spectating participant

October 29, 2007

Alex’s Halloween Costume

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 7:19 pm

Tokine - Alex

Originally uploaded by xixstar

When I asked Alex what she wanted to be for Halloween, she was very set on being Tokine from the Kekkaishi manga. Finding pictures good enough to make a costume from was harder than she expected, but she managed to find me a few that worked pretty well.

I used these photos as a guide for the costume:

At first, I was kinda disappointed because it was such an easy costume to make. It is a basic kimono top, very full shorts/pants, and arm and leg warmers. Alex picked a satin-y, glittery fabric (for only $2.50 a yard, woot) and the whole costume was less than $20.

But it still turned out pretty good and I think she’ll be wearing it for a while now. She’s already talking about wearing it to PDF because she wants to see how it looks under blacklight.

Next year’s costume is currently projected to be Nausicaa from Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind. Perhaps we’ll decided to go to Otakon and I’ll make some coordinating costumes.

[posted via BlogThis on flickr]

October 26, 2007

clean craft room

Filed under: creative, crafts, costumes — suzanne henderson @ 2:50 pm

it’s sad when you’re working on lots of projects but don’t feel like taking documentary types of photos because your space is such a mess. Alex is still working on her book report bag project and I’m having to peel away little corners of space to finish her costume — mine is already done.

As for my costume, I’ve decided that it is way too boring for a burner Halloween party. So, if the table gets cleared off and Alex’s costume completed, I’ll be scrambling to make another costume for Saturday’s party and will wear the first one all day on Halloween instead.

Alex - Book Report Bag

October 25, 2007

pox on pests

Filed under: house — suzanne henderson @ 11:05 pm

Wow, I didn’t realizing that I’d feel almost as much protective passion about my house as I do about my family. This evening there came a scratching, a scritch-scatch-scratching at my subfloor. Anger brewed and hissed, pissed at what could be knawing away at my house. A mouse, for sure, a mouse is crawling and chewing it’s way through my floor. I’m one angry woman, pounding and banging, to no relief, and the scripptiy-scratch keeps nipping at my patience for mother nature galore.

So, I did what I could do, pulled out the traps we needed earlier this summer, armed em up and deployed the troops. While I look forward to some morning death-delight, I really just want to grab a hammer and pulverize a small little creature that wants in out of the wet, chill air.

October 23, 2007

bread rising

Filed under: cooking, food — suzanne henderson @ 2:08 pm

I’m working on my first whole-wheat sandwich loaf right now. I decided to give the recipe on the side of the bag a try since it was accessible and simple looking. I was a bit shocked that this one recipe (doubled to make two loaves) took almost half the bag of flour - wow. If I keep this up, we’ll be needing some serious flour containers and purchases to make sure we always have some on hand. This is supposed to be our sandwich bread for the week, hence two loaves because I know we’ll end up gobbling up the first one for snacks.

In other bread baking news, I made some yummy Buttermilk dinner rolls from the Bread Bible Book. They were super fantastic and yummy, though Alex and Chris both commented about them having a slightly funny taste — maybe it was the homemade buttermilk (milk and vinegar) I used. Warm from the oven, they didn’t even need butter - but butter made them oh so yummy. They lasted for a couple days (just as good as the first day); the recipe called for 16 rolls that we’re actually much larger than they needed to be. Next time, I’ll opt for slightly smaller rolls.

A few days before that I made a recipe from The Bread Bakers Apprentice and shaped the loaves into rolls (Chris wants to know what’s up with this roll obsession) and they were very crusty and good. However, they would have been much better as larger loaves because of the crustiness. I think I ended up making about 16 rolls, but they ended up being way too dense after a day or two (they were more like french bread). I think Alex still ate them anyways, but next time I’ll make them into loaves. This bread called for a pre-ferment dough (basically a partially made dough that you let rise overnight) and the my first attempt was too wet, judging by appearances, so I made a second batch that worked perfectly. I just threw the first attempt away, it’d been resting away in the fridge for over a week now and didn’t seem worth testing out in a loaf.

Over obsessing as always, I jumped into this bread thing over my head. I read some awesome books: The Bread Makers Apprentice, Crust and Crumb, and a bok on multi-grain breads by the same author. These books really take bread making to a new, and time consuming, level. Striving for perfection, I wanted to start there and keep going. However, after my first recipe attempt and all the hoop jumping to make a truly excellent bread — I’ve decided to go back to simpler processes and recipes. I’ll retain the weights versus measures for scooping flour, but no more of this steam bath and spraying the oven walls with water to get the perfect crust. I’m sure I’ll be able to manage excellent bread without all that hoopla (and judging by the awesome buttermilk rolls, I know it doesn’t have to be so complicated).

I’m gonna try a sour dough bread next - I had french toast made with sourdough that was oh so yummy and want to see if I can make it at home. I also want to work on some multi-grain breads, but will wait and see how the whole-wheat loaf bread turns out. It doesn’t make much sense to spend all this time making bread if I’m just going to be turning out nutrition-lacking white breads.

October 20, 2007


Filed under: house, family, life — suzanne henderson @ 4:39 pm

I’ve had a hard time getting moving on getting things done lately. I recently bought Rescue Remedy, a natural anti-anxiety/stress reliever, and have found it to be pretty useful today. I got over my intense fear or dislike of getting work done when anyone is around and have managed to get the pantry mostly dissembled, reconfigured, and reorganized so that I may finally get my kitchen unpacked. I plan to whip up a very, very yummy dinner tonight as a reward for staying home. Steak au Poive, mashed potatoes, pan roasted broccoli, and homemade dinner rolls.

Chris is almost always getting stuff done and today is no different. He welded up a homemade paint remover dip tank for stripping the paint off window stops and trims. I need to post a pic, it’s pretty neat. He’s been working on getting paint stripped — far faster than I’ve been painting — and also welding a few tiny pin holes they we found in our freecycled fuel tank. It’s getting about time for us to get the tank switched out and get it filled up for winter and he’s been busy cleaning the “new” tank out in preparation for welding the holes. Somehow, in the middle of all this, he’s also managed to de-rust-ify the shelves of this tiny little freezer we got from the neighbor and I plan to start making double batch dinners so I have something in the freezer than will geed us when I don’t feel like cooking. Plus, we need to start stocking up on sale items to help stretch our dollars a little further too.

Overall, it’s turning out to be a pretty productive day. I guess I better get this bread started and finish putting the pantry back together.

October 15, 2007

Honest Numbers? 208!

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 10:54 am


Originally uploaded by xixstar

In my seemingly endless number of passions, I’ve bee reading one of my favorite sites on Fat Issues — Big Fat Blog. There is often a lot of great stuff there that really resonates with me and I’m often rambling on about to Chris. But, I notice that I rarely drag it out publicly and I’m pretty sure I know why.

What recently caught my attention was a link to a site call The Rotound (therotound.com) where a fat woman posted a full length photo of herself and asked people to guess her height and weight. The results were interesting, not just because so many people were so off in their guesses, but because some guesses came with “well, you’re the same size as my wife, so you must be [some number less than 200]”. This woman weights 314 pounds — to be getting guesses below 200 is scary to me, especially when someone is saying that she looks like like their partner.

The Rotound draws this into an issue where people are so afraid of real numbers and saying how old they are and how much they weight. So, I figured I’m jump on board, being a pretty big advocate of using real numbers, and let the world know that I am a 5′9 woman, I weigh 208 pounds, and am 27 years old.

208!! I am fat, and medically obese too, which I find rather amusing because most charts I’ve read said I started being obse when I crossed then 180 mark — oh so very long ago. In fact, an ideal weight suggested by many charts tried to make me think that 150 is my magic number. I am sickly, stickly at 150 and I much prefer the curves of fat over the stabs of bone.

But, charts are changing a lot these days (latest one I read put me at obese 5 pounds ago)– people say it’s just cause we’re getting fatter as a nation. Perhaps, or maybe some reality has struck people. And, even though I know that I’m fat, I still feel sexy when I get all dressed up.

But, it’d be a lie to imply that I don’t wish to be thinner, I do, and have worked toward that off and on over the past few years. I plan to finally pick up my exercise routine again, which never really made much of weight difference before, it just made me happier in general. I refuse to diet because I know that I eat well.

So yeah, I weight more than 200 pounds, and I have for the past 2 years. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that down with increased exercise, but if not, I’m mostly okay with that (honesty here). I’ll happily trade more muscle mass for fat, but I’m not interested in being any less curvy and cuddly.

[posted via BlogThis on flickr]

October 14, 2007

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bars

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 1:08 pm

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bars

Originally uploaded by xixstar

At 9:00 p.m., Chris started giving me flack for the fact that I haven’t made anything with my next mixer yet. While I did whip up some sweet potato biscuits, I did it by hand and left my pristine, clean mixer sitting idle.

So, we scoured several cookbooks that were laying around and finally decided to give a recipe from “Cookies for Christmas” as try. Next time, I’ll opt for a yummier recipe, this wasn’t bad but also not that good either.

Of course, by the time they came out of the oven, Chris was already in for a 12 hour fast and couldn’t try one - hehehe. Too bad he wasn’t missing much. I’m supposed to start on some bread today, but I’m not quite motivated enough yet.

[posted via BlogThis on flickr]

October 9, 2007

PDF Fall 2007 - the nitty gritty details

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 3:55 pm

The Good:

  • being organized and having all the food, clothes, and camp gear we needed
  • making and serving bread bowls with beef stew
  • newbie neighbors helping us unload the van, took minutes to unload what took an hour or so to pack
  • hanging out with friends
  • having a last-minute workshops idea and lots of people showing up (even had to turn some away!)
  • watching the kids totally grok the pdf photo scavenger hunt and come up with the coolest interpertations ever
  • bringing a beer keg tap to PDF and someone actually asking if they could use it!!! that is being prepared!
  • having all the food prepared ahead of time and every meal just taking a few minutes to pull together
  • oatmeal, glorious oatmeal
  • talking about next burn and the great things we can make happen
  • putting on my stilts after years of being afraid to try them again— even though I’ve brought them to every pdf since
  • having a long over-due conversation with a close friend and settling some more stuff
  • chris washing dishes, over and over again
  • pack it in and pack it out — our trash came home with us
  • sharing yummy food with appreciative folk — and even making sure some vegetarians were happy too (sorry vegans, next time)
  • the lack of rain, though I thought the wet-wet dew was natures sense of humor reminding us of what we we’re missing
  • not having bathe in bug spray or put the bug screens on the shade structure
  • alex tromping around in my tall boots
  • actually putting effort into getting dressed up, including my tall boots
  • friends wanting us to camp with them at pdf
  • great compliments on a well run camp
  • the vets not getting too uppity about some issues and just making a point and then letting it lie
  • actually taking the time to check out the stars
  • the s’mores, even if the fire was hot hot hot
  • cooking hot dogs in open flame, a simple meal that made the s’mores all the better
  • burning myself with my poi in a few places, it’d been a while since I’d bothered lighting them up at all

the bad:

  • my container of spice shredded cheese cracking in the cooler and filling with water
  • the failure to actually get more ice on Sunday and thus losing lots of yummy food
  • some participant stupidity that I wish simply hadn’t happened

the ugly:

  • forgetting to rinse the containers that we didn’t wash on-site, eeeew

October 3, 2007

about last night dinner…

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 9:40 am

it ended up tasting great! Now I have tons leftover and am thinking that a big pot of hearty beef stew may be the perfect thing to take to PDF. My only gripe is the space it’d take up in the cooler and fear that I won’t be able to give it all away in one try. Though, I’ve never really had a problem giving away any food, especially yummy stuff. :)

I actually need to be packing to pdf, right now, since it looks like I’ll actually be leaving in the morning and Chris is just on his own driving out after his meeting. Yay, this means we get to bring more stuff, including the burn barrel if it hasn’t rusted through. Woot, great news and the weather is looking pretty nice too!!!

October 2, 2007

got something on the stove

Filed under: cooking, food — suzanne henderson @ 6:18 pm

simmering in an big ol’ dutch oven….

and it smells terrible, looks terrible, and I’m afraid it taste terrible too.

argh, will be very disappointed if I’ve wasted three pound of meat along with heck of a lot of veggies. sigh.

most of the time, experiments work out just fine. sometimes, this happens.

tried to spruce it up a bit more, we’ll see what happens, in the end, we’ll be eating whatever it is.

if it sucks, chris has a yucky week of lunches ahead, thankfully he’ll eat stuff even if it isn’t any good — I’m not envious of that ability, give me food that tastes good, thanks.

October 1, 2007

sometimes walking

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 6:41 pm

sometimes it seems like i’m walking next to life.
just striding with time, not quite there, and want to stop watching.
stop watching, stop walking, and jump back in.
the bridge walks with me, reminding me to step, jump, heck - trip and fall back into life.
for now I wait, for what, I’m not sure, before putting that foot forward.
where is the catalyst, why do I need to wait for it anyway.
if it’s so easy to slip out of consciousness, shouldn’t it be so easy to return.
where is that mental re-set or kick-in-the-butt switch…