable. I don’t know if our mole casserole is an abomination unto proper Mexican cuisine, but it tastes good:

  • 1 tall juice glass jar of mole sauce, thinned 4:1 with broth, or 1 can of coconut milk and then broth if you’re feeling decadent. “Broth” is usually water + soup base. Put down a thin layer of mole in a 9×13-ish pan.
  • Put down a layer of corn tortillas. Whatever brand is local and fresh.
  • Cook meat, in the neighborhood of a pound or  however much 4 or so boneless skinless chicken thighs weigh, along with a chopped onion. Mix meat, onion, and a can of hominy (soup can size if you’re good, bigger can if you want more filler) with some of the mole.
  • Put a layer of meat, hominy, and mole in your pan. Top with cheese.
  • Then another layer of tortillas.
  • And another layer of meat, then cheese.
  • And another of tortillas
  • Top with the rest of the mole, and more cheese.
  • Bake with foil on top at 350-ish for around an hour, although a half hour would probably be sufficient.
  • Uncover and bake until the cheese is brown and crispy, or starting to brown if you’re hungry or a coward.
  • Eat.
  • Call dibs on leftovers so the locusts (aka Robin & Marmaduke) leave you some for lunch today.
  • Wash now-empty pan.

On Saturday I made soup-ish substance, with cranberry beans and andouille sausage. Also onions, tomato paste, garlic, and green enchilada sauce, for character. I thought we’d soaked a reasonably small amount of beans, but I was wrong. They grew overnight, which was not unexpected. I drained them, added fresh water and garlic, and turned the crock pot on. Aut they kept on growing as they cooked. I added the onion, tomato, and enchilada sauce  And the beans kept on  growing. I ended up getting more andouille, as what I had wasn’t going to be enough for the amount of beans. I was thinking of adding vegetables, but had run out of room in the crock pot. But it tasted good.

In other food-ish news, last Friday Ron and I tried to go to the local Indian restaurant, Lal Quila, for dinner, but found it closed for a private party. One of Ron’s (Indian) co-workers had recommended India House in Buffalo Grove, so we went there instead.

It was good. It was very good. And Robin enjoyed the leftovers.

On Saturday this weekend Robin and I went back and had the lunch buffet. I declared my plate full before I got to the goat curry, sadly. Robin only got one meat dish, and commented that he could be a vegetarian if the food was Indian. I can’t disagree (but not vegan, because we like cheese). We did go back to the buffet for dessert, because the mango ice cream was not to be resisted.

Other than that, we’ve been working on pouches and things for ACen. More natter about that over thataway. Quite a bit of my workshop has migrated out to the living room, but will be de-migrated tonight, as the cleaning fairies come tomorrow. And we got into Anime Midwest, which is in July, so if we do at all well at ACen, I expect we’ll be busy recovering inventory-wise. And then MuseCon in August. So maybe I’ll get back to sewing sometime after that.