Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tag, You're It!

Well, wouldn't you know it, I've been tagged by my friend Marie! I gotta say, I feel pretty honored because she only tagged me and Cass from Shut Up I'm Counting. I'm in the midst of celebrity here! Cass wrote a hilarious blog on Marie, by the way. Check it out!

So I guess I need to post 8 random things about me, so here I go:
1. I used to have secret dreams of being a famous singer. I can't sing. At all. In any way, shape or form.

2. I took ballet for nearly 10 years during my formative years. My legs are permanently stuck in first position.

3. I hate to drive.

4. I read JD Robb voraciously. She's actually Nora Roberts - a romance writer.

5. I tend towards laziness.

6. I believe in magic.

7. When it comes to dating, I fall hard and fast. Then usually regret it later.

8. I'm addicted to the SciFi Channel

I'm supposed to tag eight people now. Well, I think I've only got eight people linked to my blog, and most have either already filled this out or laugh uproariously at the idea of filling it out. 
But...I will tag:

Tag, you're it!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wow.

I really wish I had my camera at work today. The sky was a crisp blue, the branches of the trees were all starkly outlined with snow. It was the kind of day where you completely overlooked the cold and wet because it was so gosh darned beautiful.
I really wish I'd had my camera this morning.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lazy I Am

The leftovers are in the fridge, looking a little sadder each progressive day. The guests are long gone, as are the pies. Tomorrow starts a new work week, but I'm determined to hang onto this long weekend just a little longer.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, mom and I did our annual shopping trip. She lives in a location where there isn't a lot to choose from store-wise, so she gets most of her shopping done on this trip. We're not foolish enough to do the Box Store Madness at 3am. Puhleeze. We were all sleeping the sleep of the stuffed. We usually head downtown to the shops and boutiques around 9am or so. Since everyone else is at the malls and box stores, it's actually quite pleasant. By the time everyone makes it downtown, we're done and home on the couch. 

Saturday morning we went out to breakfast at Sneakers with my cousin. Then I did nothing. Well, okay. I took a walk. But I spent most of my day in bed reading and watching television. Today I mixed it up a bit. I sat on the couch. I know! I'm a wild woman. I'm enjoying my doing nothing, I have to admit. I wish I could do it for another couple weeks. Alas, I have a job I need to go to if I want to buy Christmas presents for people. Because unlike mom, I only bought one thing on Friday. D'oh!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Let Us Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! For my non-US readers, Happy Thursday! We put on our annual feast today. We ended up having six people here - me, my brother, my mum, 2 cousins and one of my brother's friends. 

When my brother and I went to set the table, we discovered that we didn't have enough browny-colored linens to go around, but we had plenty of pink napkins. So, we went with a red and pink theme this year:











Nothing says fall like pink and red, LOL! Anyway. We started with a veggie and hummus platter, and a cheese and cracker platter:











We then went on to the main feature:












But Kate! you say. What's that on your plate? I thought you were vegetarian! Well, reader. Let me introduce you to seitan (hail Seitan!) and tofurkey mushroom gravy and "giblets." Neither tastes like meat, but I thought it tasted great. I was certainly stuffed to the gills.

We ended with my mom's pies:










One pumpkin, one raspberry. Mmmmmm. Raspberry pie. Drool.

It's now almost 7pm, and we're all hanging out suffering from food coma. I really wish it had been nicer outside so we could have gone for an after-dinner walk. Alas, it's been rainy and dreary all day. It's supposed to switch to snow later this evening. Whoopee.

What am I thankful for? Family. Friends. That all my friends and family are supportive of me, generally speaking. Sometimes more than they should be. I am thankful that I am able to have what I have. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Eve

What I really, really wanted to post here was a stillshot from Addams Family Values. One shot of Pugsley in the turkey costume. Would you believe that no one has posted a image of that anywhere on the web?? Come on, people! You're all slacking.

As you can see, after many tries I finally managed to post yesterday's back yard shot. Kinda underwhelming, isn't it? Yeah, the weather really wasn't any better today, although it was nice enough to stick to rain all day. Supposed to be pretty much the same tomorrow. Since Mom is making the long drive from Lyndonville to my house, I'm sure she's sitting at home worrying about it. She better come though. She's got the pies. 

Anyway, wine and veggies have been bought. And...that's it. Laundry is unwashed, because it is raining out and the in-complex laundromat is way over there. Floors are unvacuumed and dishes are still in the sink. But hey! I bought wine. Isn't that enough?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winter Wonderland...or something...

So, this was what I woke up to this morning:











We had a dusting of snow this morning. What you can't hear (or can you?) is the discreet taptaptap that indicates sleet. Lovely morning, eh? Little did I know that the interstate had twice as much snow as my backyard, but hadn't really been plowed. Okay, so maybe once. At 5am. By the time I got there, it was an icy, snowy, slippery mess. I have a whopper of a hill to get down before my exit. Everyone was creeping down it at 25 mph. I think the fact that two cars off the top of the road at the top of the hill slowed them down a bit. Apparently there were even more cars off the road on route 2, the route that runs along side the interstate. 

I've gotta give Vermont drivers props though - when it's bad outside they'll actually slow down. They have no qualms about going 25 without their flashers on when the speed limit is 65. Everyone else is doing the same thing. They know better to slam on their brakes, take fast turns and cutting people off. Sometimes, anyway. They knew better this morning, at any rate. 

Well, anyway. Work was work and when I got home I took a friend to pick up her car at the mechanics, tried on a fancy dress for no reason, came home and made hummus for Thursday's veggie platter and stuffing for the bird...keeping some out for me, of course! I'll dowse mine with some mushroom broth and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes once the bird vacates the oven. 

Tomorrow I need to buy veggies for munchies and some wine. I also need to clean. Yeah, we'll see if that happens. It usually doesn't.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Ho-Hum Boring Sunday

This picture was taken back in September. My friend Angie and I were hiking around the paths at the top of Mount Mansfield. It's kinda blurry, but I still like it.

I'm trying to think what I did today. I slept in. It was great. Oh yeah! That's what I did. I went a'shoppin' for food. Not just any food - Thanksgiving food! 

My brother and I have been hosting Thanksgiving for the past several years. Usually it's just my mum, my brother and myself, although anyone's welcome if they care to show up. This year my cousin will be joining us as well. Possibly another local cousin as well. 

I am, unfortunately, the only vegetarian in the family. My family is really cool about making sure I've always got something to eat, and having the feast at my place pretty much ensures there isn't any hidden stuff anywhere. There is a certain member of my family however (cough cough my brother cough cough) who pretty much insists on traditional dishes, so there will be a bird. I don't really mind it - I just won't cook it. So honestly, if he doesn't get his ass in gear and actually buy the darned thing everyone's going to be eating seitan with me (hail Seitan!).

Anyway. I've got the makings for stuffing purchased, spuds (Cousin is making a potato dish and we'll have mashed as well. You can never have too many taters), I'm going to roast some asparagus and green beans for a side dish... I can't remember what all else. I'll buy wine and veggies for munchies on Wednesday after work.  I'll be making some more hummus as a dip.

And yes, I greatly enjoy planning stuff like this. Thinking about food is fun! 

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yep, it's November

This morning I went up to my friend Angie's house. My friend Angie and her husband are nice enough to store my tires and even change them for me. Today was day we changed my regular tires to snow tires.  Because, despite what "they" say, all-seasons really mean "all seasons that don't involve three feet of snow and ice on the ground."

Vermont had snow yesterday. Well, some of Vermont had snow yesterday. This is my friend Angie's back yard:
















This is my back yard:
















Angie lives on a mountain. I do not. As pretty as snow is, it's cold and makes your feet wet. When it gets to be this time of the year, you're more likely to find me cuddled up under a blanket on the couch than outside. I'm not particularly fond of snow. Which is not good when you live in the state I do.

Her snow will be most likely gone by Thanksgiving. The sun still has enough strength to melt it fairly quickly. Well, when it's out, anyway. It's pretty rare that we have any significant snow before the new year. That whole "white Christmas" thing is totally bogus. Can't remember when we've ever had more than a dusting. 

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Afternoon

I find myself drawn to Lake Champlain on Sunday evenings. I don’t know why that is. I can’t necessarily even say it was “evening” as it was only 4pm. But if you define “evening” by when the sun goes down, then it was evening.

I have a favorite park I like to go to. It’s a fairly decent-sized park along the waterfront. It’s been many things over the centuries, from a large working farm in the 1800s, to a resort in the 1920s to its current incarnation.

There is a bike path that runs through it and along the water, although if you want to “get off the beaten path,” there are trails in the wooded areas, and even old stairways cut into the rock from the resort days. There are a few outdoor chimneys left over as well, still standing, and occasionally still used.

No matter where I start though, I always end up in the same place, in the same clearing, on the same hill, looking out over the same view. It’s a clear view of the lake at one of its widest points, and on a good day you can see across to New York State.

While sitting on the grass on that small hill, I look out across the water and watch the birds fly, listen to the waves roll in, and watch the people walking and jogging along the bike path. Sometimes I meditate, just close my eyes and let my heart beat in time to the waves rolling in on the beach. Sometimes I think about things – what’s gone right, what’s gone wrong and sometimes what’s plain gone. Sometimes I think about the future, but the future’s always been a hazy place for me. I can’t see far into it, and to me planning just doesn’t work, because you never know where life is going to take you.

Sometimes sitting there calms me, like I can face the week ahead knowing that I had this little bit of time to ground myself in nature. Sometimes sitting there makes me sad, because I start thinking about how our society tends to eat people like me up, and how tired I sometimes get trying not to be chewed up and spit out. Sometimes I sit there and try to figure out what would make me truly happy. And sometimes just sitting there makes me truly happy.

Anyway. I’m home now, out of the late fall chill and into the warmth of home. I’m cooking dinner – one of my favorite recipes out of Vegan with A Vengeance. It’s a killer cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (their blog is in my favorites – their website is theppk.com). This is “Stewed Tofu and Potatoes in Miso Gravy.” It is divine, stick-to-your-ribs good. Perfect for a fall evening when you’ve spent far too much time ruminating.

My evening is going to be low-key, and involve knitting, tea, and bad Sunday night television line-ups. And I’m going to enjoy every last minute of it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adventures in Goop


I love hummus. I eat a lot of it. I love it on toast, bagels, veggies, crackers, pretzels, straight out of the packaging...you name it, it's yummy. I've always just bought it out of laziness, sometimes the smaller packages, sometimes the larger "party sized" containers.

This past summer, however, I had my first taste of homemade hummus. Some guys down at the Burlington Farmer's Market were selling, fresh, homemade, organic hummus in a variety of flavors. It wasn't cheap ($5.00 for 8oz), but MAN was it worth the money. It pretty much ruined me for all other hummus.

It's taken me a while to get around to it, but I finally made my own hummus this afternoon. Still needs to chill a bit and I think I bought the wrong kind of tahini, but boy is it yummy! It made tons, and the intial investment of the tahini is going to really pay off - it's going to be way cheaper making it myself. Especially if I take the plunge and start cooking my own garbanzo beans instead of buying canned. I don't think I'm ready for that yet.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Urgh. When will the madness end??

Pumpkin bread madness, that is. Seriously. This is going to have to go on my Do Not Eat list. You know the list - the one where good foods go because you just can't stop, no matter how full you are. It's gone now (burp), so it won't haunt me anymore. Ha ha...maybe I'll give everyone loaves for Christmas so you all know what kind of crack I've gotten myself into. Mwahahaha! Evil Plan #34,244 is hatched. Maybe this one will work.

And now you know why I called this blog Random Thoughts Strung Together. You can't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Urgle Burgle Burp

I have OD'd on pumpkin bread. Oh, what a glorious way to die.

*Burp*

Want to join me in heaven? Here's the recipe.

www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=234

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Potato Parmigiana, After a Fashion

So, on the drive home, I was trying to figure out what I was going to make for dinner. I wanted pizza, which would have been bad because you wouldn't believe how much pizza I can put away. So intead, I came up with this dish.

4 potatoes, washed and chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 bag frozen green beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp italian seasoning
sprinkling of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup italian-seasoned bread crumbs (or grated parmesean cheese if you'd rather)
1/2 jar pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on the bottom of a 7x9 inch pan. Dump in the potatoes, onion and green beans. drizzle with the rest of the olive oil, and put the italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper over the veggies. mix lightly with your hands to make sure everything's coated. Pour the pasta sauce over the veggies and top everything with a coating of bread crumbs. Cover and bake for about an hour, or until the potatoes are done.

Personally, I got sick of waiting after 45 minutes and nuked my serving to finish off the taters. Yeah, I'm a bad girl. Anyway, it's yummy and took care of the pizza craving. Vegan if you use the breadcrumbs. Would be fantabulous with some red wine. Wish I'd had some, actually.

Anyway. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Look at me, I'm finally blogging!

Well, well, well.

Here I am, blogging like a fiend. Only like 10 years behind everyone else.

I've been thinking for a while now about doing something a little more formal than the MySpace blogs I've been doing lately. Mainly because there are a lot of friends I'd like to share these posts with who have no interest in joining. At least this way, everyone who wants can take a gander at where ever my mind in on any given day.

So, welcome to my blog!

So.... You Want to be an Artist.

For the last several weeks, I have been working through The Artist's Way . This book has been out since the 1990's and I've been...