Friday, August 22, 2008


I have been living a lie. I have to come clean. It's been bothering me for a month now.

Remember when I wrote about my sauerkraut?

I am ashamed to admit, my fermentation experiment failed.

Five times.

After the first time it failed, I tried again, which was when I wrote the original post. But that batch failed too. And the next. And the next.

What is worse, is that each time I made a new batch, I would make a slightly bigger batch, because I would think to myself "Well, *now* I know what needs to be done. This batch will work." Except that one would die too.

And the pattern was generally the same each time. The cabbage would happily bubble and ferment for about a week and a half. Then, it would stop. Just stop. I would be left with a big vat of slightly sour but mostly salty cabbage. We would leave the vat of it on the counter where I would look at it with the shame of a parent whose child turned out to be a serial killer dog molester.

After we had finally decided that it was, indeed, not ever going to turn into sauerkraut, Mr. H would take it out to the compost bin (which is now about 5 inches of non-fermenting decomposing cabbage). I have gone through approximately 40 pounds of cabbage over these few months. Thank goodness it is cheap.

I have one vat still sitting on my counter awaiting my final time of death. I think I'm giving up on this one for a while. I need to step away.

Turn on the funeral dirge.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boat pictures...

I realized the other day that I posted about our cruise, but did not post any pictures of our trip.

Sailing is not for everyone. Sometimes, I even wonder if it is for me (that is generally when we get caught in a storm or it's really windy). However, when you wake up after anchoring in the middle of the lake, and you get to sit out and watch the sun come up over the water - then you realize what a beautiful hobby it can be.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back to school sandwiches...

I love back to school time. I love school supplies. I love the (idea of) organizing and re-organizing. More than New Year's, the beginning of school signifies to me a fresh start. A new school year, new teachers, new things to learn, new pens... ahhh... it just rejuvenates me.

Except this is the first year it is totally vicarious. This is my first post-graduation-no-school-in-sight-for-me autumn. Bummer. I keep looking longingly at the school supplies and dorm organizers.

The Marvelous Miss Thing starts school this week. First grade. Big time. Her school does not offer cafeteria services, with the exception of the importing of fast food every day. I'm not real excited about that prospect, and quite honestly Miss Thing isn't a huge fast food fan. She likes a hamburger, but isn't thrilled with pizza and has some sort of recessive gene that makes her *gasp*. Clearly, not my good Irish Catholic genes in which we ate potatoes with every meal, and french fries were the top of the potato "yum" chart.

I have been trying to come up with more nutritious yet convenient and portable lunches. The one thing she begged for at the store were those little round pre-cut frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Well, looking at the price, I figured I could make those puppies at half the cost, plus, by using my homemade peanut butter and jelly, I was cutting down on all that other crap they put in it.

Two squishy white pieces of bread (I let the bread slide. I'm not going to use good bread for this project) cut out with a water chestnut can. Peanut butter on both sides. A spoonful of jelly in the center. (It helps if you kind of squish the bread a little bit)
Seal the two slices of bread with the tines of a fork and pop in the freezer. Puffy white PB&Js. They defrost easily. Heck, Miss Thing eats them frozen.

I felt like a super genius after this little project.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My big bald bird...

About three months ago, we noticed what we considered to be an odd site. A male cardinal hopping around our back yard appeared to be going bald. At first, he had a few feather on the top of his head, but as the summer progressed, he eventually went completely bald.

Apparently baldness is not deterrent in cardinal sex appeal, because he had a mate (I understand this, as Mr. H has completely shaved his head). We frequently see the two of them at our feeders in the back yard.

I thought this little guy was doomed. And that we had witnessed some bizarre twist of nature. Little did I know that this is a relatively common thing. Seriously.

I tried to take a picture of our little guy, but couldn't get a close enough shot.

Turns out, I don't need to given the plethora of information about bald cardinals...

The internet is a beautiful thing...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Boat knitting.

We got back from our ten days on the lake late Satuday. One consequence of being on a boat for so long is that when you get back on dry land, everything still moves as if you were still on the water. Particularly if the ride was bumpy and/or wavy, which our trip was. I think I spent most of the sailing portions of our trip feeling nausous. Not fun.

I did get some knitting in on the trip over. I finished the presents for Miss G. for her birthday/boat trip including this little shawl (man, what a pain it was to finally get that done. I tried knitting it in another yarn using a different pattern and couldn't get it right. Improvised, and it looks adorable).

I learned from this shawlet that bulky yarns can be very fun and fast to knit up, that I am a combined knitter at heart.