Ah, my poor neglected blog. I miss you. My crafts, I miss you also. But as usual, December is a busy month and life is definitely NOT going how I might like, or how I planned. Life is doing whatever it wants without my input, as usual. So, a brief update first, for those who have missed my ramblings in other forms, starting with:
- Traveling. We flew to Washington state to see my brother graduate from college in environmental sciences. Woo! Family merriment ensued. There was snow, which will probably be my only glimpse of the stuff this year. It was a great, silly, noisy, people-filled time. I cooked a lot. It was a nice break because mostly during December I’m busy …
- Raising money. Fundraising season is upon me, which means work has eaten my lunch on occasion. It’s always busy this time of year. It’s a hard year for it, what with the economy and all. Ironically, the economic state means both there’s more demand for the services we provide and yet less funding to provide it. Rock, meet hard place. So in the evening I was relaxing by …
- Crocheting. I had most of a sleeve done on my cardigan. Then I found out I’d messed up the pattern, and had to rip out all but two rows (I was on row 42) and start again. RIIIIIP! D’oh! I’d almost be done with both sleeves (and hence the sweater) now except for that! But I had a darn good reason I made such a big mistake, I was thinking about …
- Audrey. My pup is a very sick little dog, and has been for about a week now. Although there are four bullet points here, she is pretty much all I’ve thought/worried about for a week. She has been having serious kidney problems, and has been in the hospital getting IV fluids to flush her little body of whatever it was that it doesn’t like. What that “something” is – a bacterial infection? a toxin? we just don’t know. Hopefully we’ll get some answers soon, and she will get well and get to come home. Her condition has been up and down so far. If anyone has spare positive and happy thoughts to send her way, she could really use all the good vibes she can get.
I am planning a few changes to my blog in the next couple of weeks, and a return to my various projects. My blog has been active for a year and a half now, and over that time my life and my interests and my ideas about blogging and crafting and art have undergone a series of mutations. I am nothing if not ever-changeable. I am looking forward to getting back into it and seeing what else I can do.
Aaand, spring ….. go! Aaaah, I love spring so much! So much so much so much. Flowers have to be the best thing ever. April in central Texas has to be the most beautiful thing. So, I have made a resolution. I am going to pick five pictures and do something art-and-or-craft-ish with them. Dunno what, but I’ll do something. OK, and Picture #1 doesn’t count, because Audrey is just adorable.
#1 – I love the delicate white and the blue of the sky, and the rich greens, and dots of flowers. That’s the best. This was so wonderful in the breeze, the petals fluttering about.
#2 – Indian blanket. I chose this because this daisy-ish flower is one of my very favorites, but also because of the many textures of this shot, from the petal veins to the spiky bits in the center, to the soft and delicate aspect of the petals.
#3 – Have to research what this flower is. I like the blue/yellow element, and that there are several blooms on a tall stalk.
#4 – Strong color, simplicity of elements, strong shape, slight petal texture. Clarity of color, mostly.
#5 – I like the varying shapes in this picture, from the stalk to the long, slender, dark leaves, to the flowers with multiple types and colors of petals, to the darker red unopened buds, and of course the dark, sunlit browns of the ground.
Interested to see what I’ll come up with. I think I’m going to have to get out some floss. Maybe some special fabric … hrm …
This past weekend I trekked back to Goliad and went camping. I love camping. A lot of work, yes, but I always get there and wonder why I don’t do it more often. This particular weekend the wildflowers were out in force. If you don’t know this already, know that wildflowers are third in priority behind friends and family for me. Don’t know why, but they are. However, the flowers are (mostly) for tomorrow. Today’s photojournalism is South Tejas camping (with a recipe at the end).
This stuff goes under the heading “stuff that I find inspiring.” At some point in my life, I might actually learn how it is, what switch in my brain I have to flip, so that I can take the things I love, that I find inspiring, and actually do something creative with that inspiration.
IMHO, one should not go camping in Texas, generally speaking, between May 1 and September 30. It’s miserably hot. And there are too many bugs and poisonous snakes around here. For example, this area of south Texas has an abundance of cottonmouths, copperheads, rattlers, scorpions, black widows and tarantulas in the hot months. Yipe!
There have been days in my life when I was tempted to try out some kind of survivalism thing. Camping, however, reminds me that I am indeed a modern person, and entirely ill-equipped to handle such a challenge. It’s all right to rough it for a weekend, but a true lack of modern conveniences would surely kick my ass.
Nevertheless, cooking over fire is eminently preferable to anything else. And if you give me mesquite or apple wood, I’ll be even happier.
There were lots of onion flowers out. Humble plant, really, with a very strong onion/garlic smell and taste as well as a simple, pretty flower. It’s what the onion was before it got genetically modified. I was reminded of my dad picking these and cooking the bulbs with mushrooms in a wine reduction sauce when I was younger. I recommend that. Highly.
Pet Peve about Tents: you cannot stand up in many of them. I hate trying to put on clothing in a tent. I don’t like the idea of getting a larger tent than what is absolutely necessary, but … well, sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference.
I find the out-of-doors and small towns to be more inspirational than anything else. However, I have to admit that’s probably because I live in a relatively large city. Still, it’s nice to see the stars at night, and I think a lot of inspiration is about getting out of your element, and seeing textures and objects that are new, instead of getting stuck in the same ol’ rut.
Always remember 3 things: bug spray (Off), sunscreen and a first aid kit with benadryl. Guess which one I didn’t have? That’s right – SUNSCREEN. Ow ow ow crispy.
Leave time to sit in the shade and sniff the flowers.
Recipe for simple, yet tasty stuffed jalapenos follows:
Mix 1/2 small tub of lowfat vegetable cream cheese with about 1/3 cup ham that’s been finely diced. Crab will also work. Wearing gloves (as in latex gloves), cut 6 large jalapenos in half and remove the stems, seeds and membranes. Spoon cheese mixture into empty jalapenos even with the top. Line a baking sheet with foil (or just use foil) and line the jalapenos up in 2 rows. Cover with foil. These can be baked at 275 or put on a grill. The key is to bake them slowly until they are soft and no longer bright green. Eat!