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Category Archives: Rants

Hey there, its been a while.

I know, I know, I have not been consistent in this whole posting thing.  My sister informed yesterday that I may have a mild, yet healthy, form of ADD.  No, I am not making fun of people with ADD or ADHD, nor am I making light of the disease.  I very easily get distracted by other projects and shiny objects.  Like yesterday, I started to instal the new-used microwave and realized that all of the parts were dirty.  I loaded them into the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen and sought out more things to put in the load (e.g. light fixtures, flower pots, etc).  While that was running I decided that one of my cupboards needed two pull-out shelves instead of one.  I built those then realized that the rollers were, unfortunately installed by the home’s previous owner ( Read: And Finally When to Call a Pro).  Because he had built the previous shelf crooked, he just put in the rails crooked.  Problem solved!  So, I fixed one roller mechanism.  Then, I installed the microwave.  By the way, instaling an over the stove microwave is one of those times a person should ask for help (Read: When to Pull-Up Your Under-Roos and Do It Yourself).  The microwave is installed and one of the roller shelves is firmly in place.

As for the garden, I have completed one section of fence and I finally got the gate installed.  Now… about the gate.  I like to reuse items that have been cast away.  Items that people no longer see any use in.  I find many of this items at Pak-It, the local junk store.  Half of the time I go to Pak-It to find items I can use around my home the rest of the time I go there just to walk around.  The place is like my Dad’s shop and it reminds me of being a kid.  Anyway, I had been eyeing this fantastic old bed frame.  You know the kind with the mesh that looks like fencing and the small springs around the side that hold it to the steel frame?  It is a beautiful color of rust and was just begging to be incorporated into my  home.  I finally decided that it would be my garden fence.  Awesome!

The bed frame itself is a bit wobbly, so I set to work cutting some braces for it out of some scrap lumber that I had laying around.  I found some cool little l-brackets that would hole the wood in place.  Then came time to put the hinges on.  Now I am not an idiot.  Sometimes I do idiotic things or say idiotic stuff, but I am not an idiot.  So, when I get treated like an idiot my temper flares; but being a girl that spends A LOT of time at hardware stores I get treated like an idiot pretty regularly.  I went to a home store whose name I shall not mention.  Lets just call them the Depot of Home.  Whilst at the Depot of Home I wanted to pick up some drill bits that I could use on metal, more specifically steel.  I looked at all of the bits and found the ones that claimed to work on metal and had little pictures of steel beams on them.  Still, I like to talk to the hardware guys and find out what they recommend.  That was a mistake.  Hardware Man #1 Pointed at the little picture of the steel beam and said, “Well, the picture says these will work,” looking at me like I couldn’t possibly be dumber for asking him such a DUMB question.  Okee dokee.  I bought the ones that Hardware Man #1 recommended.  Upon returning home it took me about 3.5 minutes to destroy the bits he sent me home with.  (And yes, I was using oil.  How dare you doubt me.)  So back to the Depot of Home I went, destroyed bits and receipt in hand.  After the lovely woman at the return counter helped me I headed back to the drill bits.  I again called for assistance and after about 15 minutes of waiting Handy Man #2 arrived.  I explained to him that I had gotten Drill Bit Set A, but that I had destroyed them.  As he sighed loudly and rolled his eyes he explained that Drill Bit Set A was only coated and the coating easily comes off.  Once it comes off the bits are soft and easy to break.  “Okay, so what would you recommend?”  I say, giving him the opportunity to teach me about drill bits.  “Well, Drill Bit Set B is impregnated by blah blah blah.  Therefore, it can stand up to your, uh, what did you say you were working on?”

“A steel bed frame,” I said through clenched teeth.

“Ya, these are the bits you want.  Oh, and don’t forget to use oil.”

“Got it!”  I said as I strolled to the register.

Upon returning home with Drill Bit Set B it took me about 10 minutes to destroy this set, but I was not going back until I had finished putting the hinges on my gate.  Even if it meant destroying all of the bits on the set before I returned them.  So, that is what I did.  The gate is hanging perfectly and looks fantastic.

Look at that Awesome Gate!!!

Look at that Awesome Gate!!!

The next day it snowed and I spent the day in the kitchen moping and cooking.  I made pickled strawberries, blueberries and peaches, sriracha and the most amazing lunch ever.  I made a salad out of celery, onions, homemade arugula pesto, lemon juice and smoked sardines.  I ate it on sweet potato chips and topped with sriracha.  OMG it was amazing!

Pickled Strawberries with Cumquats!!!

Pickled Strawberries with Cumquats!!!

Making Sriracha

Making Sriracha

Best Lunch Ever

Best Lunch Ever

After the gate fiasco I decided to take a trip.  My summer job does not allow me the time to travel and see my family so I decided I should make one last trip to see them.  My road trip through Idaho involved finding out that my favorite restaurant/brew pub in Boise was closed for remodel and the new one would open the day after I left.  My sister and I finally found a place that had decent beer and some food which was on the top of my list.  One little not to restaurants: If your burger (meaning the meat) cannot stand alone and needs the bun and the sauce and the cheese and the bacon and all of the other crap you slather on it in order for it to taste good; then, it is not a good burger.  Just like you can’t dip a horse turd in chocolate and make it taste like a truffle (but it is one of the funniest April Fools jokes I have ever heard of).  Needles to say, the burger was no bueno.  We continued on to Pengille’s and enjoyed some amazing music by Hill Folk Noir.  Check them out, they are awesome: http://www.hillfolknoir.com .  The next day included watching my 7 year old nephew play an intense game of flag football, running in the Boise foothills, eating half a pizza at Flying Pie and spending over and hour trying-on and testing running shoes at Shu’s Idaho Running Company.  (Note to self: do not test running shoes after eating half of a pizza.)  Tasha rocked it and got me into a great pair of running shoes that are ugly as sin.  At least I know that no one will steal them.  I finished off my day with dinner with my Mom and a soak in the hot tub.

I left Boise and traveled on to the Main Salmon to visit my surrogate parents, Mama and Papa D, at my home away from home, Shepp Ranch.  While there I napped, ate, hiked and went mushroom hunting.

Look at the size of this mushroom!

Look at the size of this mushroom!

I finished my trip with a visit to Grangeville and, as always, left with a truck full of stuff.  Mostly metal cans and fencing for my garden.  My Dad always makes sure to hook me up.

Now, I’m back home and all of the trees are covered with buds, the hops has emerged and all of my bulbs are in full bloom.

Now my summer begins.  This is a bitter-sweet time.  The bitter part being that I will not be around much to write for all of you, but the sweet part is that I am hoping to have some contributing writers keep you entertained while I am away rapelling out of helicopters.  I will still write when I can and throw you a recipe or sewing pattern or gardening tip every once in a while.  I just won’t be able to do it very often.

Do you have any ideas for blog posts?  Would you like to contribute?  Let me know.

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Our Hearts Are With Boston

As we all go about our lives today, getting-up, embarking on our daily routine, we do so with a little bit more sorrow in our hearts, a little more confusion.  What happened in Boston yesterday was a tragedy that none of us can even begin to understand.  How could this happen?  How could someone take something so joyous and so beautiful and try to turn it into something so devastating and ugly?  They tried.  But we are an amazing species.  Even during the early moments of the emergency, when chaos was running rampant, people proved that the true identity of a human on this earth is created by compassion and caring for our fellow human.  Nobody cared where anyone was from, what color they were, what religion they were or what their name was.  Their ethical beliefs were not up for debate, neither was their political affiliation.  What mattered during those moments was that they had someone to help them; someone to hold their hand; someone to calm their fears; someone to tell them that they were going to be alright.

We forget sometimes that we have to exist in this world TOGETHER, regardless of OUR beliefs.  We are all doing our best to live a truly meaningful life.  Our primary responsibility is not to get angry and shout at one another.  It is not to tell people that they are wrong and we are right.  It is not to physically force our beliefs and systems of operation upon one another.  IT IS to help one another; to be compassionate; to stand tall in the face of adversity and stand-up for those that are weak.  It is to love one another, as humans.

Just like previous tragedies that have occurred, people are moved to action.  Many of them will go out and give blood, help the families of the people involved and some will be moved to make a statement against such actions.  People that would normally criticize and shout with anger will find that spark of compassion and will make that love known.  Yesterday Patton Ozwald made a statement that truly moved me.  That is saying quite a bit.  He is known for his crude and rude style, but in the face of adversity he let his heart guide him.  Yes, there is some adult language, but it is his statement and his feelings.  Here is what he said:

Boston. Fucking horrible. 

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Other people look for signs of “goodness” or as the Dalai Lama put it “lovingkindness”.  One friend pointed out that we need more Mr.Rogers.  I second that.  He was a man that was not afraid to tell others that he loves them, that they matter, that he is happy to see them and that it is okay to cry.  He showed the children and adults of America, and beyond, that compassion exists and that to show it is honorable.  Thanks Jessica for bringing this man back into the forfront of my brain.  Here are two clips that make me smile and light up my world.

Just try not to sing along.  Bet you can’t.

(I am new to links so you will have to copy and paste into you browser.)

Greatest remix of all times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzXaFbxDcM&feature=player_detailpage&list=SP26EE48981A093CA0

So today, and everyday after, look for the love in this world and share the compassion in your heart.  Don’t forget that you will always get a better response with kindness than you will with contempt.  And above all, help teach those around you that you love them, that they matter, that you are happy to see them and that it is okay to cry.

And Finally…When To Call A Pro

Lets talk about my day, shall we?

I got up early to go to the 6:00am crossfit class.  Every other week I take a friends kiddo to school and pick them up after.  This really only leaves open a couple of time slots for me to go to crossfit.

Option 1- I can go to the 9:00am.  Although I have yet to go, the 9:00am classes at most gyms are typically full of ladies.  Please don’t take this the wrong way.  I love knowing that women are crossfitting.  Strong, tough women ROCK!  But I get really nervous around large groups of women.  It is my problem and has a little to do with self-esteem, but it’s the truth and I am glad that I can identify my anxiety triggers.

Option 2- I could go to the 12:00pm class, but if you remember in my last post, I said I would never go to that class again.

Solution- The only solution was to get up at 5:00am and go in early.  I don’t mind the early wake-ups.  I am quite the morning person and enjoy the quiet time.  I don’t think my roommate likes my early mornings when they get to listen to me putter around making breakfast and trying to find a sports bra in the dark.  (Underwear look and feel surprisingly like sports bras in the dark.  They just don’t fit the same.  I usually get one arm and my head in before I realize that there is no hole for my other arm.)  Anyway, as I stumbled out the door, I had to stop to clean my glasses.  They were completely fogged-up and I couldn’t even see the road.  When I put them back on something terrible happened.  I realized that my glasses weren’t dirty…it was snowing.  Yuppers, snow.  And it’s my fault.  I just finished my garden beds yesterday.  They all are free of weeds, needles, leaves, and dead plants.  I tucked them all in with a fresh layer of steamy compost and sang them to sleep.  The Garden Gods decided that I had worked too hard and that I was getting way too much done.  They decided to unleash their fury in what is now an inch and a half of snow (and it is still coming down).  If it weren’t for the fact that my gym posts the workouts the day before, and I really wanted to do today’s workout, I would have turned around and gone back to bed.

Hello April 15th!

Hello April 15th!

So, may day went from being all about putting up fences and finishing cold-frames to being all about cooking, eating and taking pictures of it all.  Right now I am eating a warm from the oven brownie.  Yes, it is Paleo and I used the recipe for Fudgy Brownies, which I found on PaleOMG.  They are amazing and you should make them and follow her blog.  Here’s the link: http://paleomg.com/fudgy-brownies/ She also just put out a cookbook that I am really excited about.  There is info on her website as well as a link to Amazon to research the book before you skip on down to your local bookstore and order it.  Before I shoveled a brownie into my face I was good and ate the most wonderful lunch ever.  I will post a photo of it below.  The first person that can correctly identify all three elements in the photo will get a prize.  In honor of the current weather here in the Northwest, the prize will be a vintage sweater from my collection.  Lucky you!  You thought it was going to be something like OMG That’s Paleo by Julie Bauer.  Unfortunately, my blog is not famous enough for me to get free-shtuff (yes, shtuff, the perfect combination of words).  So, you get to benefit from my Thrift-Whoriness!!!

What ever could it be?  The first person to correctly identify all elements of this fantastic meal wins a sweater!!!

What ever could it be? The first person to correctly identify all elements of this fantastic meal wins a sweater!!!

Remember the lists I have been working on?  Well, we have made it to the final list in the series of DIY Dos and Don’ts, When To Call A Professional.  Now I love to do things myself.  I will teach myself, read about it in a book, magazine or online and I will take a class, but I have learned through much trial and error, that there are times when you will save money and maintain your sanity if you refer to a pro.  Some of these are practical and revolve around safety and laws; others are more about tucking away the ego and ponying-up the cash.  Here we go…

When To Call A Professional

  • Salon Services- We can all wash our faces, shave, trim nose hair and pull the occasional out of place uni-brow hair, but there are a few things we should never assume to have the skills to attempt at home.
    • Massage- A sensual massage from your lover (I have always wanted to use that word) feels nice, but will accomplish little more than getting your libido revved-up.  That’s nice and all, but if you are an athlete, sufferer of regular headaches and back pain or if you just don’t carry your stress well, finding the right massage therapist is absolutely necessary.  You may have to test a couple out before you find the one that can help you out, but it is worth every penny they charge when you find the right one.  You will walk out of there feeling like you just got hit by a garbage truck, but your headache will be gone and that weird knot between your shoulders will be no-more.  Just remember to drink lots of water.
    • Hair Cut- Here’s the scene:  You decide you want to try bangs.  But because you’re just testing them out, you don’t want to have to pay somebody to cut them for you.  You get your hair wet and comb forward the right amount and start snipping away with some dull kitchen scissors.  Snip.  Snip.  The bangs are a little lopsided.  That’s okay, I’ll just snip a little more off of the long side.  Snip.  Snip.  Ooh, now they’re lopsided the other way.  Snip.  Snip.  Well, now they’re a little skinny.  So you comb a bit more forward and snip away.  Snip.  Snip.  Before you know it, you have given yourself a 2 inch bowl cut half way around your head and you don’t remember the last time you owned a barrette to pin them back.  Moral of the story, unless you can cut your hair using the same guard on a pair of electric clippers, leave it to someone whose job relies on you looking good.
    • Waxing- Danger!  Danger!  Those kits you see at the store claiming, “You too can wax your own nether regions, at home!!”  are lying.  What it should say is, “You too can burn yourself with hot wax and rip off the first five layers of skin, leaving you crying and bleeding to death whilst curled-up in the fetal position on your bathroom floor, at home!!”  I will continue to fight for truth in advertising.  Leave this one to the folks at the waxing salon.  They went to school for this stuff.  Remember one thing, if you want your waxer to love you and enjoy having you as a client, for Pete’s Sake take a damn shower before you go in.
  • Falling A Precarious Tree- Is it leaning over your house?  Will it take out your neighbor’s fence?  Will you effectively eliminate the power supply for your neighbor hood if you fall it?  If so, hire someone with insurance.  If you cannot KNOW that you will safely fall a tree without hitting anything, have a pro do it.  An arborist deals with situations such as this all of the time, but you are the weekend warrior of chainsaws and that is not good enough for your insurance company.  They aren’t too keen on covering stupid.  They’ll do it, but your premium may go up.  Plus, you do not want to ruin your relationship with your neighbor by destroying their property.  That will take away the joy of ruining that relationship in more creative and juvenile ways like dressing their cat up every time you catch it crapping in your garden and sending it home with a note around its neck saying, “I’ve been a bad kitty today.”
  • Chipping- The chippers rented to the general public have been adjusted so that jackasses cannot try to shove an entire juniper into the damn thing, clogging it with rocks, dirt and the occasional chunk of metal.  Therefore, any chipper you try to rent won’t chip more than a twig and will leave you throwing a fit and kicking the chipper as it lags over a 1-inch branch.  Save yourself the frustration.  Hire a landscape company to clean up your mess.  I know, it is stupid how much they charge and then they turn around and sell the chips that they just charged you to take, but it is totally worth it.
  • Accounting- If you want to start a business or have to itemize your taxes hire a professional.  Before you even decide on a name for your endeavor make sure that you have a certified accountant that will do your bookkeeping for you.  Some will teach you how to do the basics so that when it comes time for the monthly books they only have to spend a couple of hours working on it and therefore can charge you less.  That is what I like to call an “Awesome Accountant”.  This will save you a ton of time, a ton of money and ten tons of sanity.  Do it.
  • Cleaning Wool- A tear comes to my eye every time I see a crinkled Pendleton Snap-Up Shirt on the rack at a thrift store or a fantastic sweater that was once my size but would now be perfect for a Cabbage Patch Kid.  The great thing about 100% wool is that if you hang it up and allow it to air out, any B.O. that you have left on it will no longer exist on the garment.  You can wear wool several times before you need to have it cleaned.  I have a couple of shirts and sweaters that I have been wearing for years that have never been washed.  Please, please, please have a professional clean your wool garments.

Wow!  I bet you glad that is over.  Now you’re wondering, “What ever is she going to discuss next?”  Here is a hint:  There are soon to be three movies with this subject as the main title.  Do you know what it is?

Don’t forget to check out the photo of what I ate today and see if you can figure out what it is.  You know you want a sweater!!!

I Scream For Ice Cream!

Okay, okay.  I promised some people out there that I would share the recipe for my fantastic ice cream that I made.  Although I made it Paleo, I included instructions for both Paleo and Traditional enthusiasts!  It can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes (e.g. add anything you want to make it your own).  Now keep in mind that I do make everything full-fat.  I do not use lite coconut milk or skim milk in anything I make.  If you would like to do so feel free to.  Just remember that it may affect the final product.  Keep that in mind.  Fat=yummy, creamy, rich, decadent food.  No-fat= sadness.  This is my opinion, but I am pretty sure that I am right.  Feed your children whole milk.

Okay, enough of the soapbox, onto the good stuff.

Yesterday I threw a tool.  To be more specific, I threw a hammer.  No, I did not throw it at the kids climbing on my fence, nor did I throw it at a deer (although the thought did cross my mind).  I pitched the hammer whilst I was throwing a temper tantrum because apparently the world was not revolving around me yesterday.  For the life of me I could not get the last fence post in, nor did my fingers have the dexterity to twist wire.  This is what I get for going to the 12:00pm crossfit class.  Never again!!!  I will go to the 5:30am or 6:30pm class, but no 12:00pm.  I was shaking so bad I had to just throw myself on the ground if I needed to kneel down.  This is why I look like a spotted leopard.  Yes, the bruises are self-inflicted.  So, no, I did not finish the fence yesterday.  I am very disappointed in myself.

I did test a couple of recipes and did some laundry.  That’s about it.

Guess what I had for dinner last night?  Pizza.  We have pizza night every week and make our own.  I made Spelt Sourdough Pizza Crust and topped it with whatever was in the fridge.  But the stand out of the night was the Whole Milk Mozzarella that I found at the store the other day.  Ever had it?  If not go out and buy it right now.  It is not stringy, tasteless and dry like the common Part-Skim imposter that you normally find in your grocers isle.  It is creamy and robust, tangy and memorable.  No, it is not more expensive.  I found it with the rest of the mozzarella in the heaven section, um I mean the cheese section of the store.  When cooked it has flavors reminiscent of butter.  Yum.  Eat it now!!!

Now that I have held you captive and told you about all of my awesome eating habits and temper issues, I will share my ice cream recipe with you.

 

Um, yum...

Um, yum…

Kasey’s Awesome Ice Cream

This recipe includes ingredients for both Paleo and Traditional ice cream.

2 cups whole milk or 1 can (14 oz) full-fat coconut milk

1 cup heavy cream or 1 can (14 oz) coconut cream

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup chocolate chips, for Paleo choose dairy/soy/sugar-free chips

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup creamy peanut, cashew or seed butter

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

  • Heat milk, cream, syrup, ships, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and nut butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat.  Bring mixture to a low, slow boil over medium low heat stirring occasionally.
Be sure to taste custard.  I tasted mine about 20 times!

Be sure to taste custard. I tasted mine about 20 times!

  • In a bowl, stir egg yolks.  While stirring the egg yolks, slowly stream 1 cup of hot cream mixture into yolks to temper.  You are trying not to scramble the eggs.  GO SLOWLY.
  • Once combined, slowly pour yolk mixture into saucepan containing hot cream mixture.  STIRRING CONSTANTLY.  We really don’t want the eggs to scramble.
  • Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, no more than 15 minutes.
  • When finished on the stove pour custard into a glass bowl.  Add vanilla.
Cool to room temperature before placing in fridge.

Cool to room temperature before placing in fridge.

  • Leave at room temperature for about an hour, stirring occasionally to allow heat to escape.
  • Once cooled to room temp, place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the custard and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  • Once it is cold you can sir in any additions.  *See suggestions below.
  • Pour into ice cream maker or cake pan and place in the freezer stirring every 15-20 minutes until set.

*Addition Suggestions:  nuts, marshmallows, bacon (oh, yeah), fruit, coconut, pie filling, etc.

*Note: If you do not want chocolate ice cream, omit chocolate chips, cocoa and cinnamon.  Be sure to up the amount of nut butter to ¾ cup or mix 1 TBSP cornstarch with 1/3 cup cold milk and add to hot mixture.

  • For vanilla ice cream steep 2 vanilla beans in hot cream mixture (be sure to remove the pods before freezing).
  • For lemon ice cream add 1 TBSP lemon zest and ¼ cup lemon juice to cream mixture.
  • For fruit ice cream stir in your favorite fresh or frozen (partially thawed) before freezing.

The possibilities are endless!  Have fun with this recipe.

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