Happy Passover/Ostara/Easter/Zombie Day!

Happy Easter, for those who celebrate!  I’ve always loved this time of year, because it’s filled with so much celebration.  It’s always a fun day, be it for folks who are seder-ing, Ostara-ing, or simply hunting for eggs filled with jellybeans.  Mmm, jellybeans…

Personally, when I do the Easter thing, I do the Orthodox Easter thing.  Why?  Grew up that way.  So next Sunday I’ll be with the fam, bonking red eggs and stuffing my face with Easter bread.  Because for me it’s all about the food, apparently.

So now that it’s actually spring, and not some winter hold-over?  Behold the survivors of Man It Was Freezing 2014/2015!

But wait! There’s more! The mini-daffodils are up too! And so are a few of the seedlings I’ve started. Go plantlings, go!

And yes, I even made some Easter eggs today. For the season. (It’s my first attempt at a Real Omelet.  Looked fluffier in the pan, but sighed in apathy and collapsed once I plated it.  Oops.)

And a blueberry/peanut butter waffle. Holidays!
And a blueberry/peanut butter waffle. Holidays!

Today’s post was gonna be all about the opening of the Baltimore Farmer’s Market for the 2015 season. But as I had about 2 1/2 hours of sleep — why? I have no idea why, but couldn’t sleep — I decided to hang in today.

Happy Easter/Passover/Sunday to all!


Snowed in Valentine’s Day

I’m the kinda gal who lives for a theme. A reason, any reason, to give a day a bit of the ol’ Jazz Hands. But I’ve always fancied guys that have no interest in me. (It’s a gift I have.) So? Valentine’s Day is one where I do my own thing.

Not typically an issue, as I enjoy my own company, and Katsucon always hits town this time of year. Sadly, with the ol’ back on a 3 month hiatus, standing in line – not to mention sitting in hard con chairs – is off the table. So I stayed in.

Noshed my way through some homemade peanut butter cookies and Costco blackberries, washed down with part of a case of beer gifted to me by a brewer buddy that took pity on my inability to Merch Alley my way to happiness this weekend. Treated myself to Outlander on Amazon, and hunkered down with two of my favorite kittens.

Good thing I stayed at home. Because now? Snow squall!




Phew! Because I have no hotel at the Gaylord, I’d have had to drive home in this. Blech!

So tonight? I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda smug. Off to lose terribly at Trivia Crack. Happy Valentine’s Day, Half Price Candy Day, or just plain ol’ Saturday to all!

Note: while it’ll probably cost damn near 600 clams for a hotel room at Katsucon next year? I’m really considering it. 24 hours of anime panels! Don’t tell me I’m the only one dying to check out all the snark once the hentai stuff starts rolling… (A roommate may be required. Or at least a lottery ticket win.)

Pre-Christmas catch up.

Yep. Things have been hectic. And since this is a blog that nobody reads (except for you, and you’re awesome), I allowed myself a bit of a hiatus.

Plus, with all the other stuff going on – Real Life and all that – I couldn’t come up with anything interesting. Or if I did, I turned it into such a big post (in my cluttered mind) that the mere thought of posting exhausted me.

So, from now on? I’ll be brief. I’ll treat this blog like Tumblr meets Twitter on Instagram. Because it was only ever supposed to be a house diary, so let’s keep it fun, informative, and throw in a rant every now and then, okay?

Well, today may ramble. Because for some reason I’m not feeling Christmasy this year. Oh, I couldn’t wait to pop up the yearly Chez Cochon Chrismukwanzyulekkah decor. It’s just that in the last few weeks, I’ve been having a touch of the Blue Christmas.

Not that I’m missing anyone in particular. I’m just missing the idea of having someone. Which is weird, because I’ve never had anyone to start with:

* parental units adopted me, and treated me like an object, like a car. Something you’re supposed to have, that you show off to people every so often so you fit in. Never once was I held, or told I was loved. Ever. And I was a pretty damm sickly kid.
* ex-hub: “I didn’t want to marry you. I just didn’t want you to leave.” Yay.
* ex-bf: really good person in there, but how can you love someone you’re ashamed of? So, as I was never good enough for him romantically in his eyes? Yeah, nup. Again with the butkus.

Aaaaaaand that’s as close as I’ve ever come to love, aside from friendship. Now, normally I suck it up. It is what it is. But for some reason – perhaps hitting the final year of my 40s – I’m unable to drop it.

Add in the exhausting bits of house stuff, and the debt I racked up last year after everything went boink? I’m too emotionally stressed out to deal with locking away the sorrow.

Hopefully things will be better after the new year, after the holidays swing outta town for another 12 months.

And hopefully I don’t kill the air plants I just got. They survive on mist & air, yet I wonder if it’ll be like the Sea Monkeys back in the day…

Good stuff this year?

* I now know how to make chainmaille earrings.
* and stamp silver and copper
* and make my own jewelry blanks
* made two hideous but strangely appealing paintings at Pub & Paints
* started the process to regrade my backyard (read: planning in my head) and plant native species to help with the backyard flooding.
* fixed the rusting, wobbly front rail! (Okay, so my neighbor did all the work. But it’s done!)
* installed the kitchen garbage disposal! (Okay, so my friend did all the work. But it’s done!)

I may just take out an equity loan, and wrap up the current debt with a few things that need to be done here. (Pull down the cute but not code back stairs & put up stairs to code, have an above oven microwave wired and installed….) That may help me feel like I’m not floundering around all alone. Or at least will take off some of the stress…for new, but manageable stress. She said hopefully. I hate the idea of more debt, but at this point? Time to woman the fuck up.

Tis the season tho, so Merry Christmas, from my strange house and hearth!


This Year’s Resolutions


Okay, I thought and thought…then I cribbed a list from an email from RA Sushi (another resolution – hit their Happy Hour.) I tweaked their list a bit by adding my own spin on the descriptions, and I’ve added one that’s all me. Because I’m like that. And that’s the way it is.

This year, I plan to:

1. Get healthy – which means hitting the gym every day, Monday-Friday. I used to do that. I need to do it again.
2. Spend time with family and friends – moving away from the DC area has definitely taken a toll on how often I see the people I care about. And I miss ’em. Simply thinking about them every day – which I do – doesn’t cut it. I need to see them – see them. Yes.
3. Enjoy life  – more relaxing, reading and generally nerdy stuff, less running around for no purpose. Make it so.
4. Get out of debt – take that, you horrible 2013! Thought you’d pushed me to the breaking point? I say Hah!
5. Learn something new – more Gem Cutters Guild classes. This year? Forging! Silversmithing! Cold connections! Soldering! Precious Metal Clay! At least two of these things WILL BE DONE. And let’s not forget glass blowing; the local glass studio has one-night classes. Sounds groovy.
6. Go on a vacation – planning trips should help me keep focused on what’s important, my-budget-wise. I’m heading down to FL for a wedding later this year (Halloween, because awesome). I think I’ll tie in a trip to St. Simons Island, one of my absolute favorite places. Which means… ROAD TRIP Y’ALL! And let’s not forget day trips: Calvert Cliffs, Mount Vernon, Pennsylvania Amish Country (Intercourse, PA must be visited) and of course RenFest are all on my to-do list.
7. Help others – get back into a regular routine at BARCS. And maybe do more in my neighborhood. I’ve been wanting help with the community garden….
8. Get organized – this may be the most difficult, as I’m a slob right now. But that’s because I can’t seem to figure out how to do my preferred “a place for everything & everything in it’s place” thingy. All in good time, my pretties.
9. Write more. Write better – at least three times a week, for posting. (I’d say daily, but who am I kidding?) I’d like to pick a schedule, like M-W-F or T-Th-Su, but for now? Baby steps. First big idea? Updates on my progress with this list!

That’s it. It’s a lot, but hopefully doable.

Happy Wooden Horse Year!

Failing at Kitchen: pasta for The Holiday

Love Christmas movies. My very favorite? The Holiday. It’s crazy, unbelievable, and you have to be insane to believe there’s a happy ever after for these couples. But I believe, and I think it’s perfect. Besides, what woman hasn’t been Kate Winslet’s Iris?

So Christmas Eve – Eve, I watch The Holiday. And eat Christmas Fettuccine. Because this movie talks about Christmas Fettuccine like it’s a real thing, and so? It is.

Herewith, a few pictures of my pasta. Because holidays.

Onions, shrooms, garlic & EVOO while the pasta pastas.
Always have a dump bowl for peels. And the paper towels you'll use when you cut yourself on the herb mincer. Just me?


Salute the gloriousness that is The Holiday!

I usually use imitation crab, but this year I still have turkey from my friend’s roast-a-thon gifting. So yay!

Merry Christmas and happy Holiday!

It’s beginning to look a lot like mayhem.

I hate wrapping gifts. Because I truly suck at it. And this isn’t some kind of Jane Eyre aristocrat belittling herself. I am absolutely incompetent when it comes to paper and bows. Think 4 year old with no scissors or coordination.

So it comes as no surprise that adding Tippi to the mix would be hilarity. And it was.

I apologize to anyone who finds claw marks and/or medical tape on his or her present. (What? I couldn’t find the invisotape….)

This. Is. AWESOME. Help me get back out?
I'll just hold this down. And not get up.

Failing at Kitchen: Thanksgiving edition!

Hip hop hooray, it’s Turkey Day! And instead of (socializing like a normal person) heading out, I decided to stay in and do it up at Chez Cochon.

It’s not that hard, as long as you keep things in perspective.

* Roast veggies, but stick with two or three max (I did potatoes and parsnips.)

* Making your own cranberry sauce is easy; equal parts water & sugar, add cran, boil til the berries pop. Add a dash of cinnamon and red wine if you’re feeling festive. And today, who isn’t?

* Cheat. Packet stuffing can be tweaked. And who cares, if it’s just you eating it? Dried cranberries, pepitas (shelled, because whole get chewy in a bad way) and nuts (mmmmm, cashews)? Yes please. Add dried cran before the boil, the rest after.

* Ditto for the gravy. Packet gravy is darn tasty, especially if you don’t have to sweat over a stove stirring drippings when you’d rather re-watch The Day of the Doctor. But do add fresh mushrooms if you’ve got ’em. Or a splash of red wine if shrooms give you the ookies.

* Turkey? We don’t need no stinkin’ whole turkey! Legs please. Roast, and tuck in. It was good enough for Henry the VIII when he celebrated Thanksgiving (what?), it’s good enough for me.

* Wine. Everything seems to be better with wine. Or maybe that’s because you’re sauced.

Roasted, cran, gravy, stuffing. And the centerpiece - turkey legs!

Here it is, not even 3 pm, and I’m done. Aaaaaah. Only problem? The usual; lack of stovetop space.

It's a good problem to have.

Happy gobbling, everybody! Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe Tippi is trying to tell me something….

Did you say it's all ready?

Update: Aaaaaaand it all fits on a paper plate nicely! With a helping hand from a dessert plate for my easy-peasy dessert: leftover chocolate chip peanut butter and oatmeal cookies, and blackberries. *urp *