Law & Order: Traffic Court

31 01 2011

Scene opens on a cold morning after a rainstorm. It is far too early and there is no coffee; it was presumed that coffee would not be allowed inside. Our heroine, Zebra, has decided to arrive early only to discover a line into the building which takes nearly half an hour. Said line is full of people carrying coffee. Zebra has a head cold and feels slightly dizzy. It does not help when a very polite homie stands in line behind her making himself deaf with music in his headphones loud enough for everyone with five feet to hear (the politeness came when he accidentally stepped on Zebra’s shoes and he apologized profusely). Zebra is bitter and wallows in her misfortune.

Once inside she heads upstairs to Line #2 which is slightly shorter, but moves more slowly. At least this time there are chairs to sit in and she can read while she waits. At the end of the line she is sent across the room to wait some more. Everything is more confusing than usual due to the sickness-induced brain fog, and she is unsure what to do when the Deputy Sheriff doesn’t call her name. It turns out she waits. She should not be so surprised. Eventually she is ushered inside a room where she… waits. But this time not very long – she is the fourth or fifth person to be called to the podium. Arraignment… She has watched enough Law and Order to know that’s something for Bad People. This makes her feel slightly excited and dangerous. She pleads Not Guilty and is ushered into the bail room (dangerous!) to… wait. Eventually she is given a court date to return for a hearing (dangerous!) and some paperwork to sign.

At the end of the two hours she had spent a grand total of five minutes actively fighting the traffic ticket. On March 7th she plans to bring coffee and not be sick. The rest is up to fate. Oh and the judge.


My First Vlog

29 01 2011

All the cool kids are doing it!

Word list:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

1. As it turns out, the mayonnaise story wasn’t really that funny. Sorry about that.
2. When I say “Sprite” what I really mean is “Shasta” – my grandparents never bought name brand sodas. That would be frivolous. This is a good example of why I don’t vlog often; I can’t hit the backspace key and edit it.
3. I’m really frankly disappointed wash wasn’t on the list. That’s a big one, in my opinion, since certain regions (which ones I cannot tell you) add a random “R” in there for fun.
4. When I’m using the front view camera, I get distracted by myself and forget to look at the actual camera. I did my best to try to look at “you” here. You’re welcome.
5. The app is here.

Your turn! Leave me a link in the comments if you play along, mkay?

Lavender Cookies

26 01 2011

i nommed it

One of the best parts of my swap package was a recipe for lavender cookies complete with lavender buds. I’ve had them stuck to the fridge for weeks now, drooling every time I walked past.  I considered saving them for my birthday next week, but I finally couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and I made them last night.

I don’t typically cook at night. I don’t know why. I think it began when Margie was a baby and refused to be put down or to stay asleep if so much as a pin dropped within several miles. And then it just became a part of how I do things. But knowing Bethany who often (unless maybe she’s all drugged up on nursing hormones) bakes the night away has made me realize that just because my kids are asleep doesn’t mean I have to be glued to the couch – particularly now that Margie sleeps like a normal kid.

And so I baked cookies last night. And it was a good idea.

lavender cookehs

Corey’s recipe called for almonds, but I had some pecans left over from holiday baking so I used those instead. I also subbed out the butter for palm shortening because I am low on Earth Balance and also because Claire informed me that palm shortening is a totally better choice anyway. I subbed out the wheat flour for my basic gluten-free mix and I think the white sugar (or, you know, organic evaporated cane juice) probably helped stabilize the dough to make them as perfect as wheat ones would be. And then, for the last few cookies, I added chocolate chips and you know what? Eh. The lavender itself is incredible – believe it or not the chocolate actually takes away from the perfectness. Such a rare event is bound to be evidence for how awesome these cookies are. So you should make some.

and then i added chocolate chips

The problem is that now I want lavender in everything. Brownies? YES! Coconut bark? YES! My friend makes a kickass lavender lemonade, and another friend gave me lavender chocolates for Christmas. I am pretty sure this year is going to be all about lavender.

And now, Corey’s recipe – thanks again, Corey, for letting me share this!

1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 C almonds
1 Tbs lavender buds
pinch salt

Stir lavender and sugar together. Combine remaining ingredients. Cut in butter. Beat eggs and combine until a dough is formed. Drop on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Makes 3-5 dozen.

Blind Spot

23 01 2011

Wow, that could be a title for a really deeply philosophical entry. But it’s not. Sadly, it’s a lot more expensive than philosophy.

A few weeks ago I was driving the kids to PE on a Tuesday afternoon. We were running late so I felt rushed but I don’t think I was speeding. I did not, however, make a full stop before making a right turn on a red light. Even so, the maneuver wasn’t unsafe. I pulled into traffic and knew there was a car on my left. We passed another intersection and headed down the hill towards where I would have to make a left turn. The street was not long so I turned on my blinker right away, checked my mirror, glanced backwards and did not see the small car that had been in that lane there. I adjusted my speed slightly to make sure he was gone (I assumed he had turned left at the previous intersection), double checked my mirrors and changed lanes. And then the missing car honked and, according to the police officer a few minutes later, slammed on his brakes. I feel he must have been trying to make it impossible for me to change lanes since he clearly stayed in my blind spot even though I adjusted my speed.

I was flustered due to being late and not entirely sure at this point why I had been pulled over (was it for the California roll at the red light? had I been speeding?) so when the cop asked me if I knew why he’d pulled me over I told him quite honestly I did not. Hell if I was going to incriminate myself further, but I think the answer set him against me from the beginning. He did not believe me when I told him I’d looked in my mirror and my window. And so now I have my first moving violation.

And this is where I ask your advice, dear readers. I have a court date a week from tomorrow at 8am. According to the paper I’ve been sent, I must pay my fee in advance even if I am going to plead not guilty, although when Alex got a ticket a few years ago, he did not have to pay anything. So I’m confused. Traffic school is, naturally, more expensive than the ticket itself. I’m frustrated because money could not be tighter right now and I’m just not really sure how to handle this. Have any of you had any experience with this? Even if you haven’t, I would appreciate all the good wishes and prayers you have to make this go away with as little effort on my part as possible. I have to put my effort elsewhere these days.

A Few Photos from the Wild Animal Park

21 01 2011

Want to read more about our day with Sonja? Clicky here!


beginning and end

wooden fence

sunset on cacti

see how lucky I am today?

Latkes? Cakes? Patties? I don’t know, but they were yummy!

15 01 2011

I have this quirk where I generally refuse to follow recipes, patterns, instructions, et cetera. (Except for when I do, of course.) This leads about half the time to failures but the other half the time I’m so damn proud of myself for doing it on my own that it completely obliterates the fails from memory. I feel this whole cycle enhances my cuteness. This recipe is a story of a WIN coming from a FAIL(ish).

This week I made some quinoa that came out rather, er, fluffy. I had intended it for a salad mixed with some kabocha squash, but the quinoa was sticky and much softer than usual so it didn’t mix well. It tasted ok, but the consistency inspired me to make this delicious fried patty.

I don’t measure things (please see the first paragraph) so I can’t really offer you more details than this.

Cooked quinoa
Roasted, cubed kabocha or other squash
1 egg
Flour (I used coconut which is a VERY VERY thirsty flour so I only used a rounded tablespoon – basically use the amount you’d use in a meatloaf or meatballs or just enough to make it moldable without being sticky)
salt, pepper and probably garlic power (what? it was days ago, I can’t remember what all I put in it!)
If I’d had scallions I would have liked to add those.

Mix with your hands, form into patties, fry in a pan full of oil (I used coconut).


I served these with some chicken salad and pickles.

squash and quinoa latkes

So what do you think? What shall I name these?

Cold Winter’s Tweets

13 01 2011

ZebraBelly is watching the Twin Peaks episode of Psych. I’ve not yet seen Twin Peaks, so this is all going way over my head. “Dual Spires” -I get that.
1 Dec

Margie: Today’s a ripass, kickass day!
2 Dec

ZebraBelly is camping out for the parade, knittin’ an orca.
4 Dec

I really feel that motorcycles racing down the road full of pedestrians at or above the speed limit is just not safe. Even if they are cops.
4 Dec

A car with a spaceship just went by. Airbrushed on the side: WELCOME YOUR SPACE BROTHERS. I think that wins this year’s parade.
4 Dec

Ok. Low rider just broke down in front of us. Perhaps THIS wins?
4 Dec

Oh. Now a truck just drove by and handed out canned food. In the parade.
4 Dec

Stormtroopers!!!! Darth Vader!!
4 Dec

Guess who needs a new tranny!
7 Dec

Different kind of tranny. Way less fun. MUCH rather have Tim Curry than a transmission.
7 Dec

Well to be honest, I don’t have a diagnosis yet. We take it in tomorrow to the trans place. Mostly I just wanted to say “tranny”
7 Dec

OK, I know a CSA is a wonderful way to enjoy natural stuff, but does that have to include hitchhiker spiders?
7 Dec

While I am sad to say goodbye to the prospect of Tim Curry, I am THRILLED to say my current tranny is totally FINE.
8 Dec

Margie: It’s so hot outside I was feeling frisky like a Labrador pup!
8 Dec

Why yes I did just cuss out my son’s car seat. It deserved it.
16 Dec

(Watching TV) Alex: Oh wow! Me: Non-Newtonian fluids! Alex: I know! Right? #Nerds
19 Dec

Margie: I like purses. They’re fun. And it’s easier than hauling all my stuff in a hat.
20 Dec

Let 2010 be known as the year my kids finally made an attractive gingerbread house!
20 Dec

I realize I washed my debit card, but everyone besides my own bank can still read it. Chase, just another reason you suck.
21 Dec

Holy crap. Onion Sprouts, where have you been all my life?Can we get married??
21 Dec

Dear Me, just because you can handle SOME milk chocolate doesn’t mean you can handle holiday amounts. Kindly remember this next year. Thanks
24 Dec

FYI: Gravy jelly beans are, sadly, not as wonderful as you would expect.
25 Dec

OMFG, you can get some Harry Potter books in Latin, Welsh, Ancient Greek and Irish. #nerdgasm
25 Dec

Elliott, watching the bad guy scene in A Christmas Story: “Oh, the mimes are dead.” Mimes are bad guys, too, so I didn’t correct him.
25 Dec

Elliott last week, when I wore lipstick for the first time in his memory, apparently: “Mommy? What’s WRONG with your mouth?”
25 Dec

ZebraBelly is standing in line behind a woman who clearly forgot her pants.
27 Dec

Guess who can totally honk again? Also roll up her window?and all for $700 less than expected! Woo!
28 Dec

ZebraBelly is teaching her children about the world that is The Brady Bunch. Because I am just that great of a mommy.
28 Dec