Tuesday, January 22, 2013

100 words #6

Okay, so I didn't get this done in a week. I will still make it to 7, though!

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.

adjective – unrifled: of a firearm; not having rifling or internal spiral grooves inside the barrel

noun – remanence: the magnetic flux that remains in a magnetic circuit after an applied magnetomotive force has been removed

Will a magnet stick to a Slinky? A slinky’s metal, right? It makes a sound like metal. Slinky slinky slinky slinky. I wonder if that’s why they named it that. Slinky slinky slinky ow! I better not snap it like that anymore. I’m hungry. Grapes! Do dogs like grapes? Nope, dogs don’t like grapes. Ew! Okay, paper towels.... Okay, we’re out of paper towels. Um. Regular towel. Oh, it’s touching me it’s touching me it’s touching me! Annnnnd it’s in the washer. Okay, deal with that later. I’m not that hungry anymore. What was I doing? Grapes. Fridge. Magnet. Slinky! 

Does anyone see the connection between the words and the story? Yeah, pretty tenuous on this one.

Monday, January 14, 2013

100 words #5

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.

adjective – southernmost: farthest south
noun – lira: a monetary unit of Italy, Turkey, Israel, Malta, etc. either currently or in the past

-ramen, one case
-tortillas, 12-pack, burrito size
-peanut butter (store brand)
-jelly (store brand)
-bread (white, store brand, day-old shelf if possible)
-bag rice
-bag kidney beans
-hot dogs (regular, not all beef)
-ketchup (packets from McDonald’s on the way out)
-toilet paper (six-pack only)
-cat food

The cat doesn’t know how to eat less. She wouldn’t know why she was going hungry. It’s all right. The electric bill can be another week late until I get my paycheck so we can pay the phone bill.

This is the lowest our bank account has ever been. Happy New Year.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

100 words #4

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.


adjective – planar: of or pertaining to a geometric plane; flat or level
noun – half-back: one of two backs who typically line up on each side of the fullback; the main ball-carrier in football

Apparently it wasn’t a game, it was a campaign.  And despite the name, there were very few dragons, although they—the made-up characters—did spend a lot of time in actual dungeons. Books and papers with strange charts and lists were spread all over the plane of the table. Kirk was explaining to her how his friend Jim’s character... sort of protected his own character during fights. Battles?
“So he’s like the fullback to your half-back?” she asked.
“Um, sure, I guess,” Kirk said with a look halfway between confused and disgusted. He turned his attention back to his books.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

100 words #3

(I totally forgot about this yesterday! There will be another one later on tonight.)

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.


adjective – middle-aged: being of the age intermediate between youth and old age, roughly between 45 and 65
noun – enceinte: a wall or enclosure, as of some fortified place

A tire shop. A phone number. Coffee. Then a movie. Then dinner and a movie only they never got to the movie that time, couldn’t stop talking. Six months later, a casual (but actually terrified) request: “You wanna just get married?” Laughter, a kiss. A small, simple wedding. A really big yard sale, then down to one house and a mortgage with two names. Today it’s twelve years together (starting from the tire shop), and they’re both forty-seven, and they’re (inexplicably to many) just as happy as ever. She is his comfort; he is her fortress. Middle age is good.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

100 words #2

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.

adjective – granular: of the nature of granules; grainy

noun – boundary: something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line

There’s a line of salt across the doorway, so I can’t enter. Counting every grain would take too long—five minutes, at least—and I am hungry. I can hear their heartbeats through the closed door, quick with terror, like little rabbits. Their fear smells sharp and sweet, the way I vaguely remember green apples tasting. That tang in the back of my throat only increases my thirst. There’s a scuffling from inside: they’re attempting to hide, as if it will make any difference. The curtains are closed. No salt line on the windowsill. I smile and prepare to leap.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

100 words #1

I chose 7 adjectives and 7 nouns at random from the dictionary. I matched up one of each for seven days. Each day for a week, I will write a 100-word story using and/or inspired by (loosely or closely) each word pair.


adjective - cross-country: 1. directed or proceeding over fields, through woods, etc., rather than on a road or path: a cross-country race. 2. from one end of the country to the other: a cross-country flight

noun - antepenult: the third syllable from the end of a word, as in te in antepenult

I can’t be last. The biggest loser in a neon t-shirt and tennis shoes. My shins are killing me, I’m covered in sweat, and my face is the color of the inside of an over-ripe watermelon. I’m not going through all of this and ending up last. I’ve got nothing left to give, but I give it anyway. I pass Grandma In Yellow Shorts. And in one last burst, I stagger across the finish line just ahead of Ninety Pound Ponytail Girl Who Is Probably Anemic. Yes! Third from last. Third from last isn’t too bad for my first marathon.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Two Letters

Dear Uterus,

I was home all day yesterday doing nothing. I watched movies, read a book, drank hot tea, wrote a bit on my NaNoWriMo story, and napped. You couldn't have done this yesterday???

Now I have to go to work and teach all day with you all cramped up and trying to kill me from the inside. I get to be cheerful and energetic and stand and walk a lot amongst a lot of 8th graders and around co-workers while my guts are trying to twist themselves into Celtic knots!

You suck.

No love,


Dear Ibuprophen,

Please start working soon.


Sunday, September 23, 2012


A November sunset (taken somewhere around 2003-05)

Autumn on (the college) campus (taken somewhere around 2003-05)

I'm looking forward to:

-yellow fluttering leaves
-scarves, hats, armwarmers (all knit by me)
-apple cider
-knee socks and tights*
-hot chocolate at any hour of the day or night
-the smell of frost in the morning
-the general feeling of coziness and wanting to stay indoors
-being toasty warm under lots of layers with just my face cold in the air
-making soup
-reading spooky things**
-colors: brown, pumpkin, moss, candy apple, gold, grey, cream
-blankets--more on the bed and snuggled up on the couch

 *I have an awesome collection of both
**I just finished a graphic novel of Frankenstein and am going to read/re-read some Edgar Allan Poe short stories

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bike riding

Last Spring, I posted about a bike ride. Here's another one.

Sune, my little Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, likes getting to go with me. She sits in the basket on the front of my bike (named Mabel, a pic of her here) and makes almost everyone we pass smile or giggle, seeing her in there with her nose twitching to take in all the smells, her big, bright, black, anime character eyes watching for bunnies and lizards. If she sees them soon enough, she gives an obligatory growl so I know she would protect me, if the need arose.

A couple of weeks ago, we got to the end of the ride and turned around to go home. Wondering if she would be more comfortable if she was lying down, I smooshed her gently into the bottom of the basket. She seemed to like that all right, but she couldn't see out because of the basket liner I sewed; it was in her way. So she raised her chin, pushed the liner down a bit with it, and poked her nose out between the bars of the basket so she could still see and smell.

As soon as her harness comes out of the drawer before a ride, Sune starts doing a happy dance. She stays very still while I buckle her in, though. If I put on her harness last thing before we go out the door, she starts getting excited just seeing me lace up my tennis shoes. She knows what it means when Mama gets the bike out. Adventures! Sunshine! Smells!

Here was my view going East on my ride tonight. You can see Grand Mesa in the distance dappled with sunlight and shadows from the clouds high above. More clouds are piled up over the top of it. There are some industrial buildings on the other side of this field, and up close, a barbed wire fence to separate it from the riverfront trail we ride on.

Heading West on the way back home, the clouds ahead were all shades of white and grey and even blue. The sun shone through and around them in turns, a picture no human could ever fully capture with paintbrush or camera. You just had to be there.

We passed a woman walking her dog, a calm brown Boxer, and just as I called from behind them, "On your left!" I passed through a swarm of gnats. I think only one or two of them hit the back of my throat; the rest bounced harmlessly off my cheeks, neck, and sunglasses.

Over the empty ditch, back through the streets of semi-run-down houses, roll through the stop sign, and swerve into my little rectangle of town homes. A mommy and her baby were saying high to a friend in an open-top Jeep in the parking lot; they laughed to see us, and the friend tried to direct the baby's attention to the "little doggie" in the basket.

Hop off the bike, let the dog down onto the ground. Struggle to keep the screen door open and get the bike inside at the same time, all while not running over the dog or letting the cat, escape artist that she (thinks she) is, dash out. Basket off, plastic bag over the seat, steer it through the sliding glass door into the back yard to park it. Inside, Sune and I both get a drink of water.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Faux Mousse

I made up a dessert the other day. I decided to call it Faux Mousse because it's not made like actual mousse, but does contain cream. If you have a better idea for a name, please leave it in the comments! What follows is sort of a recipe. I didn't measure or write anything down, so these are my best guesses.

Aren't they cute? I didn't have any special little glass dishes made for holding Faux Mousse desserts, so I used punch cups that go with a lovely cut-glass punch bowl I never use. We have three flavors: Bailey's Irish Cream, Chocolate, and Strawberry.


First I crushed 6 graham crackers (the whole thing, the rectangle shape just as it comes out of the package) using the food processor. I microwaved about 2 Tbs of butter, stirred in the graham crackers, and spooned the mixture into the punch cups evenly. Once these were refrigerated, the butter got cold again and made it pretty hard for you to get your spoon through it until it had thawed a bit. I would recommend a thinner layer of graham cracker crust. These were almost an inch thick because of how narrow the bottom of the cups is, so maybe half an inch would be better. I smooshed the mixture down with the bottom of a measuring cup so it would be compacted.

I microwaved about a quarter of a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips next, stirring it every thirty seconds. To get it a little smoother, I added just a tiny blop of olive oil. You could use another oil of your choice here or just skip it all together. I just didn't think the chocolate would spread nicely enough on its own. Again, I divided it (more or less) evenly between the cups and smoothed it out with a small spatula.

Here are my flavors all ready to go along with the whipped cream. I ended up using maybe 1 3/4 a cup of heavy whipping cream and just a splash of vanilla extract, then using a hand mixer until it formed stiff peaks. (I whipped it a little too long, actually, until it almost started to turn into butter! Don't do that. I added a little more cream, though, and that softened it back up.)

I took about eight or ten whole frozen strawberries, thawed (in the microwave--I didn't plan well enough ahead to set them out beforehand) and pureed those in the food processor. Then I plopped in about an equal amount of whipped cream and blended it gently together with a spatula.

I did the same for the chocolate flavored Faux Mousse--this was about a cup of chocolate pudding leftover from the previous night's dessert.

As for the Bailey's Irish Cream, I simply poured 3 or 4 Tbs into the remaining whipped cream and gave it another quick blend with the hand mixer.

Using a regular table spoon, I plopped the whipped cream mixtures into the punch cups. Miraculously, there was just enough to fill two each even though I'd done nothing but guess at measurements! I garnished the Bailey's with a little sprinkle of a Holiday Spice Mix I made for Christmas, but you could use cinnamon, nutmeg, crushed candy cane.... whatever you think would go well with Bailey's. For the chocolate, I drizzled chocolate syrup on top, and I'd reserved about a tablespoon of the strawberry puree to top the strawberry Faux Mousse.

Next: spend the rest of the afternoon doing dishes! (Or put most of them in the dishwasher, huzzah!)

And there you have it! Six little individually-sized desserts in three flavors. Great for a dinner party, I think. The strawberry was rather tart, especially with the puree on top, so unless you like that sort of thing, you might add a teaspoon or so of sugar to the puree before you mix it with the whipped cream. The chocolate was delicious. I also liked the Bailey's, though because it wasn't mixed with anything besides just the whipped cream, it was very.... fluffy. 

These kept fine in the fridge for a day after I made them, but on the second day they started to get a bit of a skin on top. It wasn't nasty or anything, just not idea. I recommend making these, chilling them for about an hour (or until they're needed), and serving them that same night.


If you are the sort of person who likes real measurements, here's the best I can do:

Faux Mousse--
-1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream + splash of vanilla extract -- whip and divide by 3
-8-10 whole frozen strawberries
-1 cup chocolate pudding
-3-4 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
-1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-6 whole graham crackers + 2 Tablespoons melted butter