Wee little mummies and zombies!

Halloween cookies

Glinda and I had the best time last night.  We baked cookies and decorated them for H’ween.  We made wee zombies and mummies.  This first photo is my favorite because of the way my shadow looms over the lower right, and the little zombie is staring in horror as if something more awful than he is is coming at him.  These cookies are so horrifyingly cute that I wanted to keep them all.  But Glinda specifically made them to take to work with her today so there are only a few left here.  But the little moans and shrieks of “braaainnnnns” is kind of distracting.  If we make more tonight or tomorrow, we’ll make quieter ones.

Glinda is a cookie monster and when she saw photos of mummy cookies she squeed a lot and said “I must do this thing!”  I talked her into using a mix to make things easier, but I know it chaps her hide not to do everything from scratch.

We’ve made a solemn vow that next year we’ll make Cthulu cookies.  I’ve got a few ideas and a squid cookie cutter.  I am a dangerous woman.

Cthulu Plush
Image by rainvt via Flickr

Halloween cookies

Halloween cookies

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NaNoWriMo, coming soon to a writer near you!

So yeah, I’m heading down the NaNo path once more.  This’ll be year five for me.  I’ve learned that if I don’t have some kind of plan, I’ll end up on November 15th wringing my hands and gibbering over the hellish mess of a story I’ve produced.  So I’ve got an outline that’s about 1/3rd finished.  It gets to header 7 and says “Then more stuff happens.  The end.” which isn’t a terribly good plan, but it’s improving.

Charles Darwin. 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in....
Image via Wikipedia

I also have a title: A Mere Heart of Stone.  It comes from a quote by Charles Darwin:  “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.”  Yes, Darwin does enter into the story.  I have my friend, Jim, to thank for the original idea.  I needed a flashback for my first Nick & Davy novel (Being pubbed by Torquere Press in January) and he offered an excellent plot.  Unfortunately even stripped down to bare bones it was a big narrative and brought the novel grinding to a halt, so I cut it.  When I went looking for a plot for the second N&D novel, there it was, and I’ve been banging away at it ever since, getting it to the point where I feel comfortable choosing it for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

So now I’ve eaten my supper (a BLT, yum!) and I’m running the dishwasher.  I think it’s time to sign off and go read for a while.  I’m reading Niven and Pournelle‘s “Inferno” which I think I read 30-odd years ago, it’s that familiar.  And it’s wonderful.

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It’s pickle day at the villa

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but things have been kind of busy around here. Yesterday we gardened for what seemed like days, but it was really only a few hours. This is the time of year when you need to do things like plant bulbs and divide the roots on things like peonies. Well we have over 300 bulbs to plant, and had three big clumps of peonies which hadn’t been doing all that well, so yesterday — one of those days when it rained on and off out of a sunny sky, and the wind knocked over all the plants on the porch, we dug up those peonies. (Actually, Jim did the bulk of the digging, bless him.) divided them and got enough rootstock to give away to six different gardeners! And that doesn’t mean just one root each, that was something like six or eight roots for each person. We only kept three because our full sun area is pretty limited. They’re planted around the walnut tree now. And where we dug the plants up, we planted alliums and amended the heavy clay soil with peat. We also got our berry bushes transplanted. Again. And raised the soil level in the raised bed in back by a good four or five inches.  We also harvested everything but the tomatoes because the herbs were getting really leggy and the pepper growth had slowed down a lot.  We’ll have our first frost before the end of the month, I’m sure.  We still have most of the bulbs to do, but we’ll take care of that next weekend once the bulb auger arrives.  We’re not crazy.

By the time we finished we were chilled and covered in mud, but we managed to deliver all but one bag of peony roots .  And then we went out shopping at Home goods where we got an autumn wreath, a Halloween wreath, and three more trees to add to my Xmas collection.  The pic above is our new autumn flag (sans the two girls on the right, and in much more vivid color.)  It’s getting a lot of attention by passers by, which doesn’t surprise me.  I first saw it while I was out walking near Six Corners a number of years ago, and I’d never forgotten it.  Years of googling finally paid off; I found it at The Victorian Trading Company.

Anyway, my point was that I’ve spent today making pickles, finally.  I did two batches of miso pickles, one white one red; a batch in lemon juice; one in apricot vinegar and two batches of strawberries, one in eiswein with cracked pepper and one in honey and lemon.  I know the white miso will be delicious, but I have no idea how the others will turn out.  Mostly I’ve had good luck with pickles in the past.  I did cukes, carrots, beauty heart radishes and broccoli.

I’m also going to make another batch of the green tomato chutney either today or tomorrow, but right now I’ve got a pot of Viennese gulyás cooking for supper.  I also have a whole load of herbs that need drying and storing and a bunch of peppers that I have to chop and freeze.  Harvest is tiring.

On the work front,  I’m working on the outline for my NaNoWriMo novel so that I can start on Nov. 1st with some clear idea of where I’m going.

I need to go clean up the kitchen.  It’s a disaster of epic proportions.  But I haz pickles!

This is important

Originally posted by at Spirit Day


It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.