Friday, November 2, 2012

Half Assed Crafts on Half Wit Rambles

I am all about crafting AND I love doing things half assed; usually the two of these things don't go together well, however today those two things came together and they are beeeeeautiful.

Behold, the Half Assed Bird Feeder; you can make it and say your kid did it, that way people won't judge you too harshly on your crafting skills OR you can tell them you drank a bottle of wine and did it, either way you are free from judgement-at least from me-unless you're drinking Mogen David wine and then you deserved to be judged, harshly, but I digress, let's get back to the "HABF" (you can pinterest the shit out of this blog post, it deserves to be pinned repeatedly with comments like "<3 <3" and "omg EASY" and "HABF OMGOMG!" things like that)

Here's what you need to make the HABF:

+An old reusuable bowl, particularly a wide but not very deep square container-use one that got kind of cruddy in the microwave or has a funny smell-birds don't care!

+A Phillips head screw driver

+Some sort of flame to heat the tip of the screwdriver up

+Yarn or twine or strong string

+Pony beads (optional)

+Bird seed

+A desire to feed birds

Heat the tip of the screwdriver and poke four holes in the bottom of the bowl; use yarn to make a hanger for it; you'll see in the pictures below how I did it. I also put pony beads on the bottom of the string to stabilize it a bit and to make it hang a bit more levelly. Tie those bad boys up into one main knot so you can hang it from a tree or whatever you want to hang it from, fill it with birdseed and voila! You have yourself a half assed, yet totally functional birdfeeder!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Puppy Love

I remember my first puppy love plain as day. His name was Brian and he was an older man (by a whopping year). He was from out of state; he came to our little Michigan town each summer for two weeks of sheer boredom, that is, until he met ME! Brian’s grandmother, whom coincidentally, I shared a birthday with, was a member of our church and introduced us. I think I was 11 and I was instantly smitten. He was so worldly and knowledgeable, after all, he’d taken a PLANE to get to Michigan from the ultra cool state of Arizona. I looked forward to those two weeks of the year all year long. As soon as he left, I’d start counting down the days until he returned. We wrote lengthy letters to one another all through the year, mostly about nonsense. He’d write about the music I should listen to and send photos of his always changing looks-purple hair and piercing in one, black hair and make up in another. He was so deliciously weird that I couldn’t help but feel special every time I got a thick packet from him or he came to visit. We got into all sorts of stupid trouble together, all of it harmless, but most definitely the things memories were made of. He played the electric guitar, loudly, to announce his presence in town (his grandma lived relatively close to our house) and we’d walk and talk and talk and talk.

He came every summer without fail until the summer of my senior year. As I slaved away making pizzas in the only “chain” restaurant in town, I started to hear people talk about the weirdo with purple hair and chains they’d seen in town earlier that day. One of my coworkers came in and excitedly told everyone about this guy he’d seen; he was pierced and tattooed and was so odd looking. He was so exotic (at least in our little town that is) he was the topic of conversation…and he was looking for ME! ME! I’m not sure if I’ve ever worked that quickly to get shift work done so I could go find him. Our last visit, however, was marred with some ugliness. Ugliness that for years has bothered me and I think, bothered the people involved.

You have to remember this was in the mid 90’s. Fag was a common insult, being gay was considered weird, bad, and wrong and looking differently than the people in my town immediately made you all of those things (which doesn’t make any sense, but I suppose it did in 17 year old boys’ minds) Brian and I were harassed by some of my classmates who thought it would be hilarious to make fun of him. They’d followed him around and later proceeded to follow us and threaten violence against him because he was, in their mind, gay. I know that the people involved were incredibly ashamed of their behavior, but it didn’t matter at that point, Brian never came back and eventually we lost touch as we went our separate ways. A few years ago, I found him online and we reconnected but neither of us was the person we were when we were young. The carefree, exotic, worldly boy he was had turned into a weary man, downtrodden by addiction and life choices that turned out to have massive negative repercussions. The small town girl turned into a big city girl, one who gained massive confidence at college and went onto to teach and have a family and be exotic herself to those she came in contact with from “the old days”.

Oh but those summers were something wonderful; thinking about them always makes me smile. We were carefree and having fun and didn’t think about anything else but those two weeks every year. Occasionally when I go home, I pass his grandmother’s house (she’s long gone by now, almost 20 years now) and think of those days. If I try hard enough I can even hear Brian’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” being played on the electric guitar and I have the urge to throw on flip flops, run down the alley and just start talking, talking, talking to someone who truly understood me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The First Post is the Hardest Post

I’m starting a new endeavor; I’m going to be a food blogger! Scanning through the exhaustive list of blogs I regularly read, I see that a lot of them revolve around food. I need to get in on that business. Let’s see, according to “How to blog about everything and be successful” (A forthcoming book in my new series, “How to *insert thing here* and be successful”)

The author suggests the following things:

-Use large, pretentious sounding words when describing your recipe
-Take many many pictures of the entire process
-Use awesome angles when photographing things so people will think “oh man, they must REALLY be awesome”
-Use only the highest quality ingredients and pots and pans regardless of budget, you are TRYING to be successful after all
-Post your blog link exhaustively on every social media site you can find, leave links to your blog on every blog you can comment on, and tell passersby at the library, star bucks, etc about your amazing blog-hand out business cards with the address on it-remember cost is nothing when it comes to the success you’ll garner with this blog.

Today we’ll be making the most stupendous, scrumtralescent enriched semolina macaroni and full dairy cheese. (large, pretentious sounding words as descriptors? CHECK)

Your ingredient list is as follows:
*One pound of pasta. If you’re a REAL cook, you’ll buy  yourself a pasta machine and make the pasta by hand, only slackers use boxed pasta. HOWEVER if you have to buy your pasta (slacker) Try to go to a specialty store, they’re really expensive there. I’d suggest Williams-Sonoma as they are my favorite expensive specialty store to go to.

*2 cups of whole fat, organically raised, non pasteurized milk fresh from YOUR cow. Can’t get it from the cow (see above, SLACKER) any milk will be fine, I suppose.

*Cheese, lots and lots of cheese. Go to a specialty store and spend about $20 per pound on parmesan cheese-you’ll only use about a quarter of a cup of it, so feel free to send the leftover cheese to me. You’ll need a pound of grated cheddar cheese. Preferably cheese you either a) made yourself b) bought from a local dairy or c) cheese from a grocery store (remember only slackers do things like buy ingredients from chain stores)

*Flour, around a cup. Only whole grain, ground at home flour will work in this recipe, if you don’t have that, you’re sol and will need to use store bought flour.

*One stick of butter, preferably European unsalted butter that costs around $8 per pound. If you don’t want to pay for the best, you’re not going to eat the best, I’m just saying.

*Salt and pepper (I’m sorry I don’t have anything jerky to say here, salt and pepper are salt and pepper)

First, cook your pasta al dente. If you don’t know what al dente means, you probably shouldn’t be making pasta. While your pasta drains, start making a roux, again, if you are not familiar with the word roux, go get yourself some kraft mac and cheese and go from there. While your butter melts, sprinkle flour over it to thicken it. Add milk in gradual increments to make a nice  milky roux. You’ll add a bit of salt and pepper to taste then start to melt your cheese into the milk roux. At this point, it’s good to start taking many many pictures. You’ll want to be able to post this on your OWN food blog after successfully making it. As your milk mixture gets cheesier, taste it to be sure it’s properly seasoned, I like to add a little bit of garlic at this point, but that’s because I have rather refined taste buds.

Mix in your pasta, it should be creamy and gooey and delicious looking. Try not to eat it all from the pot you savage. After it’s mixed well, put it into a 9 by 13 pan that’s been buttered. You can put breadcrumbs on top if you’d like or another layer of cheese. Bake it at 350 until the top is bubbly and golden. Try to take at least seven or eight pictures of the mac and cheese as it cooks (again, for YOUR blog) Remove it from the oven and serve it on your finest china with the best silver you can find. Pair it with a green salad made of your own organically grown ingredients and a nice crusty bread or foccacia that you, of course, made yourself.

Ok, so it would appear that I’ve followed the steps to a t, now to promote this entry exhaustively and become a successful food blogger. Why are you laughing? There are successful food bloggers out there. Stay tuned for my next how to entry, when I teach you how to start your own photography business from your house using free programs to edit your “work”

*Please note that while I advocate taking multiple artsy photos of your cooking process I rarely do it because I am a hot mess in the kitchen, but please remember to be the most successful food blogger ever, you'll need pictures


Welcome to my new blog; it's an offshoot of The Family Blog. I'll be posting things like annoyingly pretentious recipes, horrible pictures of food, crafting things, as well as blogging about topics that interest me but may not be completely related to my children or family. I'm excited to get this started, I've been drafting entries since about June for this blog and am quite excited to actually get it online! Stay tuned for entries coming soon and if you like me (and quite frankly who DOESN'T like me!?) please share me :)