Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lobster Killah!

I recently had an experience that I feel pretty strongly a lot of people can relate to. I felt compelled to write about it and I've never felt compelled to write about anything before. However, I feel drawn to this subject like a moth to a flame and I had to write about it.
Last week, I experienced for the first time the emotional roller coaster that is eating a lobster. Can I hear an amen? I know I'm not the only one. I saw Julie and Julia...she felt bad about it too.
I was helping my friend Andrea pack up her apartment last week and as a thank you she wanted to feed me. As soon as she said she was in the mood for lobster, I began to hem and haw around the subject and throwing out excuses...
"My husband is allergic to shell fish"
"It's so expensive!"
"I've never had lobster before...what if I don't like it?"
I didn't tell her some of my more bizarre reasons, like I have a thing with dismembering a corpse and feasting on its insides and that lobsters look like giant red scorpions or that I was afraid it would come back to life while I was eating it and it would attack me. Call me a pansy, but better safe then sorry.
She deflected all of my concerns expertly, advising me to wash my hands and brush my teeth before I went home, don't worry, she had enough money, and it's ok, if I didn't like it she'd eat the rest later.

So we get to the store and she picked out two lobsters. I couldn't look. It would only make it more personal. There were two lobsters in the tank that were alive that morning who DIED because we went to to store and FOR NO OTHER REASON.

She asked the guy to steam them for us since we had packed up her kitchen already, so at least I didn't have to hear them scream. We waited around and picked up a few other things- a good loaf of bread, olive oil, olives, and nuts- to round out our meal. We chatted merrily as our meal was being boiled to death in the back (stage two and a half guilt again).

"Hey Katty, can you get the bag?"
I walked through the store, waited in line, and drove back to her house holding a bag full of warm lobster corpses. I was petrified. I knew it wasn't likely that they really would come back to life and crawl up my arm....BUT WHAT IF THEY DID??

Honestly, Andrea, you are a hard core woman. I think she was beginning to get a little irritated with me by this point because here's where I had an all out emotional breakdown.
She took them out of the bag and they still and the little rubber band thing around their lifeless claws, reminding me that they lived and died as slaves. Then she began to rip them apart and crack them open with her teeth. I couldn't look but the sound of it had me freaking out. Our friend Robbie came by at that moment, and was pretty entertained by our scene. I was convinced I could never ever ever eat these poor creatures. I began mapping out tactical strategies for sneaking into a 24 hour Kroger and liberating a tank full of lobsters. I decided I was going back to vegetarianism.

The carnage over, their poor bodies spent, I turn my head back to the table to find a pile of delicate white meat placed in front of me. I picked a piece up gingerly between my thumb and forefinger, my face scrunched up in a slight pucker of distaste. I don't know what is going to happen next.
I dip the meat in the olive oil.
Heaven, heaven, heaven.
That's where those lobsters went for making me so happy.
I am a nasty, dirty, hypocrite. I didn't quite care at the time, because I was busy throwing down that wonderful lobster.

So was it worth it? A sly smile creeps across my face as I type those words.
Yeah, kinda.
Don't hate, though.
I don't want to be a base torturer of animals, but I know that once in a while, I'm going to get a taste for it. My conclusion is, like with all animal protein I take, it should be taken sparingly and mindfully.
But maybe next time, I'll go for a lobster tail.

EDIT: A month later, I went again to New Hampshire to visit my brother with some friends. We took a day trip out to Boston where I was introduced to the concept of a Lobster Roll. It was AMAZING and I've been dying for another ever since. Here's a great recipe to try if this post has made you Lobster Crazy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'll blog on Monday, I swear.

I recently heard blogging described as being like dieting. The allusion struck me as funny because I've been going through a string of weeks where almost every day I was intending to write a post, then things got hectic, I ran out of time and I said to myself, "I'll blog tomorrow, I swear". It really was starting to feel like when I gear up to increase my excersize regimen or cut out sugar. I start the day with the best of intentions, then find myself putting it off until tomorrow.
I know I should, I know I'd feel better but.....
Sound familiar?
How do the daily bloggers do it? I truly do enjoy writing, and I have been really enjoying learning about photography, and between my etsy shop, movies, working out at my CSA, crafting, family and general spring rambles, I have plenty to blog about.
I think I'm missing an ingredient in the magic formula.
Maybe I should plan ahead?
Let's see, shall we?
Well,with the best of intentions, I sit here and mull the issue over, with all of you as my witnesses.
I'm writing now, which is good. Like with practicing my bellydancing, taking a walk, or eating a healthy balanced meal, now counts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Visit From The Faeries and Another Application for Fig Jam.

Spring days have really been rolling along over here, and with the bulk of the organizing done, we've been free to enjoy it!
Sunday was calm and enjoyable. Taking the garbage out in the back, I was greeted by a glory of violets in the back yard and distractingly beautiful satiny red tulips. I was understandably surprised, since we have lived here for five years and have never seen them before. The violets probably spread from the next yard over, which was resplendent with them, but where did those tulips come from?
Just at that time, my neighbor came out with his garbage.We puzzled over the gorgeous tulips that neither of us had planted. The elderly gentleman and I finally came to the highly logical conclusion that it was the faeries.

I found the violets to be very inspiring. I've created this brooch in honor of them and violet jelly will be made using this awesome recipe I've been dying to try from the uber-awesome Lisa at 5 Orange Potatoes.
Before going over to have Easter with Bill's family, we decided to make a treat for ourselves and to share with everyone and had a marshmallow party.

All I did was set the stuff out and the family had a blast! Bill and Gwenny were literally quivering with anticipation as I melted the chocolate.
"Is it done yet?" got asked enough times to make me pull a Papa Smurf.
Then dipping ensued to the enthusiasm of all!

After a while, the sprinkles fell by the wayside and people got fancy. It started with dipping into dark and white chocolate, artistic drizzling, and ultimately crescendoed to marshmallow art and calligraphy, using bamboo skewers as writing instruments.

After our marshmallow party, we brought our bounty to Mom and Pop Robb's to the general delight of the crowd-- don't worry, there was plenty left for us!
Other important happenings in the household recently include welcoming Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who to an uproariously delighted reception, and finding something else to do with fig jam. If anyone follows this blog closely, you may have noticed my thing with figgy jam.
My brother, during my trip to Manchester, got me hooked on this glorious substance. It has become a household staple even though it's outrageously expensive.
I wanted to share this AMAZING dressing that I improvised the other night. It's wonderful for dressing greens and I imagine it would be a fab marinade for chicken.
Katty's Orange and Fig Jam Salad Dressing
you will need:
1/4 c. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt (to taste)
small pinch each of fennel seed, mustard seed, and 3 peppercorns crushed
a pinch of dried mint
1 T Dalmation Orange and Fig Jam

Pour oil in a bowl or cup and squeeze in lemon juice. add spices and jam and mix thoroughly.
I used this to dress spring greens with a little pecorino cheese and the taste was incredible!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Springtime Sweets

I improvised an amazing desert tonight that I had to share. To quote Clifford the Dog "it's a fireworks of flavor."
I had a splendid dinner of grilled mozzarella and arugula- pesto sangwish. As always after dinner I started wanting "sumfin' sweet". I have to say that I was honestly tired of chocolate...I know, right? That almost never happens.
Suddenly the idea came together and I knew what I had to do.
Figgy jam.
I baked up a batch of shortcakes, topped them with dalmatian orange and fig jam and a dreemy pillow of whipped cream--humina, humina.
Here's my recipe for a dessert that is fit for any Easter table (or anytime really...they're just good.)

You will need:
1 1/3 c. flour, 1T baking powder, 2T sugar,pinch salt, 5T sunflower oil, 1/2 c. cream
Figgy Jam ( I used Dalmatian Orange and Fig Spread, found next to the $300 wheel of cheese at the grocery store)
Whipped cream
orange flower water

To make the shortcakes, combine the dry ingredients. Add oil and use hands or forks to work the oil in. It should look clumpy. Add the cream and cut in with forks. Roll into a log and with sharp serrated knife, cut into rounds about 1/2" thick. Place on baking stone or well greased sheet and bake at 425 about 12 minutes or until golden.
While shortcakes are baking, pour about 1T of orange flower water, 1t of vanilla and 1Tof sugar into a bowl. Pour in about 1 1/2c. whipping cream. (I eyeballed it.) Whip cream until peaks form.

Allow shortcakes to cool briefly. Then dollop on a bit of figgy jam, and drop on a biiiiiig dollop of orange flower cream on top of that. SNARF!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cincinnati Weather--WTF(udge)?

This is one single, very expressive picture that describes perfectly the weather around the Cincinnati/Northern KY area. Greenery, spring blossoms, and snow.
Walking to work on Thursday, I had my umbrella ripped apart and generally rendered useless by a torrential rainstorm. I arrived dripping wet and my shoes were sloshy all night.
Leaving work at 4am, a friend and I had a jawdropping moment when we realized it was friggin' snowing.
Seriously? Weren't we done with that?
Apparently not. In fact, I nearly slipped on my porch, which had the nerve to be icy.
The next morning I awoke to brilliant sunshine and the first thing I saw out my window was a tree, suddenly misted over with green.
Is it just us? Or is the weather just catawompus everywhere?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Visit to Manchester, NH

This week one of my sisters and I travelled to Manchester, NH to visit my brother. We were quite excited, because he's lived there a couple of years, but we hadn't seen him there yet. He usually comes by to see us. It was a real treat to see him in his new home.
Unlike myself, he is very quiet and clean and organized. His place always smells like some kind of wood or resin and he has a gift for incorporating nature effortlessly into his home without making it seem cluttered. ( I took lots of notes, as I am trying to cultivate that tendency!)
We started our first day with a glorious walk. He lives right in front of the Merrimack River and we had a ramble by the train tracks, gulping in the fresh, slightly salty air.
Speaking of gulping things down, from almost the instant we got there, until the time we left, he spoiled us with a feast of fat things! He had filled the house with olives, cheese, good bread, chocolate and wine (Pomegranate Juice for me!).

It was fortunate we took so many walks or we would have had to waddle home!
One of the coolest things we did was go to a Brazilian place. It was an all you can eat kind of place, and it was seriously dangerous! They just keep bringing you food until you tell them to stop. And then you can change your mind and get more. It was like sitting in front of the mirror of Erised in Harry Potter. I didn't know if it was real, but I didn't care.
That place should be illegal.
(They also light drinks on fire there, which is neat. My brother got one.)
We did do more than just eat awesome food, of course. We took some petty fun walks around the nearby city. We found some awesome chalk drawings.
This one was my favorite!
We also went to Myths and Maidens, one of my brothers favorite shops. I love these kinds of places, and I was especially impressed by the wall of herbs, dried flowers, and resins. To quote my brother, "They have everything but Eye of Newt".Then there was music. Always lots of music whenever we all get together. Singing, dancing, laughing, reading, and crafting together was how we spent all of our nights during our visit. That was really the best part for me.
A bowlful of myrrh gets lit on fire and we chill together. Quiet reading, bead stringing, or you tube browsing ensues. We had a fine time!
Then going home time came.
Although we were sad to part from him, we had had a wonderful time. We were anxious to see our families waiting for us at home!
I was received by this beautiful bunch of Daffies, which had bloomed during my absence and the arms of a lonely hubby!
Also, our Girl Scout cookies had come in.
It was a joyous homecoming!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Ruckle Family Music Party

My sister and I have been visiting my brother in New Hampshire this week and we've been having a blast!
I'll have plenty of pics and lots of stories to share when I get back. I wanted to share a couple of video clips.
My brother is an amazing pianist! Whenever we get together there is always music. The first clip is one of me singing a song called Uninvited- one of our favorite songs. It had a fixed place on every single mix tape I made between 1998 and 2001.
Because I like to save the best for last, the second clip is a song written by my brother and sung by my amazingly gifted sister called The Dead Are Dancing. It's a beautiful song. My brother had written it and around 1996 he taught it to my sister and she stylized it and together they made this incredible piece. It's one of my favorites...I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back on Track!

So last Monday I was ready to rip my hair out. I was fortunately spurred into action by the example of a sleepy pug dog. I thought I'd follow up with an update.
My awesome sister, Rebecca , equipped with fierce mad skillz, came by and helped me get the lead out. One afternoon with her, and it was all gravy. Supplied with an awesome playlist by the Master Mixer Gweny, the three of us were a bunch of busy bees and busted out some serious cleaning/ orgainization. As a result this week is looking much brighter. (Thanks, Rebecca.)
I can report that this Monday, I left for the Muse concert in Nashville (awesome, by the way.) with a squeaky clean conscience, because although I left my hubby and five kitties to fend for themselves overnight, I left them in an equally squeaky clean apartment.
And there was joy.
Because our old computer crashed I don't have any before pictures to show, which is probably a good thing. But here are a few after pictures. I really consider these progress pictures because I don't think I'll ever be really done. After all, no matter how clean your sink is, there will always be more dishes, so to speak.
The Maintainance section of The Great Simplify Project will never be over. Drawers and Giant Tupperware are all well and good, but they'll amount to nothing if we don't put stuff in 'em.
Yeah, I really meant it when I said this place is tiny. The space we've opened up is amazing. Visitors have been's kind of funny to see. There used to be a giant table in the middle of this room. It was very unwelcoming and did not get a lot of use. It was basically a drop off point for our stuff when we came in the house. We moved the table out and moved our desk, and bookcases in. Now the room actually has a purpsose and gets used. I call it the library. Bill calls it the mancave (I'm not sure which it the manliest part, the Twilight Themed Rag Wreath or Phantom of the Opera Figurine.) because it also houses our Star Wars stuff and the Giant Gerard Butler 300 banner that we've altered to be an advert for Orbit Gum. (for a good, clean matter what!)
Our book collection, having been ruthlessly pared down, now features only the best of the best. Books on our two shelves are now stacked only one deep and stay in place. Formerly they were stacked three deep and covered the top and were stuffed in between. A few favorite photos and trinkets have found a home here as well.
Our kitchen is now quite dainty with the addition of some of my grandma's things. These soup cups were my favorite thing in her house besides my actual grandparents. Most are in the cupboard awaiting chilly days and hot homemade soup. A few were put on display.
Our spice collection, mortar and pestle have a free standing shelf all to themselves .
Supplementing our extreme lack of counter space is a butcher block from grandma's.
This is the actual piece de resistance of the Great Simplify Project. An actual bedroom. What this is is a nook off of the side of the apartment. It's very small and the only thing that ever fit in here was our bed. We had two twin mattresses we had pushed together. It took up the whole area. We got grandma's bed, which is a bit smaller, but my sister had the brilliant idea of turning it in a different direction. Now we have room in here for a dresser and an end table and a small area rug. It's quite cozy. When Gweny walked in she stopped in her tracks and said "whoa!", we're expecting a lot of that from future guests!
The headboard of our old bed became a DVD organizer! We have a zillion and they used to just hang out in a stack on the floor. We had put them on top of a bookcase, but they were stacked three deep and way too high so movies were hard to find and always falling over. Now, everything is neat and accessible.
This is where we've opened up the most space. This was the living/crafting/computer/gaming/reading/ instruments area and believe you me there wasn't room to swing a cat! (Not that we tried.)
Putting the computer and books in the other room opened things up a lot. Adding the crafting table in the corner helped as well.
A favorite orgainizational tool in this room actualy came from my grampa's tool shed. These drawer organizers are both handmade...the one on the left is made of wooden cheese boxes! It's a real treasure.

...and a great way to store findings and supplies!

I consider us finished in the grand-scheme-of-things sense, but I still have some tweaking. For instance, my other brilliant sister, Jennifer, suggested making fabric panels to hide stuff stored underneath the crafting table...a great idea that will improve the over all look to the organized room!

It's wonderful having all this space to breathe. We feel like we got an all new apartment . We actually kind of feel like dopes that we didn't think to do this before. We've been living here 5 years and never thought to toy with furniture placement.
We're feeling a nice flow in here now. It feels less chaotic. There's more light and air.
I'm glad I was done in time for spring.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sanity is a Sleepy Pug

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately.
Two and a half months ago, I got this crazy idea that it was time to get all of the junk out of my house. I shouted "Simplify!" and charged into action.
My house is still a wreck.
We certainly haven't been lazy. We got a lot of junk out. Things were going great.
I've opened up about a cubic crapton of room that I didn't know we have. My apartment ,which I considered to be about as big as a large pocket handkerchief, is actually about as big as a large pocket handkerchief with a lot of elaborate lace trimming, so that's good to know.
But then my grandpa died and my gramma decided to break up housekeeping and live in Kansas City with my uncle. She took very little with her, so she gave most of her stuff away or sold it.
Now, at the best of times it's impossible to get out of my gramma's house without a bagful of either clothes, canned goods, or giant mayonnaise jars filled with macaroni salad being pressed into our hands with grandmotherly ferocity.
Now that she was actually moving and not wanting to take anything with her, it was boxes and furniture taking the place of frozen baggies of ravioli .
So I gamely went over and accepted things she wanted me to have-- all of her fabric and art supplies. A new easel. Grampa's stuffed reindeer wreath that sang "Gramma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" every time you walked by it.
I know I've been trying to take things out, but come on!
"Sorry gramma. I don't want awesome vintage dishes, I'm simplifying."
"That's ok. I don't have room for these schoolbooks that belonged to my great grandfather."
"I don't really need your mother's rolling pin although you taught me to roll out pasta dough using that pin while you were telling me stories of your mother. Whatever."
Are you nuts? Of course I want this stuff! I'm wildly sentimental. Plus I need it. We were getting stabbed to death by the springs popping up out of our bed.
Anyway, yesterday was the last trip. We went to pick up the bed.
So, I woke up this morning with a house full of mattresses and boxsprings and boxes and books and thought to myself....oy.
Two and a half months I spend organizing the place.
I feel like I have no time lately.
Time to walk.
I put on my hoodie and lugged the first of the old mattresses downstairs to haul out to the trash before my walk.
I got outside and almost fell over the mattress. It was warm.
Can I just tell you what an awesome day it is outside? It's hella awesome.
After hauling the stupid mattress to the stupid curb, I pushed up my sleeves and took a deep breath of the warm, springy air and started moving.
I wasted a little time thinking about all the things I need to get done, but then a mercifully comic image snapped me into a new and better train of thought.
I was passing a house with a giant picture window. In the center of the window, snug and peaceful was a pug dog taking a catlike snooze on the windowsill. The sight of it tickled me.
I stood there for a moment, appreciating the image and acknowledging the meaningfulness of this scene that I nearly passed right by.
Like the pug, I needed to find a peaceful sunny spot to rest in. Going 90 miles an hour to try and get everything done was not going to serve me. It wasn't all going to get done today. So I decided to just enjoy my walk for the present moment.
I enjoyed my half hour or so that I spent in the air and sunshine. I noted the bare trees beginning to form their hard buds and imagined those buds swelling until they burst with life and color and glorious scent. I observed strong green points beginning to shoot from the dirt, and had my breath taken away by the first crocuses glowing so purely purple and gold in a neighbor's yard that I almost stopped to knock on their door to thank them for planting them. I became excited about the transition and change the earth was going through. There may be some chilly days left, but the spring is coming slowly and in its own time.
I need to remember that, myself.
Now at home, I have thrown open the windows to let all the good, healthy air in and I've gotten the mattresses and boxsprings to the curb, and things don't seem quite as bad now that I've opened up all that room and can actually sit on my couch.
Maybe I should take another lesson from the pug and take a nap.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Katty's Pick- Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton loves me.
Platonically, of course. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but here's what I think. He was traveling incognito and found himself in Kentucky and we ran into each other and I did something awesome to impress him, not realizing he was Tim Burton. You know, like that old lady who went to this movie theater and asked the usher for a glass of water and he brought her one then the next week she died and she left all of her money to the nice kid who gave her a glass of water? I think it happened like that.
So Tim Burton went home and told Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter all about me and they decided, as reward for my general awesomeness, they would make a bunch of great movies together.
This is the only way I can explain the fact that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter would never let me walk into a bad movie. Ever. Even mediocrity is unacceptable. It has to be an amazing movie every single time. You're welcome.
All jokes aside, I know I can't reasonably take credit for how awesome all his movies are, but it's nice to dream. Sometimes it feels like that though doesn't it? Like your favorite directors and actors really just do it for you? I feel that way about Tim Burton.
Ever since my first experience with him, watching Edward Scissorhands at the multiplex theater at the California Club Mall, I've been completely besotted. Who didn't want a superpale, sensitive boyfriend who might accidentally slice you to ribbons after they saw that movie? Hands in the air, ladies!
But back on task, now. Alice in Wonderland. Let's discuss.
In this beautiful re-imagining of the classic tale by Lewis Carroll, we join Alice thirteen years after her visit to Wonderland.
Long since believing her adventures in Wonderland were but a child's dream and grieving the loss of her father, Alice is about to turn the page into womanhood and reluctantly accept the proposal of the self important, priggish son of her father's business partner.
Her morning gets curiouser and curiouser when she spies a rabbit in a waistcoat summoning her. Impulsively, she follows him back to Wonderland where she finds her friends in trouble and oppressed by the cruelty of the Red Queen.
Her friends, having anxiously waited her return, believe that Alice is the only one who can defeat the terrifying Jabberwocky and restore the White Queen back to power, ushering in the long awaited Frabjious Day.
This movie was visually absolutely glorious. The best way I can think to describe it is part Narnia, part Lord of the Rings, with a dash of Burton's famous macabre. Alice's world was fresh and light and dainty. Wonderland was fantastical, but beautifully faded from it's former glory.
And the costumes. Don't get me started. I'll gush. I'll go on at length. At Length.
I don't really need to say this because everyone already knows, but for formality's sake I'll just mention that the performances are excellent.
Of course Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter was cleverly and creatively done.
Of course Helena Bonham Carter was a total beast as the Red queen.
But here's a surprise. Crispin Glover, who is always great, was actually a bit dishy. I know, right?
I kid, I kid.
Each performance was wonderful, the actors, even though most of them were animated, acted as a cohesive unit.
I had such a wonderful time watching this movie, and yes I am a bit biased, because I went in expecting to love it, but I can approach things with an open mind. I thought Gamer was lame even though Gerard Butler was in it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fueled by Sweet Potato Fries

You guys, it's been a crazy week!

The computer crashed....not so much! But thanks to our pal Scott, we've got a loaner until we can get the issue resoved, so everyone, send Scott some good chi(~~~~~wheeee~~~~~)

Anyway all the snow is melting and everyone is talking about spring. I have been feeling a little spring-y myself and have been busy making beaded flowers and getting excited about the Muse concert I'm seeing in March. I bought those tickets at the begginging of December, and March seemed like a zillion years away. Now all of a sudden we're booking a room at the Nashville Howard Johnson's and pooling together our gas money.

Another sign that spring is just around the corner is that I'm starting to get restless with my winter foods. Winter is time for sweet 'tatoes, squashes and apples. I eat them constantly. By the the end of winter I start wanting lighter stuff. I go into what I call my transitional foods- lighter soups, pasta with veggies and stuff like that.

There is one way to prepare sweet potatoes that I can eat pretty much any time. I could eat them during a giant snowstorm (and have), or eat them in the sweltering summer (and have). I could eat them in a tree, I could eat them by the sea. I could eat them in a house, I could eat them with a mouse.

Sweet Potato Fries--tada!!

I noticed yesterday that I've eaten them for breakfast every day this week, so I decided that I just had to share the wealth and post my recipe today.

Katty's Sweet Potato Fries
you will need:
1 sweet potato
olive oil
italian seasoning
lightly crushed fennel seed

Cut the sweet potato into long sticks of desired thickness. I usually cut mine into sixths lengthwise and then turn it and do it again. Then put your potatoes in a big bowl and pour on enough oive oil to coat the fries. Then add big picnhes of salt and herbs and spices. Toss it all with your fingers to coat 'em. (Fries not fingers. But they get pretty coated, too.)
Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake in a 400 deg. oven until the fries are golden, about 15-20 mins.
I like to serve mine with a side of Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing, but that's only beacuse I think it makes everything taste better. But pick whatever dip rings your bell or eat 'em naked...I won't judge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rah! Red Alert!

Hey guys,
Just in case anybody reads this blog (I'll be totally wowed out if you do! :) ), our computer crashed and so my posts will be a bit sporadic until we get it fixed. Please, please stay tuned! I will be updating as often as I can.
Much love,
Katty <3

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Week in Pictures

I noticed my posts have been minimal this week, so I thought I'd share a few scenes from my week.

There was another epic snowstorm...which meant epic nature walks around the neighborhood!

And of course chilly girls make nice, hot, soup when they get home (like this delicious spinach, sweet potato, apple combo!)

There was :



organizing... (slowly but surely....)


And of course there is always a ton a crafting! Here's the highlight reel:

I finished a painting...

Gwenny finished her FIRST painting!!

I did my first experiment with resin (this lovely pendant is from Cynthia Thornton's inspiring book, Enchanted Adornments)...

which turned into my first resin pouring disaster...(cut to the river of resin on my craft table)
and another first...shipping out my VERY FIRST ETSY SALE! huzzah! (shameless plug :) )
I made some new pillowcases with this fun flannel I found on sale.
and made a new batch of women's cloths....
...just in time!

Whew! Add to that a full time job aaaaaaaaaand that's what I did this week!

I think I need a nap.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Katty's Pick: Shutter Island

So good. SO good. So. Good.

I have been affectionately a fan of Martin Scorsese since I saw "The Grifters" on the Channel 33 Saturday Movie Matinee when I was 13. I remember being completely appalled that the 3/6 mafia won an Oscar before he did...with respect to the 3/6 mafia of course- but Scorsese's been in the game longer. (Got to keep myself in check, just in case a member of the 3/6 mafia is a blog reader.)
Leonardo Dicaprio came later. I don't know why, but it took me a long time to take him seriously as an actor. (I'm currently going through the same thing now with Zac Efron. ) Even after I fell in lurve with Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet, I regarded him as just another Hollywood Pretty Boy. I finally got around to seeing "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" when I was about 22 (thanks again, Kristen. I could give a list of awesome movies as long as my arm that she introduced me to when we lived together.) and I finally hopped full on, ring a ding- ding, to the Leo Train.
Sorry it took me so long Leo.

Anyway, enough with the back story. The short version: Marty and Leo are my dawgs and I knew they wouldn't do me dirty.
Set in the early 50's, Ted (DiCaprio) and Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) are two federal marshals assigned to the case of a missing patient at Shutter Island, a maximum security mental institution for the criminally insane.
Ted gets suspicious as the doctors in charge are less than cooperative and everyone from the nurses to the patients seem to be hiding a secret. Determined to find out what's happening at Shutter Island, Ted plays an intriguing game of cat and mouse with the head doctor (Ben Kingsley) while struggling with sudden migraines and hallucinations of his own grisly past.
The only way out is a ferry controlled by the authorities that seem quite determined to keep him there. Will Ted and Chuck ever make it out to the real world again?

Scorsese really went old school in the making of this movie. Everything from cinematography to screenplay to soundtrack was classic film noir. His direction as always was brilliant as was the well crafted story.
I usually pride myself on guessing the twist of a movie either from the trailer or in the first hour of the feature. I actually guessed the twist from the trailer and was still fooled. Scorsese's brilliantly concealed hints only served to intrigue me instead of reassuring me of my previous convictions of how the story might end. I was continually led away from those convictions until the moment the truth came out-- I was happily surprised I'd been right in the beginning and delighted I'd been fooled so effectively.
A word of caution though- I was extremely glad I did not have to watch this alone as there were lots of creepy moments and intense silences.
All in all I loved it and can't wait to see it again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ode To The Humble Icicle

I'm the kind of person who believes everything happens for a reason. God moves in mysterious ways, so who am I to complain when something goes wrong? Over and over I've seen Lady Fate turn frowns upside down.
The week before last, I had a cute little post planned with cute little icicle pictures. Then life got in my way and something real happened and I posted about that instead.
Now I know why fate prevented me from posting my icicle pictures by distracting me with a bad morning. Because there was a HUGE HONKING SNOWSTORM COMING THAT WOULD RESULT IN MINDBLOWING UBER- CICLES!!!!! and great would be my glee.

Now I love, love, love snow. I grew up in Miami, whose last snow had been in the early 70's and it didn't stick. A move to Ohio in my teens made the magical wintry wonderlands of my dreams a reality. Snow! Real snow! It looked just like it did on the Cream of Wheat commercials.
However, I have developed a deep, unexpected passion for another of Old Man Winter's creations.

The icicle.
Winter's second banana.
About two weeks before I saw my first snow, I saw my first ice storm. I woke up one day to find everything out side covered in a sheet of ice. I went out to walk in it. (Walking a lot like Maggie Simpson, but you know.)
When I wasn't too distracted with falling on my face, I was observing the fine fringes of icicles suspended from the phone lines, touching everything I could reach, and generally getting my socks knocked off with how gorgeous everything was. I remember imagining that a fairy had come and worked a spell, covering the world with glass. I remember particularly a bush, bare of leaves but dotted with bright red berries, jewel-like in their glossy coating of ice and thinking it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
I was in love.
Oh, the humble icicle. I adore them all, from the fine fairy-like fringe to the gigantoid rippley mutant-cicles...and my house is lousy with them!

I have to brag just a little. Our house has the best icicles in the neighborhood. A few days after a big snow there's a big rippley sheet running down the front of the house. It's the world's most awesome reminder that the gutters need to be done.

As awesome as the front of the house is, though, my favorite icicle spot in the neighborhood is behind the grocery store. The front lot is a blanket of glittering snow marked by a few Kentucky proud teens who run doughnuts in the parking lot shouting "WOOOOOOOO!"

In the back however is a cut in the hill and clinging to the rocky slope is a friggin' majesty of icicles. Icicles of every shape, size and type. A show in and of itself, I could sit there for hours in complete wonder of this icy fairyland behind the Kroger.

Oh, the humble icicle. How I love thee.