Archive for August, 2007

Delicious challah…

Lillian helped bake the challah for tonight. Due to the wonderous thing of beauty that is a bread machine, this is really just a process of (1) measuring ingredients (2) dumping them in and (3) braiding the dough after it is mixed, kneaded, and risen.

We still need to work on egg breaking. In addition to a few shell shards that needed to be fished out, there was this:

Bad aim!

Oh well, to make bread you need to break some eggs. If it’s an egg bread, that is.

I’ve been salting the tops of some of my loaves recently, instead of using poppy or sesame seeds; it tastes like a big fat eggy pretzel. Mmmmm..

No comment »

Let them look at cake

Walking to a connection in the Philadelphia airport, I saw a display of photographs on the wall. Basically, it was pictures she had taken of her sculptures.

The unusual part: the sculpture material was cake and icing.

Typically, a thought of cake decorating brings to mind elegant swirls and flowers and precision placement of patterns and decoration. Think of wedding cakes (ours would not be a good example, Daleks are definitely unusual). But her cakes — these were birthday cakes like your kids would make, tons of color, tons of icing, and clearly valuing enthusiasm and joy over precision and elegance. I imagined giving Lillian access to unlimited icing color choices and setting her loose… these would be the cakes she produced.

I’ve never been a huge art fan, because I don’t tend to “get it.” This, though, is my taste.

I also like some of the discussion of her motivations found on her web site:

… the industry of do- it- yourself divas is still going strong in television, magazines and books. It’s a fantasy world where entertaining, cooking and decorating unite…. one needs to have a beautiful home, decorated seasonally, in order to entertain friends with gourmet meals and elaborately concocted desserts.

I totally get this!!! I just want a house that is mostly clean, because that’s all guests really need to be concerned with; the decorating should be what we feel comfortable sitting on and looking at. We are stuck living here year-round, guests are here for a meal or a few days. If they are interested in where I live more than in who I am, then I doubt they are the sort of people I really want coming over to my house. The house will reflect my identity, not the other way around.

No comment »

Unintentional hilarity from Facebook

Facebook didn’t have an option for “Married” when I first signed up, just “In a Relationship”. Since then, they’ve realized some of their users might be older and boring, I suppose, so I can now add my spouse.

But only if he’s willing to admit to my existence…
Facebook Comedy

Comments (1) »

Literature Review

I found this cute little nugget from when Lillian was around 18 months old (November 2005).

My favorite part is the upside-down physics book.

Comments (1) »

Installing rude software

How, you might ask, could software be rude? We’re talking about something required to remotely access work email from my home computer, so it’s not cursing at me or anything. But it is insisting that I uninstall other software before it installs — pretty rude, in the world of software. Before PC-cillin anti-virus trial would install, it made me uninstall AVG (the free and quite good anti-virus software I use) and Spybot Search & Destroy (an anti-malware program, also free of charge). AVG it might have been able to claim it was incompatible with (only one virus software can check email at a time or something), but Spybot as well — that’s just jealousy and nastiness, preventing me from using free software that does the same job as their expensive product.

The only reason I’m trying this crap is because I can’t check my work email on my home computer without using an “approved” anti-virus software. Luckily I only have to put up with it a short while, assuming the work laptop gets rebuilt in a reasonable time frame…

They also require Internet Explorer to access their secure site. I really don’t like IT sometimes.


EDIT, another hour later: great, the ONLY option that I haven’t tried yet is Norton, and they don’t have a free trial. ANGRY!

No comment »

Housewives and alcohol…

I absolutely loathe housewifery. I am not good at it, I do not like it, I am bored by it, I am frustrated by it, I feel unfulfilled and unproductive while doing it… I could go on, but you get the idea. This was my day:

  • be frustrated by trying to remotely access my work email;
  • pick up Lillian to go to Library Story Time;
    • sit in on Story Time since Lillian is afraid of being left alone with the nice children, reader, and books;
    • check out a bunch of books that Lillian picked out
  • dash home to meet Brett and get ready to go to the Farmers’ Market;
    • rake the lawn while Brett changes Reuven’s very wet diaper;
    • go to the Farmers’ Market;
    • buy peaches, cheese, eggs, ground turkey, and a basil plant;
  • get home, start chatting on the phone to Allisson;
  • start making egg salad for sandwiches for dinner;
    • realize we do not have mayonnaise, mustard, or bread, all critical ingredients for egg salad sandwiches;
      • start making “walnut and cream pasta” instead;
        • realize we do not have any milk except chocolate milk, which would make for a fairly nasty pasta sauce;
          • send Brett back to Farmers’ Market for milk and butter, while peeling hard-boiled eggs (for what is now tomorrow night’s dinner);
  • run to the front door when Lillian answers it;
    • thank our neighbor who said her husband wanted the pine needles we had raked up so he would be over in the morning to take them off our lawn;
    • tell Lillian to please not answer the door without a grown-up around;
  • cook pasta, smash walnut halves into walnut pieces, find parmesan in fridge, find bread crumbs in cabinet;
  • ask Lillian to please not bother pouring extra salt on that;
  • let Lillian run the onion chopper thing;
  • still talking to Allisson on the phone;
  • deal with Lillian tantrum when she realizes Daddy has gone to the store (well, Farmers’ Market) without giving her a hug and so tries to go out the front door after him and gets told to stay in the house;
  • when Brett returns with milk and butter, figure out what to do with the lump of dough that milk plus butter plus breadcrumbs makes (seriously — the cookbook picture shows a creamy sauce, I have a squashy thing that looks like a soggy loaf of bread studded with walnuts, how is this supposed to coat pasta?);
  • serve dinner;
    • eat dinner;
    • convince Lillian to continue eating dinner;
    • nurse Reuven;
    • convince Lillian to continue eating dinner;
  • when Brett returns with mayonnaise and mustard, finish egg salad;
  • collapse and blog.

Somewhere in there Lillian ended up in bed and Reuven ended up asleep. Now I know why Martha (a full-time stay-at-home mom I know) daily enjoyed a glass of wine or two after dinner. This lifestyle is enough to make anyone drink.

Oh yeah, and religious nutjobs who think my attitude is unfeminine and inappropriate according to what the Bible instructs: bite me.

Comments (1) »

Random Cuteness

I absolutely love the expressions in this.


No comment »

Yeah, um, all that work you wanted me to do…

A downside of telecommuting: when your company computer breaks, you’re SOL.

The laptop had been flaky before we moved; sometimes after rebooting it forgot it had ethernet connections, and you had to successfully make a dialup connection and then close it. Somehow, this let the computer know there was indeed a network card. It was a weird version of motherboard senility. After it realized there was a card, it worked beautifully and connected to my home WLAN with no troubles.

Then one day I made the mistake of shutting the laptop down overnight.

The next morning, it had forgotten there was a network card. I tried the dialup trick, but it still didn’t work. I checked ipconfig and…

Windows IP Configuration
An internal error occurred: The system cannot find the file specified.
Please contact Microsoft Product Support Services for further help.
Additional information: Unknown media status code.

This is a sign that something very, very bad has happened. The ipconfig command is supposed to tell you what your IP address is, and various other interesting numbers that tell you what your network connection problem might be. Even in previous incarnations of the “duh where’s my ethernet” malfunction, the laptop knew it had a modem and gave information about that. If it can’t even do that much: bad.

I felt better when the IT department was as baffled as I was — it meant there wasn’t something incredibly obvious (akin to “your computer won’t turn on… is it plugged in?”) that I was missing. So now I am shipping it back to let them play around. According to the very unhelpful information available via Google, this sort of error usually indicates a very interesting hardware problem.

No comment »

Somehow I feel she isn’t playing fair

You know how sometimes your young child draws a picture and proudly shows it to you and you have no idea what it is? And of course that is when they ask you if you like it, and if you know what it is.

This is what Lillian brought home from preschool today:


And of course, she asked if I knew what it is.  Uh-oh, thought I.  Well, it’s kinda round and seems to have two big eyes.

I said, “Is it an owl?”

She gave me one of Those Looks. “Nooooooo.”

“Oh,” I replied. “Is it a cow?” Really grasping at straws at this point.

That got a full Eye Roll, Tortured Sigh, and Look treatment. “Mom, it’s a scribble.”


No comment »

I feel so green!

Brett and I noticed one of our neighbors had a kitchen table set sitting out by the street. Hmm, we thought, this is nicer than the dinky tile-top table and cruddy chairs we have had for eons. We asked the neighbors if it was indeed up for grabs; they said they were moving, and wanted to get rid of some stuff, so it was either free to a good home or the garbage men would take it. (The reason for asking was mainly to meet them, since nobody just puts their furniture out on the sidewalk to give it some fresh air and a change of pace; unfortunately, since they were moving out, it was a pretty futile gesture.)

So, we’ve rescued a glass-top table and four chairs from death in a landfill. With a bit of repair (there was a bent fastener brace) and glass cleaner, it looks pretty decent. Lil likes it more than our dining room table, although I don’t know how long that might last.

Our old table and chairs, I plan on posting on Freecycle so they can also have a new home (they’re in fine condition, I just don’t like them). We don’t need to invest in brand-new something made of non-renewable materials, we’re reusing what somebody else no longer wants… yay us!

No comment »