Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is seriously starting to take over my life. But, I do plan to finish season 2 by the end of this weekend. Can't. Stop. Watching.

There are some definite up sides to waiting this long to finally watch this show. I can watch back-to-back, commercial free (sweeeeet!) episodes at the push of a button and not have to worry about buying DVDs, returning DVDs, or dealing with endless wait times after devastating cliff hangers. The down sides, though, kind of suck. Can't search for anything online or poke around for theories about what the hell is going on without worrying about spoilers (learned this the hard way). I'm still only watching season 2, so a ton of stuff has happened since this originally discussions with friends because they're long past where I'm at now. And, needless to say, getting caught up in all of this is a MAJOR time suck. I guess this is the only good thing about our slow season in the retail world; plenty of time for watching. Still, it's almost three o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday (technically, this is my Saturday) and not only have I not gotten showered or dressed yet, but my house is a mess, I have a mountain of laundry to do and an even bigger mountain of dishes to wash. Oh, and I have a massive load of a dog sitting here with sadder-than-sad puppy dog eyes, waiting to be walked.

TV, how I hate you sometimes.

Anyway, back to watching. Though I may have some complaints, I'd like to thank those of you who suggested I give this show a shot. Love it. Totally worth the hours of my time that I've wasted thus far.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh, Liam

So, I've been following Liam's work on Flickr for a while now. For those of you who aren't familiar, Liam is an amazing tattoo artist whose work I just adore. Unfortunately for those of us in the states, Liam works out of London, so making an appointment isn't as easy as just picking up the phone. BUT! Emily recently mentioned (and I can't stop thinking about it since reading her post) that Liam will be coming to New York (Brooklyn) for a short while and is taking appointments now for April and May. Oh man, how I'd love to work something out.

I whined to Kate today about this tremendous opportunity and she suggested that Liam might be the perfect person to design the Queen Anne's Lace tattoo on my calves that I've been wanting for ages now (Kate's heard about this tattoo far more than she probably should have...sorry Kate). I have something specific in mind: flowers on both calves with stems that start at my heels. I'd love to have one completely open flower on one calf and one closed bud next to a half-open flower on the other. I think Liam could definitely pull it off. His style is perfect for this! If only I had the money. Yeesh.

All tattoo photos in this post came from Liam's Flickr page. Check him out! And thanks to Emily for mentioning this in the first place because I never would have known.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

mantle fodder

I'm a bird junkie. Duh, right?

So, you can safely assume that when I saw this shop, the drooling ensued. I contacted Abby to make sure it was okay with her before I published this post (and to get permission to use her images), and you couldn't possibly imagine a sweeter, more kind person. Check out this seller, and support her if you can. She doesn't just sell birds, but fish, sheep and little dolls, too! Very cool. I imagine an entire flock of these birds on my living room mantle. Oh, the possibilities.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

everything is white

I'm not a fan of snow. Not anymore, anyway. But I will say that I love when the snow falls like this. Chunky, fluffy flakes that just keep dropping by the millions. The guy who walked by and commented while I was filming captured the moment..."it's pretty!". He's right, it certainly is pretty. But cleaning this crap up this morning was no small task. We have another storm on its way in, adding another 8 inches or so on top of the approximate 8 we've gotten already, so our work is not even close to being done. Oh spring, I'm ready for you.

I had a small accident this morning on my way in to work. Some guy driving a truck (with 4WD no less) rear-ended me. No damage done and we're both okay, but it made me wonder what the hell I was doing out today. I made my way into the shop, but I think I might close up early and head home. Lost is waiting for me there. Heh.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

a few things...

Random post...

* My culinary gland acted up and I spent a majority of the weekend in the kitchen. On the menu: dairy free ice cream for Kate (the baby is having a bit of trouble with dairy) and the most deadly, chocolaty peanut butter swirl brownies for the boys (and yes, you read that right...there is a pound of butter in those brownies). The ice cream turned out way better than I ever thought imaginable. I used this recipe and replaced the milk and cream with soy creamer. You can't imagine how delicious this was. The brownies, needless to say, were dreamy.

* I love sarcasm. I think I may love sarcasm more than I should. Therefore, sarcastic friends are where it's at (see photo below). Thanks, Dave and Kate.

* I've had this song stuck in my head for three days now.

* And after James told us about this documentary, we had to watch it. Ahh, yes, disturbing and fascinating, in that order. You MUST watch...I couldn't possibly explain how messed up this story is.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

a very good read

I dove head first into this book and I honestly can't stop. I highly recommend it for those of you looking for a little inspiration about living the simple life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

it's almost painful

It's almost painful to think about how long I've been waiting for this album. March cannot get here soon enough.

comfort food

Yesterday was one of those days.

You can tell that the cold, dark season we're stuck in now is really starting to get to people. I know I struggled with it yesterday. Even Ben, who never complains about the weather, mentioned having spring fever. It's everywhere. I've read about it in countless blogs, read about it in the headlines of the local papers. You can see it in people's faces. We're ready for greener, warmer, longer days. I think we deserve it.

But, seeing as how Mother Nature dances to the beat of her own drum, our complaining does nothing more than raise our blood pressure. We have to deal with the remainder of the season in the best way we know how. For some of us, we head outdoors and ski, snowboard, snowshoe, ice skate, etc. Some of us take advantage of the cold darkness and stay indoors with a book, a movie, the television, video games, etc. I, personally, love to cook. Something about the dismal bleakness of the winter makes me want to cook hearty, rich foods and then feed everyone I know. Our neighbors get regular doses of cookies, breads and various other foods. We invite friends over for dinner and make stews and soups and casseroles, alongside a warm loaf of homemade, fresh bread. My biggest weakness, though, and the one food that just screams winter to me, is New England Clam Chowder.

Needless to say, I make a lot of the stuff every year. We dined on a pot of it last night for dinner and its warmth filled our bellies and kept us comfortable despite the chilly drafts and icy cold winds beating at our windows. As I mentioned earlier in the year, dieting has become a regular thing in our household, and it's hard to make rich foods that don't make me want to shy away from the scale after I eat them. I've worked through a recipe over the past few years, tweaking ingredients, adding flavors, taking flavors away. We finally settled on one that we both really enjoy. I'll include the recipe below. It's much more rustic than the white stuff you buy in the can, but I like it that way. This is pretty simple, super diet friendly (if you're following Weight Watchers, it works out to be 4 points per cup), and if you served this to family or friends, they'd never know it was diet food. That, I can promise you.

So here goes. Try different ingredients with this puppy. If you hate corn but love peas, that works too. Dislike mushrooms? Take them out completely. She's an easy one to work with. If you have any suggestions, or a similar recipe, please feel free to share. Also, the fact that this is a diet recipe means there are fewer clams in it than most people might like. Feel free to add another can or two, but it will change the points value.

New England Clam Chowder
4-5 large, fresh basil leaves (minced or sliced into ribbons)
3-4 green onions, chopped
Minced garlic (the more the merrier)
2 cans chopped clams
1/2 cup water
2 cups diced potatoes (I leave the skins on)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (we use wild mushrooms)
1 cup sliced yellow onion
2 cups corn
2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup fat free evaporated skim milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
onion powder
garlic powder

Drain claims and reserve juice. In a large soup pot, saute the onions (I use cooking spray. You could certainly use butter or oil, but it will change the calorie content) until they're slightly softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they're browned and caramelized. If the mixture starts to stick, I add a small amount (or up to 1/2 cup, a little at a time) of the clam juice. Season the onions and mushrooms with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, to taste. At the end of the cooking process, add the minced garlic and green onions and cook for one minute to soften.

Add water, potatoes, basil, and the remaining clam juice - bring to boil, then simmer for 7 mins. Add corn, simmer 5 mins. Add milk and 1/2 cup evaporated milk, simmer 5 mins, or until potatoes are fork tender. If you like a smoother chowder, now is the time to remove one cup of the soup and blend it smooth in blender or food processor. Add it back in. I like a chunkier chowder and leave it as it is. Add clams. In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk and the cornstarch, add in and stir constantly until thick. Taste and re-season if needed. Serve hot. Serves 6.

Let me know if you try it out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Watched it. Loved it. Bill Maher is one of my heroes.

Warning: This is in no way meant to piss anyone off. If you are overly sensitive about your faith, don't even waste your time watching this preview. I'm all for having an open and honest discussion about spirituality and/or religion, and I'm willing to hear your side of the story any time you'd like to talk about it. But hey, the blog isn't the place and I just wanted to add a nifty little something for you to watch in this post.


I've never been one of those die hard Alice in Wonderland fans. Let me just put that out there. I've read the book many times. In fact, I own my grandfather's copy from when he was a little boy (it's one of my most prized possessions) and I've read it over and over again throughout my 33 years. Great story, certainly not for kids (thank you Disney!), and I enjoy it a great deal. I think Chuck Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) probably did more drugs in his day than Keith Richards, and this is a good thing because it made his photography and writing so incredibly cool.

But I'm not one of those people who eats, sleeps and breathes Alice...and yes, I know a few of those. The new Tim Burton version looks interesting and I'll definitely watch it at some point, but this isn't what has me on the Alice kick these days. It's this gorgeous fabric (click for more colorways and other prints) that has me drooling all over my monitor. I love it. What to make? What to make?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


My sister and I took Lola and Seth to the local science museum (or the buseum, as Lo calls it) on Monday. It's nice to have a place like this to go to during the winter months, but we need more, especially for the little ones!!! Talk about burnout. Seth had a blast and Lo was adorable, but there are just so many times a two year old can play in the water fountain. Though she cried when we had to leave, I think she was ready. I can't get enough of this kid.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


(sterling silver and carnelian)

These have been my biggest sellers here since I started making them...

(sterling silver, freshwater pearls and amazonite)

(brass and amazonite)

(sterling silver, faceted glass and citrine) I just keep on making more. Yeesh.

Birthday lurve

Michael, you know you rock my world. Happy Birthday, killer!

Monday, February 15, 2010


After my "7 Things" post a few days ago, I received a few requests to post a few pictures of the granny squares I've been working on. Well, I finally got around to doing just that.

I'm so in love with the colors.

I'll admit I originally bought this yarn specifically to make a ripple blanket with it, but honestly I think it suits the playfulness of a granny square blanket perfectly. What do you think?

After seeing this photo from The Purl Bee, I can see this new obsession of mine going all sorts of places. The options are endless.

tv rots your brain

So, should I go back through and watch the entire series of Lost thus far? I've managed to go this long without watching so much as a single episode, but I feel like I'm missing out. What do you think? It is worth it? Will I wind up on my knees, fists clenched and raised upward, screaming "why, god, whyyyyyyyyy???" half way through the run? I need guidance.

Actually, what I really need is to read a book.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, sorta

This is for all the broken hearted, sad, miserable people out there.

This is for those of you, like myself, who loathe Valentine's Day with a fierce passion.

This is for all of my fellow Freaks and Geeks fans...I know you're out there somewhere.

This is also for Emily, who may, quite possibly, love Jason Segel as much as I do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

7 things

My dearest darling Jo tagged me for one of those "7 Things About Me" deals, and I never want to disappoint her, so here goes...

1. Despite my rantings over the years about not being a girl, I'm currently in love with the whole blazer over layered tops/wool skirts/tights/boots (or clunky men's shoes) look and have been sporting it more than I care to admit these days. I still claim I'm not a girl, though. Meh.

2. While spending endless days at Albany Medical Center over the past two weeks, my mom gifted me with a lesson on how to make granny squares. The appropriate word to use here would "addicted" because I simply can't stop. A gigantic throw is well on its way to completion. It has to be big, though, as most throws are too small for my liking, and, well, with a 60 pound space hog of a dog on my hip at all times, more blanket is needed for coverage.

3. I crave a Boston Terrier like there's no tomorrow. A woman was walking a little Bostie pup down the street a few days ago and I was way too tempted to grab the leash and run with it, never looking back.

4. I sometimes fantasize about what my life would be like if I'd skipped art school completely and went to culinary school instead. I doubt I'd still like to cook as much as I do now (I hate when something you love to do for fun turns into "work"), so I probably made the right choice. Still, after seeing how people react to the food I prepare and serve on any given Troy Night Out, I'd love to take a crack at making some money that way.

5. When I was much younger, I had a minor accident (though it didn't seem very minor at the time) that involved me getting smacked in the face with an aluminum baseball bat at full force. My lower teeth went through the inner tissue in my cheek and I find myself tonguing the scar when I'm nervous or pondering something intense.

6. I'd give my left arm to be able to go back in time and see The Clash, The Ramones or The Pogues in their prime.

7. I'm a dirty smoker. Some of you know that about me already, but it's not something I talk about at all here. So that's that. I went through acupuncture treatments years ago and it cured me in the sense that I can smoke a pack of cigs in one sitting and not crave more for days or even weeks afterward. It's a good thing, I guess. A large group of friends are all planning to quit at the same time so I might just bite the bullet and join them. We shall see.

So there you have it. Hope I didn't bore you to tears with this nonsense. And Jo, I hope I didn't disappoint you with this list. I refuse to tag anyone else, but if you'd like to play along I'd love to learn about you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So, Bepa had his pacemaker replaced today and hopefully he's in the clear now...

Looks painful, doesn't it? The purple goo is an adhesive bandage gel they apply after the area is closed to help keep it clean. Being the good granddaughter that I am, I made sure to suggest that he tell the nurses to keep the drugs comin'.

P.S. Once again, we managed to avoid yet another major snowstorm in the northeast and I couldn't be happier. Our grand total for today...0.7 inches.


I'm tempted to put the shovels away for the season, but I don't want to jinx it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I am head over heels in love with this project from the most recent issue of Country Living Magazine!!! If I can find a nice nubby sweater and resist keeping/wearing it, I'm going to give this a shot with some table lamps. I'd love to see how the technique looks on a drum shade!

Here are the instructions:

Make over a plain pendant shade by cloaking it in wool. First, cut a large sweater in half along a side seam, removing the sleeves. Pull the resulting rectangle of material tightly around the shade so the fabric meets in the back; cut to fit and hot-glue to the shade. Next, trim the sweater lengthwise, leaving an inch of overhang at the top and bottom. Fold the overhang over the shade's edges and secure on the inside with hot glue. For safety, use a low-wattage bulb.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

feeling it now

(Mexican Shell Flower)

The time of year for spring bulb and flower catalogs is upon us and I'm getting them in stacks by the day. So tempting!!! I'm fighting off the urge to buy some new little beauties for my garden beds. Instead, I really should just wait and see what comes back this year. I bought quite a few new perennials last year and I'm anxious to see what is strong enough to return. I find myself getting in and out of my car every day, staring impatiently at the bed at the end of our driveway wondering how my new peony bushes are dealing with this winter underground. I long to see them come back and flourish this summer. We shall see. Anyway, here's what I'm fantasizing about as I flip through the pages of the catalogs piled up on my desk...

Green Wizard Coneflower

Green Envy Coneflower

Lollipop Helenium

Double Triple Helenium

Raspberry Mousse Toad Lily (the only available kind that I DON'T have)


Elodie Lily

Black Currant Ice Columbine (Columbine is my biggest gardening's bad)


Razzmatazz Coneflower

Japanese Lantern (I've wanted these forever!)

Meadow Rue

Lilafee Epimedium

Lots of temptation. And to think this is just from one catalog! It's a tough thing, restraint. Now if only spring would come back. We're still a few months off, I know, but wishful thinking never killed anyone. I just want to dig my toes in the dirt.