Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The wind is howling outside my window and the radiators are whistling and drumming merrily.  A duet, of sorts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Miracle

It snowed here. A lot.  I might write about Christmas holiday at some point, but now I am just so happy about this beautiful snow.  Here's something I wrote about our first, little snow last week, it still applies, perhaps more:
AHHHH snow is so pretty! Walking to the train this morning was a little bit thrilling. Neighbors out shoveling. Little doggies making tracks on the sidewalk. The ice on the river, covered in white, except for a few swirly patches here and there. The roofs of the buildings, white. The swings in the playground, people’s front steps. White. Also, I like that the snow kind of shakes everyone back to reality. Everything looks so different. The world looks so different, the same trees, cars, sidewalks, but somehow all brand new.

Snow found its way everywhere. 

Not even the birdhouse was spared.

Three in a row. 

Ice, ice, baby. 


The snow collected in a narrow cap along the top of the fence.  

Trees.  Branches. Snow.  Sky.

Snow barf on everything.

View from front porch.

I have a ton more where that came from, but those are just some highlights.

I woke up with a killer headache and called in to work saying I needed to go back to bed.  When I awoke for real and had something to eat and drink, I checked to make sure it was fine if I took a 'snow day' for myself.  I then proceeded to lounge around for awhile as snowy wind howled around the apartment.  After I had enough of coziness, I bundled up, went out on foot with my camera and my HP7 book, sat in a cafe for awhile, sipped some hot cider.

Bubs and I tried to go skating but it was closed because of THE WEATHER.  Silly.

So we found ourselves having Vietnamese and watching TRON: Legacy.  We both ended up pretty happy with that series of events.  Movie recommended if you're in the mood for a fun, action-y film with fun,  action-y soundtrack.  3D not required.

A song my mom used to sing.
It snowed last night, it snowed last night.
The sky bears had a pillow fight,
Tore up all the clouds in sight, tossed down all the feathers white.
Oh, it snowed last night, it snowed last night.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Strengths and Weaknesses

I had a dream this morning that I was discussing with two friends about whether it's better to spend your energy working on the things you're already good at, your natural strengths, or to work more on areas where you need improvement.  I believe the conclusion was that you should spend most of your energy working on the things which you enjoy and which come naturally to you and only work on the things that are difficult for you when they are limiting your happiness, relationships, and progress in the things you REALLY care about. 

I think that's actually pretty solid and wise, Dream Katie and Dream Friends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Recipe

Made this tofu mash and broccoli last night, then I ended up eating it for breakfast and dinner as well.

I heated the following:
  • 1 package tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 onion chopped fine and mostly-cooked (in olive oil)
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1 T soy sauce
in a skillet and added oregano, taragon, paprika, salt, and black pepper, to taste.  Also a bit more olive oil and a little water.  Then I lightly steamed some broccoli, added olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

I ate it with buttered wheat bread, but I imagine it could go well with some brown rice or something too.

I wrapped some of my presents and put them under the little tree in the living room.  Festive!  Time to go get something for the office yankee swap gift exchange tomorrow.   I feel like my blog posts are kind of dumb lately.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In case you were wondering...

...Starbucks does not make as good donuts as 7-Eleven. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Went to my friend's mom's Christmas concert at this unitarian church (where I attended nursery school, actually).  It was nice, the melodies were nice and the chords were nice.  The choir was beautiful. Music can touch that part inside of you where words cannot reach, where you know things matter and are good, even if you don't know how to describe it.

I'd been feeling tired and a little sick this morning, so I kind of didn't even want to do anything.  But I'm glad I went.

I haven't really been going to church, and I don't think it's a bad thing to not go, it is maybe what I need right now, but still, I miss things being so HOLY like that. I like Christmastime a lot.  It's one of my favorite holidays.  I like lights in the darkness, warmth in the cold, baking treats, spending time with loved ones, and I like that story of a tiny little baby who ended up leading a pretty big life.

They didn't sing this one, but I just like it.  Enjoy.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Conrbread Pudding

This recipe we based off of something from online that was a little more bland, but we spiced it up a bit.  I think it could stand to be a little more spiced, actually.  I can't find the recipe we based it off of though.  But it's a lot different from that original recipe.  The end result was hearty and pretty tasty. 

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl:
  •  Stick of butter, melted
  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c buttermilk (we used 2 c regular milk + some lemon juice)
  • finely-chopped veggies, just whatever there was, which happened to be approximately:
- 1/2 red pepper
- small red onion
- 3/4 c black beans, drained
- 1/2 c corn, drained
  • 1 t baking soda 
  • 1/2 t salt
  • black pepper
  • some Boursin cheese, about 1/2 package

Pour into buttered skillets or baking pans (we used two large cast-iron skillets), but two 9" rounds would probably work as well.

Top with:
  • small can mild green chilies, drained
  • 1 c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Bake for 45 min or until egg is set and cheese is golden brown.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Anyway, a couple friends on FB have been posting things they’re thankful for, and Rachy just made a Thanksgiving post. I think it’s good to do that. It really gives you perspective on your life, and a lot of joy to realize how much you really do have. So, things I'm grateful for:
  • My fun, loving family - they are not perfect, they occasionally drive me crazy, but I have to say they are one of biggest factors in who I am today
  • Friends - I have been blessed with kind and funny and supportive friends who make life not only tolerable but oh so joyful
  • Wonderful living situation
  • Employment
  • Enough to eat
  • Overall health
  • Modern utilities, including the internet
  • Facebook
  • Walking
  • Warmth
  • The rain
  • My hands
  • Love
  • Discovery
  • Seasons, time, days, nights, cycles 
  • Plants
  • Colors
  • Dunkin Donuts hash browns (not gonna lie, I am grateful for them) 
  • The new day that always comes
  • And eyes to see, ears to hear, skin to touch all the beauty that exists in the world around me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Craft Time

How to mount photos on foam core: step-by-step instructions with pictures (!) by Newt. It doesn't have to be photos, it could work with anything paper-y really. 

1.You will need: glue stick (not shown), metal ruler, utility knife or X-Acto knife, pencil.

Glue stick not included. 

2. Measure the width of the photo.  These were standard 5x7 photos, so the width is 7".

 Seven inches wide. 

3. Draw a line that distance from the edge of the foam core.  I measured 7" at several points and used the ruler to connect the lines.

It is tough to hold a ruler with one hand and take 
a photo with the other. 

4. Place the foam core on a large piece of cardboard or something else destructible so you don't ruin your floor or table.  

5. Hold the ruler along the line you drew and use it to guide your knife as you cut along the line.  Foam core has three layers: foam sandwiched between smooth paper on either side. Be sure to cut through all three layers.

See?  It is the same width as the picture.  
If you measured correctly. 

6. Measure the height of the picture (5" on these) and make perpendicular pencil lines at that interval across your entire strip.

I sure hope the lines show up in this image.   

7. Cut along your pencil lines, again using the ruler to guide the blade.  Cut all the pieces in this manner.

The foam pieces also make great toys for children. 

8. For each photo, apply glue to one of the faces of the foam core AND to the back of the photo.  Be sure when you are applying the glue to the photo that you place it face down on a smooth, clean, dry surface so you do not damage it.  I made a box with the glue to get all the corners and edges and then added some squigglies inside. 

9. Place the photo onto the piece of foam core so the two glue faces are touching.  Do it slowly so you can move it around a little before it sticks.  Press it down carefully - I used the sleeves of my sweater so as not to smudge it with fingerprints. 

Voila!  You now can display your works of art.

See them on the floor? Maybe some 
day they will be on the wall...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All You Need Is...

It is a tiny bit depressing when it's all couples in the house (even though they are all amazing and delightful people).  I feel like I'm generally a pretty content person, but my body and heart do crave that kind of companionship. 

I am concerned I'm a little too picky about men.  I find a lot of them attractive, but I just don't know how many would make a good partner based on the way they behave.  Really, if I am in a relationship with somebody, I don't want the relationship to cause more problems in my life than the person helps me resolve. I've reflected a lot on past relationships, what worked, what didn't, what I would like, what I wouldn't, etc. Specifically, I'd want to date somebody with similar values in the following areas:
  • family and relationships
  • faith/spirituality
  • attitude toward life
  • similar sense of humor

Other qualities I would like:
  • kindness and respect
  • spend time with me doing fun and interesting things
  • discuss problem situations and work toward solutions
  • give and receive physical affection
Also, as mentioned, I definitely do not want someone who causes more drama/problems than he helps resolve.  The bolded somehow seems to be particularly rare, among the men I've dated at least.  Since I'm not really involved in the LDS dating scene these days, I'm starting to feel ready to use my OkCupid account again, at least as a way to expose myself to new people.

UGH I guess the annoying part is that based on past experience it's such a big time suck with very low chances of return. So maybe I need to have a more efficient approach/screening process.
  • Update profile to more clearly reflect those specific criteria I just listed
  • Remember that I don't have to message everyone who messages me
  • Ask people about their family, their view on spirituality in a message
  • Go on 2 dates per month
Dearest readers, give me feedback on these criteria, this plan.  Is it even viable for a person to be trying to 'find' love, since so much depends upon chance and upon another person anyway? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poll: Fun or Creepy

I received a short hand-written letter, addressed to me by name and accompanied by a copy of the New York Times, instructing me to enjoy it or pass it along.  It was signed simply 'your neighbor'.  Also, the neighbor hoped I was having fun jogging and that it was helping me to stay fit. 

All the neighbors I have met seem like they would probably just sign their real names.  I'm not sure if I should think this is fun or kind of creepy.

Reader Poll: fun or creepy?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All Is One

I just blew my nose and a tiny purple piece of cabbage came out.  There was cabbage in my salad at lunch.  I guess everything in the universe really IS connected. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dreamtime: Refurbished Humans

I had a weird, kind of vivid dream. All I can recall is a series of vignettes.

I was leading an old woman home, to her home. It was nighttime, and the terrain was kind of rugged. We were at the last stretch, only had to climb this final set of stairs, but there was plywood nailed across to prevent our passage.

I tried to lead her around the side of the stairs, but suddenly lightening flashed, illuminating a giant figure directly in our path. Silent. Looming. The lightening glistened off his bald head. Probably eight feet tall at least.

In his workshop, at the top of a high tower, he performed modifications on captured humans and replaced their joints and muscles with little animatronic gears and that sort of thing. So he could control them, as his minions. The refurbished humans also somehow became kind of small. Like they could fit in the palm of your hand. It was a bit horrifying.

I didn’t know how I’d escape, or the old lady either.

The next scene in the dream, this Heroic Man had shown up, subdued the giant, and was performing the same procedure on him.  By 'subdued' I mean 'gave him lots of wine'.  The hero dude was using forceps to install plastic gears into the giant's shoulders.  He just lay there on the floor, giggling at how it tickled a little bit (apparently he was a very silly, cuddly drunk). I remember feeling slightly nauseated over the whole thing, torn over whether this was the right thing to do. Just because a giant man does something to other people doesn’t make it okay to do the same thing to him.

Especially when he was so sweet and easygoing once you got a couple drinks in him...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nerds Care

The care package I am sending to my little brother may or may not contain printouts of some webcomics from

Monday, October 11, 2010


A lot of life is about learning to listen, huh? 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Mountain

Family campout weekend. This place was called October Mountain. Fitting, huh?

We went hiking on Saturday.

The noteworthy things which happened or which we saw included a sprained ankle, lots of 'poison ivy', a sick sister, a cell phone falling into the marsh (gone forever), four different people reaching around in the muddy water for the cell phone, fraudulent leech scare... another sister throwing up, some landscapes, another sister working on a grant application on her laptop, and some fungus/leaves/trees.  Beth somehow managed to look SASSY in all the pictures in which she appears. 

I came. I saw. I conquered.

Amber waves of grain.  

Fungus 1. 

Fungus 2. 




So intense.  So vivid. 

Sickie/sprained ankle pup. 
'Oh. My hair doesn't look that bad'. 

The roots from a fallen tree provided a lot of entertainment for us.

Their new album cover.  

Why hello there father o' mine. 

Time for walkies. 

Marshlands.  Formed by beavers.  We did not see the beavers. 

Beth carried little gimpy pup.  You know you're loved when...

Tinfoil dinners.  YUMMY. 

And milk.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sad Muffin

Warning... kind of dumb post ahead.

Who would've known it would be so difficult to obtain a NOT non-stick muffin pan?  Apparently everybody wants non-stick.  I just think it's kind of crappy, because they get all scratched up if you're not super careful. 

So I found some online for a reasonable price. 

Except it arrived damaged. 


I returned it one time, very conveniently with this print-out postage label so you don't have to pay for postage.  But then the replacement came back damaged as well.  Ughhhh... 

As I write in the details of my 'reason for return' I JUST WANT TO MAKE MUFFINS... :(((((((

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plum Island

I awoke today, a special day, a bike ride day.  I packed some snacks, bundled up, and headed downstairs to find the following special autumn surprise in the basket of my bicycle.

We had several diversions along the way.  Inflating the tires, stopping for a sandwich/banana bread, etc. What we'd hoped would be a 10:00 am departure time became a 12:00 noon departure - OH WELL WORSE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

In the car, we talked about weighty matters, such as which colors of leaves were our favorites.  Orange was the clear winner.  At one point, were so engrossed in the leaf conversation that we completely missed our turn.  We continued down the little country road for a way in hopes that we hadn't, but it became clear that we were not in the vicinity of the nature reserve.

However, we did NOT miss the charming roadside farm stand selling pumpkins.

We chatted with the farmers, posed with the tractor, and each purchased a pumpkin. They threw in a couple of squash into the deal. After some directions from the friendly farmers, we were on our way again. 

Plum Island is a barrier island...

...with the Atlantic Ocean on the east...

...dunes and forests in the middle...

...and marshes along the protected channel to the west. 
 What do you see Kaci?


All in all, a pretty fun day.  We stopped for french fries and fried clams on the way home and got back pretty late and exhausted.

More photos, for your enjoyment.

 Windblown pups.  
 Footprints, human and gull.  

Skinny! Legs! 

 Gone fishing. 

'All animals have a comfort zone.  If an animal moves away 
from you, you are too close'.  Good advice for humans too. 

 A lot of linear feet of boardwalk. 

 It was chilly by the water.

The 'plums' for which the island was named.