pink, my dear

a Midwestern, thirtysomething, working mama's blog about life, food, motherhood, Ulcerative Colitis, ostomy, and other things

As Great-Grandmother Libb says, "I like any color so long as it's pink."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

wish list

I know it's a long way off, but for my next birthday I'd like a hula hoop.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Amy says it's time for a new post.

I've had a real itch lately to expand my crafting foundations to include sewing. I crochet off and on, and I sort of knit. I have also experimented with beading/jewelry (years ago) and making stuff from felt. Sewing is the one needlecraft I've always sort of stayed away from. I guess it's partly because, um, I don't have a sewing machine. But my mom has a great one and I actually know how to use it. I did some patchwork crafts as a young teenager, but the only thing I've made from a real pattern was a giant pair of red and white polka dot boxer shorts in 8th grade Home Ec. It's time to get to work.

I bought these:

The projects in these two books are pretty basic and kind of similar, but I think they'll give me some good practice in the foundations. If you get a lopsided kitchen apron or a too-small tote bag from me for X-mas, just try to keep in mind that I worked hard on it and it's been a learning experience. You can always throw it away when I'm not looking...

PS-- In my 'dream house' I would have a dedicated room for all my crafty messes. Kind of like my very talented artist husband has his studio (albeit, a small one). Virginia Woolf was right. For now, I just have baskets, bags, totes, and boxes strewn about our living room and guest room/office/someday baby's room. They overflow with yarn and books about knitting and crochet, with hooks and needles poking out here and there. Oh, my dream house would also have a professional organizer to come in and make it all pretty and accessible. Yes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My mama's peach ginger ice cream topping

3-4 ripe peaches, diced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced (or leave it whole and take it out before serving)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 C. dry sherry

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickened. Serve over vanilla ice cream. Savor the last few days of summer.

My version of the Northstar Chicken Basil Burrito

So, I had some chopped, poached chicken in my fridge and was craving something with basil. Here goes:

1 C. cooked brown rice, warm
about 1 C. chopped, cooked chicken, warmed
4-6 med. tortillas
12-16 fresh basil leaves
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. shiracha hot chili sauce *optional
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. mango chutney or apricot preserves
Blend sauce in blender. It will be thick. If you want it thinner, add a little water and/or soy to taste. Pour half the peanut sauce over the chicken. Use the rest for dipping.

On each tortilla, lay down a large spoonful of rice, a scoop of saucy chicken, and some basil leaves. Make into scrumptious burritos. Eat and enjoy. I'd bet you could substitute the chicken with tofu and it would still be yummy.

p.s.-- all measurements are approximate.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Wheels on the Bus...

So, the school year is upon us. My husband is just days away from starting his very first year as an art teacher. Yaay! I'm not working in a school any more, so this will actually be the first time I don't have to change my schedule for the school year in, I think, six years. Wow.

Still, I have a certain amount of excitement and nostalgia for the renewed promise of a new school year. I can seen the small changes happening in my neighborhood as people prepare for the first few days back. During my high school years, especially, those last few weeks before school started were filled not only with late night adventures and last glimpses of summertime, but also with band camps (yes, I know, I went to band camp), sports practice, and a chance to regroup with old friends and make new friends. I sometimes wish we could all escape from the drudgery of everyday work/life for a couple months in the summer. It would keep things fresh.

I think it's only fitting that I include the following snippets, which, in a roundabout way, say something about the Back-to-School frenzy. These are short videos taken at the Columbus Motor Speedway , filmed (poorly) by me last Saturday, August 18, 2007. I try to go to the races at least once a year with my dad. On this particular night, the feature race (in addition to what can be generally described as a less-sophisticated,Nascar-style racing) was Figure 8 School Bus Racing. Yes, school buses racing around a figure-eight track. My brother and I can be heard cracking up on the film. It's much more entertaining in person, but you'll get the general idea:

Friday, August 17, 2007


Have I mentioned before that I really like the Ohio State Fair? I like it a lot. Well, at least, I like it enough to take a day off work to go, spend most of a day there, eat the caloric equivalent of three squares there (give or take a fried Oreo and a couple Tom Thumb donuts), tell everyone I see for a week afterward how great it was, and then blog about it. I think that's a lot.

If you haven't been to the Ohio State Fair before, here's a (buttery) taste of what you're missing:

View from the skyride. Note the parade marching past below.

One of those spinny rides I don't ride.

I would, however, buy teacups like those for my kitchen, if they came in non-giant sizes.

I owe thanks to Steph for inviting me to tag along with her group for the day at the Fair. She and I have sort of an informal tradition of attending the Fair together every year. I think it started when she was in Ohio State Fair Youth Choir and I visited her there.

About that time, I realized the Fair was much, much more than just carnival rides, cheesy demonstrations of overpriced and unnecessary kitchen gadgets, fried foods, and livestock. I mean, it is all of those things, but it's much, much more. It is hyperbole. It is summer. It is life in the Midwest. It is Uncle Sam on stilts, his legs parted like an arch while an old woman in an electric wheelchair motors under his tall legs and then pumps her fist in the air, triumphantly giving a 'thumbs up.' I swear.

And, it is this:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

lucha libre

My husband has been spending a lot of time here lately. I'm actually pretty interested in all the costumes and masks, too. Plus, there's a certain fairy-tale quality to each wrestler's persona. A luchador makes a name for himself by his character's back-story and mystique as much as by his ass-kicking moves.
As a small tribute, we turned this:
into this:

Obviously, that's the back side. We painted the whole thing magenta, though. We are still thinking about whether to write something above the doorway on the front. If our dogs were Mexican Wrestlers, what would their names be?

Monday, August 06, 2007

One year down...

Originally uploaded by Pink, My Dear
We made it through our first year of marriage! It has been a very solid year, I think. We've grown closer in subtle ways. We're learning how to communicate about the big stuff and also the little and the mundane everyday stuff. I've gone through a whole range of emotions, from elation, to loneliness, to minor boredom, to total bliss.

Coming down off the high of our wedding day (and all the momentum leading up to it) was hard for a while. I swear people started treating me differently as soon as that ring was on my finger. The phone stopped ringing. E-mails stopped coming. I'm guessing many friends and even some family just felt like we'd want some privacy and alone time as newlyweds. Unfortunately, our schedules didn't mesh very well, so that just translated into a lot of isolation and sadness for me. I didn't really feel like I could share this because a) it would make me look like an ungrateful new bride doomed to ruin her marriage and b) no one really wanted to hear it. Either their own problems far outweighed my meager complaints, or they just couldn't understand where I was coming from. I probably should've blogged then, huh? The winter months were especially rough. Changing jobs helped me and getting closer toward his teaching career helped R. These last few months have been smooth sailing.

We celebrated with a weekend away at Lake Hope. Aptly named. More about Camp Slant, the heart-carved tree, the furnace, and wedding cake later. For now, it's time to get to work. I'm gonna ride out this wave of joy until the next one picks me up again.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

in bloom

Things are coming along nicely in the garden. The zinnias(left) are blooming. I've always liked these simple flowers because they are so colorful and happy. Plus, they're pretty hardy and easy to grow.

I also have a few shasta daisies, finally. These perennials are part of the 'sacred' garden where a few Catholic devotional statues are weathering away. They're a tribute to my grandma, Annie.

Here's another kind of blossom:

These are squash or zucchini blooms, growing in our compost pile. Normal people turn their compost pile regularly (with a pitchfork or something), to prevent seeds from germinating and provide aeration to the pile. This also encourages a more steady breakdown of the material and produces compost more quickly. Now that these giant plants are taking over our compost pile, we feel kind of badly about killing them. I'm not sure I plan to eat anything that actually grows in there, but, hey, maybe I'll change my mind.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Green Thumb

This year, we planted eggplant in our garden for the first time. We don't even cook eggplant much, but I wanted to see what it would be like to grow it.

We had great success with tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, and herbs last year. Things are looking good for those plants again this summer.

Our zucchini did well for one harvest and then the plants suddenly died around mid-August. Our cucumbers (which we've replaced this year with muskmelon) did okay, but, except for one or two, they never really grew big enough to eat.

We also planted asparagus, which is now in its second season. It will take a couple more years before we can harvest it. If we tried now, we'd have one teeny tiny piece, about the size and diameter of, hmm, the stylus from a Palm Pilot. So, yeah, not big.

Our herbs are by far the most successful (probably because they're ridiculously easy to grow, very hardy, and they multiply quickly). We have several varieties of basil, including a wonderful, citrus-y lime basil and a sweeter, anise-scented Thai Magic basil. Also, we have a giant bush of sage, lemon thyme, curly and also flat-leave parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro (now it's turning to coriander), chives, fennel, and dill. We could season pretty much anything! The trick will be to use all of these delicious herbs before they go to seed and also to learn how to properly freeze and/or dry them for use during the winter months.

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