danagryphon: (Glee)
There are several people in my life right now who deserve this song. Some of them are being incredibly Brave, dealing with things that are so hard, I can't help be immensely proud to know them.
Brave )
danagryphon: (Autumn)
So, there was this Turkey Day thingy. As they already mentioned, [livejournal.com profile] calygrey (and Spare) and [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 came and partook. Along with my neighbor/friend and her daughter. And my boys were both there for dinner (and hubby, of course). After dinner, Himself came and picked up the boys, and that left the adults to sit around and play Apples to Apples and drink. Good times!

The dinner itself went off well. Brining the turkey (my first time doing it) was a definite win (as was shoving a bunch of butter up under the skin over the breast), so I'll be doing that again. I still have a good amount of leftover turkey from the 21 pound bird I cooked, but that just means more croquettes for Shire Yule in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, it'll get ground up and frozen (it thaws more easily ground up beforehand) until it is needed. The rest of the leftovers are mostly gone, though, so that's also a win. I'll have to do more mashed potatoes closer to the event anyway to make potato candy. I think the left over sweet potatoes are going to get pureed and frozen for later usage. That should all get done tonight, since I don't like to leave anything more than a week. And I still need to get a second turkey to cook for plain turkey for the Shire Yule ([livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 is making a ham, so meats are taken care of).

M and I are going away this weekend down to the Cape for a Shrine (as opposed to Shire) event—their Holiday party and awards banquet. This is the first time I'm going with M to this particular event, as part of my "try to be more involved with hubby's interests". And besides, there's an indoor pool and a hot tub at the hotel. And booze. There's a reason that the party lasts the whole weekend! Anyway, in preparation for that, I need to alter a green taffeta dress that I last wore before my GB surgery, so it needs to be taken in quite a bit. But considering that it had to be *let out* when I bought it as a bridesmaid's dress ages ago, it's not really a big deal. And I'm going to shorten it from a floor length gown to a knee-length party dress, and use the extra material I cut off the bottom to make a wrap for my shoulders, since it's also sleeveless. I think it'll be perfect for a semi-fancy holiday party (M is wearing a suit, but not a tux).

College Boy got back to college just fine on Sunday (Himself took him), then overslept and missed his only class on Monday. Sigh. Younger Child continues to court death between the homework procrastination and the "omg-I-need-a-last-minute-costume-item-for-the-play" (keeping in mind, I've been asking him for WEEKS if he has all the pieces he needs for his costume). Since I won't be around this weekend for any of the performances, I'm going to attend the last dress rehearsal tomorrow night so I can at least see the whole show and his performance. I'm also ordering the DVD that they plan to make of one of the performances.

Got good progress made on some projects at the Better Than Black Friday Craft Project Day. Got Hubby's hobo/clown costume done, started a new piece of garb for E, got some leatherwork done. Looks like E will get new garb for the Yule events, and I will wear my Big Russian Holiday Ornament Coat yet again. But that's ok. It's shiny. No, literally. Shiny. About 20 yards of gold braid trim. And gemstones. And pearls. And it's not done yet. Maybe I'll get more added to it before BBM Yule, but it's definitely at the bottom of the (very long) list of projects.

On the writing front, look for a new story to go up by the end of the week. I'm finishing my slashy PotA story (totally soppy self-indulgent angst-fest that it is). It's cathartic for me, and I don't know if anyone in the world will be interested in reading it. But it'll be done. Many, many deadlines for other fanfics and some fanart (yes, I'm taking that plunge) are coming up, so busy Gryph will be busy. Like that's any change.
danagryphon: (House OMG)
For my BFF [livejournal.com profile] kassidy62; don't worry, girl, I'll be right there with you in another 3 years.

danagryphon: (House OMG)
For my BFF [livejournal.com profile] kassidy62; don't worry, girl, I'll be right there with you in another 3 years.

danagryphon: (Default)
So yesterday was our Shire's annual Middle Eastern Hafla event, and I volunteered to do the cooking again. But, as a wonderful surprise, [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina asked if she could be my co-cook! Fantabulous! She had never cooked for an SCA event before, but she had the street cred for doing middle eastern because she grew up in the Mediterranian, making and eating a lot of the same types of foods.

She asked to do a bunch of appetizers and one main dish (a fish dish that she was dying to try). Oh, oh, please, twist my arm. I like cooking M.E. main dishes, but hate doing all the relishes and pickles and other nibbles that really make the meal over the top fabulous. So with that mutually satisfying division of labor, we were off to the races.

Wow, just wow. The appetizer plates were AMAZING. I helped her with a grand total of ONE of them, a Persian tortellini (and then only because I had a pasta roller). The rest, she did all on her own. Plus, she did something like 4 dessert items. Now, [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox provided baklava and turkish delight and semolina cake for dessert, not to mention the all the bread, because she is crazy insane baking lady who is just too incredibly wonderful for words. Plus Toi and [livejournal.com profile] calygrey did a dessert subtlety that was adorable. So we had the most amazing selection of desserts as well.

So what did I make? Three main dishes. Lamb kebabs, chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce (which I had made before), and a Moroccan vegetable stew. That was freakin' it. I felt like such a slacker. But, my dishes turned out well. I got the lamb from a local place, Blood Farm in Groton. I've been hearing about how fabulous their meats are for years, and keep saying I should try them for some of the weird specialty meats I need for SCA events (I wonder if they could get goat...), and I finally did. OMG. It was so worth it. Of course, 12 pounds of lamb ended up costing $100, but that's lamb. I marinated the hell out of it, and put together some kebabs with red onion and dried apricots. It was very pretty, very Moroccan, and they went like HOTCAKES. But, we had enough for everyone who wanted (barely). There was only a little bit of chicken left, which I brought home to have for dinner (since I eat almost nothing *while* I'm cooking at events). There was a ton of the vegetable stew left, mostly just because I made a ton because, y'know, vegetables are cheap. But I'm going to freeze the leftovers and recycle it for the next event next week.

But here's the thing. We started out basing our budget on 50 people. We planned for feeding 60 people, and ended up feeding almost 80 (and had plenty of food; because that's just the way I roll). We actually went slightly over budget, but our break even point was 65 people, so we STILL made a small profit. Which while not the goal (the goal is always to just break even), it was nice all the same.

The unanimous consensus seems to be that [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina and I make a great team of co-cooks, each playing on our strengths, which happen to complement each other nicely. Hopefully we'll be doing it again in the future, because she is always totally and completely awesome to work with (both as an autocrat and a cook). And now she has her first event as a cook under her belt! Woohoo! (She, of course, totally discounts herself and her invaluable help 2 years ago when I did a feast for Hafla and she spent the entire day in the kitchen helping cook, but that's because she's far too modest.) :)

Oh, and she also brought a rice cooker so I didn't even have to expend any effort to make rice. Just put it in the machine, push a button and voila! perfectly cooked rice. I SO know what the next kitchen gadget is that I'll be asking hubby for as a holiday or bday present, snicker.
danagryphon: (Default)
So yesterday was our Shire's annual Middle Eastern Hafla event, and I volunteered to do the cooking again. But, as a wonderful surprise, [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina asked if she could be my co-cook! Fantabulous! She had never cooked for an SCA event before, but she had the street cred for doing middle eastern because she grew up in the Mediterranian, making and eating a lot of the same types of foods.

She asked to do a bunch of appetizers and one main dish (a fish dish that she was dying to try). Oh, oh, please, twist my arm. I like cooking M.E. main dishes, but hate doing all the relishes and pickles and other nibbles that really make the meal over the top fabulous. So with that mutually satisfying division of labor, we were off to the races.

Wow, just wow. The appetizer plates were AMAZING. I helped her with a grand total of ONE of them, a Persian tortellini (and then only because I had a pasta roller). The rest, she did all on her own. Plus, she did something like 4 dessert items. Now, [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox provided baklava and turkish delight and semolina cake for dessert, not to mention the all the bread, because she is crazy insane baking lady who is just too incredibly wonderful for words. Plus Toi and [livejournal.com profile] calygrey did a dessert subtlety that was adorable. So we had the most amazing selection of desserts as well.

So what did I make? Three main dishes. Lamb kebabs, chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce (which I had made before), and a Moroccan vegetable stew. That was freakin' it. I felt like such a slacker. But, my dishes turned out well. I got the lamb from a local place, Blood Farm in Groton. I've been hearing about how fabulous their meats are for years, and keep saying I should try them for some of the weird specialty meats I need for SCA events (I wonder if they could get goat...), and I finally did. OMG. It was so worth it. Of course, 12 pounds of lamb ended up costing $100, but that's lamb. I marinated the hell out of it, and put together some kebabs with red onion and dried apricots. It was very pretty, very Moroccan, and they went like HOTCAKES. But, we had enough for everyone who wanted (barely). There was only a little bit of chicken left, which I brought home to have for dinner (since I eat almost nothing *while* I'm cooking at events). There was a ton of the vegetable stew left, mostly just because I made a ton because, y'know, vegetables are cheap. But I'm going to freeze the leftovers and recycle it for the next event next week.

But here's the thing. We started out basing our budget on 50 people. We planned for feeding 60 people, and ended up feeding almost 80 (and had plenty of food; because that's just the way I roll). We actually went slightly over budget, but our break even point was 65 people, so we STILL made a small profit. Which while not the goal (the goal is always to just break even), it was nice all the same.

The unanimous consensus seems to be that [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina and I make a great team of co-cooks, each playing on our strengths, which happen to complement each other nicely. Hopefully we'll be doing it again in the future, because she is always totally and completely awesome to work with (both as an autocrat and a cook). And now she has her first event as a cook under her belt! Woohoo! (She, of course, totally discounts herself and her invaluable help 2 years ago when I did a feast for Hafla and she spent the entire day in the kitchen helping cook, but that's because she's far too modest.) :)

Oh, and she also brought a rice cooker so I didn't even have to expend any effort to make rice. Just put it in the machine, push a button and voila! perfectly cooked rice. I SO know what the next kitchen gadget is that I'll be asking hubby for as a holiday or bday present, snicker.

Oh Yeah

Sep. 29th, 2011 10:09 am
danagryphon: (Scribal)
The other cool thing that happened this week is that the Laurel I was apprenticed to for scribal stuff waaaaaay back when I was a N00b in the SCA found me here. We haven't talked in over 20 years. Now we are getting all caught up. How cool is that?

::Waves:: Hi Johannes! ([livejournal.com profile] nitesongofafish)

Oh Yeah

Sep. 29th, 2011 10:09 am
danagryphon: (Scribal)
The other cool thing that happened this week is that the Laurel I was apprenticed to for scribal stuff waaaaaay back when I was a N00b in the SCA found me here. We haven't talked in over 20 years. Now we are getting all caught up. How cool is that?

::Waves:: Hi Johannes! ([livejournal.com profile] nitesongofafish)
danagryphon: (Gryphon Art)
This is for my friends. Don't ever let anyone bring you down.

Beautiful
by Christina Aguilera

Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly, it's hard to breathe
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I'm so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today

To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone
Is that the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down
Don't you bring me down today...

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what we say
(no matter what we say)
We're the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
(everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine
(sun will always shine)
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side
All the other times

We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words can't bring us down
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today

Don't you bring me down today
Don't you bring me down today
danagryphon: (Gryphon Art)
This is for my friends. Don't ever let anyone bring you down.

Beautiful
by Christina Aguilera

Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly, it's hard to breathe
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I'm so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today

To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone
Is that the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down
Don't you bring me down today...

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what we say
(no matter what we say)
We're the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
(everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine
(sun will always shine)
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side
All the other times

We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words can't bring us down
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today

Don't you bring me down today
Don't you bring me down today
danagryphon: (Sun and Moon)
Oh yeah, there was the rest of a weekend in there, too, besides a feast.

Friday ended up being an impromptu dinner reunion with a friend from MIT who I hadn't seen in about 15 years or so. He posted on FB Friday morning that he was in Westford for a Scrabble tournament (he lives in NJ), and would be sojourning out the local restaurants for dinner. I mentioned that he was about 4 miles from my house, as well as Himself (who he was also good friends with), and it was off to the races from there. We finally ended up settling on meeting at 99's, and as M and I arrived, Himself, who had just stopped by for a quick drink and visit, was leaving. Had a nice dinner and conversation, then M and I went out and ran the rest of our errands for the evening. But it was good to see him, even though he evidently went on to bomb in the tournament...
danagryphon: (Cats)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nazrynn , I found out I have 10 $10 coupons to give to my basic, unpaid account friends on LJ so they can get paid accounts. If you are currently one of the unwashed unpaid masses, leave me a note and I will send you one. Oh, and I think you have to be on my flist. Unfortunately, they can't be used to renew if you already have a paid account.
danagryphon: (Cats)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nazrynn , I found out I have 10 $10 coupons to give to my basic, unpaid account friends on LJ so they can get paid accounts. If you are currently one of the unwashed unpaid masses, leave me a note and I will send you one. Oh, and I think you have to be on my flist. Unfortunately, they can't be used to renew if you already have a paid account.

Free Grill

Apr. 27th, 2009 11:19 am
danagryphon: (Home)
Oh yeah, and I've got a free gas grill up for grabs. It's a Kenmore, with a side burner. The flame distributer thingy is a little rusted out, so it doesn't cook real evenly on one side, but it works. And did I mention it's free?

I'll put it up on Freecycle if I have to, but I figured I'd give my friends first right of refusal.

Free Grill

Apr. 27th, 2009 11:19 am
danagryphon: (Home)
Oh yeah, and I've got a free gas grill up for grabs. It's a Kenmore, with a side burner. The flame distributer thingy is a little rusted out, so it doesn't cook real evenly on one side, but it works. And did I mention it's free?

I'll put it up on Freecycle if I have to, but I figured I'd give my friends first right of refusal.
danagryphon: (Autumn)
We had a good pack meeting Friday night. We went to the local food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, that serves a lot of communities in the area, including Littleton. The boys learned about the food pantry, who uses it, what they do, and how the food that they donate is processed before it is distributed. I learned quite a bit, and while Loaves and Fishes has been one of those places that I try to donate to when someone is having a food drive, it's now even more on my radar. I'm thinking about becoming one of the volunteers who helps staff the place.

Saturday, E went to visit one of the Littleton troops who was camping out for the weekend at Camp Resolute in Bolton. A great chance to visit, since it was only a 15 minute drive. Even though the weather turned quite rainy while we were there, it was at least pretty warm (until the sun went down), and we had dressed for wet weather. E had a blast and has declared that he wants to join this troop. I've tried to impress on him that he should still visit the other troop in Littleton, and also the troop that B belongs to in Shirley, before he makes a final decision, especially since he's still got over a year before he crosses over to Boy Scouts. But I'm glad he had a good time, and continues to show interest in all things scouts.

Saturday evening, we all gathered in the living room to watch our newly purchased copy of Kung Fu Panda, and I promptly fell asleep in the recliner, but woke up just in time for the climactic battle and the Wushi finger hold. It really is a good movie, in the fine Disney tradition of being able to both entertain the kids and amuse the adults on different levels without being inappropriate.

From all the standing Friday night and Saturday during the day, I woke up Sunday with rather large amounts of pain in my arthritic hip, so much so that I decided fencing at the first joint Quintavia/Carolingia fencing practice was really out. So, I took B around the complex in the morning to try to sell some pine wreaths for his troop (we sold one, but at least 2 others expressed interest, and several not-homes that we will go back to this week). After lunch, M and B went off to work the troop's food drive (which, by coincidence, was also benefiting Loaves and Fishes), but forgot the bag of food donations I had prepared for them to take. Now that I know where it is, maybe I'll just go drop it off myself.

While M and B were out, E and I played some games together, which was nice. I also did a few more things around the house, putting up some more pictures and some more closet organizing things. Tonight, I'm hoping M and I will finally be able to put the doors in our shower, now that we've gotten the right caulk that doesn't turn to mush when it gets wet. We also still have to put up the big shelf in our bedroom above the bed. Other than those two things, it's mostly just putting a few more pictures on the walls, and knick-knacks on shelves, and finding places for things that have to go away somewhere.

Oh, Saturday, while E and I were off with scouts, M and B went to M's parents house and got the table and chairs for the deck that they are giving us. We need to give it a rub down with some teak oil, and they also gave us a nice cover, so we can keep it out on the deck for the winter (although the umbrella has to stay in the garage, but that doesn't take up much room). I am really looking forward to spring and being able to use the deck.

Thanksgiving will be our first time entertaining in the new place; we are having about a half-dozen friends over for dinner. I'm psyched.
danagryphon: (Autumn)
We had a good pack meeting Friday night. We went to the local food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, that serves a lot of communities in the area, including Littleton. The boys learned about the food pantry, who uses it, what they do, and how the food that they donate is processed before it is distributed. I learned quite a bit, and while Loaves and Fishes has been one of those places that I try to donate to when someone is having a food drive, it's now even more on my radar. I'm thinking about becoming one of the volunteers who helps staff the place.

Saturday, E went to visit one of the Littleton troops who was camping out for the weekend at Camp Resolute in Bolton. A great chance to visit, since it was only a 15 minute drive. Even though the weather turned quite rainy while we were there, it was at least pretty warm (until the sun went down), and we had dressed for wet weather. E had a blast and has declared that he wants to join this troop. I've tried to impress on him that he should still visit the other troop in Littleton, and also the troop that B belongs to in Shirley, before he makes a final decision, especially since he's still got over a year before he crosses over to Boy Scouts. But I'm glad he had a good time, and continues to show interest in all things scouts.

Saturday evening, we all gathered in the living room to watch our newly purchased copy of Kung Fu Panda, and I promptly fell asleep in the recliner, but woke up just in time for the climactic battle and the Wushi finger hold. It really is a good movie, in the fine Disney tradition of being able to both entertain the kids and amuse the adults on different levels without being inappropriate.

From all the standing Friday night and Saturday during the day, I woke up Sunday with rather large amounts of pain in my arthritic hip, so much so that I decided fencing at the first joint Quintavia/Carolingia fencing practice was really out. So, I took B around the complex in the morning to try to sell some pine wreaths for his troop (we sold one, but at least 2 others expressed interest, and several not-homes that we will go back to this week). After lunch, M and B went off to work the troop's food drive (which, by coincidence, was also benefiting Loaves and Fishes), but forgot the bag of food donations I had prepared for them to take. Now that I know where it is, maybe I'll just go drop it off myself.

While M and B were out, E and I played some games together, which was nice. I also did a few more things around the house, putting up some more pictures and some more closet organizing things. Tonight, I'm hoping M and I will finally be able to put the doors in our shower, now that we've gotten the right caulk that doesn't turn to mush when it gets wet. We also still have to put up the big shelf in our bedroom above the bed. Other than those two things, it's mostly just putting a few more pictures on the walls, and knick-knacks on shelves, and finding places for things that have to go away somewhere.

Oh, Saturday, while E and I were off with scouts, M and B went to M's parents house and got the table and chairs for the deck that they are giving us. We need to give it a rub down with some teak oil, and they also gave us a nice cover, so we can keep it out on the deck for the winter (although the umbrella has to stay in the garage, but that doesn't take up much room). I am really looking forward to spring and being able to use the deck.

Thanksgiving will be our first time entertaining in the new place; we are having about a half-dozen friends over for dinner. I'm psyched.

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