Category Archives: bento

End of Days

Well, I suppose that once a month is better than nothing, and if I’ve been too busy to drop in here lately, at least I can actually add writing to my list of excuses.

Today is the last day of school for the year, and it started out as one of those days where everything goes wrong. I’ll spare you the details, but you can see the broken china for yourself. Bad, bad dog.

There’s Briar from an early morning photoshoot before Awards Day. It was a lovely, sunny, misty morning for pictures, and there she was all dressed up for graduation. I actually managed to get a few that weren’t blurred. Well, that one in the up right I had to crop out her blurred, flapping arms.

Also from that morning is the pic on the bottom right with my yard, allegedly in need of mowing, but given my non-standard nature, it pleases me to live in a field of clover. Honeysuckle is taking over the world as well, and all I can think is now nice everything smells when I venture outside.

Isn’t that pocket sandwich about the cutest thing ever? I got great bento stuff from J-Box. If you’re not used to paying for shipping things from Asia (like we crazed doll collectors are), it might be scary. But I was favorably impressed with my buying experience there and hope to order again soon. So much Hello Kitty, so few funds…

Speaking of why I’m poor, please don’t tell, but yesterday I put in my preorder application for a Unoa Sist kit. I know it was wrong, it just seems like they never come up for pre-order, and then you only find them already strung and sometimes with missing parts, and always for $100-$400 more than the original price. So really, it’s a savings. That’s what I’ll be telling myself when the invoice arrives. And I had nearly contented myself with no more doll orders this year. By the way, my Dollzone couple in the sidebar down there, they’ve arrived at Mint On Card, but my layaway runs through the end of July. I’m trying not to put it on my credit card early just to bring them home. I’ve bought from Lindsay before and have had nothing but good experiences with her.

Decimal, as you can see, is actually starting to look like a sweater. One I hope will be done by the time I leave to

GO VISIT MY CRIT PARTNER IN JUNE!!

I’m stupid excited about this. This will be my first away by myself since 2003.

Also exciting is that I’ve been writing kinda like crazy–for me, anyway–all the month of May and am about 24K words into my WIP with about 45% of my scenes completed and the rest outlined or at least sketched in. I’m hoping to finish my draft before I leave so that I can dump it on her for an in-person workshopping, in the hopes that she will feed me ice cream to make it easier to take. I’m optimistic. It’s a new life skill I’ve been working on. So I’m expecting it to come through without needing a complete tear down and hope to have Hush Money ready for consumption in the next 6-8 weeks. Obviously, I could be completely wrong in all areas and it could be 6-8 months but…I’ll let you know.

I always have a lot of things to talk about, I just keep forgetting to come here and talk about them. Note to self: put someone in charge of that. Poor Kettle. If I give her one more thing to remind me about, I don’t know what she’ll do. She’s been talking a lot about when she has kids…. Oh honey, you already do. Waah!

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Filed under bento, bjds, goals, knitting, progress update, word count, writing

The Soft Rains of April…

…are (almost) over.

If you’re not an a-ha fan, well, that’s a song title (as is the blog title).

I haven’t been around for a long, long time, so to catch you up, here are some pics from around my house the last few weeks. A lot of it’s been about food lately.

I’ve been doing the Menu Mailer from SavingDinner.com for the last 3 months and just signed on again for the next three. I held out for a long time, partly because I was really resistant to cooking things I wasn’t familiar with every night and having to go to the bother of making things I might not like. But what I found was that her recipes are geared toward busy cooks of any level, so there’s rarely anything complicated or time-consuming. The weekly menus are actually a collection of menus that meet different dietary needs, and everything comes with suggestions for accompaniments which has always been a stumbling block for me–I fear the vegetables. Since I started doing this, though, my cart is always full of produce and my husband has been really happy with the variety and the…vegetables.

So doing that has gone a long way to getting me out of the cooking (and general life) slump I had been in. Now that I’ve got the menu-planning, list-making, actually serving decent food thing back under control again, I’m starting to get back into making it “nice”.  I used to try produce attractive plates or serve family style in serving dishes instead of cooking pots, but for the last few years there have been a lot of cooking pots slapped on the table. (Even though, somewhere in there, I finally got a real table.)

This can be blamed on the fabulous Japanese housewifery of Ai Yori Aoshi (and perhaps the fact that the characters actually appreciate it!) And also on bento as presented at JustBento, and fantastic site that makes creating attractive boxed lunches look easy. Naturally I’ve been interested in bento off and on for some time now, as I already pack two lunches every day. But everyone’s bentos always had so much “healthy junk” in them, which is a turn-off for someone like me, and making things pretty just for pretty’s sake seemed like too much to ask of me until just recently. But when I poked around at Just Bento, especially reading through the Get Started Handbook and the 5-week Challenge, things started to click and I realized I could apply those FlyLady concepts of BabySteps and everything doesn’t have to be Perfect.

So I’ve been taking my baby-steps in bento and enjoying it. Forcing myself to grow up and eat some healthy junk. My goals right now are to make nicer lunches for daughter Briar, and to start making a healthier lunch for myself as part of my morning routine. (DH’s lunches are always made right after supper because he leaves so early in the morning.) I’m hoping to continuing the habit of making both of us girls portable lunches in the morning will keep us eating healthy and cheap through the summer.

Now, what else is in my picture? Two pictures of my sweater in progress. That is, or will be, Decimal from the Spring ’09 issue of Knitty. And it’s for me! I’m really enjoying this project. I bought the yarn at Loopville, a local yarn shop, and I try to drop by there once a week to hang out and work on it.

In sewing news, there hasn’t been a lot lately, but hopefully coming soon. I just bought a selection of fabrics and smocking patterns to work on for summer clothes for Briar who has grown out of/destroyed just about everything she owns. And I can’t find anything I really like for her in the stores. So hopefully I can turn these into some cuteness for her.

Not a lot of doll news either. There’s a picture of Dillon, my Lati Blue Rucas, and my STILL unnamed Minifee DES, both of whom recently received new wigs. The poor DES girl…before she gets a name she needs a face. Before I paint the face she needs a hair color. And I still don’t think this is the right wig for her.

And finally, to the writing content. I’ve been back to work on that, now working on a teen series that’s part of my overall urban fantasy (I guess) landscape. I’m coming up to the end of the first act on that, maybe 8 K words so far, and I suppose it’s going ok, considering how long it’s been since I’ve written any fiction.

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Filed under bento, cooking, knitting, sewing, writing