Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Winter Storm

Well, the first storm of the season arrived with much fanfare, but not very much snow here... just a light dusting in this part of the world. So my out-of-state readers can rest easy that we are all safe & warm, despite what the national news says.

If you haven't checked out the dome blog lately, you should really keep an eye on it over the next few weeks. It is finally finished! (or, at least, finished enough to occupy. I have no illusions that there won't be a zillion things still to do once we get into it.) Moving day is this Saturday and there should be lots of pictures. So stay tuned!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Autumn Auburn

Autumn sunI'm tired of the way my hair goes dark & dull in the winter... so I got some natural henna to play with the color a bit. The results were a nice rich chestnut, just a few shades off of my natural color. It's not very noticeable in artificial light, but shows quite red in the sun. Plus the gray has all magically turned to red highlights. :-)

Henna is a major hassle, but the payoff is the next day, when your hair doesn't smell like chemicals. Instead, my hair has a slightly grassy smell, sort of like new-cut hay. I love the color.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Into the Woods

Into the WoodsLast night the UCM Theater department staged Into the Woods, one of my favorite Sondheim musicals, just for my birthday! (OK, maybe it wasn't just for me, but I like to think so...) Really fun, well done production. The interesting twist: All the costumes & sets were done with a steampunk sensibility... all pseudo-Victoriana and whimsical brass pressure dials sprouting from the trees. A really enjoyable evening!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Company Picnic

Soak in the sunAt our annual company picnic, there's always a few things that are a given: way too much food brought to the potluck, a corny speech given by the president, and a fun time hanging out without worrying about the phones ringing for a few hours. We can't always count on nice sunny weather, but we got it this year.
Picking teamsThis year's Social Committee (which includes your humble author) chose the usual variety of outdoor team games. The main event, of course, was the tug-of-war. Peter, our president, tapped me for his team, mainly on the strength of my football background, I think. Here the team confers on our crucial fifth pick.
Ready to rumbleFrom left: Todd (IT programmer), Shawn (sales), Kirk (marketing director), me (Response Lab programmer), and Peter (president/captain.) Ready to rock & roll!

How did we do?

CHAMPIONS! Bragging rights are secure for the year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mmmmm.... Bacon!

The Bacon Brothers is a blues-rock band fronted by well-known guitarist/composer Michael Bacon and his kid brother Kevin. Yes, that Kevin Bacon. They were the season opener for UCM's Performing Art Series last night, and let me tell you, they rocked the place. They did a lot of original music, mixed in with a little Beatles & Stones type stuff, some of it a little rough -- it was obvious that they were touring some new material that hadn't quite acquired its final polish. Fine with me! I like the shows that aren't overly slick. I bought the tickets expecting something of a novelty act, but these guys are the real deal... not a movie-star vanity band, but hard-rocking, gritty-sounding, authentic bluesmen with a great live show. Don't miss them.

Kevin Bacon is better known, of course, for his movie work, and for the parlor game that his oeuvre has spawned. I'm willing to bet that my Bacon score of three was one of the lowest in the audience last night. Here's how I get there:
1. I appeared (uncredited) in the girls-football-themed "Fighting Fridas" episode of American Family, starring Edward James Olmos.
2. Edward James Olmos was in the silly baseball movie Talent for the Game, which also featured Terry Kinney.
3. Terry Kinney co-starred in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon. Voila.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Will It Ever End?

The tomatoes just won't stop. I may end up with more sauce & salsa than I can use in three years. AND THEY ARE STILL SETTING FRUIT. I may still be picking by the time the first frost comes around. Plus, we got one pumpkin off the vine before the borer beetles got to work... August may be a little early for pie, but it seems that we have no choice!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tomato Garden

Roma amorIt is well known that, if one plants six or eight tomatoes in the early spring, and then lovingly tends them, stakes them, weeds them and feeds them, by late August they will supply more tomatoes than the household can reasonably eat, and one will be canning & freezing & drying & generally trying to think of creative ways to use tomatoes.

However, I have discovered that if one plants six or eight tomatoes in the early spring, and then undergoes a difficult time wherein one's husband has a mid-life crisis and takes up with a twenty-something slut bimbo and eventually abandons the family, or some such nonsense, and one ignores the garden in favor of trying to salvage the marriage or dealing with the kids after he leaves or perhaps simply pulling the covers over one's head for a little while, and then one looks out one's kitchen window on a day in late August and thinks "Gosh, I really ought to get out in the garden and see if there's anything alive out there," the garden will supply more tomatoes than the household can reasonably eat, regardless of the astounding degree of neglect to which it has been subjected. The only difference seems to be that the tomatoes, having not been staked, will have sent out runners and will be growing in a big tangled mat that makes it difficult to avoid stepping on a few of the better-looking fruits. And quite a few will have been lost to rot or bugs, but it won't really be noticed in the abundance of the harvest. And there might be a few ignored zucchini that are as big as a well-grown Labrador, but I am calling them compost at this point.

So now I am canning & freezing & drying & generally trying to think of creative ways to use tomatoes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snowy Saturday

Hunter in the snowAfter the mildest MO winter anyone can remember in a long time, we're getting a bit of a late-winter snow storm coming through. Usually we're sick of snow by this point in the season, but this year it's actually kind of fun to get a February storm. It helps that it's hitting on a Saturday when we don't really have anyplace to go, so we can play in the snow & then come in and lounge around with some hot chocolate afterward, without the driving-to-work worries or any of that.
Snow showersThe forecasters said yesterday that we would get 2-4 inches, but we're already at 5" and it's still coming down. So much for accurate weather predictions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Entrelac scarfWhen I picked up a couple of skeins of Noro Taiyo at the knitting retreat a couple of weekends ago, I mentioned to a couple of other knitters that this would be the perfect time to teach myself entrelac, a technique I've been meaning to try but just haven't gotten around to casting on. I was informed that entrelac is pretty complicated and I should probably sign up for a class -- I might not be able to teach myself.


If you are reading this blog, you probably know me well enough to realize that no one tells me that I can't do something. So this weekend, I printed off a basic pattern & started futzing with it. Behold the results of the self-teaching.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Elms Retreat

Knittin with my peepsI am freshly returned from a lovely weekend of knitting, knitting, and more knitting! I went to The Studio's annual Winter Retreat at the Elms in Excelsior Springs. The Studio's staff really put on a wonderful weekend... there were lots of interesting classes -- I took a really neat one featuring Vivian Høxbro's mitered squares technique -- as well as great food, a fabulous trunk show from Interweave Knits, some really awesome door prizes, and lots of cool new people to meet, all at a lovely old grand hotel that just oozes ambiance. The best part of the weekend, however, was just hanging out with friends old & new in the beautiful lobby to knit & chat. Here, Laura & I wasted no time getting down to business on Friday night.
Dome Hill Yarns at the Studio marketOne of the best things about the retreat is the market, where the Studio debuts some cool new things for the next season. One of their new vendors is... you guessed it... Dome Hill Yarns! I had many kind compliments about my yarn from quite a few of the attendees.
Tres jolieOne of the regular features is a student fashion show on Saturday night... I determinedly finished the languishing Angelina, the lovely bedjacket from White Lies Designs, in time to wear it for the show. It was a hit! It is really very fun to wear with the dramatic collar and deep cuffs.