Saturday, December 31, 2005


cupcake is feeling a little sappy tonight. some longing. some sadness.
what is this new year to bring? which adventure awaits? where am i willing to go and do? what do i want?
i often say, "i just want to be happy", but, what makes happy?

i wish a better new year to all my friends. you all have carried me throughout this year, and probably longer .... i am most appreciative of my fortune(s). i do realize my luck, and i am most grateful. thank you.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

drinking for a cause. really!

sutter home wine is not my first choice for drinking, but when shopping for cheap wine, i noticed the sutter home wines had a special tag hanging around the neck. for each foil top sent in, they are donating a dollar to help find a cure for breast cancer. the offer ends at the end of this year, so, i better drink up fast, and then find a new cause for drinking.

Monday, December 19, 2005

we have light!

finally, after weeks of darkness, i can see the fishes again!

fishy collage

i took my box from marineland over to petsmart, to test out a new bulb in the new hood/light. it seems that my problem with my previous set up was indeed the light fixture, because, the bulb i thought was broken worked fine in the "new" hood. hmmm .... which also means my other bulb was probably fine, and it's long gone in the trash. but, i did not have to pay for these new parts. whew!

i was excited about being able to see the fish again, so i bought them (me) some new aquarium toys. i found a small section of an aquarium backdrop on sale for 50 cents, from which i was able to cut out two backdrops for my small set up, and i got a couple of new plants. the new plants are probably too big, but i just wanted to see something different in my tank. and, it gives the fishes more places to hide. i'll have to clean their tank and do a water change before christmas.

fish love 2

paperwhites in bloom

my first batch of paperwhites finally grew so tall that some of the stalks flopped over. these grew to 24" tall!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

my first batch of paperwhites has fully bloomed. i love their fragrance. my second batch is not nearly as tall as this group, and will likely bloom within the week. i think being near a cold window kept the second batch smaller.

i've been eating soups from the freezer a lot lately, but mostly the veggie & beef soup. i need to find some more soup recipes to try out. i like the convenience of having something already made, that's nutritional and delicious too. when i go home for christmas, i will be taking my 1/2 paper sack full of pecans with me, and some recipes i printed out for pecan pie. the trick is to not make one that is overly sweet.

not much else to report. it's super cold in here, though i'm sure my ceiling is toasty warm. my fishes are still in the dark because the marineland people don't know how to ship a light bulb (but, i talked with someone at petsmart and they said i could exchange my bulb!). ... so, stay tuned for fishy fotos ....

Friday, December 09, 2005

such is (home)life

my paperwhites are ready to bloom! this is the first batch that i set up, when things were a little warmer around here. i look forward to their scent ....

paperwhites & needles

this batch was just set into rocks and water yesterday. i had gone back to the nursery to buy some more bulbs, then went to the thrift store to buy some more jelly jars for the bulbs. though the presentation won't be as dramatic as a bunch growing together, they could make nice little gifts with a red ribbon tied around the glass, ... or, i can just scatter them around my home and enjoy their fragrance.

paperwhite bulbs

there's a pretty glassblown christmas ball hanging in the window with those paperwhites ... i bought a few many years ago from the gallery at penland. if you ever have an opportunity to go there (as a student or visitor), you must!

glass ball 1

glass ball 2

glass ball 3

they catch the morning light coming through the kitchen windows.... now, these cute bells came from the nursery. i got one each for my niece and nephews. i'm sure i like them much more than they will. kids!

kid's bells



two pretty creatures from the aquarium

and, i found more of these in a secret location! these are even bigger and fatter than the other pecans i picked up before ....

more pecans!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

it keeps calling

i'm feeling a little weepy today. i, on occasion, check my pocketmail account, and found, last week, (don't you love 'commas'?), a message from bearbait.

"I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I thank you for your friendship this past spring and enjoyed meeting you. Stay well and the best of what life gives.
I hope our hiking paths cross once again.

and then, i went onto and found that one of my previous hiking buddies is going out on the trail again. and, i want to go too! i do. i don't know why. it's just a calling.

it's very emotional. i don't know why i, or anyone, feels the need to walk 2000+ miles. i only walked about 500 miles last time, before i was distracted.
i just need to talk to solace. maybe he can calm me down.

well, that's how i'm feeling today.

(hours later)........ and, solace did calm me down.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

i'm ready!

i was absent from my home for about five days when i went to spend thanksgiving with my parents. i turned the heat off (not that we've needed the heat here much lately), watered my plants, and gave my fishes some algae wafers. upon my return, i noticed that my paperwhites had grown about 3 inches! they've seriously shot up, but seem to not grow at all since i've been back.
don't they look nice with the needles? i have a couple more bulbs in little jelly jars up on the window ledge.

i also got my tree up the day after i returned home. this tree is new to me, though it's an evergleam from the 50's. i had another tree before, also aluminum, but a certain X attacked it, and quite damaged it, and i can't bare to look at it anymore. i need to set it up though, and photograph it, so i can sell it on ebay. it's ready for its next life.

so, this year, my mom surprised me with a new tree, and we even found some vintage looking ornaments for to replace the ones that were broken/lost from the attack.

these are awesome! i got these lights from lowe's ... three snowflakes on one strand, and they flicker. they don't just flash off and on, but hey look like little twinkley stars. i like them a lot. i strung these up on the front porch, the balcony that faces the street. i took a little walk around the house this evening, just as twilight was passing, to admire my lights from the street. a passerbyer hollered out from his car that he liked the lights :) my apt. is in a house on a busy street during commuting hours.


and here's one of my favorite possessions ... she lives over my bed.
i love you troll!

Monday, November 28, 2005

home again!

and my fishes were in a cloud of cloudiness! i had tossed in some 'algae wafers' at the recommendation of the idiots at petsmart, though, everything i read online said i didn't need to feed the fishes at all during my absence, and i came home to find a couldy tank. whaaaa!

so, after doing the essentials (ie: getting stuff out of truck, peeing, pouring a glass of wine) ... i changed the water. i only did about a 1/2 change, so, it's still on the semi-couldy side, but, better. i changed the filter too, so maybe it will look even better by tomorrow. i'll test the chemicals tomorrow too.

it was cold in here when i got home, and warm and unseasonably balmy outside, so, my windows were fogged. and, the fishy water was cold. i fed them too, so i hope they're happy i'm home. i also got the spare parts to fix their light. that's what i miss --- seeing them under the light tube.

well, i have a lot of things to unpack ... a cooler full of food, clothes, knitting, and christmas decorations. i can't wait to get things looking like christmas in here :)

i'll post some pictures tomorrow --- and my paperwhites have shot up!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

oh, the holidays ....

or, should i call them the holidaze ? i really do love this time of year, and get extra angry when something makes it less than perfect. or, if a certain someone makes things suck! it's been almost 2 years now, and i feel like my X is still punishing me for something i did, that had nothing to do with him, before we were a couple. and now we're not a couple, probably because of the passive aggressive punishment?

i just needed to clear the air

so, on the upside, guess who is coming for christmas?!

indian grandma's stocking

yes, the rightfully craziest woman i know! my grandmother ..... she will (in spanish) call you a dirty pig, and make you fresh tortillas, all in the same breath! she believes in gypsies and curses, folklore, and prays her rosary. she sometimes wear her slippers to mass because her feet are so comfy, she forgets to put on the church shoes. once she left her poor beta in the sink after changing the fish's water ... poor sucker hyperventilated in the sink for hours before being rescued! and she has a 20+ year old bird, that she tends to daily, ... each day, cleaning the cage and changing the food and water for fresh. and she's mean too! that's just part of her charm! maybe you're not suppose to say some things about your grandmother, but, this is also a woman that chased me with a stick when i was little. she flies in from arizona on december 10th, but i won't see her until christmas time ... i hope we make some tamales together ....

personal note on the stocking. i decorated it. yes, it's cheap felt and cheap do-dads from michael's .... assembled by me with the trusty gluegun. in my other life, i would never be this kind of crafty.

and, have you ever noticed that the traditional colors of christmas and the mexican flag are the same?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

greetings from the neighborHood

i really do love where i live. it's constantly interesting .... such as, my next door neighbors. their backyard faces the west side of my apt. and, this is the lovely view from my bedroom window ....


almost everyday, when school is let out, the backyard fills with about 5 kids, screaming and playing. it is loud, but i don't mind at all. the mystery is, who lives in this house? the only thing i do know, is there is a perpetual tin can stash in the backyard.

backyard cans

about every two weeks, it sort of disappears. i don't know if the cans are recycled or put in the trash cans. and, i don't know how this household produces sooooo many cans .... many of the larger beer can variety.

something i discovered just in time, is my apt. house is surrounded by pecan trees. the weather has changed, and we've had a couple days of rain, and then some good wind. and then ... the pecan showers! almost every tree on the property is pecan!
i spent some time yesterday afternoon wandering around the yard with a plastic grocery bag, collecting the yummies.


they're delicious! of course, i had to bring them home, as it's a great holiday for pecans, and i don't have a nutcracker.

tomorrow is thanksgiving, and the birthday of a dear friend. he deserves only the best!

cheap wine

happy birthday mark!

Monday, November 21, 2005


how do i create more work for myself? i don't know. but, this is how it starts. awhile back, i crocheted some pot scrubbers. but, they're so big and pretty, i thought i could use them as pot holders too. WRONG. i have a blister on my middle finger to prove it!

so, i thought, i need an oven mitt and potholders. so, off to target i go. they were ugly. why does someone need "pretty" potholders and oven mitts? i don't know why, i just know that i do.

so, now i'm thinking, i have a ton of fabric, i know how to sew, i can make my own! where does that leave me? that leaves me wanting to look at patternbooks for kitchen accessory patterns, and then i need to buy some 100% cotton batt.

my previous post was about the rain. well, it has rained again. and it's a great relief, as we are in stage 2 of water restrictions due to shortage. and it was really nice to sleep to the sound of rain, and wake to the sound of rain, and enjoy a totally gray day. and, best of all, it's still raining.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


it's raining.
i can't remember the last time it rained.
after the rain passes, it's suppose to be cooler. :)


yes, that's my title. that's what you post when you almost finished your entry, and the computer shuts itself off!

so, back to my whining ....

my fish are in the dark! i turned their light on today, and it only partially turned on. it's a flourescent tube, a daylight tube.
so, off to petsmart i went. i got a replacement. but, i did not check its rattle factor. and, now, i don't know if it did or did not have a rattle before plugging it in, because when i took that one back, and checked the others on the shelf, all but ONE had a rattle. what to do?

i called marineland (they're the makers of my tank system, which i've only had for a month+). i explained my dilemma. though i was on hold for at least 15 minutes before i got a rep., the rep. took care of my problem. he's sending me a new thingy (the thingy the tube plugs into) plus another flourescent tube! it's coming via fedex. i wish fedex all the luck in the world of figuring out where to leave the box! (ups left my box on the back porch)(ups is smart!)

but, in the meantime, my fishes are in the dark! i just hate it. one of the joys of having fish is being able to see them. whaaaaaa!

pretend there is a picture here, because we all know how i like to post pictures, ... but, this picture is a big black box! yep. that's how my fish look today.

Monday, November 14, 2005

'tis the season

this looks more like a scene from halloween! but, it is the season for butternut squash. i found yet another recipe online.

butternut squash roastedbutternut squash risotto

let me just say it was delicious! and there are plenty of leftovers!

i picked up a few of the ingredients out at the farmer's market. there was a craft show going on, and i went out there to see a couple of my machine knitting friends. of course, i had to get something, so i bought these great knitted string bags, which i ended up using for the day's shopping.

knitted string shopping bags

fishes friends


ooooh! yes, of course ... look at the fishes! and the trees ....

farmer's market trees farmer's market trees2 farmer's market trees3

Saturday, November 12, 2005

zero ppm's

0 ppm's

see that color there? that means no ammonia in the fishy tank! it has taken a little more than a month to get the ammonia levels safe. that's very common for a new fish tank set up. though the literature with my tank said to run the system for 24 hrs. before introducing fishes, everything else i read later said to let it run for a month. during this time, there isn't enough good bacteria in the tank to naturally take care of the ammonia. live and learn, and hopefully not kill the cute fish!

2005-10-27 fishes 010

in keeping with the season and upcoming holidays, i started my paperwhites. i still have two more bulbs that need to find a container. i love their fragrance when they bloom!

and, i think this was the last hurrah for my plants. this picture was actually taken yesterday (or the day before ?).
they're in for good now. have you ever seen a succulent freeze? boy, it's nasty.

i couldn't sleep tonight. maybe i went to bed too early (9:30 pm)? i've been up since 2am. i knitted awhile, then, got on the computer. i figure i'll be ready to sleep as soon as the sun comes up and the morning traffic blasts by my windows. i especially love the sounds of big city trucks and the sounds of them shifting gears! (yes, i am joking!)

oh! i found this yummy recipe online. i'm thinking it will be tasty for dinner tonight!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

a collage of neighborHood color ....

home improvements

i don't know if i should continue to make soups, because i keep messing things up! either i forget to close the freezer door, or my little baggies of soup flop over on the counter and spill everywhere, or, like a dork, i freeze it all and have none defrosted and ready to warm up in a pot for lunch today!

and twice yesterday, i ran into the metal edge of this chair, so i taught it a lesson ....

be sure to move mouse over photo

paperwhite bulbsi had a successful shopping trip this afternoon ... i got finally got some paperwhites. i'm going to grow them on some polished rocks in my glass vodka bowl (that was a gift, with 4 little shot glasses, and since i don't do vodka shots ....).

and, i finally almost used up my gift card to the mall from last christmas. i must use it before the holiday this year or it will expire. i have about $3 left on the card. last year, i used part of it for some lace socks from the banana store, and some wine glasses from crate & barrel. i went back to crate & barrel today and got this!

isn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

my current obsession, ... food

but, wholesome food. simple food. pre-made food! i spent part of another afternoon in the kitchen.

soup cooking

this time, making another soup. i like soup! i had some leftover steak in the fridge, that needed to be used, and i had two recipes from amanda's recipe box. the first was for a vegetable soup and the other for a not so veggie stew. i sort of "blended" the recipes. it's not easy cooking for one. but, i do like cooking for 6 to 12, and freezing the rest!

the sun was getting ready to set, and i keep missing the great evening light with my camera, but here's a couple of shots from my front porch ...

evening colorahhhh ....

p.s. long overdue "oops" ... i just discovered that whole foods has tons of recipes on their website! maybe this will cure my hot bar love ;)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

seasonal cooking

we've had some really great weather here lately, and the trees are really looking beautiful, and i forget to take pictures of them every time! (i need to start carrying my camera with me all the time).
i spent part of yesterday afternoon in the kitchen ...

i decided that i want to start cooking some bulk meals, things that i can portion out and freeze, so i'll have some yummies always available, or at the very least, w/o having to go through the whole cooking experience for every meal. yesterday's recipe? a hearty lentil soup. the nice thing about lentils is that they don't have to presoak. i cooked this in my 8 qt. pot, so, i filled a lot of freezer sandwich bags ... and then, after all this, i did something insanely brilliant! (i left the freezer door cracked open about 2" all night!!!) i have frost now

what's a posting w/o some fish photos? i sat infront of my tank for a good while, trying to get a good picture. out of about 30 shots, i got a few that i liked. most of the pictures are blurred, or the fish is swimming out of the frame. i had to settle for composition by the way, this is one of the good shots!