Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Okay so the squirrel inflicted wound on my pumpkin started growing things, and Mike was getting worried so I had to carve my pumpkin now or forever hold my peace. So here are the results.

First is my Obama pumpkin. I got the pattern from Yes We Carve. I had to enlarge the pattern a bit to fit the pumpkin. It turned out more oval than round, but we'll blame that on the pumpkin shape.





However, I did have that nasty squirrel gnawing wound and no pattern with a cut big enough to take it out so I had to create another face, with really big ears--kind of like a Dopey, the dwarf in pumpkin form. Sadly the pumpkin makes him look down.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10/29 Quote of the Day

"Bright people have the capability of freaking out faster and more dramatically than anyone else."
So true, David Allen, so true...

(Quote from Getting Things Done by David Allen, pg. 240)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Squirrels Eating Pumpkins

From today's Rose is Rose

If the squirrels won't leave Rose's pumpkins alone, I have no hope. :-( I had no clue that pumpkin was such a delicacy for squirrels.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Candy Corn Cookies

Just to show that my day wasn't completely horrid. I ate/am eating/will be eating these cookies:
The idea is from here, with the recipe from here, but I would recommend the shortening substitute in the comments as the vegetable oil made the dough really slippery and hard to work with (hence the wonky yellow bottoms). H/T The Kitchn (okay I don't forward ALL the recipes to my husband).

They are light and crispy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I've had 6 so far today, and this plate is for The Godfather night we have planned with a friend. The rest have been put in a container to be given to the student workers at my law library. And there's some more dough waiting to be made and frozen for a Friday tea in a couple weeks.

Oh for more squirrel/pumpkin action, check out this blog and watch the following video.

The Squirrel Ate My Pumpkin!!!

There's a sob story, but I'm too upset to sob about it. Stupid, stupid squirrel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Reading Update

Okay so I didn't post about my blog purge when I promised, but I'm going to now. I got my blog subscriptions down to 98 and that includes a couple new ones that I've added. Seriously, I may need professional help. I will admit that I had to take out a couple duplicates and I did get rid of a couple blogs that hadn't updated in months. All that being said, my google reader stats do show that I went from reading upwards of 180 posts at least 4 out of 7 days in a week, down to 120 at the high. It's still a lot, but I've also been making more use out of my google short cuts so I "read" a post, but I don't actually assimilate most of the words.

Nate asked for some of my favorite blogs so I thought I'd give my favorite blog in my 10-ish catagories. (Note: Some of the categories don't really fit; I'm not good about keeping up with good summaries as my blog subscriptions change.):
  • People I know: Actually I lied, I'm not going to give a favorite for this one because it's not fair to play favorites with friends. All the people who comment on my blog are included in this category, and I read ALL of your posts everyday.
  • People I don't know: I created this category when I realized that I have a tendency to get really wrapped up in the lives of people I've never met, but I've slowly weened myself from that and now have to say it only contains one blog that posts with any regularity:Feministe. While Feministe is a bit hard-core for me, I've found this blog to be really eye-opening in identifying various policies and how they affect women. It's really helped me clarify my position on a number of issues both where I'd agree with the Feministe bloggers and where I'd disagree.
  • Business Blogs: Merlin Mann isn't updating much, but I still love his site43 folders. Most prolific site of the category Freakonomics, which I really should unsubscribe to, but it's just so good.
  • Books and Writing Blogs: Man I love every blog in that category. Bookshelves of Doom for Adolescent Lit; John Green's blog who is half of my favorite Youtube channel; LibraryThing which if you don't have a LibraryThing account, get one and then borrow my barcode scanner so you can get all your books in an online library; and Unshelved which is a hilarious library themed comic (you can get me Unshelved tshirts for Christmas).
  • Fashion Blogs: They keep me from really shopping, but my favorite is Go Fug Yourself which also fills my celebrity gossip need.
  • Decorating Blogs: which are really like Homey type blogs; Fav=The Kitchn (which gives me great recipes that I forward to my husband), second fav that's actually decorating Ikeahacker.
  • ESV Bible Blog: has its own category to remind me to pay attention when I read it.
  • Life hacker: Also has its own category because it's that good and really prolific (20 posts a day). This has my most starred posts so I can implement stuff I learn on the site.
  • Theology Blogs: Man this one is hard. For conservative LCMS theology, you have to do Cranach, Gene Veith's blog. For not-so-conservative, non-LCMS theology, I read Beauty and Depravity every day. If I wasn't Lutheran and if I lived in Seattle, I totally join Quest church.
  • Craft Blogs: The very last category I read during the day because it makes me the happiest. Favorites: Angry Chicken, Soulemama, Sew Liberated--these blogs are I started my google reader. (Interestingly enough all three have kind of moved away from the crafting genre, but I still love to read them.) For help and inspiration in sewing Sew, Mama, Sew has great tutorials especially for the holiday season, BurdaStyle has free clothing patterns, and The Princess Seam sews beautiful clothes in a way to which I wish to aspire.
And these were just the favorites!! Now you know the reason that I have such a hard time purging my blog reader. Oh but they're all so good. Diverse interests plus lots of people who hit on good things enough of the time to follow them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Procrastinator

So I had a very productive 3 day weekend and a semi-productive and very busy Monday, and now it's Tuesday afternoon and I am still in my pajamas. No I did not sleep until noon, but I did watch two episodes of Bones, read half of Twilight and catch up on my Youtube subscriptions.

This lack of getting things done actually started last night when I pulled out Twilight again because I've been reading for a lot of homework-y type situations. (In fact, my "fun" reading has included the book Getting Things Done.) It was wearing on me, but I knew once I pulled out a truly fun book, I would read it until I was done. Sigh. Maybe that should just be my goal for the day. Oh but here's the point about pulling out Twilight last night, some people find money in coat pockets stored during the summer. I found money in Twilight. $20! Score! And today watching my Youtube videos I think I might have found the perfect thing to spend it on Paper Towns and Let It Snow. They're bundled together on Amazon with a 5% discount making them $21.61. :-) Too bad Mike told me not to spend it all in one place. What a saver!

Anyway, I currently have the theme song of Bones spinning through my head and mashing with Neil Cicierega's (of Potter Puppet Pals fame) new video 123456 Pokemon:


So yeah... evidently every day can't be as productive as my weekend. But I am going back to Twilight. Bella's about to see Edward dazzle.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogger's Anonymous

Hi my username is brnh, and I'm a blog addict.

Seriously, it's getting a bit out of control. I'm subscribed to too many blogs. Let's look at my google reader trends: "From your 123 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 3,550 items, starred 11 items, shared 0 items, and emailed 0 items." Seriously 3,550 posts in the last 30 days! That's nearly 120 posts a day (which granted I kind of knew). I currently have 97 posts in my reader waiting to be read.

But here's the thing. I read them. I like them. I get my news from blogs, my ideas from blogs. I connect with friends through blogs. And for the most part I have time for them. Okay okay my bible reading blog is languishing--I'm behind in 7 posts. But otherwise I like the sense of completion. I do normally manage to read every post, every day (the weekends are a bit less so).

I work evenings so I don't watch tv really. I have an otherwise productive life. And I LOVE almost every one of my blogs. (The ones I don't love have sporadic shots of genius that keep me flipping through.) Sigh.

But I'm going have to cut it down. I think it's like a closet. You can't just keep stuffing it full or the really good things you love will never be find-able. Okay, here's the goal. I'm going to get my subscription down to 100. Of the 23 blogs that are getting cut, at least 5 have to be ones that do multiple posts in a day. (Ugh I think Freakonomics might be one of them. :-( ) That means that the ones I really like "People I Know"--i.e. the whole reason I started a blog role should be pretty safe, unless I stopped liking you in which case you probably don't read my blog anyway. :-) Ugh it's no fun to be responsible.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seymour!!!

I visited one of my favorite places in the world this past weekend: Seymour, IN. Now Seymour, IN for those who don't know is a city (the county seat in fact) in Southern Indiana which just happens to be the home of John Cougar Mellencamp and my friend Lindsey. It holds many fun attractions like the best Chinese food ever, a high school full of loud and squirrely teenagers, Family Video, and Oktoberfest. This trip was for Oktoberfest and some fun girl time.

First there was the traffic jam on Highway 50. It's really special when there's a traffic jam on 50. That takes some doin'.

Then there was some other stuff including Apple Dumplings and Step Up 2: The Streets.

The next day, there was the Seymour Oktoberfest Parade.

The Swiss Miss from Switzerland County Marching Band.

The Trinity Lutheran High School Marching Band. Whoo! Cougars!!!



Yay! Police Officer on the Soapbox derby float.


Cute little German dancers.



And then the end of the parade was marked by the horses (so the street cleaner can pick the, uh, droppings). So little pony wheelchair. Too cute!!!

And the little llama/goat thing???

Man, I love Seymour. The parade was followed up by Deep Fried Snickers. :-) Oh so yummy. We watched The Other Boleyn Girl and I went home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ecclesiastical Embroidery Part 4: Oh Actual Embroidery?

So now comes the part where the infamous Ecclesiastical Embroidery class actually has merit. On the back of almost every stole is a little embroidered/applique cross over the center seam. It's pretty, and I'd like to think it reinforces this high-stress point. So I sat down, flipped through several cross designs and settled on a slightly flared cross with rounded ends. I then ran into the problem every embroiderer faces: how do I get the stupid design on the stupid fabric? I ended up free-handing it. So the arms of the cross are a bit uneven. But it was really cool. I used a circle about the size I wanted and traced that, quartered it, and divided the arms. Easy peasy. Then came embroidering through the interfacing, painted fabric, and the seam allowance. Not so easy. Very sharp needles. But it provides good reason to watch tv. Let's see so this is a long/short stitch. The same as the cross with the crown of thorns for those who keep track. The nifty thing I started on this one was to measure the lines I wanted to follow instead of hoping I kept things straight. It made the work a bit more brainless. I outlined it with a bit darker thread and wished I had done couching instead of a straight stitch. I think my spacing would have be a bit better. Oh well, all lessons for next time.

Next step: Basting the interfacing and sewing the inside seam.

Update: This is what I needed to transfer my design... Sigh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And we're back...

Whew! Well that was a long blogging break. You've got to admit though 24 posts in one month. Pretty consistent there. We'll blame the rest on these gosh darn classes that expect you to read actual books and think about them. I just totally got pwned on my reading journal submission. I was the first one to post on this vague assignment that we have to share with the whole class, and yeah the other two who decided to post after me set a higher bar. Sigh... We have three more to try. I'm going to get a couple more posts into the cue so you, gentle blog reader, aren't left high and dry.