...despite the fact that I haven't posted to LJ in ages. I guess I'm not ready to give up on it (or ready to decide what to do with my old entries) so I've moved here.
I hope you have a great day!
I hope you have a great day.

Ireland

Jun. 2nd, 2013 06:58 pm
Just got back a few days ago from a lovely 9 day trip to Ireland with my best friend from college, Gaile. We tried to do as much as possible in the time that we had, but of course the official motto of the trip quickly became "We'll do that on the next trip!" We visited Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel, Killarney National Park, Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Galway, Connemara, Clonmacnoise, Trim, Newgrange / Bru na Boinne, and Dublin. Every place was great, but I have to admit that i absolutely loved the western part of the country. We saw more sheep, cattle, and gorse bushes than can be counted, as well as hordes of German, French and American tourists.

Yes, I tried a Guinness, And no, I didn't like it.

I'll post some pictures as soon as I go through them all, but here's one from Dingle.


Dingle
My mom's Boston Terrier was hit by one of her neighbors this morning, right after he'd been let outside to do his morning business. He made it back inside before he collapsed, and then died shortly after. I didn't see him (my sister and Dad had brough his body to the vet before I got there), but I suspect it was from internal bleeding. Mom is devastated, of course, and I have to admit that I am as well. I really loved that dog - he was always happy to see me, and we'd always play or go for a walk. Every time I think about it, I start crying. I don't know if it was better or worse for my mom to be there for his death. She didn't want any company. I'm working from home today and giving extra love to my cats.

In other bad news, the daughter of one of my favorite co-workers (actually the one that just left the company last month) died suddenly on Friday night. She was 27 and had just given birth last fall to his first grandson. I can't imagine what he's going through.
It's not about the cost of the ingredients, or the time and effort it takes to make them. I'm happy to support the cookie fundraiser for the kingdom travel fund.

It's not even about the spelling - I happen to like silent letters.

The problem is this: how do I refrain from eating all of these yummy cookies for the next 10 days???
Here's hoping you had a great birthday in your awesome new home!
Here's hoping you had a great day, and my best wishes for a wonderful year.
The family and I got back this weekend from a nice week up at Cape Cod. On Saturday afternoon we went to check out our garden (we're once again doing the community garden thing). I'd picked some zucchini and squash on the previous Sunday before driving up to the Cape, but there were a lot of smaller ones that I left one. I thought it would be okay to do so, because my Aunt M. was supposed to come over once during the week to water and presumably pick any produce that was ready.

Um, no. Aunt M. watered, but didn't pick anything except a few basil leaves. I've told Mom that she's fired as a garden sitter. What's the point of not picking the produce??  <sigh> If she didn't want anything, she could have given it to her daughter!

So, when we visited the garden on Saturday, we were greeted by the sight of overgrown basil plants, mounds of yellow squash, zucchinis the size of small baseball bats, and a long row of bush bean plants that were completely full of green beans. Nothing else was ready yet, thankfully, though we picked a few small yellow peppers. After picking everything and divvying them up, I knew that I needed to do something ASAP.

On Saturday night, I made three batches of pesto with the basil, and I still threw some of the basil away because I didn't have the energy to get the hydrator out.

On Sunday, I put my new small batch canning book to good use and made 4 pints of pickled zucchini, 5 pints of zucchini pepper relish, and 3 pints of dilly beans. I also cooked one of the yellow squash and ate some of it with dinner.

Tonight I'm baking two loaves of zucchini bread, which used most of the remaining zucchini. And now I'm wondering what I can do with the rest of the yellow squash.

I'm also afraid to return to the garden....
Well, it was quite a busy two days. I planned to take a half-day off from work on Friday in order to finish last minute items (like the bisht for Dinsdale), but one particular lawyer-boss made that impossible. Instead, I took a 1/3 day off. After bringing the cat to a check-up, it was down to New Britain to help set up the site. I bugged out early in order to go home and finish sewing the trim on the bisht. I was feeling a bit guilty, but it turns out that my leaving early was exactly what people wanted.

Leandra and I arrived bright and early on Saturday and settled into running Gate, where things went pretty smoothly. After initially being worried that I wouldn't have enough help, I actually had more people than I could use, which was a lovely thing to experience. By and by, Royal court started, and it was one of the best courts I've ever attended. I though that Queen Avelina did a wonderful job, and it was great to see several people in the barony receive awards that were overdue. Dinsdale and Aelfigfu spoke movingly about their time as baron and baroness, and the ceremony for deinvestiture and investiture of Dorigen and [livejournal.com profile] kls_eloisewas very moving. Dorien and [livejournal.com profile] kls_eloiselooked fantastic, as did Miss Charlotte. Their initial court, as well as their evening court, were great, and I'm looking forward to their reign.

My big surprise of the day came when I was called into Royal court. I was completely baffled and thought maybe I was going to get a Queen's Order of Courtesy. But when HRM Avelina mentioned the word "testimony" and Mistress Aelfgifu began speaking, I realized that I was receiving a Laurel!!  I was quite flabbergasted and my heart was racing, but I managed to really listen to the lovely words spoken on my behalf. I'm quite humbled by the praise, as well as all of the hours of work that my friends put into this award.

[livejournal.com profile] kls_eloiseproduced a stunning scroll filled with the type of legalese (from a period document, no less) that warms the cockles of both our hearts. She also spoke on behalf of the Laurels, and while she once again tried to blame me for the whole weaving thing, I'll always treasure her words. She and Dorigen also gave me a beautiful pelican/laurel enamel medallion which is absolutely beautiful. Mistress Aelfgifu spoke wonderfully for the Pelicans, and made me a laurel wreath from the bay laurel in her backyard. Mistress Camma read very kind words from Master Allyn, who spoke for the Chivalry, and Baroness Elspeth spoke for the Ladies of the Rose. [livejournal.com profile] lucianusmade me a gorgeous partlet embroidered with a wreath of laurel leaves on the standing collar, and he and [livejournal.com profile] jdulacgave me a wonderful medallion on a necklace that [livejournal.com profile] lucianusstrung himself, as well as a beautiful pottery "pig" made by [livejournal.com profile] thatpotteryguy. I also received a wonderful CD of Spanish pilgrimage music from Evaine. And to top it all off, [livejournal.com profile] jtdiii cooked up a wonderful reception for everyone to enjoy, despite the fact that he couldn't be there for the day. His Pies of Paris are so incredibly yummy - you just can't eat one.

I'm still feeling very overwhelmed by it all. It was a complete surprise and an honor that I thought wouldn't happen for years, if at all. I will try to be worthy of the order, and more importantly, of the faith that my friends have in me.
So I've started to take classes towards earning an ABA-certified paralegal certificate. My current position is technically a paralegal position, but my workplace doesn't require the paralegal degree/certificate, so I'm just doing it to increase my knowledge and future job opportunities. When I registered last fall, I was able to get a business law class waived because I had taken something similar in my undergrad schooling (never mind that I barely remember the class). I made some inquiries about getting a waiver for the legal research course, but didn't push it at the time. Instead, I registered for the Intro to Law class, another requirement, and I've been taking that one this semester. The first third of the class was strictly review for me, but I have been learning some new stuff, so it hasn't been a complete waste of time.

Knowing that registration for the fall semester was coming up soon, I met a few weeks ago with the paralegal program coordinator to discuss the possibility of a waiver for the legal research and writing course. After all, I thought to myself, you took a legal research class in graduate school, and you have mumble years of doing legal research as a career! This should be a no-brainer! And I can take an additional elective course to take it's place, and therefore learn more! It's all good!

Um, no.

Basically, my chances of getting a waiver are slim-to-none, for various reasons I won't bother to repeat. I have three choices: take the class as it is and have an easy time of it, work with the class instructor to focus on things that are less familiar, i.e., some of the legal writing, or submit an independent study proposal which will allow me to do something I find interesting while satisfying the requirements of the class. I know I should probably go the independent study route, but frankly, taking a class while working 40 hours is a somewhat tiring endeavor (I know, I know, it's just one, but still). I'm not sure how much I want to challenge myself at this point, especially for something I'm doing for the heck of it. It annoys me that i'll have to pay the school to learn something I already know, but I'm still not inclined to go all out by designing my own special course. I need to think about it some more.

At any rate, I'm avoiding the issue for now by signing up for two more required courses for next semester: a 1 credit course on legal ethics, and a 3 credit course on litigation. Both are on Thursday night, so I expect I'll be a bit of a zombie on Fridays.

Hurray!

Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:50 pm
According to http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2012/01/12-01lar.html, my not-so-new name (Elizabeth Vynehorn) has been passed by the SCA College of Heralds.

It's a good thing I was keeping track of it - I've never received any notification during this entire process (kingdom or the College).

At any rate, it's good to be legal. :)
Just got back from a fun day at Old Sturbridge Village, taking a class on Antique Chocolate Processing. There were only four students, including an OSV student that had not yet learned about chocolate processing. We learned a bit about the biology of the chocolate plant (3 different types), and the history of chocolate use and the discoveries of the different finishing processes, and then we got down to work. While I was taking my class at the Bullard Tavern (in a lovely room with 3 fireplaces that they use for special occasions), [livejournal.com profile] kls_eloise was taking a basket weaving class at the Museum Education Center which looked like a lot of fun.

We split into two groups of two. My partner and I roasted the beans, winnowed them (removed the outer, papery shell), and then ground them on the warm matate (volcanic stone grinding tool) with the mano (kind of a pestle to the matate's mortar). That took quite some time, and while we were doing that, the other team was doing some baking. Once we ground the chocolate to a smooth liquid with very little grit, we decanted the chocolate into cakes on pieces of paper (chocolate puddles, really).

After lunch, we came back and I grated several previously made chocolate "cakes" for use in the recipes. We made a chocolate cookie that was composed of egg whites, sugar, and grated, melted chocolate. Our recipe used double the amount of chocolate that was used by the other team, so we could taste the difference. All agreed that we liked the double chocolate version best. We also made a biscuit with no chocolate in it that we ate with the chocolate drinks. These were baked using the tin reflector oven.

We made three different types of hot chocolate drink. The first was plain chocolate, sugar, and water, and was fantastic. The chocolate was such a deep, rich flavor - I've never had such a wonderful hot chocolate. The second drink had cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper in it. You tasted the nutmeg at first, and then the cayenne. Very tasty. The final drink was cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla added to the sugar/chocolate mix, and this was also very good. The plain was my favorite, but I liked the vanilla one very well.

[livejournal.com profile] kls_eloise joined us towards the end of the class, as her class had finished early, and helped consume some of our efforts, but we still all left with an embarassing number of cookies, as well as our chocolate "cakes" and recipes for what we made. I'm still in a sugar/chocolate coma, so I'll be bringing the cookies into work in order to prevent further consumption on my part. It was great to try the process from scratch, but I have to admit that I'm relieved to discover that Ghiradelli is now selling a bar of 100% cacao, which means that I can make these tasty recipes again without having to make my own period chocolate. Yay!

As always, Old Sturbridge Cillage offered a great class that was worth every penny. This was the third one I've taken there, and I highly recommend them to anyone.
I realize that I haven't posted for quite some time, but I am still here, mostly just reading and sometimes commenting.

To tell the truth, I'm deeply ambivalent about social media, and my ambivalence, combined with my fairly private nature, usually keeps me from posting a lot. Either I don't think it's interesting enough to write about, or I don't feel like broadcasting my affairs to the world.

At any rate, I can't complain about life at the moment. It's fairly boring, but I appreciate boring most of the time. :)

Power!

Nov. 2nd, 2011 07:08 pm
Finally got power back last (Tuesday) night after 8pm. Was too exhausted and cold to check the internets, so I just went back to bed and enjoyed the fact that my house was slowly getting warmer rather than slowly getting colder.
Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who helped in the Simplefare kitchen. In fact, so many people helped this year that I’m afraid to list the names for fear of leaving someone out. But for those of you who helped in any aspect of the feast – shopping and hauling of equipment, pre-cook, in the kitchen on Saturday, serving the feast, cleaning and packing up the kitchen, emptying garbage, and all the other numerous tasks that had to be done – please accept my thanks. We’ve been able to hold Simplefare for 30 years because of the willingness of the barony and its friends to lend a hand whenever needed. Without your hard work, neither the feast nor the event would be successful. I’m very grateful for your help, and I hope that everyone enjoyed the feast.
Best wishes for a great birthday and a wonderful year. May all your wishes come true!
1st Course
 
Mustard Soup
(chicken broth, cream, eggs, mustard, flour, eggs, butter, peas)
Bread
(commercial)
Honey and Basil Butters
(butter; honey; basil)
Fungi Parmigiani
(mushrooms, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, olive oil)
Water
 
2nd Course
                                                                                      
Ninth Century Chicken Barida
(roast chicken, coriander, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, white grape juice, lime juice, parsley, cilantro, tarragon (or marjoram), thyme, cucumber)
Jazr (carrots, oil, white wine vinegar, crushed garlic, crushed caraway seeds)
Isfanakh Mutajjan (Fried Spinach)
(spinach, salt, oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon)
Couscous with Dried Fruit
(couscous, lemon juice, vegetable broth, sliced almonds, apricots, raisins, dates, figs)
Baklava
(Walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, butter, orange juice, lemon juice, phyllo dough)
Lemonade (lemon juice, sugar, water) OR Sekanjabin (water, sugar, vinegar, mint)
 
3rd Course
 
Bockwurst (veal sausage; commercial) OR  Roast Beef (beef, salt, pepper)
Knowlton Leeks
(leeks, ham, bacon, cumin)
Herring
(herring; commercial)
Barley
(barley, beef broth, onions, mushrooms)
Roedd Groedd Mit Floedd
(lingonberries, raspberries, cream, milk, sour cream)
Cider (commercial)

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